Faith, Hope & Love
by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange
A setting of the familiar text from 1 Corinthians 13, popular at church weddings.
For S/A/Men + organ
Published by RSCM
I wrote this setting of the familiar words from 1 Corinthians 13 for the golden wedding anniversary of my foster parents, Richard and Gillian Abbott, to whom I will always be grateful for providing stability for my sister and me for seven years of our rather turbulent childhood. Their love, both for each other and for the many fostered and adopted children in their care, was certainly patient and kind and all of the other adjectives appearing in this beautiful text so popular at weddings.
As a child, I sang in the parish choir of Bisley and West End in Surrey. I was very moved, when I returned there some thirty years later to conduct the first performance of Faith, Hope & Love at Richard and Gillian’s special service, to find that many of the choir members I’d sung with were still there. In a world where everything is changing so fast, and not always for good, it’s humbling and heartening to know that some things stay the same, including the dedication of these parishioners to singing in their local church choir every Sunday. One of them kindly gave me a beautiful painting of Bisley church by a former minister, John Cooper; I think John would have been delighted that the RSCM have chosen to put it on the cover of this publication.
I always enjoy composing the kind of music which is accessible for a small church choir with perhaps not many tenors and basses, as is the case with many such choirs. For this reason, I have scored Faith, Hope & Love for SA Men (as opposed to the more traditional SATB) and have kept the melodic lines mostly within an octave range. The organ part is not difficult and could easily be played on a piano or keyboard if there is no organ available.
It is my hope that Faith, Hope & Love will eventually become a staple of the traditional parish church marriage service.
Joanna Forbes L’Estrange