Mary Ann Joyce-Walter

Mary Ann Joyce-Walter
Mixed Choir + Piano
March 2005

      In Anguish and Hope: A Psalm for Today


Mary Ann Joyce-Walters writes: The first two sections of In Anguish and Hope are based on verses from two terrifying Psalms; the third section is a setting of a passage from Micah. I chose to use these texts after listening to a friend of mine speak about the death of her son.

I became keenly aware of her personal and genuine feelings of rage against God, which were so similar to David’s “Why do You hide Your face and forget our persecution and our oppression?” Christ’s “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” and Elie Wiesel’s “Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.” I realized that a far more difficult question (and perhaps more deeply personal) than that of asking God to forgive us is “Can we forgive God”?

After asking that intimate and bold question, the words of Micah recall that peace, based on justice, will come one day: “you shall be at peace and unafraid.…nations shall not lift up sword against nation….you shall bear fruit in justice and peace.”