Hymn of Forgiveness


Hymn of Forgiveness


for mixed chorus and organ (1996; rev. 2015)

  • Premiere (original version): 13 September 1996 / Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy, New York, NY / Chorus of St. Matthew and St. Timothy / James Holmes
  • Final Instrumentation: SATB and organ
  • Duration: 4'
  • Text: Taken from the walls of Coventry Cathedral. England (E)
  • Dedication: "For James Holmes and the Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy, New York City."
  • All orders are digital downloads. To order paper music, please visit our print distributor partner Theodore Front.

Program Note

Commissioned by and dedicated to James Holmes, Music Director of the  Church of Saint Mathew and Saint Timothy in New York City, Hymn of Forgiveness was first published under the title Litany of Reconciliation. It was completed in its original form on 13 August 1996 in New York City. The chorus of Saint Matthew and Saint Timothy,  under the direction of music director James Holmes, first performed the piece at the church in its original version on 13 September 1996.

First published by the Roger Dean Publishing Company in 1996, it was re-printed and folded into the Carl Fischer catalogue in 2006.  In 2015, the composer withdrew the original a capella version. Revising it from scratch, Hagen added an organ part, and additional music. The original version  was dedicated to James Holmes; the revised version is dedicated to his memory.  

Coventry Cathedral, also known as St Michael's Cathedral, is the seat of the Bishop of  Coventry and the Diocese of Coventry, in Coventry, West Midlands, England. It was bombed by the Germans during World War II and rebuilt after the Peace.    

The Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy in New York City, where the original version of this work was premiered.

The Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy in New York City, where the original version of this work was premiered.


Taken from the walls of Coventry Cathedral, England

Father forgive the covetous desires of people and nations to posess what is not their own.

Father forgive the greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth.  

Father forgive our envy of the welfare and happiness of others.  

Father forgive our indifference to the plight of the homeless and the imprisoned, the refugee.  

Father forgive the lust which dishonors the bodies of women and children.  

We beseech Thee, forgive.  

Father forgive the pride which leads us to trust in ourdelves and not in God.  

We beseech Thee, forgive.  

Be kind to one another. Be tender hearted.  

Forgive one another.   

(Banner Photo: Coventry Cathedral after World War II)