Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst,
are those who hunger and thirst for rightousness;
they will be filled they will be filled.
And blessed are those who love mercy;
they will receive the mercy God showers on his children.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see their Lord.
Blessed are the peace makers they are children of God.
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Words and music by Kimberley Rayson
Ideas for use
Kimberley’s deceptively simple setting of the Beatitudes is reminiscent of the Taizé settings in Singing the Faith. The uncluttered keyboard part makes this setting accessible for less confident musicians, but also allows the opportunity for free-flowing elaboration – either by the keyboard player or by adding other instruments (as is often the case with Taizé accompaniments).
The short musical interlude at bars 17-20 suggests a moment of reflection that feels appropriate both to these words and this setting.
Singing the Faith has continued the long tradition of drawing on musical settings of familiar liturgy (see the Liturgical Settings, StF 749-790); and extracts from Scripture are threaded through our hymns: versions of Mary’s Magnificat, sayings of Jesus, two settings of the Lord’s Prayer (StF 762 and 763) and, of course, countless psalm paraphrases.
To this selection we now add Kimberley Rayson’s setting of the Beatitudes, the sequence of blessings that both Matthew and Luke include in their gospels and which turn upside down the world’s more usual understanding of what makes our lives “blessed”. In her setting, Kimberley uses the version of the Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew, part of the Sermon on the Mount, focussing on verses 3 to 9. Matthew, unlike Luke, refers to the poor “in Spirit”.
Read more about The Beatitudes and different ways of reading Matthew’s version.