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317. Go Now in Peace

Text Information
First Line: Go now in peace, go now in peace
Title: Go Now in Peace
Author: Natalie Sleeth (1975)
Meter: 8 8 9
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Love: God's Love to Us; Songs for Children: Hymns; Close of Worship (1 more...)
Copyright: Text and music © 1976, Hinshaw Music, Inc. Reprinted by permission.
CCLI Number: 194317
Tune Information
Composer: Natalie Sleeth (1975)
Meter: 8 8 9
Key: C Major
Copyright: Text and music © 1976, Hinshaw Music, Inc. Reprinted by permission.

Text Information:

Natalie Sleeth (b. Evanston, IL, 1930; d. Denver, CO, 1992) wrote this charming round in 1975 when she was employed in the church school of Highland Park United Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas, dedicating it to one of her Orff instrumentalist friends. Sleeth published the text and music of this hymn in 1976 in her Sunday Songbook, compiled for use by church school groups and young choirs. Sleeth's work consists of many anthems that involve two-, three-, or four-part rounds. The text is a simple blessing or benediction: go in peace under God's loving care.

Liturgical Use:
A parting blessing; a sung benediction at the close of a worship service; generally useful at any Sunday worship service, but probably most fitting at a festive service because of the extra effort required for instrumentation; could also be a recessional in which each group begins to leave after completing its part of the round.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

The beauty of GO NOW IN PEACE lies in its simplicity of melody and in the many possibilities of enhancing a performance with a variety of instruments. The hymn is a wonderful "little anthem" for a children's choir accompanied by elementary school instrumentalists. Use Orff instruments or try handbells for the repeated patterns. Sing altogether once, and on the repeat, sing this hymn as a three-part round; four parts are also possible if the round begins every two bars.

A respected author and composer of hymns, anthems, and rounds, Sleeth composed almost two hundred works for a variety of publishers from 1969 until her death. Educated at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, in 1952 she married Ronald E. Sleeth, a Methodist minister and homiletics professor; they resided in seminary communities in Nashville, Dallas, Evanston, and Denver. Sleeth published a devotional book, Adventures for the Soul (1987), which describes some of her compositions. She was the subject of the video Words and Music (1990). Some of her anthems were published as hymns in Songs for LiFE (1994).

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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