My favorite part of the Lenten season is the hymn, “Let My Prayer Arise” that we sing every Wednesday and Friday night for Pre-Sanctified Liturgy. Based off of Psalm 141, it reminds me of another song I grew up singing at Covenant (which was my favorite, since it could be sung in round at Big Sur. I taught it to my kids at St. Peter’s, and it quickly became their favorite as well!).
The words: Let my prayer arise in Thy sight as incense and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice. Lord, I have cried to thee. Hear me! Hear the voice of my supplication when I cry to Thee. Set a watch, O Lord before my mouth and a door about my lips. Incline not my heart to evil words or make excuses for my sins.
The first video is what it sounds like, on a given day, in any Orthodox parish. The “trio” (of which I’ve only been a part of once!) sings a few pages, then the choir/congregation responds, back and forth for about 15 minutes. Usually, while the trio is singing their part, the entire congregation is bowed on their hands and knees.
The second video is another choir somewhere singing it. While it doesn’t have the “organic” homey quality to it that the first does, it does, actually, stay on pitch throughout the entire song 🙂