The Music of Elizabeth Alexander

The Chalice of Our Hearts

A graceful canon about wandering, searching, finding and returning

Music: Elizabeth Alexander

Words: Elizabeth Alexander

This canonic anthem brings a simple grace to the humble, profound work of spiritual growth. The canon itself may be taught to a congregation for use in worship settings.

The final movement of Kindling: Small Reflections on a Limitless Faith, The Chalice of Our Hearts may also be performed as a stand-alone piece.

Instrumentation: SATB, piano OR SATB, flute, horn, piano, string quartet

Note: The Choral Score is designed to be used with chamber ensemble performances as well as those accompanied only by piano. For chamber ensemble performances, the conductor uses the Conductor’s Score of the complete work (SEA-123-00).

Details and Ordering Information

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Composer Notes

Composer Notes

As a 25 minute cantata, Kindling is a piece for singers who read music, attend rehearsals, and watch the conductor. But this small canon can be sung by anyone and everyone. It seemed only right to end this way.


The Chalice of Our Hearts

Our search for kindling takes us far beyond our selves –
There we gather Truth and Mystery.
We return with joy to tend the chalice of our hearts.

Elizabeth Alexander
© 2015 by Elizabeth Alexander



SATB, flute, horn, string quartet
Premiere: First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston / Jason Oby (Houston, TX)
Choir of Arlington Street Church / Mark Buckles (Boston, MA)
Choir of Mount Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church / Mark Tuning (Walnut Creek, CA)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Church of Atlanta / Donald Milton III (Atlanta, GA)
St Luke Presbyterian Church / David Lohman (St. Louis Park, MN)

SATB, piano
First Unitarian Univeralist Church of Rochester / Joe Mish (Rochester, MN)