Peace Pilgrim’s Prayer (Peace, Be Still)


A canon made out of a favorite prayer of the American “saint,” known as Peace Pilgrim.  Each phrase shortens by a word, bringing one to stillness.  The canon can be sung in as few as two, and as many as twelve parts.  With a simple, repeating piano accompaniment (optional).

100% of proceeds are donated to Friends of Peace Pilgrim, the non-profit organization that preserves Peace Pilgrim’s legacy.



In the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college, I spent some time at the home of my friend and mentor, Steve Kinzie.  One morning as he was leaving for work, he mentioned that he had found a great prayer in the Peace Pilgrim biography that he had recently read.  “It would make a great round,” he said.

(If Peace Pilgrim is new to any of you, let me explain that her given name was Mildred Norman, but that she took the name “Peace Pilgrim” as she began a pilgrimage for peace on January 1st, 1953, in the Rose Parade, in Pasadena, California.  She vowed to remain a penniless pilgrim until humanity had learned the way of peace, which, she taught, was this: “Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.”  She did remain a pilgrim for decades, walking and giving talks, until her death in 1981.  Her sayings and insights were compiled by her friends after her death, and have been translated into many languages, bringing hope, wisdom, and inspiration to many.)

Anyway, Steve left the house that morning, and I went straight to the piano, and wrote a round.  In twelve parts!  (My first year at church camp, in fourth grade, we were led in songs by the wonderful Velva Butler, who had us singing a nine-part round by the end of the week — so twelve parts didn’t feel too intimidating to me!)  I felt sheepish, since I had understood that Steve intended to write music to those words, but he was excited when I showed him what I had done.  Eventually Steve did write his own music to the prayer, and he shared the song at meaningful moments when he served, years later, with a Christian Peacemaker Team in Palestine.  (Steve has told me that he has forgotten his lovely version, but I have a vivid memory of him singing it caught in my head, so it is preserved at least for now.)


Peace, be still, and know that I am God
Peace, be still, and know that I am
Peace, be still, and know
Peace, be still,
Peace, be
Peace, peace, peace

(from Psalm 46:10)

Additional information


piano / vocal score (all choir types)

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