I first came to know Barbara Bridge when she was a member of Bob Hurd’s music ministry ensemble, “Anawim,” many years ago. But over the years she has emerged as a very formidable composer, with a special commitment to sung prayer settings appropriate for Taize’ Prayer and other types of contemplative prayer services. Barbara received her bachelor of music degree from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles and served as cantor at the Papal Mass in Los Angeles in 1987 and several years at various events such as the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress and for several gatherings of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians Convention. She also served a team member for “Music Ministry Alive” for several years. Since 1989, Barbara’s commitment to promote and provide music for Taizé prayer has reached churches and retreat centers of various denominations. Her 135-song collection, Hear the Prayers That Rise (a collaboration with Sr. Suzanne Toolan) is one of the very best resources of song prayers that I have come across over the years. It brings people of various faith traditions together in contemplative prayer through song and silence. She has contributed her voice and several of her compositions to various collections, including A Lenten Journey and One with the Risen Lord with Bob Hurd, as well as the most recent collection, Our Common Home, with songs inspired by Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’ encyclical . Her song “Now is the Acceptable Time” is commonly heard during the season of Lent. After working for OCP Publications for several years as part of their editorial team, Barbara retired in 2014 and lives in the Portland, Oregon, area; but her music and influence is growing among those who have encountered her work – so check out the resources featured here! DH
Please consider when ordering any of these resources, to choose, whenever possible, ordering directly from the particular publisher (the link for each item is usually provided), rather than going to Amazon or similar outlets. When you order from these distributors, the royalties for the composer, as well as the publisher, are greatly compromised, as a substantial portion of the royalties go to the ordering source. The options to order from Amazon are provided here in many cases (and obviously in some cases, certain items may be out of print from the publisher), but most often, you should be able to obtain these resources from the specific publisher,. So, think about it … choose differently, support the composers and authors who have created these resources, and click on the links provided here to order directly from the publisher.
Barbara Bridge offers Deep Peace, 14 lovely pieces composed for SATB choir and assembly, with keyboard and guitar accompaniments. Many songs include Taizé-inspired chant, creating meditative atmospheres that promote personal prayer and reflection, and lyrical repetition that allows for introspection. It is a collection that draws us closer to our God through its comfort, warmth and inviting melodies.
These pieces span a 20-year journey, during which time Barbara worked at OCP as part of the Music Development Team. It is her experience as a choir director, cantor and presenter, and dedication to faith formation that allow her to create such unique, powerful music for liturgy, prayer and devotion.
- “Deep Peace” is an uplifting text that transcends religious identity. Newly arranged for piano and SATB choir, this piece features an intentionally simple melody suitable for most choirs.
- With a chant-like melody, “As a Mother Cares” uses the analogy of a mother’s love for her child to demonstrate the immense mercy of God.
- And “Veni, Creator Spiritus” is built around an ostinato, invoking the Holy Spirit to come among us. The lyrical simplicity of this piece adds to its intensity and power, making it a great addition to any choir’s repertoire.
Barbara has also composed three lovely litanies for use during prayer services. Her “Litany for the Earth,” inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, calls us to honor God’s spectacular creations and serve as stewards of the earth. “Litany of Peace” is based on the “Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.” Instantly recognizable in its cry for an end to hatred and anger, this prayer features a clear, understated refrain: “Make me an instrument of your peace.” Lastly, her “Litany of the Saints” offers unique, alternating moments for male and female cantors. This creates a vocal juxtaposition that is met with a metered response from the assembly, as they pray for the intercession of the saints.
Barbara Bridge Individual Choral Editions/Octavos
(Many of the pieces listed have ancillary editions for obligatto instruments also, music clips for each selection can be found at the OCP website (www.ocp.org)
All of these selections are also available digitally.
All the Ends of the Earth
As a Mother Cares
Be With Me
Christmas Season Gospel Acclamation
Come, Follow Me
Each Time that You Love
Ke Bona Leseli
Like A Deer that Longs
Litany for the Earth
Litany of the Saints
Now is the Acceptable Time
This is the Day
To You, O Lord
Turn Our Hearts
Welcome to the Kingdom
You Are My Companion
You Are My Inheritance