Required Resources: SATB choir
In Matthew 21:12-22 (and a parallel in Mark 11:12-14) Jesus curses a fig tree that is without fruit.
Seen as a symbol of one who lacks faith, the fig tree is used by the Lord as a motivation for his disciples as to what can happen when faith becomes strong.
He tells of wonders, of mountains being cast into the sea.
Colin Brumby takes a positive look at this event in his original paraphrase of the scriptural text, set to the lilting Welsh tune, Ash Grove.
The composer shows his mastery of choral writing — the parts are singable, well within amateur ranges, and the voice leading is impeccable.
Three verses tell the Gospel story, with the last half of the third verse wrapping things up in with a "moral":
And when you are praying, if grieved by another,
Forgive as your Father forgives everyone.
Thus standing in love may all men be as brothers,
Forgiven for wrongs that were better not done.
This SATB setting may be sung a cappella, although the organ is offered a brief introduction and coda, and can certainly play along with the choir on the verses themselves.