Wherewith shall I come?

Composed in memory of John Michael Murray

John Michael Murray was one of my chess pupils. At the age of 15 he was killed in an accident at his home. He was a member of a very special family, as testified by this obituary in the Times Educational Supplement (Scotland).

One of the readings at his funeral was Micah 6:6–8. In the days after the funeral I composed a short anthem in his memory on the words of that reading. It was graciously received by his family.

This is a synthesised rendering of the anthem. I hope to replace it as soon as I can with a recording by a mixed voice choir.

Wherewith (shall I come) before the Lord?
Wherewith (shall I come) before the Lord,
And bow myself before the high God?
(Repeat)

Shall I come before him…
(Bass) …with burnt offerings? (Other parts) …with calves of a year old?
Will the Lord be pleasèd (with thousands of rams, or) with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my first‐born for my transgression,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

He hath shewed (thee, O man,) what is good;
And what doth the Lord require of thee,
But to do justly,
And to love mercy,
And to walk humbly with thy God?

The score can be viewed here. Please do not print it or copy it, as I have not been able to contact John Michael’s family to ask their permission.