susan palo cherwien



published reflections


Meditations for Worship

Crossings is a unique collection of meditations that were written primarily for use in hymn festivals. The meditations in Crossings are appropriate for use in worship services, hymn festivals, or for private reading. The book contains 145 meditations in categories such as: Images; Mysteries; Epiphanies; Dawning; Seasons; Colors; The Servant Church; and Harvest. A sample hymn festival outline is included as well as an index of possible usage. Foreward by Martin E. Marty. 256 pages.


Reflections for Worship

This second volume from Susan Cherwien features meditations for hymn festivals and worship services. The first volume entitled Crossings received recognition and is widely used. From Glory into Glory includes the same beautiful expressions of faith that make Susan’s work so well-known. It includes suggested hymn festival outlines that served as the inspiration for the meditations found in the book as well as hymn and anthem indexes. Paperback, 400 pages.


if you need copyright permission for a reflection:

Words are not neutral. Music is not benign.

selected works


Over the Hills
Young Mary Hastes

SSATB a cappella

A motet from the late 1500's by the German composer Johannes Eccard. Eccard was noted for his work with the Lutheran chorale and for creating a unique five-part texture, which is reflected in this piece. The edition by Susan Palo Cherwien has several performance options and includes an English translation.

Part of the National Lutheran Choir Series/NLC Series.


Holy Light

A Candlelight Service of Carols

A complete worship service designed and composed by Robert A. Hobby containing scripture readings, meditations by Susan Palo Cherwien, and twelve carols. Holy Light was originally conceived as a candle-lighting service (not congregationally as in Silent Night, but on the altar or in various locations in the Chancel.) Whether or not this concept is utilized, you will find this collection takes a new look at some well-known carols. Readings by Susan Palo Cherwien are taken from Crossings: Meditations for Worship and From Glory into Glory. Approximate performance time 55 minutes.

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From Light to Light

SATB divisi a cappella

From Light to Light by Aaron McDermid is a four-movement a cappella work based on original texts by Susan Palo Cherwien. Each movement may be performed individually and are available separately. Movement 1 incorporates soprano solo, and movement 4 utilizes 2 soprano soloists. The choral writing is expansive and utilizes thick harmonic structures with primarily eight-part writing. The work was written for the National Lutheran choir and is recorded on their CD From Light to Light.

Part of the National Lutheran Choir Series/NLC Series.

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Eternal Praise

SATB, Violin and Organ

Set in an English style reminiscent of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Herbert Howells, David Cherwien’s music merges with an original text by Susan Palo Cherwien to evoke images of the music now made in heaven: the "Eternal Praise." Commissioned in memory of a violinist, mystical winds of "hymning choir" move in and out of a string of sound in the violin. 

Part of the St. Luke's United Methodist Series.


Cycle of Light

Six sacred songs on texts by women poets, suitable for use separately in services, or as a complete cycle in recitals. Includes Shadows and Brightness, text by Susan Palo Cherwien.


To God Will I Sing

Vocal solos for the church year

Encompassing the entire church year, this collection of songs is diverse in style, with compositions from seven centuries of the finest sacred music. This collection will become a standard resource for Sundays as well as for weddings, funerals, baptisms, and other occasions.