Support the Café

Search our Site

Historic Black Episcopal Church choir to sing beloved choral piece

Historic Black Episcopal Church choir to sing beloved choral piece

Total Praise is 20 years old this year. Based on Psalm 121, the piece was written by Richard Smallwood, an alumnus of Howard University. It has been sung by choirs and soloists the world over. It was recently heard on the live broadcast, sung by a historic Black Roman Catholic Church choir, on the White House lawn for Pope Francis. Tomorrow Total Praise takes center stage at the National Cathedral during the installation of the Rt Revd Michael Curry as the next presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

According to an article by Patrick McCoy at, Total Praise will be sung by the Gospel Choir of St Thomas Episcopal Church in Philadelphia PA. St Thomas is the first Black Episcopal Church in the US. The Gospel Choir is directed by Walter Blocker. They will sing Total Praise as a choral response following the reading of the Gospel.

I searched for a video recording of the St Thomas Gospel Choir singing Total Praise, but was unsuccessful. You may get a feel for the song and then be able to imagine it ringing through the expanse of the nave of the National Cathedral from this video of the Howard University Gospel Choir singing at Georgetown University’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Week.

The main image is from the St Thomas Episcopal Church, Philadelphia PA.

Please read a more in depth report of this story at


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gregory J. Allen

Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door will be opened for you. Enjoy!

STGC With Black Voices.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café