A Ukrainian Prayer

John writes:

‘How can a composer respond to a global tragedy? By writing music is the most obvious thing. Like everybody, I’ve been shocked and dismayed by the events of recent days, and the first thing I wanted to do was write some music that would respond in my own way.

I went to a late night service in my old college chapel, where they sang a setting of a lovely Ukrainian prayer. So, having encountered the text in another musical setting on Wednesday night, on Thursday, I wrote my own music. I hope the meaning of the text will resonate in people’s hearts. 

I had the opportunity to put it together at very short notice with a wonderful group of 300 people (at a workshop I was leading in Wandsworth, London) which still speaks with my own voice, but in terms that reach out to the Ukrainian people in their hour of need.’

Listen to A Ukrainian Prayer on YouTube:

Боже, Україну храни
Дай нам силу, вірі, й надії
Отче наш, Отче наш

A literal translation of the text is:

Good Lord, protect Ukraine.
Give her strength, courage, faith, hope. Amen.

The score is available for free by submitting this form. You are welcome to duplicate the score for the sole use of your own choir. You may like to make a donation to a Ukrainian relief charity, perhaps equivalent to the approximate cost of the copies had you purchased them. If you wish, you are free to make an audio or video recording of the piece without a special licence to do so.







90 Responses to “A Ukrainian Prayer”

  1. Nicholas Reid

    Thank you our church would love to do A Prayer for Ukraine . How do we get a copy of the score?

  2. Ken Krueger

    A beautiful, heart-felt composition. My wife and I have been donating to Ukrainian relief efforts since the start of the war. I would urge everyone to do the same.

  3. Gregory Gyllsdorff

    I, too have been saddened by the horrific events going on in Ukraine. I am planning a concert to raise funds for the people. I hope to include a number of people in the concert to get a good audience. Is there a way to get copies of the Ukrainian Prayer for the concert? It is so lovely and would be wonderful if we could include it.

    • Team JR

      You can use the ‘contact us’ form on this site to request a digital copy of A Ukrainian Prayer. You can make copies for your own choir, and make an audio or video recording without further licence. We are suggesting that you might like to make a donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee (or a Ukraine humanitarian relief agency in your own country) equivalent to the cost of the copies if you had purchased them.

  4. Sam

    Dear Mr Rutter
    I am from Macau and planning to play the piece in church. May I request a digital copy? Thank you.

  5. Jesus Izea

    Regards, I would be interested in obtaining a digital copy of the score of “a Ukrainian prayer”. I am the director of a Youth Choir in Venezuela. Thanks a lot.

  6. Richard Willmer

    Dear Sir,

    Could I suggest you not use the definitive article before Ukraine? This might not seem important, but as in English the article very often denotes that a region is not a state, it can be used for propaganda purposes, saying that the Great English composer John Rutter considers THE Ukraine to be part of Russia.

    Add to that that in the Slavic languages articles are nonexistent.

    Yours sincerely,

    Richard Willmer

    • Team JR

      Thank you for educating us about this nuance. We have amended the page.

  7. Elena Pierini

    Dear Mr. Rutter, thank you for writing such a heartfelt piece.
    I was just asked to give a benefit concert in support of the Ukrainian refugees that are coming to Austria.
    I would love to perform this piece with my Choir, the Opera Chorus of the Landestheater Linz.
    Would you be so kind to send me a copy?

    Many thanks and please stay safe,
    Elena Pierini

  8. Peter Wagenaar

    Dear mr Rutter.
    I would like to sing your prayer with my church choir Cantamo. We sing in the Taborchurch in Purmerend in the Netherlands.
    We should sing instead of making war.
    Thanks for your composition.

  9. Paula Savastano

    I would love to have this arranged for Flute Choir (or quartet). Is there a way to get a copy of the score and approval to do so?

  10. Daniel Hughes

    I would love a copy of “A Ukrainian Prayer” to perform with my choir in support and solidarity with Ukraine.

  11. Justin Bindley

    Could I please have a digital copy of the Ukrainian prayer. Many thanks

  12. Ken W

    Thank you, John Rutter. Not just for this inspirational work but for all your years of service to faith and music. We are truly blessed by all that you do.

  13. Stephen

    Could I possibly have a score that I could arrange for my brass band?

  14. Viv Kyte

    Dear team,
    I would be very grateful to receive a copy of A Ukrainian Prayer for my small group to sing. It is a beautiful piece of music and a very generous thing you have done to make it widely available. I have already made a donation to DEC but would happily make a further donation.

    Kind regards,

  15. Anthony Owen Spencer

    This “Ukrainian Prayer” is absolutely beautiful and I would love to work on it with my small choir on the Isle of Bute, Scotland. Please may I have a digital copy. Of course I will donate to DEC (right now) Thankyou Mr Rutter for all of your wonderful compositions.

  16. Eva Finkbeiner

    Ich hätte sehr gerne die Noten zu diesem Gebet. Vielen Dank

  17. Andrew Hypher

    What a wonderful piece, John, and so poignant in these troubling times!

    I belong to a choir in a small provincial town in the Netherlands and would love to share this piece with them. Could you tell me how to get hold of a digital copy, please?
    Many thanks in advance.

    With kind regards,

    Andrew Hypher

  18. Joachim Seefelder

    Thank you for your support by composing such beautiful music. I would like to sing it with my choir – would you please send me a copy? Thank you so much!