I have created a chorus section to “lift” this piece. I have used the English “Have mercy upon us, hear our prayer/receive our prayer” and this, with fugue-like elements, seems to work. The chorus moves from the minor key of the verse to a major chord to represent confidence that our prayers will be heard.
Choruses, per se, are not a feature of West Gallery hymns although the repetition of lines, particularly last lines, is very common and acts, almost, like a chorus. West Gallery anthems do sometimes have “hallelujah” or “amen” sections at the end so I hope this is not too much of a departure. I have accepted from the beginning that I cannot write a mass in “West Gallery style” but I hope that it can be fairly said that my claim that the music is inspired by West Gallery music is clearly evident. Each of the pieces is based on a hymn-type structure.
In terms of the intention of the piece – an expression of thanks to all those ordinary people who have made sacrifices, large and small, to benefit others – I have this wish for the music to be for the people. The repetition, chord progressions of the choruses lead to intentional predictability – If it is the wish of a musical director who uses this piece, then the congregation/audience may be informed that their participation in the choruses would be acceptable/welcome.