Here’s a very simple setting of the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18: 9-14). It is set for three voices.
Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector
(Luke 18: 9-14)
One: Jesus told this story to some
who had great confidence in their own righteousness
and scorned everyone else:
Two men went to the Temple to pray.
One was a Pharisee,
and the other was a despised tax collector.
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer:
Two: I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else.
For I don’t cheat,
I don’t sin,
and I don’t commit adultery.
I’m certainly not like that tax collector!
I fast twice a week,
and I give you a tenth of my income.
One: But the tax collector stood at a distance
and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed.
Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying,
Three: O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.
One: I tell you,
this sinner, not the Pharisee,
returned home justified before God.
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled,
and those who humble themselves will be exalted.