Gethsemane Reflections

Gethsemane Reflections


Composer: James S. Bawden

Handbells used: 3 – 5 octaves

Handchimes used: 3 – 4 octaves

Level: 3

Click here to listen on Youtube

This sensitive yet powerful performance of 'Gethsemane Reflections' is courtesy of the Sanctuary Bells of Christ Church, Davenport, IA   James Bawden, Director.



Description: The composer was inspired to create this simple yet powerful music to “take the listener” to the Garden of Gethsemane with an attitude of prayer and reflection. The stark, sonorous chords and musical lines using both bells and handchimes convey a sense of passion and angst while a thread of hope is apparent throughout. The addition of finger cymbal punctuates opening section plus LV and echos are used to maximum the effect. A key change introduces claves which perhaps foreshadow the coming crucifixion. This work begs for much expression throughout, leaving the congregation nearly breathless as the final chords fade away.

One would be hard‐pressed to find a more powerful work for use during Lent and Holy Week than Bawden’s “Gethsemane Reflections."

Octave Ranges
3-5 octaves
Original composition
Level of Difficulty
Level 3

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