Fairfield composer writes pro-life hymn

FAIRFIELD–  Sacred music composer Anna Bendiksen of Fairfield has written a pro-life hymn, “Arise, O Gracious Lady” that arrives just in time for Mother’s Day and the Feast of the Visitation.

Her latest hymn, rousing and joyful is the fruit of meditation on the Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, the Visitation.

Bendiksen, a convert to Catholicism and a member of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Trumbull, said that since her conversion, she has developed a growing “pro-life” awareness and a deeper respect for the sanctity of human life “from conception to natural death.”

“Over and over again God tried to call me to an awareness that life is a gift entrusted temporarily to our care. For years I fought this awareness. Now that I am Catholic, I marvel at discovering over and over again what it means to rejoice in the truth.”

The text of the hymn begins by calling Our Lady to rise with the dawn and hasten over the “rocky hills of Judah” to visit her cousin Elizabeth with the Good News, as described in the Gospel of St. Luke. 

“It alludes to Our Lady’s experience of seeing Her beloved Son suffer and be put to death, then the joy of seeing Him risen at Easter, in keeping with Church tradition, in particular, the preaching of Pope St. John Paul II,” says Bendiksen. 

The hymn then goes on, “O friends whose hearts are riven/By visions of  the lives ye trod,/Repent and be forgiven/As children of our God!” 

It concludes by voicing confidence that, even though we know suffering here on the “rocky ground” of our beloved country, God is with us and Our Lady is Our Mother, now and always.

Bendiksen said the tune of her pro-life composition, “SURGEMUS, is Latin for “We arise.”

“I wanted to help give expression to the abundant life and love and hope that the Catholic Church offers, particularly in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to all people, including those who have unjustly taken the lives of others,” she said. 

To listen to “Arise, O Gracious Lady,” click here.


(For more information about Anna Bendiksen’s sacred music compositions, visit: