I was very happy to have directed the first performance of Children of the Light earlier this month. The work is scored for mixed chorus (SATB with divisi), baritone and soprano soloists and four-hand piano. The texts are drawn from Genesis, the Psalms, Isaiah, a prayer of St. Catherine of Siena. I wrote several of them myself. A few audience members asked for a copy of the full texts, and it occurred to me that it would be appropriate to post them. Here goes

I. Then God Said (from Genesis 1) – Chorus

Then God said: “Let there be light.” And there was light.

And God saw the light, that it was good.

And God divided the light from the darkness.

And God called the light “day.” And the darkness He called “night.”

And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

II.  Light, Eternal Light (John Newell)

Light, eternal Light, You shine through all creation.

Light, O blessed Light, Infinite light, Light of the heavens, Light of the earth.

Light, O marvelous light, Light of life:In you all beings are one.

From you do all come forth, Into you shall all return.

Light, O blessed light of wisdom, You are the beacon

That shows us the way out of darkness.

Light, eternal Light, You shine through all creation.

Light, light of love, light of grace, light of justice, light of peace.

Light of all light, Your names are too many to sing.

Glory, Glory, Gloria!

III. In Your Light (from Psalm 36)

Adonai beh aur ka nir eh aur. (Lord of all, in your light do we see light)

Your lovingkindness, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,

And your faithfulness to the clouds.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,

Your justice like the great deep.

O Lord you preserve both man and beast.

How precious is your steadfast love O God.

All may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They feast upon the abundance of your house.

You give them drink from the river of your delights.

For with you O Lord is the fountain of life, and in your light do we see light.

IV. My Nature is Fire (St. Catherine of Siena, trans. by Suzanne Noffke OP)

In your nature, eternal Godhead, I shall come to know my own nature.

And what is my nature, boundless love? It is fire! It is fire! It is fire!

For you are nothing but a fire of love.

And you have given humankind a share in this nature, for by the fire of love you

created us. And so with all other people and every created thing; you made them all out of love.

O ungrateful people! What nature has your God given you? His very own nature!

Are you not ashamed to cut yourself off from such a noble thing through the guilt of deadly sin?

O eternal Trinity, my sweet love! You, O light, give us light.

You, O wisdom, give us wisdom. You, supreme strength, strengthen us.

Today, eternal God, let our cloud be dissipated so that we may perfectly know

and follow your Truth in truth, with a free and simple heart.

O God, come to our assistance! Lord, make haste to help us! Amen.

V. Hear, O people! (John Newell) – baritone solo, chorus

Hear, O people! Open your ears and listen!

See, O people! Open your eyes and behold!

You are children of the light! You are all children of the light!

You are not the children of darkness! From the light you have come.

It is the light that sustains you, and all creation.

Therefore hear, O children, listen! Hear what is told to you!

Remain no longer in darkness!

Chase not, chase not after your false gods:

Gods of greed, gods of pride, gods of selfishness!

Gods of vengeance, gods of hatred, gods of oppression, gods of murder!

Honor all your sisters and brothers.

Care for one another, for you are all one people.

You are all one in the light!

Therefore hate not your sisters and brothers, for if you hate them you hate God!

If you dishonor them you dishonor God, despite your solemn rituals and fervent prayers!

Children! Children! Turn now from the darkness that enslaves you!

Turn to the light! Turn to the one true God, who is Love, who is Light!

Hear, O children! Love one another, for you are all children of the Light!

VI. Kyrie Eleison (John Newell) – Chorus

Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison.

O Lord, show us your compassion,

For we wander in darkness: Blinded by illusion,

Lost in our pride, lost in our desires, lost in our fears,

Enslaved by racing minds that grasp mindlessly.

Guide us, O Lord, from the darkness of our ignorance into the light,

The light of your love, your grace, your peace.

O Lord, open our eyes. Show us your compassion.

Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison.

VII. Light of Heaven (John Newell)

Light of heaven, Pure and indestructible, Beyond arising and ceasing,

Give us thy blessings, Purify, transform, awaken us.

Shine through our words, deeds and thoughts, that we may five blessings to others.

VIII. Arise, Shine! (from Isaiah 60)

Arise, shine! For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you!

For behold, darkness covers the land; deep gloom enshrouds the peoples.

But over you the Lord will rise, and his glory will appear upon you.

Nations will stream to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawning.

Your gates will always be open; by day or night they will never be shut.

They will call you the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One.

Violence will no more be heard in your land, ruin or destruction within your borders.

You will call your walls Salvation, and all your portals Praise.

The sun will no more be your light by day; by night you will not need the brightness of the moon.

Arise, shine! For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you!

The Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.

IX. Light, Eternal Light! Thanks Be to God! (John Newell)

Light, eternal Light, You shine through all creation.

Light, O blessed Light, Infinite light, Light of the heavens, Light of the earth.

Light, O marvelous light, Light of life:In you all beings are one.

From you do all come forth, Into you shall all return.

Light, O blessed light of wisdom, You are the beacon

That shows us the way out of darkness.

Light, eternal Light, You shine through all creation.

Light, light of love, light of grace, light of justice, light of peace.

Light of all light, You names are too many to sing.

Glory, Glory, Gloria! Deo gratias! Thanks be to God!

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