This Sparkle of the Day

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SSA/organ (no pedal)
Sacred text in English
Difficulty rating (1-5): 2

This piece has not yet been premiered in full. Please contact me if you are interested in premiering this piece.

 

I wrote this piece for my good friend Nancy Menk, who is dept chair at St. Mary’s College in  Indiana. Nancy had been complaining that she didn’t have any extended work sacred pieces for chapel service, or that the ones she did have just weren’t floating her boat. Using some delightfully refreshing texts by early saints, I devised short movements that can stand alone or work together in sequence, basically a progression from night into the morning offices. Yet these pieces can be used outside of strictly Catholic services, since the texts simply encompass somewhat general Christian images and ideas.

The musical model for the piece was the Faure Messe Basse, a gentle little gem which is a basically utilitarian worship piece of  understated beauty. Thus the simple, manuals only organ part, and the fairly easy SSA vocal parts.

Complete perusal score available upon request.

 


TEXT

Introduction:
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord more
than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.

   -Psalm 130

It is now the moment for you
to wake from sleep.
For salvation is nearer to us now
than when we became believers;
the night is gone, the day is near.

   -Romans 13

I.
The limit of the night is passed,
the quiet hour of sleep has fled;
far up the lance of dawn is cast;
new light upon the heaven is spread.

But when this sparkle of the day
our eyes discern, then, Lord of Light,
to Thee our souls make haste to pray
and offer all their wants aright.

O Holy Spirit, by the deeds
of Thine own light and charity,
renew us through our earthly needs
and cause us to be like to Thee.

Grant this, O Father ever blessed;
and Holy Son, our heavenly friend;
and Holy Ghost, Thou comfort best!
Now and until all time shall end.
 
-Saint Hilary

II.
O nata lux de lumine,
Jesu redemptor saeculi,
dignare clemens supplicum,
laudes precesque sumere,
qui carne quondam contegi
dignatus es pro perditis,
nos membra confer effici

tui beati corporis.

O light which from the Light has birth,
Jesus, Redeemer of the earth,
thy faithful flock vouchsafe to spare,
hear our gift of praise and prayer,
thou, who for man's salvation sake
thyself hast deigned pure flesh to take,
o make us members true and sure
of that Thy Holy body pure.


III.

Remember, God, that we are the plants in your fields,
so connected to the earth
that you know what would happen
if you did not rain upon us.

And if your light ceased to lift us from the ground
and craft our bodies,
how might we near you
like the suns?

Remember, God, to love us in a way
Our souls can taste and rejoice in.

   -St. Theresa of Avila

IV.
My life is an instant,
a fleeting hour.
My life is a moment,
which swiftly escapes me.
O my God, you know that
on earth I have only today
to love you.

    -St. Thérèse of Lisieux

 

  

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