Before the Marvel of This Night
David Ashley White

Composer David Ashley White
Text Jaroslav J. Vajda
Voicing Two-part divisi choir, handbells/perc.
Topic Christmas
Price $1.75 (U.S.)
Length 3' 10" Released 6/15
Catalog no. 405-245
Difficulty Mod. easy

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Anthem text
Before the marvel of this night,
adoring, fold your wings and bow;
then tear the sky apart with light
and with your news the world endow.
Proclaim the birth of Christ and peace,
that fear and death and sorrow cease:
sing peace; sing peace; sing gift of peace;
sing peace; sing gift of peace!

Awake the sleeping world with song:
this is the day the Lord has made.
Assemble here, celestial throng,
in royal splendor come arrayed.
Give earth a glimpse of heavenly bliss,
a teasing taste of what they miss:
sing bliss; sing bliss; sing endless bliss;
sing bliss; sing endless bliss!

The love that we have always known,
our constant joy and endless light,
now to the loveless world be shown,
now break upon its deathly night.
Into one song compress the love
that rules our universe above:
sing love; sing love; sing God is love;
sing love; sing God is love!

Jaroslav J. Vajda.

© 1981 Concordia Publishing House, Used by permission.

review copy

Description David Ashley White’s setting of Jaroslav J. Vajda’s beloved Christmas text has a plainchant-like character. The upper and lower voices sing in canon and can be accompanied ad lib by six handbells . The piece is effective with various moods: either gently atmospheric or more bold. Given its straightforward performance demands, it could be particularly useful as a Christmas processional or introit.


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