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O Heavenly Word

Composer David Ashley White
Text Latin, ca. 7th cent. trans. The Hymnal, 1982
Voicing SATB
Church Season Advent
1' 20" Price $1.65 (U.S.) Released 6/95
Catalog no. 405-117 Difficulty Moderately difficult

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"David Ashley White's O Heavenly Word, Eternal Light is a beautiful, moody, atmospheric setting of the first four stanzas of Hymn 63 [in Hymnal '82] (the doxology stanza is omitted). Beginning with a haunting alto/tenor unison, it rises to a modest climax and subsides on a low tenor/bass open fifth. It is highly recommended for carol services as well as for service use."-AAM Journal, September 1995.

"David Ashley White is a name all pastoral musicians should know. His music is found in the catalogues of many of the best music publishers. This seventh-century text is set in a simple and elegant style that is well-suited to choral singing. The chant-like anthem employs a good deal of unison singing. The SATB sections are very accessible to the singers. The beautiful text would be suitable for the end of the liturgical year and for Advent as well as for other times. Highly recommended." -Pastoral Music, August/September 1997.

Description An expressive, chant-like settting of this 7th century Advent hymn, but with 20th century harmony.

O heavenly Word, eternal Light,
begotten of the Father's might,
who in these latter days wast born
for blessing to a world forlorn;

pour light upon us from above,
and fire our hearts with ardent love,
that, as we hear thy truth today,
all wrong may burn away;

and when, as judge, thou drawest nigh
the secrets of our hearts to try,
to recompense each hidden sin
and bid the saints their reign begin;

O let us not, for evil past,
be driven from thy face at last,
but with thy saints for evermore
behold thee, love thee, and adore.

Latin, ca. 7th cent.; trans. The Hymnal 1982.
© Church Publishing Corp. Used by permission.

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