Sing, Sing, Ye Heavenly Choir!
Scoring: SATB, organ
Written: London - December, 2013
Jim has long enjoyed singing this text by John Mason to Ken Naylor's glorious hymn tune, Coe Fen. This setting, for the choir of Westminster Abbey, is currently mostly written, and should receive its finishing touches whilst Jim tours the USA with Stile Antico in October, 2013.
How shall I sing that majesty? - John Mason (1645-1694)
How shall I sing that Majesty
Which angels do admire?
Let dust in dust and silence lie;
Sing, sing, ye heavenly choir.
Thousands of thousands stand around
Thy throne, O God most high;
Ten thousand times ten thousand sound
Thy praise; but who am I?
Enlighten with faith’s light my heart,
Inflame it with love’s fire;
Then shall I sing and bear a part
With that celestial choir.
They sing because Thou art their Sun;
Lord, send a beam on me;
For where heaven is but once begun
There alleluias be.
Thy brightness unto them appears,
Whilst I Thy footsteps trace;
A sound of God comes to my ears,
But they behold Thy face.
I shall, I fear, be dark and cold,
With all my fire and light;
Yet when Thou dost accept their gold,
Lord, treasure up my mite.
How great a being, Lord, is Thine,
Which doth all beings keep!
Thy knowledge is the only line
To sound so vast a deep.
Thou art a sea without a shore,
A sun without a sphere;
Thy time is now and evermore,
Thy place is everywhere.