Sent from heaven,
Thy rays were given on great and small to shine,
O Light Divine!
May each soul in sorrow’s night see the heavenly light!
Thou blessing to all creation,
Lead us to our salvation!
All those whose feet may falter,
Lead unto the sacred altar!
Oh shine from above,
Divine light of love!
Show us the way unto our God, we pray!
Thou our beacon and guide shalt be!
Light Divine, we praise Thee!
What a perfect prayer for Advent as we prepare for the coming of Christ. This text is from the anthem “Heavenly Light,” by Russian composer Alexander Kopylov (1854-1911), translated by Alice Mattullath and arranged by Peter J. Wilhousky. It is sung today for the Presentation of the Gifts and calls forth the “splendor of glory from God” depicted in the first reading. We hear in this reading about the “light of his glory,” and “joy” fills not only the first reading, but the Psalm and second reading as well.
This joy that fills the word of God leads to our Gospel, where John the Baptist quotes the words of Isaiah, which are also words found in the text of the choir anthem presented during Communion, “Prepare The Way of the Lord,” composed by the mother and daughter writing team, Berta Poorman and Sonja Poorman.
Prepare the way of the Lord.
Be joyful, all the earth,
For we await the coming of the dear Messiah’s birth.
An everlasting light, the one we’ve waited for,
And he will rule the kingdom and shine forevermore.
Rejoice, for the King will come,
Rejoice, he’s the promised one,
Oh come and sing praises to the mighty Son.
Rejoice and the earth will hear,
Rejoice for the time is near.
The Savior will come to end all doubt and fear.
Each mountain will be low,
With valleys lifted high.
Prepare for him a highway upon the desert dry.
The crooked will be straight;
The rugged will be plain,
-- Lorraine Joy Welling
Director, Gloria Dei Choir