It is such a privilege (in case I haven't mentioned it before!) to work in this great Catholic publishing house. One of the treasures about working here is the fact that we publish what I believe to be the best choral music for the Church today.
We recently published a piece by Lisa Stafford, Mourns the Tree. It's beauty has haunted me ever since I first heard it and sang it. The poetry touches me deeply and the choral arrangement is stunning. Lisa, thank you for this gift to the Church.
Here's the text:
Mourns the Tree and mourns the wood.
Mourns the forest where it stood.
Bole and branches, strong and wise:
Mourns the Tree of Sacrifice.
Gentle iron not for fear,
Not for wounding, not to tear.
Hands that bless and feet that lead:
Gentle iron, go tenderly.
Oh, sorrow, oh, sorrow, oh, sorrow, oh, sorrow.
Sorrow’s stone and sorrow’s tomb;
Sorrow’d chamber, noble room.
Ages old, in stillness stands:
Sorrow’s stone holds death’s dark bands.
Blessed Tree and blessed wood; Blessed boughs held Man and God.
Portal into Paradise:
Blessed, glorious Tree of Life!
(Text and music by Lisa Stafford. Copyright World Library Publications. All rights reserved.)
Here's a snippet of the recording. And you can see the sample pages here.
This is a piece that will draw people into the mystery of the cross during Lent, on Passion Sunday, and on Good Friday.
Here at WLP, we have a choral subscription service, over $100.00 worth of octavos mailed three times per year. We include our new pieces, as well as some time-honored pieces from our treasury. I know that many readers of Gotta Sing Gotta Pray are subscribers to this service ($30.00 per year). For those of you who would like to order a subscription, it couldn't be easier. Just follow this link.
Thanks for considering Mourns the Tree and thanks for listening today.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.