Opus 1252

Gentle Joseph Heard a Warning (2017)

for TTBB Chorus and Organ

Text by Carl P. Daw, Jr.

Harvard University Choir; Edward Elwyn Jones, conductor

Duration: 3 min.

Dedication: for Elizabeth A. Johnson, C.S.J.

Commission: Commissioned by The Memorial Church, Harvard University

Publisher: Selah Publishing Co., Inc.

Performance materials available from the publisher.

Gentle Joseph Heard a Warning (2017) was written for the 108th Annual Christmas Carol Services of The Memorial Church, Harvard University, December 2017. It is dedicated to Elizabeth A. Johnson, C.S.J.


Gentle Joseph heard a warning

from an angel in the night;

valiant Mary, maiden mother,

roused from sleep, prepared for flight:

thus the Christ-child’s family lived out

what the prophet had foretold,

that he might be called from Egypt

as God’s people were of old.


Targets of a tyrant’s army,

seeking safety, fleeing strife,

leaving house and land and kindred,

spurred by dreams of peaceful life;

through the desert of unknowing

and the night of doubt they went,

guided by God’s promised presence,

by that trust made confident.


Give us, God, such faith and courage

when we move from place to place,

and to those who come among us,

make us channels of your grace.

Let us see in every stranger

refugees from Bethlehem,

help us offer each one welcome

and receive the Christ in them.


Carl P. Daw, Jr.
Text © 1990 Hope Publishing Company