Opus 1097

Wise Men Came Journeying (2014)

for SATB Chorus and Organ

Text by Shirley Erena Murray

Harvard University Choir; Edward Elwyn Jones, conductor

Duration: 2.5 min.

Dedication: for David Dahl

Commission: Commissioned by The Memorial Church, Harvard University

Publisher: Selah Publishing Co., Inc.

Performance materials available from the publisher.

Wise Men Came Journeying (2014), a carol for Epiphany, was written for the 105th Annual Christmas Carol Services of Harvard University’s Memorial Church. The work sets a text by the New Zealand poet Shirley Erena Murray that begins with the image of the three wise men’s journey and radiates outward to the present.

Wise men came journeying, once, long ago,
camel hooves swirling the sand dune and snow,
gold in the saddlebag, myrrh in the jar,
incense to honor the Child of the star.

Wise are the travelers led to move on
following signs where the Christ light has shone,
facing the deserts and crossing the lines,
heeding no limits that culture defines.

Wise are each one of us looking for change,
stargazer people, respecting the strange,
inner and outer worlds open to light,
centered on seeing the real and the right.

Wise ones keep journeying all through their days
bringing their gifts to the source of their praise,
risking the Promise with all they hold dear,
seeking God’s peace at the door of the year.

Shirley Erena Murray (1931–2020)
Text © 1996 Hope Publishing Company