The Music of Elizabeth Alexander

Pure Light beyond Light

Ancient and modern invocations of the Holy filled with reverence, mystery and illumination

Words by Mozarabic prayer, Hildegard von Bingen, Rob Eller-Isaacs

Three invocations of the holy as it inspires us, animates us, and awakens us. Drawn from different eras and religious traditions, each offers its own distinct, vibrant voice of reverence, mystery and illumination.

Individual Movements

I. Hear Us, O Never-Failing Light (Mozarabic Easter Eve blessing)
Published separately in a Flexible Voicing Edition allowing choirs to choose to sing the song in 2, 3 or 4 parts

II. Luminous Awakening (Hildegard of Bingen)
Published separately in a form identical to that of the complete work

III. Holy One, Source of Radiance and Reason (Rev. Rob Eller-Isaacs)
Published separately in a form identical to that of the complete work, as well as a 2-5 part canon

Details and Ordering Information

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Pure Light beyond Light

I. Hear us, O Never-Failing Light
Hear us, O never-failing Light,
May our souls be lamps of Thine,
Kindled and illumined by Thee.
May they shine and burn with truth,
And never go out in ashes.
May we be Thy dwelling,
Shining from Thee, shining in Thee.
May we shine and fail not;
May we ever worship Thee.
May we shine forth inwardly
And the light of perpetual faith abide in us.

Mozarabic Easter Eve blessing, translated by William Bright
Adapted by Elizabeth Alexander

II. Luminous Awakening
Holy Spirit, breath of every being,
root of every creature,
moving in all,
bathing all lives
with compassion and grace,
and caressing pain into boundless joy,
pure light beyond light
luminous awakening,
radiant, bountiful,
resurrecting everything
again and again and again.

Hildegard of Bingen
Translation from the Latin by Elizabeth Alexander
© 2016 by Elizabeth Alexander

III. Holy One, Source of Radiance and Reason
Holy One, source of radiance and reason,
Thou whose love endows and animates our lives.
We acknowledge Thy presence within, among and beyond us.

Rev. Rob Eller-Isaacs
© 2015 by Rob Eller-Isaacs



Pure Light Beyond Light (complete work)
Premiere: Bethlehem Academy Choir / Jonathan Kopplin (Faribault, MN)

Movement I. Hear Us O Never-Failing Light
Choir of First Baptist Church / Shawn Potter (Ottawa, ON)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills / Suzanne Cartreine (Wellesley Hills, MA)
Harvard Choral Fellows / Carson Cooman (Cambridge, MA)
Lumina Women’s Ensemble (St. Paul, MN)

Movement II. Luminous Awakening
Premiere: Chamber Choir of Colonial Church of Edina / Timothy Takach (Edina, MN)
Anjali Silva / Frances Lorenz (Takoma, WA)

Movement III. Holy One, Source of Radiance and Reason
Arizona Unitarian Universalist Choral Festival / Elizabeth Alexander (Chandler, AZ)
Choir of Valley Unitarian Universalist Church / Kellie Walker (Chandler, AZ)
Harvard Choral Fellows / Carson Cooman (Cambridge, MA)