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The Word of God Became Flesh

Communion Antiphon for Christmas (2011)

for SATB Choir, Cantor, Assembly, and Organ/Piano

with optional String Quartet

  • premiered Christmas 2011


The Church of St. Peter


Saratoga Springs, NY

  • Communion Antiphon for Christmas Eve/Day

  • Antiphon makes use of well-known tune CAROL

  • Verses from Psalm 98



About The Word of God Became Flesh:


The Word of God Became Flesh (2011) is a setting of the Communion Antiphon for Christmas.  The text of the Antiphon is taken from John 1:14, and the verses are from Psalm 98 (Revised Grail translation).  My goal with this piece was to create a way to sing these appointed Communion Antiphon texts at Mass in a way that still captures the festivity of the holiday and allows the Assembly (many of whom may be unfamiliar with Catholic liturgy) to participate in song.  To this end, I employed the use of the familiar Christmas tune CAROL (aka, "It Came upon the Midnight Clear") to set the Antiphon text, and composed completely new but complimentary music for the verses.  The Antiphon is arranged for SATB Choir with the Assembly, and the verses are intended for a Cantor.  Organ (or Piano) with optional String Quartet accompany the piece throughout.  The tempo of the piece is slow but deliberate, the Antiphon is designed to be sung twice through each time, and there are six verses for the Cantor, all of which enable he piece to accompany the often lengthy Christmas Communion procession while keeping the Assembly engaged in song.  While the Choir will not need much rehearsal on the Antiphon, the Cantor should spend time reviewing the variations in how the verse text setting changes slightly from verse to verse.  This piece makes lovely and practical addition to any parish's liturgical Christmas repertoire.

Click on the title page image above to view a sample score.

Performance History

Christmas 2011

world premiere

The Church of St. Peter, Saratoga Springs, NY

Philip Spaeth, Music Director

Used during Christmas liturgies regularly since 2011

The Church of St. Peter, Saratoga Springs, NY

Philip Spaeth, Music Director

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