• harp, strings
  • SATB chorus
  • soprano, mezzo-soprano/countertenor, tenor, baritone
  • 14 min

Programme Note

This suite brings together the four Christian archangels, each depicted by a different type of
solo voice. Strings, harp and choir add colour depth to the words of each archangel.
MICHAEL is the warrior and captain of the angelic host and is conveyed here by a rich,
vibrant tenor voice. He sings with defiance and authority and leads the choir in words of

Almighty Michael,
All present guard of goodness;
Love’s protector,
Truth’s defender:
Bearer of the sword of light.

Be our defender!
Be our protector!
Prince of all the host of heaven
Save us in this time of danger!

Purest beauty,
Sweetest music;
Faith; Hope; Love;
The armour of God.

His strong defender,
His present hope in danger!
I am his sword!
I am his slayer!
Victor of the heights of heaven!

Almighty Michael!
Our present guard of goodness,
Confound the devil!
You are his slayer!

Michael, the glorious victor!
Lord of the hosts of angels!
Always faithful!
Always fearless!
Blessed Michael,
Lead our praises!

All heaven praise Him!
All earth laud Him!
May His kingdom come on earth!
The kingdom of Christ!

Blessing and honour and glory and power,
Be yours for ever and ever! Amen!

RAPHAEL is the tender healer. The countertenor voice sits amid a warm choral and string
texture, generating a tone of ethereal beauty.

Most trusted.

Tender healer,
Gentle saver,
Hear us.

Save us!
Heal us!
Hold us!
Surround us!
Look down:
Renew us!

The Annunciation marks the very beginning of the Christian faith. GABRIEL, the messenger
(sung by a baritone), delivers his world-changing message to Mary with an air of quiet
authority. The piece is full of Christmas spirit.

Hear the herald of God’s new age,
Hear the hope of good news,
Hear the name above every name,
This name, the prince of all names.

Hear the name of Jesus,
Saviour of the world,
Come and with your hearts and lips adore.

Sweetest lady, hear the Word.
Highly favoured, full of grace and love.
A sword will pierce your own heart and
Your journey will be alone,

You will part in the dark of noon
And by the cold of a tomb.

Then your child shall rise again
And empty will be the tomb.
Jesus is the hope of every dawn.

At His name all knees shall bow
And confess Him King of Glory now.

Hear the herald:
Hear the hope of good news.

URIEL’S gentleness and comforting presence are reflected in the simple key of C major and
the straightforward triadic nature of the melody. The soprano voice adds elegance and a sense
of light to a piece full of optimism and reassurance.

I gaze on His face,
I see in His eyes;
With the south wind
I come from His side.

South wind bring you home,
Come with strength and love:
Messenger of hope
From God above.

Not the broken reed,
Nor the flickering flame
Will break nor die
Within my hands.

When faith is new born,
And our doubt profound,
And we fear the loss of all,
Source of comfort
Hear our call.

I will bring you strength,
I will bring you light:
I will guide you
In your darkest night.


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