Time enough for joy (Allen H. Simon)

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Movement 1 (Time Enough):

  • CPDL #17472:        (Sibelius 2) Score information: Letter, 16 pages, 474 kB   

Movement 2 (John the Baptist):

  • CPDL #17454:        (Sibelius 2) Score information: Letter, 11 pages, 331 kB   

Movement 3 (Annunciation):

  • CPDL #17461:        (Sibelius 2) Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 82 kB   

Movement 4 (It's a Boy):

  • CPDL #17462:        (Sibelius 2) Score information: Letter, 14 pages, 437 kB   

Movement 5 (Animals):

  • CPDL #17464:        (Sibelius 2) Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 184 kB   

Movement 6 (Flocks):

  • CPDL #17465:        (Sibelius 2) Score information: Letter, 11 pages, 555 kB   

Movement 7 (Shoes):

  • CPDL #17467:        (Sibelius 2) Score information: Letter, 16 pages, 478 kB   

Movement 8 (Make time):

  • CPDL #17473:        (Sibelius 2) Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 123 kB   
Editor: Allen H. Simon (submitted 2008-07-06).   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Time Enough for Joy
Composer: Allen H. Simon
Lyricist: Allen H. Simon

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB (some divisi)
Genre: SacredCantata

Language: English
Instruments: Organ (manuals only) or piano

Published:

Description: A small cantata for Christmas, suitable for a small choir, many small solo parts. Covers Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany in eight movements — could have other suitable small pieces inserted. Total duration about 25:00

Difficulty: Notes aren't very hard (mostly triad harmonies), but constantly changing time signatures make counting difficult

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text


===Intro===

Do we have time? We have to buy the presents, wrap the presents, visit the relatives, cook the turkey, buy the tree (we always go to the cut-your-own tree farm), decorate the tree, put up the wreath, clean the house. These are the symbols of Christmas, but what about time for Christmas itself?
Solo: We need to make time in our busy lives for joy, for a moment of the eternal, for a moment [pause] of eternity.
Time enough for joy.
Time was suspended for a moment (an eternal moment) at the Annunciation
Time was suspended for a moment (an eternal moment) at the Nativity
Time was suspended for a moment (an eternal moment) at the Epiphany
To God, there is no time. This moment contains all moments. Did the Creation happen ten billion years ago? Or six thousand? Neither. To God, it’s happening now. The Resurrection is happening now. The Last Judgment is happening now. Time is an affliction of humans only. To understand God, we need to seek his timelessness. When the shepherds heard the angels sing, how long did it take? They didn’t know, because it was a moment of eternity. When the apostles fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes, how long did it take? They didn’t know, because it was a moment of eternity. When Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, how long did it take? He didn’t know, because it was a moment of eternity.
Time enough for joy.
Do we have time? We have to… house. We must make time enough for joy.

===Advent===
(trio) Christmas is three seasons. Advent is the time of waiting, of expectation, of anticipation. Christmas is the time of joy, the instant when the divine and the human are intermingled, when God, in whose image we are made, made himself in his own image. Epiphany is the time of wonder, when we, along with those to whom the Nativity was revealed, acknowledge its mystery.

Advent is about John the Baptist, who is famous because he predicted that Jesus was about to come. John’s parents were really old (How old?) Soooooooo old. Ancient. Archaic. Geezers. AARP members. Eligible for discounts at the cinema. When John’s father found out his wife was pregnant, he was struck dumb for months.

John went out into the wilderness to preach. He had the fanciest wardrobe (Camel’s hair tunics on sale this week, blue light special) and the finest cuisine (Lightly grilled locusts with a glaze of free-range honey). John asked people to repent, to turn away from evil ways, to prepare themselves for the coming of the Messiah. What would that time be like? Knots would untie themselves. The highest mountains would level themselves. Rocky ground would become smooth gardens.
Tutti: It would be a time for joy, but we must be ready. We must make time for the joy of anticipation, holding ourselves still in the expectation of the coming Messiah.

===Annunciation===
In Advent we also recall the Annunciation, when the angel appeared to Mary, freezing time to deliver startling news; that she would deliver the son of God. Note well Mary’s calm acceptance of this extraordinary event: I am God’s servant, she says. I will make time for this joy. And we must do this also.

===Christmas===
(trio) Christmas is three seasons. Advent is the time of waiting, of expectation, of anticipation. Christmas is the time of joy, the instant when the divine and the human are intermingled, when God, in whose image we are made, made himself in his own image. Epiphany is the time of wonder, when we, along with those to whom the Nativity was revealed, acknowledge its mystery.

Christmas is about the Incarnation. The Logos, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the word, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

Tutti: The angels gathered around to witness the blessed event
W: It’s a girl, it’s a girl…a girl is born in Bethlehem
M: No, it’s a boy
W: It’s a – you’re right, it’s a boy, it’s a boy
M: Imagine what it would have been like had God been born a girl
M: we would have been singing about the Father, the Daughter, and the Holy Spirit
W: or is it the Mother?
M: She rules the world with truth and grace
W: She makes me lie down in green pastures, she leads me beside still waters, she restores my soul
W: She would have been compassionate, caring, loving
M: and He was
W: She would have been nurturing and self-sacrificing
M: and He was
W: She would have longed to gather her flock as a hen gathers her brood under her wing.
M: and He did.
Tutti: The human features of Jesus are a distraction; it is the humanness of Jesus which matters, the enfleshment of the Word. Let us rejoice.

Jesus entered society gradually, shunning human society at first and instead appearing to animals.
Animals
Animals
Cows
Sheep
Goats
Camels
Mice
Koalas
[silence]
Maybe not.

It was a symbol of humility, for the Messiah to be born in a stable among the animals. Whenever our pride puffs up, we must remember that He who is greater than we was born among the animals.

B: Do animals make time for joy? They may not choose how to spend their time as we do, but they also do not fail to notice what is right beneath their noses. Do we?
Tutti: Christmas joy is right under our noses. Are we blind to it? Learn from the koalas.

Speaking of animals, there were also those shepherds abiding in the fields.
Whatever happened to them anyway? We never hear about them later. Did they become disciples? Did Jesus say “Leave your flocks and follow me and I will make you herders of men”? Inquiring minds want to know. Film at eleven.
Anyway, there were the shepherds minding their own business and discussing the latest scandal involving backdated flock options, when all of a sudden it’s the fourth of july
B: it couldn’t be July, it was Christmas
C: well some scholars say Christmas might really have been in July
B: but the Bible doesn’t say that
C: would Herod have called for a census in midwinter?

It doesn't matter; winter, spring, summer, or fall, there were these lights in the sky likely fireworks, and there was an angel. I've never seen an angel myself, they might be pretty big but certainly scary because the shepherds were pretty darn scared (sore afraid, terrified). But the angel's voice was reassuring, and he said, ther’s something cool to see, but it’s now or never. And then the angel's backup singers started
(Dum de dumm)
No, no no they sang glory to God in the highest.
(Gloria in excelsis Deo)
And how long did this all take? You know the answer.
The shepherds made their choice. They left behind their flocks, their crooks, their cell phones, their Christmas shopping, their cookie decorating, and they made time for joy, going to see the baby and his family. And they told their friends, spreading the joy.

===Epiphany===
(trio) Christmas is three seasons. Advent is the time of waiting, of expectation, of anticipation. Christmas is the time of joy, the instant when the divine and the human are intermingled, when God, in whose image we are made, made himself in his own image. Epiphany is the time of wonder, when we, along with those to whom the Nativity was revealed, acknowledge its mystery.

Epiphany is about the Magi, those mysterious wanderers from the East, astrologers who watched the sky for signs
(organ)
(solo) Sagittarius: if you see a supernova tonight, jump on your camel and get going, get going, get going (continues)
(solo) Capricorn: Your destiny lies in Bethlehem this month. Expect surprises, expect surprises (continues)
(solo) Gemini: A new acquaintance will change your life.
(together) Your destiny lies in the stars. Don’t forget the myrrh

Epiphany is also called Twelfth Night, and is the time of presents
B: no it isn’t
A: yes it is
B: presents are on Christmas Day
C: you mean Christmas Eve
B: Day
C: Eve
A: Anyway, in some countries they give presents on Epiphany, and they leave out their shoes
B: shoes? That’s weird.
A: it's no weirder that hanging a stocking on your fireplace
B: true
A: no weirder than decorating a fir tree in your living room
B: true
A: no weirder than hanging mistletoe so you can kiss anyone who happens by
B: well, not just anybody
A: Imagine the perfect Christmas gift. A child, having gone to sleep with visions of sugarplums dancing in his head
B: her head
A: whatever. The child wakes up early Christmas morning and rushes down to see what Santa left in her stocking
C: or was it her shoe?
D: no, shoes are for Epiphany
B: anyway, presents are Christmas Eve
C: day
B: eve
E: where did this Santa guy come from? I don’t remember him being part of the story, whether shoes or socks, Eve or Day, trees or fireplaces.
F: wasn’t he a saint or something?
A: Okay, okay, forget Santa. The child comes down on Christmas, and looks in – some article of clothing – and finds the perfect gift, then one she’s been anticipating all her life
B: and what is it?
A: I was hoping you’d ask. The perfect gift is incense.
B: incense?
C: incense?
D: incense? Etc.
A: Frankincense, to be exact. And of course myrrh
B: what the heck is myrrh anyway?
A: another kind of incense, often used for embalming
C: and why would a child want it as a Christmas present?
D: why would Jesus have wanted it?
E: I can just see a store having a Christmas closeout sale on myrrh
F: Now I see why they’re so focused on the gold
G: Who is focused on the gold?
Tutti: You are.
They are.
A: We all are. Christmas sales, Christmas shopping, Christmas layaway.
A baby isn’t fussy about its presents; the Magi gave Jesus something that was valuable to them, just like the little drummer boy, or like Amahl: you don’t really think Jesus needed a crutch, do you?
But there’s something more important than the gifts.
B: Let me guess: making time for joy.
A: How did you know?
B: We’ve been singing about it for an hour.
A: Just like the shepherds, the Magi left their busy schedules behind and made time for what’s really important, acknowledging the Nativity and celebrating with other people. They took lots of time, probably weeks. Surely we can spare a few hours.

===Conclusion===
There's nothing wrong with Christmas presents.
Nothing wrong with Christmas trees.
Nothing wrong with Christmas parties.
Unless…
Unless they dominate your life.
Unless they take over.
Unless they get in the way of the things that really matter.
Experience the anticipation of Advent.
Experience the joy of Christmas
Experience the mystery of Epiphany, and make time for that moment of eternity.
We need to make time…