A Prayer to the Child Jesus
Composer Alfred V. Fedak Text St. Ita (Irish, 7th cent.)
Voicing Two-part mixed voices, alto solo, opt. flute, opt. bells
Church Season Christmas
Length 3' 20" Price $1.95 (U.S.) Released 7/94
Catalog no. 405-227 Difficulty Moderately easy
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Description A colorful setting of a poem by the medieval Irish mystic, St. Ita. Scored for two-part mixed voices, with optional parts for flute and 4 handbells, the music expresses well the intimate spirituality of the text.
From the composer
This lovely medieval Christmas prayer was thought for centuries to be the work of St. Ita (d. ca. 670), the most famous Irish woman saint after St. Brigid. Ita (also known as Ida, Mida, or Deirdre) founded a women's religious community in what is now County Limerick, and was renowned even during her lifetime for her great wisdom and deep spirituality. It is said that she experienced an ongoing mystical relationship with Christ, wherein she was permitted to cradle the infant Jesus in her arms. It is this legend which provides the basis for the poem.