Grounded in Love
Jessica Nelson

Composer Jessica Nelson
Text Julian of Norwich; Ubi Caritas, antiphon for Maundy Thursday
Voicing SATB, organ
Topic Love, Maundy Thursday
Price $2.75 (U.S.)
Released 6/24
Cat. no. 420-304
Difficulty Mod. difficult

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Phrases of the plainchant Ubi caritas serve as incipit and coda for this atmospheric anthem. A series of quiet ostinatos in the organ provide a largely hushed, but rich backdrop over which the voices sing words from Julian of Norwich. A short, imitative middle unaccompanied section provides a midpoint climax.

From the composer
This was commissioned by Christ Church Cathedral New Orleans for the consecration of Bishop Shannon Rogers Duckworth as the 12th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana. Bishop Duckworth has long been inclined to the writings of Julian of Norwich, an English mystic best known for her Revelations of Divine Love. I chose this bit of text and bookended it with the first line of the Latin hymn Ubi caritas--traditionally sung at the footwashing on Maundy Thursday. There was something strangely appropriate to me about connecting the wholehearted humility of footwashing with the ministry of a bishop. 




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Anthem text
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.

Without love, we cannot live.
Our life is all grounded
and rooted to God in love,
and we are endlessly bound to God in love.

Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.


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