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Harvard graduate Carson Cooman ‘04 is Composer-in-Residence at the Memorial Church, which has witnessed the premieres of many of his works. Easter Day was first performed on Easter Sunday, 2013, in celebration of Professor Jonathan L. Walton’s first Easter service as Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church. An energetic setting of an early poem by the English poet Gerald Manley Hopkins (written while he was still a student at Balliol College, Oxford), the organ is featured prominently in interludes between each of the poem's verses.

lyrics

Beauty now for ashes wear,
Perfumes for the garb of woe,
Chaplets for disheveled hair,
Dances for sad footsteps slow;
Open wide your hearts that they
Let in joy this Easter Day.

Build His church and deck His shrine,
Empty though it be on earth;
Ye have kept your choicest wine—
Let it flow for heavenly mirth;
Pluck the harp and breathe the horn:
Know ye not 'tis Easter morn?

Gather gladness from the skies;
Take a lesson from the ground;
Flowers do ope their heavenward eyes
And a Spring-time joy have found;
Earth throws Winter's robes away,
Decks herself for Easter Day.

Break the box and shed the nard;
Stop not now to count the cost;
Hither bring pearl, opal, sard;
Reck not what is seen as lost;
Upon Christ throw all away:
Know ye, this is Easter Day.

Seek God's house in happy throng;
Crowded let His table be;
Mingle praises, prayer, and song,
Singing to the Trinity.
Henceforth let your souls always
Make each morn an Easter Day.

Gerald Manley Hopkins (1844–1889)

credits

from Spring Bursts Today: A Celebration of Eastertide, released April 20, 2014

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Harvard University Choir Cambridge, Massachusetts

For over 175 years the Harvard University Choir has provided a unique opportunity for student singers to perform choral literature at the highest level, both in concert and during the services of the Memorial Church. Its program of daily choral services, broadcasts, tours, commissions, and recordings make it one of the premier college chapel ensembles in the United States. ... more

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