Most Holy Night

Dan Schutte wrote this version of the Exsultet for 2 cantors and choir/assembly, which makes a change from the usual solo settings. You can purchase the music here. With the refrain and the leisurely pace you’d want the assembly to sit down as it will take some considerable time.

The first part of each verse is sung by a male cantor as a free chant and the last two lines (in bold print) in time by a second cantor/female (soprano or alto). That will reduce the chance of boredom from the one voice and the assembly gets to do the refrain.

Now BIAB can’t do free chanting so I regularised the notes as best I could.

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Refrain

Most holy night, most blessed of nights,

When Christ broke the chains of the darkness!

God’s mighty love is stronger than death.

Christ our Light shines forever!

Verse 1

Rejoice O children of the earth and holy ones of heav’n above!

Be glad this blessed night and join creation’s song!

Rejoice and sing, O Mother Church! The Saviour’s glory shines on you.

O let this holy place resound with joyful songs of praise!

Let ev’ry tear be wiped away. Let ev’ry sorrow fade,

For Jesus the Christ has risen from the grave.

Refrain

Verse 2

For truly it is right and just that on this night we sing with joy

to praise and thank the unseen God and Jesus Christ the Son.

The power of this holy night dispels the darkness of our shame,

for Christ has saved us with his blood and ransomed us from death.

O happy fault of Adam’s sin! O blessed day of grace

which gained for us a Saviour, Christ the Lord.

Refrain

Verse 3

For this is the Passover feast of God when Christ the blessed Lamb is slain,

whose holy blood has marked our homes and sheltered us from death.

This holy night makes all things new, our hearts resored to holiness,

washed clean of every stain of sin and bathed in heaven’s light.

How wonderful your care for us! How boundless is your love!

To ransom a slave you gave away your son.

Refrain

Verse 4

Creator of the heav’nly lights, we sing to you with grateful hearts.

Receive this off’ring of our praise, our evening song of joy.

Accept from us this Easter flame that joins all the stars of night

to guide the journey of our feet and lead us with its light.

For Jesus Christ , the Morning Star whose light will never fade,

has shattered the night to bring his endless day!

Refrain

© Daniel Schutte, 1998, published by OCP Publications.

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