2019 © Matthew J Olson

In Paradisum

SATB divisi a cappella 

(Difficulty 4 out of 5)

The Composition

As a child, I perceived the notion of life vs. death to be quite dichotomous -inherently absolute. A living being was either "with" us, or had passed on; either of this earth, or in heaven. However, when my maternal Grandmother suffered a serious yet non-fatal stroke, I began experiencing complex grays that disrupted my black and white perspective. I saw glimpses into her former personality, yet grieved the loss of her true spirit; I recognized her same body, but could not ignore the gravity of her newfound disabilities. "In Paradisum" explores these physiological, spiritual, spatial, and theological perspectives of life vs. death. It is dedicated with utmost love and gratitude to Margaret "Grandma Peg" Crowl.

*Winner of the 2014 Houghton College Choir Choral Competition. Premiered and   recorded by the Houghton College Choir (Dir. Dr. Brandon Johnson). 

The Text & Translation

In Paradisum

In paradisum deducant te angeli,

May the angels lead you

in tuo adventu                                                    

into paradise

suscipiant te martyres,                                         

may the martyrs receive you in your coming

et perducant te                                                    

and may they guide you

in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.                            

into the holy city, Jerusalem.

Chorus angelorum te suscipiat,                             

May the chorus of angels receive you,

et cum Lazaro quondam pauper                             

and with Lazrus who once was poor

aeternam habeas requiem.                                     

may you have eternal rest. 

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