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Program note: In Paradisum (1996)

  • Moya Henderson — © Moya Henderson July 22 1998
  • Source: The Song Company Desire Divine Modern Art Series July 1998

In Paradisum (1996) Premiere    Moya Henderson (b.1941)
In memory of my beloved brothers Michael X. Henderson (1936-1995)
and Peter I. Henderson (1941-1996)

ln paradisum deducant te Angeli.       May the Angels lead thee into Paradise;
ln tuo adventu suscipiant te Martyres  may the martyrs receive thee at thy coming,
ln civitatem sanctam Jerusalem         and lead thee into the holy city of Jerusalem.
Chorus Angelorum te suscipiat,         May the choir of angels receive thee,
Et cum Lazaro quandam paupere'      and mayest thou have eternal rest with the
habeas requiem.                               once bereft Lazarus.

This English was taken straight out of my ancient St Andrew Daily Missal.
How to describe Angels and Paradise these days. As concepts of an outmoded,
super-virtual reality? Martyrs have a less tenuous hold on our credibility: they
are to religion what soldiers are to war. And surely the pertinent thing about
Lazarus was that he was raised from the dead by Jesus, rather than that he was

Paradise and angels feature in every imaginable permutation in religions
throughout the ages. For me the angels are all those who surround the dying with
ever/attentive and selfless kindness. It is their love which assists the dying to
breathe forth their last in heroic peace. Angels accompany the dead to their final
resting place. For me that hole in the ground, the grave site, is the womb of
mother earth . . . dust to dust and ashes to ashes - that most sacred and eternal
garden, the Holy City, the Land. This is nature's journey and it is utterly Divine.

c Moya Henderson July 22,1998


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