A Celtic Benediction is available in two arrangements. The first, in G major, is for solo soprano, mixed choir and accompaniment. The second, in D major, is for solo tenor, male choir and accompaniment. It is suitable for use churches, also in any secular setting the requires a bit of Celtic soulful reflection. It is fairly straightforward and should be well within the capability of any moderately competent group of singers.
Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the silent earth to you
Deep peace of the moonlit night to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
And the deep, deep peace of the Son of Peace to you
in G major
in D major
in an Arabic paraphrase, read by two friends
The circumstances in which I wrote A Celtic Benediction were pretty unique, in my experience anyway. The words were read at the funeral of my younger sister Judy, in early 2011. She was only 53 when she died of cancer. The next day I was shaving when I heard very clearly a voice say, “Stu?” (That’s what my sister had called me.) The voice sounded distinctly like hers. So I put down my razor and waited. Then a man’s voice said very clearly and very gently, “It’s okay, Stuart, Judy’s with me”. So I composed this music in memory of her - it seemed the right thing to do.
The result is a hauntingly Celtic piece of music, which would not sound out of place at any Celtic music festival. To go with it I asked a local artist, Maria van Tintelen, to sum up in art what the words meant to her, with a Celtic cross as its focus. Her painting provides the backdrop to the cover of the published music.
To date ‘A Celtic Benediction’ is my second best-selling piece of music worldwide, having been used in such unexpected places as the Unitarian Universalist Community Church, Augusta, Maine.