A Celtic Benediction is a beautiful and fairly straightforward setting of these lyrics
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
It’s intended for a small group of singers and is available in versions for either mixed voices or male voices only. There’s also an unpublished version for a large city church such as All Souls, Langham Place, in London, which has its own orchestra.
The arrangement in which I first imagined the work.
The most Celtic of vocal ensembles.
For mixed voices and a church orchestra.
In August 1998 my father died. He was 73. The ‘Celtic Benediction’ was read at his funeral and the words stayed with me. In January 2011 my younger sister Judy died, aged only 53. The ‘Celtic Benediction’ was read at her funeral also. 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”. That is why I have dedicated ‘A Celtic Benediction’ to her memory.
To go with the music I asked a local artist, Maria van Tintelen, to sum up in art what the words meant to her. 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. My favourite review comes from a lady named Mirtha Szadkowski, who wrote “Magical, mysterious, full of soul and secrets, peaceful music. Deeply touched.”