Welcome, Happy Morning!

Welcome, Happy Morning! (An Easter Anthem for SATB chorus and Brass Quartet) was composed in 2011 as a part of a series of short anthems celebrating various Seasons of the liturgical year. It is dedicated to the choirs of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Dr. John E. Cummins, Organist/Choirmaster and Dr. Don J. Grice, Assistant Organist/Choirmaster). Using the first words of the poem as its title, my Welcome, Happy Morning! is based on a portion of a sixth century Latin poem by the early hymnodist and poet, Venantius Fortunatus. Although many English translations of it have appeared over the years, my festive setting is based on a familiar translation by the British hymn writer and translator, John Ellerton, and was first published in Robert Brown-Borthwick’s 1892 Supplemental Hymn and Tune Book. Welcome, Happy Morning! utilizes a brass ensemble consisting of two trumpets and two trombones.

Dan Locklair
Winston-Salem, NC

Duration : ca. 4’ 30”

1.Welcome, happy morning! Age to age shall say;
Hell today is vanquished, heaven is won today!
Lo, the Dead is living, God forevermore!
Him, their true Creator, all His works adore.
Welcome, happy morning! age to age shall say;
Hell today is vanquished, heaven is won today!

2. Earth with joy confesses, clothing her for spring,
All good gifts returned with her returning King.
Bloom in every meadow, leaves on every bough,
Speak His sorrows ended, hail His triumph now.

3. Months in due succession, days of lengthening light,
Hours and passing moments, praise Thee in their flight;
Brightness of the morning, sky and fields and sea,
Vanquisher of darkness, bring their praise to Thee.

4. Maker and Redeemer, Life and Health of all,
Thou from heaven beholding human nature’s fall,
Of the Father’s Godhead, true and only Son.
Manhood to deliver, manhood didst put on.

5. Thou, of life the Author, death didst undergo,
Tread the path of darkness, saving strength to show.
Come, then, True and Faithful, now fulfill Thy word;
‘Tis Thine own third morning–rise, O buried Lord!

6. Loose the souls long prisoned, bound with Satan’s chain;
All that now is fallen raise to life again.
Show Thy face in brightness, bid the nations see;
Bring again our daylight; day returns with Thee.

Venantius Fortunatus
(translated by John Ellerton,
as found in the
1941 Lutheran Hymnal)