How Great Our Joy! (A Christmas Choral Celebration). By Lloyd Larson. Arranged by Douglas E. Wagner. For SATB choir (with optional orchestration). Cantatas. Christmas, Sacred. Choral octavo. Duration 35 minutes. Published by Exaltation Publications (LO.65-1963L).
Joy is a pervading theme throughout the Bible. In the midst of Old Testament Israel's despair was the eternal promise of joy: "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." (Ps. 126:5) "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." (Ps. 30:5b) A new day of joy did eventually dawn as reflected in the angelic proclamation to Judean shepherds near Bethlehem: "I bring you good news of great joy! For to you is born this day a Savior, Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11) This cantata, a collaborative work by Lloyd Larson and Douglas E. Wagner, presents the Christmas message in a fresh and powerful blending of familiar carols with new texts and tunes. Scripturally-based narration along with optional congregational participation makes this truly a joyous worship experience for the Christmas celebration.