Advent Carol

(SATB & organ) [Advent]

Commissioned by the poet, Sandra Niles, for the choir of Christ Church, Westerly, Rhode Island. Her text, based on the sixth chapter of Isaiah, is a fresh interpretation of the Advent theme of waiting.

"Beautifully crafted...a delight." Sandra Niles, poet

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Advent Carol

The people of the world confessed;

No Law makes way to happiness.

No strife in ages gone before

Brought lasting peace, and souls restored.

How long before the world can know

The end of Satan’s deadly woe?

How long till blindness, deaf’ning fear

Will cease, and touch of Love draw near?


The leaves of prophecy unfold;

Isaiah’s dream of Love is told.

A vision full of power and might,

A Lord of light beyond all light!

How long before we see Love’s face,

And hearts are touched by saving grace?

How long till Zion’s songs are heard,

And mankind knows God’s healing Word?


Isaiah saw his glimpse of God

In majesty above, and awed;

While angels soared and sang for Him

The Sanctus of the seraphim.

“How long,” he asked, “till all can see

With opened eyes, and hear of Thee?

How long before Thy truth above

Will touch all hearts with fire of Love?”


The temple, shaken, filled with smoke.

Then, touched with fire, the prophet spoke

In open answer to God’s call,

To bring this message to us all:

When Jesus comes, we’ll see God’s face.

His tiny hands will touch our race.

In infant laughter heaven sings

The pow’r of Love above all things!


Sandra Niles (b. 1956)