Jubilate Deo

"O be joyful in the Lord, all you lands"

Date Completed

January 7, 1991


Choral (more like this)


SATB Choir





Difficulty Level


Liturgical Use

General, Praise, Good Shepherd Sunday, Morning Prayer




Psalm 100





Date Written

1991, 1995


O be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Know this: The Lord himself is God;
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.
For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.


The Book of Common Prayer, 1979


Publication Data

Publisher Name

GIA Publications

Date Published


Catalog Number







Commissioned by Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, TX, for the congregation's 1991 Interfaith Service, and dedicated to the participating choirs, music directors, rabbis and clergy. Premiered January 1991 with the composer conducting and Christina Harmon at the organ.

Joel's Comments

In the fall of 1990 Temple Emanu-El, Dallas's largest Reform congregation, invited the newly appointed bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas to deliver the sermon at its annual Interfaith Service. Along with Bishop Grahmann, the choirs of two RC parishes were invited: Christ the King, where Noel Goemanne was director, and Saint Rita, where I was serving at the time. Noel, the director of music at Temple, Simon Sargon, and I sat down to plan the service, and we chose music which included a piece from both of these well-known composers. Since I was still unpublished at the time and did not have anything appropriate for the service, they suggested in the course of our discussion that I write a short anthem based on a psalm which could be sung at the opening of the liturgy. This was the impetus for Jubilate Deo. Since I had served as organist at Temple for a period of time in the late 1980s, I knew its choir, and also had heard Christ the King's. For the massed group, I chose a limited range — not too high — and some unison passages, as well as a primarily homophonic texture which would sound well against the rhythmic organ part played on the Temple's large Aeolian-Skinner organ. The anthem was composed in ABA form with a coda which builds to full organ. The middle section has a single melody over an undulating pattern in the accompaniment played on the strings, which was a favorite texture of mine at the time (see the Magnificat of the Evening Service for St. Mark's School.)

Jubilate Deo has been sung at a regional convention of ACDA, at a Montreat Conference on Worship and Music, and was included on the Texas UIL choral list for several years. It was one of my last compositions to be written out by hand in ink (without the use of computer engraving software) and has a complete pencil manuscript, as well. My notes show that it was begun October 14, 1990 and completed January 7, 1991, a rather long time for such a short piece. I imagine the progress was interrupted by the usually hectic schedule of Advent and Christmas at Saint Rita, and more importantly, by many meetings surrounding our search for an organ builder at that time.



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