Hymn to the Mother of Light

SATB divisi, unaccompanied, optional organ

While originally written for a Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols service, this is also appropriate for general use. It is a mystical meditation on the nature of light and existence.

Reginald Unterseher ยท Hymn to the Mother of Light, Reginald Unterseher

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Mystical images of the beginning of the universe have long focussed on light, even when the idea of “the Big Bang” would have had no frame of reference. This piece is a meditation on the mystical nature of light and existence. It was originally sung as part of a Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols, as the “Mary” carol. In some ways, it functions as an extension of the “O” antiphons.


Single arch shapes are the structural center of this piece. The color of the sound goes from dark to light back to dark. The length of the lines, dynamics, tempo, in every aspect, look for that progression.

Unaccompanied is preferred, but the organ can supply a sustained support if needed. An organ score (organ notes full size, score laid out in landscape mode) is available.


by Sheila Dunlop and Reginald Unterseher

O Mother
Womb of the unbroken life
Lens of the new-formed sun
Speaker of the word, the endless word
Mirror of the eternal light
O Mother