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This setting of the traditional Advent plainchant is based around a harmonized refrain using the original Latin words: "Rorate coeli de super et nubes pluant justum" ("Drop down, O heavens, from above and let the skies pour down *justice".) The music and the words express the Advent theme of a cry for justice and salvation in the midst of despair. The traditional verses making up the Advent Prose, based on various parts of scripture, are sung in English unison plainchant, and they express the feelings of one living through a disaster (specifically the fall of Jerusalem in the sixth century BC.) The third and fourth stanzas become more hopeful in their words, especially the famous words (from Isaiah 40) "Comfort, O comfort my people," Here the setting introduces some gentle harmonization, leading to a final return of the "Rorate" chorus in unison and a harmonized hope-filled coda.
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