In the Pursuit of that Perfection – Carol Barnett

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Product Type: Digital Download

Format: SATB Score

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Composer: Carol Barnett

Text by: Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) translated by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap Ignatius C. Brady, OFM

Instrumentation: SATB and cello

Duration: Approx. 3 minutes

Date Written:  2019

Composer’s note: In the Pursuit of that Perfection was commissioned for the Choral Arts Ensemble of Rochester (MN), Rick Kvam, Artistic Director, by Noel and Ann Peterson in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. It honors the extraordinary 140+ years of community service given by the Sisters of St. Francis to the many organizations in Rochester, notably the Mayo Clinic, but also numerous non-profits and educational institutions.

The text, by St. Clare of Assisi, contemporary of St. Francis, is part of a letter written to Blessed Agnes of Prague, encouraging her to persevere in her commitment to a life of holy poverty. The “swift pace, light step” is heard in the accompanying cello, urging us to “go forward securely, joyfully


What you hold, may you always hold.
What you do, may you always do and never abandon.
But with swift pace, light step,
and unswerving feet,
so that even your steps stir up no dust,
go forward
securely, joyfully, and swiftly,
on the path of prudent happiness,
believing nothing,
agreeing with nothing
which would dissuade you from this resolution
or which would place a stumbling block for you on the way,
so that you may offer your vows to the Most High
in the pursuit of that perfection
to which the Spirit of the Lord has called you.
Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)

Lyrics excerpted from Francis and Clare: The Complete Works, translation and introduction by Regis Armstrong, OFM Cap, and Ignatius C. Brady, OFM. Copyright © 1982 by Paulist Press, Inc. Paulist Press, Inc., New York/Mahwah, NJ. Used by permission of Paulist Press, Inc.

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