… singing up Australia …

Evensong from St Johns Cathedral Brisbane.

The Choral Evensong Service of 30 July 2023 at St Johns Cathedral Brisbane, livestreamed on the St Johns Cathedral YouTube channel, will include my SATB Indigenous anthem “We Are Your Witnesses” as the Introit. Thanks to Music Director Graeme Morton for this commission. The anthem lyrics (see below) and Graeme’s program note (quoted below) are printed in the Cathedral Evensong Program, available on the Cathedral website.

The SATB score of “We Are Your Witnesses” is available at http://www.scoreexchange.com Click on this link to see it:


Tonight’s Introit: This evening the choir is giving the premiere performance of “We Are Your Witnesses” by Indigenous Australian composer Elizabeth Sheppard. This piece was commissioned by the Queensland Branch of the Royal School of Church Music. Sheppard, who also wrote the words of the piece, describes the work as: “A Song in Acknowledgement of the courageous, faithful, combined contribution of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Church Communities of Australia, led by Elders past, present and emerging, that guides us to a better future”.”

We Are Your Witnesses

Words and Music Copyright ©️®️ Elizabeth Sheppard 2023. All Rights Reserved.

From an ancient land, O Lord of life,
children of this earth
we reach out to your Kingdom.
Your Word resounds across the seas,
the ends of the earth, to Terra Spiritus Sancti.
For your covenant is like a jarrah tree,
Standing proud and tall, bearing fragrant leaves,
giving shade to all, rooted deep and sure,
drinking hidden streams from your hearland’s law.
We remember, Lord, your great sacrifice,
how you died and rose, overcoming death,
sent your Holy Spirit to be with us now,
as you promised, Lord, to your Apostles.
We are your witnesses, we are your disciples,
arising through your power, Lord,
we are children of God.
We are your witnesses, we are your disciples,
lifred by your power, Lord, we are with you now,
in Terra Spiritus Sancti.

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