And I saw a mighty angel (William Billings)

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  • (Posted 2014-08-17)  CPDL #32717:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2014-08-17).   Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 164 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Transcribed from The Psalm-Singer's Amusement, 1781.

General Information

Title: And I Saw a Mighty Angel
Composer: William Billings

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredAnthem

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1781 in The Psalm-Singer's Amusement
Description: Words adapted by William Billings from Revelation Chapter 5. A long anthem, in moderate ranges of the four voices, but getting progressively more complex toward the end. Significant unison sections and early solos for all parts, but almost no rests for the last half. 257 measures. Section 1 - B Major, cut time, measures 1 - 28. Section 2 - B minor, cut time, 29 - 41. Section 3 - B major, 2/4 time, 42 - 257.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice,
Who is worthy to open the book and to loose the seal thereof?
And no man in heaven or earth was able to open the book,
Neither to look thereon.
And I wept, because no man was found worthy to open the book,
Neither to look thereon.
And one of the elders saith unto me, weep not,
For behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and root of David,
Hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne stood a lamb as it had been slain,
Having seven horns, and having seven eyes,
Which are the seven spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth.
And He came and took the book out of the hand of Him who sat upon the throne.
And when He had taken the book, the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb.
The angels were mute as they listened with wonder,
The angels were mute, and in tacitness did wonder.
The angels were mute, and the saints did shout and sing,
Worthy the Lamb! Worthy the Lamb that was slain!
For He hath redeemed us to God and hast made us kings and priests,
And we shall reign upon the earth.
Then the whole multitude of saints and angels united their voices,
And sang with a shout:
Worthy the Lamb! Worthy the Lamb that was slain!
For He is worthy to receive glory and honor, wisdom and power,
Hallelujah! Amen!
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,
Just and true are all Thy ways, O Thou King of saints.
And again they said,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen!