The Mysteries of Joy is an oratorio with the subtitle Scenes from the early life of Christ. It is in five scenes:
I The Annunciation - the angel Gabriel tells Mary she is to bear the Messiah.
II The Visitation - Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, who is carrying John the Baptist in her womb.
III The Nativity - angels, shepherds and wise men celebrate the birth of Jesus.
IV The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple - old Simeon salutes the young Jesus
V The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple - Mary and Joseph find their son talking with the elders
The libretto of the oratorio is by Christopher Loveless, and was originally conceived as part one of a larger work based on the Rosary. It was first performed in 2010.
The work is scored for SATB chorus, six soloists (two sopranos, contralto, tenor, baritone and boy treble), and a chamber ensemble consisting of piano, violin, cello, double bass, flute, clarinet and timpani.
Excerpts from The Mysteries of Joy, recorded live in July 2012 (complete with authentic coughing from audience):
Speak, Mary, speak; the depths below
groan for release.
Speak, Mary, for the sea restrains its waves,
hoping for peace.
The winds are silent, birds forget to sing,
waiting your word.
all human hearts and each created thing
long for the Lord.
Adam and Eve and all their progeny
languish in death.
And every age of human history
hangs on your breath.
Speak, Mary, speak.