David with Celtic theologian and author John Philip Newell
and his wife, spiritual director Ali Newell

A retreat center located in the heart of Ghost Ranch, in the high desert of northern New Mexico, Casa del Sol was dedicated in May 2006, with the vision of becoming “a community of the Living Presence Seeking the Oneness of the Human Soul and the Healing of Creation.”  One of the visionaries of this young, “dispersed” community is the well-known author and teacher on Celtic spirituality, John Philip Newell.  John Philip has produced a variety of new texts, some wholly original, some based on scripture, that re-envision the connection between the creator, human beings, and the “natural” world.  It has been a privilege to be asked to set some of these texts to music, most of which have been incorporated into the unique Morning and Evening Prayer liturgies.  

 Casa del SolAwake, Awake” for three-part assembly  

This chant is intended as a gathering piece to precede Morning Prayer.  The lines are intuitive, allowing most groups to manage a cappella.  Guitar chords are supplied if more support is desired. 

 Casa del Sol Blessing of Aaron for 2-part assembly 

This gentle setting of a new text based on Numbers 6: 24-26 is appropriate for either choir or congregation at the conclusion of a worship service.

 Casa del Sol “Blessings of Heaven” for unison or two-part assembly  

A generous blessing invoking God through the elements of creation and set to an original, Celtic-style melody.  Unison or as a round.

 Casa del Sol Blessings of Jesus for cantor and assembly 

The cantor sets the pitch and the pace and the people join in this new rendering of Matthew 5: 3-10, also know as the Beatitudes.

 Celtic Earth Mass for Cantor and two-part assembly with keyboard and/or guitar and shaman drum 

Three elements from the “ordinary” of the mass are re-visioned through the lens of Celtic Christianity.  Musically, the same material is reshaped in each, allowing for quick learning and confident singing by the congregants.

            Holy, Holy, Holy

            Christ, Have Mercy

             Lamb of God

 Casa del Sol Prayer of Jesus for cantor and assembly  

A fresh, evocative version of the Lord’s Prayer set in a simple call-and-echo manner.

 Casa del Sol Song of Mary for two-part assembly (women-men)

The passage often known as the Magnificat, the source is Luke 1: 46-55.

 Casa del Sol Song of Simeon for assembly (optional two-part)

A chant-like setting based on Luke 2: 29-32.

 Ground of All Being for unison or two-part assembly

The text is a distillation of the Casa del Sol Prayer of Jesus (itself a paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer).  The new setting is folksy and lilting, providing a fresh perspective on this timeless prayer.

 Hallelujah del Sur for two- or three-part assembly 

A driving, celebratory response in the style of a Latin America samba.

Watch, O Watch for three-part assembly 

Intended as a gathering chant to precede Night  Prayer, this piece can be sung in one, two or three parts, a cappella if desired or with guitar.