Joyful Is the Dark

Key of 'Eb', recommended version if using transposing instruments

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Brian Wren
Tune Name: OYEN

Lyrics as Poetry

Joyful is the dark,
holy, hidden God,
rolling cloud of night beyond all naming:
Majesty in darkness,
Energy of love,
Word-in-Flesh, the mystery proclaiming.Joyful is the dark,
Spirit of the deep,
winging wildly o’er the world’s creation,
silken sheen of midnight,
plumage black and bright,
swooping with the beauty of a raven.Joyful is the dark,
shadowed stable floor;
angels flicker, God on earth confessing,
as with exultation
Mary, giving birth,
hails the infant cry of need and blessing.Joyful is the dark,
coolness of the tomb,
waiting for the wonder of the morning;
never was that midnight
touched by dread and gloom:
darkness was the cradle of the dawning.Joyful is the dark,
depth of love divine,
roaring, looming thundercloud of glory,
holy, haunting beauty,
living, loving God.
Hallelujah! Sing and tell the story!


Words by
Brian WrenCopyright © 1989 by Hope Publishing Company
(Carol Stream, Illinois) for USA,
Canada, Australia and New Zealand.Copyright © 1989 by Stainer & Bell Limited
(London, England) for all other territories

Comments About Song

BRIAN WREN
from his book “Piece Together Praise” (p 139):


“[Written in] February 1986 [and] prompted by ‘BRING MANY NAMES’, whose [line] ‘joyful darkness far beyond our seeing’ suggested the first line. Main sources were ‘THE DARKNESS AND THE LIGHT IN THE IMAGERY OF GOD’ (Tony Brown: unpublished) and ‘DARKNESS’ (Phillip Seddon, Grove Books, Bramcote, England, 1983.”


Piece Together Praise
(A Theological Journey)
is co-published by:Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, IL USA
(for USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand)Stainer & Bell, Limited
London, England
(for all other countries)


Audio Sample

JOYFUL IS THE DARK (Eb)
Verses 1 & 5
played on piano by Ron Klusmeier

Scripture References

  • Genesis 1:2
  • Exodus 20:18-21
  • 1 Kings 8:10-13
  • 1 Chronicles 16:7-36
  • Psalm 18:8-12

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Angel, Angels
  • Creation∶ gift of
  • Darkness
  • Easter Vigil
  • God∶ nature of
  • Joy
  • Mary (mother of Jesus)
  • Mystery

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