This is a through-composed hymn for the Feast of St Joseph dedicated to a friend whose birthday falls on this important feast day of the Roman Church.
The 17C text in Latin is taken from the Liturgia Honarium and is attributed to Fr. Juan Escollar. It is usually sung at Vespers on the Feast of St Joseph on 19 March and on the Feast of St Joseph the Worker on 1 May.
John O’Connell has written:
Devotion to Joseph largely derives from the realization that he possessed
a supremely exalted vocation and mission. One of the stanzas from the
hymn Te Joseph Celebrent expresses the sublimity of Joseph’s vocation:
Other saints receive their beatitude after death
They receive their glory when they have won the palm:
But thou, by a strangely happy lot, hadst even during life,
What the blessed have in heaven—the sweet society of thy God
St. Matthew in his Gospel states that Joseph was a “just man.”
Joseph loved the Torah: he faithfully fulfilled his duties to both God
and his neighbor. Joseph was a man of great virtue. It makes spiritual
sense that God would grant extraordinary graces to the one whom had
received such a sublime vocation. And Joseph, the “just man,”
cooperated fully with the graces God bestowed upon him.
Te Joseph Celebrent is imagined for a small choir of women’s voices with chamber organ accompaniment. It is the second part of sequence of 12 Festal Hymns that celebrate significant feasts and seasons in the
Study Score [pdf]