I. Prologue (cello solo and cello quartet)
II. The Essence of Desire (tenor solo, cello solo and cello quartet)
III. Kyrie (choir)
IV. Use the Geometry (soprano solo, cello solo, cello quartet and marimba)
V. Gloria (double choir)
VI. Inventing Truths (tenor solo and cello solo)
VII. Certainty (double choir, soprano solo, cello solo, cello quartet and bells)
VIII. Where All Are Welcome (choir and bells)
IX. So Precious (baritone solo, cello solo, cello quartet and percussion)
X. Sanctus (choir)
XI. Benedictus (choir)
XII. The Hope (soprano, tenor and baritone trio, cello solo, guitar and marimba)
XIII. In My Soul (baritone solo, cello solo and guitar)
XIV. Agnus Dei (choir, cello solo, cello quartet and vibraphone)
XV. Everything (entire ensemble)

SATB choir, STB soloists, cello solo, cello quartet, guitar and percussion trio

a-mass: verb, to gather for oneself; collect as one’s own, or to come together; assemble

The translations of poetry by Daniel Ladinsky from his book “Love Poems from God” sparked my curiosity in interreligious harmony. Here in this one book, juxtaposed next to each other, were the words of mystics and saints from various world religions, speaking of God and their faith in similar ways, with similar gestures of congeniality towards each other. (The traditional texts from the Roman Catholic mass provide the framework for amass, but Ladinsky’s translations are the heart of the piece.


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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
JH-LE02.1 (full score, miniature/pocket size)
Catalog Number: 
JH-LE02.2 (full score, 8.5X11 size)
Catalog Number: 
JH-LE02.3 (full score, 11X14 size)
Publishing Series: 
JH Music
Commissioned By: 
The Singers - Minnesota Choral Artists, under the direction of Matthew Culloton
Premiere Date: 
Premiere Ensemble: 
The Singers - Minnesota Choral Artists
Premiere Conductor: 
Matthew Culloton

The "Sanctus" and "Benedictus" movements have received numerous awards. Visit their individual pages to hear them, see the perusal score, and the awards.
This piece is currently being revised for a performance in Lincoln Center, New York City, on March 31, 2014. For details, contact Jocelyn.

See video

Single movements from amass have been performed many times, but the work as a whole has only been performed once, by the commissioning ensemble.
There are several movements on YouTube on the JocelynHagenComposer channel. Here's a link:


For more information about the work, including an artist statement, visit here:

Text Author or Source: 
Traditional Roman Catholic Mass & translations by Daniel Ladinsky
English & Latin

Featuring the translations of Daniel Ladinsky

II. The Essence of Desire

I did not
have to ask my heart what it wanted,
because of all the desires I have ever known just one did I cling to,
for it was the essence of
all desire:

to hold beauty in
my soul’s

~St. John of the Cross

III. Kyrie

Kyrie eleison.
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.

IV. Use the geometry

He left His fingerprint on a glass the
earth drinks

Every religion has studied it.
Churches and temples use the geometry of those lines
to establish rites and laws and prayers
and our ideas of the

~ Mira


Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.
Laudamus te. Benedicimus te. 

Adoramus te. Glorificamus te.
Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.

Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.
Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe.

Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris.

Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.

Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram.

Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.

Quoniam tu solus Sanctus.
Tu solus Dominus.
Tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe.

Cum Sancto Spiritu, in gloria Dei Patris.


VI. Inventing Truths

We invent truths about God to protect ourselves
from the wolf’s cries we hear
and make.

~St. Thomas Aquinas

VII. Certainty

Certainty undermines one’s power, and turns happiness
into a long shot. Certainty confines.

Dears, there is nothing in your life that will not
change – especially all your ideas of God.

Look what the insanity of righteous knowledge can do:
crusade and maim thousands
in wanting to convert that which
is already gold
into gold.

Certainty can become an illness
that creates hate and
God once said to Tuka,

“Even I am ever changing –
I am ever beyond

what I may once put my seal upon,
may no longer be
the greatest


VIII. Where All Are Welcome

Why this great war between the countries – the countries –
inside of us?

What are all these insane borders we protect?
What are all these different names for the same church of love
we kneel in together? For it is true, together we live; and only
at that shrine where all are welcome will God sing
loud enough to be heard.

~St. Teresa of Avila

IX. So Precious

is a person’s faith in God,
so precious;

never should we harm

He gave birth
to all


~St. Francis of Assisi

X. Sanctus

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis.

XI. Benedictus

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.

XII. The Hope

What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure?
I think it is the hope of loving,
or being loved.

I heard a fable once about the sun going on a journey
to find its source, and how the moon wept
without her lover’s
warm gaze.

We weep when light does not reach our hearts. We wither
like fields if someone close
does not rain their

~Meister Eckhart

XIII. In My Soul

my soul
there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church
where I kneel.

Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or names exist.

Is there not a region of love where the sovereignty is
illumined nothing,

where ecstasy gets poured into itself
and becomes

where the wing is fully alive
but has no mind or

my soul
there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque,
a church

that dissolve, that
dissolve in


XIV. Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
dona nobis pacem.

XV. Everything

Everything I see, hear, touch, feel, taste,
Speak, think,

Is completing a perfect circle
God has drawn.

~Meister Eckhart

If you put your heart against the earth with me, in serving
every creature, our Beloved will enter you from our sacred realm
and we will be, we will be
so happy.


Spirituality is love, and love never wars with the minute, the day,
one’s self and others. Love would rather die
than maim a limb,
a wing.

~St. Thomas Aquinas

How can we live in harmony?
First we need to

we are all madly in love
with the same

~St. Thomas Aquinas