“Comfort and Joy” Commissioned for Televised University of St. Thomas Christmas Concerts

The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul commissioned Hagen for their annual Christmas concerts. The piece “Comfort and Joy” is based on this year’s concert theme, and is scored for a mass choir of over 200 singers, wind ensemble, and string orchestra.


This concert will be recorded and filmed, broadcast on Twin Cities Public Television as a one-hour holiday special. Concert information can be found here: https://www.stthomas.edu/music/events/christmas/


Hagen commissioned poet Brian Newhouse for this exciting project. Read his poem “A Fire in Winter” below.


Comfort and Joy


Here in the winter dark

our ministry is flame.


When you are lost,

we will build the signal fire,

a towering blaze of welcome.


When you are broken,

a hearthfire to mend a scattered heart.


When you are hungry,

living embers will bring you bread.


We are found,

we are whole,

we are fed by fire.


Angels fan these flames

so your way may

be lit by joy.


Posted on

October 14, 2019


  1. Kristine Brelje

    Hello Ms. Hagen, my name is Kristine and I play double bass (string bass) with the St. Thomas String Orchestra. I’m also an alum of the college (MBA ’10). I’m very excited to be playing your piece at Orchestra Hall on Sunday, 12/8, as part of the UST Christmas Concert.

    I’m also a Consociate with the Sister’s of St. Joseph of Carondelet (St. Catherine University). Your piece, “Comfort and Joy,” including the poem “A Fire in Winter,” strikes a chord about the work that Sister Baya Clare does for women who are incarcerated in the Shakopee Women’s Prison and the Federal Women’s Prison in Waseca, MN. Sister Baya Clare will be my guest at Orchestra Hall on Sunday, 12/8. In my mind, Sister Baya represents one of the Angels who fans the flames so that women who are incarcerated can see that their way is lit with joy.

    I wanted to send you a note that my bass performance will be dedicated to her, an earthly angel lighting the way with joy. Particularly in the most desolate of places — i.e., Prison.

    Ms. Hagen, thank you so much for reading my contemplation.



  2. Joyce Evans

    Absolutely AMAZING concert. Watched it and then watched it again. Was captivated by the song Comfort and Joy – SO beautiful. Is the music available in printed form for other choirs to perform ? My Granddaughter is in a Concert Choir in High School and I would like to show this to the director.

    • Jocelyn Hagen

      Hi Joyce!
      Thanks for contacting Jocelyn! This is Grace, Jocelyn’s assistant. I’m glad you enjoyed the piece! Jocelyn is currently pursuing its publication, so sheet music is not yet available, but should be ready for next season. The best thing to do would be to stay tuned by subscribing to her newsletter. You can find the form to do so at the bottom of her homepage. Thank you again for your comment!

  3. Jan

    Your piece by the st Thomas choir filled me w tears. I would love the sheet music to share w my choir
    Thankyou for such joy!


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