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For Our Common Home

Resounding Ecojustice

An oratorio by Linda J. Chase

Libretto adapted from

Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical,Laudato Si’

origin & inspiration

I was commissioned by world-renowned theologian Harvey Cox to compose an oratorio based on Laudato Si’ which addresses the impact of the environmental crisis on the most vulnerable communities. Highlighting compassion and solidarity, this quote from the encyclical spoke to me:

Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity,

but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover

what each of us can do about it.

(Pope Francis)

I began writing in 2020. That summer, protests around the world accelerated with the Movement for Black Lives and response to George Floyd’s murder. For many, the uprising in the streets was the first time we gathered since the beginning of the pandemic, coming together to demand that “injustice can be defeated in the land.”
The text of Laudato Si' speaks out against systems of oppression and reminds us that all are siblings. It challenged me to write music that could invite conversations addressing injustice and rebuilding our common home. Retreating from my crowded house (with the piano next to the kitchen table), I spent winter on the New England coast reflecting on environmental justice, the plight of climate refugees, and questions of responsibility. Tuning in to the Earth that sustains us and listening to  the waves and wind, I reflected on the text:
"May our struggles and concern for our planet never take away the joy of our hope. Let us sing as we go."

Program Notes

This cross-genre oratorio for chorus, soloists and chamber orchestra draws from sacred music, contemporary classical, jazz, gospel

and klezmer traditions. Instrumental interludes lead the listener from one movement to the next guiding shifts in

mood or harmony, and inviting a moment to reflect on the text which has just been sung.


The following recordings include several excerpts and movements from the 23-movement oratorio.

Listen for the “voices of nature” (birdsong, thunder, rain, wildfire and ocean) accompanying some of the movements.

We Come Together
00:00 / 05:34

We come together to care for our home.

We’ve been entrusted to heal and recover.
Journey together in union with all creatures.

SOLOIST Burcu Gulec

We come together a choir photo.png
Sister Cries Out
00:00 / 04:38

A call and response duet express the crying of the earth. The choir whispers names of endangered species while recordings of whale, whooping crane, penguin, and cheetah sound those voices.
Species go extinct


SOLOISTS Sarah Matsushima & Carla Kihlstedt

Sister cries out, she has been misused. Sister cries out, she has been abused. Destruction, devastation, deforestation Pollution, production,injustice, corruption.

seep yellow.tiff
00:00 / 04:40

"Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded. I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. …We require a new and universal solidarity." - From Laudsto Si'

In gratitude and affirmation The work of solidarity The sacrifices taken to heal the suffering So hate and fear may cease, may cease to be. Who work for justice: root of peace With tireless devotion build community Who seek to restore Resolve the causes of suffering Rebuild our common home Reveal the common soul In gratitude we speak Proclaiming equity Faith is turning dreams into deeds The urgency of healing needs A dialogue for all to speak till all are free.


Following the performance, we facilitate discussions with the audience about applying concepts from Laudato Si’ in our own communities. We offer choral and community singing workshops using the For Our Common Home Songbook. 

Music can inspire, build bridges

and serve as a vehicle to

invite dialogue.


The ensemble on this recording features many young upcoming musicians, alongside some of Boston’s finest veteran musicians. The Carduus Chamber Choir, directed

by Holly Druckman was formed in 2018 with many recent graduates from

New England Conservatory.

This oratorio was commissioned by  theologian/author Dr. Harvey G. Cox who also advised the composer on the text. Dr. Cox taught for fifty years at Harvard College and Divinity School, lectured at the (Jesuit) Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and has been personally received by three popes. He has published eleven books, one of which The Feast of Fools was nominated for the National Book Prize and inspired the musical Godspell. The Secular City was translated into eighteen languages and became an international classic, selling over one million copies.

I am humbled and grateful to the community at Old Cambridge Baptist Church and the many generous donors who supported the recording and premiere performance of For Our Common Home - Resounding Ecojustice. Special thanks to the Inavale Foundation. Thank you with all my heart!


Abigale Reisman, violin

Helen Sherrah-Davies, violin

David Rubin, violin

Bengisu Gokce, violin

Carson McHaney, violin

Beth Abbate, violin

Carla Kihlstedt, violin and voice

Lysander Jaffe, viola

Arjun Mudan, viola

Adithya Muralidharan, cello

Sebastian Ortega, cello

Thomas Schmidt, cello

Kirstan Lamb, double bass

Lemuel Mark, trumpet

Mark Berney, trumpet

Aimee Toner, flute and piccolo

Linda J. Chase, flute

Diane Heffner bass clarinet/clarinet

Jonathan Russell, bass clarinet/clarinet

Thomas Schmidt, percussion

George Lernis, percussion

Stuart Ryerse, piano

Hankus Netsky, piano

Anna Unchu Pyon, piano

Jennifer Hruska, nature’s voice


Holly Druckman



Kat Skafidas

Laura Thomas

Sarah Welden

Burcu Gulec

Wei En Chan

Teri Kowiak

J’adon Brooks

Elijah Botkin

Nathan Halbur

Kyle Seniw

Rian Grimmer

Peython Echelson-Russell


Additional Soloists

Sarah Brindell

Stan Strickland

Sarah Matsushima

Partnership & Performance Inquiry
We are looking both for presenters to organize a performance, and looking for choirs and ensembles that are interested in performing this piece.

We can also combine working with your ensemble and bringing in some of our soloists.

Thanks for submitting!

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