Benedict Sheehan's "Beatitudes" is based on motives of znamenny chant, the earliest form of chant still used in churches of Eastern Slavic origins. The motivic chant structure allows the composer to "sculpt" each musical phrase to match the inflections and rhythms of the English text. Alternating sustained pedals in the men's and women's voices, reminiscent of the ison--a traditional musical representation of the changeless Eternal Light of Christ--impart an aura of timelessness to this music. A fitting climax does arrive, nevertheless, on the words "Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad." This musical setting can be sung both liturgically and as an effective concert piece.