Works like I Saw a New Heaven and a New Earth (1979) were inspired by the purchase of liturgical handbells from the firm Petit and Fritsen based in Aarle-Rixtel, Holland. Unlike English handbells, the overtone for these bells is tuned to the minor 10th; because of this, the bells sound more like tower bells than other handbells. The first Advent Procession premiered in December 1964; many others followed, including this work. I Saw a New Heaven and a New Earth is scored for a choir of men’s voices and handbells (Choir I) in dialogue with a choir of mixed voices (Choir II) in a fixed position.
I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had all passed away, and the sea was no more. I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned. I heard a voice from the Throne saying: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. I heard a great voice from the Throne saying, Behold, the dwelling of God is with men; He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people. To the thirsty I give water from the fountain of life. Night shall be no more, for the Lord God will be their Light and they shall reign forever. I heard a voice from the Throne saying, Behold, I am coming soon; I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
— Revelation 21:1–4, 6–7, adapted by Peter Hallock