In this second Parable for church performance, Britten sustains the influence of the Noh tradition in Curlew River, while taking inspiration from the Biblical story Ananias, Azarias and Misael. It tells the story of Nebuchadnezzar and the three Israelites, Ananias, Misael and Asarias who were thrown into a furnace for their refusal to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s image of gold. The music revolves around the plainsong, Salus Aeterna, which recurs throughout as a symbol of the Israelites’ integrity, and Nebuchadnezzar, the cult of the ‘god of gold,’ and the resistance of the three Israelites are given themes of clear, contemporary significance.