Organ and choral music for Easter Day

Music at the 5:30am Mass

Anthem: The rosy dawn is breaking, by Michael Praetorius

Voluntary: Saraband for the morning of Easter, by Herbert Howells

The daybreak anthem is an English translation of the ancient Latin hymn Aurora lucis rutilat, set to a tune by Michael Praetorius. This renaissance dance conveys the joy of the Resurrection. The voluntary was composed only a few years after the death in 1935 of Howells’s son, Michael. It forms an optimistic counterpart to the composer’s Saraband in modo elegiaco which was published alongside it. Like the new life celebrated at Easter itself, Howells revives the stately rhythm and structure of an ancient dance, giving it renewed form and vitality.

Music at the 9:30am Mass

Organ Prelude: I know that my Redeemer liveth (from Messiah), by G. F. Handel

Anthem: My beloved spake, and said unto me, by Patrick Hadley

Voluntary: Fanfare (from Four Extemporizations), by Percy Whitlock

The anthem is a setting of the Song of Solomon 2:10-13 by the pastoral, twentieth-century composer, Patrick Hadley. The sensual, Old Testament text beautifully foretells both the Resurrection and promise of Springtime: ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flow’rs appear on the earth’.

An arrangement of Handel’s famous aria from the Messiah precedes the Service. The original text, which is an expression of faith in redemption, combines texts from both Job 19:25-6 and 1 Corinthians 15:20-22. Whitlock’s Fanfare concludes our joyous celebration of Mass by combining rhythmic drive and complexity with dreamy, art deco harmony.

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