Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Henricus Sixtus Rex Ora Pro Nobis

Yesterday was my first service ever at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, and it was a special one, Choral Evensong concluded with a commemoration of Henry the Sixth on the Eve of the Anniversary of his Death.

The choir was excellent.  It is smaller than some foundations, with 10 boys (and a probationer this service) and I think 8 men.  One could pick out individual voices a bit more than with larger choirs, but their singing was nonetheless exemplary.  It let me know that I missed English choral worship more than I knew!

At the conclusion of the Choral Evensong portion, there was a procession to the grave of King Henry to the right of the altar rail.  There two youths from Eton placed a yellow rose and a yellow lily on the grave.  And an official from Kings read a prayer.

I think it was immediately afterward that the choir sang Ley’s Prayer of King Henry.  It was beautiful and moving.  And it was the first time I had even heard that composition.  I need to find if a good recording is available somewhere.

After the service, I went over to the grave and prayed chiefly for two intentions.

This morning, I will go to a brief memorial service at Eton.


Ann McCarthy said...

I was there for a Choral Evensong in February a year ago or so. We were able to sit in the quire, behind the adult choir and across from the boys'choir group - there were probably almost 30 or so combined. It was so beautiful.

Mark said...

I should correct something. It turns out the full choir at St. George's is larger as I found out the next night.