Requiem Mass marks start of Lady Chapel festival

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, celebrated Requiem Mass in the Lady Chapel, Westminster Abbey, on Thursday 21st April 2016, the Anniversary of the Death of King Henry VII.

The service was sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey conducted by the Organist and Master of the Choristers, James O'Donnell.

The Mass marked the start of the fortnight-long 500 Years of Wonder festival - the Abbey's celebrations of the 500th anniversary of Henry VII's Lady Chapel. The Lady Chapel was begun in 1503 and constructed at the expense of Henry VII. It is the last great masterpiece of English medieval architecture. The outstanding feature of the chapel is the spectacular fan-vaulted roof with its carved pendants.

As the festival continues, the Choir will feature works by Thomas Tallis, William Mundy, Arnold Bax, Benjamin Britten and John Tavener feature in a special concert of music in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Tuesday 26th April.

A series of lectures begins the next day, Wednesday 27th April, with 'Of suche as apperteigne to the gifte of a Prince': the architecture and fittings of Henry VII's Lady Chapel at Westminster given by Christopher Wilson, Emeritus Professor of Architectural History, UCL

Other lectures are Lady Margaret Beaufort: the King's Mother and the King's Chapel given by Dr Richard Rex, Reader in Reformation History, Queens' College, Cambridge (Friday 29th April) and James I, the Abbey and the 'beauty of holiness' given by Dr Andrew Foster, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Kent (Wednesday 4th May).

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