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Abbey Celebrates Life of Sir John Tavener

Wednesday, 11th June 2014

Abbey Celebrates Life of Sir John Tavener

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales attended a Service of Thanksgiving for the Life and Work of Sir John Tavener at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 11th June at 12 noon.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding: ‘We come to worship God and to give thanks for the many gifts we have received through the life of John Tavener, for the beauty of his music, for the clarity of his vision of heaven, and for his share in the creative work of God the Creator and Father of all.

As we commend John’s immortal soul to the care and keeping of almighty God, may we have faith that one day we shall see Him face to face and shall know Him who knows and loves us as we are known by Him. May we lead our lives in the light of God’s glory.

Simon Russell Beale CBE read Isaiah 35 and Sir Magdi Yacoub OM read Revelation 21: 22-26.

The Gospel was proclaimed by His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain.

The Address was given by Sir Nicholas Kenyon CBE.

Theodora Tavener read Ninety-Nine Words for my Darling Children Theodora, Sofia and Orlando.

Music by Tavener was performed before and during the service. The Britten Sinfonia, conducted by Stephen Layton, performed The Hidden Face with Andrew Watts (counter-tenor) and Nicholas Daniel (oboe), and Eternity’s Sunrise with Patricia Rozario (soprano); Steven Isserlis CBE (cello) played Threnos; Patricia Rozario and Thomas Gould (violin) performed Song of the Angel; and the orchestra played Mother of God, Here I Stand.

The cantors Alexander Lingas, Vasilis Maroulas, Pavlos Melas and James Heywood sang The Kontakion.

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

The Choir sang Tavener’s They Are All Gone Into The World Of Light, The Lamb and Funeral Ikos.

The organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist, and before the service by Martin Ford, Assistant Organist.

See also:

The Order of Service (PDF, 203 KB)

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