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Nelson - 200th Anniversary Celebrations

Friday, 21st October 2005

Nelson - 200th Anniversary Celebrations

The Choir of St Margaret's Church made their own contribution to the Trafalgar anniversary celebrations on 23rd October by singing music from Haydn's 'Nelson Mass' during the 11 o'clock Eucharist service.

With the official Trafalgar parade taking place almost within earshot at the same time, Aidan Oliver, Director of Music, thought this would be too good an opportunity to miss.

Haydn's so-called Nelson Mass is one of the composer's most thrilling mass settings. It was originally written for a patron's name-day, but when Nelson visited Haydn's home-town in 1800 the mass was performed in his honour and it has been named after him ever since. It will be the perfect way to celebrate his memory in the context of our Eucharist service.

The choir also sang Stanford's dramatic setting of words from Habakkuk, For lo, I raise up. Written towards the end of World War II, the anthem contrasts the violence of aggressor nations 'which march through the breadth of the earth to possess the dwelling places are not theirs' with the promise that 'the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.'

The Shrine of St Edward the Confessor is one of the most powerful features of the Abbey. To stand in the presence of a man who is both a saint and a monarch is awe-inspiring.

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The Reverend Christopher Stoltz - Minor Canon

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