top of page

Holy Week 2020 - George Herbert

george herbert.jpg

Peter has always enjoyed the poetry of George Herbert, and during Holy Week last year used his poems as we said Morning Prayer at St Matthew’s and Compline at St Edmund’s, and read the Passion Narrative, the description of Jesus’ final week. Here is the material again, in the hope it might be useful as we pray at home this year. You could easily link this with Morning or Evening Prayer from the leaflet we provided, or from the Church of England app or website, or even from the Prayer Book!

George Herbert was born in Montgomery, Wales on 3 April 1593. He came from a wealthy family, was tutored at home, then went to Westminster School and to Trinity College Cambridge. He was a Fellow of the College by 1614, rose to the heights of University Orator (the man whose job it was to be the University's spokesmen) and also an MP. After only a few years he left it all and was ordained in 1625 or 1626. He became Prebendary of Leighton Bromswold in Huntingdonshire, then, in 1630, moved to Bemerton near Salisbury. He died there on 1 March 1633. We remember him as priest, poet and musician.

Monday - The Call

Herbert's poem set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The tenor is John Shirley-Quirk.

john shirley quirk.jpg

Tuesday - Love bade me welcome

Herbert's poem set to music by John Tavener, sung by the choir of St John's College Cambridge, directed by Christopher Robinson.

Wednesday - A bunch of grapes

The poem set to music is "View me, Lord"  words by Thomas Campion, music by Richard Lloyd. It is sung by the Boys’ and Girls’ Choir of Salisbury Cathedral, directed by Simon Lole.

Maundy Thursday - The Agony

The poem set to music is "Hail true body"  words 14th century Latin, music by Stanley Vann. It is sung by the Boys of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, directed by James Thomas.

Good Friday - Grief

Here is a recording of "Were you there when they crucified my Lord" arranged by James Whitbourn, sung by the chor of King's College, Cambridge, 

Holy Saturday - Death

Here is a recording of "Ex ore innocentium"

Words: William Walsham How, 1823-1897

Music: John Ireland, 1879-1962

sung by the choristers of Canterbury Cathedral, 

bottom of page