Ave Verum Corpus – Music Made for a Cathedral

Yesterday Andrew and Claire were confirmed in a magnificent service on a beautiful fall day at the National Cathedral.

There’s so much I could cover:  The pageantry.  The three bishops.   The time spent with godparents and their families.  The wonderful discernment process that our Assistant Rector, The Rev. Jered Weber-Johnson, led the twins through over the past two years.  The personal thoughts that ranged from a baptismal service with two infants some 17 years ago to confirmation with two beautiful and talented young adults whom I admire for their thoughtfulness and integrity.

Instead (no surprise) I want to talk about the music.

The Cathedral Singers – comprised of women sopranos and gentlemen in the counter tenor, tenor, and bass roles – were in residence for yesterday’s service.  Their work was beautiful throughout.

But when they sang William Byrd’s Ave Verum Corpus, I just closed my eyes and listened to the wonderful melodies that come together in that magnificent piece reverberate around in the acoustics.  When they finished, I turned to Claire’s godfather and said, “There’s no better music for a cathedral.”

So today, Andrew and I were catching a bite to eat and he said, “I’m so glad they sang Ave Verum at the service yesterday.”  I laughed at how our thoughts converged, and then we launched into a five-minute discussion of how we were both singing along with the choir (I had the tenor line covered, while Andrew was channeling his old chorister days and was handling the soprano.)  Andrew said, “that piece has the BEST alto lines” and right in the middle of Montgomery Mall we began singing the alto line we both loved.

Just so you, dear reader, can also hear this wonderful music, I’ve posted a video of the Tallis Scholars’ version of Ave Verum Corpus following the picture of Claire, Andrew, Bishop Eastman, two of Claire’s godparents, Candice and me taken after yesterday’s service.  Enjoy.

More to come…

DJB

One Response

  1. Thanks for posting that piece. It was absolutely beautiful and I’m sure it sounded even more heavenly in that great cathedral. I’m so glad that you all had a splendid day for the confirmation. We are all so proud of Andrew and Claire and all of their accomplishments. You and Candice have raised two very fine young adults (now).

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