On Sunday 12 June 2022, Choral Matins was sung by the Sandford and St Philip’s Choral Union and Choral Scholars at Sandford Church. It was a special and unique service/day for a number of reasons. One reason is the ancient tradition and constancy of the service itself: Matins is an office of the church that has remained largely unchanged for almost four hundred and fifty years. It is a reflective and thoughtful service, allowing us to gather together to know the peace of God’s presence and be comforted in worship. Another reason for gathering was to celebrate the forthcoming marriage of David O’Shea, our Organist and Choir Director, and Henry Roberts, a key figure in our Choral Union.
The choir sang beautifully, each of the liturgical texts of the three canticles allowing the singing to lead the praise. The beautiful texts are taken from the Book of Common Prayer and have even earlier sources, with the Te Deum laudamus being one of the fundamental texts of the early Christian church. The canticles were linked by sung psalms and spoken readings. The choir also was able to demonstrate its abilities by singing an anthem. The wonderful music in the service closed with David O’Shea treating us all to the Voluntary: Fugue in E-flat major, BWV 552, by Johann Sebastian Bach.