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Radio 4's daily prayer and reflection

21 days left to listen

2 minutes

Last on

Thu 2 Jul 2020 05:43


Good morning.

There have been many things which have changed in our lives since the pandemic hit us, and the one which I feel the loss of most, is my choir. I have been a singer all my life, and as a conductor I love the feeling that you get when a group of singers begin to sing together in harmony.

Indeed, the first prayer I ever truly prayed was music. I was a singer at a Cathedral at the time, and although employed by the church I was an avowed atheist. We were singing an Agnus Dei by William Byrd, a composer who lived through some of the most tumultuous times in the reformation. I remember thinking this music, written four hundred years ago, was as fresh and vibrant as though the ink was still wet, and I felt connected to everybody who's ever sung it, and everybody who's ever heard it, and Byrd himself who wrote it, and in that choir in that rare moment, no voice predominated, no one person stuck out or led, we were locked into a paradise of pure harmony. It was communion - with one another, with those long gone, with those who were yet to come, and with God himself. And when the final amen sounded, I knew something of God that I hadn't known before, and that I couldn't put into words even now, but whatever it was, it was harmony.

Almighty God, you inspire singers and composers, musicians and artists to reflect your beauty and to sing your praise. We thank you for the gift of harmony, which brings us together with you and with one another. May our hearts and minds and hands and voices live to sing your praise, Father Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.



  • Thu 2 Jul 2020 05:43