Sarah and I just came back from our Maundy Thursday service. Our choir sang the Rutter Requiem. It was my first time and I’ll never forget it.
Here is the final movement, Lux Aeterna.
Here are the lyrics. The soprano soloist (sung by our associate pastor) part is in English, while the choir is in Latin.
I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me.
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord,
for they rest from their labors:
even so saith the Spirit.
Lux aeterna luceat eis Domine:
Let eternal light shine upon them, O Lord:
Cum sanctis tuis in aeternum, quia pius es.
with Thy saints for ever, for art merciful.
Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine,
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
and may light perpetual shine on them,
It’s a hard thing to describe, singing in a 100-person strong choir. To use your small voice as a string in a large instrument… it’s a moving experience. Then add to that the greatness of a musical piece like Rutter’s. The dark minor sections followed by such pastoral reverie have a way of penetrating your mind and perhaps your soul. To call such times “heavenly” or “divine” isn’t saying it deeply enough.