Tuesday, 9 February 2016


King Henry VIII of England

Musicologists, Tudor Enthusiasts and Theologians! Mark Tuesday February 9, 2016 in your calendar of awesome historical events!

Today, at Hampton Court Palace, for the first time in almost 450 years, a small number of very lucky attendees (some 350, who applied via ballot) at the Palace’s Chapel Royal heard sung the first Catholic Service at the royal chapel (according to the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, and as such performed largely in the Latin tongue), since it’s turbulent fallout following King Henry VIII’s infamous break from Rome in 1534 and it’s fickle presence (and absence) throughout the reigns of his children, the future monarchs Edward VI (a Protestant), Mary I (unshakably Catholic), and Elizabeth I (the last of the Tudor dynasty, whose neutral approach to religion and it’s music we have recently discussed here on unravelingmusicalmyths.blogspot.ca).

The Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace.
According to the Chapel Royal’s official press release in January 2016, the service of Vespers was slated to be “celebrated by His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols…includ[ing] a sermon from… the Bishop of London…” in “an unprecedented coming together of Catholic and Anglican churches on... a historically important site."

This monumental occasion was formed to mark the 500th anniversary of the Hampton Court Palace, and to help bring awareness to the upcoming half-millenium mark since the onset of the Reformation.

The historic event also featured an informative discussion (prior to the service) in The Great Hall  that covered the role and absence of Catholic Services as it relates to the Monarchy during the era of the Tudors right through to the modern age.


music included works from the Composers Thomas Tallis: Magnificat; William Cornysh: Salve Regina; and John Taverner: "Leroy" Kyrie

              Thomas Tallis, Magnificat                   William Cornysh, Salve Regina                John Taverner, “Leroy” Kyrie

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