Purcell's Funeral Sentence

  • for choir SSAATTBB

  • Duration 9' 20"


from the Book of Common Prayer

One SATB group sings (nearly exactly) Henry Purcell's setting of the Funeral Sentences, the other group sing newly-written material, commenting, reflecting, accompanying and interfering...

This work has been performed by ensembles including:

Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble

Choral Arts (Seattle-Tacoma)

C4 (New York City)


Concordia Voices (London)

Conspirare (Texas)

Pro Cantu Youth Choir (South Africa)

San Francisco Choral Artists



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Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and ne'er continueth in one stay. In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased? Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death. Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, thou most worthy judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from thee.