For the Good Friday service at 10am on Friday 29 March, the Choir will sing The Reproaches, a piece from English composer John Sanders, OBE (1933-2003).
Sanders studied at the Royal College of Music. He became Organist and Master of the Choristers at Gloucester Cathedral in 1967. During his time at Gloucester, Sanders acted as artistic director and festival conductor of the Three Choirs Festival on the nine occasions when the Cathedral hosted the festival.
Written in 1993, the lyrics for The Reproaches are taken from the liturgy for Good Friday.
O my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!
Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy immortal One, have mercy on us.
i. I led you out of Egypt, from slavery to freedom, but you led your Saviour to the cross.
ii. For forty years I led you safely through the desert. I fed you with manna from heaven, and brought you to a land of plenty: but you led your Saviour to the cross.
iii. What more could I have done for you? I planted you as my fairest vine, but you yielded only bitterness: When I was thirsty you gave me vinegar to drink, and you pierced your Saviour’s side with a lance.
iv. I opened the sea before you, but you opened my side with a spear. I led you on your way in a pillar of cloud, but you led me to Pilate’s court.
v. I bore you up with manna in the desert, but you struck me down and scourged me. I gave you saving water from the rock, but you gave me gall and vinegar to drink.
vi. I gave you a royal sceptre, but you gave me a crown of thorns. I raised you to the height of majesty, but you have raised me high on a cross.
The video is the Choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral London, directed by John Scott.