Our CD of the month for October is the Feast of St Edward, King and Confessor at Westminster Abbey, as this month marks Edwardtide and the celebration of The Translation of St Edward the Confessor. 

Feast of St Edward CD

St Edward is one of the two patron saints of Westminster Abbey, and as such we celebrate Edwardtide from 12th to the 18th October. During this time we celebrate the life of St Edward the Confessor, King of England 1042-1066 who was also the re-founder of Westminster Abbey. He was canonised in 1161 and on 13th October in 1163 his body was moved or ‘translated’ to a special Shrine within the church that he dedicated himself to building. After Henry III rebuilt Westminster Abbey, Edward the Confessor’s relics and remains were again translated to a new shrine on 13th October 1269. It is on the anniversary of these events that we celebrate the life of St Edward with special services. On the Saturday following the 13th October the Abbey closes its doors to visitors and instead opens its doors to pilgrims for the national pilgrimage to the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor. 

Shrine of St Edward

Our CD of the month contains a beautiful recording of the services that you could hear on the Feast of St Edward. The CD recording was made in 2006 in Westminster Abbey with the Westminster Abbey Choir singing, Robert Quinney playing the organ and James O’Donnell conducting. The CD is divided into the three main services of the day – Matins, Eucharist and Evensong – with each service broken down into individual tracks. The Matins service is filled with uplifting choral music and delicate organ music; the final hymn O God, thou art my God features a particularly beautiful layering of the choir’s voices. As we come into the Eucharist service the tone becomes more contemplative and gentle, apart from the soaring vocal parts in the Gloria part of the Missa Brevis. Finally in the Evensong service the music is rousing, featuring a dramatic use of the organ in tracks like King and the Robin and Te Deum.

If you would like to purchase The Feast of St Edward then please click here. Readers of Inside Stories can use the code EDWARD12 at checkout to get it at a special price of £12.00 until the end of October 2016.