This short reflection:
by Canon Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff
features music performed by the Choir of the Grosvenor Chapel and opens with one to the Chandos Anthems by Handel: “In the voice of Praise and Thanksgiving”.
The reflection itself touches upon the life of St Edmund of Abingdon (1175-1240), who was a formidable scholar and then somewhat unexpectedly became Archbishop of Canterbury. In this office he pursued a determined course, seeking high standards within the church and significant autonomy for it from both the English Crown and the Papacy, a policy which made him unpopular with both. Along the way, he raised a considerable amount of funding for the 6th Crusade, which unlike its predecessors enjoyed considerable success, and did so through diplomacy rather than force of arms resulting in the Treaty of Jaffa and Tell Ajul between the Holy Roman Emperor Frederic II and Al-Kamil the Sultan of Egypt and Syria .
The reflection closes with the words of a prayer by St Edmund set as an Anthem beginning “Into Thy Hands” by Jonathan Dove, who went with the choir of Salisbury Cathedral to visit the tomb of St Edmund in the Abbey of Pontigny in Burgundy, upon the occasion of 750th Anniversary of St Edmund’s canonization.
In conclusion, the choir sings the Gloria from Mozart’s Missa Brevis in D Major, K 194.