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“Genuinely One for the History Books”: First Catholic Service at Hampton Court Chapel in 450 Years

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 01/06/16

And, it will be in Latin.

The press release:

Henry VIII’s chapel to be setting for historic service with Cardinal Nichols celebrating Vespers and the Bishop of London, Dean of the Chapels Royal, preaching. History will be made on the evening of Tuesday 9 February when the Genesis Foundation and the Choral Foundation bring together leaders of the Catholic Church and the Church of England for the first service according to the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church to be celebrated since the 1550s at Hampton Court Palace’s Chapel Royal. This historic service of Vespers in King Henry VIII’s chapel will be celebrated by His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols and will include a sermon from The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dr Richard Chartres, KCVO, Bishop of London and Dean of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal ­– an unprecedented coming together of the Catholic and Anglican churches on such an historically important site. Celebrated mostly in Latin, another first in over 450 years, Vespers will be dedicated to St John the Baptist as the Chapel Royal was built by Cardinal Wolsey on the site of a chapel of the Knights of St John Hospitaller, dedicated to that Saint. Members of the public will have the chance to attend this service through a free national ballot, details of which will be announced shortly.

From Christian Today:

A spokesman described it as “an unprecedented coming together of the Catholic and Anglican churches on such an historically important site”. …The music will be performed by Harry Christophers and his ensembles The Sixteen and Genesis Sixteen and will include Thomas Tallis’ Magnificat, William Cornysh’s Salve Regina and John Taverner’s “Leroy” Kyrie. Before the service, Cardinal and Dean will take part in a “conversation” on “Faith and the Crown” in the Great Hall at Hampton Court. They will debate the role of the Chapel Royal in maintaining elements of Catholic worship to the present day. John Studzinski, founder and chairman of the Genesis Foundation, said: “Dialogue between faiths is much needed and welcomed in these turbulent times. We need to recognise that we have more in common than not. I’m therefore delighted that the Genesis Foundation is enabling the Catholic and Anglican churches to engage in dialogue on this site that is so rich in history, both theological and musical. It will be an unforgettable occasion and is genuinely one for the history books.”

Photo: The Chapel Royal.org

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