Most Glorious Lord of Life (Vocal Score)


  • Duration: 5 minutes
  • Chorus: SATB
  • Instrumentation: Organ

Commissioned by Wells Cathedral for the Cathedral Choir, Patrick has set the words of 16th century English poet Edmund Spenser which glorifies Christ’s sacrifice for mankind and praises his path of love.

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Commissioned by Wells Cathedral, Patrick was asked to write a new work for the Cathedral Choir and this new anthem Most Glorious Lord of Life – for choir and organ – was premiered as part of the Cathedral’s ‘Sound of Wells Festival 2023’.  The work takes its title from the poem ‘Easter Sonnet’ or ‘Sonnet 68’ by the 16th century English poet Edmund Spenser which glorifies Christ’s sacrifice for mankind and praises his path of love.   Patrick’s setting conveys the poem’s message of the extreme power of love, and encouragement to others to devote their lives to preach Christ’s path, knowledge, affection, and kindness.

The main theme, first appearing in the choir’s opening phrase, reaches upwards in three clear steps, inviting the listener to become directly involved in a sense of being ‘raised’.  The theme’s second appearance is more joyous as a result of the slightly quicker tempo and the urgency of the choral imitation until this first of three main sections comes to a decisive close.

The middle section, featuring solo soprano and a cappella choir, is a quiet reflection on the way in which we must ‘weigh’ the love which Christ won for us at such great cost and, with the full choir, there appears the anthem’s main invitation – that we ‘with love may one another entertain.’

The final section urges us to be unafraid of taking up this invitation as references to the main theme reappear and the textures swell again and again until the final climax is reached, and we are able to deliver our final words of thanksgiving to the Glorious Lord of Life on the occasion of his mighty Resurrection.

Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day,
Didst make thy triumph over death and sin:
And having harrow’d hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin,
And grant that we for whom thou diddest die,
Being with thy dear blood clean wash’d from sin,
May live for ever in felicity.
And that thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love thee for the same again:
And for thy sake, that all like dear didst buy,
With love may one another entertain.
So let us love, dear love, like as we ought,
Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.

Words: Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

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