Westminster Abbey has had more than 1,000 years of connections with royalty and the religious role played by the monarchy in England. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066 it has been the coronation church for kings and queens and the resting place for more than 3,000 great Britons. Its distant recorded origins date back to the 960s when a community of a dozen Benedictine monks was established on the site. In 1042 King Edward the Confessor ordered the building of a church that could become a royal burial site. Later this would become a shrine devoted to the canonised king. Given the close proximity of the Benedictine abbey with royal places like the Palace of Westminster, it was inevitable for the religious community to get involved with royal power and its public display.
The construction of the current church started in 1245 by Henry III who designated it as a burial place for himself and his wife. During the reign of Henry VIII it was briefly the cathedral of the dioceses of Westminster and under the reign of Elizabeth I it became a church under the direct jurisdiction of the sovereign.
This amazing church is not only a place for religious cult, for major royal celebrations and a very recognisable landmark for London. It is also a place where excellent sacred music can be enjoyed with the glorious acoustics of a large gothic church. The current organ has been built in 1937 and used for the first time for the coronation of King George VI.
The church has a regular programme of sacred music that includes performances of the resident or visiting choirs and the resident and visiting organists. The most popular programme is the Sunday Organ Recitals, on most Sundays at 5.30pm and free, featuring the world’s finest organists. A great opportunity to enjoy music at the church and visit it for free. During the past weeks I went there after the lockdown and listening to a magnificent programme of sacred music generated an intense emotion.
The music page of the Abbey’s website.
2 thoughts on “Westminster Abbey 🏛⛪️🎶”
An amazing historic Cathedral .
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