Kenneth Leighton: Solus ad victimam

Rogier van der Weyden, Entombment of Christ, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, 1450

Performance of the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Stephen Darlington conducting [YouTube]

Performance of St. Stepen's Church Choir, Canterbury, in Salisbury Cathedral [YouTube]

Performance of the Choir of Somerville College, Oxford [YouTube]

Alone to sacrifice thou goest, Lord, giving thyself to Death whom thou hast slain.

For us thy wretched folk is any word? Who know that for our sins this is thy pain?

For they are ours, O Lord, our deeds, our deeds. Why must thou suffer torture for our sin?

Let our hearts suffer in thy Passion, Lord, that very suffering may thy mercy win.

This is the night of tears, the three days' space, sorrow abiding of the eventide,

Until the day break with the risen Christ, and hearts that sorrowed shall be satisfied.

So may our hearts share in thine anguish, Lord, that they may sharers of thy glory be;

Heavy with weeping may the three days pass, to win the laughter of thine Easter Day.

Peter Abelard (1079-1142), trans. Helen Waddell