The College remembrance service is unique amongst the services held on a Sunday during the year, as there is no communion or sermon, and is jointly held for the senior and prep schools in the College. Instead, a few prayers are interspersed with much poetry, music and personal accounts of visitors to the Somme.
This year, the levels of spirituality and contemplation were heightened enormously by two particularly accomplished performances. Chris Waite, in the 4th form, sang the Pie Jesu from Fauré’s Requiem with great sensitivity. It is conventionally sung by a female soprano, but the purer sound of his treble voice had a far more plaintive edge to it that was most memorable. Also, Tim Burtt’s performance of In Flander’s by Guernsey led the congregation expertly through the various emotive qualities in this dramatic piece. Accompanied by Sandy Chenery on the first performance using the new piano in the Chapel, the piece stayed with everyone there, gaining notable praise following the service.
A number of other movements were performed from Fauré’s Requiem by the choir, who also sang their first psalm (no 121) of the year.
All in all, a highly spiritual service without the ceremonial pomp that marks Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph.