I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he
hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I
found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord;
O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the
Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.
For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
I will walk before the Lord,
in the land of the living.
(Psalm 116 vv. 1-4, 7-9)
This anthem, written in 1976 for Martin Neary and the Winchester Cathedral Choir, is the fruit of listening to the Choir sing the liturgy week after week. The profound impression they have made, in the context of the services and the building, provided the inspiration for the music. A G major chord sounding through most of the anthem depicts the joyful love and irrepressible faith of a soul that clings to its Lord despite its suffering and anguish.
© Jonathan Harvey