Celebrate Easter with the University Chaplaincy and Joseph Haydn
This Thursday, 31 March 2011, there is a free event at St Stephen's United Reformed Church on De Montfort Street, at which the Knighton String Quartet will perform Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ. Originally composed for orchestra in 1786 and adapted for string quartet the following year, Haydn’s piece takes the form of nine short movements: an introduction, a musical reflection on each of the seven ‘words’ of Christ on the cross, and a conclusion described as a ‘terremoto’ or ‘earthquake’.
Between each movement, members of the Chaplaincy team will read pieces on each of the ‘seven last words’. For those of you not up on your Gospels, these are not a single seven-word sentence but a collection of seven sayings attributed to Christ during his crucifixion, as follows:
- Forgiveness: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
- Salvation: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
- Relationship: “Woman, behold your son: behold your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
- Abandonment: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34)
- Distress: “I thirst.” (John 19:28)
- Triumph: “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
- Reunion: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
Haydn’s piece was composed for Cadiz Cathedral where it was traditional for the Canon to reflect on the seven last words, praying between each one while music filled the church. It has now become a popular classical piece for Easter performances.
Entry to the event on Thursday, which runs from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, is free and there will be refreshments afterwards. All are welcome. The Knighton String Quartet will also perform this marvellous Haydn piece on Good Friday, 22 April 2011, at 1.30pm at Clarendon Park Congregational Church on Springfield Road.
Over the Easter weekend, the University of Leicester will be closed from Thursday 21 April to Tuesday 26 April (and again on Friday 29 April for the Royal Wedding Bank Holiday). However, the Chaplaincy will be open on Easter Sunday from 6.00pm to 8.00pm for any students who are staying in Leicester over the vacation.