Dorchester Choral Society

Texts and translations

Purcell: Funeral Sentences (words from the burial service)

Man that is born of woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow and ne'er continueth in one stay.

In the midst of life we are in death; of whom may we seek for succour but of thee, O Lord? who for our sins art justly displeased. 

Yet, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears unto our prayers;

but spare us Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, thou most worthy Judge eternal,

suffer us not at our last hour for any pains of death to fall away from thee.


Bruckner: Motets

Ecce Sacerdos  
Ecce sacerdos magnus Behold a great priest
Qui in deibus suis placuit Deo who in his days pleased God
Ideo jurejurando fecit illum  Therefore, by an oath 
Dominus  crescere in plebem suam. the Lord made him increase amongst his people.
Benedictionem omnium gentium dedit illi He gave him the blessing of all nations
et testamentum suum confirmavit super caput ejus. and confirmed his covenant upon his head.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritu Sancto Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be
et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. world without end. Amen
Ave Maria  
Ave Maria gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus Blessed art thou among women,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus. and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Sancta Maria, mater Dei Holy Mary, Mother of God,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus, pray for us sinners,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen now and in the hour of our death. Amen
Locus Iste  
Locus iste a Deo factus est  This is the place the Lord has made
inaestimabile sacramentum irreprehensibilis est profoundly sacred, it is beyond reproof.
Graduale: Christus Factus Est  
Christus factus est pro nobis Christ is created for us,
obediens usque ad mortem autem crucis. obedient also unto death, even death on the cross.
Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum Therefore God exalted Him
et dedit nomen quod est super omne nomen  and gave him the name which is above all other names.

Buxtehude Das Neugeborne Kindelein 

Das neugeborne KIndelein, A new born infant,
das herzeliebe Jesulein meek and mild, Lord Jesus Christ,
bringt abermal ein neues Jahr The Holy Child brings once again a glad new year,
der auserwählten Christen Schar. and to his chosen flock, good cheer.
Des freuen sich die Engelein, With gladsome voice the angels sing,
die gerne um und bei uns sein, who guarded keep us 'neath their wing,
und singen in den Lüften frei, Rejoicing in the Holy Child,
dass Gott mit uns versöhnet sei. For God and Man are reconciled.
Ist Gott versöhnt und unser Freund, With God appeased and by our side
was kann uns tun der arge Feind? The devil's power can be defiled.
Trotz Teufel, Welt und Höllenpfort! Fear not Satan, not sin, nor gates of hell,
Herr Jesu, du bist unser Hort. The Holy Child doth guard us well.
Du bringst das rechte Jubeljahr. He will protect us through the year,
Was trauern wir dann immerdar? What cause have we to doubt and fear?
Frisch auf, es ist jetzt Singens Zeit: Rejoice, rejoice come let us sing his praises
Herr Jesu, du wendst alles Leid. The Holy Child all grief allays.

Schütz: Weihnachtshistorie (Christmas Story)

Introduction – Chorus

Let us sing of the wondr’ous birth of Jesus Christ, in the words of the holiest gospels of Matthew and Luke.

Recitative: Evangelist – Baritone solo

And behold it came to pass in those same days that a decree was proclaimed by Augustus Caesar that all the world should be enrolled and this enrolling was the first one, and was made in the time that Cyrenius was Governor in Syrian lands; and everyone went that he might be enrolled unto the city where he dwelt.

Then also there went up Joseph of Galilea, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, that there he might be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And while they were in that place came the time that she should be delivered, and she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid the baby in a manger for there was at that time no room for them in the inn.

Now in that same country, abiding in the fields there were some shepherds who kept a careful watch o’er their flocks by night.  And lo! then, the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them.

Intermedium 1: Angel – Soprano solo

Be not afraid: Fear not! Lo! I bring unto you tidings of joy.  And this same joy shall be unto all people.  This day to you a Saviour is born which is Christ the Lord, born in the town of David.

This shall be the sign to you that ye shall find the babe all wrapped round in swaddling, and in a manger lying.

Recitative: Evangelist – Baritone solo

And there suddenly was with the angel a multitude of the heav’nly host. Who were all praising God and saying:

Intermedium 2:  Angels - Chorus

Glory to God in the highest.  And let peace on earth and goodwill be to all men.

Recitative: Evangelist – Baritone Solo

And as the angels were gone from them into heaven the shepherds spoke them one to another:

Intermedium 3: Shepherds – Trio

Let us even go now to Bethlehem that we may look on this thing which has been brought to pass and which God has now revealed to us.

Recitative: Evangelist – Baritone solo

And they came with haste and found the stable with Mary and Joseph and the Babe in a manger lying.  And they proclaimed all the things they had witnessed, spreading the tidings abroad, the joyful tidings about the babe born in Bethlehem; and all those that heard the word were greatly amazed and marvelled at all that was told unto them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept to herself all these wond’rous things and she pondered them within her heart.

And the shepherds quickly departed thence, worshipping and glorifying God for all the things they had witnessed and had heard that day, e’en as it had been foretold to them.

Intermedium 4: Quartet


Recitative: Evangelist – Baritone solo

Now, when eight days were accomplished for the infant’s circumcision, then he was given the name Jesus, the same which had been giv’n by the angel before He was conceived in His mother’s womb. 

Now when Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in the land of Judea, and in the time of King Herod, behold there came from the East three Wise Men, going to Jerusalem and saying:

Intermedium 4: Wise Men – Trio

Where is the new-born King of Israel?  For we have seen a star before us proclaim His coming and have journeyed but to adore Him.

Rectative: Evangelist – Baritone solo

Now when King Herod heard the Wise Men speak he trembled and with him the whole of Jersusalem, and then he gathered all the priests together and all the scribes and elders of the people and demanded that they tell him where now the Christ child should have His birthplace, and they said to him:

Intermedium 5: High Priests and Scribes – Quartet 

In Bethlehem, the city of David, for we find it is written within the prophets: “And thou Bethlehem city of David in truth thou art not the least of them among the princes of Juda; for from thee there shall come forth a ruler and he shall be a mighty king of Israel.”

Recitative: Evangelist – Baritone solo

Then King Herod called for the Wise Men privily and he diligently enquired of them at what time the star might shine forth, and bade them go to Bethlehem and said:

Intermedium 6: King Herod – Bass solo

Now go forth and find the birthplace of this infant  and when ye find Him then send me back the tidings that I may come there and worship Him.

Recitative: Evangelist – Baritone solo

When the Wise Men heard what the Kind commanded, forth they went; and lo! The star which they had seen before and which led them onward still went on ahead until it came and stood over the place where the Christ child lay. 

And when they saw the star they were exceeding joyful and went into the house and saw there the young child with His blessed mother, Mary, and falling on their knees they humbly worshipped Him and opening their treasures up they offered him Gold, Incense and Myrrh.

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return again into the land of Herod, they departed and took another way back to their own land.  After this, when the Wise Men had departed Lo! then there appeared the angel of the Lord unto Joseph in a dream, and said:

Intermedium 7: Angel – Soprano solo

Get thee up, Joseph, up, up, Joseph and take the Christ child and take His mother with thee and fly into Egypt’s land and tarry thou there until I bring thee word; for the hour approaches when King Herod will seek the Christ child so that he might destroy Him.

Recitative: Evangelist – Baritone solo

Then Joseph arose and took the Christ child and took His mother and went in the night and he fled into Egypt’s land.  And there they did stay until the death of King Herod that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet when he said, “In the land of Egypt I found my son and called Him.”

Now when King Herod learned that he was mocked of the three Wise Men he raged in fury and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem and in all the coasts thereof all those that were two years and under, all according to the time that he enquired of the child from the Wise Men.  Then was fulfilled that which was prophesied by the Prophet Jeremiah when he said, “High on the mountain there was heard a voice of lamenting, with weeping, sighing and mourning. Rachel lamenting for all her children, and she would not be comforted, weeping because they are not.”

But when the time came of King Herod’s death, Lo! then there appeared the angel of the Lord unto Joseph in a dream and said:

Intermedium 8: Angel – Soprano solo

Get thee up, Joseph. Get thee up and take the Christ child and take His mother with thee and go forth now into Israel.  For they are all dead which did seek to harm the life of Jesus.

Recitative: Evangelist – Baritone solo

And Joseph rose and took the Christ child and took His mother and went and came in the land of Israel. But when he had heard it told that Archelaus was King in the land of Israel in place of his father King Herd, he was afraid of going thither; and in a dream he heard the word of God and went to the borders of Galilee as commanded and came and dwelt therefore in the town which is called Nazareth that it might be fulfilled which had been prophesied by all the prophets, “A Nazarene shall they call Him.”

Lo! then the child grew, waxing strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and on Him was the grace of God

Conclusion – Chorus

Now let us all thank thee God, mighty Lord Jesus Christ, who with His lowly birth has redeemed us. He has saved us by shedding His blood for us, and has freed us from sin.

Then let us give praises and with the angels sing hallelujah; singing Praise the Lord, Lord God Almighty; singing praise the Lord in the highest.


Photos From Our Previous Performances