8am and 9:30am on Sundays Hart Street, Henley-on-Thames RG9 2AU

City Church


Easter Day Organ Voluntary

The Organ Voluntary selected for Easter Day deserves a little more explanation. Sebastian played this at King’s College, Cambridge in June 2010. This is what he would have played on Easter morning:  Choral-Improvisation sur le “Victimae Paschali” by Charles Tournemire (This is based on the medieval sequence for Easter Sunday).  Despite being an improvisation, Maurice Duruflé transcribed it years later.  It is a deeply moving piece and a cornerstone of the French organ repertoire. 

Here’s the text the composer used for inspiration: 

Let Christians offer sacrificial
praises to the passover victim.

The lamb has redeemed the sheep:
The Innocent Christ has reconciled
the sinners to the Father.

Death and life contended
in a spectacular battle:
the Prince of life, who died,
reigns alive.

Tell us, Mary, what did
you see on the way?

“I saw the tomb of the living Christ
and the glory of his rising,

The angelic witnesses, the
clothes and the shroud.”

“Christ my hope is arisen;
into Galilee, he will go before his own.”

We know Christ is truly risen from the dead!
To us, victorious King, have mercy!
Amen. [Alleluia.]