William Boyce
(1711 - 1779)

Boyce : The Burial Service : illustration

The Burial Service
(S.A.T.B. + reduction)
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I am the resurrection and the life - Man that is born of a woman - I heard a voice from heaven.

This edition has been prepared from James Page's Harmonia sacra, 1800 (the only extant version of a near-primary source). Time values have been halved, and considerable liberties have been taken in re-barring, in an attempt to convey the solemn declamatory style appropriate to this setting. Boyce's (Page's) figured bass has been substituted by a simple reduction for practice purposes. The style of the organ accompaniment is not germane to performance: the original directions shew that the service was intended primarily for use without the church.
Lyrics: Book of Common Prayer, 1662

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord:
he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shalt stand
at the latter day upon the earth.
And though after my skin worms destroy this body;
yet in my flesh shall I see God:
whom I shall see for myself,
and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.

We brought nothing into this world,
and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;
blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Man that is born of a 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 never 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 God most holy, 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 to our pray'rs; but spare us, Lord
most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour,
thou most worthy judge eternal,
suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death,
to fall from thee.

I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me,
From henceforth blessed are the dead which die in the Lord:
even so saith the Spirit:
for they rest from their labours.