Monday, April 07, 2008

Sacred Music Series

Last night I watched the most recent of the BBC4 series on sacred music which has been really excellent. Last week was on Palestrina and this week`s was on Tallis and Byrd. What made it particularly interesting from a Catholic point of view was that the programme focused on the Catholic loyalties of the two men under an Anglican government. Most of the analysis of Byrd`s music was of his Catholic output and it was interesting to see the Petre`s family home at Ingatestone which was an important recusant centre in Essex. If you live in the UK you can see the programme on the BBCi player. Click here.


Anonymous said...

Father, I am very pleased to see there is such a good series on sacred music which doesn't get much press.
I would like ot raise a question on a different subject altogether but I don't know how to ask a question without clicking the "comments" on an existing subject. My question is: how is the date of Easter calculated? My protestant chums have all given different accounts and I bet they are all wrong so I thought "Father Brown will know!"

Andrew Smith said...

Quite agree that this series has been excellent. William Byrd lived in the neighbouring Essex village of Stondon Massey (to Blackmore, where I live). For more information on Byrd, perhaps you might like to look at

The date of Easter is calculated as being the first Sunday following the first Full Moon after the Vernal (Spring) Equinox. This year the Equinox was on 20 March and Full Moon on 21 March. This meant that Easter Day fell on 23 March. It's just about the earliest date it can be. The Church of England Common Worship book includes a list of Easter Days. In 2011, Easter Day is on 24 April. The Book of Common Prayer has an elaborate method of manually calculating Easter Day for any year using what is known as 'Golden Numbers'. I haven't tried this method.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Thanks Andrew. I enjoyed your site and hope one day to visit Ingatestone Hall. I think I`d also like to find a life of Byrd: being so involved at court and also well-known to the Jesuits must make for an interesting biography.