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The Temple Church, built around 1160 and consecrated by the Patriarch of Jerusalam in 1185, has been in the joint care of the Inner and Middle Temples, two of the four legal Inns of Court, for 400 years. It was originally built by the English Knights Templar, to replicate their round mother church on the site of Christs Resurrection in Jerusalem.
So important was it as a place of spiritual significance that many knights were buried there ( you can see their effigies to this day ) and Thomas a Becket, when Archbishop, granted an indulgence of twenty days to all those who entered it. The centrality of Jerusalem as the earthly replica of the heavenly kingdom comes through in the Templar liturgy that forms the basis of this recording.
It is no coincidence that Jerusalem is the circular city at the centre of the mappa mundi. So to be in Londons Temple Church was, to the medieval mind, to be in the actual place for ones own spiritual enlightenment helped no doubt by the uplifting qualities of singing the daily office, which Bernard of Clairvaux probably helped to compile. The Church retains its special atmosphere to this day and the Chant sounds wonderful in its ancient, round, acoustic pure, perfect and complete.
Today the Temple Church serves its legal community in many ways. Members of the two Inns may be baptized, married and have their memorial services there. It is justly famous for its own choir of boys and men voices who sing a high Anglican liturgy every Sunday during the legal terms. Inner Temple calls its students to the Bar there.
The organ, the gift of a generous Scottish family, is a four manual Harrison&Harrison from whose loft many recitals are given. It was a popular tourist attraction even before Dan Brown put it on the Da Vinci trail. The Church has also become a respected venue for the discussion of controversial issues, most notably the compatibility of sharia law with our own secular society.
The Templars worthy adversaries in the second crusade would probably have approved.The Templars, the greatest of the military orders of the Middle Ages, have long been the stuff of legend and fiction. Inspired by an ideal and a vision from the foundation of their Order in Jerusalem in 1120 to their wicked suppression in 1307-14, they have themselves been a potent source of inspiration in recent times, from Scotts Ivanhoe and the revival of chivalric attitudes in the nineteenth century down to the more lurid examples of the present day.
|2||03:40||Processional: Jerusalem mirabilis, urbs beatior aliis|
|3||04:04||Laetare mater nostra Jerusalem/Laetatus sum|
|4||03:16||Hymnus: Urbs beata Jerusalem|
|5||00:51||Domine labia mea aperies/Deus in adjutorium|
|6||10:42||Filiae Syon currite/Venite exsultemus Domino|
|7||01:43||Hymnus: Angularis fundamentum|
|8||03:28||Antiphona I: Tollite portas/Domini est terra|
|10||01:30||Responsorium I: In dedicatione templi|
|11||01:35||Antiphona V: Vidit Jacob scalam/Fundamenta eius|
|13||01:59||Responsorium V:Lapides pretiosi|
|14||03:24||Antiphona VII: Templum Domini/Cantate Domino|
|16||02:32||Responsorium VII: Sanctificavit Dominus|
|17||04:37||Responsorium X: Terribilis est locus iste|
|18||05:57||Te Deum laudamus|
|19||05:21||Urbs beata Jerusalem (In dedicatione Ecclesiae) Dufay|
|20||06:28||Alleluia et Sequentia|