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The best and most succinct account of the life of St Peter is that of David Hugh Farmer in the Oxford Book of Saints (OUP, 1978). In his summary of what we know of Peter from the New Testament, he begins: He was called Simon, a native of Bethesaida, near the Sea of Galilee, and a brother of Andrew, who introduced him to Christ, who gave him the name of Cephas (Peter) which means rock.
Farmer concludes his account by remarking: From very early times Peter was invoked as a universal saint, as the heavenly door-keeper, as the patron of the Church and the papacy, as one who was both powerful and accessible.
The liturgy tells the story of Peters life, through music of exceptional strength and beauty. There is a rich abundance of proper chants for the feast of St. Peter, primarily for his major feast, shared with St. Paul on 29th June, and also for a lesser feast, St. Peters Chains, based on the miraculous escape related in the Acts of the Apostles.
Most of these chants have texts drawn from the Gospels. The programme follows the sequence of events, from the apostles calling by the Sea of Galilee, to his declaration of faith, his triple denial, and the mission of love entrusted to him by Christ after the Resurrection, ending with his acceptance of death by martyrdom, head-downwards on a cross.
|1||02:02||Tu es Petrus/O Roma nobilis|
|2||02:53||Dominus secus mare|
|3||03:15||Petrum cephas ecclesia|
|4||03:23||Quem dicunt homines|
|6||03:37||Alleluia: Tu es Petrus|
|7||01:21||Tu capud ecclesie|
|8||03:06||The Passion according to St Luke|
|9||01:39||Alleluia: Surrexit Dominus vere|
|10||04:14||Aurea luce et decore roseo|
|11||02:38||Si diligis me|
|12||03:15||Petre, amas me?|
|14||03:03||Tu es pastor ovium|
|15||02:52||Ego pro te rogavi, Petre|
|18||02:10||Hodie illuxit nobis|
|19||00:56||Cum respexisset Petrus crucem|
|20||03:42||Tu es Petrus|