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To Know Christ and to Make Him Known

Oct. 3, 2019: “Non nobis, Domine” by William Byrd/setting by Douglas E. Wagner

Today’s anthem: The composer of our anthem, “Non nobis, Domine,” was William Byrd (d. 1623). an interesting character from the Elizabethan era in England. If you recall your English history, the 16th century was a time of shifting religious belief for the monarch and thus for the official religion of the nation. Henry VIII broke with Rome over his divorce from Katherine of Aragon and made the English church Protestant; his daughter (“Bloody”) Mary converted back to Catholicism, but when she died, Edward’s brief reign and then Elizabeth’s much longer one returned to Protestantism. Byrd managed to survive and even prosper under Elizabeth even though he maintained Catholic loyalties and wrote many settings of Latin texts, including this one.  – D Boelzner