The Old Order Changeth

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Instrumental Only?

A beautiful setting of the Tennyson text. Sung in cathedrals all over England. SATB with organ.

'The Old Order Changeth', which was written for the Salisbury Cathedral Choir, is linked to Salisbury even beyond the obvious involvement of the men and boys of the choir who perform it here. Composer Richard Shephard sang alto in the Cathedral Choir for over a decade and at various times served as both Director of Music and Deputy Headmaster of the Cathedral Schooll. Additionally, legend tells us that King Arthur fought his last battle on Salisbury Plain, where he was mortally wounded, prompting the text of this particular anthem.


The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
The old order changeth, yielding place to new.

I have lived my life, and that which I have done
May He within Himself make pure! but thou,
If thou shouldst never see my face again,
Pray for my soul.

More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of.
Pray for my soul.

Wherefore, let thy voice rise like a fountain for me,
A fountain day and night, night and day.

For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend?

For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.