Sweet Spirit, comfort me

Jeremy de Satgé   R.I.P

Jeremy de Satgé R.I.P

I went recently to Southwark Cathedral for the funeral of the musician Jeremy de Satgé, who had organised the music and singers for my ordination at Most Precious Blood. The boys of Westminster Cathedral choir sang at the funeral, and the music included a setting by Peter Hurford of part of this poem by Robert Herrick. If you want to hear the musical setting go to You-tube; it’s sung by the boys of Southwark Anglican Cathedral, with accompaniment on the Lewis organ – also the chance to see an English altar combined with a towering reredos. The management of the scale is interesting (it’s Sir Ninian Comper, I think) and avoids the altar looking like an overwhelmed sideboard as in the later classical/baroque period.

High Altar - Southwark Anglican Cathedral of St Saviour

High Altar – Southwark Anglican Cathedral of St Saviour


In the hour of my distress,
When temptations me oppress,
And when I my sins confess,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When I lie within my bed,
Sick in heart, and sick in head,
And with doubts discomforted,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the house doth sigh and weep,
And the world is drown’d in sleep,
Yet mine eyes the watch do keep,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the artless doctor sees
No one hope, but of his fees,
And his skill runs on the lees,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When his potion and his pill,
Has, or none, or little skill,
Meet for nothing but to kill,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the passing-bell doth toll,
And the furies in a shoal
Come to fright a parting soul,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the tapers now burn blue,
And the comforters are few,
And that number more than true,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the priest his last hath pray’d,
And I nod to what is said,
‘Cause my speech is now decay’d,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When, God knows, I’m tost about
Either with despair, or doubt;
Yet, before the glass be out,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the tempter me pursu’th
With the sins of all my youth,
And half damns me with untruth,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the flames and hellish cries
Fright mine ears, and fright mine eyes,
And all terrors me surprise,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the Judgment is reveal’d,
And that open’d which was seal’d;
When to Thee I have appeal’d,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

Robert Herrick

Southwark Anglican Cathedral - the reredos


About Scott Anderson

Formerly an Anglican priest (ordained 1975) received into the Catholic Church in February 2012, and ordained to the Diaconate on 27th July 2013. I took early retirement, and divide my time between London and northern France. I am deeply committed to the Ordinariate as a gift of the Holy Spirit in the search for unity. Like many Ordinariate members I feel a personal gratitude to Pope Emeritus Benedict, together with loyalty to our Holy Father, Pope Francis. My blog tries to make a small contribution to the growth of the Ordinariate by asking questions (and proposing some answers) about the 'Anglican Patrimony'. I have always been fascinated by the whole issue of growth and decline, and therefore concerned for appropriate means of evangelisation in western Europe. I believe that the Holy Spirit is constantly renewing the People of God and that we must be open to him. My love of music and motorcycles will occasionally surface in my posts. On Saturday 19th October 2013, I was ordained to the Priesthood at Most Precious Blood, Borough, by the Most Revd Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark, for the service of the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham. I continued to serve the Ordinariate group and Parish at Most Precious Blood until the end of 2014. Subsequently, I helped in the care of the Ordinariate Groups at Hemel Hempstead and Croydon, and in the Archdiocese of Southwark, until the beginning of September 2015. With the agreement of my Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, the Bishop of Amiens appointed me Administrator of the Parish of Notre Dame des Etangs (Pont Remy) in Picardie, France. This appointment is to last for a year, to give the Bishop the opportunity to assess the future of the parish.
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One Response to Sweet Spirit, comfort me

  1. Harry says:

    I’m “ex-Southwark” and the Cathedral is very well worth a visit. I followed up youtube for the setting sung by the boys choir – I’d forgotten the characteristic Southwark grey cassocks! Comper did do quite a bit of work there, side Altars as well as the High Altar and here is a link to a photo of the High Altar and reredos by (Fr) Lawrence OP
    Southwark's HIgh Altar & Reredos
    Comper also contributed to All Saints Carshalton, which I remember from my time in Sutton, when Fr Robert Jordan, with whom I’m still in contact from time to time, was curate and Fr Leigh Edwards was Rector. From memory, their liturgy was “very high”, not sure now how much was Fortescue and how much Dearmer, see
    The Church has a wonderful setting, just by the ponds.
    At that time I attended All Saints Benhilton, nothing there by Comper, as far as I know.
    He also designed the West window and Lady Chapel window in St Andrew’s Croydon, my last Anglican Parish, now alas very much “restored” and adapted to community use. As far as I know the windows are still intact but much else has been changed. Try

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