Posted on 11 May 2011Paul Mealor reflects on the experience of having his composition Ubi caritas chosen for the Royal Wedding:
What an absolute thrill it was for me, to be involved in this amazing event. The invitation to compose, Ubi caritas came completely out of the blue! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had heard one of my pieces and wanted to include it in the ceremony. There’s no greater honour for a composer than to have your music sung at someone’s wedding - a private and intimate occasion; so, to have it sung at the wedding of the century is both humbling and mind-blowing! The words for my anthem are taken from the 4th century hymn, ‘Ubi caritas’ – ‘Where there is charity and love, God is there’. For me, these words, normally sung at the washing of the feet on Maundy Thursday, represent both God’s love for us and Jesus’ act of service to his people. The words seemed very appropriate, not only as Prince William and Catherine are entering a loving marriage together, but also because Catherine has now entered public service.
From taking part in the rehearsals in the beautiful acoustics and grandeur of Westminster Abbey, to the media frenzy that followed, this has been one of the most exhilarating times of my life. Decca Records now tell me that ‘Ubi caritas’ was No. 1 in the iTunes downloads throughout the world and, the Royal Wedding Album is now No. 1 in the Classical Album charts – what a thrill!