The Church of St. Peter,

  A Eucharist of Requiem
  to mark the return
  of the remains of
  those buried here

  March 7th 2008.

Welcome to this Eucharist of Requiem.

The human remains excavated from St. Peter's Church and Churchyard almost thirty years ago have returned to consecrated ground. Although our brothers and sisters were laid to rest many years ago, we should not forget that some here tonight are welcoming home members of their family.

Tonight's Eucharist is based on several important sources: the first Prayer Book of 1549, (an English version of the Latin Mass used in the Middle Ages) the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (in use from 1662 until after the last burial here) and the 1611 Authorised Version of the Bible.

Material from the Anglo-Saxon Church has also been used - the first hymn

Conditor alme siderum,
aeterna lux credentium,
Christe, redemptor omnium,
exaudi preces supplicum.

Scyppend ó eala þu halga tunglena
ece leoht gelyfrenda
ó eala þu Crist alysend
gehyr bena eadmodra.

Creator of the starry height,
thy people's everlasting light,
Jesu, redeemer of us all,
hear thou thy servants when they call.

was sung in England (and translated into Old English) well before 1066, and the prayer 'Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open...' , first appears in a book written in Winchester about the time St. Peter's was built.

Although we use worship which would be recognisable in form, language, or both to those who worshipped here centuries ago, this is not a history lesson, but living worship in the presence of the living God, in whom we are united with all the faithful departed. We invite those who would normally receive Communion in their Church to do so tonight, and those who would prefer not to receive Communion to come up for a blessing.

Please join in with the congregational parts of the service (in heavy type). Please join in from the second verse of each of the congregational hymns, and with the congregational sung parts of the Eucharist if you can.

May the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and rise in glory.

The music for the Eucharist is that written by John Merbecke of Beverley for the 1549 Prayer Book, and was in common use throughout England until recently. The hymns (and their traditional plainsong tunes) date from between about 600 and 1270. The anthem Thou knowest Lord was written by Henry Purcell for the funeral of Queen Mary in 1695.

The altar tonight stands on the site of the original Saxon altar in this Church.

We are grateful to English Heritage for their support of this service.

  A Eucharist of Requiem

Introit: Creator of the Starry Height

Cantor and choir:

Creator of the starry height,
thy people's everlasting light,
Jesu, redeemer of us all,
hear thou thy servants when they call.


Thou, sorrowing at the helpless cry
of all creation doomed to die,
didst come to save our fallen race
by healing gifts of heavenly grace.

When earth was near its evening hour,
thou didst, in love's redeeming power,
like bridegroom from his chamber, come
forth from a virgin-mother's womb.

At thy great name, exalted now,
all knees in lowly homage bow;
all things in heaven and earth adore,
and own thee King for evermore.

To thee, O Holy One, we pray,
our judge in that tremendous day,
ward off, while yet we dwell below,
the weapons of our crafty foe. Amen.


Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
But deliver us from evil:

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy name: through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Kyrie eleison,
Kyrie eleison.

Christae eleison, Christae eleison.
Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison.

(Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.)



The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.
Let us pray (silence).

O God, to whom alone belongeth the forgiveness of sins: grant, we pray thee, to the souls of thy servants and handmaidens, to find a place of refreshing, and the blessedness of thy rest, and to enjoy the glory of everlasting light. Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

The Lesson, written in the twelfth chapter of the second book of Maccabees.

In those days: The noble Judas made a gathering throughout the company, to the sum of two thousand, drachms of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to offer a sin offering, doing therein very well and honestly, in that he was mindful of the resurrection: for if he had not hoped that they that were slain should have risen again, it had been superfluous and vain to pray for the dead. And also in that he perceived that there was great favour laid up for those that died godly, it was an holy and good thought. Whereupon he made a reconciliation for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin.

The holy Gospel, written in the sixth Chapter of St. John.

Glory be to thee, O Lord.

At that time: Jesus said unto the multitude of the Jews: All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me: and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out: for I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me: that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

The Sermon

Tonight is to do with keeping a promise. Not the promise which the archaeologists made thirty years back that our dead would return, but one made to each and every one of these people at their funeral service that they would rest in peace. A service of Requiem - literally 'rest' - is a good way to greet their return.
Praying for the dead worries some folk - if God's already made his mind up about the long-term prospects for Uncle Fred, then who are we to try and change it? But seeing God as a celestial High Court Judge isn't particularly useful, or even Christian: if God has to be strong-armed into loving someone, then he's not up to much. Instead, we maybe should think of praying for the dead in just the same way as praying for anyone: we don't feel worried about separation by distance, so why should we be worried about separation by time? Prayer is simply one of the things we do for one another, and I hope that those we receive home tonight hold us in prayer too. They are, after all, our own flesh and blood.
Which is rather a strange thing to say about a collection of bones! But these remains are important. They are a link with our departed brothers and sisters. The Christian faith is quite upfront about material things. Bodies matter. They are the way through which we are known to one another. Human beings are not vague spirits whiffling through the universe, we are embodied, material, of the earth, and these remains are to be cherished, respected, even cared for for what they have been to those who gave them breath and life. As a book is more than paper and ink, or a church more than an interesting arrangement of lumps of stone, so these bones are more than a fragile collection of minerals. We may not quite be able to name why this is, but we know it to be true.
The Church has never really gone along with the idea of resurrection as a giant exercise in re-cycling. Our bodies are already made of the ashes of dead stars, and to imagine the Day of Judgement as a vast process of bio-reconstruction doesn't get us very far - as one of the Bless me Father books had it years ago, what happens if you get eaten by a cannibal? Who gets which bit on the Last Day? For chemical truth is not the only truth, and there are some things we can only hint at - and we turn to poetry and art and music to tell of the things which cannot be told in the laboratory.
The Latin poet Prudentius has summed up what was done for all those buried here, and all that we do tonight, and all that will one day be done for us in the poem, used at the funeral of President Kennedy, Take him, earth for cherishing, which is printed in the back cover of the order of service. 'Body of a man I bring thee, noble even in its ruin'; 'Guard him well, the dead I give thee'; 'Not though ancient time decaying.... Is it given man to die'. We may not understand how it works, yet here is a truth, even if it is beyond explaining. Though we don't have the words to begin to express what it is, we know we receive back more tonight than poor fragments, and we commend them, again, for cherishing.
May these, and all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and rise in glory.

Hymn: Thee We Adore, O Hidden Saviour, Thee

Cantor and Choir:

Thee we adore, O hidden Saviour, thee
who in thy sacrament art pleased to be;
both flesh and spirit in thy presence fail,
yet here thy presence we devoutly hail.


O blest memorial of our dying Lord,
who living bread to us doth here afford;
O may our souls for ever feed on thee,
and thou, O Christ, for ever precious be.

Fountain of goodness, Jesu, Lord and God,
cleanse us, unclean, with thy most cleansing blood;
increase our faith and love, that we may know
the hope and peace which from thy presence flow.

O Christ, whom now beneath a veil we see,
may what we thirst for soon our portion be:
to gaze on thee unveiled, and see thy face,
the vision of thy glory and thy grace.

The Offertory

Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do unto them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Godliness is great riches, if a man be content with that he hath: for we brought nothing into the world, neither may we carry any thing out.

The Intercession

Almighty and everliving God, which by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make prayers, and supplications, and to give thanks for all men: We humbly beseech thee most mercifully to receive these our prayers, which we offer unto thy divine Majesty, beseeching thee to inspire continually the universal church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord: And grant, that all they who do confess thy holy name, may agree in the truth of thy holy word, and live in unity and godly love.

Specially we beseech thee to save and defend thy Servant Elizabeth our Queen, that under her we may be godly and quietly governed. And grant unto her whole council, and to all that be put in authority under her, that they may truly and impartially minister justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of God's true religion, and virtue.

Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops, Pastors, and Curates, that they may both by their life and doctrine set forth thy true and lively word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments: and to all thy people give thy heavenly grace, that, with meek heart and due reverence, they may hear, and receive thy holy word, truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life:

And we most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succour all them, which in this transitory life be in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity. And especially we commend unto thy merciful goodness, this congregation which is here assembled in thy name, to celebrate the commemoration of the most glorious death of thy Son:

And here we do give unto thee most high praise, and hearty thanks, for the wonderful grace and virtue, declared in Peter, Chad and all thy saints, from the beginning of the world: And chiefly in the glorious and most blessed virgin Mary, mother of thy son Jesus Christ our Lord and God, and in the holy Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs, whose examples, O Lord, and steadfastness in thy faith, and keeping thy holy commandments, grant us to follow.

We commend unto thy mercy O Lord these and all other thy servants, which are departed hence from us, with the sign of faith, and now do rest in the sleep of peace: Grant unto them, we beseech thee, thy mercy, and everlasting peace, and that at the day of the general resurrection, we and all they which be of the mystical body of thy Son, may altogether be set on his right hand, and hear that his most joyful voice: Come unto me, O ye that be blessed of my Father, and possess the kingdom, which is prepared for you from the beginning of the world.

Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our only mediator and advocate. Amen.

The Confession

Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith, and take this holy Sacrament to your comfort; and make your humble confession to Almighty God.

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Maker of all things, judge of all men;
We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness,
Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed,
By thought, word, and deed, against thy Divine Majesty,
Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us.
We do earnestly repent,
And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings;
The remembrance of them is grievous unto us;
The burden of them is intolerable.
Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful Father;
For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, forgive us all that is past;
And grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee
In newness of life, to the honour and glory of thy Name;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them that with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him; Have mercy upon you; pardon and deliver you from all your sins; confirm and strengthen you in all goodness; and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all that truly turn to him.
Come unto me all that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.
So God loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

Hear also what Saint John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins.

The Sursum Corda


The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up unto the Lord.

Let us give thanks to our Lord God.
It is meet and right so to do.

The Preface

It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God.

But chiefly are we bound to praise thee for the glorious Resurrection of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord: for he is the very Paschal Lamb, which was offered for us, and hath taken away the sin of the world; who by his death hath destroyed death, and by his rising to life again hath restored to us everlasting life.

Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name; evermore praising thee, and saying,

The Sanctus

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts,
heaven and earth are full of thy glory:
Glory be to thee, O Lord most High. Amen.

The Prayer of Humble Access

We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

The Prayer of Consecration

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death, until his coming again; Hear us, O merciful Father, we most humbly beseech thee; and grant that we receiving these thy creatures of bread and wine, according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood: who, in the same night that he was betrayed, took Bread; and, when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is my Body which is given for you: Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise after supper he took the Cup; and, when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins: Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me. Amen.

After the Consecration

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And with thy spirit.

Christ our Paschal lamb is offered up for us, once for all, when he bare our sins on his body upon the cross, for he is the very lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world: wherefore let us keep a joyful and holy feast with the Lord.


O Lamb of God,
that takest away the sins of the world:
have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:
have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:
grant us thy peace.

The Communion

The choir and ministers will receive communion first: please make your way to the front either to receive communion or for a blessing - if you would like a blessing, please keep your hands clasped in front of you as a signal to the priest. Do bring children up with you.

When the Minister delivers the Bread to any one, he shall say,

The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Amen.

And the Minister that delivers the Cup to any one shall say,

The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Amen.

The choir sings the Communion hymn [twice].

Now, my tongue, the mystery telling
of the glorious body sing,
and the blood, all price excelling,
which the Gentiles' Lord and King,
in a Virgin's womb once dwelling,
shed for this world's ransoming.

Given for us, and condescending
to be born for us below,
he, with us in converse blending,
dwelt the seed of truth to sow,
till he closed with wondrous ending
his most patient life of woe.

That last night, at supper lying,
'mid the Twelve, his chosen band,
Jesus, with the law complying,
keeps the feast its rites demand;
then, more precious food supplying,
gives himself with his own hand.

Word-made-flesh, true bread he maketh
by his word his flesh to be,
wine his blood; which whoso taketh
must from carnal thoughts be free:
faith alone, though sight forsaketh,
shows true hearts the mystery.

Therefore we, before him bending,
this great sacrament revere:
types and shadows have their ending,
for the newer rite is here;
faith, our outward sense befriending,
makes our inward vision clear.

Glory let us give and blessing
to the Father and the Son,
honour, might, and praise addressing,
while eternal ages run;
ever too his love confessing,
who, from both, with both is One. Amen.

The Thanksgiving


Praised be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people: therefore let us serve him all the days of our life, in holiness and righteousness accepted before him.

Almighty and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us; and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of the most precious death and passion of thy dear Son. And we most humbly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

Prayers for the Dead

The ministers and choir process to the Chancel.

Then is said the Lord's Prayer in Old English, in Latin and in English.

Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum,
Si þin nama gehalgod.
to becume þin rice,
gewurþe ðin willa, on eorðan swa swa on heofonum.
urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg,
and forgyf us ure gyltas,
swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum.
and ne gelæd þu us on costnunge,
ac alys us of yfele. Soþlice.

Pater noster, qui es in caelis,
sanctificetur nomen tuum.
Adveniat regnum tuum.
Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra.
Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie,
et dimitte nobis debita nostra
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
Et ne nos inducas in tentationem,
sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
But deliver us from evil:

From the gates of hell.
Deliver their souls, O Lord.

May they rest in peace.

Lord, hear my prayer.
And let my cry come unto thee.

The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.


Let us pray.

O eternal Lord God, who holdest all souls in life: vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to thy whole Church in paradise and on earth, thy light and thy peace; and grant that we, following the good examples of those who have served thee here and are now at rest, may at the last enter with them into thine unending joy. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The choir shall sing: Thou Knowest, Lord (Purcell)

The Nunc Dimittis

This is said by all as ministers and choir return to the Nave.

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace :
according to thy word.

For mine eyes have seen : thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared : before the face of all people;

To be a light to lighten the Gentiles:
and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

O Saviour of the world,
thou hast redeemed us by thy Passion and Cross:
save us and help us, we humbly beseech Thee, O Lord.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His son Jesus Christ our Lord:

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always.


Hymn: Before the Ending of the Day

Cantor and choir:

Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world, we pray,
that with thy wonted favour thou
wouldst be our guard and keeper now.


From all ill dreams defend our eyes,
from nightly fears and fantasies;
tread under foot our ghostly foe,
that no pollution we may know.

O Father, that we ask be done,
through Jesus Christ thine only Son,
who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
doth live and reign eternally. Amen.





The Burial of the Dead

Take him, earth, for cherishing,
To thy tender breast receive him.
Body of a man I bring thee,
Noble even in its ruin.

Once was this a spirit's dwelling,
By the breath of God created.
High the heart that here was beating,
Christ the prince of all its living.

Guard him well, the dead I give thee,
Not unmindful of His creature
Shall He ask it:
He who made it
Symbol of His mystery.

Comes the hour God hath appointed
To fulfil the hope of men,
Then must thou, in very fashion,
What I give, return again.

Not though ancient time decaying
Wear away these bones to sand,
Ashes that a man might measure
In the hollow of his hand:

Not though wandering winds and idle,
Drifting through the empty sky,
Scatter dust was nerve and sinew,
Is it given man to die.

Once again the shining road
Leads to ample Paradise;
Open are the woods again
That the Serpent lost for men.

Take, O take him, mighty Leader,
Take again thy servant's soul,
To the house from which he wandered
Exiled, erring, long ago.

But for us, hap earth about him,
Earth with leaves and violets strewn,
Grave his name, and pour the fragrant
Balm upon the icy stone.



Thanks are due to all those who have worked to bring this service about.

In particular, we thank: -

Fr. Alan Wright and the choir of St. Mary's;
Carolyn Smith and the St. Mary's servers;
Roger Lord, Tower Captain and the St. Mary's bellringers;
Richard Darn, of the Government News Network, who has handled publicity via English Heritage;
and Kevin Booth, Senior Curator, English Heritage
and all the local EH staff, for their co-operation, enthusiasm, support - and sheer hard work.

We also thank Prof. Warwick Rodwell and his team, and all who have been involved in the Barton Project over so many years for their care and sensitivity.
Finally, we thank the people of Barton, without whose understanding and support none of this research could ever have happened.


These three shared the delivery of the lead texts:

President and Celebrant: Rev. David Rowett, Priest in Charge of St Mary's Barton-on-Humber
Celebrant: Rev. Alan Wright, Ordained Local Minister
Celebrant: Rev. Ernest Hepworth, Former Vicar of St Mary's Barton-upon-Humber


The skulls and body-skeletons are now held downstairs and upstairs respectively in the new ossuary at Saint Peter's, Barton-upon-Humber.