Westminster Abbey choir sings in St Peter's Basilica

2012-06-29 Vatican Radio

In September 2010 Pope Benedict XVI attended an evening prayer service in London’s Westminster Abbey during his four day historic state visit to the United Kingdom. In the ancient abbey, the Pope and the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, prayed at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and at the shrine of the 11th century king Edward the Confessor, before pronouncing a blessing together at the end of the service.
As a direct result of that event, the world famous Westminster Abbey choir is here in the Vatican this week to sing alongside the Sistine Chapel choir at the Papal Mass for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul on Friday morning. In issuing the invitation, Pope Benedict stressed that such an event may serve to encourage the enriching mutual exchange of gifts between the two liturgical and cultural traditions.

To find out more about the choir’s history and about the programme of events for this visit, Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen spoke to the Dean of Westminster Abbey, Rev Dr John Hall…..