Mass of the Children

Mass of the Children is a major work of English composer John Rutter. It is a non-liturgical Missa brevis, with the traditional Latin and Greek Mass text interwoven with several English poems.

Mass of the Children consists of five movements:

  1. Kyrie
  2. Gloria
  3. Sanctus and Benedictus
  4. Agnus Dei
  5. Finale (Dona nobis pacem)

The Finale uses additional text from the Agnus Dei which was not used in the preceding movement, as well as two prayer adaptations by Rutter and a poem by Bishop Thomas Ken (An Evening Hymn). Another of Ken's poems was incorporated into the Kyrie (A Morning Hymn), and a poem by William Blake (The Lamb, from Songs of Innocence and of Experience) is interwoven with the Agnus Dei.[1]

Mass of the Children exists in two different instrumentations. Both versions are for mixed (SATB) choir, children's choir (SSA), baritone and soprano soloists. The first version is for full orchestra; the second for chamber orchestra and organ.[1] Both versions have been recorded: the orchestral version on Rutter's own Collegium label conducted by the composer[2] and the chamber version on the Naxos label conducted by Timothy Brown.[3]

Mass of the Children was first performed on February 13, 2003 at New York's Carnegie Hall.[4]


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