Sir John Kenneth Tavener
(* 28. January 1944 in London; † 12. November 2013 in Child Okeford, Dorset) was a British composer who was known above all for his religious vocal music.
Mother of God, here I stand
Tavener wrote this hymn in 1985 in memory of his own mother. He achieved celebrity status for his Song for Athene which closed the funeral service of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The anthem Mother of God, here I stand was sponsored by the Toulmin Family, and it is dedicated to the Choir of the Temple Church, its Director of Music, Stephen Layton, and the Master of the Temple, the Rev. Robin Griffith-Jones. It was first performed on 13th May 2004, by the Choir of the Temple Church conducted by Stephen Layton.
Mother of God also features in the film Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan and directed by Stephen Frears.
Mother of God,
here I stand now praying,
Before this icon of your radiant brightness,
Not praying to be saved from a battlefield,
Not giving thanks, nor seeking forgiveness
For the sins of my soul, nor for all the souls.
Numb, joyless and desolate on earth,
But for her alone, whom I wholly give you.