The Marlowe Society
04 February 2006

Marlowe Memorial Service

Memorial Service at St. Nicholas Church, Deptford

The annual Marlowe Memorial Day Service took place at 11am on Saturday 4th February 2006 at St Nicholas Church, Deptford Green, in south-east London. The service was led by the Reverend Canon Bill Ritson, with music by the Poscimur directed by Cathy Shore.

The Lesson Let us now praise famous men from Ecclesiasticus 44, was read by Michael Harverson, an alumnus of Corpus Christi, Cambridge; and the Address was given by the Reverend Brian Macdonald-Milne, another alumnus of Corpus Christi.

Two Marlowe passages from Tamburlaine were convincingly delivered by the actor Clive Hayward. First came Tamburlaine's confident persuasion of Theridamus to join forces with him:

Art thou but captain of a thousand horse,
That by characters graven in thy brows,
And by thy martial face and stout aspect
Deserv'st to have the leading of a host?
Forsake thy king and do but join with me
And we will triumph over all the world.

Christopher Marlowe: Tamburlaine Pt I - Lines 1-6

In the second passage the distraught Tamburlaine laments the approaching death of his Queen:

Now walk the angels on the walls of heaven,
As sentinels to warn th'immortal souls,
To entertain divine Zenocrate.

Christopher Marlowe: Tamburlaine Pt I - Lines 7-9

After prayers, the Choir led the procession from the North Door to the Marlowe memorial plaque on the churchyard wall. A laurel wreath was laid at the spot where a body, supposed in 1593 to have been Marlowe's, had been buried; and the service concluded with a hymn, a prayer, and the Blessing.

Our grateful thanks to Canon Ritson for continuing this traditional service, held each year at about the time that Marlowe was baptised at Canterbury in 1564.

Let due praise be given,
Neither to Fate nor Fortune, but to Heaven.

Christopher Marlowe: The Jew of Malta - Lines 2409-10

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