The anonymous sixteenth-century anthem Rejoice in the Lord alway
(formerly attributed to John Redford) is a setting of the fourth chapter of St Paul’s letter to the Philippians which forms the Epistle reading for the Fourth Sunday in Advent in the Book of Common Prayer. The only known source of this anthem is in the Mulliner Book which is held in the British Library. The rhythms in the music make it apparent that the words originally set were from the 1594 Prayer Book. The music—a careful setting of the words—varies between imitative passages and homophonic sections as, for example, at the words ‘Let your softness be known unto all men’.
from notes by William McVicker © 1997