This is one of the most cerebral, beautiful, and perfect things in the universe. It was played at Jhonn Balance (of Coil)'s funeral on November 23, 2004, which is part of the reason I really love this piece and respect it.
Here, Yo-Yo Ma is the solo cellist - and he is amaaaaazing. John Tavener, btw, is a 20th century (neo)classical/minimalist composer.
After listening to "The Protecting Veil" a few times, I can sort of see why they would choose this to be played at Balance's funeral. It reminds me of a soul leaving the earth, and of the journey that only the dead can embark on. The living, those at the funeral, could never know where Jhonn was, or where he was going... but we all know he is now in a better place.
Unto Geff, from whose eyes the veil of life hath fallen, may there be granted the accomplishment of his True Will...
Whether he wills absorption into the Infinite, or to be united with his chosen and preferred, or to be in contemplation, or to be at peace, or to achieve the labour and heroism of incarnation on this planet or another, or in any Star, or aught else, unto him may there be granted the accomplishment of his Will;
Yea, the accomplishment of his Will.