Sunday, July 12, 2009

O Sacrum Convivium

Here's a great recording of the beautiful Corpus Chrisi antiphon O Sacrum Convivium ("O Sacred Banquet"):

The blurb at the YouTube page says that this was a "live recording of de Begijntjesprocessie [the procession of the Beguines], 19th of October 2008 in the Predikherenkerk, Leuven, Belgium."  The excellent singers are Psallentes [], a "Belgium based professional chant group with a focus on late medieval chant," and the antiphon itself comes from "a sixteenth century Turnhout processionale (Flanders, ca. 1550)."

This, about the antiphon itself, from Wikipedia:
O Sacrum Convivium is a Latin prose text honoring the Blessed Sacrament. It was written by Saint Thomas Aquinas. It was included in the Latin Catholic liturgy as an antiphon on the feast of Corpus Christi. Its sentiments express the profound mystery of the Eucharistic miracle: "O sacred banquet at which Christ is consumed, the memory of his Passion is recalled, our souls are filled with grace, and the pledge of future glory is given to us."

Original Latin (punctuation from Liber Usualis):

O sacrum convivium!
in quo Christus sumitur:
recolitur memoria passionis ejus:
mens impletur gratia:
et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur.

Translation of original Latin:

O sacred banquet!
in which Christ is received,
the memory of his Passion is renewed,
the mind is filled with grace,
and a pledge of future glory to us is given.

We sang Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Love Bade Me Welcome" as an anthem today. It's a baritone solo based on George Herbert's original poem, "Love":
LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.

'A guest,' I answer'd, 'worthy to be here:'
Love said, 'You shall be he.'
'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.'
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
'Who made the eyes but I?'

'Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.'
'And know you not,' says Love, 'Who bore the blame?'
'My dear, then I will serve.'
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.'
So I did sit and eat.

Here's a video of this piece; as you'll hear, the choir remains silent until the last verse. At that point, all voices sing the Gregorian O Sacrum Convivium in unison, as background while the baritone continues singing his song:

From Giovanni Vianini, singing an Ambrosian hymn version:

And here's the beautiful (composed) Gabrielli version; the YouTube page says it's "A Venetian Coronation 1595: Communion: O sacrum convivium à 5 (Andrea Gabrieli, 1565)"; Artist
Florida Players, Gabrieli Consort and Players & Paul McCreesh":

Here's a very interesting portrait of Thomas Aquinas, by Francisco de Herrera,(Sevilla, 1627 - Madrid, 1685):


Luís Henriques said...

Really great material here! Well done!

Best wishes,

bls said...

Thank you very much, Luis Henriques.

Thanks for coming by and commenting.

Parousie said...

Thanks. Patrick from France


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