Who sings prays twice

Some really splendid versions of a really splendid hymn, O Sacrum Convivium, recall the words of St. Augustine, above:

Poor Clares:

Now the men of a church choir (I think a few women are singing tenor):

The hymn is an antiphon (in the Liturgy of the Hours – prayed by monastics and many other Christians – before the chanting of a psalm) for the Feast of Corpus Cristi, and translates:

O Sacred Banquet, in which Christ is consumed, the memory of his passion is recalled, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us. Alleluia!

We hear, often, that we Catholics are consigned these days to the current use of deplorable, three chord “campfire” music because the great hymns are “too hard” for most people to sing, even though we managed to sing them for hundreds of years. Here to put the lie to that particular narrative are the family and friends of a recently married couple in Ireland, serenading them at their Wedding Mass, with Mozart’s gorgeous Ave Verum Corpus, and doing a damn fine job of it, too, on one rehearsal!

If we keep harping on it, maybe more parishes will find their way back from the gag-inducing stuff we sing these days.

And if you’re curious about the Liturgy of the Hours, you can pray it daily here, although I love the book, myself. And quite frankly, I’ve been slacking off over the busy summer, and I feel it. Whenever I get overwhelmed and cranky – as I clearly have been – it’s a sure bet I’ve fallen away from the habit of prayer and psalmody. Maybe time for a retreat? :-)


Browse Our Archives