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Aquinas: Two Eucharistic Texts

- Colin Brumby


Use: Eucharistic
Required Resources: Low solo or unison choir, organ
Language: Latin

Saint Thomas Aquinas was commissioned by Pope Urban IV to compose liturgical texts (hymns, antiphons, sequence, etc.) for the new feast of Corpus Christi. Saint Thomas' hymns for Lauds (Morning Prayer) and Vespers (Evening Prayer) were Verbum supernum prodiens and Pange lingua gloriosi, respectively. The last two verses of each of these hymns is often excerpted as separate hymns, giving us the familiar texts O salutaris Hostia and Tantum ergo Sacramentum.

Colin Brumby has set these two hymns for solo voice or unison choir. O salutaris Hostia uses a simple organ accompaniment that doubles the voice line, making this a superb motet for a youth choir. The range is quite comfortable (middle C to the octave above). This would serve very well as a motet or solo during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, or as a communion piece any time.

The second hymn, Tantum ergo Sacramentum, takes the form of a chorale. The two text verses of Saint Thomas' original hymn are divided so as to give three verses in Brumby's composition. Slightly wider in range (B below middle C to fourth-line D), this could easily be sung by a low-medium voice or even a mixed unison choir. The key is e minor, resolving by Picardy third to E Major at the last chord.

This hymn might even be sung at Benediction by the congregation, as an alternative to the tunes Saint Thomas or Pange lingua.


Order #: 5115
Price: $1.25


- Choral Music
- Eucharistic
- Unison choir
- Latin

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