Required Resources: 2-part choir, organ
Language: Latin / English / Spanish
This profound 14th century prayer was quoted by Saint Ignatious Loyola to begin his Spiritual Exercises, leading to its erroneous but oft-mention attribution to his authorship.
Nonetheless, it remains a mvoing meditation on the Eucharist, recalling our own Baptism and placing all this in the context of the saving Passion of Christ.
The prayer is richly indulgenced by Pope John XXII (reigning 1316-34).
The 8th mode chant melody associated with this prayer [ see #180 in the Parish Book of Chant ] has been set by Alex Hill for unison choir, with an optional (and very easy) Alleluia descant for use outside Lent.
Very soft, mystical chords in the organ accompany it, providing a delicate pillow on which the chant rests.
CNP provides the prayer text in its original Latin; singing texts in both English and Spanish are also included.
This setting is perfect for a high school choir, but can also be sung by a good children's choir or certainly by an adult choir or schola.
Having heard it a number of times, a congregation might even be encouraged to join.
As this prayer text has often become a personal meditation after receiving Communion, our setting here can easily be sung in any parish as a corporate aid to that reflection.
Alex Hill's setting is very effective — easily performed, with remarkable impact.
In some parishes it has become one of the most "commented-upon" pieces in the repertoire.