Thursday, May 26, 2005

Panis Angelicus

Today the Roman Church traditionally celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ). In some parts of the world, the feast is moved to the nearest Sunday. This would include the USA, and elaborate street processions with the Precious Body enshrined in a monstrance are making a comeback in parish life. In the thirteenth century, the Holy Father Urban IV commissioned Thomas Aquinas to compose the sacred texts for the Holy Eucharist. Among them are the hymns Adore Te Devote (a favorite Communion hymn), Pange Lingua (sung especially on Holy Thursday), and the Sequence for Corpus Christi...
Lauda Sion Salvatorem,
lauda ducem et pastorem,
in hymnis et canticis...
Another popular hymn for the eucharist is Panis Angelicus, a current staple on recordings by operatic cross-over tenors (Pavoratti and the like):
Panis angelicus
Fit panis hominum;
Dat panis coelicus

Figuris terminum.
O res mirabilis!
Manducat Dominum

Pauper, pauper,
Servus et humilis...
"The bread of Angels is made/the Bread of man today:/the Living Bread from heaven/with figures dost away:/O wondrous gift indeed!/the poor and lowly may/upon their Lord and Master feed." (Sigh!) It's times like these that I really miss being an acolyte.

Meanwhile, when in Rome...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the attack on Mother Theresa on Showtime??