O Sacred Banquet!

A little late for Corpus Christi last Thursday, I know. (How is it we don’t have Corpus Christi Sunday? Just like Ascension Thursday Sunday?)

O sacrum convivium (Francisco Guerrero, 1528 – 1599, of Seville). It is the Magnificat antiphon for the second vespers of the feast of Corpus Christi. The prayer is generally attributed to St Thomas Aquinas. It moved some to tears, as we see.

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

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. Alleluia.

Westminster Cathedral Choir sang Guerrero’s O sacrum convivium in St Peter’s on the day after Cardinal Nichols and 19 others received their red hats in 2014 . Beautiful singing, as usual.


About GC

Poor sinner.
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18 Responses to O Sacred Banquet!

  1. cheryllee84 says:

    Here in Scotland, we celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi at Mass today (Sunday) and this video moved me! What a beautiful Magnificat antiphon!! Thank you so much for sharing this, God bless you! I was baptised and confirmed Catholic at this year’s Easter Vigil and this website is one of my favourites!!

  2. GC says:

    cheryllee, yes it’s a wonderful thing isn’t it. There are many other settings.

    I’ve never had a Corpus Christi Sunday, I think. It was last Thursday here in South-East Asia.

    Easter was only about two months ago, wasn’t it. So it’s not too late to give you a full-hearted welcome!

  3. victor2378 says:

    Wonderful hymn and beautifully performed! However, I feel a bit uneasy about the camera zooming in on that man. Holy Communion is something very intimate, and to film somebody who, after having received, is moved to tears (by whatever, be it the beautiful music or his past sins or his sorrows) has something deeply indiscreet and almost pornographic to it.
    Or maybe it is just me…

  4. kathleen says:

    Oh, this is so lovely – thank you GC! And it came just when I was wondering why nothing had been posted by any of us on CP&S for this very special feast day of Corpus Christi… that (ahem) should have been (and in some places, was) last Thursday.

    In fact, as Cheryllee has pointed out, most celebrated the great feast today, Sunday. Yet whilst here in Spain most cities also celebrated it today, with the usual beautiful processions drawing large crowds of devotees…, Toledo, Seville and Granada celebrated the feast, with their usual devotion and magnificence, last Thursday.
    It all becomes rather confusing (‘liturgically-speaking’ that is); as for instance, in my case, I happened to be in Granada on Thursday, and after Holy Mass I followed part of this very moving procession along the wide, adorned streets where the Blessed Sacrament was carried aloft among showers of rose petals thrown from the balconies, whilst hymn after hymn was sung in adoration.
    Then, today, back in my little coastal town south of Granada, it was Corpus Christi ‘again’… where the feast has been moved back to the second Sunday after Pentecost! Another procession, very pretty and reverent (but not of course as grand as that of the city) took place along the little streets of the town here too, and we had the same readings in the Mass that we had had last Thursday in Granada!

    But I do wish we could have our three ‘Thursdays’ back again everywhere. I cannot see the point of the change to move both Ascension Thursday, and Corpus Christi, to the following Sunday.

  5. Ona says:

    I thought the same victor – what a beautiful moment, but I had to stop the video when they showed the man in tears. That is a moment of deep intimacy, and very private. I love my chapel veil in part because it hides my face if adjusted properly, so I can have some privacy if I cry. I’m sure the videographer meant no harm.

  6. GC says:

    kathleen, yes, most beautiful, wasn’t it. This is what Bruno Turner said about it:

    O sacrum convivium (1570) is for six-part choir with a low emphasis (SAATBB). This is a richly woven tapestry of sound depicting the sacred banquet of Communion. The whole post-Reformation Catholic devotion to this sacrament seems embodied in this rapt and sustained inspiration.

    Guerrero spent virtually his whole lifetime in Seville, which mustn’t be too far from you there?

    I’m sorry to hear of your Corpus Christi time warp experience. And Ascension Thursday is still on an actual Thursday over here!

  7. GC says:

    Yes Ona and victor, it did feel as though we were intruding when we saw this young man suddenly feel deeply moved.

    I thought I saw a few other pairs of moistened eyes being discreetly wiped also. I must confess that once or twice I’ve begun weeping while the cathedral choir sang at Mass. And some of the choirboys noticed me from their side of the transept and their faces even revealed some concern for me!

  8. kathleen says:

    Ah, Victor, GC and Ona, nothing to be ashamed of; tears here are a sign of the soul being stirred and deeply moved by grace… although it is natural that we would wish to keep such an intimate moment to ourselves with Our Blessed Lord. (Especially for men who often view the shedding of tears as a sign of weakness, or something only women do. Why should that be so I wonder?)

    In fact tears are very often a sign of healing and/or peace restored, besides being a great blessing for having been touched by God’s presence and love. I have often noticed people coming out from the confessional box wiping away tears, but with a glow of joy on their countenance.

  9. kathleen says:

    “I’m sorry to hear of your Corpus Christi time warp experience.

    Well, I didn’t really mind, as the readings for this great feast of the Most Blessed Sacrament are so sublimely beautiful, that hearing them twice over (and the moving homilies given on Thursday in Granada, and Sunday in our little town) were very inspiring. 🙂

    Yes, Seville is a very beautiful city, and only a few hours’ drive from here. Not a place to visit during the summer months though, where the temperatures often hover around the 40’s!!

  10. GC says:

    Ah kathleen, are you referring to the “gift of tears”? I haven’t heard that mentioned in a long time. Might be good for a blog post!

  11. johnhenrycn says:

    I wouldn’t say ‘pornographic’, Victor, but your essential point is well taken.

  12. Catherine says:

    I, too thought exposure of the man in tears was inconsiderate. I’m sympathetic since I’ve also been in the position of trying to suppress sobs during the Eucharist.

    In watching the priests take communion, did anyone notice the acolyte between 3:26 and 3:40? Any ideas about what he was doing?

  13. johnhenrycn says:

    “…did anyone notice the acolyte between 3:26 and 3:40? Any ideas about what he was doing?”

    You cradle Catholics are like followers of the Triple Crown of American horse racing, following every gesture and move of the jockeys as they come around the final bend. Must have something to do with that old Papal Triple Tiara.

    The winner this year was American Pharoah, which is funny since his owner is Egyptian. No Spell Checker on Cairo computers, I guess.

  14. GC says:

    Catherine, I think he was doing a bit of a last tidy-up and removing microphonery from the altar that had become surplus to requirements.

    You can see so here, at about 1:55 onward, on full screen:

    (JH, I got most of the joke)

  15. toadspittle says:

    “The winner this year was American Pharoah, which is funny since his owner is Egyptian.”
    No, JH, his owner is American.

  16. GC says:

    A Cairo-born Jew living in Noo Joizy.

  17. toadspittle says:

    Put with your now-customary generosity, elegance, wit, and style, GC.
    Yes Mr. Zayat is just as American as apple pie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Rupert Murdoch.

    Whether or not he’s a closet gay Nazi, is unclear. But it seems unlikely

  18. toadspittle says:

    Toad seems to be implying here that Egyptians are not funny. They are, of course – every bit as funny as Americans.
    There. Foolish Toad.

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