Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ave verum Corpus - William Byrd

Our schola sang this today at Holy Communion.  I really don't mean to pit one one form of music against another.  But this kind of music is such a welcome respite for my ears which, for too long, were subjected to "Eat This Bread" and "I am the Bread of Life".  There is no mystery in those Protestant-penned hymns, especially as compared to a piece like this one.  As I knelt at the altar, waiting my turn to receive Jesus, I looked up at the beautiful crucifixion scene above the tabernacle.  Hearing this exquisite piece of music helped me realize the solemnity of both moments - the one captured in the painting, and the one about to happen to me. I felt for a moment the deep sorrow of St. John the Evangelist as he looked up helplessly at his Master,  torn with grief yet somehow mindful of the promise that Jesus would rise again.


  1. You could not ask for a more emotive and spiritual piece of music than this. It brings tears to one's eyes it is so intensely heavenly.

  2. I saw your comment on Lindy's blog and was drawn to your title *The Little Way* and noticed you are a nurse in Philadelphia, PA. I am a Secular Carmelite named for St.Therese and also live in Philadelphia and work part-time as an ultrasonographer. I hope you will visit me sometime at my blog! God Bless!

  3. I will be happy to do so. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. That is beautiful, but I would guess only a Cathedral would be able to support a choir like that. I love our organist. She really puts love into it. And the ameteur choir does the best they can. My church is very humble. But it's very cozy, and as long as Fr Veras does the homily, I'm in heaven. :)

    At least they don't play calypso

  5. Manny, our schola is composed of only 4 voices, including the organist, and they manage very nicely. I hope someday they figure out how to put themselves on You Tube so they can give encouragement to other small parishes that you don't need a huge budget to produce appropriate beautiful music.

    Thank God I've never had to endure the calypso Alleluia. I'd have to go to confession for sure after an experience like that! lol

  6. I think Bob and I may have played something like that! They were in the music (OP, I think) binder we received from out pastor, and we thought that anything "by the book" was okay to do. We nicknamed them the Spanish We haven't dome those in a year or three. All I can say is, we didn't know!


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