Ave verum corpus

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"Ave verum corpus" is a short Eucharistic chant that has also been set to music by various composers. It dates from the 14th century and is attributed to Pope Innocent VI.[1]

During the Middle Ages it was sung at the elevation of the Eucharist during the consecration at mass. It was also used frequently during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The prayer is a meditation Jesus's Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament and ties it to the redemptive meaning of suffering in the life of all believers.

Text[edit]

———Latin
Ave verum corpus, natum
de Maria Virgine,[a]
vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine
cuius latus perforatum
fluxit aqua et sanguine:[b]
esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine.[c]

O Iesu dulcis, O Iesu pie,
O Iesu, fili Mariae.
Miserere mei. Amen.[d]

 
Hail, true Body, born
of the Virgin Mary,
having truly suffered, sacrificed
on the cross for mankind,
from whose pierced side
water and blood flowed:
Be for us a foretaste [of the Heavenly banquet]
in the trial of death!

O sweet Jesus, O holy Jesus,
O Jesus, son of Mary,
have mercy on me. Amen.

  1. ^ Other versions have ex Maria Virgine.
  2. ^ Other versions have unda fluxit et sanguine.
  3. ^ Other versions have mortis in examine.
  4. ^ Other versions have Miserere nobis.

Musical settings[edit]

Musical settings include Mozart's motet Ave verum corpus (K. 618),[2] as well as settings by William Byrd and Sir Edward Elgar. Not all composers set the whole text. For example, Mozart's setting finishes with "in mortis examine", Elgar's with "fili Mariae". Marc-Antoine Charpentier has composed three versions: H 233, H 266, H 329. There is a version by Franz Liszt [Searle 44], and also ones by Camille Saint-Saëns, Orlande de Lassus, Imant Raminsh,[3] Alexandre Guilmant, William Mathias, Colin Mawby, Malcolm Archer[4] and Jack Gibbons.[5] Liszt also composed a fantasy on Mozart's work, preceded by a version of Allegri's celebrated Miserere, under the title À la Chapelle Sixtine [Searle 461 – two versions]. Versions of this fantasy for orchestra [Searle 360] and piano four-hands [Searle 633] follow closely the second version for piano. There is also a version for organ [Searle 658] with the title Evocation à la Chapelle Sixtine. The text is even used in an opera, Francis Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites (there is also "Ave verum corpus", a separate work by Poulenc dated 1952). Mozart's version, with instruments only, was adapted by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky as one of the sections of his Mozartiana, a tribute to Mozart. From the 21st century there are settings by the Swedish composer Fredrik Sixten[6] and the English composer Philip Stopford.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rubin, Miri (1992). Corpus Christi: The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture. Cambridge University Press. p. 56.
  2. ^ Heartz, Daniel (2009). Mozart, Haydn and Early Beethoven: 1781–1802. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. p. 351.
  3. ^ Imant Raminsh: "Ave Verum Corpus" on YouTube
  4. ^ Malcolm Archer: "Ave Verum" on YouTube
  5. ^ Jack Gibbons" "Ave Verum Corpus", Op. 90 on YouTube
  6. ^ Fredrik Sixten: "Ave Verum Corpus" on YouTube
  7. ^ Philip Stopford: "Ave Verum" on YouTube

External links[edit]