Favorite Communion hymns?
  • So...what are some of your favorite hymns that you enjoy hearing/playing during mass? Any suggestions for 'nicer' arrangements of your favorite communion hymns as well? What is everyone using and are they any different from the 'usual' hymnal settings from GIA, OCP, etc.?
  • My three favourite communion hymns are (not necessarily in this order) -

    1. Jesu, thou joy of loving hearts (Plainchant) - see no. 485ii in The Hymnal 1940.
    2. Humbly I adore thee, Verity Unseen (Plainchant, Englished Adoro te) - no. 204 in 'the 1940'.
    3. Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness (German chorale) - no. 210 in 'the 1940'.
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    Deck thyself (Schmucke dich) - sung to Bach's version of the chorale
    Let thy blood in mercy poured (Rasmus) - CHGiffen @ CPDL
    I worship thee, Lord Jesus - text form the 1940, we sing it to the tune Claribel (O Lord I am not worthy)
    Adoro te/Godhead here in hiding - Gregorian tune
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen cesarfranck
  • very nice selections so far! What about songs that encourage congregational singing? If you had to pick a 'typical' piece as your 'favorite' (if such a hymn exists!) what would it be?
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Oh, well, in that case...



    and 'cause I'm a closet traddie.....


    Welcome, angelgirl, please realize I'm old and infirm of mind.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,943
    I have used "Let all mortal flesh" at communion. It seems Eucharistic to me.
    "At that first Eucharist" is good.
    "Humbly we adore thee" (adoro te) is another that I like.
    I have used "Let they blood..." as a choir piece at communion. Good hymn but the congregation doesn't have copies.

    Melo, you have never been closeted - LOL. More like irrepressible.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,967
    The Magnificat. So many settings and adaptations to choose from.
  • donr
    Posts: 971
    Ave Verum
    Soul of My Savior
    Panis Angelicus
    Adoro te
    At that First Eucharist
    Let All Mortal Flesh
    Humbly Lord, We Worship You
    O Lord, I am Not Worthy,
    As the Deer Longs
    How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place
    Worthy is the Lamb
    Thanked by 1DavidOLGC
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,967
    Btw, from a thread in 2009 that might interest some folks:

  • I share in the love for 'Mortal Flesh' and have used it at communions countless times, but, I really prefer to use it as an offertory hymn because some of the text seems to point toward Christ's imminent descent rather than his having come. A technicality, perhaps, but however one uses it it is among the finest of eucharistic hymns. I have it set to a fine plainchant tune in Sir Philip Sydney's Plainsong Hymnal, which was published in the earlier part of the XXth century by the proprietors of Hymns Ancient and Modern. This would be marvelous for your choirs, or for your more talented congregations. Sir Sydney's book would be a good reprint project for the CMAA, and should find a welcome place alongside Palmer and Burgess' Plainchant Gradual.

    Other favourites of mine are Ad Coenam Agni Providi and Verbum Supernum Prodiens Nec Patris, both of which can be sung in fine English translations by John Mason Neale, found in The English Hymnal, as well as their
    original Latin.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,696
    The first three Sundays of Easter all have Mode VI Communios.

    If you desire to have congregational singing during Communion, why not do the very familiar threefold Mode VI Alleluia as a refrain, sing the antiphon (in Latin or English) as the first verse, then repeat the Alleluia, then sing other verses of a Psalm and continue repeating the Mode VI Alleluia.

    It seems every Catholic knows this chant.

    Example (fast forward to 1:13:12 if it doesn't automatically start there):
    Thanked by 1Ben
  • rogue63
    Posts: 410
    Draw Us in the Spirit's Tether/UNION SEMINARY.

    My all-time favorite communion hymn.
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • musicman923
    Posts: 239
    I second rogue63- love that hymn tune and text! One of the best ever!!!
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    I love the tune for Spirit's Tether. The text, however, gives the impression of a very "low" sacramental theology. I avoid programming it and simply won't sing verse 3.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    Some nice things from "across the pond" include Praise to the Holiest and O Bread of Heaven.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,912
    Ave Verum Corpus
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    I'm quite partial to My Song is Love Unknown.

    I also really admire the French tradition of a meditative rendition of O Salutaris Hostia post Consecration at the EF Mass, and I love finding new settings to try out.

    Here's an interesting arrangement of O Salutaris Hostia by the Polish composer Pawel Bebenek which I recently came across:

  • Kathy,

    Yes, I think the theology isn't quite right there, either. Until I recognized that, I liked both text and music.
  • rogue63
    Posts: 410
    What's the problem with the 3rd verse of "Draw Us in the Spirit's Tether"? Am I missing something? Perhaps it's worded a bit strangely, but the desire to live a fully sacramental life is not problematic.
  • musicman923
    Posts: 239
    Kathy, please explain what you mean by "low theology" for draw us in the spirits tether. I am a little lost by what you mean.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    I think there are a few expressions that are easily misleading. We don't all break the bread and bless the cup. That is a priestly act. There are 7 sacraments, and this is not a meal like others, but a saving sacrifice as well.

    Thanked by 2francis tomjaw
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    Personally I don't like the word "tether." It makes me think of tetherball on the one hand (somewhat purple), and something constraining and confining on the other. I'm not sure the Holy Spirit intends to draw persons into a tether, but to free us.
  • kenstb
    Posts: 369
    Well said, Kathy. I have only done that hymn twice, but I substituted the words "eat" and "drink" in the stanza which you identified as objectionable. I hadn't quite considered that there was a problem with verse 3, so for those like me, could you please explain your objection to that verse? Thanks in advance.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    I just don't like the idea that all our meals and all our living could be any match for this particular Meal. I realize it's meant to elevate human life, and I'm all for that, but since the rhetorical effect is at the same time to lower the meaning of this sacrament to the everyday, I just don't sing it.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    I realize, by the way, that I come across as nitpicky when I talk about the bad points of hymns, and I apologize for sounding censorious, particularly about a hymn like this, which for the tune deserves to be beloved.. Perhaps I should talk about the good points as well. Back when I used to update my own blog frequently, I made a point of far outnumbering the "bad" discussions with "good" and "great."

    On the other hand, someone really ought to be censoring, and I'm able to do it for a number of reasons. Though I'm sure it comes across as tilting at windmills sometimes!
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen G
  • dhalkjdhalkj
    Posts: 61
    Easter words for UNION SEMINARY tune at GIA

    Also in Evangelical Lutheran Worship with text Jesus, come for we invite you by Christopher Idle referencing wedding at Cana.
    Thanked by 2Kathy cesarfranck
  • Now my tongue, to the tune GRAFTON.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    On the other hand, someone really ought to be censoring, and I'm able to do it for a number of reasons. Though I'm sure it comes across as tilting at windmills sometimes!

    Welcome to my world, Kathy dear! (Just joshing!)
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    I prefer to use Godhead here in hiding as the translated form of Adoro Te. This translation was by Gerard Manley Hopkins and just flows so beautifully.

    O Jesus Joy of Loving Hearts was recently requested by my Music Coordinator to be added to the repertoire of eucharistic hymns.

    Other favorites include of course Soul of My Saviour, Let All Mortal Flesh and Alleluia, Sing to Jesus.

    One which is making a comeback in Australia is "See Us Lord About Thine Altar" to the tune Drakes Broughton.

    There is another hymn I would like to see grow in popularity. "Lord Jesus in Your Eucharist" which is copyright 1985 from the Emmanuel Community. It was one of the communion hymns at WYD Sydney in 2008. My old parish has the music for it somewhere, but I don't have access to those materials any more.
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    O Jesus Joy of Loving Hearts was recently requested by my Music Coordinator to be added to the repertoire of eucharistic hymns.

    What tune traditionally accompanies that text?

    Does anyone know a hymn tune, in 4, possibly attributable to Brahms, that begins:
    c : b a b c : a g g c : b a e g : f e e

    My Mother used to sing it at weddings. I think it may be contained in this collection.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    I come across as nitpicky when I talk about the bad points of hymns, and I apologize for sounding censorious...
    On the other hand, someone really ought to be censoring, and I'm able to do it
    And I for one am grateful! Both from the pew and from the bench I have found myself scratching my head at a hymn text and wondering WTH?!??#?$?? far too often.
    It is patently obvious that when some hymnals were compiled no one, or at least no one with a well-formed Catholic POV was censoring.
    Thems as shoulda, didn't...

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    The tune given is Jesu Dulcis Memoria. O Jesus Joy of Loving Hearts is a translation/paraphrase of this old Latin song attributed to St Bernard of Clairveux.
  • this is a great sounding very simple take on a verse one often hears the priest/pastor say before their sermon/homily https://youtu.be/yaCDNo8Pnk4?si=YAS4ePXWbCQuzKEO
  • We sing the Orthodox (and Eastern rite) communion chant: Receive the Body of Christ. Taste the fountain of immortality.

    There are many musical settings which can/should be sung SATB. (Everyone loves the "Alaskan" version.) In between, a cantor sings the Communion Proper antiphon and verses from the appropriate Psalm. About the 13th time around singing "Receive the Body of Christ..." people might actually believe!

    In an Orthodox Divine Liturgy, the choir sings "Receive" over and over and over, without verses sandwiched in between. It is like osmosis. The last time is always an "Alleluia."

    We use the Ignatius Pew Missal. If the communion antiphon is short, we use that as the "refrain" with Psalm verses in between.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Sweet Sacrament Divine by Fr. Francis Stanfield, although this is at its finest during Adoration.
  • ...song attributed...
    Jesu dulcis memoria, long attributed to St Bernard of Clairaux, is now generally considered to be the work of an anonymous XII century English Cistercian.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,715
    From HYMNS OF THE ROMAN LITURGY, by The Rev. JOSEPH CONNELLY, M.A. (by far the best work in English on the Roman Hymns.)
    It seems unlikely that St Bernard, who died in 1153, was the author since the earliest MSS are early thirteenth century and one perhaps of the end of the twelfth, so that the date of composition is probably 1170/80-1200; the hymns to St Victor and St Malachy are the only ones which can be positively ascribed to St Bernard; and the name of St Bernard is not found in the MSS until the fifteenth century.
    As the first and most reliable MSS are English and as the use of the poem spread from England, it is reasonable to conclude that it was written in England. The anonymous English writer was probably a Cistercian. Whoever he was, he was well versed in the Scriptures and their liturgical uses and applications, and acquainted with the writings of St Bernard and with his use ofthe Scriptures, especially ofthe Psalms and the sapiential books. These reasons suggest a Cistercian. [...]

    It is well worth reading the rest of the commentary on this hymn.