About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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“I vividly remember going to church with him in Bournemouth. He was a devout Roman Catholic and it was soon after the Church had changed the liturgy (from Latin to English). My grandfather obviously didn't agree with this and made all the responses very loudly in Latin while the rest of the congregation answered in English. I found the whole experience quite excruciating, but my grandfather was oblivious. He simply had to do what he believed to be right.”
— Simon Tolkien (2003)

Francisco Guerrero • “Hymn To The Sacred Trinity” (SATB with Plainsong)
published 9 February 2016 by Jeff Ostrowski

EADY FOR THE HYMN CHALLENGE? FIRST, spend some time familiarizing yourself with this beautiful melody (unless you already know it). If you prefer, you can use a version by Pustet that is probably closer to what Guerrero sang. SECOND, scroll down and sing through the individual parts—especially the Bass, Alto, and Soprano. THIRD, locate the Canon in the final section. FOURTH, see if you agree that this one is the most incredible hymn you’ve never heard!

    * *  PDF Download • “HYMN TO THE SACRED TRINITY” (Francisco Guerrero)

I recorded all the voices myself, to give you an idea how it sounds. Needless to say, a real choir would sound much nicer:

This melody was set polyphonically by numerous masters: Marenzio, Palestrina, Anerio, Victoria, and so forth. Indeed, these two settings (see above) are not the only ones by Guerrero. In our current liturgical books, this tune is a “Christmas” melody. Traditionally, however, the same tune was used for numerous feasts: Epiphany, Holy Innocents, Saint Catherine, and especially NOVEMBER 1st (the Feast of All Saints). Here’s an All Saints hymn called “Jesu salvator saeculi” as found in an ancient manuscript:

781 “Jesu salvator saeculi”

Do you see how it uses that same hymn melody? In Guerrero’s time, this melody was used for the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity—a “Spanish” tradition as far as I can tell. Fr. Andrew Green used that tune thusly in 1950. The Desclée/Westminster 1949 hymnal does something similar. And it can be seen in a 1524AD Sarum manuscript.


EQUAL VOICES : YouTube   •   Mp3 Audio

SOPRANO : YouTube   •   Audio

ALTO : YouTube   •   Audio

TENOR : YouTube   •   Audio

QUINTUS : YouTube   •   Audio   •   (2nd Half Only)

BASS : YouTube   •   Audio