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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“…it would be a very praiseworthy thing and the correction would be so easy to make that one could accommodate the chant by gradual changes; and through this it would not lose its original form, since it is only through the binding together of many notes put under short syllables that they become long without any good purpose when it would be sufficient to give one note only.”
— Zarlino (1558) anticipating the Medicæa

PDF Download • “O Esca Viatorum”
published 18 August 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

VEN AFTER ALL these years, some readers still don’t know how to download the individual rehearsal videos and PDF files. Click on the blue link called #4687.

Pardon my squeaky high notes, but I wanted to demonstrate how it sounds—so I recorded all the voice parts:

REHEARSAL VIDEOS for each individual voice await you at #4687.
The full PDF score can be downloaded there.

The complete score (English and Latin) is also there. I am deeply saddened that some people still don’t know where these items are located.

IT IS QUITE A POPULAR Eucharistic hymn. Indeed, it’s hard to find a single Catholic hymnal not containing it. A few examples, from the Brébeuf hymn website:

Cantate Omnes (1952)
Cantiones Sacrae (1878)
Laudate Hymnal (1942)
New Westminster Hymnal (1939)
De La Salle Hymnal (1913)
St. Rose Hymnal (1938) … combines it with “Tantum Ergo”
New Saint Basil Hymnal (1958)
Pius X Hymnal (1953)
St. Gregory Hymnal (1920)

Here’s how the melody appears in the 1912 hymn book created by Sir Richard Terry:

4632 Sir Richard Terry HYMNAL

British editors tend not to place the words under the notes. As someone who works with amateur choirs, I feel there are some disadvantages to this approach, along with certain undeniable positive aspects.

Here’s a translation by Msgr. Hugh Thomas Henry (d. 1946), who taught Gregorian chant at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Pennsylvania:

1. O Food to pilgrims given,
Bread of the hosts of heaven,
Thou Manna of the sky!
Feed with the blessed sweetness
Of Thy divine completeness
The hearts that for Thee sigh.

2. O Fountain ruby-glowing,
O Stream of love outflowing
From Jesus’ piercèd side!
This thought alone shall bless us,
This one desire possess us,
To drink of Thy sweet tide.

3. We love Thee, Jesus tender,
Who hid’st Thine awful splendor
Beneath these veils of grace:
Oh, let the veils be riven,
And our clear eye in heaven
Behold Thee face to face!


“Amazing Eucharistic Hymn”

“O Esca Viatorum”