OMEBODY WHO TAKES THE TIME to carefully examine old Catholic hymnals will discover that “Melcombe” was one of the most popular tunes. Fr. Selner (1952) used it for “O Salutaris Hostia.” Sir Richard Runciman Terry (1912) used it for “O Thou immortal Light divine.” Dom Gregory Murray (1939) in the New Westminster Hymnal used it for “Verbum Supernum Prodiens.” J. Vincent Higginson (a.k.a. “Cyr de Brant”) used it (1955) in the Mediator Dei Hymnal for “I love Thee, O Thou Lord most high.” Furthermore, the best Protestant hymnals use this melody with multifarious texts.
Numerous rehearsal videos are available at the Brébeuf website.
Last night, MELCOMBE was added to the collection:
You can hear the individual tracks if you visit the Brébeuf website and scroll to #379.
The beautiful translation of “Quem Terra, Pontus, Aethera” is by Prior James Ambrose Dominic Aylward (d. 1872). That ancient Latin hymn—“Quem Terra”—is quite important, and was consequently featured heavily in the Brébeuf Hymnal. It was given numerous translations, explanations, and set to quite a few different melodies.