HE MOST FAMOUS proponent of the Solesmes school of accompaniment—even more than Dom Jean Hébert Desrocquettes and Henri Potiron—was a man named Achille P. Bragers. Born in Belgium, Bragers studied at the Lemmens Institute, which 30+ years later would produce the magnificent NOH. Bragers was the one who produced the “Chant Service Book” (208 pages)—which we recently scanned—in which he uses “seasonal” Benediction chants. For example: During Advent, he sets “O Salutaris Hostia” to the Creator Alme Siderum melody; during Christmastide, he sets “O Salutaris Hostia” to the Jesu Redemptor Omnium melody; and so forth.
We use “seasonal” melodies at my parish, and here’s the Easter melody:
* PDF Download • “O Salutaris Hostia” (Organ)
—“O Saving Victim Opening Wide” Accompaniment with EASTERTIDE melody.
Page 522 of the Brébeuf hymnal allows you to sing any melody, as well as providing the English translation—but we must remember that “O Salutaris Hostia” is taken from Verbum Supérnum Pródiens (a hymn by Saint Thomas Aquinas):
Father Adrian Fortescue’s 1913 Hymnal also presents the “O Salutaris” as part of the Verbum Supérnum Pródiens by Saint Thomas Aquinas:
(When speaking of Verbum Supérnum Pródiens, it’s important to specify it being written by Saint Thomas Aquinas, since a completely different hymn has the same title.)
The Brébeuf hymnal provides a literal English translation, in addition to a “poetic” (i.e. “rhyming”) translation set to several beautiful tunes. Monsignor Ronald Knox created a powerful rhyming translation published in the New Westminster Hymnal. For the record, Achille P. Bragers even employs an Ascensiontide melody for “O Salutaris Hostia” using the Jesu Nostra Redémptio melody (a.k.a. Salútis Humánæ Sator):
I wouldn’t use the melody Bragers chose for the Ascension; it’s too difficult. But our parish knows the Easter melody, because we sing it all the time:
* PDF Download • “Ad Regias Agni Dapes”
—Also given as “Ad Cenam Agni Providi,” which is the original version.
NORMAL BENEDICTION MELODIES:
Of course, you can also use the “normal” melodies during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament:
* PDF • “O Salutaris Hostia” (Organ Accompaniment)
—DUGUET is the “normal” melody for O Salutaris Hostia at Benediction.
* PDF • “Tantum Ergo” (Organ Accompaniment)
—ST THOMAS is the “normal” melody for Tantum Ergo Sacramentum (“Down in Adoration Falling”).
These accompaniments were taken from the Brébeuf hymnal, which carefully lays out each verse of every hymn in the most magnificent way.