IN 2019 CARDINAL Seán Patrick O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap. announced 2020 would begin the “Year of the Eucharist” in the Archdiocese of Boston (extended to June of 2022). This was in response to a Pew survey that revealed only a minority of Catholics believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Indeed, “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.'” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1324)
The Catechism also states:
The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No.1376)
Little did we know what was in store for the entire world in 2020. Forced abstinence from the Eucharist heightened for many the appreciation of the sacraments that one can take for granted. During countless daily virtual Masses, I felt I was one of the lucky ones to be in the presence of the Eucharist while many could not.
Further inspired by the artistry of the Cathedral’s quartet, I composed a set of four Eucharistic motets. Composed early in 2021, these have all been sung at various liturgies at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. These were also recorded in the South Bell Tower of the Cathedral. Working with pandemic restrictions, these motets are limited to four SATB voices. You may listen here:
Four Eucharistic Motets • Clark
** Scores are available here.
Tremendous gratitude is owed to Barbara Hill, soprano, Jaime Korkos, mezzo-soprano Michael González, tenor, and Taras Leschishin, bass for creating beauty and upholding dignity and reverence in the Sacred Liturgy during this time.
Photo: Michael Kieloch, Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston
Soli Deo gloria