Sing My Soul, His Wondrous Love
Musical Musings for Ordinary Time
by Sharon Downey
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
In this week’s Gospel, Jesus takes five loaves and two fish, blesses them, and feeds 5,000 or so in the crowd gathered. This story gives me happy memories of standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee at Tabgha, near the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes. Whenever this Gospel is read, I can picture that beach and the church that is home to the famous mosaic of the basket of loaves of bread flanked by two fish. Whether you think it is a parable about feeding the hungry or a foreshadowing of the celebration of the Eucharist doesn’t really matter; we can “Taste and see that God is good” in both reflections.
This American folk tune, Holy Manna, is a perfect partner with the text “All who hunger gather gladly.” This is a delightful arrangement of the tune played by organist Barbara Harbach. You can hear the tune in the lower voice on a reed stop. Try singing this great text along with the organ!

“All who hunger gather gladly “
Holy Manna
All who hunger, gather gladly; holy manna is our bread. Come from wilderness and wand’ring. Here in truth, we will be fed. You that yearn for days of fullness,
all around us is our food. Taste and see the grace eternal.
Taste and see that God is good.

All who hunger, never strangers, seeker, be a welcome guest. Come from restlessness and roaming. Here in joy we keep the feast. We that once were lost and scattered, in communion’s love have stood. Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good. 

All who hunger, sing together; Jesus Christ is living bread. Come from loneliness and longing. Here in peace, we have been led. Blest are those who from this table live their lives in gratitude. Taste and see the grace eternal.
Taste and see that God is good.

One of the Cathedral Choir’s favorite anthems is “O Sacrum convivium” by American composer, Dan Locklair. The English translation is: 

O sacred banquet, wherein Christ is received;
the memorial of his passion is renewed;
the soul is filled with grace;
and a pledge of future glory is given to us.

“O Sacrum Convivium” 
by Dan Locklair

And who has not heard a rendition of "Panis Angelicus?" Here it is sung by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. “Panis Angelicus” or "Bread of Angels" is a verse from the hymn Sacris solemniis, which was written by Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi in the thirteenth century. Franck wrote this setting as part of a Mass around 1860. 

“Panis Angelicus”
by Cesar Franck