A little more than two years ago during my time in Edinburgh, Archimandrite Fr. Avraamy (Neyman), a dear Greek Orthodox hieromonk there, first shared with me sixteenth century Sevillan choralist Francisco Guerrero’s magnificent a cappella motet for Aquinas’ beautiful prayer “O Sacrum Convivium” in honor of the Eucharistic miracle. Fr. Avraamy is himself an Englishman who was raised in the Roman Catholic faith.
Just over one year ago, I shared here my warm recollections of my time at the wonderful Orthodox community of St. Andrew in Edinburgh, which is now led by the wonderful Fr. Raphael (Pavouris) and Fr. Avraamy in the wake of the repose of Fr. John Maitland Moir, the community’s much-loved and venerable founder. Fr. John was 88 at the time of his death, which was announced to the world via this beautifully moving obituary. From what everyone says of him, it seems likely that he is a Saint. I only met Father a handful of times, and by then he was nearly completely deaf, but there was an almost palpable holiness about him which I can still recall with as much clarity as though I had only just encountered him. May this truly humble servant of God dwell forevermore with the choirs of angels, and may his memory be eternal!
David Hill directs the above, particular arrangement of the motet, sung by the choir of Westminster Cathedral, which is the seat of the Roman Catholic faith in England.
Here is the English text:
O sacred banquet at which Christ is consumed, the memory of his Passion is recalled, our souls are filled with grace, and the pledge of future glory is given to us. Alleluia.
And here is the original Latin:
O sacrum convivium in quo Christus sumitur: recolitur memoria passionis eius: mens impletur gratia: et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur. Alleluia.