is a Communion hymn to a text by the thirteenth-century theologian St Thomas Aquinas
. Aquinas believed that Communion was the greatest of the seven sacraments and Pitts’s simple but powerful setting of this four-verse hymn underlines that. The music is largely consonant, although it becomes more urgently dissonant as the hymn progresses. Christ’s presence is recognized in the living bread of the sacrament and as the fountain of all that is good; ultimately the prayer is that Christ may be seen face to face. The choir begins from afar, the sopranos entering first, followed soon by the altos and tenors who are eventually joined by the basses. The melody appears in the soprano part for the first two verses and migrates to the tenor part in the third verse. At the beginning of the fourth verse the melody starts in the bass part and then passes back up through the tenor and alto parts as the hymn reaches its climax – a soft unison ‘Amen’.
from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2005