The Bread of Life sequence concludes this weekend after a pause to see the Blessed Virgin at the end of her mortal life.
I confess this piece is one of my favorite songs for the Communion Procession. This is the studio recording, (a bit slow in my thinking) scored for piano quintet, flute, oboe, with soloists and choir. The verses are Jesuit, by the Scot James Quinn, a less familiar name to those who don’t read copyright notices.
Like many responsorial songs, especially those suited for Communion, the composer chooses soloists for the “invocations” of what strikes me as a litany of the Lord’s titles. I don’t always agree that is necessary. We are not usurping the voice of Jesus by singing “I am.” We engage in a form of lectio divina with them. And while they seem somewhat random and scattered, I detect a procession within the song. It culminates in a much-needed verse 6:
I am the bridegroom, this my wedding song;
You are my bride, come to the marriage feast.
This reference to the end of time in Revelation, and the connection to the Eucharist is vitally important. When I program this song, I want to make sure all the verses get sung.
My only musical regret is that Michael Joncas pitched it in B-flat rather than A. With the latter, I could use my hammer dulcimer and keep the overall effect of gentleness he presents in his original score. I suppose I could learn the harp though …