Corpus Christi

The Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours uses a single Biblical verse from the Book of Wisdom as reading in the Third Hour (Terce) on the sollemnity of Corpus Christi:

You nourished your people with food of angels and furnished them bread from heaven, ready to hand, untoiled for, endowed with all delight and conforming to every taste.

To be precise, this is Wisdom 16:20.

Now here is what the Benediktinisches Antiphonale – which is used in several German speaking monasteries – does: In the Second Vespers of Corpus Christi the reading combines Wisdom 16:20 with the following verse 21 and with verse 26. And this is what we get:

You nourished your people with food of angels and furnished them bread from heaven, ready to hand, untoiled for, endowed with all delight and conforming to every taste. For this substance of yours revealed your sweetness toward your children, and serving the desire of the one who received it, was changed to whatever flavor each one wished – that your children whom you loved might learn, o Lord, that it is not the various kinds of fruits that nourish, but your word that preserves those who believe you!

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10 comments

  1. Thank you for this. I’ve long wished there could be English-language equivalents of the excellent German-language liturgical publications, including the official LotH books and the Benedictine Monastic Breviary (Monastisches Stundenbuch) and the Antiphonale you mentioned. All beautifully laid out and printed (and sturdily bound). And in some cases, with richer content such as the example mentioned.

  2. I belong to the last generation of Catholics who still know their Latin. Here are a versicle and response I still remember from Benediction 60 years ago:

    V. Panem de coeli praestisti eis (Alleluia)
    R. Omne delectamentem in se habentem (Alleluia)

    1. @Robert ADDINGTON:
      In the German regions, the “Panem de coeli” and the hymn “Tantum ergo” are very often sung in Latin. But I must confess that I never realized that the “Panem de coeli”-verse is exactly the reading from the Book of Wisdom.

      1. @Liborius Lumma:

        +1. Thank you for drawing attention to the Wisdom reference.

        Not sure what KLS’s Ps 78 reference is to, apart from a mention of manna. It’s not the same as the Wisdom text.

  3. For the guy that claims to “belong to the last generation of Catholics who still know their Latin,” the word is “praestitisti,” not “praestisti.”

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