The Motets

Ubi Caritas

Ubi caritas is a hymn of the Western Church, long used as one of the antiphons for the washing of feet on Maundy Thursday. The Gregorian melody was composed sometime between the fourth and tenth centuries, though some scholars believe the text dates from early Christian gatherings before the formalisation of the Mass. It is usually sung at the Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and on Holy Thursday evening (Maundy Thursday) at the Mass of the Lord's Supper.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Where true love and charity are, there is God.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. Christ's love has gathered us into one.
Exsultemus et in ipso jucundemur. Rejoice and be pleased in Him.
Timeamus et amemus Duem vivum. Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero. Amen And may we love each other with a sincere heart. Amen.

Tota Pulchra es

Tota pulchra es is an old Catholic prayer, written in the fourth century. It is one of the five antiphons for the psalms of Second Vespers for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The title means "You are completely beautiful" (referring to the Virgin Mary). It speaks of her immaculate conception and takes some text from the book of Judith, and other text from Song of Songs, specifically 4:7.

Tota pulchra es Maria, You are completely beautiful, Mary,
et macula originalis non est in Te. and the original stain [of sin] is not in You.
Vestimentum tuum candidum quasi nix, Your clothing is as white as snow,
et facies Tua sicut sol. and your face is like the sun.
Tu Gloria Jerusalem, Tu lætitia Israel, You are the glory of Jerusalem, You are the joy of Israel,
Tu honorificentia populi nostri. You give honour to our people.
Tota pulchra es Maria. You are all beautiful, Mary.

Tu es Petrus

Tu es Petrus is based on the Gospel of Matthew, verses 16:18-19. Tu es Petrus is used as the Alleluia verse and the communion antiphon at the Mass of SS Peter & Paul (June 29).

Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram ædificabo Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build
ecclesiam meam. my church.

O Sacrum Convivium

O Sacrum Convivium is a Latin communion text honouring the Blessed Sacrament. It was included as an antiphon to the Magnificat in the second vespers of the liturgical office on the feast of Corpus Christi. The text of the office is attributed with some probability to Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). Its sentiments express the profound affinity of the Eucharistic celebration, described as a banquet, to the Paschal mystery (or the salvation of Christ through the events of the passion and resurrection). The work, which is entirely homophonic, is meant to be sung a cappella, but the choir of Église de la Sainte-Trinité, which gave it its first performance, found it too difficult, and so it was performed with organ accompaniment on that occasion. It was written in 1937 and, surprisingly, is Messiaen’s only sacred choral work. It was commissioned by Abbé F. Brun, a noted authority on Gregorian chant.

O sacrum convivium, in quo Christus sumitur,

O sacred banquet, in which Christ is received, 

recolitur memoria passionis Ejus:

the memory of His Passion is renewed: 

mens impletur gratia,

the mind is filled with grace,

et futurae gloriae, nobis pignus datur. Alleluia.

and a pledge of future glory is given to us. Alleluia.