One of the things I always liked about St. Thomas Aquinas is his uncanny ability to make two hymns out of one. For example, the last two verses of Sacris Solemniis is Panis Angelicus; the last two verses of Pange Lingua is Tantum Ergo. In the hymn we're featuring today, set to an original tune based in part on the Gregorian In Splendoribus Sanctorum, the last two verses of the Verbum Supernum Prodiens is the O Salutaris Hostia.
Based on the Christmas Introit Puer Natus Est Nobis in both text and tune. The 18th century hymn text is by John Morrison. The tune is original, based on the Introit melody from the Liber Usualis (or Graduale Romanum, or Gregorian Missal, for that matter). Incidentally, originally, I wrote the tune in a major key, realized later that this would look and sound a lot better in the mixolydian mode.
The text, based on Psalm 93, comes from The Psalter of 1912. The tune, original, based on the Gregorian Dominus Regnavit, the Alleluia for the Mass at Christmas Dawn. Short and sweet (four short meter verses). Also makes for a great hymn of praise to Christ the King.
This piece of music is an attempt to eliminate two "ditties" from your typical run-of-the-mill parish repertoire. Here are two hints to see if you can guess what those ditties are. The first hint is the antiphon, "Remember, Lord, thy servants, when thou dost take thy throne." Got it? Good. Here is the second hint: the verses are based on the Beatitudes. I think those who are also in favor of trying to eliminate the two "ditties" with this one piece know of which "ditties" I speak. ;)
The tune and the paraphrases are completely original.
The Introit for III Advent, coupled with Psalm 85 (84) (translation in part from the Douay-Rheims Bible). Written in 2005 while at Holy Ghost Church in Tiverton, RI, a big hit with the choir I directed when I was there (One of the choir members asked for this at his own wedding)! Can be used for SATB choir and chanter(s), but you can also use it with the congregation (if they don't mind a couple of E's toward the end of the refrain - it's written to excite)! It's in 6/4 time, but definitely pull the mixtures out for this one!
One of my favorite Christmas tunes, in the mysterious Mode I chant. Like How Joyful My Expressing, this piece comes in two versions: a hymn and an anthem. The hymn is just the basic Mode I melody with my own simple accompaniment. The anthem is for SATB, with a verse for men's voices, a verse for women's/boys' voices, an SATB verse to be sung a capella, and finally the full-blown final verse which ends in fortissitissimo (triple forte).
A short, simple unison hymn based on the passage of Psalm 27 (26) used for the Gradual for the Solemnity of the Holy Family (though a devotional hymn that could be sung at almost any occasion). The text is written by Elizabeth Holmes Reed (1794-1867). In writing the tune, I used part of the Gregorian Unam Petii melody as its base. "Noble simplicity" defined here!
The Latin Vesper hymn of Pope St. Gregory the Great, wedded to an original hymn tune. My first intent was to name the tune Hymn 2000, but later felt that might have been too "high tech", or maybe to "science fiction", or something like that. Plus, GIA Publications would need a #2000 for some hymn in the future at the pace they keep updating their hymnals (Gather Super-Duper Comprehensive, Umpteenth to the Umpteenth Power Edition). So I went with the more generic title, Hymn of Light.
The tune I wrote comes in two forms in one .pdf. On the first page is the standard SATB harmony with a descant for the final verse, while the second page contains a faux-bourdon harmony (melody is in the tenor).
The text based on Psalm 85 and written by an unknown author. The tune is short and sweet, short enough where the seven verses of text won't feel like a marathon. The tune is one of those rarities that end in the V chord, and the last note of the melody is the fifth of that V chord (for those not so well versed in music theory, the tune is in the key of D, but it ends in the A chord, and the melody ends with an E note). This kind of ending also takes place in a little-known tune by the late C. Alexander Peloquin, titled "Creative Love". If you have a Worship II hymnal handy, it's at #257, with the Fred Kaan hymn text, Surrounded by a World of Need.
This tune, like the one I wrote for O that I Could for Ever Dwell, is based on a Gregorian melody from the Liber Usualis, in this case, the Offertory Benedixisti, Domine from III Advent.
A rare hymn text based on Psalm 25, taken from The Psalter of 1912, wedded to original music, cleverly dubbed New 25th, written in a style emulating that of the late great Richard Proulx. Great for Advent, Lent, and even on some days during Ordinary Time. Makes for a great hymn for I Advent (especially as many parishes still seem to prefer hymns over propers), as the first verse is a paraphrase of the Introit and Offertory appointed for that day.
The offertory for the Midnight Mass of Christmas, coupled with Psalm 96 (95) (translation in part from the Douay-Rheims Bible). Also written in 2005 and first presented to the choir of Holy Ghost Church in Tiverton, Rhode Island. The antiphon is adapted from the opening lines of the hymn tune "In der ist Freude" ("In Thee is Gladness") by Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi. The congregation can very easily follow along on the antiphon, which includes parts for two B-flat trumpets, B-flat trombone (or F horn), and timpani.
PDF: Laetentur Caeli Responsory for SATB, chanters, congregation, 2 trumpets, trombones, F horn, and timpani (Includes instrumental parts!)