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Ave Verum Corpus


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

SATB organ or piano

Latin and two English translations


Version 1

Ave verum corpus natum
ex Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine,
cujus latus perforatum
vero fluxit et sanguine,
esto nobis praegustatum
mortis in examine.

Version 2

Jesu, Word of God Incarnate,
of the virgin Mary born,
On the cross thy sacred body
for us men with nails was torn
Cleanse us, by thy blood and water
Streaming from thy pierced side;
Feed us with thy body broken,
Now in death''s agony!

Version 3

Jesu, Lamb of God, Redeemer,
born the virgin Mary''s Son,
who upon the cross a victim
hast man''s salvation won.
From whose side, which man had pierced
flow''d the water and the blood,
by thy sacred body broken,
Be in life and death our food.


Ave Verum Corpus - Mozart

Created 15-Sep-08 Revised 11-Apr-09

Ave verum corpus (KV 618)

Mozart's Ave verum corpus
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's setting of Ave verum corpus (K. 618) was written for Anton Stoll (a friend of his and Haydn's) who was musical co-ordinator in the parish of Baden, near Vienna. It was composed to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi and the autograph is dated 17 June 1791. It is only forty-six bars long and is scored for choir, stringed instruments, and organ. Mozart''s manuscript itself contains minimal directions, with only a single sotto voce at the beginning.

Mozart composed this motet while in the middle of writing his opera Die Zauberflöte, and while visiting his wife Constanze, who was pregnant with their sixth child and staying in a spa near Baden. It was less than six months before Mozart's death.

Ave verum corpus is a short Eucharistic hymn dating from the 14th century and attributed to Pope Innocent VI (d. 1362), which has been set to music by various composers. During the Middle Ages it was sung at the elevation of the host during the consecration. It was also used frequently during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The hymn's title means "Hail, true body", and is based on a poem deriving from a 14th-century manuscript from the Abbey of Reichenau, Lake Constance. The poem is a meditation on the Catholic belief in Jesus's Real Presence in the sacrament of the Eucharist, and ties it to Catholic ideas on the redemptive meaning of suffering in the life of all believers.

Onetext is in Latin, and reads:

Ave verum corpus natum
de Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine,
cuius latus perforatum
unda fluxit et sanguine,
esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine.

A translation into English is:

Hail the true body,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Truly suffered, sacrificed
On the Cross for mankind,
Whose pierced side
Flowed with water and blood,
Let it be for us, in consideration,
A foretaste of death.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Metasyntactic variable".

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Ave Verum Corpus - Edward Elgar Ave Verum Corpus - Robert Lucas de Pearsall