Today, June 20th, is the Feast of Corpus Christi. a Christian liturgical solemnity celebrating the real presence of the body and blood of Jesus Christ in the elements of the Eucharist. Two months earlier, the Eucharist is observed on Maundy Thursday in a somber atmosphere leading to Good Friday. The feast of Corpus Christi was established to create a feast focused solely on the Holy Eucharist emphasizing the joy of the Eucharist being the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
The music of Everett Titcomb (1884-1968) occupies a unique niche in the catalogue of sacred organ and choral works by 20th-century Anglican composers in the United States. An Anglo-Catholic, he spent fifty years nearly to the day (1910-1960) as organist and choirmaster at Boston's Church of St. John the Evangelist in Bowdoin Street.
"Cibavit eos" was published by B. F. Wood in 1958. It is based upon the chant melody of the proper Introit for the day, "Cibavit eos" (He fed them from the fullness of the wheat, Alleluia. And sated them with honey from the rock, Alleluia.)
It is typical of all of these "liturgical improvisations" by Titcomb. The style is "expansive," starting quietly, moving through MANY keys, building up and quieting down, and eventually crescendoing to a tremendous climax.
The work is dedicated: "To Gardner Evans, Esq."
Gardner C. Evans (1897 – 1951) was organist and choirmaster of the Church of Our Savior, Brookline, Massachusetts. His anthem, “Thy kingdom come” used to be quite popular some years ago.
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Everett Titcomb, of the organ he played at St. John the Evangelist, and two photos of the Church of our Savior in Brookline.
Tomorrow is the day of the Summer/Winter Solstice. If you live in places like the US, you are entering the summer, but if you live way down in Australia, it's winter!
Tomorrow, I'll have something for both - a mild and quiet one, and one of Rowley's WILDEST works, so, please give a listen! :-)