# 315 Thou, who at thy first Eucharist didst pray
Words: William Harry Turton
Music: Song 1, melody, and bass, Orlando Gibbons, and harmonized by Ralph Vaughn Williams
Turton, W. H., a Lieut. in the Royal Engineers, has published A Few Hymns written by A Layman between the Festivals of All Saints, 1880 and 1881. This contains 12 hymns. The Second Series, , and the Third Series, 1882-1883, another 12. These hymns are worthy of attention. Those which have passed into common use include:
“And now our Eucharist is o'er” (1881-1882) – not in our Hymnal – and this one:
“0 Thou who at Thy Eucharist didst pray.” This hymn was used at S. Mary Magdalene's, Munster Square, N. W., in the Anniversary Service of the English Church Union, June 22,1881. It is intended to be sung after the ‘Agnus Dei,' at a choral celebration." In the 1889 Supplemental Hymns to Hymns Ancient & Modern it reads "Thou, Who at Thy first Eucharist didst pray."
Orlando Gibbons (1583 – 1625) was an English composer, virginalist and organist of the late Tudor and early Jacobean periods. He was a leading composer in the England of his day. Gibbons was born in Cambridge and christened at Oxford the same year – thus appearing in Oxford church records. Between 1596 and 1598 he sang in the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, where his brother Edward Gibbons (1568–1650), eldest of the four sons of William Gibbons, was master of the choristers. The second brother Ellis Gibbons (1573–1603) was also a promising composer, but died young. Orlando entered the university in 1598 and achieved the degree of Bachelor of Music in 1606. James I appointed him a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, where he served as an organist from at least 1615 until his death. In 1623 he became senior organist at the Chapel Royal, with Thomas Tomkins as junior organist. He also held positions as keyboard player in the privy chamber of the court of Prince Charles (later King Charles I), and organist at Westminster Abbey. He died at age 41 in Canterbury of apoplexy, and a monument to him was built in Canterbury Cathedral. A suspicion immediately arose that Gibbons had died of the plague, which was rife in England that year. Two physicians who had been present at his death were ordered to make a report, and performed an autopsy, the account of which survives in The National Archive, that indicates an autopsy revealed a brain tumor.
One of the most versatile English composers of his time, Gibbons wrote a quantity of keyboard works, around thirty fantasias for viols, a number of madrigals (the best-known being "The Silver Swan"), and many popular verse anthems. His choral music is distinguished by his complete mastery of counterpoint, combined with his wonderful gift for melody. To this day, Gibbons's obit service is commemorated every year in King's College Chapel, Cambridge.
Here is the Los Angeles First Congregrational Church Choir. Enjoy. YOUTUBE