Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
O salutaris hostia
O salutaris hostia (English O Saving Host) It is the penultimate stanza of the hymn, Verbum supernum prodiens, composed by St. Thomas Aquinas for the Hour of Lauds in the Office of the Feast of Corpus Christi. This stanza and the final stanza, or doxology (Uni trinoque domino), have been selected to form a separate hymn for Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Usually, and most appropriately, it is begun either when the door of the tabernacle is opened or when the monstrance is being placed on the throne of exposition. The hymn is often chosen as a motet for solemn Mass, and may thus be used after the proper Offertory for the day has been sung or recited. An indefensible, but, fortunately, very rare, custom, perhaps inaugurated by Pierre de la Rue, the profound contrapuntal composer of the fifteenth century, was that of replacing the Benedictus at Mass by the O Salutaris.