Unde et Memores
(Communion hymn)

“Unde et Memores” (Latin: “mindful”) is a tune that takes its name from the first line of William Bright’s (1824-1901) hymn text, “And now, O Father, mindful of the love….” The tune is sometimes also used to accompany W.H. Turton’s (1856-1938) text that begins, “Thou, who at thy first Eucharist didst pray….” Both are Eucharistic, or Communion, hymns; and so this arrangement of “Unde et Memores” is ideal as an instrumental selection at Holy Communion.

“Unde et Memores” was written to accompany Bright’s 1874 text by the English organist, choirmaster, and composer William Henry Monk (1823-1889), who from 1857 to 1889 served as music editor for Hymns Ancient and Modern, overseeing its initial publication (1861) and additional supplements and revisions (1868, 1875, 1889). Monk himself composed more than 50 hymn tunes, including the well-known “Eventide,” used with the text, “Abide With Me.”

The six lines of iambic pentameter in Bright’s text are realized in Monk’s tune as (perhaps unusually) six three-measure phrases, each beginning with a quarter-note pickup (anacrucis) and ending with a dotted half-note at the cadence. The efficient simplicity of the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic construction of “Unde et Memores” lends itself to the exploration of the tune in this arrangement.

Score, parts (Bb tpt. 1, Bb tpt. 2, F horn, tbn, tuba) — $12.99