Jesu Dulcis Memoria


Words by St. Bernard of Clairvaux
SATB voices, B solo, piano
Published by Fresh Ayre Music

The initial melodic seed for this piece was written by Sarah Kemper, the sister of a former choir member of mine, who was inspired by the first two verses of the Latin prayer by the 12th-century French abbott St. Bernard of Clairvaux. She envisioned a monk chanting the prayer to himself during private devotions; the music honors her image by the inclusion of a bass soloist. The choir also sings the most familiar English translation of the verses (“Jesus, the Very Thought Of Thee”) during the middle portion of the anthem.

Perusal Score (click to view)

SKU: FAM-0080-01 Categories: ,


Jesu dulcis memoria
dans vera cordis gaudia:
sed super mel et omnia
ejus dulcis praesentia.
Nil canitur suavius,
nil auditur jucundius,
nil cogitatur dulcius,
quam Jesus Dei Filius.
Sung translation:
Jesus, the very thought of thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far thy face to see
And in thy Presence rest.
No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the mem’ry find
A sweeter sound than Jesus’ name,
The Savior of mankind.



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