O Food of Exiles Lowly

This is a hymn about the Eucharist. It is a translation of Mainz Gesangbuch's O Esca Viatorum, which itself was based on John 6: 41-51.

It was translated to English by American-Canadian Roman Catholic priest, scholar, teacher and musician M Owen Lee CSB (1930-2019).

With meter, tunes it has been set to include:
  • INNSBRUCK by Heinrich Isaak, (c1460- c1527) - the most commonly used tune
  • PICARDY  - from a 17th century folksong (obviously with some stretching to fit the meter).


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Solo, unaccompanied (video play when clicked, even though it appears unknown)

Soloist with gentle organ backing:

Soloist with louder organ backing:

Instrumental - improvisation on the organ:


O Food of exiles lowly,
O Bread of angels holy,
O Manna from on high!
We hunger for your blessing,
All good in you possessing,
With favor hear our heart's outcry.

O cleansing water, streaming
From Jesus' side, redeeming
All those of Adam's race!
O quenching fountain flowing,
Our ev'ry want bestowing,
O come and fill our souls with grace.

O Lord, we kneel before you
And fervently adore you,
All hid beneath this bread.
But make to us this promise:
To see you in your fullness,
The sacred body's mystic head.

See also

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