Two little motets

for SSA, organ
6 mins.
  1. Panis angelicus
  2. Anima Christi


These Two little motets were commissioned by Leeds Catholic Cathedral and composed in November 2006. The duration of each is about 2½ minutes.

Programme notes

These little motets for treble voices and organ have a curious provenance. They were indeed commissioned by Leeds Catholic Cathedral; but they were only sung there for a very brief period, as a result of a letter I wrote to The Guardian newspaper, and which that venerable organ surprisingly published. The occasion was a visit to Britain by the then Pope Benedict Ratzinger. Despite my papist origins and childhood (or perhaps because of them) I took great exception to a speech he gave at Holyrood, lecturing his captive audience (which included our Queen) on moral purity or some such vapid bilge. It was then reported (correctly) that this smooth-faced hypocrite had asked the UK government to give Catholic adoption societies exemption from a recent law requiring adoption societies to include gay couples when interviewing potential adoptive parents. My letter to The Guardian was not, let us say, complimentary to His Holiness.

As a result, within twenty-four hours my email Inbox was bristling with emails (direct, cc’d and fw’d) from Catholic clerics, telling me in no uncertain terms that my music would never be played, heard or even whispered within the sacred purlieus of Leeds or any other Catholic cathedral, and that I was, from the Vatican’s standpoint, persona decidedly non grata. Since the commission-fee for my piece had been partly paid by a local patron of the arts whose respect for Catholic teaching and practice was scanty (to put it mildly), it was a colossal piece of cheek; but the extraordinary thing about the incident was that these clerics should see it as acceptable, in the year 2006, to punish a non-Catholic for making a public criticism of the Pope. I was greatly flattered. And the Pope’s request about gay adoption was flatly rejected.


Panis angelicus

fit panis hominum;

dat panis caelicus

figuris terminum:

O  res mirabilis!

manducant Dominum

pauper [et] servus et humilis.

Panis angelicus

fit panis hominum.



Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)




Anima Christi, sanctifica me.

Corpus Christi, salva me.

Sanguis Christi, inebria me.

Aqua lateris Christi, lava me.

Passio Christi, conforta me.

O bone Iesu, exaudi me.

In hora mortis meae voca me.

Anima Christi, sanctifica me.



Anonymous (14th century)