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Oculi Omnium

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Duration

3 minutes

Year of Composition

2011

Licensing

Boosey & Hawkes

Purchase

Hal Leonard

Note from Composer

In November, 2010 Dr. David Skinner, conductor of the Chapel Choir at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, asked me to compose a setting of the Oculi Omnium. The Oculi is the ‘Sidney Grace’, recited at high table and other campus ceremonies, and as I was serving a three month term as a Visiting Fellow at Sidney I was honored to accept the challenge. (I have since completed a five year appointment as Composer-in-Residence).

Some listeners will notice that the ‘amen’ is a direct quote from the end of my i thank You God for most this amazing day. (The entire Oculi is based on those blossoming cluster chords). ‘Oculi Omnium’ means ‘The eyes of all’, and the final line of i thank You God is, ‘now the eyes of my eyes are opened.’ I thought the text and the sense of wonder and awe matched perfectly, thus the quote.

The Text

Oculi omnium ad te spectant; Domine tu das eis escam eorum in tempore opportuno.
Aperis tu manum tuam, et imples omne animal benedictione tua.
Sanctifica nos, quaesumus, per verbum et orationem;
Istisque tuis donis, quae de tua bonitate sumus percepturi, benedicito.
Per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum.
Amen.

The eyes of all look towards thee, O Lord;
thou givest them their meat in due season.

Thou openest thine hand and fillest every living thing with thy blessing.
Sanctify us, we beseech thee, through word and prayer;
and give thy blessing to these thy gifts,
which of thy bounty we are about to receive,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.