ABSTRACT

One of the most significant aspects of nineteenth-century Catholic music in England was the emergence of a substantial repertoire of works for the rite of Benediction. Typically this focused on settings of O Salutaris, the Litany, and Tantum Ergo; and sometimes these were grouped together to form what was known as a ‘Benediction Service’. Benediction music could also include settings of Adoremus in Aeternum and other Latin hymns, including Stabat Mater. For example, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Liverpool, there are 14 hand-bound copies of Marian antiphon settings by Franz Abt, Arthur O’Leary, Joseph Egbert Turner, Vincent Novello and Samuel Webbe the elder. Given the absence of Office services there, these must have been associated with Benediction. Yet, even if these are ignored, the sheer quantity of output is impressive, as shall be illustrated from the contents of Benediction manuals such as Newsham’s Selection of Music suitable for the rite of Benediction, Tozer’s New and Complete Manual for Benediction, or the contents of the Crown of Jesus Hymnal.1