Panis Angelicus

Composer: Cesar Franck
Performers: various
Category: Classical

Panis Angelicus (the text) actually comes from the second last verse of a hymn called Sacris solemniis, written by Saint Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi. It has been set to music by many, although the most famous one (and the one highlighted here) is the version composed by Cesar Franck in 1872.

Numerous artists have recorded it, including Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Katherine Jenkins, Richard Crooks, and Roberto Alagna. It was the song of choice for two Kennedy funeral masses - Robert Kennedy in 1968, and Edward Kennedy in 2009 (performed by Placido Domingo and Yo-Yo Ma.

I have also sung (and accompanied other singers) in the English version, known as O Lord Most Holy. I've included the lyrics on this page below the Latin/English ones.

Free sheet music (violin/organ)

Free sheet music (vocal/organ)

Sheet music (string quartet score & parts)
Sheet music (vocal/piano) - English & Latin version


Panis angelicus
fit panis hominum;
Dat panis coelicus
figuris terminum:
O res mirabilis!
Manducat Dominum
Pauper, servus et humilis.

Te trina Deitas
unaque poscimus:
Sic nos tu visita,
sicut te colimus;
Per tuas semitas
duc nos quo tendimus,
Ad lucem quam inhabitas.


The angelic bread
becomes the bread of men;
The heavenly bread
ends all prefigurations:
What wonder!
The Lord is eaten
by a poor and humble servant.

Triune God,
We beg of you:
visit us,
just as we worship you.
By your ways,
lead us where we are heading,
to the light in which you dwell.

"O Lord Most Holy" (English version lyrics)

O Lord most holy, O Lord most holy,
O loving Father, Thee would we be praising always.
Help us to know Thee;
Father, Father, grant us Thy truth and grace;
Father, Father, guide and defend us.
Rule Thou our willful hearts,
Keep Thee our wand’ring thoughts;
In all our sorrows
Let us find our rest in Thee;
And in temptation’s hour,
Save through Thy mighty pow’r
Thine aid O send us; hear us in mercy.
Show us Thy favor, so shall we live,
And sing praise to Thee.

Return from Panis Angelicus to Classical or Unity Candle Songs
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