On December 24, 2022 at the Midnight Mass, the Choir and Orchestra of the Cincinnati Oratory, Old St. Mary’s Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, along with the twenty-one member Laudate Pueri Children’s Schola Cantorum sang Sleep, Holy Babe. The melody was composed by Jacob Schloeder (1865-1919) and arranged by Aaron Hirsch. This is one of the wonderful melodies featured in my HYMN OF THE MONTH for December. The words of this hymn were written by Father Edward Caswall (1814-1878) a most holy priest of the Birmingham Oratory in London.
Sean Connolly who is the Director / Organist of the Oratory Choir has provided a recording of this lovely hymn and photo of the choir. The Director of Laudate Pueri is Sophia Decker, and assistant director Fatima Spoor. Fatima was conducting that night. The Laudate Pueri are an integral part of the Oratory music program which Sean simultaneously assists and oversees in their integration.
Sean brought this arrangement of Schloeder’s tune from his old parish, St Mary, Help of Christians in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota where it was sung every year for nearly a century. To learn more about this beautiful hymn and Father Edward Caswall please take a few moments to read the short story HYMN OF THE MONTH – SLEEP, HOLY BABE.