The Issues in Medieval Liturgy Seminar devotes itself to the scholarly study of liturgical and devotional life in the Middle Ages. The time period stretches from the late patristic through the renaissance/reformation. The group is interested in any prayer activity of the period which includes both liturgical and devotional. Two sorts of presentations are encouraged: finished papers awaiting publication and works in progress which will benefit from the work in seminar.
Seminar Report 2020
Daniel J. DiCenso, Associate Professor of Music, College of the Holy Cross (Dan was ill and unable to attend; Walter Knowles filled in as Convener pro tem for the meeting.)
Members in Attendance
Katie Bugyis, Michael Driscoll, Barbara Haggh-Hu- glo, Walter Knowles, Rebecca Maloy, Anthony Ruff, Tyler Sampson, Michael Witczak, Anne Yardley
Visitors in Attendance
Cara Apesi, Elaine Stratton Hild, Christopher Hodkin- son, Katherine Steiner
Papers and Presentations
- Michael Witczak continued his series of comparisons of the apologies at the Eucharistic liturgy (the private prayers of the priest in the Roman liturgy). The communion rite of the 1962 and 2008 Roman Missals served as the topic. The theological key to the comparison was the theology of priesthood expressed in each prayer. Of particular interest was a 1962 private prayer in the first person singular (“I”) converted in the post Vatican II reform into a public prayer (“We”) that introduces the sharing of the sign of peace by the whole community. Next year should bring a comparison of the concluding rites and final conclusions of the project.
- Christopher Hodkinson presented a performance edition of ferial Compline according to the Use of Sarum, based upon manuscript sources from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Questions discussed included editorial meth- odology, the interpretation of rubrics regarding posture and tone of voice, and the adaptation of the Sarum Office for parochial Suggestions were made regarding further development of the project and possibilities for publication.
- Kate Kennedy Steiner presented “Local music and the early Lady Mass in insular sources.” The paper argued that music for early Lady mass (a daily solemn Marian mass in her own chapel) in the British Isles developed locally primarily through contrafacta on common sets of chants. In the thirteenth century the Lady mass absorbed the creative output of musicians serving it, and as such it becomes for us an important witness to the ritualization of Marian theology at the local level.
- Barbara Haggh-Huglo discussed the processional antiphon for the dead “Clementissime Domine qui pro nostra miseria” whose earliest source is a tenth-century addition to D-Mbs Clm 14179 from northwest France and which next appears in I-Rv 5, a late eleventh- or early twelfth-century antiphoner from the Benedictines of St. Sisto in Rome. It would later be sung by Dominicans, Franciscans, and Carmelites, and in other locations, but was not universally used. The presentation discussed the antiphon’s possible Roman origin and diffusion, and compared its text to that of the offertory of the dead, Domine Jesu Christe, which also refers to Tartarus.
- Elaine Stratton Hild presented a work-in-progress entitled “Chants in medieval rituals for the end of life.” The book project examines manuscript sources from four institutions: Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican (San Pietro F 11, beg. 12th century); Sens cathedral (Paris, Bib. Nat. lat. 934, 12th century); Orsières, Switzerland (Grand St Bernard 3, 14th century); and the Abbey of the Minoresses of St Clare without Aldgate, England (Reigate Surrey, Cranston Library 2322, 15th century), and analyzes the functions of music within the rituals.
- Tyler Sampson presented “The ordines romani and Presbyteral Liturgy,” part of a larger project examining the practical, theological, and educational uses of the ordines romani. This paper focused on a liturgical-didactic book of the 9th century meant for the use of a priest (Paris, BnF lat. 1248). It argued that this rare instance of documented presbyteral liturgy indicates the persistence and creativity of the Carolingian liturgical reforms, and that liturgical practice was locally conditioned.
- Michael S. Driscoll presented a paper entitled, “Officializing Private Confession: The Carolingian Contribution.” In 813 five regional councils were convened in Gaul (Reims, Arles, Chalon-sur-Saône, Mainz and Tours) by Charlemagne to deal with the question of public and private In September of that year, the results of these councils were gathered at the imperial court at Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) which would impact the sacramental practice of penance. Briefly the overall decision was that if one committed a public sin, then this should be submitted to public solemn penitence, but if the sin was private it should be submitted to private penance. This solution was artificial and it did not hold for long. Yet, the distinction between public and private penance helped move the latter heretofore a pious monastic exercise to an official sacramental form recognized by the bishops.
- Anthony Ruff led a singing practicum entitled “Learning to Sing a Medieval Chant: Emotional Expression in Performance (Then and Now),” a combined session of the Issues in Medieval Liturgy seminar and Liturgical Music The objective of the practicum was to learn to sing a medieval chant in a variety of ways to better understand the degree to which the text, the music, and the liturgical context either inherently express or beg for the performative expression of emotion. This was followed by a round table discussion entitled “Chant and Emotion: Concrete Examples for Discussion,” organized by Daniel DiCenso, Christopher Hodkinson, Rebecca Maloy, and Anthony Ruff.
- Rebecca Maloy presented an overview of a new collaborative interdisciplinary project, “Doctrine, Devotion, and Cultural Expression in the Cults of Medieval Iberian Saints” and presented a case study focusing on the common of confessors and the cult of Aemilian at San Millán de la Cogolla.
- Katie Bugyis presented a paper entitled, “Tracing the Templar Origins of a Twelfth-Century ” This paper sought to recover the origins of a psalter (Cambridge, St. John’s College, MS C.18 (68)), known to have been acquired in the late twelfth century by the Benedictine nuns at Wherwell Abbey in Hampshire, England. By examining liturgical features of the psalter that were integral to its intended use, Bugyis made a case for identifying the Knight Templar Osto de Saint-Omer (d. c.1174) as the psalter’s patron and first owner.
Other Work and Plans for the Future
The seminar is working to revise and update its membership and email lists—both of which have fallen a bit out of date. The seminar really enjoyed the joint session and is thinking about ways to incorporate more joint sessions in future years. Conversations were had about potential presentations and discussions to be had in 2021.
Seminar Report 2019
Joanne Pierce, Professor, Department of Religious Studies, College of the Holy Cross
Members in Attendance
Joanne Pierce, Daniel DiCenso, Michael Driscoll, Martin Jean, Nicholas Kamas, Walter Knowles, Rebecca Maloy, Anthony Ruff, Richard Rutherford, Tyler Sampson, Michael Witczak, Anne Yardley
Visitors in Attendance
Marco Benini, Elaine Stratton Hild, Christopher Hod- kinson, L. Lomarr, Henry Parkes
Papers and Presentations
- Daniel DiCenso presented remarks on a pre-circulated draft of “Moved by Music: Problems in Approaching Emotional Expression in Gregorian Chant” (forthcoming in Emotion and Medieval Textual Media, Early European Re- search 13. A response to the paper was given by Rebecca Maloy. Today, studies of text/music relationship(s) abound in the field of music (particularly with regard to medieval secular song), but contemporary scholars have been persistently clear in articulating why emotion has no place in the study of plainchant. Why is this so? This paper lays out the full scale of these objections, the ‘specious barriers’ standing in the way of the study of chant and emotion, and concludes by demonstrating why it is so important that emotion and chant studies come together.
- Elaine Stratton Hild presented “Considering Medieval Rites for the Dying, as Practiced among the Laity: An Attempt.” Were the medieval rites for the dying (often referred to as the Commendatio animae) practiced only by elite religious communities, or were they also practiced with the laity? If so, how similar or how varied were they? The examination of capitularies and statements of church councils reveals an idea that each person be given the opportunity to be in good standing with the church and receive its ritual benefits at the end of life. Manuscripts from the ninth century suggest some sort of lay participation in these rituals, at least, among those laity living in proximity to elite institutions. Comparing the rituals for the dying in manuscripts from Saint Peter’s and Orsières reveal both an agreement in the fundamental approach to the dying process and an enormous variation in the expression of the fundamentals.
- Nicholas Kamas presented “Humbert of Silva Candida as a source for the 11th-century rite of ” The paper examines the works of the leader of the Latin legation to Constantinople in 1054, which have widely been regarded as untrustworthy in their descriptions of church practices in the Christian East, and compares them to other available liturgical, legal, and lit- erary sources. It concludes that Humbert’s descriptions are broadly accurate when describing liturgical and disciplinary details of the Constantinopolitan rite.
- Henry Parkes presented “Editing Bern of Reichenau’s opera liturgica”: a progress report on a new edition of the liturgical writings by Bern of Reichenau (d. 1048), provisionally accepted for publication in Corpus Christianorum. The presentation included: the rationale for the edition (there is a history of skepticism about authorship, sustained by a lack of understanding about the textual history); an overview of the texts, manuscripts, and editorial method; questions about the genre-defying nature of Bern’s writings; and reflections on Bern’s legacy and the need for scholars to revisit the bigger picture of liturgical commentary traditions before and after the Gregorian Reforms.
- Michael Witczak presented the third of three explorations of the private prayers of the priest in the order of Mass in the Roman Missal, comparing the MR 2008 and MR 1962. The change of prayers of apology to table prayers has implications for the implicit theology of priesthood, broadening it to in- corporate the priesthood of all the baptized.
- Anne Yardley presented a paper entitled “The Holy Trinity of Barking Abbey: Ethelburg, Hildelith, and ” In the paper she explores the contents of Cambridge University Library Dd.12.56, a fifteenth-century Book of Hours, and especially the liturgical chant texts in honor of these three abbesses. She contends that the presentation of the antiphon and responsory texts interspersed with psalm incipits indicates a recitation of the gradual psalms with special focus on Ethelburg and Psalm 118 with special focus on the Trinity and the trinity of nuns. While previous sources have offered the text incipits for some of the chants, this manuscript appears to be the only known source for full texts.
Other Work and Plans for the Future
Daniel DiCenso was chosen to be convener for the next three years (firstname.lastname@example.org). Plans for the future include a possible two sessions on death for 2020, with additional invited speakers. Additional topics, such as the “other” in medieval liturgy or drama and medieval liturgy, may be considered for meetings in 2021 or 2022.