19 March 2014

Mass of the Five Wounds: UPDATED


Another thing it doesn't mean is 'Source Criticism', in which 'scholars' bandy around hypotheses about whether writer X has copied from writer Y. (So, in the OT, there are, allegedly, the Yahwistic source etc. etc.; in the NT there's the Synoptic Problem and did Matthew copy from Mark and was there a now lost document called Q which Matthew and Luke copied from?... all a load of nonsense, and I sha'n't be taking comments on all that). But that's not what I'm writing about now, and it's not what Textual Criticism is. Textual Criticism is: looking at two or more copies of the same book by the same author, and spotting that there are differences between them; and asking 'which of them is right; which of them tells us what the original author originally wrote?'


The Paschal Alleluia in the late medieval Mass of the Five Wounds exhibits lectiones varias. 

Ave rex noster Jesu Christe tu solus nostros errores et reatus miseratus pertulisti Patri obediens ductus es ad crucem ut agnus mansuetus ad occisionem tibi gloria osanna tibi summe laudis et honestatis chorea.

Notes: this has a characteristically medieval set of rhymes or near rhymes: of which more later. Chorea is an odd word.

The Missal of S Pius V:
Ave rex noster tu solus nostros es miseratus errores Patri obediens ductus es ad crucifigendum ut agnus mansuetus ad occisionem tibi gloria hosanna tibi triumphus et victoria tibi summae laudis et honoris corona.

Notes: corona is interesting. Written choroa with a tilde for the n over the second o, it would easily be corrupted to chorea. The tibis at the end could lend themselves to parablepsis on account of homoeoteleuton/ homoeoarchon (or, in George Kilpatrick's shorthand, just 'hom').

One could reconstruct an archetype, with 'rhymes' distinguished:
Ave rex noster Iesu Christe
Tu solus nostros errores et reatus
                                        miseratus pertulisti
Patri obediens ductus es ad crucem
Ut agnus mansuetus ad occisionem
tibi gloria
tibi triumphus et victoria
tibi hosanna
tibi summae laudis et honoris corona.

Rhyming Christe with Pertulisti: would that suggest an English provenance?

The question is, surely: do we have a florid medieval composition toned down by the Pian Counter-Reformation, or an originally simple composition made more florid in Sarum? May the exigencies of melody have played any part in this?


If  a protoSarum version has embellished a simpler version, the process could be illustrated typographically:
                                                                   errores et reatus     pertulisti
Ave rex noster Jesu Christe tu solus nostros es /miseratus errores /Patri obediens ductus es ad
crucifigendum ut agnus mansuetus ad occisionem tibi gloria hosanna tibi {triumphus et victoria} tibi summae
                   estatis e    
laudis et honoris corona

{triumphus et victoria} lost by hom      c(h)orona corrupted to c(h)orea

This would imply a degree of ms transmission to allow for the two corruptions. So ...???????????


Ben Whitworth said...

Interesting! I notice that the Alleluia verse "Ave rex noster tu solus" in the 1952 Graduale Romanum has the same opening musical phrase as the Palm Sunday antiphon "Ave rex noster fili David" in the Worcester Antiphonal; and the CANTUS Database lists no other MSS. with that antiphon. Of course, that may mean no more than that the Solesmes monks in 1952 were looking at the Worcester MS., which they had published in facsimile some thirty years earlier. It would be helpful to compare the Sarum chants for the Five Wounds, if they survive.

Sir Watkin said...

Am I missing something? I can't see that rhyming Christe with Pertulisti would suggest an English provenance unless we were discussing a text that postdated the Great Vowel Shift and the consequent distortion of English Latin pronunciation.

Christopher said...

Well, this is getting interesting. I consulted the two missals that I mentioned in a previous comment. The Rouen missal (1495) agrees perfectly with the Sarum text you quote, but the Dominican missal (Venice, 1484) gives us a third version of the text to work with.

Ave rex noster tu solus nostros miseratus errores patri obediens ductus es ad crucifigendum ut agnus mansuetus ad occisionem: tibi gloria osanna tibi summe laudis et honestatis corona.

Incidentally, the Rouen source (like Sarum) includes a tract and a long sequence but this is absent from the Dominican books.

More to follow later on...

Jesse said...

On "the exigencies of melody", do we possess a source containing the melodies for the Sarum propers of the Five Wounds? I have just spent a diverting couple of hours looking for one via Early English Books Online.

So far as I can tell, no printed Gradual contains them (I have looked at editions of 1508, 1527, and 1532) -- at least not where one would expect to find them (after the votive mass De sancta cruce). Frere's facsimile of BL Add. 12194 (s. xiii) does not include it. And in the splendid index to that facsimile, which lists chants from many other sources, he lists only Dickinson's edition of the Sarum Missal, which is founded on printed copies, as a source for the Five Wounds.

A great many printed editions of the Sarum Missal survive from the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. (I was interested to note reprints from the reign of Mary I.) But I have not discovered any printed noted missals (i.e. missals containing the melodies of the chant propers) that would contain the chant propers of the Five Wounds. (Presumably the votive post-dates the surviving manuscript noted missals.)

I think it probable, therefore, that the Mass of the Five Wounds was never provided with its own proper melodies. That does not mean that the texts were not composed with a musical setting in mind.

Have I overlooked some obvious source? EEBO, while splendid, is not exhaustive. And it does not extend to manuscript copies.

Jesse said...

Of course I meant "late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries".

wywialm said...

Please forgive me my off-topic question about Source Criticism. Would you mind directing me or pointing to the reasons why we should ignore Source Criticism entirely? Is it the specific findings at which they arrive, or the method they try to apply?

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Nothing to forgive. The subjects can overlap ... for example, the text crit evidence is one big arguments against the Two-Document (Q!) hypothesis. The big reason I dislike source crit is that it doesn't treat the texts as canonical and deserving respect, but as some old ancient documents to be pulled around for 'scholars' to make their reputations with. But over three decades of teaching the stuff, I also came to see that many of the foundations of Source crit and all that, depended on no evidence: the idea that the Gospels couldn't have been written within years or even months of the Days of the Incarnate Lord; that theologically complex John has to be later than the Synoptics; that Oral Tradition cannot be accurate; that the Words of the Lord couldn't have been written down (the ancients had shorthand)as He spoke; that He spoke in Aramaic which had to be translated into Greek ... when I retired I left all the books about it back in the Departmental Library.

Will said...

Like Sir Watkin, I would expect a rhyme of -e with -i to be a post-GVS phenomenon. Unless, that is, there were a tendency to rhyme close front vowels, irrespective of their specific quality; in which case, analogously, one would expect to see rhymes of -o with -u. (All the more so, in fact, as the back axis of the vowel space is more crowded and the distinctions correspondingly slighter.)

On another matter, does the rhyme (if such it is) of reatūs with miseratŭs help in establishing the date or place of origin?

Fr John Hunwicke said...

I'm not a Englang phoneticist (though I have toyed a bit with what happened in Cornish). But the appearances in this piece are, it seems to me, so compelling that I wonder if the isti/iste rhyme does indeed date the Sarum version as English and post-GVS. But aren't we stymied here by the gradualness of linguistic change and the lack of consistency in different parts of the Country?

Christopher said...

Here is the postscript that I promised.

As Jesse notes, it’s not easy to find a Sarum source for the chants, and that makes it hard to bring the music to bear on the question at hand. Of course the absence of chants from the printed editions of the Sarum gradual is not evidence that they were never composed; a situation in which the text of the gradual has failed to keep up with the text of the missal is far from unprecedented. So I would encourage well-placed readers to go hunting in the manuscript sources. Indeed, there’s every reason to believe that early sources would reward study.

Not having any of these two hand, I have examined some more recent editions. All the editions that I have consulted contain a text agreeing with the Tridentine version. They divide the text into two parts; the first part constitutes the (first) Alleluia of the Mass while the second part, which begins Tibi gloria, hosanna, forms the verse of the second Alleluia in Eastertide. Curiously enough recent Dominican sources (the 1892 missal and 1950 gradual) omit this second part in favour of a seasonal chant.

When we look at melodies, we find a remarkable situation. The Reims-Cambrai Gradual of 1858 gives the text set to two familiar melodies, Schlager 121 (Cantate Domino, mode I) and Schlager 27 (Dies sanctificatus, mode II). On the other hand the Regensburg edition of 1871 sets the text to two quite different melodies in mode I and mode VII. These melodies are also to be found, in (apparently) restored versions with many more notes, in the 1908 Vatican edition. The most recent edition of the Cistercian gradual largely agrees with the Vatican edtion, but the Dominican Gradual of 1950 sets Alleluia V. Ave rex noster to a different melody in (extended) mode II.

What’s particularly curious is the complete disagreement between the two ‘reformed’ editions, the Vatican and Reims-Cambrai. It would be interesting to discover what sources they were able to draw upon.

Joshua said...

Nothing curious about the second Alleluia in Dominican Missals being seasonal - throughout the first forty days of Eastertide, the second Alleluia commemorates the Resurrection; and during Ascensiontide, the Ascension.

Christopher said...


What I find curious is that the more recent Dominican books do not agree with the early printed missals. Is the practice of commemorating the Resurrection/Ascension in the second Alleluia a relatively recent feature of the rite?

Joshua said...

That I cannot say. I just checked Bonniwell but couldn't find any reference.

Ben Whitworth said...

It seems timely to be thinking again about the five wounds of our Lord, so here is the verse as it occurs in the "Arbuthnott Missal" (Scottish Sarum MS. of 1491, but the Mass of the Five Wounds is tipped in at the front and may be a later addition).

"Ave rex, tu solus nostros miseratus errores: Patri obediens, ductus es ad crucem ut agnus mansuetus ad occisionem: tibi gloria, osanna: tibi supremo laudis et honestatis corona."