Sunday, 23 December 2012

Office of the Dead: Reims

One of the few things missing from Erik Drigsdahl's excellent www.chd.dk website is a table for identifying Offices of the Dead of different Uses, comparable to his tables of Hours of the Virgin (he does, however, provide a list of the responsories).  I have collected many over the years, especially non-Sarum English ones, but never had time to put them on the web. So, until I get organised to make a useful table, maybe I'll put some Uses up here individually, starting with Reims, from the Houston Hours.


For those not familiar with the structure of the Office, it consists of nine lessons (in three groups of three, separated by Psalms) each followed by a response and versicle. Most lessons, responses, and versicles can be distinguished by their first word or two. Knud Ottosen's book misleadingly implies that different Uses can be distinguished by looking just as the responsories (in fact, his tables of responsories disguise significant differences between different manuscripts of different Uses).

  1. Parce
    1. Credo quod
    2. Quem visurus
  2. Tedet
    1. Qui Lazarum
    2. Qui venturus
  3. Manus
    1. Domine quando
    2. Commissa mea
  4. Quantas
    1. Requiem eternam
    2. Qui Lazarum
  5. Homo
    1. Heu mihi
    2. Et anima mea turbata est
  6. Lignum
    1. Ne recorderis
    2. Convertere domine
  7. Quis
    1. Peccantem me
    2. Deus in nomine
  8. Ecce
    1. Domine secundum
    2. Quoniam iniquitatem
  9. Scio
    1. Libera me ... de morte
    2. Dies illa
The responsories can be looked-up in Ottosen's tables to produce this sequence: 
14, 72, 24; 82, 32, 57; 68, 28, 38
for which he records eight manuscripts attributed to Reims, one to La Couture, and one to Notre-Dame-des-Pres-les-Troyes. 

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