Thursday, August 17, 2017

Assumptiontide II: Te Matrem Dei Laudamus

What was the eliminated lesson from the pre-Tridentine Mattins for the Assumption? A good question deserving of an answer I could not find when parsing my 1554 edition of the Breviarium Romanum, a Parisian printing of the most complicated structure. The Tridentine reforms and modern printing brought some order to the ordinary, sanctoral, commons, and temporal of the Office. By mere chance I happened upon this troped version of the Te Deum. Doubtless, readers will be aware that the medieval dioceses troped the Kyrie according to the season, a practice which survived even in early printings of the Missal of St. Pius V. What readers may not know is that the Gloria and Te Deum were frequently troped, too, according to the feast, especially feasts of the Virgin or concerning the Incarnation. Here is a version of the Ambrosion hymn for use on Marian Saturdays.


  1. Rite of Zagreb (capital of my country) had a troped Marian Gloria too.

  2. Interesting! I wonder what was the reasoning behind removing tropes from the hymns. Just a conjecture (without any basis): medieval uses had troped hymns, while the Roman use didn't. With the Missal of Pius V being adopted everywhere eventually tropes were phased out.

  3. The basis is: "pristina sanctorum Patrum norma", as per Quo Primum.

    1. I believe you're misunderstanding this phrase in Quo Primum. The Tridentine Rite is still a medieval rite. This term can only refer to the propers, not to the ordinary. The ordinary wasn't in the oldest books of the Roman rite available in 1570. See

    2. For removing tropes and farces from the Ordinary they had enough. It truly still is a medieval rite. But agree with Jungmann that the lack of liturgical sciences was a serious drawback in that time.

    3. I disagree. For even the earliest printing of the Missal of Pius V, they still had tropes in the appendix. And even if the liturgical sciences at that time was a serious drawback, it hasn't changed that much even now. There is so much that is lost. Most liturgical scholars prove far too much with little evidence.

    4. In the 1574 Missal, which is the earliest printing of the 1570 one i could find, there is no appendix with tropes and there is nothing in the rubrics themselves which would suggest that they would be used.

      The same is with the 1474 Missal. There is no appendix with tropes and there aren't any in the Ordinary or the Proper either. Although there isn't even an instruction for the celebrant to say Kyrie at all, but there is no mention of troped Gloria.

      Kyrie tropes were most certainly in chant books for that's whence we get the Mass names, like Missa Lux et origo.

      But again, they would've had sufficient resources to remove tropes but not enough other resources to remove other things. If you wanted to do some liturgical research and if you wanted to read older books on history of the liturgy, you can certainly notice that after Trent there's a boom in liturgical sciences which would imply they had drawbacks before that.

      Btw. where have you found the appendix with tropes?

    5. I believe Rubricarius had mentioned it quite a while ago that he had some Missals in his possessions with the Tropes.

      And also when I meant liturgical science didn't advanced that much, I only meant concerning the way Mass was celebrated in the early Church, not the medieval. Despite all the discoveries, the evidence is still quite sparse concerning the period 100 to roughly 400 AD. That is why I believe with Prof. Hull that this idea of trying to go back to the way Mass was celebrated in the Apostolic age is a pipe-dream.

    6. Yes, about how Mass was celebrated in ancient times the evidence around the Council of Trent was very sparse. But now the evidence is abundant.

      In the last 50 years manuscripts of old Eucharistic Prayers from 3rd and 4th century were recovered. Some early manuscripts of Theodore of Mopsuestia's EP were found as well as early editions of Addai and Mari EP. Didache was lost for 800 years but was finally found in late 19th century.

      We now know about the structure, gestures and many other things about the early worship.

      To say that we don't know about the early worship is in itself a myth.

      St. Justin's description is very telling. He also describes the content of the anaphora, namely, thanksgiving for creation and redemption. St. Irenaeus speaks of thanksgiving (anaphora) as being consecratory and mentions invoking the Holy Spirit to consecrate the gifts and exercise the sacrifice.

      We know with absolute certainty that the liturgy in Rome in time of st. Justin went like this:
      Universal prayer
      Kiss of peace
      Gifts brought
      Anaphora with Amen
      Collection of alms

      We know that universal prayer still existed in the time of pope st. Felix III and it is reasonable to conclude that after him it was abolished because he's last to mention it when he says that the penitents as catechumens may stay until prayers of the faithful (not counting it) (P.L. 58., 925.). His successor was st. Gelasius and we know that there is a certain "Deprecatio Gelasii" and it is absolutely certain that he put it at the beginning of the Mass in imitation of Greek practice and he abolished the universal prayer in its former place. Later st. Gregory abolished the litany on most days and he moved the Lord's Prayer from after the fraction to before the fraction.

      Kiss of peace was, as mentioned, at the close of prayers of the faithful, but pope st. Innocent already mentions it as being before Communion when writing to bishop Decentius.

      Etc. Etc. Not only can we know how liturgy looked like in each century, but we can exactly trace the development of it.

    7. You see it like that, but I see it as still only fragments of particular Churches. And there is dispute still on certain things. And relying on only a few writers to try to reconstruct the old Mass is a fools' errand IMHO. Yes we may know about St. Justin, but is he representative of the whole Church of Rome or is his a variant with some things displaced? Also, all these things are just general; we don't know the exact details of things. That is what I mean: exact details. And I'm content not to know them; it's futile to want to go back to that kind of thing anyways. The Easterners did much better in keeping their developed liturgy than throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    8. Well we know more than those general things. This format of discussion is very limited so it isn't very easy to provide all the examples.
      I was only naming one example. Some sources give us exact contents of the prayer of the faithful. The form of it is still inferred though.

      About st. Justin. We know he isn't a representative of some displaced things because he's writing in the time when things were still very much unified between Churches (e.g. st. Polycarp concelebrated with pope st. Anicetus in Rome). What st. Justin describes is an order which is now present in the East basically universally. And also, he was making an official apology before the Emperor. He would make sure to mention those things which are universal.

      Speaking of universal things, we can, by looking at them, i.e. at things which are shared transritually, infer that they're ancient and possibly even Apostolic.

      So you don't want to know liturgical history? Then you shouldn't let yourself form judgments on liturgical matters let alone express them publicly.

      The Easterners did a better job because they actually kept original things and just added on others.
      What Romans did throughout first 6 century tops the whole Byzantine liturgical history, and it set an example for later reforms.
      One of the things Romans did keep which is actually ancient is preparation of the gifts after the dismissal of the catechumens.
      A vestige of this is still in the Great Enterance in the Byzantine Rite, and even more when a bishop celebrates the liturgy for he does the dyptichs and censes the gifts before the Great Enterance.

    9. I didn't mean that absolutely. I mean liturgical history shouldn't be used to artificially reconstruct the rites, just as though the additions were just deformations; if that's the case, I would rather be ignorant than tamper by a committee things better left alone. It is false to say the Easterners just added things; the Easterners rearranged things quite a bit as well (St. Germanus of Constantinople is one of the main ones), but not by committee. I said that wrongly, without thought, about content to be ignorant about liturgical history. My apologies.

      BTW, that preparation of the gifts as typically done in the Novus Ordo is a farce: people bringing stuff not their own!

      You must also understand that the Romans did their thing that way, since the Western mind is different from the Eastern. Again, I say though that it is false to say Easterners didn't rearrange their liturgy as well.

    10. Easterners did obviously rearrange their liturgy (preparation of gifts is one example) but it seems to me that they touched fewer things than Romans. Can you point me to an article or anything about reforms of st. Germanus? I'd love to read something on that.

      About history and reconstruction. I'd just disagree with you on the point that we shouldn't do reconstructions. They should be done well and without an agenda. They should be real reconstructions and not reinterpretations.

      About preparation of the gifts in NO. Yes. I was just thinking about that this morning while i was walking my dog, Marcel. If people brought their own gifts then that would be authentic and obviously better. But not everybody has a host press. Most people can't even buy hosts because there are none available in their vicinity. Wine is another thing - it's widely available. But it would be great if a greater flexibility of the form of bread used was allowed so that people can actually bake their own bread.

    11. I found a bit on with Fr. Robert Taft's articles and books on St. Germanus of Constantinople's role. It was quite above my paygrade, but I did take out from his works that St. Germanus did do a bit of rearranging. Just search Robert Taft on Scribd and you'll find a lot of stuff.

  4. And anyways, the Roman Rite feels a bit poorer for losing ALL the tropes. It was a bit excessive in medieval times, it is true, but it's come back in a much more uninspiring way.

    1. To me it feels purer :D :P (I like purity if you hadn't noticed :P )
      After all you can now trope in the Novus Ordo all you want :)

  5. The history of liturgy is extremely fascinating thing where we can learn a lot. Nevertheless, we our knowledge on how the things were done is piecemeal unless we have actual liturgical books (Ordines romani, sacramentaries, etc.) For example, the Pax after the at the fraction might be a ceremony with a quite different origin from the one before the offertory, rather than the result of transfer of the latter (Why would they do that?). See e.g.

    A to the tropes, proses, sequences, they appear to be very much regional phenomena, and the Roman curia is not the only place which was rather unhospitable to them. Some Eastern/Northern European uses also did not have them although differing from Rome in other things.

    1. I think it is a ceremony of exactly the same origin and even if one takes it only as the "seal of prayer" it would be the same for it was given as the seal of prayer of the faithful or the Lord's prayer.

      I don't think there is a single instance of double pax in a liturgy so that lends to the same conclusion that it is a transfer.
      Search "Kiss of peace" on this page. This is a fine comparative liturgy study.

      Why would they do that? No respect for tradition while taking the custom from Africa? But why did Africans have it there? I don't know.

  6. Just read about the troped Marian Gloria in the Bragan use, as well as the Te Matrem. Have yet to find them, though.