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B3



Joined: 09 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chancellor Valium wrote:
Azmael wrote:
Interesting. I remember someone's (I forget whose) research presentation years ago where they presented some (as I recall quite compelling) evidence for performing chant much, much faster than it would be today (they even did some nice examples of comparing it at serious pace to the call to prayer, underlying which was a suggestion that chant was basically music imported from the Middle East and slowed down quite a lot, with a bunch of its decoration removed).

Thanks for the YouTube links. Great stuff.

That's a really interesting suggestion, actually. I hadn't heard it, but it did make me think of something I found in Dr Klunzinger's Upper Egypt, It's People and Products, a work on contemporaneous Egypt in the 19th Century.

He writes the following on part of the Coptic divine liturgy:
Quote:
Among the congregation in the forepart of the choir are some of the inferior clergy dressed like the rest of the people. These stand at a reading-desk, and with furious rapidity read the gospels of the day in a sort of chanting style, first in the old Coptic language, which is still kept up for that purpose, and then in Arabic with a commentary for the edification of the people.


So rapid chanting may well be part of the tradition of the Orthodox (and Catholic, one can probably assume) Churches.

This would seem to be borne out by some elements of the Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great (which is the Divine Liturgy used for most of the year) which are shared very closely with the Roman Rite (at least in its old form). I refer particularly to this section, entitled in the handbook I found online as the "Liturgy of the Faithful":

Quote:

Priest:
The Priest places a napkin on his left hand. In his right hand he
takes the napkin which was over the lamb.
He makes the sign of the cross three times. First time, The Priest
turns to the west, blessing the Congregation, making the sign of
the cross:


The Lord be with you all.

Congregation:
And with your spirit.

Priest:
Second time, he turns toward east, blesses the deacons to his
right, making the sign of the cross:


Lift up your hearts.

Congregation:
They are with the Lord.

Priest:
Third time, he turns toward east, he blesses himself, making the
sign of the cross:

Let us give thanks to the Lord.

Congregation:
Worthy and right.

Priest:
The Priest raises his hands up; covered by the two napkins and
continues:

Worthy and right, Worthy and right,
truly, indeed, He is worthy and right.
You, Who are Master, Lord, God of
truth, being before the ages and
reigning forever, Who dwells in the
highest and looks upon the lowly; Who
has created the heaven, the earth, the
sea and all that is therein.
The Father of our Lord, God and Savior
Jesus Christ, by Whom You have
created all things, seen and unseen.
Who sits upon the Throne of His Glory,
and Who is worshipped by all the holy
powers.



Compare and contrast with the words of the Preface in the Catholic Mass:
Quote:

Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them [up] to the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give [him] thanks and praise.


The current translation is rather anaemic and inaccurate, I think, but if we look at the newer translation which may be brought in in 2011:

Quote:

Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And with your spirit.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God
People: It is right and just.


This is then followed by the Preface, which tends to be specific to the day, but also usually begins with a particular formulation said by the priest. Here is the first Preface for Sundays in Ordinary Time, for example:
Quote:

Father all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere
to give thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through His cross and resurrection
He freed us from sin and death
and called us to the glory that made us a chosen race,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,
a people set apart.
Everywhere we proclaim Your mighty works,
for You have called us out of darkness
into Your own wonderful light.

And so, with all the choirs of angels in heaven,
we proclaim Your glory
and join in their unending hymn of praise:


This is followed by the Sanctus.

This doesn't look terribly like the words of the priest in the Coptic rite, however. But the Preface is not the only place in a Catholic Mass that the sursum corda is used. It also appears, for example, during the Easter Proclamation, traditionally sung by the Deacon at the Easter Vigil. What follows the sursum corda there is as follows:
Quote:

It is truly right
that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.


Now, that to me looks rather like what we find in the Liturgy of St Basil. Smile

What all this suggests to me is that there was a plurality of ritual in the Early Church, which continued at least as far as Chalcedon, and probably up to at least the pontificate of Gregory the Great, if not for some time after (the Gregorian chant probably gradually extinguishing various other forms of chant in my view, rather than a sudden 'blanket' ban coming into force).

Now, what all this seems to suggest in turn is that the rituals of the Divine Liturgies and the Mass not only share a common liturgical ancestor, but that this ancestor was very early in date. Which is rather exciting. To me, anyway.

Apologies to everyone for posting all this stuff in an ordinary thread - it's just an interesting subject to me. Smile

Anyway, here's a Kyrie from the Old Roman Chant, which also sounds rather Byzantine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDJtBh3LGJg


No apologies necessary. It's fascinating stuff.
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Azmael



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely, it really is. Thanks for sharing. I'll try and think if I can remember who gave that presentation, in case they might have published on it.
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qwerty123



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2xzWbRwOio&feature=player_embedded#!
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