A Day in the Life Of Salisbury Cathedral, ca. 1500
This illustrated lecture, December 18, 2020, describes in outline what this day in Salisbury Cathedral would have been like some 500 years ago, from the tolling of the bells for matins around 3 a.m. until the conclusion of evening worship with the antiphon to the Virgin in the Salve Chapel. Samples of the music are discussed, and in particular attention is paid to the system by which two ‘choirs’, chancel and chapel, co-ordinated their worship. Thanks to the Royal School of Church Music for their support!
The Sarum Manuale (available July 2021)
The Sarum Manuale contains offices and masses that are commonly used by priests, including:
-The blessing of salt and water (Asperges)
-Genealogies for Christmas and Epiphany
-Blessing of Candles (Purification)
-Imposition of Ashes (Ash Wednesday)
-Blessing of Palms (Palm sunday)
-Reconciliation of Penitents and Washing of Altars (Maundy Thursday)
-Blessing of the New Fire (Easter Even)
-Order for making Catechumens
-Order of Baptism
-Order of Purification
-Order of Marriage
-Order for Blessing Pilgrims
-miscellaneous blessings, including graces before and after meals
-Order for enclosing Anchorites
-Prefaces and Canon of the Mass
-Visitation of the Sick
-Commendation of the Soul on the point of death
-Commendation of the Soul at the time of death
-Vigils of the Dead
-Mass of the Dead
-Burial of the Dead
-General Articles of Excommunication and General Sentences of Excommunication
-The manner of ejecting and separating lepers from the healthy
It will be noted that some of these materials are duplicated from the Breviary, the Missal, and the Processional.
For further detail see Manual itself (available January 2022) and the ‘Companion to the Manuale’
Perpetual Sarum Kalendar (January 2021, revised March 2021)
The following Kalendars are valid for all years. They consists of three sections. Section 1 runs from January 1-January 10. At this point Section 2 begins. Section 2 has five parts, each corresponding to one of the five weeks during which Septuagesima, Easter, and all the other days of the moveable part of the year occur. Section 3, again valid for all years, takes up the kalendar where the moveable part of the year no longer holds sway, and completes the year.
To use these kalendars: choose 3, 2, or 1 weekly commemoration; open the appropriate pdf-file ‘sections 1 and 3’, and follow the instructions to find the correct year.
Perpetual Kalendar: 3 weekly commemorations: St. Mary, Feast of the place, St. Thomas.
–3 Perpetual Kalendarium-Sections 1 and 3 (all years)
–3 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 1: Septuagesima falls on January 18-24; Easter falls on March 22-March 28.
–3 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 2: Septuagesima falls on January 25-31; Easter falls on March 29-April 4.
–3 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 3: Septuagesima falls on February 1-7; Easter falls on April 5- 11.
–3 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 4: Septuagesima falls on February 8-14; Easter falls on April 12-18.
–3 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 5: Septuagesima falls on February 9-15; Easter falls on April 19-25.
Perpetual Kalendar: 2 weekly commemorations: St. Mary, Feast of the place
–2 Perpetual Kalendarium-Sections 1 and 3 (all years)
–2 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 1: Septuagesima falls on January 18-24; Easter falls on March 22-March 28.
–2 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 2: Septuagesima falls on January 25-31; Easter falls on March 29-April 4.
–2 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 3: Septuagesima falls on February 1-7; Easter falls on April 5- 11.
–2 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 4: Septuagesima falls on February 8-14; Easter falls on April 12-18.
–2 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 5: Septuagesima falls on February 9-15; Easter falls on April 19-25.
Perpetual Kalendar: 1 weekly commemoration: St. Mary
–1 Perpetual Kalendarium-Sections 1 and 3 (all years)
–1 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 1: Septuagesima falls on January 18-24; Easter falls on March 22-March 28.
–1 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 2: Septuagesima falls on January 25-31; Easter falls on March 29-April 4.
–1 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 3: Septuagesima falls on February 1-7; Easter falls on April 5- 11.
–1 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 4: Septuagesima falls on February 8-14; Easter falls on April 12-18.
–1 Perpetual Kalendarium Year 5: Septuagesima falls on February 9-15; Easter falls on April 19-25.
Kalendar by individual year
The kalendars appearing here contain in the third column the information provided in the printed Sarum kalendars such as that found at the front of the Breviarium 1531. In the fourth column appears the information found in the Pica which appear scattered throughout the Breviarium. Generally speaking the latter takes precedence over the former where they differ. This kalendar is provided firstly as a guide to those who wish to follow the Sarum liturgical kalendar throughout the course of the year, and secondly for those who wish to gain an understanding of the nature of a typical Sarum or pre-Tridentine liturgical year. These kalendars follow the Gregorian or Western calendar rather than the Julian calendar.
Beginning in 2021 this kalendar is superseded by the perpetual kalendar given above.
Hymnal in English (Draft Edition)
Hymnaire traditionnel en français, 2ème édition (Hymnal in French) 2019
with thanks to M.George Staelens and his team for making this available. The office hymns use the Sarum versions of the melodies for the most part.
The Martirology is read daily in the Capitular Office after the Office of Prime.
There appears to be no extant Sarum Martirology stemming directly from Salisbury. However several MS Latin Martirologies, such as that in Oxford Bodleian Library MS. Rawl. A. 371 (15450) appear to be of Sarum Use.
The Sarum English Martirology available here is an edition of that prepared by Richard Whytford and printed by Wynken de Worde in 1526. Contractions have been spelled out and punctuation modernized, but the orthography follows the original.
Readers may also wish to refer to the edition of the same Martirology issued by the Henry Bradshaw Society in 1893, which contains an informative introduction as well as comparative notes.
The Exeter Martirology is presumably very similar to martirologies that were used in places which adopted the Use of Sarum.
Another important source is John Clarke Crosthwaite, The Book of Obits and Martyrology of the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, Commonly Called Christ Church, Dublin (Dublin: Irish Archaeological Society, 1844).
We hope to make a Latin Sarum Martirology available in due course.
The Hereford Breviary (Vol. 1, ed. Frere, 1904:313) includes the phrase ‘In ecclesiis vero ubi martirologium habetur‘. This implies that not all churches possessed a martirology, and therefore that not all churches read from the martirology on a daily basis.
The Sarum Statutes, Latin and English (ed. Wordsworth, 1911)
Statuta et consuetudines ecclesiae cathedralis Beatae Mariae Virginis sarisberiensis
An Obit Kalendar of Salisbury Cathedral
The Obit Kalendar is a record of the deaths of important personages connected with a particular church. This document is the Obit Kalendar of Salisbury Cathedral. The Obits would be read at the Capitular Office (following Prime) after the reading of the Martirology. See Breviary, Psalter, Prime: .
The Sarum Tonary is a theoretical work that demonstrates the proper use of the Psalm Tones and other tones of the Office and Mass. An edition of this work is available at The Sarum Tonary. (Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum)
British Library Landsdowne MS 763 is an interesting collection of early English tonaries and theoretical works.
It is hoped that we will in due course be able to bring forth an edition of the Sarum Pontifical. In the meantime, two British Pontificals have been edited: Liber Pontificalis Chr. Bainbridge Archiepiscopi Eboracensis (Edinburgh, 1875), and The Pontifical of Egbert, Archbishop of York (Durham, 1853). In addition, the Bangor Pontifical is available on line, as is Cambridge, Trinity College MS B.11.9 , a Sarum Pontificale of the 15th c.
British Library Cotton MS Tiberius C 1 ff 43r-203v contains a pontifical including an added portion (ff 89r (88r?)-151r) from the 11th century written at Sherbourne and Salisbury.
British Library Harley MS 2892 contains the 11th c. ‘Canterbury Benedictional’, ff 17-214.
Oxford, Bodleian Library apparently has two manuscript Sarum pontificals: MS. Rawl. C. 400 — before 1330, and MS. Tanner 5 — 15th century, beginning.
See also Christopher Wordsworth, ed. Pontificale ecclesie s. Andreae: the Pontifical Offices Used by David de Bernham, Bishop of St. Andrews (Edinburgh: Pistsligo Press, 1885).
Sarum Books of Hours
Books of Hours, or Primers, remain in large quantities, both manuscript and printed. They were intended for use by lay individuals, and contain a selection of suitable offices and prayers. while they were originally in Latin, as time passed versions in English increasingly appear. Hopefully an edition and translation will appear on this site in due course. Parts of the Sarum Book of Hours are translated in [John Patrick], Reflections upon the Devotions of the Roman Church, 2nd. ed. (London, 1686).
Simple Office Tones
These Tones are intended for those who wish to sing the antiphons and responsories on a regular basis but lack sufficient ability or resources to do so.
Simple Antiphon Tones
Simple Responsory Tones
Sarum Customary (or Consuetudinary)
The Customary or Consuetudinary is the general guide and reference for the organization of the liturgy, whereas the Ordinal is the specific guide to each day in the yearly liturgical cycle. We are very fortunate that the several extant versions of the Sarum Customary are available on-line in both Latin and English at Sarum Customary Online. While the Customary is intended in particular for the ordering of the Cathedral Church of Salisbury, many of its instructions can be applied or adapted to other times and places.
A Customary Digest appears here: this document attempts to summarize the content of the several extant customary manuscripts. It is intended as a simple guide, not as an authoritative document.
Ordinale Sarisburiense (complete, May 2018)
A Transliteration of BL Harley 1001, Folios 1R – 116V . by John Allen Hackney
Fascicule 1: Folios 1R – 54V. Ad Horas : Temporale.
Fascicule 2: Folios 55r – 83v. Ad Horas : Sanctorale.
Fascicule 3: Folios 84r – 110v. De Missa: Temporale.
Appendix II.A. Kalendar.
Appendix II.B. Feasts and their Classifications.
Fascicule 4: 101v – 116v. De Missa : Sanctorale.
This edition of the sole exemplar of a revised old ordinal of Salisbury Cathedral is based on the manuscript source in the British Library, Harley MS 1001. The manuscript, sometimes called the ‘Risby Ordinal’, was written in the first quarter of the 14th century, likely copied from a source of c. 1270. For just over 100 years, Walter H. Frere’s edition of some parts of this ordinal, published in The Use of Sarum, II, has been the only readily available edition for studying this important manuscript. Unfortunately, Frere’s work is deliberately incomplete, as it includes only those portions of the Ordinal that differ materially from later sources. The resulting text is, in some sections, unusable and even nonsensical without constant reference to another source. This edition, in contrast, is a transliteration of the complete text of the manuscript, including all the marginal notes. While the result is a document with many extra pages of mere cues for antiphons, psalms, readings, and so forth, the necessary context for the rubrics is maintained.
Many thanks to John Hackney for this excellent piece of scholarship.
The New Ordinal (Latin) is available in Frere’s edition, The Use of Sarum, II.
Principal events in the history and development of the Sarum Use and Salisbury Cathedral from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day.
The Proclamation of the Relics
On the feast of Relics (the Sunday falling within July 8-18) when the procession before mass paused at the Rood, the list of relics held in the church was read in the mother tongue. We are fortunate to have as an example the list as it was read at Salisbury Cathedral, reprinted from Wordsworth, Ceremonies and Processions (1901):33-41.
Compline began to appear in English translations beginning in the nineteenth century, notably as set to Sarum chant by W.H. Frere and G.H. Palmer, The Order of Compline Throughout the Year (Wantage: St Mary’s Convent, 1896). It became a popular feature of Anglican worship, especially as a late-night service in student chapels, after the attempted revision of the Book of Common Prayer in 1928 included a simplified version. This present edition combines well-known elements of the Sarum and Roman rites and eliminates most seasonal variations, aimed at audiences unfamiliar with traditional liturgical books.
The service is usually heard in the English-speaking world through an adaptation of Frere and Palmer’s setting by J.H. Arnold, published anonymously as An Order for Compline (Burnham: Plainsong and Mediaeval Music Society, 1929). It has been reprinted in multiple forms but is not available in any digital version in spite of its expired copyright. It is has also been recorded numerous times.
This new edition revises Arnold’s setting using William Renwick’s updated scholarship on the Sarum Rite, with reference to Solesmes editions for material from the Roman rite. The most noticeable differences are the notation of the lessons and opening responses; the added Sarum psalm antiphon for Eastertide, as used in several Oxford and Cambridge chapels; and a different adaptation of the responsory ‘Into thy hands’ (In manus tuas), whose original Latin setting does not translate well into English. Liquescent notes have been added in several places.
There are three versions: some communities in England and elsewhere continue to use the service from the proposed 1928 Book of Common Prayer, though it is not officially authorized. The Canadian revision to the Book of Common Prayer from 1962 is most common in North America, simplifying the 1928 service slightly to bring it closer to the Sarum form. The Church of England released a new order in 2000 within the Common Worship series, rearranging it based on the modern Roman rite, adding more responses, and removing the Apostles’ Creed.
The PDFs were set using Gregorio and LaTeX with the Arno and Brill typefaces.
The Book of Common Prayer Noted by John Merbecke, 1550, prepared by Andrew Dunning. This document reflects the continued use of plainsong in English after the discontinuation of the Sarum Rite. The music is to some extent an adaptation of Sarum music. The music of the Communion Service was revived in the nineteenth century and is still widely sung in Anglican churches.
Venitare in the King James Version
Stephen Gallagher has provided an excellent and practical English Sarum Venitare following the texts of the King James Bible (rather than the Book of Common Prayer). With his permission, and with thanks, we are pleased to host this Venitare here (revised October 2019).
Sound files for the Venitare in the King James Version
Thanks to Stephen Gallagher for providing these recordings of the King James Venitare.
p. 01a: Advent 1 [5:33]
p. 01b: Advent ferias [4:08]
p. 01c: Advent 2 [7:25]
p. 01c: Advent 3 [8:13]
p. 02a: Advent Ember Days [5:13]
p. 02b: Advent IV [6:20]
p. 02c: Vigil of Nativity [6:31]
p. 02d: Nativity [6:33]
p. 03a: St. Stephen [6:09]
p. 03b: St. John [6:37]
p. 04a: Epiphany Octave [6:32]
p. 04b: Sundays after Octave of Epiphany [7:26]
p. 04c: Monday in the Octave of the Epiphany &c. [5:03]
p. 05a: Tuesday in the Octave of the Epiphany &c. [4:03]
p. 05b: Wednesday in the Octave of the Epiphany &c. [4:09]
p. 05c: Thursday in the Octave of the Epiphany &c. [4:16]
p. 06a: Friday in the Octave of the Epiphany &c. [3:58]
p. 06b: Saturday in the Octave of the Epiphany &c. [3:58]
p. 06c: Transfiguration [6:23]
p. 06d Sexagesima Quinquagesima [7:16]
p. 07a: First Sunday of Lent [8:33]
p. 07b: Second Sunday of Lent [6:03]
p. 07c Third Sunday in Lent [7:24]
p. 08a: Fourth Sunday in Lent [8:02]
p. 08b: Passion Sunday [5:34]
p. 08c: Passiontide ferias [4:15]
p. 08d: Palm Sunday [7:38]
p. 09a: Easter Day [5:44]
p.09b: Easter Octave Ferial [5:19]
p. 09c: Eastertide Sundays [7:24]
p. 10a: Eastertide ferias; Vigil of Pentecost [4:10]
p. 10b: Ascensiontide [7:07]
p. 10c: Whitsundide [7:21]
p. 10d: Trinitytide through Octave [7:07]
p. 10e: Corpus Christi [9:10]
p. 11a: Sunday after Trinity until August 28 [6:26]
p. 11b: Sundays after Aug 28 to Sep 27 [8:47]
p. 11c: Sundays after Sep 27 to Oct 28 [7:14]
p. 12a: Sundays after Oct 28 to Advent [6:48]
p. 12b: St. Andrew [8:22]
p. 12c: St. Thomas, Common of Apostles [7:01]
p. 13a: Holy Innocents, Common of Saint [5:13]
p. 13b: Conversion of St. Paul [6:10]
p. 13c: Presentation/Purification [8:43]
p. 14a Annunciation common of BVM [7:53]
p. 14c: Nativity of St. John the Baptist; Common of John the Baptist [7:01]
p. 15b: St. Matthew; Common of Evangelists [7:06]
p. 15c: St. Michael [7:54]
p. 16b: Common of Martyrs [4:21]
The Psalter from the American Book of Common Prayer 1928 Pointed to the Latin Psalm Tones as Adapted for the English Text by Jeffrey Cooper.
This Psalter uses a new system of pointing developed by Jeffrey Cooper. With his permission, and with thanks, we are pleased to host this Psalter here (revised November 2017). This Psalter maybe freely downloaded, stored, printed, and performed for non commercial purposes only.
We are pleased to host on this site beautifully prepared editions of the Sarum Office of Compline in contemporary English. Thanks go to Emil Salim for assembling these booklets, which cover the following seasons:
Compline 1: Advent.
Compline 5: The Octave of Epiphany.
Compline 6: Ordinary Time.
Compline 7: The Third Sunday of Lent.
Compline 9: Ferias in Passion Week.
Compline 14: From Low Sunday to the Vigil of the Ascension.
Ibadat Penutup, Sarum Compline in Indonesian, prepared by Emil Salim.