Topical Guide

This Topical Guide contains articles that explain and discuss various issues in the Sarum liturgy.  Entries are listed alphabetically.


Normally each antiphon is sung in full only at the conclusion of the psalm(s) or canticle to which it is attached; only the incipit of the antiphon is sung before the psalm(s) or canticle.  However, at first vespers on principal double and major double feasts the antiphon to the Magnificat is sung through entirely both before and after the canticle: the Nativity, the Epiphany, the Purification, Easter, the Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, Corpus Christi, (the Visitation), the Feast of Relics, the Assumption and Nativity of St. Mary, the Dedication, All Saints, and the Feast of the Place. [Brev.:283.]  Presumably to this list should be added the Holy Name of Jesus (August 7).  Thus the list includes all principal double and major double feasts. 

The antiphon on the Benedictus, ‘Apertum est os Zacharie’ on the Feast of St. John the Baptist (June 24) is a special case in which more than the incipit, but less than the full antiphon is sung before the canticle commences.  Here the antiphon is sung through until the words ‘Benedictus Deus Israel’, at which point the canticle Benedictus commences.  The full antiphon is sung at the conclusion of the of canticle.

While saints’ days normally use the antiphons proper to the day, or those from the common of saints, there are certain feasts of three lessons on which at first vespers the antiphons appointed to be sung on the psalms are the ferial antiphons.  These feasts are: Agnes, second feast (January 28); Tiburtius and Valerianus (April 14) (indicated in Risby); John and Paul (June 26); Hypolitus (August 13); Eusebius (August 14); Eleven Thousand Virgins (October 21); and St.Brice (November 13).   While seemingly unusual, this practice does also appear in the York Use, in the common of many virgins, feasts of three lessons; in the Hereford Use, in the common of many martyrs, feasts of three lessons; in the Breviarium Windeshemense (Windesheim) (Oxford, Bod-Inc. B-528), simple feasts of apostles; and in the Antiphoner of Berne Minster, St. Vinzenz (Vevey, Musee historique de Vevey, Inv. Nr. 1346), common of one or many apostles.

Antiphons at the little hours
Typically antiphons 1, 2, 3, and 5 of lauds will be re-used as antiphons on the psalmody at the little hours of prime, terce, sext, and none.  The exceptions are:
-on Sundays from Domine ne in ira until Septuagesima,and from Deus omnium to Advent, where the ferial antiphons are used at the little hours
-on Sundays from Septuagesima until Palm Sunday, where proper antiphons are used at the little hours
-on the feasts of the Innocents (December 28), and the Circumcision (January 1), where anitphons 1-4 are used at the little hours
-in Easter week, and on all Sundays until the Ascension, where antiphons 1-4 are used at the little hours
-on commemorations of Blessed Mary: in Advent the antiphons are taken from several locations in Advent; after Christmas antiphons 1-4 of the Circumcision are used.

Thus the verse in Risby:6r. (trans. John Hackney):

Anni prima dies pasche necnon puerorum,
Sub. Pre. Ger. nonam saltu dempto comitantur.
On the first day of the year, the day of Pascha and of the boys,
‘From under’, ‘For’, ‘The root’ : these join the ninth hour without skipping.

Sub.: ‘Beneath the throne’  (Innocents)
Pre.: ‘And for fear’ (Easter)
Ger.: ‘A root’ (Circumcision)

Apostles and Evangelists

Minor Double: John, Peter and Paul

Inferior Double: Andrew, Thomas, Matthias, Mark, Philip and James, James, Bartholomew, Matthew, Luke, Simon and Jude

These double feasts comprise all the primary feasts of apostles and evangelists: the twelve original apostles, plus Paul, Matthew, and Luke.

Simple, nine lessons: Conversion of Paul, Peter’s Chair, Barnabas, Commemoration of Paul, Octave of Peter and Paul, Peter in chains

Simple, three lessons: Octave of Andrew, Octave of John, John at the Latin Gate

These simple feasts comprise secondary feasts of apostles and evangelists, plus the feast of Barnabas, associate of St. Paul.

(Paul and Barnabas were not among the twelve apostles; Luke and Mark were evangelists, not apostles.)


Bells were used for signals in a variety of ways.  Because the number and pitch of the bells varied from place to place, the Sarum rubrics do not indicate specifics.  Presumably each place had its own traditions and practices.

At Salisbury a bell tower or campanile (or ‘clockeard’) was erected, presumably in the mid 13th cenutry, to the north of the Cathedral.  This was demolished in the 18th century.  It contained 8 bells, the tenor or lowest being named St. Osmund.   (Statutes of Ottery St. Mary: 142.) It seems likely that these bells were tuned to a diatonic scale.

Bells were normally rung to announce Vespers of the Day, Matins, and None when it is said after the meal.  In each instance ‘for so long a space of time as would suffice conveniently for walking a mile’ (Sarum Statutes, 261, trans. Wordsworth), so approximately 20 minutes.

According to the Sarum Manuale, on Sundays three bells are rung one by one, beginning with the large bell, after Chapter or Mass in Chapter, to signal the blessing of salt and water.  Again after the procession (and sermon it there be one) the bells are rung for terce. 

Normally no bells are rung for compline because compline is part of the afternoon series of offices.  However, on the vigil of Easter compline is sung independently; thus the rubrics indicate that two bells are to be rung twice or thrice for compline on Easter eve.

Blessing of Salt and Water

This blessing took place on all Sundays.  On ordinary Sundays it took place at the Quire Step after Prime and Chapter.  This was an elaborate ceremony.   On special Sundays–when Double Feasts were celebrated, and on Palm Sunday–the blessing took place at a side altar, after Terce or after Sext.  This was a less elaborate but longer ceremony.  These ceremonies are found in the Processional.


At Salisbury Cathedral at the vespers procession to the Altar of St. Stephen (or the Martyrs) on Christmas Day, the deacons carry candles; likewise the priests to the Altar of St. John (or the Apostles) the following day; likewise the boys to the altar of the Innocents (or the Holy Trinity) on the day after that.  However candles are not carried at the procession to the altar of St. Thomas on the next day.


At each of the day offices there is a brief reading, normally from the Bible, called a Capitulum or Chapter.  Typically the readings for a particular day will all be drawn sequentially from a single place in the Bible, except for those at Prime and Compline, which are independent of the Kalendar and are limited to only one or two Chapters throughout the year.  The reading at Vespers is usually repeated at Lauds and Terce; the readings at Sext and None then usually follow in sequence.

Churches, Cathedrals, Dioceses, Colleges, Chapels

Cathedrals: In England there were seven secular cathedral foundations that followed, more or less, the Use of Sarum: Salisbury, Chichester, Exeter, Lichfield, Lincoln, London, and Wells.  York and Hereford had there own uses. (Canterbury, Durham, Ely, Norwich, Rochester, Winchester and Worcester, followed the monastic cursus.  Carlisle, within the province of York, staffed by Augustinian Canons, may well have followed the secular cursus.)  From the 12th century onwards all four Welsh cathedrals were secular, and presumably followed more or less the Use of Sarum.  In Scotland, Aberdeen and probably others; in Ireland, Dublin and probably others, followed the Sarum Use.

The regular singing forces available in these establishments ranged from 25-52 men and 5 to 14 boys, Salisbury in fact having the largest establishment. (Bowers 1975:2013).  Of the 52 men, at least 26 (13 on each side) were expected to be present in the choir at the canonical hours and at mass. (Ibid. 2027.)  The boys normally sang at Prime, High Mass and Vespers, and at Compline on Sundays, double feasts, and feasts of nine lessons, and at vigils of the dead when a body was present, and at the trental and the anniversary.

The 1319 Sarum statutes set up a quarterly rota of 13 (a quarter of the 52 canons, or a quarter of their 52 vicars) to sing the daily office and mass of the Blessed Virgin in the Salve chapel.  Exeter assigns a year-round staff of clergy.  In 1535, the year after the Act of Supremacy, the Valor ecclesiasticus tempore regis Henrici octavi, records the allocation of funds for “4 clerics with choristers to sing daily the mass of Blessed Mary the Virgin in the Salve chapel inside the cathedral, following the ordinances and foundation of Rich Poore, erstwhile bishop of Sarum”. This would perhaps support priest, deacon, and subdeacon, and perhaps a fourth to rule the small choir, although obviously there are no such details in the text.  If Exeter and Salisbury were actually run in the same way, then the complete arrangement would be seem to be a group of rotating canons/vicars for choral duties only, together with some clergy as permanent staff. 

Dioceses: The Sarum Use was followed throughout England in the secular establishments in all dioceses except York and Hereford.  In 1542 the Sarum Use was adopted throughout the southern province–i.e. including Hereford–by Convocation of Canterbury.

Colleges of Prebendal Canons: Among the approximately seventy collegiate churches in England were Norman foundations such as Wimbourne Minster (Dorset), Crediton (Devon), St. Mary, Warwick, and later 13th-14th century foundations such as Ottery St. Mary, St. Georges Windsor, and St. Stephen, Westminster.  St. Georges comprised a dean, 12 canons (13 vicars), 4 clerks and 6 choristers.  (The three great northern foundations, Ripon, Beverley, and Southwell all fell withing the diocese of York.)  Amid the considerable diversity of practice of Augustinian canons, at least some would appear to have followed the secular cursus and the Use of Sarum, as witnessed by the ‘Barnwell’ antiphoner,  apparently associated with St. Giles’ Abbey, and possibly also by the Penwortham Breviary.  Indeed, Richard Pfaff declares that the Augustinian was ‘always a secular (nine-lesson) rite’.

There were also perhaps 25 chantry colleges, of which the College of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Winchester is well known.  This site provides a description of his chantry and its dialy offering of offices and masses.  Founded in 1301, it provided for a provost, 6 chaplains, 6 clerks (3 deacons, 3 subdeacons), and 7 choristers.  Several of the largest hospitals also had established choirs, such as St. Giles, Norwich–a master, 8 chaplains, 2 clerks and 7 choristers. The Hospital of St. Cross, Winchester comprised warden, 4 priests and 7 choristers.

University Colleges-Chapels: These chapels more or less provided for chaplains, clerks and choristers, depending upon their resources.  New College Oxford, founded in 1379, provided a choral establishment of 10 chaplains, 3 clerks, and 16 choristers.

The choir of the Chapel Royal seems to have comprised some 4-6 chaplains, 6 clerks, and 3-5 choristers, growing in the early 15th c. to 32 gentlemen, 2-3 clerks and 16 choristers. 

Household Chapels: Certain other great nobles and bishops seem to have established small household chapels. John of Gaunt (1340-99), Duke of Lancaster, had a chapel consisting of a dean, 4 chaplains, 2 clerks, and 3 choristers.

[The above notes have been extracted from Roger Bowers, ‘Choral Institutions Within the English Church’ 1975.]

Classification of Feasts, Sundays, Ferias, Octaves, Vigils, and Commemorations

(See Breviary Psalter: [909].)

Observances are ranked in order of precedence.  Rankings also help to delineate the degree of solemnity that is be observed.


Double feasts
All double feasts, except those in the week of Easter, have a responsory at second vespers.

Principal double
-the Nativity (December 25)
-the Epiphany (January 6)
-Easter Day
-Ascension Day
-the Assumption (August 15)
-the Feast of the Place
-the Feast of the Dedication

Major double
-the Purification (February 2)
-the Holy Trinity
-Corpus Christi
-the Visitation (July 2)
-the Feast of Relics
-the Name of Jesus (August 7)
-the Nativity of Blessed Mary (September 8)
-All Saints (November 1)

Minor double
-St. Stephen (December 26)
-St. John (December 27)
-the Holy Innocents (December 28)
-St. Thomas the Martyr (December 29)
-the Circumcision (January 1)
-the Annunciation (March 25)
-Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the week of Easter
-Sunday in the Octave of Easter
-Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the week of Pentecost
-the Invention of the Holy Cross (May 3)
-the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24)
-Sts. Peter and Paul (June 29)
-the Translation of St. Thomas (July 7)
-the Transfiguration (August 6)
-the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14)
-the Conception of Blessed Mary (December 8)

Inferior (lesser) double
This rank essentially consists of apostles, evangelists, and the four great doctors of the church:
-St. Andrew (November 30)
-St. Thomas, Apostle (December 21)
-St. Matthias (February 24 or 25)
-St. Gregory, Pope (March 12)
-St. Ambrose (April 4)
-St. George (April 23)  The high status of this saint may be attributed to his patronage of England.  As the ‘Tabula festorum divisione’ indicates, in some places St. George was celebrated as a Major Double Feast.
-St. Mark (April 25)
-Sts. Philip and James (May 1)
-St. Augustine of Canterbury (May 26) As for St. George, the high status of this saint may be attributed to his patronage of England.
-St. James (July 25)
-St. Bartholomew (August 24)
-St. Augustine (August 28)
-St.Matthew (September 21)
-St. Michael the Archangel (September 29)
-St. Jerome (September 30)
-the Translation of St. Edward (October 13)
-St. Luke (October 18)
-Sts. Simon and Jude (October 28)

Simple feasts
Simple Feasts are of:
-nine lessons with triple invitatory (three lessons in Eastertide) (ruled)
-nine lessons with duple invitatory (three lessons in Eatertide) (ruled)
-three lessons with duple invitatory (unruled)
-three lessons with single invitatory (unruled)

Only in Eastertide are ruled feasts of three lessons to be found.
Feasts of nine lessons have three nocturns; feasts of three lessons have one nocturn.
According to Risby 1:90. ‘On all feasts of 9 lessons throughout the year, at first vespers, a proper responsory is said, if there is one; if not, the 9th responsory from the common of saints should be said, unless another is shown in the Ordinal.  (This would also hold for all double feasts.)

Nine lessons with triple invitatory (ruled)
(Nine lessons, except in Eastertide, when there are only three lessons.)
-Octave of the Epiphany
-Octave of the Ascension
-Octave of Corpus Christi
-Octave of the Dedication of the Church
-St. Nicholas (December 6)
-the Octave of the Epiphany (January 13)
-the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25)
-St. Peter’s Chair (February 22)
-St. John before the Latin Gate (May 6) (always in Eastertide)
-the Translation of St. Edmund (June 9)
-St. Barnabas (June 11)
-the Commemoration of St. Paul (June 30)
-Octave of Saints Peter and Paul (July 6)
-Octave of the Visitation (July 9)
-St. Mary Magdalene (July 22)
-St. Anne (June 26)
-St. Peter’s Chains (August 1)
-St. Lawrence (August 10)
-Octave of the Name of Jesus (August 14)
-Octave of the Assumption (August 22)
-the Beheading of St. John the Baptist (August 29)
-Octave of the Nativity of Blessed Mary (September 15)
-St. Michael in Mount Tumba (October 16)
-St. Martin (November 11)
-St. Edmund, Bishop (November 16)

Nine lessons with duple invitatory (ruled)
(Nine lessons, except in Eastertide, when there are only three lessons.)
-St. Osmund (December 4)
-St. Lucy (December 13)
-St. Silvester (December 31)
-St. Vitalis (April 28) (always in Eastertide)
-St. Dunstan (May 19)
-Translation of St. Richard (June 16)
-Translation of St. Edward (June 20)
-St. Alban (June 22)
-Translation of St. Martin (July 4)
-Translation of St.Benedict (July 11)
-Translation of St. Swithun (July 15)
-Translation of St. Osmund (July 16)
-St. Margaret (July 20)
-the Invention of St. Stephen (August 2)
-St. Giles (September 1)
-Ordination of St. Gregory (September 3)
-Translation of St. Cuthbert (September 4)
-St. Edith (September 16)
-St. Maurice and companions (September 22)
-St. Remigius and companions (October 1)
-St. Thomas of Hereford (non-Sarum) (October 2)
-St. Denis and companions (October 9)
-St. Wulfram (October 15)
-Translation of St. Etheldreda (October 17)
-Deposition of St. Frideswide (October 19)
-Sts. Crispin and Crispinian (October 25)
-St. Winifred (November 3)
-St. Leonard (November 6)
-Translation of St. Erkenwald (non-Sarum) (November 14)
-St. Machutus (November 15)
-St. Hugh (November 17)
-St. Edmund (November 20)
-St. Cecilia (November 22)
-St. Clement (November 23)
-St. Catherine (November 25)

Simple Feasts of three lessons (unruled)
All feasts of three lessons outside of Eastertide, and some within Eastertide, are unruled.
Unless propers be had: outside of Eastertide feasts of three lessons cycle through the responsories and versicles of the three nocturns of the common, beginning afresh each Monday.  In Eastertide feasts of three lessons cycle through the psalms of the three nocturns of the common continuously throughout the season.
Feasts of three lessons (unruled) use the ferial psalms and their antiphons at vespers.  The rest of vespers, and all of the other hours, are from the proper or the common of saints.  Matins will have 9 antiphons and 9 psalms from the common, and Te Deum.  Preces are not said except at Prime and Compline.
Feasts of three lessons ‘cum nocturno’ use the ferial psalms and antiphons at vespers and matins (and likely at all the other hours as well, unless propers are provided–definitive evidence of this is, however, lacking); the invitatory, hymns, antiphons on canticles, and prayers are from the sanctorale or the common of saints.  At matins will then be 6 antiphons with 12 psalms of the feria without Te Deum. The versicle normally labelled ‘before the lessons’ (rather than ‘after the psalms’) will presumably be proper to the feast.  Preces are not said except at Prime and Compline.  There is no Gloria in excelsis at mass.  (Note however that within  the octaves of Trinity and Corpus Christi (where Corpus Christi is unruled) any feasts ‘cum nocturno’ will become ‘sine nocturno’, that is a regular feast of 3 lessons, with duple invitatory (St. Petronilla seems to be the only such case)–unless the feast happens on a vigil: St. Etheldreda on the vigil of St. John the Baptist, and St. Leo on the vigil of Sts. Peter and Paul.)
Feasts of three lessons with proper responsories, which are simple unruled feasts when they fall on ferias, may become ruled feasts of nine lessons when they fall on Sundays or within ruled octaves, and they may take precedence over memorials.   These feasts are treated in a special manner not because of their rank, but because of the their content.  The feasts in question are the Octave of St. Stephen (January 2), the Octave of St. John (January 3), the Octave of the Innocents (January 4), Sts. John and Paul (June 26), and St. Ipollitus (August 13).  St. Brice (November 13) is also considered here even though it does not have proper responsories.  The supplementary lessons needed to convert the feasts from three lessons to nine are added from the common or the octave.
-The octaves of Sts. Stephen, John, and the Innocents falling on Sunday divide their three lessons into six, and then the final three lessons repeat lessons 7-9 of the day itself–this is explicitly indicated only in the cases of St. John and the Holy Innocents.
-When Sts. John and Paul falls on a Sunday (year B) it becomes a ‘composite feast’ of nine lessons and is ruled: three lessons of the common of martyrs, three lessons of the octave of St. John the Baptist, and three lessons of the feast.  [However, if this feast falls on the first Sunday of Deus omnium, the Sunday office is fully observed, and the feast is deferred to the morrow.]  This feast is similarly treated when it falls within the octave of Corpus Christi (three lessons of the common, three lessons of the octave, three lessons of the feast).  St. Ippolitus, when observed according to the older use, follows the example of Sts. John and Paul.
-In the later Sarum Kalendar, St. Ipollitus falls within the octave of the Holy Name; it takes three lessons of the common, three lessons of the octave, and three lessons of the feast–whether a Sunday or not.  It would appear that this feast, like Sts. John and Paul, is singled out for special treament because it has proper responsories.
-When St. Brice falls on a Sunday: three lessons of St. Brice, three middle lessons of the octave of St. Martin, three final lessons from the common of one martyr.
-Vigils that fall on Sundays may also be treated similarly.  See the Vigil of the Epiphany.

Simple feasts of three lessons with duple invitatory
-Octave of St. Andrew (December 7)
-Octave of St. Stephen (January 2)
-Octave of St. John (January 3)
-Octave of the Innocents (January 4)
-St. Julian (January 27)
-St. Agnes, second feast (January 28) (single invitatory, cum nocturno in septuagesimatide)
-St. Blaise (February 3)
-St. Juliana (February 16)
-St. Vitalis (April 28)
-St. John of Beverley (May 7)
-Sts. Gordian and Epimachus (May 10)
-Sts. Nereus, Achileus and Pancracius (May 12)
-Sts. Marcellinus and Peter (June 2)
-Sts. Basilidus, Cirinus, Naboris and Nazarius (June 12)
-Sts. Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia (June 15)
-Sts. Mark and Marcellian (June 18)
-Sts. Gervase and Protase (June 19)
-Sts. John and Paul (June 26)
-Octave of St. John the Baptist (July 1)
-Sts. Processus and Martinian (July 2)
-Seven Holy Brethren (July 10)
-St. Kenelm (July 17)
-St. Arnulph (July 18)
-Seven Holy Sleepers (July 27)
-St. Samson (July 28)
-Sts. Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice (July 29)
-Sts. Abdon and Sennen (July 30)
-St. Stephen (August 2)
-St. Oswald (August 5)
-St. Ciriacus and companions (August 8)
-St. Hippolytus and companions (August 13)
-Octave days of the Assumption (August 16-21)
-St. Rufus (August 27)
-Sts. Felix and Adauctus (August 30)
-St. Cuthburga (August 31)
-St. Giles (September 1)
-Octave days of the Nativity of St. Mary (September 9-13)
-Sts. Cyprian and Justina (September 26)
-Sts. Cosmas and Damian (September 27)
-St. Faith (October 6)
-Sts. Mark, Marcellus and Apuleis (October 7)
-St. Gereon and companions (October 10)
-St. Nicasius and companions (October 11)
-St. Callixtus (October 14)
-Eleven Thousand Virgins (October 21)
-Four Crowned Martyrs (November 8)
-St. Brice (November 13)
-Octave of St.Martin (November 18)

Simple feasts of three lessons with single invitatory
*All such feasts observed with duple invitatory and Te Deum during unruled octaves of Trinity and Corpus Christi, unless they fall on vigils. 
-Vigil of the Epiphany (January 5)
-St. Felix (January 14)
-St. Maurus (January 15)
-St. Marcellus (January 16)
-St. Sulpice (January 17)
-St. Prisca (January 18) (memorial only, when there are three weekly commemorations)
-St. Agnes, second feast (January 28), single invitatory, cum nocturno in septuagesimatide
-St. Bathild (January 30) (cum nocturno in septuagesimatide)
-St. Brigid (February 1) (cum nocturno in septuagesimatide)
-Sts. Vedast and Amandus (February 6) (cum nocturno in septuagesimatide)
-St. Scholastica (February 10) (cum nocturno in septuagesimatide) (memorial only in Lent)
-St. Valentine (February 14) (cum nocturno in septuagesimatide) (memorial only in Lent)
-Sts. Perpetua and Felicity (March 7) (cum nocturno in septuagesimatide); (memorial only, when there are three weekly commemorations)
-Sts. Tiburtius and Valerian (April 14)
-St. Alphege (April 19)
-St. Germain (May 28) (memorial only during ruled octave of Corpus Christi)
-St. Petronilla (May 31) ‘cum nocturno’ (sine nocturno within unruled octaves of Trinity and Corpus Christi; memorial only during ruled octave of Corpus Christi)
-St. Nichomede (June 1)
-Sts. Medard and Gildard (June 8)
-St. Basil (June 14)
-St. Etheldreda (June 23) ‘cum nocturno’ because of the vigil of St. John the Baptist
-St. Leo (June 28) ‘cum nocturno’ because of the vigil of Sts. Peter and Paul
-St. Arnulf (July 18)
-St. Praxedes (July 21)
-St. Apollinaris (July 23) (no vespers)
-St. Christina (July 24) ‘cum nocturno’ because of the vigil of St. James
-St. Germanus (July 31)
-St. Donatus (August 7) (memorial only, when Holy Name observed)
-St. Romanus (August 9) ‘cum nocturno’ because of the vigil of St. Laurence (memorial only, when Holy Name observed)
-St. Eusebius (August 14) ‘cum nocturno’ because of the vigil of the Assumption (memorial only, when Holy Name observed)
-Sts. Timothy and Apollinaris (August 23) no vespers; ‘cum nocturno’ because of the vigil of St. Bartholomew
-St. Cuthberga (August 31) (ruled in later kalendars)
-St. Bertin (September 5) ‘cum nocturno’
-St. Lambert (September 17) no vespers; ‘cum nocturno’ when an ember day
-St. Thecla (September 23) ‘cum nocturno’
-St. Firmin (September 25)
-St. Leodegar (October 2) no vespers
-St. Faith (October 6) (ruled in later kalendars)
-St. Romanus (October 23) ‘cum nocturno’
-St. Quentin (October (31) ‘cum nocturno’ because of the vigil of All Saints
-St. Theodore (November 9)
-St. Grisogonus (November 24) no vespers
-St. Linus (November 26) no vespers
-Sts. Saturninus and Sisinnius (November 29) ‘cum nocturno’ because of the vigil of St. Andrew; memorial only in Advent

Memorial only
The following feasts are observed only as memorials, with middle lessons where indicated. (total of 37 memorials)
-St. Edward, king and confessor (January 5)
-St. Lucian and companions, martyrs (January 8)
-St. Hilary (January 13) with middle lessons
-St. Prejectus (January 25)
-Sts. Alexander, Eventius and Theodolus (May 3)
(-The memorial of St. Augustine of Nicomedia (May 7) that appears in the 1519 Antiphonale does not appear to be a standard part of the Sarum Kalendar.)
-St. Potentiana (May 19)
-St. Urban (May 25) with middle lessons
-Sts. Primus and Felicianus (June 9) with middle lessons
-Sts. Cyricus and Julita (June 16) with middle lessons
-St. Swithun (July 2) (memorial only, because of the Feast of the Visitation)
-St. Wandragesilus (July 22)
-Sts. Christophorus and Cucufatus (July 25)
-St. Panthaleon (July 28)
-The Maccabees (August 1)
-Sts. Sixtus, Felicissimus, and Agapitus (August 6) (memorial only, because of the feast of the Transfiguration)
-St. Ciriacus and companions (August 8) (memorial only, because of the octave of the Holy Name)
-St. Romanus (August 9) (memorial only, because of the octave of the Holy Name)
-St. Tiburtius (August 11) (memorial only, because of the octave of the Holy Name)
-St. Eusebius (August 14) with middle lessons (memorial only, because of the octave of the Holy Name)
-St. Agapitus (August 18)
-St. Magnus (August 19)
-Sts. Timotheus and Symphorianus (August 22)
-St. Audoenus (August 24)
-St. Hermetis (August 28)
-St. Sabina (August 29)
-St. Priscus (September 1) with middle lessons from the common
-St. Gorgonus (September 9) (within the octave of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin)
-Sts. Prothus and Jacinctus (September 11) (within the octave of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin)
-Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian (September 14) with middle lessons from the common
-St. Nichomede (September 15) (on the octave of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin)
-Sts. Eufemia, Lucia and Geminianus (September 16) with middle lessons
-St. Laudus (September 21)
-St. Melorus (October 1) with middle lessons from the common
-St. Justus (October 18)
-St. John of Beverley (October 25) with middle lessons
-St. Menna (November 11)
-St. Anianus (November 17) with middle lessons
-St. Felicity (November 23)

No Invitatory
There is no Invitatory on the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) or on the Commemoration of the Dead (November 2)


There are four classes of Sundays; Sundays between Christmas and the Octave of the Epiphany are treated differently; Easter, the Octave of Easter, Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday are outside of the following rule; they are treated as Feasts (see above):

Principal Privileged Sundays
Principal Privileged Sundays take precedence over double feasts, which must be deferred if they fall on such a Sunday; they always have first vespers, but may relinquish second vespers to a double feast in passiontide, or to a simple feast of nine lessons or a commemoration in Advent.
-the First Sunday of Advent
-Passion Sunday
-Palm Sunday

Major Privileged Sundays
Major Privileged Sundays give way to principal double feasts and major double feasts, in which case the history of the Sunday is sung on Tuesday.  There will be solemn memorials of the Sunday.
-the second, third and fourth Sundays in Advent
-all Sundays from Septuagesima until Passion Sunday

Minor Privileged Sundays
These include the Sundays on which new ‘Histories’ are begun.  They take precedence of simple feasts of nine lessons (which are deferred until the morrow), except Saint Peter’s Chains (August 1) and the Beheading of St. John the Baptist (August 29).  These Sundays also give way to a feast of nine lessons if another feast of nine lessons falls on the morrow (so that the first feast cannot be deferred).

Feasts of three lessons will always be omitted when they fall on a minor privileged Sunday.

If a minor privileged Sunday must be deferred, the History should be begun during the week on the first vacant day; failing that on the first available Sunday if the History extends beyond one week.

-the first sunday of Domine ne in ira (the First Sunday after the Octave of the Epiphany)  This Sunday gives way to a simple feast of nine lessons unless it is the only Sunday between the Octave of Epiphany and Septuagesima.
-the first Sunday of Deus omnium (Regum) (the first Sunday after the Feast of the Holy Trinity).
-the Sunday next before the Ascension (the Fifth Sunday after Easter)
-the first Sunday of In principio (Sapientie)
-the first Sunday of Si bona (Job)
-the first Sunday of Peto Domine (Thobie)
-the first Sunday of Adonay (Judith)
-the first Sunday of Adaperiat (Machabeorrum)
-the first Sunday of Vidi Dominum (Ezechielis)

Inferior Privileged Sundays
All other Sundays:
-Sundays between Deus omnium and Septuagesima
-the second, third, and fourth Sundays after the Octave of Easter
-Sunday in the Octave of Ascension
-all Sundays from Trinity to Advent in which a History does not begin.

If such a Sunday occurs together with a Feast of Nine Lessons, or within an Octave with Rulers of the Choir, the Sunday is observed with a memorial only, with missa in capitulo.

When an inferior privileged Sunday falls on a feast of three lessons, the lessons of that feast are read in the second nocturn of the Sunday.

-before 1262 the Commemoration of Blessed Mary was not ruled.  Beginning in 1262 this commemoration was ruled at Salisbury Cathedral.  It may have continued to be unruled at other locations, but presumably tended to become a ruled commemoration at larger establishments, especially those dedicated to St. Mary, such as Lincoln Cathedral.
-the Commemoration of Feast of the Place, like the Commemoration of Blessed Mary, was presumably not ruled in the early days, but it may have been ruled beginning some time after 1262–the sources are not clear on this point.  At Sallisbury Cathedral and many other places the Commemoration of Blessed Mary was in fact the Commemoration of the Feast of the Place (see immediately above); however, beginning in 1457 the new Commemoration of St. Osmund became effectively the Feast of the Place at Salisbury Cathedral.
-the Commemoration of St. Thomas, martyr, appears not to be ruled (except perhaps where it is the feast of the place–see immediately above).


The days within an Octave, when observed, can be ruled or unruled.  The octave day itself, when ruled, may have a triple invitatory.
-Octave of the Nativity
-Octave of St. Stephen
-Octave of St. John
-Octave of Holy Innocents
-Octave of St. Thomas
-Octave of the Epiphany (ruled octave)
-Octave of Easter (ruled octave)
-Octave of the Ascension
-Octave of Pentecost (ruled octave)
-Octave of Corpus Christi (ruled or unruled octave)
-Octave of the Dedication
-Octave of St. Andrew
-Octave of St. Agnes (only observed  in the sense of her second feast on the octave day)
-Octave of St. Osmund
-Octave of St. John the Baptist
-Octave of Sts. Peter and Paul
-Octave of the Visitation
-Octave of the Holy Name of Jesus (ruled; octave day, triple invitatory)
-Octave of the Assumption of the blessed Virgin (ruled; octave day, triple invitatory)
-Octave of the Nativity of the blessed Virgin (ruled; octave day, triple invitatory)
-Octave of St. Martin (unruled)


Vigils are unruled if they fall on weekdays, but are ruled if the fall on Sundays.  Vigils may commence with Matins preceding the feast, or with the mass of the vigil.  It would appear that at the mass of a vigil the prayers in prostration are said.
-Vigil of the Nativity (beginning with matins), December 24
-Vigil of the Epiphany (beginning with matins), January 5
-Saturday in Vigil of Easter (beginning with matins)
-Vigil of the Ascension (beginning with the mass of the vigil)
-Vigil of Pentecost (beginning with the mass of the vigil)
-Vigil of St. Andrew (beginning with the mass of the vigil), November 29
-Vigil of St. Thomas (beginning with the mass of the vigil), December 20
-Vigil of St. John the Baptist (beginning with the mass of the vigil), June 23
Vigil of Sts. Peter and Paul (beginning with the mass of the vigil), June 28
-Vigil of St. James (beginning with the mass of the vigil), July 24
-Vigil of St. Laurence (beginning sith the mass of the vigil), August 9
-Vigil of the Assumption (beginning with the mass of the vigil), August 14
-Vigil of St. Bartholomew (beginning with the mass of the vigil), August 23
-Vigil of the Nativity of Blessed Mary (beginning with the mass of the vigil), September 7
-Vigil of St. Matthew (beginning with the mass of the vigil), September 20
-Vigil of All Saints (beginning with the mass of the vigil), October 31

Colours (liturgical)

 Liturgical colours are to be used according to the  means of the local church.  In medieval times there was a great deal of variety from one church to another.  An extensive discussion of liturgical colours appears in J. Barrington Bates, ‘Am I Blue? Some Historical Evidence for Liturgical Colors’, Studia Liturgia XXXIII (2003):75-78.  In this article, the following schemes are given for Salisbury Cathedral:

Salisbury Cathedral, c. 1210, taken from E. G. Cuthbert Atchley, ‘On English Liturgical Colours” in Vernon Staley, ed., Essays on Ceremonial (London: De La More Press, 1904): 108.

Palm SundayRed copes
St. MichaelWhite
Holy CrossRed
Octaves of the Blessed VirginWhite
Simple feasts in LentRed copes
Passion SundayRed copes
Palm SundayRed copes

Salisbury Cathedral, fourteenth century, taken from T. W. Wood, Ecclesiastical and Academical Colours (London:Bembrose, [1875]), 6:

Sundays after the EpiphanyGreen
Septuagesima to Easter EveRed (or purple on weekdays)
Easter DayWhite
Season after Trinity SundayRed on Sundays; green on weekdays
ConfessorsYellow or saffron

Below is a summary of Sarum liturgical colours, as found in Percy Dearmer, The Parson’s Handbook (1899).

-every Sunday of the year except in Lent
-Passion & Palm Sundays
-Good Friday

-only the Blessed Virgin (and NOT for saints who weren’t martyrs)

-St Michael

Yellow & Green:

-Advent and Lent (at a later date)

(Blue and violet were consider as pertaining to black days and were used in Requiems and eventually Lent and Advent. Blue copes can be seen in depictions of Requiems.)

The above discussion indicates that there was no such thing as ‘Sarum blue’ for use in connection with the season of Advent.

A more extensive and different system appears in The Episcopal Church Annual I (1882):48.


The principle of a commemoration is simple: the recitation of an office and mass in honour of some saint or feast outside of the regular Kalendar.   However, the application and development of multiple commemorations leads to a highly complex result that has significant consequences for the Temporale and the Sanctorale.  A detailed exposition, albeit including some debatable interpretations, appears in Christopher Wordsworth, ‘On Weekly Commemorations’, The Tracts of Clement Maydeston (London, 1894), Appendix III: 157-184, and ‘Formulae quaedam de commemorationibus’, Op. cit. Appendix IV:185-213.  A brief discussion appears in the Breviary, page 123.

A commemoration takes the following form outside of Eastertide:
Vespers as of the feast, except only the first antiphon, ferial psalms, no responsory.
Compline of the season
Matins as of the feast, except: 9 ants. with psalms, first versicle, 3 lessons with the first 3 responsories, Te Deum outside of advent and septuagesimatide.
Lauds as on the feast, except only the first antiphon
Little hours as on the feast
Mass as of the feast

In Eastertide:
Vespers as above with alleluyas
Compline of the season
Matins: invitatory as on the feast, with alleluya
-Hymn of the feast
-First antiphon with alleluya, psalms 1-3 of the feast
-V. of Eastertide (Tristicia vestra)
-3 lessons and responsories 1-3 of feast with alleluya
-Te Deum
Lauds as above with alleluyas.
Little hours as above, with alleluyas.
Mass as of feasts in Eastertide.

Weekly commemorations are omitted from Ash Wednesday until after the First Sunday after Easter.

Rubrics for commemorations appear in the Noted Breviary at page 131.

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin: The most ancient and most familiar commemoration is that of the Blessed Virgin (see Breviary, p [474], [483], [503]).  This commemoration stems from the 13th century or earlier.  This office ideally takes the place of the Saturday ferial office on a weekly basis from first vespers through to none, and with rulers of the choir.  If this is not possible, it should fall on a previous available weekday; if no such day is available, the commemoration is omitted in that week.  This commemoration, and presumably other weekly commemorations also, are with duple invitatory.
Before the establishment of the weekly commemoration of St. Thomas the martyr (see below), the commemoration of the blessed Virgin would have been the only weekly commemoration at Salisbury Cathedral and other churches dedicated to the Virgin.

Commemoration of the Feast of the Place: A second weekly commemoration is that of the ‘festo loci’, the feast of the place, or of the local saint, the saint to whom the church is dedicated. This commemoration normally took place on Thursday, with rulers of the choir; otherwise on another available weekday.  At Lincoln Cathedral it was on Monday (St. Hugh).  In the case of Salisbury Cathedral, up to 1457, the ‘festo loci’ was the Blessed Virgin, so this commemoration is  actually the same as the commemoration of the Blessed Virgin.   Thus where many churches had two weekly commemorations, Salisbury Cathedral and other churches dedicated to the Virgin had only one.  (After 1457, Salisbury Cathedral initiated a commemoration of St. Osmund, who had finally been canonized).  The establishment of this commemoration varied from place to place.  At churches which were the shrines of particular saints these probably began at or soon after the translation of the saint.

A list of cathedrals and some collegiate churches in Great Britain and Ireland with their dedications’ appears in Christopher Wordsworth, ed., The Tracts of Clement Maydeston (London, 1894): 214-221.

Commemoration of St. Thomas, Martyr: A third weekly commemoration was also instituted in 1398, the weekly commemoration of St. Thomas Becket, the great archbishop and martyr of Canterbury, who came to be looked upon as a patron of the Province of Canterbury and indeed of the entire realm.   This commemoration was abrogated by the royal injunction of 1539 (and presumably restored dring the reign of Queen mary, 1552-1558). This commemoration normally took place on Tuesday; otherwise on an available weekday.  But in churches dedicated to St. Mary–i.e. without a separate commemoration of the feast of the place–this commemoration belonged on Thursday.  (Churches dedicated to St. Thomas, such as St. Thomas, Salisbury, would have only two commemorations.)

It is not entirely clear whether churches with three commemorations placed the commemoration of local saint on Tuesday and the commemoration of St. Thomas on Thursday, or vice versa.  It seems to me that historical precedent plays a role here.  Where the commemoration of the local saint was already established on Thursday, the commemoration of St. Thomas was added on Tuesday.  But where the commemoration of the local saint came later, as at Salisbury Cathedral, St. Thomas remained on Thursday, and the commemoration of the local patron was added on Tuesday.  On the other hand, Lesson 5 of the Feast of the Translation of St. Thomas discusses how many of the significant events in his life fell on Tuesdays; this suggests that this may be a particular reason why Tuesday would be preferred for the Commemoration of St. Thomas.

A commemoration will normally begin with first vespers and conclude with none.  If first vespers is impeded by another feast, it will begin with a memorial only on the eve, followed by the full office from matins through none of the day itself.  A commemoration never has second vespers, nor is there a memorial of the commemoration at that second vespers.

Normally if any Sunday or simple feast with rulers of the choir falls on the preceding day, vespers will be of the commemoration, with a memorial of the Sunday or feast.  However if the Sunday or feast with rulers of the choir has not been able to have its first vespers, then second vespers will be of the Sunday or feast, with a memorial of the commemoration.  For a memorial of the commemoration of Blessed Mary, the antiphon Sub tuam protectionem is used.

In places with three weekly commemorations, the commemoration of St. Thomas is omitted when only two commemorations can be accommodated in a particular week.  Of course, when only one commemoration can be accommodated it will be the commemoration of the Blessed Virgin.

Commemoration of St. Osmund.  In the latter days of the Sarum Rite, after Bishop Osmund was canonized in 1457, a third commemoration, of St. Osmund, was established in the Cathedral (see Breviary {815}).  Salisbury Cathedral, therefore would have had only the commemoration of Blessed Mary until 1398, at which time the second commemoration, of St. Thomas, was added on Thursdays.  Presumably in 1457 the commemoration of St. Osmund was added on Tuesdays.  In 1539 the commemoration of St. Thomas was abrogated, and presumably the commemoration of St. Osmund was at that time moved to Thursdays.

The Sarum Breviary 1531 includes Commemorations of St. Thomas, of St. Chad (for Lichfield Cathedral and churches named for him), of St. Osmund (for Salisbury Cathedral), and of St. Etheldreda (for churches dedicated to her–perhaps St. Ethedreda’s, Holborn, and St. Etheldreda’s, Hatfield–Ely Cathedral presumably followed the monastic cursus and not the use of Sarum, but nevertheless would presumably include a weekly commemoration of St. Etheldreda).  A commemoration such as this takes the psalms from the feria, but the antiphons, invitatory, hymns, versicles, responsories, and prayers from the proper of the saint or otherwise from the common of saints.  A commemoration will have only three lessons and three responsories at matins.  In the cases of Thomas, Chad, and Osmund, lessons are provided for the commemoration; otherwise lessons would be from the proper if available, or else from the common.

If the kalendar admits only one commemoration in a particular week,  it will be of the Blessed Mary; if two can be accommodated, they will be of the place, and of Blessed Mary, in that order.  If three can be accommodated, they will be in the order 1) of the place, 2) of St. Thomas, 3) of the Blessed Mary.  Churches dedicated to the Virgin or to St. Thomas the martyr will typically have only two weekly commemorations.

In the Sarum Use all weekly commemorations are omitted throughout Lent.

The difficulty of including commemorations in the liturgy is one of priority.  The observance of any commemoration means the omission of the ‘regular’ office of that day, whether it be from the Temporale or the Sanctorale, and it is the competition of these various priorities that leads to such difficulties.  Further, the combination of a plethora of saints days plus three weekly commemorations effectively reduces the observance of ferias to a mere handful of days outside of Lent.  On the other hand, there is no doubt that replacing saints days and ferias with weekly commemorations significantly reduces the burden of those singing the office, for the commemorations remain largely the same from week to week.  The Pica or Pie was intended as a convenient catalogue of these priorities throughout the year. (The difficulty outlined above is one of the motivations of the sixteenth century reformers in developing the Book of Common Prayer, which omits all commemorations, all octaves, and many saints.)

For users of the Sarum Rite today, it may be appropriate to limit the use of weekly commemorations simply to the weekly Commemoration of Blessed Mary–and even limit this to only available Saturdays if preferred, according to the Roman custom, or indeed to omit all the commemorations entirely.  Another option would be to omit the commemorations, but make memorials of them instead.  On a Saturday feria or simple feast one could include a Memorial of the Blessed Virgin, on a Tuesday feria or simple feast one could include a Memorial of the Saint of the Place, and on a Thursday one could include a Memorial of St. Thomas Becket, for example.

Exeter Cathedral: Commemoration of the Apostles [Peter and Paul]
J. N. Dalton, ed. Ordinal Exon. I (London, 1909): 46-47 and 154, provides a commemoration of the Apostles, to be said on an available day each week in which the commemoration of Blessed Mary is made, preferably on Thursday, but in any case before the commemoration of Blessed Mary .   This commemoration is edited below.  (Page references are to the Sarum Breviary Noted.)  Although the Exeter Ordinal indicates the commemoration of the Apostles Peter and Paul, the cathedral church is typically understood to be dedicated only to St. Peter.  The Exeter Ordinal does not appear to include a weekly commemoration of St. Thomas the martyr.  (The Sarum Breviary makes mention of the commemoration of Sts. Peter and Paul in the rubrics of Saturday after the first Sunday in Advent.
Outside of Eastertide:
Ant. Estote fortes.[637], {1574} psalmi feriales
Chap. Hi sunt viri misericordie {725}
Hymn. Jam bone pastor. {318} V. doctor egregie. V. Sit Trinitati
V. In omnem terram [645]
Ant. Gloriosi principes. {634} Ps. Magnificat
Prayer. Deus cujus dextera {726}
No memorials in this commemoration except those made in commemorations of Blessed Mary.
If vespers is omitted because of the occurrence of vespers of a higher feast, there will be a memorial of the commemoration at that vespers.
Invit. Prope est jam.  Ps. Venite
Hymn as at vespers
Ants. and Pss. from the common of apostles
V. always In omnem terram [645]
R. 1. Isti sunt triumphatores. [650] R. 2. Isti viventes. [653] R. 3. Isti sunt viri [654]
Ps. Te Deum in season
Before Lauds
V. Dedisti hereditatem [656]
One ant. Hoc est preceptum meum [656]
Chap. Hii sunt viri misericordie {725}
Hymn. Exultent celum laudibus with melody of octaves or of other time [658]
V. Annunciaverunt [666]
Ant. Isti sunt due olive. [587] Ps. Benedictus
Prayer as above
At the other hours, all of the common of apostles with chapters of the octave of the same apostles
In Eastertide
Ant. Lux perpetua minor. [611] ferial psalms
Chap. Hii sunt {725}
Hymn. Tristes erant. V. (doxology) Quesumus auctor. V. Gloria tibi, with the solemn melody of hymn Ad cenam [612]
V. Gavisi sunt discipuli [614]
Ant. Gloriosus principes with Alleluya.{634}  Ps. Magnificat
Prayer. Deus cujus dextera {726}
Memorial of the ressurection
Invit. Exultent. [615] Ps. Venite
Hymn as above
Ant. Tristicia vestra. [616] Three psalms of the apostles always of the first nocturn of this season: Celi enarrant. Benedicam. Eructavit
V. Gavisi sunt discipuli [614]
Lessons of the ordinary season
R. 1. Virtute magna. [616] R. 2. Isti sunt agni. [617] R. 3. Candidi facti sunt. [611]
Before Lauds
V. Vox leticie [618]
One antiphon. Sancti tui Domine. [618] Ps. Dominus regnavit &c.
Hymn. Claro paschali with the aforementioned melody [620]
V. Gaudete justi [623]
Ant. Isti sunt due olive [587] with Alleluya. Ps. Benedictus
At the little hours, as for St. Mark, except for the chapters and prayer.

Lincoln Cathedral: St. Hugh.
The weekly commemoration of St. Hugh, presumbably stemming from the time of his canonization in 1220, normally took place on Monday.

London: St. Erkenwald; Sts. Peter and Paul
W. Sparrow Simpson, ed, Documents Illustrating the History of St. Paul’s Catheral, (London: Camden Society, 1880): 17, provides the text for the commemoration of St. Erkenwald; 25 provides the text for the commemoration of Sts. Peter and Paul, but it does not explain why the commemoration is not of St. Paul only–except of course that Peter and Paul share the same feast day in the Kalendar.

Scotland: Commemoration of St. Andrew
This commemoration appears in the Aberdeen Breviary-I:131v.

Commemoration of All Saints
This example of a weekly commemoration of All Saints (St. John’s College Cambridge, MS H 13.), appears in Christopher Wordsworth, The Tracts of Clement Maydeston (1909):190-194.  Another example appears in the York Breviary.  This commemoration is mentioned in the Sarum Breviary in the rubrics for Saturday after the first Sunday in Advent.

Commemoration of Our Saviour
This example of a weekly commemoration of Our Saviour, (based on the office for Low Sunday)  (British Museum Reg. 2A.xiv:227), appears in Christopher Wordsworth, The Tracts of Clement Maydeston (1909):189-190.  Wordsworth believes that this commemoration is for the use of the Brigittine Church of St. Saviour at Syon.

At York the commemorations were St. William, Tuesday, the Apostles Peter and Paul (to whom the cathedral is dedicated), Thursday, and St. Mary, Saturday.

At Hereford the commemorations were St. Thomas, Bishop of Hereford, presumably Tuesday (from 1320), St. Ethelbert, presumably Thursday, and St. Mary, Saturday.  These two commemorations appear at the beginning of the Hereford Breviary 1505, pars estivalis.

At Ely the commemorations were St. Etheldreda, St. Thomas of Canterbury, and St. Mary.

At Lichfield the commemorations were St. Chad, St. Thomas of Canterbury, and St. Mary. See Charles Seager, Portiforii seu Breviarii Sarisburiensis (1843): xliv.

Presumably at Chichester the commemorations were St. Richard (from 1262), St. Thomas, and St. Mary, and at Wells, St. Andrew, St. Thomas and St. Mary, at Lincoln, St. Hugh (from 1220), St. Thomas, and St. Mary, at London, St. Paul, (St. Erkenwald,) St. Thomas and St. Mary.

In the commemoration of St. John the Baptist, the vigil prayer is said; in the commemorations of St. Peter and of St. Paul, the octave collect is said.

A variety of commemorative masses appears amongst the votive masses on the later part of the Sarum Missal.

Daily Schedule

The daily schedule is demanding.  It varies with the days and seasons.  While ferias normally begin in the morning and continue in the evening, Sundays, feasts and commeomorations normally begin on the eve and continue the following morning.  Double feasts normally run from the eve of the day through the morning and evening of the day itself.

The canonical hours and high mass are the most important parts of the schedule, but in addition to this basic schedule are normally added–depending on the season–the daily Office of the blessed Virgin, and the daily Vigils of the Dead. Certain votive elements are also added, as indicated below.

– (Vespers of the Dead in Lent)
– Vespers (and memorials)
– Vespers of St. Mary (and memorials)
-(Procession to the Rood on Saturdays in Trinitytide)
– Vigils of the Dead (Vespers (outside of Lent) and Matins (and Lauds in summer))
– Compline
– For the peace of the church
– (procession) to the chapel
– Compline of Saint Mary (said outside of quire, in chapel)
– Votive antiphon for St. Mary (in chapel)
(The above offices run consecutively without break beginning in the later part of the afternoon.)

– Canonical Matins followed immediately by Lauds (and memorials)
– Matins and Lauds of St. Mary (and memorials)
(- Vigils of the Dead: Lauds in winter)
-For the peace of the church

– (procession) to the chapel
– Prime, Terce, Sext and None of St. Mary (said outside of quire, in chapel)
[- Votive antiphon for St. Mary (in chapel)–according to Antiphonale 1519:16r.]
– Mass of St. Mary (in chapel)

– (procession) into chancel
– Prime followed by Chapter (the latter in the Chapter House)
(-Blessing of salt and water on Sundays, Asperges, [Bidding prayers])
(- Commendation)
(- Missa in capitulo (requiem mass))
– Terce
(15 gradual psalms – ferias in lent)
(Litany – ferias in lent)
– Sext
-(Asperges on double feasts on Sundays)
-(Procession before mass on Sundays and major feast days)
– None
– the principal mass comes after Terce or Sext or None [Bidding prayers in parish churches]
(-on ferias in Lent: Vespers and Matins of the Dead, Vespers of the day before dinner)
– Post missam, ante prandium pro omnibus fidelibus defunctis

On Feasts and Commemorations of the Virgin, the said office and mass of the Virgin are omitted.

[In earlier days mass on Sundays and feasts came after Terce; mass on ferias came after Sext; mass on fasts came after None. In later days (the New Ordinal) mass on Sundays and feasts came after Sext. When a feast with ruling of the choir falls on a fasting day, the mass of the feast comes after terce in the earlier days, but after sext in later days. On rogation processions the procession follows none; the rogation mass follows the procession.]

Matins was typically begun around 5:00 am. However, on major double and minor double feasts near the summer solstice–that is from Trinity onwards–Holy Trinity, Corpus Christi, the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Sts. Peter and Paul, the Translation of St. Thomas, the Feast of Relics, and the Feast of the Place and the Dedication of the Church if they fall between the Feast of the Holy Trinity and the Feast of Relics–matins was said in the evening instead, according to the New Ordinal. Although not listed, presumably the newer feast of the Visitation would be included.  It would seem that these matins and lauds on the eve are to be sung after the usual evening offices are completed.  Thus, after the the final antiphon to the Virgin in the chapel–with or without recess, there is no indication–there would be a procession into the quire for matins and lauds.
The time for commencing matins appears to have varied somewhat from time to time and from place to place.  In lesson 5 of the Sunday within the octave of St. Osmund, the text suggests that, at least in the time of Old Sarum matins was normally begun ‘in media nocte’, the middle of the night.  Apparently a later indulgence permitted a later commencement of matins in the new cathedral.

At Salisbury Cathedral and other large establishments there was a separate daily office and mass of the Virgin in the Lady Chapel on a daily basis.  At Salisbury this was staffed by 13 vicars–a quarterly rotation of the vicars of the 52 canons of the cathedral.  Here in the chapel the office and mass of the Virgin was offered ‘with note’ on a daily basis.  Here too, were introduced polyphonic settings of chants of the office and mass.  In these circumstances it appears that Vespers of St. Mary was sung in the chapel after Vespers of the day was sung in the chancel; Compline of St. Mary after Compline of the day; Matins (and Lauds) and the little hours and Mass of St. Mary after Matins and Lauds of the Day, before Prime of the day.

Prandium (the main meal)  came after the conclusion of the morning services, up to and including None on ordinary days, after Vespers and Vigils of the Dead on ferias in Lent (and presumably other fasting days).  Cena came after the conclusion of the evening services, including Vespers, Compline, and the Antiphon of the blessed Virgin (and, near the summer solstice, matins and lauds major feasts falling on the following day).

Declension of proper names

Several antiphons, responsories and versicles in the Common of Saints include ‘N.‘ an indication to supply the name of the saint.  The name must be supplied with the proper declension according to its grammatical form.  The basics can be consulted at ‘How to decline personal names‘.  The following tables may be used.

First declension (feminine)


also Agathe, Brigida, Cecilia, Editha, Etheldreda, Frideswida, Juliana, Justina, Katherina, Lucia, Maria, Margareta, Perpetua, Petronilla, Potentiana, Prisca, Scholastica, Thecla, Wenefreda.

 First declension (masculine)


Also Andreas, Barnabas, Cosmas, Crescentias, Mathias, Menna.

Second declension (masculine)


Also Achileius, Adauctus, Agapitus, Albanus, Aldelmus, Alphegum, Amandus, Ambrosius, Apuleus, Arnulphus, Audoenus, Augustinus, Bartholomeus, Basilius, Bertinus, Blasius, Bonifacius, Bricius, Calixtus, Ciprianus, Ciriacus, Cirinus, Crispinianus, Crispinus, Cuthbertus, Daminanus, Dionysius, Dunstanus, Edmundus, Edwardus, Egidius, Epimachus, Erkenwaldus, Eusebius, Faustinus, Firminus, Gervasius, Gildardus, Gordianus, Gorgonius, Gregorius, Grisogonus, Hieronymus, Ipolitus, Jacintus, Jacobus, Julianus, Kenelmus, Lambertus, Laurentius, Leodegarius, Leonardus, Linus, Lucianus, Machutus, Magnus, Marcellinus, Marcellianus, Marcellus, Marcus, Martinus, Mauricius, Maurus, Medardus, Modestus, Nazarius, NIchasius, Nicholaus, Osmundus, Oswaldus, Pancratius, Paulus, Petrus, Philippus, Prothasius, Prothus, Quintinus, Remigius, Richardus, Romanus, Ruffus, Saturninus, Silvester, Simplicius, Sisinnius, Stephanus, Sulpicius, Swithinus, Theodorus, Theognitus, Thimotheus, Tiburtius, Valentinus, Valerianus, Vedastus, Vincentius, Vitus, Vulfrannus, Vulstanus.

Third declension (feminine)


Also Bathildis, Beatricis, Felicitatis, Praxedis.

Third declension (masculine)


Also Apollinaris, Basilidis, Clementis, Davidis, Felicis, Gereonis, Laudo, Leonis, Narboris, Nichomedis, Symonis, Vitalis.

Abdon and Sennen do not appear to follow the above declensions.


Enclitics are syllables added to the end of words: ‘-que’ (‘and’), ‘-ne’ (‘interrogative’), and ‘-ve’ (‘or’).  Regarding stress or accentuation, this edition follows what appears to be the common medieval practice; that is, with few exceptions, enclitics cause the accent of the word to fall on the penultimate syllable: ‘státim’ becomes ‘statímque’.  It should also be noted that in this context vowel length is not necessarily linked precisely with accent or stress.  This is emphasized in the fifth argument of the ‘Prologus in Accentuarium’, using the example ‘calefacit’ which has stress on the penultimate syllable even though that syllable is short. (‘Nobisipsis’ would appear to be another example.)  In terms of musical examples, I believe that this can be seen in the first responsory for the Transfiguration, ‘Assumptus hodie’, at the word ‘solusque’, where the first syllable is given length, but the second syllable can be accented.  However. as John Hackney has pointed out to me, the musical figure here is reminiscent of the intonation of Tonus Peregrinus, whch is independent of stress.  See also the sixth responsory of the same feast, at ‘voceque’, and the seventh responsory at ‘prostratique’.

Likewise, the Sarum Accentuarium indicates that although the penultimate vowel is short in útraque and in pléraque, nevertheless it is the penultimate vowel takes the stress.

Certain words appear to be enclytic, but are not.  ‘Dénique’ and ‘úndique’ are examples.  ‘úndique’ appears in the lauds hymn for St. Stephen.  They do not follow the enclytic rule of the penultimate accent.

A distinction is made between the regular word ‘ítaque’ (‘therefore’), and the enclitic ‘itáque’ (‘and thus’, ‘and so’). In the fifth antiphon at matins of the Holy Innocents (Erigitur itaque) the first syllable of ‘itaque’ is stressed; likewise in Assumptus ex equuleo, the fifth responsory at matins of St. Vincent.  See also ‘itaque’ in the Responsory Expurgate vetus frumentum, Friday of Easter Week (and compare the setting of ‘etenim’ in the previous phrase).  Compare here, for example A-Gu 30L11v. and A-KN 1018:10r. where ‘et enim’ is set as two words, and ‘itaque’ clearly place stress on the second syllable.  F-Pnm lat. 12044:103r. and F-Pnm lat. 15181:305v. agree with Sarum at ‘itaque’ but follows the other sources in setting ‘et enim’.

Likewise, a distinction is made between the regular word ‘útique’ (‘certainly’) and the enctlitic ‘utíque’ (‘and that’). 

In practice, enclitics should not pose serious performance problems.  Where they appear in lessons and other recited texts sung by only one, the singer can adjust the accentuation at will as desired.  In antiphons, responsories, hymns, and other pieces sung by many, the musical configuration will normally dictate how accentuation will be realized.  The hymn ‘Sanctorum meritis’, vespers and matins of many martyrs, contains three enclitic words, ‘gestaque’, ‘sevaque’, and ‘unaque’.  While this edition places the stress on the penultimate syllable, according to the above principles, the Solesmes edition places the stress on the antepenultimate, according with the metrical stress.  Nevertheless, it will be found that in performance there is no discernable difference.

Related to enclitics are the composite words deinde, deinceps, deintus, delonge, delate, deorsum and desursum.  The York Breviary indicates in each of these cases the stress accent on the antepenultimate (first) syllable (like ‘desuper’), whereas in familiar sources they typically have the stress accent on the penultimate (second) syllable.

A useful article on stress accents in relation to enclitics appears here.

Fasts and fish days

These notes pertain to the laity and the secular clergy of England in the middle ages. (As in modern times, the restrictions can be understood in terms of fasting and of abstaining.  Fasting pertains to quantity of meals, abstinence pertains to quality of meals.)

Fast Days. 
Fast days are characterized by a single meal (prandium) following the morning services, in addition to a small amout of food and drink in the late afternoon, in conjunction with the collation.  All fast days are also fish days (see below), thus days of both fasting and abstinence.  (Other days had two meals, prandium following the morning services and cenam following vespers and compline.)
-Fridays outside Eastertide that are not observed as feasts are fast days.  Considering that Saturday vespers is in fact first vespers of Sunday, Saturday itself can also be considered a fast (one meal) with cenam pertaining to the Sunday.  It may be that in like manner that a fasting day might be broken after vespers on occasions when vespers is of a ruled feast (of the following day) or an octave.
-Every feria in Lent, from Ash Wednesday to the vigil of Pascha, inclusive, when not observed as a feast, is a fast day.  (In this season vespers is sung directly after nones, delaying the meal.
The season of Advent is not a fasting season; Sunday is never a fast day, even in Lent.)
-vigils, ember days, rogation days are fast days.
-the rule for clergy to fast on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from St Martin’s day (November 11) to the vigil of Christmas is in the canons of the Second Council of Mâcon, c.581–583. 

In the East, as in the Nicene church and possibly earlier, the weekly fast days are Wednesday and Friday; but in the West, the fast days have been Friday and Saturday since about the year 400.  Friday is understood as a fast for the suffering and crucifixion of Christ, Saturday as the vigil of Sunday.  The Wednesday fast was no longer observed in the West by at least the 11 th century.

Fish Days. 
Fish days are characterized by the consumption of fish, and the prohibition of meat, eggs and dairy products, thus they are a form of abstinence.
-Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year, including Eastertide (household accounts of Richard de Swinfield, 1289); even if Christmas, for example, fell on a Friday, it was still a ‘fish day’.  (The Boke of Kervyng, 1508, states in the section on meals from Easter to Pentecost, ‘this maner of servyce dureth to Pentecost save fysshe dayes’, expressly indicating that fish-days were observed even in Paschaltide.)  It is possible, however, that the fish days were suspended during the octaves of Easter and Pentecost.
-Wednesdays were also practised by some, but not all, as ‘fish days’.  However, it would appear that the Wednesday fish day could be suspended by the occurrence of a ruled feast.
-vigils and ember days are fish days (Swinfield’s household accounts, 1289–90).  (For those observing Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays as fish days, the ember days are already covered.)
-rogation days are fish days.
-in some places Mondays, from St. Martin through to the vigil of Christmas were fish days.

(Typically, therefore, Friday was a fast day and a fish day; Saturday was not a fast day, but was a fish day; it had both prandium and cena; but in Eastertide Friday was, like Saturday, a fish day but not a fast day.)

The food on fish days excludes meat, eggs, and milk products (‘white meats’, lacticinia) but can include fish.  For that reason, fast days are called ‘fish days’ in English texts of the late middle ages, as opposed to ‘meat days’ when fasting and abstinence are not enjoined. 

(Aquinas on the consumption of fish and the prohibition of meat, eggs, and white meats on fast days, Summa II-II, q. 147, a. 8.  Aquinas states that meat is prohibited on all fast days, and that eggs and white meats (ova et lacticinia) are prohibited in Lent; but that eggs and white meats may or may not be prohibited on other fast days, depending on local custom.  English recipes of the 15th and 16th centuries for food ‘in Lent’ and ‘on a fish day’ exclude meat, eggs, or white meats, implying that in England, or at least some part of England, the prohibition on eggs and white meats extended to all fish days throughout the year.) 

Fish days on a feast were perfectly ordinary in the middle ages, as for example the fish-day service at the coronation banquet for Henry V on Sunday, 9 April 1413, and the coronation banquet for his new wife, Catherine of Valois, on Sunday, 23 February 1421.  Both banquets were in Lent, and despite being on Sundays, they were observed as fish days.  Austin, Thomas.  Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books: Harleian MS. 279 (Ab. 1430), & Harl. Ms. 4016 (Ab. 1450), with Extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud Ms. 553, & Douce MS. 55.  Published for the Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.

Festa ferianda

This name was given to days given over to worship by the lay-folk, during which labour was to be avoided.  The lists of such days varied considerably from time to time and from place to place.  A useful sample list appears in ‘Constitutiones Aegidii de Bridport, episcopi Sarum, editae anno Dom. MCCLVI Ex vet. cod. MS. in collegio Corp. Christi Oxon’, Concilia Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae I (1737) (ed. David Wilkins):714:
‘Salva sanctorum reverentia, duximus statuendum, quod exceptis solennitatibus Nativitatis dominicae, cum quatuor diebus sequentibus, Circumcisionis, Epiphanie, Resurrectionis, et Ascensionis, et Pentecostes, cum tribus sequentibus, singulisque solennitatibus dominicis exceptis, etiam virginis gloriosae, apostolorum, evangelistarum festivitatibus, et Sanctae Crucis, S. Michaelis, S. Johannis Baptistae, S. Laurentii, et translatione S. Thomae, festis S. Martini, et S. Marie Magdalene, et S. Catharinae : festis quoque de dedicatione in parochiis suis ; necnon et sanctorum, in quorum honore singulae ecclesiae construantur ; nullius alterius festivitas ab agricultura et laboribus, sine quibus terrae coli non possint, parochianis suis indicetur per presbyteros ferianda.’
We may summarize this list to include all principal, major, and minor double feasts, plus the principal feasts of apostles and evangelists, plus St. Lawrence, St. Martin, St. Mary Magdalene and St. Catherine; Good Friday may also be assumed to be included.  It should be noted that this list includes most of the saints to whom altars were dedicated in Salisbury Catherdral; it may be that it did include all those that were in fact erected and in use at that time.  Omissions are St. Edmund, St. Osmund (1457), St. Margaret and St. Dionysius.
For further information and a sampling of statutes, see C. R. Cherney, ‘Rules for the Observance of Feast-Days in Medieval England’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research XXXIV (Nov. 1961):117-147.

Gloria in excelsis, Credo, Benedicamus Domino, Ite missa est and Te Deum

Te Deum at matins, and Gloria in excelsis, Credo, and Ite missa est at mass are elements of high ranking feasts and Sundays outside of Advent and Septuagesima-tide; Benedicamus Domino is the closing versicle at mass on lesser occasions, and within Advent and Septuagesima-tide.  These elements are by and large (but not entirely) coordinated in the liturgy, such that when Te Deum is sung at matins, Gloria in excelsis, Credo, and Ite missa est are sung at mass; when Te Deum is not sung at matins, Gloria in excelsis, Credo and Ite missa est are omitted, and Benedicamus Domino concludes the mass.

Te Deum is omitted:
-during Advent
-from Septuagesima until Easter
-on all ferias when the feria is observed
-on feasts of three lessons that are observed on vigils
-on the Four Seasons (ember days), including those on Friday and Saturday in the week of Pentecost (Wednesday of this week is double feast)
-on the feast of St. Petronilla falling after the octave of the Trinity and Corpus Christi
-on the feast of St. Bertin
-on the feast of St. Tecla
-on the feast of St. Romanus
-on all vigils except the Vigils of the Epiphany falling on a Sunday
The rubrics for singing Te Deum appear at matins of Christmas day, the first occasion in the year on which it is sung.

Te Deum is also said at the weekly commemoration of Blessed Mary outside of Advent and Septuagesima-tide; we may assume that it is likewise said at other weekly commemorations.

NB: Gloria in excelsis is sung at mass when Te Deum is sung at matins, except:
-in the mass Salus populi on a feria
-in the mass of the Cross on a feria
-in Sunday masses sung on ferias

NB: when the mass of a vigil is sung in chapter on a Sunday, outside of Advent and Septuagesima-tide, Gloria in excelsis, Alleluya, Credo, and Ite missa est are sung. This refers in particular to the vigils of Easter and Pentecost.

[Te Deum is also said daily (recto tono) at the daily said office of Blessed Mary outside of Advent and Septuagesima-tide.]

Gloria Patri

The verse Gloria Patri &c. is a Trinitarian formula that is typically sung at the end of psalms, canticles and responsories. Gloria Patri is also sung at the opening versicles of the office hours. In the regular canonical hours it is sung at  matins at the end of Venite and at the end of each group of psalms, before the antiphon; at lauds it is sung at the conclusion of each psalm or group of psalms, or canticle (Benedictus), before the antiphon is sung.  At prime on Sundays it is sung after each pair of psalms, after the final psalm, and after the canticle Quicunque vult.  At terce, sext, and none it is sung after each of the three parts of psalm 118.  At vespers it is sung at the conclusion of each psalm or canticle (Magnificat).  At compline it is sung at the conclusion of psalm 4, psalm 30, and the pair of psalms 90 and 133; and at the conclusion of the canticle (Nunc dimittis).

Gloria Patri is also added to the final responsory of each nocturn at matins, and to the responsories at the little hours and at vespers, except from Passion Sunday until Easter.

Gloria Patri is entirely omitted in the office and mass of the dead.

Gloria Patri is omitted from invitatories and responsories from first vespers of Passion Sunday until Easter (but is retained in the psalmody until the Triduum).  However when the Feast of the Annunciation (or another double feast) falls within Passiontide Gloria Patri is retained in the invitatory and the responsories (as are the neumae).

Gloria Patri is entirely omitted from the office during the Triduum.

Gloria Patri is  sung at Officium at mass, except from Passion Sunday until Easter.  However, if the bishop celebrates on Maundy Thursday, the Gloria Patri is sung at the Officium..

(A doxology in verse appears at the end of each hymn.)


A Gradual is normally sung after the Epistle at Mass.  A Gradual takes the form respond-verse-(respond).

When a sequence or tract follows a gradual, the respond of the gradual is not repeated.

During Easter Week the Gradual Hec dies is sung daily at Vespers, along with an Alleluya, in place of the Hymn.  Here the respond of the gradual is not repeated.

The respond of the gradual Hec dies is also sung at the little hours during the week of Easter.


Typically on Sundays and feasts of nine lessons, lessons 7-9 comprise a homily from the fathers of the church on the Gospel lesson that will be read at mass the same day.  On some feasts, however, only lesson 7 is a homily on the Gospel, while lessons 7-8 continue with the life fo the saint.  And on some feasts there is no homily; lessons 7-9 are a continuation of the life of the saint. A useful listing by author of matins homilies in Sarum, York, and Hereford breviaries appears in W. H. Frere and L. E. G. Brown, eds. The Hereford Breviary III (London: Harrison and Sons, 1915): 177-193.


Apart from several notable exceptions, each office-hour contains one hymn.  At vespers, lauds, and compline, the hymn follows the chapter (and responsory if there is one)  At matins, prime, terce, sext, and none, the  hymn comes as the first important element after the opening versicles.

The feasts of the Epiphany has no hymn at matins.

Hymns are not sung in the Office (Vigils) of the Dead.

Hymns are omitted from the office during the Triduum and during Easter week.  Hymns are sung again in the office beginning at first vespers of Sunday in the Octave of Easter.

Hymns are not sung during the mass.

The processions of the following days include hymns:
-Palm Sunday: Gloria laus et honor
-Maundy Thursday: O Redemptor sume carnem
-Good Friday: Pange lingua gloriosi prelium certaminis
-Holy Saturday: Inventor rutuli; Rex sanctorum angelorum (litany)
-Easter Day: Salve festa dies toto venerabilis evo que Deus infernum (prose)
-Ascension Day: Salva festa dies toto venerabilis evo qua Deus in celum (prose)
-Pentecost: Salva festa dies toto venerabilis evo qua nova de celo (prose)
-Corpus Christi: Salva festa dies toto venerabilis evo qua caro Messie (prose)
-Dedication of the Church: Salva festa dies toto venerabilis evo qua sponso sponsa (prose)
-The Visitation: Salva festa dies toto venerabilis evo qua Christi mater (prose)
-The Holy Name: Salve festa dies toto venerabilis evo qua Jesus hoc nomen (prose)

The hymn Virgo mater ecclesie is embedded within the Marian antiphon Salve regina.


The final verse of each hymn is a doxology.  Some hymns have unique doxologies.

Seasonal doxologies are used for Ambrosian hymns as follows:

Christmastide until the morrow of the Purification, except during Feast and Octave of the Epiphany, and except in the hymn Deus Creator ominum; and on Feasts and Commemorations of the blessed Virgin; and during the Feast and Octave of Corpus Christi, except in the hymn Verbum supernum; and during the Feast and Octave of the Holy Name: V. ‘Gloria tibi Domine, Qui natus es de Virgine’.

Epiphany and Octave: V. ‘Gloria tibi Domine, Qui apparuisti hodie’.

Eastertide: V. ‘Quesumus, Auctor omnium’ followed by V. ‘Gloria tibi Domine, Qui surrexisti a mortuis’, except in the hymn Chorus nove Hierusalem and in the hymn Impleta sunt (on the Feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross), and except on Commemorations (full service) of blessed Mary in Eastertide, where V. ‘Quesumus auctor’ is followed by V. ‘Gloria tibi Domine, Qui natus es de Virgine’.

Ascensiontide: V. ‘Tu es nostrum gaudium’ followed by V. ‘Gloria tibi Domine, Qui scandis super sydera’, except in the hymn Impleta sunt on the Feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross, and except on Commemorations (full service) of blessed Mary, where V. ‘Tu es nostrum gaudium’ is followed by V. ‘Gloria tibi Domine, Qui natus es de Virgine’.

Pentecost and the Octave: V. ‘Dudum sacrata pectora’ followed by V. ‘Sit laus Patri cum Filio’, except in the hymn Veni Creator, where only the V. ‘Sit laus Patri’ is sung.

Among the doxologies used outside of Christmastide and Eastertide are: ‘Deo Patri sit gloria, Ejusque soli Filio’, ‘Presta Pater piissime, Patrique compar Unice’, ‘Laus honor virtus gloria’, ‘Presta Pater omnipotens’, ‘Prestet hoc nobis Deitas beata’, ‘Sit Christe Rex piissime’.

Sapphic metre: ‘Prestet hoc nobis Deitas beata’.

Trochaic dimeter: ‘Sit laus Deo Patri’.

Iambic trimeter: ‘Sit tibi Jesu benedicte Domine’.

Hymn melodies

The repertoire of Sarum hymn melodies has been collected and numbered by Walter Frere in Hymn Melodies for the Whole Year (1896).  They comprise 67 melodies, plus five Prose melodies from the Sarum Processionals, for a total of 72 melodies.  Most of the melodies have similar counterparts in other, continental repertoires.   See Stäblein, Hymnen (MMMA I), 1956.

Hymn metres

The most common hymn metre, the Ambrosian metre, is 8pp x 4 (also known as Long metre).  Ambrosian metre is characterized by accents on the second and sixth syllables of each line.  All office hymns except those listed below are in Ambrosian metre.

???, 7p x4
-Cultor Dei memento

???, 11p x4
-O quam glorifica

Sapphic metre, 11p 11p 11p 5p.  (Each 11 is typically segmented as 5p, 6p.)
-Antra deserti
-Christe sanctorum
-Ecce jam noctis
-Iste confessor
-Nocte surgentes
-O nimis felix
-O Pater sancte mitis
-O salutaris fulgens
-O Sator rerum
-Quod chorus vatum
-Ut queant laxis
-Virginis proles

Trochaic dimeter brachycataletic, 6p x4.
-Ave maris stella
-Ave mater Anna

Iambic trimeter,12pp x4.
-Annue Christe (and its proper verses for apostles and evangelists)
-Aurea luce

Trochaic tetrameter cataletic, 8p7pp x 3
-Angulare fundamentum
-Christi miles gloriosus
-Collaudemus Magdalene
-Crux fidelis
-Estimavit ortolanum
-Festum matris glorie
-Lustra sex qui jam peracta
-Mundi salus affutura
-Nos ymago Trinitatis
-O Maria noli flere
-Pange lingua gloriosi corporis
-Pange lingua gloriosi . . . innovatum
-Pange lingua gloriosi prelium
-Sancte Dei preciose
-Urbs beata Hierusalem

Asclepiadic strophe (Choriambic), 12pp 12pp 12pp 8pp
-Sacris solemniis
-Sanctorum meritis

Hymns in the Common of Saints

(The following discussion deals with hymn of the common of saints outside of Eastertide.)  There are interesting and important patterns in the repertoire of hymn texts and melodies for the common of saints.  Each category has two hymn-texts, the first for use at first vespers and matins, the second for lauds and second vespers, as in the following table:

 1 vespers and matinslauds and second vespers
1 martyrMartyr DeiDeus tuorum militum
Many martyrsSanctorum meritisRex gloriose martyrum
1 confessorIste confessorJesu Redemptor omnium
Many confessorsSanctorum meritisRex gloriose martyrum
1 virginVirginis prolesJesu corona virginum
Many virginsJesu corona virginumRex gloriose martyrum

It will be seen that while the hymns for many confessors simply duplicate those of many martyrs, the hymns for many virgins follow a different pattern: first vespers and matins take the hymn for one virgin at lauds and second vespers; lauds and vespers again takes the hymn of many martyrs.  (Presumably this happens because Virginis proles, which speaks of the feast day of a single virgin is unsitable to the commemoration of many virgins.)
Having understood this underlying pattern an interesting problem emerges when we come to regard the associated hymn-melodies: first we observe that outside of Nativitytide, Eastertide and Ascensiontide, feasts of saints of nine lessons will have a) both first and vespers, or b) only one vespers (first or second), or c) no vespers.  Feasts of three lessons will have either a) first vespers or b) no vespers.  There seems to be an ideal of providing different melodies for each of the hymns that will be sung at first vespers, matins, lauds and second vespers. 

Feasts of nine lessons:
Thus, taking one martyr, nine lessons, for example, there is one melody for Martyr Dei at first vespers, and another at matins (which melody happens to be the Christmas melody!); at lauds the melody for Deus tuorum militum repeats the melody from first vespers, and another melody is given for second vespers.  In total, two hymn-texts and three melodies.  However, presumably for the sake of variety, when second vespers is not observed, then the melody for second vespers is used instead at lauds.  This general outline–with certain variations–pertains also to feasts of many martyrs, of one confessor, of many confessors, and of one virgin.  
On feasts of many martyrs a third melody is provided for Sanctorum meritis, which can be used at the discretion of the cantor.  Note also that even though the melody for lauds is not a repetition of the melody fof first vespers–because the metres are different, even so, the second vespers melody is used for lauds when there is no second vespers. 
Moving to one confessor, we have one melody for first vespers and three optional melodies for matins; lauds and second vespers follow the established pattern regarding the use of hymn tunes. 
Many confessors duplicates the patterns of many martyrs. 
One virgin follows the pattern of one confessor in all respects. 
Many virgins would be a special problem–except there are no feasts of many virgins of nine lessons in the Sarum kalendar.  The two feasts of many virgins, Perpetua and Felicity on March 7, and the 11,000 virgins on October 21, are of three lessons only.  Only where such a feast were the feast of the place would this issue arise.  Perhaps for this reason the Sarum Antiphonale 1520-S:141v. ff.  prrovides a full office of nine lessons for the 11,000 virgins.   Curiously, the hymns indicated here are those from the common of one virgin, but this may be on account of the focus of this day on St. Ursula herself.
But if we use the texts indicated in the Breviary, Jesu corona virginum and Rex gloriose martyrum, a problem arises.  Seeing that such a feast would take the hymn-text from lauds and second vespers of one virgin for first vespers and matins, the associated hymn melodies become an issue.  The real question is what would be the appropriate melody for Jesu corona virginum at matins of feasts of nine lessons of many virgins?  Would it be the melody normally associated with second vespers?  In feasts of one martyr we see that it is the Nativity melody that is used to make up a deficiency at matins, even outside of Nativity-tide.  This is important because when we come to lauds and second vespers, we want to avoid re-using the second vespers melody of Rex gloriose martyrum.  The only other reasonable option would be to use the second vespers melody, recognizing 1) that otherwise this melody is never used at matins and 2) that the melody will therefore be repeated when second vespers is observed.


On certain principal and major double feasts all the altars surrounding the chancel are censed at vespers during the singing of the Magnificat: the Nativity, the Epiphany, the Purification, Easter, the Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, Corpus Christi, (the Visitation), the Feast of Relics, the Assumption and Nativity of St. Mary, the Dedication, All Saints, and the Feast of the Place. [Brev.:283]  Presumably to this list would be added the Holy Name of Jesus (August 7).  Thus the list includes all principal double and major double feasts.  On these occasions the antiphon to the Magnificat is sung through entirely both before and after the canticle.

The censing involves two priests, each accompanied by a boy carrying a thurible.  The first priest exits through the north doorway and censes the altars on the north side, beginning at the west and ending in the Lady Chapel.  The second priest exits the south doorway and censes the altars on the south side in a similar manner.  The two priests meet at the south doorway thurifer.  Upon re-entering the chancel the senior priest censes the bishop (or senior presiding cleric), and then the second priest censes the first.

This incensing of the altars in the area surrounding the chancel at the Magnificat is not a true procession–there is no station or prayer involved.

On these same days there is censing of the principal altar and of the choir at the middle lesson of each nocturn at matins.

Intersections of Missal, Breviary, Manual, and Processional

Although the Missal, Breviary, Manual, and Processional are separate books for use in separate liturgies, there are several important points of contact or overlap between them.  The most prevalent and significant would be the duplication of prayers (collects) between the Missal and the Breviary.

The gospels at mass are frequently made the texts for lessons 7-9 at matins.  The gospels at mass are also often selected as texts for the antiphons to Benedictus and Magnificat at lauds and vespers.

Another important point of contact is in the duplication of graduals and alleluyas from the mass into the office in the week of Easter.

A further point of contact is the combining together of Mass and Vespers in the Triduum and on the eve of Pentecost.

Another connection is the use of melismas from the responsories of matins or vespers as Benedicamus melodies at mass.

Certain processional elements are to be found in missals and graduals, and in manuals, especially those of holy week.

The ordinary of the mass appears in the printed breviaries and in the manuals.


The psalm (94, Venite) with antiphon sung at the beginning of matins each day except the Epiphany, the Triduum, and All Souls’ Day.  The version of psalm 94 used as the invitatory is not the same as that found in the regular course of the psalter.
The psalm verses are sung by one or more singers; thus a single invitatory, a double, a triple, etc.  On ruled feasts the rulers sing these verses.  When there are two rulers but a triple invitatory, a third singer, chosen by the cantor or the rulers , will join the rulers.
Ferias, simple feasts of three lessons, vigils have a single or a duple invitatory
Sundays have a duple invitatory
Simple feasts of nine lessons have a duple or a triple invitatory
Double feasts have a quadruple invitatory
Commemorations would appear to have a  double invitatory
Ruled octaves would appear to have a double inviatory

Lessons (Chapters, Epistles, Gospels, etc.)

The night office (matins) has lengthy readings (three or nine).  They are drawn from the bible, the lives of the saints, and from homilies and other writings of the fathers.  The printed Sarum Breviary 1531 has very full readings, whereas in other sources the readings are often curtailed to a greater or lesser extent.  See for example the 1525 Breviarium printed by Bryckman, Seeger’s edition of Portiforii seu Breviarii Sarisburiensis (1842), and the Aberdeen Breviary.

Diverse sources occasionally have different readings, especially alternate lives of the saints.  See Sherry Reames, ‘Late-Medieval Efforts at Standardization and Reform in the Sarum Lessons for Saints’ Days’, Margaret Connolly and Linne R. Mooney, eds., Design and Distribution of Late Medieval Manuscripts in England.  Woodbridge: Boydell for York Medieval Press, 2008: 91-117 and ‘Lectionary Revisions in Sarum Breviaries and the Origins of the Early Printed Editions’.  Journal of the Early Book Society IX (2006): 95-115.  See also Sherry Reames, Saints’ Legends in Medieval Sarum Breviaries. (Woodbridge: Boydell for York Medieval Press, 2021).

Lessons 7-9 are normally an exposition of the Gospel reading from the mass of the day or a continuation of the legend of a saint.  On ferias, lessons 1-3 are a continuous reading of the biblical book of that period of the year.


The Use of Sarum includes some ten different litanies.
1) The litany provided in the Psalter (letania major), when sung on ferias in Lent, after terce, is sung recto tono in the chancel.  On Monday and Tuesday in rogationtide this litany is sung in procession to the music.  This litany is also sung in procession on the Feast of St. Mark and ‘de processionibus causa necessitatis factis.’
2) On Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent a litany is sung at one of the altars of the church, before the high mass; another litany is sung during the return to the chancel.
3) The seven-fold litany (letania septiformis) is sung at the Easter Vigil and the Vigil of Pentecost, using the music provided.  This is followed by the five-fold litany (quinta partita letania), also sung to music.  During this second litany there is a procession to the font.
4) On the vigil of the Ascension the procession includes four litanies.
5) Following the votive mass ‘Pro pace petenda’, a litany is sung in procession.
All the litanies except the first appear in the Processional.


There were many masses in Salisbury Cathedral each day.  They can be summarized as follows:
1) the matutinal said mass
2) private said masses at side chapels
3) the daily sung Lady mass in the ‘Salve’ chapel.
4) the said (or sung) missa in capitulo that followed Prime and Chapter
5) the daily sung high mass that followed terce or sext
[6) Vigil mass on the day of a vigil, following sext or none]
[7) nuptial and funeral masses as required]

In the smallest parish churches the minimum would probably be 1) daily, if a priest is available; 5) on Sundays and feasts, and 7).

1) The Matutinal Mass
This early mass at the nave altar (Holy Cross) may have typically followed the weekly cycle of intentions (Holy Spirit, Angels, etc.)  This mass was said after matins and lauds of the day, especially for the benefit of the devout before beginning their day’s work.  (This practice is reflected in the early week-day parish masses that are commonly said in our times.)

2) Private said masses at side chapels
Christopher Wordsworth, Notes on Medieval Services:13, suggests that there were as many as 11 chantry masses at Salisbury; as many as 40 at Lincoln.  They ideally occupied the time between the end of Lauds and the beginning of the Lady mass.

3) Daily Lady Mass
This would follow the daily hours of the Virgin, whether recited recto tono or sung; it would be sung in the Lady chapel, and attended by the cathedral body.  When the Commemoration of Blessed Mary was observed in the chancel, usually on Saturdays, the canonical mass at the high altar [5)] would be of the Virgin; there would still be the daily sung office and mass of the Virgin in the chapel.
According to The Ordinal and Customary of the Abbey of Saint Mary York:56, ‘De missa familiari’, there was no daily Lady mass on Christmas day, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Holy Week, Easter Day, and Pentecost; this may have been a general practice in secular establishments as well.

4) Missa in capitulo
On ferias outside Eastertide the missa in capitulo is always a requiem mass.  (These are also the days on which vigils is said.)  On other days the missa in capitulo could be the mass of the Sunday, as when a double feast falls on a Sunday, or the mass of a saint whose memorial is observed at vespers and lauds (an perhaps whose legend is read at the second nocturn), or a votive mass. 

Clarification appears in Ordinale Exon: 39:
Et si debeat dici Missa aliqua de vigilia, vel alias dominicalis, vel de sanctis in capitulo, id est post capitulum ante Terciam, assignentur aliqui de quolibet gradu ita quod ad minus sint octo, exceptis ministris indutis, qui eidem intersint Misse, ne inhoneste ut aliquociens contingit Missa dicatur Capitularis, quia ipsa ita est ordinaria sicut et Magna Missa.
(And if any Mass ought to be said of the Vigil, or of other Sundays, or of the saints in Capitulo, that is, after the Chapter, before Terce, some are assigned of any grade so that there are at least eight, except for robed ministers who take part in the same Mass, that not disrespectfully sometimes it happens that the Mass is called Capitular, therefore it thus regular as is the High Mass.) 
If this is what was going on at Sarum, or at least something similar, then there would have been eight clerics or a few more at the Missa in Capitulo, enough to conduct the full service with full ceremonial and music, but few enough to fit around one of the side altars. [Thus there would be]  a small, select group, very much equivalent to the group chosen to conduct the daily services of St Mary in the Salve Chapel.  Of course, some masses in capitulo were said at the high altar, likely with all the canons present ; but those were special circumstances.”-John Hackney, March 9, 2022.

Thus the daily Missa in Capitulo appears to have been a said, low mass, not in conventu, but said by a priest and server only, normally at a side altar such as the Altar of the Apostles, to the north of the Lady Chapel at Salisbury Cathedral. 

5) Daily high mass
Sung at the high altar with full ceremonial, this was the culmination of the morning services.  In earlier times it was typically after terce, but sometime after 1300 it shifted to after sext.  In Lent, the Lenten, fasting mass is said after none.  However, on feast days in Lent the mass of the feast is in the usual position after terce or sext.  (Then the Lenten mass comes after sext in earlier days, but remains after none in later days.)  On Christmas day there were three high masses, the first between matins of the day  and lauds of the day, the second after lauds of the day, and the third in the usual place, after terce or sext.  On the following three days, irregularly, the high mass was after none.

[6) Vigil mass]
When a feast and a vigil fall on the same day, the mass of the feast comes after terce or sext and the mass of the vigil comes after sext or none, both at the high altar.

Parish Masses
The schedule of parish masses would be determined by the resources available and the local needs.  Presumably there would be a matutinal mass each day and a high mass on Sundays and feasts as a minimum.


Matins is normally followed directly by Lauds without interval.  If Lauds is not to follow directly, it is appropriate to conclude Matins with:
V. Dominus vobiscum. R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
V. Oremus.
The prayer from Lauds
V. Dominus vobiscum. R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
V. Benedicamus Domino. R. Deo gratias.
as is done at the conclusion of Terce, Sext, and None.

In the later Sarum rubrics, on certain summer-time feasts matins (and lauds) is said on the eve: the Holy Trinity, Corpus Christi, the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Sts. Peter and Paul, the Translation of St. Thomas, the Feast of Relics, the Feast of the Place, and the Feast of the Dedication falling between the feasts of the Holy Trinity and the Feast of Relics.  See B-40:1582.  This more or less covers the period from the last two weeks of June through the first two weeks of July, granted that the Holy Trinity and Corpus Christi are moveable feasts, and is  connected with the season of the longest hours of daylight.


A Memorial is a remembrance of a particular feast or saint, office, or season.  Memorials may be sung at the conclusion of vespers and lauds of the Sunday, feast, feria, or commemoration, and at the conclusion of vespers and lauds of the daily Office of the Virgin.

Each memorial consists of an antiphon, a versicle, and a prayer.  The normal selection would be the antiphon to the Magnificat  or Benedictus, the versicle following the hymn, and the prayer of the  office that would have been sung at vespers or lauds of the office in question.

On higher grade feasts memorials are omitted or shifted on to the daily office of the Virgin.

Memorials may be said solemnly (sung aloud) or privately (in silence).  Memorials of double feasts are always solemn.

On Principal and Major Double Feasts, memorials of Simple Feasts with Triple Invitatory are made in silence.

On Minor Double Feasts at First Vespers (and Lauds) Memorials of Simple Feasts are made in silence; at Second Vespers Memorials of Simple Feasts are solemn.

On Inferior Double Feasts all Memorials of Simple Feasts are solemn.

Memorials of Octave Days in an Octave which is Ruled are always solemn.

Memorials of Principal Privileged Sundays (the First Sunday of Advent, Passion Sunday, and Palm Sunday) are always solemn.

Presumably memorials on feasts without rulers of the choir would be as on ferias.

Memorial of All Saints.  This memorial appears to be a remembrance of the older daily cursus of All Saints.  “This remained . . . in the “Use” of Sarum in the form of commemorations after Lauds and Vespers . . .’, (Taunton, The Little Office:40).

MIddle Lessons

In some feasts of nine lessons, the middle lessons pertain to a feast.  This happens when two saints’ days fall on a single day (such as when the Feast of St. Thomas of Hereford is observed on Octboer 2), or when a saint’s day falls within an octave.  So, for example, On December 31, Saint Silvester falls within the octave of Christmas.  Lessons 1-3 pertain to the saint, lessons 4-6 pertain to the octave, and lessons 7-9 pertain again to the saint, or an exposition of the Gospel; or lesson 7 may be an exposition of the Gospel, and lessons 8-9 pertain to the saint.  Detailed rubrics appear at the feast of St. Silvester, which explain how choices are to be made regarding responsories and versicles on these occasions.  In summary, whilst the antiphons and psalms in the second nocturn continue according to the order of the main observance of the day, the versicle and responsories pertain to the saint or octave observed by the middle lessons.  The versicle and responsories selected will normally be the first available in order that have not yet been sung during that week or octave; when all have been sung, then the first available will be recommenced. 

Modal Order

Series of antiphons frequently appear in ascending modal order.  Series of responsories also appear from time to time in ascending modal order.  Sometimes they appear in ascending order but with gaps.  Modal ordering is not used in the earliest layers of chant.  The following are chants in modal order in the Use of Sarum (series in modal order with metre (M) and rhyme (R), partial or full, are so indicated):
-Sundays in Advent, antiphons on the psalms at matins, 1-8, 4.
-Sundays after Trinity, antiphons on the psalms at matins, 1-8, 4.
-St. Stephen (December 26), antiphons at matins, 1-8, 8.
-St. John (December 27), antiphons at matins, 1-8, 4.
-Holy Innocents (December 28), antiphons at matins, 1-8, 4.
-St. Thomas, martyr (December 29), antiphons at matins, 1-8, 1; the responsories at matins begin as a gapped series, 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, but then continue 1, 6, 2; the antiphons at lauds (gapped), 1, 2, 3, 6, 8. MR.
-Trinity Sunday, antiphons at vespers, 1-5; antiphons and responsories at matins, 1-8, 8; 1-8, 7; antiphons at lauds, 1-6. MR.
-Corpus Christi, antiphons at vespers, 1-6, antiphons and responsories at matins, 1-8, 6; 1-8, 1; antiphons at lauds, 1-5.
-St. Nicholas (December 6), antiphons and responsories at matins, 1-8, 1; 1-8, 1; antiphons at lauds (gapped) 1, 2, 4, 6, 8.
-The Conception of Blessed Mary (December 8), antiphons at matins, 1-8, 4.
-St. Vincent (January 22), antiphons at matins, 1-8, 1.
-The Purification (February 2), antiphons at matins, 1-8, 4.
-St. Peter’s Chair at Antioch (February 22), antiphons at matins, 1-8, 1. M.
-Sts. Peter and Paul (June 28), antiphons at matins, 1-8, 1.
-The Visitation (July 2), antiphons at vespers, 1-6; antiphons at matins, 1-8, 1; antiphons at lauds (gapped), 1, 2, 3, 7, 8. MR.
-Translation of St. Thomas (July 7), as at December 29.
-St. Osmund (July 16), antiphons and responsories at matins, 1-8, 1; 1-8, 1; antiphons at lauds, 1-6. MR.
-St. Mary Magdalene (July 22), the antiphons at matins begin in modal order, 1-6, but then continue 8, 3, 4. M.
-St. Anne (July 26), antiphons and responsories at matins, 1-8, 1; 1-8, 1; antiphons at lauds, 1-6; antiphon at second vespers, 7. MR.
-St. Peter in Chains (August 1), responsories at matins, 1-8, 1.
-The Invention of St. Stephen (august 3), antiphons and responsories at matins, 1-8, 1; 1-8, 1; the antiphons at lauds continue the cycle, 2-7; the antiphon at second vespers completes the cycyle, 8.
-The Transfiguration (August 6), antiphons at vespers, 1-5, 7; antiphons and responsories at matins, 1-8, 6; 1-8, 6; antiphons at lauds, 1-5.
-The Holy Name of Jesus (August 7), antiphons at vespers, 1-6; antiphons and responsories at matins, 1-8, 1; 1-8, 1; antiphons at lauds, 1-6; antiphon at second vespers, 8.
-The Assumption of Blessed Mary (August 15), antiphons at matins, 1-8, 7.
-The Nativity of Blessed Mary (September 8), antiphons at matins, 1-8, 4. MR.
-St. Matthew (September 21), antiphons and responsories at matins, 1-8, 1; 1-8, 1.
-11,000 virgins (October 21), responsories at matins, 1, 2, 8.
-St. Katherine (November 25), antiphons and responsories at matins, 1-8, 1; 1-8, 1; antiphons at lauds, 1-6. MR.
-The Presentation of Blessed Mary (November 21, in the Psalter), antiphons at vespers, 1-6; antiphons and responsories at matins (incomplete), 1-8, 1; 1-6 (1, 8 , 1); antiphons at lauds, 1-6. MR.
-St. David (March 1), antiphons at vespers, 1-2; antiphons at matins, 1-8, 1; responsories at matins: gapped and incomplete: 1, 2, 5, 4, 6 (=5), 6, 7, 8, 2; antiphons at lauds, 1-6. MR.
-St. Chad (March 2) (newly created), antiphons at vespers, 1-5; antiphons at matins, 1-8, 1; antiphons at lauds, 1-6. MR.
-The Translation of St. Osmund (July 16), antiphons at vespers (newly created), 1-5. MR.
-Image of the Saviour (November 9) (some chants taken from I-far, others created), antiphons at vespers, 1-5, 7; antiphons and responsories at matins, 1-8, 1; 1-8, 1. MR.
-St. Augustine (August 28, non Sarum), antiphons at vespers, 1-5, antiphons and responsories at matins, 1-8, 1; 1-8, 1.
-11,000 virgins (October 21) (9 lessons), antiphons and responsories at matins, 1-8, 1; 1-8, 1; antiphons at lauds, 1-5.
-St. Edmund, King and Martyr (November 20, non Sarum), antiphons matins, 1-8, 1; responsories (incomplete and gapped), 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 (2, 3, 1).


A neuma is a melisma used as a conclusion to an antiphon.  One neuma is provided for each mode; Tonus Peregrinus uses the neuma of Mode VIII.  Neumas are sung at the end of the final antiphon on the psalms at vespers and lauds, and at each nocturn of matins.  They are also sung at the end of the antiphon that concludes the canticles Magnificat, Benedictus, and Quicunque vult.  A neuma is also sung at the end of Te Deum.  Neumas are omitted from antiphons from Passion Sunday until the Octave of Easter and in the Office of the Dead.  (The neuma will nevertheless be sung at Te Deum as usual throughout Easter week.)  The neumas may be found among the common tones (Part D of the Breviary).  At that place the neuma is the final melisma only, attached to the final syllable; the preceding texted music is a didactic tool for understanding and memorizing each neuma.


A nocturn is a night watch.  The office of matins contains one or three nocturns.  Each nocturn contains psalms, antiphons, versicle, lessons and responsories.

Cum nocturno
In the rubrics ‘nocturnus’ refers to the group of psalms assigned to matins in the order of the ferias.  ‘Cum nocturno’ indicates that the psalms of this ferial order will be sung on a particular day or feast.  ‘Cum nocturno’ often implies that the ferial antiphons will also be sung.  ‘Cum nocturno’ does not refer to the versicles, lessons and responsories, which form the second part of a nocturn.

Matins is said ‘cum nocturno’ most Sundays and ferias throughout the year, and on feasts of three lessons when Te Deum is not said (as on vigils and on Ember Days and after Septuagesima).  In contrast, on feast days that include Te Deum the psalms (and antiphon(s)) are proper; these days are therefore not ‘cum nocturno’.  Occasional divergences from these principles are specified in the rubrics.

When a feast of three lessons falls on a penitential day and Te Deum is not said, as on vigils and on Ember Days and in Septuagesima-tide, certain penitential aspects take precedence over the feast: any appointed festal psalms and antiphons at matins are set aside, and matins is said ‘cum nocturno’, that is, with the ferial psalms and antiphons.  Matins ‘cum nocturno’ may also indicate the ferial psalms at lauds, but the antiphons at lauds and the little hours should probably follow the proper or common of the feast.

In Eastertide matins is not said ‘cum nocturno’.  The order of psalms on weekdays in Eastertide is given on Monday after the Second Sunday of Easter.

Four particular feasts of three lessons are said without Te Deum and ‘cum nocturno’, as if they were vigils or fasting days, for reasons that are neither obvious nor explained :
-St. Petronilla (May 31) falling outside the octave of the Trinity
-St. Bertin (September 5)
-St. Thecla (September 23)
-St. Romain (October 23)

Romanus Tecla Bertinus cum Petronilla
Hii cum nocturno dant sua festa coli.

Romain, Thecla, Bertin with Petronilla,
These ‘cum nocturno’ celebrate their feast. [Risby:68]

(Based on notes provided by John Hackney. )


The musical notation of the Use of Sarum generally follows the square-note style common to western plainchant.  Quilismas, which are not really part of square-note notation, are not to be found.  In the great bulk of the music the clefs are C and F.  However, the G clef appears from time to time, and on rare occasions the B [natural] clef appears–as in AS:280, antiphon Accipite Spiritum Sanctum.

Liquescence appears in the notation, but it is not applied consistently from manuscript to manuscript.

The manuscripts generally omit the ‘guide’, whereas the ‘guide’ does appear in the printed sources. (The guide simply indicates at the end of one line the first pitch of the next line.)

A-diastematic notation appears only very rarely, as in British Library Cotton MS Tiberius C 1.


An Octave is an eight-days’ celebration of an important feast.  The following are octaves in the Sarum Rite:

Temporale: Christmas, St. Stephen, St. John, Holy Innocents, St. Thomas the Martyr, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, Corpus Christi, Dedication.

Sanctorale: St. Andrew, the Nativity of John the Baptist, Sts. Peter and Paul, the Visitation, the Feast of Relics, the Most Sweet Name of Jesus, St. Lawrence, the Assumption, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, St. Martin, and the Feast of the Place (St. Osmund at Salisbury).

The following octaves are ruled:
Christmastide through the octave of Epiphany, except for the Vigil of the Epiphany when it is not a Sunday (thus encompassing the octaves of Christmas, St. Stephen, St. John, and the Holy Innocents.  We might conjecture that the octave of St. Thomas is unruled, since the octave day is not observed, but the vigil of Epiphany is observed.
Assumption of Mary
Nativity of Mary
Dedication of the Church
The octave day of Peter & Paul is ruled, but not the whole week.

The entire octave of the Feast of the Place is ruled, where an octave is kept.

From its introduction, the octave of the Most Sweet Name of Jesus is ruled.

The octaves of Trinity, Corpus Christi and the Visitation may or may not be ruled.  The Octaves of Corpus Christi and the Visitation are considered to be ruled in the ‘pica’.

Presumably the Octave of the Holy Trinity would be ruled in places named for the Trinity, such as the Church of the Holy Trinity at Stratford upon Avon, dating from the 13th century.  (Trinity College Cambridge was founded in 1546; Trinity College Oxford was founded in 1555.  Trinity College Dublin was not founded until 1592.)

Before the middle of the 15th. century the octave of Corpus Christi was generally kept without rulers of the choir; by the middle of the century it was generally kept with rulers of the choir.  (Wordsworth, Tracts of Clement Maydeston: xxii.)  Presumably it would have been kept as a ruled octave at Corpus Christi College Cambridge, founded in 1352, and at Corpus Christi College Oxford, founded in 1517.

Christmastide, the Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost provide the most complete octaves, during which no kalendar variations interfere with the celebration of the octaves.

The octaves of Christmas, St. Stephen, St. John, The Holy Innocents, and St. Thomas the Martyr fall on successive days, giving rise to many memorials at vespers, lauds and mass.

The octaves of the Nativity of John the Baptist, Sts. Peter and Paul, and the Visitation intersect with one another, giving rise to a complex observance.   (The Visitation is a newer observance, not part of the old order). The Octave Day of John the Baptist outranks the day within the Octave of Peter and Paul.  The feast of the Visitation outranks the octave days of Peter and Paul; when this is introduced, the octave days of Peter and Paul revert to memorials only.  However, the Octave Day of Peter and Paul outranks the octave days of the Visitation.

The Feast of Relics is recognized as an octave only in a daily memorial at vespers, lauds and mass.

The octave of St. Lawrence, which overlaps with the Assumption, is observed only partially in the older kalendar, and even less so with the introduction of the octave of the Most Sweet Name of Jesus.

The Second Feast of St. Agnes, falling on the eighth day of the first feast, is related to the octaves, but is not technically considered as such.

In the observance of octaves, the octave comes to completion after nones of the eighth day, except for the octaves of the Epiphany, Easter, Ascension, Corpus Christi (where observed with rulers of the choir), the Visitation, the Assumption, and the Nativity of the blessed Virgin, and the Dedication of the Church, where the octave includes second vespers of the octave day–unless a new history, a feast of nine lessons, a commemoration of blessed Mary, or of the place appears on the morrow.  Presumably the Octave of the Feast of the Place also continued through second vespers.  The octave of the Most Sweet Name concludes with a solemn memorial at first vespers of the Assumption.

At the octave of the Ascension, while ruling of the choir ceases after the octave, nevertheless the content of the office in the ensuing days remains essentially a continuation of Ascensiontide by repeating antiphons of the Sunday within the octave of the Ascension.

Office and Mass of the Blessed Virgin

The Office of the Blessed Virgin is said daily.  If follows three forms.

1) Feasts of the Blessed Virgin

On Feasts of the Blessed Virgin the Canonical Office and Mass are of the Blessed Virgin, from the Sanctorale.

2) Commemorations of the Blessed Virgin

On Commemorations of the Blessed Virgin (preferably on Saturday) the Canonical Office and Mass are of the Blessed Virgin.  This ‘Full Service’ of the Blessed Virgin is from the Psalter.  It runs from vespers through to none.

3) Other feasts, commemorations and ferias

On other feasts, commemorations and ferias, the Daily (Little) Office of the Blessed Virgin is said recto tono in addition to the canonical office.  This daily office is from the Psalter.  It runs from matins through to compline.  Matins and lauds are said in Quire after matins and lauds of the day.  Prime through none are said out of Quire before the daily mass of St. Mary.  Vespers is said in Quire after canonical vespers; compline is said after compline of the day, outside of Quire, and before the final votive antiphon for St. Mary.

Both the ‘full service’ and the ‘little office’ of the Virgin contain seasonal variants.  Certain items, such as antiphons, hymns, versicles, lessons, and prayers, vary with three periods, Advent, Christmastide (until the Purification), and the remainder of the year, with certain alleluyas being added in Eastertide.  Other components remains consistent throughout the year, such as some antiphons and versicles, and the psalms.

The little office of the Virgin after the Purification is very closely related, but not identical, to the Hours of the Virgin as they appear in Sarum Primers.  A notable difference is that in the little office the hymn at the little hours is ‘Memento salutis Auctor’ whereas the hymn at the hours of the Virgin in the primer is ‘Veni Creator Spiritus’.

It would appear that the daily office of the Blessed Virgin was originally said privately, outside of Quire.

At some time, possibly around the time that the east end of the new cathedral at Salisbury was completed, daily matins (with lauds) and vespers of St. Mary came to be said in convent, while the little hours continued to be recited privately.  This is the form found in the Risby Ordinal.

In the case where there were separate clerks assigned to the services of the Lady Chapel (these would be limited in all likelihood to the great secular cathedrals, Salisbbury, Chichester, Exeter, Lichfield, Lincoln, London and Wells) it appears that all of the hours of the Daily Office of the Virgin would be chanted there, as is indicated in the Exeter Ordinal (HBS XXXVII:29).  Presumably the Quire clerks would then continue to say the little hours of the Virgin privately.

The Ordering of the Choir

In cathedral chancels the dean takes the eastward place on the south side, next to the western entrance, facing east; the cantor takes the opposite place on the north side.  The canons (or more senior clerics) take the highest stalls (superior grade); the clerks (or more junior clerics) take the lower stalls (second form); the boys stand on the lower level in front of the stalls (first form).

In conventual and parish-church chancels the ordering of the choir is adapted from that of the cathedral.  The leader takes the eastward place on the south side (the place of the dean); the second leader takes the opposite place on the north side (the place of the cantor.  Assuming that there is only one row of stalls on either side, the more senior clerks (superior grade) take the western stalls and the more junior clerks (second form) the eastern stalls.  Where there are boys (first form) they stand on the lower level in front of the stalls.

A similar adapation would be used in the Lady chapel for the daily sung office and mass of the Virgin.

Orientation and Posture

Orientation or directionality is the direction in which one faces during mass or office.

Facing across the aisle is the normal orientation while singing regular psalmody.

Facing the altar is the normal orientation while reading lessons and praying.  The choir face the altar and bow for the doxology, whether during versicles, hymns, or responsories.

Posture refers to standing, bowing, sitting, kneeling, and prostration while performing ghe mass or the office.

Standing. Standing is the normal posture for singing the noted office and mass (up to the end of the Sanctus).  On Sundays and feasts the preces at Prime and Compline are said standing.

The conclusion of Chapter, ‘Levavi oculos’ etc. is said standing–according to the Exeter Ordinal:38–but it may be appropriate to say this kneeling on ‘kneeling days’.

Bowing. The choir face the altar and bow for the doxology, whether during versicles, hymns, or responsories.  The choir would presumably similarly bow for the final two verses of the Benedicite at Lauds.  Indeed, the Ordinal and Customary of the Abbey of St. Mary York (HBS LIII):7 indicates: ‘Item ad ultimum versum ympnorum, et quociens Gloria Patri nunicatur post invitatorium, psalmos, responsoria longa et brevia, et post officium misse, et ad penultimum versum de psalmo Benedicite, semper stando inclinet versus chorum usque Sicut erat, ob reverenciam sancte Trinitatis.’  It remains unclear whether the in the Benedicite verse the vow concludes at the end of the half-verse or the end of the full-verse.
It would seem that a bow from the waist is appropriate when standing, but a bow of the head is suitable when seated.
A useful video describes bowing at the altar.  This ‘bowing and scraping’ gesture seems very appropriate at the altar, but may be inconvenient in the constricted space of choir stalls.

John Harper, Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary I:6 indicates that a bow is appropriate every time the choir or any individual turns away, having been facing the altar.

[The custom of bowing the head at the mention of Jesus’ name was formally written into law at the Second Council of Lyons, A.D. 1274, convened by Pope Gregory X:  ‘Those who assemble in church should extol with an act of special reverence that Name which is above every Name, than which no other under Heaven has been given to people, in which believers must be saved, the Name, that is, of Jesus Christ, Who will save His people from their sins. Each should fulfil in himself that which is written for all, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow; whenever that glorious Name is recalled, especially during the sacred Mysteries of the Mass, everyone should bow the knees of his heart, which he can do even by a bow of his head.’]  There is no specific mention of this practice in the Sarum rubrics.

Sitting. The choir is seated from the beginning of daily vespers and lauds of St. Mary until the antiphon that comes at the end of the psalmody.  The choir then stands until the end of this office.   At daily matins of St. Mary the choir sits until the antiphon that comes at the end of the psalmody, at which point the choir stands.  The choir is again seated for the lessons and responsories, but stands for Te Deum  when it is said.  However lessons and responsory verses are said standing by those that say them.  The choir is seated for daily little hours of the Virgin.

The choir is seated (in the Chapter House) for the reading of the Legend and the Tabulam.

It appears that a similar procedure occurs for the daily office of the dead (vespers, matins, lauds).

Kneeling and/or prostration.  Kneeling is the normal position for singing the preces at the office and mass on ‘kneeling days’.  (At the preces at Prime and Compline on Sundays and Feasts the preces are said standing.)  Prostration may be synonymous with kneeling, or may be a more emphatic form of kneeling, more akin to crouching with head bowed.  (See Mark Ardrey-Graves, ‘More divine than human‘ (Ph. D. diss., James Madison University, 2015: 255-256.)  It seems unlikely that prostration refers to the prone position, that is lying flat, face down, on the floor.  Furthermore, there seems to be some degree of alternation between the terms kneeling an prostration in the sources, which suggests that at least in some contexts prostration is simply another term for kneeling.  (Humbert of Romans, O.P. discusses this topic in greater detail in Expositio super constitutiones fratrum Ordinis Predicatorum. Cap. 52. De diversis generibus humiliationum (ca. 1250), but does not elucidate this question.)  Crouching with head bowed is the position adopted for the recitation of the penitential psalms in the Reconciliation of penitents at St Teilo’s Church (June 2010).
 ‘On weekdays throughout the year when the preces are said at the hours, the choir should stay prostrate from the start of Kyrieleyson until Per Dominum is said after the collect; the priest alone, though, raises himself from his prostration when Exurge Domine is said.  But at matins while the Lord’s Prayer is said before the lessons, the choir should keep prostrate until Et ne nos is said.’  Risby Customary On line:18.1.  Thus the closing versicles (Dominus vobiscum etc.) and the memorials are said standing.

Kneeling is the position for singing the devotion ‘Pro pace ecclesie’ that concludes the early morning offices and that concludes Compline.

Kneeling is the postition for singing the antiphon of St. Mary after nones of St. Mary.

(It is not clear whether the devotion ‘Levavi oculos’ that comes at the end of Chapter is said standing or kneeling.)

Kneeling may also be the position for singing the antiphon of St. Mary after compline, although is not clearly stated; the officiant stands at the lectern which is before the altar where the daily mass of the Virgin is celebrate solemnly.

The Hereford Breviary version ‘W’ (Vol. I, ed. Frere, 1904:312) indicates ‘ad terrram prostratus’ at the Pater noster that concludes Lauds on Maundy Thursday.  The main version has simply ‘prosternant se’.

Kneeling is used at mass for the ‘preces in prostratione’ when they are said.  According to the practice of Wells Cathedral, at ferial masses there is continual kneeling from the elevation until ‘per omnia’ that precedes the Agnus Dei.

Kissing the forms. The forms are the choir stalls and fronts.  At the conclusion of daily Compline presumably those in the back row(s) would kiss the forms, those in the front row–if there are no fronts–would kiss the floor, typically by kissing the hand and then touching the floor with the hand, as is still practiced in some monasteries to this day.

Although not indicated specifically, it may seem appropriate to do likewise before exiting the chancel at the conclusion of morning devotions, that is, at the end of daily lauds of the Virgin (and perhaps at the conclusion of canonical prime), and on exiting the chancel after mass or none.

Genuflection. According to the Statutes of Wells Cathedral, p 4: the choir is to genuflect at the elevation of the body and blood of Christ.
Again, according to the Statutes of Wells Cathedral, p 5: within lent there is genuflection and kissing the forms at the beginning of each hour.


Strictly speaking, polyphony is not a documented aspect of the Sarum Rite.  It does not occur in any of the authorized books of Sarum Use.  Nevertheless, polyphony was employed to an increasing extent as the late medieval and renaissance periods progressed.  The 13th c. Lincoln Consuetudinary directs that on lesser double feasts boys were to sing Benedicamus Domino at the end of lauds in polyphony. (Bradshaw and Wordsworth, Statutes of Lincoln Cathedral I:269, 373.)  However, polyphony was most commonly used at the daily Lady mass and at the final antiphon of the blessed Virgin that followed compline.

The Exeter Ordinal (ed. J. N. Dalton, 1909-I:19-20) indicates  for each grade of feast the places in which discant (presumably improvised polyphony) may be used in office and mass.  The provisions are quite liberal for double feasts.  However, on Sundays and simple ruled feasts only on the hymn and the antiphon to the canticle at vespers and lauds, the ninth responsory at matins, and the Kyrie, sequence, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei; on unruled feasts only on the antiphons at the memorial of St. Mary and of the Apostles (i.e. Peter and Paul, patrons of Exeter Cathedral).  the final indication is ‘Ex licencia, si placet senioribus, loco Benedicamus ad vesperas et ad matutinas, et ad missam post Sanctus, poterunt organizare cum vocibus vel organicis.’  (This latter rubric suggests the performance of polyphony during the silent recitation of the canon of the mass.)

Improvised polyphony seems to have been the province of solo singers rather than larger forces.


All principal feasts and major double feasts are entitled to processions whatever day they occur.  (At Salisbury Cathedral–and others dedicated to the blessed Virgin–the Annunciation and the Conception, minor doubles, were treated in this respect as major doubles.)

All other double feasts falling on a Sunday have a procession before the principal mass.

Certain feasts have processions only if they fall on Sunday:
-Vigil of Christmas
-St. Stephen
-St. John
-Holy Innocents
-St. Thomas, martyr
-Sixth day of the Nativity
-St. Silvester
-Octave of St. Stephen
-Octave of St. John\Octave of the Innocents
-Vigil of Epiphany
-Octave of the Epiphany
-Conception of the Blessed Virgin
-[Sunday within the Octave of the Conception]
-Sts. Fabian and Sebastian
-St. Agnes
-St. Vincent
-Conversion of St. Paul
-St. Agatha
-St. George
-St. Vitalis
-Sts. Philip and James
-Invention of the Holy Cross, on the day
-St. John at the Latin Gate
-St. Dunstan
-Nativity of St. John the Baptist
-Sts. John and Paul
-Sts, Peter and Paul
-St. Paul
-Octave of Sts. Peter and Paul
-Translation of St. Thomas
-St. Margaret
-St. Mary Magdalene
-St. Anne
-St. Peter in chains
-St. Lawrence
-St. Hippolitus
-Octave of the Assumption
-Beheading of St. John the Baptist
-Sunday in the Octave of the Nativity of Blessed Mary
-Octave of the Nativity of Blessed Mary
-The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
-St. Matthew
-St. Michael
-St. Dionysius
-St. Michael in Mount Tumba
-St. Luke
-St. Martin
-St. Brice
-St. Cecilia
-St. Clement
-St. Katherine

The content of a procession is in essence the same as that of a memorial: an antiphon or responsory (or prose/hymn), followed by a versicle and prayer.  The antiphon or responsory is sung during the movement, and the versicle and prayer are said at the station.  Typically a procession will have two parts (or two processions), a movement away from the chancel to a station at some other location, and a movement returning into the chancel.  In many cases the sung item(s), the versicles and the prayers are taken from the content of the breviary, but in some cases new pieces (especially processional antiphons and proses/hymns) are to be found.

Processions before Mass

The normal Sunday procession before mass serves principally to sprinkle the altars of the church.  It exits the chancel to the north and proceeds in a clockwise manner, continuing to the west end of the church, and up the centre aisle of the nave to a station at the rood.  Then follows the Bidding of the Bedes.  The procession then continues into the quire where it concludes with a versicle and prayer at the quire step.  After that the priest and his assistants proceed to the canons’ cemetery (to the south east) to sprinkle holy water and to pray for the dead.

(In parish churches without an ambulatory, the procession would presumably exit the chancel through the western entrance and proceed in a clockwise direction to the various altars in the nave (and transepts) before coming to the station at the rood.)

On double feasts falling on a Sunday the altars are not sprinkled, but the holy water is carried throughout the processional route.  The procession exits the chancel by the west doorway.  The procession does not include the Bidding of the Bedes.

On Easter Sunday, Ascension Day, Pentecost, and Corpus Christi, the procession goes around the outside of the church.

Most typically–one might say by default–at a procession before mass the final responsory of matins of the feast or Sunday is used as the processional chant when leaving the chancel; the versicle is the versicle from lauds; the prayer is the ‘collect’ of the day.  In this way the basic formation of the content of a procession mirrors that of a memorial.  On the return to the chancel typically the content would be of the blessed Virgin.  However, on lesser feasts of the Virgin, seeing that she had already been commemorated in the first part of the procession, the content on the return would be of All Saints.

Prof. John Harper, ‘Procession in Honour of the Holy Name of Jesus’, music booklet (The Experience of Worship), suggests that if necessary processional music can be extended by the repetition of verses.  This suggests an ideal in which the entire procession is accompanied by sung chant.  The sources do not seem to make clear whether this ideal was in fact striven for.  It is possible that it was deemed satisfactory if a) the music concluded before the station was reached or b) the station was reached before the music concluded.

Processions after Vespers

From the first Sunday after Trinity until the final Sunday before Advent a procession is made to the Rood at the conclusion of first vespers–unless a double feast occurs, or the Sunday is deferred.  However, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (September 14) is an exception: it will have a procession at first vespers whether it falls on a Sunday or not.  This procession comprises the procession to and station at the rood, and the return to the chancel.  The first part is in effect a memorial of the Cross, and the return is a memorial of the blessed Virgin, reflecting the order of ferial memorials at vespers in this season.

From the first Sunday in Advent until Easter there is no procession ‘ante crucem’ at the conclusion of first vespers of Sundays.

On Easter Sunday at the conclusion of second vespers a procession is made first to the font and then ‘ante crucem’–before the Rood.  Like processions are made daily at vespers throughout this week.

On the remaining Sundays of Eastertide until Ascension Day a procession is made to the Rood at the conclusion of first vespers.

The rubrics for the procession on Easter Day indicate that the procession after vespers comes before the second Benedicamus Domino.  This practice accords with the notion that such a procession is a form of memorial.

The censing of the altars in the area surrounding the chancel during the Magnificat on great feasts is not a procession, but rather a ceremony within an office.  See ‘Incense’.

Special Processions

These are:

-Feast of the Purification: blessing and distribution of candles

-Ash Wednesday: the penitential psalms and distribution of ashes, and the ejection of penitents

-Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent, after None: procession to a side altar, each in turn

-Palm Sunday, before mass: blessing and distribution of (palm) branches, with elaborate procession around the whole church (this takes the place of the normal Sunday procession)

-Maundy Thursday after None: the reception of penitents; after the mid-day meal, the washing of the altars; the washing of feet

-Good Friday after None: the adoration of the Cross; the deposition ceremony

-Holy Saturday after None: the new fire, the paschal candle, the exultet, the procession to the font

-Easter Day before Matins: the elevatio ceremony

-Easter week after Matins (i.e. after Lauds) procession to the Rood.

-Rogation Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and on St. Mark’s day, after None: procession to a church in the city

-Vigil of Pentecost, after None: procession to the font, as at the Vigil of Easter

-in case of necessity, any day after None: a procession to an altar in the church, or to another church in the city, as above on St. Mark’s day

-at the reception of an important personage (presumbably as above before mass)

-there would of course also be funeral processions; to the church, and to the burial site (see the Manual)

Proses (prosae)

Proses appear at the following Feasts:
St. Andrew: at second vespers: O morum doctor egregie.
St. Nicholas: at first vespers: Oportet devota mente.
St. Nicholas: at matins: Sospitati dedit egros.
The Nativity: in procession after terce or sext: Felix Maria. and Te laudant alme rex.
St. Stephen: procession after second vespers of the nativity (or at matins of St. Stephen if is no procession); at Salisbury, and other cathedrals and collegiate churches, at both vespers procession and at matins : Te mundi climata.
St. John: procession after second vespers of the St. Stephen (or at matins of St. John if is no procession); at Salisbury, and other cathedrals and collegiate churches, at both vespers procession and at matins : Nascitur ex patre Zebedeo.
Holy Innocents: procession after second vespers of St. John (or at matins of the Holy Innocents if there is no procession); at Salisbury, and other cathedrals and collegiate churches, at both vespers procession and at matins : Sedentem in superne.
St. Thomas: procession after second vespers of the the Holy Innocents (or at matins of St. Thomas if there is no procession): Clangat pastor.
The Circumcision: procession before mass: Quem ethera et terra.
The Purification: at second vespers: Inviolata integra.
Easter Day: procession after sext and aspersion: Salve festa dies . . . Qua Deus infernum.
Ascension Day: procession before mass: Salve festa dies . . . Qua Deus in celum.
Invention of the Cross: at first vespers: Crux fidelis.
Pentecost: procession after aspersion, before terce: Salva festa dies . . . Qua nova.
Corpus Christi: procession before mass: Salve festa dies . . . Qua caro.
The Visitation: at the procession: Salve festa dies . . . Qua Christi.
The Name of Jesus: at the procession: Salve festa dies . . . Qua Jesus.
St. Katherine: at first vespers: Eterne virgo memorie.
Dedication of the Church: at the procession: Salve festa dies . . . Qua sponso.

In proses sung not in procession the leaders are located in the eastern half of the quire (in the place of the boys): two principal rulers in the midst of the quire, facing east; the secondary rulers at the quire step facing west; three clerks who will sing the verses in the midst between the rulers.
Crede michi [128] indicates that the chorister face across the chancel until Gloria Patri, and then turn to face the altar (presumably bowing).

Proses are generally sung as extensions and continuations of responsories.  They are similar to sequences, but they usually include melismatic (textless) repetitions of each phrase. Felix Maria at the Nativity is a special case: it is embedded within the responsory (more like a trope–it is in fact identified as such in CANTUS).

In the case of Salve festa dies, the prose stands on its own and takes a different form on account of the refrain.  Salve festa dies is sometimes considered a hymn: but even so it is comprised of unrhymed hexameter-pentameter couplets (distichs), rather than metered and rhymed stanzas.  Compare Gloria laus et honor, at the procession on Palm Sunday, which has the same structure–but in the Sarum processionals it is identified neither as a prose nor a hymn, but as an antiphon with verses.

A non-Sarum prose, Panis arctus aqua, appears for the Feast of St. David in the Penpont Antiphonal:208r.  This is a contrafacta of Sospitati dedit from the feast of St. Nicholas.


The ‘Laudate’ Psalms
Psalms 112, 116, 145, 146, and 147 may be called the ‘Laudate Psalms’ (John Hackney).  These are five of the six psalms that begin with ‘Laudate’ or ‘Lauda’, other than pss. 148-150 which have their place at lauds.  (Ps. 134 also begins ‘Laudate’, but its length makes it less suitable for vespers.)  The ‘Laudate Psalms’ are appointed at first vespers of double feasts that have five antiphons: the Nativity, Trinity, the Assumption and the Nativity of Mary, the Feast of Relics, and All Saints. [Brev. 279]  Interestingly, they are not appointed for first vespers of the Epiphany or the Purification or Corpus Christi.  It appears that they are not appointed for the Annunciation seeing that this feast has only one antiphon at first vespers.

Psalms of the Apostles
Psalms 109, 112, 115, 125, and 138 are called ‘psalmi de apostolis’ in several sources.  They are appointed for second vespers of feasts of apostles and evangelists and during the octave of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Psalms of St. Mary
Pss. 109, 110, 111, 129, and 131 are called ‘psalmi de sancta Maria’ in several Sarum sources.  They are used for second vespers of her feasts (and their octaves, when observed) and for Tuesday vespers of her daily office.  They are also appointed for all vespers from second vespers of the Nativity to the octave of the Epiphany; thus they were sometimes called the ‘Nativity Psalms’.  They are also appointed for first vespers of the Purification; this is the only occurrence of these psalms at first vespers in the Use of Sarum.

The York Use has the psalms of St. Mary regularly at both vespers of the blessed Virgin.  The Hereford Use follows Sarum.

The Roman Use has Pss. 109, 112. 121. 126, and 147 at both vespers of the blessed Virgin.  This series also appears in the Sarum breviary at the more recently added feasts of the Visitation and the Presentation of the Virgin, suggesting a later importation from Roman Use.  It may therefore be more in keeping with the Sarum tradition to use the Sarum series instead.

The Dominican Use follows the Sarum order at first vespers but the Roman order at second vespers.

Psalms in the Common of Saints
Throughout the common of saints, psalms at first vespers are of the feria. At second vespers psalms are also of the feria, except on feasts of apostles, where the series is 109, 112, 115, 125, and 138. Psalms at lauds are always the Sunday psalms. Psalms at matins vary with the type of feast:
Apostles: 18, 23, 44; 46, 60, 73; 74, 96, 98
One Martyr: 1, 2, 3; 4, 5, 8; 10, 14, 20
Many Martyrs: 1, 2, 10; 14, 15, 23; 32, 33, 78
One Confessor: 1, 2, 3; 4, 5, 8; 14, 20, 23
Many Confessors: 1, 2, 4; 5, 14, 15; 23, 32, 83
One or Many Virgins: 8, 18, 23; 44, 45, 86; 95, 96, 97 (also used at matins of the Blessed Virgin).

It will be noted that the series for one martyr and for one confessor are very similar.

Penitential Psalms
Seven psalms are designated Penitential Psalms.  They are 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142.

On Ash Wednesday all seven psalms are said after Sext. (Breviary: Psalter: [417].)

On ferias during Lent the penitential psalms are recited within the hours at the preces:
-Lauds: 6
-Prime: 31
-Terce : 37
-Sext: 66 (in addition to 50, seeing that 50 is already appointed within the preces)
-None: 101
-Vespers: 129
-Compline: 142

On Saturdays and on ferias when a feast of nine lessons falls on the morrow, psalms 101, 129,  and 142 are said at None.  In this way the cycle of seven psalms is completed without impinging on vespers of the following feast or Sunday.

Gradual psalms
Psalms 119-133 (120-134) are known as the ‘Gradual Psalms’.  In the Sarum Use they are recited after terce on ferias in Lent, together with the antiphon Ne reminiscaris.  Then follows the Litany.

Psalmus ‘Ipsum’
Certain antiphon texts use the first verse of their associated psalm or canticle.  The psalm itself continues with the words that follow the antiphon incipit, rather than repeating the opening text.  It will be seen that these antiphons pertain almost entirely to the ordinary or ferial portion of the breviary, the one exception being psalm 53 for the late feast of the Holy Name.

In a few instances, indicated below by ‘*’, the words of the antiphon incipit match the opening words of the psalm, but the continuation of the antiphon differs from the continuation of the psalm.  In these cases, simple logic would suggest that, seeing that the antiphon is substantially different from the psalm, the psalm should be begun from its beginning.  Nevertheless, the preponderance of Sarum sources, using the indication ‘Ps. Ipsum.’, suggest that the common practice was to follow the incipit of the antiphon with not the beginning, but with the continuation of the psalm, in such a way that when the incipit is sung its text represents both the incipit of the antiphon and the beginning of the psalm.  This method appears explicitly in the Dominican Matutinum 1936:60.
The antiphon for Ps. 8 seems to be a special case: although its first half is entirely taken from the beginning of the psalm, the remainder is adapted from later parts of the same psalm.

* Ps. 1. Beatus vir. 1 ant. matins, common of confessors.
Ps. 7. Domine Deus meus. 2 ant. matins, dominica.
Ps. 8. Domine Dominus noster. 6 ant. matins, common of confessors.
* Ps. 10. In Domine confido, 7. ant, matins, St. Stephen. (Only in Old Ordinal and New Ordinal.)
Ps. 20. Domine in virtute. 9 ant. matins, dominica.
Ps. 28. Afferte Domino. 1 ant. matins, Epiphany.
Ps. 49. Deus deorum. 6. ant. matins, feria 3.
Ps. 50.  Miserere.  1 ant. lauds, feria 2.
Ps. 53.  Deus in nomine.  4 ant. matins, Holy Name.
Ps. 62.  Deus Deus meus.  3 ant. lauds, feria 2.
Ps. 64. Te decet hymnus.  2 ant. lauds, feria 4.
Ps. 80. Exultate Deo. 1 ant. matins, feria 6.
Ps. 84. Benedixisti Domine. 3 ant. matins, feria 6.
Ps. 86. Fundamenta ejus. 4 ant. matins, feria 6.
Ps. 89. Domine refugium. 2 ant. lauds, feria 5.
Ps. 91. Bonum est confiteri. 2 ant. lauds, sabbato.
Ps. 94. Venite exultemus Domino.  Invitatory, matins, feria 2.
* Ps. 94. Venite exultemus Domino, 6 ant. matins, Epiphany.
Ps. 95. Cantate Domino. 6 ant. matins, feria 6.
Ps. 99. Jubilate Deo. 2 ant. matins, sabbato.
Ps. 103. Benedic anima mea. 4 ant. matins, sabbato.
Ps. 115. Credidi propter. 2 ant. vespers, feria 2.
Ps. 116. Laudate Dominum. 3 ant. vespers, feria 2.
Ps. 127. Beati omnes. 2 ant. vespers, feria 4.
Ps. 129. De profundis. 4 ant. vespers, feria 4.
Ps. 132. Ecce quam bonum. 2 ant. vespers, feria 5.
Ps. 138. Domine probasti. 2 ant. vespers, feria 6.
Ps. 140. Domine clamavi. 4 ant. vespers, feria 6.
Ps. 143. Benedictus Dominus. 1 ant. vespers, sabbato.
Ps. 147. Lauda Hierusalem. 5 ant. vespers, sabbato.
Ps. 148. Laudate Dominum. 5 ant. lauds, feria 2.
Benedictus. lauds, feria 2.
Domine audivi (Abacuc). 4 ant. lauds, feria 6.

There appears to be conflicting evidence concerning the employment of the psalm-tone intonation following the antiphon incipit.   The sources are not consistent in this regard.  For example, concerning the first antiphon and psalm for First Vespers of Sundays (Benedictus Dominus Deus meus), The Sarum Tonary (Use of Sarum II:lxxv.) indicates the psalm intonation, whereas both Antiphonale Sarisburiense (Frere): 1 and plate a, and Antiphonale-1519:4r. omit the psalm intonation.  The variety is understandable, when we recognize that both the antiphon incipit and the beginning of the psalm are sung by soloists.  I believe that the ‘default’ solution should be the omission of the intonation in these cases.  It will be found that in many instances the inclusion of the intonation places an undue emphasis on the first word following the antiphon incipit.  The possible exceptions would be Ps. 20, Domine in virtute (Sunday, matins) and Deus Deus meus (Feria 2, Lauds), both of which emply the second ‘variatio’ of Tone VIII.  In both cases the very brief incipit has not approached the higher reciting tone, so the intonation provides a smoother connection.
The examples in the Dominican Antiphonarium (1933) omit the psalm intonation in all cases.  On the other hand, the Liber Usualis (1962): 112 states that ‘The first verse of a psalm is always intoned by the Cantor with the formula of intonation proper to each tone.’  And yet the Antiphonale Monasticum (1934): 1208, states that ‘. . . Psalmus incipi debet in chorda tenoris . . .’.

Quatuor temporum (Four seasons, Ember days)

The ‘quatuor temporum’ are a set of three days of special prayer–Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday–that fall four times in the year: 1) after the third Sunday of Advent, 2) after the first sunday in Lent, 3) after the Sunday of Pentecost, 4) after the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14).

In the quatuor temporum of September one might ask whether the prayer of the day at the office is of the feria (i.e. that of the previous Sunday), or of the fast (the quatuor temporum).  The Sarum sources do not appear to give a direct answer; however, the Breviarium Romanum 34.5  indicates ‘. . . quando in feria sexta et sabbato Quatuor Temporum Septembris fit Officium de Feria, cum in eis non occurrat Festum novem Lectionum; tunc enim in Vesperis Feriae sextae dicuntur Preces, quamvis dicenda sit Oratio Dominica precedentis, non autem Feria Quatuor Temporum.’–thus the Sunday prayer.


Responsories at the Little Hours

The Responsories at the Little Hours (Prime, Terce, Sext, None, and Compline) are brief and simple in comparison with the great responsories of Matins and Vespers.  With few exceptions the melodies for these short responsories are in Mode VI.

At Prime the responsory text is always ‘Jesu Christe Fili Dei vivi’, with or without ‘Alleluya’.  There are four different verses, appropriate to different times and seasons in the year, plus the ‘Gloria Patri’ verse.  For chants with ‘Alleluya’, there are 2 melodies, ‘festal’ (1) and ‘ferial’ (2).   (1) appears to be an elaborated form of (2), extending the range by one tone in either direction.  In (1) the melody of the verse follows the outline of the responsory.   In (2) the melody of the verse also follows the outline of the responsory, except for the ‘Gloria Patri’ verse, which has a different contour and extends a semitone higher to B-flat.  For chants without ‘Alleluya’ there also 2 melodies, ‘ferial’ (3) and festal’ (4).  In (3) the variable verses begin on B-flat, but (3) shares its ‘Gloria Patri’ melody with (2).  (4) provides a complete tonal contrast to the others, but employs a similar form to (2) in that the variable verses follow the melody of the responsory, but the “Gloria Patri’ melody forms a contrast.

At Terce in the Psalter–i.e. ordinary Sundays and ferias throughout the year–there are three texts and three melodies; (5) ‘Sundays’, (6) ‘ferias’, and (7) ‘ferias in Advent’. The Sunday melody (5), in Mode IV, is the most elaborate; here the verse and the ‘Gloria Patri share the same melodic formula.  the ferial responsory (6) is the simplest; it shares the ‘Gloria Patri’ melody with (2) and (3) above.  the Advent responsory (7) has much in
common with (4) above, and shares the same melody as (4) for the verse and the ‘Gloria Patri’.

Sext and None follow the pattern of Terce and re-use the same melodies.

In the Common of Saints we find short responsories for apostles in Eastertide (melody 2), and for apostles, one martyr, many martyrs, one confessor. many confessors, and many virgins outside of Eastertide (melody 5), and for one virgin (melody 3).  The short responsories for many virgins are reprinted on the feast of the 11,000 Virgins, October 21.

In the Proper of Saints we find short responsories for Feasts of the Virgin (curiously using melody (7), octaves (melody (3), but with the verse melody of (5)), and Eastertide (melody (2)), (see under the Purification, February 2, the Assumption, August 15, and the Nativity of the Virgin, September 8); short responsories for the feast of the apostles Philip and Jacob (May 1), using the Eastertide melody (2); for the Invention of the Cross (May 3) and the Exaltation of the Cross (September 15), again using the Eastertide melody (2); for the feasts of the Transfiguration (August 6), the Holy Name (August 7), and St. Michael (September 29) again using the Eastertide melody (2)–albeit outside of Eastertide!.  Presumably (as the incipits suggest) the late and foreign Feast of the Icon of the Saviour would repeat the responsories for the Invention and Exaltation of the Cross (above)–however the Breviary indicates that the responsories for sext (Adoramus te) and none (Dicite in nationibus)
are exchanged.  (The Breviarium Romanum 1568:742 gives ‘Adoramus te‘ as the short responsory for sext on the Feast of the Invention of the Cross, but ‘Omnis terra adoret te‘ as the short responsory for none.  ‘Omnis terra‘ is not in the Sarum repertoire.

At Compline a short responsory is found on Passion Sunday.  It follows the ferial melody (6), and omits ‘Gloria Patri’.  The only other responsory that appears at Compline is ‘In pace in idipsum’ for Lent; however it is a ‘great responsory’ with a unique and ornate melody.

Rhymed Antiphons and Responsories

Apart from the rhymed offices listed below, there are individual chants here and there that exhibit rhyme and or meter.  The following is a partial list:
-First Sunday in Advent, Responsory 5, verse in rhyme, Paries quidem filium. aabb
-Christmas: Lauds Ant 2, Geunit puerpera
-St. Stephen: Responsory Sancte Dei preciose; Responsory 3, verses in rhyme, Stephanus Dei gratia. abbbb;  Gloria Deo Patri. aaa . . .; Responsory 4, verse in rhyme, Hebreorum gens perfida, aaaabb.
-St. John the Evangelist, Responsory 3, verses in rhyme, Johannes theologus. aaaaaa; Gloria altissimo. aaaa.
-Holy Innocents: Responsory 3, verse, Accipiunt enim a Christo,  may be considered in rhyme, though it is only a couplet; Responsory 6, verse, Licuit sanguine, aabb.
-Octave off the Epiphany: Lauds, antiphon on Benedictus: Precursor Johannes.
-Monday in Easter week: Procession, Antiphon Verse.  Crucifixum in carne.
-Memorial of the Cross in Eastertide: Ant. Crucem sanctam subiit.
-Common of One Martyr, not beheaded, Responsory 9: Percepturus jam vir sanctus
-St. Nicholas: Lauds, antiphons 1 and 2.
-St. Vincent: Responsory 6, Christi miles gloriosus
-Feast of Relics: Matins antiphon 1, Secus decursus aquarum
-Mary Magdalene: Matins invitatory, Eternum Trinumque Deum; Second vespers, Antiphon, Inclita sancte Marie.
-All Saints: Responsory 6, O constantia.

Rhymed Mass

Only on rare occasions (except for sequences) do we find rhymed items in the Sarum masses.  The following is a list:
Invention of the Cross, Alleluya. Dulce lignum
St. Edmund, Alleluya. Hic Edmundus
The Visitation, Alleluya. Mater mirifica
The Name of Jesus, tract. Dulce nomen Jesu Christi
The Vigil of the Assumption, introit.  Salve sancta parens

Rhymed Office

In rhymed offices some or all of the antiphons and responsories have texts in rhyme and metre.  These offices are generally of later composition.

Among the prominent rhymed offices in the Sarum Use are:
-St. Thomas Becket (martyrdom and translation)
-the Visitation
-St. Osmund
-St. Anne

Among the nova festa:
-the Image of the Saviour
-the Presentation of the Virgin

While as nova festa  the Transfiguration and the Most Sweet Name of Jesus might have been expected to have been provided with rhymed chants, in fact they for the most part use biblical, and therefore, unrhymed texts.  The Transfiguration has only four rhymed items, the Most Sweet Name only one.

As adjuncts to the Sarum Rite for use in particular dioceses are the rhymed offices of St. David (St. David’s, Wales) and St. Chad (Lichfield).

In several offices one or several of the chants are in rhyme and metre.  The most notable of these are:
-the Holy Trinity
-the Conception of Blessed Mary
-the Purification
-St. Peter’s Chair
-St. Mary Magdalene
-the Nativity of Blessed Mary
-the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
-St. Katherine

Rhymed and metred Sequences

Sequences can be metred or not, rhymed or not. Generally speaking, as in other genres, the later sequences are more likely to be rhymed and metered.

A-Rhymed and metred
-Alma patris nunc Osmundi (Osmund) 8p8p7pp; rhymed
-Altissima providente (Presentation BVM) 8p8p7pp; &c.; rhymed
-Ave mundi spes Maria (Annunciation, Assumption Friday) 8p8p7pp; 8p7pp; 6p6p6pp; 8p8p; &c; rhymed
-Celebremus in hac die (Visitation) 8p8p7pp; 7pp7pp7pp; 8p8p8p7pp &c; rhymed
Cenam cum discipulis (Five wounds) 7pp6p x2; rhymed
-Congaudentes exultemus (Nicholas) 8p7pp; 9p11pp; 8pp7pp x2; 8p13p8p; 8p8p7pp; &c. rhymed
-Corde lingue menta tota (Armagillius) 8p8p7pp; rhymed, aab
-Dies irae (for the dead) 8p8p8p;  rhymed
-Dies iste celebretur (Conception BVM) 8p8p6pp; 8p8p8p7pp &c.; rhymed
-Dulcis Jesu memoria (Name of Jesus) 8pp8pp8pp8pp; rhymed
-Dulcis Jesus Nazarenus (Name of Jesus) 8p8p7pp; 8p8p8p7pp; rhymed
-Gaudeamus in Messia (Osmund) 8p8p7pp; rhymed
-Genovefe solennitas (Genevieve) 8pp8pp; rhymed
-Hierusalem et Syon (Dedication) 10pp10pp10pp4p; rhymed aaab
-Hodierne lux diei (Annunciation Saturday) 8p8p7pp rhymed
-In hac die letabunda (Anthony) 8p8p7pp; rhymed
-In honoris Salvatoris (Roch) 8p8p7pp; rhymed
-Jubilemus pia mente (mortalitate evitanda) 8p8p8p; 8p8p; 8p8p8p7pp; rhymed
-Lauda Syon Salvatorem (Corpus Christi) 8p8p7pp; 8p8p8p7pp; 8p8p8p8p7pp; rhymed aab aaab; aaaab
-Laudes crucis attolamus (Exultation of Cross) 8p8p7pp; 8p8p7pp; 8p8p8p8p7pp; rhymed
-Laus devota mente choro (one evangelist) 6p6p7pp; rhymed
-Letabundus exultet fidelis (Assumption octave) partly metred, 7pp7pp4p; partly rhymed
-Lux jocunda (Pentecost Wednesday) 8p8p7pp; 8p8p8p7pp; 8p8p8p8p7pp; rhymed aab; aaab; aaaab
-Mane prima sabbati (Easter Saturday; Mary Magdalene) 7pp7pp7pp; 7pp7pp7pp7pp; rhymed
-Missus Gabriel de celis (commemoration BVM) 8p8p8p7pp; rhymed
-Mittit ad Virginem (commemoration BVM) 6pp6pp6pp6pp6pp; rhymed ababc
-Mulier laudabilis (non virgins) 7pp6p x2, 6pp6pp5p; 8p8p7pp; rhymed
-Nunc letetur plebs fidelis (Gabriel) 8p8p7pp; rhymed aab
-Odas hac in die letus (Katherine) 8p8p7pp; 8p8p8p7pp; rhymed
-Omnes una decantemus (Sebastian, votive) 8p8p8p; &c.; rhymed
-Proloquium altum recitemus (Gabriel) 10p10p10p10p; rhymed
-Quam dilecta tabernacula (Dedication) . . . 8p8p7pp; rhymed aab
-Salve sancta Parens (commemoration BVM) 6p6p6p6p; 8pp8pp8pp8pp; rhymed
-Si vis vere gloriari (Crown of the Lord) 8p8p7pp; rhymed
-Stola jocunditatis (Vincent, Laurence) . . . 8p8p7pp; 8p8p7pp7pp; 7pp7pp; 8p8p; rhymed
-Testamento veteri Anna (Anne) 7pp7pp7pp; 8p8p8p7pp; rhymed
-Veni Mater gratie (Visitation octave) 7pp7pp7pp; rhymed
-Veni Sancte Spiritus (Commemoration Holy Spirit) 7pp7pp7pp; rhymed
-Verbum bonum et suave (commemoration BVM) 8p8p8p7pp; rhymed
-Virgo vernans velut rosa (Wenefrede) 8p8p8p7pp; rhymed
-Zima vetus expurgetur (Easter monday) 8p8p7pp; 8p8p8p7pp; 8p8p8p8p7pp; rhymed

B-rhymed, not metered
-Ad celebres Rex (St. Michael) mostly rhymed
-Alle celeste necnon (Nativity BVM) rhymed
-Alleluya nunc decantet (apostles) rhymed
-Alma cohors una laudum (one confessor) rhymed
-Celeste organum (Christmas) rhymed
-Celsa pueri concrepa (Innocents) mostly rhymed
-Christi hodierna celebremus (sixth day of Christmas) mostly rhymed
-Christo inclyto (All Saints) mostly rhymed
-Concinat orbis (Easter Wednesday) mostly rhymed
-Ecce pulchra canorum (many martyrs) mostly rhymed
-Exultemus in hac die festiva (one virgin) mostly rhymed
-Eya gaudens caterva (Alban) rhymed
-Eya recolamus laudibus (Circumcision) mostly rhymed
-Eya musa (Pentecost Tuesday) mostly rhymed
-Fulgens preclara (Easter) mostly rhymed
-Hac clara die turma (Purification, Assumption Thursday) mostly rhymed
-Jubilans concrepa (Easter week) mostly rhymed
-Jubliemus omnes una (Advent 4) rhymed
-Laude jocunda melos (Peter and Paul) rhymed
-Laudes Deo devotas (Pentecost Friday) rhymed
-Magnus Deus in universa terra (Stephen) mostly rhymed
-Meste parentis Christi (Compassion BVM) rhymed
-Mirabilis Deus in sanctis (many martyrs) mostly rhymed
-Nato canunt omnia (Christmas) mostly rhymed
-Nunc luce alma (Vincula Petri) mostly rhymed
-Post partum Virgo Maria (Assumption octave) rhymed
-Prome casta contio (Easter Tuesday) rhymed
-Qui regis sceptra (Advent 3) rhymed
-Regnantem sempiterna (Advent 2) rhymed
-Resonet sacrata (Pentecost Monday) rhymed
-Sacrocancta hodierne (Andrew) rhymed
-Salus eterna (Advent 1) rhymed
-Solenne canticum hodie (Thomas Becket) mostly rhymed
-Solennitas sancti Pauli (Paul) mostly rhymed
-Victime paschali laudes (Easter Friday) mostly rhymed

C-unrhymed and unmetered
-Adest nobis dies alma (one confessor)
-Alma chorus Domini (Pentecost Thursday)
-Area virg prima matris Eve (Assumption)
-Ave Maria gratia plena (Assumption Tuesday)
-Ave preclara Maris Stella (Assumption octave)
-Benedicta semper sit beata Trinitas (Transfiguration)
-Benedicta sit beata Trinitas (Trinity)
-Clara sanctorum (apostles)
-Dic nobis quibus e terris nova (Easter Thursday)
-Epiphaniam Domino (Epiphany)
-Laudes Salvatori (Easter octave, Transfiguration)
-Johannes Jesu Christo (John the Evangelis)
-Organicis canamus (martyrs)
-Rex omnipotens die hodierna (Ascension)
-Sacerdotem Christi Martinum (Martin, translation)
-Salve crux sancta (invention of the Holy Cross)
-Sancti baptiste Christe preconis (John the Baptist)
-Sancti Spiritus assit nobis gratia (Pentecost)
-Sonent Regi nato (Christmas)
-Virginis venerande (one virgin, not a martyr)

Rulers of the Choir

Risby has these general rubrics for rulers:

The custom at Salisbury Cathedral is that the choir is ruled–

-every Sunday
-and on every double feast
-and on every feast of nine lessons throughout the whole year;
-and from first vespers of Christmas up to the octave of Epiphany,
-and on the octave itself, except on the vigil of Epiphany when it does not fall on a Sunday;
-and throughout Easter week
-and the week of Pentecost,
-and on certain single feasts which also fall in Eastertide.  (These have only 3 lessons in Eastertide, which is why this special rubrics is necessary. Outside Eastertide, they would have nine lessons and so it would be obvious they were ruled.)
Namely on these:
-on the feasts of St Ambrose, St George, and St Mark,
-and of the apostles Philip and James:
-and on the Invention of the Holy Cross,
-and on the feast of St John before the Latin gate,
-and St Dunstan, and St Aldhelm, and St Augustine, and St Barnabas the apostle:
-and through the octave of the Ascension,
-and on the octave day of the apostles Peter and Paul,
-and through the octaves of the Assumption,
-and Nativity of the Blessed Mary,
-and through the octave of the Dedication of any church.

The weekly full-service (commemoration) of the Blessed Virgin is always ruled.  However there is no direct evidence that the weekly commemoration of St. Thomas, martyr and of the feast of the place are ruled.

Feasts with rulers of the choir have second vespers if the Kalendar can accommodate.  Feasts without rulers of the choir do not have second vespers.

Feasts have no rulers, two rulers, or four rulers of the choir, depending upon their grade. If there are rulers they will sing the Invitatory psalm verses.  If an additional singer is needed for the Invitatory, the cantor or the rulers will choose the extra singer, as in a triple invitatory.  If there are no rulers, the solo singer(s) will be selected from among the clerks.
Double feasts have four rulers.
Single feasts with ruling of the choir have two rulers; there may be a double or a triple invitatory.
Single feasts without ruling of the choir have no rulers; there may be a single or a double invitatory.

Seasonal changes in the liturgy

-Te Deum is not sung at matins.
-Gloria in excelsis is not sung at mass; Benedicamus Domino concludes all masses.
-Sundays and ferias at include a responsory at vespers–until December 16.
-A memorial of St. Mary is made at Vespers and Lauds of Sundays until the Purification.
-Vigils of the dead said daily; mass of the dead in chapter on the morrow, until the vigil of Christmas (and not on feasts of 9 lessons and commemorations).

December 16
-The O antiphons begin at vespers of this day; preces at vespers are omitted beginning this day.
-ferias no longer have a responsory at vespers.

Vigil of Christmas
-The devotion ‘For the peace of the church’ is not said after compline until Domine ne in ira.
-Daily vigils of the dead is omitted until Monday after the octave of the Epiphany.
-The daily office of the blessed Virgin in convent is omitted until the octave of St. Stephen.

Vigil of the Epiphany
The daily office of the blessed Virgin in convent is omitted this day.

Octave of Epiphany to Domine ne in ira
-The Kalendar is so arranged that there will be no ferial days in this period, only saints days and commemorations.
-Daily vigils of the dead is said until Tuesday of Holy Week.

Domine ne in ira
-The devotion ‘For the peace of the church’ is said daily after compline until Wednesday of Holy Week, except on double feasts.

Alleluya is not said until the mass on the Easter vigil. Lauds tibi Domine replaces Alleluya in the opening versicles.  (The final alleluya before Septuagesima will be at none of the Saturday.)
Gloria in excelsis omitted at mass; Benediamus Domino is used in place of Ite missa est at the end of mass.
– Tracts replace alleluyas at mass.
-Elaborate responsories are used at terce, sext, and none until Maundy Thursday.
Te Deum is omitted at matins until Easter.
-The first psalm at Lauds is Miserere mei (50), until Easter, except on feasts of nine lessons.
-After the Purification no memorial of St. Mary is made at Vespers and Lauds of Sundays until Advent.
-Feasts of nine lessons falling on Sundays are deferred until the morrow until Maundy Thursday.
-Feasts of three lessons are said with single invitatory, cum nocturno.

Ash Wednesday
-No feasts of three lessons are observed, except only by way of memorial at vespers and lauds of St. Mary.
-At feasts of nine lessons there is always a solemn memorial of the fast, until Maundy Thursday.  The ferial preces are said in the usual manner, even on double feasts.  Mass of the fast is said after mass of the feast.
-Until Maundy Thursday, the prayer at vespers repeats the prayer over the people at mass, except on Saturdays.
-A memorial for penitents is said at lauds and vespers on all ferias and on all feasts, but not on Sundays, until Maundy Thursday.  When a feast of 9 lessons falls on a weekday, there will be two masses at the high altar, first of the feast, second of the fast.
-Commemorations are omitted until after the First Sunday after Easter.

First Sunday of Lent
-Elaborate repsonsories are used at vespers and compline daily until Maundy Thursday.

Monday in the first week of Lent
-All crosses, statues, relics and vessels containing the Eucharist are veiled until Easter morning, except the statue of Blessed Mary on the high altar when the feast of the Annunciation is celebrated, and except on Palm Sunday, when the rood cross and the cross on the high altar are uncovered.
-The veil is hung between the quire and the presbytery until Wednesday in Holy Week (see below).  The veil is raised daily during the reading of the Gospel or Passion at mass.  When a feast day is to follow, the veil remains raised except during the mass of the fast, until the beginning of the Gospel.  The veil is also aways raised at the elevation.
-On all ferias a genuflection is made at the beginning of each of the  hours from matins to compline.
-On all ferias the seven penitential psalms are said during the preces, one at each hour (except matins) in order.
-On all ferias the Commendation of Souls is said after Prime and before the mass of the Chapter.
-On all ferias until Wednesday of Holy Week the fifteen gradual psalms are said after terce.
-On all ferias all the little hours are said before the mass of the fast.
-On all days except Sundays until Wednesday of Holy Week, vespers is sung after mass, before lunch.
-On all ferias until Wednesday of Holy Week, vespers of the dead is said before vespers of the day, unless the morrow be a feast of nine lessons or a day of burial.  In that case, vigils of the dead is said after lunch, before compline.
-On all days except Sundays until Wednesday of Holy Week, the collation is read after vigils of the dead, immediately before compline.

Gloria Patri is omitted from the invitatory psalm, responsories and officia (introits).  Note, however, that Gloria Patri continues to be sung at the Asperges on Passion Sunday and Palm Sunday.
-All neumas are omitted from antiphons until Sunday after Easter.
-The Feast of the Annunciation and other feasts of nine lessons are exceptions to the above rubrics.

Palm Sunday

Tuesday of Holy Week
-Vigils of the Dead is said with 9 lessons in convent, with mass of the dead on the morrow (or on Monday or Sunday  if necessary).  From here daily vigils and mass of the dead is omitted until the octave of Easter.

Wednesday of Holy Week
-From vespers until Monday after the octave of Easter, the daily office of the Blessed Virgin is not said in convent; vespers is sung ‘festally’, without preces.  Presumably the final antiphon of the blessed Virgin after none of the blessed Virgin would not be said until Easter.
-Compline is sung ‘festally’. with the shorter preces.
-The devotion ‘For the Peace of the Church is not said after daily Compline until the beginning of the History Deus omnium.
-Matins may be sung on the eve or on the day.

Maundy Thursday
-From mass of this day until Gloria in excelsis at the Easter vigil the bells are not rung.
-Opening versicles, invitatories and hymns  are omitted from all the hours until Easter.
-Gloria Patri is omitted from all psalms and canticles until vespers on the vigil of Easter (except after the seven penitential psalms on Maundy Thursday at the reconciliation of penitents).
-The special tenebre ceremonies are used at matins and lauds on these three days;  the versicles at matins have a special tone on these three days; a special form of preces concludes lauds on these three days.
-The usual preces are omitted at the little hours.
-Vespers is attached to the end of mass through to the vigil of Easter.
-Gloria Patri is said at the Officium this day if the bishop celebrates the mass.
-Compline is said without note until Holy Saturday.
-The daily office of the blessed Virgin in convent is omitted until the octave of Easter.
-Presumably the final antiphon of the blessed Virgin after compline of the blessed Virgin would not be sung on this day or the next, in keeping with the solemnity.

Good Friday
-Chapter is omitted this day and the next.
-terce, sext, and none are said privately this day and the next.
-Vespers is said privately in choir, without note.

Holy Saturday
[After the day hours] the church is decorated as on principal feasts, except the images remained covered.
-Agnus Dei and the peace are omitted, but vespers concludes the mass.
-Compline omits the preces.

Easter Day
-Daily vigils of the dead is omitted in Eastertide.

The Octave of Easter
-the full psalmody resumes
-gradual and alleluya are omitted from the office; hymns, and chapters return
-Neumas are resumed at the conclusion of antiphons.

Monday after the Octave of Easter
-ferial preces return
-the daily office of the Blessed Virgin is resumed in convent
-Commemorations are resumed this week.

-The daily office of the blessed Virgin in convent is omitted throughout the octave.

Monday after Trinity Sunday
-Daily Vigils of the dead resumes until advent except within important octaves, as indicated in the rubrics; vespers is said on the eve; matins and lauds on the day, until All Souls’ Day.

Deus omnium
Deus omnium in most respects follows the pattern of Domine ne in ira.
-The devotion ‘for the peace of the church’ is said daily at Compline until the vigil of Christmas, except on double feasts and some other high occasions.

All Souls’ Day
-Until Tuesday of Holy week vespers and matins of the dead are said on the eve, and Lauds on the day.

Times and seasons

Eastertide can refer to the period from Easter to Ascension, or from Easter to Pentecost.  ‘Extra tempus paschale’ typically refers to the period outside of Easter to Pentecost.


Versicles, unless otherwise indicated are sung:

a) in said offices, recto tono.

b) in sung offices, to the simple tone:  F F F . . . (or D E if the final syllable is accented).

Versicle before matins: Domine labia mea aperies always takes the single melody D F F F . . . . E F.

Versicles at matins in ‘composite’ feasts
On certain feast of nine lessons the middle lessons (4-6) pertain to another feast or an octave, such as St. Silvester, December 31, which has middle lessons of the nativity.  LIkewise, on certain feasts of three lessons falling on Sundays or within octaves, the first lessons (1-3) and the middle lessons (4-6) pertain to the common of saints or to an octave, such as Sts. John and Peter (June 26).  In each of these cases, the versicle pertains to the following lessons, and not to the preceding antiphons and psalms.

Versicle before lauds
Lauds is the only hour that begins with a variable versicle. This versicle is always followed by V. Deus in adjutorium etc.
The versicles are as follows:
Ordinary Sundays: Excelsus super omnes gentes
Ordinary weekdays: Fiat misericordia tua Domine
Advent: Emitte agnum Domine
Vigil of Christmas: Crastina die delebitur iniquitas
Christmas: Verbum caro factum est
St. John the Evangelist: Valde honorandus
Epiphany: Omnes de Saba
Lent Sundays and ferias: Ipse liberavit me
Passion Sunday until Maundy Thursday: Intende anime mee
Maundy Thursday through Holy Saturday: no versicle
Eastertide: In resurrectione tua
Ascensiontide: Ascendo ad Patrem meum
Pentecost through the octave: Emitte Spiritum tuum
Trinity: Benedictus es Domine  [or Verbo Domini celi firmati sunt]
Corpus Christi: Panem de celo
Dedication through the octave: Domus mea
Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin: Ora pro nobis sancta Dei genitrix
Daily lauds of the Virgin: Sancta Dei genitrix
Lauds of the dead: Requiescant in pace.
Saints in Eastertide: Vox leticie
Apostles: Dedisti heriditatem
Martyrs: Ora pro nobis beate N., or Posuisti Domine, or Justi autem in Perpetuum vivent
One confessor: Ora pro nobis beate N. or Justum deduxit, or Justu ut palma
Many confessors: Justi autem in perpetuum vivent
One virgin: Ora pro nobis beata N., or Specie tua, or Adjuvabit eam
Many virgins: Media nocte

Versicle before compline: Converte nos Deus salutaris noster always takes the single melody D F F F . . . . E F.

Opening versicle: Deus in adjutorium always takes the same melody: A C C C . . . B C.

Versicle: Dominus vobiscum at the office
The ornate melody, A.C.C BC.CB.B. etc is used at canoncial vespers and lauds, before the prayer (i.e. collect) of the day, and before the V. Benedicamus Domino.

The simple tone is used at the other hours.

Versicle: Benedicamus Domino at the office
The ornate melody, C.C.C.CD.D D.D.DBC, is used at canoncial vespers and lauds, after the prayer and V. Dominus vobiscum, and after the memorial(s) and V. Dominus vobiscum.

The simple tone is used at the other hours.

Versicle: Requiem eternam


Vespers is the principal service each evening.  Canonical vespers is normally the first office of the evening series.

On Maundy Thursday vespers is integrated into the mass: vespers begins directly after the Communion chant.  The concluding prayer of vespers is also the postcommunion prayer of the mass, following which both vespers and mass concluded together with ‘Benedicamus Domino’ or ‘Ite missa est’.

On Good Friday canonical vespers is again integrated into the mass.  It said in community but privately (in a very soft voice).

On Holy Saturday, the Vigil of Easter, vespers is again integrated into the mass.  It is sung after the ‘Peace’, and concludes with the postcommunion. and Ite missa est.

Some feasts of saints will normally have neither first vespers nor second vespers, because of conflicting priorities; these include the Octave of St. John the Baptist (July 1), the Seven Brethren (July 10), St. Apollinaris (July 23), St. Stephen, Pope and Martyr (August 2), Sts. Timothy and Apollinaris (August 23), Sts. Felix and Adauctus (August 30), St. Gereon and Companions (October 10), St. Callixtus (October 14), the Translation of St. Ethedreda (October 17), the Octave of St. Martin (November 18), and St. Grisogonus (November 24).  However, if the saint is the patron of the church, then that day and its vespers will take precedence.

Vigils of Feasts

Vigils of feasts may comprise matins through vespers (Nativity, Epiphany, and Easter), or vespers only.

The following are vigils of feasts:
– Vigil of St. Andrew (the eve of November 30)
– Vigil of St. Thomas (the eve of December 21)
– Vigil of the Nativity (December 24 (the eve of December 25))
– Vigil of the Circumcision (the eve of January 1)
– Vigil of the Epiphany (January 5 (the eve of January 6))
– Vigil of Easter (Holy Saturday)
– Vigil of the Ascension
– Vigil of Pentecost
– Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (the eve of June 24)
– Vigil of Sts. Peter and Paul (the eve of June 29)
– Vigil of St. James (the eve of July 25)
– Vigil of St. Lawrence (the eve of August 10)
– Vigil of the Assumption (the eve of August 15)
– Vigil of St. Bartholomew (the eve of August 24)
– Vigil of St. Matthew (the eve of September 21)
– Vigil of Sts. Simon and Jude (the eve of October 28)
– Vigil of All Saints (the eve of November 1)

When a vigil falls on a Sunday the mass is either sung in chapter, or observed only in a memorial at the high mass, except on the Vigil of the Nativity.
It would appear that vigils are not ruled.

Vigils of the Dead

Vigils of the Dead (Breviary: Psalter: [445-474]) comprises vespers (Placebo), matins (Dirige), and lauds (Exultabunt).  Vigils of the Dead is recited recto tono, except when Solemn Vigils of the Dead is sung.  Between All Souls’ Day and Easter vespers and matins of the dead are sung on the eve, and lauds of the dead on the day, but in summer lauds of the dead is also sung on the eve.

Solemn Vigils is sung only for funerals, obits (anniversaries), and trentals, and on Die animarum, All Souls Day.  Solemn vigils, when sung, is sung full, except in Eastertide, when only one nocturn is sung.  In Eastertide the first Solemn Vigils will be of the first nocturn, no matter what day of the week happens. 

Daily Vigils is appointed when Solemn Vigils is not sung.   The ‘ordo feriarum’ of Daily Vigils assigns the first nocturn to Sunday and Wednesday, the second nocturn to Monday and Thursday, and the third nocturn to Tuesday and Friday, provided that on Tuesday and Friday the third responsory is always Libera me Domine de viis inferni. Daily vigils is not sung on Saturday.  Daily vigils is omitted in Eastertide.  The regular course of daily vigils resumes on the eve of the day after Trinity Sunday.  Daily vigils is not said at first vespers of any feast of 9 lessons or within octaves, or at first or second vespers of any feast.

Daily Vigils is sung sine nota, i.e. recto tono, with all the psalms at each hour said under one antiphon, and only one nocturn at matins.

The Commendation is appointed for all days when solemn or daily vigils is said.  The Commendation of Souls is said after Prime (and Chapter) of the day, before the Mass for the Dead or the mass in capitulo.

When Solemn Vigils is appointed, the Commendation is also solemn, sung in conventu cum nota, and the Requiem Mass is said immediately after Ps. 138, Domine probasti.  There are no preces, collect, or additional prayers.  (The prayer Tibi Domine is never said in choro in the Use of Sarum, because the Commendation in choro is followed immediately by the Requiem Mass.)

When daily vigils is said, the Commendation is said sine nota (i.e. recto tono).   Outside of quadragesima when  daily Viglis of the Dead is said with three lessons, this Commendation is said extra conventum, singillatim et privatim, with the preces and the prayer Tibi Domine, but no additional prayers.  The new Ordinals and the 1531 Breviary add the V. Requiescat in pace.  R. Amen. immediately after the prayer.    The Requiem Mass is said separately. 
Within quadragesima this Commendation is said in convent (sine nota if vigils wa sung sine nota); the service concludes with the preces, prayer Tibi Domine, and several other prayers.  The Requiem Mass follows immediately.
When a body is present or on the day of an anniversary or trental the Commendation is said with note immediately before the Chapter Mass for the Dead.
(The ‘Commendatio anime in articulo mortis’ is a separate office for the dying, found in the Manual.)

The Missa in crastino, or Missa in crastino in capitulo, is a requiem mass, said in tandem with the commendation on days when vigils are appointed, after Prime and Preciosa.  There is no requiem mass in capitulo on feast days, except for a funeral, anniversary, or trental; but sometimes when feasts, fasts, or vigils fall on the same day, the lower ranking feast, fast, or vigil is said as a chapter mass on that day.

It would appear that during Lent vespers of the dead was sung before vespers of the day.  (See Breviary: Temporale: 892.)

Vigils of the Dead is the Canonical Office on All Souls’ Day, November 2.

Vigils of the Dead is also said as part of the Funeral Rites, on the day of death, on the trental, and on the anniversary.

Besides the Vigils of the Dead is the Mass of the Dead and the Commendation of Souls.  The Commendation of Souls is said after Prime of the day, before the Mass for the Dead.

It seems likely that the concluding versicle of the typical Roman daily office, V. Fidelium anime per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. R. Amen. represents a vestige of the daily medieval office of the dead.

Detailed rubrics for Vigils of the Dead appear at the end of the First Sunday of Advent. (Breviary: Temporale: 89.)

Votive masses

Votive masses are not a regular part of the temporale or sanctorale kalendar. Instead they are offered for special intentions.  These masses are to be found in the section of the missal following the Sanctorale.

The first group of votive masses are assigned to the seven days of the week, Sunday-Saturday.  They are of 1) the Trinity (Benedicta sit), 2) the Angels (Benedicite Dominum), 3) Salus populi, 4) the Holy Spirit (Spiritus Domini), 5) the Body of Christ (Cibavit eos), 6) the Holy Cross (Nos autem), 7) St. Mary (Rorate celi, Vultum tuum, Salve sancta parens).  These votive masses, however, have connections with the commemorations: Cibavit eos commemorates the institution of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday, Nos autem commemorates the passion on Good Friday, the mass of St. Mary falls (at least ideally) on the day of her weekly commemoration.  On the other hand, Benedicta sit, Benedicite Dominum and Salus populi may be seen as commemorating 1) the Godhead, 2) the orders of angels, 3) the needs of mankind. (The Sarum Manual contains only 1) 4), 6), and 7) of these masses.  This may imply that in many instances only part of the weekly series would have been commonly used, on account of intervening feasts and commemorations.)

Alternatives to the mass of the Holy Cross on Friday are the Mass of the Five Wounds and the Crown of the Lord.  These appear in the later missals but not in the earlier ones.

The votive masses of St. Mary include seasonal variants that coordinate with the seasonal variations, in particular the prayer (collect) found in the Commemoration of Blessed Mary in the Breviary.

The series of votive masses that follows, beginning with the Mass for Peace, form a miscellany in no particular order, although generally moving from higher to lower intentions, and from more general to more specific.

The masses in the next section, ‘Memorie communes’, comprise only prayer, secret, and postommunion, but no proper chants.  Although these masses could be made into votive masses in their own right by the addition of suitable propers, we can presume that they were mostly used as the source of supplementary memorial prayers to be included within existing masses as appropriate.

A new series which begins with the nuptial mass (pro sponso et sponsa) may be seen as progressing through major life events–marriage, childbirth, pilgrimage, and death.  The requiem mass in particular was frequently used–often on a daily basis–in commemoration of the dead.  The requiem mass also includes a lengthy series of memorial prayers that can be employed according to the occasion.

The masses that follow again form a miscellany, presumably for the most part a series of later accretions, and having no particular order.  These masses include proper chant texts, many of which could be sung using the chants of the temporale or sanctorale, but it likely that on most occassions–especially in the case of original texts, the propers were simply recited within context of said masses, rather than chanted withinthe context of sung masses.

The selection of votive masses varies from manuscript to manuscript, but becomes more complete and more standardized in the printed missals.

Votive Offices
It may be that at certain times and in certain places votive offices were used in conjunction with votive masses, replacing the order of the Kalendar on certain days.  To be sure more normally the office would have been the office of the day, and the votive mass would have been in addition to or besides the mass of the day as prescribed in the Kalendar and Ordinal.) The only indication for this is the presence of the votive masses in the Missal.  There is no evidence in the Breviary, nor would it be expected, seeing that votive offices represent a disengagement from the obligation of the Breviary.  (See the article Votive Offices in the Catholic Encyclopedia for some context).  Such votive offices would presumably take their propers (antiphons, hymns, readings, versicles, prayers) from associated feasts in the Breviary: [1) Trinity,-presumably this would rarely if ever supercede the observation of a Sunday mass!] 2) St. Michael (angels), 3)–the mass Salus populi is assembled from several propers of the Temporale . . . presumably the ferial propers would be used for the office. 4) Pentecost, 5) Corpus Christi, 6) Exaltation of the Holy Cross (or, in Eastertide, Invention of the Holy Cross), 7) St. Mary has proper votive offices (commemorations) in the Breviary.