Local Uses

While the Use of Sarum was generally followed in all non-monastic institutions in the British Isles outside of the Archdiocese of York and the Diocese of Hereford, within this large area there were certain local uses, defined by particular dioceses or individual churches. Characteristics of these local uses are documented to a greater or lesser extent in statutes, customaries, and ordinals.

This page is intended to document and summarize information on local uses, which in themselves can from time to time be instructive of the Use of Sarum in general. Besides this, certain practices documented in France and Normandy may also be instructive, being closely allied with British practices. The information provided here is selective, not comprehensive.

Exeter Cathedral

The Exeter Ordinal

St. Mary Ottery

The Statutes of St. Mary Ottery

Wells Cathedral

The Statutes of Wells Cathedral are extant and have been published in Herbert Edward Reynolds, Wells Cathedral: Its History and Statutes (Leeds, McCoquodale and Co., 1881):1-113.
Page numbers below refer to this edition.

St. Andrew is the patron; there is a ruled Octave of St. Andrew, beginning November 30.
There is a ruled weekly commemoration of St. Andrew.
There is a feast of the Translation of Andrew [May 8]–Kalendar date between May 7 and May 9, presumably May 8

(p. 101). (On May 8, 1208 the relics of St. Andrew were enshrined in Amalfi Cathedral.)

p 4: the choir is to genuflect at the elevation of the body and blood of Christ (this indicates therefore indicates that there is no general kneeling at the ‘Te igitur’; at ferial masses, continual kneeling from the elevation until ‘per omnia’ that precedes the Agnus Dei.
p 5: Within lent there is genuflection and kissing the forms at the beginning of each hour.

p 6: The choir is ruled in the octaves of the Ascension, Corpus Christi, Peter and Paul, Assumption, Nativity of BVM, Dedication, St. Andrew

p 7: Double feasts have only two categories, major and minor.

p 7: Feasts of nine lessons are divided into major and minor: major feasts have triple invitatory; minor feasts have double invitatory.

p 9: details on the use of incense

p 10 ff: the tabula throughout the year

p 16 ff: the person intoning the first verse of a psalm does so facing across the aisle; at the conclusion of the first verse he turns and bows to the altar.

details on the selection of persons for intoning antiphons, singing versicles, and responsory verses, and reading the lessons

p 18. At the end of Chapter, it appears that rather than the suffrage Ps.Levavi oculos meos etc., Wells has the suffrage for the dead, Ps. De profundis etc. Although the details are not indicated, it presumably would be very similar (or indeed identical) to that used here at Exeter: (see Companion to A: Psalterium 1: [124]).

p 20: In Lent the offices run continuously through to none, followed by the high mass, vespers of the dead, vespers of the day, and vespers of the Virgin. Then follows the meal, vigils of the dead, collation, and compline.

p. 21 At the Nativity there is no mention of boys singing the verse of Responsory 1, ‘Gloria in excelsis’, from a high place . . .

p. 27. Feast of three lessons with duple invitatory:
comm BVM, comm Andrew, unruled octaves and octave day, all 3 lecs in lent: simple, all unruled 3 lecs in eastertide
the Sanctorale follows Sarum except:
-June 9 Primus Felician 3 lec., duple invit.
-Aug 6 Sixtus duple invit. not simple
-Nov 17 Anianus ep.

p. 28: the blessing of water and aspersion
processions before mass

p. 35: the order for mass
-mass normally takes place after terce

p. 47: office and mass of the dead

p. 48: the simple (said?) office of the dead begins immediately after the first bell for vespers.

p. 58: Matins is said on the eve only on the feast of the Trinity, Corpus Christi, the Nativity of John the Baptist, and Saints Peter and Paul.

p. 60: merchants prohibited from operating in the nave.

p. 62: the choir turns to the altar and bows at Gloria Patri.

On feasts of nine lessons, Placebo and Dirige are to be said in chapter (chapter house?) or in the library by those who are tabled (appointed) for the chapter mass.

p. 69: indicates bishop plus 53 prebends for the daily recitation of the full psalter.

p. 73: altars and chaplains at Wells Cathedral

p 74: In 1330 a statute appeared which mandated genuflection at the elevation.

p. 75 before the setting of the sun, the Ave Maria (=Angelus?) with genuflection: 3 x 3 of the great bell

p 81: Pater noster and Ave Maria said before matins, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers, compline. (There is no indication of whether this is silent or aloud).

p. 82: vicars are tonsured; hair not to cover the ears.

p. 91 the form of enthronement of the bishop, according to the Use of Wells.

p 95 ff: kalendar of colours of vestments

p 101: appears to include a complete kalendar of saints days and colours

p 104: Maundy Thursday liturgy: reconciliation of penitents, blessing oil, mass

p. 108: oath of allegiance (to the king).

p 183. for some time, the Canons came into the habit of taking forty days ‘grace’ i.e. holiday from their cathedral duties, beginning about October 1 each year. This is also mentioned earlier in the book.

1495 (March 12): the dean and chapter ruled that any residentiary canon might enter and leave the quire at any time during any office or mass when the choir was singing.

p. 209. 1503, October 1: the Chapter ordered that for the future, in the Church of Wells, on every double feast, at second vespers, the Responsory be solemnly chanted, notwithstanding any statute to the contrary.

Lincoln Cathedral

The Customary appears in Christopher Wordsworth, ed., Statutes of Lincoln Cathedral I (Cambridge, 1892):273.

p 273: the reception of the bishop
p 279: the principal persons (including 8 archdeacons)
p 282: vespers and matins shall not begin before the dean arrives, if he wishes to attend and take part
p 283: the cantor orders the tabula, oversees the instruction and discipline of the boys
p 290: the procession of the deacons on the eve of St. Stephen; likewise of the priests on the eve of St. John, and the boys on the eve of the Innocents.
p 293: mass at the high altar
p 294: sickness, death, funeral and burial of canons
p 300: the manner of reciting the psalter daily: most cathedral sources indicate only the portion of the psalter to be recited by each canon; this source provides a form for this votive offering, and also indicates that its purpose is pray for living and deceased benefactors:
Quomodo psalmi a Canonicis dicendi sunt.
Ab unoquque canonic post psalmos suos dicatur.
Kyrieleyson. Christeleyson. Kyrieleyson. Pater noster.
[V.] Et ne nos inducas. [R. Sed libera nos a malo.]
[V.] Salvos fac servos et ancillas tuas. [R. Deus meus sperantes in te.]
[V.] Anime famulorum famularumque tuarum requiescant in pace. [R. Amen.]
[V.] Domine exaudi orationem meam. [R. et clamor meus ad te veniat.]
[V.] Dominus vobiscum. [R. Et cum spiritu tuo.]
[V.] Oremus.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus qui vivorum dominaris simul et mortuorum omniumque misereris quos tuos fide et opere futuros esse pre noscis te supplices exoramus : ut pro quibus effundere preces decrevimus quosque vel presens seculum ad huc in carne retinet vel futurum jam exutos corpore suscepit pietatis tue clementia omnium delictorum suorum veniam et gaudia consequi mereantur eterna. Per Dominum nostrum.
[V.] Dominus vobiscum. [R. Et cum spiritu tuo.]
[V.] Benedicamus Domino. [R. Deo gratias.]
* It is noteworthy that there appears to be a versicle response dialogue, even though this suffrage would be said by each canon alone–or does it suggest that it might be said together with the canon’s attendants?
The psalter appears to be divided amongst the bishop and 55 prebends.

Lichfield Cathedral