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Twelve
The Origins and Descent of the Fourth Recension of the English Coronation

Andrew Hughes

An essential part of the evidence that must be assessed to determine fully the ancestry and evolution of liturgical services as a whole is usually ignored: much can be learned, by any scholar, from the chants and notation of the items sung in the services (that is, if reciting-tones are also included, most items), and from some of the ancillary liturgical and musical texts such as alleluya extensions for Easter time, and psalm terminations. For the coronation of Edward II in 1308, the consecration service and mass were substantially revised to produce the fourth recension of the English coronation ordo. Several items omitted from the previous recension, used in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, were reinstated, and others were moved from their original position to elsewhere in the ceremony. Changes of this kind, and some lesser modifications of text, were no doubt significant, since the coronation was not merely an important service in which new liturgical or political circumstances could be reflected but was also a possibel occasion for the symbolic prior assertion of ecclesiastical and political messages.

Several features suggest that the fourth recension may have been revised for the latter purpose.[1]Vivat rex . . ., the acclamation by popular recognition, was reinstated after two centuries of absence, and placed prominently at the beginning of the service. It was reinforced, too, in the antiphon sung at the anointing, Unxerunt Salomonem , also reinstated after omission in the previous recension. Only a comparison of the chant of this antiphon reveals that, although the text was revived, its plainsong was replaced by what is apparently a totally new tune, unique to the English coronation. Because it borrows part of the melody of the Magnificat antiphon for St. Edmund, king and martyr, the tune seems deliberately contrived to stress that the king had a saint as a predecessor, perhaps a reminder that the canonization of Louis IX in 1297 did not confer a greater holiness on the French monarchy. More


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important, the chant of Unxerunt emphasized the king's divine status by pointedly recalling the chant of the consecration of the Paschal Candle to compare the baptism of Christ the King with the anointing of Edward the King. Confortare , another antiphon in the fourth recension, was moved, this time perhaps to draw greater attention to the crowning.

Here we have the three pillars of the coronation; popular acclaim, divine anointing, and investiture with the symbols of temporal authority. Strengthening of the English monarchy with respect to the French may have been one reason for these changes; another may have been the need for a "categorical affirmation of the sovereign rights of the Crown" in response to Pope Boniface VIII's "unheard-of demands" and "arrogant declarations" in his recent bulls, especially Unam sanctam of 1302.[2] In another revision of the coronation ceremonies, the introit specified for the mass was Protector noster , which "usurped" the text used in papal consecrations. These changes, and others in this version of the ceremony, are relatively substantial and may be motivated by important political events, making the fourth recension boldly different from earlier ones.

Table 12.1 shows briefly the English antecedents to the fourth recension, with respect to the items of the consecration ceremony discussed here; numerous interactions with continental orders are not shown in this table.

 

TABLE 12.1. English Recensions of the Coronation ordo

Recension

I

II

III

IV

Ms

1

2

3

4

5

6

 

Date

1000

   

1100

1308

Firmetur

si

st

m

si

m

m

Confortare

st

st

st

x

(New chant?)

Vivat rex

t

st

st

x

 

(Shouted at end)

           

(Shouted at beginning)

Unexerunt
(Ending with Vivat rex once)

m

st

st

st

x

(New chant, ending with Vivat rex three times)

In this table the letters signify

i: incipit only

s: sung, no music given

m: music given complete

t: text given complete

x: item omitted from this recension

Some twenty manuscripts transmit the first, second, and third recensions: the few relevant ones are listed here, corresponding to the columns in table 12.1. Their dates are approximate and the ordines are often earlier than the date assigned to the manuscripts.


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Recension I

1. The Lanalet Pontifical , Rouen, Bibl. mun., ms. A 27 (368), c. 980–1000: coronation order ff. 88–93, ed. (1) Legg (LGW ), 3–9 and (2) Doble, 59–63.

Recension II

2. The Pontifical of Robert of Jumièges , Rouen, Bibl. mun., ms. Y 6 (369), between 1016 and 1051: coronation order ff. 126–171, ed. Wilson (1903), 140–148.

3. Pontifical , Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 146, early eleventh century: coronation order pp. 138–150, ed. Legg (LGW ), 14–23. This is the Edgar ordo.

4. The Pontifical of St. Dunstan , Paris, B. N. ms. lat. 943, late tenth century: coronation order ff. 67–75v, variants noted in Legg (JW , 1900), 162–173.

5. Pontifical , Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 44, possibly used for the coronation of William the Conqueror: coronation order pp. 278–308, ed. Legg (JW , 1900), 53–61.

Recension III

6. Pontifical , Oxford, Magdalen College MS 226 (now in the Bodleian Library), second half of the twelfth century: coronation order ff. 99–110, ed. Wilson (1910), 89–97.

With respect to the origins of Vivat rex and Unxerunt , on the one hand, I need add nothing to what was said above. Unxerunt and other items, on the other hand, can profitably be traced through the manuscripts of the fourth recension. To discuss these sources it is necessary to distinguish the date of the manuscript from the date of the order it contains. John Brückmann identified those giving the ordo for Edward II's coronation, 1308.[3] It is generally agreed that the order in manuscripts a—d below was written prior to the coronation of Edward II, and that the order in manuscripts g—i was prior to the coronation of Richard II, 1377. Brückmann thinks there is little direct evidence to associate the intervening manuscripts with the intervening coronation of Edward III, 1327. The occasion and purpose of manuscripts j and k , fifteenth-century copies or conflations of earlier orders, is uncertain.[4] Although agreeing that the orders of a—d and g—i were drawn up prior to specific coronations, Brückmann questions whether ordines were necessarily prepared directly for specific ceremonies. I shall confirm this important point.


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Recension IV

Of the numerous sources that transmit the texts of the fourth recension, the following manuscripts also give the chants.

1. Prior to the coronation of Edward I, 1308:

a: London, B. L., Harley 2901, early fourteenth century: ed. Brückmann (1964), 455–542. This manuscript contains only the coronation ordo and some other material relevant to the ceremony. Because of its large, clear script, it may have been used in the coronation of Edward II, possibly carried by the king's monk.[5]

b: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawl. c 425, early fourteenth century: coronation order ff. 60v–83v, variants noted in Brückmann (1964), 455–542. This is a Pontifical that seems to be of Westminster provenance and which probably belonged to the abbot of Westminster. As with a , its neat and clear hand suggests that it was used.[6]

c and d: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 842 and 863, seventeenth century: coronation order ff. 64–73 and pp. 401–423 respectively. These are late and careless copies.

2. Perhaps prior to the coronation of Edward III, 1327:

e: London, B. L., Lansdowne 451, fourteenth century: coronation order ff. 96v–110v. This unedited order is in a Pontifical of Exeter, written in a clear liturgical hand.[7]

f: Cambridge, University Library, Mm III 21, fifteenth century: coronation order ff. 196–210, ed. Maskell, 3–48. This is a Pontifical of Lincoln, perhaps copied from the Pontifical of a bishop who participated in the coronation of Edward III, 1327.[8] Unlike the preceding sources, this manuscript gives only the music for the Prefaces, needed in practice by no one but the archbishop of Canterbury.

3. Prior to the coronation of Richard II, 1377:

g:The Lytlington Missal or The Westminster Missal , Westminster Abbey MS 34, compiled by abbot Lytlington, 1362–1386: coronation order ff. 206–224, ed. Legg (JW , 1891), 2:673–735. At the beginning of volume 2 are twelve plates showing facsimiles of the plainsongs of the coronation as given in the Missal. This order is almost identical with the Liber regalis (Westminster Abbey MS 37), which does not contain the music, ed. Legg (JW ), 81–130. The date of composition of this order, whether before or after the coronation of Richard II, 1377, is still not certainly established. The Missal was written by the year 1384;[9] Sandquist produces some evidence suggesting the composition of the ordo between 1362 and 1368 but later decides on 1383–1384.[10] Schramm[11] and most authorities now generally agree on the earlier date. By opting for the later date, Sandquist links the order with the coronation of either Anne, 1382, or Isabella, 1397. I do not recollect, in descriptions of this


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Figure 12.1.
Westminster Missal  (f. 219v)
Preface tone: cadences, reciting
notes, intonations, and feminine
terminations

source, any reference to the feminine terminations that are interlineated in the Preface of the mass and would suggest that the Missal was indeed used for the coronation of a queen (see fig. 12.1). Even in preparing for the coronation of a queen a compiler might tend to use the more frequently needed masculine terminations. This piece of evidence, then, does not further the establishment of the date for the ordo. The earlier date is adopted here. The order is again clearly written and beautifully decorated.

h: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 79, between 1400 and 1426:[12] coronation order ff. 102v–127. The order in this unedited Pontifical is a copy of an earlier source.

i: London, B. L., Add. 6157, fifteenth century: the coronation order is fragmentary, beginning just before the Secret of the mass. The Preface is set to the solemn tone. The Communion is not given music.

j: London. B. L., Arundel 149, fifteenth century: coronation order ff. 9–22. Brückmann thinks this copy of an earlier order is a conflation of the 1308 and 1327 forms.[13]

k: London, B. L., Harley 561, fifteenth century: coronation order ff. 24v–37v. This manuscript consists of fragments of a Pontifical, clearly for English use. Beginning the coronation order, the scribe himself records that it is secundum cronicas et registra in abbathia Westymonasterii inventa . Wilkinson[14] and Brückmann agree that it is heavily dependent on the Lytlington ordo and the former scholar suggests that the compiler inserted parts of the order of MS f into the conflation. As I shall de-


202

scribe later, it seems to me that the Lytlington ordo and MS f belont to somewhat distinct streams, and that Harley 561 agrees more with MS f . It is musically distinctive, in a manner which suggests fifteenth-century revision.[15]

John Brückmann identified the ordo for Edward II's coronation through conventional textual analysis. I shall point to other features, in all the sources listed above, which need to be considered. As well as identifying or confirming for whose coronation a particular manuscript was prepared or used, it may perhaps be possible even to deduce some hints as to who used it.

Useful information can be obtained from the notation of the chants, for instance. Such an investigation need involve little or no musical expertise and is largely a matter of comparing the shapes of each symbol. Although some variants are probably no more than different "letter-forms," others are clearly significant. Excluding the later copies, manuscript a, b, e, g, h, j , and k above transmit the chant of Unxerunt . At seven points, h, j , and e agree on a particular variant in musical notation, usually against all of the other four; these variants are, for instance,  image against  image, where the omission of a symbol (and pitch) makes it certain that a change is involved rather than an alternative shape. Manuscript k agrees with h, j , and e in four of these variants, although it is in general rather different from all the other manuscripts. Slightly more knowledge of musical symbols would be required to examine the clefs in the seven manuscripts of this chant. The total absence of clef changes in manuscript g suggests that it was carefully prepared by an experienced scribe. It is the Westminster Missal. The other six sources have at least one change of clef, always at the end of manuscript lines, except in manuscripts e and j , where inattention or inexperience has made it necessary for the scribe to change clefs in the middle of a line. These manuscripts, too, are alike in another respect. In place of the final words

Vivat rex, vivat rex, vivat rex in eternum,

manuscript j has

Vivat rex, vivat rex in eternum. Alleluya,

with the rubric In tempore paschali preceding the Alleluya; manuscript k , like j a fifteenth-century copy, agrees with j on this variant. Manuscript e has the same, but omits the rubric and follows the chant with Infra Septuagesima finiatur hoc modo: in eternum , distributing these two words over a restatement of the chant from in to -ya . This last manuscript is unique in assigning the Ps. Eructavit rather than Domine in virtute . From these points, we might be tempted to conclude that manuscripts e,j , and k reflected a coronation held during Easter, but that e takes into account the possibility of a coronation in a


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Figure 12.2.
Cambridge, Corpus Christi
College ms 79 Preface tone:
grouping of Symbols

Figure 12.3a.
Oxford, Bodleian Library ms Rawl.
c 425 a, f. 60v Intonation of Firmetur

Figure 12.3b.
ibid., f. 61r. Shortened
intonation of Firmetur

penitential season. Such information might seem to be useful in assigning the sources to particular events.

Firmetur manus , in both continental and English uses, is normally associated with the coronation or reception of a bishop,[16] and under the rubric in adventu episcopi it appears with music in the Winchester troper of ca. 1037.[17] The coronation chant in MS 4 of table 12.1, the only ordo of this recension to give the music,[18] is considerably different from the episcopal chant of the Winchester source. It corresponds substantially, however, with the next record of it, in the Magdalen Pontifical, MS 6.[19] This late twelfth-century book gives a third recension coronation order immediately followed by the litany for the consecration of a bishop. For Firmetur, then, we have an episcopal tune in the Winchester Troper and a coronation tune continuing from the second into the third recension. This tune, too, continues into the fourth recension chant, which is different only in being more elaborate musically.[20] Second recension rubrics indicate that the chant is to be started by two bishops: clerus hanc decantet antiphonam duobus episcopis precinentibus [or initiantibus ].[21] This directive is omitted in some manuscripts of the fourth recension. A possible reason for this subsequent failure to specify who begins the antiphon may lie in the extent of the incipit, graphically quite obvious (fig. 12.3a ). Musically, the incipit corresponds to none of the traditional intonations for antiphons, and its great length extends to an unreasonable length the normally brief solo beginning. How far this incipit should be sung by the soloist(s) is a practical problem that some manuscripts of the fourth recension help to solve. The earliest ordines of the fourth recension omit the reference to two bishops and thus by implication leave the incipit for the


204

precentor, more musically qualified to deal with its special difficulty: et [regem] processive in ecclesiam ducant, ipsoque introducto atque in pulpito in sede sibi apta collocato, hec antiphona ab omnibus decantetur .[22] A few later orders of this recension keep the reference to two bishops but are less specific about their musical function: Moxque missi duo presules a metropolitano cum parte cleri cum cereis et crucibus introducant in ecclesiam consecrandum regem electum, cum vocis emissione hanc concinentes antiphonam .[23] One fourth recension manuscript (b ) indicates a suitable solution, by repeating the word Firmetur after the psalm with the opening of the chant slightly modified to bring the incipit to a close on the tenth note[24] (fig. 12.3b ). The two seventeenth-century copies (MSS c and d ) also include this essential information for cantor and choir but shorten the incipit even more.[25] The extra musical information supplied in MS b suggests that it is a manuscript more closely associated with the musical personnel involved in the ceremonies.

Firmetur traditionally accompanies the procession into the church: Incipit consecratio regis, quem de conventu seniorum per manus perducant duo episcopi and ecclesiam .[26] In the fourth recension manuscripts dating from the 1370s, the processional function of Firmetur is removed and the antiphon is delayed until later in the ceremony. The antiphon now accompanies only the movement of the king, his canopy, the bishops of Bath and Durham, and others from the scaffold in the crossing to the high altar.[27] Henceforth until the fifteenth century, no provision is made for the procession into the church. We must therefore turn to the Liber regie capelle where it is specified that the elaborate responsory Ecce mitto shall accompany the king to the church, and the psalm-antiphon Domine in virtute his movement, with monks, clergy, and nobles, down the nave.[28] Ecce mitto is also given in the ordo for the coronation of Henry VI as king of France, in Paris, 1431. Despite its absence from ordines of the later part of the fourteenth century, we need not assume that its use to accompany the procession into the coronation was new in 1431.[29] Neither Ecce mitto nor Domine in virtute is in any way peculiar, and both are used elsewhere in the Sarum rite, Ecce on the fourth Sunday of Advent, Domine on Sundays throughout the year. Furthermore, Ecce occurs as an antiphon in the Roman Pontifical ad recipiendum processionaliter Imperatorem and as a responsory for regal or imperial processions in thirteenth-century Pontificals.[30] No direct evidence suggests that Ecce was actually used in the fourteenth-century coronation but, in view of its use in continental processions of the same kind and the strong dependence of the orders of 1377 on a wide variety of English and continental models, it is likely to have been introduced when Firmetur relinquished its processional function, in the 1377 coronation, when the later and most influential ordines of the fourth recension were compiled.[31] (See table 12.2).

From Firmetur, then, we can gain several pieces of evidence about the


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TABLE 12.2. Alleluya Terminations and Tracts

Coronation year:

1308

1327?

1377

?

Ms:

a

b

c

d

e

f

g

h

j

k

(Ms. i is fragmentary, and has been omitted)

Firmetur

processional

nonproc.

alleluya

m

m

m

m

m

t

m

m

x

*

(Ms. e makes the alleluya specifically optional)

Unxerunt

m

m

m

m

   

m

m

   

alleluya

       

m

t

   

m

m

(Ms. e has an alternative for infra Septuagesima )

Confortare

m

m

m

m

 

t

m

m

   

alleluya

       

m

     

m

m

MASS

                   

int. Protector

m

m

m

m

 

t

m

m

t

t

alleluya

       

m

         

gr. Dirigatur

m

m

m

m

m

t

m

m

t

t

Alleluya V.

m

m

m

m

m

t

m

m

t

t

Domine

                   

tr. Desiderium

t

m

m

t

t

off. Intende

m

m

m

m

 

t

m

m

t

t

alleluya

       

m

         

ocomm. Intellige

m

m

m

m

 

t

m

m

t

t

alleluya

       

m

         

m: music provided complete

t: text only provided complete

x: fragmentary (item not extant)

* This manuscript gives a totally different tune.

fourth recension manuscripts: their possible origin before or after the coronation of 1377, and a possible destination of those that transmitted information essential to very important participants in the ritual, the precentors and choir.

The remaining antiphon of the coronation ceremonies is Confortare et esto vir . It first appears in ordines of the second recension, without music. L ike Unxerunt, it is dropped from the third and reintroduced into the fourth recension, and like Unxerunt also, its chant in that recension does not appear to be the same as the one in earlier sources, which are difficult to interpret. In fact, the chant is drawn from the responsory Regnum mundi . Transference of responsory chant to an antiphon involves some musical difficulty of a kind that is similar to that of Firmetur; the chant does not correspond to those described in the Tonary, and uncertainty as to how to classify it for purposes


206

of performance is reflected in scribal variants and errors that confirm, in a general way, the groupings already outlined.

With respect to the musical items of the Proper of the mass which follows the consecration service, similar musical details could be elucidated in a comprehensive study. Here, it is necessary to draw attention only to the presence or absence of material suitable for Easter, since it will complement material already discussed. All manuscripts include the Alleluya at mass, performed during Easter time and in some other seasons. Only one, however, manuscript e , gives optional alleluya terminations appropriate only for Easter time; these terminations conclude the introit, offertory, and communion chants. The Alleluya, of course, does not need them, and the gradual would be omitted during most of Easter.[32] Only MS e , then, allows for an Easter-time ceremony. More interesting is the presence or absence of the tract, necessary for Lent and other penitential seasons. Of all the manuscripts listed above, a—e lack and f—k contain the tract. One might be tempted again to think that this abrupt change was the result of necessity. The situation is shown in table 12.2, which provides some new details.

In the consecration ceremony, Firmetur has the word alleluya in every source. This discrepancy can be explained easily; unlike the other items, Firmetur, as we saw earlier, is present in the third recension, where the Easter termination also occurs.[33] It was simply copied, with the termination, from that recension. Manuscripts j and k , the fifteenth-century copies, give the music and alleluya terminations for the consecration ceremonies but only the text and no terminations for the mass. Since these sources share common variants with e , we should consider whether they are copies of the ordo in e . With Unxerunt, manuscript e , it will be recalled, gives the termination, together with an option for Septuagesima, but it does not provide the tract. From Septuagesima to Easter, the tract is generally sung on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the usual penitential days, but not on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday.[34] But whether liturgical assignations can be considered consistent enough to direct us firmly to a coronation on one of those days is questionable.

The items discussed so far are those sung to melodic chants. Much can also be learned from those items such as prayers and Prefaces which are sung only to reciting-tones, that is, largely on a single pitch with inflexions for cadences to emphasise the phrase structure of the text.

In the normal Litany of the saints, a special clause is inserted, to be sung as a dramatic although restrained interruption by the archbishop. The text of this clause is recorded with a rubric in the ordines, but its musical setting appears only in manuscript k , already mentioned for its musical peculiarities. Can we infer thant this book, and none of the others, was either used by the archbishop or as an exemplar for the book he would have used? The special


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phrase is also appended to the Litany in the Worcester Antiphonal.[35] The recitation in manuscript k is on C. In the Worcester and probably correct version the archbishop recites not on the C, which characterizes the rest of the Litany, but on the D a pitch higher, falling to C only toward the end. The dramatic and surely deliberate effect of this subtle change is difficult to comprehend except when heard in context.

A dramatic function is even more relevant to the other Litany used for coronations. This is the Laudes regie , assertive rather than submissive. Nothing can be added here to Kantorowitz and Bukofzer's comprehensive investigation of text and music.[36] As crown-wearing and the concept of liturgical kingship waned, from the thirteenth to the fourteenth century, so did the use of Laudes,[37] and in the fourth recension they are recorded in only manuscript a , for Edward II's coronation in 1308, and in g , the Westminster Missal, reflecting Richard II's in 1377. In both the reference is no more than a marginal afterthought. Although after Richard II's coronation the Laudes recede "into complete obscurity,"[38] surely neither Henry IV, a usurper who used every means including a resuscitation of the special consecration oil of Thomas Becket[39] to strengthen his claim to the throne, nor Henry V, also faced very quickly with challenges to his right, would have failed to use these significant acclamations of power.

As political or temporal approval is demonstrated by the assembled people in the acclamations and Laudes, divine authority is bestowed in the Prefaces, one in the consecration ceremony, the other in the subsequent mass for the king. Those manuscripts of the fourth recension which give the tone give it complete. Several features may offer the researcher interesting clues. To my knowledge there is no comprehensive study of the music of the medieval Preface nor of medieval rules, if any, for the correct pointing (that is, the correct distribution of the syllables of text to the inflexions of the recitingtone). If there were rules for the tone or for pointing they are certainly not evident from the coronation manuscripts. We can collate the settings of the two Prefaces in nine different sources. The exact form of the tone and its inflexions need not be described in detail;[40] several different intonations lead to the reciting pitch, two different reciting pitches, and a medial and final cadence are combined in various ways. Figures 12.1 and 12.2 show several of these features. The placing of cadences, and the use of medial or final forms, agrees in most sources, although a few consistently continue reciting at several points where others use medial cadences or, alternatively, one or two present medial cadences where most recite. Five manuscripts direct that in the consecration Preface the final formula Per Christum dominum . . . should be said submisse , and these therefore place a final rather than a medial cadence at the end of the proper text. There is a considerable discrepancy in the placing of intonations and where recitation begins or ends. Some sources adopt one


208

Figure 12.4.
a: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College Ms. 79 [Ms h of Table 12.2] 
b: Westminster Missal [Ms. g of Table 12.2]

symbol for most of the recitation but use a different symbol on accented syllables, or at the beginning of words, or on monosyllables. These may be merely different "letter-shapes" with no significance. All this suggests that the pointing was quite flexible. In this case (as perhaps in others) the fact that material appears in written form does not guarantee that anything can be learned from the variants about the way manuscripts are related.

If the exact form of the Preface tones was sufficiently well known that only a reminder was required in the manuscripts, one might ask why the scribes bothered to write the whole item out in full. One might also ask whether another feature differentiating the Prefaces in the manuscripts is significant. According to the Sarum Missal, and said to be true of Missals in general,[41] there was no distinction, in the mass, between the tones used on feasts and ferias. The exemplars given for both feasts and daily use agree in following the solemn tone, which has elaborate cadences with several notes to a syllable. According to Birkbeck, the simpler tone, strictly one note to a syllable, was not used at mass but at other ceremonies such as the blessing of the candles on Candlemas Day and of the fonts before Easter.[42] Presumably the simple tone for the opening versicles and responses, Sursum corda . . ., preceded the simple one for such Prefaces, but I have not been able to confirm this from a manuscript that gives the music. Interestingly, however, the simple tone is frequently used for the sentence Gratias agamus . . . even though the other versicles use the solemn version.[43] This musical oddity, which needs explanation, is to be found also in many of the sources giving the coronation Prefaces. Example a in figure 12.4 shows the simple clause within a solemn context; example 1b shows the more musically consistent alternative. Table 12.3 summarizes the way the Preface is presented.

The Preface in the consecratio begins explicitly with the responses set to the solemn tone. Since only that tone was used for mass,[44] the Prefaces for the coronation mass omit the responses and begin immediately with the proper text. Manuscript h alone includes them, in solemn form. In view of this solemn opening, it is a surprise to find that for the proper continuation of


209
 

TABLE 12.3. Prefaces

Coronation year:

1308

1327?

1377

?

Ms.:

a

b

c

d

e

f

g

h

i

j

k

CONSECRATION

                     

Responses

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

x

S

S

Tone

s

s

s

s

s

s

s

s

x

s

s

MASS

                     

Responses

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

S

--

--

--

Tone

s

s

s

s

*

S

s

s

S

S

x

S: Solemn tone

s: simple tone

x: fragmentary (item not extant)

* This Preface omitted, although the manuscript is otherwise complete.

both Prefaces almost all sources adopt the simple tone. The combination of solemn responses with simple tone is something of a musical solecism and the presence, in three manuscripts (but not manuscript h ),[45] of the solemn tone for the Preface in the mass puts in some doubt the value of comparing these features. One possibility is that those documents presenting the solemn tone may have been used by the archbishop himself, or may have been copied from such sources, and that where the exact complex form was not required it was abbreviated. This argument does not fit well with other conclusions about the sources. Those showing the solemn form, for example, are not the best documents for the coronation in general, since all date from the fifteenth century. No sources give the solemn tone for the proper text of the Preface in the consecratio .

If the notational symbols and the form of the tone may not be reliable clues to assessing the manuscripts, another aspect of the notation may be of more significance. Manuscript e , for example, in the consecratio , and manuscripts h and f in the mass Preface, group the symbols so that the words are separated visually in the music (see fig. 12.2). This aid to correct performance of the text suggests that these sources were used by the celebrant, that is, the archbishop of Canterbury. The presence or absence of benediction signs at sanctificare may also help in identifying the user of a particular book. Manuscripts e, f , and h are pontificals, probably written for specific bishops; in the coronation, however, all the bishops of the realm were present, many with active roles, and the abbot of Westminster had equivalent status. If we can say that a particular item in the ceremony was performed by the user of a certain book and can assign the book to a particular bishop, we may be able to bring together the bishop and his particular role in the ceremony. An example will be given below.


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The following remarks, based on only a small part of the evidence, are intended to complement the results of more comprehensive study of the sources.

Edward II was crowned on February 23, 1308, the Saturday of Sexagesima week. If the liturgical information presented earlier is reliable, no tract was necessary, and none appears in the manuscripts conventionally assigned to this event. The alleluya termination retained in Firmetur as the item was copied from the third recension can easily be omitted and was not provided with the other items. John Brückmann demonstrates that the order "must have been compiled considerably before the . . . coronation."[46] But either the compilers knew the date of the event or were fortunate, since neither tract or alleluya was required. The celebration in a season when tracts were often needed may have brought the liturgical omission to notice for remedy in a future order, when alleluya terminations could also be added to accommodate the possibility of a ceremony during Easter time. Manuscripts e and f show signs of such revisions.

Edward III was crowned on 29 January 1327, a Wednesday during Epiphany. Neither tract nor alleluya was necessary, and in this respect the order for his predecessor could have served. Manuscripts e and f , sometimes tentatively assigned to this coronation, provide unnecessary revisions. Manuscript e deals with the case of Easter time, providing terminations and making the termination of Firmetur optional (as it surely always was) with the rubric in tempore paschali ; it does not provide the tract, although Unxerunt, uniquely, has a special ending for Septuagesima and a different psalm.[47] Manuscript f revises only by supplying the tract and an alleluya for Unxerunt. Neither manuscript is relevant to this particular coronation. Each seems like an incomplete attempt to generalize the service for all seasons of the year; manuscript e is a more successful and professional revision.

Manuscripts g and h , for the coronation of Richard II, 1377, celebrated after Pentecost, do not provide the Easter terminations (unnecessary for this season); the mass does include a tract (also unnecessary) and thus cannot have been prepared specifically for this coronation, although it may reflect earlier revisions. Manuscripts j and k , as we have seen, are copies; they provide for all circumstances in the consecration ceremony, but not in the Mass.

The sequence of events and the way the manuscripts reflect them are not consistent. As stated earlier, the impetus for revision of the ordo was possibly the preparation of a pontifical, unrelated to a specific coronation. In such circumstances, the motive for revision may have been to provide a ritual usable at all times, pentitential or joyful. Sometimes, coronation followed so soon after the accession, twenty days in the case of Edward III, that the production of carefully thought-out revisions and well-executed books would have been out of the question. We may say that a specific ordo was compiled before but not necessarily for a particular coronation.


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Divorcing the ordo from the event allows us to consider it as a transmitted text. No doubt later ordines were to some extent copied from earlier ones. But the compiler may have recalled that his exemplar had proved to be inadequate for the previous coronation and may have tried to anticipate future difficulties. If ordines are based on, rather than copied from, earlier ones, then transmission is quite different from that of other kinds of books. In general, liturgical books, and other books that are for practical use, are transmitted in a manner inherently different from that of literary texts. Conventional methods of textual analysis are quite inappropriate for dealing with this kind of material, and appropriate methods have not been evolved. At the most, conventional methods can apply only to the texts of individual items and not to rubrics or optional adaptations or to details of layout or to services as whole. John Brückmann, admitting the dangers, gives a filiation of the 1308 manuscripts, based only on the texts.[48] The relevant part of his stemma is:

The ordo in the Westminster Missal, reflecting the coronation of 1377, manuscript g , is clearly related to a and b .[49] In the mass Preface, a, b, c , and d agree on the erroneous form honorum ;[50] we can probably assume that the correct form, bonorum , in the Missal is a scribal emendation, so that it may descend from a or b . It is perhaps somewhat closer to b or X since manuscript a is isolated with some musical variants from the forms shared by the Missal g , and by b, c , and d .[51] The other source with music for the 1377 coronation, manuscript h , is much closer to manuscripts e and f . In all of them, the Prefaces show the musical notation separated into word groups, and the same is probably though less clearly true of manuscript i (also 1377). Number-


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ous other musical and textual variants link these documents, but manuscripts e and f show variants not followed by h and i .[52] The unplaced manuscripts j and k probably belong to this group also, judging partly by their agreement on melodic variants for the Preface responses, which are not shared by the Westminster Missal group, and on the distribution of other differences.[53]

Two broad groups therefore emerge. One culminates in the Westminster Missal (manuscripts a, b, g ), with seventeenth-century copies in c and d , and links the 1377 coronation with that of 1308; the other links it with the revised orders in pontificals e and f and includes manuscripts h, i, j, k . An important features separating g, h, i, j , and k from the others is their removal of Firmetur from the entrance procession to a position later in the service. Thus, if we consider the manuscripts relating to the coronation of 1377 as a group, the information in them derives from at least three different "sources": from physical ancestors a and b , associated with a specific earlier coronation; from physical ancestors e and f , pontificals from Exeter and Lincoln respectively, and not closely associated with a specific coronation; and from two separate liturgical decisions regarding the tract and the status of Firmetur as a procession.

The point hardly needs to be stressed; texts for living, practical uses are likely to be conflated and "contaminated" to an extent rare in the transmission of a dead text. Each coronation is different, and the manuscripts that represent it will differ in content and presentation. What is more, even for the same event, each role within the service is different and manuscripts may differ according to the requirements of specific users.

John Brückmann stated that the music in the coronation manuscripts was added "where necessary." This begs the question. A source giving additional material helpful mainly to the choir or precentor may have been destined for


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their use. Pontifical b , clarifying the incipit of Firmetur, would seem  at that point to be most useful for the precentor, or whoever began this antiphon, not the archbishop. Brückmann concludes that the manuscript probably belonged to the abbot of Westminster and was indeed for actual use.[54] Its large letters and clear script point to an active participant. Did the abbot intone Firmetur? A document grouping the reciting tones of the Prefaces carefully, or giving the music of the archbishop's clause in the Litany and the incipits of Veni creator and the Te Deum , may have been used by the archbishop, who needs such information while others do not. Most of the documents considered here give the music indiscriminately, regardless of need, and seem to be more in the nature of "reference" copies, aiming for completeness. A more thorough discussion is not possible; we do not know, for example, who actually performed the music, which of the participating bishops intoned the incipits (if indeed this earlier practice was continued), nor what part the clerks of the Chapel Royal and the monks of Westminster played in the musical items.[55]

Not one published edition of any coronation text includes the chant. A large proportion of the evidence has thus been disregarded. What has been demonstrated here with respect to some simple musical matters in one recension of the English ceremonies should be expanded into a general consideration of all European coronations. Many of the dependencies and interrelationships between various national ordines will be strengthened; some will be weakened; new relations may emerge. A study of the music, with its political and liturgical emphasis, its implications of liturgical season and practical destination, and its assistance for the dating and grouping of sources, is essential for fully understanding both the origin of the ordines and their documents and the dramatic and symbolic meaning of the coronation.[56]


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