Tuesday, February 8, 2011

FW: More on Magdeburg

More on Magdeburg…


Feed: Weedon's Blog
Posted on: Monday, February 07, 2011 5:41 PM
Author: wweedon@gmail.com (William Weedon)
Subject: More on Magdeburg


Two years after the cathedral's choirbook was published, an Agenda came out.  It provides even more details about the way the services were conducted.  The following is a summary from Dr. Herl's research, which he kindly shared with me some years ago:

The choir sings an Introit of the day, then the Kyrie; the Deacon intones the Gloria and the choir sings the Et in terra.  Then the Deacon sings a German Collect for the day, then the Lector sings the Epistle in Latin, then a choir member reads the same in German.  Then 2 boys from the choir sing the Alleluia, and the choir sings the verse, followed by the Sequence, Prose, or Tract.  Then the Lector sings the Gospel in Latin, and a choir member reads it in German to the people using the same melody.  Then the Nicene Creed is intoned by the Deacon and the choir sings the Patrem up to the words "Et incarnatus est de Spiritu sancto, ex Maria virgine, Et homo factus est."  These words are sung by 2 boys very slowly.  Then the choir completes the Creed, and the congregation sings "We All Believe in One True God."  The pulpit service is next, with the standard opening hymn, sermon and general prayer.  The elements are then processed to the altar with incense, during which two choir boys sing "Grant peace, we pray, in mercy, Lord."  The Latin preface and Sanctus by the choir, and then the Deacon sings the Lord's Prayer in German and then the Words of institution.  During the distribution, the choir sings "Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior" and if there is a longer communion also the Latin Agnus Dei or the German "Lamb of God, Pure and Holy."  The collect: "We thank you..." and the Aaronic benediction bring the service to a close, with the choir singing a stanza or two of "O Lord, We Praise Thee" after the communicants have departed the chancel.

A few points are striking:

1.  The use of a Lector to sing the readings in Latin (I am presuming a clergyman, but not that's not entirely clear).
2.  The use of a CHOIR MEMBER to chant the same readings in German to the people - clearly NOT a clergyman.
3.  The fact that "read" was not understood as anything other than "chant" - note "reads it in German using the same melody!"
4.  The title deacon for the chief cleric at the Cathedral - clearly an ordained pastor.
5.  The use of incense as the elements are brought in procession to the holy altar.  Processed from where?  The Credence?  From the back of the Church?
6.  As in Luther's German Mass, the only piece of music actually assigned to the congregation is the German "We All Believe" - the rest of the music is explicitly reserved to the Choir.


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