1962 Missal Stripping of the Altar Rubric
  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 52
    We discovered a rubrical discrepancy last night and weren't sure what to do. In previous years, the rubrics of the Missal were followed (emphasis mine in all of the following):
    Celebrans dicit clara voce sequentem antiphonam: Dividunt sibi indumenta mea, et de veste mea mittunt sortem, addens initium eiusdem psalmi: Deus meus, Deus meus, quare me dereliquisti? Clerici, si adsunt, prosequuntur recitationem huius psalmi, usque dum altarium denudation peracta sit; alioquin celebrans dicat antiphonam et primum tantum versum psalmi ante denudationem altaris maioris.
    This rubric is translated exactly in the reprint of the 1963 edition of the Liber Usualis and the Liber Hebdomadae Sanctae Cantus Gregoriani, both from Preserving Christian Publications:
    The celebrant says the following antiphon in a clear voice: Diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea: et super vestem meam miserunt sortem. Adding the intonation of the same psalm. Deus, Deus meus, respice in me: quare me dereliquisti? * The clergy, if any are present, continue the recitation of this psalm until the stripping of the altars is completed; otherwise the celebrant says the antiphon and the first verse only of the psalm before the stripping the high altar.
    The 1961 edition of the Liber Usualis with English rubrics has this instead:
    The celebrant says the following antiphon in a clear voice: Diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea: et super vestem meam miserunt sortem. Adding the intonation of the same psalm. Deus, Deus meus, respice in me: quare me dereliquisti? * The chorus continue the recitation of this psalm until the stripping of the altars is completed.
    The 1962 edition with Latin rubrics has the same. These editions (1961 & 1962) refer to the schola elsewhere in the Holy Thursday Mass, which could suggest that chorus is not meant to be synonymous with schola here, but rather a reference to clerics in choir, as in the more precise rubric of the Missal and 1963 Liber.

    We had a different celebrant from previous years who turned toward the schola at that point and obviously expected us to do something. Is the psalm to be chanted recto tono or spoken? If I'm not mistaken "dicit clara voce" means a speaking voice, not singing, and I can't think of any other instance when a chanted psalm would follow a spoken antiphon. Is it proper for a lay schola to do it or only for clerics in choir?

    I wish everyone a blessed Triduum and Eastertide!
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,075
    We were expecting the priest to speak the antiphon and then intone the first half of the verse; then we would continue using the same tone (and psalm) as for Friday communion of the presanctified. Because I sing from the 1961 Liber (with Latin rubrics) and it specifically says to use that tone. (and therefore implicitly, to sing it). And yes, we interpreted chorus as schola -- but I'm quite sure you're right: chorus here should mean choir, that is, the sacred ministers assisting in choro.

    Sińce the old Roman missals say that Vespers follow this service, and is said without singing, and afterwards the Stripping is done with the reading of this antiphon and psalm, it seems that chanting was unknown at this point. Presumably singing it is an interpretation of the Liber editors 1961 since there is no music in the Missal.

    In the event, Father read the entire psalm, without note, while the altar was stripped by the servers.

    We chanted the psalm today, though, during the Communion, as suggested (cani potest) in the 1962 Missal on the tone provided in the Liber.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    I think, actually, when they say sine cantu they mean recto tono, and Stercky in his Manuel de liturgie et cérémonial repeatedly says psalmodier which nowadays means not to sing the psalms per se but to sing the office on one note; that the rubric should not exclude this in certain cases is confirmed by the fact that you can, in fact, sing Vespers. No such music is given for the day hours (they have no antiphons, but the special psalm tones aren't used at all during the Triduum, and the full antiphon Christus factus est is explicitly not sung to its melody.

    We read the Vespers and the parts that are sine cantuat the Lauds of Tenebrae, but I have never seen this in trad communities run by a trad institute of some kind.
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  • Are there two melodies to the same text, perhaps?
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    in this case I can only find the antiphon and its psalm from Tenebrae of Good Friday.

    I don't think it's bad for the priest to read the psalm, FWIW, in lieu of having a cantor sing it even if he only need read the first bit. (As an aside, it's long enough that you cover almost all of the action when you do sing it, with the melody or recto tono, and I'm glad that it's not something like a responsory for this moment.)

    OK, so upon further review, the rubric changed in post-1955 versions of the LU, apparently. I don't know if it changed in 1957 when they revised the rubrics again. In any case, singing it is fine, because of the doubt and because it's the historical practice, and having a cantor sing it or the priest sing the antiphon and first line (this is what I know trad clergy have done in the 1955 liturgy: he intones it on one note, sings the first line, and recites it from memory by himself), or he reads it.
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  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 52
    Are there two melodies to the same text, perhaps?
    Yes, first nocturn of Good Friday Matins uses tone 8G, Communion uses the tonus in directum.imageThe Missal has no notation for the psalm tone. I now notice that the words "On Holy Saturday for the Psalms of Compline" are omitted in the 60s editions of the Liber under the description of the tone "in directum" on p. 118.
    I think, actually, when they say sine cantu they mean recto tono
    I have wondered about that. Sine cantu and absque cantu seem to be used interchangeably. The Caeremoniale refers to the "Low" pontifical rites as sine cantu, but a bishop does not offer his Low Mass recto tono, and the same liturgical book says that the bishop reads the blessing of the new fire and grains of incense absque cantu. Does that also mean those prayers are chanted recto tono? At a Missa cantata, the rubrics say that the celebrant may read the epistle sine cantu. Since recto tono is already one of the options for the epistle, sine cantu would seem to mean it's spoken. But it's still unclear whether it always means that or if it's contextual and might also indicate recto tono.
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,124
    Fortescue 1918:
    At the end of vespers the celebrant and ministers come back to the altar, the celebrant and deacon wearing purple stoles over the alb. The acolytes go before them, without candles. They hand the birettas they have worn to the M.C., bow to the choir, as usual. All, except the celebrant, genuflect to the altar; he bows. The celebrant begins the antiphon Diviserunt sibi, not singing it. The choir continue the antiphon and the psalm Deus Deus mens
    The ministers bow to the choir, so choir here means clerics in choir. And as no one has intoned the antiphon, it cannot be sung. [Misprints due to OCR]
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,424
    Festa Majora (Officium et Missa ultimi tridui Majoris Hebdomadae)
    "Postea in choro dicuntur Vepserae sine cantu" and "Vesperis expletis, Sacerdos, Alba et stola violacea indutus, cum Ministris denudet Altaria legendo Antiphonam"
    We take this to mean recto tono Does Fortesque say anything? Just checked with one of our senior M.C. "not singing" "recite" are the two relevant instructions.
  • FSSPmusic,

    I wasn't clear in my question. Is the antiphon set to two different melodies, one for Maundy Thursday (with the in directum) and the other with 8G?
  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 52
    For Friday Tenebrae, mode 8 antiphon psalm tone 8G, for Good Friday Communion, psalm in directum without antiphon. At the Stripping, the pre-55 Liber gives Tenebrae as the page reference for the psalm; the newer ones give the Communion page reference. To complicate matters further, the Missal gives the text according to the new psalter, and the newer Liber gives an alternative reference to a page in the appendix with the psalm according to the new Latin version set to tone 8G!
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    Well, if he means "singing" by "singing the melody," then there's no disagreement only nothing to resolve the problem. If he excludes a monotone, then Fortescue disagrees with Stercky then, and Stercky is far, far more comprehensive without the ridiculous polemics. When there's a disagreement, I am inclined to go with the continental practice.

    It's clearly contextual. Obviously he can't sing something if they already specify recto tono, and the prelatical or pontifical low Mass are obviously not sung for what pertains to the Mass, at least.

    As to the tone: the Liber for the traditional form does not repeat the bare text of the Miserere, only giving the pointed text for Lauds of Holy Thursday, but it has no antiphon, so singing it in the tone provided at the end of Tenebrae or another hour makes no sense (it says "sine cantu," so you're left with either singing on one note or reading it, and reading something in full out loudin a sung liturgy is nonsensical)
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  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,852
    Stercky is far, far more comprehensive without the ridiculous polemics.


    Bingo and a half. It's interesting to note that Fortescue's manual was written in haste in order to make some extra spending money for St. Hugh. It's a shame Stercky's manual isn't more well known. He deserves a translation.
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  • ...and for Maundy Thursday's stripping of the altar?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,124
    FWIW My English ¿1925? hand missal comments "The vespers psalms and antiphons of Maundy Thursday and of Good Friday are not to be sung but merely recited on one note", and uses recited also to describe the stripping of the altar.
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  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 52
    ...and for Maundy Thursday's stripping of the altar?
    Text only with the rubric that the celebrant says it clara voce, adding the intonation of the psalm