Missa pro defunct in the use of Sarum
  • Is there any Mass Ordinary chant for the 'Missa pro defunctis' in the use of Sarum? Also, do chant Chant Propers exist? What was liturgical practice and why are there no extant English polyphonic settings of the 'Missa pro defunctis'? Of course, if there is no extant Mass Ordinary chant, there would have been no impetus to write polyphony. Perhaps rites were observed as per All Souls, Office for the dead. I have seen a setting of 'Libera me' by John Sheppard. Very interested to know.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,393
    This is from the Graduale Sarisburiensis, 1508

    EDIT, At least one person can't download the largish file, so have placed it also here, https://www.dropbox.com/s/1cxy20lx5ve2k0k/Requiem Sarum.pdf?dl=0
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    The propers are here in a PDF.

    On the same site, , you can find the Kyriale, but I personally cannot make heads or tails of it. You can also purchase a gradual, printed on demand via sites like Lulu, which would only have the chant ("yes, that's what a gradual is," you say, but the missal is also noted…)

    Its editor is a member of this forum. @renwick.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,133
    The kyrial is easy to figure out once you rid your mind of the novelty of the Vatican Edition and its rational grouping of the chants into XVIII suites and some ad libitum settings, based simply on the liturgical calendar and certain types of feasts.

    The first section contains the troped Kyries; the second section, the Kyries without tropes; the third, the Glorias, with the troped Gloria for Marian feasts; then the Sanctuses; the fifth section is the Agnus Dei settings; then the rubrics for which settings are to be sung on the ferias; then the Benedicamus and Ite chants, and the Requiem dismissal.

    The rubrics for which chants are sung when is somewhat complicated, but with its own logic; the classing of feasts is not as simple as the I, II, III, IV class of the 1962 Missal, but is based on the number of Lessons at Matins and the time of the liturgical year, summer or winter, and Sundays are named not by number, but by the incipit of the Introit.

    Most pre-reformation English Masses do not contain Kyrie settings, because the Kyrie was almost always sung in plainchant with its tropes, but there are some stand-alone settings of the Kyrie like John Taverner's "Kyrie Leroy". So, I imagine that the lack of English polyphonic Requiems would be a rubric in the Customarium Sarisburiense that would require plainchant for requiem Masses (this is just an educated guess).

    Now, for the ordinary for the Requiem, it seems to be that the Kyrie is the ferial setting: pg 26* at the very bottom; the Sanctus is the ferial setting; 50* at the bottom; the Agnus Dei is the ferial setting, pg 50* bottom, but with "Dona eis requiem...sempiternam" text, per the Ordo Missae, pg 1183.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    Salieri, I think the introductory salvo is a tad harsh; the rubrics are actually complicated, and while it's expected that the assignments sometimes match and sometimes don't, things like the placement of incipits by themselves is actually quite complex.