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Table of Items for the Medieval High Mass

Cynthia J. Cyrus


Last modified on June 18, 2003

This chart presents the musical items for a typical high mass, but some services during the church year omit particular items or substitute other chants (an extra alleluia in place of the gradual, for instance), and the requiem mass (the mass for the dead) differs in many ways from this outline. A more extensive discussion of the medieval mass and its ceremonial has been provided by Joseph Dyer

The most important musical items are listed in italics and bold.

Item Proper/ Ordinary Performed by Musical Characteristics Manuscript Source
Introit
proper
choir w/solo on verse
neumatic (syllabic for verse)
Graduale
Kyrie
ordinary
choir
melismatic
Kyriale
Gloria
ordinary
choir
neumatic
Kyriale
Collects
proper
priest
spoken or recited
Sacramentary
Epistle
proper
subdeacon
spoken or recited
Lectionary or Epistolary
Gradual
proper
soloist w/choir
melismatic
Cantatory
Alleluia or Tract
proper
soloist w/choir
melismatic
Cantatory
Sequence
proper
choir
syllabic
Sequentiary
Gospel
proper
deacon
spoken or recited
Lectionary or Evangeliary
Sermon
extemporary or written
priest (deacon may also speak)
spoken
Credo
ordinary
choir
syllabic
Kyriale
Offertory
proper
choir
melismatic
Graduale
Offertory Prayers
ordinary
priest
spoken or recited
Sanctorale
Secret
proper
priest
spoken or recited
Sanctorale
Preface
proper
priest
spoken or recited
Sacramentary
Sanctus
ordinary
choir
neumatic
Kyriale
Canon
ordinary
priest
silent
Sacramentary
Pater noster
ordinary
all
spoken or recited
Agnus Dei
ordinary
choir
melismatic
Kyriale
Communion
proper
choir
neumatic
Graduale
Post-Communion prayers
proper
priest
spoken or recited
Sacramentary
Ite missa est or Benedicamus Domino
ordinary
priest and choir
melismatic
Kyriale


For other ORB Music articles:

visit http://the-orb.net/encyclop/culture/music/musindex.html


Send comments and suggestions to Cynthia Cyrus,
Cynthia.Cyrus@vanderbilt.edu.

Copyright (C) 1997-2003, Cynthia J. Cyrus. This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents, including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact.


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Last revised Friday, July 18, 2003