Thursday, August 06, 2020

Mass of the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity in the Use of Hamburg-Bremen, 1450

Readers may be interested in this video of a representation of the Mass of the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity in the use of Hamburg-Bremen, which was that of the Baltic region and Scandinavia in the Middle Ages. (I have had to divide the video into two parts because of its size and the limits of Blogger uploading.) The first part shows the Mass from the priest’s preparation to the Creed, the second shows the Mass from the people’s Offertory Procession to the final blessing. If you want to view the video as a single file, click here. If you would like a program in Latin and English, click here.
As you watch the first part, you will notice a number of interesting rubrical differences from the Mass of St Pius V, in particular, the singing of the Creed before the sermon. In this video I have cut the sermon, as well as a scholarly introduction and the people’s prayers (Apostle’s Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, Sign of the Cross) because they are in Swedish. If you want to see these, you may at this YouTube link, which has the entire video. As you can see in the program, the Mass follows the order of chants and readings used in the north of Europe before the Tridentine reform. They come mostly from the 17th and 18th Sundays after Pentecost. Also note the variants in the Latin text, including one in the Gloria. You will notice the priest removing his vestments to preach during the Creed.
Here is the second half, beginning with the Offertory Procession:

Of special interest is the people’s Communion. Only two people go to Communion (on the altar steps because of the Rood Screen), since this is not one of the four “General Communions” that were typical of medieval practice. The ambry-tabernacle is also authentic and still in the church. Virtually all the art, as well as the manuscript altar Missal, are actual medieval artifacts. Note also the manner of giving the Blessing with the paten, and the absence of the Last Gospel; only added in the 1500s.  The date of this Mass given at the beginning of the Video would be October 5, 1450.

Finally, those familiar with the Dominican Rite, which is also part of this northern liturgical family, will notice a number of things in common, such as the extension of the priest’s arms after the Consecration. You can read more about this lovely little church at Endre, Sweden, here.

Sadly, I do not know the origin of this project, but I believe it was put together by a professor of liturgy at the University of Copenhagen. They certainly went to great lengths to make it authentic.

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