Pictures abound in this article on giant chant books, lecterns, and pulpits
#1
I love uncovering trasures of the Catholic past. In today's column, I collected some photos of oversized chant books, lecterns, and pulpits, and wrote some commentary on how they were used and what they represent. I wish more trad churches would have these today.

The article link: Two lost arts: singing from oversized chant books, and using lecterns


Before the relatively recent introduction of individual music books, these giant books were published to be sung from by the entire choir. The early music group Ensemble Organum contends that singing from these, rather than from everyone singing from their own Libers, etc., fundamentally changes the way that plainchant is sung.

[Image: 1500SpanishAntiphonal.jpg]


I also talk a bit about this eagle lectern which was used, for a time, at Pugin's Cathedral of Saint Chad, Birmingham, until it somehow found its way to the Met. I assume it was sold by Vatican II vandals. "A great many lecterns of the later Middle Ages, especially the ones used for reading the Gospels, were fashioned in the shape of eagles. The eagle was said to be the bird that flew the highest, and therefore the closest to heaven. The eagle was also supposed to have been able to gaze directly into the bright light of the sun without harm. The faithful Christian, likewise, could stare at the sight of the deacon proclaiming the Gospel from this eagle-shaped lectern without flinching."

[Image: DP102942.jpg]


The jube (rood loft) of the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont. 'The name "jube" comes from the Mass. Before the deacon sings the Gospel, he approaches the celebrant and asks for his blessing with the words jube, domne, benedicere ("pray, sir, a blessing").'

[Image: 1280px-Jube_Saint-Etienne-du-Mont.jpg]


At the end of the article, I posted an anecdote about an assassination in that church, which I find very fascinating.

'In 1857, the Archbishop of Paris, Marie-Dominique-Auguste Sibour (who also witnessed the marriage of Napoleon's nephew, Napoleon III), was murdered by an excommunicated priest who, in the act, cried out "Down with the goddesses!". The priest, Jean-Louis Verger, killed the Archbishop for promulgating the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in Paris, which had been declared by the Pope just a few years before. I believe that would make Archbishop Sibour the only person ever to have been martyred specifically over a dogma declared ex cathedra by the Pope.'
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#2
Thanks for the article, it is very interesting.I am wondering though, since you said that before the Liber Usualis chanters had to flip through multiple books, how did this work with the giant chant volumes. Did they simply just change out the central book? I can actually see how that might be more economical at a time when you would need several books for each chanter. The lecterns are also very interesting. Was it custom to use this lecterns to proclaim the epistle and the gospel?

The only time I have every personally seen an ornate elevated pulpit in the fashion you describe was at the Shrine of St. Alphonsus in Baltimore (in general one of the most ornate I have been too.) I do like the symbolism of it and think it would be a very cool architectural element to restore to our churches.

What do you think about this pulpit at the abbey of Irsee in Bavaria?

[Image: 5.jpg]
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#3
(10-17-2012, 03:04 PM)DoktorDespot Wrote: Thanks for the article, it is very interesting.I am wondering though, since you said that before the Liber Usualis chanters had to flip through multiple books, how did this work with the giant chant volumes. Did they simply just change out the central book? I can actually see how that might be more economical at a time when you would need several books for each chanter.

Yes, the primary chant book for Mass would be the Graduale, a collection of the Mass Propers. There may have been separate books for the Kyriale (settings of the Ordinary), depending. Then there's the Antiphonale for the chants of the Office. Those editions may or may not contain the hymns for the Office. If not, they'd need a separate book called the Hymnarius.



Quote:The lecterns are also very interesting. Was it custom to use this lecterns to proclaim the epistle and the gospel?

Certainly. As you can see in one of the pictures I posted in the article (the one from the Book of Hours with the choir stalls), the eagle lectern is on the Gospel side facing north, where the deacon would stand for the Gospel. There would likewise be another lectern for the Epistle. For if the church had a jube, it would seem the Epistles and Gospels were proclaimed from either side.

Quote:The only time I have every personally seen an ornate elevated pulpit in the fashion you describe was at the Shrine of St. Alphonsus in Baltimore (in general one of the most ornate I have been too.) I do like the symbolism of it and think it would be a very cool architectural element to restore to our churches.

I had to look up a picture, but that does look like a cool pulpit.



Quote:What do you think about this pulpit at the abbey of Irsee in Bavaria?

[Image: 5.jpg]

It's hideous. The boat motif itself is cool, but the execution looks like a cake.
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#4
Ah yes, the Saint-Étienne-du-Mont. The façade is quite peculiar.

Another picture of the jube, before the "improvements" of the 60s.
[Image: 800px-St._Etienne-du-Mont%2C_church_inte...France.jpg]
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