Monday, February 19, 2018

No Sex Capparum For Lent

Here's a somewhat quick design for the celebration of a Solemnity which we call Sex Capparum on account of requiring six cantors vested in copes (cappae in late Latin).

Sex Capparum is the the term used for the triple celebrations in the Gothispanic and early Mozarabic Rite, which is forbidden throughout Lent even if it were the feast of your Patron Saint.   

It entails the decoration of all "three choirs" (the area of the altar, the area of the quire, and the area of the nave) with wall hangings, carpets, flowers, greenery and whatever else is customary.

The triple choir refers also to the the fact that "one choir" means a pair of choristers where one faces north and the other south at the quire of the church.  Alternatively, one simple choir is required for the Memoriae II Capparum (Simple Feasts) and the two pairs required for the Festa IIII Capparum (our Double Feats).

The three pairs of choristers that face each other from the north and south will sing the complex melodies of the celebration of a Solemnia VI Capparum.

These six members of the chapel who vest in copes for the celebration of the Hours and Mass of the greatest feats, are in charge of the melismatic singing peculiar to the Gothispanic and Early Mozarabic Rite,  known as Eugenian or Melodic Chant.

The difference between our Eugenian Chant and  Gregorian Chant (as coined in the  Roman Rite) is the profusion of melesmas or florid adornment during sung vowels.  In Gregorian Chant one sings many syllables on one note, whereas we sing many notes for each syllable.


The image, besides the places of the six Caperos that constitute the triple choir,  shows the relative positions of the Lector, Subdeacon, and Deacon for their respective readings.

The celebrant seats "ante altare" since the curtains to the altar are open from the beginning of vespers which is the start of the Liturgical Day on account of the mass not being a Feria.

This allows the deacon to occupy the principal tribune (aka pulpitum in Latin or chaire in French)  near the altar which is where the celebrant seats when the altar remains veiled on the Feriae until the Sacrificium (which is the equivalent of the roman Offertory).

This is all part of an introductory text on the Gothispanic and Early Mozarabic Rites in the works, whose aim is explaining some of the particular liturgical practices which have not filtered through the Cisnerian reforms of the sixteenth century to become what scholars have reconstructed into the Hispano-Mozarabic Rite.

We already spoke about the importance of architecture in the liturgy designed by Saint Isidore (patron saint of the internet! yes..) and the other bishops of Spain from the 6th thru 11th centuries here.

Along with this, we are preparing another introductory text on Eugenian Chant with a key which we hope will help the music scholars decipher our apparently elusive neumes.

As now it is Lent, all altars remain veiled, no melodic singing, organum or for that reason, choirs vested in copes are allowed.  No Gloria, no Allelujas, no carpets, no flowers, no bema-tribune with icons or statues in medio choro nor days in which the curtains of the altar remain open for longer than the duration of the mass (other than Sundays).  None of this shall be again until the Vigil of Easter - when instead of the Newborn Jesus (of the image here), the Pascal Candle (or sometimes with it the baptismal font) will be center-stage. 

All time of preparation is in faith of a Resurrection if we have faith, is it not?

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More concrete details to follow soon.

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