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Anthem  

John Harper, Peter Le Huray, Ralph T. Daniel and John Ogasapian

A choral setting of a religious or moral text in English, generally designed for liturgical performance. See also National anthems .

John Harper

In the Middle Ages the term derived from and was synonymous with Antiphon . After the Reformation the term denotes a polyphonic setting of a sacred English text, normally sung by the choir after the collects at Matins and Evensong; the text is freely chosen, most often from the Bible (especially the psalms) or from the Book of Common Prayer. The connection between Latin antiphon sung within the Office and English anthem sung as an appendage to Matins or Evensong is found in the Commemoration, Memoiral or Suffrage in which the antiphon was the most important musical element. In the medieval liturgy a Commemoration, Memorial or Suffrage was often appended to the main Office (e.g. Lauds or Vespers); this observance normally consisted of Benedictus or Magnificat antiphon, versicle and response, and collect – effectively a truncated Office commemorating an intention additional to the main Office (e.g. the saints, the dead, or a saint remembered on that day but not taking precedence in the main Office; see ...

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Michel Huglo and Joan Halmo

In Latin Christian chant generally, a liturgical chant with a prose text, sung in association with a psalm. In Gregorian psalmody, for example, psalms and canticles are usually preceded and followed by a single antiphon, and the psalm tone used for the recitation of the psalm itself is often musically incomplete without the antiphon. Antiphons of this kind may be regarded as typical and are represented above all by the Gregorian antiphons to the psalms of Matins, Lauds and Vespers in the Divine Office. There are also other categories of antiphon, some of which may lack psalmody or have versified texts.

The antiphon and responsory are the two musical genres with Latin prose texts that occur in all the Western liturgies and are the most abundant within the chant repertory. A given medieval Office source might have as many as 1500 antiphons, and even up to 2000; such a large number could occur in a monastic usage, whereas the secular (or canons') repertory would generally have fewer (see §4 below)....

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Michel Huglo

revised by David Hiley

[antiphonal, antiphonary] (from Lat. antiphona; antiphonarius [liber], antiphonarium, antiphonale)

Liturgical book of the Western Church containing the antiphons and other choir chants sung at the services of the Divine Office .

Although the word antiphona as a term for a liturgical chant can be traced back to the 3rd century, the term antiphonarius (rarely also antiphonale – see below) for a book of chants first appears in the 8th century. In his Dialogus ecclesiasticae institutionis Archbishop Egbert of York (d 766) refers to an ‘antiphonarium’ and even ‘antiphonaria’ of Gregory the Great (d 604), which he had seen in Rome in the 730s ( PL , lxxxix, 440–42). The term was also used in Carolingian library catalogues from the end of the 8th century:Catalogue from St Wandrille de Fontenelle in Normandy, compiled between 787 and 806 (‘antiphonarii romanae ecclesiae’; G. Becker: Catalogi bibliothecarum antiqui, Bonn, 1885/R, §4, no.21);Catalogue from St Riquier in Picardy, in 831 (‘antiphonarii sex’: ibid., §11, no.238);Catalogue from Cologne, in the 9th century (ibid., §16, nos.7, 18, 33);Catalogue from St Gallen in the mid-9th century (‘antiphonarii III et veteres II’; ...

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(Lat.: ‘Hail Mary’)

A prayer of the Roman rite. It consists of the words of the Archangel Gabriel (Luke i.28), the words of Elizabeth (Luke i.42) and a formula of petition appended in the 15th century; the present wording was adopted in the 16th century for general liturgical use (LU, 1861). The first segment of the text is used as an antiphon for the Feast of the Annunciation with a 10th-century melody (LU, 1416). Moreover, as an Offertory antiphon it occurs once with the above-mentioned text and a modern melody (LU, 1318) and once with both biblical portions of the text and a medieval melody (LU, 355). A considerable number of polyphonic settings, often with textual variants and only loosely based on the chant melody, survive by Renaissance composers, including De Orto, Josquin, Parsons, Willaert and Victoria, and there are Ave Maria masses by La Rue, Morales and Palestrina. Giacomo Fogliano set the complete text as a simple four-voice ...

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John Caldwell

(Lat.: ‘Hail Queen of Heaven’)

One of the four Marian antiphons retained at the Council of Trent and ordered to be sung at the end of Compline from the Purification (2 February) until Wednesday in Holy Week. Its original role in the liturgy appears to have been to precede and follow the chanting of a psalm. Of the two melodies in the Liber usualis the more elaborate (p.274) is certainly the older. Pre-tridentine sources have a slightly different text. Du Fay’s four-voice setting, which he requested be sung at his deathbed, uses the chant melody as a cantus firmus in the tenor, with sections of the chant paraphrased in the upper two voices; the traditional text is troped with a personal supplication for mercy: ‘Miserere tui labentis Du Fay’. Two other settings by Du Fay survive, both for three voices, and a Missa ‘Ave regina celorum’, related to the four-part work. Josquin wrote a celebrated work setting both this text and that of ...

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John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

In 

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Anne Walters Robertson

A versicle sung at the end of all canonical hours except Matins, at the close of Mass in place of the Ite missa est in penitential seasons, and following the commemorations after Vespers and Lauds. It was performed by a soloist (or group of soloists), and its choral response, ‘Deo gratias’, was set to the same music.

The Benedicamus seems to have emerged as a distinct portion of the liturgy in Carolingian Francia. A late 8th-century customary, Memoriale qualiter, shows that the versicle served as the closing sentence for meal times (Hallinger, 1963), and liturgical commentator Amalarius of Metz in his early 9th-century discussion of the Offices (see Hanssens) treats it as commonplace.

The earliest melodies for the monophonic Benedicamus are scattered among patristic manuscripts from the late 10th century; later the tunes appear in more organized fashion in tropers, prosers and graduals. By the 13th century the number of collections devoted to the ...

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John Caldwell and Joseph Dyer

[Canticle of the Three Children, Song of the Three Young Men]

One of the biblical canticles (‘Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord’) sung in Eastern and Western liturgies. The canticle was known in the medieval West as ‘benedictiones’ because of the constant repetition of the exhortation ‘benedicite’ (‘bless’). The text is a Greek interpolation in the third chapter of the book of Daniel (Apocrypha), which narrates the story of the miraculous survival of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace prepared as a punishment for their refusal to worship the golden image of King Nebuchadnezzar. (The Vulgate equivalents of their Hebrew names are Ananias, Mishael and Azarias; see Daniel i.6–7.) The interpolation includes the prayer of Azarias (iii.26–45), beginning (in its Latin version) ‘Benedictus es Domine Deus patrum nostrorum … qui iustus es’ and the song of the Young Men, divided into two sections (iii.52–6 and 57–90), beginning ‘Benedictus es Domine Deus patrum nostrorum … et benedictum nomen’ and ‘Benedicite omnia opera’ respectively. The latter calls upon all creation to bless the Lord, an exhortation answered by the refrain ‘laudate et superexaltate eum in saecula’ (‘praise and exalt him forever’). For Western liturgical use ‘laudate’ was replaced by ‘hymnum dicite’....

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[Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament](from Lat. benedictio: ‘blessing’)

In the Roman rite, a ceremony comprising the exposition and veneration of the Sacred Host, the singing of hymns and a blessing of the faithful with the Host. It is not part of the Mass in the strict sense. Benediction probably developed from the new devotion to the Sacrament that appeared in the Latin West from the 12th century, reflected in innovations such as the Elevation within Mass and the processions carrying the Sacrament on the feast of Corpus Christi (instituted 1264). Hildebrand, Benedictine abbot at Hildesheim, issued instructions in 1301 that the faithful were to be blessed with the Host at a station during the Corpus Christi procession while the choir sang the antiphon O admirabile commercium (Browe, 74, n.9, cited also in Righetti, 613); there is further evidence of Benediction in northern Europe in the 14th century, but not in Italy until much later.

Benediction developed as an evening devotion, not necessarily allied to Corpus Christi, and it was further emphasized as a counterblast to the Reformers’ denial of the doctrine of transubstantiation; nevertheless, the service was not recognized by the Roman Church as a true liturgical action until ...

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Richard Sherr

(Lat.: ‘blessed’)

Part of the Sanctus after the first Hosanna, consisting of the sentence ‘Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini’ followed by a repeat of the Hosanna. It is an adaptation of a quotation from Matthew xxi.9: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’ which is itself an adaptation of Psalm cxviii.26. It is found in the Roman liturgy from the 7th century, and may have been added to the Roman Sanctus, together with the two Hosannas, through Gallican influence. It was also sung in various oriental rites and is attested in the Jewish Pesaḥ (Passover) ritual.

In the Roman Mass, the Benedictus was until recently separated from the Sanctus by the consecration (a procedure outlined in the Caeremoniale episcoporum of 1600). According to Jungmann (Missarum sollemnia, ii, 137) this was ‘obviously an attempt to accommodate to the canon a polyphonic style of song wherein the richer melody of the Sanctus … stretches out to the consecration, while the Benedictus, along with the second Hosanna, fills out the rest of the canon’. Wagner and others also attributed the practice to the influence of polyphony, and certainly the Benedictus has usually appeared as a separate section in polyphonic masses since the Middle Ages. (...

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John Caldwell and Joseph Dyer

(Lat.: ‘blessed’)

The first word of the canticle of Zechariah (Zachary), ‘Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel’ (Luke i.68–79), sung towards the end of the Office of Lauds in most Latin rites, after the 9th ōdē of the kanōn in the Byzantine morning Office of Orthros (it replaces this ōdē during Eastertide), and before the Nicene Creed at Anglican Matins. It is also the first word of the canticle of David, ‘Benedictus es, Domine Deus Israel patris nostri’ (1 Chronicles xxix.10b–13), the festal canticle sung to the ordinary Office psalmody at Monday Lauds in the Roman monastic and secular Office.

The original assignment of the canticle of Zechariah to Lauds was presumably prompted by the words: ‘the day-spring from on high hath visited us to give light to them that sit in darkness’. Benedict of Nursia referred to the canticle as the ‘canticum de evangelia’, and his earlier contemporary, known only as the ‘Master’, called it simply ‘evangelia’. In the Gregorian (though not the Old Roman) repertory, a special psalmody in each of the modes and with ornate intonations and cadences is reserved for the singing of the ...