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Before we pass on,
purpose first briefly to discuss what the meaning is of the term “ Use." Upon this question, the chief difficulty seems to be, how far, or if at all, we are to include the varieties also which unquestionably existed of music and chanting? How much of ceremonies and rites, besides the bare words and order of the prayers, ought to be included, is another question and rests upon very different grounds : but when we speak of the Use of the Church of Salisbury, or of the Church of York, or Hereford, not only need we not include the chants and music, but rather, if we wish to be precise, altogether exclude the consideration of them.
It has been said, upon the other hand, by writers who take a different view, that the primary bearing of the passage from the Preface to the Common Prayer Book, before quoted “Whereas heretofore, &c.” is “ with reference only to the various uses of plain-tune in the several Cathedral choirs,” and it has been doubted “whether there ever was a Lincoln Use in any other sense than a different mode and practice of chanting.
But when we take up a missal according to the. Use of Sarum, and another of Hereford, and a third of York or Bangor: or again a breviary or a manual of Salisbury or York, and compare them, we find most important and numerous variations. The notation may or may not be contained in them ; very often of some portions it is, but subordinate, and may or may not differ also ; and in many service books, the Horæ for example, is almost always omitted. And, as I have just said, there are numberless variations, which constitute the Use, and distinguish the Offices of one Church from those of another, viz. different prayers : different arrangements of them : different ceremonies to be observed in the administration of the Sacraments : and whether a particular diocese of England anciently adopted the Use of Sarum or the Use of Hereford, would depend upon the acceptance of its manual and missal, and other service books, and have
no necessary reference to its mode of intonation. The diocese of Ely, for example, might observe the Use of the Church of Sarum, and nevertheless adopt the music, allowing, that is, that there were material differences, of the Church of York. Or it might retain some parts of each, with other intonations proper to itself: all which would have no influence upon the Use adopted by the Church of Ely. But if, upon the other hand, a part of the Offices of Sarum, and a part of Hereford, and a part of York, were taken and rearranged, with an observance of this one, and an omission of another; this would constitute a new Use, viz. of the Church of Ely. I do not speak of one or two, and trifling differences; for these might allowably fall under the head of peculiarities.
I do not mean to say that, in an improper and wide sense, we may not include under certain circumstances, the mode of intonation adopted and ordered by any Church, in its Use. Thus, we cannot separate the notation of a noted manual or missal of the Church of Salisbury, from the Use of that Church, at the time when the particular volume, which we may be examining, was written or printed. But the Book would still be the missal or the manual, “secundum usum Sarum, if there was not one musical note contained in it: or at different periods during the 13th and 14th centuries, the music may have varied very materially, and yet the Use of the Church of Salisbury have continued one and the
The references which the rubrics, especially of the manual, frequently make to notation, affect not as it appears to me the question in dispute. Some cite, as a proof that the music must necessarily be included within the meaning of the term “Use," such directions as, “Omnes orationes dicuntur cum Oremus' sub tono prædicto;” or “dicat Sacerdos sub tono consueto ;” or “cum cantu sequenti;” or “dicat Sacerdos orationes sequentes sub tono lectionis ;” or, once more, “dicat in
more præfationis.” But the ecclesiastical tones to which these rubrics refer, either immediately follow, or precede: or they might be, as especially in the case of the “tone of the lection” or “the tone of the Preface,” wellknown and fixed, yet nevertheless not the same tone in every diocese which adhered strictly to the Use of the Church of Sarum or of York. They do not prove that the same music was necessarily to be followed, as were the integral portions of the public offices which made up the “ Use.”
I do not deny therefore that the title “secundum usum Sarum,” or “ad usum ecclesiæ Eboracensis," or “ Herfordensis,” prefixed to a Breviary, or Hymnal, or Psalter, signifies sometimes in the printed books, not the prayers only but the mode of singing authorized at the time in those dioceses; but then such books must be noted : if they do not contain the music (which is not unfrequently the case even of Psalters and Graduals) they would still be, quite as properly and with the title also, “secundum usum,” as the case may be: and this in its proper sense, relating solely to the variety and arrangement of the prayers, hymns, and Psalter, rites and ceremonies.
Some have said that “the Hymnarium, the Psalter, the Gradual, and the Pontifical,” are Choral Books, and noted, and therefore that we cannot exclude music from the notion of the term “Use.” But not to speak of the utter absurdity of calling a Pontifical a choral book, the others did not necessarily contain the notation : and the Psalter, for example, according to the Use of any Church, is entirely independent of the tones which may accompany it. Hence, when printing became general, we find many examples of the Psalter “secundum usum of whatever Church it might be, with the lines ruled for the music, which however is not printed also, but left to be filled in with manuscript. This of course would seldom happen in earlier ages, when the entire volumes were
manuscript : and therefore, affords an additional and not a light proof why we must not argue hastily from such expressions, as “cum tono sequenti,” and “ dicatur hic cantus.” Yet, in the same way, in MSS. we occasionally find the services of festivals of late institution, such as of S. Osmund, or of the Transfiguration, or of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin, fully arranged and determined
" secundum Usum:" but the music not written in, although the proper lines and spaces may be left for it.
And it is in the sense in which I have above explained it, that we find the term Use employed by the ritualists : it will be unnecessary for me to cite more than one example, from Gavantus: who, describing what is meant by the Breviary according to the Use of the Church of Rome, says it is so called, because it contains the Prayers authorized by that Church : and immediately before, in a fuller explanation, he particularizes the Lessons, the Psalms, Hymns, Legends, &c. and the Rubrics by which each day's Office is to be ascertained ; but not one word which has reference to the music.3
It is not improbable that much of the doubt which has been thrown over the term Use, has arisen from the frequent occurrence of the verb canto : “cantare missam secundum usum,” &c. But nothing is more certain than that Canto does not always, especially in the earlier writers, mean to sing in the modern acceptation. To adopt the words of a most eminent writer : “ Cantare missam priscorum phrasi illi dicebantur, qui sine cantu, et privatim celebrabant.” 4 And so again Mabillon, after citing a particular Canon, adds: “Verbum canendo interpretor de privata recitatione, nec aliam interpreta
3 Thesaurus Sacr. Rit. tom. ii. p. 10. Compare Mabillon. Disquisitio de Cursu Gallicano. $. 1.
De Lit. Gall. p. 379.
4 Bona. Rerum Liturg. lib. i.
cap. xiii. 5.
tionem sequentia patiuntur.” Thus an old “ Expositio Missæ,” edited by Cochlæus, says: “Prima autem oratio super corpus Christi futurum, secreta dicitur, et secrete canitur.” Which the margin explains to be “secreta oratio legitur.” And, once more, a passage in the “Defensorium Directorii” of the Church of Sarum, is very much to the point. “Item illa duo verba quæ ponuntur in multis festis, sic: Invitatorium triplex, nihil oneris imponunt sacerdotibus qui dicunt officium suum sine nota : sed solum pertinent ad illos qui cantant officium cum nota.”?
Here the Use whether with or without music would continue equally and perfectly the Use of Sarum ; and no distinction as regards it, either depends upon, or is involved in the addition of a chant.
But there would be no end of accumulating examples of this sort; and if the reader wishes to examine further the whole subject which I have been discussing, I would recommend him, among other books, especially to read the dissertation of Mabillon “De Cursu Gallicano,” to which reference has already been made, and I think he will be satisfied that music does not form, except in an extended and improper sense, any part of what we ought to understand by the term “ Use” of a Church.
One word also, before I pass on, upon the expression in the passage in the Preface to the Common Prayer Book; "the great diversity in saying and singing,” and "now from henceforth all the whole Realm shall have but one Use.” It is possible that the reformers, among their multiplicity of plans, did intend to enforce an uniformity in singing also throughout the realm : but, what
6 Speculum Ant. Devotionis. p.
5 De Cursu Gallicano. §. 46. Gerbert de Musica, tom. i. p. 326. cites the same canon, and explains it “de privata horarum canonicarum recitatione." See also p. 355. 559. &c.
7 Monumenta Ritualia. vol. i.
p. 344. The reader will there find the whole of that important treatise.