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les Enluminures

Processional (Carmelite?); Tonary

In Latin, decorated manuscript on paper with musical notation
Spain, c. 1480-1540, with later additions

TM 931

i (paper) + 32 + i (paper) folios on paper, unidentified watermark, a crown(?) with a quatrefoil above, modern foliation in pencil top outer corner recto, complete (collation i-iv8), decorated horizontal catchwords lower inner margin, horizontal rules in ink (black for text, red for music), full-length vertical bounding lines in lead (justification 175 x 122 mm.), written in a gothic bookhand with six lines of text and music, square notation on red four-line staves on every page, ff. 29-30 written in a second hand, ff. 30v-32v (concluding on the back flyleaf) in an awkward humanistic script added by a later hand but also with four-line red staves with black square musical notation, f. 28v, added white mensural notation on two five-line staves, red rubrics, five 7-line penwork initials in red and blue filled with intricate flourishes and foliate designs, 2- to 1-line alternately red and blue initials, a few with pen decoration in the opposite color, f. 8, partially detached, f. 24 detached and loose, a number of leaves mounted on small paper guards or protected by them (see ff. 1v-2, 16v-17, and 33v-end flyleaf where text and notation lost under guard has been re-written on the guard itself), significant foxing and staining throughout with occasional ink bleed and bleed-through, minor holes and scuffs, overall fragile condition. Bound in seventeenth-century (?) brown leather over pasteboard, tooled in blind with multiple fillets forming an outer and inner border and then gold-tooled with narrow outer and inner borders of double filets infilled with small dots framing a rectangular center panel with a center ornament and fleurons at the corners, lettered on the upper and lower board, “DTSP,” spine with four raised bands decorated with five gold fleurons, gilt edges, traces of two fore-edge metal and leather clasps on upper and lower boards, now missing, once fastened front to back, top of spine damaged, covers slightly bowed, some worming, wear and scuffing to upper and lower boards. Dimensions 230 x 168 mm.

Carmelite Processionals are uncommon (only four are included in the standard reference work on the subject by Huglo), and this manuscript is a rare survival, of importance for liturgical scholars and musicologists.  Now in fragile condition, the pen initials and later gold-tooled binding are evidence that this personal volume of musical texts for liturgical processions was once the treasured possession of a medieval nun. The different types of musical notation recorded here add to its interest.


1. Copied in Spain in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century based on script, decoration, text, and, occasionally, orthography (the inclusion of a procession for Corpus Christi suggests a date no earlier than the last part of the fifteenth century), with additional texts and marginal annotations added later. Although there are references within the text to the abbot, references to the abbess and the sisters demonstrate this was made for a house of nuns (presumably copied from an exemplar with masculine forms, with the terminology appropriate for a female community only partially introduced).  The second major section of the manuscript (ff. 29-30) is an excerpt from a Carmelite votive office to the Blessed Virgin Mary, including a section on the “Sorrows of Mary,” and it seems very likely that this Processional was copied for use in a Carmelite convent.

2. Additions and modifications to this manuscript demonstrate its continued use, including a few brief marginal notes in a seventeenth- or eighteenth-century hand; a short variation on the Magnificat added on f. 28v in white mensural notation; and the concluding section, added in the seventeenth century (ff. 31-32v, concluding on the final flyleaf.

3. The context for the 17th-century binding remains a matter for further research; the initials “DTSP” may be those of the nun who was using this book when it was rebound.


 ff. 1-4, In purificatione beate Marie quando cantor abbati candellam [sic] accensam optulerit imponat hanc antiphonam, incipit, “Lumen ad reuelationem…”; f. 1v, Ad exitum processionis in prima statione iuxta dormitorium, incipit, “Aue gratia plena…”; f. 2v, In secunda statione iuxta refectorium, incipit, “Adorna thalamum tuum…”; f. 3, In tertia statione iuxta ecclesia sequatur hoc responsorium, incipit, “Responsum accepit symeon…”; f. 4, Ad introitum ecclesie incipiat abbatissa hanc antiphonam, incipit, “Hodie beata uirgo…”;

Procession for the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin (Candlemas).

ff. 4v-9v, Dominica in palmis quando cantor abbati ramum optulerit inponat hanc antiphonam, incipit, “Pueri hebreorum tollentes…”; f. 5, Ad exitum processionis, incipit, “Occurrunt turbe eum…”, f. 5v, In prima statione iuxta dormitorium, incipit, “Collegerunt pontifices et…”; f. 6, Dum hoc versus incipitur procedat conventus ad secundam stationem, incipit, “Unus autem ex ipsis…”; f. 7, Ad hanc repetitonem scilicet “Quod facimus” procedat conventus iuxta ecclesiam …, incipit, “Ave rex noster fili dauid…”; f. 7v, Circia finem euangelii duo frates intrent ecclesiam et ianuis clausis dicant, “Gloria laus …”; f. 8v, Ad introitum ecclesie incipiat abbatissa hoc responsorium, incipit, “Ingrediente domino in sanctam civitatem …”;

Procession for Palm Sunday.

ff. 9v-11v, In parasecue perlecta passione orationibusque dictis solempnibus duo sacerdotes uel diacones albis inducti absque stolis …, incipit, “Popule meus quid feci tibi…”, f. 10, Due sorores ante gradum altaris respondeant, “Agyos o theos…”; … Corus, “Sanctus”;

Instructions for priests, nuns, and chorus for Good Friday.

ff. 11v-12, Qui vel que crucem tenent eam breuiter adorent et post quam dictum est ter “Sanctus” predicti sacerdotes discoperientes Crucem dicant hanc antiphonam “Ecce lignum” hic statim dum hec incipitur conuentus contra veniam petat Abbatissa uero sola uadat ad crucem …, incipit, “Ecce lignum crucis in quo…”;

Instructions, hymns, and antiphons for the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday.

ff. 12-14, In asensione [sic] domini ad exitus processionis in prima statione iuxta dormitorium, incipit, “Uiri galilei quid…”; f. 13, Quando hoc responsorium incipit procedat conventus ad secunda stationem iuxta refectorium, incipit, “Pater essem cum eis…”, f. 13v, In tertia statione dicatur hic versus cum repetitione, incipit, “Pater sancte serva eos…”; Ad introitum ecclesie incipiat abbas hanc antiphona, incipit, “O rex glorie domine virtutum…”;

Procession for the Feast of the Ascension.

ff. 14-17, In festo corporis christi ad exitum processionis in prima statione iuxta dormitorium, incipit, “Eduxit vos dominus in manu forti…”; f. 15, In secunda statione iuxta refectorium sequatur hoc Responsorium, incipit, “Uerbum caro factus est…”; f. 15v, In tertia statione, incipit, “Melchisedech rex salem sacerdos dei altissimi…”; f. 16, Ad introitum ecclesie incipiat abbatissa hanc antiphonam, incipit, “O sacracramentum [sic] pietatis…” ;

Procession for the Feast of Corpus Christi.

ff. 17-19v, In assumptione beate marie ad exitu processionis in prima statione iuxta dormitorium, incipit, “Hodie marie uirgo celos…”; f. 17v, In secunda statione iuxta refectorium, incipit, “Felix namque es sacra uirgo…”; f. 17v, In tertia statione dicatur hic versus cum repetitione, incipit, “Christus deus noster…”; f. 18, Ad introitum ecclesie incipiat abbatissa hanc antiphonam, incipit, “Ascendit christus super celos…”; f. 19, Ad processionem novi abbatis, incipit, “Audi israel precepta…”;

Antiphons and Versicles for the procession for the Feast of the Assumption, including chants for new abbots.

ff. 19v-28v, incipit, “Primi toni in melodias psallas …; f. 28v: “In illo tempore loquent [sic] yesu ad turbas… mulier, etc.”;

Musical instructions and settings including a tonary (ff. 19v-20v), settings for the Magnificat (ff. 20v-21v), the Benedictus dominus (ff. 21v-22v), the Benedicamus dominio (ff. 22v-24), and the Gloria patri (ff. 24-27), and other texts.

f. 28v, [Later addition of two five-staff lines and white mensural notation], incipit, “Et exultauit spiritus meus …”;

ff. 29-30, Responsorium brevium ad tertius in festum BMV de monte Carmelo, incipit, “Sancta dei genitrix…”; f. 29v, Ad Magnificat in prima vesperas in festum dolorum BMV, incipit, “Tuani ipsius animam ait ad…”;

Noted texts from a votive office for the Blessed Virgin Mary for Carmelite use.

ff. 30v-32v [concluding on the back flyleaf]; “patrem omnipotentem creatorem celi et terrae…”;

Later addition; Latin Credo missing its initial lines (“Credo in Deum”).

Processional for Carmelite Use, including processions for the Purification, Palm Sunday, Ascension, Assumption, and Corpus Christi.  The standard reference work describing surviving manuscripts of Processionals (Huglo, 1999 and 2004), lists only four Carmelite Processionals in the index; the texts included in each of these manuscripts vary, and none appear to be related closely to the texts in our manuscript (or indeed, to each other; of these four manuscripts, the Carmelite provenance of one is unclear).  The Carmelite Ordinary of 1312 (Zimmerman, ed., 1910, pp. xviii-xix) specified the observance of four processions, for the Purification, Palm Sunday, Ascension, and Assumption; Zimmerman notes that the Carmelite liturgy added processions for All Souls in 1362, and for Corpus Christi at the end of the fifteenth century.  Although our manuscript lacks a procession for All Souls, its texts are appropriate for Carmelite Use.  Carmelite Processionals do not appear to have been the subject of much study by modern scholars, but it is of interest that the liturgy recorded here seems to be most closely related to Cistercian processional liturgy (Huglo, 1999, Vol. 1, p. 49).  A modern authority on Carmelite liturgy, Father James Boyce mentions Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, MS W.471, a Carmelite Vesperal-Processional, but does not discuss it (Boyce, 1990). 

Processionals include the texts and chants necessary for liturgical processions.  They are of special interest to musicologists, since they sometimes include texts and music not found in other liturgical manuscripts.  Each person within a religious order (friars, monks, or nuns) had his or her own Processional, usually rather small books.  Although Processionals were books used by both men and women religious, many of the surviving examples were made for nuns.  Perhaps the most famous group of Processionals are those from Poissy, a royal foundation for Dominican nuns near Paris.

The Carmelite Order dates back to the twelfth century, when a group of hermits settled on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land. By the thirteenth century the growing order had adopted a mendicant rule and spread to Europe. They received provisional approval by the pope in 1229 and 1247 (confirmed in 1274).  From an early date, there were convents of nuns who considered themselves Carmelite, but there were no official Carmelite sisters until the middle of the fifteenth century, when they were accepted into the order and granted their own constitutions at the urging of the reformist general of the order, Jean Soreth (1394-1471), approved by the bull Cum nulla (1452), by Pope Nicholas V.   There was a Carmelite foundation for women in Florence from 1452; and convents founded in Spain from c. 1457.  It may be helpful to note that the Discalced Carmelite Observance, now a separate Order, dates from the reform movement within Carmel established by St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) in Spain in the 1560s and post-dates this manuscript.


Andrews, Frances.  The Other Friars: The Carmelite, Augustinian, Sack and Pied Friars in the Middle Ages, Woodbridge and Rochester, 2006.

Boyce, James John. “The Medieval Carmelite Office Tradition,” Acta Musicologica 62 (May-Dec., 1990), pp. 119-151.

Harper, John. The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy from the Tenth to the Eighteenth Century: A Historical Introduction for Students and Musicians, Oxford, 1991.

Huglo, Michel. “Processional,” in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 20, London, 2001, pp. 388-393.

Huglo, M. Les manuscrits du Processional, Volume I, Autriche à Espagne, Répertoire international des sources musicales B XIV (1), Munich, 1999.

Huglo, M. Les manuscrits du Processional, Volume II, France à Afrique du Sud, Répertoire international des sources musicales B XIV (2), Munich, 2004.

Kallenberg, Paschalis. Fontes liturgiae carmelitanae; investigatio in decreta, codices et proprium sanctorum. Rome, Institutum Carmelitanum, 1962.

Zimmerman, Benedict. Ordinaire de l'Ordre de Notre-Dame du Mont-Carmel par Sibert de Beka (vers 1312); publié d'aprés le manuscrit original et collationné sur divers manuscrits et imprimés, Paris, 1910.

Online Resources

General introduction to liturgical processions; (New Catholic Encyclopedia, “Processions”)

The Carmelite Order

TM 931