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les Enluminures

Processional (without musical notation), with and Responsories for the Dead

In Latin and Spanish, illuminated manuscript on parchment
Spain (Seville?), after 1521, c. 1530

TM 769

56 folios on parchment, modern foliation in pencil, top outer recto, 1-56 (collation, i-vi8 vii6 viii2), parchment ruled very faintly in lead, prickings visible in upper, lower, and outer margins, decorative ruling in brown ink with full-length double vertical and horizontal bounding lines added after the text was copied (justification, 129-130 x 81-82 mm.), text written in very dark brown ink in large, formal Iberian Gothic bookhands in 8 lines a page by two scribes: scribe one, ff. 1-54v, in a fine praescissus script with decorative hairlines, scribe two, ff. 54v-56, in a slightly less ornamented script with less precisely finished minims, some guide letters visible for initials (ff. 27, 29v, 52, 53), red rubrics, calligraphic majuscules in text, one two-line plain red initial (f. 55v), one three-line red calligraphic initial (f. 1), TWENTY-FOUR ILLUMINATED INITIALS of two lines (ff. 4, 5v, 7, 8, 9, 11v, 14, 16v, 19, 23, 26v, 27, 29v, 31, 34, 35, 40, 42, 43, 45, 46v, 48v, 50, 52) on colored grounds with penwork decoration (described in detail below), SEVEN ILLUMINATED INITIALS of three lines (ff. 2, 25v, 29, 32v, 36v, 38v, 53) on colored grounds with penwork decoration WITH HALF BORDERS (described in detail below), interlinear additions in light brown ink in a humanistic hand faintly visible despite apparent later efforts to efface them (ff. 1v, 13v, 28, 44), correction in light brown ink (f. 19), letters clumsily recopied where originals have been smudged or effaced (ff. 21, 47), significant erasures of text on ff. 16v-17, edges slightly cropped, in good condition aside from a small tear along the bottom edge of f. 14, some smudging or rubbing of borders (ff. 2, 25v, 32v, 36v) and initials (ff. 7, 11v, 19, 25v, 26v, 29, 31, 34, 35, 38v, 40, 52, 53) and darkening along the bottoms of some pages, quite possibly from frequent use, and slight staining from damp and/or transfer (ff. 8-9, 11, 12, 26-27, 30v, 33, 35v-36, 37, 39, 41v). Bound in late nineteenth-century white vellum flecked with red over pasteboards with three bands, paper pastedowns, some splitting between the text block and boards but the binding is sound in other respects. Dimensions 170-172 x 122 mm.

This is a beautiful, deluxe Processional with a substantial program of rich illuminations. Its large script and expansive use of space (there are only a few words per page) are notable, as is the lack of musical notation. Its contents bear textual witness to processional practices connected to liturgies for the dead in the Cathedral of Seville shortly after its rebuilding in the early sixteenth century. As such, it warrants further scholarly study alongside other manuscripts detailing the Cathedral’s liturgical customs and procedures.


1.The manuscript’s distinctive Iberian monumental script, fusion of Italian and Flemish styles of illumination, and use of Spanish in some of its rubrics all point to its Spanish origins.

Several of these rubrics suggest that the book was produced for use in the Cathedral of Seville. Erected on the site of the previous cathedral, a mosque reconsecrated after Christian forces captured Seville in 1248, the building of this cathedral commenced in 1401 and was completed early in the sixteenth century. The reference in one rubric to the nave of “nuestra señora del antigua” (f. 44v) is particularly suggestive. One of the cathedral’s chapels is dedicated to the image of the Virgin of Antigua, which, according to legend, appeared within the aforementioned mosque to Ferdinand III of Castile while he was engaged in conquering Seville in 1248. A sixteenth-century inventory mentions an altar of “Jesús de la Columna” (Álvarez Márquez, 1992, p. 116), and a later inventory of the cathedral’s tombs, makes repeated reference to an altar of “nuestra seńora de los remedios” and a nave of Saint Sebastian (see Luengo, 2008); all these areas of the cathedral are mentioned in the rubrics.  As discussed in greater detail below, this book’s particular configuration of responsories for the office of the dead also matches that recorded within the cathedral’s Libro de la Regla Vieja, which contains regulations for the performance of the Mass, Divine Office, and other ceremonies at the cathedral.

The inclusion of Pope Leo X (sedit 1513-1521), as well as his predecessor, Julian II (sedit 1503-1513), in the prayers for the dead provides a terminus a quo of 1521 for the manuscript’s production.

2. Bookplate of Josephine Dockar Drysdale on the front pastedown. As of 1882, Dockar-Drysdale resided at Wick Hall, Radley, Berkshire. She was a convert to Roman Catholicism.


ff. 1-7v, Per totum annum ad aspersionem aque, incipit, “V. Ostende nobis domine misericordiam tuam tuam [sic] … . R. Amen”; f. 3, In die resurrectionis tantum, incipit, “V. Surrexit dominus vere. R. Et apparuit symoni halleluia”; f. 3v, In tempore resurrectionis, incipit, “V. In resurrectione tua christe. R.  Celi et terra letentur halleluia …”; f. 5, In dominica infra octauas ascensionis domini, incipit, “V. Ascendens christus in altum. R. Captiuam duxit captiuitatem halleluia …”; f. 6, In die sancto penthecostes, incipit, “V. Spiritus domini repleuit orbem terrarum. R. Et hoc quod continet omnia scientiam habet vocis halleluia … intima aspersione fecundet. Per christum dominum nostrum”;

Versicles, responsories, and prayers for the Asperges (sprinkling the congregation with Holy water before Mass) for the whole year, for Easter, for Eastertide, for Sundays in the Octave of the Ascension, and for Pentecost.

ff. 7v-10, Ad sanctum Sebastianum, incipit, “Oratio. Deus qui meritis beatissimi ac gloriosissimi martyris tui sebastiani … ab omni peste, et tribulatione liberemur. Per christum dominum nostrum”; f. 9, De beata Maria virgine, incipit, “Oratio. Protege domine famulos tuos subsidijs pacis … et periculis redde securos. Per christum dominum nostrum”;

Suffrages to Saint Sebastian and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

ff. 10-24v, In processionibus dominicalibus. In prima statione, incipit, “Responsorium. Qui lazarum resuscitasti a monumento fetidum. P. Tu eis domine dona requiem …”; f. 12v, In secunda statione, incipit, “R. Requiem eternam dona eis domine. P. Et lux perpetua luceat eis …”; f. 14v, In tertia statione, incipit, “R. Libera me domine de vijs inferni qui portas ereas confregisti …”; f. 18, De sancto Sebastiano, incipit, “Antiphona. Beatus es, et bene tibi erit egregie martyr sebastiane …”; f. 20, In iiija statione, incipit, “R. Libera me domine de morte eterna in die illa tremenda. P. Quando celi mouendi sunt et terra … Et famulum tuum pontificem nostrum ab omni aduersitate custodi. Per dominum”;

Processions for Sundays with a prayer to St. Sebastian following the third station; the Responsories, versicles, and prayer are from matins for the dead.

ff. 24v-37v, Quando dicitur Anniuersarium, incipit, “Pater noster. V. Credo videre bona domini. R. In terra viuentium …”; f. 28, Quando se dize missa de Prima por los reyes, incipit, “V. In memoria eterna erant iusti. R. Ab auditione mala non timebunt …”; f. 32, Quando se dize missa de Cofradia, incipit, “ V. In memoria eterna erunt iusti. R. Ab auditionem mala non timebunt …”; ff. 36, En la capilla del Jesu a la columna se diga la oracion siguiente, incipit, “V. Credo videre bona domini. R. In terra viuentium … et sanctorum tuorum iubeas esse consortem. Per dominum”;

Variant versicles, responsories, and prayers for the anniversary of the dead, for dead kings, dead brothers (or members of a confraternity), and concluding with those said at the Chapel of Jesus at the column.

ff. 37v-53, Feria segunda. Quando se haze procession por los diffunctos el primer, incipit, “R. Qui lazarum”; f. 38, A se de dezir por los Reyes en el altar mayor, incipit, “V. A porta inferi. R. Erue domine animas eorum … ”; f. 39, Segunda estacion en la puerta del choro por los Infantes, incipit, “R. Requiem eternam. V. Credo videre bona domini …”; f. 41, Tercera estacion en el choro por los Arçobispos, incipit, “R. Heu mihi. V. Ne tradas bestijs animas confitentes tibi …”; f. 42v, Quarta estacion en saliendo del choro, incipit, “R. Ne recorderis. V. In memoria eterna erant iusti …”; f. 44v, Quinta estacion en la naue de nuestra señora del antigua, incipit, “R. Libera me domine de vijs. V. Audiui vocem de celo dicentem …”; f. 46, Sexta estacion en la naue de nuestra señora de los Remedios, incipit, “R. Peccante [sic] me. V. A porta inferi …; f. 47v, Septima estacion en la naue de sant Seuastian, incipit, “R. Memento mei. V. Credo videre bona domini …;” f. 49v, Octaua estacion en el cruzero, incipit, “R. Libera me domine. V. Ne tradas bestijs animas confitentes tibi …”; f. 51v, Nona estacion, incipit, “Psalmus. Miserere mei deus. A la puerta del choro. V. A porta inferi … pijs supplicationibus consequantur. Qui viuis, et regna”;

Processions for the dead, with responsories, versicles, and prayers from the Office of the Dead; The initial responsories for the first seven of these nine stations are R 72, R 82, R 32, R 57, R 40, R 68, and R 46 (Ottosen, 1993, pp. 398-400). The initial responsory for the eighth station is abbreviated; it could be R 38, R 40, or R 42. No initial responsory is listed for the ninth station. These can be compared with the responses Ottosen has consistently identified in manuscripts originating in Spain: R 14, R 72, R 82, R 32, R 57, R 40, R 68, R 46, and R 38 (Ottosen, 1993, p. 170). Ottosen makes no mention of instances in which the sequence is abbreviated as it is here, but this abbreviated sequence accords with one recorded in Seville Cathedral’s Regla Vieja, Archivo de la Catedral de Sevilla, Fondo Capitular, Sección III, libro 1, which also begins with R 72 rather than R 14 (Ruiz Jiménez, “Libro de la Regla Vieja” 269; see also Ruiz Jiménez, La librería 282-83).

The rubrics here trace the path of the procession from the high altar, to the entrance to the choir, into the choir, out of the choir, to three successive locations in the nave, to the transept, and back to the entrance of the choir.

ff. 53-56, Pro Julio ijo et Leone xo oratio, incipit, “ Deus qui inter summos sacerdotes famulos tuos Julium secundum et Leonem decimum inefabili tua dispositione connumerari voluisti …”; f. 54v, incipit, “Pater noster. V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem. R. Sed libera. V. Sacerdotes tui induantur Justitiam … vt eorum quoque perpetuo aggregetur consortio. Per christum”; [f. 56v, ruled but blank].

Prayer for dead clergy on behalf of Popes Julius II (sedit 1503-1513) and Leo X (sedit 1513-1521). The second scribe has added versicles, responsories, and prayers that seem to be intended for their commemoration.

This is a book designed for personal use, but in a communal setting, specifically in church, with texts for liturgical processions. The small size of this book, along with the largeness of its script, would suit it for use in connection with these processions, since it could easily be carried and read by an individual participating in them.  This is however an idiosyncratic manuscript. In particular, its lacks of musical notation is highly unusual.  In all appearances complete, this volume only contains texts for a small selection of the processions likely to take place within the cathedral over the course of the entire year.

The contents here focus on processions for the dead, and this manuscript may be an occasion-specific supplement to the cathedral’s regular processionals, several of which still reside in the Bibliotheca Colombina of the Cathedral of Seville (see Janini, 1977). A contemporary Spanish processional, University of Sydney, MS Fisher RB Add. 358, sheds some light on why a manuscript such as this one would have been necessary: the Sydney Processional completely omits any chants appropriate to liturgies for the dead, prompting one scholar to surmise the existence of a specific, complementary book dedicated to this purpose (see Boyce, 2011, p. 41).

Canons and ecclesiastical and political dignitaries, some categories of whom are mentioned within this book’s rubrics, would have been buried within Seville’s cathedral, thus rendering the contents of this manuscript essential to the cathedral’s liturgies for the dead. Several of the cathedral’s inventories refer to processionals for the dead, with two – Archivo de la Catedral de Sevilla, Sección IV de Fabricá, numbers 397 and 398 (1588-1595) – recording “vn libro de quarto de pliego, ques de pergamino con sus tablas cubiertas de cuero negro, ques prinçipalmente para la proçesión de los difuntos de Todos Santos y del orden que en la mesma proçesión se ha de guardar” (Alvárez Márquez, 1992, pp. 105-106, 137).  Mention elsewhere in the cathedral records of the acquisition in the 1560s of a little illuminated book “para los prestes para las procesiones” may pertain to the same manuscript (Alvárez Márquez, 1992, p. 137). Though these references may not describe this manuscript specifically – certainly, the longer description appears to describe a slightly larger book – they do indicate the cathedral’s ownership of liturgical books similar to this one.

It seems most likely that this elegant manuscript was made for the use of a canon or confraternity member from a wealthy background. Though the manuscript’s rich materials, high level of execution, and ample and lovely illuminations suggest that it was an expensive production, possibly not for routine use, there are still signs that it was used. A neat humanistic hand has made slight interlinear expansions and adjustments of the text that would have contributed to the book’s utility, particularly for a user who might not have committed these texts and their order to memory. It is possible that these are scribal emendations (there appears to be an insertion mark in the ink and style of the scribe that correlates with the interlinear addition on f. 44), but these may also reflect an early owner’s adaptations of the manuscript. The darkening and wear at the bottoms a number of the pages also suggest that this book was well-thumbed over a sustained period, particularly in the section dedicated to Sunday processions for the dead.


Two styles of illumination predominate in this manuscript. In general, the illuminated initials display motifs – including masks, vases, columns, dolphins, and a putto – typical of contemporary Italian manuscript decoration while the majority of the borders are scattered with naturalistic flowers, strawberries, and animals and modeled on contemporary Flemish practice. Despite the differences in style, there is evidence that the same artist, or artists, worked on both initials and borders. Many of the naturalistic flowers painted in the initials resemble those strewn in the borders and the putto in the initial on f. 53 closely resembles that painted in the border on f. 38, particularly in the execution of his wings. The border on f. 25v has been decorated in a style closer to that of the initials, with trompe l’oeil garlands of pearls and jewels and acanthus sprigs on a colored ground.

A similar fusion of Italian and Flemish styles at a similarly high level of execution appears in the Spanish processional mentioned above, University of Sydney, MS Fisher RB Add. 358, dated to the second third of the sixteenth century (Nelson and Muntada Torrellas, 2011, p.115). This manuscript’s elaborately decorated opening folio (f. 1v) contains both a border and an initial quite similar to those in this manuscript. Nelson and Muntada Torrellas liken this manuscript’s strewn border to the work of Toledan illuminators influenced by the Ghent and Bruges schools of illumination and active in the first half of the sixteenth century (p. 115). The seven-volume Misal Rico de Cisneros (Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MSS 1540-1546), produced between 1504 and 1519, exemplifies this Hispano-Flemish fusion along with the Italian influence present in the work of these Toledan illuminators (Muntada Torrellas, 2011, p. 85).

There are seven two-sided borders accompanying the three-line illuminated initials (ff. 2, 25v, 29, 32v, 36v, 38v, 53). Aside from the border on f. 25v (see above), these borders are filled with strewn flowers, strawberries (ff. 2, 38v), peacocks (ff. 2, 32v), butterflies (ff. 32v, 36v, 38v), a snail (f. 53), and putti (ff. 36v, 38v), one of which holds aloft a basket of flowers (f. 36v). Most of them are on gold grounds (ff. 2, 32v, 36v, 38v) though two are on red grounds with gold decoration (ff. 29, 53).

Both the three-line initials (see above) and the twenty-four two-line illuminated initials are variously formed of acanthus, zoomorphic figures (predominantly, but not exclusively, dolphins), faces, and columns on colored grounds with delicate penwork decoration in white and gold. Masks, mirrors, and bunches of fruit hang suspended from some of these initials, and vases, naturalistic flowers, and a stork-like bird variously appear on or around others.


Álvarez Márquez, Ma Carmen. El mundo del libro en la iglesia catedral de Sevilla en el siglo XVI, Seville, 1992.

Bailey, Terence. The Processions of Sarum and the Western Church, Toronto, 1971.

Boyce, James. “University of Sydney, Fisher Rare Book Additional Manuscript 358: Content and Context”, Cathedral, City and Cloister: Essays on Manuscripts, Music and Art in Old and New Worlds, ed. Kathleen Nelson, Ottawa, 2011, 39-53.

Gy, Pierre-Marie. “Collectaire, rituel, processionnal”, Revue des sciences philosophiques et theologiques 44, 1960, 441-69.

Hardie, Jane Morlet. “Spanish Liturgical Music Manuscripts at the University of Sydney: A Preliminary Report”, Fontes Artes Musicae 55 (2008), pp. 205-22.

Hughes, Andrew. Medieval Manuscripts for Mass and Office: A Guide to Their Organization and Terminology, Toronto, 1982.

Huglo, Michel. Les manuscrits du processionnal, Vol. 1: Autriche à Espagne, Munich, 1999.

Janini, Jose. Manuscritos liturgicos de las bibliotecas de España, Vol. 1: Castilla y Navarra, Burgos, 1977.

Luengo, Juan José Antequera. Memorias Sepulcrales de la Catedral de Sevilla: Los Manuscritos de Loaysa y González de León, Seville, 2008.

Muntada Torrellas, Anna. “Misal Rico de Cisneros”, Biblioteca Nacional de España: 300 años haciendo historia, ed. José Manuel Lucía Megías, Madrid, 2011, 82-85.

Nelson, Kathleen E. and Anna Muntada Torrellas. “Processional: Use of Rome” The Medieval Imagination: Illuminated Manuscripts from Cambridge, Australia and New Zealand, ed. Bronwyn Stocks and Nigel Morgan, Melbourne, 2008, 114-15: no. 37.

Ottosen, Knud. The Responsories and Versicles of the Latin Office of the Dead, Aarhus, 1993.

Palazzo, Eric. A History of Liturgical Books from the Beginning to the Thirteenth Century, trans. Madeleine Beaumont, Collegeville, 1998.

Ruiz Jiménez, Juan. La librería de canto órgano: creación y pervivencia del repertorio del Renacimiento en la actividad musical de la Catedral de Sevilla, Seville, 2007.

Ruiz Jiménez, Juan. “The Libro de la Regla Vieja of the Cathedral of Seville as a Musicological Source”, Cathedral, City and Cloister: Essays on Manuscripts, Music and Art in Old and New Worlds, ed. Kathleen Nelson, Ottawa, 2011, pp. 245-73.

van Dijk, S.J.P., ed. Sources of the Modern Roman Liturgy: The Ordinals of Haymo of Faversham and Related Documents, 1243-1307, 2 vols., Leiden, 1963.

Wagstaff, Grayson. “The Big Sombrero, Dead Professors, and Chant Sources: Aspects of Salamantine Tradition”, Cathedral, City and Cloister: Essays on Manuscripts, Music and Art in Old and New Worlds, ed. Kathleen Nelson, Ottawa, 2011, 135-53.

Online resources

Gunhouse, Glenn, ed. Office for the Dead in Latin and English,

Halsall, Paul, ed. Mass of the Roman Rite in Latin and English, Medieval Sourcebook, Fordham University, 1996

Piacenza, Pietro. “Masses of Requiem”, The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 12, New York, 1911

Thurston, Herbert. “Processions”, The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 12, New York, 1911

Introduction to liturgical manuscripts: “Celebrating the Liturgy’s Books”