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The Advent ProjectThe Later Seventh-Century Creation of the Roman Mass Proper$
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James McKinnon

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520221987

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520221987.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Advent Project

James Mckinnon

University of California Press

This chapter describes the conditions that were prevalent in the later fourth and earlier fifth centuries. The most dramatic developments of that history took place in the later fourth and earlier fifth centuries, during a period when the Church flourished after its emancipation under Emperor Constantine in 313. The existence of the gradual psalm is not only well established by the end of the fourth century but is cited occasionally during these centuries. The introit and offertory psalms are not cited in either patristic sources or in those of the interim period but are clearly referred to in Ordo romanus I. The one alleluia, Dies sanctificatus, an earlier chant, manifested remarkable melodic stability, and the other, Non vos relinquam, a later chant, displayed considerable variation from source to source. Several layers of comparative stability and instability within the genre were uncovered to establish a chronology for its composition. The communions were chosen for the simple reason that they are short. Virtually all the communions would turn out to be melodically stable, with only obvious exceptions such as the five Lenten gospel communions. The series of twenty-six numerically ordered weekday Lenten communions extends from Ash Wednesday to the Friday before Palm Sunday.

Keywords:   introit, offertory psalms, Ordo romanus I, Dies sanctificatus, communions, Lenten gospel communions

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