The Carmelite Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin

James John Boyce and O. Carm

in The Divine Office in the Latin Middle Ages

Published in print August 2000 | ISBN: 9780195124538
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868421 | DOI:
The Carmelite Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin

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The Carmelite Order accepted the Office of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary into its liturgy in 1393. The Carmelites of Mainz composed new texts for the feast and adapted music from three other Offices — St. Thomas of Canterbury, the Three Marys, and the Nativity of Mary — to the new texts. Differences in textual length and metrical patterns between these Presentation chants and their models forced changes in phrase divisions and melodic contours as part of this process of adaptation, yielding a product that is both musically distinctive and uniquely Carmelite.

Keywords: religious orders; Germany; St. Thomas of Canterbury; Three Marys; Nativity of Mary; Mainz; Marian devotion; Office of the Presentation; melody

Chapter.  9922 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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