14 August 2009
The Fate of the Sequence
They blossomed in the Middle Ages but Rome severely clipped them at Trent and left only a handful - these sequence hymns that fall between the epistle and the gospel at mass - but the Lutherans manifestly did NOT clip them. A look through Lossius or Magdeburg Book shows how many Sundays and feast days had one. They remained a huge piece of the liturgy for us for some time. And now they've all but vanished, and we're left with even less than Rome saved at Trent. I wonder what gives with that? Was it just that they never bothered to translate them, and so when the Latin and the beautiful Gregorian chant was finally set aside, the sequences were lost? What a pity, if so.
Posted by William Weedon at 3:18 PM