The Notre Dame Diurnal: Discussion and Performance


Location: Special Collections, Hesburgh Library

A group of graduate students from Prof. Margot Fassler’s liturgical prayer course will present a panel discussion and sing representative music from the Notre Dame Diurnal, a 13th-century Carthusian liturgical manuscript that has been the focus of a semester-long research project. The presentation will take place in Special Collections, Hesburgh Library, and the manuscript will be on display.  

Light lunch refreshments will be available.

The event is sponsored by the Master of Sacred Music Program.

A digital copy of the manuscript is available online at:

The Notre Dame Diurnal is a thirteenth-century liturgical manuscript, made in Paris for a house of Carthusians. It is a cantor’s book, and contains the music and readings needed to lead communal song, a psalter, and a calendar. There are many additions in the margins and elsewhere to demonstrate that this was a book of use, an integral part of a particular community’s life of prayer. A team of Notre Dame students has been studying the book, and preparing an index of a substantial portion of it for the CANTUS indexing project.

The Notre Dame book will be the first Carthusian manuscript to be indexed on CANTUS, the first diurnal, and one of only a few manuscripts held in libraries in the U.S. to be represented.

CANTUS is a database of Latin ecclesiastical chant, the earliest written musical repertory of any significant size. The texts are almost all in Latin, and the majority of them are drawn from the Bible, very often from the book of Psalms. There are thousands of individual chants, and they came into existence over a long period, beginning in early Christian times and continuing until as late as the nineteenth century. Virtually all chants have clearly defined liturgical roles that associate them with either the Mass or the Office. For the vast majority of chants, the date of composition is unknown, as is the composer.

ND Diurnal Event Poster