Medieval Liturgy Working Group Meeting: Margot Fassler, "The Purification in Northern Europe (800-1300): A Many-Layered Timescape"


Location: Hesburgh Library 715J AND Zoom (View on

Margot E. Fassler (Keough-Hesburgh Professor Emerita of Music History and Liturgy, University of Notre Dame) will be presenting a talk entitled, "The Purification in Northern Europe (800-1300): A Many-Layered Timescape"

Abstract: Much of the scholarship on the Feast of the Purification in the West has concentrated on the very earliest periods when the celebration moved from East to West and was first established in Rome in the seventh century. It has long been recognized that there are significantly more layers to add from study of the sources in the West, including much recent scholarship and new tools for working with the sources, many of which are now online. In this overview, I begin with the establishment and development of the Feast of the Purification in the West during the ninth and tenth centuries. Here I will look especially at the texts and themes that developed in the Mass chant texts and the ways they were contextualized through some sung commentaries in the tenth century, with focus on representative liturgical developments in the Benedictine Abbey of St. Gallen. In the second part of the essay, I shift attention to the Divine Office, using Parisian sources from several institutions as examples, and examining both liturgical texts and readings, most of which were inherited from earlier periods. I will also continue to study the Purification liturgy through examination of new sequences and commentaries upon the feast written in Paris, especially among reformed and new religious orders, in this case the Victorines and the Dominicans.

Zoom link

Please contact Kristina Kummerer if you have any questions about this event.