The Responsories of the Ordo representacionis Ade

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The Ordo representacionis Ade begins with a reading from Genesis and contains seven responsoria inserted between dialogues in the vernacular language. Their presence anchors the Ordo in the clerical world and in particular connects it to the matins service, which typically included nine responsoria (in the case of secular religious establishments) or twelve responsoria (for monastic establishments). The challenge of this research was to compare the seven responsoria of the Ordo with those noted in manuscripts connected with different liturgical traditions. In the Middle Ages, the liturgy was far from standardized, each church possessing its own practices which ostensibly distinguished it from others in the choice and ordering of the chants. The manuscripts testify to these important differences.The corpus consists of ninety-four secular and monastic manuscripts. The study of these manuscripts shows the breadth of the diffusion of the seven responsoria of the Ordo, in particular in books riginating in monasteries. In fact, since the matins chanted in monastic establishments consisted of twelve responsoria, the chances of finding the seven responsoria of the Ordo are much greater in books from monastic establishments than in those riginating in secular ones. Given the fact that the Ordo probably hails from a secular church, I focused my research on codices originating from such establishments. Of the seventy-six books originating in secular churches, the seven responsoria are found in fifteen manuscripts from the great urban centers of the north and south of France, notably Coutances, Rouen, and Saintes. These three cities, belonging to regions whose spoken language most closely approximated that noted in the Tours manuscript, might have been source of the copy of the Ordo representacionis Ade.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Jeu d’Adam
Subtitle of host publicationMS Tours 927 and the Provenance of the Play
EditorsChristophe Chaguinian
Place of PublicationKalamazoo
PublisherMedieval Institute Publications
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9781580442664
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Responsories of the Ordo


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