Thursday, January 04, 2007

Parsing the Cycle of Mohawk Propers

For the last few weeks I've been delving into the "Book of Seven Nations" trying to figure out how the Mohawk propers fit together over the liturgical year. These aren't exactly true propers--they are Mohawk texts that were sung by the choir at the places where the schola would normally be chanting the Latin propers (i.e. the Introit, Gradual/Tract/Sequence, Offertory, Communion). Some of these are just translations of key Latin propers (e.g., Terribilis Est), but others are chants from the Divine Office, and still others are various motets and hymns in Mohawk or Algonquin.

I think I've got things mostly figured out before the Gospel: namely, the Introit and the hymns that replace the Gradual & Tract. But the post-Gospel cycle is proving more difficult. There are sometimes indications like "Offertory", "At the elevation"", "During the Last Gospel", but only occasionally. Currently I'm trying to figure out what goes where when 4-5 hymns are listed after the Gospel.

Puzzling. Fun, but puzzling!

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