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A Jerusalem chant for the Holy Cross in the Byzantine, Latin and Eastern Rites

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 September 2008

Rosemary Thoonen Dubowchik*
Yale Institute of Sacred Music


In the year 552, a ceremony was held to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of Martha, mother of St Simeon Stylites the Younger. The Vita of St Martha, written by an anonymous monk during the first half of the seventh century, records that the priest Antonio journeyed from Simeon's pillar at Mount Admirabilis, near Antioch, to Jerusalem to obtain a fragment of the cross. When Antonio returned to Mount Admirabilis, ‘a great crowd of men and women gathered in the grace of God, with candles and torches, to hold the service in her memory: and having kept a vigil all night, when in the early morning the living cross was displayed, all who were gathered worshipped, crying out with hymns: We adore your cross, Lord, and we glorify your holy resurrection.’

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1996

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An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Sixtieth Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 28 October 1994.


1 συνῆλθον τῆ τοῦ Θεοῦ χάϱιτι ἀνδϱῶν τε ϰαὶ λυναιϰῶν ποήθη πολλά, μετά ϰηϱῶν τε ϰαὶ λαμπάδων, ὤστε τὴν τῆς μνείας ἐπιτελέσαι ϰαὶ πάννυχον ἀγϱυπνίαν ποιήσαντες ὄϱθϱου λοιπòν Вοθέως πϱοτεθέντος τοῦ ‘ςωοποιοῦ πςοσεϰύνησαν πάνιες οί συνελθόντες,μεθ’ 1F55;μννων Вοῶνιες, ТÒν σιαυςóν σου πςοσϰυνοῦμεν δέσποια, ϰαὶ τὴν ἁγίαν σου ἀνάσταιν La Vie ancienne de S. Symeon Stylite le Jeune, ed. P. van den Ven (Brussels, 1962–70), II, 311–12. The use of Тòν σταυϱóν σον in the Vita was discussed by J. Noret, ‘Un vieux tropaire attesté par la Vie de Ste. Marthe de Mont Admirabile’, Analecta Bollandiana, 89 (1970), 317–18.

2 On the transmission of relics of the cross see A. Frolow, La relique de la vraie croix, Archives de l'Orient Chrétien no. 7 (Paris, 1961).

2 udzvelesi Iadgari ([The Oldest Iadgari], ed. E. Metrevili, C. Çankievi and L. Hevsuriani, Dzveli kartuli mcerlobis dzeglebi no. 2 (Tbilisi, 1980), 463. For a description of the iadgari and its contents see P. Jeffery, ‘The Sunday Office of Seventh-Century Jerusalem in the Georgian Chantbook (Iadgari): A Preliminary Report’, Studia Liturgica 21 (1991), 52–75; and ‘The Earliest Christian Chant Repertory Recovered: The Georgian Witnesses to Jerusalem Chant’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 47 (1994), 1–38: see pp. 13–15. For a list of manuscripts of the iadgari, see A. Wade, ‘The Oldest Iadgari: The Jerusalem Tropologion, V–VIII c.’, Orientalia Christiana Periodica, 50 (1984), 451–6: see p. 451. As early as c. 381, when Egeria visited Jerusalem, singing accompanied the post-Vespers procession, but there is no evidence that Tóv σταυϱνóν σου was sung in Egeria's time. See Itineraria et Alia Geographica, ed. A. Franceschini and R. Weber, Corpus Christianorum ser. lat. 175 (Turnholt, 1965), 68.

2 Тòν σταυϱóν σον πϱοϰυνῶ, χϱισιὲ Θεóϱ, ϰὶ τὴν ταφήν σου ἑοϱτάζων χϱαυγάζω σοί. Άνέστη ὁ χύϱιος. [I adore your cross, Christ who is God; and I worship your tomb, eternal one, and I proclaim the feast of your resurrection: the Lord is risen.] Sancti Romani Melodi Cantica, ed. P. Maas and C. A. Trypanis (Oxford, 1963), II, 187.

5 The Armenian Lectionary (417–39) does not provide chant texts; and by the time of the Georgian Lectionary (eighth century), the veneration of the cross on Good Friday may have been discontinued in Jerusalem. For more on the Jerusalem sources, see P. Jeffery, ‘The Lost Chant Tradition of Early Christian Jerusalem: Some Possible Melodic Survivals in the Byzantine and Latin Chant Repertories’, Early Music History, 11 (1992), 151–90: see pp. 155–9; and G. Bertonniére, The Historical Development of the Easter Vigil and Related Services in the Greek Church, Orientalia Christiana Analecta no. 193 (Rome, 1972), 7–20.

6 The most thorough discussion to date is in T. Kelly, The Beneventan Chant (Cambridge, 1989), 207–14. Other studies did not take into account the full range of the Greek and Latin traditions. See A. Baumstark, ‘Der Orient und die Gesänge der Adoratio Crucis’, jahrbuch für Liturgiewissenschaft, 2 (1922), 1–17; N. Moran, ‘The Chant ‘Crucem tuam’ in the Byzantine, Slavonic, and Latin Recension’, Studies in Music from the University of Western Ontario, 5 (1980), 35–48; J. Drumbl, ‘Zweisprachige Antiphonen zur Kreuzverehrung’, Italia Medioevale e Umanistica, 19 (1976), 41–56; G. Frénaud,‘Les témoins indirects du chant liturgique en usage á Rome aux IXe et Xe siécles’, Etudes grégoriennes, 3 (1961), 41–74: see p. 61; and M. Huglo, ‘Relations musicales entre Byzance et l'Occident’, Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Congress of Byzantine Studies, Oxford, 1966 (Oxford, 1967), 267–80: see pp. 277–8.

7 The Ethiopian chant has recently been published from the oral tradition and from two modern editions of the Soma Deggwa, the Ethiopian chant book for the Lenten season, as Ethiopian Christian Liturgical Chant: An Anthology, ed. K. Kaufman Shelemay and P. Jeffery (Madison, 1994), vol. II: Performance Practice and the Liturgical Portions, 51. See Example 9 below.

8 The Milanese chant is in manuscript London, British Library, Additional 34209, f. 248r; and in manuscript Oxford, Bodleian Library, lat. lit. a. 4, f. 116r. It was published in Antiphonale missarum juxta ritum sanctae ecclesiae mediolanensis, ed. G. M. Suñol (Rome, 1935), 181, and Liber vesperalis juxta ritum sanctae ecclesiae mediolanensis (Rome, 1939), 354. The text appears in a ninth-century sacramentary, Sacramentarium Bergomense, ed. A. Paredi (Bergamo, 1962), 15. See Example 5 below.

9 The Armenian text is in the Mashtotz (1840), 622. It dates back to at least the ninth century, when it is found within the ceremony for the consecration of a cross in manuscript Venice, San Lazaro 457.viii.6, translated in F. C. Conybeare, Rituale Armenorum (Oxford, 1905), 48–9. In 718, the ceremony was defended by John of Odsun, catholicos of Armenia, but he does not specifically mention this chant. The passage is cited in Conybeare, Rituale, 51.

10 The Beneventan Latin chant is in several manuscripts from the Biblioteca capitolare in Benevento: Benevento 33, f. 69r; Benevento 34, f. 115v; Benevento 35, f. 65v; and Benevento 40, f. lOv–llr. Other sources include Lucca, Biblioteca capitolare 606, f. 156r; Oxford, Bodleian Library, Can. lit. 342, f. 51r; and Rome, Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, Vat. lat. 10673, f. 56r. The Beneventan Greek version is found with the Latin chant in Benevento 40 and Rome, Vat. lat. 10673. Facs. of Benevento 40 in Kelly, The Beneventan Chant, pls. 20–1.

11 The Gregorian text is in the ninth-century manuscript Paris, Bibliothéque Nationale lat. 17436, in Antiphonale Missarum Sextuplex, ed. R.-J. Hesbert (Brussels, 1935), 97. The Gregorian chant is in the earliest chant books with notation, including Chartres, Bibliotheque municipale 47, f. 63r, and Laon, Bibliotheque municipale 239, f. lOOr, and in numerous other manuscripts. It is also in the Liber Usualis (Tournai, 1956), 741, and other published chant books of the Roman liturgy for Good Friday.

12 The text is in the ΠεντηχοοσιάႲϱІоν (Athens, 1907), 15–16. The relationship between the Gregorian text and 'Ανάστασιν χϱιστοῦ was first noted by A. Baumstark, ‘Der Orient’, 4.

13 'Ανάστασιν χϱιστοῦ may have originated for use as a resurrection hymn in the Church of the Anastasis, at the Easter vigil and during the Sunday morning Office following the reading of the gospel. It is recited in the Byzantine liturgy at Orthros on Sundays following the Gospel, and during the Easter vigil between the sixth and seventh odes of the canon. The same text in the Coptic liturgy, TENNAY ETANACTACIC, has similar uses. See Y. Abd'al Massih, ‘The Canon of the Resurrection’, Bulletin de la Société d'Archéologie Copte, 14 (1950–57), 23–35: see pp. 24–5.

14 The parody text is in Jerusalem, Patriarchate Hagios Stauros 43, in ‘Αναλεχτα Σταχυολογίας, ed. A. Papadopoulos-Kerameus (St Petersburg, 1894; rpt. Brussels, 1963), 11. The manuscript dates from 1122, but its liturgical usages are earlier. See Bertonniére, Historical Development, 12–18.

15 The resemblance of the Τὸν σταυϱόν σον texts and the anamnesis response was first noted by A. Baumstark in Comparative Liturgy, 3rd edn., trans. F. C. Cross (Westminster, Md, 1958), 101. See, for example: (1) Τὸν Θάνατον σονν χαταγγέλομεν χαὶ τὴν άνάστασιν ὁμολογοῦμεν [We proclaim your death and we profess the resurrection], the anamnesis response in the papyrus of Dêr-Belizeh in Egypt, dating from the sixth century (see C. H. Roberts and B. Capelle, An Early Euchologium: The Der-Belizeh Papyrus Enlarged and Re-edited (Louvain, 1949), 28); (2) Τὸν Θάνατον σονν χύϱιε χαταγγέλομεν χαὶ τὴν άνάτασιν σον ὁμολογοῦμεν … [We proclaim your death, Lord, and we profess your resurrection …], the anamnesis response of the Armenian liturgy of St James (see A. Baumstark, ‘Denkmäler altarmenischer Messliturgie’, Oriens Christianus, n.s. 7 (1918), 1–32: see p. 17); and (3) Tόv Θάvατον σον χύριε χαταγγέλομεν χαὶ τὴν ὰγιαν σον ὰνάστασιν χαὶ ὰνάλημψιν ὁμολογοῦμεν … [We proclaim your death, Lord, and we profess your holy resurrection and ascension …], the anamnesis response of the Coptic Jacobite liturgy (see F. Brightman, Liturgies Eastern and Western (Oxford, 1898), 177).

16 Δεῦτε πϱοσχνήσχωμεν χαι πϱοσπέσωμεν Χϱιστῶ τῶ ὀφθέντι ἐν σαϱχὶ χαὶ στανϱωοέντι δι' ἡμᾶϚ. 'Υμνώσωμεν σον τὸ πάθοϚ, Χϱιστὲ: πϱοσχυνήσωμεν τὸν στανϱόν σον: δοξάζομέν σον τὴν ἀνάστασιν. [Come, let us adore and bow down before Christ, who appeared in the flesh and was crucified for us; let us praise your passion, Christ; let us adore your cross; we glorify your resurrection.] H. Quecke, Untersuchungen zum koptischen Stundengebet, Publications de l'lnstitut Orientaliste de Louvain no. 3 (Louvain, 1970), 426–7.

17 The ‘Frankish’ text is found, with chant, in the following manuscripts: Berlin, Staatsbibliothek der Stiftung Presussischer Kulturbesitz, Theol. lat. quart. 11, f. 39r; Einsiedeln, Stiftsbibliothek 121, fols. 386r–387r; Mont-Renaud Manuscript, f. 102v; Oxford, Bodleian, Library, Douce 222, f. 187r; Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, lat. 776, f. 64v; Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, lat. 1121, f. 151r; Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, lat. 17296, fols. 213v–214r; St Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, 339, f. 71r; and St Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, 376, f. 172r.

18 Σωτηϱίαν είϱγάσω ἐν μέσω τῆϚ γῆϚ [You have brought salvation into the midst of the world]. For Jerusalem Patriarchate, Hagios Stavros 40, see Le Typicon de la Grande Eglise, MS Sainte-Croix no. 40, Xe siècle, ed. J. Mateos (Rome, 1962), Vol. I, Le Cycle des Douze Mois, 30, 44. Moran pointed out the similarity of the final line of the Beneventan version of Crucem tuam to another perisse the Typikon of the Great Church (Mateos, Typicon, 30), in Moran, ‘The Chant "Crucem tuam"‘, 47.

19 The Old Roman chant is found in four sources: London, British Library, Add. 29988, f. 91r; Rome, Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, Archivio S. Pietro B79, f. 117r; Rome, Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, Vat. lat. 5319, f. 80r; and Rome, Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, Archivio S. Pietro F22, f. 51r (incipit only). London Add. 29988 and S. Pietro B79 use the textual variant qua venit. Moran suggested that the Old Roman text deliberately omits et/xαi in order to match more closely the syllable count of the original Greek text; however, the syllable counts of the Latin and Greek chants are not the same, as Moran himself notes. Moran, ‘The Chant "Crucem tuam"’, 43.

20 The akolouthiai date from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries but contain some Ordinary chants that are much earlier. For Τὸν στανϱόν σον, see Athens, National Library, 2061, f. 92v; 2062, f. 94r; 2406, f. 222v; 2454, f. 19v; 2458, f. 246v; 2622, f. 333v; 2837, f. 149v; Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana gr. 476, f. 240r and gr. 665, f. 236r; Mount Athos, Koutloumousi 457, f. 198r; Lavra E.148, f. 71r; Lavra E. 173, f. lOOr; Lavra I. 185, f. 228r; Sinai, St Catherine's Monastery 1311, f. 85r; 1323, f. 78v; 1463, f. 98r; 1527, f. 231v; Vienna, Austrian National Library, Theol. gr. 185, f. 241r, and many other sources.

21 See, for example, Sinai, St Catherine's Monastery 1463 and Milan, Ambr. gr. 476; and Sinai 1527 and 1529.

22 Sinai 1311, f. 85r-v begins with an E plagal signature; an E authentic signature is given at χαι.

23 ‘, 47.

24 The simple syllabic melodies of Τὸν στανϱόν σον do not exhibit typical formulas of the deuteros modes, as defined in G. Amargianakis, An Analysis of Stichera in the Deuteros Mode, Cahiers de l'lnsrirut du Moyen-Age Grec et Latin nos. 22–3 (Copenhagen, 1977). A similar study has not been carried out for the troparia.

25 See, for example, Sinai 1527, f. 231v and 1463, f. 98r.

26 Transcriptions of the florid versions in Athens 2622 and Vienna, theol. gr. 185 can be found in D. Conomos, Byzantine Trisagia and Cheroubika of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries: A Study of Late Byzantine Liturgical Chant (Thessaloniki, 1974), 113.

27 On the history of the Trisagion see K. Levy, ‘The Trisagion in Byzantium and the West’, International Musicological Society, Eleventh Congress, Copenhagen 1972 (Copenhagen, 1973), II, 761–5.

28 P. Jeffery, "The Lost Chant Tradition’, 172–81. C. Troelsgård has found a concentration of Hodie-Σήμερον chants with ties to Jerusalem in the E modes and G plagal mode. See C. Troelsgård, ‘Σήμερον and Hodie Chants in Byzantine and Western Tradition’, Université de Copenhague: Cahiers de l'lnstitut du Moyen-Age Grec et Latin, 60 (1990), 3–46.

29 O. Strunk, ‘The Antiphons of the Octoechos’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 13 (1960), 50–67: see p. 56. The rarity (or absence) of the longer hymn ‘Ανάστασιν Χϱιστοῦ in Byzantine chant manuscripts suggests that this melody was so well known or so simple that it was not necessary to record it. According to ‘Abd al-Masih, in the Coptic rite TENNAY ETANACTACIC is ‘recited to the air of the canons which are usually recited by the people at the end of every service in the Coptic Church.’ Abd' al-Massih, ‘The Canon of the Resurrection’, 23.

30 See C. Atkinson, ‘The Parapteres: Nothi or Not?’ Musical Quarterly, 68 (1982), 32–59: see p. 37. For a standard version of Crucem tuam see Graduate Triplex, p. 175.

31 Ibid., 51.

32 On the use of F#, see C. Atkinson, ‘From ‘Vitium’ to Tonus acquisitus’: On the Evolution of the Notational Matrix of Medieval Chant’, in IMS Study Group ‘Cantus Planus:’ Papers read at the Third Meeting, Tihany, Hungary, 19–24 September 1988, ed. L. Dobszay (Budapest, 1990), 181–97.

33 I thank Mr Agamemnon Tselikas of the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation and Diane Touliatos-Banker for assistance in trying to locate this hymn.

34 See, for example, the chants transcribed by H. J. W. Tillyard in Hymns of the Octoechos, Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae transcripta 3/1 (Copenhagen, 1940), 26 and 72; and L. Tardo, L'Otteco net MSS Melurgid (Grottaferrata, 1955), 217.

35 Kelly, The Beneventan Chant, 195, n. 68.

36 The use of a local melodic pattern may account for the weaker resemblance of the Old Roman melody to the other recensions. The Old Roman melody consists of three repetitions of the gesture DGGABAGFGAGFE, identified in several other Old Roman antiphons in E. Nowacki, ‘Studies on the Office Antiphons of the Old Roman Manuscripts’, Ph.D. dissertation, Brandeis University (1980), 578–9.

37 G. Dayan, Les hymnes de l'église armenienne en notation européen (Venice, 1954), IV, 302.

38 N. Tahmizan, ‘Monodische Denkmäler Alt-Armeniens. Die Tradition der Armenischen Psalmodie’, in Essays on Armenian Music, ed. V. Nersessian (London, 1978), 191–221. For the discussion of the third plagal mode, see pp. 208–13.

39 I. Monson, ‘Evidence from the Modern Oral Tradition’, in K. Kaufman Shelemay, P. Jeffery and I. Monson, ‘Oral and Written Transmission in Ethiopian Christian Chant’, Early Music History, 12 (1993), 55–117: see p. 102.

40 Bernard Velat, Etudes sur le Me'eraf commun de I'Office divin Ethiopien, Patrologia Orientalis 33 (Turnhout, 1966), 656–9.

41 Peter Jeffeiy, ‘The Earliest Christian Chant Repertory’, 16–22, and ‘The Lost Chant Tradition’, 159–86.

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