Book Series Ritus et Artes, vol. 8

Music, Liturgy, and the Veneration of Saints of the Medieval Irish Church in a European Context

Ann Buckley (ed)

  • Pages: 359 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:15 b/w, 7 col., 14 tables b/w., 30 Music Examples, 1 Map
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2017

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-53470-1
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54020-7
  • E-book
  • Available

This book challenges existing notions of an idiosyncratic 'Celtic Rite' through a multidisciplinary, European perspective.


“This is a welcome collection both because it reminds us of an often forgotten aspect of hagiography – that devotion to the saints involved formal cultus – and in this respect it brings expert liturgical investigation to familiar texts and topics.” (Thomas O’ Loughlin, in Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, 75, 2018, p. 91)

“While this volume may have its principal focus on the memory of Irish saints, it has much to offer to those engaged in studying the liturgical traditions of many parts of Latin Europe as a whole.” (Constant J. Mews, Parergon, 35/1, 2018, p. 152)

 “Music, Liturgy, and the Veneration of Saints of the Medieval Irish Church in a European Context is a welcome contribution to musicological research on liturgy and music in medieval Ireland, taking us on an intriguing journey of discovery and enquiry (…) I would highly recommend this book to medieval musicologists and liturgists. This collection of essays marks a significant contribution to these areas of investigation.” (Anne Mannion, in The Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, 15, 2020, p. 103-107)


This book opens up discussion on the liturgical music of medieval Ireland by approaching it from a multidisciplinary, European perspective. In so doing, it challenges received notions of an idiosyncratic ‘Celtic Rite’, and of the prevailing view that no manuscripts with music notation have survived from the medieval Irish Church. This is due largely to a preoccupation by earlier scholars with pre-Norman Gaelic culture, to the neglect of wider networks of engagement between Ireland, Britain, and continental Europe. In adopting a more inclusive approach, a different view emerges which demonstrates the diversity and international connectedness of Irish ecclesiastical culture throughout the long Middle Ages, in both musico-liturgical and other respects.

The contributors represent a variety of specialisms, including musicology, liturgiology, palaeography, hagiology, theology, church history, Celtic studies, French studies, and Latin. From this rich range of perspectives they investigate the evidence for Irish musical and liturgical practices from the earliest surviving sources with chant texts to later manuscripts with music notation, as well as exploring the far-reaching cultural impact of the Irish church in medieval Europe through case studies of liturgical offices in honour of Irish saints, and of saints traditionally associated with Ireland in different parts of Europe.



Introduction — ANN BUCKLEY

Chant in the Early Irish Church

A Study of Early Irish Chant — MICHEL HUGLO†

Issues of Time and Place

The Genre of the Historia: its History and HistoriographyBARBARA HAGGH-HUGLO

Locality in Cults of Saints: St Olav and Sta Sunniva — NILS HOLGER PETERSEN

Offices of the Saints

Continental Sources

Omnes sancti chori Hiberniae sanctorum orate pro nobis: Manuscript evidence for the Cult of Irish Saints in Medieval Europe JEAN-MICHEL PICARD

Songs for the Peregrini: Proper Chants for Irish Saints in Continental Manuscripts — SARA G. CASEY

The Historia of St Fintan of Rheinau— BERNHARD HANGARTNER

Letetur Hybernia, jubilans Antverpia: The Chant and Cult of St Dympna — PIETER MANNAERTS

Insular Sources: Ireland

From Hymn to historia: The Veneration of Local Saints in the Early Medieval Irish Church— ANN BUCKLEY

An Office for St Patrick — SENAN FURLONG

A Divine Office Celebration for the Feast of St Canice at Kilkenny Cathedral — PATRICK BRANNON

Insular Sources: Scotland and Wales

Possible Irish Influences in the Office for St Kentigern, Patron Saint of Glasgow — BETTY I. KNOTT

Why St Andrew? Why not St Columba as Patron Saint of Scotland? — GRETA-MARY HAIR

Reconstructing First Vespers for the Feast of Saint Brendan, Abbot of Clonfert, from the Common Office of a Confessor Abbot, According to the Sarum Rite — CIARAN O'DRISCOLL

Shaping an ‘Indigenous’ Liturgy: the Case for Medieval Wales—SALLY HARPER

Liturgy: Theory and Practice

The Significance of the Liturgia horarium in the Nauigatio sancti Brendani in its Modelling of a Sacramental Christian Life — PATRICIA RUMSEY

The Use of the Eucharistic Chrismal in pre-Norman Ireland— NEIL XAVIER O’DONOGHUE

Celtic Mists: The Search for a Celtic Rite — LIAM TRACEY



Index of Manuscripts

General Index