An Antiphonary is one of the liturgical books intended for use in choro (i.e. in the liturgical choir), and originally characterized, as its name implies, by the assignment to it principally of the antiphons used in various parts of the Roman liturgy.
A liturgical book, or service book, is a book published by the authority of a church body that contains the text and directions for the liturgy of its official religious services.
A choir, also sometimes called quire, is the area of a church or cathedral that provides seating for the clergy and church choir. It is in the western part of the chancel, between the nave and the sanctuary, which houses the altar and Church tabernacle. In larger medieval churches it contained choir-stalls, seating aligned with the side of the church, so at right-angles to the seating for the congregation in the nave. Smaller medieval churches may not have a choir in the architectural sense at all, and they are often lacking in churches built by all denominations after the Protestant Reformation, though the Gothic Revival revived them as a distinct feature.
An antiphon is a short chant in Christian ritual, sung as a refrain. The texts of antiphons are the Psalms. Their form was favored by St Ambrose and they feature prominently in Ambrosian chant, but they are used widely in Gregorian chant as well. They may be used during Mass, for the Introit, the Offertory or the Communion. They may also be used in the Liturgy of the Hours, typically for Lauds or Vespers.
Medieval antiphonaries varied with regional liturgical tradition. In 1570, following the Council of Trent, the Roman Antiphonary was declared universal. The Roman Antiphonary (Antiphonale Romanum) contains the chants for the Divine Office for the hours of Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline for every day of the year. The Vesperale Romanum is an excerpt of the Antiphonary containing the chants sung at Vespers. The music for use at the Mass is contained in the Roman Gradual (Graduale Romanum), the chants of the ordinary are also edited as an excerpt from the Gradual, the Kyriale Romanum. The Antiphonale Romanum was substantially revised in 1910/11 in the course of the reform of the Roman Breviary under Pope Pius X, notably restoring authentic Gregorian melodies. For the 1971 "Liturgy of the Hours", there are two volumes, Antiphonale Romanum II and Liber Hymnarius.
The Council of Trent, held between 1545 and 1563 in Trent, was the 19th ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation.
The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office or Work of God or canonical hours, often referred to as the Breviary, is the official set of prayers "marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer". It consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns, readings and other prayers and antiphons. Together with the Mass, it constitutes the official public prayer life of the Church. The Liturgy of the Hours also forms the basis of prayer within Christian monasticism.
Lauds is a divine office that takes place in the early morning hours. In the ordinary form of the Roman Rite Liturgy of the Hours, as celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church, it is one of the two major hours.
Alternative terms for Antiphonary are Antiphonal or Antiphony. The term comes from the Latin antiphonarium, antiphonarius, antiphonarius liber, antiphonale, which came from the Greek antíphonon "antiphone, anthem".
In current usage, Antiphonary refers more narrowly to books containing the chants for the Divine Office in distinction to the [ Gradual (Graduale or more rarely antiphonarium Missarum), which contains the antiphons used for the Mass.
Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song in Latin of the Roman Catholic Church. Gregorian chant developed mainly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, with later additions and redactions. Although popular legend credits Pope Gregory I with inventing Gregorian chant, scholars believe that it arose from a later Carolingian synthesis of Roman chant and Gallican chant.
In the practice of Christianity, canonical hours mark the divisions of the day in terms of periods of fixed prayer at regular intervals. A book of hours normally contains a version of, or selection from, such prayers.
The Gradual is a chant or hymn in the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, and among some other Christians. It gets its name from the Latin gradus meaning step because it was once chanted on the step of the ambo or altar. In the Tridentine Mass it is sung after the reading or chanting of the Epistle and before the Alleluia, or, during penitential seasons, before the Tract. In the Mass of Paul VI, the Gradual is usually replaced with the Responsorial Psalm. Although the Gradual remains an option in the Mass of Paul VI, its use is extremely rare outside monasteries. The Gradual is part of the Proper of the Mass.
The Antiphonary thus included generically the antiphons and antiphonal chants sung by cantor, congregation, and choir at Mass (antiphonarium Missarum, or graduale) and at the canonical Hours ( antiphonarium officii); but now it refers only to the sung portions of the Divine Office or Breviary.
Mass is the main eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, as well as in some Lutheran, Methodist, Western Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches.
Other English equivalents for antiphonary are antiphonar (still in reputable use) and antiphoner (considered obsolete by some English lexicographers, but still sometimes used in the early 20th century). In the "Prioress' Tale" of Chaucer it occurs in the form antiphonere:
The word Antiphonary had in the earlier Middle Ages sometimes a more general, sometimes a more restricted meaning. In its present meaning it has also been variously and insufficiently defined as a "Collection of antiphons in the notation of Plain Chant", and as a liturgical book containing the antiphons "and other chants". In its present complete form it contains, in plain-chant notation, the music of all the sung portions of the Roman Breviary immediately placed with the texts, with the indications of the manner of singing such portions as have a common melody (such as versicles and responses, the Psalms, the Lessons, the Chapters). But the Lessons of Matins (First Nocturn) in the triduum of Holy Week, styled "Lamentations", have a melody proper to themselves, which is not therefore merely indicated but is placed immediately with the texts of the Lessons.
A triduum is a religious observance lasting three days.
In order to show as clearly as possible the exact position of the antiphonary amongst the liturgical books, it is proper to recall that the Roman Missal contains all the texts used at Mass; the Roman Breviary, all the texts used in the Divine Office or Canonical Hours. While in the Missal, the introits, graduals, tracts, sequences, offertories, communions, as well as the texts of the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei are both read by the celebrant and sung by the choir, their notation is not given, only the accentus or chants, of the celebrant and deacon have the music furnished (such as the intonations of the Gloria, the Credo, the chants of the various Prefaces, the two forms of the Pater Noster, the various forms of the Ite, or Benedicamus, the Blessing of the Font, etc.). The omitted chants (styled concentus), which are to be sung by the choir, are contained in a supplementary volume called the "Graduale" or "Liber Gradualis" (anciently the "Gradale").
In like manner, the Roman Breviary, practically entirely meant for singing in choro, contains no music; and the "Antiphonarium" performs for it a service similar to that of the "Liber Gradualis" for the Missal. Just as the "Liber Gradualis" and the "Antiphonarium" are, for the sake of convenience, separated from the Missal and Breviary respectively, so, for the same reason, still further subdivisions have been made of each.
The "Antiphonarium" has been issued in a compendious form "for the large number of churches in which the Canonical Hours of the Divine Office are sung only on Sundays and Festivals". This Antiphonarium Romanum compendiose redactum ex editionibus typicis etc., includes, however, the chants for the Masses of Christmas, the triduum of Holy Week, and other desired Offices, and is issued in a single volume. Another separate volume is the "Vesperal", which contains also the Office of Compline; and of the "Vesperal" a further compendium has been issued, entitled "Epitome ex Vesperali Romano".
Associated somewhat in scope with the "Antiphonarium" is the "Directorium Chorii", which has been described as furnishing the ground plan for the antiphonary, inasmuch as it gives or indicates all the music of the chants (except the responsories after the Lessons), the tones of the psalms, the brief responsories, the "Venite Exultemus", the "Te Deum", Litanies etc. The text of all the psalms, the full melody of the hymns, and the new feasts were added to the "official edition" of the "Directorium" in 1888.
The word antiphonary does not therefore clearly describe the contents of the volume or volumes thus entitled, in which are found many chants other than the antiphon per se, such as hymns, responsories, versicles, and responses, psalms, the "Te Deum," the "Venite Adoremus," and so forth. The expression "antiphonal chant" would, however, comprise all these different kinds of texts and chants, since they are so constructed as to be sung alternately by the two divisions of the liturgical choir; and in this sense the word Antiphonary would be sufficiently inclusive in its implication. On the other hand, the corresponding volume for the chants of the Mass, namely the "Graduale", or "Liber Gradualis", includes many other kinds of liturgical texts and chants in addition to the graduals, such as introits, tracts, sequences, offertories, communions, as well as the fixed texts of the "Ordinarium Missæ", or "Kyriale". It may be said, then, that these two books receive the names "Antiphonarium" and "Graduale" from the technical name of the most important chants included in them. Fundamentally all the chants, whether of the Mass or of the Divine Office, are sung antiphonally, and might, with etymological propriety, be comprised in the one general musical title of "Antiphonary."
The plainsong melodies found in the Roman antiphonary and the "Graduale" have received the general title of "Gregorian Chant", in honour of pope Gregory the Great (r. 590–604), to whom a tradition, supported by internal and external evidence, ascribes the work of revising and collecting into the various texts and chants of the liturgy. Doubtless the ancient missal contained only those texts which were appointed for the celebrant, and did not include the texts which were to be chanted by the cantor and choir; and the "Antiphonarium Missæ" supplied the omitted texts for the choir as well as the chants in which the texts were to be sung. The importance of the Gregorian Antiphonary is found in the enduring stamp it impressed on the Roman liturgy.
Earlier popes had given, a medieval writer assures us, attention to the chants; and he specifies St. Damasus (d. 384), St. Leo (d. 461), St. Gelasius (d. 496), St. Symmachus (d. 514), St. John I (d. 526) and Boniface II (d. 532). It is true, also, that the chants used at Milan were styled, in honour of St. Ambrose (called the "Father of Church Song"), the Ambrosian Chant.
But it is not known whether any collection of the chants had been made before that of St. Gregory, concerning which his ninth-century biographer, John the Deacon, wrote: Antiphonarium centonem … compilavit. The authentic antiphonary mentioned by the biographer has not as yet been found. What was its character? What is meant by cento ("patchwork")? In the century in which John the Deacon wrote his life of the Saint, a cento meant the literary feat of constructing a coherent poem out of scattered excerpts from an ancient author, in such wise, for example, as to make the verses of Virgil sing the mystery of the Epiphany. The work, then, of St. Gregory was a musical cento, a compilation (centonem … compilavit) of pre-existing material into a coherent and well-ordered whole. This does not necessarily imply that the musical centonization of the melodies was the special and original work of the Saint, as the practice of constructing new melodies from separate portions of older ones had already been in vogue two or three centuries earlier than his day. But is it clear that the cento was one of melodies as well as of texts? In answer it might indeed by said that in the earliest ages of the Church the chants must have been so very simple in form that they could easily be committed to memory; and that most of the subsequently developed antiphonal melodies could be reduced to a much smaller number of types, or typical melodies, and could thus also be memorized.
And yet many say that it is scarcely credible that the developed melodies of St. Gregory's time had never possessed a musical notation, had never been committed to writing. What made his antiphonary so very useful to chanters (as John the Deacon esteemed it) was probably his careful presentation of a revised text with a revised melody, written either in the characters used by the ancient authors (as set down in Boethius) or in neumatic notation. We know that St. Augustine, sent to England by St. Gregory, carried with him a copy of the precious antiphonary, and founded at Canterbury a flourishing school of singing. That this antiphonary contained music we know from the decree of the Second Council of Cloveshoo (747) directing that the celebration of the feasts, in respect to baptism, Masses and music (in cantilenæ modo), should follow the method of the book "which we received from the Roman Church". That this book was the Gregorian antiphonary is clear from the testimony of Egbert, Bishop of York (732-766), who in his De Institutione Catholica speaks of the "Antiphonarium" and "Missale" which the "blessed Gregory … sent to us by our teacher, blessed Augustine".
It is impossible to trace here the progress of the Gregorian antiphonary throughout Europe, which resulted finally in the fact that the liturgy of Western Europe, with a very few exceptions, finds itself based fundamentally on the work of St. Gregory, whose labour comprised not merely the sacramentary, and the "Antiphonarium Missæ", but extended also to the Divine Office. Briefly, the next highly important step in the history of the antiphonary was its introduction into some dioceses of France where the liturgy had been Gallican, with ceremonies related to those of Milan and with chants developed by newer melodies. From the year 754 may be dated the change in favour of the Roman liturgy. St. Chrodegang, Bishop of Metz, on his return from an embassy to Rome, introduced the Roman liturgy into his diocese and founded the Chant School of Metz. Subsequently, under Charlemagne, French monks went to Rome to study the Gregorian tradition there, and some Roman teachers visited France.
The interesting story of Ekkehard, concerning two monks, Petrus and Romanus, sent from Rome to teach chant,is not to be taken as historical. But a certain Petrus, according to Notker, was sent to Rome by Charlemagne and at the Abbey of St. Gall trained the monks in the Roman style. Besides Metz and St. Gall, other important schools of chant were founded at Rouen and Soissons. In the course of time new melodies were added, at first characterized by the simplicity of the older tradition, but gradually becoming more free in extended intervals. With respect to German manuscripts, the earliest are found in a style of neumatic notation different from that of St. Gall, while the St. Gall manuscripts are derived not directly from the Italian but from the Irish-Anglo-Saxon. It is probable that before the 10th and 11th centuries (at which period the St. Gall notation began to triumph in the German churches) the Irish and English missionaries brought with them the notation of the English antiphonary.
It would take too much space to record here the multiplication of antiphonaries and their gradual deterioration, both in text and in chant, from the Roman standard. The school of Metz began the process early. Commissioned by Louis the Pious to compile a "Graduale" and antiphonary, the priest Amalarius of Metz found a copy of the Roman antiphonary in the monastery of Corbie, and placed in his own compilation an M when he followed the Metz antiphonary, R when he followed the Roman, and an I C (asking Indulgence and Charity) when he followed his own ideas. His changes in the "Graduale" were few; in the antiphonary, many.
Part of the revision which, together with Elisagarus, he made in the responsories as against the Roman method, were finally adopted in the Roman antiphonary. In the 12th century, the commission established by St. Bernard to revise the antiphonaries of Citeaux criticized with undue severity the work of Amalarius and Elisagarus and withal produced a faulty antiphonary for the Cistercian Order. The multiplication of antiphonaries, the differences in style of notation, the variations in melody and occasionally in text, need not be further described here. In France especially, the multiplication of liturgies subsequently became so great, that when Dom Guéranger, in the middle of the 19th century, started introducing the Roman liturgy into that country, sixty out of eighty dioceses had their own local breviaries.
That the word antiphonarium is, or was, quite elastic in its application, is shown by the remark of Amalarius in his Liber de ordine Antiphonarii, written in the first half of the 9th century. The work which in Metz was called "Antiphonarius" was divided into three in Rome: "What we call 'Graduale' they style 'Cantatorius'; and this, in accordance with their ancient custom, is still bound in a single volume in some of their churches. The remainder they divide into two parts: the one containing the responsories is called 'Responsoriale'; while the other, containing antiphons, is called 'Antiphonarius'. I have followed our custom, and have placed together (mixtim) the responsories and the antiphons according to the order of the seasons in which our feasts are celebrated" (P. L., CV, 1245). The word "cantatory" explains itself as a volume containing chants; it was also called "Graduale", because the chanter stood on a step (gradus) of the ambo or pulpit, while singing the response after the Epistle. Other ancient names for the antiphonary seem to have been Liber Officialis (Office Book) and "Capitulare" (a term sometimes used for the book containing the Epistles and Gospels).
Changes in the antiphonary were made in the Counter-Reformation, resulting from the reform of the Roman Breviary ordered by the Council of Trent and carried out under Pius V. The term antiphonarium, printed as a title to many volumes of the early modern period, is made to cover a very varied selection from the complete antiphonary. Sometimes it means practically a "Vesperale" (sometimes with Terce added; sometimes with various processional chants and blessings taken from the "Processionale" and "Rituale"). These volumes meet the local usages in certain dioceses with respect to Church services, and offer a practical manual for the worshipper, excluding portions of the Divine Office not sung in choir in some places and including those portions which are sung. (See also names of Antiphonaries, as Armagh, Antiphonary of Bangor etc.)
In the second half of the 19th century, there was a movement to restore medieval Gregorian music. Louis Lambillotte reproduced various antiphonaries and graduals, as did the "Plain Song and Medieval Music Society" and especially by André Mocquereau (1849–1930), whose Paléographie Musicale (established 1889) published phototypic reproductions of antiphonaries of Einsiedeln, of St. Gall, of Hartker, of Montpellier, of the twelfth-century monastic antiphonary found in the library of the Chapter of Lucca, which in course of publication illustrated the Guidonian notation that everywhere replaced, save in the school of St. Gall, the ambiguous method of writing the neums in campo aperto, Mocquereau was succeeded as editor of Paléographie Musicale by his leading disciple, Joseph Gajard (1885-1972) in 1930.
This appeal to early tradition has resulted in Pius X taking away its official sanction from the Ratisbon edition. The Ratisbon "Graduale", founded on the Medicean (which gave the chants as abbreviated and changed by Anerio and Suriano), and the "Antiphonarium" (which was based on the Antiphonale of Venice, 1585, with the responsories of Matins based on the Antwerp edition of 1611), would be replaced by the chants as found in the older codices.
The so-called "Ratisbon edition" of the Roman antiphonary, entitled Antiphonarium et Psalterium juxta ordinem Breviarii Romani cum cantu sub auspicis Pii IX et Leonis XIII Pontif. Maxim. reformato. Curâ et auctoritate S. Rituum Congregationis digestum Romæ, (edited by Friedrich Pustet, 1879)was most widely used in the late nineteenth century, and commended for use in all the churches of the Catholic world by Pius IX and Leo XIII.
The first of these volumes to be issued, entitled: Tomus II. continens Horus Diurnus Breviarii Romani (Vesperale), contained the antiphons, psalms, hymns and versicles of the Canonical Hours styled Horæ Diurnæ, i. e. Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline. It comprised in one volume what in some editions had been distributed in several, such as the "Antiphonarium" (in a very restricted sense), the "Psalterium", the "Hymnarium", the "Responsoriale". The Office of Matins was divided into the other two volumes, one of which contained the invitatories, antiphons, hymns, etc., of Matins for the Proprium de Tempore (Proper of the Season), and the other, for the Commune Sanctorum (Common Office of the Saints) and the Proprium Sanctorum (Proper Office of the Saints).
A brief study of the divisions and arrangement of the Marquess of Bute's translation into English of the Roman Breviary will make clear from the above description the general character of a complete Roman antiphonary. It is suggested by some that this Ratisbon edition has lost its authentic and official character by virtue of the Motu proprio Tra le sollecitudini (22 November 1903), and the Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites (8 January 1904).
Pope Pius X rejected the Ratisbon edition and ordered the creation of a new Vatican edition, in which both the texts and the melodies were to be revised in order to bring them into conformity with the results of recent palaeographic studies in Gregorian chant. The Ratisbon editions were replaced with the Vatican edition of 1912
The Antiphonale monasticum (1934) was produced by the Benedictines of Solesmes. In 1971 the Office was substantially revised and renamed the Liturgy of the Hours (Liturgia Horarum) and new books appeared: the Psalterium monasticum (1981) and the Liber hymnarius (1982).
Reproductions by Paléographie musicale, 1st series (23 volumes, 1889–2014):
Paléographie musicale, 2nd series:
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The Roman Breviary is the liturgical book of the Latin liturgical rites of the Catholic Church containing the public or canonical prayers, hymns, the Psalms, readings, and notations for everyday use, especially by bishops, priests, and deacons in the Divine Office.
The Antiphonary tonary missal of St. Benigne was supposed to be written in the last years of the 10th century, when the Abbot William of Volpiano at St. Benignus of Dijon reformed the liturgy of several monasteries in Burgundy. The chant manuscript records mainly Western plainchant of the Roman-Frankish proper mass and part of the chant sung during the matins, but unlike the common form of the Gradual and of the Antiphonary, William organized his manuscript according to the chant genre, and these sections were subdivided into eight parts according to the octoechos. This disposition followed the order of a tonary, but William of Volpiano wrote not only the incipits of the classified chant, he wrote the complete chant text with the music in central French neumes which were still written in campo aperto, and added a second alphabetic notation of his own invention for the melodic structure of the codified chant.
The Introit is part of the opening of the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist for many Christian denominations. In its most complete version, it consists of an antiphon, psalm verse and Gloria Patri, which are spoken or sung at the beginning of the celebration. It is part of the Proper of the liturgy: that is, the part that changes over the liturgical year.
Guillaume-Gabriel Nivers was a French organist, composer and theorist. His first livre d'orgue is the earliest surviving published collection with traditional French organ school forms. Nivers's other music is less known; however, his treatises on Gregorian chant and basso continuo are still considered important sources on 17th century liturgical music and performance practice.
In the Latin liturgical rites, a commemoration is the recital, within the Liturgy of the Hours or the Mass of one celebration, of part of another celebration, generally of lower rank, that is impeded because of a coincidence of date.
The Antiphonary of Bangor is an ancient Latin manuscript, supposed to have been originally written at Bangor Abbey in modern-day Northern Ireland.
The Dominican Rite is the unique rite of the Dominican Order of the Roman Catholic Church. It has been classified differently by different sources – some consider it a usage of the Roman Rite, others a variant of the Gallican Rite, and still others a form of the Roman Rite into which Gallican elements were inserted.
Ambrosian chant is the liturgical plainchant repertory of the Ambrosian rite of the Roman Catholic Church, related to but distinct from Gregorian chant. It is primarily associated with the Archdiocese of Milan, and named after St. Ambrose much as Gregorian chant is named after Gregory the Great. It is the only surviving plainchant tradition besides the Gregorian to maintain the official sanction of the Roman Catholic Church.
Mozarabic chant is the liturgical plainchant repertory of the Visigothic/Mozarabic rite of the Catholic Church, related to the Gregorian chant. It is primarily associated with Hispania under Visigothic rule and with the Catholic Visigoths/Mozarabs living under Islamic rule, and was soon replaced by the chant of the Roman rite following the Christian Reconquest. Although its original medieval form is largely lost, a few chants have survived with readable musical notation, and the chanted rite was later revived in altered form and continues to be used in a few isolated locations in Spain, primarily in Toledo.
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"Rorate caeli", from Isaiah 45:8 in the Vulgate, are the opening words of a text used in Catholic and Protestant liturgy during Advent. It is also known as "The Advent Prose" or by the first words of its English translation, "Drop down ye heavens from above."
The liturgical books of the Roman Rite are the official books containing the words to be recited and the actions to be performed in the celebration of Catholic liturgy as done in Rome. The Roman Rite of the Latin or Western Church of the Catholic Church is the most widely celebrated of the scores of Catholic liturgical rites. The titles of some of these books contain the adjective "Roman", e.g. the "Roman Missal", to distinguish them from the liturgical books for the other rites of the Church,.
The Roman Gradual is an official liturgical book of the Roman Rite of the Roman Catholic Church containing chants, including the Gradual proper and many more, for use in Mass.
The Code of Rubrics is a three-part liturgical document promulgated in 1960 under Pope John XXIII, which in the form of a legal code indicated the liturgical and sacramental law governing the celebration of the Roman Rite Mass and Divine Office.
The Liber Brevior is an "unofficial" Roman Catholic liturgical book used during the sung High Mass in force up to 1962 and revived in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI. The "Liber Brevior" is essentially exactly the same as the “Liber Usualis" except that it has been shortened from around two thousand pages to eight hundred by eliminating those parts not associated with the Mass. It could be said that the "Liber Brevior" is “the layman’s Liber” designed and intended to be used by small Catholic choirs.