Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

illumination from Gordan MS 51

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

MS 51 Northern France (Poissy, or perhaps Paris), c. 1450-1500

Processional (Use of the Dominican nuns of Poissy)

NB: This book has been digitized in its entirety and is presented with additional information at


ff. 1-7v, Benedictio candelarium. In die purificationis. Oratio, incipit, “Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui hodierna die vnigenitum tuum …”; f. 1v, Benedictus candelis cantor incipiat, incipit, “Lumen ad reuelationem …”; … In egressu processionis, incipit, “Ave gratia plena …”; incipit, “Adorna thalamum …”; Antiphona tertia in quatuor parte claustri, incipit, “Responsum accepit simeon …”; “Hodie beata virgo …”; [concludes with a prayer], incipit, “Erudi quesumus domine plebem …”. Procession for the Purification; begins and ends with texts without notation (the blessing of the candles and a final prayer).

ff. 7v-21, Dominica in ramis palmarum ad benedicendum ramos, incipit, “Omnipotens sempiterne redemptor qui de celis ad terram …”; f. 9, Benedictis ramis incipiatur [rubric at the bottom of the page; f. 9v, blank], f. 10, Antiphona, incipit, “Pueri hebreorum …”; … “Collegerunt pontifices …”; “Aue rex noster fili dei …”; “Gloria laus et honor …”; Ingressu ecclesie, incipit, “Ingrediente domino …”. Procession for Palm Sunday.

ff. 21- 34v, Feria quinta in cena domini in ablucione altarium primum responsorium, incipit, “In monte oliueti …”; “Tristus est anima …”; … R. “Amicus meus osculi …”; … R. “Unus ex vobis …”; … R. “Eram quasi agnum …”; … R. “Una hora …”; … R. “Seniores populi …”; R. “Revelabant celi …”; … R. “Circumdederunt me …”. Holy Thursday washing of the altars.

ff. 35-46v, Finita ablucione pedum diaconus cantent euangelium secundum Iohannem, incipit, “In illo tempore. Ante diem festum pasche … Vt dilectio qua dilexisti me in ipsis sit et ego in ipsis”. F.45v, ends “ut omnes unum sunt sicut in/” (John 17:21), followed by three stubs. However, the text continues correctly on f. 46, “pater in me …,” with no interruption. Gospel reading following the Mandatum (foot washing) on Holy Thursday, John 13:1-17:26;

ff. 46v-56v, Oratio deuota ante communionem, incipit, “Summe sacerdos et vere pontifex qui te obulisti … pro nobis miseris peccatoribus … Doce me indigna famulam tuam …”; f. 51v, incipit, “Ecce Ihesum benigne quod cupivi iam video …”; f. 52v, incipit, “Gratias tibi ago domine deus meus qui me peccatricem … per pietatem defende qui tollis peccata mundi”; Totum dicite, incipit, “Aue verum christi corpus … O dulcis O pie O fili marie” [f. 56, smaller leaf tipped in with the end of the prayer; blank on verso]. Prayers before the Mass (note use of feminine forms).

ff. 57-67, [Two lines mostly scraped away at the top of f. 57] Feria quinta in cena domini dicta oration. Actiones nostras … statim a cantore incipitur antiphona, incipit, “Dominus ihesus postquam cenauit …, V. Deus miseratur …, Ant., “Postquam surrexit ..., V., Audite hec …, Ant., Si ego dominus …,” V., Exemplum enim …, Ant. Si ego vocatis …, V., Dixit ihesus discipulis …, Ant., Vos vocatis me…, Ant., Mandatum novum …,V., Beati immaculati …, Ant., Mandatum …, Ant., “In hoc cognoscent …, V., Pacem meam …, Ant. In diebus illis …, V., Maria optima .., Ant., In diebus illis …, Ant., Maria ergo vivit …,V. Dimissa sunt …, Ant., Maria …, Ant., Domine tu michi …,V., Domine non tantum …, Ant., Domine ligamus …,V. , Ex hoc mandatum …, Ant., Ubi est caritas …, V., Congregavit nos …, V., Ecce quam .., Ant., Congregavit …, Ant., Manent in nobis …,V., Nunc autem maneant …,”; Finita abluciones … orationem, incipit, “Adesto domine nostre officio …”. Holy Thursday Mandatum, or foot-washing; the text here agrees, with only very small discrepancies, with the text of the Dominican Processional, Huglo, 1999, tableau vii, p. *52.

ff. 67-70v, Feria sexta in die parasceves sacerdotes, incipit, “Popule meus …, Diaconi, incipit, “Agyos otheos …,” Chorus, incipit, “Leyson ymas …”. Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday (parts marked for the priest, deacons and chorus).

ff. 70v-74, In die pasche et duobus diebus sequentibus ad processionem R., incipit, “Christus resurgens …”. Procession for Easter and the two following days.

ff. 74-79, In die ascentionis, R., incipit, “Viri galilei …,V. Cumque intuerentur …, R., Omnis pulchritudo …, R. Non conturbentur …,” Post hunc R. qui facit officium incipiat, incipit, “O rex glorie …”. Procession for the Ascension.

ff. 79-80v, In sacratissimo sacramento, R., incipit, “Respexit helyas ad caput suum …”. Procession for Corpus Christi.

ff. 81v-82v, De beato dominico secundum responsorium in ordine processionis, R., incipit, “Granum excussum…”. Procession for the feast of St. Dominic.

ff. 82v-87, In festo assumpcionis beate virginis, R., incipit, “Felix namque …”. Procession for the Assumption.

ff. 87v-90v, In receptione legatorum responsorium, incipit, “Ciues apostolorum …. Procession for the reception of legates.

ff. 90v-91v, In receptione secularium principum, R., incipit, “Tua est potencia …”. Procession for the reception of a secular prince.

ff. 92-96, [Rubric lacking], incipit, “Panis oblatus celitus in altari proponitur …”. Procession for the feast of Corpus Christi; this is the early Office for the feast, composed in 1318 by Hervé de Nédellec.

ff. 96v-100v, In festo beati Iohannis baptiste, incipit, “Hic precursor directus …”. Procession for the feast of St. John the Baptist.

ff. 100v-103v, In festo beati dominici patris nostri, incipit, “Panis oblatus celitus fratrum supplet in opiam …”. Procession for the feast of St. Dominic.

ff. 103v-107v, De beato ludovico in processione, incipit, “Felix regnum cuius rex …”. Procession for the feast of St. Louis.

ff. 107v-111v, In festo natiuitatis beate uirginis, incipit, “Natiuitats tua dei genitrix uirgo …”. Procession for the Nativity of the Virgin.

ff. 111v-113, Dum religiosa profitetur incipit sequens R., incipit, “Amo cristum in cuius thalamum introivi …. Chants accompanying the profession of a religious (that is when a nun was received into the convent).

ff. 113-114, Dum ingreditur aliqua religionem finitur capitulo canitur sequens hymnus, incipit, “Veni creator spiritus mentes tuorum …”. Hymn sung when someone enters religious life; first strophe only notated.

ff. 114-123v, Ordo altarium abluendorum in cena dominum in ecclesiam beati ludouici de pissiaco ad maius altare de beato ludouice ipsius ecclesie patrono antiphona, incipit, “Ludouicus deus regnantium …; De sancta trinitate …, De assumptione beate marie …, De sanctis augustino et thoma de aquino …, De sanctis mauro et anthonio …, Ad altare beati martini …; De sancto stephano …, De angelis …., De sancto dyonisio …, De apostolis petro et paulo …, De sancto blasio …, De sanctsi lupo et eligio episcoporum …, De sanctis dominico et petro matire …, De annunciatione domnica …, De beato iohanne baptista …, ending, … V. Fuit homo missus a deo cui//”. The washing (or cleansing) of the altars on Maundy Thursday for the church of St. Louis in Poissy, “before the main altar of St. Louis, the patron of this church”; fourteen of the twenty- one altars of the abbey (as recorded by Moreau-Rendu, 1968, p. 56) are included; the text now ends abruptly.

Huglo, M. Les manuscrits du Processional, Volume I, Autriche à Espagne, Répertoire international des sources musicales B XIV (1), Munich, 1999.


Parchment. Latin with occasional rubrics in French. iii (paper) + 123 + iii (paper) folios on parchment, foliation in nineteenth-century pen in upper outer corner, 1-123. Collation: (i12 ii-vi8 vii4 [structure uncertain, 4, f. 56, is a smaller leaf tipped in] viii-ix8 x8 [-7, following f. 78, stub remains, cancelled with no apparent loss of text] xi-xiv8 xv7 [beginning f. 112, structure uncertain, no apparent loss of text] xvi8 [-6, 7, 8, following f. 123, with loss of text]). Dimensions 134 x 91mm.

Written in a number of late medieval bookhands showing influence of lettre bâtarde. There are two physically distinct sections to the manuscript, copied by at least two different scribes, but both very similar in appearance, and certainly contemporary. The first section consists of ff. 1-56, with f. 56 being a smaller folio tipped in at the end of the quire, blank on the verso, that provides the conclusion to the prayer on f. 55v (it has glue marks on the verso, which are difficult to account for); and then a second section, ff. 57-end. It is possible that these two sections were even from independent, but contemporary manuscripts, but it seems most likely that the manuscript was copied in two sections (by two different scribes), perhaps working at the same time, and then joined together a bit awkwardly, explaining the necessity of completing the first section on an inserted folio, and erasing the first two lines at the beginning of the next section on the following folio.

Horizontal catchwords, remains of leaf and quire signatures with a letter designating the quire and roman numerals, the leaf at the very bottom outer corner of the leaf, often trimmed, ruled lightly in red ink, (justification, 95 x 67mm.), in nineteen lines of text and four lines of square musical notation on 4-line red staves, capitals touched in yellow, decorative initials within music, rubrics in red, small initials in alternate red or blue, three larger parted red and blue initials (ff. 1, 21 and 46v), first leaf slightly discoloured, some small spots and scuffs throughout, else good condition.

Binding: Bound in late eighteenth-century morocco over pasteboards, gilt-tooled on spine with floral motifs in compartments and title “PROCESSIONALE,” marbled endpapers, edges dyed red.


Written in the fifteenth century for use by a Dominican nun of the royal abbey of St.-Louis at Poissy. Belonged to the abbé Jules Bonhomme, curé de Saint-Jean Baptiste de Grenelles, Paris, and chaplain to the Fort de l’Est, Paris, musicologist and author of numerous liturgical studies. His monogram and pencil notes in French on first endleaf, recording that a nineteenth-century pen inscription there, “processional a

l’usage des dominicaines du couvert de St-Louis de Pissiaco” was that of the seller he purchased it from. Pen inscription on last endleaf, “milieu du 15e,” most probably in same hand, accompanied by other booksellers’ marks, “no 1222 14” and “Li 24990.”

Purchased for Bryn Mawr College Library from the Howard Lehman Goodhart Memorial Fund.

Description based, with thanks, on the description provided by Les Enluminures, Ltd.



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Last Update: January 23, 2018