In longitudinem dierum         home


From the mass-repertory (the memory of Christ’s Last Supper) the end of the offertory “Deus enim firmavit” in several alternative musical notations is following beneath. (For other examples see Angelis suis.)


Mont-Renaud, 10th c., MS in private collection, PM 16 (1955)


there was no space for the melisma on "dierum", therefore the left margin was used:


Laon, 10th c., Bibliothèque Municipale 239, PM 10 (1909)


Chartres, 10th c., Bibliothèque Municipale 47 (destroyed in WW II), PM 11 (1912)


Einsiedeln, 10th c., Stiftsbibliothek 121, PM 4 (1894)


Bologna, beginning of the 11th c., Rome Biblioteca Angelica 123, PM 18 (1969)


Dijon, ca. 1025, Montpellier bibliothèque de l'école de médecine H 159, PM 7-8 (1901-05)


Albi, before 1079, Paris Bibliothèque Nationale lat. 776


Beneventum, ca. 1100, Benevento Biblioteca Capitolare 34, PM 15 (1937)


Klosterneuburg, mid 12th c., Graz Universitätsbibliothek 807, PM 19 (1974)


Offertoriale, Carl Ott, Tournai 1935


Old Roman, Monumenta Monodica Medii Aevi Bd II, Kassel 1970


Offertoriale Triplex, Solesmes 1985


Fluxus, since 1996




Spoken music In longitudinem dierum


“In longitudinem dierum” is the end of “Deus enim firmavit”. This chant is an offertory, a chant which was sung in the mass during the procession which led to the offering of the fruits of the land and other gifts. At Christmas there were traditionally three masses, by night, at daybreak and in the morning. This offertory has been taken from the mass at daybreak and can also be found at the first Sunday after Christmas and at the 14th of September. The text of this offertory is from psalm 93(92) and reads:


Deus enim firmavit orbem terrae, qui non commovebitur: Parata sedes tua, Deus, ex tunc: a saeculo tu es. V. Dominus regnavit, decorem induit: induit Dominus fortitudinem, et praecinxit se virtute. V. Mirabilis in excelsis Dominus: testimonia tua credibilia facta sunt nimis: domum tuam decet sancta, Domine, in longitudinem dierum.


In translation :


The LORD also stablished the world, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting. V. The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself. V. The LORD on high is mighty. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.


In most medieval manuscripts from the 10th century onwards more than 100 offertories are preserved. Since in the 13th century the processions were formalized, these offertories were drastically amputated; all verses were eliminated. But especially in these verses the most complicated and musically most interesting Gregorian chant matter can be found. In the liturgy (re)introduced by the monks of Solesmes the offertory-verses were not included. In 1935 Carl Ott published his Offertoriale with more than 100 offertories. The reconstructions by Ott were very poor however. As a compendium to the Graduale Triplex and based on Ott the Offertoriale Triplex was published in 1985. Nevertheless, since the 13th century the offertory-verses have still never been sung in mainstream Gregorian chant.


For a better understanding of ornamentation and vocal style, i.e. for a better performance of Gregorian chant, the offertory-verses are of major importance. Five of these offertories (with complete verses) from the Einsiedeln gradual (Einsiedeln 10th century, Stiftsbibliothek 121) you can find here in fluxus-notation.