Rare Mass for the Dead from the MH Collection

A guest post from Paul Nicholas, Funk Projects Cataloguer

Title-page MH.83

Missae defunctorum, iuxta usum Ecclesiae Romanae, cum ordine et canone extensae. Tulli Leucorum : Ex officina Ioannis Laurentii, et Ioannis Francisci Laurentii, typographorum Regiorum & Episcopalium, MDCLXXI. New College Library MH.83.

We were delighted this week to discover a rare Mass for the Dead in the MH Collection at New College Library. This folio volume is a Roman Catholic priest’s ‘handbook’ published in 1671 and intended to be used during a ceremonial mass for the dead. The printed text in black would be spoken out loud, the text printed in red forms ceremonial instructions for the priest. The musical notation shows Gregorian chant, scripted in square notation.

Score MH.83

At the time of writing, we have not identified another copy of this item in any of the bibliographic databases of the world’s library collections – so we are hoping it may be unique! This item was catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.

Possible printer's device MH.83Paul Nicholas – Funk Projects Cataloguer

With thanks to Elizabeth Lawrence, Assistant Rare Books Librarian

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