Beneventan Rite

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A Benedictine archbishop, B. Bonazzi (d. 1915), was the first to recognize that Benevento once had a rite of its own. It appeared that a liturgical rite had existed in southern Italy before the Lombard invasions of the 6th century, vestiges of which remain as liturgical anomalies in later liturgical manuscripts. The Beneventan rite and its chant evolved together with the rise of the Lombards, reaching its peak in the 8th century. The Beneventan rite would have been practiced in an area coterminous with the orbit Terracina-Chieti, Salerno-Bari. Some scholars think that it probably ceased under Prince Arechis II (d. 787), a ruler preoccupied with Church affairs. When the relics of St. Bartholomew arrived in Benevento (808), the rite was Roman, and there was no Mass of the saint in the old repertory. The sanctoral had included St. Michael, SS. Simon and Jude, Twelve Brothers (Apulian martyrs), and All Saints. All Saints was the last Beneventan entry. Complete liturgical texts of the Beneventan rite are no longer extant. Scholars have identified fragments of the rite and its chant in about 90 manuscript sources no earlier than the 10th century. Of these, the most important is the ancient Beneventan Holy Week liturgy, portions of which are preserved with full rubrics in century manuscripts dating no earlier than late 10th century. Elements of Beneventan Holy Week ceremonies, together with the ancient Beneventan texts and chants of the Exsultet survived as popular practices long after the rite was suppressed.

See Also: beneventan chant

Bibliography: d. andoyer, "Ancienne Liturgie de Bénévent," Revue du chant grégorien 2024 (191114, 191921). r. j. hesbert, "L'Antiphonale missarum de l'ancien ritbénéventain," Ephemerides liturgicae 52 (1938) 2866, 141158; 53 (1939) 168190; 15 (1945) 6995; 60 (1946) 103141; 61 (1947) 153210. a. a. king, Liturgies of the Past (Milwaukee 1959). t. f. kelly, "Palimpsest evidence of an old-Beneventan gradual," Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch 67 Jahrgang1983 (Köln 1985) 523. t. f. kelly, The Beneventan Chant (Cambridge 1989). p. salmon, "Nouvelle liste de manuscrits en écriture bénéventaine," Studia Codicologica, Texte u Untersuchungen z Geschichte d altchristlichen Literatur v. 124 (Berlin 1977) 401405. b. baroffio, "Liturgie in beneventanischen Raum," Geschichte der katholischen Kirchenmusik, ed. k. g. fellerer (Kassel 1972) 2048. j. mallet and a. thibaut, Les manuscrits en ecriture beneventaine de la Bibliotheque capitulaire de Benevent (Paris 1984). m. huglo, "L'ancien chant beneventain," Ecclesia orans (1985) 26593. n. albarosa and a. turco, eds., Benevento, Biblioteca capitolare 40 Graduale (Padua 1991).

[a. a. king/eds.]