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Singing A New Song: Martha In Liturgy And Hymnody

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Chapter Summary

The origins of the Milanese church and its liturgy are unknown, though there are clear links with Eastern churches, and the church in Jerusalem in particular. Baumstark's alternative hypothesis, that both Hippolytus' Commentary on the Song and the Ambrosian Missal derive from a single extra-canonical Gospel source appears unnecessarily complicated in including a third hypothetical text and implausible given the liturgical context. The Syrian Catholic Fenqitho is a festal breviary, a collection of liturgical texts for feast days, to be sung by the choir. The Easter hymn names Martha and Mary as the women at the tomb, together with other women said to be with them. It lauds these women as the ones seeking to understand clearly, as the recipients of the message of salvation and as the ones who proclaim that message to the cantor and thence to the congregation.

Keywords: Ambrosian Missal; Baumstark; Easter hymn; Hippolytus; Jerusalem; Liturgy; Martha; Syrian Catholic Fenqitho



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