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Logos Seminar- The Office of St Malachy of Armagh: Cistercian chant in the Twelfth Century

April 19, 2018 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Presenter: Dr Frank Lawrence

Chair: Dr Eleanor Giraud

A fully notated office for St Malachy of Armagh (c.1095–1148) survives in two sources, Douai, Bibliothèque Municipale, 372, a compendium of the works of St Bernard of Clairvaux, including the Vita Sancti Malachiae, copied by the scribe Siger c.1165 at the Benedictine abbey of Anchin (near Arras), and Valenciennes, Biblio-thèque Municipale, 514, a compendium of saints’ lives from the abbey of Saint-Amand.

This paper will trace the history of this office and its relationship to Bernardine sources. It will also examine the office from a stylistic perspective, situating it in the context of Cistercian chant reform, other early Cistercian offices and twelfth-century offices generally.

The close relationship between Bernard and Malachy in life continued in death through the linking of their offices. Bernard’s death, five years after Malachy, and his swift canonisation (1174), combined with the delay in Malachy’s canonisation (1190) meant that significant portions of the ‘Clairvaux’/‘Anchin – Saint-Amand’ Malachy office were used in the Bernard office.

Dr Frank Lawrence is assistant professor of Early Music History at the School of Music, University College Dublin. His principal research is on Western medieval liturgical chant with particular emphasis on palaeographical, repertorial and codicological studies of manuscript sources from Ireland, Britain and northern Europe of the 11th to 13th centuries. A secondary area of research includes Catholic church music and devotional music of the 19th and 20th centuries. His edition (with Simon Nugent) of the Office of St Malachy will appear in the Historiae series shortly.


April 19, 2018
10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Theatre 2, Irish World Academy
Ireland + Google Map