Missa de Venerabile Sacramento


Information booklet about the recording of Cantores Sancti Gregorii. This programme is built around the reconstruction of the early 16th century liturgical practice in the Heilige Stede Kapel in Amsterdam, namely, the votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament celebrated weekly together with the procession with the Miraculous Host. The central piece of this concert is the famous Occo Codex, luxurious choirbook made for Heilige Stede Kapel by the workshop of Petrus Alamire, from which we chose Josquin's Missa Pange lingua and several motets connected to the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Plainchant and other liturgical elements also come from graduals and missals of local provenance.

Corpus Christi as well as the anniversary of the miracle itself must

have had an important role and been celebrated with great

festivity. (For special occasions there are mentions of the use of

trumpets, shawns and drums in processions) There has been also a

weekly procession in which the Miraculous Host was brought

every Wednesday to the Oude Kerk and back. It is also quite likely,

that as in many other churches in this time, a weekly (if not daily)

votive mass of the Blessed Sacrament was offered here.


he only official connection of Pompeius Occo to the chapel of

the Heilige Stede seems to be his tenure as churchwarden

from 1513 to 1518 after which he pursued supposedly politically

more important positions in the Holy Cross Guild and the Nieuwe

Kerk. Occo was an agent of the Fugger firm in Amsterdam, a very

distinctive figure of the merchant elite, a man of learning and

devotion as well as a patron of arts. He lived in the Kalverstraat,

very close to the Heilige Stede, and it has been conjectured that he

retained a special relationship to this institution. Indeed, a poem

composed by Alaard of Amsterdam mourning the death of Occo

singles out his attachment to this chapel and his many material

donations and offerings.


ne of these is also the Occo Codex, a large luxurious music

manuscript from the workshop of Petrus Alamire. There is a

very clear liturgical focus on the veneration of the Blessed

Sacrament, to which the first section of the book is dedicated. We

find here 5 settings of O salutaris hostia, Tantum ergo, a

polyphonic introit for Corpus Christi, Cibavit eos, as well as two

masses whose melodic material is taken from chants connected

with Corpus Christi: Hotinet Barra’s Missa Ecce panis angelorum

and Josquin de Pres’ Missa Pange lingua. The second part of the

manuscript consists of five more mass settings and one Requiem.

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