Medieval chant for Swedish saints

© Ann-Marie Nilsson(2011), Uppsala University, Sweden

The Nordic office for St. Joseph, Joseph exortus regie

Chant melodies from notated sources containing the Nordic (Franciscan/Birgittine) historia
Ioseph exortus regia (Analecta hymnica 26, nr 61). Not all chants in this office are preserved
with notation. Only three notated sources are known:
three fragments from the group Br 410,
Ant 516, one fragment containing part of the office from the sixth responsory till the ninth
antiphon of Matins,
Ant 58, one folio containing the responsories in the second nocturn.

The chant melodies for St. Joseph seem to have been modeled on those of the Nordic
Saturday office for the Virgin, Stella maria (/hystorie/stella.php), of
which some are given below for comparison, especially when the melodies for Joseph are
The melodies transmitted in Ant 516 (R6, MA7-9) differ from those of the other two sources,
modeled, like some other historie from medieval Sweden, on those of the historia for St.
Dominic. Alternative melodies are, however, not quite unique: occurring in a few
responsories on the historia for St. Eskil and in the two offices for St. Birgitta, Rosa rorans
and Birgitte matris inclite. See Ann-Marie Nilsson, Sånger till fyra kyrkofester i Skara
(2011, p.67) and Två hystorie för den heliga Birgitta (2003, p. 123 and 162ff.)

Remarks to variant tables contains general remarks on the notation in the sources and
the comparative tables as well as abbreviations. Sources are listed in a separate file.

The material was prepared by Ann-Marie Nilsson during a research project (2006-2008)
”Medieval chant for Swedish saints”, financed by the Swedish Research Council.

Select bibliography.:
Schmid, Toni: ”Franziskanische Elemente im mittelalterlichen Kult Schwedens 1-3”, in Franziskanische Studien
24-25 (1937-38), p. 79 f. (1937); p. 65-87, 134-161 (1938).
Joseph Seitz, Die Verehrung des hl. Joseph in ihrer geschichtlichen Entwicklung (1908),
Ann-Marie Nilsson, Sånger till fyra kyrkofester i Skara stift (2011)

Preserved (more or less complete) chant melodies

Fragments or complete chants from

First Vespers:

(VA2 Nam sponsus erat; fragmentary, with model chant)

(VA3 fragmentary, Senex expers libidinis)

VA4, Sine carnali copula

VA5, Hec plebs deum magnificat

VA5, Benedictus sit pastor inclitus


R2, Accepit ioseph virginem / Ioseph quidem

R3, Ioseph admirans stupuit / Sicut petrus

MA4, Ioseph vagus cum parvulo [fragmentary, with model chant]

MA5, Faber arte lignaria [fragmentary, with model chant]

MA6, Hec est regis familia [fragmentary, with model chant]

R4, O iherusalem filie / En comitiua regia

R5, Ioseph dat deo gratias / O paupertatis pretium

R6, Hic senex / Pro meritis [two mel. versions]

MA7, Sanctus senex [two mel. versions]

MA8, Thorum ioseph et virginis [two mel. versions]

MA9, Christo regi iudicium [two mel. versions]

R7, Ex egypto revertentem / Pater mater [with model chant]

R8, Felix obedientia / Ioseph sponsam venerator [with model chant]

R9, Salve ioseph serve christi / Deus summus [with model chant]


LA1, Stola decoris induit

LA5, Carnis motus refrenavit

LH , Maria cur coniugio

LE, Custos thesauri regalis

Second vespers:

WE, Joseph accrescens filius