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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Madeleine Gray wrote:

Though Experience of Worship was (deliberately) rather later liturgical developments (John Harper actually went for 1530s, partly because of availability of more standardised printed Sarum rites).
Worth remembering (and this does come over in the Experience of Worship enactments) how much of the actual order of the Mass was said quietly while others were singing.

Bits being "said quietly while others were singing" does indeed seem to be a later development. Moreover, the whole idea of anything being "said quietly" or silently seems to be a misunderstanding: the whole point was that anything that needed to be heard must be sung (intoned or chanted) in order to be heard. Anything else could be said. This gave rise to the idea that the said parts weren't supposed to be heard at all! Similarly, the idea that the priest said the whole thing "quietly while others were singing" seems to have come across from the private mass where the priest did indeed say the whole thing.

John Briggs

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