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The Last Goodbye

It’s May, classes are over, graduates are tossing their caps in the air and walking under the arch in celebration of their four plus years at this university.  Farewells are being said to favorite study spots and the dining halls, the always packed corners of the main library, and to the classmates and professors who’ve made everything worth it.  And I’m right there.  I’ve written a temporary goodbye to this project twice now, always expecting to return, but this — this is the final one.  A year and a half of researching with classmates, Katie, and the guidance of Dr. Camp all come to an end.  It’s bittersweet.

In the past year, I have done an exhausting analysis of the manuscripts that we found in our massive survey to contain the Hours of the Passion.  These were limited by the number digitally or physically available to us, but nevertheless, it was more than what I might have expected after the end of the initial course.  From those manuscripts, I looked at the Psalms and the hymns found in the hours, and what I discovered there has endlessly excited me.  I would have told anyone a year and a half ago that I wouldn’t expect there to be particularly common or even standard texts in this elusive office.  After my attempt to look for more at the end of the class in Fall of 2016, I was rather discouraged by what I found, scripture and prayers everywhere.  But the results from this past year have shown otherwise.  While the Psalms exhibited more variation than I had hoped, there were enough continuous choices for specific hours to determine those common to the Hours of the Passion.  The hymns on the other hand, showed almost perfect continuity between the hours in each manuscript.  Only three different hymns maximum appeared in each individual hour overall, and two of each of those occurred only four times total; the rest of the featured text was all one hymn (as shown in the following chart).  There seemed to be a standard set of hymns that almost always appeared together and in a specific order.  This realization was honestly one of the most exciting parts of the semester.

Hour Common Hymns Infrequent Hymns
Matins In passione domini qua datur Patris sapientia veritas divina;

Surge dilecta anima

Lauds Christum ducem qui per crucem Christus iam captus
Prime Tu qui velatus Hora prima ductus;

Recessis noctis tenebris

Tierce Hora qui ductus tertia Crucifige clamitant;

Hora iam ecce

Sext Crucem pro nobis subiit Hora secta ihesus est cruci;

Christus pro nobis hostia

Nones Beata christi passio sit Hora nona domini ihesu;

Ihesu sol primatur lumine

Vespers Qui pressura mortis De cruce deporitur;

Cursu celeri transeunte

Compline Qui iacuisti mortuus Hora completor datur;

Emmanuel sepultus est

And it was an incredibly exciting semester.  Between our research trip to the Morgan Library in New York City, the CURO symposium, and the discoveries being made, it’s been a whirlwind.  But I know that all of these experiences have impacted me and helped me grow in different ways, have taught me about research, manuscripts, and myself, and have shown me visions of a potential future.  I know that I will continue to follow the efforts of the Hargrett Hours project even though I am no longer a student.  I have given so much time to it that I simply cannot walk away from it entirely.  I still have ideas of aspects that need to be investigated, correlations that should be looked into, comparisons between the Hours of the Cross and the Long Hours of the Passion to determine what might have carried over to the larger office…  The list goes on.  I’m so glad that I’ve been given the opportunity to put my mark on this project, and look forward to seeing more in the future.  But for now, I’ll just have to say goodbye.

~ Madison