Other Early Manuscript or Published Sources

The cultus of St Gengulphus – seeing Breviary sources in the early C16th – had fallen into considerable decline by 1500 compared to the evidence of the earliest C11th and C12th music sources of the notated manuscript sources from this period we have been able to locate. These early manuscripts indicate a full celebration of the Saint’s feast day with a complete office repertoire at this time – matins, full lauds, 1st and 2nd vespers.

A couple of manuscript notations of music for the office of St Gengulphus have been located in Langres (a Responsorial – probably around 1400 – the link is directly to the online MS on pages 91-92 with two responses) and Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle – Domarchiv, G 20 – a late C13 antiphonary).

The Aachen Ms has thus Magnificat antiphons for first and second Vespers and Benedictus antiphon for Lauds; the Langres MS two responds (responsoria prolixa).

Screen shot of pdf with three Gengulph antiphons (left page) from Aix-la-Chapelle – Domarchiv, G 20 – not online.

An unnotated printed 1511 Breviary of Toul (location of a magnificent high Gothic collegiate church dedicated to the Saint with a C13th stained glass window outlining the life of St Gengoult) has only a collect for his feast day, some instructions for the office such as an incipit text for a Magnificat and an additional prayer – no more than that! The whole office was mostly that of the Common of Martyrs. This is a very convincing indication that the full office celebration of St Gengoult had been discontinued by 1500 in Toul itself – the very location of the martyr’s relics after translation from Varennes in the late C10th.

Breviarum Tullense 1511 (not notated – and probably the only copy in existence!) – with thanks to the very helpful Diocesan library staff of Nancy (Fr).
Here are the pages in this early printed breviary related to ‘Sancti Gengulphi’ . The office commences in the second column on the left page (fifth line)
with the text (in red) ‘In natali Sancti Gengulphi’. Shortly follows a collect (‘Deus qui nos beati Gengulphi’) etc.
The instructions for the office end at the commencement of the office of Pope Urbanus in the second half of the first column of the right page.

Pretty much the same goes for a 1501 printed Breviary (see below) from Bamberg (also a location of a C12th collegiate church – dedicated to Saint Gangolf – the oldest church in the city). Again, an indication that a full office celebration of the Saint had been abandoned by this time!

This printed breviary includes a collect (different from the Toul Breviary) and includes three readings from the Saint’s vita for the first nocturn of the matins (Lectiones de Passione de Sancti Gangolfi).

What caused the cultus to decline in the period between the full celebration of his office in the C12th to just a collect and maybe a single antiphon at vespers and readings in the first nocturn at matins on his feast day of May 11 in the very early C16th – or, likely, even sooner?

Perhaps this is because St Gengulphus – as elsewhere noted on this website – had suffered from the peculiar disadvantage that there are elements in the earliest versions of his biography which subsequent ages have found coarse or indelicate. An aversion for such a reason for the commemeration of this Saint is most lamentable.

The life of the Saint is blameless – but the unusual nature of the miraculous punishments inflicted upon his adulterous wife and upon her paramour have been the subject of censorship and criticism.

If such is the case, this is, again, most lamentable and in need of some atonement and redress. We hope this website can make a contribution to such an effort.