Candor est lucis aeternae: The "transfiguration" of a new feast and of an Alleluia

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The introduction of new feasts was regularly accompanied by a kind of rearrangement of the liturgical material. In the beginning Transfiguratio Domini was not obligatory feast, but was introduced gradually in more and more churches from the 10th century on. During the greater part of its history it had no special Proper for the mass, but different chants were drawn from the masses of traditional feasts, like Christmas, Epiphany, the Easter season and even the Holy Trinity. In the sources that include at all a mass for Transfiguratio we see different sets of Proper chants, borrowed from different feasts. The status of the feast changed when pope Callixtus III extended the feast to the Universal Church in memory of the victory gained by the Hungarians over the Turks. After that a new Proper was compiled, which, however, was slowly adopted by the different dioceses. It is questionable whether new melodies were also composed or the texts were sung to existing melodies instead. In Hungary the feast understandably gained special importance and apparently there was a need for Proper melodies. Since, however, there were no ordered melodies (or they were not at hand), every scriptor had to compose or find their own version. The paper demonstrates a great variety of solutions through the different melodies set to the Alleluia text Candor est lucis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-231
Number of pages15
JournalStudia Musicologica
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Adaptation
  • Alleluia
  • Hungary
  • Proper chants
  • Properization
  • Transfiguratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Music

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