Liturgical Festivals in the RISM Database with Three Examples

These holidays are familiar to many: saint’s feast days, the celebration of name days, and the Christian holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. But did you know that the Church also celebrates historical events such as the Exaltation of the Holy Cross? One clear example of the significance of this unique liturgical festival is the baroque church of the Franciscan Kreuzberg Monastery in the Rhön Mountains near Fulda (first image).

Three paintings on the ceiling of the church depict the liturgical festivals that center around the Holy Cross. The creator of these paintings was Ludwig Hepp of Aschaffenburg. His artistic rendering of the festival of St. Helena’s discovery of the Cross in Jerusalem in the year 325 is located above the organ (second image). The painting in the middle of the ceiling portrays the exaltation of the Cross in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in 630 (third image). On the ceiling of the chancel one sees Hepp’s depiction of the stigmatization of St. Francis (last image).

But how can one find these liturgical festivals in the RISM online catalog? Liturgical festivals are generally entered into the RISM database with their Latin title. They are arranged according to the model of the index of festivals in the Liber Usualis. In order to increase the clarity of the search index and make searching easier, the Holy Cross festivals are filed under the keyword “Crux” in the nominative form. The terms “Inventio (for the Finding of the Holy Cross) and “Exaltatio” (for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross) are each attached to this keyword with a comma. The stigmatization of St. Francis can be found under its Latin name in the genitive form, in this case under “Francisci Confessoris;” this name is further modified by the description “Impressionis Sacrorum Stigmatum in Corpore,” which is attached to the base search term with a comma. Try out a search for these liturgical festivals in our online catalog and find the corresponding musical sources.

All photos by Guido Kraus. Translated by Vivian Tompkins (RISM Central Office intern, summer 2017).

Category: RISM online catalog

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