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Procession of the Holy Name of Jesus (Salisbury)

This enactment of the Procession of the Holy Name of Jesus took place on Sunday before the main cathedral Eucharist (i.e. Mass).

View the full video recording of the [video_lightbox_vimeo5 video_id=”82189678″ width=”640″ height=”480″ anchor=”Procession of the Holy Name at Salisbury Cathedral”].

View an introductory video of this procession with commentary [video_lightbox_vimeo5 video_id=”82175479″ width=”640″ height=”480″ anchor=”here”].

You can view, download, print and follow the main ‘performance’ texts used by the participants for this enactment:

Blessing of salt and water before procession (clergy)
Service booklet for priest
Service booklet for singers

The full sequence of text resources used in the enactment can be found here.

A sequence of diagrammatic plans of the stages of the procession in Salisbury Cathedral can be found here, and a simpler plan can be found here.

Special directions applied to a Sunday procession which was also a great feast day. The Blessing of Salt and Water took place in another part of the cathedral, rather than in the quire as on an ordinary Sunday. (This allowed the community of the cathedral to sing Terce in the quire at the same time.) Only the principal altar was sprinkled, though a boy took the holy water all around the procession. The route of the procession was extended to go around the cloister on the south side of the cathedral. The vernacular Bidding Prayers, usually recited when the procession stopped before the great cross in the nave, were omitted.

Enacting the procession raised important questions about moving and singing at the same time. Did the cathedral community sing the processional chant slowly so that it lasted for the whole procession? How fast did they walk (allowing for the aged and infirm) in order to remain as a coherent procession? Did they leave out portions of the processional chant if there was more music than required to complete the processional route? We took the view that the time it took to walk the processional route should be matched to the length of the processional chant (the prosa Salve festa dies), though in the event this proved slightly longer than required.