Barbara Haggh-Huglo: The Liturgy of Lay Foundations in Ghent, 1400–1500

May 9, 2018

Did the laity control worship at church altars outside the main choir in Ghent in the century before the Reformation? How can these lay liturgies be categorized? Were they always votive? In this presentation, I explore the liturgies of a variety of lay foundations and the extent to which they were personal, private, communal, or of political consequence. I argue for a different understanding of late-medieval liturgy, one that is mindful of those physically present or not and their role, and of such events as bread distributions, or essential objects, including paintings. Discussed are the liturgy for the dead and for series of votive masses, for the Mandatum, and for two foundations of wider import, that for a mass before the Adoration of the Lamb, and for a new Marian feast, the “Recollectio festorum beate Marie virginis.”

Barbara Haggh-Huglo is Professor of Music at the University of Maryland at College Park. She specializes in medieval and Renaissance music, its notation, theory, sources, and archival documentation, and its place in urban life and at courts.