Cantus Network

libri ordinarii of the Salzburg metropolitan province



The Amtsbuch of the parish of Hartkirchen.

A remarkable and rare testimony to the liturgical practice of a rural parish is a „Pfarramtsbuch“ (parish register)*, which was written in Latin around 1490 and is preserved today in the Bavarian Hauptstaatsarchiv Munich (Kloster St. Nikola Passau, Amtsbücher und Akten 62). This "Land-Ordinale" was most likely made by the parish priest Konrad Trandler (urk. 1468-1493, † before 18.05.1496), who was the parish priest of St. Peter Hartkirchen, which was incorporated into the Augustinian monastery of St. Nikola before Passau, from about 1486-1496.

Hartkirchen am Inn, today a village of the municipality of Pocking in the Lower Bavarian "Bäderdreieck", was an important market and parish in the Middle Ages, to which the subsidiary churches of St. Ulrich Pocking and Mariae Himmelfahrt Mittich belonged. It is clear from the "Pfarramtsbuch" that a large number of priests (parish priests, chaplains and cooperators) were responsible for singing the Gregorian Chant and had to perform an extensive workload of masses, vespers, lauds and vigils. However, no cantor, school teacher or schola can be proven for Hartkirchen for this period, nor can an organ.

In addition to liturgical information (with concrete references to the Passau Diocesan Ordinary and to missals that were issued in the churches), this "Amtsbuch" also regulates the payment of priests and church servants for whom the "Zechpröpste" (church finance administrators) were responsible. As was common practice at that time, a Brotherhood of Mary also existed in Hartkirchen with its own "Zechpropst", who had to administer the foundation funds. At the instigation of the Brotherhood, the Marian antiphon Salve regina was sung every Saturday evening in the Marian Chapel of the church. Of some importance for regional historical research are the numerous mentions of liturgical services (functions), persons and places. Remarkable here are the places of stations mentioned in the numerous processions. In addition to regular walks around Hartkirchen cemetery and Stationes am "Karner", the route also led to neighbouring and more distant churches and chapels. Thus the parish procession on Monday of the week of rogation before Ascension Day led to Passau and on Tuesday to St. Nicholas Church in Rottersham (Ruhstorf parish). Hartkirchen played a central role as a "place of pilgrimage" in the rogation processions on the following Wednesday. Here pilgrims from Pocking, Mittich, Vornbach, Eholfing, Ering, Malching, Rottalmünster, Kühnham, Würding and Safferstetten met in Hartkirchen to celebrate the devine office together.

Unusual for a rural parish is also the large number of donations of "Seelgerätstiftungen" (spiritual foundations), which, in addition to the regular workload, resulted in an annual burden for the priests in the form of 31 vigils for the dead (night offices), 10 officies for Holy Mary, 28 requiem and 60 "ordinary" masses.

Codicological description: Parchment, 12x27 cm, leather covered wooden binding with stamping.

Dating: The year 1431 mentioned on the front cover of the book cannot be the date of the compilation. The priest Georg Gansar from Beutelsbach, mentioned in the main part, died in 1467 and Steffan Schmecknpfrill of Gstetten, also mentioned here, is documented as having died in 1479. The priest Wolfgangus Zingknhawser was a benefactor at the hospital church of St. Nikola in Passau from 1450 to 1491 and probably only afterwards in Hartkirchen. The added "Nota constitutiones" (fol. 10rv) must also have been written during the term of office of the Griesbach "Pfleger" (administrator) Christoph Cammer (urk. 1487-1495).

The book genre "Pfarramtsbuch" is not clearly defined for the time relevant here. The Hartkirchner "Amtsbuch" is to be understood as a local supplement to the Passau diocesan Liber ordinarius. It contains references to prayers, readings and hymns only in exceptional cases. If necessary, reference is made to the Ordinal. Rather, it is an instruction to the community of priests as to who was to serve in which church on which day, what is to be observed in the specific case and what remuneration the priests and church servants are to receive. Of importance for musicology is the clear separation between the "Missa lecta" (read mass) and a large number of services actually sung (mass, office and procession). Noteworthy is the information on the anniversaries and other "Seelgerätstiftungen". These can only partly be found in preserved charters. In summary, this parish register can be considered an important cultural and historical source.

Further information on persons, liturgical services and places mentioned in the Pfarramtsbuch.

by Robert Klugseder

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