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Funeral Service, In 'The Hamelden Hours'

Funeral Service, In 'The Hamelden Hours'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1450

Shelfmark: Arundel MS 302

Item number: f.77v

Length: 14.5

Width: 7.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This book of hours is illuminated in a style combining features typical of a group of manuscripts made in Suffolk, probably Bury St. Edmunds. Heraldry in one of the initials indicates that the manuscript was made for a member of the Hamelden family, of Holton St. Peter in Suffolk. This parish is on the outskirts of Halesworth, in an industrial estate where Bernard Matthews turkey products are made. The Office of the Dead, a series of prayers to be recited on behalf of the Dead, is illustrated in a variety of ways at different times and in different places in medieval manuscripts. Here we see a funeral service being performed over the bier of the deceased, the evening before the burial. In the middle a priest reads from a service-book, and to the left an attendant holds and aspergillum, for sprinkling Holy Water.

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