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The Election of a Bishop, in a Pontifical from St Mungo's

The Election of a Bishop, in a Pontifical from St Mungo's

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1150

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Tiberius B VIII

Item number: f.3r

Length: 27.5

Width: 18

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

A pontifical has instructions for the performance of all the sacraments conducted by a bishop. These episcopal services are often complex with prayers, hymns and processions. This pontifical belonged to the medieval cathedral of St Mungo, in Glasgow. It has early musical notation for hymns. Near the beginning of the pontifical, this page has the ceremony for the election of a bishop. At the top of the page, the inscription in red (called a 'rubric') identifies it, while the black writing gives the words of the ceremonies, with the letter 'N' indicating the points at which the names of those participating are to be said. In the lower margin, the manuscript's 17th-century owner, Robert Cotton, has inscribed his name and the date, 1604.

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