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Psalm 118 (119), in the Glenorchy Psalter

Psalm 118 (119), in the Glenorchy Psalter

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1450

Shelfmark: Egerton MS 2899

Item number: f.127r

Length: 24

Width: 17

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Medieval psalters were made to be used either for personal devotion or in church services, including the offices or daily cycle of prayers recited by monks. The Glenorchy Psalter was used in a monastery in Argyll, in Scotland, before the Reformation, but by the first quarter of the 16th century it was owned by the 3rd earl of Glenorchy, Colin Campbell. Its calendar, an aid to the manuscript's users in planning prayers and readings for services, lists many saints who were revered in western Scotland. Psalm 118 / 119 ('Blessed are they whose ways are blameless') is given special decoration and a larger than usual first letter in the Glenorchy Psalter. This psalm is given special decorative treatment in some psalters, perhaps because it is the first of the gradual psalms (Psalms 119-133), which in the middle ages were recited by the monks on specially designated days.

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