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Good Friday Services, in a Missal

Good Friday Services, in a Missal

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1340

Shelfmark: Harley MS 2787

Item number: f.86v

Length: 39.2

Width: 25.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

A missal contains all the prayers and readings for the celebration of mass. Usually a missal also contains a calendar because its user would need to determine the dates of saints' days and the feasts of the church to know which readings were correct for the day's mass. This missal, a rare survival from a pre-Reformation English church, was for use by a priest. Its beautiful decoration may be due to association of the church, All Saints, Maldon, in Essex, with the monastery at Beeleigh, through which the church might have acquired it, or the parish could have commissioned it from a workshop in London or elsewhere. All Saints. Maldon, has very beautiful stone carving in its nave which could have been about contemporary with this missal.

This page has instructions (written in red) and prayers for the special service held before mass on Good Friday that is called the elevation, discovery (or uncovering--removing the covering that had been on it during Lent) and adoration of the cross. At the bottom of the page, a drawing of a cat-like creature highlights the words that carry over onto the next page.

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