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First Sunday in Advent, in a Missal+

First Sunday in Advent, in a Missal+

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1345

Shelfmark: Additional MS 39675

Item number: f.10r

Length: 26.2

Width: 17.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The missal presents texts for the celebration of the Mass. Most of the Mass remains constant throughout the year, but within it are read and sung texts which are unique to each day of the calendar, some of them from the Bible, some special hymns and prayers. This missal was produced in the 14th century for use in Hereford Cathedral. The mass that it presents was meant for a lay congregation as opposed to a monastery. Although by the 14th century much of the Mass was standardised, still it could vary from place to place. This manuscript can be identified as being of 'Hereford use' by the kinds of texts in it, the way they are arranged, and the saints whose feast days are 'red letter,' that is, written in red. The simple ornament of vines and leaves, drawn in coloured inks, is typical of missals made for everyday use in the later Middle Ages. Advent is the season of four weeks leading up to Christmas. The songs and readings that can be seen on this page for the first Sunday of Advent include the psalm fragment (from Psalm 142 / 143) and the responses to it which would be sung as the priest and attendants processed into the cathedral at the beginning of Mass. Also visible on the page are the readings from the Epistle to the Romans and from the Gospel of Mark.

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