Click here to skip to content

Common of the Saints, in the Penwortham Breviary

Common of the Saints, in the Penwortham Breviary

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1310

Shelfmark: Additional MS 52359

Item number: f.466r

Length: 21.5

Width: 12.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

A breviary is a prayerbook giving the prayers, hymns, and readings for the divine office, the cycle of devotions which monks recited daily. They can vary in size, this one being on the small side and so considered a 'portable breviary.' Its origins are uncertain, although heraldry of the Despenser, Warren, and other families were added to it soon after its manufacture. In 1486 Thomas Harwode, chaplain, gave it to the parish church of Penwortham, Lancashire. The Penwortham Breviary preserves one of the oldest, most complete examples of the divine office according to Sarum Use, or as recited in much of medieval post-Norman England. This page is from the Common of Saints, or prayers for feasts of saints not noted in the calendar of the breviary's community. These saints are divided into classes, each class given a set of prayers for recitation on the feast day. Here are prayers for apostles' feasts. A picture of an apostle below Christ holding the orb of the world decorates the beginning of the antiphon 'Estote fortes in bello' ('Be strong in war'). The musical notation is rare in a small breviary.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites


Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: