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The Profession Of A Monk, In The 'Anderson' Pontifical

The Profession Of A Monk, In The 'Anderson' Pontifical

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1000

Shelfmark: Additional MS 57337

Item number: f.92r

Length: 29.7

Width: 24.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

A pontifical is a book of the church services conducted by a bishop, such as the ordination of a priest and the dedication of a church. This pontifical from Anglo-Saxon England was discovered in 1970 in the stables at Brodie Castle, in Forres, Scotland. It is called the 'Anderson Pontifical' after Hugh Anderson, minister of the parish of Drainie, Morayshire, in the early 18th century, whose name is inscribed with date in the book. No one knows how the ancient service book got from its place of origin, probably Canterbury or Winchester, to Scotland, but it is possible that it arrived in the Middle Ages, before the 13th century when Drainie was the seat of the bishops of Moray. The title in capitals at the top of this page identifies the text as instructions for the blessing of monks, in which novitiates make their vows of obedience, chastity and poverty, according to the Rule of St Benedict (the standard rule for monks to live by in this period). The instructions are written in red, blue and green, while the words the monks are to repeat are written in black.

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