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A Diagram for a Procession for Services on the Vigil of Easter, 'Wormald Processional'

A Diagram for a Procession for Services on the Vigil of Easter, 'Wormald Processional'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1400

Shelfmark: Additional MS 57534

Item number: f.57r

Length: 21.2

Width: 12.1

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

Processions often take place before masses on Sundays and important feasts. The procession, accompanied with chants, may be made to another church (a station), for readings and prayers. The processions' hymns are sometimes assembled in a book called a processional. Made for an urban church dedicated to St Mary and with dependent suburban churches, this one may have been for Salisbury Cathedral, but one of its processions is adapted for the tradition (use) of Norwich and a procession with the relics of St Swithin suggests Winchester, too. A rare illustrated processional, it has diagrams indicating the position of participants.

For the vigil of Easter (Holy Saturday), the diagram shows the lighting of the paschal candle, which may stand on the entrance step with taperers (acolytes or altar boys holding candles) to either side. Two more two acolytes are to the left, a deacon carrying the gospelbook between them, with a thurifer (acolyte carrying an incense container) to the right, and next to a column on the left an object which has been interpreted as the Paschal candle in a holder decorated with a dragon or a dragon banner.

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