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A Procession Before a Baptismal Font on Easter Sunday, in the 'Wormald Processional'

A Procession Before a Baptismal Font on Easter Sunday, in the 'Wormald Processional'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1400

Shelfmark: Additional MS 57534

Item number: f.71r

Length: 21.7

Width: 12.5

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. This page shows a diagram for a ceremony at the "eastern [baptismal] font" on Easter Sunday, involving rectors ('rulers', possibly archbishops or the rulers of the choir). Objects used include the oil of the catechumens and holy chrism, indicated by vase-like containers. The open book above the font could be the gospel book carried by a deacon. The ring shapes indicate the bishop (before the altar) and deacons. The red shapes could indicate the 'rectors', which could mean archbishops or rulers of the choir.

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