A Collection of Sermons f.128r
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Sermons were read during church services and sometimes during the daily prayer services of monks and nuns (the divine office). Collections of sermons were important resources for composing sermons as well as for study and reading from in the divine office. This manuscript containing a collection of sermons belonged to the priory of Rochester cathedral. Drawing upon many authors, the collection emphasises the sermons of Peter Lombard, an important theologian who lived earlier in the 12th century.
The large letter 'h' begins a quotation from Hebrews 13:10 ("We have an altar") and the commentary on it. Along the left edge of this page, a series of small holes can be seen. These are the ruling marks (or prickings) that were made to guide the ruling of the vellum before it was written upon. Also, the rulings themselves--the guidelines for the writing--can be seen. They were made with metalpoint, a lead and bronze implement which left a line that looks like pencil. Metalpoint and crayon were the usual markers used by the end of the 12th century. Earlier a stylus would have been used to indent the vellum's surface.