Benedictionals (from the Latin benedicere, to bless) are books that contain lists of blessings given by bishops during the principal feasts of the liturgical year. Their use by members of the highest echelons of the Church during the most important ceremonies meant that these books were sometimes very highly decorated.
The Winchester Benedictional is one of a group of magnificent illuminated manuscripts probably made in Winchester in the later decades of the 10th century, during and following the tenure of Æthelwold, (later saint), bishop of Winchester from 963 to 984. Under his direction, Winchester became a centre for monastic reform and of manuscript production.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.