Saturday, 29 May 2010

Ex libro horarum...


Not the finest illuminated manuscript around but this old Book of Hours depicts the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles and St Mary in the upper room. Something for the last day of the Octave, since curiously the Pentecost Octave doesn't have an Octave Day.
I wonder, do Books of Hours count as a ''pious devotion'' to compensate for bad Liturgy such as private Masses? The era in which they were most popular certainly had Low Mass (obviously with no codified rubrics; this didn't happen until Trent), but to fulfill one's Sunday obligation one had to attend not only Mass but more properly Mattins, Mass and Vespers, and these would have been sung and with incense even in the humblest parish in the back of beyond. Just something to think about...

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