Monday, November 30, 2009


Advent hymns and prayers, in the Penwortham Breviary
c. 1310
Ink and pigments on vellum
21.6 x 13.1 cm
Additional MS 52359, f.1r
The British Library, London

The Penwortham Breviary preserves one of the oldest, most complete examples of the divine office according to Sarum Use, or as recited in much of medieval post-Norman England.

The first page has the prayers and hymns for the first Sunday in Advent, as the heading in red tells the reader. The beginning of the text is decorated with a picture of the Annunciation, with the words of Gabriel, the prayer 'Hail Mary full of grace,' on a scroll. The musical notations are rare in small breviaries.


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