Browse Exhibits (2 total)
A fourteenth-century processional for an order of Rich Clares in Brussels, Plimpton MS 034 (New York, Columbia University, Rare Book and Manuscript Library) contains a detailed service for a deceased woman. The other services contained in the manuscript are those for the Feast of the Purification, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, the Feasts of Saint Francis and Saint Clare and Corpus Christi. The burial ritual does, however, take up significantly more space in the manuscript than the other services.
This exibit aims to reconstruct the full text of the death ritual at the Clarissan convent in Brussels and to examine the manuscript in the context of what is known about the convent as well as about contemporary attitudes on the body, dying, and burial.
The processional, New York, Columbia University, RBML, Plimpton MS 034, includes an Office of the Dead with chants and prayers for burial. This liturgy occupies fully a third of the Clarissan manuscript. The antiphons and psalms chanted by the sisters are provided in their entirety while rubrics in red ink indicate when to begin certain chants and prayers in conjunction with the actions of the brothers and the priest, such as when the brothers carry the coffin to the cemetery and when the priest has finished sprinkling holy water and incensing the gravesite.