Clarissan Death in Brussels: A Burial Procession in Plimpton MS 034

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.


Velia Ivanova with the kind help of Professor Susan Boynton, Dagmar Riedel, Andre Laboy, and Consuelo Dutschke