Browse Exhibits (3 total)

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.

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How to Date and Place a Medieval Manuscript

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This exhibit aims to provide researchers with tools and methods for determining the probable date and geographical origin of a medieval liturgical manuscript. The manuscript used here as a case study, Western MS 97 (housed in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University), is a gradual containing music notation. However, most of the methods discussed in the exhibit are applicable to any liturgical manuscript.

Each page in the exhibit will lead us down an investigatory avenue: musical analysis, paleographical analysis, and--particularly useful for Western MS 97--exploration of marginalia. 

The pages in this exhibit are intended to be read in order.

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Laying to Rest: An Office for Burial in Plimpton MS 034

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.

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