Liturgical traditions for Palm Sunday and their dissemination in Old English prose
This thesis examinesthe dissemination of liturgical traditions
for Palm Sundayin seven Old l!hglish homilies: Blickling HomilyVI
and its variant, Blickling HomilyVIa; &l.fric's In DominicaPalmarum
from the First Series of the Catholic Homilies, his SecondSeries,
De Passione Domini,and its variant found in MS.Cotton Tiberius A. iii;
together with two anonymousPassion Story homilies, Dominicain Ramis
Palmarumand De Passione Domini. These homilies form a group on the
basis of their connections to PalmSunday, and include examplesof
anonymoushomilies (both before and after the Benedictine Reform)as
well as homilies by Jafric.
The intention is to provide contexts for these homilies based on
their contents and sources, together with their relationship with the
li turgical traditions for the day. To this end, Chapter I examines
the evidence for liturgical traditions associated with Palm Sun~ in
the early Medievalperiod, and identifies the liturgical pericopes.
Idturgical lections are comparedwith the lections used by latin
patristic writers to establish any divergence betweenthe two
traditions. Concentration on the pericope helps to define a probable
area of patristic material that Old English homiletic writers were
likely to consult. EVidencefor the use of liturgical traditions for
PalmSundayby Old English homilists is also examined.
Detailed consideration of each Old English PalmSundayhomily is
provided in Chapter II. Themanuscript history of the homily is
briefly discussed and is followed by an examination of its pericopes,
contents and sources. Chapter II, therefore, seeks to recover homiletic traditions for Palm Sunday, and examines the differences in
approach taken by the various writers. !lnphasis on the contents of
these homilies provides insights into the nature of their composition,
and some general remarks about the form of Old English homilies
concludes the chapter. Chapter III presents editions of those Old
English homilies for Palm Sunday as yet unpublished: Blickling
Homily VIa, Dominica in Ramis Palmarumand De Passione Domini. Since
I amconcerned primarily with the contents ot these homilies, they are
edited conservatively with the minimumof textual apparatus. Textual
notes, where supplied, are also concerned with the contents rather
than the language of the texts.
The final Chapter, Chapter IV, examines Palm Sunday homilies in
relation to the liturgical traditions (services and vernacular
homilies) for the rest of Holy Week. The Chapter examines in detail
the so-called 'silent days', and compares homilies written by .nfric
for Easter ~ with those found in the anonymoustradition.
Differences between these homilies sets in relief the Palm Sunday
group, and two traditions of Old English homiletic composition -
alfrician and anonymous - are clearly delineated.
Two Appendices are also supplied; the first presents an edition
and commentary of one Old English anonymous homily for Easter ~t
and the second traces the dissemination of one particular theme (the
so-called Sunday List) in early Medieval literature.