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Title: The secular liturgical office in late medieval England
Author: Cheung Salisbury, Matthew R.
ISNI:       0000 0000 3945 545X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis challenges existing preconceptions about the textual uniformity of the late medieval English Office liturgy. The received narrative is that all breviaries of the same liturgical Use are in large part identical. This study demonstrates that all complete, surviving manuscript breviaries and antiphonals of each secular liturgical Use of medieval England (dating from s.xiii – s.xvi) do share a common textual ‘fingerprint’ particular to each Use. But this is in large part restricted to the proper texts of universal or popular observances. Other features of these service books, even within the sources of the same Use, are subject to significant variation, influenced by local customs and hagiographical and textual priorities, and also by varying reception to liturgical prescriptions from ecclesiastical authorities. Distinct regional patterns, especially in the kalendar, are a principal result. Rubrics (giving details of ritual) and lessons (at Matins) in particular suggest that the manuscripts are witnesses to textual subfamilies, and that these represent succeeding stages of the promulgation of the major Uses across England. The identification of the characteristic features of each Use and the differentiation of regional patterns have resulted from treating each manuscript as a unique witness, a practice which is not common in liturgical studies, but one which gives the manuscripts greater value as historical sources. The unique character of each allows it to be situated in its temporal and intellectual context and indeed to illuminate that context. For instance, properties of individual manuscripts can be compared with other evidence for the prescription of liturgy in England in order to assess the efficacy of ecclesiastical orders of this nature. A descriptive catalogue of 115 manuscripts and transcriptions of their liturgical kalendars provide both a resource for further research and a proof of concept of the methodology.
Supervisor: Sharpe, Richard; Dondi, Cristina Sponsor: SSHRC ; Colin Matthew Fund ; Scottish Borders Council ; Worcester College, Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; liturgy