Wordless Wednesday: Medieval funerals

 Harley-2915-f.-55v-Funeral‘Miniature of a funeral mass’, from Book of Hours, Use of Sarum
(England, S. E. (London), c.1440-c.1450),
Shelfmark: Harley 2915 f. 55v, © British Library Board.

 

‘Clerics and mourners surrounding a black-draped coffin’ from Book of Hours, Use of Sarum (‘The Hours of the Earls of Ormond’) (England, c.1460 (before 1467)),
Shelfmark: Harley 2887 f. 80, © British Library Board.

 

‘Office of the Dead (funeral service)’ from Book of Hours, Use of Sarum, (England, S. E. (Suffolk, Bury St Edmunds?), 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 15th century),
Shelfmark: Arundel 302 f. 77v, © British Library Board.

 

 ‘Office of the Dead (funeral service)’ from Book of Hours, including Hours of the Holy Spirit and of the Passion, (England, 3rd quarter of the 13th century),
shelfmark: Egerton 1151 f. 118, © British Library Board.

 

John Lydgate, ‘Offa’s funeral’ from Metrical lives of Saints Edmund and Fremund, in the presentation copy for Henry VI’, (England, between 1434 and 1439),
shelfmark: Harley 2278  f. 22, © British Library Board.

 

John Lydgate, ‘Offa’s funeral’ from Metrical lives of Saints Edmund and Fremund, in the presentation copy for Henry VI’, (England, between 1434 and 1439),
shelfmark: Harley 2278  f. 22v, © British Library Board.

All digital images from the British Library’s Online Images archive appear by courtesy of the British Library Board and may not be reproduced (© British Library Board).

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3 Responses to Wordless Wednesday: Medieval funerals

  1. mark spurrell says:

    A nice little collection. Incidentally the first picture is not of the Requiem Mass, but of the office of the Dead. They are all in the choir, clergy to the north and mourners to the south. The altar has no candles on it nor book, so the service is probably Vespers the evening before the burial. The Mass ios almost always represented at the Elevation of the Host, but occasionally the absolution of the dead, which follows on from the Mass is depicted.
    I have written on the subject more fully in my doctoral thesis, ‘The Development of the Chancel and its Use by the Laity.’ Oxford University D. Phil.

  2. The Narrator says:

    Thanks Mark. The captions all come from the British Library’s own captions, so perhaps you may want to contact them to get them to change their caption? Your thesis sounds very interesting – will you publishing it in book form?

    • mark spurrell says:

      I don’t suppose that the thesis will be published. It is an Oxford University D.Phil thesis and I suppose can be accessed. I am glad you think it sounds interesting – I enjoyed writing it enormously.

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