Leofric Missal of Exeter

by John Wijngaards

Manuscript reference: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 579

mss written ca. 1050; from French (?) Lotharingian exemplar dating ca. 920

Published in: The Leofric missal as used in the Cathedral of Exeter during the episcopate of its first bishop, A.D. 1050-1072. Together with some account of the Red book of Derby, the Missal of Robert of Jumièges, and a few other early manuscript service books of the English church. Edited, with introduction and notes by F. E. Warren, Oxford 1883. Here 226, 295b.

The so-called ‘Leofric Missal’, is for the most part not really a missal, but a late-ninth or early-tenth-century combined sacramentary, pontifical and ritual with cues for the sung parts of various masses by the original, possibly French or Lotharingian, scribe.

Subsequently, over the course of a hundred and thirty or so years, the sacramentary-pontifical-ritual was considerably augmented, first most probably for the successors of Plegmund, archbishop of Canterbury (890-923), the man for whom it was probably originally compiled, then later at Exeter for Bishop Leofric (1050-72).

The Leofric Missal

leofricSample of a typical page in the manuscript

1. Oratio ad diaconissam faciendam

2. Exaudi, domine, preces nostras, et super hanc famulam tuam spiritum tuae benedictionis emitte ut caelesti munere ditata et tuae gratiam possit maiestatis adquirere, et bene vivendi aliis exemplum prebere.

1. Prayer to make a deaconess

2. “Hear, o Lord, our petition and send down on this your maidservant the Spirit of your ordination so that, since you have conferred on her your heavenly office, she may obtain favour with your majesty and may present to others the example of a good life. Through J[esus]. ”

Comment

 

The ancient ordination prayer – EXAUDI .

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