Late Anglo-Saxon Prayer in Practice
Before the Books of Hoursvon Kate H. Thomas
This monograph examines Anglo-Saxon prayer outside of the communal liturgy. With a particular emphasis on its practical aspects, it considers how small groups of prayers were elaborated into complex programs for personal devotion, resulting in the forerunners of the Special Offices. With examples being taken chiefly from major eleventh-century collections of prayers, liturgy and medical remedies, the methodologies of Anglo-Saxon compilers are examined, followed by five chapters on specialist kinds of prayer: to the Trinity and saints, for liturgical feasts and the canonical hours, to the Holy Cross, for protection and healing, and confessions. Analyzing prayer in a wide range of different situations, this book argues that Anglo-Saxon manuscripts may have included far more private offices than have so far been recognized, if we see them for what they were.