The benedictional was a bishop's book, containing the prayers which only a bishop (or archbishop) could pronounce when he said mass, characteristically a lavish production. Several have survived from Anglo-Saxon England and thesehave recently been attracting the attention of liturgists and palaeographers. One of the most important is the `Canterbury Benedictional', now London, British Library, Harley 2892, written at Christ Church, Canterbury, around themiddle of the eleventh century. The `Canterbury Benedictional' provides a valuable record of liturgical observance at the seat of the English archbishop. In particular, it gives a full record of the cult of saints at the metropolitan see in the last days of the Anglo-Saxon church. The Latin text is accompanied by an introduction and detailed liturgical notes in which the relationships between the surviving Anglo-Saxon benedictionals and their continental antecedents are set out for the first time. The book will be of interest to students of the medieval liturgy, and to historians of the Anglo-Saxon church. First published 1917.
The Canterbury Benedictional British Museum Harl. MS. 2892
- Henry Bradshaw Society