Tag Archives: liturgy

Conference: “Bells and Smells: Sensory Experiences of the Medieval Liturgy”, Senate House, University of London, 24/02/2018

Bells and Smells

The five senses occupied an ambiguous place in medieval religious life. For generations of theologians and pastoral writers, the senses were gateways for sin to enter body and soul. And yet, in the rarefied environment of liturgical performance, they became the means by which mortals could apprehend the Almighty. Imagery, music, incense, touch and even taste played a role in shaping medieval worshippers’ encounters with the sacred. The papers in this conference consider how the senses were employed and how they were a source of both religious solidarity and controversy.

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History of Liturgy Seminars @ Institute of Historical Research, London: 2017-2018 Programme

f020_massHistory of Liturgy Seminars 2017-2018

Mondays 17.15-19.15
John S Cohen Room N203, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London WC1E 7HU

2 October 2017                   Teresa Webber (University of Cambridge): The Chapter Office and Reading in Chapter: monastic practice c. 1000-1300

13 November  2017          Henry Parkes (Yale University): Matins Responsories and Narratives of Divine Encounter

5 February 2018                 Isabelle Cochelin (University of Toronto): Decrypting Monastic Customaries

5 March 2018                       Iris Shagrir (Open University of Israel): Liturgical Vision and Liturgical Practice in Crusader Jerusalem

This will be a joint session with the Crusades and the Latin East seminar

21 May 2018                         Roundtable discussion: What roles did rubrics play in medieval liturgy?

11 June 2018                        Arthur Westwell (University of Cambridge): Conquering by the Book: Did the Carolingians bring a New Liturgy to the Kingdom of Italy?


David Harrap (QMUL): Consecratio Navis: Maritime Liturgies in Medieval and Early Modern England

Convenors: Nicolas Bell, Matthew Champion, Helen Gittos, Sarah Hamilton, Kati Ihnat, Eyal Poleg, Matthew Cheung Salisbury, Elizabeth Solopova, Teresa Webber

Sponsored by: Henry Bradshaw Society, Institute of Historical Research, Birkbeck and Queen Mary, University of London


For any inquiries please contact Helen Gittos or Eyal Poleg (H.B.Gittos@kent.ac.uk or e.poleg@qmul.ac.uk)

CFP: ‘Medieval Liturgy: Text and Performance,’ 53nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 10-13, 2018) in Kalamazoo, Michigan

bean20ms120-20folio2080l20-20liturgy20of20the20deadCall for Papers: ‘Medieval Liturgy: Text and Performance,’ 53nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 10-13, 2018) in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Deadline: 15 September 2017
The Interdisciplinary Graduate Medieval Colloquium at the University of Virginia invites graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars to submit papers for a session entitled “Medieval Liturgy: Text and Performance” at the 53nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 10-13, 2018) in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Abstracts of up to 250 words for a 15-20-minute paper should be submitted on or before September 15, 2017 via Google Forms (visit http://bit.ly/liturgyform). All entries will undergo blinded peer review. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decisions via email by Friday, September 22.

Medieval Liturgy: Text and Performance

This panel turns on a rather simple (or simplistic) question: is liturgy a text or a performance? The howls of dissent rise up – Who would ask such a thing? The answer is both, of course! In response, this panel invites graduate students, affiliated faculty, and independent scholars to respond to the dichotomy of text/performance even as they replace it with their own set of questions to guide the future study of liturgy as text, music, and/or drama. Among other concerns, how are the textual and bodily experiences of liturgy coeval, or even co-constitutive, in the Middle Ages? In what ways do liturgical texts both organize and find their roots in ritual reenactments that involve procession, genuflection, and acts of proskynesis? What episodes and anecdotes from the Middle Ages reveal how liturgical text is entangled with the environment in which it is read, sung, translated, or performed?

The panel aims to create a conversation that goes beyond the traditional practice of liturgical exegesis to a more active, embodied study of the liturgy in Catholic, Orthodox, and Jewish traditions. Since unpacking the meaning of a somatic study of liturgy is the prime goal of the session, participants may use movement, travel, and the kineticism of objects as organizing principles for their work or ask how scholars actually perform or participate in the liturgies they study. Interesting avenues include discussions of the materiality of liturgy, from enduring forms to ephemera, via a close look at manuscripts, printed books, sacred instruments, vestments, relics, urban layouts, decorations for processions, and the architecture of churches, chapels, and tombs. We particularly invite work that pushes the boundary of what is currently considered the purview of “liturgy and ritual studies,” explores some aspect of space and sound, and pertains to the smell, touch, and taste of the liturgy in North Africa, Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Russia, and the Byzantine world.

Session co-chairs:
Justin Greenlee (jgg3mb@virginia.edu) and DeVan Ard (dda8xx@virginia.edu)

Gothic Revival, Medieval Art & the Hereford Screen

Issue 5 of British Art Studies features a One Object study of the Gothic Revival Hereford Screen. The 8 tonne metalwork structure was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and manufactured by the firm of Francis Skidmore in 1862. The collection of essays fosters discussion of the screen’s medieval models as well as its Victorian genesis.


The Hereford Screen in Hereford Cathedral, view from North Transept, 19th century. (Image from the V&A website)

As a new and exclusively digital journal, British Art Studies’ virtual platform is celebrated through abundant interplay of text, image and audio-visual material.  It brings together seven scholars who present technical and theoretical perspectives on a single object by means of ‘traditional’ essays and short films.  This brief blog-post aims to draw attention to the medieval content of the study, notwithstanding the overall interest and coherence of all the constituent articles.

The One Object discussion is introduced by Ayla Lepine, in an essay entitled Resurrection, Re-Imagination, Reconstruction:
New Viewpoints on the Hereford Screen.


Essays in the discussion that focus on medieval material are:

The Hereford Screen: A Prehistory, by medievalist Matthew Reeve, guides the reader through a history of the medieval predecessors of the Hereford screen and places its production in the context of the Cathedral space and the architect’s work at Lichfield and Salisbury.

Jacqueline Jung’s contribution, a video essay entitled, The Medieval Choir Screen in Sacred Space, considers the sight-lines and sculptural relationships created by the strategically designed perforations and interior figural programmes of medieval screens and their host churches, focusing on two examples from 13th-century Italy and 15th-century Germany.

The oddly fragile, contentious choir screen, in its many historical manifestations, receives a colourful and polyphonic tribute in this One Object study. As a medieval art blog, links to the most relevant essays are given above but are, for best results, to be enjoyed with their Gothic Revival companions.

Digital library of liturgical sources

Ecclesiastical Map of Western Europe in the Middle Ages

Ecclesiastical Map of Western Europe in the Middle Ages

Digital library of liturgical sources is a new research tool developed by the Research Group of Liturgical History. The Calendar-Project is a comprehensive database of almost 200 representative European liturgical Calendars and Sanctorals. Through browsing Saints and Feasts or Dates respectively, one can gain a statistically relevant sample of where, when and which feasts were celebrated within the medieval territory of the Roman Rite. Methodically, our research is based on the same principles as the whole of USUARIUM, namely that diverse sources based on their undoubted origin provide the best way to study the range of variability of liturgical Uses. Proofreading, corrections, new sources and facilities will follow in the coming weeks.

CONTACT FOR PASSWORD: foldvary.miklos[at]btk.elte.hu
 dr. Miklós Földváry, H-1088 Budapest,
Múzeum krt. 4/F. 222.

New Publications: Romanesque Cathedrals in Mediterranean Europe


Romanesque Cathedrals in Mediterranean Europe: 
Architecture, Ritual and Urban Context

Boto Varela, J. E.A. Kroesen (eds.)

Brepols Publishers

This volume explores the architecture and layout of Romanesque cathedrals in Europe, especially around the Mediterranean, paying special attention to liturgical ritual, church furnishings, iconography, and urban context.

The architecture, interior settings and urban environment of Romanesque cathedrals around the Mediterranean offer unique insights into religion and culture in southern Europe during the 10th-13th centuries. In this period, cultural and artistic interchange around the Mediterranean gave rise to the first truly European art period in Medieval Western Europe, commonly referred to as ‘Romanesque’. A crucial aspect of this integrative process was the mobility of artists, architects and patrons, as well as the capacity to adopt new formulas and integrate them into existing patterns. Some particularly creative centers exported successful models, while others became genuine melting pots. All this took shape over the substrate of Roman Antiquity, which remained in high esteem and was frequently reused.

In these studies, Romanesque cathedrals are employed as a lens with which to analyze the complexity and dynamics of the cultural landscape of southern and central Europe from the tenth to the twelfth centuries. The architecture of every cathedral is the result of a long and complicated process of morphogenesis, defined by spatial conditions and the availability of building materials. Their interior arrangements and imagery largely reflected ritual practice and the desire to express local identities. The various contributions to this volume discuss the architecture, interior, and urban setting of Romanesque cathedrals and analyze the factors which helped to shape them. In so doing, the focus is both on the influence of patrons and on more bottom-up factors, including community practices.

CFP: Worship in Regensburg’s Institutions: On the Diversity of Liturgical Traditions in the Pre-Modern Period, Regensburg, 6-8 July 2017

dom_st_peter_regensburg_hCall for Papers: Worship in Regensburg’s Institutions: On the Diversity of Liturgical Traditions in the Pre-Modern Period (Gottesdienst in Regensburger Institutionen. Zur Vielfalt liturgischer Traditionen in der Vormoderne) Regensburg, 6-8 July 2017
Deadline: October 31, 2016

In der Vormoderne war Regensburg als weit überregional bedeutendes politisches Zentrum und international vernetzte Handelsstadt auch kirchlich durch eine Vielzahl unterschiedlicher Institutionen geprägt: Neben dem von Bonifatius gegründeten Bistum, das manche seiner liturgischen Traditionen bis lange nach dem Konzil von Trient hochhielt, gingen auch die selbstbewußte Benediktinerabtei St. Emmeram und das Kollegiatsstift der Alten Kapelle genauso wie die Kanonissenstifte Niedermünster und Obermünster auf das Frühmittelalter zurück; insbesondere St. Emmeram betrieb neben seiner reichen Bibliothek ein auch künstlerisch herausragendes Skriptorium. Im Hochmittelalter ergänzten das Benediktinerinnenkloster Mittelmünster auf weiblicher und das Kollegiatsstift von St. Johann auf männlicher Seite die kirchliche Landschaft, wenn auch nicht die erhaltene liturgische Handschriften-überlieferung. Das Schottenkloster St. Jakob strahlte im Rahmen der zweiten iroschottischen Bewegung durch Neugründungen aus, die Abtei Prüfening vor den Toren der Stadt gehörte zur Hirsauer Reform; das Doppelkloster Prüll wurde später zur Kartause.
Mit dem Spätmittelalter erweiterten Klöster männlicher und weiblicher Bettelorden die kirchliche Vielfalt, die in der Neuzeit zusätzliche Komplexität gewann, als sich die Stadt mehrheitlich der lutherischen Reformation anschloß, was zur Übernahme neuer Bräuche, aber auch zu bemerkenswerten Kompromissen führte. Als Tradentinnen und
Produzentinnen von Handschriften, aber auch als Bauherrinnen liturgischer Räume und Auftraggeberinnen von Kunstwerken, nicht zuletzt in ihrem Zusammenspiel im städtischen Raum und in ihrer Prägung durch überregionale Einflüsse sind Regensburger Institutionen ein Prisma, durch das die bunte Vielfalt vormoderner Liturgie und ihrer kulturellen Ausdrucksformen sichtbar wird.
Angesichts großer Unterschiede in Quellenbestand und Forschungslage lohnt sich ein neuer Blick auf die wichtigsten kirchlichen Institutionen, historischen Phasen und überregionalen Bezugssysteme der Liturgiegeschichte Regensburgs in der Vormoderne. Beiträge aus Liturgiewissenschaft, Musikwissenschaft, Kunstgeschichte und verwandten Disziplinen sollen exemplarisch die verschiedenen Dimensionen liturgischen Lebens und ihre künstlerischen, musikalischen und architektonischen Ausdrucksformen erhellen, die bisherige Forschung kritisch sichten, auf bestehende Lücken hinweisen und neue Perspektiven künftiger Erschließung eröffnen. Äußerer Anlaß für die Tagung ist die Wiederbelebung des Institutum Liturgicum Ratisbonense des Bistums Regensburg, welches sich seit der Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts der Liturgiegeschichte im Spiegel ihrer handschriftlichen Quellen sowie der Erforschung lokaler Eigentraditionen widmet.
Die vom Lehrstuhl für Liturgiewissenschaft der Universität Regensburg mit Mitteln des Institutum Liturgicum Ratisbonense und in Zusammenarbeit einerseits mit dem Akademischen Forum Albertus Magnus des Bistums Regensburg, andererseits mit dem Forum Mittelalter der Universität Regensburg und dem Themenverbund “Metropolität in der Vormoderne” organisierte Tagung findet von Donners-tag 6. bis Samstag
8. Juli 2017 voraussichtlich in den Räumen der Bischöflichen
Zentralbibliothek statt und wird von einer kleinen Ausstellung

How to Submit: Bewerbungen für Vorträge (25 Minuten) und Kurzbeiträge (15 Minuten) auf Deutsch, Englisch, Französisch oder Italienisch werden bis 31. Oktober
2016 mit einem Abstract von maximal 250 Worten an
harald.buchinger@theologie.uni-regensburg.de erbeten; ein
interdisziplinär besetzter Beirat wird bis 30. November 2016 darüber
entscheiden. Es ist geplant, den akzeptierten Beitragenden die Spesen
für Aufenthalt und Verpflegung sowie – im vertretbaren und möglichen
Rahmen – die Reise zu vergüten; die Tagung ist zur Publikation
vorgesehen. Neben etablierten Kolleginnen und Kollegen sind auch
Jungwissenschaftlerinnen und Jungwissenschaftler besonders herzlich