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The liturgy of St Willibrord

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 September 2008

Yitzhak Hen
Affiliation:
University of Haifa

Extract

What type of liturgy did St Willibrord, the Anglo-Saxon apostle of Frisia (d. 739), use? This is one of the most intriguing questions which a liturgist or historian of this period can ask. In order to answer such a question one has to consider a series of problems concerning the liturgical background of Willibrord himself and, by implication, of his period. With what form of liturgy was Willibrord familiar before he embarked on his mission to Frisia? What liturgy did he find on the Continent when he arrived, and did he attempt to borrow anything from what he found? These and similar questions need to be asked before any clear and coherent picture of the type of liturgy used by Willibrord can be drawn, and since, unfortunately, they cannot be answered with utter certainty, this article will offer some thoughts on the matter, without attempting to provide a solution or a clear-cut answer.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1997

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References

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18 This must not be taken to imply that I assume that the same liturgy was used throughout Anglo-Saxon England.

19 On the Anglo-Saxon liturgy, see Willis, G. G., ‘Early English Liturgy from Augustine to Alcuin’, in his Further Essays in Early Roman Liturgy, The Alcuin Club Collections 50 (London, 1968), 191243Google Scholar; Mayr-Harting, , The Coming of Christianity, pp. 168–90Google Scholar; Cubitt, C., Anglo-Saxon Church Councils C.650-C.850 (London and New York, 1995), pp. 125–52Google Scholar; idem, Unity and Diversity in the Early Anglo-Saxon Liturgy’, Stud. in Church Hist. 32 (1995), 4557.Google Scholar On the liturgical evidence from Anglo-Saxon England, see Gneuss, H., ‘Liturgical Books in Anglo-Saxon England and their Old English Terminology’, Learning and Literature in Anglo-Saxon England. Studies presented to Peter Clemoes, ed. Lapidge, M. and Gneuss, H. (Cambridge, 1985), pp. 91141Google Scholar; and see also Gamber, K., Codices Liturgici Latini Antiquiores, 2nd ed., 2 vols. (Fribourg, 1968)Google Scholar [hereafter: CLLA]. One should note, however, that Camber's information is in many places out of date.

20 Bertha was the daughter of the Merovingian king Charibert I (561–7). See Gregory, of Tours, , Decent libri historiarum IV.26 and IX.26, ed. Krusch, B. and Levison, W., MGH SS rer. Merov. 1.1 (Hanover, 19371951), 157 and 445.Google Scholar

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24 Bede, , HEI.21 (ii) (ed. Colgrave, and Mynors, , pp. 80–3).Google Scholar On Gregory's open-minded attitude, see Meyvaert, P., ‘Diversity within Unity: a Gregorian Theme’, Heythrop Jnl 4 (1963), 141–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Markus, R., ‘Gregory the Great and a Papal Missionary Strategy’, Stud. in Church Hist. 6 (1970), 2938CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Cubitt, , ‘Unity and Diversity’Google Scholar. On the Libellus responsionum, see, for example, Markus, R., ‘The Chronology of the Gregorian Mission to England. Bede's Narrative and Gregory's Correspondence’, JEH 14 (1963), 1630Google Scholar; Meyvaert, P., ‘The Registrum of Gregory the Great and Bede’, RB 80 (1970), 162–6Google Scholar; idem, ‘Bede's Text of the Libellus responsionum of Gregory the Great to Augustine of Canterbury’, England before the Conquest. Studies in Primary Sources presented to Dorothy Whitelock, ed. Clemoes, P. and Hughes, K. (Cambridge, 1971), pp. 1533Google Scholar; Meens, R., ‘A Background to Augustine's Mission to Anglo-Saxon England’, ASE 23 (1994), 517.Google Scholar

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31 On the Roman elements in Anglo-Saxon liturgy, see Willis, , ‘Early English Liturgy’, pp. 201–19Google Scholar; Mayr-Harting, , The Coming of Christianity, pp. 168–82Google Scholar; Cubitt, , Anglo-Saxon Church Councils, especially pp. 132–42.Google Scholar See also Hohler, C., ‘Theodore and the Liturgy’, Archbishop Theodore. Commemorative Studies on his Life and Influence, ed. Lapidge, M., CSASE 11 (Cambridge, 1995), 222–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

32 On this issue, the fullest discussion is found in Biblical Commentaries, ed. Bischoff, and Lapidge, , esp. pp. 155–72.Google Scholar See also Hohler, , ‘Theodore and the Liturgy’, pp. 226–8.Google Scholar Some of these Italian and Roman practices were subsequently introduced in Merovingian Gaul, an issue to which I shall refer later.

33 See Biblical Commentaries, ed. Bischoff, and Lapidge, , pp. 166–7Google Scholar; Hohler, , ‘Theodore and the Liturgy’.Google Scholar

34 Bede, , HE V.19 (ed. Colgrave, and Mynors, , pp. 520–1).Google Scholar

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38 See Mayr-Harting, , The Coming of Christianity, pp. 174–82Google Scholar; Cubitt, , Anglo-Saxon Church Councils, pp. 127–32Google Scholar; idem, ‘Unity and Diversity’.

39 Wilfrid, who was trained at Undisfarne, had to relearn the psalter according to the Roman use at Kent (Stephen, of Ripon, , Vita Wilfridi cc. 2–3 and 6–8 (ed. Colgrave, , pp. 68 and 1218))Google Scholar, and the anonymous author of the Vita S. Cuthberti, who was based at Lindisfarne, quotes regularly from the Gallican version (Bullough, D. A., ‘Columba, Adomnan and the Achievement of lona: Part I’, Scottish Hist. Rev. 43 (1964), 111–30, at 130).Google Scholar

40 Stephen, of Ripon, , Vita Wilfridi c. 17 (ed. Colgrave, , pp. 34–6).Google Scholar See also Mayr-Harring, , The Coming of Christianity, pp. 180–1.Google Scholar

41 Hohler, C., ‘Some Service-Books of the Later Saxon Church’, Tenth-Century Studies, ed. Parsons, D. (London, 1975), pp. 6083 and 217–27, at 61.Google Scholar

42 Ibid. p. 61.

44 On this manuscript, see CLA I, no. 105; Lowe, E. A., ‘The Vatican MS of the Gelasian Sacramentary and its Supplement at Paris’, JTS 27 (19251926), 357–73Google Scholar; Ziegler, U., ‘Das Sakramentar Gelasianum Bib. Vat. lat. 316 und die Schule von Chelles’, Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens 16 (1976), cols. 1142Google Scholar; Hen, , Culture and Religion, pp. 44–5.Google Scholar For an edition, see Liber sacramentorum Romanae ecclesiae ordinis anni circuli (Sacramentarium Gelasianum), ed. Mohlberg, L. C., Rerum Ecclesiasricarum Documenta. Series maior 4 (Rome, 1960).Google Scholar

45 See Vogel, , Medieval Liturgy, pp. 66–9Google Scholar for an excellent summary of research on this question. For Chavasse's attempt to reconstruct the supposed Roman books on which the Old Gelasian is based, see Chavasse, A., Le Sacramentaire Gélasien (Paris, 1957).Google Scholar This attempt, however, is extremely unconvincing and controversial. See Janini, J., ‘Review of A. Chavasse, Le Sacramentaire Gélasien’, Analecta Tarraconensia 31 (1958), 196–8Google Scholar; Coebergh, C., ‘Le Sacramentaire gelasien ancien’, Archiv für Liturgieiwissenschaft 1 (1961), 4588Google Scholar; and Thompson, J. D., ‘The Contribution of Vaticanus Reginensis 316 to the History of Western Service Books’, Stadia Patristica 13 (1975), 425–9.Google Scholar

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52 See The Sacramentary of Echternach, ed. Hen, Y., HBS 110 (London, 1997).Google Scholar

53 Mayr-Harring, , The Coming of Christianity, pp. 182–90Google Scholar; Hen, , Culture and Religion, pp. 121–2.Google Scholar This Anglo-Saxon influence on the Galilean liturgy is even more apparent when one examines the private prayerbooks, which were unknown on the Continent before the eighth century, and then gradually emerged from centres with Insular traditions. See Sims-Williams, P., Religion and Literature in Western England, 600–800, CSASE 3 (Cambridge, 1990), 275–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar See also Angenendt, A., ‘Missa Specialis. Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Entstehung der Privatmassen’, Frübmittelalterliche Studien 17 (1983), 153221.Google Scholar

54 See Sacramentarium Gelasianum, ed. Mohlberg, , Il.li, liii and Ixi, at pp. 155–6, 157 and 161 respectively.Google Scholar These saints were rarely venerated in Merovingian Gaul.

55 Sacramentarium Gelasianum, ed. Mohlberg, , I.lxxxiv.676–82, at pp. 104–5 (lightly corrected).Google Scholar

56 See Hohler, , ‘The Type of Sacramentary Used by St Boniface’, Sankt Bonifatius (Fulda, 1954), pp. 8993, at 91Google Scholar; The Wnchcombe Sacramentary, nos. 639–43 (ed. Davril, , pp. 114–15).Google Scholar

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62 On this issue, see Hen, , Culture and Religion, pp. 102–7.Google Scholar

63 Biblical Commentaries, ed. Bischoff, and Lapidge, , pp. 155–72Google Scholar; Hohler, , ‘Theodore and the Liturgy’.Google Scholar

64 Baumstark, A., ‘Untersuchungen’, Die ältestt erreicbbar Gestalt des Liber Sacramentorum anni circuli der römischen Kirche (Cod. Pad. D 47, fol. 11r-100r), ed. Mohlberg, L. C. and Baumstark, A., Liturgiegeschichtliche Quellen 11–12 (Münster, 1927), pp. 146*148*.Google Scholar This view is now discredited: see Hohler, , ‘The Type of Sacramentary’.Google Scholar

65 For the Sacramentary of Fulda, see Sacramentarium Fuldense saeculi X, ed. Richter, G. and Schönfelder, A. (Fulda, 1912), repr. HBS 101 (London, 1980).Google Scholar

66 See The Sacramentary of Echternach, ed. Hen, .Google Scholar

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68 See, for example, Vogel, C., ‘Saint Chrodegang et le début de la romanisation du culte en pays franc’, Saint Chrodegang (Metz, 1967), pp. 91109Google Scholar; Riché, P., ‘Le Renouveau culturel à la cour de Pépin III’, Francia 2 (1974), 5970Google Scholar; idem, ‘Les Motifs de la romanisation du culte sous Pépin le Bref (751–68)’, Culto cristiano politico imperiale carolingia. Atti del XVIII convegni di studi sulla spiritualità medievale, 9–12 ottobre 1977 (Todi, 1979), pp. 323–42Google Scholar; Moreton, , The Eighth-Century Gelasian Sacramentaries, pp. 1419Google Scholar; McKitterick, R., The Prankish Kingdom under the Carolingians, 751–987 (London, 1983), pp. 41–5 and 53–9Google Scholar; idem, Royal Patronage of Culture in the Prankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians: Motives and Consequences’, SettSpol 39 (1992), 93135.Google Scholar

69 Sims-Williams, , Religion and Literature, pp. 273–5Google Scholar; Cubitt, , Anglo-Saxon Church Councils, pp. 137–8.Google Scholar

70 On the Merovingian liturgical compositions, see Hen, , Culture and Religion, pp. 4160 (with further references).Google Scholar

71 See Hen, , ‘Unity in Diversity’Google Scholar; Cubitt, , ‘Unity and Diversity’Google Scholar; McKitterick, , ‘Unity and Diversity’.Google Scholar

72 The existence of an active scriptorium at Echternach is attested by four manuscripts, all written and decorated in die Insular style, three of which were signed by scribes who also wrote charters for Echternach (Paris, BN lat. 9382 (CLA V, no. 577), signed by Virgilius, and Augsburg, Universitätsbibliothek, Cod. 1.2.402 (CLA VIII, no. 1215) and Paris, BN lat. 10837, fols. 1–33 (CLA V, no. 605) signed by Laurentius). The fourth contains a short autobiographical statement by Willibrord himself (Paris, BN lat. 10837, fols. 34–41 (CLA V, no. 606a)). On the early scriptorium of Echternach, see Nordenfalk, C., ‘On the Age of the Earliest Echternach Manuscripts’, Acta Archaeologica 3 (1932), 5762Google Scholar; McKitterick, , ‘The Diffusion’, pp. 422–30Google Scholar; Netzer, , ‘The Early Scriptorium at Echternach’, pp. 127–37Google Scholar; idem, ‘Willibrord's Scriptorium at Echternach’, pp. 203–12; idem, Cultural Interplay, pp. 4–11; Ferrari, M. C., Sancti Willibrordi ven-erantes memoriam. Echternacber Schreiber und Schriftsteller von den Angelsachsen bis Johann Bertels (Luxembourg, 1994), pp. 917.Google Scholar

73 CLA V, no. 605a. See the edition of H. A. Wilson, The Calendar of St Willibrord, as well as his excellent introduction to the text. An origin in the scriptorium of Rath Melsigi and an earlier date were suggested by Cróinín, D. Ó, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, Peritia 1 (1982), 352–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar; idem, ‘Rath Melsigi’. However, most scholars nowadays agree that it was produced at Echternach at the beginning of the eighth century. See, for example, McKitterick, , ‘Prankish Uncial‘, pp. 374–88Google Scholar; and Netzer, , ‘The Early Scriptorium at Echternach’, pp. 127–34.Google Scholar

74 For a fuller discussion of the calendar and its implications, see Hen, , Culture and Religion, pp. 102–6.Google Scholar

75 See Cubitt, , Anglo-Saxon Church Councils, pp. 138–40Google Scholar; Hohler, , ‘Theodore and the Liturgy’, pp. 230–2Google Scholar, and further references cited there.

76 It is the ninth out of thirty-six volumes of collected fragments which were bound in the Bibliothèque Nationale at the beginning of the nineteenth century. On this particular manuscript, see Huglo, M., ‘Les fragments d'Echternach (Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, MS lat. 9488)’, Willibrord, ed. Kiesel, and Schroeder, , pp. 144–9.Google Scholar

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78 CLA V, no. 581; CLLA no. 803.

79 Mayr-Harting, , The Coming of Christianity, p. 180.Google Scholar

80 Bannister, H. M., ‘Liturgical Fragments’, JTS 9 (1907–8), 398427, at 398.Google Scholar

81 Netzer, , Cultural Interplay, esp. pp. 111–21.Google Scholar

82 The text was published by Bannister, , ‘Liturgical Fragments’, pp. 402–5.Google Scholar

83 Ibid. pp. 399–400, and see the collation table in the Appendix, below. For the St Gallen Sacramentary (St, Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, 348Google Scholar; CLA VII, no. 936; CLLA no. 830), see Das fränkische Sacramentarium Gelasianum in alammanischer Uberlieferung, ed. Mohlberg, L. C., 3rd ed., Liturgigeschichtliche Quellen 1–2 (Münster, 1971).Google Scholar For the Rheinau Sacramentary (Zürich, Zentralbibliothek, Rh. 30; CLA VII, no. 1019; CLLA no. 802), see Sacramentarium Rhenaugiense, ed. Hanggi, A. and Schönherr, A., Spicilegium Friburgense 15 (Fribourg, 1970).Google Scholar

84 CLA V, no. 582; CLLA no. 416. See also Bannister, , ‘Liturgical Fragments’, pp. 400–1Google Scholar, who assigns it a date later than 900.

85 Palaeographically, this fragment is similar to the St Chad's Gospels in Lichfield, which were written, according to Lowe, ‘in a Welsh centre following Irish calligraphic traditions’ (CLA II, no. 159). See also Brown, D., The Lichfield Gospels (London, 1982)Google Scholar;Henderson, G., From Durrow to Kelts: the Insular Gospel Books, 650–800 (London, 1987), pp. 122–9Google Scholar; The Making of England. Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture, AD600–900, ed. Webster, L. and Backhouse, J. (London, 1991), p. 127.Google Scholar

86 See Netzer, , ‘Willibrord's Scriptorium at Echternach’, pp. 203–12.Google Scholar This Irish element was overemphasized by Ó Cróinín, who subsequently attributed Echternach's earliest manuscripts to Ireland. See Ó Cróinin, , ‘Rath Melsigi’Google Scholar; idem, ‘Is the Augsburg Codex a Northumbrian Manuscript?’; idem, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, pp. 352–62. For a general account of the Irish influence on the Anglo-Saxon system of script, see Brown, T. J., ‘The Irish Element in the Insular System of Scripts to circa A.D. 850’, Die Iren, ed. Löwe, I, 101–19.Google Scholar

87 On the neumes and the script of the Sacramentary of Echternach, see The Sacramentary of Echternach, ed. Hen, , pp. 918.Google Scholar

88 The text was published by Bannister, , ‘Liturgical Fragments’, pp. 405–6.Google Scholar

89 Ibid. p. 400.

90 On this issue, see Hen, , ‘Unity in Diversity’Google Scholar.

91 Paris, BN lat. 10837, fols. 42v–43r; CLA V, no. 606b; CLLA no. 414. The text was published by Bannister, , ‘Liturgical Fragments’, pp. 409–11.Google Scholar

92 Ibid. pp. 407–8.

93 CLA V, no. 606b.

94 Bannister, , ‘Liturgical Fragments’, pp. 408–9.Google Scholar

95 Eizenhöfer, L., ‘Zu Bannisters Echternacher Meßformular für Vigil von Chrisd Himmelfahrt’, Colligere Fragments. Festschrift Alban Dold zum 70. Gerburtstag am 7.7.1952, ed. Fischer, B. and Fiala, V. (Beuron, 1952), pp. 166–72.Google Scholar

96 Hohler, .‘The Type of Sacramentary’, p. 89.Google Scholar

97 Ibid. p. 90.

98 This statement must not be taken to imply that other influences and continental liturgical practices did not find their way into the early liturgy of Echternach.

99 See Vogel, , Medieval Liturgy, p. 103Google Scholar, and see the introduction to The Sacramentary of Echternach, ed. Hen, , pp. 2342.Google Scholar

100 See the collation table in the Appendix, below, pp. 61–2.

101 An earlier version of this paper was presented at the congress ‘Van Willibrord tot Adelbold’ in Utrecht, 23–5 November 1995. I am grateful to members of the congress for their comments and suggestions. I should also like to thank Rosamond McKitterick, who kindly read an earlier draft of this paper and made numerous valuable comments, and Michael Lapidge, who went far beyond the call of duty in improving this paper.

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