By Christopher A. Jones
Although most sensible identified this present day for his outdated English homilies, the Anglo-Saxon pupil ?lfric additionally composed, in a "letter" to his fellow clergymen, a collection of Latin liturgical directions that provide a unprecedented glimpse of what usual priests have been anticipated to understand and do. This ebook encompasses a new version of the Latin textual content with a serious equipment, and the single entire English translation. observation and great introductory chapters identify the letter's unparalleled significance for our figuring out of past due Anglo-Saxon monasticism and liturgy.
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Extra info for Aelfric's Letter to the Monks of Eynsham
RC (Symons), p. 12, n. ' See commentary to LME 4 (at n. 18). 30 Structure and sources preces) and a collect. álfric's version of this custom differs in some interesting respects from that found in the Concordia,51 but it is his re-arrangement of the material that is most striking. 53 Following these instructions, the Concordia says, `Et sic ®nitis omnibus regularibus horis semper agatur',54 obscuring the fact that the two psalms differ for each hour and that the collects quoted will not, it seems, be needed after Lauds, Vespers and Compline.
41 The perceived abruptness of the turn highlights one of the weaknesses of this portion of the Concordia: the compiler does not separate the various components of the horarium for summary treatment, but attempts to describe in sequence all of the liturgical and extraliturgical activities of the day, from the monks' rising for Nocturns until their going to bed after Compline. Given the sheer number of activities and the author's expectation ± apparent from the amount of detail he provides42 ± that some of these will be unfamiliar to his audience, this plan buckles under its own weight.
The sheer amount of explanation needed to put us on more or less the same footing as álfric's intended readers is instructive. 1 2 On the long confusion over the nature of álfric's customary and its relation to the Regularis concordia, see below, ch. 4. On customaries generally, see also above, p. 3, n. 8. This claim (at LME 1) is problematic; see below, nn. 48 and 53. 18 Structure and sources Because study of the details tends, however, to lose sight of the larger organization and emphases of the LME, the present chapter surveys these features and the extent of their correlation to álfric's sources.