By Christopher A. Jones
Although most sensible identified at the present time for his previous English homilies, the Anglo-Saxon student Ælfric additionally composed, in a "letter" to his fellow clergymen, a suite of Latin liturgical directions that supply a unprecedented glimpse of what traditional priests have been anticipated to grasp and do. This booklet includes a re-creation of the Latin textual content with a severe equipment, and the single entire English translation. remark and mammoth introductory chapters identify the letter's remarkable significance for our figuring out of past due Anglo-Saxon monasticism and liturgy.
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Additional resources for Aelfric's Letter to the Monks of Eynsham
196). See Hall, `Some Liturgical Notes', and present commentary to LME 70±7. English copies of the ordo are preserved in CCCC 190, pp. 212±13, and Rouen, BibliotheÁque Municipale, 1382, 173r. The latter was collated as manuscript S (misidenti®ed as Rouen 1372) by Andrieu, Les Ordines romani II, 481±8. álfric claims to be addressing a need voiced by the monks themselves: `Quia rogastis fratres scribi uobis qualiter legere siue cantare per anni circulum in ecclesia debeatis, exponam uobis' (LME 70).
In any case, the LME suggests that some frustration with the arrangement of the Concordia may not be an entirely modern symptom. Even if his exemplar did not look exactly like RC (Ti) or (Fa),33 álfric evidently re-arranged and rewrote parts of the source so completely that his dissatisfaction with the Concordia seems plain. His re-organization and synthesis of topics illustrate the intelligence and editorial skill familiar from his treatment of sources for the homilies, saints' lives and other works.
90 Although álfric saw the Concordia as a useful model, he was not at all timid about adapting and supplementing the source where necessary. 91 Behind his avowedly paternal concern must also lie a practical awareness that recently refounded Eynsham could not vie with Winchester in splendour or resources. Certain observances are therefore 87 88 89 90 91 LME 43: `a cross shall be carried down before the altar by cantors as they chant the verses and the rest, so that all may venerate it [scil. the cross] in due turn'.