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Liturgical Mmmonk Manuscripts Workshop

21 May 2024

On 17 May 2024 an international group of 25 experts gathered at Bruges Public Library for a hands-on workshop on liturgical manuscripts.

Organisation and participants

The workshop was organized by Bruges Public Library, the Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies at Ghent University, and Flemish Heritage Libraries. Workshop leaders were Susan Boynton (Columbia University), Diane Reilly (Indiana University Bloomington), John Glasenapp (Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology), Evelien Hauwaerts (Bruges Public Library) and Godfried Croenen (Flemish Heritage Libraries).

Participants came from a variety of institutions and countries: KU Leuven, Ghent University, Rutgers University, Fordham University (NY), Paderborn University, Leiden University, University of Missouri–Kansas City.

Useful resources

Participants were asked to read the following useful resources before attending:

  • Godfried Croenen’s Primer on liturgical manuscripts

  • Susan Boynton’s page on liturgical books

The manuscripts

The following manuscripts were studied in group:

Knowledge through collaboration

The goal of the workshop was to foster knowledge sharing. Participants combined their expertise in manuscript studies and medieval liturgy to deepen our understanding of the medieval books in the Bruges Public Library collection. The uplifting effect of this collaboration was truly inspiring, particularly evident for instance when we studied the fascinating chapter book of Ter Doest (Ms. 395), a composite manuscript containing a necrology, a martyrology, a commemoratio, and various versions of the Rule of St. Benedict. Is a chapter meeting really a liturgical event? Why did the monks assemble various versions of the Rule? The debate is still ongoing...!

The workshop leaders addressed participants' questions, both about the specific manuscripts being examined and about broader issues in the intricate field of liturgy. Additionally, we were treated to a demonstration of the Cantus Database and Cantus Index.

* A composite manuscript consists of separately produced codicological units bound together in one volume.

Collaboration through networking

At noon, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Café De Korf, and were fortunate to enjoy a rare moment of sunshine on the patio.

In the evening, after a busy day of work, we discovered the liturgical and devotional manuscripts by candle light (more on the concept of Manuscripts by Candle Light here).

A huge thank you to the participants for their invaluable contributions!