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Seals, Angels, Trumpets and Incense: An Apocalyptic Prayer from a French Medieval Book of Hours (ca.

Lloyd D. Graham
Abstract The angelological section of a late medieval Book of Hours (Paris, ca. 14201430) culminates in a prayer that draws extensively on angelic imagery from the Book of Revelation. As this Apocalyptic prayer seems to have no parallels in the secondary literature, a transcription and translation of its text are provided here. The prayer ignores the many afflictions of the Apocalypse and focuses wholly on the vision of the highest heaven. Moreover, its paraphrasing of Biblical passages makes a number of approximations that inform about popular Christian belief of the time. While the angelological section of the manuscript was provisionally identified as the Hours of the Angels, the available text from this section lacks any rubrics for the canonical hours. Two manuscripts Comites Latentes 124 (ca. 1500) and the surviving fragment of Les Heures de Savoie (the Savoy Hours, ca. 1335-1370) are identified as containing versions of the Hours of the Angels, allowing their texts to be compared with the angelological section of the Parisian book. As an aside, it appears from first principles that folios 5 and 12 in the current remnant of the Savoy Hours (Beinecke MS 390) were contiguous in the original manuscript, a proposal consistent with information provided in 1911 by Count Durrieu about lacunae in the now-lost main codex. These two folios preserve a portion of the Savoy Hours of the Angels, one that differs considerably from the corresponding segment in Comites Latentes 124. Despite the variability evident in authentic Hours of the Angels, it seems that the angelological section of the Parisian manuscript may represent some other devotional text, such as a meditation on the celestial hierarchy that is not partitioned according to the canonical hours.

Medieval Books of Hours Books of Hours are usually fairly short, but they vary enormously in content and length as well as in decoration. Because the Book of Hours never received official sanction from the Church, it never achieved a truly standard form beyond the requirement that it include a version of the eight-prayer Hours of the Virgin. 1 A survey of surviving Books reveals a typical core layout consisting of (1) The Calendar; (2) Gospel extracts and two prayers to the Virgin Mary, namely Obsecro Te and O Intemerata; 2 (3) Hours of the Virgin; and (4) Penitential Psalms, Litany of the Saints, Hours of the Cross, Hours of the Holy Spirit, and the Office of the Dead. However, even these basic texts were not standardized, and may vary greatly from manuscript to manuscript. 3 Starting with this basic template, medieval scribes freely added or subtracted texts to suit the interests of their clients or, in the case of stock books made without commission, to conform with local devotional customs. The Barilla manuscript The manuscript that concerns us is a Book of Hours, in Latin, written on vellum in northern France doubtless Paris 4 in or around the period 1420-1430. 5 The intended region of use is not specified, but local deployment in Paris seems most likely. At the time of its sale in 2012, the manuscript consisted of 206 leaves, misbound and lacking a number of leaves throughout. Leaves are 127 x 92 mm, unnumbered, typically 15 lines in brown ink in two sizes of fine early gothic bookhand, with rubrics in red ink, one-line initials in blue or gold with contrasting penwork, and two-line initials in gold on blue and pink grounds heightened with white penwork. 6 The hue of the rubrics indicates that the pigment is minium (red lead), while in the illuminated initials one may reasonably assume that the blue ground is coloured using azurite and the pink using rose madder lake. 7 The larger initials are adorned in the borders with Rinceaux patterns, usually single-line foliate extensions terminating in gold and coloured flowers and fruit. The manuscript contains seven three-quarter page miniatures, including the following scenes: Joachim and Anne (parents of the Virgin Mary) meeting at the Golden Gate of Jerusalem; the Last Supper; Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane; Christ before Caiaphas, the High Priest; Mary Magdalene with the risen Christ, and St. Catherine. Many of these images employ a gold diapered background. Amongst the supplementary texts in the book is a version of the Fifteen Joys of the Virgin written in French. 8 The endleaves of the Book of Hours show ownership inscriptions of Frederick Fowler (England) dated 4 March, 1824. In the 20th century the book formed part of the collection of Giovanni and Gabriella Barilla in Geneva. Giovanni is descended from Italys famous pasta-making dynasty; his grandfather, Pietro Barilla, founded the Barilla group of companies in 1877. 9 For convenience, in this paper I will refer to the manuscript as the Barilla Book of Hours. 10 In March 2012, the book was sold at auction by Sothebys in London, 11 and soon afterwards individual pages from it were being offered for sale in the United States by Charles Edwin Puckett, 12 a dealer specialising in medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. Puckett identified the illuminations as the work of the school associated with the Boucicaut Master, 13 a conclusion consistent with the timing and

location of the books manufacture, the style of its miniatures, and the high output of this scribal confederation. The Boucicaut School will be described in detail below. The prayer that is the focus of this paper is contained on two sides of a single leaf (frontispiece, below abstract; see ahead for enlargements of text). 14 The leaves immediately adjacent to it were not available for inspection. Historical milieu To aid an appreciation of its historical context, it may be helpful to consider that the Barilla manuscript was written in Paris around the time of Joan of Arcs ill-fated assault on the city in 1429. The capital was successfully defended by the Burgundian-English alliance, the Duke of Bedford having delegated the defence of the city to the troops of Philip the Good. 15 Joan, who had accompanied troops commanded by the Duke of Alenon, was shot in the leg during their attempt on the city. The ensuing rout ended the possibility that the capital might be re-taken for Charles VII. 16 Since most Parisians (particularly those of wealth and power) supported the Duke of Burgundy rather than Charles, one may reasonably suppose that the Barilla Book of Hours was created for a client sympathetic to the Burgundian alliance. Like other Books of Hours from this period, the Barilla document allows a glimpse into the medieval mind-set of fervent belief and religious zeal, the environment from which Joan emerged with her mission. The Barilla miniatures include a large image of St. Catherine with her sword, while a number of the books prayers (including the one that commences in Fig. 2) invoke the archangel Michael. Both of these saints were frequent angelic visitants to Joan, 17 and she carried into battle a sword that had been unearthed from beneath the altar of St. Catherines church in Fierbois. 18 Joans promoter and mentor, Yolande of Aragon, was greatly enamoured of beautiful Books of Hours, and had purchased the famous Belles Heures of the Duke of Berry upon his death in1416. 19 Yolande is believed to have commissioned the magnificent Rohan Hours for her nephew and son-in-law, Charles VII, while John of Lancaster, the Duke of Bedford who had Joan tried and executed in 1431, appears to have commissioned the exquisite Bedford Hours as a gift for his Burgundian wife. The Boucicaut School In early 15th-century Paris, a group of loosely affiliated illuminators associated with the master responsible for the Boucicaut Hours (Paris, Muse Jacquemart-Andr, MS 2) collaborated to produce illuminated leaves that were compatible in style, and thereby allowed the output of different individuals to be combined to form a single cohesive codex. 20 This flexibility allowed for large-scale production of Books of Hours, while the recognizably consistent brand of International Gothic associated with books from this confederation whose clients included wealthy and powerful patrons ensured their ongoing desirability. Perhaps surprisingly, the requirement for underlying stylistic unity did not stifle creativity; on the contrary, the collaborative methods actually encouraged artistic innovation. 21 The independence of the school from the court of any one patron

was an additional bonus that proved invaluable in times of social upheaval, when individual fortunes were often short-lived; the output of Boucicaut-circle books actually peaked during the years when political conflict was at its most intense. 22 The Boucicaut school was particularly active from 1400 to 1430; the Barilla manuscript is attributed to the third and final decade of that period. Within the Barilla manuscript, it is evident that different sections have been written by different hands. In some cases, the inks used by different scribes have since faded to different extents; for example, a comparison of Figs. 1 & 2 (from the angelological section) with Fig. 3 (from a different section, the Hours of the Holy Trinity) reveals systematic differences in the handwriting style of two individuals and in the present colour of their ink. In the borders of this book, the floral Rinceaux decorations that accompany each hand conform to a common framework but nevertheless show clear compositional and stylistic differences; the same is true of the way in which capitals are illuminated or illustrated. The Apocalyptic prayer that is the focus of this paper (Figs. 1 & 2) was reported by the vendor, Charles Edwin Puckett, to conclude a section of the Boucicaut School manuscript identified as the Hours of the Angels. In support of this, the calligraphy and decoration of the text in the Apocalyptic prayer leaf and the content of its marginal illustrations match perfectly those of the other leaves available from this angelological section (not shown). The same scribe appears to have produced some other sections of the manuscript, too, such as the Hours of John the Baptist. The Hours of the Angels The set of supplementary prayers known as the Hours of the Angels is a relatively rare inclusion in Books of Hours. Versions are included in Les Heures de Savoie 23 (the Savoy Hours, ca.1335-1380) and in an unnamed Book of Hours (Tours, for the use of Rome, ca. 1500) catalogued as Bibliothque de Genve, Comites Latentes 124, 24 but I was unable to find any other mention of them in English, French or Latin. In the first manuscript, the Hours of the Angels are thought to have originally been the eighth of 54 sections, following on from the Hours of John the Baptist and preceding Several Prayers of Our Lady. In the second, there is no doubt about the placement; the Hours are the fifteenth of 20 sections, following on from the Hours of John the Evangelist and followed in turn by miscellaneous prayers (including verses from St. Bernard and a prayer against the plague) and then by the Hours of the Sorrows of the Virgin. A position immediately after the Hours of John the Evangelist makes perfect sense, given the reliance of the Hours of the Angels on the visions contained in the Book of Revelation, which is traditionally considered to have been written by John the Evangelist. To allow the Apocalyptic prayer from the Barilla manuscript to be compared with texts from the Hours of the Angels, extracts of these Hours from Comites Latentes 124 and from the surviving remnant of Les Heures de Savoie are provided towards the end of this paper.

Fig. 1. Enlargement of text on first page of the Apocalyptic prayer in the Barilla manuscript (leaf, recto). Digitally-added annotations (purple numbers) correspond to line numbers in the transcription (Box 1) and translation (Box 2). Authors collection.

Fig. 2. Enlargement of text on second page of the Apocalyptic prayer in the Barilla manuscript (leaf, verso). Digitally-added annotations (purple numbers) correspond to line numbers in the transcription (Box 1) and translation (Box 2). Authors collection.

The angelological section of the Barilla manuscript Although its section on angels was classified by Charles Edwin Puckett as the Hours of the Angels, the four other leaves from this section available for inspection at the time of writing contained only a catalogue of angelic ranks, devoid of rubrics related to the hours. 25 Among the text leaves from elsewhere in the manuscript that were available for inspection, many did contain hour-based rubrics; for example, line 9 in Fig. 3 shows Ad terciam, the instruction for the hour of Terce, while the preceding page (i.e., the recto face of the same leaf; not shown) carries the rubric for Prime. This suggests that the content of the angelological section may actually not have been organized into Hours. If so, it is likely that the entire section provides an uninterrupted meditation on the angelic realm that was intended to be read in a single session. The four other leaves from the Barilla angelological section describe elements of the celestial hierarchy, and consist mainly of prayers and antiphons. For example, the main text for the seventh order of angels through whom God dispenses his justice 26 is a prayer that translates:
O God of all things, the just judge who sits in the throne of glory, you proclaim everything in purity and equity, who created the seventh order of angels, called Thrones, amongst and in the midst of whom you sit still, and through and by whom your signs and well-pleasing orders are dispensed, have mercy on us, who in many ways offend your justice, and declare and dispose of us not by the rigor of justice but according to the multitude of thy mercy.

The incomplete numbering suggests the following scheme: [], Thrones (7th), Dominations (6th order), Principalities, Powers, Virtues (3rd), Archangels (2nd) and Angels (1st). The hierarchical sequence of the seven named orders follows that in the De Apologia Prophetae David of St. Ambrose (4th century) 27 for the senior ranks and the Homilia of St. Gregory the Great (6th century) for the junior ones, but the numerical assignations are the reverse of the usual sequence: idiosyncratically, the angels closest to God are here assigned the highest numerical value (9th order) and those closest to man, the lowest (1st order). Beginning with the angels closest to man, the account proceeds stepwise up the heavenly hierarchy and concludes with the Seraphim, the angels closest to God. 28 With its focus on the heavenly throne-room and the angels who stand directly before God, is entirely fitting that the prayer that forms the subject of this study should appear at this point in the sequence. Having arrived at the apex of the heavenly realms, the text embodies a culminative and climactic vision of this most exalted station. The Apocalyptic prayer The empyrean vision in the prayer is based largely upon verses from chapters 5 and 8 in the Book of Revelation (Rev 5 & Rev 8), the final book of the New Testament and one with which medieval readers were very familiar. 29 Although the text often provides a paraphrase of Biblical narrative, interjected with liturgical formulae, its wording is largely unique and seemingly unpublished, either in Latin or in English. A transcription and translation are therefore provided in Boxes 1 and 2.

Segment # (purple in Figs. 1-2) 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

camina ferte.* Sic quod ad immensam speciem veniamus aperte. Oremus ORATIO Deus, qui tenes librum vitae septem signacula habentem qui aperis et nemo claudit, claudis et nemo aperit in cuius conspectu stant septem angeli cum tubis quibus datum est tuba canere ante thronum gloriae tua et octavus angelus cum turribulo aureum et incensis multis quae sunt orationes sanctorum incensant altare tuum quod est ante oculos tuos orationum odoramentorum misereri nostri et aperi nobis iamiam vitae eternae graciae et virtutis et in voce tube angelice fac nos amortuis resurgere ad te ascendere et orationes nostras ante et odorare per Christum Domminum nostrum, Amen ANTIPHON Regna poli pande. michi mundi rector amande. Suscipe me blande. noli reprobare nephande. Oremus ORATIO Deus qui beatum michaelem archan[gelum]


End-rhymes within the antiphonal sections are highlighted in blue Superscript letters are inferred from an abbreviated form of the word in the manuscript (grey when uncertain)

Box 1. Transcription of the Apocalyptic prayer that concludes the angelological section of the Barilla Book of Hours.

[end of an ANTIPHON]
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

carry on the way. So to the immensity of the sight Let us come clearly. Let us pray. PRAYER O God, who holds the book of life having the seven seals which you open and no one shuts, you shut and no one opens in whose sight stand seven angels with trumpets to whom it is given to sound the trumpet before your throne of glory and an eighth angel with a golden censer and many incenses which are the prayers of the saints they perfume your altar which is before your eyes with prayers of fragrance have mercy upon us and open to us right now the eternal life of grace and virtue and, at the sound of the angelic trumpet, ensure that we rise again from the dead ascending to you, our prayers perfumed before you,b by our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. ANTIPHON Unfold the kingdom of heaven to me, beloved ruler of the world Receive me gently do not refuse the abominable Let us pray. PRAYER O God, who [sent?] the blessed archangel Michael

--a b

Inferences and uncertain translations are shown in grey Assumes ante et adorare should read ante te adorare

Box 2. Translation of the Apocalyptic prayer that concludes the angelological section of the Barilla Book of Hours.

Fig. 3. Enlargement of text on a page (verso) from another section of the Barilla manuscript, comprising the end of Prime and beginning of Terce in Hours of the Holy Trinity. The hand is different to the one that penned the Apocalyptic prayer (Figs. 1 & 2). Authors collection.


An overview of the prayer The prayer provides a sanitized extract of the early chapters of Revelation from which all of the attendant cataclysms and afflictions have been omitted. Perhaps this was done for the same reason that Hell hardly ever forms the subject of illustrations in Books of Hours: the horror may have been thought too much for the medieval lay mind to bear. 30 Despite its uncomfortable origins, the tone of this selective Apocalyptic vision is one of In Paradisum rather than Dies Irae. A quick check shows that the prayer shares none of the actual phraseology of the former, an antiphon from the liturgy of the Requiem Mass:
In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere ternam habeas requiem. May angels lead you into Paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.

At the end of the Apocalyptic prayer we find the beginning of a prayer to the archangel Michael, the captain of the angelic hierarchy. It is presumably no accident that the content of the Apocalyptic prayer has substantial overlaps with the offertory trope for the feast of the archangel Michael (Michaelmas, 29 September), a commemoration that originally served as a celebration of the entire angelic host (St. Michael & All Angels): 31
Factum est silentium in celo quasi media hora et septem angeli stantes erant in conspectu Dei et date sunt illis septem tubae et venit alius et stetit angelus iuxta aram templi habens thuribulum in manu eis et data sunt ei incensa multa ut adoleret eam super altare aureum quod est ante thronum et ascendit fumus aromatum in conspectu Dei 32 There was silence in heaven for about half an hour and the seven angels that stood in the sight of God to them were given seven trumpets, and there came also another, and this angel stood by the altar of the temple having a censer in his hand and there was given unto him much incense that he should burn it on the altar of gold which is before the throne and there arose a smoke of perfume in the sight of God


It is obvious that this text is a very close paraphrase of Rev 8:1-4, whereas the prayer in the Barilla Book of Hours takes a more permissive approach to the wording. Theologically, the purpose of the angel at the altar (Rev 8:3-5) may be to link the petition for justice of the saints, occasioned by the breaking of the fifth seal (Rev 6:9-11), to the series of plagues heralded by the trumpets (Rev 8:6-9:21). 33 The prayers sources, parallels and equivalences In this section we take key sentences and phrases with a view to identifying the scriptural origins and/or liturgical parallels of specific concepts or formulae, with a particular interest in instances where extra-Biblical connections, approximations and equivalences have been used to simplify and condense the narrative. The obvious reason for taking such liberties is that they enhance the internal coherence of the text and provide a progression and flow that would otherwise be lacking. Segment 06 In Rev 5:1 John sees, in the right hand of God seated on the throne, a book written within and on the back side, sealed with seven seals. This book is taken by the Lamb (Rev 5:6-8), who alone is judged worthy to open its seals (Rev 5:9); their subsequent opening visits a sequence of catastrophes on the earth (Rev 6). Much later in the Apocalypse (Rev 13:8, 17:8, 20:12-15 & 21:27), John mentions the Lambs book of life, which is used in the judgement of the dead: And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. [] And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. The identification of the book with seven seals (Rev 5:1) with the book of life (Rev 20:12-15) that we find in Segment 06 of the Barilla text is extra-Biblical, since the Book of Revelation does not actually say anything about the contents of the sealed scroll; the equivalence is based solely on the fact that both books belong to the Lamb. Since the opening of the seals on the first book unleashes one purifying cataclysm after another upon the earth, one might reasonably assume that this scroll has an actively punitive role towards the wicked, like the huge two-sided flying scroll described by Zechariah (Zech 5:1-4), 34 rather than simply being a record of everyones deeds (Rev 20:12) or a list of the names of the righteous (Rev 20:15). Moreover, the wording of Rev 20:12 and another book was opened, which is the book of life conveys a sense that this is a different book from the one with seven seals, whose last seal had been opened much earlier (Rev 8:1). Nevertheless, the idea that the sealed scroll is actually the book of life seems to have been well established by the 15th century and remained popular thereafter. For example, in an 18th century text we readquia solus in caelis dignus habitus est aperire librum vitae, et solvere septem signacula eius because He alone in heaven is worthy to open the book of life, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 35 Indeed, the conflation of the two books persists in popular Christian literature to the present day, e.g. In this verse [Rev 5:1], we see God on His throne with a book sealed up with seven seals. This book, of course, is the book of life. 36 Some modern theological perspectives include a harmonization in which the sealed scroll combines attributes of Zechariahs flying scroll with that of the Lambs book of life. 37


Segment 07 Rev 3:7; cf. Is 22:22, Rev 5:3 & Rev 20:12. Respectively, these verses read ...These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open; And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon; and And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. The segment in the prayer is also part of the Antiphon O Clavis David, appointed for Dec 20: O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel; you open and no one can shut; you shut and no one can open. Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. The application of the open/shut formula to the book with seven seals or the book of life, as done in the prayer, is an extraBiblical innovation in which quite distinct sources are juxtaposed. Segment 08 Rev 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. Here, the prayer adheres closely to the scriptural text. Segment 09 Rev 8:6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The prayer conforms to the sense, if not the wording, of the Biblical text. Theologically, trumpet-blasts signal the intervention of God in history. 38 Segment 10 Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer Again, the prayer follows the sense but not the wording of the verse. The remainder of the verse is dealt with in the following segment, which continues the description of the angel with the censer / thurible. Segment 11 Rev 8:3 and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. The Biblical verse indicates that the incense fumes accompany the prayers of the saints, whereas the Barilla text says that they actually are the prayers of the saints. This identification almost certainly arises from Rev 5:8 And when he [the Lamb] had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. Like Segments 06 and 07, this segment of the Apocalyptic prayer conflates traditions from two distinct sources. Segment 12 This segment recapitulates the sentiments of the previous one. Again, the prayers and incense fumes are one and the same. Segment 14 Finally we segue from the Book of Revelation to the letters of Paul. The source text here is 1Cor 15:52, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.


While it has been instructive to consider in detail the sources and assumptions underpinning the Apocalyptic prayer that concludes the angelological section of the Barilla Book of Hours, we must now turn our attention to the nature of the section as a whole. As mentioned above, the angelological section has provisionally been identified as the Hours of the Angels, but it does not appear to contain any rubrics relating to the canonical hours. It is therefore desirable to identify versions of the Hours of the Angels in other manuscripts with a view to comparing their structure and content to the available text from the Barilla manuscript. The Hours of the Angels in Comites Latentes 124 Comites Latentes 124 is an unnamed Book of Hours (Tours, for the use of Rome, ca. 1500) in the care of the Bibliothque de Genve. 39 The structure and composition of each canonical hour within the Hours of the Angels in this manuscript (folios 134v-142v) varies considerably. This section contain no miniatures. While the following extract tries to convey the general flavour of these Hours, it focuses on content that is of relevance to the Apocalyptic prayer (and the subsequent invocation of St. Michael) in the Barilla manuscript. Matins [commencing 134v] Antiphon: Stetit angelus iuxta aram templi {An angel stood near the altar of the temple}, Response: Habeus turibulum aureum in Manu sua {having a golden censer in his hand}. Immediately thereafter, a list of devotions to the archangels with explanations of their names Michael (who is like God), Gabriel (the strength of God), Raphael (the healing of God) [134v]; then the psalm Te Deum [135r]. Section concludes [135v] with Antiphon: Ascendit fumus aromatum {The perfumed smoke ascended}, Response: In conspectu domine Dei de manu angeli {before God, out of the hand of the angel}. The Latin quoted here is a close paraphrase of Rev 8:3-4. Lauds [commencing 135v] includes the Antiphon: Stetit angelus iuxta aram templi, Habens turibulum aureum in manu sua (Translated in Matins, see above) followed by the psalm Jubilate Deo. Chapter: Michael and his angels fight the dragon and his angels. Hymn Christe sanctorum [ending 136r] to Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and the Virgin (discussed on p.17). Concludes [136v] with Prayer: Deus qui miro ordine angelorum (discussed on p. 17). Prime: [commencing 136v] Antiphon, with reference to Michael the archangel; Chapter, with reference to the angel that rolled away the stone on Christs tomb; concludes [137r] with a Prayer: Domine Deus pater omnipotens. Qui virtute potentie tue facis tuos spiritus. Et ministros tuos flamam ignis, fac nos in hac vita Spiritaliter vivere. Et corda mea igne tui spiritus indesinenter ardere. {Lord God, omnipotent Father, who makes your Virtues and Powers spirits, and your ministers a flame of fire (cf. Psalm 104:4), make us live spiritually in this life. And may my heart never cease to burn with the fire of your spirit.} Terce [commencing 137r] includes the psalm Exaudiat te dominus; Chapter [138r; Fig. 4]: Stetit angelus iuxta aram templi, habeus turibulum aureum in manu sua. Et data sunt ei incensa multa. Et ascendit fumus aromatum de Manu angeli in conspectu Domini. Deo gratias. (Translated in Matins, see above.) Concludes with a Prayer.

Fig. 4. Enlargement of text on folio 138r of Comites Latentes 124, from the hour of Terce. The Biblical extract Stetit angelus, which is in heavy print near the centre of the page (line 12), commences with the large gold capital letter S on red ground. Image courtesy of Bibliothque de Genve, Switzerland. 40


Sext [commencing 138v] Hymn invoking Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and higher angelic orders. Includes Response [139r]: Qui facis angelos tuos spiritus Et ministros tuos flamam ignis {Who makest thy angels spirits, and thy ministers a flame of fire} (Psalm 104:4). None [commencing end 139r] includes Chapter [139v]: Et omnis angeli stabant in conspectu throni et Seniorum Et quatuor animalium et ceciderunt in facies suas in conspectu Throni. Et adoraverunt Deum Dicentes Amen. Deo gratias. {And all the angels stood before the throne and the Elders and the four beasts, and fell upon their faces before the Throne, and worshipped God, saying Amen.} (Rev 7:11) {Thanks be to God.}; concludes with a Prayer [140r] invoking Beati Michaelis et omnius angleorum cotidiana custodia. Ut hostis antiquus inimicus nostri procul recedat {Daily protection of St. Michael and all the angels. So that the old enemy, our enemy, is far away from us.} Vespers [commencing 140r] includes Chapter [140r] citing Michael princeps magnus {Michael, the great prince}; Hymn [140v] to Michael, Gabriel, Raphael; then the Canticle of Mary, Magnificat; then a Prayer [141r]: Deus cuius claritatus fulgore Beatus Michael archangelus precellit agminibus angelorum presta quesumus. Ut sicut ille tuo dono meruit patriam possidere celestem, Ita nos eius precibus vitam Obtineamus eternam. Per dominum. {O God, by whose clarity the brilliance of St. Michael the archangel surpasses that of the host of angels, and just as he earned your gift of possessing a home in heaven, may we earn eternal life by his prayers. By the Lord.} (Part of a Collect for 8 May, on which the feast of St. Michael used to be celebrated). 41 Compline [commencing 141r] Includes Chapter [141v]: Ego Iohannes vidi angelum ascendentem ab ortu solis habentem signum Dei vivi. {I John saw an angel ascending from the rising of the sun [i.e., the east], having the seal of the living God} (Rev 7:2) [142r] Deo gratias. {Thanks be to God.} Response: Stabant omnes angeli in circuito throni {All the angels were standing around the throne} Antiphon: Et adoraverunt Dominum In circuitu. Gloria patri. {And they worshipped the Lord all around. Glory be to the Father.} The Hours of the Angels in Les Heures de Savoie Of the estimated 340 folios of the enlarged Savoy Hours (ca. 1335-1370), only 26 have survived. Commissioned in the 1330s by Blanche of Burgundy, 42 and expanded after 1361 by Charles V, it was in its time the biggest and richest Book of Hours in existence. Liturgically, it contained a veritable summa of all the possible or probable offices and prayers to be found in Books of Hours. 43 In 1409, it was gifted by Charles VI to his uncle, Jean, Duc de Berry, whom it had greatly influenced. The book then disappeared for several centuries, during which time it suffered various injuries. In 1720, the rediscovered book was donated to the University Library of Turin, where it remained until it was destroyed by a major fire in 1904. In 1910, 26 leaves that had been removed from the original manuscript during its period of disappearance were unexpectedly discovered in the Catholic Episcopal Library of Portsmouth Cathedral; these are now in the care of Yale University as Beinecke MS 390. 44 Most of the extant text relates to the commemoration of named saints, martyrs, etc., but a few pages are relevant to our current investigation. All of these date to the original commission by Blanche of Burgundy.


Folio 2v 45 is the start of a Memoire des Angres, where angre is a medieval French version of ange (angel) 46 and the rubric indicates a Memorial/Suffrage of the Angels. 47 This seemingly one-page section, which commences with a miniature of a group of angels, contains text which appears to be different to both the angel-related text in the Barilla manuscript and to the Hours of the Angels in Comites Latentes 124. It is thought to have been section 14 in the original Heures de Savoie, 48 while Une Messe des Angres (A Mass of the Angels) believed to have been section 48 in the original 49 appears lost. The first half of the Memoire des Angres reads: Angeli archangeli throni dominationes principatus et potestates virtutes celorum cherubi et seraphin laudate dominum de celis alleluya Antiphon: In conspectu angelorum psallam tibi deus meus. Response: Adorabo ad templum sanctum tuum et confitebor nomini tuo. {Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Dominations, Principalities and Powers, Virtues of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim [i.e., the complete angelic hierarchy], praise ye the Lord from the heavens (Psalm 148:1) Hallelujah! Antiphon: Before the Angels I will sing praises to thee, my God. Response: I will worship towards thy holy temple and praise thy name (Psalm 138:2)}. Folio 5r 50 begins with a prayer Deus qui miro ordine angelorum ministeria hominum que dispensas concede propicius ut quibus tibi ministrantibus in celo semper assistitur: ab hijs in terra vita nostra muniatur {O God, who in the dispensation of thy providence dost admirably dispose the ministry of angels and of men; mercifully grant that the holy angels, who ever minister before thy throne in heaven, may be the protectors also of our life on earth}. This prayer is identical to the one that concludes Lauds in the Hours of the Angels in Comites Latentes 124 (folio 136v). In the Savoy Hours, however, it is concluding the hour of Sext, since the next rubric on the page reads anonne des angres, i.e. the hour of None for the Angels. This Hour commences with a miniature depicting angels defending a knight in battle, accompanied by the standard introductory formula Deus in adiutorium meum intende. Domine ad advivandum me festina. Gloria patri et filio et spiritui sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper in secula seculorum. Amen. Alleluya. {O God, come to my aid. O Lord, make haste to help me. (cf. Psalm 70:1) Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Hallelujah!} There then begins a hymn Christe sanctorum decus angelorum rector humani generis et auctor nobis aeternum tribue benignus scandere celum {Christ, glory of the holy angels, ruler of mankind, our creator, Thou who rulest over us, kindly grant that we climb up to heaven.} This hymn is the same as the one for Lauds in the Hours of the Angels in Comites Latentes 124 (folio 135v). 51 The complete hymn, attributed to Rabanus Maurus (8th-9th century), was traditionally used for Lauds on the feasts of the archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. 52 Folio 5v 53 continues the Maurus hymn, as does folio 136r in Comites Latentes 124. 54 The text common to the two manuscripts reads Angelum pacis michael ad istam celitus mitte. rogitemus aulam nobis ut crebro veniente crescant prospera cuncta. {Send your archangel of peace, Michael, from heaven; we ask that he often come to our dwelling, so that all things may be favourable.} Angelus fortis gabriel ut hostem pellat antiquum volitet ab alto: sepius templum veniens ad istud visere nostrum. {Send your mighty archangel, Gabriel, that he may repel from on high the ancient enemy, watching over the


temples where you are worshipped.} At this point, two verses from the Maurus hymn (not shown) appear in Comites Latentes 124 but not in the Savoy Hours. Both manuscripts contain the concluding verse of the hymn, Prestet hoc nobis deitas beata patris ac nati pariterque sancti spiritus cuius reboat in omni gloria mundo. Amen. {May this be granted to us, blessed God Father, Son and Spirit together whose glory resounds in all the world. Amen.} The text then diverges. In the Savoy Hours, this hymn is followed by a psalm of David that is not present in Comites Latentes 124. Although none of the 26 surviving Savoy folios contain the Stetit angelus formula that is repeated in Comites Latentes 124, or the related wording from Rev 8:3 found in the Barilla manuscript, folio 12r 55 does provide an angel with a trumpet, namely the seventh angel of the Apocalypse. This particular angel is not mentioned in the Hours of the Angels in Comites Latentes 124. The Savoy text reads Angelus tuba cecinit et facte sunt voces magne in celo dicentes factum est regnum hujus mundi domini nostri et Christi eius, et regnabit in seculo seculorum. Deo gratias. {The angel sounded the trumpet, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of this world is become that of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Rev 11:15) Thanks be to God.} Response: Michael archangele. Alleluya. Alleluya. {Michael the archangel, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!}. There then follows a concluding prayer, Deus qui miro ordine angelorum, the same one that concludes Sext and Lauds in the Hours of the Angels in the Savoy Hours and Comites Latentes 124, respectively; this prayer has been discussed above. Since the subsequent page (folio 12v) begins a Vespers, we may safely conclude that folio 12r represents the end of a None. Folio 12v 56 commences with the rubric A Vespres {For Vespers} and a miniature of two angels ministering to Christ during his temptation in the Judaean desert. The text begins with the formulaic Deus in adiutorium [] in secula seculorum. Amen. Alleluya, the same phrases that introduced None in the Hours of the Angels in folio 5r (see above); they are matched by those introducing Vespers and many other Hours of the Angels in Comites Latentes 124. The first distinctive text follows the rubric Antiene {Antiphon} and reads Veni michael {Come, Michael}; it is followed by a psalm of David. Neither of these appears anywhere in the Hours of the Angels in Comites Latentes 124. Despite this last divergence, the presence in folio 12r of the same prayer that concluded Sext in the Hours of the Angels and the text in that page describing an angel of the Apocalypse, along with focus of the miniature on angelic intervention and the summoning of Michael on the following page (folio 12v), combine to suggest that folio 12 may represent a second leaf from the Hours of the Angels in the Savoy manuscript. If so, folio 12r actually contains the end of the None that we saw begun in folio 5r. The current folio numbering of Beinecke MS 390 reflects the order in which the 26 surviving leaves of the Savoy Hours appear in their current binding, which dates only to the 18th century, 57 and does not reflect the pagination of the original book. Accordingly, there is no real problem with finding the start of None in the Hours of the Angels and its conclusion separated by an apparent 14 pages, as the two leaves may originally have been much closer together, and quite possibly adjacent. In an analysis published in French over a century ago, Count Paul Durrieu also concluded that both folios 5 and 12 originated in


the Savoy Hours of the Angels and calculated that they should have formed pages 219222 in the main manuscript housed in Turin, where their absence was addressed by the insertion of two adjacent blank leaves. 58 The Turin codex, of course, is the volume that burned in 1904. The pages text is fully consistent with the proposal that folios 5 and 12 were originally contiguous, since folio 5v ends with the rubric Chapitre (Capitulum, indicating that a brief scriptural passage will follow the psalm), 59 and folio 12r commences, with an illuminated capital, the text Angelus tuba cecinit, a passage taken from Rev 11:15. These two pages would originally have faced each other in the open book (Fig. 5). This conclusion implies the survival of the complete text for None in the Hours of the Angels from Les Heures de Savoie, a fortunate outcome for the present study. The many points of difference between it and the corresponding Hour in Comites Latentes 124 highlight the extent to which the liturgy comprising the Hours of the Angels can vary between sources.

Fig. 5. Segment concluding None in the Hours of the Angels of Les Heures de Savoie. These two pages would have faced one another in the original book, as simulated digitally here, but currently form folios 5 v (left page) and 12 r (right page) in Beinecke MS 390. Images courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. 60


Conclusion From a comparison of the surviving text for Sext, None and Vespers in Les Heures de Savoie with the corresponding segments of Comites Latentes 124 we can see that there is substantial variation between the Hours of the Angels in the two manuscripts. This leaves open the possibility that the Apocalyptic prayer in the Barilla Book of Hours does conclude a section representing the Hours of the Angels in that manuscript. If so, the lack of hour-based rubrics in the known portion of the angelological section poses a problem. The discovery of a Memoire des Angres in the Savoy Hours, separate from its Hours of the Angels and also devoid of time-based divisions, suggests that the angelological section of the Barilla manuscript may actually be another text that is complementary to but distinct from a set of such Hours, e.g. an uninterrupted meditation on the angelic realm that was intended to be read in a single session. This idea is consistent with the fact that the content known to us is quite different in emphasis to that of the Hours of the Angels in the other two manuscripts. The Apocalyptic prayer that concludes the angelological section of the Barilla manuscript prayer ignores the many afflictions and cataclysms of the Apocalypse and focuses wholly on the vision of the highest heaven and the Divine presence; it circumvents the Dies Irae and deposits us directly In Paradisum. The specific imagery selected for inclusion, and the manner in which it is combined, is in itself interesting. Beyond this, the prayers paraphrasing of Biblical passages makes a number of approximations and assumptions that inform about popular Christian belief of the time, such as the identification of the Book with seven seals (Rev 5:1) with the Lambs book of life (Rev 20:12-15). Concluded by a plaintive antiphon with ingenious end-rhyme, the beatific vision and intense longing of the prayer are artfully expressed in original wording that deserves to be more widely known and appreciated.
Text Lloyd D. Graham 2014; v02_21.1. 14 Psalm numbering in this paper follows that in the Authorised King James version of the Bible. Biblical quotations are from the same source.

Online sources were accessed 14 December 2013 15 January 2014.


Harry Ransom Center, Books of Hours at the Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, online at 2 Roger S. Wieck (1988) Time Sanctified: The Book of Hours in Medieval Art and Life, G. Braziller, New York, p.163-164 provides English translations of both prayers, which are otherwise difficult to find. 3 Christine G. Andrews (2002) The Boucicaut Masters, Gesta 41 (1), 29-38, at 35. 4 Paris, the attribution in the Sothebys listing, is consistent with the grey colour of the gesso which can be seen where gold leaf has rubbed away from the border decorations. In many geographic locations Armenian bole was added to gesso to give it a pink, red or brown colour, whereas in Paris it was usual not to add this or any other colorant. See online at


Sothebys, The Collection of Giovanni and Gabriella Barilla, London, 14 March 2012, lot 43; online at 6 The technical description of the manuscript (except for the identification of pigment materials) is taken from the description of the Sothebys lot, citation as in note 5. 7 A. Baker, Common medieval pigments, online at 8 Data from the Sothebys listing (note 5) about the contents of the book have been augmented with information from, where many miniatures and other pages from the manuscript were displayed at the time of access (27 Dec, 2013). 9 Giulia Cambieri (2012) Pasta family to sell spaghetti porcelain, Campden FB (13 Feb), online at 10 The Barilla collection included other Books of Hours, but since they are not relevant to this paper there is no ambiguity in the proposed nomenclature. 11 Sothebys, citation as in note 5. 12 Website online at 13 Millard Meiss (1968) French Painting in the Time of Jean De Berry: The Boucicaut Master, Phaidon, London. 14 The bottom right of the recto page is marked very faintly in pencil with 80 or 86, presumably added by the dealer prior to dissection of the book into individual pages. 15 Nancy Goldstone (2011) The Maid and the Queen The Secret History of Joan of Arc, Phoenix, London, p.148-156. 16 The Dauphin, now crowned king. 17 Willard Trask, ed. (1996) Joan of Arc in Her Own Words, BOOKS & Co./Turtle Point, New York. 18 Goldstone, The Maid and the Queen, p.122. 19 Goldstone, The Maid and the Queen, p.7. 20 Andrews, The Boucicaut Masters. 21 Andrews, The Boucicaut Masters. 22 Andrews, The Boucicaut Masters. 23 Paul Durrieu (1911) Notice dun des plus importants livres de prires de Charles V: Les Heures de Savoie ou Trs belles grandes heures du Roi, Bibliothque de l'Ecole des Chartes 72, p. 500-555, at p.502, 505, 516, 526, 539-541. Online at 24 Online at 25 The description of the sixth order commences on a recto page with the faint pencil numbering 74, while that of the seventh starts on one numbered 76. From this and note 14, it may be inferred that these pages appear shortly before the Apocalyptic prayer, as claimed by the dealer. 26 Gustav Davidson (1967) A Dictionary of Angels, The Free Press, New York, p.289. 27 In Ambroses scheme, the first four orders follow the sequence given by Paul in Colossians 1:16. 28 The leaf describing the final rank / highest angels was not actually sighted, but there is little scope for any alternative possibility. 29 One may reasonably claim that many of the miniatures in Books of Hours, as well as the illustrations on Trump cards in the early Tarot decks, emerge from the medieval Apocalyptic tradition. See for example, Robert ONeill (2013) Tarot Imagery, Part VIII, 19 Sep, online at 30 Roger S. Wieck (2008) Prayer for the people: the Book of Hours, In: A History of Prayer: The First to the Fifteenth Century, ed. Hammerling, Brill, Leiden, p.339-440, at p.414. 31 Catholic Activity: Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, online at 32 Latin excerpt from Gunilla Iversen (1996) Supera agalmata Angels and the celestial hierarchy in sequences and tropes: Examples from Moissac, In: Liturgy and the Arts in the Middle Ages: Studies in Honour of C. Clifford Flanigan, ed. Eva L. Lillie & Nils H. Petersen, Museum Tusculanum Press, Copenhagen, p.95-133, at p.113-114.



Ranko Stefanovic (2006) The angel at the altar (Revelation 8:3-5): A case study on intercalations in Revelation Andrews University Seminary Studies 44 (1), 79-94; online at Stefanovic makes an interesting case for parallels between Rev 6:9-11 and Rev 8:3-5, taken in combination, and the Hebrew service of the evening Temple sacrifice (tamid). 34 A further scroll in Revelation, the little scroll of Rev 10:8-11, has a direct parallel in the two-sided scroll shown to Ezekiel which contained lamentations, mourning and woe (Ezek 2:9-10); both of these scrolls are eaten by the relevant seer and taste as sweet as honey, but subsequently lead to bitterness. This obvious equivalence counts against any attempt to identify the sealed scroll of Revelation 5 (which is clearly different to the little scroll) with Ezekiels scroll. 35 Antonio Francesco Gori (1759) Thesaurus Veterum Diptychorum, vol. 3, p.284. 36 Jack Hilliard (2008), Understanding Revelation, Xulon Press, USA, p.261. 37 William H. Shea (2003) Zechariahs Flying Scroll and Revelations Unsealed Scroll , Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 14/2, 95-99. 38 Stefanovic, The angel at the altar (Revelation 8:3-5). 39 Online at 40 Genve, Bibliothque de Genve, Comites Latentes 124: Book of hours, folio 138r. Fig. 4 is a cropped version of the page image online at, and is reproduced here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC 3.0). 41 Katherine Allen Smith (2009) Architectural Mimesis and Historical Memory at the Abbey of MontSaint-Michel, In: Negotiating Community and Difference in Medieval Europe: Gender, Power, Patronage, and the Authority of Religion in Latin Christendom, eds. Katherine Allen Smith & Scott Wells, Brill, Leiden, p.65-82, at p.77 fn. 38. 42 Grand-daughter of Louis IX (St. Louis). 43 Roger S. Wieck (1991) The Savoy Hours and its impact on Jean, Duc du Berry, Yale University Library Gazette 66 Supplement (Beinecke Studies in Early Manuscripts), pp. 159-180. The information in the remainder of the current paragraph is also from this source. 44 Online at 45 Online at 46 Ana Pairet (1997) Review of Les proprits des choses selon le Rosarius by Anders Zetterberg Speculum 72 (3), 907-908. 47 Memorials and Suffrages are equivalent; see Wieck (1988) Time Sanctified, p.111. 48 Durrieu, Notice dun des plus importants livres de prires de Charles V, p.516. 49 Durrieu, Notice dun des plus importants livres de prires de Charles V, p.517. 50 Online at 51 Online at 52 Christe, sanctorum decus Angelorum, online at 53 Online at 54 Online at 55 Online at 56 Online at 57 Online at 58 Durrieu, Notice dun des plus importants livres de prires de Charles V, p.539-540. Durrieus scheme is adopted by Wieck, Time Sanctified, p.176 (cat. 11), as indicated by Wieck (1991) The Savoy Hours and its impact on Jean, Duc du Berry, 178, note 3. 59 British Museum, Liturgical manuscripts - Books for the Divine Office, under Collectar, online at 60 Image of left-hand page from Beinecke MS 390 is online at; right-hand page,


Keywords: Book of Hours, Hours of the Angels, Comites Latentes 124, Les Heures de Savoie, Savoy Hours, Beinecke MS 390, angelology, celestial hierarchy, Book of Revelation, Apocalypse, vision of Heaven.