Frank Henderson's Page on Liturgy and Medieval Women

Single, Married and Royal Women

The following outline suggests a plan for studying the visibility and participation of women in the medieval liturgy. The documents that I actually prepare may or may not correspond exactly to this outline, however.

Single Women

  Varieties of Women’s Experiences
    Texts and rites
  Virgins, Nuns, Conversas, Canonesses
  Recluses, Anchorites, Ancillas of God, Adepts, Beguines, Widows
    Living at home; in communities of women; in mixed communities
  Virgins and Nuns
    Oblation of female children
      By father; by mother
    Reception of novices; clothing
    Rite of consecration of virgins
      Clothing, ring
      Condemnation of violence
      Biblical women in liturgical texts: Anna, Mary Magdalene
    Profession of nuns
    Liturgies of the chapter house
    Liturgies of the refectory
      Ring, blessing, ordering
      Biblical women in liturgical prayers: Miriam, Deborah, Judith, Esther
    Rite of blessing
  Female Deacons / Deaconesses
    Rite of blessing / consecration / ordering / making
      Biblical women in liturgical prayers: Phoebe, Anna
    Rite of enclosure
  Sisters in Mixed Communities
  Reformed Prostitutes
    Rite of consecration
      Clothing, ring, blessing
        By prelates
        By presbyters
      Biblical women in liturgical texts: Anna, widow of S.
    The naming of widows
    Bequests of rings
  Virgins and Widows Among the Orders of the Church
    Good Friday prayers
    Other prayers
    Common masses


  Basic Shape, Nature, Names
  The Liturgy of Marriage and the Social Institution of Marriage
  Varieties of Women’s Experiences of the Liturgy of Marriage
    Texts and rites
  Liturgy of Marriage
    Rite at the door
      Wedding doors
      Vows, ring
        Veils and canopies, jewelry
        Biblical women in liturgical prayers
          Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel
          Eve, Sarah-T, Ruth, Leah, Susanna
    Wedding mass
      Scripture readings
      Sermons at weddings
      Fee for the priest
  Blessing of the Marriage Chamber and Bed
  Second Marriages
  Clandestine Marriages
  Married Couples Among the Orders of the Church (in liturgical prayers)
  Rite of Entrance into the Church After the Consummation of the Marriage
  Symbolic Marriages
    Bishops; nuns; Doge; other rulers
  Sexuality and Childbearing
  Worship During Menstruation; Worship During Pregnancy
  Worship After Pregnancy; Prostitutes and Worship
  Prayers For Fertility
    Biblical women: Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth
  Prayers During Pregnancy
    Liturgical texts
    Bidding prayers
    For an unborn child
  Prayers During Childbirth
    For a normal delivery; while in labor; after delivery
    In case of miscarriage
    After the birth of twins
  Communion Before Labor
  Ministries and Prayers of Midwives
  Churching (purification; entry into church after childbirth)

Royal Women

  Rite of Coronation
  Rite of Coronation Combined with Marriage
    Texts, rings, crowning
    Scripture readings
    Biblical women in liturgical texts:
      Esther, Sarah, Rebecca, Judith, Leah, Rachel
      Norwegian wedding/coronation song
    Reception (Adventus) and Laudes
    Holy Thursday
      Royal Maundy
    Good Friday
      Blessing of cramp rings
    Churching and baptism
    Royal funerals
    Bidding prayers

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