Frank Henderson's Page on Liturgy and Medieval Women

Space and Art

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.

Church Buildings

  Patronage / Ownership (women alone or with husband or sons)
    Women as founders and initial patrons or later owners / patrons
    Parish churches
      Churches of communities of women
      Churches shared by communities of women and men
      Churches shared by parishes and religious communities (women, men)
    Women as founders of chapels or chantries within churches, or other chantries
    Women who had private oratories (household chapels)
    Women who owned portable altars
  Design and Construction
    Women as designers of churches and their decoration
    Women who participated in the construction of churches
    Women who contributed small amounts to construction costs
  Repair and Refurbishing
    Women contributors
    Dedications to women saints
      Churches, chapels, altar, aisles, bells
  Consecration of Churches, Altars, Bells
    Female images of church
    Biblical women in prayers
      Miriam; Sarah-T
    Women as consecrators (in art)
    Godmothers of bells
    Relics in altarstones

Liturgical Furnishings

  Liturgical Furnishings Owned by Women
    Vessels, vestments, linens, books, other
  Bequests and Donations by Women of Money Toward the Purchase of Lliturgical Furnishings
    Vessels, vestments, linens, books, other
  Bequests by Women of Domestic Objects to be Used in the Liturgy
    Wax and candles, tablecloths, bedsheets, towels, kerchieves, gowns, pillows, other
  Depiction and Naming of Women on Liturgical Furnishings
    Biblical women and other women saints
      Hebrew Scriptures
      Christian Scriptures
    Other women
      Liturgical participants

Occupation and Use

  Separation of Women and Men, Laity and Clergy
  Space Occupied by Women in Parish Churches
    One side; both sides; seating; place for churching; the church doorway
  Space Occupied by Women in Churches of Women’s Communities
  Space Occupied by Women in Churches of Men’s Communities
    Separate chapels for women
    Visitors, guests, pensioners
  Space Occupied by Women in Churches Shared by Parishes and Religious Communities
    (Of men, of women)
  Burial of Women
    Bronzes, effigies, monuments
    Location: nave, chancel, churchyard, other

Ongoing Management and Care of Churches

  Women as Churchwardens
    Hoch-day collection
  Women Who Did Not Contribute
  Women Members of Parish Guilds
  Women as Laundress, Sacristan, Bell Ringers, Cleaners

Art and Decoration

  [Sculpture, Corbels, Windows, Wall Painting, Screens, Wood Carving, Wall Hangings]
    [For baptistries and fonts, see chapter on baptism]
    Women as patrons and donors of art and decoration
      [motivation, meaning]

Women as Artists and Artisans in the Decoration of Churches

  Depiction or Naming of Biblical Women and (other) Saints in Art and Decoration
      Biblical women
        Hebrew Scriptures
        Christian Scriptures
          Mary, Magdalene, other
      Women Saints
        Patron of church, chapel, etc.
    Potential Influences
      Liturgical readings
        Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, other
      Liturgical prayers
        Libera Domine
          Sarcophagi and catacombs
          Merovingian period
          French cathedral art: C12, C13
          Procession of women in Ravenna
      Liturgical rites
        Dedication of church
        Consecration of bishop
    Location: to whom was the art/decoration visible?
        Nave: north, south side; low, high
        Chancel, Chapels
  Depiction or Naming of Other Women
    Participants in the liturgy

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