Praying for the Liberation of the Holy Sepulchre: Franciscan Liturgy in Fifteenth Century Jerusalem
The fall of Jerusalem to Saladin in 1187 and the loss of the Frankish Levant in 1291 triggered new calls or crusade and the literature dedicated to "the recovery of the Holy Land" (pro recuperatione Terre Sancte). The exhortation to war and the urgency of Jerusalem's deliverance were also expressed through liturgy. This article examines two liturgical texts, a "Votive mass for the recovery of the Holy Land" (Missa devota ad recurandam Terram Sanctam) and an "Introit to the Holy Sepulchre of the Lord" (Ad Sanctum Sepulcrum Donin introitus), transmitted in manuscripts from the Franciscan library in Jerusalem, the Biblioteca Generale della Custodia di Terra Santa. This article explores the two liturgical texts in the historical context of fifteenth-century Jerusalem, when the Franciscan friars where the only Latin clergy allowed to serve at the Holy Places. Historical accounts produced in this milieu evince the friars' efforts to memorialize the deeds of the crusader kings, celebrated as liberators of the Holy Land. The liturgical texts analysed here complement this militant memorialization.
Monks singing the Office and decorated initial A[sperges me.]. Gradual Olivetan Master (Use of the Olivetan Benedictines), illuminated manuscript on parchment ca. 1430-1439. Italy, Monastero di Santa Maria di Baggio near Milan, Ca 1400-1775.
Beinecke Ms1184: The olivetan Gradual. Gradual. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).