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Liturgical Changes to the Cult of Saints Under Henry VIII*

  • Aude De Mézerac-Zanetti (a1)

Extract

The origin of the word ‘canonization’ is a timely reminder of the liturgical nature of the cult of saints. Up to the ninth century, including a new saint in the canon of the mass was one of the two steps, along with the translation of his or her relics, leading to the creation of a new cult. The cult of saints is essentially a liturgical matter.

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I would like to thank my supervisors, Alec Ryrie and Frank Lessay, as well as the editorial team of Studies in Church History, for their comments on earlier versions of this paper.

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References

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1 Kemp, E.W., Canonization and Authority in the Western Church (Oxford, 1948), 12.

2 Three of the seven modalities of the cult of saints are purely liturgical: ibid. 1–2.

3 Duffy, Eamon, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England c. 1400 — c. 1580, 2nd edn (London, 2005), 3945, 398, 407, 408, 443 ; MacCulloch, Diarmaid, Thomas Cranmer (New Haven, CT, 1996), 3278 ; Bernard, G.W., The King’s Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church (New Haven, CT, 2005), 2889, 292.

4 On the hermeneutical possibilities and dangers of studying service books, see Pfaff, Richard W., Liturgical Calendars, Saints, and Services in Medieval England (Aldershot, 1999).

5 Kew, TNA, State Papers 6/3, fols 42–44v; very briefly summarized in Brewer, J. S., Gairdner, J. and Brodie, R. H., eds, Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic: Henry VIII, 22 vols (London, 1862-1910), 8: 293. For an edition of this text, see Mézerac-Zanetti, Aude de, ‘Reforming the Liturgy under Henry VIII: The Instructions of John Clerk, Bishop of Bath and Wells’, forthcoming in JEH.

6 TNA, SP 6/3, fol. 44r.

7 For instance, Worcester, Cathedral Library, SEL.A.51.5, a breviary that belonged to one John Foxe, possibly related to Richard Foxe, Bishop of Winchester, whose obit is in the calendar. See also Oxford, Bodl., Gough Missals 56, MS Laud misc. 299; York, Minster Library, XI.G. 19/1. However, in many manuscript missals the expression jussu pape does not occur.

8 Portiforium secundum ustim Sarum, noviter impression et plurimis purgatum mendis (London, 1544), sig. AAiiv.

9 TNA, SP 6/3, fol. 44. For the precise passages, see Procter, F. and Wordsworth, C., eds, Breviarium ad usum insignis ealesiae Sarum, 3 vols (Cambridge, 187986), 3 , col. 371; F. H. Dickinson, ed., Missale ad ustim insignis el praedarae ealesiae Sarum (Burntisland, 1861–83), cols 132–3, 299–300.

10 The original translates as: ‘You are the shepherd of the sheep, Prince of the Apostles. God granted you all the kingdoms of the world. And for that reason, the keys of the kingdom of heaven were given to you. ‘As amended, it reads: ‘You are the shepherd of the sheep. God granted you the keys of the kingdom of heaven’: TNA, SP 6/3, fol. 44v; cf. Procter and Whitworth, eds., Breviarium, 3, col. 371.

11 TNA, SP 6/3, fol. 44v; cf. Procter and Whitworth, eds., Breviarium, 3, col. 368.

12 The verse starting jam bone pastor was sung at all three feasts of St Peter (the Feast of the Chair of St Peter, SS Peter and Paul, and St Peter in Chains): Procter and Whitworth, eds., Breviarium, 3, cols 172, 365, 565–6; and the hymn Aurea luce itself was also sung at vespers and at matins during the Octave of SS Peter and Paul: ibid., cols 438–9.

13 The word ‘yours’ is substituted for the word ‘all’: ‘Unbind the fetters of sin by the power transmitted to you, by which you open and close heaven to all with your word.’

14 Elton, G. R., The Tudor Constitution, 2nd edn (Cambridge, 1982), 3612, 366 . See contemporary debates on Matt. 16: 19 and John 20: 23 in Yarnell, Malcolm B., ‘Royal Priesthood in the English Reformation’ (unpublished D.Phil, thesis, University of Oxford, 2000), 20815 . For the evolution of the figure of St Peter under Elizabeth and James, see Bruhn, Karen, ‘Reforming Saint Peter: Protestant Constructions of Saint Peter the Apostle in Early Modern England’, SCJ 33 (2002), 3349.

15 Salisbury, Cathedral Library, MS 152.

16 Bray, Gerald, Documents of the English Reformation (Cambridge, 1994), 172 ; Duffy, Stripping of the Altars, 393.

17 The Sarum Missal done into English, trans. Pearson, A. Harford (London, 1884), 30.

18 Duggan, Anne, Thomas Becket (London, 2004), 200, 213, 236.

19 Hugues, Paul and Larkin, James, eds, Tudor Royal Proclamations, 3 vols (New Haven, CT, 1964), 1: 276. See also Elton, G. R., Policy and Police (Cambridge, 1972), 257 n. 1; Scully, Robert E., ‘The Unmaking of a Saint: Thomas Becket and the English Reformation’, CathHR 86 (2000), 579602.

20 One wonders how this might have affected Thomas Cromwell,Thomas Cranmer and the countless Thomases of Tudor England. For examples of rededications, see Scully, ‘Unmaking of a Saint’, 597; for a misdirected effort, see Brewer, Gairdner and Brodie, eds, Letters and Papers, 17: 881.

21 Cambridge, UL, F. 150.3.41; Durham, UL, Cosin V.1.2; Leeds, UL, MS Ripon 7; London, BL, C.35.b.4; Oxford, Bodl., Douce B.243, Gough Missals 21, MS Gough liturg. 1; York, Minster Library, Stainton 12, MS XVI.A.9, MS Add. 69.

22 This brief account of William of York’s life is based on Christopher Norton, William of York (Woodbridge, 2006).

23 Ibid. 198.

24 Ibid. 192–4.

25 Ibid. 195–6.

26 William Trent Foley, St. Wilfrid of York as pius pater: A Study of Late Roman Piety in Anglo-Saxon England (Ann Arbor, MI, 2000).

27 On the impact of the Reformation on the cult of St Cuthbert, see, in this volume, Margaret Harvey, ‘The Northern Saints after the Reformation in the Writings of Christopher Watson (d. 1580)’, 258–69.

28 The rebellion started in Lincolnshire and swept through Yorkshire and parts of other northern shires. The pilgrims’ demands were principally focused on the restoration of traditional religion.

29 Wilson, John of Beverley, 114, 121–2. On the Percy host, see Bush, Michael, The Pilgrimage of Grace: A Study of the Rebel Armies of October 1536 (Manchester, 1996), 187215.

30 See the Pontefract Articles, as edited in Hoyle, R. W., The Pilgrimage of Grace and the Politics of the 1530s (Oxford, 2001), 4603 , at 462.

31 For more on the propers and commons of saints in missals and breviaries, see Hughes, Andrew, Medieval Manuscripts for Mass and Office: A Guide to their Organization and Terminology (Toronto, ON, 1982), 1536; 2378.

32 Gairdner, Brewer, and Brodie, , eds, Letters and Papers, 12/1:201 ; Duffy, Stripping of the Altars, 395; Bush, Pilgrimage of Grace, 34–5.

33 Bush, Pilgrimage of Grace, 427–8.

34 Duffy, Stripping of the Altars, 430.

* I would like to thank my supervisors, Alec Ryrie and Frank Lessay, as well as the editorial team of Studies in Church History, for their comments on earlier versions of this paper.

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