History of Liturgy Seminar 2018-19

This year the Henry Bradshaw Society will once again co-sponsor the History of Liturgy Seminar, held on Mondays 17.15-19.15, in the John S Cohen Room N203, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London WC1E 7HU.

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22 October 2018 – Eyal Poleg (Queen Mary, University of London): “Enclosed and Wrapped About with Dust”: The Bible in Late Medieval and Early Modern Liturgy

14 January 2019 – Andrew Kirkman (University of Birmingham): Choirboys and Singers in a Great Medieval Church: The Case of St-Omer

Michael Carter (English Heritage): Liturgy, Art and Architecture: Some Cistercian Evidence
Sally Wadsworth (University of Birmingham): Beeswax and Tallow Before and After the Reformation
Chris Barnes (University of Birmingham): Post-Reformation Church Bells Within the Diocese of Gloucester, 1541-1662

20 May 2019 – Susan Rankin (University of Cambridge): Antiphonarium: Making and Using Chant Books in the Early Middle Ages

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Seminar convened by Matthew Champion, Helen Gittos, Sarah Hamilton, John Harper, Eyal Poleg, Teresa Webber.

Henry Bradshaw Society Lecture 2018: Dr Teresa Webber

The Henry Bradshaw Society Lecture 2018 will be delivered by Dr Teresa Webber, Reader in Palaeography at the University of Cambridge.

The lecture, entitled ‘Liturgical Books and the Medieval Library’, will take place on Friday 27 April at 5pm, in Room GR06-7, English Faculty Building, 9 West Road, Cambridge, followed by a reception.

All are welcome.

Online publication of ‘From Jerusalem to Rome’, by Michael Moreton

We are pleased to make available online Michael Moreton’s unpublished book ‘From Jerusalem to Rome: The Jewish Origins and Catholic Tradition of Liturgy’.

The book may be downloaded as a PDF on the following page:


Fr Moreton’s monograph is an informative and challenging review of the story of Christian liturgy from its sources in Judaism to the establishment of its classical forms, and beyond. Although not part of either series of Henry Bradshaw Society publications, this work is in many ways a complement to Geoffrey Willis’ History of Early Roman Liturgy, published as the inaugural HBS subsidia volume in 1994.

The author read History at the University of London before the war, and then Theology at Christ Church, Oxford after it. A parish priest for most of his life, he taught New Testament and Liturgy part-time at Exeter University from the late 1950s until his retirement. He died in 2014, aged 97.

Notker Liber ymnorum edition receives Palisca Award

We are delighted that the Society’s most recent publication in its Main Series, Calvin Bower’s edition and translation of The Liber Ymnorum of Notker Balbulus, has been awarded the Palisca Award at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society. Named after the eminent musicologist Claude V. Palisca (1921–2001), this prize is awarded for a musical edition or translation which exhibits ‘the highest qualities of originality, interpretation, logic and clarity of thought, and communication.’

For details of this and previous winners see: https://www.amsmusicology.org/page/Palisca_Winners

For more information on this publication see: https://henrybradshawsociety.org/publications/main-series/121

Henry Bradshaw conference at Cambridge University Library (4 December 2017)

Save the date: Henry Bradshaw conference at Cambridge University Library, 4 December 2017

A conference at Cambridge University Library to celebrate 150 years since Henry Bradshaw’s appointment as University Librarian in 1867.

Speakers include Richard Beadle, Nicolas Bell, Lotte Hellinga, Arnold Hunt, Peter Jones, David McKitterick and Paul Russell.

The conference will be held in the Milstein Room at Cambridge University Library, with lunch in the Saltmarsh Rooms at King’s College (Bradshaw’s rooms). There will be displays of material relating to Bradshaw in both King’s College Library and the University Library.

Booking will open later this month (October 2017). For more information please contact Cambridge University Library.

History of Liturgy Seminar 2017-2018

This year the Henry Bradshaw Society will once again co-sponsor the History of Liturgy Seminar, held on Mondays 17.15-19.15, in the John S Cohen Room N203, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London WC1E 7HU.

* * *

2 October 2017 – Teresa Webber (University of Cambridge): The Chapter Office and Reading in Chapter: monastic practice c. 1000-1300

13 November 2017 – Henry Parkes (Yale University): Matins Responsories and Narratives of Divine Encounter

5 February 2018 – Isabelle Cochelin (University of Toronto): Decrypting Monastic Customaries

5 March 2018 – Iris Shagrir (Open University of Israel): Liturgical Vision and Liturgical Practice in Crusader Jerusalem   This will be a joint session with the Crusades and the Latin East seminar

21 May 2018 – Roundtable discussion: What roles did rubrics play in medieval liturgy?

11 June 2018 – Arthur Westwell (University of Cambridge): Conquering by the Book: Did the Carolingians bring a New Liturgy to the Kingdom of Italy?   AND   David Harrap (QMUL): Consecratio Navis: Maritime Liturgies in Medieval and
Early Modern England

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See the History of Liturgy Seminar 2017-18 poster for more information.

Henry Bradshaw Society Lecture 2017: Prof. Sarah Hamilton

The Henry Bradshaw Society Lecture 2017 will be delivered by Sarah Hamilton, Professor of Medieval History at the University of Exeter.

Entitled ‘What’s the Use of Cursing? Early Records of the Excommunication Liturgy’, Prof. Hamilton’s talk will take place on Friday 28 April at 5pm, in Room GR06-7, English Faculty Building, 9 West Road, Cambridge.

All are welcome.

Memorial Service for Dick Pfaff

A Memorial Service of Choral Vespers will be held in Magdalen College Chapel, Oxford, on Friday 12th May 2017 at 6 p.m. for the Revd Prof. Richard William Pfaff (1936-2016), Vice-President of the Henry Bradshaw Society; Rhodes Scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, 1957-9; Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1967-2006; Visiting Fellow, Magdalen College, Oxford, 1990-1.

The service will be directed by Mark Williams, Informator Choristarum, and sung by the Academical Clerks of Magdalen. The music will feature plainsong and music by Monteverdi, one of Dick’s favourite composers. All are welcome to this free service. Refreshments will be served afterwards. For more details, contact the Revd Dr. Jonathan Arnold, Dean of Divinity, Magdalen College, Oxford.

Medieval Rites: Reading the Writing (21-23 April 2017)

North American members of the Henry Bradshaw Society are warmly invited to attend ‘Medieval Rites: Reading the Writing’, a three-day conference on medieval liturgical texts hosted by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, with support from the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and University of Notre Dame.

The conference will be held at Yale University, New Haven, CT, on Friday 21-Sunday 23 April 2017. Participants include HBS Council members Sarah Hamilton and Henry Parkes.

Admission free. No registration required. For more information please visit the conference webpage.

Cuthbert Johnson OSB (1946-2017)

The Society notes with great sadness the death early on 16 January 2017 of our President, the Right Reverend Abbot Cuthbert Johnson OSB.


Born Peter Johnson at Hebburn in County Durham, England, on 11 July 1946, the feast of St Benedict, he was greatly influenced by this fact and by the proximity of his home and his schools to the sites of ancient monasticism at Dryburgh, Jedburgh, Kelso and Melrose, Lindisfarne and Jarrow-Wearmouth. In 1964, with the Second Vatican Council in course, he entered Quarr Abbey, near Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, taking the monastic name Cuthbert, the patron Saint of his home diocese. The monastery had originally been built to house the community of Solesmes during its exile from France. At Quarr, the community kept the tradition of the chant and had a good level of scholarship, exemplified in monks such as Dom Frederick Hockey, Dom Louis Brou, Dom Henry Ashworth, the latter two long involved the Henry Bradshaw Society. The young Cuthbert benefitted from this stimulus, and in the first years pursued his musical education at several centres in France. He was ordained a priest in 1973.

In 1975 he was sent to begin further studies in liturgy at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute at Sant’Anselmo, in Rome. Later he completed a diploma in Christian archeology and the doctorate in Sacred Liturgy with a thesis on Dom Prosper Guéranger, the founder of Solesmes. In 1983 he was called to serve in the liturgy sector of the Roman Curia and in the thirteen years spent there developed many international contacts, travelling in the Americas, the Far East and Africa. His affability made him many friends and he was well known to the Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

In the summer of 1996 he was elected abbot of his home monastery and returned to take up this new responsability. He was blessed as Abbot in the abbey church on 22 October 1996 by Cardinal Virgilio Noè, then the Archpriest of St Peter’s Basilica. He retired after 12 years and was a chaplain in two women`s monasteries and other centres with Benedictine connections. His last posting was at Bellingham in Northumberland.

From 1992 he had been a member of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses and from 1997 till the time of his death, he was a Consultor of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Disciple of the Sacraments, appointed by Pope John Paul II and reappointed also by Pope Benedict XVI. In the long years 2001-2015 he was an advisor to the Congregation’s Vox Clara Committee. As well as serving as the Holy See’s liturgical liaison with the Carthusian Order, visiting the Grande Chartreuse in person.

He was known for a large number of studies, though his bibliography has yet to be published. Several volumes were issued in the Instrumenta Liturgica Quarreriensia, and others concerned the sources of texts appearing in the current Latin form of the Roman Rite. In 2003 he published an edition of correspondence between Abbot Guéranger and the a pioneering archeologist. Giovanni Battista de Rossi and in 2015 he published an edition of papers of Mgr Lawrence McReavy, of Ushaw College, recounting his work as an expert at the Vatican Council.

In April 2007, after serving for nearly 20 years as a member of the Council of the Henry Bradshaw Society, he was elected the Society’s President, being re- elected annually till the year of his death. Especially in younger years he had personally researched the Society’s foundation. The election was an honour Dom Cuthbert appreciated and he accomplished the role with diligence.

Abbot Cuthbert was diagnosed with an incurable tumour in the summer but suffered no pain and died peacefully according to his religious convictions in the early hours of 16 January 2017, aged 70.

Anthony Ward SM, 17 Jan 2017