Liturgy for Nonliturgists

William M. Bowsky

in Society and Individual in Renaissance Florence

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780520232549
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928220 | DOI:
Liturgy for Nonliturgists

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter is about liturgy at the Florentine Church of San Lorenzo, which presents itself as a lesson in the difficulty of reconstructing the spiritual life of a past community. It also illustrates how it is almost impossible to really know anything about what was said and done, let alone believed, by the clerics of San Lorenzo. It tries to ascertain what liturgical manuscripts belonged to the chapter of medieval San Lorenzo, then to discover their scriptoria, when they came to the Ambrosian basilica if not written, illuminated, and bound there, and how long they might have remained in use. The clues regarding spiritual life that liturgical manuscripts might offer for that of the Church of San Lorenzo in Florence are described. In the present state of research, it is far too early to assess fully the liturgical life of San Lorenzo, especially in a comparative sense.

Keywords: liturgical manuscripts; Church of San Lorenzo; Florence; liturgy; spiritual life; clerics

Chapter.  7284 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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