Memorial Ritual and the Writing of History

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The purpose of this article is to discuss the litirgical use of saints' legends in saints' offices as a particular way of producing "sacred history," focusing on the way such texts were integrated into the Nocturns (of Matins) in a saint's office. In this context, I am primarily concerned not with the saints' legends as such but rather with the mechanisms involved in the liturgical appropriation of a saint's narrative, which, of course, is related to the way a saint's legend would often be composed: as a text designed to be read in a saint's office.
I give an example of hos the procedure of inscribing a saint into the universal liturgical celebration of God's sacred history with humans functioned in practice by way of a brief discussion of one section from the Office of Saint Cnut lavard, a Danish princely saint who was killed in 1131 and was canonised in 1169 by Pope Alexander III.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistorical and Intellectual Culture in the Long Twelfth Century : The Scandinavian Connection
EditorsMia Münster-Swendsen, Thomas Heebøll-Holm, Sigbjørn Olsen Sønnesyn
Number of pages23
Place of PublicationToronto and Durham
PublisherPonticical Institute of Mediaeval Studies
Publication date2016
Pages166 - 188
ISBN (Print)978-0-88844-864-4
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 169644555