Continuous Psalmody in the Old Hispanic rite

Emma Hornby, Kati Ihnat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)


The place of psalmody in the Old Hispanic rite has not previously been well understood. We closely analyse the liturgical material in London, British Library, Add. MS 30851(BL51), leading to a new understanding of how and when psalmody was used in that rite, and new hypotheses about the likely purpose of BL51’s psalter, including its antiphons and orations. Previous scholars have argued that there was no practice of continuous psalmody in the Old Hispanic rite (e.g. Brou, Randel), or that continuous psalmody was used within the public liturgy on ferial weekdays, taking three weeks to cycle around the psalter. We argue, instead, that Old Hispanic continuous psalmody was reserved for the night liturgy, practiced in cloistered communities. We combine the evidence of BL51’s psalter with the instructions for the night liturgy, preserved in the same manuscript, to establish that it would have taken approximately a week to cycle around the psalter, with its antiphons and orations, in these services.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Mar 2019

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