Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 9980
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Sorrentino , Janet.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: In Houses of Nuns, in Houses of Canons: A Liturgical Dimension to Double Monasteries
  • Source: Journal of Medieval History 28, ( 2002): Pages 361 - 372.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Double Houses Gilbertine Order Liturgical Books Liturgy Manuscripts Monasticism Regula (Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Saint) Regula (Benedict of Nursia, Saint) Women in Religion
  • Award Note:
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 12-13
  • Primary Evidence: Manuscript; 1) Oxford, Bodleian Library, Douce MS 136. Includes the Gilbertine "Institutes," which was written mostly in the thirteenth century.2) Oxford, Bodleian Library, Digby MS 36. Includes the hour office of St. Gilbert.3) Cambridge, Pembroke College MS 226. In
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  • Abstract: Liturgical celebration tied male clergy to houses of religious women in a wide variety of so-called double monasteries. St Gilbert founded the Order of Sempringham to provide for women's religious vocation, but like other contemporary new orders, the Gilbertines needed a population of male religious to assist the nuns in their vocations. St Gilbert, and ultimately his successors, placed the nuns under the Rule of St Benedict and added regular canons who followed the Augustinian Rule. Historians of monastic life and female religious treat this organisation of the Gilbertines nearly like a commonplace. With regard to liturgy, this combination of two rules in one institution was remarkable, for the Benedictine monastic liturgy differed significantly from the divine offices among Augustinian canons. The liturgical dimension of double houses has not been sufficiently explored. The Gilbertine liturgical manuscripts represent an Augustinian liturgical cursus, while their Institutes, reflecting Cistercian models, mix both traditions. This article examines the issue and concludes that the Augustinian cursus dominated the order and that it seemed more important to identify the Gilbertine nuns as Benedictine than for the nuns to practice a Benedictine liturgy.
  • Author's Affiliation: Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2002.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 03044181