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Abbey presents Pope with Missal volume

Thursday, 30th September 2010

Abbey presents Pope with Missal volume

Westminster Abbey presented Pope Benedict XVI with a magnificent bound volume of illustrations from its 14th century illuminated manuscript, the Litlyngton Missal, after the ecumenical service of evening prayer on Friday 17th September 2010.

The bespoke volume presented to the Pope is titled A World of Worship and is bound in red leather with the coat of arms of Edward the Confessor embossed in gold on its front cover. It took six months to complete from conception to printing in Italy and contains a commentary written by Dr Richard Mortimer, the Abbey’s Keeper of the Muniments, based on a doctoral thesis on the Missal by Dr Douglas East, the Abbey Library’s bookbinder.

The Litlyngton Missal was commissioned in 1383 by Nicholas de Litlyngton, Abbot of Westminster between 1362 and 1386.

In addition to images from the Missal, A World Of Worship also contains illustrations from the Abbey’s other 14th century illuminated manuscript Liber Regalis.

Liber Regalis is a manual for the coronation of monarchs which contains the text used at the coronation of Queen Anne of Bohemia in 1382. Its main features have been used at every subsequent monarch's coronation.

The Abbey has commissioned a set of velvet-bound editions of A World of Worship which will be presented to visiting Heads of State.

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At different times of the day, or in different seasons, the light falling in the Abbey will light up something that you have walked past a million times and never seen before.

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Vanessa, Head of Conservation

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