OE Question

For the medievalists in the house…

I’m puzzled by some lines (ll. 150-152) in Pope XIa on Easter.

And we wurðiað þa tid wurðlice mid sangum
Seofon niht on an, swylce hit an dæg sy,
For ðære micclan mærðe manncynes alysednysse.

And we celebrate the time worthily with songs
[?seven nights in one, as if it were one day?]
for the great joy of humanity’s redemption.

What’s up with line 151? The combination of the prep ‘on’ and the swylce+subj. leaves me unsettled (my grammatical skills in OE still suck…). As a liturgist I immediately think that he’s talking about the extraordinary length of the Easter Vigil but, not having neither the RC or the LME close to hand, don’t remember how long their Vigil was…



About Derek Olsen

I'm a layman within the Episcopal Church with a PhD in New Testament and an interest in most things medieval, monastic, and liturgical. My chief job is keeping up with my priestly wife and our two awesome kids. In addition to that, I earn a living, run the St Bede's Breviary, listen to loud goth/industrial music, and do some stuff for the church. I currently serve as Secretary to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music where I'm also co-chair of the Calendar committee and chair of the Digital Publications committee.
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6 Responses to OE Question

  1. Tiruncula says:

    That certainly looks to me like what it means, except that on + acc. should be “into”. I know an Anglo-Saxon liturgist person if you want to email me for the contact; she’s extremely cheerful and would certainly be able to answer any questions. If I have a brainstorm in the meantime, I’ll re-reply.

  2. Derek the Ænglican says:

    on + acc. should be “into”.
    Ah–that makes sense… I was wondering about “within” as an option too but forgot to check about a case sensitive meaning.

    I know an Anglo-Saxon liturgist person if you want to email me for the contact…
    Great! I email you this weekend…

  3. Caelius says:

    Here’s my bet. The analogy being drawn is that Easter Vigil is a service of Vespers. At Vespers, a Canticle is recited after the Psalter, cycles being specified for each week. But at Vigil, a Canticle is sung after each lesson (and there are seven lessons). So a weekly cycle of Vespers canticles is sung in one night.

  4. Derek the Ænglican says:

    Well–I know what’s in the *modern* Vigil. I’m unclear until I get a chance to look at the Regularis Concordia and Ae’s Letter to his Monks what was the practice then. (Remember, before Vatican II the New Fire wasn’t lit at the Vigil but at Nones. If I remember right, 10th century practice was the same. If that was different, what else was different?)

  5. Caelius says:

    Of course, I’m wrong. I just like guessing.

  6. Derek the Ænglican says:

    You’re not necessarily wrong–that was my first hunch too–I just need to confirm it.

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