Book of Hours: Hours of the Holy Spirit

Recto, Verso

Likely of French origin (for its dual use of Latin and French Gothic script), this liturgical psalter from the Book of Hours, Hours of the Holy Spirit, contains the prayers for the Compline, also known as Evening Prayer.

            The larger illuminated letters, in shades of gold, blue, green, white & red, likely correlate with the start of a new section within the Evening Prayer, while the smaller illuminated letters show the start to omitted sections within the manuscript. These omissions, like in many other folios, assume foreword knowledge of liturgical texts, often supplied in red ink. Fading black ink on the recto also seems to suggest that the folio was once on display by a previous owner.

            The original seller, likely 'Foliophiles' (see the 'Bifolium' description), identifies the reflective gold leaf as having been applied to a clay base, creating a stark contrast to the more subdued colouring around it. Floral decoration is very whimsical throughout, depicting several plants and flowers growing out of the illuminations themselves.





  1. Te iram tuam a nobis.
  2. Deus in adiutorium
  3. meum intende. Domine
  4. ad aduniandum me festina
  5. Gloria patri. Hymne
  6. Spiritus paraclitus ve-
  7. lit nos iuuare. Gressus
  8. nostros regere et illuminare
  9. Ut cum Deus uenerit omnes
  10. iudicare. Nos velit ad dexte-
  11. ram suam appellare. Anti(phon)
  12. Veni sancta spiritus. Orison.
  13. Onmipotens. Recomen
  14. Has horas canonicas cum
  15. deuotione. Tu sancta spi-
  16. ritus pia ratione. Isac me re-
  17. colere tua imseratione meq



  1. tu illumines inspiratione.
  2. Amen. Benedicamus Domine
  3. Deo gracias.
  • Title: "Book of Hours: Hours of the Holy Spirit"
  • Subject: A liturgical psalter. Appears to be part of the Hours of the Holy Spirit, containing most of the prayer said at Compline, or Evening Prayer
  • Size: 160 mm x 115 mm
  • Quality: There is significant amount of fading on most of the black letters on the recto side, likely the result of light exposure. There is evidence of exposure to a substance that caused warping of the parchment.
  • Binding: Clearly separated from a larger work
  • Ruling: Evidence of ruling on both sides, probably done in pencil.
  • Illuminations: Some catchwords within the text are highlighted with having their first letter illuminated. Each line is 5mm except for the parts with illumination, which are larger.
  • Date: circa late-14th century
  • Location: France
  • Language: Latin & French
  • Script: Gothic script
  • Archive: Carleton University Archives and Research Collections
  • Reference Number: ARC Scan 1-2