Book of Hours: Office of the Dead

recto, verso

Taken from the Book of Hours (a devotional collection of prayers & texts), this particular folio features Psalms 62 and 66, which were read at Lauds (the longest hour of daily prayer) in the Office of the Dead. As such, these are prayers were likely for the deceased, either recent or long-since passed.

            One must pay particular attention to the blend of colours within the various illuminations, where the capitalized letters appear in gold on a blue background with red & white designs on the inside, before a recurring pattern inverts to a red background with blue & white designs. The script has also been identified as 'Textualis Semiquadratus' Gothic script, due to the angular tops & subtle cursive bottoms of its letters. This also helps to date the folio since this style became far more common in the late 14th century.

            There are also visible signs of wear and exposure (possibly from display by a previous owner), such as the presence of tape on the top, as well as noticeably darker shading around its outside edges, faded text, & minor water damage.




  1. meditabor in te quia fiusti
  2. adiutor meus Et i(n) ve-
  3. lamento alaru(m) tuaru(m) exul-
  4. tabo adhesit ai(anima) mea post
  5. te me suscepit dextera tua.
  6. ipi(ispi) vero i(n)vanum quesi-
  7. brunt a[n]I[m]a mea[m] introbu[n]t
  8. in interfiora terre trade[n]tur
  9. in manus gladii p[or]tes vul-
  10. pium erunt. Rex vero
  11. letabitur in Dei laudabu[n]
  12. tur omnes qui iurat i[n] eo
  13. quia obstructu[m] est os loq[uenitum]
  14. deus tiu[m] iniqua.
  15. Misereatur n[ost]ri et
  16. benedicat nobis illumi[n]et
  17. Vultu[m] suu[m] super nos et


  1. Misereatur n[ost]ri. Ut cognas-
  2. camus in terra via tua-
  3. -m omnibus geneti[bus] salu
  4. tare tuu[m]. Confiteantur
  5. tibi populi Deus co[n]fitea[n]tur
  6. tibi populi o[mne]s. Leten
  7. tur et exsultent gentes quid[niam]
  8. iudicas populous I[n] equitate
  9. et gentes in terra dirigis
  10. Confitea[n]tur tibi populi
  11. deus cofiteatur tibi p[o]p[u]li
  12.  omnes terra dedit fructu[m] su-
  13. -um Benedict nos De[us]
  14. et mutuant eu[m] omnes fines
  15. terre. Requiem eterna
  16. dona eis domine. Et lux
  • Title: "Book of Hours: Office of the Dead"
  • Subject: Office of the Dead Psalms 62 & 66
  • Size: 155 mm x 117 mm
  • Quality: Thin yet sturdy parchment; Ink is lighter on the hair side compared to the flesh side. There is also a piece of tape folded along the top of the parchment. It may be assumed that this text was once framed. The edges of the parchment are of a darker colour, possibly from exposure. There is a rough texture around the edges that does not appear to be trimmed, but text may have been erased. There are no watermarks present.
  • Binding: Evidence of trimming, or rough edges
  • Ruling: No evidence of ruling
  • Illuminations: The illuminations are majuscule letters that follow a repeated pattern, appearing in gold on a blue background with red and white designs on the inside of the letter. The letters also appear on a red background with blue and white designs on the inside of the letter. This pattern repeats itself until the end of the text.
    The only other decorative element on the parchment is on the recto near the bottom left side of the text. This design is a gold illumination with black ink and is connected to the letter “D”, which indicates the beginning of the next Psalm. There are no rubrications or marginalia on the parchment.
  • Date: circa 14th century
  • Location: possibly France
  • Language: Latin
  • Script: Gothic script
  • Archive: Carleton University Art Gallery Collection
  • Reference Number: CUAG 1995.62.4 | Add.10000 fol. 4