A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. E. D. Clarke 29

Summary Catalogue no.: 18391

Rituale for the Use of the Dominican Nuns of Maria Medingen, Mödingen; Germany, 15th century


(fols. 1r–6r)

Blessings for salt and water, for a variety of liturgical seasons. Includes ‘Benedictio aque cum reliquiis beati Petri martyris’ (fol. 4v), ‘reliquias beati Petri martyris’ (fol. 5r), ‘reliquiarum beati Petri martyris’ and ‘Postea immerge reliquias beati Petri …’ (fol. 5v).

(fols. 6r–8v)

Blessings for candles at the Purification, herbs at the Assumption, eggs, paschal lambs, bacon, cheese, bread, etc. at Easter, etc.

(fols. 8v–17r)

Procession antiphons etc. to be sung on Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday; at the altars of the Virgin, Mary Magdalene, St Nicholas, St Augustine ‘in choro sororum’, the Holy Cross, and at the Dedication of a church; on the feasts of the Ascension, Corpus Christi, Purification, Assumption, and others.

(fol. 17r–v)

The Office for the reception of novices

The main text refers to a ‘priorissa’ and ‘sororibus’, and uses feminine singular forms (e.g. ‘… famule tue … postulat assequatur …’), with plural forms added in red above.

(fols. 17v–38v)

Last rites (communion, fol. 17v, unction, fol. 18v) and funeral service (fol. 23v)

(fols. 38v–41r)

Forms of absolution

Rubric: Forma absolucionis generalis ordinis predicatorum

In the margins next to ‘te’, ‘tuis’, etc. are added (in the 16th cent.?) ‘vos’, ‘vestris’, etc.; a prayer mentions St Dominic (fol. 39r).

(fols. 41r–45r)

Instructions for a dying person

Rubric: Scire Mori quid sit
Incipit: Scire mori ut quidam sapiens ait est paratum habere cor & animam omni tempore ad superna

Includes 'Quinque ... temptaciones hominibus in extremis laborantibus' (fol. 41v), ‘Infirma interrogari potest secundum Anshelmum & Cancellarium Parisiensem in xv articuli sequentibus’ (fol. 42v), 'Instrui debet infirma in quinque que Christus fecit in cruce' (fol. 44r), 'Infirma exhortari debet ...' (fol. 44v)

(fols. 45v–50v)

The Seven Penitential Psalms

(fols. 50v–54r)

Litany of saints, with Dominic and Katherine each invoked twice; followed by collects mentioning Sts Dominic (fol. 53r), Thomas (Aquinas) and Vincent (Ferrer) (fol. 53v).

(fols. 54v–56r)

The Improperia, with music

‘Popule meus … Ego eduxi … Quid ultra …’

(fol. 56r–59v)

Miscellaneous blessings and prayers (some listed on fol. 61v), ending with ‘Pro pluvia’ and ‘Pro serenitate’.

(fol. 60r–v) Ruled, otherwise blank
(fols. 61r–v)

Table to contents, the folio numbers in red.

  • Exorcismus salis & aque folio i.
  • Benedictio uini folio .iiij.
  • Benedictio aque cum reliquiis beati Petri martyris folio v.
  • Ad benedicendum homines folio v.
  • Benedictio candelarum folio vi.
  • Benedictio herbarum & fructuum folio vij.
  • Benedictio esibilium in die pasche folio vij.
  • Ad processionem in die palmarum folio ix.
  • In die Cene ad ablucionem altarium folio x.
  • Ad processionem in dedicacione ecclesie folio xij.
  • Ad processionem in die Ascensionis folio xij.
  • Ad processionem in festo corporis Christi folio xiij.
  • Ad processionem in festo purificationis beate virginis folio xiiij.
  • Ad processionem in festo assumptionis beate virginis folio xiiij.
  • Ad processionem Extraordinariam folio xv & xvi.
  • Ad receptionem novitiarum folio xvij.
  • Ad communicandum infirmam folio xvij.
  • Ad inungendum infirmam folio xviij.
  • In exequiis ad Sepulchrum folio xxiij.
  • Vespere mortuos folio xxxv.
  • Forma absolutionis generalis ordinis folio xxxviij.
  • Forma absolutionis remissionis plenarie folio xxxix.
  • Forma absolutionis ab excommunicatione maiori folio xli.
  • Scire mori quid sit folio xli.
  • De quinque temptacionibis in extremis folio xli.
  • De xv. interrogari debet infirma folio xl.ii.
  • De quinque que Christus in cruce fecit que & infirma facere debet folio xliiij
  • Ad xiiij. exhortari debet infirma folio xliiij.
  • Item vij. psalmi penitentiales folio xlvi.
  • Item Popule meus cum nota folio liiij.
  • De benedictione itinerancium & veniencium folio lvi.
  • Pro benefactoribus Retribuere folio lvij.
  • Tempore victorie seu laudis Te deum folio lvij.
  • Item pro tribulatione ecclesie diuerse collecte, a folio lvii. usque ad folio lix.

(fol. 62r–v) Ruled, otherwise blank
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment (wrongly described as paper in the Summary Catalogue)
Extent: 63 folios
Dimensions (leaf): 170 × 125 mm.
Foliation: i–lx in contemporary red ink, followed by 61–63 in modern pencil


1(10–1, 1 canc. before fol. 1) (fols. 1–9), 2(10)-5(10) (fols. 10–49), 6(8) (fols. 50–7), 7(apparently 6) (fols. 58–63). Catchwords.


Ruled in ink for 20 lines, the litany ruled the same but written in 2 columns. Ruled space 120 × 85 mm.


Formal Gothic bookhand

Musical Notation:

The Improperia (fols. 54v–56r) with 5 lines of text and music in square notation on four-line red staves.


1- and 2-line initials in plain red, occasionally with calligraphic flourishes.


Medieval binding. Sewn on three slit/double bands and laced into wood boards covered with dark red leather, blind-tooled in a lattice pattern with large (rose?) and small (daisy?) flower-head tools in the interstices; with 4+1 circular bosses in a quincunx pattern on each board, and one clasp at the fore-edge (fastening from the back to the front board). Despite parchment flyleaves, the pastedowns are paper, the front one with part of a watermark visible (Ochsenkopf, type Piccard XII.761–878).


Origin: Germany, doubtless Swabia, Mödingen; 15th century

Provenance and Acquisition

The Dominican nunnery of Maria Medingen, Mödingen (northeast of Ulm): inscribed ‘Monasterio Meding. ordinis predicatorum pertinet’ (fol. 54v, similarly on fol. 6r).

Edward Daniel Clarke (1769–1822), fellow and Bursar of Jesus College Cambridge, professor of Mineralogy from 1808, and University Librarian from 1817. He collected manuscripts while travelling across Europe and as far as Russia, Palestine, and Egypt, from 1792 to 1802 (Maria Medingen was secularised in 1802).

Sold or donated by him to the Bodleian in 1809 or later.

Record Sources

Summary description (March 2021) by Peter Kidd, edited and dimensions and collation supplied by Matthew Holford. Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)


Last Substantive Revision

2021-03-04: Revised description for Polonsky German digitization project.