The 1662 Book of Common Prayer website contains the complete text of the Book of Common Prayer, along with some useful supplementary material. The BCP itself (which remains one of the authorised forms of Church of England liturgy) contains orders for the main church services (including the Collects and Epistle and Gospel readings for holy days and Sundays throughout the year) and for events such as baptisms, marriages, and ordination of clergy, along with other items such as the Psalter, the Thirty-Nine Articles, and the Table of Kindred and Affinity (which details which relations are forbidden to marry). Additional material on the site includes a list of amendments made to the BCP since 1662, extracts from pre-1662 BCP editions, notes on festivals of the church, and the order of service for the coronation of Elizabeth II. The site is straightforwardly presented and easily navigable, and there is a limited search function (although this does not appear to work in all browsers). The text is also available for download, in HTML, RTF, and ASCII formats. This seems to be the premier 1662 BCP site on the Web: numerous sites link to it, including Charles Wohlers' Book of Common Prayer site, the Anglicans Online resources section, and the Web page of The Prayer Book Society.
'A Hypertext Book of Hours' provides an introduction to the history and context of the Book of Hours (a work giving the texts for each liturgical hour of the day) and lists its usual structure, based on the 1599 'Primer, or Office of the Blessed Virgin Marie, in Latin and English'. This resource provides all calendar dates, Gospel readings, Psalms, prayers and suffrages normally found in a (sixteenth-century) Book of Hours in Latin and English. The site is easy to navigate and would serve well as a teaching tool. However, it underplays the relationship between the text and the often highly refined and detailed illuminations of most Books of Hours.
The AHRC Early Modern Worship Network (EMWN) is a current AHRC research network based at Durham University. It aims to be a network for "historians, literary scholars, theologians, musicologists and other early modernists [who] all share an interest in the practice of religion in the early modern world" and in particular for the examination of "religious practice and its meanings in early modern British culture". The EMWN has two mains themes: "collective and public worship; and private and household devotions". Two major EMWN conferences will be held on these topics in Sept 2008 and June 2009. The website also has news of a £20,000 EMWN fund to send academics to selected conferences during 2008 and 2009. The website has full details of the aims, steering group, members, and funding.
The Book of Common Prayer website offers an impressive collection of editions of the eponymous prayer book, dating from 1544 through to the present day, along with introductory notes giving the history and context of each edition. The texts are arranged by country of origin, and the two largest sections cover versions of the prayer book from the US Episcopal Church and from the Church of England, but liturgy from a wide variety of churches in the Anglican communion is included. While most of the material is in English, the site also features the text of or links to full or partial translations into over a dozen other languages. The site also features a selection of works on the history of the Book of Common Prayer.
The Burnet Psalter is an illuminated manuscript created in the 15th century and bequeathed to Marischal College, Aberdeen by Gilbert Burnet (1643-1715), Bishop of Salisbury: historian, theological writer, and adviser to William III. This is an online resource providing full-page colour images of the text and illustrations from a 15th century manuscript (AUL MS 25). The term 'psalter' refers to a book containing the Book of Psalms (or a particular version of, musical setting for, or selection from it) used in liturgical as well as private devotional contexts. The Burnet Psalter was composed in the first half of the fifteenth century and contains: a calendar; prayers and hymns for personal use; the Book of Psalms; and liturgies for personal use. The site contains an introduction to the manuscript, lists of contents compiled in 1932 and 1995 and digitised images of each page of the manuscript. There are also enlargements of each of the illuminated letters with commentaries. The site also has full transcriptions of the Latin and an English summary of the prayers and hymns, as well as commentaries on the writing, an editorial, and a bibliography. Pages describing the manuscript are reproduced from M. R. James, 'A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the University Library Aberdeen' (Cambridge, 1993). A full transcription of the Latin and summaries in English of the prayers and hymns also accompany the text. This project is one of the University of Aberdeen Special Libraries and Archives' NFF projects. Intended for a wide audience, this resource is a useful teaching and research tool for undergraduate and postgraduate study.
CANTUS is a database intended to assist medieval scholars in their study of Latin ecclesiastical chants of the Office (a series of Catholic worship services in ecclesiastical Latin that take place at intervals through the course of each day) developed as a collaborative project by the Catholic University of America and the University of Western Ontario, where it is now hosted. It is a very useful research tool given the lack of any critical edition of authoritative versions of individual chants. The records are created based on indices of the chants in sources of the liturgical Office. Older kinds of indices, such as those published in various facsimile editions of sources (for example, Paléographie musicale), and those presented by Dom René-Jean Hesbert in Corpus Antiphonalium Officii have been used as models. In addition to free access to the searchable CANTUS database, the website also provides detailed information on the project background, the sources indexed by the project, descriptions of the database files, tables of liturgical feasts in Latin and English, and lists of related links and publications relating to CANTUS. The database records can be viewed online, or they can be downloaded to the desktop. Several of the CANTUS indices are also available in printed form.
The Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) is one of the largest and best online collections of Christian theological and spiritual works. Directed by Harry Plantinga at Calvin College, the library contains an immense assortment of electronic texts ranging from the earliest of Christian theologians through to 19th century authors. Notable offerings include: the complete Early Church Fathers series (all thirty-eight volumes of the Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene Fathers are available); the works of St Thomas Aquinas (English translations of the Summa Theologica and Catena Aurea are available); and a selection of works by Anselm, Dante, Walter Hilton, St John of the Cross, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Foxe, John Wesley, and many others. The works are available in a variety of formats, and may be either read online or downloaded (downloading requires free registration). The site may be browsed by author, title, or subject, and a search engine is also provided. There are also occasional links to texts hosted off-site. Most of the texts offered by CCEL are in English (though users should note that copyright considerations mean that translations are often some decades old); a few are also in other languages. Many works on the site have been encoded in Theological Markup Language (ThML), which provides special support for theological needs such as scripture references and Strong's numberings. Music students and lovers of church hymns may enjoy perusing the Hymnary, organised both by song title and composer. In many cases it is possible both to download the score for a hymn and to listen to a MIDI file. A valuable resource for scholars and students alike.
Common Worship comprises the liturgical services and prayers used alongside the Book of Common Prayer in the Church of England and which replaced the Alternative Service Book in 2000. The website reproduces, in electronic form, the series of volumes published by Church House Publishing under the oversight of the Liturgical Publishing Group, together with supplementary materials. Texts are available to browse or download in HTML, PDF and RTF formats. The volumes include: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (services and resources for use on Sundays, principal feasts and holy days, and festivals, including Psalter); Pastoral Services (marriage, funerals); Initiation Services (baptism and confirmation); Daily Prayer (morning, evening and night prayer); and the President's Edition (Holy Communion and Baptism services). Musical settings for the Eucharistic prayers are also available together with the Revised Common Lectionary and other authorised liturgies.
Creeds of Christendom is an extensive online collection of creeds and other statements of religious belief from the Christian tradition. It offers the text of, and in many cases notes on, creeds from ancient times through to the present day. The Ancient Symbols section begins with credal statements from the Bible, and includes the Apostles', Nicene, Athanasian and other significant creeds from the first eight centuries BCE. There are also notes on the filioque clause controversy, the text of the Definition of Chalcedon (on the nature of Christ), and the Canons of the Council of Orange. Later statements of belief (including both those of historical importance, such as the Heidelberg Catechism, and contemporary ones) are given for some fourteen denominations. Most of the material is hosted locally, though some texts are provided via links to outside sites; there are a few broken links, but on the whole the site seems well maintained. Although simply presented, it is easily navigable, with a limited search function. The bulk of material on the site in in English; some creeds, however, also have versions in Latin, Greek or other languages.
Presenting over 5,000 hymns and other types of sacred choral music, Cyber Hymnal is a database that allows visitors to browse an alphabetical list of titles. Information about each hymn, including details about the music, words, alternative settings and composer information, is provided. It is possible to listen the hymns, for which software is required. Where a hymn has an alternative setting, a link is also provided to a sound sample of that particular setting. Full texts of the hymns are also given. Most of the hymns presented are from the Christian tradition.
The Franciscan Archive is an all-in-one gateway for information about Franciscan life and history as well as the order's major thinkers and figures. Maintained by Brother Alexis Bugnolo, the layout of the home page is reminiscent of a newspaper with articles divided up into a variety of sections that include theology, liturgy, documents and history. When selected, the user discovers that each section is constructed out of external links and transcriptions from original spiritual texts that are available in English, Latin and occasionally Spanish. Not surprisingly there is a massive amount of information available on St. Francis of Assisi and the establishment of the Franciscan order including biographies, medieval hagiographies, legends and the Saint's writings. However the site goes on much further by offering brief histories of other Christian saints associated with the Franciscan movements. Students at all levels will find this resource easy to use and appreciate the depth and variety of material collected. Scholars too will welcome the ongoing addition of electronic texts from and about medieval Franciscan figures.
The Gradual from Maundy Thursday to the Vigil of Pentecost (Denison Library, Perkins 4. Gradual. s. XVI, Scripps College) Web pages provide a digitised version of this entire 16th-century manuscript (including the binding). The gradual (a choir book) contains the Latin text and plainsong music sung during masses over the period between Easter and Pentecost. The text is illuminated, often with large historiated initials and intricate borders, and is annotated with liturgical information and descriptions of the illuminations. The images are of a high quality and enable the user to zoom in significantly on individual details. The site gives a good general description of the whole manuscript, its binding and probable use, as well as descriptions of each folio to accompany the individual images. The manuscript is searchable by: title; description; day of the Church Year; illuminations; and transcriptions among other fields, with some hyperlinking between fields from within individual descriptions. This site would be of interest to students and researchers in the fields of: manuscript studies; religious studies; and history, and, as the publishers hope in future to include musical transcriptions and sound files of the music being played, music historians.
In the Gregorian Chant Home Page, Peter Jeffery has brought together a selection of links to online text documents and audio files on Gregorian chant, ranging from sites about medieval musical theory and resource guides to medieval chant performance, to pages on liturgy and Gregorian chant workshops. The website is simply presented and hence easy to navigate, with the links (many of which are annotated) divided into categories for ease of reference. This resource refers to American as well as European societies and institutions, but is primarily aimed at American musicology students. The site also offers a small selection of Princeton University course materials related to Gregorian chant.
Created by the Jewish National and University Library (JNUL) in Jerusalem, this website is concerned with the music that is associated with the Jewish festival of Hanukkah (or Chanukah), the Festival of Lights. The website presents various versions of songs that are typically sung during this eight-day festival, including the blessings that are performed when lighting the candles on each of the eight nights and Moaz Zur, one of the most important songs that can be heard at this time. The website presents audio versions of the songs for which software is required, as well as English and Hebrew texts and transliterations of the Hebrew.
Created by Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, this website is part of the website of Project Wittenberg, a collection of works by and concerning Martin Luther (1483-1546) and works by other Lutherans. The project website dates back to the 1990s but has been maintained by staff at Concordia Theological Seminary. The hymns of Martin Luther are presented as a list arranged in chronological order with links to the hymns in question. Each of the entries for the hymns presents all verses of the hymns and the printed edition from which the hymn has been taken and notes on the verses and any variations that may occur in other editions. All the entries on the website are described as being in the public domain and can therefore be copied and reused.
The Jewish Music WebCentre is a gateway to many sources concerned with all aspects of Jewish music including sacred music. Composers and performers are detailed, and a number of different types of music such as choral and instrumental music are given their own sections. Information on accessing Jewish music in any form is also given, from discographies to publishers. It is possible to find out about events and festivals; a weblog furthers contributions from visitors to the site. Those wishing to research Jewish music and musical culture can access information concerning important collections, conferences and bibliographies. The website also allows access to tables of contents from 'Musica Judaica: Journal of the American Society for Jewish Music'. A 'directory' section points visitors to other resources that may be of interest.
Liturgiia.ru is a Moscow Patriarchate-sponsored website which aims to make available all the current liturgical texts for Orthodox services, and instructions relating to sacraments (baptism, Chrismation, confession, communion, marriage, anointing of the sick, ordination). Liturgical songs and bell ringing clips are provided in mp3 files for download, and video clips of various parts of the liturgy are provided in RealMedia format. Sheet music is also available in PDF format, and the articles page offers material on: church architecture; vestments; furnishings; icon painting and other related subjects as well as a PDF transcript of a thirteenth century Novgorodian service book. A large collection of photographs and images of icons (searchable by name), and a large collection of scanned liturgical books (such as the Apostolos, Psalter, Octoechos and Small Euchologion) are further useful features. The Synodal version of the Russian bible can also be searched from the site. Questions on liturgical matters can be emailed to site authors via an online form, and a links page suggests further resources. This Russian-language only site should be of particular interest to researchers and teachers of Russian religion and culture.
Monachos.net is a website that aims to further the study of Orthodox Christianity by providing an impressive range resources on patristics, monasticism, and liturgics as they relate to the Eastern Christian tradition. The site offers primary texts, commentaries and articles, and a number of useful annotated lists of links. There are also discussion boards, and resources to assist those learning classical or ecclesiastical Greek. The site is attractively presented and easy to navigate, with a full search function. A few pages require SPIonic Greek font to display properly: this is available to download. Monachos.net is an extensive resource, with much to offer not just to those interested in Orthodox Christianity, but also those working more generally in patristics, ecclesiastical history, and doctrine. The range of materials available is such that there will be something to interest almost everyone, from the casual enquirer to the academic researcher.
The Murthly Hours is a medieval book of hours probably produced in Paris in the thirteenth century for an English woman, and now held by the National Library of Scotland. As part of its digitisation programme, the National Library has made available online images of the 216 folios contained within the manuscript together with an introduction to the Murthly Hours. The work has two distinct sections: a set of full page illuminated miniatures; and the devotional text of the book of hours. The text also has a number of additions by early owners including a prayer in French and what are probably the second-oldest texts written in Gaelic (the manuscript was brought to Scotland by the fifteenth century). The website enables access to the digital images of the folios, which are divided into four groups. Where appropriate folios have been given titles reflecting their content. These include: the miniatures; the calendar of the book of hours (by month); the hours of the virgin (by office); the hours of the Holy Spirit; the penitential Psalms; the litany of the saints; collects; gradual psalms; and the office of the dead. Each folio is displayed on a single web page with brief notes and a link to a larger image. The electronic facsimile of the Murthly Hours is also available on CD-ROM.
Oremus is a website devoted to prayer and worship from the Christian tradition. Alongside orders of service for the eponymous oremus (a brief form of daily prayer), there are several resources that may be of interest to the academic. The chief of these are the liturgical library, the hymnal, and the labarum collection - the text of religious services from the Royal Army Chaplains' Department. The liturgical library contains the text of or links to material from a wide variety of traditions, mostly within the Anglican Communion. The orders of service found here and in the labarum collection are in a variety of formats: some can be read using a standard Web browser, but others are only available in PDF format or as downloadable Zip files. The searchable hymnal contains the text, and in many cases MIDI files of the tunes, of several hundred traditional hymns, with plans for more to be added in the future. This well presented and easily navigable site is a valuable resource for anyone with an interest in the study of liturgy or hymnology.
This resource contains the Vulgate version of the Psalter in Latin, presented alongside the Douay English translation. You can browse the Psalms according to their number or via their Incipit (first verse); there is also a search function. Straightforward and easy to navigate, this site is excellent for teaching or research purposes. However, as it does not include a critical apparatus nor any grammar tools, it is less useful for scholars of textual transmission or people needing explanation of the Latin text.
This is the website for the Pratt Green Trust, which was established in 1984, by the Methodist hymn writer Fred Pratt Green "principally as a means of deploying the royalty income from his hymns for the benefit of authors, composers and users of hymnology". The website provides more information about the Pratt Green Trust and a biography of the hymn writer. There is a section on the website which includes guidelines for applications for grants from the Pratt Green Trust. The links page includes a link to the HymnQuest website, which is a software program developed by the Pratt Green Trust that is a database that provides full text to over 23,700 hymns and songs from over 400 hymn books.
Project Wittenberg, created under the direction of Reverend Bob Smith of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, provides a gateway to Lutheran texts, texts by Luther, texts about Luther and works of other Lutherans. The end aim of the project is the production of an international electronic library of Lutheran texts. The site includes works by Reformation writers such as Luther, Melanchthon, Chemnitz and Eber as well as works by seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century authors. Documents on the site include Luther's Ninety-five Theses, Luther's Catechisms, the Augsburg Confession and the 1580 Book of Concord. The site also includes biographies and hymnals. All the documents provide full bibliographic details of the original source of the text. The home page of the site provides links to selected resources. To access documents via a chronological author list select the 'Project Wittenberg's Electronic Lutheran Web' link from the home page. Although the site can initially be a little confusing to navigate it does provide online access to a large number of primary sources.
Renaissance Liturgical Imprints: A Census (RELICS) is an online database of liturgical and other ritual texts printed before 1601, developed under the direction of David Crawford at the University of Michigan. The database records the titles, provenance, physical details, and present location of around 14,000 works relating to European Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish groups. The full texts of the works themselves are not available through the site. While the primary language of the database is English, users should note that many of the references contain text in German and/or Latin. The creators have also had the foresight to include an extensive index of both relevant citations and library 'Sigla'. These pages are primarily directed towards advanced researchers working in the field of European liturgy.
The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) was founded on 6th December 1927, as the School of English Church Music (SECM) on the initiative of Sir Sydney Nicholson (then organist of Westminster Abbey). Based in Dorking in Surrey, it is an ecumenical Christian charity, the main purpose of which is education. It aims to "encourage and inspire good use of music, above all in Christian worship". The website consists of membership details; table of contents and information about 'Church Music Quarterly', RSCM's own publication, which is sent free of charge to members and 'Sunday by Sunday', a week-by-week guide to planning music for worship; courses and events; details about organ and choral scholarships; and training schemes and awards for choristers. There is also information about the Colles Library, which holds organ and church music, books, journals, manuscripts and recordings and several special collections and archives. In addition, there is also a music director's blog.
Slovesnaia sluzhba is the home page of Father Mikhail S. Zheltov, a lecturer at Moscow Spiritual Academy, which offers an excellent library of often hard-to-find full-text publications on Orthodox church history, theology and liturgy (downloadable as DJVU or PDF files), and a good collection of related links. The site is divided into four sections: Library (numerous nineteenth and early twentieth century publications including seminal works such as A. I. Almazov's multivolume work on the sacrament of confession, weighted towards liturgical theology but including subjects such as pilgrimage); Publications (a brief biography and bibliography with downloadable files of Zheltov's own publications); Co-authors (brief biographies of four academics from St Tikhon's Orthodox University and Moscow Spiritual Academy, with bibliographies of their extensive publications); Links. The links page is divided into: Sources (everything from facsimiles of a Jerusalem Typikon printed in Greek in 1545 to collections of contemporary liturgical texts); Research (including a section on early Rus); Discussion forums (on related subjects such as early Russian singing). This Russian language-only site will be of most use to academics researching the history and liturgical traditions of Russian Orthodox Church, and those in the field of early Russian history and culture.
The website St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Dallas, Texas provides a range of resources which may be of use to those interested in the Orthodox Church. The site offers a substantial collection of sermons and articles on theological questions, including pieces on Great Lent, Pascha (Easter), and the Nativity. Some talks are offered as MP3 files. There are extracts from writings by or about church fathers, plus sections on scripture, liturgy, and the lives of saints. There is also information about St Nicholas's Church itself: times of services, contact details and so forth.
While there is a lot of material here, users should note that this is not primarily intended as an academic resource. Consequently articles do not generally give full references, and the tone is sometimes impassioned and polemical rather than detached and scholarly. This resource is perhaps of most use to those seeking an overview of one perspective within Orthodox theology.
Michael Martin's website "Thesaurus Precum Latinarum" or "Treasury of Latin Prayers" gathers a number of Latin hymns and prayers into one easy to navigate resource. When a particular hymn or prayer is selected, the text is presented in both Latin and English and often accompanied by a brief commentary detailing its history and development. The documents themselves can be accessed via a thematically arranged table of contents, or by indexes of title and supposed date of composition. These pages may serve as a helpful reference tool to the liturgical cycle, while bridging the gap between Latin and English felt by so many undergraduate students.
This website describes an AHRC-funded research project which is re-uniting the eight surviving part books of the Wode Psalter, one of the finest Reformation Psalters in existence. The Psalter, a set of richly decorated and annotated musical manuscripts offers a unique insight into post-Reformation Scottish life and worship, and this project will undertake interdisciplinary research around the manuscripts, curate an exhibition and produce a complete recording of the music and create a digital copy of the complete series of part books.
The World Prayers Project is a large collection of prayers - both ancient and modern. The aim of the site is to build a spiritual resource that transcends nation and creed in order to encourage the peaceful coexistence of peoples and faiths. The main sections of the site include meditations, invocations, adorations and celebrations. The database may be searched or browsed, and all the prayers are available in English. A useful resource for those studying prayer in a global context, the site has an attractive and simple design, and navigation is intuitive.
This is the home page of the Institute of Sacred Music (ISM) at Yale University. It was established in the academic year 1972-1973 to support musical and theological education at the university. The institute is directed by Professor Martin Jean. It focuses on the history and practice of sacred music and of worship and the arts. This website contains information about the academic programmes on offer; of the performing groups sponsored by the institute; and of past, upcoming and ongoing events. It allows access to resources like journal articles, and calendar of events and performances. Visitors can also listen to lectures from their Liturgy Symposium Series and conferences. In addition, they may listen to a selection of organ and choral performances; and view the institute's library catalogue and catalogue of CD collection.