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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Medieval manuscripts online

The Church of Ireland has custody of a small but important number of medieval ecclesiastical codices, the care of which is the responsibility of the Representative Church Body Library. These are volumes of largely administrative records which are important sources for discovering how cathedrals and dioceses functioned before the Reformation. 

Two of the volumes are on display in Christ Church cathedral, Dublin. The 14th century Liber Niger is part of the cathedral’s Magna Carta exhibition and the 16th century Liber Albus is in the cathedral’s Treasury exhibition in the crypt which, as well as manuscripts, includes church pate and furnishings.

The other codices, the Dignitas Decani of St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin, the Credi Mihi and Archbishop Alen’s register from the diocese of Dublin, and the Red Book of Ossory are in the care of the RCB Library where they are available for scholarly research. However in order to make these sources more widely available, and to preserve them by reducing handling, the RCB Library has begun a programme to digitise these codices and make them available online.

The Library has already released a digital version of the Red Book of Ossory, a 14th century codex associated with the Anglo–Norman Bishop of Ossory, Richard Ledred. This volume is the subject of an ongoing study by the medievalist, the Revd Dr Adrian Empey.

The second release is a digital version of  the Liber Niger Alani which was compiled for John Alen who was Archbishop of Dublin, 1530–34 and this is now available for consultation. This manuscript had previously been available only through a calendar by Charles McNeill which was published by the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland in 1950. Now not only the full text but a complete image of the volume is freely available to all. 

These manuscripts are available on the RCB Library page of the Church of Ireland website – www.ireland.anglican.org

Tomorrow (Sunday) in Christ  Church cathedral, Dublin, the choir of the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer, Calgary, will sing at the 11am Sung Eucharist and at the 3.30pm  Choral Evensong while in St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin, the 11.15 am Choral Eucharist and the 3.15pm Evensong will be sung by the Choir of St Paul’s cathedral, Buffalo.

The Choir of the United Methodist Church of Vista, California, will sing at a Service of the Word in All Saints’ Church, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, at 10.30am tomorrow (Sunday) and Monday they will give a joint concert with Credo Ensemble in St James church, Athboy, Co. Meath, at 8pm.

‘Summer Music in Sandford’ continues next Friday at 1.10pm in Sandford parish church, Ranelagh, where there will be a recital by the soprano, Sonia Stronach.

The Church of Ireland Children’s Ministry has produced a series of videos for use all year round but which may be of interest for summer outreach projects. The videos are full of ideas for helping children and their families enjoy being part of the church family and are free to share. The titles are ‘Bible Story Telling Ideas’. ‘Creative Prayer’. ‘All Age Worship’ and ‘Make Yourself at Home’. They are available through the news section of the Church of Ireland website. 

The Archbishop of Armagh’s article in last Tuesday’s Irish Times will have alerted readers to the beginning of the celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of disestablishment. This will be a sequence of events stretching into 2020 with both national and local events, details of which will be posted on a dedicated page of the Church of Ireland website.