In a recent discussion (subject: "Lessons on feast days") appended below,
mention was made of nine lessons. In Henry Spelman's "Of The Law-Terms"
(1684), he alludes to Dies Novem Lectionum as feasts requiring nine
[W]e must needs shew why they were called Dies novem Lectionum,
for so our old Rituale de Sarum, styleth them, and therein lieth
greatest privilege. After the Arian Heresie against the B. Trinity
by the Fathers of that time most powerfully confuted and
the Church in memory of that most blessed victory, and the better
establishing of the orthodox faith at that point, did ordain, that
divers Festival-days in the year, a particular Lesson touching the
of the Trinity, besides the other 8. should be read in their
with rejoycing and thanksgiving to God for suppressing that
And for the greater solemnity, some (c) Bishop, or the chiefest
Clergy-man present did perform that duty.
Insofar as anyone knows, is there a connection between the nine lessons and
the nine readings?
== From: John B. Wickstrom <[log in to unmask]>==
> Yes, though the office of Vigils (Matins) was a monastic office in origin
> and so its practice concerning lessons (3 or 12, or one in summer) was
> followed in non monastic settings. I would guess that by Carolingian
> the secular office of Matins had settled on three or nine lessons, but
> is a guess without my books at hand.
== From Sherry Reames <[log in to unmask]> ==
> The quick answer is that it's a different kind of institution that uses
> nine lessons, not a different era. Non-monastic churches in England and
> elsewhere (including secular cathedrals, most parishes, and churches of
> friars) followed a different and somewhat shorter format for the daily
> office, which had either three or nine lessons at Matins (and a
> corresponding reduction in the number of psalms, antiphons, and
> responsories) in place of the monasteries' three or twelve. I can't
> you when this difference began, but seem to recall reading that it stems
> from a very old distinction between the version of the liturgy followed
> monasteries and the version used in cathedrals.
== Original message from James B. MacGregor <[log in to unmask]> ==
>Dear list members,
>When did it become common in England to celebrate a feast day with nine
>The chronological sampling of monastic calendars and breviaries I've
>consulted (mostly Benedictine) celebrate feast days with three, eight or
>twelve lessons. Yet in a series of mid-thirteenth century diocesan
>from Worcester (Powicke & Cheney, "Synods & Councils 1205-1265," p. 323)
>there is a reference to "omni festo ix lectionem per totum annum."
>I'm not sure what to make of this. Any thoughts, suggestions or
>would be appreciated.