medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Bill East wrote:
> Might I be so bold as to enquire, O acknowledged master of the Sarum
> Rite, how this is expressed in the Latin?

Unfortunately, I do not have the rubrics in Latin.  Nor do I have access to 
a decent library.  The curious may, however, pursue the following 

Terence Bailey, The processions of Sarum and the Western Church. ( Toronto: 
Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1971.) (Studies and texts. no. 
Processionale ad usum insignis ac pręclarę Ecclesię Sarum. [Edited by W. G. 
Henderson from the edition printed at Rouen by M. Morin in 1508.] (Leeds: M'Corquodale 
& Co., 1882.)
Christopher Wordsworth, Ceremonies and Processions of the Cathedral Church 
of Salisbury. Edited from the fifteenth century MS. no. 148, with additions 
from the Cathedral Records, and woodcuts from the Sarum Processionale of 
1502. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1901)

> We may be dealing here with
> a simple mistranslation. If someone were for example translating
> 'virga' as 'wand of office' this would be fine as long as the
> wretched creature did not suppose that it was his own wand of office.
> Assuming that the first verger was carrying the Dean's virga, whose
> was the second? Or must we suppose that the Dean had a virga so large
> that it took two vergers to carry it?
> A moment's reflection must assure you that a verger cannot possibly
> have a wand of office, since his sole function is to carry the dean's
> wand of office. If the verger had his own wand of office to show that
> he was the one who carried the dean's wand of office, he would have
> to carry two wands, one in each hand.

I am not convinced that I accept the basic premise.  Whilst it is obvious 
that the wand is a symbol of authority, and that whilst that authority might 
be exercised by the bearer of the wand it derives from the authority of some 
other person, I am not convinced that the wand itself actually belongs to 
the dean.

I have the uneasy feeling that there is here some elaborate joke at my 
expense - and can only hope that it will not necessitate recourse to: J.N. 
Adams, The Latin Sexual vocabulary (London: Duckworth, 1982)

John Briggs 

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