Rare Passion Play reading. Missal, c.1425. The Last Supper.

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A "Passion Play" or "Passion Narrative" is a religious drama of medieval origin that is read on Palm Sunday and in Holy Week.  It refers to the accounts given in the canonical gospels of the suffering and death of Jesus.

The readings are distinguished not only by their length and solemnity but also by being read by a group of people, each taking one or more ‘parts’ in the style of a dramatic reading.

The reading here is by the deacon and the priest and the roles are denoted by a cross for the priest and an ‘M' (probably for "minister") for the deacon.

The deacon performed the role of the narrator, while the priest played Christ, which explains why the part is identified by a cross though sometimes this is indicated by ’S’, for sacerdos, (priest).

Description:   Single folio on vellum. The substrate reveals a spotted goat.  Double column, 30 lines, very lightly ruled in diluted ink. Unfoliated.  Alternating red and blue initials with contrasting penwork. A couple of corrections in the margins.

Origin:  Italy.

Date:   c. 1425.

Content:  The text is from Luke: 22 and relates Luke’s description of the Last Supper. The first red ‘M’ in the left column, read by the deacon, is the text: Ait autem dominus  symon (and the Lord said: Simon)

The priest, denoted by the blue cross reads:

Simon ecce Satanas expetivit vos ut cribraret sicut triticum ego autem rogavi pro te ut non deficiat fides tua et tu aliquando conversus confirma fratres tuos.

(Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.

Condition:   Very good/excellent condition.  Light cockling through the centre and small marks from previous hingeing in the extreme upper and lower margins.  The leaf is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.

Size: : c.320x220 mm.  Archivally mounted, ready to frame. Please note that shipping is invoiced separately.

Item No: MMI033

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