Anglo-Saxon hymnals and hymns
Liturgical use in early Anglo-Saxon England
No complete hymnal survives from Anglo-Saxon England before the late 10th century. A list given by Thomas of Elmham (early 15th cent.) of the contents of a hymnal purportedly sent to St Augustine of Canterbury by Gregory the Great* seems to suggest a document of considerable antiquity (i.e. possibly authentically Gregorian or at least pre-900 AD) but we cannot be sure of its provenance. We are on firmer ground, however, with two 8th-century fragments, which provide somewhat patchy evidence for the early Anglo-Saxon hymnal. These are three hymns copied by the scribe of the Vespasian Psalter manuscript (BL, Cotton Vespasian, A.i) and subsequently...
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