Consecrated life, in the canon law of the Catholic Church, is a stable form of Christian living by those faithful who are called to follow Jesus Christ in a more exacting way recognized by the Church. It "is characterized by the public profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty and obedience, in a stable state of life recognized by the Church"; the Code of Canon Law defines it as "a stable form of living by which the faithful, following Christ more under the action of the Holy Spirit, are dedicated to God, loved most of all, so that, having been dedicated by a new and special title to his honour, to the building up of the Church, to the salvation of the world, they strive for the perfection of charity in the service of the kingdom of God and, having been made an outstanding sign in the Church, foretell the heavenly glory."What makes the consecrated life a more exacting way of Christian living is the public religious vows or other sacred bonds whereby the consecrated persons commit themselves, for the love of God, to observe as binding the evangelical counsels of chastity and obedience from the Gospel, or at least, in the case of consecrated virgins and widows/widowers, a vow of total chastity.
The Benedictine vow as laid down in the Rule of Saint Benedict, ch. 58:17, is analogous to the more usual vow of religious institutes. Consecrated persons are not part of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, unless they are ordained bishops, priests or deacons; the Catechism of the Catholic Church comments: "From the beginning of the Church there were men and women who set out to follow Christ with greater liberty, to imitate him more by practising the evangelical counsels. They led lives dedicated to God, each in his own way. Many of them, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, became hermits or founded religious families, thus the Church, by virtue of her authority, gladly accepted and approved them."Consecrated life may be lived either in institutes or individually. While those living it are either clergy or lay people, the state of consecrated life is neither clerical nor lay by nature. Institutes of consecrated life are either religious institutes or secular institutes. Religious institutes are societies in which members, according to proper law, pronounce public vows, either perpetual or temporary, which are to be renewed, when the period of time has lapsed, lead a life as brothers or sisters in common".
Secular institutes, are "institutes of consecrated life in which the Christian faithful, living in the world, strive for the perfection of charity and work for the sanctification of the world from within". Besides institutes of consecrated life, the Catholic Church recognizes: the eremitic life known as the anchoritic life, "by which the Christian faithful devote their life to the praise of God and salvation of the world through a stricter separation from the world, the silence of solitude and assiduous prayer and penance". Catholic Church law recognizes as a hermit "one dedicated to God in a consecrated life if he or she publicly professes the three evangelical counsels, confirmed by a vow or other sacred bond, in the hands of the diocesan bishop, observes his or her own plan of life under his direction". "They manifest to everyone the interior aspect of the mystery of the Church, that is, personal intimacy with Christ. Hidden from the eyes of men, the life of the hermit is a silent preaching of the Lord, to whom he has surrendered his life because he is everything to him.
Here is a particular call to find in the desert, in the thick of spiritual battle, the glory of the Crucified One." Consecrated virgins who "expressing the holy resolution of following Jesus more are consecrated to God by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite, are mystically betrothed to Christ, the Son of God, are dedicated to the service of the Church". Sacred virgins are one of oldest forms of consecrated life, the Ordo Virginum began with the consecration of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Annunciation, they "share with the Church her own title of Virgin and Mother" and have a spousal vocation with Jesus Christ. Consecrated virgins have come from all walks of life and their numbers include a Doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard. Consecrated widows may be established who, like virgins, "profess chastity apart from the world by a public profession". Pope John Paul II's post-synodal apostolic exhortation Vita consecrata of 25 March 1996 said: "Again being practised today is the consecration of widows, known since apostolic times, as well as the consecration of widowers.
These women and men, through a vow of perpetual chastity as a sign of the Kingdom of God, consecrate their state of life in order to devote themselves to prayer and the service of the Church." Although the Latin Church has no specific liturgical rite for the consecration of widows and widowers, the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches envisages individual eastern Churches choosing to have consecrated widows. The Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches envisage new forms of consecrated life being approved by the Holy See. Societies of apostolic life are dedicated to pursuit of an apostolic purpose, such as educational or missionary work, they "are distinct from them. The members do not take religious vows, but live in common, striving for perfection through observing the "constitutions" of the society to which they belong; some societies of apostolic life, but not all of them, define in their constitutions "bonds" of a certain permanence whereby their members embrace the evangelical counsels.
The Code of Canon Law gives for societies of apos
Medeshamstede was the name of Peterborough in the Anglo-Saxon period. It was the site of a monastery founded around the middle of the 7th century, an important feature in the kingdom of Mercia from the outset. Little is known of its founder and first abbot, though he was himself an important figure, became bishop of Mercia. Medeshamstede soon acquired a string of daughter churches, was a centre for an Anglo-Saxon sculptural style. Nothing is known of Medeshamstede's history from the 9th century, when it is reported in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 864 to have been destroyed by Vikings and the Abbot and Monks murdered by them, until the 10th century, when it was restored as a Benedictine abbey by Bishop Æthelwold of Winchester, during a period of monastic reform. Through aspects of this restoration, Medeshamstede soon came to be known as "Peterborough Abbey"; the name has been interpreted by a place-name authority as "homestead belonging to Mede". According to the Peterborough version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, written in the 12th century, this name was given at the time of the foundation of a monastery there in the 7th century, owing to the presence of a spring called "Medeswæl", meaning "Medes-well".
However the name is held to mean "homestead in the meadows", or similar, on an assumption that "Medes-" means "meadows". The earliest reliable occurrence of the name is in Bede's Ecclesiastical History, where it is mentioned in the genitive Latinised form "Medeshamstedi", in a context dateable prior to the mid-670s; however the area had long been inhabited, for example at Flag Fen, a Bronze Age settlement a little to the east, at the Roman town of Durobrivae, on the other side of the River Nene, some five miles to the west. It is possible that "Medeshamstede" began as the name of an unrecorded, pre-existing Anglian settlement, at or near the site. Another early form of this name is "Medyhæmstede", in an 8th-century Anglo-Saxon royal charter preserved at Rochester Cathedral. Found is "Medelhamstede", in the late 10th century Ælfric of Eynsham’s account of the life of St Æthelwold of Winchester, on a contemporary coin of King Æthelred II, where it is abbreviated to "MEĐEL". A much development is the form "Medeshampstede", similar variants, which arose alongside similar changes, e.g. from Old English " Hamtun" to the modern "Northampton".
Despite the fact that they are therefore unhistorical, forms such as "Medeshampstede" are found in historical writings. Locally, Anglo-Saxon records use "Medeshamstede" up to about the reign of King Æthelred II, but modern historians use it only to the reign of his father King Edgar, use "Peterborough Abbey" for the monastery thereafter, until it changes to "Peterborough Cathedral" in the reign of King Henry VIII. Located in Mercia, near the border with East Anglia, Medeshamstede was described by Sir Frank Stenton as "one of the greatest monasteries of the Mercian kingdom". Hugh Candidus, a 12th-century monk of Peterborough who wrote a history of the abbey, described its location as: a fair spot, a goodly, because on the one side it is rich in fenland, in goodly waters, on the other it has abundance of ploughlands and woodlands, with many fertile meads and pastures. Hugh Candidus reports that Medeshamstede was founded in the territory of the "Gyrwas", a people listed in the Tribal Hidage, in existence by the mid-9th century.
There, the Gyrwas are divided into the North Gyrwas and the South Gyrwas: Medeshamstede was founded in the territory of the North Gyrwas. Hugh Candidus explains "Gyrwas", which he describes in the present tense, as meaning people "who dwell in the fen, or hard by the fen, since a deep bog is called in the Saxon tongue Gyr": use of the present tense indicates that inhabitants of the area were still known as "Gyrwas" in Hugh Candidus' own time. According to Bede, Medeshamstede was founded by a man named Sexwulf, its first abbot. While it is possible that Sexwulf was a local prince, Hugh Candidus described him as a "man of great power", a man "zealous and, well skilled in the things of this world, in the affairs of the." Historian, Dorothy Whitelock, believed that Sexwulf had been educated in East Anglia, given the heathen state of Mercia prior to the mid-7th century. He was appointed Bishop of Mercia, his near contemporary Eddius Stephanus mentions, in his Life of St Wilfrid, "the profound respect of the bishopric which the most reverend Bishop Sexwlfus had ruled".
A charter, dated 664 AD, records the gift by King Wulfhere of Mercia of "some additions" to the endowment for the monastery of Medeshamstede begun by his deceased brother King Peada of the Middle Angles, by King Oswiu of Northumbria. This charter is a forgery, produced for Peterborough Abbey either in the late 11th century, or in the early 12th; the connection with Peada places Medeshamstede's foundation between about 653 and 656 AD. Numerous local saints are connected to varying degrees with Medeshamstede, many of them are Mercian royal in nature; these include: Guthlac, a former monk of Repton, in Derbyshire. Repton had until been the Mercian episcopal see, was most a colony of Medeshamstede. Guthlac is a titular saint of Crowland Abbey, about seven miles north of Medeshamstede, is regarded as its founder. Pega, whose name survives in "Peakirk", meaning "church of Pega", about five miles north of Medeshamstede, she was a sister of Guthlac. Cyneburh and Cyneswith, sisters of King Peada. Cyneburh founded a nunn
Peterborough Cathedral, properly the Cathedral Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Andrew – known as Saint Peter's Cathedral in the United Kingdom – is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Peterborough, dedicated to Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Saint Andrew, whose statues look down from the three high gables of the famous West Front. Although it was founded in the Anglo-Saxon period, its architecture is Norman, following a rebuilding in the 12th century. With Durham and Ely Cathedrals, it is one of the most important 12th-century buildings in England to have remained intact, despite extensions and restoration. Peterborough Cathedral is known for its imposing Early English Gothic West Front which, with its three enormous arches, is without architectural precedent and with no direct successor; the appearance is asymmetrical, as one of the two towers that rise from behind the façade was never completed, but this is only visible from a distance. The original church, known as "Medeshamstede", was founded in the reign of the Anglo-Saxon King Peada of the Middle Angles in about 655 AD, as one of the first centres of Christianity in central England.
The monastic settlement with which the church was associated lasted at least until 870, when it was destroyed by Vikings. In an alcove of the New Building, an extension of the eastern end, lies an ancient stone carving: the Hedda Stone; this medieval carving of 12 monks, six on each side, commemorates the destruction of the Monastery and the death of the Abbot and Monks when the area was sacked by the Vikings in 864. The Hedda Stone was carved sometime after the raid, when the monastery slipped into decline. In the mid-10th century monastic revival a Benedictine Abbey was created and endowed in 966, principally by Athelwold, Bishop of Winchester, from what remained of the earlier church, with "a basilica there furbished with suitable structures of halls, enriched with surrounding lands" and more extensive buildings which saw the aisle built out to the west with a second tower added; the original central tower was, retained. It was dedicated to St Peter and surrounded by a palisade, called a burgh, hence the town surrounding the abbey was named Peter-burgh.
The community was further revived in 972 by Archbishop of Canterbury. This newer church had as its major focal point a substantial western tower with a "Rhenish helm" and was constructed of ashlars. Only a small section of the foundations of the Anglo-Saxon church remain beneath the south transept but there are several significant artefacts, including Anglo-Saxon carvings such as the Hedda Stone, from the earlier building. In 2008, Anglo-Saxon grave markers were reported to have been found by workmen repairing a wall in the cathedral precincts; the grave markers are said to date to the 11th century, belonged to "townsfolk". Although damaged during the struggle between the Norman invaders and local folk-hero, Hereward the Wake, it was repaired and continued to thrive until destroyed by an accidental fire in 1116; this event necessitated the building of a new church in the Norman style, begun by Abbot John de Sais on 8 March 1118. By 1193, the building was completed to the western end of the Nave, including the central tower and the decorated wooden ceiling of the nave.
The ceiling, completed between 1230 and 1250, still survives. It is unique in one of only four such ceilings in the whole of Europe, it has been over-painted twice, once in 1745 in 1834, but still retains the character and style of the original. The church was built of Barnack limestone from quarries on its own land, it was paid annually for access to these quarries by the builders of Ely Cathedral and Ramsey Abbey in thousands of eels. Cathedral historians believe that part of the placing of the church in the location it is in is due to the easy ability to transfer quarried stones by river and to the existing site allowing it to grow without being relocated. After completing the Western transept and adding the Great West Front Portico in 1237, the medieval masons switched over to the new Gothic style. Apart from changes to the windows, the insertion of a porch to support the free-standing pillars of the portico and the addition of a "new" building at the east end around the beginning of the 16th century, the structure of the building remains as it was on completion 800 years ago.
The completed building was consecrated in 1238 by Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, within whose diocese it fell. The trio of arches forming the Great West Front, the defining image of Peterborough Cathedral, is unrivalled in medieval architecture; the line of spires behind it, topping an unprecedented four towers, evolved for more practical reasons. Chief amongst them was the wish to retain the earlier Norman towers, which became obsolete when the Gothic front was added. Instead of being demolished and replaced with new stretches of wall, these old towers were retained and embellished with cornices and other gothic decor, while two new towers were added to create a continuous frontage; the Norman tower was rebuilt in the Decorated Gothic style in about 1350–1380 with two tiers of Romanesque windows combined into a single set of Gothic windows, with the turreted cap and pinnacles removed and replaced by battlements. Between 1496 and 1508, the Presbytery roof was replaced and the "New Building", a rectangular building built around the end of the Norman eastern apse, with Perpendicular fan vaulting
Isle of Thanet
The Isle of Thanet lies at the most easterly point of Kent, England. While in the past it was separated from the mainland by the 600-metre-wide Wantsum Channel, it is no longer an island. Archaeological remains testify to the fact. Today, it is a tourist destination, but it has a busy agricultural base. Standard reference works for English place-names all state the name "Tanet" is known to be Brythonic in origin; the original meaning of Thanet is thought to be fire/bright island, this has led to speculation the island was home to an ancient beacon or lighthouse. The Historia Brittonum, written in Wales in the 9th century, states that "Tanet" was the name used for the island by the legendary Anglo-Saxons Hengist and Horsa, while its name in Old Welsh was "Ruoihin"; the 7th-century Archbishop Isidore of Seville recorded an apocryphal folk-etymology in which the island's name is fancifully connected with the Greek word for death, stating that Thanet, "an island of the ocean separated from Britain by a narrow channel... called Tanatos from the death of serpents.
Archaeological evidence shows that the area now known as the Isle of Thanet was one of the major areas of Stone Age settlement. A large hoard of Bronze Age implements has been found at Minster-in-Thanet. Like their predecessors, the Romans crossed the sea to invade Britain. Julius Caesar came first in both 55 and 54 BC. In 2017 archaeologists from the University of Leicester excavated a Roman fort covering up to 49 acres at Ebbsfleet, dated it to around 55–50 BC, they further linked it to Caesar's invasion of Britain in 54 BC, suggested that the invading force arrived in nearby Pegwell Bay. Nearly a century in 43 AD, Claudius sent four legions to Britain, where the Romans were to remain for the next 400 years. During that time the port of Richborough, on the opposite side of the Wantsum Channel, became one of the chief ports. After the breakup of the Roman Empire and their departure from Britain, other invaders soon followed. Vortigern, King of the Britons, was called for assistance. Among them were the Jutes Hengist and Horsa.
As the following extract from the Historia Brittonum testifies: Then came three keels, driven into exile from Germany. In them were the brothers Horsa and Hengest... Vortigern welcomed them, handed over to them the island that in their language is called Thanet, in British Ruoihm. Throughout this time the Isle remained an island; the Wantsum Channel allowed ships to sail between the island in calm waters. This silted up, the last ship sailed through the Channel in 1672. In 597 Augustine of Canterbury is said, by Bede, to have landed with 40 men at Ebbsfleet, in the parish of Minster-in-Thanet, before founding Britain's second Christian monastery in Canterbury: a cross marks the spot. Minster's village website states "It is believed, around 670 AD, whether in truth or legend, that the Hind emblem owes its origin to Egbert, King of Kent and Princess Domneva; the King purportedly asked Domneva which piece of land she wished to take as compensation for the murder of her two brothers. Her answer was.
This the King granted her with pleasure, the land became the new Minster." Domneva is a variant name for Domne Eafe. Following the raids on the Isle of Sheppey, Thanet became a regular target for Viking attacks, its vulnerable coastal monasteries providing convenient targets for the invaders. By 851 and again in 854, the Vikings continued their raids in spring. Thanet's monasteries were subsequently used by the Danes as general headquarters. In 865, the Great Heathen Army encamped in Thanet and was promised by the people of Kent danegeld in exchange for peace. Regardless, the Vikings did not abide by this agreement and proceeded their rampage across eastern Kent. By 1334–1335 Thanet had the highest population density in Kent according to King Edward III's lay subsidy rolls. Margate is mentioned in a dispute about the land of Westgate Manor. Thanet acted as a granary for Calais and documents towards the end of that century refer to turreted walls beneath the cliffs needing maintenance. Coastal erosion has long since destroyed these structures.
Margate was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1857 and Ramsgate in 1884. Broadstairs and St Peter's Urban District and the Isle of Thanet Rural District covered the rest of the island from 1894 until 1974. By 1974, all these boroughs and districts had been abolished, since that year the Isle of Thanet has formed the major part of the District of Thanet; the Isle of Thanet first came into being when sea levels rose after the last glacial period, around 5000 BC. The North Sea encroached on the land, now the estuary of the River Thames, southwards to reach the higher land of the North Downs, leaving behind an island composed of Upper Chalk in its wake; the sea broke through river valleys in the North Downs to the south and today's English Channel was opened up. The Upper Chalk is a soft pure-white limestone with abundant flints. (The Isle gives its name to the T
Bede known as Saint Bede, Venerable Bede, Bede the Venerable, was an English Benedictine monk at the monastery of St. Peter and its companion monastery of St. Paul in the Kingdom of Northumbria of the Angles. Born on lands belonging to the Monkwearmouth monastery in present-day Sunderland, Bede was sent there at the age of seven and joined Abbot Ceolfrith at the Jarrow monastery, both of whom survived a plague that struck in 686, an outbreak that killed a majority of the population there. While he spent most of his life in the monastery, Bede travelled to several abbeys and monasteries across the British Isles visiting the archbishop of York and King Ceolwulf of Northumbria, he is well known as an author and scholar, his most famous work, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, gained him the title "The Father of English History". His ecumenical writings were extensive and included a number of Biblical commentaries and other theological works of exegetical erudition. Another important area of study for Bede was the academic discipline of computus, otherwise known to his contemporaries as the science of calculating calendar dates.
One of the more important dates Bede tried to compute was Easter, an effort, mired with controversy. He helped establish the practice of dating forward from the birth of Christ, a practice which became commonplace in medieval Europe. Bede was one of the greatest teachers and writers of the Early Middle Ages and is considered by many historians to be the single most important scholar of antiquity for the period between the death of Pope Gregory I in 604 and the coronation of Charlemagne in 800. In 1899, Pope Leo XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church, he is the only native of Great Britain to achieve this designation. Bede was moreover a skilled linguist and translator, his work made the Latin and Greek writings of the early Church Fathers much more accessible to his fellow Anglo-Saxons, which contributed to English Christianity. Bede's monastery had access to an impressive library which included works by Eusebius and many others. Everything, known of Bede's life is contained in the last chapter of his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, a history of the church in England.
It was completed in about 731, Bede implies that he was in his fifty-ninth year, which would give a birth date in 672 or 673. A minor source of information is the letter by his disciple Cuthbert. Bede, in the Historia, gives his birthplace as "on the lands of this monastery", he is referring to the twinned monasteries of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow, in modern-day Wearside and Tyneside respectively. Bede says nothing of his origins, but his connections with men of noble ancestry suggest that his own family was well-to-do. Bede's first abbot was Benedict Biscop, the names "Biscop" and "Beda" both appear in a king list of the kings of Lindsey from around 800, further suggesting that Bede came from a noble family. Bede's name reflects West Saxon Bīeda, it is an Anglo-Saxon short name formed on the root of bēodan "to bid, command". The name occurs in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, s.a. 501, as Bieda, one of the sons of the Saxon founder of Portsmouth. The Liber Vitae of Durham Cathedral names two priests with this name, one of whom is Bede himself.
Some manuscripts of the Life of Cuthbert, one of Bede's works, mention that Cuthbert's own priest was named Bede. At the age of seven, Bede was sent, as a puer oblatus, to the monastery of Monkwearmouth by his family to be educated by Benedict Biscop and by Ceolfrith. Bede does not say whether it was intended at that point that he would be a monk, it was common in Ireland at this time for young boys those of noble birth, to be fostered out as an oblate. Monkwearmouth's sister monastery at Jarrow was founded by Ceolfrith in 682, Bede transferred to Jarrow with Ceolfrith that year; the dedication stone for the church has survived to the present day. In 686, plague broke out at Jarrow; the Life of Ceolfrith, written in about 710, records that only two surviving monks were capable of singing the full offices. The two managed to do the entire service of the liturgy; the young boy was certainly Bede, who would have been about 14. When Bede was about 17 years old, Adomnán, the abbot of Iona Abbey, visited Monkwearmouth and Jarrow.
Bede would have met the abbot during this visit, it may be that Adomnan sparked Bede's interest in the Easter dating controversy. In about 692, in Bede's nineteenth year, Bede was ordained a deacon by his diocesan bishop, bishop of Hexham; the canonical age for the ordination of a deacon was 25.
St Augustine's Abbey
St Augustine's Abbey was a Benedictine monastery in Canterbury, England. The abbey was founded in 598 and functioned as a monastery until its dissolution in 1538 during the English Reformation. After the abbey's dissolution, it underwent dismantlement until 1848. Since 1848, part of the site has been used for educational purposes and the abbey ruins have been preserved for their historical value. In 597, Augustine arrived in Anglo-Saxon England, having been sent by the missionary-minded Pope Gregory I to convert the Anglo-Saxons; the King of Kent at this time was Ethelbert. Although he worshipped in a pagan temple just outside the walls of Canterbury to the east of the city, Ethelbert was married to a Christian, Bertha. According to tradition, the king not only gave his temple and its precincts to St Augustine for a church and monastery, he ordered that the church to be erected be of "becoming splendour, dedicated to the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, endowed it with a variety of gifts." One purpose of the foundation was to provide a residence for his brother monks.
As another, both King Ethelbert and Augustine foresaw the abbey as a burial place for abbots and kings of Kent. William Thorne, the 14th century chronicler of the abbey, records 598 as the year of the foundation; the monastic buildings were most wooden in the manner of Saxon construction, so they could be built. However, building a church of solid masonry, like the churches Augustine had known in Rome, took longer; the church was completed and consecrated in 613. Ca. 624 a short distance to the east, Eadbald and successor of Ethelbert, founded a second church, dedicated to Saint Mary which buried Kentish royalty. The abbey became known as St Augustine's after the founder's death. For two centuries after its founding, St Augustine's was the only important religious house in the kingdom of Kent; the historian G. F. Maclear characterized St Augustine's as being a "missionary school" where "classical knowledge and English learning flourished." Over time, St Augustine's Abbey acquired an extensive library that included both religious and secular holdings.
In addition, it had a scriptorium for producing manuscripts. Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury from 959 to 988, influenced a reorganisation of the abbey to conform to Benedictine rule. Buildings were enlarged and the church rebuilt. Dunstan revised the dedication of the abbey, from the original Saints Peter and Paul, by adding Saint Augustine in 978. Since the abbey has been known as St Augustine's; the invading Danes not only spared St Augustine's, but in 1027 King Cnut made over all the possessions of Minster-in-Thanet to St Augustine's. These possessions included the preserved body of Saint Mildred. Belief in the miraculous power of this relic had spread throughout Europe, it brought many pilgrims to St Augustine's, whose gifts enriched the abbey. Following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, William the Conqueror confiscated landed estates, but he respected Church property. At St Augustine's Abbey, the Anglo-Saxon buildings were reconstructed in the form of a typical Norman Benedictine monastery.
By 1100, all the original buildings had disappeared under a Romanesque edifice. There was further rebuilding as a result of the great fire in 1168; the fire's destruction accounts for the paucity of historical records for the preceding period. From about 1250 onwards was a period of wealth in which "building succeeded building." Boggis' history calls this period a time of "worldly magnificence," marked by "lavish expenditures" on new buildings, royal visits, banquets with thousands of guests. In addition, the papacy imposed many levies on the abbey; the large debt, incurred by these expenditures might have swamped the abbey had it not been for generous benefactors who came to the rescue. The cloister and kitchen were rebuilt. A new abbot's lodging and a great hall were added. In the early 14th century, land was acquired for a cellarer's range, a brewhouse, a bakehouse, a new walled vineyard. A Lady chapel was built to the east of the church; the abbey gatehouse was rebuilt from 1301 to 1309 by Abbot Fyndon.
It has since been known as the Great Gate. The chamber above the entrance was the state bed-chamber of the Monastery. In 1625, Charles I of England and Queen Henrietta Maria slept in this chamber, following their marriage in Canterbury Cathedral. In 1660, after the Restoration, Charles II and his brothers, the Dukes of York and Gloucester, stayed in the gatehouse on their way to London. Fyndon's gate suffered such damage by German bombs during the Second World War that it had to be rebuilt; the gate faces a small square known since the reign of Charles I as Lady Wootton's Green, after the widow of Edward, Lord Wootton of Marley who lived in the palace until her death in 1658. Statues of Æthelberht of Kent and Queen Bertha stand on the green. Boggis describes the early 16th century leading up to the Dissolution of the Monasteries as "days of decadence". Although the abbey owned estates throughout Kent amounting to 19,862 acres, Boggis holds that "historical evidence proves conclusively that if Henry VIII had never dissolved them, the English monasteries were doomed."
The "extortionate exactions" of the Papacy would lead to bankruptcy. However, the English Reformation accompanied by the Dissolution of the Monasteries happened before bankruptcy; the Reformation replaced the Pope with a Monarch. Actions by the Parliament's House of Commons strengthened the power of the laity versus the power of the clergy; these actions were part of the English Reformation’s "great transfer" of
A psalter is a volume containing the Book of Psalms with other devotional material bound in as well, such as a liturgical calendar and litany of the Saints. Until the medieval emergence of the book of hours, psalters were the books most owned by wealthy lay persons and were used for learning to read. Many Psalters were richly illuminated and they include some of the most spectacular surviving examples of medieval book art; the English term is from Church Latin psalterium, the name of the Book of Psalms. The Book of Psalms contains the bulk of the Divine Office of the Roman Catholic Church; the other books associated with it were the Lectionary, the Antiphonary, Responsoriale, the Hymnary. In Late Modern English, psalter has ceased to refer to the Book of Psalms and refers to the dedicated physical volumes containing this text. Dedicated psalters, as distinct from copies of the Psalms in other formats, e.g. as part of a full edition of the Old Testament, were first developed in the Latin West in the 6th century in Ireland and from about 700 on the continent.
The extensively illustrated Utrecht Psalter is one of the most important surviving Carolingian manuscripts and exercised a major influence on the development of Anglo-Saxon art. In the Middle Ages psalters were among the most popular types of illuminated manuscripts, rivaled only by the Gospel Books, from which they took over as the type of manuscript chosen for lavish illumination. From the late 11th century onwards they became widespread - Psalms were recited by the clergy at various points in the liturgy, so psalters were a key part of the liturgical equipment in major churches. Various different schemes existed for the arrangement of the Psalms into groups; as well as the 150 Psalms, medieval psalters included a calendar, a litany of saints, canticles from the Old and New Testaments, other devotional texts. The selection of saints mentioned in the calendar and litany varied and can give clues as to the original ownership of the manuscript, since monasteries and private patrons alike would choose those saints that had particular significance for them.
Many psalters were lavishly illuminated with full-page miniatures as well as decorated initials. Of the initials the most important is the so-called "Beatus initial", based on the "B" of the words Beatus vir... at the start of Psalm 1. This was given the most elaborate decoration in an illuminated psalter taking a whole page for the initial letter or first two words. Historiated initials or full-page illuminations were used to mark the beginnings of the three major divisions of the Psalms, or the various daily readings, may have helped users navigate to the relevant part of the text. Many psalters from the 12th century onwards, included a richly decorated "prefatory cycle" – a series of full-page illuminations preceding the Psalms illustrating the Passion story, though some featuring Old Testament narratives; such images helped to enhance the book's status, served as aids to contemplation in the practice of personal devotions. The psalter is a part of either the Horologion or the breviary, used to say the Liturgy of the Hours in the Eastern and Western Christian worlds respectively.
Non-illuminated psalters written in Coptic include some of the earliest surviving codices altogether. The Mudil Psalter, the oldest complete Coptic psalter, dates to the 5th century, it was found in the Al-Mudil Coptic cemetery in a small town near Egypt. The codex was in the grave of a young girl, with her head resting on it. Scholar John Gee has argued that this represents a cultural continuation of the ancient Egyptian tradition of placing the Book of the Dead in tombs and sarcophagi; the Pahlavi Psalter is a fragment of a Middle Persian translation of a Syriac version of the Book of Psalms, dated to the 6th or 7th century. In Eastern Christianity, the Book of Psalms for liturgical purposes is divided into 20 kathismata or "sittings", for reading at Vespers and Matins. Kathisma means sitting, since the people sit during the reading of the psalms; each kathisma is divided into three stases, from stasis, to stand, because each stasis ends with Glory to the Father…, at which everyone stands. The reading of the kathismata are so arranged that the entire psalter is read through in the course of a week.
During Bright Week there is no reading from the Psalms. Orthodox psalters also contain the Biblical canticles, which are read at the canon of Matins during Great Lent; the established Orthodox tradition of Christian burial has included reading the Psalms in the church throughout the vigil, where the deceased remains the night before the funeral. Some Orthodox psalters contain special prayers for the departed for this purpose. While the full tradition is showing signs of diminishing in practice, the psalter is still sometimes used during a wake. See Category:Illuminated psalters Psalter of St. Germain of Paris, 6th century Cathach of St. Columba, early 7th century Faddan More Psalter Vespasian Psalter, 2nd quarter of the 8th century Montpellier Psalter Chludov Psalter, 3rd quarter of the 9th century Southampton Psalter Utrecht Psalter, 9th c