MS M.917/945, ff. 77v–78r

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Trinity in an Apse
God the Father

The Netherlands, Utrecht
ca. 1440
7 1/2 x 5 1/8 inches (192 x 130 mm)

Purchased on the Belle da Costa Greene Fund with the assistance of the Fellows and with special assistance of Mrs. Frederick B. Adams, Sr., Mrs. Robert Charles, Mr. Laurens M. Hamilton, The Heineman Foundation, Mrs. Donald F. Hyde, Mrs. Jacob M. Kaplan, Mrs. John Kean, Mr. Paul Mellon, Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Morgan, Mr. Lessing J. Rosenwald, Mr. and Mrs. August H. Schilling, Mrs. Herbert N. Straus, Mrs. Landon K. Thorne, Mrs. Alan Valentine, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Whitridge, and Miss Julia P. Wightman, 1970

MS M.917/945, ff. 77v–78r

The Sunday Hours of the Trinity open, appropriately, with a large miniature depicting the Three Persons of the Trinity. God the Father, bearded and wearing a tiara, holds the world. He turns to Christ, who, dressed in a red robe, raises his right hand in a vow. The Holy Spirit, a dove perched upon his halo, holds the book upon which Christ places his left hand. Christ is pledging acceptance of his Father's decision to sacrifice him in order to ensure mankind's salvation. The three sit on a monumental throne set within an elaborately vaulted and glazed apse. In the smaller miniature, God the Father is enthroned. Grapes in the border allude to the Eucharistic wine and Christ's sacrifice.

Hours and Masses for the Seven Days of the Week

The most unusual texts in Catherine's manuscript are the series of Hours and Masses for every day of the week. Medieval Christian tradition associated certain figures or themes with different days. Thus Sunday, the day of the Resurrection, was the Lord's Day; Thursday was connected with the Eucharist since that sacrament was instituted on Holy Thursday; and Monday was the day of the dead, since their torments were suspended on Sunday but recommenced the following day. In Catherine's prayer book, the themes for the Hours and Masses of the seven days of the week are:

Sunday the Trinity
Monday the Dead
Tuesday the Holy Spirit
Wednesday All Saints
Thursday the Blessed Sacrament
Friday the Compassion of God
Saturday the Virgin.

Image courtesy of Faksimile Verlag Luzern