MedievalBooksOfHours

Les Enluminures

7. Office of the Dead

The Office of the Dead was in the back of every Book of Hours, usually after the Penitential Psalms and Litany. The function of this service is to be found in its old name, Office for the Dead. The medieval soul made a detour to purgatory for an initial stay. Praying the Office was considered the most efficacious means of reducing this fiery price of obtaining paradise. These aids were essential, because only the living could help the dead.