The Anglo-Saxon Year

The seasons, the elements, and the natural world (BL Harley 3667, f. 8)

Among other interests of this blog, I've written a number of posts about Old English texts which describe different moments in the cycle of the year. I thought it would be helpful to collect these together in one place - so here's an assortment of posts which describe the natural and liturgical year, as seen through the eyes of Anglo-Saxon writers.

Winter, Advent and the Christmas Season

Winter in Old English poetry: 'After that comes Winter's Day'

Three sermons for Advent: 'Þeos tid oð midne winter'; 'This world is like a man grown old'; 'Christ the Golden Blossom'

A series of posts exploring the Old English poems based on the 'O' Antiphons, beginning with 'O Clavis David'

Advent, Apocalypse, and Tolkien's Arkenstone: Christ the Arkenstone and 'The Hobbit'

Readings of some Christmas extracts from the Old English translation of the Gospel

A Christmas sermon: 'þe word is geworden'

Ælfric's Sermon for New Year's Day

A sermon for Epiphany: 'Ða easternan tungelwitegan gesawon niwne steorran beorhtne'

A sermon for Candlemas: 'A Twofold Burgeoning of Awe and Love'

A description of Anglo-Saxon liturgical practice on the Feast of the Purification and a story about St Dunstan at Candlemas

The Presentation of Christ, from the Benedictional of St Æthelwold (BL Additional 49598, f. 34v)

Lent and the Spring

'Unwinding the water's chains': Spring, Thaw, and Some Anglo-Saxon Poems

March in the Menologium

18 March and the creation of the world: The Days of Creation

'Nu ic his tempel eam': the Annunciation in an Anglo-Saxon Poem

Septuagesima Sunday: 'Ceasing from the voice of joy and gladness'

Quinquagesima Sunday: 'Now a pure and holy time draws near'

'þu eart dust and to duste gewendst': Ælfric, Ash Wednesday and 'The Seafarer'

First Sunday in Lent: 'Hoard up your goldhoard in heaven'

A sermon for Palm Sunday

'Eastermonað to us cymeð': April in the Menologium

'Open wæs þæt eorðærn': the Harrowing of Hell

The sun (BL Harley 603, f.33v)

Ascension Day and the Summer

Old English poetry about the summer, which begins on 9 May

A May Miscellany, including a poetic description of summer in the Menologium

A sermon for Rogationtide

Christ the Bird and the Play of Hope: An Anglo-Saxon Ascension, from Cynewulf's Christ II

A sermon and poem for Pentecost

The Summer Solstice, in the Menologium and Ælfric's De Temporibus Anni: 'Se lengsta dæg'

Harvesting (BL Harley 603, f. 66)

Harvest and the Autumn

Harvest and the beginning of autumn on August 7

The month of August, in the Menologium and the Benedictional of St Æthelwold

Autumn and falling leaves in the poems Maxims I and Solomon and Saturn

A Sermon for All Saints' Day: 'þisne dæg eallum halgum'

Saints' Days

I've also written posts about a range of Anglo-Saxon saints, or saints venerated in Anglo-Saxon England, including:

Ælfheah of Canterbury - death, translation, and an eleventh-century prayer to the saint

Æthelburh of Barking

Æthelburh of Kent

Æthelthryth (Etheldreda) of Ely

Andrew the Apostle

Augustine of Canterbury



Chad of Mercia

Dunstan - a series of posts beginning here, and a Latin hymn to the saint

Eanswythe of Folkestone

Edith of Wilton

Edmund of East Anglia - Old English Life and later legend

Edward the Confessor






Margaret of Scotland


Mildred of Thanet (and the foundation of her abbey)

Oda the Good

Olaf of Norway

Oswald of Worcester






Wigstan of Repton

Wulfstan of Worcester

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for compiling this. Great blog.