Canticles with Hymn Te Deum and Athanasian Creed
Texts and Images
The Macclesfield Psalter contains the standard set of 10 Canticles commonly found in late medieval Psalters. These songs of praise, extracted from the Old Testament and from St Luke’s Gospel, were recited daily like the Psalms.
The first one, the Canticle of Isaiah, opens with a large historiated initial showing the seated prophet, Isaiah, praying to God (fol. 207v). The remaining Canticles, as well as the hymn beginning Te Deum laudamus (‘God, we praise you’) and the Athanasian Creed (Quicumque vult salvus esse, ‘Whosoever will be saved’), one of the three main creeds of the early Church, are marked by smaller ornamental initials, most with foliate motifs. Lesser text divisions are signalled by small initials in burnished gold on coloured grounds.