The Macclesfield Psalter

Prayer: Suscipere dignare domine

Texts and Images

This prayer is found in several deluxe Psalters from East Anglia and the Fenlands made for the use of monastic and clerical patrons. The words, which vary from manuscript to manuscript, consist of a plea to God to grant health and salvation to the supplicant and his or her relatives and friends. The prayer is accompanied by a half-page image of Christ as Judge, seated on a rainbow, which was intended to focus the reader’s thoughts on eternity. Facing the first Psalm, the prayer serves as a preface to the Psalter.

The miniature shows Christ as Judge seated on a rainbow, surrounded by the symbols of the four Evangelists. Medieval miniatures are generally placed at the beginning or the end of texts, but this one is inserted in the middle of the prayer, so that it balances and complements the large historiated initial on the facing page (fol. 9r).