Paper Lübeck Prayerbook
The book consists of 10 individual blocks of paper, bound together. The composition and the date of creation of each block are defined due to types of paper and handwriting. Watermarks help to identify the date of creation of each part of the prayerbook.
The prayers in the first block (ms. F. 955, op. 2. 51) were arranged taking into account human mental organization. Prayers of the latest and most grievous episode of the Passion demanded particular emotional efforts of a believer. The Five Joys of St. Mary Magdalene and The Seven Heavenly Joys of the Virgin Mary go after them to relax. Next there follow seven Pater noster. The Revelation of St. Brigita ended the first block.
II block (fols. 64r-86v, one handwriting). It contains a series of prayers for 33 episodes of Christ's earthly life, starting with his birth to resurrection. The prayers emphasize the human nature of Christ. Christ is called a "beloved brother". As a man, Christ felt fear. In one prayer, a worshiper invoke him by "unspeakable pain" experienced by Jesus on the Mount of Olives. The last of the 33 prayers is addressed to the risen Christ, but not Christ in glory at the right hand of his Heavenly Father, but Christ who sits surrounded by his beloved mother, favorite apostles and dear brothers. The whole cycle, starting with the first prayer, permeated with theme of Christ's love to the people, 'My dear and beloved Lord Jesus Christ, I beg you with all your love, that you [gave] people'.
IV block (fols. 95r-112v, one handwriting). It is fully dedicated to St. Anne, but in other than the Cologne manuscript's version.
V quire (fols. 113r-116v, one handwriting). The Psalter for the Ave Maria, with comments on each word of the Latin prayer. The words of the second important Christian prayer are written in red ink.
VI block (fols. 117r-140v, one handwriting). Prayers to saints.
VII block (fols. 141r-186v, 3 hands). It contains the poem about St. Anselm consisting of 1255 verses.
Numbers assigned to verses of poems is inscribed in pencil in the same handwriting of the 19th century as foliation in the upper right corners of the sheets.
Prayers for the Virgin Mary and the saints are written in the second and third hands.
VIII quire (fols. 187r-190v). Only one and a half prayers are recorded, a prayer for St. Margarita and prayer to St. Dorotee, two leaves are empty.
IX quire (fol. 191, one handwriting). Only one sheet with two prayers for Christ has surviverd out of the ninth quire, the remaining three leaves were torn out.
X block (fols. 192r-213v, one handwriting). This block was the end of another prayerbook. It contain the seven penitential psalms and the Litanies of saints.
The block has two scribal records. Until the 13th century, an incentive that made the scribes write inscriptions after the completion of their work was the concern for the salvation of their souls. The scribes asked the readers to pray for them and expressed the hope that their names would be included in the book of life. In the second half of the 15th century, in the European culture, there was change thanks to the humanistic understanding of the accuracy and correctness of the copied texts. The record on the last but one sheet of the manuscript asks to pray for the copyist, but the second inscription, made in the same hand, reads, 'If I have missed something or have written it incorrectly, I piously pray to God that you can correct and improve it while reading'.
The scribe's request to pray for him is traditional. But the second record, with care for the correctness of the copied text, reflect new humanistic trends.
Study of the manuscript gives reason to believe that it was compiled of individual blocks from 10 different prayerbooks, added to the main, first quire of the book. One of the parts was written, supposedly, in the 1450s, the rest were created between the 1470 and 1490s. The manuscript belongs to the most common type of paper prayerbooks of the second half of the 15th century. Owners attached additional quires to the original quire of such inexpensive books and filled the empty space with new prayers of their choice.