"Lord, Open My Lips": The Virgin Mary and the Art of Prayer, 1000-1500


ACLS Fellowship Program




This project is a study of the cognitive and experiential making of prayer in the monastic culture of the medieval West, with emphasis on the practices that developed from the tenth through the fifteenth centuries for prayer to the Trinity and the Virgin Mother of God. These practices included the recitation of a Little Office of the Virgin modeled on the monastic liturgy of the Hours, as well as meditation on the Joys and Sorrows of the Virgin through the recitation of the rosary. The immediate purpose is to find a way to describe monastic, Marian prayer as a practical art—that is, as a practice that takes skill and uses particular tools. The ultimate goal is to develop an understanding of the meaning and importance of worship as a creative act.