Durham Rite


An Anglo-Saxon rite that came into use in England about the 7th century. It was introduced into the Abbey of Durham and spread into the entire diocese and, by the middle of the 13th century, elsewhere in the north of England. The earliest document giving an account of the liturgical uses and services in the Diocese of Durham is the so-called “Rituale ecclesire Dulielmensis,” also known as the “Ritual of King AElfrith” (685). It contains chants and collects from the Epiphany to Easter, a Proper of the Saints, a Common of the Saints, and many forms of blessings. The most important document of this kind, written in 1593, is the volume called “The Ancient Monuments, Rites and Customs of the Monastical Church of Durham before the Suppression.” It contains a detailed description of the various rites and ceremonies and special customs carried out by the monks. The services were conducted with splendor and solemnity.

MLA Citation

  • “Durham Rite”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 24 December 2010. Web. 19 January 2019. <http://catholicsaints.info/durham-rite/>