Write like a Benedictine (Monk that is)

You have to sing that title along with the tune “Walk like an Egyptian”, then it becomes a bit more funny or corny perhaps.

Last week after we saw the Lindisfarne Gospels we spent a morning trying to see what it was like to write something of that magnitude with a quill pen.

We studied the lettering of their day and decided to try to copy and 8th century Vatican font.

Mixing the ink

Mixing the ink


A few years ago we had purchased a quill pen and ink powder and I packed it hoping we would get an opportunity to use it this year.  The kids mixed up the ink and we began.

8th Century Vatican font

8th Century Vatican font



We found it to be easier in some ways than we imagined but hard to control the amount of ink.

DSC01830We light our “light of learning” each morning.    We can’t imagine writing only by candlelight with a quill pen.  The font we chose was considerably easier than the decorative font in the gospel book we saw.  It would take many many years of practice to develop such perfect penmanship.

Mom having a turn.

Mom having a turn.

DSC01827The kids really enjoyed it.  Joshua asked to do his math with a quill pen each day.  As hard as it is for me to read his math already I think not.  🙂

History comes alive when you can feel, see, touch and smell it.  A true test would be to write like this again in the Monk’s cloisters library at the cathedral….in the cold of winter……by candle.

Another day.




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