Books of the Psalms were known as psalters, often also containing calendars, canticles, prayers and creeds. They were popularly used for private devotions but could also be used for liturgical purposes where all 150 psalms were to be recited each week. Depictions of King David, supposed author of many of the Psalms, frequently introduce the psalter; many of the surviving examples are richly ornamented. Psalms were also important in prayer books and later in books of hours.
Calendars were often found at the start of a manuscript, preceding devotional texts. They could be illuminated, and usually used different colours, especially red, to highlight feast days. The particular feast days and saints days commemorated can give clues as to the provenance of the work. They may include devices for calculating movable feasts, such as Easter Tables.
The Sarum rite or use applied to the liturgical customs, rites and calendar associated with the medieval cathedral of Salisbury, which was also known as Sarum. This was based on the Roman rites of the eleventh century, but with various French, Norman and local influences. It was said to have been instituted by St Oswald, a Norman noble and bishop of Sarum or Salisbury from 1078, who revised the missal, breviary and ritual to ensure that the existing Anglo-Saxon versions agreed with those of Rome. It was widely copied and spread through England and into Scotland. The Sarum churches followed the Roman ecclesiastical calendar, starting the year on 25 March, the date of the Annunciation, and supplementing it, as is still done, with a host of local feasts.