Liturgical Books of The Roman Rite - Classification


These liturgical books have been classified as seven: the Missal, the Pontifical, the Liturgy of the Hours (in earlier editions called the Breviary), the Ritual, the Martyrology, the Gradual, and the Antiphonary. Another sevenfold list indicates, instead of the last two, the Cæremoniale Episcoporum, and the Memoriale Rituum.

In reality, the number is not fixed. Some names, such as the Ritual and the Pontifical, refer not to a single volume but to a collection of books that fit within the same category. Official liturgical books that appear in neither of the above lists also exist, such as the Lectionary and the Evangeliary or Gospel Book. The 28 March 2001 Fifth Instruction for the Right Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council listed several more. Liturgical books exist also for rare occasions, such as the Order of Rites for the Conclave and the Order of the Rites for the Beginning of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome, issued in 2005.

Other liturgical books that no longer exist today, were in use in the past, such as the Epistolary and the Sacramentary (in the proper sense of this word). The catalogue of the illuminated manuscripts of the British Library indicates how varied were the classes of liturgical books for the celebration of Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.

To avoid confusion between different ways of naming and classifying liturgical books, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has drawn up a List of Uniform Titles for Liturgical Works of the Latin Rites of the Catholic Church

The Caeremoniale Episcoporum, though listed above as a liturgical book, has also been described as "not a liturgical book in the proper sense, since it is not used in liturgical celebrations".

The contents of the liturgical books vary over the centuries. The prayers and rubrics are modified, new rites are added to the books, others are dropped, sometimes long after they have fallen into disuse. For instance the Roman Pontifical continued to have until the Second Vatican Council a ceremony for the first shaving of a cleric's beard.

Read more about this topic:  Liturgical Books Of The Roman Rite

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