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Bibles & Books: The Carolingian Sacramentary

Updated: Nov 12, 2022

Video from Ziereis Facsimiles

"Although only representing a fragment of the erstwhile #manuscript, the Carolingian #Sacramentary belongs among the “gems” of the Austrian National Library. This calligraphic masterpiece was made in the Abbey of Saint-Amand in northern France, and although its original owner remains unknown, it can be assumed from the richness and care of its execution that it was destined for a reputed church or a high dignitary of the church, possibly as a little booklet with prayers and consecration formulas for a bishop’s use. Its rich adornment features a great diversity of calligraphy, accomplished frames and marginal decorations including gold and silver, and a combination of Anglo-Saxon ornamental motifs and Carolingian-Frankish scribal art that is found in very few manuscripts, making this sacramentary an exquisite monument to illumination. You can find this and many other facsimiles under:" from video introduction

"The Carolingian period, roughly the eighth and ninth centuries, was dynamic and decisive in European religious history. The ruling dynasty and the clerical elite promoted wave after wave of reform that I call “unifying,” “specifying,” and “sanctifying.” This presidential address argues that religion was the key unifying and universalizing force in the Carolingian world; that the Carolingians were obsessed with doing things the right way—usually the Roman way; and that the Carolingians sought to inculcate Christian behavior more than religious knowledge. The address concludes by arguing that the Carolingians put a markedly European stamp on Christianity and that they Romanized Christianity well before the papacy attempted to do so." from the article: Carolingian Religion

What is a Sacramentary?

" That part of the Roman Missal which contains the prayers and directives for Mass, and a number of sacramental formulas, but does not include the readings of the Mass. In the Western Church, sacramentaries, as distinct from lectionaries, were in use down to the thirteenth century. The Leonine, Gelasian, and Gregorian Sacramentaries, the main sources for the early history of the Mass, are the best known. From the ninth century on, the advantage of having everything in one book led to combining the sacramentary, lectionary, and gradual into one book, which came to be known as the Missal. The sacramentary was restored after the Second Vatican Council.' from the Catholic Dictionary

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