Gelasian Sacramentary

Gelasian Sacramentary

France — 700-800

A beautiful Merovingian manuscript combining the art of Late Antiquity and the Migration Period: the oldest and most complete extant manuscript of the Roman Sacramentary and the second oldest surviving Christian liturgical book

  1. A mixture of the Gallican and Roman rites for performing Mass created ca. 750 near Paris

  2. The manuscript was falsely attributed to Pope Gelasius I (r. 492–496) and still bears his name

  3. Its previous owners include Saint Boniface (ca. 657–754) and Queen Christina of Sweden (1626–89)

Gelasian Sacramentary

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Gelasian Sacramentary

The Liber Sacramentorum Romanae Aeclesiae Ordinis Anni Circuli is the oldest and most complete extant manuscript of the Roman Sacramentary and the second oldest surviving Christian liturgical book. It has been falsely attributed to Pope Gelasius, although it may contain some of his prayers and prefaces, perhaps through the Leonine Sacramentary. The original text is believed to have been composed sometime in the mid-7th century because it contains modifications to the canon of the Mass introduced by Pope Gregory the Great but not Sergius I or Gregory II. Its contents are a mix of the official Roman Mass book from the 6th century with some Gallican traditions from the early-8th century. This manuscript from ca. 750 is a beautiful specimen of Merovingian illumination and calligraphy that blends artistic conventions from Late Antiquity with influences from Migration Period “barbarian” art. It is a historic codex that is believed to have been used by Saint Boniface during his mission on the European continent and was part of the personal library of Queen Christina of Sweden when it was acquired by the Vatican after her death in 1689.


Alternative Titles
Sacramentarium Gelasianum
Liber sacramentorum Romanae ecclesiae
Gelasianisches Sakramentar
Size / Format
490 pages / 26.0 × 17.0 cm
Sacramentarium Gelasianum and the oldest copy of the oldest Roman Missal
Previous Owners
Library of Queen Christina of Sweden (MS Reginensis 316)

Available facsimile editions:
Sacramentarium Gelasianum e Codice Vaticano Reginensi latino 316
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vaticanstadt, Vaticanstadt) – Vatican City, 1975
Facsimile Editions

#1 Sacramentarium Gelasianum e Codice Vaticano Reginensi latino 316

Binding: Slipcase
Commentary: 1 volume (46 pages) by Luigi Michelini Tocci and Burkhard Neunheuser
Language: Italian
Facsimile Copy Available!
Price Category: €€
(1,000€ - 3,000€)
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