The Liturgical Books Collection consists of some 300 volumes of liturgical texts published between 1850 and 1960. The collection includes missals, breviaries, rituals, pontificals, and other official texts used in the liturgy. These older liturgical books (almost all in Latin) are often of interest not only for their textual content but also for their elaborate leather bindings and beautiful illustrations.
Hand missals for the laity were a common feature of Catholic liturgical life before vernacular languages replaced Latin. This Spanish Missal from 1959 is opened to the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity–the first Sunday after Pentecost.
The title page from an Epistolary–the book containing those Scripture readings (other than the Gospel) which were chanted by the Subdeacon at a Solemn Mass. This edition was printed in Belgium in 1888.
Bishops and prelates, such as abbots, still use a distinctive form of celebrating Mass. Formerly, however, there were many variations in the types of Episcopal Masses, which often included complex preparatory rites. This lavishly decorated missal for…