The Sacramentary of Echternach
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, MS lat. 9433

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 •  9781870252089

This sacramentary, compiled at the abbey of Echternach between 895 and 900, is one of the most interesting and unusual examples from the Carolingian period. Unique in combining aspects of Gregorian, Gelasian, and Old Gelasian sacramentaries, it also has important implications for such matters as Carolingian liturgical reforms, and it is a vital source for the study of the local history of the abbey of Echternach itself.

The publication comprises an edition of the hitherto unedited manuscript Paris, Bibliothèque national, ms. Lat. 9433, written at the imposing monastery of Echternach. Erected in 704-706, the abbey housed the remains of St Willibrord from 739, and under Pippin III it became a royal monastery. The codex was written by a single scribe in Caroline minuscule of German type, and it consists in 259 folios, most of which are in the format 300mm x 230mm. Various headings and decorative features display considerable variety of style. The manuscript remained at the abbey till the French Revolution, when it entered the Bibliothèque national de France.

The Sacramentary is of mixed Gregorian type, seemingly derived from three different exemplars, with further added material. The three exemplars included an Old Gelasian, an eighth-century Gelasian and a Gregorian of Hadrianum type with supplement. The material is divided into three sections on the model of the Old Gelasian. The prefaces are not in a separate section but integrated into the Mass formularies. There are affinities with Paris, Bibliothèque national, ms. Lat. 2291 and other Sacramentaries of Saint-Amand datable to c. 851-876:

  • Le Mans, Bibliothèque municipale, 77
  • New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, G.57
  • St Petersburg, Public Library, Q.v.I.41
  • Paris, Bibliothèque national, ms. Lat. 2290
  • Rheims, Bibliothèque municipal, 213
  • Stockholm, Kungliga Bibliotheket, Holm. A.136

The Sacramentary, with material appended to it (such as a list of the benefactors of the abbey), is presented here in a diplomatic edition with introduction, notes, indices and collation tables by the editor.

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