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libri ordinarii of the Salzburg metropolitan province



A Liber ordinarius for the cathedral church and diocese of Regensburg.

The manuscript München Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Clm 26947 contains not only a calendar, but a Liber ordinarius for use in Regensburg's episcopal church. The Incipit contains a clear reference to Regensburg: Incipit breviarium secundum ordinem Ratisbonensem. This manuscript is the only surviving complete copy of the rulebook. The codex was kept in the Biblioteca Publica Ratisbonensis until 1876, when it was moved to Munich's court library.

The locations, altars and other items mentioned in the Liber ordinarius clearly refer to the cathedral of St. Peter and the neighbouring sacred spaces in the cathedral precinct (the collegiate church of St. Johannes, cloisters, cathedral monastery, the chapel of St. Stephanus, the Allerheiligenkapelle etc.). Apart from a few exceptions, the liturgical tradition transmitted here was also customarily used in the diocese. The various locations mentioned held no concrete significance for other churches, of course. At the time the ordo was written down, the cathedral was still being built. By reconstructing processional routes and comparing the ordo with the known phases of the cathedral's construction, we can date the codex's compilation to approximately the period between 1340 and 1380.

Among the codex's many special liturgical features, the ritual acts performed at the cathedral's choir screen, built in 1320, stand out particularly. They focused upon the two screen altars, dedicated to the Holy Cross and the Virgin Mary respectively. This is also where the Planctus Mariae took place on Good Friday. This Lamentatio was probably introduced at the behest of the cathedral canon Konrad von Megenberg (1309-1374), who became familiar with this custom during his sojourns in France. Megenberg is also the author of liturgical treatises as well as a vita and a historia for the local Regensburg saint Erhard (these were not included in the Liber ordinarius). The instructions for the diocese's patron saint Wolfgang's feast set out two masses, but the historia by Hermannus Contractus was not customarily used during the liturgy of the hours (nor was Hermannus's historia for St. Emmeram on that saint's feast day). Besides the cathedral's patron St. Peter, St. Stephen is particularly significant and is treated like a second patron saint (cf. the chapel of St. Stephanus in the cloisters). The high number of liturgical functionaries is unusual: the bishop, canons, provost, dean, choir, schola, cantors etc., as well as ad minus duodecim canonicis sancti Ioannis. Another interesting feature is the mention of a makeshift wooden tabernacle (truca) in the vestry for the period from Maundy Thursday to Easter Saturday. Instead of the usual washing of the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday, in Regensburg Cathedral the feet of the cathedral canons, venerable laymen and citizens were washed. These individuals were offered wine and mead as gifts among other things: … Deinde iterum veniat cellerarius cum iunioribus adultis et portent in novis scutellis primo seniori, deinde omnibus canonicis clericis ibi sedentibus et laicis honestis et civibus quattuor poma et duas oblatas et picarium vini et medonis

The Dominican monk Albertus Magnus's activity as Bishop of Regensburg (1260-1262) presumably is the reason why celebrations for the saints of this order were included in the cathedral liturgy. Furthermore, a special office for St. Blasius, the patron saint of Regensburg's Dominican church, was customary. Other special liturgical features include special chants for St. Florinus from the Vinschgau in South Tyrol, whose relics were already brought to Regensburg in the 10th century, as well as two feast days for the Visitatio Mariae (28 April and 2 July) and St. Thomas Becket (28 December and the translatio on 14 July). Of course the feast of the cathedral's dedication on 30 June is also present. An extensive collection of processional chants (ad suffragium) on Trinity Sunday is typical of the liturgy both in the cathedral and in the diocese. The unusual collocation of the Nocturn antiphons for John the Evangelist (27 December) and the octave is a further distinctive liturgical feature.

The compiler of the Liber ordinarius immortalised himself in the following final sentence: Explicit breviarius per manus et non per pedes. Presumably he wishes to highlight the scribe's arduous task, which could not be completed simply "in passing" or on the side.

by Robert Klugseder

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