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A liturgical book which contains the rites for the performance of episcopal functions (e.g. conferring of confirmation and Holy orders), with the exception of Mass and Divine Office. It is practically an episcopal ritual, containing formularies and rubrics which existed in the old Sacramentaries and "Ordines Romani", and were gradually collected together to form one volume for the greater convenience of the officiating bishop. Such collections were known under the names of "Liber Sacramentorum", "Liber Officialis", "Liber Pontificalis", "Ordinarium Episcopale", "Benedictionale", etc. Among these medieval manuscript volumes perhaps the most ancient and most important for liturgical study is the Pontificale of Egbert, Archbishop of York (732-6), which in many respects resembles the present Pontifical. The first printed edition, prepared by John Burchard and Augustine Patrizi Piccolomini, papal masters of ceremonies, was published (1485) in the pontificate of Innocent VIII. Clement VIII published a corrected and official edition in 1596. In his constitution "Ex quo in Ecclesia Dei" he declared this Pontifical obligatory, forbade the use of any other and prohibited any modification or addition to it without papal permission. Urban VIII and Benedict XIV had it revised and made some additions to it, and finally Leo XIII caused a new typical edition to be published in 1888. (See LITURGICAL BOOKS.)
CATALANUS, Pontificale Romanum (Paris, 1850), an important commentary; ZACCARIA, Bibliotheca Ritualis (Rome, 1781).
APA citation. (1911). Pontificale. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12231a.htm
MLA citation. "Pontificale." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12231a.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by W. Stuart French, Jr. Dedicated to Rt. Rev. Walter A. Coggin, O.S.B., Third Abbot Nullius Belmont Abbey, Belmont, N.C., U.S.A. Council Father, Second Vatican Council.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. June 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
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