Gallican Lectionary, from the Luxeuil Abbey

Description

The manuscript presented here, Latin 9427 in the collections of the National Library of France, was produced in the seventh century, most likely at the Luxeuil Abbey in eastern France, where it later was discovered by the Benedictine scholar Jean Mabillon (1632‒1707). Often referred to as the Luxeuil Lectionary, it is an important source for understanding the Gallican Rite, the rite that prevailed in Gaul from the earliest appearance of Christianity in France until about the middle or end of the eighth century. The manuscript contains the readings for several feast days, including that of Saint Geneviève; the Prophetical Lessons; and epistles and Gospels for the year from Christmas Eve onwards. At the end are the lessons for a few special masses, such as for the burial of a bishop and for the dedication of a church. The manuscript is written on parchment in the Merovingian minuscule script (also known as the Luxeuil script) and has decorated initials. It has a restored natural parchment binding. The Abbey of Luxeuil was founded in 585 by the great Irish monk, Saint Columban, on the ruins of the Gallo-Roman castle of Luxovium. It soon became the most important monastery in Gaul. It was sacked by the Vandals in 731 and most of the community of monks massacred. The monastery continued in operation until the French Revolution, but it never fully recovered its former glory.

Date Created

Subject Date

Language

Title in Original Language

Lectionarius gallicanus

Type of Item

Physical Description

248 folios, parchment ; 22 x 13 centimeter text on sheets of 26.5 x 17 centimeters

References

  1. Richard Urban Butler, "Abbey of Luxeuil," in The Catholic Encyclopedia. Volume 9 (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09467a.htm.
  2. “Gallican Rite,” in Catholic Online. http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=4963.

Last updated: August 15, 2017