An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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A liturgical book containing prayers used by the celebrant at the eucharist throughout the year, along with other liturgical prayers. The celebrant's prayer at the eucharist was mainly extemporaneous during the first three centuries of the Christian church. By the third and fourth centuries, the celebrant's prayer was in written form. These prayers appeared in booklets known as libelli. Each booklet might contain only the prayers for one Mass. Libelli were later collected into sacramentaries for the entire liturgical year. The Leonine Sacramentary was a sixth-century collection of libelli. It is the earliest known book of prayers for the eucharist according to the Roman Rite. Sacramentaries came to include the eucharistic prayer, proper collects, prefaces, and other prayers. Sacramentaries did not include the epistle, the gospel, or the gradual of the Mass. Sacramentaries came to be replaced by the missal, which provided all the texts and directions needed for the eucharist in one book. The missal began to be used in the tenth century. Sacramentaries continued in use until the thirteenth century. Many BCP collects are drawn from the Leonine Sacramentary, including the collect for the Second Sunday after Christmas Day (p. 214) and the collect for Thursday in Easter Week (pp. 172, 223).

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.