Gamber and Amiet integrated

August 4, 2022

In acquiring and prioritizing sources, we primarily rely on catalogues of liturgical books. Many of them have already been included, e.g. the lists of French and Spanish missals by Leroquais and Janini or the online catalogues of German and British manuscripts made by our colleagues at the University of Regensburg. For liturgical history, the catalogues of Klaus Gamber and Robert Amiet mark the beginning and the end, the first comprising the surviving Latin service books from the first millennium and the second the printed missals and breviaries from the 1470s to the 1840s and, whenever relevant, even into the 20th century. Both have been recently integrated into Usuarium. By browsing the relevant catalogues, you can find information about any of their entries, but it is also possible to find them according to their origin, genre, preserving library, or if they refer to a print, their printer. Much work is still needed to bring the list to perfection, yet we hope that it can already be of great help for researchers. A more advanced 'Digital Gamber' is being simultaneously developed in the Regensburg Liturgical Institute and the Universal Short Title Catalogue of early prints grows and improves day by day.

Missalia Project expanding (Lorraine and the Netherlands)

July 18, 2022

After crossing the Rhine, we entered the Missals of the territory of ancient Lotharingia. The region's upper part is approximately what we now call the Netherlands, while the lower part encompasses the region of Lorraine in northeastern France. Liturgically speaking, it was a transitory zone of Uses that combined features of a Germanic and Gallic character. Regarding the ecclesiastical hierarchy, here belong those parts of Cologne and Trier's provinces that lie outside present-day Germany's borders: Utrecht, Liège (Lüttich), Verdun, Metz, and Toul. The area has some overlaps with Upper France and Flanders, too, which are already under work and of whose conquest we plan to report within a few weeks.

Introits and Introit verses standardized

July 8, 2022

One might assume that Introits belong to the least variable elements of the Latin liturgical repertory. This is indeed so, in so far as the Temporal and the ancient layers of the Sanctoral are concerned. Even in these parts, however, remarkable differences appear on vacant and supplementary Sundays, in the context of vigils and octaves, and due to the interference of thematically related items. Yet a comprehensive survey reveals far more peculiarities, both ancient and modern. The composition of votive Masses diverges quite often. Some sources contain archaic introits for saints that fell into disuse in other places or were only locally transmitted. Others adopt the pieces of other genres, antiphons or processional chants as Introits, mostly a late but surprisingly widespread phenomenon. It seems that already in the last centuries of the Middle Ages there emerges the category of merely textual propers: items that have never been sung or furnished with any melody as they were exclusively used within votive low Masses. Plenty of them appears in early modern Missals but the discovery of their medieval forerunners is a relative novelty.

In the last few weeks, we checked and standardized every Introit that had been uploaded to Usuarium before. All the records are attached now to a standard incipit and an identification number in parentheses, derived from the Cantus Index. The standard items can be consulted in the synopsis according to their assignment to days and topics and searched for in the Research/Conspectus menu. Several divergent assignments and 83 Introits beyond the scope of the Cantus Index have been identified.

As it is well known, the choice of verses can also vary and, at some points, this is an integral feature of a particular Use's identity. Therefore, Introit verses have been standardized along with their antiphons and listed accordingly. We continue the work with the graduals and the next genres of the chanted propers.

Ecclesiastical Map of Western Europe in the Middle Ages

June 7, 2022

Our homegrown ecclesiastical map is now available by clicking its button in the top right corner of the 'Uses' or the 'Research/Generic Synopsis' menu. The map is a vector graphics image so that you can enlarge and print it in any size without loss of quality. You can also open and download it in pdf format.

Topographically, the map is based on a hydrographic chart of Western Europe and presents the traditional geographic boundaries according to the Latin Rite. Every ecclesiastical province is rendered with its frontiers in red; its archepiscopal see is represented by dual cross and identified by capital letters. Dioceses are displayed with simple crosses and minuscules. Their number includes primarily those that published printed service books before the Council of Trent, but a few others documented by reliable manuscripts have also been admitted.

Historically, the map represents the European ecclesiastical situation around the end of the 13th century. It seems that this was the end of the creative period for devising local liturgical Uses; later founded dioceses mostly adopted the books that had been used in the same place.

As in our list of Uses, the standard form of the place names follows the preferred language and spelling of the current 21st-century state. Although this may rightly seem anachronistic from the perspective of medieval scholarship, we made this decision for compelling reasons. First, settlements can be more easily found in digital resources via present-day nomenclature. Second, we tried to avoid an excessive Anglicization and honour local identities, especially where even English place names could not synthesize linguistic variants. Third, the national attitudes toward the historical and the actual political affiliation of certain cities in Europe are so intricate that one cannot find a just and overall solution that will not offend anyone and thus we adhered to coherence and actuality. As compensation, all the other relevant names can be searched in the 'Uses' and the many divergent historical situations are always carefully registered.

Cemetery and foundation stone

May 27, 2022

There are two rites that can precede the dedication and, indeed, the building of a church: the consecration of a cemetery and the laying of a foundation stone. Liturgically speaking, the cemetery is not a graveyard but a sacred precinct that hosts the future church. Burials are already a consequence of the holiness of the place and the vicinity of the shrine. Thus the cemetery was consecrated and, if necessary, reconciled separately from the church. The laying of the foundation stone evolved as a further service only around the first millennium but became a solid part of the Romano-Germanic type of Pontificals and of those that relied on their model. In the past months, we processed all the available sources that contain such material. The result can be consulted as per source under the related index labels and in its entirety by filtering the ceremony 'cemetery' or 'foundation stone'.

Sequences standardized

May 25, 2022

Although there is still much to do with the organization of the material due to some inconsistencies in the proper assignment of texts to feasts, every sequence currently registered by Usuarium has been standardized. This means that their statistical and mapping tools can be consulted and their synopsis provides a representative picture of their frequency, coverage, and proportion throughout Europe. The temporal part is practically comprehensive while the sanctoral etc. parts approximately extend to the frontiers delineated by the rivers Seine and Rhône.

Research facilities and shortcuts for indices

May 13, 2022

Under the 'Index' entry of our 'Research' menu, a new filter tool has been made available. By clicking 'filter', 'OR criteria', and 'Add field', you can select your query according to sources and ceremonies, adding specific features like the presence of illustrations, musical notation, or vernacular texts. Registered users are also allowed to export the results in sheets for personal use.

Meanwhile, shortcuts have been inserted into the lists of ceremonies, directing to the query composed of the concerned source and ceremony. For instance, after opening the list of the 'abbess' ceremony and clicking the button left from the page number, you can consult the records that belong to each source. The absence of such a button indicates that no conspectus has yet been uploaded to the related source. At the end of the lists, however, a 'See also' section follows with the sources that contain records of the ceremony in question but have not yet been indexed.

As a by-product of these facilities, you can easily assess the degree of processing for every ritual, i.e. the proportion of indexed ceremonies and conspectuses behind them. Indices refer to the liturgical content of the books in terms of chapters and/or types of liturgical activity while conspectuses refer to the detailed textual content of each ceremony with rubrics and incipits. Currently, the indices of Usuarium offer 30055 records of 981 service books.

Contributors updated

March 31, 2022

Congenially with our medieval predecessors, our reports never refer to the persons who acquire new sources, accomplish new research facilities, or enter and analyze new information. As an exception, let us now call your attention to the list of contributors hiding at the bottom of the website. Updated after a long period, it lists in a hierarchical order all those who have worked on Usuarium since its foundation in 2013. Please remember them in your prayers, as scribes regularly ask for them in ancient colophons, and mention us in your publications, as the terms of copyright require – find them just beside the contributors' button.

Military sacramentals

March 3, 2022

Though the blessing of soldiers and their armament might be an unpleasant element today, medieval clergy acknowledged the legitimacy of a just war and, consequently, such rites formed a typical part of ancient service books. As coronation ordines chiefly associate the secular leader with the figure of the warrior saint, a fearless defender of the church and the faithful, their texts and gestures often draw on military sacramentals. To supplement our collection of coronations, now we publish an extensive sample of military initiations (mainly performed by blessing a sword and handing it over to the novice) and dedications of military standards. We wish there would be no need for them anywhere. Give peace in our time, O Lord; because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.

Missalia Project expanding (Scandinavia)

February 18, 2022

Besides the only printed Missal from Finland (Turku or Åbo), mentioned in our reports about a month ago in the Baltic context, we have now processed the relevant sources from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Although Rituals and Breviaries were published for Linköping and Skara as well, extant printed Swedish Missals only survive from Uppsala and Strängnäs, not to mention Lund, now also in Sweden, that was in the Middle Ages part of Denmark and, moreover, its ecclesiastical centre. Norway had a single national Use in the concerning period, that of Trondheim. Denmark was far better provided with diocesan Missals. Many of them, however, are documented only by fragments. Intact sources come from the above-mentioned Lund, Viborg, Slesvig (now Schleswig in Germany), and København. The latter is an interesting phenomenon as Copenhagen has never been a cathedral city, at least before the modern era. Its Missal is a replica of that of Lund and possibly served as the basis of a pan-Danish liturgy, which is also plausible with regard to the relative abundance of its available copies. Beyond these, fragments from Odense, Ribe, Roskilde, and an unidentified Danish diocese testify that once they possessed Missals of their own accordingly. The Use of Roskilde, the cathedral of the diocese of Copenhagen and the burial place of the Danish monarchs, is attested by the Canon Roscildensis too, a booklet containing the Mass ordinary and a series of votive and common Masses.

Opening to new genres: Psalters

February 10, 2022

In 2016, we made a preliminary survey on the systematic comparison of Uses regarding the Divine Office. Although the world-famous Cantus Database has provided an excellent research tool for decades, its selection of sources and geographical scope is rather arbitrary. Therefore, its results can often be misleading, at least in terms of statistical relevance. The first step to introduce the methodology of Usuarium was the processing of the Psalters from 38 printed Breviaries throughout Europe. As weekday offices were not very frequently recited in the Middle Ages, they formed a practically intact layer within the Divine Office. As such, they are the most reliable witnesses of the basic variation of the Divine Office before its specific local divergences in the Sanctoral and even the Temporal part. The first conclusions of the survey were formulated in an unpublished study with the title 'Interpreting Latin Liturgical Psalters'. Recently, the underlying material has also been uploaded and can be consulted either via the concerning Breviaries or comprehensively by selecting the filter for the 'Psalter' part.

Missalia Project expanding (Poland and the Baltics)

January 15, 2022

The full content of one Missal for each Polish diocese that issued a printed service book before Trent has been uploaded: from Kraków, Gniezno, Płock, and Poznań. The Silesian dioceses of Wrocław (Breslau) and Lubusz (now Lebus, Germany) are also included as representatives of a Polish-type liturgy, while the Pomeranian Kammin (Kamień Pomorski), although in present-day Poland, liturgically belongs to the Germanic circle. We have also processed the Missale Gnesnense et Cracoviense, a Missal that, in fact, is a document of the pan-Polish ambition of the Cracow Use in the early 16th century.

The liturgy of the Baltic area was determined by the Teutonic Knights with their headquarters in Marienburg or Malbork Castle, now in Poland. They adopted the Use of the Dominican friars but supplemented it with occasional rites (Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, etc.) of their own. The diocese of Turku or Åbo in Finland took the same Dominican tradition as its regional Use. The Prussian diocese of Warmia or Ermland (now Lidzbark Warmiński in Poland), however, maintained the Use of the Teutonic Knights even after its accession to Poland. To build up a thorough picture of the region, we have processed the Teutonic and the Dominican Missals along with their regional counterparts in Turku and Warmia. We have added the only surviving manuscript Missal from Rīga, too. The city did not belong to the Teutonic Knights but to the knightly order of the Livonian Brothers of the Sword or Swordbrothers. Its Missal has more in common with North Germany than with its Baltic neighbours.

Regensburg and Hungary

December 31, 2021

In 2017, three members of our research group participated in a conference on the liturgical institutions of Regensburg. The city is not only one of the most prestigious episcopal sees in Bavaria, but excels in its early sources, the continuity of its tradition, and its peculiarities remarkably different from the Germanic average. Besides several excellent studies, our papers laid down the methodological principles of the comparison of ceremonies and illustrated it with the documents of an early interchange between Regensburg and the nascent Hungarian Kingdom. The first case study analyzed the connection of their Sacramentaries, the second of the monastic ordines administered by bishops. At last, the volume has been released, thanks to the diligent work done by the editors.

Opening to new genres: Pontificals

December 20, 2021

With two codices that are of particular importance from our Hungarian perspective, we have widened the scope of Usuarium to Pontificals. Certainly, many Pontificals were already involved in the comprehensive surveys of e.g. abbatial blessings or royal coronations, but no book was processed in full. Now, the Pontifical of Chartvirgus, the most prominent source that proves the continuity of the Use of Esztergom from the 11th to the 16th century, has been processed with its full text along with its direct descendant, an early 13-century Pontifical of Zagreb that has been processed with full rubrics but abbreviated items. This experiment of a Pontifical Project proves that the system of Usuarium is not restricted to the handling of Missals, but can successfully manage any liturgical material within the Latin tradition.

Missalia Project expanding (Germany and Austria)

December 4, 2021

Every medieval diocese from the territory of present-day Germany and Austria that once published a printed Missal is now represented by one on Usuarium with full content, supplemented by further two dioceses that had no printed Missals but can be accessed by the testimony of reliable manuscripts. The following list contains all the dioceses that were founded before the 13th century and as such possessed a liturgical Use of their own: Augsburg, Bamberg, Brandenburg, Bremen, Brixen (or Bressanone, now in South Tyrol, Italy), Eichstätt, Freising, Halberstadt, Hamburg, Havelberg, Hildesheim, Köln, Konstanz, Lebus (or Lubusz, originally Silesia, Poland), Lübeck, Magdeburg, Mainz, Meißen, Merseburg, Minden, Münster, Naumburg, Osnabrück (only an abridged handwritten Missal survived), Paderborn (represented by a parish church Missal), Passau, Ratzeburg, Regensburg, Salzburg, Schleswig (or Sleswig, originally Denmark), Schwerin, Speyer, Straßburg (or Strasbourg, now in France), Verden (only a supplement to the Halberstadt Missal), Trier, Worms, and Würzburg.

Opening to new Rites: Ambrosiana

November 30, 2021

So far, Usuarium was limited to those Uses of the Latin West that fit into the structure of the Roman Rite. With the processing of the printed Ambrosian Missal of 1499, the Rite of the ancient Metropolitan See of Milan also became available. The full text of the entire book can be analyzed and compared to the various Roman parallels, only the biblical lessons with standard wording have been abbreviated to their opening and closing phrases. In the 'Genre' field of the 'Research' menu (Filter), you can select the specific Ambrosian genres of e.g. Ingressa, Super populum, V. in Alleluia, Post evangelium, Super sindonem, Offerenda, Super oblatam, or Confractorium. Other genres that are analogous with their Roman equivalents like Prophecies, Epistles, Gospels, or Prefaces can be surveyed according to the usual nomenclature.

Queens and empresses

November 26, 2021

As we promised in May, the already available material for the coronation of kings and emperors has now been supplemented with evidence concerning queens and empresses. As their inauguration is often included in or attached to the ordines of their male counterparts, relevant research can only be accomplished when consulting the records under all four labels.

Index liturgicus ad Corpus Consuetudinum Monasticarum

November 18, 2021

Monastic liturgies are difficult to access. Certainly, plenty of service books survived, but their majority comes from a period when a comprehensive scope and detailed rubrics were something that most liturgical books still lacked. Moreover, such books practically never refer to their mother institutions. Monastic houses were far more numerous and changed their customs more frequently than cathedral chapters. In the age when chapters began to compile detailed and comprehensive books, monasteries were already declining or being reformed according to international standards. This is why source material that is both informative and reliably refers to mother institutions is so invaluable from the perspective of liturgical history.

Customaries are normative texts regulating monastic communities in terms of liturgy and beyond. Liturgical evidence is, however, often hidden or somewhat disguised in them. This is why their excellent and extensive edition, the Corpus Consuetudinum Monasticarum, could not have been fully utilized in this respect. Now the obstacle is removed by the present volume, a thorough and systematic work of our Usuarium team member Ábel Stamler that offers both an indispensable tool for researchers, and a mental map for the fields of worship in the monastic programme of life.

Statistics and mapping

November 11, 2021

For the standardized records, two new research functions have been made available. Thus far, queries of any liturgical assignation returned lists of the items that fitted the filter of the query. By clicking the 'export' button, the result could be exported in xlsx format. From now on, you can survey the same result with the help of statistical tools alike. The raw statistics (third button) refer to an overview of the records as they are actually stored in the database. As raw statistics rely on a variety of incipits that denote the same text, the exact numbers are irrelevant and even misleading. Yet it is easier to form an idea of the diversity of the assignation and the possible choices by their means than by browsing lists of hundreds of incipits. The chief advantage of raw statistics is that they are at hand for every query. About the readings, however, as they are already fully standardized, real statistics (fourth button) can also be consulted. Firstly, they show the absolute diversity of the given assignation with a numeral that indicates the number of items that occur in the corresponding function. Secondly, a list of standard incipits follows with their frequency of each as compared to the whole set of data. Lastly, the total of records demonstrates the number of occurrences on which the result is based.

In the liturgical position of the Gospel of the first Sunday of Advent, for example, five pericopes can appear. That of the triumphal entry to Jerusalem according to Matthew 21 is the most popular, more than 72% of the results. The eschatological discourse of Luke 21 is placed second, featuring mostly in the Mediterranean regions. The third is the preface of Marc 1, a typical choice of Burgundian and Norman dioceses and their sphere of influence. The fourth and fifth come forth only sporadically in southern Europe: the annunciation scene from Luke 1 in Girona and Puy (and it is definitely the temporal Gospel, not that of the votive Marian Mass), the parable of the wicked husbandmen from Matthew 21 in Valence. The result is based on 180 records, roughly matching the number of dioceses from where full Temporals have already been processed on Usuarium. The geographical distribution of the records can be comfortably examined by clicking the 'map' button.

Search and filter by assignation

October 19, 2021

In 2014–2015, our research group processed the temporal parts of more than 160 Missals of different Uses. The outcome of this project can still be consulted in the Texts menu. Its advantage is that it contains all the regular propers, i.e. the changing parts of the Mass (lessons, prayers, chants) and each item is linked to a precisely identified standard full text. Hence not only the incipits but any part of the texts can be entered into the search box and the query will produce relevant results if the words actually belong to an item of the temporal propers. The disadvantage was that the material was restricted to the temporal and queries could only start out from the texts. It means that we could research in which an assignation a specific text comes up, but could not investigate directly the assignations with regard to the different texts that figure in them.

We have been entering full Missals and even other types of service books with their entire content for a few months now: ordinary, sanctoral, commune, votive parts, occasional rites included. All their records can be consulted with the help of the searching panel of the Research/Conspectus menu. By using the 'filter' button, however, more elaborate queries are possible, too. After clicking 'OR criteria' and 'Add field', you can select the categories in which you are interested. There are a great many of these, but from an average researcher's point of view season, week, day, ceremony, layer, and genre prove to be the most typical. This standard query can be comfortably saved by its url.

When you have arranged the aspects of your query, you can choose the relevant categories from a dropdown list (for ceremonies, type the labels in our Ceremonies menu). Click the 'Search' button and the result will appear soon. You can also download it for further analysis in an xlsx file. If, for example, you are interested in the possible introits of the 2nd Sunday of Lent, search for season=Qu, week=H2, day=D, genre=Intr, as here. You will come to a very informative and geographically characteristic pattern of variety. Or if you are interested in the Gospel that was recited before or during the procession of Palm Sunday (not the Passion in the Mass), type ceremony=Palm Sunday, genre=Ev, as here. In this way, any assignation of the Latin liturgies that can be exactly described became accessible, and the catalogue of items and information that fit into these categories ever increases.

Standardization of the Mass Lectionary

September 28, 2021

All the records that belong to the layer of the Lectionary, more than 89 300 incipits thus far, have been grammatically corrected and orthographically normalized. Those of the Mass Lectionary, i.e. the Gospels and the Lessons (Prophecies and Epistles) have been standardized as well. This means that the records that actually refer to one and the same pericope are now connected to a standard incipit that consists of the first distinctive words of the item and its biblical chapter (in brackets). At the present stage of the research, there are 1491 such items. With the help of the standard items, each pericope can be analyzed in a pan-European context. The Temporal records are based on an already comprehensive sample of each relevant diocese and religious order. The Sanctoral, Commune and Votive items draw on an ever-increasing dataset that now covers the secular Uses of Eastern and Central Europe. You can browse through the repertory by clicking the pull-down button 'Filter' in our 'Research' menu and selecting the season, week, day, genre etc. you are interested in. We will soon report in another write-up on the statistical facilities available.

The blessing of an abbess

September 14, 2021

Our earlier sample of the ordines of abbatial inauguration has been enriched by the texts of its female equivalent, the blessing of an abbess. The material can be accessed here.

Rogation Days

September 10, 2021

We have uploaded all the liturgical texts and rubrics that regulate the processions of either the Greater or Minor Litanies (April 25 and the three ferias before Ascension Day, respectively) and are listed under the corresponding label of our list of ceremonies. The material can be studied and downloaded via this link.

Collaboration with The Lutheran Missal project

August 19, 2021

Based on our shared interest in the Missals of pre-Reformation Germany, our research group has gained an unhoped-for contribution from a project initiated by pastor Evan Scamnan in the USA, Greenwich, Connecticut. English speaking Catholics may associate the abbreviation TLM with the Traditional Latin Mass; in this case, however, it refers to The Lutheran Missal. The basic principle of the project is that to restore an authentic Missal for the use of Lutheran faithful in the sense of ecclesiastical continuity, one must not depart from the tradition that the reformers had at hand, namely the service books of Germany at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. For an introduction, you may listen to this podcast, and for the gradual progress of the work, you may visit this blog. The team of Usuarium was pleased to support the endeavour with its resources. In return, our colleagues at TLM were kind to provide us with extracts of 35 German diocesan Missals that are step-by-step being converted into full conspectuses according to our standards. For now, Missals of Osnabrück, Paderborn, Passau, Ratzeburg, Salzburg, Schwerin, Speyer, Straßburg (Strasbourg), Trier, and Würzburg can be researched here. The rest will follow in the autumn.

Missalia Project expanding (Dalmatia, Southern Italy)

August 2, 2021

Our recent updates comprise the full contents of the most celebrated manuscript of the Beneventan Missal as well as those of the only extant Missal from Dubrovnik (Ragusa). Along with the already available sections from the service books of Capua and Albaneta and with the Missal and Lectionary of Kotor (Cattaro), their analysis and comparison may shed some new light on the relationship of the Dalmatian coast and the Campanian-Beneventan region of Italy.

Ceremonies of the Holy Week

July 10, 2021

A vast material of ordines for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday has recently been made available on our website. Besides the basic contents of the Mass and the Mass of the Presanctified, evidence for the consecration of Chrism, the washing of the feet, and the peculiarities of Good Friday (solemn intercessions, adoration of the cross, communion, repose) can be studied. The sample relies both on the testimony of printed Missals and Rituals and that of ancient Sacramentaries and Pontificals.

Missalia Project expanding (Hungary, Czechia)

June 25, 2021

As a Hungarian research group, we started our world-conquering project, i.e. processing at least one full Missal for each liturgical Use, in this country. Comprehensive evidence has been made available of all the extant printed Missals from the territory of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, those of Pécs, Esztergom, Zagreb, our first and so far mysterious Hungarian Missal of the Domini Ultramontani and the Pauline Order. In the past few months, the work moved on to the prestigious episcopal sees of Czechia, Praha, and Olomouc: both can also be consulted now.

The blessing of an emperor

May 25, 2021

After having published the ordines for the coronation of a king a few weeks ago, the collection has been completed with the closely related ceremony of imperial coronation. Queens and empresses are coming soon.

Candlemas ordines

May 21, 2021

From now on we will be uploading independent collections of the extraordinary rites of the annual cycle, i.e. those ceremonies that precede the daily Mass or are incorporated into it but do not belong to the regular series of the Mass Propers. The first sample contains the specific features of Candlemas, namely the procession and the blessing of the candles, and in some Uses, of the new fire. The collection also includes the material transmitted in Rituals and Pontificals.

Funeral services and the rites around the sick

May 12, 2021

Six years ago we started to process all the sources containing information on the rites around the sick (visitation, communion, anointing), those around the dying man (commendation of the soul, agony, expiration), and around the dead (vigil, funeral Mass, burial). Now, this venture has come to a temporary end with the uploading of 21659 records from 139 sources. The vast material is open to further research via the link: As this complex of rituals is undoubtedly the largest and most diverse of all that can be celebrated by an ordinary priest, we took special care to make it relatively transparent by adding modules, i.e. subdivisions by which the textual items and the rubrics of the long process can be associated with relevant ceremonial and thematic units and thus easily compared.

The largest collection of coronation ordines

April 12, 2021

Rituals of power attract a special interest of medievalists nowadays. After several months of intensive work, 75 variants with 2968 records of the coronation of a king – i.e. all of the sources that are available so far – were uploaded to Usuarium today. The collection is probably the largest extant sample of the history of the rite. It can be consulted and exported for further analysis in xlsx format via this link:

The ordines of blessing an abbot

March 27, 2021

Last week we uploaded the conspectuses of the blessing of an abbot from about 60 Pontificals. With this improvement, we made a decisive step towards the publication of occasional rites, those ceremonies that are beyond the scope of the usual structure of Mass and Office Propers within the ecclesiastical year. Under the 'Research' menu and after filtering for the 'abbot' label (click 'filter', 'Add field', and add the fields: 'Ceremony', 'Name'), you can study every concerning ordo that we could detect until now. With the help of the 'export' function, you can also download the contents in xlsx format for further analysis and comparison. The material is also available here.

More than 200 new indices uploaded

March 18, 2021

In last year's report about the methodology and the achievements of our indexing project (see:, we reported that the liturgical contents of 613 sources are listed on Usuarium. Recently more than 200 new indices have been added to the database; 820 in total. When opening the datasheet of any indexed service book, you can directly consult the detailed table of contents of each and open the relevant pages simply by clicking the page numbers. Moreover, under the heading 'Ceremonies', you can find hundreds of records for any rite of the traditional western liturgy. Each of these titles already provides sufficient source material for a monograph on the concerned field.

All-inclusive conspectuses

March 9, 2021

With the Missal of Pécs from 1487, the first comprehensive conspectus has been uploaded to our database. By clicking the 'Research' button, you can already search and filter the temporal contents of 133 Missals from all over Europe. From now on, the texts of the sanctoral, common, and votive parts, even some occasional rites (e.g. Baptism, Matrimony, Visitation of the Sick) can be researched through an ever-increasing set of historical sources.

Extended source material

February 25, 2021

After the inclusion of several catalogues and online resources, the collection of Usuarium currently lists 5398 titles. The amount is over four times the size of our digital library as it was at the end of 2020. By clicking the button 'Uses' above, you can browse the list of dioceses and other ecclesiastical institutions and find plenty of service books. At the present time, about 22% of the books is published, i.e. 1182 sources are available in pdf format and have valid information sheets but we expand this number almost every day.