18th Century Liturgical Books

A selection of rare materials from McHugh Special Collections is currently on view in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room. This week we are highlighting three 18th century liturgical books (2 breviaries and a missal) from the exhibit “From Medieval to Modern”. These books are special for their ecclesiastical coats of arms and elaborate decorated bindings.

The first is the Diurnale Ebroicense (1740) by Pierre Jules César de Rochechouart (1698-1781), a French ecclesiastical man who served as Bishop of Evreux and then as Bishop of Bayeux. A Diurnale is a condensed version of a breviary, and in this case, the summer volume Pars Aestiva, from Pentecost though the 15th Sunday after Pentecost. However, this volume also contains sections for the autumn.  The Diurnale Ebroicense is based on the rites practiced in Ebroicense, also known as Évreux, a diocese in northern France. This red leather binding features the coat of arms of an unidentified ecclesiastical, possibly a Bishop.

The next is the Breviarium Romanum (1740), which is a very elaborately decorated breviary that features repeating floral designs on red leather, gilt edges, and the arms of an unidentified ecclesiastical, possibly a Bishop. Finally, there is the Canon Missae. Canon Missae is the name used in the Roman Missal for the fundamental part of the Mass that comes after the Offertory and before the Communion. This impressive volume was printed at the Vatican in 1784. The engraving of the Last Supper was engraved by Carolus Grandi after an original by Joseph Passarus. The ornate gold-tooled binding features rather large floral tools that would have required significant strength to impress into the leather. It also features the arms of an unidentified ecclesiastical, possibly a Bishop.

Cover: Rochechouart, Pierre J. C. Diurnale Ebroicense, 1740
Cover: Catholic Church. Breviarium Romanum, 1740.
Cover: Catholic Church. Canon Missae, 1784.










To read more about the Weinberg Library’s Rare Book Collection visit our collection page here. “From Medieval to Modern” will be on display during normal library hours through Tuesday, April 25. On Tuesday, April 11th, Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies will discuss the exhibit at 6 p.m. in the Heritage Room of the Library. A reception will immediately follow the talk. This event is free and open to the public.  For more information, please email michael.knies@scranton.edu or call 570- 941-6341.