Rationale Divinorum Officiorum
Durand, Guillaume 1.

Lyon: Nicolaum Petit, 1540. A scarce edition, edited by Bonetto de' Locatelli, of what is arguably the most important medieval treatise on the symbolism of church architecture and rituals of worship, written by the French bishop William Durand of Mende (1230-1296). First published i Title within an elaborate woodcut architectural border, printed in black and red, woodcut printer's device on verso of last leaf. Decorative woodcut initials. Free endpapers lacking, twentieth-century ownership annotation on front pastedown. A very good, clean copy. Contemporary limp vellum with title in manuscript on spine, suede ties. Quarto. [8], 168 leaves. (Item ID: 16059)


Its eight books contain a detailed account of the laws, ceremonies, customs, and mystical interpretation of the Roman Rite. Book I treats of [religious art and architecture:] the church, altar, pictures, bells, churchyard, etc.; II of the ministers; III of vestments; IV of the Mass; V of the canonical hours; VI of the Proprium Temporis; VII of the Proprium Sanctorum; and VIII of the astronomical calendar, manner of finding Easter, Epacts, etc. [The] Rationale is the most complete medieval treatise of its kind; it is still the standard authority for the ritual of the thirteenth century and for the symbolism of rites and vestments" (Catholic Encyclopedia).

Not in Adams or BL French STC.

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