St Denis Missal


During the 11th and the 12th centuries, a new kind of text appeared for use in the liturgy – the Missal, which combined texts previously included in several different types of liturgical manuscripts. Amongst these, the Sacramentary contains the prayers recited by the priest during Mass; the Gradual includes the response and verses for the Epistle readings; and the Antiphonal includes the sung portions of the service. This splendid example includes texts principally from the Sacramentary. 

It was made around 1050 in the Abbey of St Vaast of Arras, in the north of France, for the use of the important abbey of St Denis. The lavish decoration features purple backgrounds, luxurious frames with foliate patterns, as well as numerous full-page images and a magnificent treasure binding depicting a Crucifixion scene on the upper cover. 

This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.

Full title:
St Denis Missal
Mid-11th century, Arras
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
Bibliothèque nationale de France
Latin 9436

Full catalogue details

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