TextmanuscriptTextmanuscripts - Les Enluminures

les Enluminures

Collectarium, Use of Saint-Barnard-de-Romans (Diocese of Vienne)

In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment
Southeastern France, Romans-sur-Isère (Drôme), c. 1450-1475

TM 282

112 ff., complete (collation i-ii6, iii-xiv8, xv4), written in a gothic liturgical bookhand, in brown ink, on up to 20 long lines per page, ruled in pink (justification 205 x 125 mm.), rubrics in red, numerous painted initials in alternating red or blue, numerous larger 2-line high painted initials in alternating red or blue, some highlighted with blue, red or pale violet penwork, larger opening initial on fol. 10, now considerably smudged, originally a painted initial blue on a gold ground with infill of red acanthus leaves, illuminated bracket border on fol. 10 with acanthus leaves, flowers and gold discs on a reserved ground, some spaces left empty for painted and decorated initials never executed, contemporary foliation in Roman numerals in red, upper right-hand corner, square notation on four-line staves. Bound in dark brown calf (late 16th or 17th century?), over pasteboards, back sewn on 7 raised thongs, covers decorated with frame composed of multiple blind-stamped filets (Some internal smudging, discoloration or staining to leaves likely due to water damage, but with text overall still fully legible). Dimensions 260 x 190 mm.

Rare type of liturgical manuscript, a Collectarium (with some musical notation), which by the fifteenth century was obsolete, because its text was incorporated in other Office books. This manuscript is securely localized in the Abbey or Collegial Church of Saint-Barnard-de-Romans in the Drôme. Only one other Office book from this important abbey is known, and the present manuscript survives as the most complete liturgical book from this abbey.


1. Liturgical evidence found in the Calendar, rubrics for the capitula and prayers (or collects) for the Temporale, Sanctorale, and the Common of the Saints confirm that this manuscript was made for the localized use of the Abbey or Collegial of Saint-Barnard-de-Romans (Diocese of Vienne [Isère]), located in the town of Romans-sur-Isère in modern-day Drôme. The abbey is sometimes referred to as “Collegial” since the original monastic community was replaced by Canons in the tenth century. The Church was destroyed in 1133 and rebuilt in 1140 and later in the thirteenth century, subsequently pillaged by the Protestants in 1562 and 1567, and restored in the eighteenth century (See Cottineau, II, col. 2499). The Abbey of Saint-Barnard-de-Romans was placed under the patronage of its founder Saint Barnard, a Benedictine archbishop of Vienne (see Réau, III, p. 180). Barnard (or Bernard, archbishop of Vienne) founded the Abbey in Romans in 837 on the banks of the river Isère; he died in 841/842. A number of rubrics refer specifically to the Church of Saint Barnard-de-Romans and the cult of its patron Saint Barnard (we have listed the relevant rubrics in “Text” below). Script and decoration suggest a date in the second half of the fifteenth century for this manuscript.


ff. 1-6v, Calendar, for the use of Saint-Barnard-de-Romans, in red and brown ink, with the following noteworthy entries, in red: Saint Anthony (important Abbaye of Saint-Antoine –en-viennois [Isère] (17 Jan.); Saint Vincent: “Vincentii martyr” (22 Jan.); Feast of Saint Barnard: “Barnardi episcopi patroni nostri” (23 Jan.) and “Oct[ava] beati Barnardi” (30 Jan.); Dedication of the Church of Saint-Barnard-de-Romans: “Dedicatio ecclesie beati barnardi de ro[manis]…” (12 Feb.); Translation of the relics of Saint Barnard: “Translatio beati barnardi” (23 April); Saint Victor: “Victoris martyr” (8 May); Saint Lawrence: ”Laurentii martyris” (10 Aug.); Saint Philibert, Abbot (20 Aug., here in brown ink); Saint Ferreolus (18 Sept., here in brown ink); Saint Maurice: “Mauricii et soci” (22 Sept.) [patron saint of Grenoble]; Feasts of saints Romanus (Romanus of Antioch), Isicius, Barula, and Theofredus [martyrs of Syria]: “Romani, Isicii, Barra atque Theo[fredi] martyrum” (18 Nov.); Feasts of Severinus, Exuperius and Felician: Severini, Exuperii et Feliciani martyrum” (19 Nov.)

ff. 7-8v, Blessings for the lessons of Matins (for three nocturns and for ferial days), rubric, Benedictiones matutinales. In primo nocturno. Et feria secunda et quinta;Blessings for the Little Office of the Virgin, rubric, Sequentes benedictiones dicuntur in parvo officio beate marie;

ff. 9-9v, blank;

ff. 10-32, Capitula [“Capitulary”, with short readings for Day Offices] for Temporale, Sanctorale and Common, with some collects, rubric, In nomine domini nostri ihesu christi. Incipiunt capitula per totius anni circulum ad usum ecclesie beati barnardi de romanis patroni nostri sanctissimi. Primo sabbato in adventu domini per totum adventum ad ves[peras] capitulum; incipit, “Ecce virgo concipiet et pariet filium et vocabitur nomen eius hemanuel…”; noteworthy rubrics, In dedicatione huius ecclesie de romanis (f. 26v); In translatione beati barnardi (f. 32);

ff. 32-67, Collectarium for Temporale, beginning with Advent and ending with the 24 Sunday after the octave of Pentecost, rubric, Incipiunt orationes per totum annum. Primo Sabbato in adventu domini ad vesperas oratio; incipit, “[P]reces tui populi tui…”;

ff. 67v-73, Kyrie and Litany, with noteworthy saints: Sancte Exuperi; Sancte Feliciane; Sancte Ferreole; Sancte Fergeole; Sancte Romane; Sancte Barrala; Sancte Philiberte; Sancta Eulalia; Sancta Blandina cum sociis tuis etc.; followed by Agnus Dei with notated music (ff. 72-73);

f. 73v, blank;

ff. 74-102v, Collectarium for Sanctorale, beginning with Saints Saturnius and Saturninius (fol. 74) and ending with Saints Vitalis and Agricolus (f. 102v), rubric, Incipiunt orationes sanctorum per totius anni circulum ad usum insignis ecclesie beati barnardi. Primo in festo beatorum saturni atque saturnine. Oratio; incipit, “[D]eus qui nos beatorum saturnini atque saturunini…”; relevant rubrics, In vigilia sanctissimi barnardi pater nostri…(f. 78); In dedicatione ecclesie beati barnardi de ro[manis] oratio (f. 81v); Philiberti confessor oratio (f. 93v); Sancti Ferreoli martyris oratio (f. 96); Mauricii et soci oratio (f. 96v); In die translationis sanctorm martyrum Severini Exuperii et Feliciani (f. 97); Sanctorum Romani Ysicii et sociorum oratio (f. 101);

ff. 102v-103v, Collectarium for Common of Saints, rubric, Incipit commune sanctorum. In vigilia unius apostoli. Ad vesperas. Oratio; incipit, “Exaudi domine populum tuum…”;

ff. 103v-105, Collectarium for Commemoration of Saint Barnard, rubric, Quando agitur de sancto barnardo patrone nostro per totius anni…; rubric, Quando fit commemoratio de sancto Barnardo quotidie;

ff. 105-108v, Collects and capitula for the Little Office of the Virgin, rubric, Per adventum in parvo officio beate marie;

ff. 108v-112, Collects and capitula for the Office of the Dead, rubric, Pro defunctis;

f. 112v, Blessing of the Wine, rubric, Benedictio vinum, explicit, “[…] etum et mancat simper. Amen”, followed by rubric, Postea fiet commemoration de sancto vel sancta…; In a later cursive hand, were added a capitulum and collect for the Blessing of the Bread: “Benedictio panis…”

The present book for the Divine Office is a Collectarium (or Book of Collects), sometimes called a collector, collectarius, collectaneum, orationale, or capitulare. In origin, the Collectarium, named after the Latin “collecta” for prayer, was a compilation of the collects, or prayers, said during the various canonical hours of the Divine Office, excluding Matins. But over time it came to comprise an ad hoc collection of the prayers and ceremonies not found in other service books that were specific to the uses of a particular house or sometimes a congregation or religious order. As a result of this development as a unique book to be used in a particular context, the Collectarium, unlike the more common service books, such as Breviaries, Missals, and the like, never became a widely disseminated or standardized text. In fact, whether as manuscript or printed book, the Collectarium is one of the rarest types of medieval prayer book; under the various names given above.

At its origin, the Collectarium was the book used by the officiating priest during Day offices, and it is thus to the Divine Office what the Sacramentary is to the Mass. Such books may open with a Calendar and include chapters or capitula (shorter lessons or readings from scripture to be read after the Psalm text at Day offices, as opposed to the longer lessons read at Matins), as does this volume (on the inclusion of capitula in Collectars, see P. Gy, 1960, pp. 448-449). Gy notes that after the tenth century the Collectar normally contains the capitula and the collects; thus he claims that the modern designation of Capitulary-Collectar is without meaning.

In this manuscript, the word “collecta” does not occur in the rubrics: the collects are here referred to as “orationes”). Most often the chapters and collects are listed together and distributed for Temporale, Sanctorale and Common of Saints (see E. Palazzo, 1993, p. 165). Interestingly, in the present manuscript, following the Calendar and the Morning Blessings, one finds first a collection of capitula for Temporale, Sanctorale and Common (including also some collects) followed by a Collectarium, with the prayers for Temporale, for Sanctorale and for Common of Saints, but also including some capitula. The present book records the capitula separately from the collects or prayers, rather than intermixed with the collects as is customary. For a similar separation of the capitula and the collecta, see a Hymnarium-Collectarium (Rome, Vaticano, lat. 12987) which presents ff. 47v-65v, a collection of capitula for the Temporale, Sanctorale, and Commons, followed by ff. 65v-88, the collects for the Temporale, Sanctorale, and Commons (see P. Salmon, Les manuscrits liturgiques latins de la bibliothèque vaticane. I – Psautiers, antiphonaires, hymnaires, collectaires et bréviaires, Vaticano, 1968, “Collectaires-Ordinaires,” p. 91; on Collectariums, see also E. Palazzo, 1993, pp. 159-163).

This Office book is well identified. It was copied for the specific use of the Abbey or Collegial of Saint-Barnard-de-Romans (see Provenance above), for which there are evidently very few extant Office books. Our preliminary research has yielded only one other Office book specifically made for the liturgical use of Saint-Barnard-de-Romans. This is a Breviary for the use of Saint-Barnard de Romans (Paris, BnF, MS nouv. acq. lat. 323), dated 1481, and copied by an identified scribe Estienne de l’Isle (or de Lisle). The Calendar of this Breviary is fragmentary (see Delisle, 1891, p. 84-85; see also Leroquais, 1934, III, no. 653, pp. 378-382: Bréviaire de saint-Barnard de Romans, dated 1481). The present Collectarium is likely the most complete surviving liturgical book for this important abbey.

Examples of late medieval Collectariums are quite rare, as most often the liturgical contents of a Collectarium were simply integrated in Breviaries or Diurnals, because they were no longer needed as independent books for the Divine Office. The Schoenberg Database lists less than a dozen examples sold in the last 150 years and only one example in the last fifteen years (this one, Les Enluminures, Catalog 2 [1993], no. 29, now Chicago, Newberry Library, a manuscript associated by us with Mainz, Germany). Examples of Collectariums date from the twelfth century to c. 1500, and their descriptions often betray their mixed textual makeup, e.g., Collectar-Breviary, Collectar-Rituale, Collectar-Missal, Collectar-Book of Hours. Goff cites but one example of a single edition in the incunable period (C-751).


Chapuis, S. Barnard, archevêque de Vienne, Grenoble, 1898.

Chevalier, U. “Manuscrits et incunables liturgiques du Dauphiné,“ in Bulletin de la Société d’archéologie et de statistique de la Drôme, 1920, pp. 282-286.

Cottineau, H.-L. Répertoire topo-bibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, tome II, Mâcon, 1937-1938.

Delisle, L. Manuscrits latins et français ajoutés aux fonds des nouvelles acquisitions pendant les années 1875-1891, Paris, 1891.

Leroquais, V. Les bréviaires manuscrits des bibliothèques publiques de France, III, Paris, 1934.

Giraud, P. Essai historique sur l’abbaye de S. Barnard et sur la ville de Romans, Lyon, 1856.

Gy, P. “Collectaire, Rituel, Processionel,“ in Revue des Sciences philosophiques et théologiques 44 (1960), pp. 441-469.

Palazzo, E. Le Moyen âge: des origines au XIIIe siècle [Histoire des livres liturgiques], Paris, Beauchesne, 1993.

Plummer, John, Liturgical Manuscripts for the Mass and Divine Office, New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, 1964.

Réau, L. Iconographie de l’art Chrétien. Tome III, Iconographie des saints, Paris, 1958.

Salmon, Pierre. Les manuscrits liturgiques latins de la Bibliothèque Vaticane. I: Psautiers Antiphonaires Hymnaires Collectaires Bréviares, Vatican, 1968.

Vernet, F. La collégiale de Saint-Barnard-de-Romans, Lyon, 1942.

Online resources

On Collectars

Lessons (Pericopes) in Liturgy

Initiation to liturgical manuscripts (France, I.R.H.T [CNRS])