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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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PONTIFICAL

A liturgical book, dating from at least the eighth century and containing the prayers and ceremonies for rites reserved to a bishop. It generally contained: 1. prayers and instructions for services without Mass; 2. sacramental ceremonies with blessings and consecrations; and 3. acts of jurisdiction. Such collections were known as Liber Episcopalis, Liber Pontificalis, or Ordinarium Episcopi. The first roman pontifical was published in 1485.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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