Catholic Dictionary




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.