A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. Canon. Liturg. 37

Summary Catalogue no.: 19247

Premonstratensian prayerbook, in Latin (one prayer in German); Germany (Regensburg diocese?), 1507


Offices and prayers (Premonstratensian)

The rubrics are often on the page before the start of the text.

(fols. 1r–9v)
Rubric: Accessus altaris premonstratensium
Incipit: Adiutorium nostrum in nomine domini Qui fecit. Domine labia mea aperies

With antiphons, versicles, hymn, psalms, collects, etc.

(fol. 10r–v)
Rubric: Oracio de passone domini
Incipit: Precor te pijissime domine Ihesu Christe propter illam eximiam caritatem
(fols. 10v–11v)
Rubric: Devota oratio sancti Augustini
Incipit: Omnipotens pater cordis mei inspector gratias tibi ago hodie de sancta incarnatione tua
(fols. 11v–15r)
Rubric: Recessus Altaris. Antiphona
Incipit: Trium puerorum cantemus. Benedicite omnia opera domini domino laudate

The canticle ‘Benedicite’ followed by psalms, collects, etc.

(fols. 16r–24r)
The Seven Penitential Psalms
Rubric: Secuntur septem psalmus

Pss. 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142, as usual. The rubric is on fol. 15r; fol. 15v is unwritten.

(fols. 24v–31v) Litany, petitions, and collects
Rubric: Letania

With Savine second (after Stephen) among the martyrs; Augustine twice among the confessors, and ending with the series: Conrade, Wolgange, Geharde, Galle, Othmare, Udalrice, and Ruperte; the virgins end with Serena, Elizabeth, and Affra.

The collects are the same series as MS. Liturg. 402 (Premonstratensian, of the diocese of Regensburg), except that after ‘Ineffabilem misericordiam tuam domine’ the present MS. includes ‘Exaudi quesumus domine supplicum preces …’.

(fols. 31v–36r)

Seven Last Words

Rubric: Sequitur oratio venerabilis Bede presbiteri de septem verbis ultimis
Incipit: Domine Ihesu Christe qui septem verba die ultimo vite tue in cruce pendens dixisti

A few words and a longer passage are erased at fols. 33v–34r.

The common devotion; cf. MS. Buchanan g. 1, fols. 255r–257v

(fols. 36r–39r)

Seven Joys of the Virgin

Rubric: Legitur quod beatus Thomas martir Cantuariensis archiepiscopus septem gaudia temporalia beate Marie cottidie cum magna devotione dicebat
Incipit: Gaude virgo stella maris mater Christi singularis
Rubric: Quicumque cum istis septem gaudijs letabundo[sic] in hoc seculo

A rhyming verse hymn followed by a collect.

(fols. 39r–40r)


Incipit: Vos sancti sancteque dei omnipotentis Georgi Cristoffore Vite Panthaleon Achaci Eustachi Erasme Nicolae Leonharde Blasi Egidi Katherina Barbara Margareta
(fols. 40r–41r)

Devotion to St Onuphrius

Rubric: Oratio bona de sancto Onoffero
Incipit: Egregie confessor Christi sancto Onoffore qui terrena contempti et celi gaudia exultans

Antiphon, verse, and collect.

(fols. 41r–43r)

Devotion to St Erasmus

Rubric: Oratio de sancto Erasmo martire
Incipit: Sancte Erasme martir preciose et pontifex Christi

Prayer, antiphon, verse, and collect.

(fols. 43r–48r)
Devotion to the Virgin
Rubric: De beata virgine oratio bona
Incipit: Domina mea sancta maria perpetua virgo virginum mater summe benignitas

Prayer and petition.

(fols. 48r–64v)

Five Psalms

Rubric: Hic secuntur quinque psalmi de passione domini

Not the usual Psalms of the Passion (i.e. Pss. 21–30): Pss. 21, 34, 54, 68, and 108, each followed by one or two responses, verses, and a collect, the last also with a hymn.

(fols. 64v–67v)
Rubric: Oratio Augustini ad sanctam trinitatem
Incipit: Confiteor te patrem et filium et spiritum sanctum in personis trinum in substantia unum verum deum omnipotentem
(fols. 67v–69v)
Rubric: De singulis articulis passionis Ihesu Cristi oratio multum devota
Incipit: Ave Ihesu splendor paterne glorie flostulus fecunditatis virginee
Explicit: inter ubera anime mee Amen.

Fol. 70r–v is unwritten; the following texts occupy the final quire.

(fols. 71r–72r)

Prayer, in German

Incipit: Got der dw fur die erlosung der werlt hast wellen werden geporen
Explicit: mit dem vater un(d) dem heiligen geist lebst un(d) herschest in ewigkait der ewigkait amen.
Final rubric: Wer diß gebet ein mal im tag spricht hat lxxx tausent iar ablas todlicher sündt auch versaümbnuß der tagzeit un(d) ist zw Rom in der kirchen Latran in ainen stain gegraven.
Translation of the Latin prayer 'Deus qui pro redemptione' (Ps.-Augustine). For literature and transmission see A. Vizkelety, Beschreibendes Verzeichnis der altdeutschen Handschriften in ungarischen Bibliotheken: Bd. 1. Széchényi-Nationalbibliothek (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1969), 144 (on Cod. Germ. 60, art. 8)
(fols. 72v–73r)
Rubric: Sequitur oratio pulchra et brevis s(ancti) Bernhardi contra subitaneam mortem de qua sunt ccc dies indulgenciarum eam devote dicentibus
Incipit: O bone Ihesu duo in me agnosce [sic, usually agnosco or cognosco] naturam quam fecisti et peccatum quod ego adieci
(fol. 73v)

Devotion to St Anne

Rubric: Oratio ad sanctissimam matrem Annam

With antiphon, verse, and collect.

This and the following texts are by a different scribe.

(fols. 74r–77v)

Mass prayers

(fol. 74r–v)
Rubric: Clemens tertius papa: sacerdotibus post missam devote dicentibus infra scriptam orationem relaxat omnia verba in canone sincopata uel iterata: deditque ccc dies indulgenciarum …
Incipit: Obsecro te dulcissime domine Ihesu Chrsite ut passio tua sit michi virtus
(fols. 74v–75r)
Rubric: Oratio post communionem ad beatam virginem
Incipit: O serenissima et inclita virgo Maria mater domini nostri Ihesu Christi regina celi
(fol. 75r–v)
Rubric: Secuntur alia post communionem
Incipit: O benignissime domine Ihesu Christe inspice super me indignum famulum tuum
(fol. 75v)
Rubric: Sequuntur orationes infra et post elevationem corpus Christi dicende
Incipit: Ave verum corpus Christi natum ex Maria virgine
(fol. 76r)
Rubric: Alia oratio
Incipit: Ave caro Christi chara [sic] ymolata crucis ara
(fol. 76r–v)
Rubric: Adhuc alia oratio
Incipit: Salve lux mundi verbum patris hostia vera viva caro
(fols. 76v–77r)
Rubric: Alia oratio
Incipit: Sanguis tuus domine Ihesu Christe pro nobis effusus
(fol. 77r–v)
Rubric: Oratio in mediate post elevationem dicenda ad quam Innocentius papa sextus contulit plures indulgencias ad supplicationem Phylippi regis Francie. Oracio sequitur
Incipit: Domine Ihesu Christe fili dei vivi qui hanc sacratissimam carnem et hunc preciosissium sanguinem
Explicit: et periculis presentibus preteritis et futuris Amen. 1507

Fol. 78r–v is unwritten and was perhaps formerly a pastedown.

Language(s): Latin with a little German (dialect of eastern upper Germany / Ostoberdeutsch)

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: 78 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 105 × 85 mm.
Foliation: 1–78 mostly in 19th-century pencil; an older ink leaf-count ‘76’ is on fol. 77r.


18, 26, 3–98 (fols. 1–70); 108 (fols. 71–78)


Frame-ruled in ink, written with 14–16 lines per page; ruled space 65-70 × 60 mm.


Angular gothic hybrida; more cursive from fol. 71r


1- and 2-line initials alternately plain red or blue, sometimes with simple ornament.


16th century, early, German (as MS.), sewn on two double bands and strongly bound for partly processional use: wood boards; polished pigskin, blind-tooled with double or triple lines and stamps in an all-over pattern, differing on each cover; remains of central clasp with lost strap of light brown leather running from back fore-edge to a front catch-plate embossed with a pattern which roughly matches the adjacent stamp; four metal corner-pieces and a centrepiece on each cover, each with several boss-like protrusions; glue-marks on front paste-down from a lost item (? an image) formerly pasted there; cf. the traces of glue on fol. 70v. ( 115 × c. 93 × c. 35–36 mm. (book closed). A piece of waste MS. is used for the front pastedown, with a stub after fol. 8. The spine has a paper label printed ‘Canonici Liturg.’ and the head of the spine is numbered ‘37’ in white paint. (Description based on Barker-Benfield: see bibliography.)


Origin: 1507 ; German, Bavaria

Provenance and Acquisition

The final prayer ends with the date ‘1507’ (fol. 77v). Watson notes that the script is more cursive in fols. 71–77v (the final quire) than in the preceding section, ‘but the hand may be the same throughout and the decoration in the two parts is identical’ (Dated and datable, no. 256).

The first rubric and the double invocation of Augustine in the litany show that the manuscript was written for Premonstratensian use; the very high grading of Savinus/Sabinus in the litany suggests an affiliation with Windberg Abbey, a Premonstratensian house in the diocese of Regensburg, which had his relics. St Onuphrius, to whom the first in a series of devotions is directed (fols. 40r–41r), was specially venerated at Augsburg cathedral, also in Bavaria.

Matteo Luigi Canonici (1727–1806), Jesuit and bibliophile of (from 1773) Venice; from whom they passed to his brother, Giuseppe (d. 1807).

On the latter’s death to Giovanni Perisinotti, from whom over 2,000 were bought by the Bodleian Library in 1817. Former Bodleian shelfmarks: ‘Lit. Misc. xxxvij’ (fol. 1r)

Record Sources

Description (April 2021) by Peter Kidd, edited by Matthew Holford; with thanks to Nigel Palmer for advice on the German text. Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)


Last Substantive Revision

2021-04-16: Description fully revised for Polonsky German digitization project.