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

MS. Auct. D. 1. 20

Summary Catalogue no.: 28474

The Mayence/Mainz Sacramentary

Sacramentary ('The Mainz Sacramentary'); Switzerland (St Gall), mid-9th century (?).


Gregorian fused Sacramentary, Benedictine Use
Language(s): Latin
1. (fol. 2v)

Episcopal blessings, beginning with Christmas and divided into temporale, sanctorale and common

2. (fol. 18v)

Calendar, entitled martyrologium per circulum anni; Exultet (fol. 30) without notation. Sacramentary: combined temporale and sanctorale without the ordinary Sundays (fol. 34v)


Votive masses, among which 2 masses for the ordination of a priest (fol. 133v), and 2 series of masses for each day of the week (fol. 136), in the first series the masses are complete with introits, epistles, gospels and blessings

4. (fol. 177v)

Orationes pro peccatis, cotidianae (fol. 181), matutinales (fol. 186v) and vespertinales

5. (fol. 189)

Masses for the Sundays after Christmas, Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost

6. (fol. 200)

Blessings of salt and holy water; five other votive Masses (fol. 203).

The octave of the Assumption, instituted by Leo IV (847-55) is not in the kalendar, nor is the feast of Sts Sergius and Bachus, introduced by Hadrian (772-95), nor the translation of St Lul, abbot of Mainz (852). There is the feast of St Scholastica which seems to appear only after Ado (855).

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: 2 + 209 + 1 fol.
Dimensions (leaf): 271 × 238 mm.
Dimensions (written): 178 × 140 mm.


18 lines

Musical Notation:

Rhythmical notation of St Gall, added to the preface (36v, 37)


Important initials. (P&A i. 8, pl. II)

Illuminated initials, coloured initials, rubrics; parts of text in red.

Elaborate initials in red and gold. The introduction to the sacramentary occupies 4 pages, written in capitals, alternately red and black, each letter filled with gold; the common preface in uncial. Both the introduction and the preface are preceded by a large illuminated capital (I and U); the canon opens with a full-page capital, placed between some text


Red velvet (over earlier leather) over boards, 16th century (?), with ivory triptych, Italian, 14th century, attached.


Origin: 9th century, second quarter (?) (P&A);after c. 855 (Watson) ; Switzerland, St. Gall

Provenance and Acquisition

Made for, or adapted for use at, St. Alban's, Mainz.

In the calendar (10 Feb.) Scholastica is in the original hand; according to van Dijk she 'seems to appear only after Ado' (855) but he is not included.

The deposition of St Alban (1 Mar.), the 'Dedicacio ecclesie S. Albani martyris' (1 Dec.), and the feast of SS. Aureus and Justinus (17 June) show that the MS. was written for the church of St Alban, Mainz, but the feast (16 June) of the translation of St Lull, archbishop of Mainz, instituted in 855, is absent.

Origin at St. Gall indicated by the presence of SS. Gallus (16 Oct.) and Magnus (19 Aug.) in the calendar.

In the upper margin of fol. 2: 'meginpreht vuolfmunt de ouuinga nisint[?]’, 10th century.

Inserted slip (19th cent.), fol. iii, implies that the volume once belonged to St Emmeram’s, Regensburg, but there appears to be no confirmation of this elsewhere in the book.

Purchased by the Bodleian in 1840.

Record Sources

Description adapted (2017) from the following sources:
S. J. P. Van Dijk, Handlist of the Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford : Vol. 1: Mass Books (typescript, 1957), pp. 7-8 [content, physical description]
Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford, I (1966), no. 8 [decoration, origin, provenance]
A. G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c.435-1600 in Oxford Libraries (Oxford, 1984), no. 40 [decoration, binding, origin, provenance]
Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.


To ensure its availability to future readers, access to this item is restricted, and readers are asked to work from reproductions and published descriptions as far as possible. To apply to see the original, please send a message to specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk, outlining the subject of your research, the importance of this item to that research, and the resources you have already consulted.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (6 images from 35mm slides)

Last Substantive Revision

2018-01-01: Description revised based on printed descriptions listed in the record.