Since we recently highlighted a very ugly lectionary, and the general lack of beauty in modern liturgical books, I thought it would be nice to share some images of beautiful lectionaries of various kinds and periods from the endlessly useful website of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Some of the most famous liturgical manuscripts in the world are kept there, and can be downloaded for free in pdf format; here is just a tiny selection of their many treasures.
|The cover of a Latin Evangeliary from the last quarter of the 9th century. (ms. Latin 9453)|
|St Matthew Writing His Gospel, from the 9th century Evangeliary of Ebon (folio 18v)|
Evangeliary of the Court of Charlemagne, also known as the Golden Evangeliary (Évangéliaire d’or) of Evangeliary of Saint-Martin-des-Champs. 8th century, folio 61 r. - The beginning of the Gospel of St Mark.
Evangeliary according to the Use of Paris, 1345-1350, folio 1 r. - The Gospel of the First Sunday of Advent in many medieval Uses, including those of Paris and Sarum, was that which the traditional Roman use reads on Palm Sunday, St Matthew, 21, 1-9.
|Lectionary for Mass and Office from the Monastery of Mont-Majeur, 1075-1200 (ms. Latin 889, folio 7v) - The Vision of St John the Evangelist|
|Office Lectionary according to the Use of Cluny (ms. NAL 2246, folio 6r) - A homily on the Gospel of the Annunciation|
|Greek Evangeliary, 10th century, (ms. Grec 277, 87r)|
|Office Lectionary for the use of the Bishop of Troyes, (15th cent. NAL 2629, folio 3) - This is the 9th lesson of Christmas Matins, the beginning of the Prologue of St John’s Gospel, followed by a homily of St Bede.|