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Distributed for University of Scranton Press

On the Clergy and Their Vestments

A New Translation of Books 2-3 of the Rationale divinorum officiorum

Translated and with an Introduction by Timothy M. Thibodeau
The Rationale divinorum officiorum of French bishop William Durand of Mende (c. 1230-96) remains one of the most influential works on the medieval understanding of the worship ceremonies of the Latin Church.   Divided into eight lengthy books, Durand’s treatise covers a broad range of topics associated with the liturgies of the medieval Church, from the symbolism of church art and architecture to the structure of the Church’s calendar.

Thibodeau’s new translation offers a modern English rendering of portions of this classic work.  Book two, on the clergy and their ordination rites, has never been available in English translation.  Book three, on the vestments of the clergy, has not been translated into English in over a century.   A detailed historical introduction and copious notes accompany Thibodeau’s translation.  Given the widespread revival of interest in liturgical history, this volume will be required reading for historians and theologians alike.

262 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2010

Medieval Studies

Religion: Christianity

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“Anyone interested in liturgy and Church history will be eager to read Timothy M. Thibodeau’s translation of William Durand’s work, for he has rendered into readable English one of the most important commentaries ever written on Christian worship.”

Robert Shaffern, author of The Penitents’ Treasury: Indulgences in Latin Christendom, 1175–1375

Table of Contents


Book 2: On the Ministers and the Ecclesiastical Orders and their Offices
1. Prologue
2. On the Cantor
3. On the Psalmist
4. On the Doorkeeper
5. On the Lector
6. On the Exorcist
7. On the Acolyte
8. On the Subdeacon
9. On the Deacon
10. On the Priest
11. On the Bishop

Book 3: On the Garments and Equipment of the Priests, Bishops and Other Ministers
1. Prologue
2. On the Amice
3. On the Alb
4. On the Girdle or Belt
5. On the Stole
6. On the Maniple
7. On the Chasuble or Planeta
8. On the Stockings and Sandals
9. On the Girdle and Orale
10. On the Tunic
11. On the Dalmatic
12. On the Gloves
13. On the Miter
14. On the Ring
15. On the Pastoral Staff
16. On the Sudarium
17. On the Pallium
18. On the Colors that the Church Uses for Ecclesiastical Vestments
19. On the Vestments of the Law or the Old Testament


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