On the whole national territory, and also abroad, some tens of thousands of book testimonies of the liturgical life of the Churches that are in Italy are preserved. Particularly interesting are the liturgies that arise from local cults, starting from the forms for the Mass and for the Divine Office in memory of the patron saints. The vast literary and musical material in large part is unknown and unpublished, although it constitutes an indispensable piece to know and delineate not only the history of the Church, liturgy and popular piety, but also to highlight significant aspects of literary culture and music for over a millennium, from the Middle Ages to the modern era.
The Thesaurus Italiæ Liturgicus project, which was funded by the Italian Episcopal Conference, is promoted in particular by the National Liturgical Office and supported by the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy of the Pontifical Ateneo Sant’Anselmo (Rome). The project intends to identify the manuscripts, identify them by types, curate their descriptions, and facilitate their online consultation. For the description of the liturgical manuscripts, Manus will be used online with the Mol liturgical specifications implemented by the Istituto Centrale del Catalogo Unico del Ministero dei Beni e le Attività culturali e il Turismo, based on indications provided by prof. Giacomo Baroffio with the collaboration of the Ufficio Nazionale per i beni culturali ecclesiastici e l’edilizia di culto della Conferenza Episcopale Italiana.
An ambitious and long-term program in many respects, the first phase will focus on the Ordo Missae. This first phase will in turn be divided into two stages, taking as its watershed the Ordo Missae of the Missale secundum consuetudinem Romanae Curiae: in a first stage the texts will be examined up to the s. XIII, in the second those back up to the s. XVI (Council of Trent). The collected texts will be published in a paper-based and / or online critical edition, where manuscripts with sections containing the Ordo Missae can also be admired.
The transcription of some thirty older codes has just started. The work is entrusted to a team of experts headed by Prof. Giacomo Baroffio, scientific director, and for now composed of a dozen teachers and scholars who gravitate around the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy.
The Italian Episcopal Conference and the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy while expressing gratitude to those actively involved in the project hope that other institutions and bodies, as well as other scholars, can offer their contribution to the initiative.
Rome April 21st, 2018
Start of Joint Press
CEI – Pontifical Institute of Liturgy