« Pontianus Pontifical Pontoppidan »


PONTIFICAL: In the literal sense of the term, all that pertains to the bishop, especially his vestments and those functions that he alone may perform; more specifically, the term applied by the Roman Catholic Church to the book containing the ritual of those rites which may be celebrated only by bishops or by priests especially delegated by them to act as their representatives. At an early period the Roman Catholic Church took particular pains to prevent any deviations in specifically episcopal functions from the forms usual at Rome; and on Feb. 10, 1596, the new Pontificale Romanum was approved, while at the same time all previous pontificals were declared to be superseded. Since, however, this edition was not free from errors, Urban VIII. ordered a new official edition (June 17, 1644) which should be the definitive model for all subsequent copies. The Pontifical was enlarged by Benedict XIV. in 1752. The standard edition authorised by Leo XIII. is entitled Pontificale Romanum a Benedicto XIV. et Leone XIII. recognitum et castigatum (Regensburg, 1898). The Pontifical consists of two parts, the first part containing those rites which relate to persons, and the second those which relate to things.

E. Sehling.

« Pontianus Pontifical Pontoppidan »
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