Religion Past and Present

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(165 words)

[German Version]

Rubrics (from Lat. ruber, “red”) were originally the headings on Roman legal documents, written in red ink. From the 11th century on, the red titles in liturgical books were joined by directions for celebrating mass and other forms of worship. Rubrical studies developed as a subdivision of Roman canon law, specifying the precise rules for conducting worship correctly and commenting on them; since Vatican II, this field has been replaced by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (1970). The Evangelisches Gottesdienstbuch (2000) also includes brief directi…

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Hofhansl, Ernst W., “Rubric”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 17 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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