A service book containing the prayers recited by the celebrant during high Mass (collect, secret, postcommunion, and the canon of the mass). The other parts of the mass are contained in the Gospel book or Evangelary, the Epistolary, and the Gradual. The texts of the sacramentary are divided into the unchanging elements (the canon and ordinary of the mass) and the variable texts, the latter arranged according to the liturgical year. Further divisions are the Common of Saints (standard formulae for saints who were not accorded individual services) and votive masses for special occasions, such as marriage. The Te igitur and Vere dignum openings were principal vehicles for illumination. Several distinct rites were current in the West before c. 700, the two most influential being the Roman and the Gallican. The former was followed in Rome and southern Italy and the latter in much of the rest of Western Europe. By 700 the Roman sacramentary had reached Gaul, where it was modified by Gallican usage. This mixture of rites resulted in the Gelasian Sacramentary (spuriously attributed to the late fifth-century Pope Gelasius I). As part of his efforts to standardize church ritual in the Carolingian period, Charlemagne asked Pope Hadrian I to provide an authentic Roman sacramentary for use throughout the empire. In 785-86, the pope sent the emperor the Sacramentarium Hadrianum, also known as the Gregorian Sacramentary. This, however, was a special sacramentary for papal use. In order to adapt it for general use, scholars such as Alcuin of York and Benedict of Aniane added supplementary material drawn from the Gallican and Gelasian rites. By the late thirteenth century, the sacramentary had virtually been replaced by the Missal.
Michelle Brown, Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the British Library, c1994).