A book used in the worship services of an organized religion. In AACR2, liturgical works are entered under the name of the body with which they are associated (example: Catholic Church). If a well-established title exists in English, it is used as the uniform title (example: Breviary). If there is no well-known title in English, or the name of the body is given in another language, a brief title is entered in the language of the liturgy, followed by a word or phrase in parentheses indicating the variant or special text (if applicable), for example, Book of hours (Ms. Rohan). Synonymous with service book. Compare with sacred text.
An understanding of the liturgical books of the Catholic Church is essential to the study of medieval manuscripts because book production in Europe occurred mainly in monastic scriptoria from the early Christian period until about 1200. The online exhibition Celebrating the Liturgy's Books, provided by the major libraries of New York City, is helpful. The Getty Museum also provides an online exhibition of Religious Service Books. See also: antiphonal, benedictional, Book of Hours, breviary, epistolary, evangelary, gradual, lectionary, martyrology, missal, ordinal, pontifical, processional, psalter, and sacramentary.