Medieval Lit Bibliography - Liturgical


Appleton, LeRoy H. and Stephen Bridges. Symbolism in Liturgical Art. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1959.
This source gives an alphabetical listing of specifically church symbols. Although there are only short descriptions of the symbols and modern drawings, many of the sources are medieval, and it includes some good material. It also contains a bibliography and index.

Davis, J. G. A Select Liturgical Lexicon. Ecumenical Studies in Worship, no. 14. Richmond: John Knox Press, 1965.
Organized alphabetically, this source gives a good listing of liturgical terms and symbols. Especially helpful is the entry under "Books" where there is a good explanation of the various medieval church manuals and books of worship.

Durandus, William. The Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments: A Translation of the First Book of the Rationale Divinorum Officiorum. Ed. John Mason Neals and Benjamin Webb. Leeds: T. W. Green, 1843.
After a lengthy introduction by the editors, this work gives Durandus's text which includes symbolic interpretations of the cathedral, the altar, church ornaments, cemeteries, the sacraments, and a supplement on the colors of the church.

Forell, George W., Ed. The Christian Year: Sermons of the Fathers. 2 vols. New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1964.
This work is a collection of sermons written for specific seasons in the church year. Many are from Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, and John Chrysostom although others are from modern thinkers.

Henry, Hugh T. Catholic Customs and Symbols. New York: Benziger Brothers, 1925.
Because this work is intended for popular use and is not specifically medieval, it should be used with care. It is organized around the structure of the church, starting with the exterior and moving inside. There is an index but no clear documentation.

Horn, Edward T. III. The Christian Year. Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1957.
Although this work is not primarily medieval in orientation, it provides a very good introduction to the liturgy and includes descriptions of various parts of the service, color symbolism, and an explanation of the specific seasons and feasts in the church year.

James, E. O. Seasonal Feasts and Festivals. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1961.
The focus of this work is broad, covering seasons and festivals throughout the world, but it does have sections on the Christian year, medieval drama, and English festivals.

Kleinhans, Theodore J. The Year of the Lord. The Church Year: Its Customs, Growth, and Ceremonies. St. Louis: Concordia, 1967.
This work is also not exclusively medieval, but he does provide a historical context and dates for his information. Included in the work are sections on colors, the liturgical year, and saints and martyrs.

Podhradsky, Gerhard. New Dictionary of the Liturgy. Ed. Lancelot Sheppard. London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1966.
Organized alphabetically, this work clearly identifies the historical meaning and includes information on the church year, furnishings of the church, the mass, and the sacraments.

Villien, A. The History and Liturgy of the Sacraments. Trans. H. W. Edwards. London: Burns Oates & Washbourne, Ltd., 1932.
This scholarly work focuses on the meaning of the sacraments in the Catholic church. It also gives the historical development and clearly shows differences in rituals from the early Christian church to the modern church.

Webber, F. R. Church Symbolism. Cleveland: J. H. Jansen, 1938.
This work, which is organized by subject, covers the whole range of church symbols, including specific symbols for God, symbols from scripture, and a short glossary of common symbols (plants, animals, colors, etc).

Whone, Herbert. Church Monastery Cathedral: A Guide to the Symbolism of the Christian Tradition. Short Hills, N.J.: Ridley Enslow Publishers, 1977.
This is a very helpful book which contains information about church related architecture and symbols. There are good drawings on such things as gargoyles and cathedral layout, and it also covers some biblical and general symbols.

See Also

Ferguson, George. Signs and Symbols in Christian Art.

Hall, James. Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art.

Metford, J. C. J. Dictionary of Christian Lore and Legend.

Reau, Louis. Iconographie de L'Art Chretien.


Douay-Rheims Bible (A close English translation of the Latin Vulgate, the Bible of the Middle Ages).

The Catholic Missal (the closest version we have at Wheaton of the service of worship in the church).

Gibson, George Miles. The Story of the Christian Year.

Here are some additional books in the Wheaton College Library that were checked out when I was working on this.

Cope, Gilbert. Symbolism in the Bible and the Church. London: SCM Press, 1959. 246 C795

Cowie, Leonard W. The Christian Calendar. Springfield, Mass.: G. & C, Merriam, 1974. 263.9 C839c