Rorate Caeli

Codex Rubricarum - translations

The Codex Rubricarum, as promulgated by the motu proprio Rubricarum Instructum (1960), of Pope John XXIII, that approved the respective decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, is the code of rubrics setting the general liturgical norms in force (cf. Summorum PontificumUniversae Ecclesiae, 24/28) for the Traditional Roman Rite (the "Ancient Use" - usus antiquior - or "Extraordinary Form" of the Roman Rite). Besides general rubrics, the Codex includes specific rubrics for the Breviarium Romanum and the Missale Romanum (editions of "1961" or "1962").

While the Latin typical text of the Codex is sufficient for most of those making use of it, vernacular translations of the same can be quite useful; there are, unfortunately, not many translations of this very relevant document available online. The available translations include the following:

-A translation in English of the entire code, with commentary (PDF), is provided by the Sydney Latin Mass community [Code of Rubrics (1960) of the Roman Breviary and Missal]; a translation of the rubrics for the Breviary only is provided by;

-A handy complete bilingual Latin-French version has long been available at Cérémoniaire [Code des Rubriques (1960) du Bréviaire romain et du Missel romain];

-A Spanish translation of the entire Codex (PDF) is provided by Una Voce Seville [Código de Rúbricas del Breviario y del Misal Romanos (1960)];

- a new translation in Polish of the general rubrics [Rubryki ogólne] and of the general rubrics of the Roman Missal [Rubryki ogólne Mszału Rzymskiego], has just been made by the Pastoral office for the faithful of Latin Tradition of the Archdiocese of Warsaw.

The accompanying instruction on Sacred Music and the participation of the faithful in Sacred Liturgy (that is, the 1958 Instruction De musica sacra et sacra liturgia, approved by Pope Pius XII and which integrates the norms of the rite, as referenced by the Codex, 272) is available in English, as well as in French.

If you are aware of other translations of these documents, please share them here or send them to us, so that this may become a single reference post. Thank you.

[Tip for the Polish translation: Nowy Ruch Liturgiczny]


  1. Peter2:06 PM

    Is there a vernacular translation of the older, pre-Bugnini rubrics?

  2. Andre5:21 PM

    De musica sacra is probably the most Liturgical Movement document made.

    It is all for the dialogue mass, reciting the Introit etc with the priest and of course the Pater.

  3. True enough, but it is much more complex than that, and it is still in force, as if "suspended" in time by the Codex Rubricarum, n. 272, which itself has been suspended in time due to the multi-decade option of most involved for the "1962" books, as made explicit in Quattuor abhinc annos, and then, by the Supreme Authority himself, in Ecclesia Dei and, even more forcefully, in Summorum Pontificum.

  4. Lautensack5:45 PM

    Although these rules are certainly much better than what came later I really think that those Catholics who care for the liturgy should be aware that regulations like the 'Codex rubricarum', although currently in force (and I do not want to encourage disobedience) were already the first steps of liturgical reform - those interested in the rich tradition of our church's liturgy may be interested in having a look at the earlier forms and maybe try to strive for a restoration of them - having all the struggles merely to restore a short-lived transitional form of liturgy seems to be somewhat short-sighted.

    By the way, the recitation of the Pater noster together with the priest is only allowed in Low Masses, not in Sung Masses, as far as I am aware.

  5. This is a post of reference; therefore, though discussion is certainly allowed and encouraged, we ask our readers to refrain from excessively controversial statements. Thank you!

  6. Lautensack, I agree with everything you say.

  7. There is a reprint available from several booksellers of a Liturgical Press edition of an English translation by Leonard J. Doyle entitled "Rubrics of the Roman Breviary and Missal (according to the 1962 edition), soft cover, 184 pp.

  8. Fr. Murphy is quite clear about the provisional nature of Rubricarum instructum in his preface.

    'The basic principles touching the general reform of the the Liturgy have been reserved by the Pope for consideration during the forthcoming General Council. Some years will elapse before that final stage is reached' p. vi

    Some years did indeed elapse before that stage was reached.

  9. Yes... The Eiffel Tower was supposed to be temporary as well... these things happen. Due to the rubrical stability needed by the Traditional Mass and Breviary at this moment in time, this set of rubrics will hopefully remain in place for a very long time.

  10. Anonymous6:44 PM

    Pages 195-198 of the English translation are particularly interesting.

  11. Indeed. They are a good summary of the possibilities allowed for by the instruction De musica sacra et sacra liturgia, mentioned in the main text of this post.

  12. Anonymous7:44 PM

    Thanks for this post. Very important.

    Fr. A.M.

  13. You are most welcome, Father. Thank you for your readership.


  14. Angelus Press sells "The Rubrics of the Roman Breviary and Missal" in English:

  15. Regarding the issue of the Dialog Mass, readers might be interested in my two-part article published in The Remnant on this important topic:

  16. I certainly hope that "rubrical stability" will not lead to the permanent canonization of a liturgical form that had already significantly tampered with important aspects of the traditional rite.


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