Catholic Encyclopedia – Premonstratensian Rite


The Norbertine rite differs from the Roman in the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass, in the Divine Office, and in the administration of the Sacrament of Penance.

(1) Sacrifice of the Mass

The Missal is proper to the order and is not arranged like the Roman Missal. The canon is identical, with the exception of a slight variation as to the time of making the sign of the cross with the paten at the “Libera nos”. The music for the Prefaces etc. differs, though not considerably, from that of the Roman Missal. Two alleluias are said after the “Ite missa est” for a week after Easter; for the whole of the remaining Paschal time one alleluia is said. The rite for the celebration of feasts gives the following grades: three classes of triples, two of doubles, celebre, nine lessons, three lessons. No feasts are celebrated during privileged octaves. There are so many feasts lower than double that usually no privilege is needed for votive Masses. The rubrics regulating the various feasts of the year are given in the “Ordinarius Sen. liber cæremomarum canonici ordinis Præmonstratensis”. Rubrics for the special liturgical functions are found in the Missal, the Breviary, the Diurnal, the Processional, the Gradual, and the Antiphonary.

(2) Divine Office

The Breviary differs from the Roman Breviary in its calendar, the manner of reciting it, arrangement of matter. Some saints on the Roman calendar are omitted. The feasts peculiar to the Norbertines are: Saint Godfried, C., 16 January; Saint Evermodus, B. C., 17 February; Blessed Frederick, Abbot, 3 Mar.; Saint Ludolph, B. M., 29 March; Blessed Herman Joseph, C., 7 April; Saint Isfrid, B. C., 15 June; Saints Adrian and James, MM., 9 July; Blessed Hrosnata, 19 July; Blessed Gertrude, V., 13 August; Blessed Bronislava, V., 30 August; Saint Gilbert, Abbot, 24 October; Saint Siardus, Abbot, 17 November. The feast of Saint Norbert, founder of the order, which falls on 6 June in the Roman calendar, is permanently transferred to 11 July, so that its solemn rite may not be interfered with by the feasts of Pentecost and Corpus Christi. Other feasts are the Triumph of Saint Norbert over the sacramentarian heresy of Tanchelin, on the third Sunday after Pentecost, and the Translation of Saint Norbert commemorating the translation of his body from Magdeburg to Prague, on the fourth Sunday after Easter. Besides the daily recitation of the canonical hours the Norbertines are obliged to say the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, except on triple feasts and during octaves of the first class. In choir this is said immediately after the Divine Office.

(3) Administration of the Sacrament of Penance

The form of absolution is not altogether in harmony with that of the Roman Ritual. The following is the Norbertine formula: “Dominus noster Jesus Christus te absolvat, et ego auctoritate ipsius, mihi licet indignissimo concessa, absolvo te in primis, a vinculo excommunicationis … in quantum possum et indiges”, etc.

The liturgical books of the Norbertines were reprinted by order of the general chapter held at Prémontré, in 1738, and presided over by Claude H. Lucas, abbot-general. A new edition of the Missal and the Breviary was issued after the General Chapter of Prague, in 1890. In 1902 a committee was appointed to revise the Gradual, Antiphonary, etc. This committee received much encouragement in its work by the Motu Proprio of Pius X on church music. The General Chapter of Tepl, Austria, in 1908, decided to edit the musical books of the order as prepared, in accordance with ancient MSS. by this committee

MLA Citation

  • G. Rybrook. “Premonstratensian Rite”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. CatholicSaints.Info. 20 June 2012. Web. 12 May 2021. <>