The Sacramentary of Henry II

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Liturgical book and artwork

One of the most important manuscripts of the Middle Ages was commissioned by the later Emperor Heinrich II. The miniatures, richly adorned with gold and silver, and full-page ornamental texts reflect Henry's claim to authority as ruler in the House of God. The unique and complete facsimile of the Sacramentary of Henry II appears in an edition of only 333 hand-numbered copies. Its 718 pages format measure 29.5 x 24.2 cm like the original and were stitched by hand. We owe the replica of the original binding to the museum restorer André Glauser and special companies commissioned by him. The documentation folder contains two facsimile sheets in the original format as well as a detailed illustrated information brochure. This folder can be supplied for viewing on request.

Regensburg - Bamberg - Munich

For which church or monastery this magnificent sacramentary was originally intended is still a mystery to this day. Should the manuscript accompany solemn masses in Regensburg Cathedral together with the Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram, or should the sacramentary as a missal in the Old Chapel, Heinrich's court church, determine the liturgy? For almost 800 years, however, the codex was one of the most important treasures of Bamberg Cathedral and thus of the diocese that Henry II founded in 1007 and magnificently endowed with the most valuable treasures, including his sacramentary.

The founding of the diocese of Bamberg was one of the most striking achievements of Emperor Heinrich II. Through rich endowments, he made it a center of intellectual and cultural development in Germany. The childless ruling couple found their final resting place in the cathedral of their new diocese. Finally, in 1146, Emperor Heinrich II was canonized. It was only with secularization that the sacramentary of Henry II found its way into the Munich court library, where today it is one of the most valuable holdings in this collection, which is certainly not lacking in treasures.

Like all sacramentaries, the codex contains all of the important prayers that the priest or bishop said during mass. Gold and silver were used for decorations, page borders and initials, and some high prayers and calendar pages were written entirely in gold.

The beginning of the illuminated manuscript has a coronation and throne picture of Henry II and a portrait of Pope Gregory the Great. 

[Translate to Englisch:] Das Sakramentar Heinrichs II

In addition to other magnificent pages, Gregory the Great is also honored with an impressive picture of the author. After a concluding page with the Lamb of God, the Sacramentary begins, which is no longer written and illuminated on calf parchment but on fine sheep parchment.

[Translate to Englisch:] Das Sakramentar Heinrichs II


Size: 29,5 x 24,2 cm
Length: 718 pages
Number of copies: 333 

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