FREE Catholic Classes
(Etymologically primus in cera , sc. in tabula cerata , the first in a list of a class of officials)
A term applied in later Roman times to the head of any administration—thus "primicerius notariorum", "primicerius protectorum" etc. (cf. Forcellini, "Totius latinitatis Lexicon", s.v.). In ecclesiastical use the term was given to heads of the colleges of Notarii and Defensores , which occupied so important a place in the administration of the Roman Church in later antiquity and in the early Middle Ages. When young clerics were assembled in schools for training in the ecclesiastical service in the different districts of the Western Church (from the fifth or sixth century), the directors of these schools were also commonly given this title. Thus, an inscription of the year 551 from Lyons mentions a "Stephanus primicerius scolae lectorum servientium in ecclesia Lugdunensi" (Le Blant, "Inscriptions chrétiennes de la Gaule", I, 142, n. 45; cf. similar notices in Ducange, "Glossarium", s.v.; Gregory of Tours, "Hist. Francorum", II, xxxvii). St. Isidore of Seville treats of the obligations of the primicerius of the lower clerics in his "Epistola ad Ludefredum" (P.L., LXXXIII, 896). From this position the primicerius also derived certain powers in the direction of liturgical functions. In the regulation of the common life of the clergy in collegiate and cathedral churches, according to the Rule of Chrodegang and the statutes of Amalarius of Metz, the primicerius appears as the first capitular after the archdeacon and archpresbyter, controlling the lower clerics and directing the liturgical functions and chant. The primicerius thus became a special dignitary of many chapters by a gradual development from the position of the old primicerius of the scola cantorum or lectorum .
Help Now >
FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
Female / Women Saints
Saints & Angels
Saint of the Day for Tuesday, Dec 6th, 2022
Mysteries of the Rosary
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Patron Saints A-Z
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, December 07, 2022
- St. Maria Giuseppe Rossello: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, December 07, 2022
- Prayer for Refugees and Victims of War: Prayer of the Day for Wednesday, December 07, 2022
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 06, 2022
- St. Nicholas: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 06, 2022
- Everything has its Time: Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, December 06, 2022
Help Now >
Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.