The Code of Rubrics is a document promulgated in 1960 by Pope John XIII, which in the form of a legal code indicated the rules governing the celebration of the Roman Rite Mass and Liturgy of the Hours.

Pope John promulgated it with the motu proprio Rubricarum instructum, and its official publication was in Acta Apostolicae Sedis 52 (1960), pp. 593-740.

The Code of Rubrics replaced the rules previously given in the Roman Breviary. In the Roman Missal, it replaced the sections, Rubricae generales Missalis (General Rubrics of the Missal) and Additiones et variationes in rubricis Missalis ad normam Bullae "Divino afflatu" et subsequentium S.R.C. Decretorum (Additions and alterations to the Rubrics of the Missal in line with the Bull Divino afflatu and the decrees of the Sacred Congrgation of Rites that followed). As Pope Pius X himself declared in his Apostolic Constitution Divino afflatu by which he radically revised the Psalter of the Roman Breviary, this change was intended to be followed up by a revision of the Roman Missal as well as of the Breviary. Accordingly, while awaiting that revision, the first of the two sections mentioned continued to be printed as before, although the second rendered some of its provisions invalid. This anomalous situation was remedied in the 1962 typical edition of the Roman Missal, which printed in their place the parts of the Code of Rubrics that concerned the Missal. In its turn, the Code of Rubrics was superseded by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal of 1970


The Code of Rubrics was in three sections. The first was headed "General Rubrics" and gave rules concerning liturgical days such as Sundays, vigils, feasts, octaves, and matters such as the colour of the sacred vestments. The second was on the rubrics of the Roman Breviary. The third was on those of the Roman Missal.

An English translation of the Code of Rubrics is available online at The 1960 Code of Rubrics as Revised in 1962. The full text in Latin is available at Ordo Divini Officii Recitandi Sacrique Peragendi and, together with a parallel French translation, at Code des Rubriques - 1960.

See also

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