Church-books were divided into several classes. There were six reading-books: the Bibliotheca, a collection of the books of the Bible by St. Jerome; the Homilar, the homilies used on Sundays and certain festivals; the Passionar, containing the acts of martyrs; the Legendary, an account of confessors; the Lectionary, the epistles of St. Paul; and the Sermologus, sermons of the popes and fathers, read on certain days. The song and ritual books are mentioned under their titles. It was the custom till recent years for women- servants to carry their church books in a clean white handkerchief, a relic of the old custom in the Western Church for women to receive the eucharist in a linen cloth. To this day the altar-rail at Wimborne Minster is covered at the time of holy communion with a white cloth.

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