Graduals are liturgical manuscripts in which the Mass liturgy's chants for both the Schola and the soloists, have been recorded since the Carolingian period. The name is derived from the steps (lat. gradus) of the ambo (a raised lectern in the church) from where the singing was performed.
From the 13th century onwards, the graduals, which were often very large in size, were split into different volumes. For example, into temporale for the "normal service" during the ecclesiastical year and into sanctorale with the masses for the various saints, including the Virgin Mary.
The often large format of the volumes resulted from necessity as the Schola singers who were grouped around the book had to be able to read the notes and texts.
Of the once two-volume gradual from Nuremberg-Sankt Lorenz, only the second volume, the sanctorale, is still available. According to a handwritten entry, the book was completed in 1421, written by the Dominican monk Johannes Gredinger. However, at least one other writer was involved besides him. He is responsible for the texts whose initials are decorated with faces. Comparisons with other manuscripts allow us to assign these sections to the vicar and scribe in St. Lorenz: Georg Rayl. The gradual was in use for almost 90 years until it was replaced by the so-called "Gänsebuch" (Geese Book) around 1510.