Breviarium Nidrosiense and Missale Nidrosiense appeared in print in 1519 and were the first books to be printed for Norwegian use. The books were printed on the initiative of Archbishop Erik Valkendorf in Nidaros, and were meant to provide a standardised liturgy for the Catholic province of Nidaros – which at that time comprised Norway, Iceland, and the Faroes – and to replace the old, handwritten books which were difficult to read and whose content had become obsolete. The content of the two books reflects 500 years of liturgical development in Norway.
The missal was meant to be used in all churches of the province, whereas the breviary was intended for the clergy and their daily celebration of the divine office on the eight canonical hours. The two books supplemented each other and covered the central parts of the liturgy.