MANUAL, i.e. belonging to the hand (Lat. manus), a word chiefly used to describe an occupation which employs the hands, as opposed to that which chiefly or entirely employs the mind. Particular uses of the word are: " sign-manual," a signature or autograph, especially one affixed to a state document; " manual-exercise," in military usage, drill in the handling of the rifle; " manual alphabet," the formation of the letters of the alphabet by the fingers of one or both hands for communication with the deaf and dumb; and " manual acts," the breaking of the bread, and the taking of the cup in the hands by the officiating priest in consecrating the elements during the celebration of the Eucharist. The use of the word for tools and implements to be used by the hand, as distinct from machinery, only survives in the " manual fire-engine." From the late Latin use of manuale as a substantive, meaning " handbook," comes the use of the word for a book treating a subject in a concise way, but more particularly of a book of offices, containing the forms to be used in the administration of the sacraments other than the Mass, but including communion out of the Mass, also the forms for churching, burials, etc. In the Roman Church such a book is usually called a rituale, " manual " being the name given to it in the English Church before the Reformation. The keyboard of an organ, as played by the hands, is called the " manual," in distinction from the " pedal " keys played by the feet.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)