RUBRIC (Fr. rubriqwe, Lat. rubrica, ruber, red), in its earliest and original sense, red earth or ochre, ruddle, and hence applied to words written or printed in red lettering, in MSS. or printed books, such as chapter headings, paragraphs, initial letters, etc., thus marking in a distinctive manner that to which attention is to be drawn. The term was also applied to the passages so marked, and more especially to the directions or rules as to the conduct of divine service in liturgical books. This is the chief current usage of the term (see LITURGY).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)