MASS OF THE WESTERN RITES
the Right Reverend Dom Fernand Cabrol
of Farnborough Abbeye
Sands & Company, 1934.
Theologians, historians, and liturgiologists are to-day in agreement in
recognizing that the Mass is the most important function of all
Christian worship; and that the greater part of the other rites are in
relation with the Eucharist.
This affirmation rests upon the most serious study of Christianity, in
antiquity as well as in the Middle Ages; and the various works
regarding the Mass, which have been multiplied in recent years, have
confirmed this truth. More and more have the faithful, in their turn,
become convinced of it; while even those who are without the Faith are
beginning to interest themselves in the Mass, and to endeavor to know
more of its
history and to understand its meaning.
These facts explain the number of books which have recently appeared on
this subject. A glance at the Bibliography printed at the end of this
Preface will suffice to give an idea of their extent, and may serve as
a guide to those who wish to study the question more deeply. This
consideration might have dissuaded us from adding to all these works
(some of which are excellent) another book on the Mass. But we may
remark that the "Bibliotheque catholique des sciences religieuses"
from the beginning, comprehended in its plan a volume on the Latin Mass
one of the elements of its synthesis.
Further, it may be noticed that the larger number of the books whose
titles we quote are chiefly, and sometimes entirely, occupied with the
Mass, while our own plan comprises a study of the Latin, or Mass of the
Western Rites; that is, of the Mass as celebrated in Africa, Gaul,
Britain, and Northern Italy and in the other Latin countries in the
Middle Ages, as well as in Rome.
Now this comparison of the
different Latin rites is most suggestive.
Better than all other considerations it reveals first the relationship
these rites, and the fundamental unity of all the liturgies under their
different forms. Then, as we shall see, it throws light on the rites of
Mass which, consequently on the suppression of some of their number,
can only be understood by comparison with more complete rites. It must
added that the Mass is so rich in material that each may study it from
own point of view, and while receiving much benefit from the latest
on the same subject, may present his own under a new aspect. Thus,
following Mgr. Duchesne's book, Mgr Batiffol thought it worth while to
his "Lecons sur la Messe;" and assuredly no one will consider that
these "Lessons" are a repetition of the work of his illustrious
or of any of the other books already published upon this subject.
To those who may recognize in our own study views already exposed by
one or other of the authors quoted, we may remark that many articles in
our "Dictionnaire d'archeologie chretienne et de liturgie" (anamnese,
anaphore, canon, etc.) had taken chronological precedence of the
greater part of these books, so that in drawing inspiration from them
we have but made
use of the "jus postliminii."
This, then, is the line we shall follow in this new study of the Mass;
and, while conforming with chronology, it seems to us at the same time
the most logical. We shall first examine the Mass in the first three
centuries, during which a certain liturgical unity reigned, and while
different Christian provinces of the West had not each created its own
special liturgy. We shall then explain (Ch. II) how and why, from the
the seventh century, those liturgical characteristics which distinguish
various Latin families became definite. According to these principles
we shall attempt to establish the classification of these liturgical
families and their genealogy.
In the following chapters we shall
rapidly sketch the general
characteristics of the Mass in Africa, Gaul, Spain, Milan, and Great
Britain. It goes without saying that the Roman liturgy havingbecome
our own, as well as that of the West (with rare exceptions), and also
of the East, the Far East, and the New World--in short, of most
Christian countries--it demands detailed study, as well as a close
its historical development from the fifth to the twentieth century.
We have, according to the usual method, placed in an Excursus certain
questions which would have delayed the progress of the work, since they
can be studied separately. Such are: the chants of the Mass, the
liturgical gestures, the meaning of the word "Missa," the ancient books
in the existing Missal, the different kinds of Masses, etc. We hope
those who are willing to follow us on these lines will arrive at
certain conclusions, and, if they are not specialists (for whom this
not written), that their ideas as to the great Christian Sacrifice will
be clearer and more precise.
The Mass as it is to-day, presents itself under a somewhat complicated
form to the non-Catholic, and even to a large number of the faithful.
The ceremonies, readings, chants, and formulas follow each other
much apparent method or logic. It is a rather composite mosaic, and it
be confessed that it does seem rather incoherent. Rites, indeed, have
added to rites; others have been rather unfortunately suppressed, and
where this is the case, gaps, or what have been styled "gaping holes,"
But the historical and comparative method applied in this book explains
the greater part of these anomalies, making it fairly easy to
the synthesis of the Mass, to grasp the guide-line, and, once in
of the general idea which has presided at all these developments, to
understand the whole better when light is thus thrown on the details.
The Mass thus studied throughout its different epochs reveals a
magnificent theological and historical thesis. We have not been able to
this point as strongly as we could have wished, because in the first
these volumes are not intended to be books of spiritual edification,
nor, strictly speaking, of apologetics. But it seems to us that here
speak for themselves, telling us why the Mass has from its very origin
its place as the true center of the liturgy; how it has drawn
everything to itself; how at one moment it was almost the whole
liturgy, in the sense that, primitively, all Christian rites gravitated
At the same time Sacrifice and Sacrament, the One Christian Sacrifice
and, if one may say so, the most Divine of the Sacraments, it sums up
and sanctifies all the elements which have made of sacrifice the center
the greater part of all religions; first, by the idea that man owes to
God homage for the gifts he has received from Him and that he
His dominion over all creation; then, by the idea that he must expiate
his faults in order to render God favorable to him; lastly, by a
desire to unite himself to God by participation in that sacrifice. Thus
Mass raises the idea of sacrifice to its highest expression, whilst
purifying it from all the false notions which had obscured it in pagan
For the Christian, too, it is the best means by which to unite himself
with his brethren in communion with Christ. Prayer in common, the Kiss
Peace, above all the participation in the same Banquet of the Body and
of Our Lord are so many expressive, living symbols of Christian unity,
of Catholicity, of charity.
For the Christian, again, the Mass is an efficacious help along the
road of the spiritual life. One of his essential duties, common to all
to praise God in His works, to offer Him our thanks, to present our
requests to Him: in a word, to pray. Now the Mass is the center of the
Divine Office; we even believe it would be possible to show that at one
the first part of the Mass was the most eloquent and, indeed, the only
of expression of this official prayer.
The Mass, then, sums up the greatest mysteries of our Faith. The
faithful Catholic is present at the Last Supper, at the Passion and
Death of Our Lord upon the Cross ù he realizes what Christ
has willed by
the institution of this Divine Sacrament and by the accomplishment of
His Sacrifice on Calvary. He is invited to share in that Banquet which
was the Last
Supper, when Our Lord gives Himself in Holy Communion; and, being
the bloody Sacrifice of Calvary, he sees what Christ has suffered for
sins of the whole of humanity as well as those of His own disciples.
Theologians and all mystical writers have dwelt upon these different
aspects of the Mass, and when once the claims of erudition and of
history are satisfied it will be easier and more profitable to go
these authors, for so far from being an obstacle, the exact knowledge
facts is, on the contrary, of the greatest assistance to true piety.
1. "La Messe en Occident," of which the present volume is a
translation, was published (1932) in the above series.
LE BRUN (Pierre), "Explication litterale, historique et dogmatique des
prieres et des ceremonies de la Messe," remains the most complete and
learned work on the Mass. It has been many times republished, and has
not lost its value. (First edition, 4 vols., Paris, 1726.) The first
volume contains the "Explication de la Messe romaine," the second and
third, "Etude des diverses liturgies orientales et occidentales," the
fourth, dissertations on different subjects, notably on the "Silence
prieres de la Messe."
The work of Mgr. DUCHESNE, "Origines du culte chretien" which is in
reality an "Etude sur la liturgie latine avant Charlemagne" (fourth
1908), is an admirable synthesis of the Latin liturgies which has on
one point shown the subject in a new light, though several syntheses,
in the opinion of the writer, are subject to revision.
Mgr. BATIFFOL, in his "Lecons sur la Messe" (Paris, 1919), has laid
down on this subject the latest pronouncements of criticism. In the
"Eucharistie (La Presence reelle et la transubstantiation" (fifth
edition, revised, Paris, 1913) he had already studied the history of
from its origins to the Council of Ephesus.
ADRIAN FORTESCUE in "The Mass, a study of the Roman liturgy"(London
1912), had approached the same subject a few years earlier; his book
treats specially of the history of the Roman Rite. See also his article
in the "Catholic Encyclopaedia."
JOH. BRINKTRINE:, the latest comer, "Die Heilige Messe" (Paderborn,
1931), has also treated the subject specially as a historian and
M. GIHR, "Le Saint Sacrifice de la Messe" (2 vols., Paris, 19O1), a
theological, ascetical, and liturgical "summa" upon the Mass,
containing a great quantity of information.
AD. FRANZ, "Die Messe im Deutschen Mittelalter "(I vol., 8vo,
Cardinal SCHUSTER, "Liber Sacramentorum, Notes historiques et
liturgiques sur le Missel romain," translated from the Italian (6
vols., Brussels, 1925-1930).
Dom J. DE PUNIET, "La Liturgie de la Messe" (Avignon, 1928). P.
MARANGET, "La Messe romaine" (Brussels, 1925).
Dom E. VANDEUR, "La Sainte Messe "(Maredsous, 1928, seq.).
The articles "Eucharistie" and "Messe" in the "Dictionnaire de
Theologie catholique," and in DACL (which, once for all, may be said to
stand for "Dictionnaire d'Archeologie chretienne et de Liturgie"), and
the same articles in U. CHEVALIER, "Topo-bibliographie," for the
there is also a Bibliography in FORTESCUE, op. cit., p. 541 seq. In our
own pamphlet on THE MASS there is a chapter on the literature of this
subject. See also in DACL the articles "anamnese," "anaphore,"
"canon," "Eucharistie," "elevation," and others mentioned in the course
Ch. ROEAULT DE FLEURY has written a fine monumental work in his "La
Messe," consisting chiefly of archeological studies (4to, Paris,
The most valuable information is to be found here upon the furnishing
of churches, the ornaments and sacred vessels, and upon all those
things connected with the service of the Mass.
AUTHOR'S NOTE.--The works of Duchesne, Batiffol, Gihr, Schuster, and De
Puniet mentioned above have been translated into English.
THE MASS, FROM THE FIRST TO THE FOURTH CENTURIES. LITURGICAL UNITY
The Eucharistic Synaxis.--The aliturgical (non-liturgical, or without
the Eucharist) Synaxis.--The days and hours of the Synaxis.--The
It must be laid down from the beginning of this chapter that during
this first period the Mass has what we may call a universal character.
No regional distinctions appear; and our own divisions into Oriental
and Occidental, or Greek and Latin liturgies, had no reality in those
It was not until the fourth century that the geographical and political
division between the East and West was truly established. Thus during
the first three centuries it may be said that there were no liturgical
families, but only one single Christian liturgy, where, in a certain
sense, unity reigned.
The word "unity," however, must not be taken too literally. It is true
that so far there was no division into liturgical families, but there
great variety of usages and rites. The law was "great liberty," and it
may be said that there is more difference between the liturgy of the
that of Hippolytus, and that of Serapion than there was, later, between
the liturgies of Byzantium, of Rome, and the Mozarabic and Gallican
liturgies. The differences are rather those between church and church;
the old churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Rome, and Carthage
great liturgical centers.
But the differences existing between the different churches did not
prevent peace and unity from reigning amongst them. In the second
century Polycratus, Bishop of Ephesus, tells us that Pope Anicetus
invited St. Polycarp to celebrate the Mass. And a little later
of Caesarea in Cappadocia, the correspondent of St. Cyprian, remarks in
his turn that the varieties of ritual then existing (in the middle of
third century) made not the least difference to unity.
What was the Mass during this first period? How was it celebrated? What
were its principal elements and, if evolution has taken place, what
were its different stages? To answer these questions the best method
to us to study the following points:
1. The Eucharistic Synaxis.
2. The aliturgical Synaxis (separated from the Eucharist).
3. The days and hours of the Synaxis.
4. The Eucharistic Prayer.
1 THE EUCHARISTIC SYNAXIS.--The word "synaxis" comes from "sunaxis,"
gathering together; "sunaxein," to meet or gather together. It was
early employed in the language of Christians to designate an assembly,
and especially an assembly to hear Mass.
The Church was born in Jewish surroundings. It is a fact that the first
Christians, Apostles or disciples, were Jews by birth, or proselytes,
on the day of Pentecost, the true Birthday of the Church. So it was
the years that followed, until the day when, by the preaching of St.
the Gentiles entered the Church, of which very soon they became a
This is of the highest importance, all the more because there was never
any brutal rupture between the Church and the Mosaic religion. The
Church indeed always condemned the Marcionites and all those who, with
them, proscribed the ancient law and those who had come out from it.
Most preciously did the Church guard the Pentateuch and all the
inspired books of the Jews. This means that She preserved faith in the
the Old Testament; that She kept the Decalogue--that is, the laws of
universal morality and all the Old Testament theology. But at the same
was no Judaiser. She separated Herself from the synagogue and declared
against it, as a distinct society which had its own organization,
institutions, and laws. Just as She condemned the Marcionites, so She
expelled the Judaisers from Her company, as those who desired jealously
to retain circumcision and the other Jewish practices.
It was the same thing as regards the liturgy. When the Church was born
the Temple was still standing, with its sacrifices, its highly
complicated ceremonies, its priesthood. It is true that the Apostles
still went to
pray at the Temple, but here one most important fact must be noted. The
first of the faithful formed a band apart. The Jews saw in them a sect
of separating itself from Judaism, against which they fought furiously,
and tried to suppress as a disloyal and dangerous body. And this
was more keenly accentuated day by day. We can, of course, see how
it was that many of the new Christians should still remain attached to
the ancient form of worship. These were the Judaisers. We find them
mentioned in the Acts. St. Paul in his Epistles fights against them;
raising his voice against those who wished to circumcise all new
converts, to force them to observe the new moons, the Jewish feasts,
All that had to cease. He claims the right of liberty for these new
converts. It is not the Law and its observances which will save them;
it is the Faith in Jesus Christ, obedience to His precepts, docility to
His teaching. Naturally, between these two parties there were
innumerable shades of difference, but as time went on these shades
effaced themselves. These practices of the Law were only shadows;
reflected in the new worship, but which in the end must give way to it,
antiquum documentum novo cedat ritui."
Moreover, in a few years (A.D. 70) a most important event would give
the final blow to the Jewish worship and its sacrifices. The Temple was
destroyed by the Roman armies, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem were
A new form of worship was instituted for the Christians in those
private meetings, which are many times mentioned in the Acts. (Acts ii.
Cf. Acts xx. 7, seq.) Prayer was offered, and the Breaking of Bread
place. This Breaking of Bread was the Mass.
In what, exactly, did it consist? The converts met to celebrate anew
that Banquet, the Last Supper, which took place in the Cenacle on the
night preceding the death of Our Lord. This is stated in texts of the
first importance, for it is upon their witness that the whole tradition
the Mass is based. There is first the witness of the three synoptic
Gospels, St. Matthew, St. Mark and St. Luke, whose accounts may be
summed up as follows:
On the first day of the "Azymes," which is Thursday, the Apostles, at
the request of Our Lord Himself, prepared a room where He might
the Pasch with His disciples. It was the Jewish custom, and Our Lord
had assuredly not failed to observe it throughout the preceding years.
this time the banquet was to have a supreme importance, for He knew
this meal was the last He should take with His Apostles.
Now, "coenantibus eis," as St. Matthew says, during the meal, and no
doubt towards the end, Our Lord took bread, blessed it, brake, and gave
His disciples, saying: "Take, eat, this is My Body." Then, taking the
chalice (the cup containing wine mingled with water), He offered it to
them, saying: "This is My Blood of the New Testament" (the New
"which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Then, "hymno
dicto," the prayer being said, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
There Our Lord entered into His Agony, and the soldiers, led by Judas,
came to seize
Him (St. Matt. XXVi. 13--15)
We know what followed, and the story of that night whose details the
Evangelists have given us; the scenes of the Crucifixion and Death on
Good Friday. The same account which we have just quoted from St.
Matthew is found with little variation in St. Mark and St. Luke.
As for St. John, faithful to his system, he does not repeat what the
three synoptic Gospels have related; but contents himself with
them as occasion arises. Thus he gives us details omitted by them as to
Last Supper, and the discourse of Our Lord during and after the meal.
His seventeenth chapter contains what is called the Sacerdotal Prayer
of Christ, which may be considered as the Divine commentary on the
Eucharist. In his sixth chapter, on the occasion of the multiplication
he had set forth teaching of incomparable precision upon the Eucharist.
"Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood you
shall not have life in you" (vi. 54).
Lastly, St. Paul is a fifth witness, and not the least. He, in his
Epistle to the Corinthians (I Cor. xi. 23-29) gives us a detailed
most ancient in our possession, of the way in which the early
Christians celebrated the Eucharist. These different texts having been
explained elsewhere, I content myself withnoting certain principal
which almost every one is agreed. It is a question of a repast which
the Paschal meal. At its close Our Lord took bread and wine, and in
of His Blessing and of His words they were changed into His Body and
Blood. We use the theological term transubstantiated to mark that of
and wine nothing is left but the species or appearances, the substance
having given place to the Body and Blood of Christ.
It is a new covenant in the Blood of Christ shed to wash away the sins
of the world, and to redeem us, thus it is a sacrifice in intimate
with that of the Cross, which was to take place the next day; a
and at the same time a sacramental meal.
Upon this point, as upon many others, the synoptic Gospels do not enter
into great detail, they merely sum up and abbreviate. One thing,
however, is certain: the capital importance of this act in the Life of
Our Lord. This can be deduced even from the record of the synoptics,
though they relate these Divine events with a disconcerting simplicity
reality is Divine. The other Sacraments are not mentioned in the
only mentioned in a few words. But here each synoptic one after the
other, carefully relates the same history which, as has been said, St.
John completes. The room where the feast is to be held has been chosen,
prepared by Christ Himself. This meal is to be the last in His Life, it
the last meal of one condemned to death; for the solemnity of death
over this brotherly love-feast. It is probably also the Paschal supper,
which Our Lord was accustomed solemnly to celebrate with Hisdisciples.
His attitude, his very words, all have now a deeper meaning than ever
He speaks of bread and wine becoming His Body and Blood, and of
offering them as food to His Apostles.
It is the New Covenant, which is to replace the Old Covenant concluded
between God and His people in the time of Moses; the New Testament
which takes the place of the Old. A new order of things is beginning,
which we may say with the poet: "novus ab integro saeclorum nascitur
Now St. Paul's text proves that the Christians obeyed Christ's precept;
they renewed their celebration of that last banquet in memory of Him,
"hoc facite in Meam commemorationem." But they introduced a new element
it. According to St. Paul the Eucharist was accomplished at the close
of another repast, which was the "agape." This circumstance has
complicated the history of the origin of the Eucharist, but I think the
may be shortly summed up.
The agape was a repast celebrated by the Christians, and, as the word
indicates, it was a feast of love, or charity. The details given by St.
Paul make it easy to understand the possible abuses which might arise
from it. The Jews, and even the pagans, had feasts of the same kind. Is
the "agape" derived from either of these, or is it specifically
My own opinion is that this question is of little importance. But what
must note is that, according to St. Paul and other witnesses, it was at
that time united to the Eucharist. Very soon--probably at the beginning
the second century--the two were separated on account of abuses, and
towards the fourth century the "agape" was declining. It must not be
confounded with those repasts sometimes celebrated by the Christians on
of the martyrs, or in cemeteries, though these also had a liturgical
After the text of St. Paul, which throws great light on the question of
the Eucharist, I will quote the "Didache." The "Didache," or "Doctrine
the Apostles," is a document discovered in 1883, which is extremely
interesting but also most obscure, and about which opinions still vary.
Wemay, I suppose, believe that it was written at the beginning of the
second century. It was recognized almost generally as a description of
the Eucharist from the moment of its discovery. In recent years many
scholars--and those by no means the least important--have come to the
that it describes the agape, and not the Eucharist. Others again, with,
my own opinion, greater reason, say that part applies to the agape, the
rest to the Eucharist (Maclean, Thibaut). Here is the translation of
part which will interest us:
"As to the Eucharist, give thanks thus. First, for the chalice: We
thank Thee, O our Father For the holy vine of David Thy servant, Which
Thou hast made us know through Jesus Thy Servant. Glory be to Thee
throughout all ages! Then for the broken bread: We give Thee thanks, O
our Father For life and knowledge Which Thou hast made us know through
Jesus Thy Servant. Glory be to Thee throughout all ages!As this broken
bread, formerly scattered over the mountains, has been gathered
together to form a single whole,So may Thy Church be assembled from the
ends of the earth in Thy
Kingdom, For to Thee is all power and glory by Jesus Christ through out
all ages! Let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist if he be not
baptized in the
Name of the Lord, for it was of this that the Lord said: 'Give not that
which is holy unto the dogs.'
After you are filled, give thanks
We thank Thee, O Holy Father!
For Thy Holy Name
That Thou hast caused to dwell in our hearts,
For knowledge, faith, and the immortality
Which Thou hast revealed through Jesus Thy Servant.
Glory be to Thee throughout all ages!
It is Thou, Omnipotent Master,
Who hast created the universe for the honor of Thy Name
Who hast given food and drink to man, that he may enjoy them and render
thanks to Thee;
But Thou hast given us a spiritual food and drink, and eternal life by
Above all, we give thanks to Thee because Thou art powerful.
Glory be to Thee throughout all ages!
Remember, O Lord, to deliver Thy Church from all evil,
And to make it perfect in Thy love. Assemble it from the four winds,
that Holy Church,
In Thy Kingdom which Thou hast prepared for it,
For Thine is all power and glory throughout all ages!
Come, Grace, let the world pass!
Hosanna to the God of David!
Let him that is holy, come!
Let him that is not, do penance!
Maran-Atha (The Lord comes). Amen.
But as to the prophets, let them give thanks as they will."
Besides the "Didache" there are numerous passages containing allusions
to the Eucharist in the writers at the close of the first and of the
second century. St. Clement of Rome has a prayer which is considered
Eucharistic; we shall come back to it presently. St. Ignatius gives it
the names of "eucharistia" and of breaking "ena harton klontes". He
this should be accomplished by the Bishop, and that it is a sign of
uses the word "thusiasterion" to design the place of sacrifice, which
clearly points out that, to him, the Eucharist was also Sacrifice. It
would also seem that with him the "agape" is still united to the
Eucharist (Srawley, loc. cit., p. 31).
The testimony of St. Justin in the middle of the second century must be
specially noted, since it is an actual description of the Christian
" As for us, after having washed him who believes and has joined
himself to us (Justin has just described Christian Baptism), we lead
him to that
place where are assembled those we call our brothers. With fervor we
offer prayers for ourselves, for the enlightened (him who has just
received the light of Baptism), for all the rest, wherever they may be,
in order to obtain with the knowledge of the Truth, the grace to
to keep the commandments, and thus to merit eternal salvation.
"When the prayers are ended we give each other the Kiss of Peace. Then
to him who presides over the assembly of brothers are brought bread and
cup of water and wine mingled. He takes them, and praises and glories
the Father of the universe in the Name of the Son and of the Holy
he makes a long thanksgiving for all the benefits we havereceived from
Him. When he has finished his prayers and the thanksgiving, all the
people present exclaim: Amen! Amen is a Hebrew word meaning 'So be it.'
he who presides has made the thanksgiving, and when all the people have
answered, the ministers whom we call deacons distribute to all those
present the consecrated bread, the consecrated wine and water, and they
carry them to those who are absent. We call this food the EUCHARIST,
and no one can have part in it unless he believe in the Truth of our
unless he have received the bath for the remission of sins and
regeneration; and unless he live according to the precepts of Christ.
For we take not that Food as common bread and common drink. Just as by
virtue of the Word of God, Jesus Christ our Savior took flesh and blood
our salvation, thus the Food consecrated by the prayer formed of the
words of Christ, that Food which nourishes by assimilation our own body
and blood, is the Flesh and Blood of Jesus incarnate. Such is our
The Apostles, in their memoirs which are called Gospels, relate that
Jesus Himself announced these things to them. He took bread and, having
thanks, said to them:
" 'Do this in memory of Me: This is My Body.' In the same manner He
took the chalice, and having given thanks, He said to them: 'This is My
Blood.' And to them alone He gave it. The evil spirits have imitated
this institution in the mysteries of Mithra: bread and a cup of water
are presented in the ceremonies of initiation, and certain formulas are
pronounced which you know, or which you may know."
It is well to cite even the testimony of the apocryphal writings, some
of which indeed are heretical, but which often give us priceless
information as to the usages of the second and third centuries. A
has made a special study of all these texts on the Eucharist. For the
heretics also celebrated the Eucharist after their manner; they
bread and wine; they considered the rite as a sacrifice; some forbade
wine, declaring they would only consecrate water, whence their name of
Aquarians. Sometimes they give the text of the prayer they recited
over the bread and wine, and which produced, they thought, its change
the Body and Blood of Christ.
At the beginning of the third century we have a text the very high
value of which has long since been recognized, and which an English
scholar has attributed to St. Hippolytus. This text is that of the
Eucharistic anaphora, or of the Canon recited at Rome at the beginning
of the third
century. To this also we shall return later on. Nor must we forget the
African writers of the third century, notably Tertullian and St.
Cyprian whose testimony we shall study in Chapter III.
Lastly, in the fourth century, we have the text of another anaphora
recently discovered. It is that of Serapion, the friend of St.
Athanasius, and Bishop of Thmuis in Egypt. This we shall deal with in
2. THE ALITURGICAL SYNAXIS (WITHOUT THE EUCHARIST). --The liturgic or
Eucharistic synaxis, as it is described in these texts, is a gathering
exclusively Christian, to which none but the faithful are admitted. The
names usually given to it are "Eucharistia" or "Fractio Panis," either
equally appropriate, because this rite is, above all, a Eucharistic
prayer of thanksgiving; and the breaking of bread for distribution to
faithful is an essential act of it, an integral part.
But beyond this Eucharistic gathering there were others which may have
been connected with the Eucharist, but which are distinct from it, and
fact are sometimes separated from it. Thus, in that room in which the
Eucharistic mystery had already been accomplished, where theChurch was
to be born, we find the Apostles, after the Ascension, meeting together
and persevering unanimously in prayer (Acts i.14). Later on Peter and
after having appeared before the synagogue, returned to their brethren
and addressed that sublime prayer to God which is yet not a Eucharistic
prayer (iv. 23 seq.). When Peter was put into prison by Herod the whole
united in prayer for him (xii. 5, and further on, 12, "multi congregati
Pliny, at the beginning of the second century, in his famous text on
the Christians, speaks of a first meeting which they held upon a fixed
day, "statuto die," probably Sunday; it took place before the dawn, and
they sang hymns to Christ as God. In the evening of the same day they
met together again for a meal in common, in which some have seen the
"agape," but which was far more probably the Eucharist. Many other
allusions to these aliturgical synaxes will be found in Clement of
Rome, Ignatius, etc.
St. Justin also speaks, in the text already quoted, of a meeting at
which were read the Holy Scriptures and the memoirs of the Apostles,
which certain prayers were recited. This meeting was followed by the
Eucharistic service. Thus prayers, readings, chants all served as
prelude to the Eucharist. We have here I believe the first really
precise example of
what we call to-day the Pre-Mass, or Mass of the catechumens, as to
will only say one word. Even in the existing liturgy we find traces of
this aliturgical synax separated from the Eucharistic service, as, for
example, in the office for Good Friday. It seems evident that this
proceeds from that used in the synagogues on the Sabbath: the singing
of psalms, reading the law and the prophets homily--all this is just
of the Mass of the catechumens. It also agrees with what was said at
the beginning of this chapter. From the synagogue the Church freely
those customs which would adapt themselves to her liturgy; but she
completed and made perfect such rites. Here, for example, the reading
of the New Testament has been added to that of the Old, and we have the
admirable whole of the Mass of the catechumens, which will often be
mentioned in the course of this book.
The fact to be retained is this: there were, amongst the Christians of
the first three centuries, beyond the Eucharistic synax, other
which were aliturgical, and which must be distinguished from the Mass
although in many cases the aliturgical synax was followed by the
Eucharist. In the
same way the "agape," a meal quite distinct from the Eucharist, at one
time preceded its celebration. The two cases are analogous and when
this distinction is clearly understood it becomes easier to interpret
the ancient texts on the Eucharist it is because this analogy was not
taken into account that so many writers on this subject have fallen
into confusion and error.
The pagans were not excluded from these non-liturgical synaxes as they
were from that of the Eucharist. Catechumens were admitted to them, and
even heretics; but when the Eucharistic service began all these people
sent out, "foris canes," as was somewhat rudely said.
As to the vigils celebrated at the tombs of the martyrs, they were
another form of synaxis which borrowed not only from the aliturgical
but from the agape, and from the liturgical synaxis itself. It was a
local anniversary service which took place in the cemeteries, where
were chanted and the story of the passion of the martyr was read; and
was often followed by the agape and by the Eucharist. It was sometimes
called "pannuchia," because it was celebrated at night, and was
last from the previous evening until daylight next morning. We shall
more about them here, as they do not exactly form part of our subject,
the ancient writers often speak of them; abuses occasionally took
and in the end they were suppressed.
3. THE DAYS AND HOURS OF THE SYNAXIS.--Pliny tells us that the
Christian synaxes (liturgical or aliturgical) were held before the
dawn, and in
the evening. Tertullian and St. Cyprian also speak of these early or
nocturnal meetings, as well as the different canonical documents of the
third century. In order, on days of fasting, not to break the fast,
the meeting was kept back until the hour of None, or even till Vespers.
these gatherings were often held at night the pagans called the
race of night-birds--"lucifugae."
From the Acts it would seem that the faithful assembled thus daily.
Pliny speaks of a certain fixed day, probably Sunday, which, of course,
been from the beginning the liturgical day par excellence. But from a
early date, especially in the West, Wednesday and Friday were days of
meeting; while in the East the day chosen was Saturday. Thus was
constituted the Christian week, with its Sunday and its Station days,
Friday. In one sense it might be said that the Christian week preceded
the Christian, or liturgical, year. The latter, however, does in its
germ certainly date from the primitive epoch. Easter and Pentecost are
as ancient as Sunday itself; and have contributed in no small degree to
the importance of Sunday, since both Feasts were celebrated on that
Now Easter and Pentecost early formed the sacred Fifty Days; the two
Feasts depended on each other chronologically and liturgically. There
was a preparation for Easter, in which we see the beginnings of Lent.
The principle on which Easter was celebrated applied, from the fourth
century, to the Birth of Christ; thus we have the Feasts of Christmas
and Epiphany. From this the entire liturgical year was derived. But
the beginning of this century Jerusalem was already ahead of all the
other churches; her liturgical year was complete; she celebrated not
Easter and Pentecost, but also the Birth of Christ, the Presentation in
the Temple, Lent with all its exercises, Holy Week. All these
anniversaries were celebrated in the Holy Places. Thus, if we may so
speak, a local liturgical year was created, soon to be imitated in many
churches, and first of all in that of Rome.
The anniversaries of the martyrs were also solemnly celebrated, and
gave birth to as many Feasts. The compilation of ecclesiastical
was in full flower in the fourth century. But this subject leads us
our own, and we must return to the Eucharist.
4. THE EUCHARISTIC PRAYER.--In the texts we have quoted from the three
synoptic Gospels Our Lord pronounces no prayer for the institution of
the Eucharist: none, at least, is given us. Neither does St. Paul make
any allusion to such a prayer. There are not wanting those who have
to supplement this silence; and it has been said that such terms as
"hymno dicto" (St. Matt. xxvi. 30) after the institution (see St. Mark
26) presuppose a prayer. It has been also said that, the institution of
the Eucharist having taken place after the Paschal meal, Our Lord of
necessity recited the prayers in use on that day, as well as the psalms
called "Alleluiatic." Bickell's whole thesis rests on this hypothesis;
he endeavors to discover traces of the Jewish Pasch in the ancient
liturgies, especially in the "Apostolic Constitutions;" and other
scholars have followed him along this road. Quite recently Pere Thibaut
undertaken the same task again, in a most interesting thesis. But as
has been said other interpreters contest all relation between the
Jewish Pasch and
the Last Supper of the Christians.
Some consider St. John xiv.-xvii. as a Eucharistic prayer, of which
Probst finds vestiges in the ancient liturgies. This is possible; but
are upon hypothetical ground. With more likelihood we may see an
anaphoric prayer, "a fragment of an evidently liturgical character"
in a text of the Epistle of Pope St. Clement. This we do not translate
here, since it has so often been reproduced elsewhere. After the
the "Didache," which has become classic, and which has been given
above, it will be well to cite that of St. Hippolytus already alluded
which under its primitive form is a prototype of all "anaphorae" and
Eucharistic prayers, which scarcely do more than develop and paraphrase
"We render thanks to Thee, O God, through Thy well beloved Son Jesus
Christ, that in these last days Thou hast sent Him as Savior and
Redeemer and Angel (messenger) of Thy will, Who is Thine inseparable
Whom Thou hast made all things, and in Whom Thou art well pleased; Thou
hast sent Him from Heaven into the Virgin's womb, where He became
and manifested Himself as Thy Son, born of the Holy Ghost and of The
Virgin; then, accomplishing Thy Will and conquering a new and holy
race, He stretched out His Hands in His Passion in order that He might
from suffering those who have believed in Thee; and at the moment when
He delivered Himself voluntarily to His Passion, in order to destroy
Death, to break the devil's chains, to spurn hell under His Feet, to
the just, to fix a term, to show forth the Resurrection, taking the
and giving thanks He said: Take, eat: This is My Body which shall be
mangled for you. Likewise the cup, saying, This is My Blood which is
you: when you do this you do it in memory of Me. Remembering then His
and Resurrection we offer Thee this bread and this chalice, thanking
Thee because Thou hast deigned to permit us to appear before Thee and
serve Thee. And we pray Thee to send Thy Holy Spirit upon the oblation
of the Holy Church, and uniting them as one, that Thou wilt give to all
Saints who participate (in the Sacrifice) to be filled with the Holy
Ghost and fortified in the truth of the Faith, so that we may praise
glorify Thee by Thy Child Jesus Christ, by Whom to Thee is glory and
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in Your holy Church, now and for all
We have also spoken above of the text of that "anaphora" made by an
Egyptian Bishop of the fourth century. In a sort of euchology intended
for the Bishop, Serapion has composed prayers for the blessing of oil
and water, for Baptism, for Ordinations, for the sick and for the dead.
whole series of prayers is recited before the "anaphora" (n. xix.-xxx.)
that part which we have called the Pre-Mass. The Mass of the faithful
is composed of the "Prayer of the faithful," of the "anaphora" properly
so called, which follows the ancient theme of the Prefaces: the mercy
God in creation, in the Incarnation, the recital of the institution of
the Eucharist, the "anamnesis" and "epiclesis," the final doxology of
the "anaphora," and the blessing over the people.
To give an idea of the Mass at this epoch we may perhaps mention a text
which was drawn up in the fourth century, though most of its leading
features are more ancient, and to which certain liturgiologists have
given a rather exaggerated importance, as they consider that it
the Apostolic anaphora better than any other. Yet it has not the same
the anaphora of Hippolytus, though it uses his text. The liturgical
design of the Mass is as follows: readings from the Old and New
Testaments, preaching; then, prayer for the catechumens, penitents, and
other categories; the "oratio fidelium," the Kiss of Peace, the
the hands, the Offertory, Preface, "Sanctus," the prayer of
the "Anamnesis," "Epiclesis," Memento, Communion, thanksgiving, and
dismissal. Book VIII of the "Apostolic Constitutions" is especially
interesting on account of the influence it exercised in the East, and
even in the
West, and at Rome. This is a fresh argument in favor of that
unity in the first centuries, Hippolytus, Serapion, the "Apostolic
Constitutions," and even Clement of Rome and the "Didache" all exploit
a theme which presents numerous analogies.
We find one custom, which is that of the celebrated church of Antioch,
retraced in the "Apostolic Constitutions." In another church which
rivals that of Antioch in antiquity and fame--that of Alexandria--we
have the Canon of Balizeh, which appears to go back to a period less
remote, and which shows a different custom. But here, as with the
Eucharistic prayers which we have given, we have a text with a
in spite of certain regional characteristics.
We must now gather a few conclusions from all these texts. The first is
From the very beginning of the Church there existed an essential rite,
distinct from that of the synagogue; a rite which, from the first
moment, seems to take the lead amongst all others, of which in a manner
the center. It consists of the reproduction and reconstruction of Our
Lord's last repast, of the Last Supper in the Cenacle.
This rite is found everywhere. We have quoted the texts of Clement of
Rome, of Ignatius of Antioch, of Justin, etc. But we could have
our witnesses. A Christian traveler of the third century, Abercius, who
had journeyed through the East as well as the West, tells us in a
"My name is Abercius: I am the disciple of a Holy Shepherd Who feeds
His flocks of sheep on mountains and on plains; Who has eyes so large
that their glance reaches everywhere. He it is Who has taught me the
faithful Scriptures. He it is Who sent me to Rome.... I have also seen
of Syria and all its towns-- Nisibis on the borders of the Euphrates.
Everywhere I went I found brethren. Paul was my companion. Faith led me
everywhere; everywhere it served as my food, a fish from the spring,
very great and pure, caught by a Holy Virgin; continuously she gave it
eat to her friends; she also has a delicious wine, which she gives with
This rite considered as a banquet and a sacrifice, has banished ail the
other sacrifices. Although the Church borrowed so largely from the
Jewish liturgy, she left them their sacrifices. Those who attempt to
discover analogies between the rites of paganism and those of the
cannot deny that the peaceful and unbloody Sacrifice of the altar has
end to all sacrifices of blood. That river of blood which flowed
all pagan temples has been stopped by the Sacrifice of the Lamb.
This rite was accomplished with bread and wine. (Certain eccentrics are
pointed out, such as the "Aquarians" or "Hydroparastes," who, already
prohibitionists, forbade all wine, even at Mass.) Those who partook of
it wished to renew the scene in the Cenacle in relation to the
of the Cross; and were persuaded that under the species of bread and
they received the Body and Blood of Christ.
The rite, as has been remarked, presents numerous variants when it is
studied according to the testimony of different Churches, and great
liberty of interpretation and improvisation still reigns; but the
general and essential features are the same. What is called the
Eucharist, the fraction, the "anaphora," the eulogy, the synaxis, is
always and for
all the same rite as that which we call the Mass.
Through the different witnesses quoted we can find a starting-point in
the third or fourth century, whether it be the "anaphora" of Hippolytus
of Serapion, or the Canon of "De Sacramentis;" and thus we are able to
retrace our steps through century after century till we come to the
time of the Apostles, and to Christ Himself. Thus we may say that an
unbroken chain binds our Mass to that of the Apostles, to the Last
Supper. It is the
proof of the Apostolic origin of our Mass.
From that time--that is, from the first three centuries--we see, both
as regards the Mass and Baptism, a tendency to develop the very simple
original rite. To the kind of liturgic synaxis described, for example,
in St. Paul's meeting at Troas, where, after the Apostle's sermon those
present "broke bread" before separating, the heads of the Church under
whose control the liturgy was constituted, added sometimes one
ceremony, sometimes another.
The union of the aliturgical synaxis to the Mass is, already, a
considerable fact; it is a prelude which in our own day has the same
extent as the rite of Sacrifice or of the Mass properly so called.
Hippolytus gives us an "anaphora" which is a model of precision and
is a brief, weighty sermon in a single breath; for the whole "anaphora"
proceeds without a break from the Preface to the conclusion, which is
of the faithful. The Fraction follows; the Communion, thanksgiving, and
The centuries to come had a tendency to add fresh rites to this. The
"Liber Pontificalis," on which, however, we cannot always rely in these
matters, gives us in this case an exact idea of the facts. Such a Pope
added the "Sanctus" to the Preface; another added the "Agnus Dei;"
another, a sentence to the Canon; yet a fourth has added another
there would be a prayer for the offering of the bread; another for the
censing; a third for the Communion. Until the day when Leo XIII
ordained a series
of prayers for the Church, the Gospel of St. John was the conclusion of
the Mass. There have been those who said that all these trees prevent
from seeing the forest; and it must assuredly be admitted that those
for the first time present at High Mass must find themselves rather at
But those who have studied the liturgy and its history will readily
find the great lines of the primitive Mass in the Mass of the twentieth
1. The text of Polycratus, P. Gr., T. XX, col. 508; that of
Firmilianus, edn. Hartel, T. III, p. 810 seq.
2. St. Mark xiv.; St. Luke xxii. These texts have been studied and
commented on with great learning by P. d'Ales, in one volume of this
series, "L'Eucharistic," p. 15 seq.; we are thus dispensed from
dwelling more fully upon them here.
3. Cf. d'Ales, "L'Eucharistie," p. 15 seq.
4. Trans. (into French), A. Laurent, in the Hemmer and Lejay
collection, "Textes et documents." A commentary will be found in Mgr
Batiffol, "L'Eucharistie," p. 62 seq. The studies of Armitage Robinson
Connolly place the "Didache" after the epistle of ps. Barnabas.
5. The different texts of St. Ignatius-Philad. 4, Smyrn. 6 & 8,
6. On the use he makes of this word, cf. J. H. Srawley, "The Early
History of the Liturgy," p. 32.
7. 1st Apol. LXV, LXVI, trans. Louis Pontigny, coll. Hemmer-Lejay.
8. Struckmann, "Die Gegenwarth Christi in der hl. Eucharistie nach den
Schriftl. Quellen der vornizan. Zeit," p. go seq. Cf. Woolley "Liturgy
of Primitive Church," pp. 53 seq. and 138.
9. Cf. the article by Mgr. Batiffol, DACL, "Aquarians."
10. Ign., Eph. 5, 13; Magn. 7; Smyrn. 6. In our "Monumenta Ecclesiae,"
Dom Leclercq has gathered all the texts from the writers of the first
three centuries which concern the Eucharist and these aliturgical
11. Cf. the "opusculum" of M. Gastoue, "Les Vigiles" (Paris, 1908).
12. Maclean, op. cit., pp. 128, 129.
13. Cf. our book, "Etude sur la Peregrinatio Silviae, les eglises de
Jerusalem au IVe siecle" (Paris, 1895) .
14. Cf. particularly Mgr. Duchesne, "Origines du culte," pp. 51, 52.
15. Trans. (into French) from the attempt to restore the Greek text
made by Dom Cagin, "Eucharistia," pp. 294-296.
16. I have analyzed this text in the article "Messe of the Dictionnaire
de Theologie Catholique." The French translation will be found in Mgr.
Batiffol's "L'Eucharistie," loc. cit.
17. Drew, and after him Fortescue (notably in the article "Mass" in the
Catholic Encyclopedia), have attempted to bring out the resemblances
between the Roman Mass and that of the Apostolic Constitutions,
18. We have analyzed this text from the A. C. in our article "Messe,"
quoted above. Cf. col. 1355.
19. We have analyzed this in DACL, art. Canon, col. 1847 seq. In
Chapter III we shall cite the text of the Canon in the book "De
which brings us to the end of the fourth century.
20. On "Abercius" and his inscription, cf . DACL, under this heading.
Dom CABROL and Dom LECLERQ, "Monumenta Ecclesiae Liturgica" (Vol. I),
"Reliquiae Liturgicae vetustissimae" (Paris, 1900-1902)--(all the texts
of the writers of the first three centuries on the Mass and Liturgy).
F. PROBST, "Liturgie der drei ersten Jahr." (Tubingen, 1870); "Liturgie
der vierten Jahr." (Munster, 1897); "Die abendlandische Messe vom 5 bis
8 Jahr." (Munster, 1896).
G. RAUSCHEN, "Florilegium patristicum," Fasc. VII. "Monumenta
eucharistica" (Bonn, 1909).
Dom CAGIN, "Eucharistia. L'Anaphore apostolique ou canon primitif"
R. H. CONNOLLY, "The So-called Egyptian Church Order," in Texts and
Studies (Vol. VIII, 1916).
R. MAXWELL WOOLLEY, "The Liturgy of the Primitive Church" (Cambridge,
A JOHN MACLEAN, "Recent Discoveries" (London, 1915).
F E. WARREN, "The Liturgy and Ritual of the ante-Nicean Church"
J. H. SRAWLEY, "The Early History of the Liturgy" (Cambridge, 1912).
THE MASS IN THE FOURTH AND FIFTH CENTURIES, AND ITS DIVISION INTO
Divisions into liturgical families.--Analogies between the Oriental and
Latin Liturgies.--Divergencies between the different Western Liturgies.
The proposition developed in the previous chapter that in the three
first centuries, and even until the end of the fourth, hardly any
can be made between the liturgies of different countries, may be taken
for granted. But from this moment certain customs which made it
easily to distinguish between the liturgies of these different lands
were established; on one hand between East and West; on the other,
the different provinces of these two great halves of the Roman Empire.
Mgr. Duchesne has justly remarked, the liturgical provinces fall into
with the great ecclesiastical provinces--in the East, Antioch and
Jerusalem, closely united from their origin, as contrasted with
Alexandria, in the West, Rome, round which were grouped Italy, Africa
Gaul, Spain, and,
very soon, England and Germany.
If we apply that principle, the first division necessary is that
between East and West.
The day on which Constantine in 325 founded Constantinople, and
transported to the city of Byzantium the seat of empire with all its
functionaries, that division was accentuated. Habits, standards of
cultivation social, political, and even religious tendencies present
characteristics. Each of the two parts of the Empire had its own
language; Greek for the East, Latin for the West; and this difference
made itself felt in the liturgy. The Roman liturgy had been Greek until
towards the middle of
the third century; but the place of Greek was taken by Latin, and the
traces of the older language were gradually effaced. The Kyrie Eleison
and other similar words still to be found in this liturgy are not, as
formerly wrongly believed, relics of the primitive language, but
expressions of universal usage, like Eucharist, acolyte, exorcist,
etc., or else,
terms which have been introduced in later years.
Greek and, for some parts of the East, Syriac, were henceforth the
languages of the liturgies born in those countries. The liturgy of Rome
was in Latin, as that of Africa then was, and as those of Gaul, Spain,
and Milan soon would be. Few can refuse to see in this difference of
language, without mentioning political, administrative, or social
the establishment of a profound separation between East and West on the
one hand, and, on the other, a certain relationship between the
Thus, in our opinion, the first division to establish between the
various liturgies is that between East and West.
In the East, as already noted, another division existed. The two
churches of Antioch and Jerusalem, neighbors, and closely allied as
had a liturgy which spread over a part of the East, in Syria, Asia
Minor (Cappadocia, Pontus, Bithynia, and Caesarea), and later to
Constantinople, Mesopotamia, and Persia. It is represented by the
liturgy of the
Apostolic Constitutions (fourth century), the Greek liturgy of St.
James (sixth century, and perhaps earlier), the Nestorian liturgies of
and Persia (liturgy of Addeus and Maris), the Byzantine, or liturgy of
Constantinople (St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom), and the Armenian
The church of Alexandria followed a use which differed in several ways
from the preceding, as may be established by the anaphora of Serapion,
by that of Balizeh, of which we have given a summary in the previous
chapter. In this chapter, too, may also be seen the plan and sequence
prayers in the Apostolic Constitutions and in other liturgies of this
In the Latin West various liturgical divergencies took shape at Rome,
in Africa, Milan, Gaul, Spain, and the Celtic countries. These
with that rupture of political unity which was the consequence of the
barbarian invasions of the fifth century; of the breaking up of the
in 476, and of the separatist tendencies which were the result of these
We arrive, then, at the following division:
ORIENT (EASTERN LITURGIES)
Antioch-Jerusalem (Syrian type), Alexandria
OCCIDENT (LATIN LITURGIES) Rome, Africa,
Milan, Gaul, Spain, Celtic countries
To this division we will return in Chapter V.; but it may be said at
once that as far as the West is concerned, some part of it is based on
mere conjecture, and that liturgiologists are by no means all agreed
upon particular points. There is, however, a distinct tendency to
gather all Latin liturgies into one and the same group.
But henceforward it must be noted that liturgical unity is not broken
by these divisions. The East and West had characteristics in common.
The various Latin liturgies, including the Roman, borrowed largely from
the Oriental, notably from that of Constantinople. Rome exercised
considerable influence over all the Latin churches, and fresh analogies
continually visible between all these different liturgies, either as
the result of borrowing, or of their original unity.
It must not be forgotten that travel and other relations between East
and West were much more frequent than is sometimes imagined. There were
many Greek or Eastern Popes of Rome during the first three centuries.
Milan, seven of the ten predecessors of St. Ambrose have Greek names.
Ambrose himself by his literary training was more Greek than Latin. One
striking example in the history of the liturgy is found in Etheria, who
in the fourth century came from the heart of Spain to Jerusalem, and
there described with great precision all the Feasts of the year. She
does not fail to note that such and such functions are not carried out
own country in exactly the same manner as at Jerusalem; while others
are similar to those of her own liturgy. Upon her traces followed
in increasing numbers, eager to visit the Holy Places. Numerous Bishops
were attracted to the East by the Councils, or else driven there by the
of exile, like St. Hilarius. All of which goes to explain the
liturgical exchanges. Mgr. Mercati has very truly remarked that
connections were established between the Arians of East and West, and
that this also contributed to the system of exchanges. It has,
possible to discern this reciprocal influence of East and West through
of the most ancient calendars and creeds.
Thus there is nothing astonishing in the fact that Oriental elements
can be discovered in the Latin liturgies. It is indeed our own opinion
the cause of the analogies between the two groups is to be found rather
the common origin of all liturgies, whether Eastern or Western, or in
the exchanges just mentioned, than in the sudden transportation, by the
of a Bishop or some other personage, of an Eastern liturgy into a
Here, then, are some of the divergencies which can already be
distinguished between the different Western liturgies. Gaul, Spain, and
Upper Italy followed the Oriental Use (notably that of the Church of
Constantinople) as regarded the place of the diptychs, the Kiss of
Peace, and even the "epiclesis;" while Rome stood apart, either because
she had on these
points changed her primitive custom, or else because she had had a
special Use from the beginning. For the rest, such as the variability
prayers of the canon, the use of the "Qui pridie" for the Consecration,
importance given to the story of the institution of the Mass, the
compose sacramentaries and other liturgical books, all the Latin
to follow the same current, and there is nothing to show that these
books presented special characteristics, whether they were composed at
Rome, Milan, Capua, in Gaul, or in Africa. Still, all such
compositionsreveal a liturgical progress which affects only the West,
while the East appears
to be unaffected by it.
The liturgical vocabulary, the calendar, and certain institutions like
Lent, and even the Ember Days, also offer characteristic analogies in
the Western liturgies.
During this period (fourth-fifth centuries) two liturgies alone, that
of Rome and that of Africa, are directly known to us through documents,
by the texts of the authors. As to all the others--those of Upper
Gaul, Spain, and the Celtic countries--the sources from which we may
them are of a much later age than the fifth century, or even than the
I do not say that there is nothing in them which makes for the earlier
date, but such inductions are necessarily based on hypothesis.
From this moment the design and the framework of the Mass appear with
sufficient clearness. In Chapter I we saw of what the first part is
composed: the Pre-Mass, or aliturgical synaxis is a preparation, with
psalms, readings, and a homily. We shall study it more in detail in the
developments which it has gained in the sixth and seventh centuries.
Its general characteristics have been outlined by St. Justin and other
authors quoted in the preceding chapter.
The second part, the Mass properly so called, or Mass of the faithful,
was to receive some additions, but henceforth we know that the
and unbaptized were dismissed at this point. The faithful alone
for the Offering, or Offertory; they had brought the bread and wine
which served for the Sacrifice, as well as other gifts which were also
blessed at Mass. A special prayer for the Church, or "Prayer of the
now said, and the Kiss of Peace was its natural conclusion; doubtless
was only in consequence of the suppression of this prayer, or from
other circumstances, that in certain liturgies the Kiss of Peace has
placed immediately before the Communion, where its existence is not
The Eucharistic prayer, or "anaphora," follows; of this we have had
specimens in the "anaphora" of Hippolytus, Serapion, Balizeh, and the
"Apostolic Constitutions." The chant of the "Sanctus" took its own
place in the fifth century, and has divided the Eucharistic prayer into
two portions. The story of the Institution is the center of this
which ends with the doxology and "Amen." Then follow the Fraction and
Communion. The latter, like the Offertory, involved the passing up of
the people, which occupied some time, and from an early date (probably
the fourth century) the singing of a chant was instituted at both these
Psalm xxxiii. was usually chosen for the Communion, chiefly on account
of the verse, "Gustate et videte quoniam suavis est Dominus," which is
here so applicable. Afterwards a prayer of thanksgiving was made; the
Pontiff blessed the people for the last time and sent them home.
Such were the general lines of the Mass in the fourth-fifth centuries.
In studying the Latin liturgies, especially that of Rome, we shall see
how these principal parts are adorned with new rites and more numerous
formulas. Other rites perhaps have been suppressed, but in the main, in
the East as in the West, according to the different rites, the
framework remains the same.
Nothing can be simpler, more logical, and, if we may say so, more
rational than this rite which is faithful to primitive tradition. There
certain suppressions which break the general line, or additions which
complicate the original design. Certain truths had to be insisted on,
errors to be fought, new formulas had to be emphasized by the gestures
of the priest, or favor shown to recent devotions.
After having studied the Latin, Gallican, Mozarabic, Celtic, Ambrosian,
and Roman liturgies, we shall attempt, not to reconstitute the
Latin liturgy, since this would be but a premature effort, but to
some of its general characteristics.
1. Mgr. Duchesne connects the Gallican and Syrian, and the Roman and
Alexandrine types of liturgy (fourth edition, p. 55).
2. Cf. "Books of the Latin Liturgy" (Sands, 3s. 6d.).
On the classification of liturgies:
H. LIETZMANN, "Messe u. Herrenmahl" (Bonn, 1926), P. 262.
Mgr. DUCHESNE, "Origines du Culte chretien," p. 64 seq.
SALAVILLE, "Liturgia, pp". 887 and 873.
FORTESCUE: "The Mass" (1914), a table of the liturgies, p. 76.
JANIN, "Les Eglises orientales".
Mgr. DUCHESNE, "Les Eglises separees," I vol. (Paris, 1896).
BRINKTRINE, "Die Heilige Messe," p. 19 seq.
THE MASS IN AFRICA
Origin of the African Liturgy.--The African Mass.
Of all the Latin liturgies the African is the only one of
which no liturgical document, properly so called, remains to us. All
have perished; there are neither Sacramentaries nor Lectionaries; no
or "libellus" of any kind existing. Yet it is the most ancient of the
Latin liturgies; it might indeed be said to have been almost the only
known during the first three centuries, since, until the middle of the
third century the Roman liturgy was said in Greek. This fact is of
Yet though this absence of all liturgical documents is to be deplored,
we find, on the other hand, in African writers up to the fifth century
very large number of allusions to the liturgy, and even several
formulas of prayer. In this latter item the African liturgy is the
richest of all;
but it is none the less true that the lack of authentic liturgical
documents makes any study of this rite more or less deceptive, and
necessarily hypothetical. We will, however, do our best to supplement
THE ORIGIN OF THE AFRICAN LITURGY.--The first question which arises is:
what is the origin of this liturgy? The greater number of
liturgiologists will reply: Roman. We, however, may well wait for the
close of this
study before drawing the same conclusion; the question touches that of
origin of the African Church, and both must be resolved simultaneously.
this Church founded by the Church of Rome? If so, it would be difficult
put aside the contention that Rome, in founding the African Church, did
also introduce her liturgy there, since it is hardly possible that
Roman missionaries should not have brought their own liturgy with them,
that at a given moment the Africans should have changed it. In any case
there is no text to be found in favor of such a conclusion.
Unfortunately, the question of the origins of Christianity is here
obscure, as it is in
most other countries. Many historians hold to the Roman origin, it is
and it may well be the most probable opinion; but it cannot be proved
direct and decisive arguments. Relations between Africa, Alexandria,
East were frequent, and it may be that the earliest missionaries came
to Africa. Some have wished to support this theory, as we shall see, by
certain analogies between the African and Alexandrine liturgies; but
neither would this be a very solid proof, for the resemblances between
Africa and Rome from the liturgical standpoint are very much more
Let us for the moment be content to state that the question of the
origin of Christianity in Africa cannot enlighten us as to that of its
liturgy. Keeping simply to the texts, we must remember, as was said at
the beginning, that this liturgy is Latin. Although Greek was freely
in this province, and though Tertullian wrote some of his treatises in
Greek, the African liturgy is Latin, and to prove this it would be
cite the formulas found in the writings of the same Tertullian, of St.
Cyprian and other writers, or even in the inscriptions of Roman Africa.
THE AFRICAN MASS.--In Tertullian and St. Cyprian we find numerous
allusions to the Eucharist and the Mass. By these we know that the
meeting took place before the dawn; that the Sacrifice, or actual Mass,
was preceded by readings, prayers, chants, and by the dismissal of the
catechumens. Tertullian blames the heretics who allow these last to be
present at the Sacrifice. We also know that the bread and wine were
consecrated by the words which Our Lord pronounced at the Last Supper.
St. Cyprian sharply rebukes other heretics (Aquarians) who, by a
misplaced scruple, left out the wine and declared that they offered the
Sacrifice with bread and water; reminding them that the water used at
must be mixed with wine. These two writers also allude to the litanic
prayers, to the dialogue which precedes the Preface, to the "Pater,"
and to some other rites, such as the dismissal of the faithful at the
end of Mass.
St. Augustine completes this information. We may accept his description
given by Mgr. Batiffol (p. 100) of the Pre-Mass. The Bishop, he says,
awaits in the "secretarium" (a place close to the Basilica) the moment
of entrance. He enters solemnly, but St. Augustine does not speak of
chant which should accompany his entry, and which corresponds with the
Roman Introit. He salutes the people, probably with the "Pax vobis,"
does not appear that this greeting was followed by the prayer or
collect customary at Rome. The readings, as in Spain, Gaul, and
elsewhere, were three in number--the first taken from the Prophets (and
Prophecy, or prophetical reading), the second from the Acts of the
Apostles or their Epistles (the Apostolic reading), while the third was
from the Gospel.
This was followed by the homily of the prelate, who commented on one or
another of these lessons; for usually the events of the day,
the Feast itself had determined both the course of reading and the
Sometimes the text of the Old Testament or the New was read without
choice or interruption; this was the "lectio continua," of which traces
may be found in our existing missal (see, for example, the chants for
Communion in Lent, the readings for Holy Week, or in Paschal Time,
In other passages St. Augustine speaks of only two lessons, the Epistle
and the Gospel, but between the two a Psalm was sung (our Gradual),
the Saint considered as a lesson, and on which he sometimes commented.
After the homily the catechumens were dismissed--"catechumeni
says St. Augustine. The Mass of the Faithful was thus composed:
Prayer of the faithful;
Reading of the Diptychs;
Offertory, with chanting of a Psalm and a prayer over the offerings,
corresponds to our Secret, or the "Oratio post nomina;"
The "anaphora" or Eucharistic prayer, which is interrupted by the
The recital of the institution, which is the center of the Mass;
Fraction (before the "Pater," as at Rome until the seventh century);
Kiss of Peace;
Communion, with the singing of a Psalm;
Let us consider some of these different points enumerated. The "Prayer
of the Faithful," "preces," "precatio," "deprecatio," consists in the
indication by the Bishop of the object of the prayer, of an invitation
by the deacon, and of a final prayer by the Bishop. This devotion may
be compared to the solemn prayers at Rome on Good Friday, which also
contain the indication of the object for which the prayer is offered,
the deacon's order, "Flectamus genua" (here, an instant of recollection
or silent prayer); followed by "Levate" and the prayer of the Bishop.
The design is the same. We may also compare the "preces fidelium" of
the Mozarabic rite, to which an allusion has been found in the works of
St. Fructuosus, which at once takes us back to the third century. For
Africa, St. Cyprian also makes an allusion to a prayer of this kind.
The "Prayer of the Faithful" is described at length by St. Augustine,
who tells us that it is the deacon who announces the prayer, but the
who reads it. He exhorts the people to pray for infidels, for
and for the faithful. In Africa, as at Rome, the faithful offered
bread and wine, and the Bishop asked God to accept them. While the
was being made, a Psalm was sung (the offertory). In St. Augustine's
this custom was not ancient, for he was obliged to write a book (now
lost) against a certain Hilarius, who condemned it.
The mixing of wine and water in the chalice is one of those universal
traits which we have mentioned as a proof of the unity of the primitive
liturgy. St. Cyprian explains this act by saying that the water is the
symbol of all Christian people, thus mingled in the chalice with the
Blood of Christ (Ep. lxiii.). St. Cyprian, too, is the most ancient
we possess as to the dialogue before the Preface, "Sursum corda,"
ad Dominum" ("De dom. orat.," 31). St. Augustine, after him, explains
the meaning of these words, and completes them, quoting the beginning:
"Dignum et justum est." This prayer, which we call the Preface, comes
after the "Prayer of the Faithful," and continues till the final
"Amen," at the
close of the last doxology. It is during the course of this prayer that
the might of the Divine Word the bread is changed into the Body of
and the wine into His Blood (Sermo CCXXVII).
After this prayer, which is that of the consecration of the elements,
St. Augustine mentions the "Pater."
In the article on "l'Afrique (Liturgie post-niceenne de l'Afrique)" I
have quoted other texts of St. Augustine, of Optatus, and of St.
Fulgentius, which allude to the canon, especially to the "anamnesis."
The Kiss of
Peace was given after the "Pater," as at Rome. St. Augustine also
frequently refers to the Communion, defining it in the terms: "accedere
mensam," "ad altare," "nostis fideles ad quam mensam." It was given
under both kinds, and he seems to give even the formula for Communion:
et edite Corpus Christi et potate Sanguinem Christi," to which the
faithful answered "Amen." The Communion chant was Psalm xxxiii., as was
custom generally at this time. There seems to have been a blessing
before the Communion, as there was in Gaul and Spain.
All these features are fairly general, and in themselves not sufficient
to determine precisely to which class this liturgy belongs. However,
Mgr. Duchesne and other liturgiologists with him declare without
hesitation that, excepting for insignificant details, the African
identical with that of Rome. Le Blant has pointed out numerous
analogies in the inscriptions of these two places.
I have also mentioned that the African resembles in a few points the
Mozarabic liturgy. W. C. Bishop presses this point in the article
cited, and Fr. Thibaut supports him. But let us remember that these
resemblances may be explained by the relations between the two
provinces, and also
by the fact on which we have throughout insisted: the original unity of
1. Because of this "Prayer of the Faithful," W. C. Bishop thinks that
the relations between the Mozarabic liturgy and that of Africa were
than those between Africa and the Roman liturgy.
2. Mgr. Batiffol quotes these different texts (p. 141); they will also
be found, and in greater number, in our article on the "Liturgie de
l'Afrique, etc." (DACL).
Cf. our article in DACL, "Afrique (Liturgie de l'Afrique ante-niceenne"
and "Liturgie de l'Afrique post-niceenne" and the Bibliography at the
of the article).
W. C. Bishop, "The African Rite," in the "Journal of Theological
Studies," Vol. XIII, 1912, pp. 250-277.
Dom W. ROETZER, "Der heil.-Augustinus Schriften als
Liturgie-geschichtl. Quelle" (Munich, 1930).
Cf. also Dom H. LECLERCQ "l'Afrique chretienne, 2 vols. (Paris, 1904).
P. MONCEAUX, "Hist. litteraire de l'Afrique chretienne" (Paris, 1901).
THE MASS AT ROME, FROM THE FIFTH TO THE SEVENTH CENTURIES
DOCUMENTS AND TEXTS.--THE ROMAN MASS: Station.--Litany.
--Introit.--Kissing of the Altar.--Collect.--Readings and Chants
(Gradual, Alleluia, Tract, Epistle).--Gospel.--THE MASS OF THE
FAITHFUL: Offertory.--Singing of
the Offertory.-- Secret.--Preface.--Sanctus.--The Roman Canon.--
and Pater.--Immixtion.--Kiss of Peace.--Communion.--The last Prayers
DOCUMENTS AND TEXTS
We have, to enlighten us as to this period, several allusions in
contemporary writers; while certain liturgical documents explain, with
more or less exactitude, how Mass was celebrated at Rome about the
sixth and seventh centuries. Other writers of the fifth, and even of
the fourth, century, such as Arnobius and the Jew Isaac, allude to the
text of the Roman canon. Pope Innocent I (401-417) in a celebrated text
forbids the recitation of names (Memento of the living and the dead) at
Offertory in the Roman canon (as was the Gallican and Oriental custom,
probably the most ancient usage). The Popes Boniface I (418-422) and
Celestine I (422-432) attest that the Emperors also were prayed for in
this place. Pope Vigilius, in a letter to Profuturus, says that at
the text of the canon only varies at Easter, Ascension-tide, Pentecost,
the Epiphany. He sends the Bishop that text of the canon which he
to be of Apostolic origin. The authors of the eighth-ninth centuries,
Bede, Agobard, Amalarius, also bear witness to the Roman canon. In a
celebrated work of the close of the fourth century, sometimes
attributed to St. Ambrose, and which in any case is almost contemporary
with him, which
is inspired by his writings, and which belongs to a church of Upper
the author quotes the prayer of Consecration, which, with a few
is the very text of our own canon. It is of such importance that it
be given here:
TEXT OF DE SACRAMENTIS
"Fac nobis (inquit sacerdos), hanc oblationem ascriptam, ratam,
rationabilem, acceptabilem, quod figura est corporis et sanguinis Jesu
Qui pridie quam pateretur, in sanctis manibus suis accepit panem,
respexit in coelum ad te, sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus,
Gratias agens, benedixit, fregit, fractum que apostolis suis et
tradidit dicens: accipite et edite ex hoc omnes: hoc est enim corpus
pro multis confringetur.
Similiter etiam calicem postquam coenatum est, pridie quam pateretur,
accepit, respexit in coelum ad te, sancte pater omnipotens, aeterne
Deus, gratias agens, benedixit, apostolis suis et discipulis suis
tradidit, dicens: accipite et bibite ex hoc omnes: hic est enim sanguis
Ergo memores gloriosissimae ejus passionis et ab inferis
resurrectionis, in coelum ascensionis, offerimus tibi hanc immaculatam
hostiam, hunc panem sanctum et calicem vitae aeternae:
et petimus et precamur, ut hanc oblationem suscipias in sublimi altari
tuo per manus angelorum tuorum sicut suscipere dignatus es munera pueri
tui justi Abel et sacrificium patriarchae nostri Abraham et quod tibi
obtulit summus sacerdos Melchisedech.
Te igitur . . .
Memento Domine . . .
Communicantes . . .
Hanc igitur oblationem . . .
Quam oblationem tu Deus, in omnibus, quassumus, benedictam, adscriptam,
ratam, rationabilem, acceptabilemque facere digneris: ut nobis corpus
et sanguis fiat dilectissimi Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi.
Qui pridie quam pateretur, accepit panem in sanctas ac venerabiles
manus suas: et elevatis oculis in coelum, ad Te Deum Patrem suum
omnipotentem, tibi gratias agens, benedixit, fregit, deditque
discipulis suis dicens: accipite et manducate ex hoc omnes: hoc est
enim corpus meum.
Simili modo postquam coenatum est, accipiens et hunc praeclarum calicem
in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas item tibi gratias agens,
benedixit, deditque discipulis suis, dicens: accipite et bibite ex eo
est enim calix sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti: mysterium
qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.
Haec quotiescumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis.
Unde et memores, Domine, nos servi tui, sed et plebs tua sancta,
ejusdem Christi Filii tui Domini nostri, tam beatae passionis necnon et
inferis resurrectionis, sed et in coelos gloriosae ascensionis:
offerimus praeclarae majestati tuae de tuis donis ac datis, hostiam
puram hostiam sanctam, hostiam immaculatam, Panem sanctum vitae
aeternae, et Calicem salutis perpetuae.
Supra quae propitio ac sereno vultu respicere digneris: et accepta
habere, sicuti accepta habere dignatus es munera pueri tui justi Abel,
et sacrificium patriarchae nostri Abrahae, et quod tibi obtulit summus
sacerdos tuus Melchisedech sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam.
Supplices te rogamus, omnipotens Deus: jube haec perferri per manus
sancti Angeli tui in sublime altare tuum, in conspectu divinae
There is no doubt that we have here two editions of the same text; and
as that of "De Sacramentis" is localised in Upper Italy and dated about
the year 400, it is the most ancient witness we possess as to the
principal parts of the Roman canon, which only appear in the
time after the seventh century. The question as to whether the Roman
is not older even than that of "De Sacramentis" is discussed by
liturgiologists. Mgr. Batiffol is of this opinion, but we, on the
contrary, think that the former bears traces of closer composition, of
a more carefully guarded orthodoxy, and that consequently it is a text
corrected from "De Sacramentis." We shall see, in studying the list of
the "Memento" of the living and that of the dead, that Mgr. Batiffol
argues with good reason that he can date these fragments from the
of Symmachus (498-514). We thus have the state of the Roman Mass, or at
least of the chief parts of the canon, at the beginning of the fourth
A Sacramentary of a very special character, called "Leonine," because
it has sometimes been attributed to St. Leo, and which seems to have
been composed in the fifth century, contains Prefaces some of which
seem to refer to events which took place in the previous century. It
other valuable indications as to the Roman liturgy of that time. The
references to churches, to cemeteries, to Roman Saints, and even to the
"chronique scandaleuse" of the day, are numerous. The style of the
use of the "cursus" and of rhythm, the liturgical terminology--in
short, everything in this precious document has a Roman character.
Another Roman Sacramentary, the "Gelasian-"-attributed to the Pope of
that name, Gelasius I (492-496)-- has been altered and retouched up to
the eighth or ninth century; but, strictly speaking, its text is not
authentic; and its principal elements only go back to the end of the
century. Like the "Leonine," we may, by studying it, find in it many
Roman characteristics. It is divided into three parts: the Masses of
Feasts of the liturgical year, from Christmas to Pentecost, the "Proper
of the Time," as we call it; the Masses of Saints, from St. Felix (Feb.
St. Thomas the Apostle (Dec. 21), or the "Proper of Saints;" and the
third part, containing Masses for Sundays, Votive Masses, and those for
special circumstances. Whoever drew up this Sacramentary knew the
and has borrowed numerous formulas from it, though these are quite
differently arranged; the Roman style is even more evident than in the
the liturgical year takes the first place in the "Gelasian," and
a preponderating influence on the liturgy.
A third Roman Sacramentary, the "Gregorian," presents itself under
conditions analogous with those of the "Gelasian." In spite of the
uncertainty we must feel on finding it retouched again and again up to
the ninth century (especially in Gaul), we cannot doubt that we have
here a document of Roman origin. The author has taken the "Gelasian
Sacramentary"as the basis of his work, which he reshapes, curtails,
sacrificing all that appears to him purely archaic, but utilising the
other elements. The attribution to St. Gregory (590-604) of this
Sacramentary (with the exception, of course, of all the changes and
it underwent from the seventh to the ninth centuries) has been eagerly
contested; but the most important liturgiologists are more and more
inclined to accept the indications given by tradition on this point. In
recent times an attempt has been made to recover the primitive
"Gregorian Sacramentary," and the discovery of a copy at Monte Cassino
is of the greatest importance.
At Rome again, during this period of the sixth-ninth centuries, when
the liturgy became of such importance, liturgical books were composed
which have not the same characteristics as the Sacramentaries, but
complete them. These books are the "Ordines Romani." The Sacramentaries
the text of the prayers to be recited, but usually without indications
to the nature of the ceremonies. The "Ordines," on the other hand, take
as their aim the dcscription of the ceremonies themselves; those of the
Mass, in particular, giving on this point the necessary information.
Their composition is spread over a period of many centuries
(seventh-fifteenth). These "Ordines," some of which are of Roman
origin, have, like the Sacramentaries, been retouched in Gaul, where
the greatest liturgical activity was displayed from the eighth-eleventh
centuries. But one of
these "Ordines," the first of the series, is exempt from any
goes back to the eighth century and perhaps beyond it, and has even
with some probability, attributed to St. Gregory himself. In any
is possible without scruple to describe the Roman Mass in the seventh
century under St. Gregory on the information here contained.
Whatever doubts we may have as to their composition, all these
documents do clearly show the interest taken by the Roman Church from
fifth-eighth centuries in the liturgy. No other Church can display a
collection of documents of equal importance. Even now we have said
nothing as to the composition of those music-books which are called
"Gregorians," as we prefer to treat that question in an Excursus (see
Another indication of the interest taken by the Popes in
theorganisation and direction of Christian worship can be found in the
"Liber Pontificalis." Some portions of its testimony have been quoted
at the beginning of this chapter. But this document, which was not
before the fifth century, professes to enlighten us upon the most
period of all, and to attribute to the earliest Popes certain acts
the liturgy, especially concerning the Mass. All this information is
no means of equal value, and we may well ask what were the sources from
which the author has drawn his information as to the first centuries.
from the fourth, and particularly from the fifth century onward, his
testimony is of real value.
THE ROMAN MASS
It is by comparing all these documents, and by completing them by each
other that certain contemporary liturgiologists have endeavoured to
reconstruct the Roman Mass in the seventh century. Such are Edmund
Bishop, Atchley, Dom Wilmart, Mgr. Duchesne, Mgr. Batiffol, and Dom
Puniet, whose works are mentioned in the Bibliography; all having
nearly the same results. Their reconstruction can therefore be accepted
It should be added that this Mass is really that celebrated at Rome by
the Pope during the great solemnities; but it is also that of the
his cathedral, and that of the simple priest in his church, the number
of ministers and clerics and the splendour of the ceremonies being
always excepted; there is no essential rite peculiar to the Pope. We
shall describe it here in some detail, for if modifications have been
in later, the Mass has remained substantially the same, and in the
following chapters on the Roman Mass from the seventh-twentieth
need only note what has been added or omitted. But the very fact that
is the Mass of the Pope and of his court explains any changes, for such
a ceremony, in the presence of many Bishops and of a numerous assembly,
could hardly remain unaltered. The "Liber Pontificalis" mentions
the reforms which were made in it, but not all, since St. Gregory
we know by his correspondence, made many alterations, of which the
principal are: the introduction of the singing of the "Kyrie," changes
in that of
the "Alleluia," the alteration of the place of the "Pater," important
modifications of the Gelasian text, and probably of the chant. We must
not, then, be astonished if the Roman Mass has conformed far less to
the primitive form than the Mozarabic, Gallican, or Ambrosian Masses,
more especially the Eastern liturgies.
The Popes possessed an authority which allowed them to change any part
of the ceremonial, and they used it.
THE STATION.--The faithful, according to an invitation which was given
at a preceding assembly, met in a church, whence they went in
procession to another church, called the Church of the Station. The
word "statio" is
old Latin, which in military language means a watch or vigil. Hermas
and Tertullian have given it the Christian sense of prayer arld
thus Wednesday and Friday are called "Station Days," because they were
of fasting, on which Mass was celebrated. The word also means the
plenary assembly of a church, and St Cyprian uses it in this sense.
Finally it became a liturgical term at Rome, in the sense given above:
that of a gathering of the faithful for the Papal Mass.
In the Roman missal we still find certain days designated in this way:
"Statio ad Sanctum Petrum," "Statio ad Sanctum Paulum," etc. This means
that on that day Mass was said at St. Peter's (of the Vatican), or at
St. Paul's (Without the Walls), or at any other church mentioned. Such
churches are the most ancient in Rome; the greater number existed in
the time of
St. Gregory (end of the sixth century), and many are very much
all this we have the elements of a little course of topography and
Roman archaeology; and scholars like Armellini, Grisar, Morin,
Schuster, and others have carefully described these venerable churches.
during Lent, and some other days in the year, have under the heading of
Mass some indication of this kind. This list, according to Mgr.
goes back to the seventh century, but Dom Morin considers it originated
two centuries earlier. The greater number of these churches exist
but the Station which in St. Gregory's time was so solemn a ceremony is
now little more than a memory.
Sometimes Mass was celebrated in the catacombs on the outskirts of
Rome, and this was especially the case on the anniversary days of the
of a martyr, when it was probably said on the tomb in which his relics
reposed. But after the year 410, when Rome was taken by Alaric, these
cemeteries were exposed to the incursions of the barbarians, and it
custom to transport the bodies of the martyrs to churches in the
The church" where the Station was to take place was a "Basilica," a
great building inspired by architectural tradition as this was
the third and fourth centuries, but modified since by the Church for
Divine service. Many of the most ancient Roman churches such as St.
St. Sabina, St. Laurence-Withoutthe-Walls, have preserved this form.
even those which have been altered again and again, like St.
PaulWithout-the-Walls, have been reconstructed on the same plan. It was
that of a long building with a central nave, separated by columns from
naves to right and left, with an altar at the end and in the axis of
the principal nave; and behind the altar, an apse. At the end of the
was the "cathedra," or Bishop's chair, and, all around it, stalls for
the clergy; this was the choir. The part surrounding the altar is the
sanctuary, with an "ambone," or pulpit, or sometimes two, one to right,
the other to left.
To-day, as the altar usually has a retable and a tabernacle, the priest
when standing before it turns his back to the people; so that when he
greets them with "Dominus vobiscum" he is obliged to turn round. The
Bishop would be hidden on his "cathedra"at the back of the apse, and
hardly follow the ceremonies, therefore his throne, as well as the
the clergy, have been moved to places before the altar. But if we wish
to understand the ancient positions, it will help us to remember that
that time the altar was a "table" (hence its name of "mensa") of wood
stone, forming either a solid block or else raised on four feet, but in
case without a tabernacle; so that the officiating priest would face
the people, as he does to-day at "San Clemente." In our own churches,
of course, he officiates on the other side of the altar; the Gospel
being the left and that of the Epistle the right. As we explain
another consideration has brought about these changes: the practice of
turning in prayer towards the East, the region of that light which is
the image of Christ, Who Himself came from the East. The question of
the orientation of churches was an important one in Christian
from the fourth-twelfth centuries.
In the catacombs the tomb of a martyr could be used as an altar. When,
lest their relics should be profaned, the bodies of the martyrs had
brought from the cemeteries in the Roman "campagna "into the churches
city, they were usually placed beneath the altar. In any case, the
altar was henceforth a sacred object. The word "mensa" (table) recalled
the Last Supper of the Lord; it was an image of Calvary where Christ
sacrificed for us; frequently it was a martyr's tomb; upon it was
accomplished the tremendous Eucharistic Mystery, and thus it was dear
to the devotion of
the faithful. The liturgy ordains that the priest shall kiss it at the
beginning and during the course of Mass; that he shall cover it with a
"Corporal," the image of that winding-sheet in which Our Lord was
buried; that he shall surround it with honour. All this was not
the same detail during the earliest centuries, but it is a legitimate
development of Catholic piety whose growth in intensity throughout the
ages which followed we are now about to contemplate.
At the time we are now considering (seventh century) there were neither
crosses nor candles, neither tabernacle or retable; nor were there any
of these things till the ninth, or even the eleventh, century But
the "ciborium," a kind of dome, or dais, usually supported by four
was in use from the fourth century onwards, and sometimes at Rome it
of precious metal. The marbles, mosaics, chandeliers, and candelabras,
the lamps hanging from the vaulted roof and other ornaments in use from
the time of Constantine, show us that the Church has come out ofthe
catacombs, and that to primitive austerity has succeeded the desire to
Divine worship with splendour, upheld by the generosity of Christians.
Let us return to the church where the faithful assembled and whence
they started in procession, with the clergy and all those holding
ecclesiastical office up to the Pope himself. for the church where the
Station was to
THE LITANY. The "Kyrie Eleison."--During the march of the procession
they sang a prayer which resembles neither the Collects nor Prefaces-
is neither an Anthem, a Responsory, a Tract, nor a Psalm, like those to
be found in the Mass. It is a "Supplication," as the Greek etymology
indicates. A cantor, or perhaps the priest himself, said an invocation,
which all the people repeated, or to which they responded by an
acclamation. The most ancient memorial of this which we possess is the
is said before the Mass of Holy Saturday
At an early date (fourth century) Rome adopted the principal invocation
of the Eastern liturgy, the "Kyrie Eleison" (Lord, have mercy upon us).
But Rome added the "Christe Eleison," and thus we have that chant to
the Trinity with wh"with which in future all litanies were to begin:
"Kyrie Eleison "(thrice)--The Father
"Christe Eleison (thrice)--The Son
"Kyrie Eleison "(thrice)--The Holy Ghost.
The "Kyrie Eleison" is thus borrowed from the Greek liturgy, but marked
with the seal of Rome. When St. Gregory was reproached for having
introduced it into the Roman liturgy he could not deny the fact that he
had done so, but he pointed outthat he had modified its form. Amongthe
Greeks it was sung by all- at Rome it was sung by clerics, the people
repeating the words after them (or, according to the correct
responding). Furthermore, says the Pope, the people confine themselves
to these acclamations at the daily Masses, while at others (probably at
the stational Masses) other words are added. What are these words?
Other invocations, probably, such as we see in those litanies preserved
us, like that of Holy Saturday.
Apart from the Mass the litany was frequently used in processions and
in the canonical office, and St. Benedict remarks this in the sixth
THE INTROIT (Lat. "introire," enter) is really the commencement of the
Mass. It is a chant sung while the Pontiff proceeded solemnly from the
sacristy to the church. It was usually sung by cantors, and as was
customary for all psalms from the fourth century onwards, closed with a
doxology, "Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto." Our "Introits
"have preserved but one verse of the psalm and the doxology. Sometimes
words are chosen from other books of Scripture than the Psalter; they
even occasionally taken from the Apocryphal books. The Roman liturgy,
usually so severe, shows itself accommodating upon this point. The
"Accipite jucunditatem" of the Tuesday after Pentecost is taken from IV
book of Esdras (apocryphal), which has also furnished the "Introit" for
Mass of the Dead, "Requiem aeternasn dona eis Domine." That "Introit"
of many Feasts, "Gaudeamus in Domino," is also extra-scriptural; while
"Salve Sancta Parens" of Masses of Our Lady is taken from Sedulius, a
the fifth century.
We have already said (Chap. IV, note) what must be thought of the text
which attributes the introduction of the "Introit" to Pope Celestine
(422-432). But its presence is noted in the Gelasian Sacramentary and
"Ordo Romanus I". From this Mgr. Batiffol concludes that it is a Roman
creation of the sixth century--at least, under the form described. One
of St. Gregory's successors, Hadrian (772-795) attributes the
at least the arrangement, of the Roman Antiphonary to the former Pope;
tells us at the same time that this book began with "Ad Te levavi," the
first words of the Advent "Introit." The Gelasian books began with the
Feast of Christmas: the celebrated lines are as follows:
Gregorius praesul, meritis et nomine dignus,
Unde genus ducit summum conscendit honorem.
Renovavit monumenta patrum priorum.
Tunc composuit hunc libellum musicae artis
Scolae cantorum anni circuli: Ad Te levavi.
Elsewhere (Excursus, ii. Chap. XII) we shall speak of the music
composed for the "Introit." It is enough to say here that it has not
the characteristics of a processional chant any more than it has the
primitive form of a psalm.
THE KISSING OF THE ALTAR.--At the Pontifical ceremony on Good Friday
the prelate with his ministers leaves his throne at the beginning of
the office, goes to the altar, kisses it, and returns to his place.
an act of the most remote antiquity; a mark of devotion to that altar
which is sacred; and which when the church was consecrated was blessed
great solemnity. Mgr. Batiffol rightly reminds us that this act is
peculiarly Roman (loc. cit., p. 117). It is repeated many times during
Mass (cf. Excursus, "Liturgical Acts," p. 232).
THE GLORIA IN EXCELSIS.--At certain Masses, after the "Kyrie," the
"Gloria in Excelsis" is sung. It has no relation to the "Kyrie," and is
sung or said in the ancient Masses for Vigils, nor in those of Holy
of Lent, nor of ferials, and in reality its proper place is not in the
Mass any more than in any other office. Indeed, at the beginning, it
not, as it is to-day, consecrated to the Mass alone. It is a
honour of the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit only comes in at the
and this is perhaps an addition. It is thus very probably anterior to
the fourth century, for from the time of the Arian disputes the
was almost always trinitarian. This is confirmed by its presence in
the "Apostolic Constitutions." It was early adopted by Rome, with many
other Greek formulas; but, to begin with, only at the first of the
three Christmas Masses, where its place is admirably justified.
Pope Symmachus extended its use to every Sunday and to the Feasts of
the martyrs; but only for episcopal Masses; it was said by priests only
at Easter. Then, little by little, as was the way with so many other
chants and ceremonies, the reserves were done away with, and its use
much more frequent. It is almost unnecessary to say that it is an
admirable prayer; that it is the expression of a very beautiful
that it is of great Christological importance. It has been the subject
many works, to which we can only refer.
THE COLLECT.--The Pontiff arrived at the church to the singing of
litanies if there was a Station, or to that of the "Introit" when the
procession came from the sacristy. He greeted the people, as St.
told us, with the "Pax vobis," or "Dominus vobiscum," to which they
responded "Et cum spiritu tuo;" after which the celebrant said a prayer
of a very special nature, called the "Collect." The general term is
There are three of these prayers in the Mass--the first that just
the second the "oratio super oblata," or Secret; and, lastly,
ad complendum," or Post-Communion. The Collect is the "oratio prima."
it was said at the moment when the faithful were assembling for Mass,
some have thought that this was the origin of its name, "oratio ad
collectam," prayer at the moment of meeting. Others have thought it was
from the fact that the celebrant here collects and expresses the
of all those present. The term is not exclusively Roman; in the
liturgies we find prayers called "collectiones."
We have a large number of such prayers in the Roman missal. Their
character is easily recognised, especially that of the most ancient,
really of Roman origin, and which are distinguished by the clearness of
their style, and the elegance and symmetry of their composition. Such
is the following, chosen haphazard:
Deus qui ineffabilibus mundum renovas
sacramentis: praesta, quaesumus, ut Ecclesia
tua et aeternis proficiat institutis,
et temporalibus non destituatur auxiliis.
(Friday of the fourth week in Lent).
The old Roman books, such as the "Leonine," "Gelasian," and "Gregorian
Sacramentaries" contain a great number of these prayers, which are of
equal interest from the literary and theological standpoints.
The character of these prayers in the Roman liturgy has been much
praised; they are always short, precise, elegant, and of a scholarly
Those of the other Latin liturgies, such as the Gallican and Mozarabic,
on the contrary, much longer and more diffuse, clearly betraying a time
when the Latin tongue was scarcely spoken except by the barbarians, and
was falling into decadence.
We see that there was at that period no question of the prayers now
said at the foot of the altar (Psalm xlii., the "Confeteor" and the
was only later that these were added to the Mass (cf. Chapter IX). Not
only, however, have we preserved the use of the Collects, but the
part of them are very ancient, dating from the seventh and even from
the fifth century. Originally there was only one Collect; now we have
often a sequence of several--memorials of another Feast, prayers to the
Ghost, to Our Lady, or for other intentions.
THE READINGS AND THE CHANTS (GRADUAL, ALLELUIA TRACT, EPISTLE).--The
"Collect" is followed by a reading or lesson from Holy Scripture (Old
or New Testament) called the "Epistle," because it is often taken from
the Epistles of St. Paul. It was read from the pulpit by one of the
ministers, usually a Lector. To-day it is reserved for the sub-Deacon.
usually contained in a special book called the "Epistolary." The most
of those copies, which have come down to us under the title of
"Lectionaries," go back to the eighth century, or to an even earlier
epoch, that of the seventh century. In some ancient copies of the Bible
these lessons are marked. The study of the "Lectionaries" is most
useful for the right understanding of the liturgy.
We have seen that in Africa (fourth and fifth centuries) there were
sometimes three lessons--one from the Old Testament (Prophecy), one
from the Epistles or Acts of the Apostles (Apostolic reading), and
the Gospel. On certain days like vigils or the Ember Days we have
several Lessons in the Roman Mass; on the vigil of Pentecost there are
that of Easter, twelve. But these are exceptional cases, and these
were really night offices, each with their own special characteristics.
The custom in the Mozarabic and Gallican liturgies is to have three
lessons--the Prophecy, the Apostolic Lesson, and the Gospel. It is
also, though not without exceptions, the Eastern custom.
Liturgiologists have asked whether, at a certain epoch --say, before
the fifth century--the Roman Mass had not also its three Lessons, of
the first was omitted later on. In any case, the reading of the Old
Testament during Lent has taken the place of the Apostolic Lesson. With
the three Lessons we can better understand a certain gradation in the
form of the Pre-Mass--Old Testament, New Testament (from the Apostolic
part), and, lastly, the Gospel, which in solemn Masses is surrounded
with great solemnities. It has also been pointed out that in the Roman
Mass the "Alleluia" follows the "Gradual." Two consecutive chants are
according to the ancient and normal custom, in which a reading should
by a chant or responsory. The psalmody or singing of a psalm alternates
with the reading. This would be another indication of the presence of
three Lessons--the "Gradual" after the "Prophecy," the "Alleluia" after
As a matter of fact, the "Gradual" to-day follows the "Epistle," as
also, according to circumstances, does the "Alleluia" or the "Tract."
The "Prose," when there is one, follows the "Alleluia," on which it
The "Gradual" was thus styled at Rome because it was sung from the
pulpit on the altar steps, "Gradus." Its generic name is "Psalmus
responsorius," as St. Augustine tells us. This particular way of
singing a psalm in responses differs from the Anthem. It was executed
by a cantor, the
choir answering with a refrain or "Response" taken from the same psalm.
own "Gradual" has kept these general characteristics; it is sung by a
cantor, or a "schola," the choir taking up part of the verse; but the
psalm has been suppressed. The "Gradual" is one of the chief elements
of the Pre-Mass; we have seen the importance attached to it by St.
Augustine, who sometimes commented on it in his homilies, and regarded
it as one
of the Lessons. At Rome until the time of St. Gregory it was, like the
Gospel, sung by a Deacon. St. Gregory, however, doubtless found some
inconvenience attached to this practice, and withdrew this privilege
Deacons. But the "Gradual" kept its place of honour among the chants of
Mass, while the singing of the Anthems "Introit," "Offertory "and
"Communion," which are, chronologically, later than the "Gradual," was
by the "schola," or by the people themselves, since these chants were
instituted to occupy the faithful during the course of a procession.
The "Alleluia" is a chant of a special character. Of Hebraic origin,
like "Amen" and "Hosanna," it was adopted by the Christians, and is
the Apocalypse. It is frequently used, like the "Sanctus" and other
acclamations; but not at first in the Mass. The word means "Glory to
God," and often occurs in the Psalms, some of which are called
for this reason. The time and occasion of its introduction into the
are not very well known. But the custom existed from the days of St.
Augustine, who speaks of the "Jubilus," a kind of prolonged "melopeia"
on the last
"a" of "Alleluia;" but he does not say whether it was followed by a
as it is to-day. It was chiefly sung on Easter Day and in Paschal time.
Sozomenus tells us that it was only sung at Rome on that day, but is
his information accurate? The real custom was to sing it during the
of Paschal time. And St. Gregory, again inspired by the Greek custom,
extended its use beyond Paschal time, probably to every Sunday and
Feast day of
the year. Doubtless through its analogy with the "Gradual" a verse of
Scripture was sung after it, but this verse is not always taken from
The "Alleluia" is omitted on vigils, on certain ferials, at the Office
of the Dead, and from Septuagesima till Holy Saturday. In some
in the Middle Ages this suppression of the "Alleluia" was marked by a
ceremony called the "Burial of the Alleluia," held on the Saturday
before Septuagesima. It is needless to say that this ceremony was not
in Rome, nor any others which appeared contrary to the austerity of the
liturgy. Tropes, Proses, and the Mysteries which were derived from them
did not originate in Rome. It was by no means at an early date, and
then, as it would seem, almost against her will, that she adopted four
of the most beautiful of the Proses: "Victimae pascali laudes," "Veni
Sancte Spiritus," "Dies Irae," "Lauda Sion," and much later, the
But at the time of which we speak (fifth-seventh centuries) there was
no question of these compositions. We shall speak of them in Chapter
and shall then see how they were attached to the "Jubilus" of the
"Alleluia." To-day, when the "Alleluia "is omitted, its place is taken
by a much
more ancient chant, the Tract.
The "Tract" (Tractus) is also rather obscure in its origin. What is
certain is that the manner of its singing (it has no refrain nor is it
repeated, hence its derivation from "tractim," meaning with a single
of the highest antiquity. St. Benedict refers to it in his Rule, but in
connection with the Omce, in which it was probably used before its
introduction into the Mass. In the Roman antiphonary it has preserved
its original character better than the other chants; it is almost
always a psalm, or at least several verses of a psalm, and even the
which it is sung recalls more faithfully its psalmodic origin.
THE GOSPEL.--The reading of the Gospel is the end of the Mass of the
catechumens; in a certain sense it is its crown and fulfilment. This
gradation observed between the reading of the Prophecy, that of the
Epistle, and finally of the Gospel, is more marked, as we have noted,
in certain other liturgies than in the actual Roman Mass; but, on the
other hand, Rome has always surrounded the singing of the Gospel with
great solemnities. The function was reserved for the Deacon, who was
accompanied to the pulpit by acolytes bearing candles and incense, and
the book was kissed by the celebrant. All that was the custom in St.
and this Roman practice is the same as that of the church of Jerusalem
the fourth century, as Etheria tells us. St. Benedict too, at the end
the fifth century, in the office for vigils (matins) for Sundays and
Feast days, which he has so carefully composed, seems to have been
by the same principles and to follow the same lines as those of the
Pre-Mass, with its singing of psalms, readings from the Old and New
Testaments accompanied by responses, the "Te Deum," and lastly the
of the Gospel. Those Gospels to be read at Mass at that time, as also
to-day, were usually contained in a special book called the
The richness of its binding, the perfection of the penmanship, and the
beauty of the illumination of some of these books is a urther proof of
the devotion of Christians to the Gospel. As to this the "Ordo Romanus
I," which we are analysing here, tells us that the "Evangeliarium" used
the Papal Mass was enriched with jewels; and that in order that these
jewels should not be stolen it was enclosed in a casket sealed with the
of the "Vestararius," and only opened at the moment of the reading of
Another Roman custom of the eighth-twelfth centuries was that the
Deacon reading the Gospel should turn to the south, and not to the
he does to-day.
The "Credo" was neither read nor sung in the Roman Mass until much
later (see Chap. VI).
The dismissal of the catechumens and others outside the fold customary
in the fifth century, and which was maintained much longer in some
other liturgies, was suppressed at Rome, probably in the sixth century.
The diaconal prayer at this juncture was also suppressed and the Mass
the catechumens closed with the reading of the Gospel. But the
Gallican, Mozarabic, and Celtic liturgies have preserved this diaconal
which formerly had its place in the Roman Mass (cf. Chap. IV).
THE MASS OF THE FAITHFUL
OFFERTORY.--It is still the custom for the celebrant to turn towards
the people after the Gospel and to say: "Dominus vobiscum, Oremus."
This salutation is generally followed by a prayer. Here, after this
solemn announcement, the priest reads the Offertory and carries out
certain functions, but no prayer follows. Something has evidently been
suppressed here, and the anomaly has naturally intrigued the
liturgiologists. Mgr. Duchesne thinks that the "Prayer of the Faithful"
used to be in this
place, and this hypothesis has secured widespread approval. It is
certainly specious, for that prayer had its own place, and that an
in most of the ancient liturgies. After the departure of the
and others outside the fold, whowere not allowed to assist at Mass, the
faithful were invited to pray for several intentions: the Church, The
Pope, Bishops and other ministers, the Emperor, the sick, travellers,
This prayer is no longer found in the Roman Mass, but during Holy Week
(since it is there that we must always seek the traces of the most
customs) we have in Good Friday's morning office certain solemn prayers
are nothing less than the "Prayer of the Faithful," and which may be
considered as one of the jewels of the Roman liturgy. Was it a prayer
of this kind which was announced by the "Dominus vobiscum" and "Oremus
above? It would certainly be possible, but another conjecture has been
and this appears to be better founded. We may first remark that the
of the Faithful" has not entirely disappeared. The "Te igitur "recalls
and sums up its principal features. Lastly, the Ambrosian, so near a
neighbour of the Roman liturgy, has at this very place an "Oratio super
sindonem;" this linen cloth is the "Corporal," which at this moment is
the altar. The Roman Mass has the same ceremony, but of the prayer has
only retained the "Dominus vobiscum "and "Oremus." The "Gelasian
Sacramentary" has also preserved traces of this prayer.
At the Roman Mass, after the Deacon had spread the Corporal presented
by the acolyte upon the altar, the Pope descended from his throne, and
went to receive the offerings, those of the men first, the order of
precedence being sedulously observed, according to Roman tradition. It
be said here that St. Benedict, who was very faithful to the Roman
and often draws his inspiration from the Roman liturgy of his day
(sixth century), has a whole chapter, "De ordine congregationis," in
too insists on the order of precedence for the Kiss of Peace, the
Communion, and for the whole choir office. After the men's offering
came that of
the women, who occupied the other side of the nave, the congregation at
that time being divided in two parts.
The offering was made in the following way: each person offered a small
flagon of wine and a loaf; the wine was emptied into a great chalice,
and the bread placed in a white cloth held by two acolytes. It goes
without saying that as yet there was no question of unleavened bread;
offered here is the usual leavened bread. This distinction between
leavened and unleavened did not then exist; it was only much later, and
about the eleventh century, that a quarrel, which in our own opinion
was unnecessary, arose between the Eastem and Westem churches on this
The most important thing to notice is that the offering as we have just
described it is a Roman custom, also followed in Africa and at Milan.
In the Gallican, Mozarabic, and Greek liturgies the preparation of the
offering was made before Mass.
After the offering had been made the Pope retumed to his throne and
washed his hands in preparation for the Sacrifice; after which he went
to the altar, where the oblations had been placed, the bread on one
side, the chalice into which the wine had been poured on the other.
Mgr. Batiffol aptly recalls a fresco at Ravenna, and also the famous
Gourdon (sixth century), preserved in the Cabinet of Medals. A
the latter is given in DACL, at the word "calice."
THE OFFERTORY CHANT--All the time that this was going on--doubtless
rather a long time--the "schola" had sung the "Offertory "psalm; and
Pope arrived at the altar he made a signal for the singing to stop,
the psalm were finished or not. This "Offertory" chant, as well as
those of "Introit"and "Communion," had not, we repeat, the importance
of the "Gradual," which formed a whole apart; the former might be
or abridged without difficulty. If the "Introit "is a Roman creation of
the sixth century, as Mgr. Batiffol declares, the "Offertory" and
"Communion" chants are older, and were probably first instituted in the
church of Carthage. We may remember that St. Augustine was obliged to
book to defend this custom of chanting a psalm during the Oblation and
THE SECRET.--What, first of all, does this word mean? More than any
other it has given rise to discussions. Is it a substantive or an
Very naturally it has been compared with analogous terms like
"Missa"for "Missio," "Oblata" for "Oblatio." Thus, it is asked, is not
for "Secretio?" Bossuet, who was the first to risk this interpretation,
so with circumspection; the "Secretio," or "separation," meaning the
separation of the oblations. Others have taken it to be an adjective
qualifying the word "Oratio" understood; thus it would mean a secret
prayer, or one said in a low voice. Each interpretation presents
serious difficulties. In our own opinion, and that of others,
"Secreta"is a substantive synonymous with "Mysteria." Thus we sometimes
find the expression "Oratio super Secreta;" aud again, the whole canon
is called "Secreta," the "Mysteries."
At the epoch of which we are speaking this was the only prayer made
over the oblations, "super oblata." The Offertory prayers in the
Missal, "Suscipe sancte Pater" and the rest (cf. Chap. IX), are of more
recent introduction, and probably of Gallican origin. There was then no
question of censing the "oblata" at Rome. Doubtless at the "Introit"
"Gospel" a golden censer was carried (thymiamaterium aureum), but this
merely a vase of perfume which was not used for censing; it was not the
"thuribulum." This custom is of Gallican origin, and was not introduced
at Rome until after the eleventh century.
The "Secret," the only "Offertory "prayer, had thus at that time a
special importance; and its formulas should be carefully studied in our
In its composition, and it may be said in its functions, it corresponds
the "Collect" and the "Post-communion." Each of the three, as the
principal prayers of the Romau Mass, has its own "role," but all three
correspond; they are fashioned in the same mould and follow the same
laws of composition and rhythm. Attention has often been called to the
sobriety, simplicity, firmness, and elegance of the purely Roman style,
so well preserved the chief qualities of the best classical manner.
These characteristics will be noted all the more clearly if we compare
these prayers with the corresponding composition of the other Latin
liturgies, of which some examples are quoted in Chapters VI and VII.
But what is especially remarkable is less the literary quality than the
depth and certainty of the teaching given us in these Roman prayers.
all, appear the mastery and the superiority of the liturgy of that
which is Mother and Mistress. To speak only of the "Secrets," we find
more than one affirms the faith of the Roman Church in
and Bossuet has made good use of this fact against the Protestants in
his explanations of the prayers of the Mass.
THE PREFACE.--The adoption of the "Sanctus" as well as other
circumstances have led the Roman and the other Churches, both Greek and
divide into several parts that Eucharistic prayer which, in the second
third centuries, forms a single uninterrupted whole up to the final
doxoiogy (before the "Pater") (cf. Chap. IV).
The first part of this Eucharistic prayer has become what is called at
Rome the "Preface," "Praefatio" (a word in use at Rome from the sixth
century, and already mentioned at the Council of Carthage in 407). It
general term, meaning rather a prayer or blessing than an introduction,
in the sense the word is used to-day. There are "Prefaces" for the
blessing of fonts and of the holy oils, and for ordinations. The
"Exultet" at the blessing of the Paschal Candle is also a "Preface."
That it was an improvised prayer the great number of its formulas would
prove. Many of these date back to the fourth century. The Leonine
Sacramentary contains a rich collection of "Prefaces," many of which
bear the stamp of their time and allude to contemporary events
(fourth-fifth centuries). The Gelasian has also a large number, but the
of St. Gregory accepted only eleven, to which were added later(eleventh
century) the "Preface" of Our Lady, and in our own day that of the
Dead, one for St. Joseph, one for Christ the King, and another for the
All these "Prefaces" present the same general characteristics; they
begin with the same protocol; they are addressed to God the Father
Almighty through Jesus Christ Our Lord. On this point the "Preface" is
not distinguished from the "Collects" and other Roman prayers. But it
has greater scope; it refers to the Feast which is being celebrated, or
even to contemporary events (as in the Leonine), or to the blessing
take place (baptismal fonts, ordinations, Paschal Candle, etc.). At
Mass the "Preface" always closes with a formula leading to the
The Roman "Preface" is composed with the same care and according to
those same rules of the "Cursus" as are the "Collects" and other
These "Prefaces" are usually as remarkable for their workmanship as for
their theological teaching, as, for example, that for the Holy Trinity
that for Christmas. If our present aim were to comment on the prayers
of the Mass, it would be necessary to pause here for some time to
the importance of the "Prefaces" of our Missal, of the "Communicantes"
which on certain days accompany them, and to compare them with
"Illationes" or "Contestationes" of other Latin liturgies, notably with
those of the Mozarabic rite, which are sometimes actual theological
treatises or biographies of Martyrs and Saints.
THE SANCTUS.--The "Sanctus," like the "Gloria in Excelsis" the "Te
decet laus" and other chants, goes back to the most ancient Christian
antiquity. It is in reality taken from the Old Testament, from Isaias.
have been in use at other times than in the Mass, as we see by a
from Tertullian, and by the Acts of SS. Perpetua and Felicitas. Its
introduction into the actual Eucharistic prayer towards the fifth
century, or even before it has somewhat modified the form of the latter
by dividing it
into several parts. It exists in two forms: in the Eastern Church the
"Sanctus" is usually read as it exists in the text of Isaias. Rome,
added to these words the second part: "Benedictus qui venit in nomine
the words sung by the multitude at Jerusalem to welcome the Messiah on
Palm Sunday. The other Latin liturgies have followed Rome in this
and this again is a point on which all these liturgies betray their
THE ROMAN CANON.--The word "Canon," Canon Missae" in our Missal, is the
title of all the prayers which follow the "Sanctus." No other
indication is furnished in the Missal to show where the "Canon" ends,
and it would
seem to continue till the Last Gospel inclusively. But according to a
of St. Gregory which we shall quote in connection with the "Pater," and
also in accordance with other witnesses, the "Canon" really ends with
solemn doxology which precedes the "Pater," or at the "Fraction." The
word "chanon" signifies "rule;" the meaning here is that this is an
official prayer, one established by an invariable rule.
Pope Vigilius indeed, in 538, in a text already quoted, remarks that at
Rome, contrary to what prevailed elsewhere, this prayer never varies
except on certain Feast days, such as Christmas, Epiphany, etc.
The word "Canon" is Roman. In the East the corresponding prayer is
called the "Anaphora," from "anaphero," I offer. In the Gelasian
the word "Actio" is applied to this part of the Mass. It is the supreme
"action," and "agere," "agenda" are taken in the same sense. We even
have in our existing "Canon" the terms "Infra actionem," during the
action, which recall the ancient word "actio."
To-day it comprehends the following prayers:
Memento of the Living;
Unde et memores;
Memento of the Dead,
Pater, with prelude and embolism.
This very division of the "Canon" into a dozen prayers which often are
not correlated, would in itself be enough to reveal a fragmentary state
no means primitive. Indeed we shall see that, whatever be the antiquity
of such and such a formula, the Roman "Canon" as a whole goes back but
a date about the year 400.
The "Canon" corresponds with the most ancient of the Eucharistic
prayers as this is described by St. Justin in the second century or at
beginning of the third by St. Hippolytus. It is a prayer with a single
inspiration beginning with the "Dominus vobiscum "or "Sursum corda" of
"Preface," continuing with the recital of the Institution, and ending
doxology with the "Amen" of the faithful. These are the true limits of
"Canon," they are at least the most ancient.
Great is the temptation both for archaeologists and liturgiologists to
try whether it be not possible to reconstitute the Roman "Canon" in its
primitive form, and to give it a more logical, more homogeneous
sequence. To this many have yielded, and in our article "Canon" (DACL)
we have mentioned the chief attempts which have been made in this
They will also be found in Fortescue's book; and, since his time, other
hypotheses have been presented for consideration.
It is discouraging that each critic has a different system, and that
none, we may say, has arrived at a really definite result. We may
safely disregard such study, and take the Roman "Canon" just as it is;
remarking that its actual form is assuredly not primitive, and what we
the joins are clearly shown by certain signs which will be pointed out
the consideration of each of these prayers.
Nevertheless, whatever be the variety of the sources whence its
compiler has drawn it up, the composition as a whole betrays itself as
of a single hand. That "scholasticus" of whom St. Gregory speaks with
dis dain has certain methods in his style which Brinktrine, I think,
the first to point out. First of all, the use of two parallel terms:
rogamus ac petimus,
accepta habeas et benedicas
catholicae et apostolicae fidei
sanctas ac venerabiles
respicere et accepta habere
sanctum sacrificium immaculatam hostiam
partem aliquam et societatem
de tuis donis ac datis
famulorum famularum que tuarum,
quorum tibifides cognita est et nota devotio,
pro quibus tibi offerimus vel qui tibi offererunt:
(this last passage, it is true, is
no doubt an addition)
servitutis nostrae . . . et cunctae familiae tuae,
omnis honor et gloria
non aestimator meriti sed veniae largitor.
A tendency to triplicate the terms:
haec dona, haec munera, haec sancta sacrificia, hostiam puram, hostiam
sanctam, hostiam immaculatam.
The sacrifice of the three Patriarchs--Abel, Abraham, Melchisedech:
per ipsum, cum ipso, in ipso,
passionis, resurrectionis, ascensionis.
The accumulation of five terms:
benedictam, adscriptam, ratam,
creas, sanctificas, vivificas, benedicis, praestas.
Other similar remarks could be made on the characteristics of this
style. But these are sufficient to prove that we have to do with a
writer who loves prose that is rhythmical, measured, symmetrical, and
Another question arises with respect to the "Canon:" Has it an
"epiclesis," and, if so, what is its place? The "epiclesis" (epikleo, I
call) is a
prayer of invocation to the Holy Ghost to sanctify the gifts offered.
place is generally among the prayers which follow the Consecration; and
some of these formulas indeed declare it is to the virtue of the Holy
not to the words of the Institution that the miracle of
is due. Many liturgiologists say with Edmund Bishop that there is no
"epiclesis" in the Roman Mass. Others, like certain Anglican divines,
count it a crime of the Roman Church to have cut it out. Others again
recognise the Roman "epiclesis" in such and such a prayer before or
after the Consecration. Let us say there is no "epiclesis" in the Roman
the ordinary sense of the word; but that this does not mean there has
never been one. 26
"Te igitur."--In our Missal this is the first prayer of the Canon; it
does not close with a doxology like all Roman prayers, and seems, if
say so, sharply interrupted by the "Memento" of the Living. Yet it is
an admirable prayer, on all the terms of which it would be easy to
comment. But we can only refer to the writers quoted in the
aim is to explain all the prayers of the Mass. By a simple comparison
the "Prayer of the Faithful" we can see that it is inspired with the
most beautiful traditions of Christian antiquity. The mention of the
first of all is not due merely to the fact that this prayer was
originally compiled at Rome and for Rome; it was an established use in
churches to pray for the Pope, and also for the Bishops with whom they
were in communion.
"Memento of the living."--This is composed of the "Memento" proper and
of the "Communicantes," which ends with a doxology. The very place of
the "Memento" in the "Canon" forbade the mention here of those for whom
the Mass was being offered, which in other liturgies is made in an
audible voice. In those chapters devoted to these liturgies we shall
see the importance given to the reading of the Diptychs (Chapters VI
see also our article "Diptyques" in DACL).
The "Communicantes," beginning as it does with a participle, is a
phrase without a verb which it has been vainly tried to explain. This
would incline us to adopt the opinion of those who consider that it
should be attached to the "Te igitur," from which it must once have
separated, or to another prayer. In any case the list of names given in
it is very interesting. First of all Saint Mary the Virgin with her
"semper virginis," "genetricis Dei," which takes us back to the time of
discussions on the perpetual virginity or the Divine maternity of Our
Lady (end of fourth century and Council of Ephesus, 431). Next comes a
list of the Apostles, which puts St. Paul beside St. Peter, and which
compared with the other lists of Apostles found in the New Testament,
differ in many points from the Roman list. (DACL, "Apotres.")
Following the twelve Apostles come twelve Roman martyrs, specially
honoured in that city; five Popes; St. Cyprian placed close to St.
his presence indicating that the old quarrels between him and that Pope
are forgotten. Then St. Laurence, the great Roman martyr; St.
obscure, but whose name is well known at Rome and whose Basilica is
mentioned in the sixth century; John and Paul, whose Basilica on the
Ccelian is celebrated; and, lastly, Cosmas and Damian, with a great
reputation in the East and at Byzantium, after whom Pope Felix IV
(526-530) named a Basilica at Rome, and to whom Pope Symmachus had
dedicated an oratory. From these and other indications Mgr. Batiffol
very ingeniously, and not without reason, that the "Communicantes
from this last-named Pope (498-514). Nevertheless, it may be objected
this that certain names in this list may perhaps have been added later.
Attention has already been called to the words Infra actionem which
form the title of the Communicantes, and to the alternative
used on certain Feasts.
"Hanc igitur oblationem" is to-day recited while the priest is holding
his hands spread out over the oblations; which has led some to believe
we have here the Roman "epiclesis." But nothing in the words of the
prayer show this. Moreover, this imposition of the hands is not of
date, and would seem to be only a gesture designating the matter which
is to serve for the Sacrifice. The "Liber Pontificalis" says that St.
Gregory added to this text the "Diesque nostros" with what follows it.
In the existing Missal there is an alternative "Hanc igitur," the words
which are the same for Easter and Pentecost, reminding us that on these
two Feasts Baptism was given to tbe catechumens. But in the Gelasian
Sacramentary a large number of variants to the "Hanc igitur"
existed--nearly fifty; which St. Gregory suppressed when he re-edited
All these variants are interesting, though we cannot study them here in
detail.The prayer to-day closes with a doxology, after the words
added by St. Gregory; but in some of the variants this did not exist,
"Hanc igitur" is united to the following prayer:
"Quam oblationem;" this might easily have been attached to the "Hanc
igitur," of which it seems a continuation. Some liturgiologists
consider this prayer as the "epiclesis." To this opinion the same
be sustained as in the case of the "Hanc igitur," for it is not an
"epiclesis" in the true sense of the term, since there is no invocation
of God the
Holy Ghost. The signs of the Cross, here so frequent, are intended (as
in the "Te igitur") rather to emphasise the words of the prayer than as
a blessing. (See Excursus, "Gestures in the Mass," p. 220.)
THE CONSECRATION.--With the "Qui pridie" we come to the really central
and essential part of the Roman Mass. It is not only the recital of the
Eucharistic Institution, reproducing the actions and the very words of
Our Lord at the Last Supper; it is a prayer which completes the
preceding prayers; its aim is really to work the Mystery of
just as it was accomplished by the actual words of Christ on the eve of
His Passion. It would be easy to prove it, but it is enough to refer
our readers to a chapter of Mgr. Batiffol's book on the Eucharist.
"Saint Ambroise et le Canon Romain."
We can only, as before, make a few remarks on the text. First of all we
notice that, if the words used follow the story of the synoptic
Gospels, they do not reproduce it literally. The "sanctas ac
suas" repeated in both Consecrations is not in the Gospel. Nor are the
words, "pro nostra omniumque salute pateretur," said on Holy Thursday.
been thought that these are additions made in the fifth century,
against predestinationists. The "Mysteriurn fidei" is also an
yet satisfactorily explained. But with many exegetists the tendency on
the contrary is to discover in the Gospel text the influence of ritual
practices existing previous to the compilation of the Gospels.
The other Latin liturgies are in agreement with the Roman Church in
beginning this recital with the words "Qui pridie;" while the Greek and
Eastern rites follow the text of St. Paul: "In qua nocte." This
agreement of the Latin liturgies on so important a point is no feeble
argument in favour of the division made in Chapter II between Eastern
and Western liturgies.
Another and even more essential divergence between East and West is
this: if it is clear that the liturgies of the latter group, headed by
Church of Rome, teach by this importance given to the recital of the
Institution that the Consecration of the bread and wine takes place at
it is also true that in certain Eastern liturgies the text of some of
the "epicleses," which are placed after the Consecration, seems to mean
that the Mystery of Transubstantiation is, according to them, wrought
by the virtue of God the Holy Ghost.
Who can refuse to see the true bearing of this difference and, from the
dogmatical point of view, to admit the advantages of the Roman
"Unde et memores," "Supra quae," "Supplices Te."--We may consider these
three prayers of the Canon as forming a single whole, especially as
they end with a single doxology. The technical name of this whole is
"anamnesis," because according to the Greek etymology it "recalls" the
different Mysteries associated with the Sacrifice of Our Lord; His
Passion, Death, Descent into hell, Resurrection, and Ascension. It is
thus the history of our redemption summed up in a few words.
It has a mysterious sense not always understood, and which we must try
to explain. It is the real meaning of the Mystery of the Mass. We,
servants of God and His holy people, offer to God a pure, holy,
spotless Host, the blessed Bread of Eternal Life and the chalice of
There can be no doubt, whatever may have been said by certain
Protestant interpreters, that in this we must see that the elements
the Body and Blood of Christ, as is said in the prayer "Supplices Te:
Body and the Sacrosanct Blood of the Son of God."
The "De tuis donis ac datis" is found in analogous terms in other
liturgies, notably in the Eastern. It contains a profound meaning. It
is a thought often expressed in the Old Testament, especially in the
Psalms, that all that he has, man holds from God, whocreated the world
his domain: the rain from the skies which waters the earth, plants and
the fruits of trees, animals, birds, fish--all these are subject to
"omnia subjecisti sub pedibus ejus." Of this universe God constituted
him the king. Hence man has laid on him a strict duty to worship God by
and sacrifice. In offering Him the fruits of the earth, or animals, he
only, as it were, performs a work of restitution; he offers that which
he has received, "hostiam de tuis donis ac datis." This is specially
that Sacrifice which has supplanted all the rest, where the Victim pure
holy above all others is offered, the Son Whom the Father sent to save
Thus we offer our sacrifice to the Father, praying Him to accept it as
did those of Abel, of Abraham, of Melchisedech, types of the One True
and Complete Sacrifice; that He will transport it by the hands of His
"Holy Angel" to His Divine Throne; and that all those who have partaken
the Body and Blood of Christ may be filled with His Benediction and
It is a mysterious prayer, as has been said, and it has given rise to
many interpretations. Besides that of those who, deceived by the
of the expressions, have misunderstood the lofty bearing of the whole,
and thus failed to see anything more than an earthly sacrifice and
earthly gifts, previous to a Consecration which according to them did
not take place at the "Qui pridie," or of others who suppose that one
of these prayers formerly preceded the recital of the Last Supper and
thus included in the zone of the "Offertory," there is another
that of the intervention of the "Holy Angel." Some take this to mean
Holy Spirit; others, the Word Himself, the "Angel of Great Counsel."
the largest number a mere Angel is here meant; perhaps St. Michael, the
"Angel of the Sacrifice." However, the text of "De Sacramentis,"
quoted (Chap. IV), decides this question clearly by putting the plural,
"Angelorum Tuorum." It must also be remembered that in certain prayers
Roman liturgy mention is made of the "Holy Angel" sent by God, who is
not the Word. But, on the whole the meaning of this "anamnesis" can be
compared without much difficulty with certain ancient "anaphorae,"
that of Hippolytus, which joins the Eucharistic prayer to the
and calls down the blessing of God upon those about to partake of the
and Blood of Christ. Thus we have here an echo of the most ancient
The "Memento of the Dead," following the "anamnesis," is surprisingly
placed. This prayer has all the characteristics of a later insertion--a
statement difficult to deny. To find it in this particular place is
unexpected; nor is it announced by anything which goes before.
The "Nobis quoque" which comes after it is not less astonishing. But
the apparent incoherence is explained by those who admit that this
"Memento" is an addition subsequent even to the time of St. Gregory. It
was at least
not said primitively (or so it would seem), except in Masses for the
Dead. Numerous examples of Sacramentaries or Missals in which the Mass
not contain this addition are mentioned by Dom Cagin, Ed. Bishop
It is really the Diptych of the Dead, just as we have had the Diptych
of the Living before the Consecration; the natural place of both being
most liturgies, at the "Offertory." However this may be, the text
of the prayer itself is none the less interesting. In the "locum
refrigerii," lucis et pacis the proof is clear that some of the Dead,
in their place
of waiting, do not yet enjoy those blessings which were asked for them,
and this again proves the belief in Purgatory.
The list of fifteen names mentioned in the "Nobis quoque peccatoribus"
has, like that of the "Memento of the living," been studied wisely by
Mgr. Batiffol, who arrives at the same result in both cases: he
this prayer to have been drawn up under Pope Symmachus (498-514). We
here the Roman Martyr St. Alexander, a son of that other Roman Martyr,
St. Felicity, whose tomb that Pope restored; and Agnes of Rome, whose
Basilica in the city he restored from its ruins; and St. Agatha, Martyr
Catania, for whom Symmachus built a Basilica on the Aurelian Way.
Besides these Saints we have St. John (Baptist), who is at the head of
all the lists
of Saints, and whose absence here in the Mass might have caused
; St. Stephen, the first Martyr, whose presence is not less
SS. Matthias and Barnabas, whom we were less likely to expect to find
but who complete the list of the Apostles given in the "Memento of the
Living," for Matthias took the place of Judas in the Apostolic College,
Barnabas is frequently attached to it by a special title.
Then follows St. Ignatius, the great Martyr thrown to the wild beasts
in the amphitheatre of Rome; Marcellinus and Peter, two Roman Martyrs,
buried in the catacomb "Ad duas Lauros," St. Perpetua, one of the group
of the great Martyrs of Carthage; St. Lucy, a Sicilian Martyr always
connected with St. Agatha; and, lastly, three more Roman Martyrs, Agnes
Cecilia, both well known, and Anastasia, titular of a church in Rome,
that time was also an object of popular devotion. Discussions have
latterly arisen as to the name of St. Felicity. At first sight the name
Perpetua, which immediately follows, would lead us to believe that she
was that Felicity who suffered martyrdom in company with Perpetua. But
when everything is taken into consideration it seems that here it is
a question of the Roman Martyr, mother of seven other Martyrs, of whom
St. Alexander was one.
"Per Quem haec omnia."--After the two prayers of the "Memento of the
Dead" we have next the "Per Quem," as unexpected in this place as they
themselves in theirs, and a "crux" for liturgiologists. Without going
the various interpretations of this text, let us simply say that Per
seems to have been inserted here to make a transition between the close
the "Memento of the Dead," which already broke into the Eucharistic
and the final doxology of the "Canon," Per Ipsum."
Hence we must not be too much surprised at the terms of this prayer,
which is really but the close of another; nor must we seek to explain
bearing too strictly. The "Haec omnia," which has always been a
difficulty, originally designed in this prayer (whatever was the place
it then occupied) all the gifts offered by the faithful, not excepting
those supreme Gifts which are the Body and Blood of Christ.
But we must insist on the doxology which issues from these
difficulties, and takes us up to a very high level. As has been seen
already in the
texts of SS. Justin and Hippolytus, the Eucharistic prayer of the
second and third centuries ended with a doxology to which the people
"Amen." This was a solemn act of Faith in the whole Eucharistic Mystery
just unfolded before their eyes. Therefore this doxology is clothed
with importance and unaccustomed solemnity, as it should be. It is
act of Adoration to the Trinity in Whom and by Whom the Mystery is
accomplished. It is also a formula admirably summing up the whole of
Christian worship: Glory and honour rendered to the Father, by the Son,
in the Holy Ghost. The gestures added later to this doxology still
further emphasise its dignity. At the "Per Quem haec omnia" the
taken the Host and the chalice; then with the prescribed signs of the
he uncovers the chalice, takes the Host in his right hand to make with
the sign of the Cross thrice above the chalice and twice before it,
which he elevates chalice and Host. "Elevans parum," says the rubric;
this Elevation, once not merely the principal but the only one in the
has become secondary since the great Elevation has taken place after
the Consecration. The signs of the Cross, multiplied here, are not
intended as blessings, since these would not be suitable over the
consecrated elements; but rather symbols to remind us of the Mystery of
Redemption with the Mystery of the Trinity, which to-day is the true
the Sign of the Cross.
THE FRACTION AND PATER.--Before St. Gregory´s day the
place before the "Pater." Dom Cagin even thinks that the "Per Quem haec
omnia" was the primitive form of the Fraction in the Roman Mass.
What is certain is that St. Gregory here introduced another
considerable change; he
himself tells us why and how he did it, in a well-known and
text, upon which it would seem that most are agreed to-day. Thus,
before St. Gregory, the order was: after the prayers Per Quem haec
omnia" and "Per Ipsum" the Fraction, a rather complicated ceremony,
took place. After
that the prelate regained his seat and said the "Pater." To St. Gregory
this appeared shocking. To the Bishop of Syracuse he wrote
emphatically: "It does not seem to me decent that we say the "Pater"
after the prayer of
the "Canon "(post precem), for we say that prayer, composed by some
writer (scholasticus), over the oblation (the Body and Blood of Our
while we do not say over that Body and Blood the prayer (Pater)
Our Redeemer Himself. For it was the custom of the Apostles to
with that prayer." Light is thrown on this text if we remember that
during the Fraction the Pontiff regained his seat, and thus did not say
"Pater," as he did the other prayers of the "Canon," over the Body and
Blood of Christ. By putting the "Pater' before the Fraction, as it is
is said over the consecrated elements. What St. Gregory does not say in
this letter is that there really were two customs about the "Pater." In
its primitive place, after the Fraction and connected with the
it was a kind of preparation for the latter; and the words "Panem
nostrum quotidianum" may well apply to the Bread Supersubstantial, as
it is sometimes called, which was then received. This was the custom in
Africa as it was at Rome and in other churches. But in the Greek
was not so; and the "Pater" formed part of the prayers of the "Canon."
St. Gregory, who had been a witness of this practice, wished to
it, like the "Kyrie," into the Roman Mass. It would seem as though the
Bishop of Syracuse had accused the Pope of following the Greek custom
St. Gregory defends himself, as he had about the use of the "Kyrie," by
saying in this case that among the Greeks the "Pater" is recited at
Mass by all the people, while at Rome the celebrant alone said it (just
to-day); while the people responded: "Sed libera nos a malo."
From this text two other conclusions are sometimes drawn: that the
"Pater" was not said at the Roman Mass and that it was St. Gregory who
introduced it there; and that the Pope's idea was that the Apostles
the bread and wine by the Lord's Prayer alone. These two assertions
be discussed here, but both seem to us equally erroneous. It is very
difficult to believe that the "Pater" was not recited in Mass at Rome
at the end
of the sixth century, when this use was that of all other churches;
not St. Jerome or St. Augustine have pointed out this fact? The text of
St. Gregory's letter, moreover, does not allow us to suspect it.
As to the prayer used by the Apostles in Consecration, we may say that
St. Gregory knew what it was no more than we ourselves.
The "Pater" is preceded by a short prelude and followed by an
intercalation; both are invariable in the Roman liturgy, while in Gaul
and Spain they changed at almost every Mass. Both are characteristic of
the universal liturgy, especially of the Latin liturgies. The Roman
prelude is very simple; it would seem to be indicated by an expression
Jerome. The embolism, or intercalation, is a commentary on the last
petition: libera nos a malo. Here the name of Our Lady is invoked with
all Her titles, "Beata et gloriosa semper virgine Dei Genitrice Maria,"
"Memento of the Living," then the great patrons of the Roman Church,
Peter and Paul. The name of St. Andrew, alone mentioned among all the
other Saints, has caused it to be supposed with reason that its
here is due to St. Gregory, whose monastery on the Ccelian was
dedicated to St. Andrew. In other places the name of St. Ambrose was
added, that of St. Patrick, and other popular patrons.
At the words "Da propitius pacem" the pricst to-day signs himself with
the paten and kisses it before slipping it beneath the Host. This
must be interpreted by the rites of the Papal Mass, of which it is now
but a memory. The paten, with the chalice, is one of the most important
vessels used in the service of the Mass. Like the chalice it is usually
made of precious metal, generally silver; both are consecrated with
special prayers. In certain museums ancient and priceless patens are
preserved, like that of Gourdon, or the glass paten of Cologne. At
paten has lost some of its attributes, and thoroughly to understand the
ceremonies of which it is the object (especially at Solemn Masses) we
must go back to the ancient rites. At the Papal Masses the paten, or
patens, were confided to the sub-Deacon. The "Sancta" (Eucharistic
Species) consecrated at a previous Mass were received and preserved on
the moment of Communion, when the Pope placed the Sacred Species in his
chalice, as a sign of the perpetuity of the Sacrifice. The rites of the
"Sancta" and of the "Fermentum" have now been dropped, but some of the
attendant ceremonies have been preserved. At Solemn Masses to-day the
sub-Deacon has charge of an empty paten, which he covers with a veil.
the end of the "Pater" he passes it to the Deacon, who in his turn
it to the Priest, who, at the words "Da propitius pacem," signs himself
with the paten and kisses it, as already stated. This ceremonial is
observed even at Low Masses. The celebrant makes the Fraction upon the
first dividing the Host into two parts, and then putting a fragment of
part into the chalice with the words "Haec commixtio." Thus the two
the "Fraction" and the "Immixtion" are still closely united, or, as it
called, confounded in one rite. That of the "Pax" itself has come to be
incorporated in the rite of the Fraction, for it is with the words "Pax
Domini sit semper vobis cum" that the Priest proceeds to the
"Immixtion." In the Papal Mass they were clearly separated, as will be
FRACTION, IMMIXTION, KISS OF PEACE.--The Breaking of Bread by Our Lord
at the Last Supper had so impressed itself upon their minds that two of
the disciples recognised Him by the way He broke the bread; and for a
time the words "Fractio Panis" meant the Mass. At Rome, during the
are now considering, the ceremonies were resplendent, but in our own
many have been retrenched. Moreover, there is no doubt that St.
Gregory's innovation as to the "Fraction" had brought about important
this part of the Mass. But before these changes were made, the
as follows: the Pontiff made three signs of the Cross over the chalice
before he put the "Sancta" into it. As has been explained, these
a portion of the Eucharist consecrated at the preceding Mass, and kept
be used at the next in order to assure the continuity of the Sacrifice.
Then the Pontiff detached a portion of the Host, which he left upon the
altar until the end of the Mass; these portions probably served as
the next celebration. He then left the altar and returned to his throne.
We must not forget that at that time the Hosts were whole loaves. They
were distributed to the Bishops and Priests surrounding the Pope, and
when a signal was given they broke the consecrated bread so that it
might be distributed to the faithful in Holy Communion. All this time
"schola" sang the chant of the "Fraction" (called at Milan the
"Confractorium;" these chants can be studied in the old books there).
At Rome, Pope
Sergius (687-701) prescribed the singing of the "Agnus Dei," which thus
a chant of the "Fraction." It was rcpeated as often as was necessary
while the "Fraction" was taking place. After the ceremony of the
Breaking of Bread had been simplified the "Agnus Dei" was only twice
"dona nobis pacem" being substituted for the words "Miserere nobis" at
third and last repetition. The "Agnus Dei" is thus later than St.
time, but there was always a chant of the "Fraction" in this place;
be found in the ancient Roman liturgical books. One of the finest
the "Venite populi," still preserved in certain liturgies.
Beside the "Fraction" we have mentioned another rite, the "Immixtion,"
or "Commixtion." This is accomplished now when the Priest puts part of
the Host into the chalice with these words: "May this mingling and
hallowing of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ avail us that
unto life everlasting, Amen." This mixture, which now takes place
immediately before the "Agnus Dei," is intended to show that the Body
and Blood of Christ remain united, in spite of the apparent separation
elements. The "Immixtion" was more strongly marked in St. Gregory's
formula quoted is in "Ordo I." By tlhese words and this action the
Roman Church affirms anew that Christ is not divided, but entire under
both Species. Certain formulas of "Immixtion" point this out more
clearly than the formula now in use.
The "Kiss of Peace," like the "Fraction" and "Commixtion," has lost
much of its solemnity in our own days. Before placing the third portion
Host in the chalice the Priest, holding it in his right hand and
with it three times upon the chalice, says: Pax Domini sit
vobis cum." "Et cum spirit tuo." After the first Communion
prayer, "Domine J. C. qui dixisti...." "Pacem relinquo vobis," he gives
(at High Mass) the Kiss
of Peace to the Deacon, who gives it to the sub-Deacon who in his turn
"carries the Peace" to the members of the clergy in the choir. In the
of St. Gregory and till the time of Innocent III the "Kiss of Peace"
was not merely exchanged amongst the clergy as it is to-day, but
all the faithful; for at that time the people were still divided into
two parts--men on one side, women on the other--all being expected to
receive Holy Communion. Thus the "Kiss of Peace" after the words of the
on the forgiveness of offences and before partaking of the Body and
of Our Lord was an act of deep meaning.
The Roman liturgy is almost alone in putting the "Kiss of Peace" in
this place. In the Mozarabic, Gallican, and Eastern liturgies it takes
at the "Offertory." This conveys quite another idea. The Mass of the
catechumens is finished; they, with the uninitiated and others who
would not communicate at the Mass, had been sent away. Only the
faithful remained; the Prayer of the Faithful was then recited, after
which the "Kiss of Peace" was given. The rite in such a place is
justified. Nevertheless this difference between the liturgies has
much remarked upon; and it is one of the reasons for which the Gallican
liturgies have been classed in a different order from our own (cf.
Chapter II), and their origin sought in the East. We may, however, ask
this difference may not be otherwise explained.
THE COMMUNION.--The rites of the "Pater," "Fraction," and "Kiss of
Peace" in the Roman Mass may be considered as a preparation for
This part of the Mass has suffered more change than any other since St.
Gregory's time. The Pontiff communicated first, under both Species
ù then he distributed to the faithful, first the consecrated
Bread, which they still received in their hands, as in primitive times,
kissed the Bishop's hand. The Deacon then presented the chalice to
they drank of it through a tube, "pugillaris," "fistula." Later, in the
tenth-twelfth centuries, it was thought sufficient to steep the
Bread in the Precious Blood, and to present it thus to the faithful, as
still the custom in the East. When receiving the Communion the faithful
responded "Amen." The whole of this ceremonial goes back to the most
period, and Mgr. Batiffol has many texts on this subject--an
Autun of the second century, a passage from St. Cyprian, a passage from
life of St. Melanie in the fifth century, etc. At Rome, Communion
both kinds was maintained until the fourteenth century. The difficulty
which Communion with the chalice presented, the fear of any risk of
profanation and a tendency to simplify all rites, brought about many
from the tenth century onwards, and finally Communion was given under
one kind. We know what discussions have arisen from the suppression of
Communion under both kinds in the time of John Hus (fifteenth century).
But at bottom there was here nothing but a precaution of a practical
order. Throughout all time it had been believed that Christ was present
and Entire under the Species of Bread, and we have examples of
under one kind only in the most ancient times.
THE MASS AT ROME
On the other hand, the recital of the "Confiteor," "Agnus Dei," "Domine
non sum dignus," as well as the three prayers after the "Agnus Dei,"
later than St. Gregory, and hardly appear before the thirteenth
has been thought, and not without reason, that this group of prayers
have constituted at first the ritual of the Communion distributed
Mass; for example, to the sick.
During the distribution of the Communion the Communion anthem was sung.
Primitively this was a psalm, modulated, like those of the "Introit"
and "Offertory" on the antiphonic mode. Here again only the anthem has
been retained. Psalm xxxiii. was for a long time the one chiefly used,
as we have already seen in Africa in St. Augustine's time.
After the Communion the Priest recited a prayer, called in ancient
times "oratio ad complendum," or finished prayer, it is the third of
that category of prayers, the first of these being the "Collect," and
second the "Secret." This third prayer is now called the
is of the same style and character as the first two. Many of them are
high dogmatic meaning and affirm the faith of the Roman Church in the
DISMISSAL AND LAST PRAYERS.--In the time of St. Gregory the Mass ended
after the "Communion" and "Post-communion." The Deacon dismissed the
people with the words "Ite missa est," and the Pontiff withdrew, giving
his blessing. Here there is another difference between the Roman
the other Latin liturgies. The blessing given by the Priest in a
special formula before the Communioll does not exist at Rome, and that
the Pontiff withdrew is quite another thing (as we explain in
with the Gallican liturgy; cf. Chap. VII). This blessing, moreover, was
first reserved for Bishops, then in the twelfth and thirteenth
ordinary Priests were allowed to bestow it. It originally consisted of
simple words: "Benedicat vos Dominus. Amen."
On weekdays in Lent, however, there is a prayer, "super populum," which
follows the "Post-communion." The Priest says "Oremus," the Deacon
"Humiliate capita vestra Deo," and the Priest then pronounces the
fonnula, which is one of blessing. It was St. Gregory, or one of the
of the "Gregorian Sacramentary," who assigned this form of blessing to
Lent, Sundays always excepted. The formulas themselves, however,have
not a penitential character. Some are borrowed from the Leonine, others
the Gelasian Sacrarnentary, both of which have on certain days an
populum." There is the same custom in the liturgy of St. Mark, with the
"Humiliate capita vestra Deo," and also in that of St.James. Lastly,
as has been remarked, the Gallican liturgies also had an episcopal
blessing, but this was given before Communion. Several collections of
for those blessings exist, forming a special liturgical book, the
"Benedictional," and some of these are magnificently illustrated.
CONCLUSION.--This Roman Mass in the seventh century is remarkable for
its simplicity, the austerity of its forms, especially if compared with
the magnificence and pomp of the Byzantine liturgy, and even with the
Mozarabic and Gallican Masses. Edmund Bishop loved to remark that this
was both logical and rational. There is little syrnbolism, there are no
useless rites, but great order and sequence in the ritual. He gave a
celebrated conference on this subject on 8th May 1899. But what it is
chiefly necessary to point out (thouglh Bishop could not say all he
this subject in a single conference) is the excellence of the prayers
the Prefaces of this Missal; the choice of the Epistles, the Gospels,
the other fonnulas which make of the Roman Missal the most beautiful
of prayer in existence.
May we be allowed to refer our readers to an article written on this
subject: "The Excellence of the Roman Mass," in "The Clergy Review,"
1931, pp. 346-368.
1. The "Liber Pontificalis" says that this same Pope Celestine
instituted the Introit, and that before his time only St. Paul and the
Gospel were read at the Pre-Mass. But this text is derived from an
letter (cf. Mgr. Batiffol, p. 105). The "Liber Pontificalis" makes
allusions to modifications introduced into the Mass by the Popes. Of
shall speak further on.
2. have given all these texts in DACL, article "Canon," col. 1852 seq
3. In the volume already quoted, "Books of The Latin Liturgy," we give
fuller information about the Leonine Sacramentary. Cf. p. 71. See also
article "Leonien" in DACL.
4. On the "Gelasian" see also "Books of the Latin Liturgy," p. 77 and
the article "Gelasien" in DACL.
5. Cf. "Books of the Latin Liturgy," p. 77, and the article "Gregorien"
6. I have given some information on the "Ordines Romani" in "Books of
the Latin Liturgy" Since then M. I'Abbe M. Andrieu has published the
first volume of an important work in which the principal "Ordines
Romani" are described and published: "Les Ordines Romani du haut moyen
"Les Manuscrits (Spic. sacr. Lovaniense)" (Louvain, 1931, 8vo, xxiv-632
7. Cf. Lejay, "Le Liber Pontificalis et la Messe Romaine, Revue d'Hist
et de Litt. religieuse," Vol. II, p. 182 (1897).
8. On all this, cf. Batiffol, "Lecons sur la Messe," pp. 30, 31.
9. The procession of the Station is described in the Excursus, p. 227.
10. See Excursus, "Liturgical Gestures," p. 220.
11. Mgr. Batiffol gives examples, "Lecons sur la Messe," pp. 54, 55.
12. The question of the "Kyrie Eleison" and of the "Litany" have a
certain importance in the history of the liturgy; cf DACL, arts. "Kyrie
Eleison" and "Litanie."
13. Cf. article "Introit" in DACL.
14. Cf the article "Gloria in Excelsis" in DACL.
15. Cf our article "La doxologie dans la priere chretienne des premiers
siecles," in "Melanges," "Grandmaison," "Recherches de science
religieuse," 1928, Vol. XVIII.
16. The list of these will be found in DACL, art. "Gloria in Excelsis."
17. See "Books of the Latin Liturgy," p. 32 seq.
18. Cf. Excursus, "The Gregorian Chant," p. 218.
19. Ci. Bishop and Wilmart, "Le genie du rit romain," p. 45.
20. Naturally both sides have tried to support their contention by
means of ancient texts and customs, and the number of theses written
against unleavened bread is considerable. Cf. DACL, "Azymes," and
article on the same subject in the "Dict. de theol. catholique."
21. Cf. Batiffol, op. cit., p. 151 seq., and Excursus on "Chants of the
Mass," at the end of this volume, p. 212.
22. On this great controversy of the "Secret des Mysteres," revived by
the last vol. of the Abbé Bremond (Vol. IX), see Excursus,
"The Chants of
23. On the whole of this question cf. also Mgr. Batiffol, who shows the
difference between these two terms very well (loc. cit. p. 155); cf.
also DACL, "Encens."
24. Cf. our article "Actio" in DACL.
25. Brinktrine, "Die Heilige Messe," p. 198, has done little more than
indicate this aspect of the "Canon," but a philologist might draw most
interesting comparisons from it.
26. Cf. our article "Epiclese" in DACL.
27. See especially the conclusions drawn by Mgr. Batiffol, p . 231 seq.
28. Pp. 335-370. We note with pleasure that in this chapter the author
refers many times to the work of Dom Cagin, "Eucharistia," where may be
found, in a rather more complicated form, a learned explanation of all
this part of the Mass.
29. Dom Morin, "Une particularite' inapercue du qui pridie," in "Revue
Benedictine," 1910, p. 513 seq. Cf. also on the words "noui et aeterni
testamenti" (in the formula of Consecration), "Rassegna Gregoriana,"
Vol. II, p. 190 seq.
30. Brinktrine in particular adopts this opinion.
31. This is a fact upon which Dom Cagin has thrown a strong light in
"Paleographie musicale," Vol. V.
32. Cf. also Mgr. Batiffol, "L'Eucharistie," p. 371 seq., and the two
articles already mentioned on "Epiclese" in DACL and "Dict. de theol.
33. Cf. our article "Diptyques" in DACL.
34. The "Suscipe Sancta Trinitas," where he is also mentioned, is of
35. On these churches see the works of P. Grisar, already mentioned,
and Charles Dumaine, "Les saints du canon de la Messe," Paris, 1920.
36. In recent times many articles have been written on this question,
particularly one by Burkitt in the "Journal of Theol. Studies," 1931,
p. 279 seq.
37. See our article "Elevation "in DACL.
38. On the Sign of the Cross see Excursus, "Gestures in the Mass," P.
39. "Eucharistia," p. 57.
40. On the different interpretations given to this difficult and
obscure text, cf. Batiffol, "Lecons," p. 277, and "L'Eucharistie," p.
41. On this point we may be allowed to refer to our articles on the
"Pater," "Revue Gregorienne," May-June, September-October 1928;
January-February 1929; cf. also Bishop-Wilmart, "Le genie du rit
romain," p. 84 seq.
41 Cf. articles by K. Ott, "Il transitorium e il confractorium nella
liturgia ambrosiana," in "Rassegna Gregoriana," especially p. 211 seq.
42. Cf. "Immixtion," DACL, according to the work of Michel Andrieu.
43. Cf. our article "Baiser de Paix," DACL,
44. P, 288 seq.
45. The theological question is treated in all theological books. See
particularly the "Dict. de theol. catholique" under these words.
46. Batiffol, loc. cit., p. 287. Cf. Chapter IX, where we speak again
of these prayers.
47. The various prayers, "Quid retribuam," "Sanguis Domini," "Quod
ore," "Corpus tuum," are also of later date. Cf. Chapter IX.
48. Cf. the article ,"Ad complendum" in DACL.
49. For the prayers since added, "Placeat," Last Gospel, etc., see
50. "Books of the Latin Liturgy," (Sands, 3s, 6d.), P. 68 seq.
51. This is the conference which has been translated (into French) and
enriched with notes by Dom A. Wilmart, "Le genie du rit romain," Paris,
(Beyond the works cited in the course of this chapter):-- Dom G. MORIN,
"Liturgie et basiliques de Rome au milieu du VIIme siecle, d'apres les
listes d'evangiles de Wurzburg. Revue Benedictine," 1911, pp. 296-330.
H. GRISAR, "Histoire de Rome et des Papes au moyen age," trad. Ledos,
1906 (Vol. I, pp. 154-167). "Description des eglises de Rome au V et
ARMELLINI, "Le Chiese di Roma dal secolo IV al XIX." Roma, 1841.
BATIFFOL, "Le Canon de la Messe a-t-il Firmicus Maternus pour auteur?
In Revue des sciences relig. de Strasbourg," Vol. II, 1922, PP.
113-126, refuting a hypothesis of Dom Morin's.
"Liturgia," pp. 501-533.
THE AMBROSIAN MASS
The books of the Ambrosian liturgy.--Analogies with other liturgies.
THE Ambrosian liturgy is still practised in the Cathedral of Milan. It
takes its name from the great Bishop of that See, St. Ambrose, who died
in 397, and who did so much for the liturgy.
THE BOOKS OF THE AMBROSIAN LITURGY.--We have studied elsewhere the
books which contain this liturgy. They are Sacramentaries,
Pontificals, a manual, some "Ordines," and lectionaries: in fact, a
collection which enables us to reconstitute the Ambrosian Mass. Not one
of these is
really earlier than the ninth century; we must confess that the
period is rather obscure, and that from the fourth-ninth centuries this
liturgy has probably been subject to influences coming from the East,
Rome, and other countries. It has been stated in the book referred to
note below that the characteristics of this liturgy have been explained
two ways. One party declares that they are strongly influenced by the
East; while Mgr. Duchesne attributes them specially to an Arian Bishop,
Auxentius (355-374), who occupied the See of Milan for some years.
of liturgiologists, on the contrary, without denying Eastern or
Byzantine importatiolls, such as are found even in the Roman liturgy,
use every effort to emphasise the analogies between the Ambrosian and
Roman liturgies; affirming that the first is almost identical with the
second, especially with a Roman liturgy existing previous to the
reforms of Damasus, Gelasius, and St. Gregory. It must be admitted
last hypothesis has gained ground to-day, and certain coincidences
recently noted, concerning Rome and Milan, would seem to strengthen it.
ANALOGIES WITH OTHER LITURGIES.--In this sketch it will be enough to
note, as they occur, analogies with Rome on one hand, and with Oriental
and Gallican liturgies on the other.
In the Ambrosian rite certain ceremonies were accomplished in the
"Basilica major" or "ecclesia aestiva," and others in the "Basilica
minor" or "ecclesia hiemalis." This custom has been compared with that
At the beginning of Mass the clergy came to the sanctuary from the
sacristy to the singing of the "Ingressa," which has been compared to
the Roman "Introit." The "Ingressa," however, is not the chanting of a
the "Introit" is; it has only one verse, which is not always chosen
from a psalm, and it has no doxology.
The prayers at the foot of the altar are almost the same as those of
the Roman Missal, but these prayers as a whole date only from the late
The "Gloria in Excelsis" was sung as at Rome, but is followed instead
of preceded by the "Kyrie Eleison," which is different from the Roman
"Kyrie," being composed of the first acclamation, thrice repeated by
the Priest alone, "Christe Eleison" not being said. This "Kyrie" is
again repeated after the Gospel and after the Post-communion. This use
particular to the church at Milan. The Ambrosian rite has also
preserved an old
form of prayer, the "preces" or litanies, which are translated almost
literally from the Greek. This is found, with a few variations, in
of Stowe (Chap. IV) under the title: "Deprecatio sancti Martini." This
has been studied in the article "Litanies" in DACL. It would seem that
and the other Latin liturgies were acquainted with litanies of this
The celebrant salutes the people with: "Dominus vobiscum," as at Rome.
The prayer which follows is called "Super populum," a title given by
to certain prayers in Lent, and which is also used in the Gallican
liturgies. There are three readings or Lessons in the Ambrosian Mass:
one from the
Old Testament, sometimes replaced by the reading of the Acts or "Gesta"
the Martyrs; one from the New Testament (Acts or Epistles); and
the Gospel. These three Lessons are found in the Mozarabic and Gallican
liturgies, while those of the Eastern rite have three, and sometimes
many more, Lessons. The question is to know whether Rome had not three
Lessons also, at one time, as the presence of the "Alleluia" after the
Gradual would make us believe. This anomaly is not found at Milan, each
reading being followed by a chant. The Gradual is called "Psalmellus,"
the same characteristics as the Roman Gradual; the second Lesson is
followed by the "Alleluia;" while the Gospel is followed by the
"Kyrie," and by an anthem of which we shall speak immediately.
The song of Zacharias, Benedictus, after the Gospel, seems at first
sight a Gallican importation. Not long ago Père Thibaut
of this chant in the Gallican liturgy ; yet others, notably the
Roman liturgy, have also adopted it, and it has sometimes even taken
place of the "Gloria in Excelsis."
The catechumens were dismissed before the Offertory. A celebrated
formula, as to which we shall have a word to say, is as
"Si quis cathecumenus est, procedat.
Si quis haereticus est, procedat.
Si quis judaeus est, procedat.
Si quis paganus est, procedat.
Si quis arianus est, procedat.
Cujus cura non est, procedat."
This formula was discussed at Rome in 1905 during the conferences on
Christian Archceology. Mgr. Stornaiolo, who had discovered it in a
Vatican codex of the eleventh-twelfth centuries, gave it as a unique
the "missa," or "dismissio," of the non-Catholics before the Mass (of
the Faithful). Bannister gave it another interpretation; in his opinion
was an appeal from the Church to come and be baptized. He himself had
the same formula in the Office of Holy Saturday, after the "Sicut
servus." Cardinal Tommasi had already published two formulas of this
in the Roman books; Muratori two others, from the Ambrosian rite.
The "Paleographie musicale" of the Solesmes Benedictines gave the
of the "codex urbinatus"(that published by Mgr. Stornaiolo) with the
neumatic Ambrosian notation (Vol. VI, pp. 174, 175, and 262). Finally,
the same formula was discovered in Beroldus by Mgr. Magistretti, who
the context that the meaning of "procedat" could not be an appeal to
advance, but, on the contrary, an invitation to withdraw, "procedat"
being equivalent to "recedat."
There was an anthem, "post Evangelium," which, according to Lejay, was
connected with the Offertory. However, as has been observed in Chapter
IV, a chant after the Gospel cannot be considered as unfamiliar in
After this anthem there was the "Pacem habete, corrigite (erigite) vos
ad orationem." This is an ancient rite, which seems clearly to indicate
that in the primitive Ambrosian Mass the Kiss of Peace took place here,
even the reading of the Diptychs. On this point, then, this rite was
from that of Rome, in which the Diptychs were recited in the middle of
the Canon, and where the Kiss of Peace was given at Communion; but it
does agree with the Gallican, Mozarabic, and Eastern liturgies. This
difference is the most important of all between Rome and the other
liturgies. Certain liturgiologists have boldly affirmed that it is
reasonable to believe that on this point it is the Roman liturgy which
while all the rest remained faithful to the primitive system.
The Ambrosian liturgy has adopted prayers which are not very ancient
for the Offertory. Otherwise both ceremonies and formulas are very like
those of Rome.
On the paten on which he has placed the Host the Priest says: "Suscipe,
clementissime Pater, hunc panem sanctum ut fiat unigeniti corpus in
nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus sancti. When he puts wine and water
the chalice, he says: De latere Christi exivit sanguis et aqua pariter,
in nomine Patris," etc.
Here there are two prayers, "Suscipe sancte Pater" and "Suscipe sancta
Trinitas," which strongly resemble the Roman formulas. Then comes this
prayer, with imposition of hands over the oblations: "Et suscipe sancta
Trinitas hanc oblationem pro emundatione mea; ut mundes et purges me ab
universis peccatorum maculis, quatenus tibi digne ministrare merear,
domine et clementissime Deus." All these formulas are of later origin,
be found in other books of the Middle Ages, with variants.
The prayer, "Super sindonem" (or, prayer over the winding-sheet or
Corporal), is, on the contrary, very ancient. It is true that the Roman
liturgy has not that prayer to-day, but it has at this moment the
ceremony of the Corporal, and further, the "Dominus vobiscum" and
which are not followed by any prayer, which surely indicates that there
gap here. Many liturgiologists have said, and still say, that what is
missing here is the Prayer of the Faithful; but we are of Bishop's
that it is more reasonable to believe that once at Rome, as now at
Milan, the "oratio super sindonem" stood in this place.
The offerings were brought to the singing of the "antiphona post
evangelium;" and this too is conformable with the Roman rite. The
celebrant blessed them with this further prayer: "Benedictio Dei
Pattris et Filii et Spiritus sancti copiosa de coelis descendat super
hanc nostram oblationem et accepta tibi sit haec oblatio, Domine
Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus, misericors rerum conditor."
In certain manuscripts the prayer "Adesto Domine" is found at this
The blessing of the incense resembles the Roman blessing; having the
same formulas, with one exception. But all these prayers are also of
late Middle Ages.
During solemn Masses at Milan a characteristic ceremony took place. Ten
old men (vecchioni) and ten old women, who lived at the expense of the
Chapter, came in special costume to offer the bread and wine. This,
too, is a
custom which reminds us of the Roman Offertory. This offering also is
accompanied by a prayer, "oratio super oblatam," which answers to the
The Ambrosian Preface is framed on the Roman lines, and also concludes
with the "Sanctus." But the Milanese rite has kept a large number of
these Prefaces. Lejay has an interesting study on that of the
manuscript of Bergamo; and he distinguishes amongst them the following
Prefaces in the form of Collects, ending with the doxology "Per Dominum
Prefaces in the form of a narrative, recounting the Lives of Saints;
Oratorical Prefaces, true rhetorical efforts, sometimes perhaps rather
stilted in tone; and related more closely to the Gallican or Mozarabic
style rather than to the sobriety of Rome;
Antithetical Prefaces, in which two subjects are opposed to each other
in a series of contrasts;
Lastly, Lejay also distinguishes Parallel Prefaces, in which two Saints
are compared with each other; or Eve with Our Lady, or Christ with St.
In spite of the oratorical tone of all these compositions, he yet
declares that "some of these pieces are really beautiful, and betray a
master's hand" (loc. cit., cols. 1413-1414). Two of these Prefaces even
contain hexameters, and one, pentameters.
At the present day the Ambrosian Canon, except for very slight
variants, is like the Roman Canon, and has been like it for many
centuries. In his article on the Ambrosian rite, Lejay has published
the entire text of
the Sacramentary of Biasca, as well as that of the Missal of Stowe and
the Gelasian Sacramentary (loc. cit., cols. 1407-1414). The comparison
these texts is most instructive, but it can be seen at a glance that,
excepting for the list of Saints, to which the Ambrosians have added
several specially honoured at Milan, and for a few less important
variants, the Ambrosian Canon is exactly similar to the Gelasian, which
itself is but
the Gregorian Canon of our own Missal,with a few very slight
We may agree with certain liturgiologists that the Canon of "De
Sacramentis" (which is printed on Chap. IV) gives us a very much
earlier form of
the Canon than the Ambrosian; one, indeed, which goes back to about the
year 400. But, as was then said, that text too presents many analogies
the Roman Canon. Lejay, following Mgr. Duchesne here, attempts to go
to an even earlier epoch, in which, he says, "there was no Ambrosian
Canon really; before the adoption of the Roman Canon at Milan the
consecrating prayers were still variable in their tenor, as we find
them in the
Lejay seeks traces of this primitive Ambrosian Canon in the offices of
Holy Week, which, as we know, often preserve the most ancient vestiges
the old liturgies. Thus, on Holy Thursday, we have a formula which is a
pendant to the Gallican "Post pridie," as follows: after the words of
the Institution: "Haec facimus, haec celebramus, tua, Domine,
praezcepta servantes etad communionem inviolabilem hoc ipsum quod
corpus domini sumimus mortem dominicam nuntiamus."
On Holy Saturday there is a "Vere Sanctus," just as there is in the
Eastern and Gallican liturgies: "Vere benedictus dominus noster Jesus
Christus, filius tuus. Qui cum Deus esset majestatis descendit de
servi qui primus perierat suscepit et sponte pati dignatus est ut eum
ipse fecerat liberaret. Unde et hoc paschale sacrifcium tibi offerimus
his quos ex aqua et spiritu sancto regenerare dignatus es, dans eis
remissionem omnium peccatorum, ut invenires eos in Christo Jesu domino
nostro; pro quibus tibi, domine, supplices fundimus preces ut nomina
pariterque famuli tui imperatoris scripta habeas in libro viventium.
Per Christum Dominum nostrum, qui pridie." Here the "Vere Sanctus," as
Gallican and Eastern liturgies, joins the "Sanctus" to the "Qui pridie."
There is yet another variant of the "Vere Sanctus" on Holy Thursday:
"Tu nos, domine, participes filii tui, tu consortes regni tui," etc.
In the Canon of Biasca the formula of consecration is followed by these
words: "Mandans quoque, et dicens ad eos: Haec quotiescumque feceritis
in meam commemorationem facietis; mortem meam praedicabitis,
resurrectionem adnunciabitis, adventum meum sperabitis, donec iterum de
ad vos." This is a variant of the Roman anamnesis, evidently of very
ancient authorship, which recalls the formula of the "Apostolic
Constitutions" (VIII, 12, P.G. Vol. I, col. 1104; cf. VII, 25, col.
1O17), themselves inspired by the actual text of St. Paul: "Hosakis gar
an esthiete" (I
Cor. Xi. 26). It is also found in other Eastern liturgies, as those of
James and St. Basil, in the Missal of Stowe, and in the Mozarabic rite.
In the text of Biasca the Canon ends, like the Canons of all the rites,
with a doxology; but this, slightly different from the Roman doxology,
runs thus: "Et est tibi Deo Patri Omnipotenti ex ipso, et per ipsum, et
ipso omnis honor, virtus, laus, gloria, imperium, perpetuitas et
potestas in unitate spiritus sancti. Per infinita saecula saeculorurn.
is very nearly the same as that of "De Sacramentis," which in that
document follows the "Pater." According to Lejay this would be its
in the Ambrosian liturgy. Now a doxology after the "Pater" is a
primitive custom already found in the "Didache;"so ancient that it has
into certain manuscripts after the Lord's Prayer given by St. Matthew
As at Rome, the Pater is preceded by a short prelude and followed by an
embolism which differs only very slightly,from the Roman use. The
Fraction preceded the "Pater" as it did at Rome before St. Gregory's
was also the case with the Gallican liturgies, on this point in
with Rome, while the Greeks placed the Fraction afterwards. After the
doxology at the end of the Canon the Priest divides the Host, saying:
tuum frangitur," "Christe; Calix benedicitur," and breaks off a piece
destined to be placed in the chalice, with these words: "Sanguis tuus
sit nobis semper ad vitam et ad salvandas animas." The Commixtion is
the words: "Commixtio consecrati corporis et sanguinis D.N.J.C. nobis
edentibus et sumentibus, in vitam aeternam. Amen." This rite is
accompanied by a chant called "Confractorium." Lejay mentions one taken
from Psalm xxii.
5, according to St. Ambrose (col. 1419).
The "Pax" is given at this moment, as at Rome; but certain indications
allow us to believe that in the primitive Ambrosian rite it was
doubtless at the Offertory.
The "Agnus Dei" and the three prayers before the Communion have been
adopted by the Ambrosian as they have by the Roman rite; but they are
prayers of a later age.
The ancient formula for Communion was formerly: "Corpus D.N.J.C.
proficiat mihi sumenti et omnibus pro quibus hoc sacrificium attuli ad
vitam et gaudiun sempiternum." It is unnecessary to remark that this is
very ancient formula, such as that given in "De Sacramentis," which is
old. The Priest says: "Corpus Christi," and the faithful reply: "Amen."
There is a prayer of Post-communion, as at Rome.
The Mass ends thus: after the Post-communion and "Dominus vobiscum "the
"Kyrie Eleison" is said thrice. Then the Blessing: "Benedicat et
exaudiat nos Deus. Amen." The Deacon says: "Procedamus in pace. In
Christi." To this ending has been added the "Placeat," the Blessing,
Gospel of St. John.
In this Mass, as we have just depicted it, we find a large number of
elements which are identical with the Roman Mass; either because they
have been borrowed from it, or else that both have flowed from the same
source. Other features remind us rather of the Gallican and Mozarabic,
the Eastern liturgies; and it has already been said that both these
opinions have gathered a certain number of supporters: In the future
even closer study of the documents will produce fresh arguments which
weigh down the balance in one or the other direction. But for the
see no sufficient reason to give up that opinion stated in Chapter II.
Beyond the reforms imposed by Rome, it seems to us that, during the
first few centuries, liturgical unity, understood in its widest sense,
key to a certain number of differences, just as it does to analogies
between the two liturgies.
In our own opinion it would be more interesting profoundly to study the
liturgy of this great church of Milan, which at one moment in the
fourth century was "quasi-patriarchal," and of which we have here only
able to give the palest sketch, than it would be to attempt to resolve
above question. Like Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Rome,
Constantinople, Toledo, Ravenna, Aquilea, it was a first-class
liturgical centre. Such
of its liturgical books as have been preserved, the great churches
this liturgy was celebrated, the great Bishops who were its protectors,
give us the very loftiest idea of it. But we are not now writing the
of the Latin liturgies, an enormous enterprise which would as yet be
premature; we are but endeavouring to study the Mass of the Western
Rite under its different forms.
1. See "Books of the Latin Liturgy" (Sands, 3s. 6d.), pp. 85-88.
2. Do not forget what has been said in Chapter II as to the liturgical
exchanges and borrowings between the Eastern churches (notably those of
Antioch and Jerusalem) and those of the West.
3. Lejay thinks (wrongly, in our opinion) that the second "Kyrie" is
only a vestige of the Prayer of the Faithful.
4. Cf. Duchesne, "Origines du culte," p. 203.
5. "L'ancienne liturgie gallicane, son origine aux Ve et VIe siecles,"
(Paris 1929), and our remarks on this subject in "Revue d'Hist. eccles.
de Louvain," Vol. XXVI, p. 851 seq.
6. Cf. DACL, "Cantiques evangeliques," col. 1995.
7. Thomasi-Vezzosi, VII, p. 6 seq.; Muratori, "Antiqu. Medii Evi.,"
Vol. IV, pp. 842 and 914.
8. "De la missa ou dismissio catechumenorum," in "Revue Benedictine,"
1905, Vol. XXII, pp. 569-572; cf. also "Rassegna Gregoriana," 1905,
July-August, p. 338.
9. Cf. the works of Dom Cagin, Probst, Lucas, and Fortescue, already
mentioned; and also DACL, "Baiser de Paix," and "Diptyques."
10. Bishop-Wilmart, "Le genie du rit romain," p. 45 and note 45.
11. Lejay, who admits that the oblations were presented at the
beginning of the Mass (as in the Gallican rite), thinks that the
ceremony described above is a reduplication, and consequently an
addition, of a later age.
12. Lejay considers that this prayer is a reduplication of the "oratio
super sindonem "(loc. cit., col. 1406). To me this does not seem exact,
each of these prayers having its own well-determined object.
13. Cf. DACL, "Diptyques."
14. Loc. cit., col. 1416; cf. Mgr. Duchesne, "Les origines du culte"
3rd edition, p. 177. But this, we must confess, is at least a
for the Ambrosian.
15. All these formulas will be found in Lejay, art. cit., cols. 1416,
It is well known that Dom Cagin has ingeniously endeavoured to find the
"Vere Sanctus" in the Roman Mass itself.
16. Lejay, art. cit., col. 1418. But we cannot agree with him that this
is a feature borrowed from the Eastern liturgies, for it is of far more
ancient origin. Cf. on this point the "Pater" in the "Revue
The Abbé Paul Lejay has published two articles,
(liturgy), one in the "Dict. de theol. cath.," the other, later and
in DACL; both being under the same title. In his bibliography he
the works of CERIANI, MERCATI, MAGISTRETTI, and others upon this
To this the following articles may be added:--
In "Liturgia," p. 801 seq., a chapter on the Ambrosian liturgy. "Books
of the Latin Liturgy" (Sands, 3s. 6d.), pp. 85-88, on the
Sacramentaries, Rituals, Manuals, and Pontificals of the Ambrosian
W. C. BISHOP, "The Ambrosian Breviary," in the "Church Quarterly
Review," October 1886, p. 110 seq., published separately. Analogies
with the Mozarabic and Gallican liturgies.
LUCAS, three articles on "The Ambrosian Liturgy," in the "Tablet," 4th
December 1897; 29th January and 5th February 1898. (Cf. also the
"Month," January 1902, p. 41.) The conclusions of CERIANI, MERCATI,
and others are adopted, i.e. that the Ambrosian liturgy is derived from
an ante-Gregorian Roman liturgy.
ARCHDALE KING, "Notes on thc Catholic Liturgies "(London, 1930)
For Ambrosian (the chant), see the article of Dom GATARD in DACL
THE MASS IN SPAIN
The Mozarabic liturgy,--Mozarabic books.--The Pre-Mass.--The Mass of
the Faithful.--Remarks on this Mass.
THE MOZARABIC LITURGY
The Mozarabic liturgy is that which was followed in Spain before the
Arab conquest in 712, and which, after that date, was still generally
in use both by those Spanish who had submitted to the Arabs and by
others who, having withdrawn into the northern provinces, were able to
retain their independence. The term "Mozarabic" (from musta'rab, or
mixto-arabic, "mixed with the Arabs") only applies in reality to that
part of the
Spanish population which did submit to the Saracens. It is, strictly
a mistake to use it to qualify the Spanish liturgy, since this existed
in Spain previous to the Arab conquest; and, further, because it was
the liturgy of the free Spaniards in the north. Nevertheless, since
name is now well established, and is used by most authors, we think it
to retain it here. Further, the names of Visigothic rite, rite of
Toledo, Hispanic, Gothic, or Spanish rite, by which it has been
replace the word "Mozarabic" rite, are none of them in themselves
In all cases this term denotes a liturgy which has been that of Spain
from the beginning of her history; which was maintained in that country
until the twelfth century, and which, even after its suppression, was
still followed in a few churches, and in the sixteenth century was
officially restored in the churches of Toledo, where at the present
time it is
Whatever we may think of its name, the Mozarabic liturgy itself is
fairly well known to us. We may even say that, with the exception of
the Roman liturgy, it is this which provides us with the greatest
number of documents, and gives us the most important information, as
be verified by the paragraph in which these sources are enumerated.
This, however, is not the place to discuss the question of the origin
and sources of these liturgical documents; we can but refer our readers
the article "Mozarabe" (liturgie) in DACL. It is enough to say that we
not now reduced (as was the case until recently) to the "Missale
Mixtum" of Lesley, but that at present we have the "Liber Ordinum"
(Missal and Pontifical) and the "Liber Mozarabicus Sacramentorum," both
by Dom Ferotin, and also the "Comes," or "Liber Comicus," published by
Dom Morin. Thanks to these various documents we can easily reconstitute
the Mozarabic Mass, and go back to an epoch which is almost that of its
origin: let us say, the eighth, or even the seventh, century.
THE PRE-MASS, OR MASS OF THE CATECHUMENS
PREPARATION.--The "Missale Mixtum" contains a Preparation for Mass
which is given after the Mass for Easter (P.L., Vol. LXXXV, cols.
521-522). It comprehends a number of rites and prayers, washing of
hands, four Ave Maria, prayers for the amice, the alb, girdle, maniple,
stole, and chasuble, an "apologia," the psalm "Judica me" with the
"Introibo ad altare Dei," the confession of sins, the absolution, the
a nobis," the signing of the altar with the cross and kissing it (which
was formerly the kissing of the Cross present on the altar), and the
on extending the Corporal upon the altar and on the preparation of the
chalice. Some of these rites and prayers are ancient, as may be seen by
a comparison with the Gallican rites; others are of recent
The preparation of the chalice and the Corporal formerly took place at
the Offertory (cf. P.L., loc. cit., col. 339, and Lesley's notes on
INTROIT.--The Mass begins with the "Officium," called by the Gallicans
"Antiphona ad praelegendum," in the Ambrosian rite, Ingressa, and at
Rome, Introit, or "Antiphona ad introitum." It is composed of an
anthem, the verse of a psalm, and a doxology, and is taken either from
Scripture or from the "Acta" of the Saint whose Feast is that day
celebrated (cf. Tommasi, "Disquisitio de antiphona ad introitum
Missae," and Lesley's
note, P.L., col. 234). The doxology differs from that of Rome, and the
"Semper" of "Per omnia" is also a feature of the Mozarabic rite. But in
the Mozarabic "Officium" is closer to the Roman "Introit" than is the
GLORIA IN EXCELSIS AND COLLECT.--The "Gloria in Excelsis" is enclosed
at beginning and end by "Per omnia semper secula seculorum." It was
in this rite on Sundays and Feast Days, as the Fourth Council of Toledo
says (canon 12). Etherius and Beatus also state it (Ord. Elip., I, I;
also Lesley's note, P.L., loc. cit., col. 531). Later the Mozarabites
omitted this hymn on the Sundays of Advent and Lent. It was also sung
by the Gallicans, as may be seen by the Missal of Bobbio, and was
two prayers. In the Mozarabic rite, after the final "Per omnia," the
Deacon cried "Oremus," and the Priest said a prayer. Later on this
of the Deacon was suppressed, but not the Priest's prayer, which varied
for the Sundays of Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and for
Feasts of Saints. The text of these various prayers will be found in
the "Missale Mixtum," P.L., Vol. LXXXV, col. 531 seq. The text of the
"Gloria" here given is the same as usual, but other forms do exist. (On
point see the discussion between Lebrun and Lesley, P.L., loc. cit.,
and also Dom German Prado, "Una nueva recension del hymno Gloria in
Excelsis" in "Ephemerides Liturg.," 1932, PP. 481-486.)
The Collect, here called "Oratio," is often directly addressed to
Christ, as in the Gallican liturgies. Very often it is a paraphrase of
"Gloria in Excelsis." As a rule it has not the sobriety, the precision,
nor the rhythm of the Roman Collect. Often it is merely a kind of pious
effusion. We may take as a chance example the prayer for the Feast of
St. Stephen (P.L., loc. cit., col. 190). After the oratio the Priest
"Per misericordiam tuam, Deus noster qui es benedictus: et vivis et
omnia regis in secula seculorum. Amen. Dominus sit semper vobiscum. Et
cum spiritu tuo."
READINGS.--On Fast Days in Spain the "Officium" was shortened, and Mass
began with the Lessons, as it did formerly at Rome. St. Augustine, too,
tells us that in Africa Mass began on Sunday with the reading of Holy
We have one Lesson from the Old Testament, one from St. Paul, and the
third is the Gospel. The first is called the "Prophecy," the second the
"Epistle," or "Apostle," the third the "Gospel." But this order was not
invariable. On Sundays the Prophecy was omitted, while during Lent and
on Fast Days there were four Lessons, two from the Old, two from the
New Testament. Again, from Easter to Pentecost the first Lesson was
from the Apocalypse, that from the Old Testament being suppressed. The
Gallicans had almost exactly the same custom with regard to their
Rome, on the contrary (cf. Chap. IV), the readings were usually two in
number, as they are to-day. St. Isidore tells us that the Prophecy was
read by the Lector ("Epist. ad Ludifrid. Cordubensem." As to this
Lesley's note, P.L., loc. cit., col. 251). After the first prayer the
saluted the people, and the Lector from a high place announced the
title of the book, "Lectio libri Exodi," the people responding "Deo
the sign of the Cross, and listening to the Lesson. After it was over
they answered: "Amen" (St. Isidore, "Offic.," I, I, c. x., and I, II,
xi.). The Priest added, as he did after the prayer: "Dominus sit semper
vobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo."
PSALLENDO.--After the Prophecy is chanted the Canticle of the Three
Children, with the first verse of the psalm "Confitemini," as was also
the custom in the Gallican liturgy. The Lectionary of Luxeuil says:
cum benedictione", as also does the author of the Letters of St.
The same order is recalled by the Fourth Council of Toledo (can. 14).
the "Benedictus es" the Priest began to intone the Psalm "Confitemini,"
which was continued by choir and people (see the "Missale Mixtum,"
P.L., loc. cit., col. 297 and note). According to the MSS. the
which was sung in responses, shows a large number of variations. The
"Psallendo," which comes next, is a responsory sung by the Precentor
from a pulpit.
St. Isidore calls it "responsoria," while in Gaul it was called
"Psalmus responsorius "(St. Isidore, "Offic.," Gregory of Tours, "Hist.
I, VIII, c. iii). It has sometimes been confused with the Roman
it differs from this in certain characteristics (cf. Lesley, P.L., loc.
cit., col. 257).
TRACT.--The ancient Mozarabic books contain a Tract, "Tractus," which
was sung from the ambone by the Psalmist. Like the Roman Tract it had
neither repetition nor interruption, and was sung to a very simple
melody. It differed from the Roman Tract, because that of the Gregorian
follows the Gradual and takes the place of the "Alleluia," while the
Mozarabic Tract holds the place of the "Psallendo" (Lesley, col. 306.
Tommasi, "Responsoralia et antiphonaria Romance Ecclesiae," p. 32 seq.,
DIACONAL PRAYERS.--The "Missale Mixtum" contains a rubric after the
"Psallendo," requiring the Priest to prepare the chalice by putting in
wine and water, to place the Host upon the paten and put that upon the
chalice, and, lastly, to say the "Preces: Indulgentiam postulamus." But
a recent rubric, and according to St. Isidore (Epist. ad Ludifr.
it was the place of the Deacon to prepare the chalice and to say the
"Preces" (cf. Lesley, loc. cit., col. 297). In his note Lesley confuses
these "Preces diaconales" with the "Prayer of the Faithful," which is
quite different. These diaconal prayers have great interest for the
of liturgical history; they are a relic of the past, still preserved in
the Eastern liturgies, but of which but few traces have survived in
that of Rome. They will be found in the "Missale Mixtum," loc. cit.,
The Priest then says a prayer in a low voice. The following is the text
of that which comes after the diaconal prayer:
"Exaudi orationem nostram, domine: gemitusque nostros auribus percipe:
nos enim iniquitates nostras agnoscimus . et delicta nostra coram te
pandimus tibi Deus peccavimus: tibique confitentes veniam exposcimus.
Et quia recessimus a mandatis tuis: et legi tue minime paruimus.
Convertere, Domine, super servos tuos quos redimisti sanguine tuo.
quaesumus nobis: et peccatis nostris veniam tribue: tueque pietatis
in nobis largire dignare. Amen.
Per misericordiam tuam Deus noster qui es benedictus et vivis et omnia
regis in secula seculorum. Amen."
In the Gallican liturgies this prayer is called "Post Precem."
EPISTLE.--After the singing of the "Psallendo" and the Diaconal Prayers
the Priest commanded silence, "Silentium facite," and the Lector read
the Epistle, usually called the Apostle, as in Gaul, Italy, Africa, and
other countries. He first announced the title, as, for instance,
"Sequentia epistolae Pauli ad Corinthios," to which the people answered
Gratias," and signed themselves. But as far back as the time of St.
was no longer the Lector, but the Deacon, who read the Epistle. The
ended, the people responded Amen, and the Deacon descending from the
ambone, carried the book back to the sacristy (cf. Lesley's note, col.
The text was not always read in its integrity, and the Mozarabic books
contain examples of Lessons where texts are combined or fitted
together. (Thus, P.L., loc. cit., cols. 622 and 278.)
GOSPEL.--Like the Epistle, the Gospel was at first read in Spain by the
Lector. Then this function was reserved for the Deacon, "ad diaconum
pertinere praedicare Evangelium et apostolum" (St. Isidore, "Ep. ad
Ludifr."). This also was the case in Gaul (Gregory of Tours, "Hist.
Franc.," I, VIII, c. iv. IV). The Deacon first said the prayer, "Munda
cor meum corpusque et labia mea," etc., and then went to receive the
Bishop's blessing: "Corroboret Dominus sensum tuum," etc. Having
returned to the altar the Deacon said: "Laus tibi," clergy and people
responding: "Laus tibi, Domine Jesu Christe, Rex aeternae gloriae." He
then ascended the ambone, with the book, preceded by those who bore
candles, and perhaps incense, and announced the reading: "Lectio sancti
evangelii secundum Lucam," to which the people answered: "Gloria tibi,
Domine," making the sign of the Cross, and responding "Amen" at the end
of the Gospel,
which they stood upright to hear. The Bishop kissed the book of the
when this was presented to him, saying: "Ave, verbum divinum,
reformatio virtutum et restitutio sanitatum." (P.L., Vol. LXXXV, col.
As in the case of the Prophecy and the Epistle, the Mozarabic books do
not scruple to omit verses of the Gospel, or to rearrange its text.
the reading the Priest said: "Dominus sit semper vobiscum. "Et cum
In private Masses the Priest recited a prayer before the Gospel:
"Comforta me, Rex sanctorum," etc., and also the "Dominus sit in corde
etc., the Deacon saying the "Munda cor meum" (cf. loc. cit., col. 528).
these prayers are of a later age, and are probably borrowed from the
LAUDA.--The "Lauda," which follows the Gospel, is composed of the
"Alleluia" and a verse taken generally from a psalm. This place was
assigned to it by the Fourth Council of Toledo (cf. also St. Isidore,
"Offic.," I, I, c. xiii.). In the "Missale Mixtum" it is followed by
"Deo Gratias," but it would not appear that this is primitive (P.L.,
cit., col. 536). The "Lauda" is sung by the Cantor. This custom of
singing a verse after the Gospel is found in other liturgies.
At this point there was formerly (at least on certain days, especially
in Lent) a prayer for the penitents, and their dismissal, as well as
of the catechumens (cf. P.L., loc. cit., cols. 307, 308). Here the
Pre-Mass ended. We see that its principal features are very much the
those of the Gallican, and even the Roman, Pre-Mass. But the Mozarabic
has preserved more memories of the primitive liturgy.
THE MASS OF THE FAITHFUL
I. THE IMMEDIATE PREPARATION.--In the "Missale Mixtum" the Offertory is
composed of the following prayers, which accompany the different acts
of the Priest: the offering of the Host and the chalice, the
of the chalice and the paten on the altar, etc.: "Acceptabilis sit,
Offerimus tibi hanc oblationem... et omnium offerentium, In spiritu
humilitatis, Adjuvate me, fratres" (loc. cit., col. 113).
Offertory.--The "Sacrificium "which follows these prayers answers to
the singing of the Offertory. St. Isidore uses the two words as
In the letter "ad Ludifr.," so often quoted, he says "Sacrificium;" but
"De Offic.," I, I, 14, he says "Offertoria." The Gallicans have a chant
Those who were not to assist at the Sacrifice having been dismissed,
the Deacons took off the pallium, which up till then had covered the
and laid the Corporal upon it. "Quis fidelium," says St. Optatus,
in peragendis mysteriis ipsa ligna altaris linteamine operiri (Cont.
Parmen., I, VI)." This cloth, sometimes also called "Palla Corporalis,"
of pure linen, covered the whole altar. It was a general custom which
be proved in Egypt, Gaul, Africa, and Rome, as well as in Spain (Isid.
of Pelus., Ep., CXXIII, "Ad Dorotheum comitem;" Gregory of Tours,
I, VII, c. xxii.; Optatus of Milevia, "Cont. Parmen.," I, VI; "Ordo
Romanus," in Mabillon, ii. n. 9; cf. P.L., Vol. LXXXV, col. 339).
While the choir sang the "Sacrificium" the Bishops, Priests, and
Deacons received the oblations of the people --bread and wine. The men
made their offering, in order of dignity, then the women, the Priests,
Deacons, clerics, the Bishop himself offering last of all. Great
were taken that the bread should not be touched by hand. The Bishop and
Priests received the bread upon the "Offertorium," or "Oblatorium," a
vase of silver, gold, or copper. At Rome the "Oblatorium" was replaced
linen cloth held by two acolytes. The people themselves were not
touch the offerings, which were presented in a linen cloth. These
pure wheat might originally have been leavened, but the use of
bread was established in Spain as elsewhere (cf. Lesley's note, loc.
As to the wine, it was presented in small flagons or other receptacles.
The Deacons poured it all into a great chalice destined for this
They next took from the offerings of bread and wine what would be
for Communion, and kept the rest. Those loaves intended for Holy
were placed on a paten and the paten upon the altar; the wine was put
the chalice and mixed with water. Sometimes there were of necessity
many chalices and patens upon the altar. The paten was not given to the
sub-Deacon as in the Roman rite. The Deacons then covered the oblations
with a pallium, which was usually made of silk embroidered with gold;
this was called "Coopertorium," "Palla," or "Palla Corporalis." There
prayer, "ad extendum corporalia." The other prayers found in the
books for these different acts are of a later epoch. In Spain, as in
Gaul and Rome, these various acts in primitive days were not
prayers P.L., loc. cit., col. 340, and Lesley's note, ibid.).
The Oblation finished, the Bishop returned to his throne and washed his
hands. This is also an ancient custom, which is attested both by the
"Apostolic Constitutions" (I, VIII, c. xi.) and by Cyril of Jerusalem
(Catech. myst., V). In Spain it was the Deacon who served at this
office, while the sub-Deacon offered water to the Priests and Deacons
same purpose. The Bishop then returned to the altar, gave the signal
for stopping the singing of the "Sacrificium," and said "Adjuvate me,
fratres;" after which he recited the "Accedam ad te" which belongs to
of "Apologiae sacerdotis" (P.L., loc. cit., col. 113, and article
"Apologies" in DACL. On the differences between these rites and the
which they underwent in the Mozarabic liturgy during the Middle Ages,
see Lesley's note, col. 535).
"Missa."--The Priest usually said with the "Dominus sit semper
vobiscum" another prayer called "Missa." It is the first of the seven
St. Isidore ("De Offic.," I, I c. xiv.). Etherius and Beatus describe
it in these terms "Prima oratio admonitionis erga populum est, ut omnes
excitentur ad orandum Deum "("Adv. Elipand.," I, I). It is plainly an
opening prayer, the opening of the Mass of the Faithful, a prayer to
prepare them for the Sacrifice. It varies according to the Feasts and
liturgical epochs and is addressed sometimes to the faithful,
"dilectissimi fratres;" sometimes to God the Father or to Our Lord
(P.L., col. 113;
cf. 346 and 539). The Missal of Bobbio gives a similar prayer, but this
often has no title. Once it is called (as here) "Missa;" another time
"Collectio," and twice, "Praefatio." In the other Gallican
Sacramentaries it is called "Praefatio," or "Praefatio Missae." The
title "Oratio" is
also given to it in the "Missale Mixtum" (P.L., col. 539)
The "Missa" is sometimes an invocation of the Father or the Son;
sometimes a series of pious exclamations; sometimes again a lyrical
honor of the mystery or of the martyr whose Feast the Church is
celebrating. Sometimes it is preceded by an "Apologia sacerdotis."
After the "Missa"
the clergy responded: "Agie, agie, agie," etc. Then the Priest said:
"Erigite vos" ("Liber ordinum," cols. 234, 235, and 186, 191; "Liber
Sacramentorum Mozarabicus," p. xx.).
"Prayer of the Faithful.-"-After the prayer the people said Amen, and
the Priest added these words: "Per misericordiam tuam," etc. Then,
his hands: "Oremus," to which the choir responded: "Agyos, Agyos,
Domine Deus, Rex aeterne tibi laudes et gratias. Postea dicat
Ecclesiam sanctam catholicam in orationibus in mente habeamus... omnes
lapsos, captivos, infirmos, atque peregrinos in mente habeamus: ut eos
Dominus," etc. In the "Liber Mozarabicus" this prayer is simply called
oratio," or even "alia" (cf. p. xxi.). The choir responded: "Presta
eterne omnipotens Deus." The Priest continued: "Purifica Domine Deus
Pater omnipotens" . . . making mention of the Priests who offered, of
Pope, and all Priests and other clerics. The commemoration of Apostles
and Martyrs followed, their names being enumerated. In all these
the choir intervened with occasional acclamations (P.L., loc. cit.,
113). The "Liber Offerentium," called by the Mozarabites the "Little
Missal," contains this prayer under a very much better form, and
must correct that which he gives in col. 113. The "Liber Offerentium"
been included in the "Missale Mixtum"(P.L., cols. 530-569. The "Prayer
the Faithful" will be found in col. 539 seq.). These different prayers,
from the first "Per misericordiam tuam . . . Oremus," would seem to
towards the second prayer of the Mass defined by St. Isidore: "Secunda
(oratio) invocationis ad Deum est, ut clementer suscipiat preces
oblationemque eorum." Here indeed can be recognised the principal
features of that Prayer of the Faithful, or Litanic Prayer, which in
beginning could be found in all liturgies. The Greek and Eastern
kept it, but in the Roman it has almost disappeared except in the
prayers on Good Friday, which give us the Prayer of the Faithful under
its most ancient and perfect forms. In the Mozarabic Missal it is not
given with anything like the same clearness; and has probably been
retouched again and again. The expression "Ecclesiam sanctam catholicam
in orationibus in mente habeamus" recalls that of St. Fructuosus in
"In mente me habere necesse est sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam ab oriente
usque ad occidentem diffusam" (in Ruinart, "Acta Mart.," p. 222).
In the manuscripts the reading of the names appears to be considered as
a separate rite, under the title of "Nomina offerentium. The list of
the names of the living was followed by that of the dead. Usually the
Deacon, or the Priest himself, read this list; but sometimes it fell to
the "Cantores." "Transfer haec nomina in pagina coeli, que levitarum et
cantorum tuorum offcis recitata sunt, in Libro vivorum digito tuo," we
read in the "Liber Mozarabicus" (ed. Ferotin, col. 546, and
Introduction, p. XXl.).
"Oratio post nomina."--This is the name of the prayer which follows.
The preceding prayer had comprised the reading of the names of those
who offered, and of the dead: "item pro spiritibus pausantium" (P.L.,
loc. cit., col. 114). It is the third in the order followed by St.
and he defines it thus: "Tertia autem, effunditur pro offerentibus sive
pro defunctis fidelibus, ut per id sacrificium veniam consequantur."
the preceding prayers, its text varies according to the Feasts. We may
note that here the Memento of the Dead is not separated from that of
living, as in the Roman Mass. Moreover, the Spanish diptychs do not
contain the names of Apostles and Martyrs, but also those of Old
Saints, Patriarchs, and Prophets (ibid., col. 483 and note). This also
was the custom of the Gallican churches, and Venantius Fortunatus has
"Nomina vestra legat patriarchis atque prophetis 'Quos hodie in templo
diptychus edit ebur.'"
(I, X, carm. vii.)
(See also the prayer "Post nomina" for the Feast of St. Leger, note 68,
p. 283.) We find the same custom in many of the Greek and Eastern
liturgies. St. Cyril of Jerusalem had said: "Recordamus patriarcharum
prophetarum... ut Deus eorum precibus et intercessione orationem
nostram suscipiat" ("Catech., V;" Lesley refers in a note to these
col. 483). The prayer "Post nomina," in the Gallican liturgies,
characteristic analogies. It was the Deacon who read the Diptychs, the
Priest following with the prayer (P.L., col. 375).
In connection with the prayer "Post nomina," Dom Ferotin rightly calls
attention to that Secret of the Roman Missal: "Deus cui soli cognitus
est numerus electorum in superna felicitate locandus... et omnium
fidelium nomina beatae praedestinationis liber adscripta retineat,"
which is a
true "Oratio post nomina." He is mistaken in calling it a quadragesimal
"Secret;" it belongs to the Mass of the Dead, and there can be no doubt
as to its Gallican origin, as well as to that of the Collect and
Post-communion which accompany it (Dom Ferotin, "Liber Mozarabicus," p.
We may also notice the very long "Oratio post nomina," which is a
homily in itself, drawn up towards the end of the seventh century by
of Toledo, and which was imposed on all Priests by a contemporary
of Toledo to end an intolerable abuse. There was a question as to
whether certain priests did not, in the "Oratio post nomina," pray for
death of their enemies. The text of St. Julian's prayer is a long and
vehement protestation against such criminal maneuvers (see the 5th
Canon of the XVIIth Council of Toledo in 694. The prayer is in the
"Liber Ordinum," cols. 331-334. Cf. also "Liber Mozarabicus" p. xxi.).
"Oratio ad pacem."--This is thus defined by St. Isidore: "Quarta post
haec infertur pro osculo pacis." The Kiss of Peace is placed close to
the Communion in the Roman Mass; in Spain, as also in Gaul and in the
it precedes the Consecration, and even the "Illatio."
It may be said that it is attached to the Prayer of the Faithful, of
which it was the natural conclusion. Primitively, the Kiss of Peace
must have been frequent, and have formed a part of every synaxis. It
been fixed at this place in the Mass at an early date, and it was also
natural that it should precede the Communion. Perhaps it took place
twice in certain churches, in that case one of the two rites must soon
have been suppressed as useless. However it may have been in primitive
as to which we have not sufficient information we see this singularity
mentioned in the Roman rite with regard to the place of the Kiss of
Peace at a very early date, in contradistinction from the other Latin
liturgies as well as the Eastern. I have mentioned the following very
significant fact elsewhere: in the "Traditio Apostolica" of St.
Hippolytus, which represents the Roman liturgy at the beginning of the
third century, the Kiss of Peace, according to general custom, is
attached to the Prayer
of the Faithful: "Et postea" (he is speaking of the neophytes who had
just received Baptism) "jam simul cum omni populo orent, non primum
cum fidelibus, nisi omnia haec fuerint consecuti. Et cum oraverint, de
ore pacem offerant. Et tunc iam offeratur oblatio a diaconibus.
Didascaliae Apostolorum fragmenta veronensia latina" (ed. E. Hauler,
PP. III, 112). The suppression of the Prayer of the Faithful in the
Mass, at the moment when the Roman Canon as we have it to-day was
established, must have brought about this change in the place of the
Kiss of Peace,
as no doubt it brought about many others.
Here, as in many other circumstances the Mozarabic Mass represents
customs earlier than those of that of Rome. The "Oratio ad pacem" and
of Peace were attached to a whole which St. Isidore describes by the
words "post haec," i.e. the prayers "Per misericordiam," "Ecclesiam
sanctam," "Purifica Domine" (or prayer of oblation), the memorial of
Saints, Patriarchs, Apostles, Martyrs, etc., the reading of the
Diptychs of the living and the dead with the prayer "Post nomina." Only
then, and quite logically, came the prayer for peace, and the Kiss of
Peace (P.L., loc. cit., col. 115). It goes without saying that the
title "Oratio ad
Patrem "is a typographical error for "ad Pacem," as Lesley has already
In this the Spanish custom was the same as that of the Gallican
churches, where an "Oratio ad pacem" followed the "Oratio post nomina,"
preceded the "Illatio" or "Contestatio." In all these liturgies the
text of the Oratio ad pacem varies according to the Feasts. In all,
are always about peace, or the oblations. The Greek and Eastern
also have this "Oratio ad pacem" followed by the Kiss of Peace (see
these connections in Lesley's note, P.L., col. 505).
According to the "Liber Ordinum" we see that the Deacon intervened at
the Kiss of Peace with these words: Inter vos pacem tradite." The
of Compostella (1056) alludes (c. 1) to the same usage ("Liber Ord.,"
col. 191; cf. "Liber Mozar.," p. xxi.). While this was going on the
sang "Pacem relinquo vobis," or some other anthem of the same kind. The
same book gives a formula of "Ad Pacem" in which the prayer is preceded
an invocation, as is often the case in this, and also in the Gallican
liturgy ("Lib. Ordin.," col. 236).
2. THE SACRIFICE.--The prayer of the anaphora, or Eucharistic prayer
properly so called, begins after all this preparation.
"Illatio."--This rite in the Mozarabic liturgy bears the name of
"Inlatio," or "Illatio;" and St. Isidore defines it in these terms:
infertur illatio in sanctificatione oblationis in quam etiam Dei
terrestrium creatura, virtutum coelestium universitatis provocatur, et
Osanna in Ecclesiis cantatur." It is preceded by a dialogue which
that in the Roman Mass. The Priest, bending forward with his hands
says: "Introibo ad altare Dei;" the choir: "Ad Deum qui laetificat
juventutem meam." The Priest, laying his hands on the chalice, says:
"Aures ad Dominum," the choir answering: "Habemus ad Dominum." The
says: "Sursum corda;" the choir: "Levemus ad Dominum." The Priest
forward with joined hands: "Deo ac Domino nostro Jesu Christo filio Dei
in coelis dignas laudes dignasque gratias referamus." Here he raises
hands towards Heaven (P.L., loc. cit., col. 115). The Mozarabic
like the Roman Preface or the Gallican "Contestatio," always ends with
the "Sanctus," and in Spain, as in Gaul, but unlike Rome, the "Sanctus"
is followed by a prayer always called "Post Sanctus." For St. Isidore
the "Illatio" or fifth prayer, comprehends the "Sanctus," the "Post
Sanctus," and also the Consecration. The sixth prayer is that of the
pridie," or "Confirmatio Sacramenti." This division seems just, for it
clearly the close union of all these parts, from the "Illatio" to the
the Consecration. Again it is better suited to the title "Immolatio"
is that of the Gallican Prefaces, the word being a good synonym for
As to the word "Illatio," it is characteristic of the Mozarabic books.
Some have attempted to prove that it is a copyist's error for
"Immolatio," which, as has been said, is the Gallican title of the
can be explained naturally. But it is curious that if it be a copyist's
it should be so universal, for the word is found in all the Mozarabic
books. The Preface is called "Illatio" everywhere; nor do I believe the
word "Immolatio" has ever been found there, except once in the "Liber
Ordinum." The question is curious, and perhaps deserves a separate
"Illatio," or "Inlatio," like "Oblatio" (which is a synonym), is almost
the exact translation of the word "anaphero," to offer. In the
tongue the word "Inlatio" (from "inferre") means the action of
carrying, like "Invectio," and is specially applied to the dead
(Ulpien); it also signifies the paying of tribute. In philosophic
language an "Illatio"
is a conclusion drawn from premisses, "ex duobus sumptis ratione
nexis conficitur illatio" (Capella). In Spain the word is used in the
Councils in the sense of gift, present, tribute (Third Council of
Braga, can. 2;
Seventh Council of Toledo). Thus the term "Immolatio" of the
Gallican liturgies is something quite different, which may be a
if we like, a paleographic interpretation of the word "Illatio." This
the opinion of Dom Cagin ("Les noms latins de la preface
eucharistique," in "Rassegna Gregoriana," 1906, PP. 322-358) and also
that to which Lesley
was inclined (cf. P.L., Vol. LXXXV, col. 507). But so far this is only
a hypothesis founded on the similarity of the two words. It remains to
be explained why one is exclusively used in the Mozarabic MSS. and the
other almost exclusively in the Gallican.
On this point the latter are less exclusive than the former. In the
"Missale Gothicum" as well as in the "Missale Gallicanum Immolatio"
alternates with "Contestatio" and "Praefatio Missae;" it is not found
at all in the "Missale Francorum," and only once in the Missal of
and then, as it would seem, by accident (cf. "Paleographie musicale,"
V, PP. 100, 101, and 168). The word is absent, as well as
in the letters of the pseudoGermain, and it may well be that this is a
fresh argument in favor of the recent date of these pretended letters
(cf. "Germain, Lettres de Saint," in DACL). The glossaries and
"Thesauri," Ducange, Forcellini, Freund, and the "Thesaurus linguae
Leipzig give but very insufficient information on this subject, under
the word "Contestatio."
Of the dialogue which precedes the "Illatio" we shall say nothing. It
contains what we may call the essential elements which may be found in
all liturgies, "Sursum corda," "Gratias agamus," etc., and those which
serve as the opening of all Prefaces: "Vere dignum et justum est," etc.
To the sobriety of the dialogue of the Roman Preface the Spanish
liturgy, as always, adds ornaments and complications which only serve
We are obliged to say the same thing of the "Illatio" itself. The
Mozarabic books offer the richest and most varied collection of
hardly a Mass but has its own; some of them comprise many columns of
if they were sung, these must have lasted at least half an hour. We
will attempt presently to discover their authors. But we may say at
that they form a dogmatic collection which is priceless for the study
of theological history in Spain during the Middle Ages, and a
collection which, it must be confessed, has as yet been but little
studied. It contains pages which do honor to the learning, the depth,
culture of Spanish theologians from the fifth-ninth centuries. We have
the question of the orthodoxy of this liturgy elsewhere (see
"Liturgia," p. 816). Here and there we do doubtless find a few singular
opinions, but taken as a whole what riches of doctrine, what fervor of
piety i Here are real theological theses, and long panegyrics for the
Feasts of Saints, especially for the Saints of Spain, like St. Vincent
or St. Eulalia. We will mention only the "Illationes" on the Samaritan,
man born blind, on fasting, on the Trinity, on the Descent into hell,
the Patriarchs, etc. (The first of these are in the "Liber
Sacramentorum," edited by Dom Ferotin, pp. 167, 178, 184, 224, and 290;
that on the Patriarchs in P.L., Vol. LXXXV, cols. 271 and 287. See also
"Illatio" on the Trinity, col. 281.)
Naturally the same faults which we have already pointed out in all the
other parts of this liturgy are found here; they are those of the Latin
literature of Spain, especially from the sixth-tenth
centuries--prolixity, verbiage, the abuse of verbal conceits and plays
on words--in fact, all those faults which have been decorated with the
name of Gongorism.
"The Sanctus."--The "Illatio" always ends by a transition to the
"Sanctus." This "Sanctus" of the Mozarabic Mass is not invariable, as
it is in the Roman liturgy and most others. In their love of variety
the Mozarabic authors often introduced changes. This is the ordinary
"Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth: pleni sunt celi et
terra gloria majestatis tue: Osanna filio David: Osanna in excelsis.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini: Osanna in excelsis" (P.L., loc.
cit., col. 116).
The singing of the Sanctus is assigned to the choir in the Mozarabic
books. Formerly both in Spain and in Gaul the "Sanctus" was sung by the
people. Thus we have in a "Post Sanctus" the words: "Psallitur" (hymnus
"ab angelis, et hic solemniter decantatur a populis" ("Post Sanctus" of
the fifth Sunday in Lent, P.L., col. 376). Gregory of Tours says in his
"Ubi expeditur contestatione omnis populus sanctus in Dei laudem pro
clamavit" ("De mir. S. Martini," I, II, c. xiv.). The Eastern liturgies
formerly had the same custom, as we see by the "Apostolic
Constitutions," and by the texts of St. John Chrysostom and of St.
Gregory of Nyssa,
quoted by Lesley (col. 349). The texts quoted prove that it was sung in
half in Latin, half in Greek. The same usage obtained in Gaul.
"Post Sanctus and Consecration."--The title "Post Sanctus," both in
Spain and in Gaul, always designates a prayer which is a paraphrase of
the "Sanctus," and which usually begins with the words "Vere sanctus."
is a transition from the "Sanctus" to the Consecration; and is also
found, though without a title, in the Greek and Eastern liturgies. In
Spain it varied daily (see, for example, P.L., col. 549).
"Vere sanctus" did not end formerly with a doxology, but went straight
on to "Qui pridie," by a short formula of this kind: "Vere sanctus,
vere benedictus Dominus noster Jesus Christus qui pridie," with the
words of Institution. The "Qui pridie" was the Roman formula, as also
the Gallican and all the Latin churches. The ancient Spanish liturgy
followed the same tradition. By a change wrought in the Mozarabic
liturgy at a
which cannot be fixed, one of the most audacious changes of which that
rite has preserved the trace, the sacred formula was broken into by the
introduction of the prayer "Adesto Jesu bone," and by replacing the
"Qui pridie," one of the most striking and characteristic features of
Roman and other Latin liturgies, by the "In qua nocte," which is the
version followed by all the Greek and Eastern rites. What is perhaps
even more extraordinary, the reformers did not try to conceal the
traces of this change, but continued to call the prayer which follows
the recital of
the Institution, "Oratio post pridie!" We give here the text of the
"Adesto, adesto Jesu bone Pontifex in medio nostri: sicut fuisti in
medio discipulorum tuorum: sanctitfica hanc oblationem: ut sanctificata
sumamus per manus sancti angeli tui sancte domine ac redemtor eterne
there is a gap in the Missale Mixtum). Dominus noster Jesus Christus in
nocte tradebatur accepit panem: et gratias agens, benedixit ac fregit:
deditque discipulis suis dicens: Accipite et manducate. Hoc: est:
corpus: meum: quod: pro: vobis: tradetur. Hic elevatur corpus.
Quotiescumque manducaveritis: hoc facite in meam
et calicem postquam cenavit dicens. Hic est: calix: novi: testamenti:
in: meo: sanguine: qui: pro: vobis: et: pro: multis: effundetur: in:
remissionem: peccatorum. Hic elevatur calix coopertus cum filiola
(=palla). Quotiescumque biberitis hoc facite in meam commemorationem.
Et cum perventum fuerit ubi dicit: In meam commemorationem, dicat
voce omnibus diebus preter festivis: pari modo ubi dicit in claritatem
celis. Ut qualibet vice respondeat chorus: Amen. Quotiescumque
manducaveritis panem hunc et calicem biberitis: mortem Domini
veniet. In claritatem de celis. Chorus. Amen" (P.L., loc. cit., cols.
cf. also col. 550, another text).
In the later editions of the "Missale Mixtum" a note has been added to
the effect that the form of Consecration here given is only a memorial
the past, but that at the present time the Roman form must be adhered
to (ibid., cols. 116, and 550, 551, note a).
Dom Ferotin gives two new texts of the words of Institution according
to the Liber Mozarabicus and the Liber Ordinum," which present many
variants, not only with each other but with the "Missale Mixtum." It
can be seen
that Rome did not approve the version given in the "Missale Mixtum" of
and substituted for it the Roman formula. That extremely rare edition
Todole preserved at the British Museum contains, fastened to the
vellum, this note: "Forma ista consecrationis ponitur ne antiquitas
hodie servetur Ecclesiae traditio;" and the Roman formula is then
(This note is reproduced in P.L., cols. 116 and 550. On all this cf.
Ferotin, "Liber Mozarabicus," p. xxv.) In two MSS. quoted by Dom
words of Institution are preceded by the title "Missa secreta;" and he
gives another example in which the "Post Sanctus" is called "Post
Missam secretam," which clearly show that at that time this part of the
was said in a low voice (ibid.).
The very tenor of this prayer shows that it interrupts the sequence of
the "Vere sanctus," and repeats the formula "Dominus noster Jesus
Christus." It is quite evidently an interpolation, a fact which has
by the greater number of modern liturgiologists since Le Brun, Binius,
Lesley, Dom Ferotin, Dom Cagin, etc. But no protestations seem to have
raised in the Middle Ages; at least I do not think that any signs of
them have been traced up till now. Without seeking for any other
must simply be stated that at a certain moment, assuredly later than
Isidore and probably before the tenth century--probably also at
Bishop thought well to borrow, from the liturgy of Constantinople,
which had already lent so much to Spain, the actual form of
this he then substituted for the ancient form which was that of Rome
and of all Latin churches (P.L., loc. cit., col 549).
The actual formula, "Hoc est corpus meum," is borrowed from I Cor. xi.
24; while the "quod pro vobis" is the translation of the Vulgate. The
Roman formula, "Hoc est enim corpus meum," conforms to that in the
St. Mark; and it seems also to have been that of the Gallican churches,
at least, according to the letters of the pseudo Germain. The formula
the Consecration of the wine is borrowed from I Cor. xi. 24, and from
Luke xxii. 20, and St. Matthew xxvi. 28. The words "Hic est calix novi
Testamenti in meo sanguine" are those of an ancient Latin version
different from the Vulgate; they are quoted under the same form by
Scotus and by Gregory II (see the quotation, P.L., loc. cit., col.
Roman formula, "Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei," etc., was also that
of the Gallican churches. The Spanish liturgiologists of that day were
afraid to paraphrase the words of Institution in their own way. (On all
see Lesley's note, col. 551 seq.)
It is stated in the rubrics of the recital of the Institution that
was a double elevation. The custom of the elevation is universal, but
it was not practiced everywhere in the same way. That here mentioned is
conformable with the usage established in France in the eleventh
century, which thence spread, with certain variants, to Rome and to
churches. The Mozarabic rubric shows that the chalice was covered at
elevation; that is, covered with the "palla," or veil, sometimes called
the "Offertorium," because it had been used to collect the offerings of
the faithful at the Oblation. This was formerly the Roman custom when
the elevation took place at the end of the Canon after the "Per ipsum"
the first "Ordo Romanus" of Mabillon, note 16, and the "Ordo" published
Another rubric which prescribes the words "In meam commemorationem" and
"In claritatem de celis" to be said aloud would give the impression
the actual words of the Institution were to be said in a low voice. But
Lesley thinks with apparent reason that this rubric is recent, and that
the Spanish, like the French, said these words aloud. As to the words
"In claritatem de celis," they are another peculiarity of the Mozarabic
rite. On Holy Thursday the Epistle was read from I Cor. xi. 20-34.
After the words "mortem Domini annunciabitis donec veniat" they added
variant: "in claritatem de celis" taken from the liturgy, but which
exist in the Vulgate, or in the Greek, or in any other version with
are acquainted (see P.L., col. 409, for the text of the Epistle, and
for the rubric).
"Oratio Post pridie" and "Epiclesis."--The prayer Post pridie, which
follows the Consecration, corresponds with that called "Post secreta,"
or "Post mysterium" in the Gallican books. St. Isidore speaks of it in
these terms: "Ex hinc sexta oratio succedit, confirmatio sacramenti, ut
oblatio quae Domino offertur, per Spiritum Sanctum sanctificata Christi
corporis et sanguinis confirmetur" ("De offic.," I, I, c. xv.; cf.
Beatus, who emphasize the terms "Confirmatio sacramenti"). It should be
that the Missal of Bobbio has no prayer "Post secreta," which is also
missing occasionally in the "Missale Gallicanum" as well as in the
"Missale Gothicum." But on the other hand it is always found in the
"Missale Mixtum," and as it varies daily, and is sometimes very long,
here, as in the "Illatio," one of those prayers in which the exuberance
the Spanish Fathers has had free course. Both the place and the
function of this prayer Confirmatio Sacramenti "are more propitious
than those of
the "Illatio" for dogmatic developments. It will be found of great use
the study of the doctrine of the Spanish church upon the Eucharist,
notably upon Transubstantiation and the questions connected with it. In
the prayer answers to the "Epiclesis" of the Eastern liturgies, and, as
have remarked elsewhere, the expressions here used must often be
interpreted "cum grano salis." We can note only a few of such examples
here, as in cols. 117 and 250, note 7; 519, note a (cf. also article
"Liturgie," in "Dict. de theol.," coL 812, and "Epiclese" in DACL).
Sometimes, but far more rarely, the "Epiclesis" is found in the "Post
sanctus." (There are some examples of this in Dom Ferotin's "Liber
Mozarabicus;" in the same Sacramentary the "Post pridie" is called
"Post missam secretam" on the vigil of Easter, a point worthy of
the other hand, and speaking generally, the "Post pridie" often
the proof that the Consecration or Transubstantiation is accomplished
the words of Institution. To this interpretation the elevation also
bears witness, but it is difficult to fix the date of this rite with
the Mozarabites. We may quote, as especially explicit, the following
"Post pridie: Hec pia, hec salutaris hostia, Deus Pater, qua tibi
reconciliatus est mundus. Hoc est corpus illud, quod pependit in cruce.
Hic etiam sanguis, qui sacro propluxit ex latere, etc." ("Liber Moz.,"
The prayer "Te prestante," which for the rest has no particular title,
seems rather the conclusion of the "Post pridie" than a separate
prayer. As we shall see, it resembles our "Per quem haec omnia bona
is the text:
"Te prestante sancte Domine: quia tu haec omnia nobis indignis servis
tuis: valde bona creas: sanctificas, vivificas benedicis ac prestas
sit (sint) benedicta a te Deo nostro in secula seculorum.
The Priest then takes the consecrated Host on the paten, holds it over
the uncovered chalice, and says, or sings: "Dominus sit semper
cum spiritu tuo. Fidem quam corde credimus ore autem dicamus," and he
elevates the consecrated Host to show It to the people. In some places
sung at this point an anthem: "Ad confractionem panis" (P.L., loc.
cit., col. 117; cf. also p. 554 for the explanation of this prayer).
in the Ambrosian Missal, the "Haec omnia" seems to refer to the
consecrated elements of bread and wine, created by God, sanctified by
vivified by Consecration, blessed by the Holy Ghost (Epiclesis), and
given to the faithful in the Eucharist. This at least is the
given to these words by Lesley, who will not admit that of Benedict XIV
other liturgiologists, who say that "Haec omnia" means the fresh fruits
were blessed at this moment. It is an old quarrel amongst
liturgiologists, and one which seems as yet unresolved (Benedict XIV,
"De missae sacrificio," I, II, c. xviii.). Lesley admits that in
certain Sacramentaries these words may indeed apply to a blessing of
but only in a special case. In his opinion the words are too precise,
the gestures too solemn to be applied to anything but the elements
consecrated in the Eucharist (col. 553, note c).
It is a general custom that the Elevation should take place at this
moment. Before the eleventh century it was the principal Elevation. We
notice that in the Roman Missal the prayer is addressed to God the
Father, and that it closes with a magnificent doxology which has
the Mozarabic Mass.
"The Credo."--The Spanish were the first in the West to introduce the
symbol of Nicea-Constantinople into the Mass. In the East the custom
already existed, and in 568 Justinus the Younger made it a law. In 597
the Third Council of Toledo issued an edict: "Ut prius quam Dominica
dicatur oratio, voce clara a populo" (symbolum Constantinopolitanum)
"decantetur, quo fides vera," etc. This is a fresh example of the
eagerness shown by
the Spanish Bishops to follow the customs of Constantinople. From Spain
usage spread into Gaul; but Rome held out long, and only yielded in the
eleventh century. The true place of this symbol is in the rite of
Baptism and it is not an essential element of the Mass. The Gallican
sang it after the Gospel, at the end of the Mass of the catechumens,
this too is the place given to it by Rome. Like the Greeks and
the Spanish, by putting it at the end of the Canon, before the "Pater,"
rather disturbed the general equilibrium of this part of the Mass; and,
moreover, diminished accordingly the importance of the "Pater." This
story of the
insertion of the "Credo" in the Mass is fairly well known; and we shall
say no more about it. (Cf. Mgr. Batiffol, "Lecons sur la Messe," p. II.
also Lesley's note, which, as is always the case, is highly
instructive, and that of Dom Ferotin quoted on the next page. For
rather curious variants of the Spanish text--the "Credimus," the
"Omousion," the "Ex
Patre et Filio procedentem," etc., cf. Lesley, P.L., loc. cit., col.
seq., and "Liber Moz.," col. 37.)
The "Liber Mozarabicus" contains a formula of introduction to the
"Credo: Omnes qui Christi sanguinis effusione," etc., which is not met
any printed book, nor even, according to Dom Ferotin, in any MS.
"Fraction.-"-In the Mozarabic rite the Fraction is rather complicated.
The Priest divides the Host in the middle, placing half on the paten;
other half is divided into five parts, which are also placed on the
then divides the first part into four. The nine particles so obtained
are arranged in the form of a Cross, and each receives its name:
"Corporatio" (or Incarnation), "Nativitas," "Circumcisio," "Apparitio"
Epiphany), "Passio," "Mors," "Resurrectio," and, separately, "Gloria,"
figure is twice given in P.L., loc. cit., cols. 118 and 557. St.
Ildephonsus alludes to the names of these fragments (De cognitione
baptismi, c. xix.; cf. "Liber Moz.," p. xxxiii.). It is unnecessary to
say that all these rites are not ancient, any more than it is an
ancient practice to make the Memento of the Living here, since at the
of the Mass of the Faithful a Memento of the Living and the Dead has
already been made. When the "Credo" is finished the "Pater" is said.
Fraction of the bread, a rite so important in its origin that it gave
to the Mass, has become here, as in the Celtic liturgies, so
as to fall sometimes into mere superstition; it is usually accompanied
singing of the "Confractio," which is to be found in most liturgies. In
this rite it is called "Laudes ad confractionem." (Cf. "Liber Ordinum,"
col 239, and "Liber Moz.," p. xxiii. Cf. also our article "Fraction,"
DACL, and P.L., cols. 118 and 557.)
"The Pater."--The "Pater" is recited in the Mozarabic Mass as it is in
most liturgies. It is preceded by a prelude which varies according to
day; it is almost always a paraphrase analogous to the Roman prelude,
but generally more extensive and more complicated. The "Pater" ends
embolism of which we shall presently speak (P.L., col 118, cf.
559-591). It is a rather singular thing that the prelude begins with
"Oremus" which is sung by the Priest. But this rubric is of a later age
that which prescribes "Oremus" before "Agios." In the church of Spain
ancient times it was the Deacon and not the Priest who said "Oremus;"
Deacon, too, made the other interventions: "Flectamus genua, Erigite
Levate aures ad Dominum, Silentium facite." St. Isidore says of the
"Hi voces tonitruorum, ipsi enim, clara voce, in modum praeconis,
cunctos sive in orando, sive in flectendo genua, sive in psallendo,
sive in lectionibus audiendo," etc. ("De offic. eccl.," I, II, c.
Etherius also alludes to them ("Adv. Elipand.," I, I). The same custom
by the pseudo-Germain (cf. col. 1079)
The presence of the "Pater" in the Mass in most liturgies, since the
fourth century at least, is a well-known fact. In Spain, however,
Priests only said it on Sunday. The Fourth Council of Toledo,
proclaimed it of daily obligation (Canon 10). But it was not said
the same manner. In Spain the Priest begins "Pater noster qui es in
coelis," and the people answer "Amen," and so on with all the
"Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie" they respond: "Quia tu es
and after the word "tentationem," at the end: "Sed libera nos a malo,
"Pater" is the seventh and last of the prayers of the Mass
according to St. Isidore ("De offic.," I, I, c. xv.; P.L., loc. cit.,
coL 559 seq.).
The embolism is not variable as it is with the Gallicans. It is a
paraphrase of the last petition in the form of a liturgical prayer,
"Liberati a malo," etc. (P.L., col 119). The "Liberati" is sung, like
the "Pater;" the same custom obtains in the rite of Lyons, and even in
of Rome on Good Friday."Commixtion."--After the embolism the Priest
takes from the paten that fragment of the Host which corresponds to
"Regnum" (see "Fraction, ut sup."), holds it over the chalice, and lets
it fall therein with the
words: "Sancta sanctis et conjunctio corporis Domini nostri Jesu
Christi: sit sumentibus et potantibus nobis ad veniam: et fidelibus
prestetur ad requiem." From Easter to Pentecost he said instead, with a
voice, thrice these words: "Vicit leo de tribu Juda radix David," to
people responded: "Qui sedes super Cherubim radix David, Alleluia"
(P.L., loc. cit., col 119).
"Sancta sanctis" is an ancient Eastern formula, to which St. Cyril
of Jerusalem alluded; it is preserved in the greater number of Eastern
liturgies. It loses a little of its strength here, because it is said
in a low voice, and because it forms part of the prayer of
Lesley rightly supposes that formerly the "Sancta sanctis" was said
Spain and in Gaul, as it was with the Easterns, and that it was
in Gaul, by the singing of the "Trecanum," a hymn in honor of the
With the Easterns also the "Sancta
sanctis" is a doxology (P.L., loc.
cit., col 561, note a). We may note that Dom Martene has pointed out in
MSS. of Angers the formulas: "Sanctum cum sanctis," and "Sancta cum
et commixtio," etc. ("De ant. Eccl. Rit.," I, I c. iv. art.
for the formula of Commixtion, "et sanguinis" must naturally be
added to "corporis," as "potantibus nobis" suggests. It corresponds
same rite in the Roman Canon, "Haec commixtio et consecratio corporis
et sanguinis," etc., and to that of the Ambrosian Canon which is almost
the same. The rite of "Commixtio" itself is ancient, and common to most
liturgies, but here, as for the Fraction, a great variety of customs
exists. We content ourselves with referring to our article "Messe," in
which these different customs are noticed. The note may also be read in
which Lesley describes and compares these rites (loc. cit., coL 561,
note c, cf. also "Liber Ordinum," pp. 239-241, and "Liber Moz.," p.
"Blessing."--The rite of Blessing in Spain, as in Gaul, is placed after
the "Pater." The Deacon warns the people: Humiliate vos benedictioni.
Dominus sit semper vobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo." The Priest then
with a variable formula, which is interspersed with "Amens" like the
"Pater" (see, e.g., P.L., coL 119).
There are a few differences as to the exterior form of this blessing
between the churches of Gaul and those of Spain, but the fact of a
blessing at this moment is common to both of them; and in both cases
the rites present striking analogies. The African church had also this
custom of Episcopal blessing, as may be seen by the letter of the
Carthage to Innocent I against Pelagius and Celestinus, and by letter
St. Augustine to John of Jerusalem. But neither the Roman liturgy nor
of the Greek and Eastern churches followed this custom. We find,
indeed, formulas of Episcopal blessings in the Roman collections, but
they are Gallican additions. The Sixth Council of Toledo (c. 18)
recalls the practice of Spain in these words: "ut post orationem
dominicam et conjunctionem panis et calicis, benedictio in populum
segnatur, et tum demum sacramentum corporis et sanguinis Domini
sumatur" (Canon 18,
P.L., col. 592, note b).
"Communion.-"-The Communion in the Mozarabic rite comprehends a
collection of rites and formulas which must first be described: The
the people by "Dominus sit semper vobiscum;" singing of the "Gustate et
videte" and other verses, with doxology "Gloria et honor Patri." During
the chanting of the "Gustate" the Priest takes that particle of the
which answers to the word "Gloria," holds it over the chalice while
reciting "Panem celestem," and then says: "Memento pro mortuis,"
reciting the prayer: "Dominus meus," etc.
He makes the sign of the Cross with the Host, consumes the particle
which was in his hand, covers the chalice, and consumes the other
of the Host, following the appointed order. He then places the paten on
the chalice, saying: "Ave in evum celestis potus," etc. He takes the
and says the prayer: "Dominus meus Pater et Filius," etc. The choir
sings "Refecti corpore et sanguine." The Priest goes to the corner of
and recites a prayer beginning with the words of the preceding chant:
"Refecti corpore et sanguine," etc. This is the prayer of Thanksgiving,
which closes with the doxology: Per misericordiam tuam, etc. (P.L.,
col. 120; ef. also cols. 554, 561, 566, and "Liber Ordinum," 241, 242
"Liber Mozar.," p. xxiii.).
The Deacon intervenes at the Communion with the order: "Locis vestris
accedite." Each then must take his place according to a strictly
established order: higher clergy, lower clergy, men, women. To each of
the faithful he gives a part of the Blood, for Communion was received
under both kinds. The anthem "Gustate" is called "Ad accedentes."
"Completuria and end of the Mass.-"-The "Liber Mozarabicus" and the
"Liber Ordinum" sometimes contain after the Communion prayers an
"Oratio completuria," or simply, "Completuria," which recalls the Roman
"Post-communion." There are many examples of this ("Liber Ordinum,"
272, 273; "Liber Moz.," col 343, and pp. xxiii. and xxxv. and the Index
the word "Completuria").
The end of the Mass is thus announced: the Priest salutes the people
with "Dominus sit," etc.; the Deacon says: "Solemnia completa sunt in
nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi, votum nostrum sit acceptum cum pace.
Deo gratias" (P.L., loc. cit., col 120). In the "Liber Mozarabicus" the
Deacon says: "Missa acta est" (p. xxxv.).
GENERAL REMARKS.--We shall not point out the analogies between this
Mass and that of the Gallican rite; they are so self-evident that many
liturgiologists consider both liturgies as two branches from the same
trunk, or even as derived one from the other.
From this study of the Mozarabic Mass it may be concluded that this
particular liturgy was in a great measure a national one, like that of
Gaul, its sister. Many of its formulas were written by Spanish
prelates; certain rites also were created by them. For many centuries
the center of what may truly be called a national liturgy. If ever a
Spanish Abbe Bremond writes the history of religious feeling in his own
--as it has already been admirably written for France --the Mozarabic
liturgy will take the most important place therein, and all will be
at the wealth, variety, and singularity of its formulas.
We shall not stop here to discuss the question of the orthodoxy of this
liturgy, since this has been fully argued by liturgiologists of the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; by Edmund Bishop, Dom Ferotin,
Mgr. Mercati, and Dom de Bruyne. It would take us too far from our
We can only give here a Bibliography in which will be found the names
the principal authors by whom the question has been discussed.
1. On the question of documents, see Bibliography at end of this
chapter, and also our articles, "Messe Mozarabe" in "Dict. de theol.
Mozarabe (liturgie)" and "Missel" (both in DACL.). In 1928 the
Silos published "L'Antiphonaire de la Cathedrale de Leon," Burgos.
2. With regard to all this, see the two articles, "Diptyques" and
Litanies," in DACL.
3. Cf. our article "Illatio" in DACL.
F. AREVALO, "Sancti Isidori opera omnia," P.L., Vols. LXI-- LXXXIV, and
especially Vol. I, "Isidoriana."
BIANCHINI, "Thomasii opera omnia," vol. I (Rome, 1741; only volume
issued); on this work, which includes the "Libellus orationum," cf. Ed.
Bishop, "Spanish Symbols," in "Liturgica Historica," p. 165 seq.
W. C. BISHOP. Under the title "The Mozarabic and Ambrosian Rites"
(London, 1924), the Fifteenth Tract of the Alcuin Club, is a collection
of four Essays by W. C. Bishop, one of which is entitled: "The Mass in
the same writer published an article: "The Mozarabic Rite," in "Church
Quarterly Review, "October 1906, January 1907.
CL. BLUME, "Hymnodia Gothica" (Leipzig, 1897).
A. M. BURRIEL, "Codex Muzarabicus," etc.; cf. "Particularites
litteraires sur la liturgie mozarabe tirees des lettres MSS. du P.B.,"
"Journal des savants," 1787, pp. 9-14.
DE BRUYNE, "De l'origine de quelques textes mozarabes," in "Revue
Bénédictine," 1913, vol. XXX, pp. 421-436; "Un
système de lectures dans
la liturgie mozarabe," in "Revue Bénédictine,"
1922, Vol. XXXIV, pp.
CALLEVAERT, "Le careme primitif dans la liturgie Mozarabe" in "Revue
bénédictine," 1926, t. XXXVIII, p. 60.
CENNI, "Antiquitates Ecclesiae Hispaniae."
D. A. DOLD, "Eine Parallele zum Liturgie--Fragment I aus Cod. Aug. CXCV
in der Mozarabischen Liturgie," in "Revue Benedictine," 1927, Vol.
EIGUREN, "Memoriadescription de los codices notables conservados en los
archivos ecclesiasticos de Espana" (Madrid, 1859).
EUVALD & LOWE:, "Exempla scripturae visigothica "(Heidelberg,
FLOREZ "De la Misa antiqua de Espana," in "Espana Sagrada," Vol. III,
p. 187 seq (Madrid, 1748).
(For the question of the orthodoxy of this liturgy, cf.: ED. BISHOP, in
"Journal of Theological Studies," 1909, pp. 602-603.
ALB. GAYAN, "La Messe mozarabique," in "Revue des sciences
ecclesiastiques," 1886, pp. 446-456.
C. A. HALE, "Mozarabic Liturgy," in "Amer. Christ. Church Review,"
1876, Vol. XXVIII, p. 273 seq.
P. LEBRUN, "Ancienne et nouvelle liturgie des Eglises d'Espagne," in
"Explication de la Messe," edit. 1726, Vol. II, p. 272 seq.
MERCATI, "More Spanish Symbols," in Bishop's "Liturgica Historica," p.
203 seq.; and in "Journal of Theological Studies," Vol. VIII, 1907, pp.
423-430. To complete this Bibliography see:
JENNER, "Mozarabic Rite," in "The Catholic Encyclopedia," which is
scholarly, and contains a complete Bibliography.
"La Liturgie mozarabe," in "Liturgia," pp. 814-819.
U. CHEVALIER, "Topo-bibliographie," at the word "Mozarabe" (Liturgie) .
DOM CABROL, "Mozarabe (La Liturgie)" in DACL.
THE MASS IN GAUL
The Mass of the Catechumens.--The Mass of the Faithful.
In the volume on "Books of the Latin Liturgy" (Sands & Co.,
London), pp. 96-103, we have mentioned the different documents by the
aid of which
the Gallican Mass may be reconstituted and the origins of this liturgy
established. On this subject we have also stated that for the
description of the Gallican Mass no reliance can be placed on the
of St. Germain of Paris, though this has been done too often. These
letters are not a document of the middle of the sixth century, but an
treatise written a century later (ibid., p. 99). We must therefore,
like Mabillon and, more recently, Dom Wilmart (DACL, "Germain, Lettres
St."), keep solely to the other documents which we possess on this
and to the texts of contemporary authors, the most valuable of which is
of Gregory of Tours. A very complete bibliography of all these
will be found in the article ("Gallicanes Liturgies)" of Dom Leclercq,
THE MASS OF THE CATECHUMENS
The Gallican Pre-Mass, or Mass of the catechumens, was already very
fully developed; it possessed chanted anthems, psalms, canticles,
and litanies. It began with an anthem and a psalm, while the Priest
from the sacristy to the altar. This chant, executed by clerics,
also in the Mozarabic Mass, and 138 answers to the Roman "Introit" and
the "Ingressa" of the Milanese rite. Gregory of Tours, whatever may be
to the contrary, makes no allusion to this introductory anthem.
The Deacon enjoined silence, probably in these words: "Silentium
facite." The Bishop saluted the congregation with the formula: "Dominus
semper vobiscum." At Rome and Milan the salutation is: "Dominus
the former greeting is found in the Mozarabic rite.
The letters of the pseudo-Germain announce the solemn singing of the
"Aios" in Latin and in Greek at this point. What was this chant? It is
not the "Sanctus," as has been wrongly believed, and which, also
wrongly, has sometimes been called the "Trisagion." The latter title
reserved for a chant of Byzantine origin, the history of which is well
was introduced there under Theodosius II (408-450), but is perhaps more
ancient, and runs thus: "Hagios ho Theos, Hagios Ischuros, Hagios
Athanatos Eleeson Hemas" Pierre le Foulon (+477) added these words to
it: "Ho Staurotheis di Hemas," and there was much quarreling over this
formula, which for its author had a monophysite meaning, and which was
by the Syrian Jacobites. On Good Friday, in the Roman liturgy, we have
the "Trisagion" under its primitive double form in Greek and Latin,
naturally without Foulon's addition. There is yet another form in the
Mozarabic liturgy, which does not concern us here (cf. Dom Ferotin,
Ordinum," cols. 737, 760, and 809).
The Kyrie Eleison was then sung, once only, by three children. We have
spoken elsewhere as to the researches recently made regarding the
"Kyrie Eleison," and upon its use; we shall therefore merely refer to
article under that heading in DACL.
The singing of the Prophecy which came next means the singing of the
"Benedictus." This point is now finally settled, and the "Collectio
post Prophetiam" in the Gallican books is the prayer which followed. On
the bearing of this canticle on the Mass we may also refer to our
article, "Cantiques (evangeliques)," in DACL. P. Thibaut has recently
called attention to this chant, and its title of "Prophetia." In his
it is exclusively Gallican, and is an allusion to the conversion of
who became the protector of the Gallo-Roman churches. The "Cornu
may indeed have given rise to the legend of the "Sainte Ampoule"(op.
Next comes the first Lesson. According to the pseudo-Germain this is
taken from the Prophets or the historical books, and from the
during Paschal time; while on the Feasts of Saints their Acts were
"Gesta sanctorum confessorum ac martyrum in solemnpnitatibus eorum."
of the prophetic Lesson has almost entirely disappeared from the Roman
Mass since the fifth century; it was maintained longer at Milan, and on
this point the Gallican books confirm the testimony of the
The Mozarabic rite has also preserved the ancient use of this Lesson.
The importance of the reading of the Lives of the Saints at Mass will
be noticed; this point is confirmed by Gregory of Tours and by the
Gallican books. In Spain and at Milan the custom was the same.
The second reading at Mass was taken from the Acts of the Apostles and
the Epistles. After these two Lessons the Canticle of the Three
the furnace was sung, "Benedictus es," also called "Benedictio." This
is confirmed by the same witnesses. The importance attached to this
is shown by the fact that the Council of Toledo of 633, which was
presided over by St. Isidore, laid down that in all churches of Spain
in the solemnity of all Masses, the aforesaid hymn shall be chanted
the Lector's pulpit." Only, in the Mozarabic liturgy the canticle was
inserted between the first and second readings. The singing of the
in the Roman Church on Ember Saturday is an old tradition which recalls
this custom. In the Missal of Bobbio a collect "post Benedictionem" is
mentioned, but this would seem to be a derogation from the usage
attested by many witnesses of a sung Responsory here, which chant must
identified with the "Psallendum," the "Versus" or "Clamor," or
Rome, after the Lessons, there was the Responsory and "Alleluia,"
sometimes replaced by the "Tractus." The Council of Toledo just
the custom which had been introduced into several Spanish churches of
singing "Laudes" between the Epistle and Gospel. We may take it, with
that this word signifies "Alleluia" (Dom Wilmart, op. cit., col. 1072).
This chant, which is another Gallican feature, is also a memorial of
the Baptism of Clovis, according to P. Thibaut; it should be followed
by a "Collectio post Benedictionem," as mentioned in the Missal of
(op. cit., p. 39).
The pseudo-Germain notes here the repetition of the chant of the
"Agios," or "Trisagion," an innovation of which no other example is
this place in the Mass in any liturgy. It was evidently intended to
greater solemnity to the reading of the Gospel, which was about to
follow. The author of this document emphasizes this intention in the
following remarkable terms: "Expeditur processio sancti evangelii velut
potentia Christi triumphantis de morte, cum praedictis armoniis et cum
candelabris luminis... ascendens in tribunal analogii...
clamantibus clericis: Gloria tibi, Domine." The "tribunal analogii"
means an ambone
or tribune, raised and decorated, from which the Bishop would preach,
upon which he would appear as a judge upon his tribunal. The
"Gloria tibi, Domine," or "Gloria Deo omnipotenti," of which Gregory of
Tours speaks, answers the Deacon's announcement: "Lectio sancti
The Gospel was usually followed by a chant. The pseudo-Germain says
that the "Trisagion" sung before the Gospel is again taken up and
at this point. At Milan the Gospel was followed by Dominus vobiscum and
a triple "Kyrie" with anthem. At Rome the Pope saluted the Deacon with
"Pax tibi," and then said the "Dominus vobiscum" and "Oremus." The
generally followed the Gospel.
Here occur the litanic prayers which may be attached to the Pre-Mass,
at least in the Gallican use, since the catechumens were not dismissed
until these were said. The pseudo-Germain thus describes these prayers:
"precem (psallant levitae) pro populis, audita (apostoli)
levitae pro populo deprecantur et sacerdotes prostrati ante dominum pro
There can be no doubt but that we recognize here the diaconal litany
referred to in the preceding pages, and which must not be confused with
the "Prayer of the Faithful," as Duchesne and others after him have
confused it. Each of these prayers presents analogies, and belongs,
believe, to the class of litanic prayers; yet they are distinguished by
certain characteristics which must be mentioned here as this question
has its importance.
These litanies, or "Diakonika," are recited by the Deacon, and form
part of the Pre-Mass. To each invocation made by the Deacon the people
respond: Kyrie Eleison, and at the end the celebrant concludes with a
This type of prayer, doubtless created at Antioch, was adopted at
Constantinople, and thence transported to Rome and Gaul in the fifth
century. The "Supplicatio litaniae" of which it is question in the Rule
of St. Benedict the "Preces deprecatoriae," the "Letaniae," the "Kyrie"
the Roman Mass are all derived from this.
We have spoken elsewhere of this diaconal prayer, of its origin and
destinies; many examples of it exist in the Gallican books, such as the
"Divinae pacis," and "Dicamus omnes." Both these are given by Mgr.
Duchesne in his chapter on the Gallican Mass (fifth edition, pp. 210,
which we may refer our readers. Further, they present the most striking
analogies with those we have quoted from the "Apostolic Constitutions,"
with the "Deprecatio Sancti Martini" of the "Missal of Stowe," and the
"Deprecatio pro universali Ecclesia," which good judges continue to
Pope Gelasius (492-496) in spite of the opinion of Duchesne.
The Mass of the catechumens is certainly finished with these diaconal
prayers, and the catechumens are dismissed by the Deacon. The formula
is not given here but an equivalent will be found in the Milanese
"Si quis catechumenus procedat, si quis judceus procedat, si quis
paganus procedat, si quis haereticus procedat, cujus cura non est
St. Gregory mentions another formula: "Si quis non communicet det
and the Pontifical even yet contains this curious formula at the
of Exorcists: "Exorcistam oportet... dicere populo ut qui non
communicat det locum." The pseudo-Germain recalls in this connection
the energetic words of the Gospel: "nolite dare sanctum canibus neque
margaritas ante porcos."
All these precautions prove the importance of the action which is about
to take place, and fresh warnings from the Deacon awaken the attention
and respect of the people. Formerly the formula was "Silentium faciet,"
or "Pacem habete," as in the Milanese rite. The pseudo-Germain, who
often comments on or interprets the rite, says that they made the sign
of the Cross on eyes, ears, and mouth, "ut hoc solum cor intendat ut in
se Christum suscipiat."
THE MASS OF THE FAITHFUL
The "Prayer of the Faithful" is a prayer recited after the departure of
the catechumens by the faithful alone; thus it forms part of the Mass
the Faithful. Sometimes it is called the Prayer of the Church, or the
Common Prayer. In the West, especially at Rome, it was recited in the
following way: the Pontiff invited the faithful to prayer; the Deacon
order to bend the knee; the Bishop pronounced the prayer, and the
people responded "Amen." Ed. Bishop remarks acutely, in this
this prayer bears the seal of the Roman Church, in which ecclesiastical
authority always maintains its rights, the part of the faithful being
reduced to a minimum; while in the East the initiative of Christian
people is allowed a much wider scope. To such a degree is this the case
at Rome this prayer might more correctly be called the Prayer "for" the
Faithful. We have a very well-preserved type of the prayer in the
"Orationes solemnes" of Good Friday. But all other trace of it has
disappeared from the Roman liturgy. Under an analogous form it existed
in the Gallican liturgies in the sixth century, as is proved by a text
the Council of Lyon under Sigismond (516-523), which alludes to the
"Oratio plebis quae post evangelium legitur (Concilia aevi
34). But since then it has disappeared, as it has at Rome, and we find
the Gallican liturgy only diaconal litanies, imitated from those in the
The offering of bread and wine in Gaul, as elsewhere was made by the
faithful. What must be remarked here and what to some extent is
peculiar to the Gallican Mass are the honors paid to the oblations,
elements which are to be consecrated. Analogous customs exist in the
Eastern liturgies, and there is a temptation to see in this the results
of Byzantine influence (Duchesne, op. cit., p. 216; Dom Wilmart, art.
cit., col. 1080). It is surprising to find the pseudo-Germain describe
these elements, in a prolepsis, by the following words: "Procedente ad
altarium corpore Christi, praeclara Christi magnalia dulci melodia
Ecclesia" (P.L., Vol. XXII col. 93). Gregory of Tours expresses himself
somewhat similar terms when he says that the "Mysterium dominici
corporis" was contained in vessels shaped like towers; wooden towers,
covered with gold.The wine to be consecrated was brought in a
"sanguis Christi... offertur in calice." Water was added to the wine,
all other rites. The bread was placed on a paten. Reference is made to
the veils which covered the oblations: the first, "Palle," of linen or
wool; the second which was placed beneath the oblations, of pure linen
"Corporalis palle;" finally, a precious tissue of silk and gold,
ornamented with jewels, which covered them. Although analogous rites
are certainly encountered elsewhere, some of those just described seem
the Gallican churches. In any case, they testify to the care and
paid to he elements even before the Consecration. (For details, and
comparison with other rites cf. Dom Wilmart, op. cit., col. 1081 seq.)
The "Sonum quando procedit oblatio" was a special canticle, very
closely allied to the "Cheroubicon" of the Greeks. When the oblations
placed upon the altar the choir chanted the Christmas "Laudes" of the
Mozarabites: "Alleluia, Redemptionem misit Dominus populo suo; mandavit
im aeternum testamentum suum; sanctum et terribile nomen ejus,
chants, "Sonum" and "Laudes," practically correspond with the Offertory
used at Rome and Milan.
The reading of the Diptychs occurs here, as it does in most liturgies;
but we have no special information as to this rite in the Gallican
churches. The names of the living for whom the Sacrifice was to be
names of other personages, were read at this moment. From the
point of view this rite is important, because the inscription on the
is a sign that the faithful were in communion with those whose names
read out. The names of heretics were struck off the list, a practice
often gave rise to bitter controversies. Lastly, the Pope's name was
in the place of honor (cf. art. "Diptyques," in DACL). We give as a
the following formula, taken from Duchesne ("Origines du culte," p.
221): "Offerunt Deo Domino oblationem sacerdotes nostri" (here the
Spanish Bishops are signified), "papa Romensis et reliqui pro se et pro
clero ac plebibus Ecclesiae sibimet consignatis vel pro universa
fraternitate... Item pro spiritibus pausantium, Hilarii, Athanasii,"
etc. In the Gallican and Mozarabic rites this reading is followed by a
prayer: "Collectio post nomina." The numerous formulas preserved in the
Gallican books should be studied at first-hand, for allusion is made to
effects of the Sacrifice of the Mass (see art. "Mozarabe, Messe," in
"Dict. de Theol. Catholique"). The whole of this rite of the Diptychs
moreover, deeply interesting, for it is a proof of faith in the
the Church, in the efficaciousness of that Sacrifice, and in the union
all the faithful in the Church on earth and with the Saints in Heaven.
The Kiss of Peace which followed is also accompanied by a prayer,
"Collectio ad pacem." In the Gallican and Mozarabic books this, like
the preceding prayer, varies with every Feast. They are a rich
of texts, often expressive; it will be sufficient here to quote one
example of the "Collectio ad pacem," that of the Assumption of Our
celebrated by the Gallicans in January. It is taken from the "Missale
(P.L., Vol. LXXII, col. 245):
"Deus universalis machinae propagator, qui in sanctis spiritaliter, in
matre vero virgine etiam corporaliter habitasti; que ditata tuae
plenitudenis ubertate, mansuetudine florens, caritate vigens, pace
gaudens, pietate praecellens ab angelo gracia plena, ab Elisabeth
benedicta, a gentibus merito praedicatur beata; cujus nobis fides
mysterium, partus gaudium, vita portentum, discessus attulit hoc
festivum; precamur supplices, ut pacem quae in adsumptione Matris tunc
discipulis, solenni nuper (doubtless sollempniter) largiaris in
cunctis, salvator mundi, qui cum Patre.... mundi, qui cum Patre...."
We know that as regards the Diptychs and the Kiss of Peace the Roman
liturgy differs in many important respects from the Gallican and
Mozarabic rites, which latter on these points approach more closely to
those of Constantinople. But we see, from what has gone before, that
ceremonies were borrowed comparatively late (cf. our article "Baiser de
Paix "in DACL).
In the Gallican books the "Collectio ad pacem "is followed by an even
more important prayer, usually called in these books the "Contestatio,"
or "Immolatio;" it corresponds to the Roman "Preface," and begins with
"Sursum corda:" "Habemus ad Dominum. "The prelude, too, is the same
dignum et justum est." But these Gallican "Contestationes," like the
Mozarabic "Immolationes," are characteristically different from the
Prefaces. They are, if we may use such a comparison, like locally grown
The Gallo-Roman genius of the sixth and seventh centuries here gave
free rein. The Latin of that period was no longer the classical
language of Augustan Rome; it is very often prolix; we find in it
antitheses, ornaments, and even verbal conceits which we should desire
banished from ecclesiastical compositions. The Roman manner, especially
time of Gelasius and Gregory, has incontestably more discretion, more
dignity; moreover, it expresses a more carefully guarded orthodoxy. But
from the point of view which alone interests us here this rich
collection of "Contestationes" preserved in the Gallican books is a
treasure as yet little explored by theologians. Here may be studied the
this Church on the Eucharist, Grace, the Incarnation, and Redemption,
better perhaps than in any other collection. We can but mention here
source of the history and theology of the Gallican Church, for a
detailed explanation would require a long thesis.
As in other liturgies the "Contestatio" ends with the "Sanctus." But
the Gallican and Mozarabic liturgies have another prayer, the
post Sanctus," which is a transition from the "Sanctus" to the recital
the Institution. It generally begins with these words: "Vere Sanctus."
in one of the Masses of Mone: "Vere Sanctus, vere benedictus dominus
noster Jesus Christus filius tuus qui pridie" (P.L., Vol. CXXXVIII,
But usually more ample developments are found, where dogmatic questions
are touched upon, as in the following from the same collection (loc.
"Hic inquam Christus Dominus noster et Deus noster, qui sponte
mortalibus factus adsimilis per omne hunc aevi diem immaculatum sibi
ostendit, veterisque delicti idoneus expiator sinceram inviolatamque
peccatis exhibuit animam, quam sordentem rursus sanguis elueret,
abrogataque in ultimum lege moriendi, in caelo corpus perditum atque ad
dexteram relevaret, per Dominum nostrum qui pridie...."
In the MS. this passage is altered, but we can guess the meaning (see
Denzinger's note, col. 873). The "Post Sanctus" also answers to a
prayer of the same kind in the Eastern liturgies. That of Rome has no
which corresponds to the "Vere Sanctus."
The recital of the Institution, introduced in the Gallican liturgies by
"Vere Sanctus," follows the text of St. Matthew and St. Mark with the
words: "qui pridie quam pateretur." Here is an instance of complete
accord between the rites of Rome and Gaul; but on this point we can but
to the remarks of other liturgiologists, especially to those of Dom
who has drawn his conclusions from this fact extremely well. The
Eastern liturgies follow another tradition, and say with St. Paul: "In
nocte tradebatur." Spain, it is true, also says: "In qua nocte", but
this is generally attributed to Byzantine qua nocte, but this is
generally attributed to Byzantine influence in a later age. This is all
the more likely because the Spanish books called the prayer which
follows, "Post pridie.
The words "Mysterium fidei" also seem to have been adopted in Gaul, as
in the Roman formula, and probably under Roman influence.
In Gaul the words of Consecration were accompanied by the sign of the
Cross traced on the oblation; a gesture recognized as possessing the
special virtue of accomplishing the Mystery, and which is ratified by
The pseudo-Germain, speaking of the transformation operated by the
Consecration of the bread and wine, alludes to the Angel of God who
Host: "Angeles Dei ad secreta super altare tamquam super monumentum
et ipsam hostiam benedicit instar illius angeli qu Christi
resurectionem evangelizavit." In this connection the story related by
Tours may well be recalled, he tells us that St. Martin appeared in the
Basilica dedicated to him in that town, and blessed, "dextera extensa,"
the Sacrifice offered on the altar, "juxta morem catholicam signo
crucis superposito" ("Vita Patrum," XVI, 2- P.L. Vol. LXXI, col. 1075;
cf. Dom Wilmart, col. 1086).
The following prayer is of the first importance for the theology of the
Mass. It bears the name Post Secreta, and elsewhere "Post Mysteria,"
"Post Eucharistiam." This title, this formula, the miracle of St.
Martin just mentioned the fact that Gregory of Tours calls the words of
Consecration "Verba sacra" ("Glor. Mart.," 87; P.L., Vol. LXXI col.
782), and other texts we could mention, sufficiently prove that the
words of the Institution were considered as operating the mystery of
But it must be added that this prayer is frequently conceived in terms
which would incline a reader to the contrary belief, i.e. that
Transubstantiation is wrought by the "Epiclesis," such as that of one
of the Masses of
Mone (P.L. Vol. CXXXVIII, col. 871, and Vol. LXXII, col. 257). In any
the collection of these prayers, "Post Secreta" in the Gallican
is one which should be most carefully studied, in order to realize the
faith of these churches in the Eucharistic Mystery.
It has been thought, since the word is "Post Secreta" that the formula
of Consecration was said in a low voice while the "Contestatio" and
"Post Sanctus" were said aloud. We shall not take up here that question
hotly debated in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, by
theologians and liturgiologists, as to the Secret of the Mysteries,
which we treat elsewhere (Chap. XII).
The rites of the "Fraction" and the "Commixtion" are attached to the
prayer "Post Secreta." In the primitive Mass the "Fraction" was a rite
of the first importance. The name of "Fractio panis" given to the
the beginning, the place of the word "Fregit" in the story of the
Institution, the insistence of all the most ancient liturgies in this
the words "(corpus meum) quod pro vobis confringetur," and many other
indications which could be given are sufficient to prove this fact.
There are numerous variants of the rite in the various liturgies. In
rite, as we shall see, the Irish divided the Host in seven different
ways, according to the Feast. In Gaul they divided it into nine
the form of a Cross. Sometimes the particles were arranged on the paten
to design a human form. The Council of Tours in 567 forbade this
as superstitious, and ordained that the particles were to be disposed
the form of a Cross. The meaning of this act is given in the chant of
the "Fraction," called "Confractorium," or "Ad Confractionem." We have
mentioned some of these in our article "Fractio Panis" (DACL). Here is
one of them:
"Credimus Domine, credimus in hac confractione corporis et effusione
tui sanguinis nos esse redemptos: confidimus etiam quod spe hic
jam tenemus, in aeternum perfrui mereamur. Per..."
The "Commixtion," or "Immixtion," has, like the "Fraction," a dogmatic
bearing. The celebrant soaks one or several of the consecrated
particles in the chalice, allowing one of them to fall into it. Under
with the words accompanying it in many liturgies, the sole meaning of
rite is to show to the faithful, before Communion, that it is the very
and Blood of Christ which they are about to receive; and that their
separation under the different species of bread and wine is only
Although at this epoch Communion under both kinds was almost universal,
doctrine that Christ was present, whole and entire, under both species,
the less of equally universal acceptance. The rites of "Commixtion" or
"Immixtion," which are attached to this part of the Mass, seem, in our
opinion, to favor this interpretation (see "Immixtion" in DACL).
The recitation of the "Pater" follows the "Fraction" and "Commixtion."
Its recital during Mass in this place, or at some place very near to
two rites, is an almost universal practice. Some exceptions might
indeed be mentioned. The "Apostolic Constitutions" do not speak of the
"Pater;" neither does St. Hippolytus, nor Serapion, nor the "anaphora"
Balizeh. But these are exceptions. The "Pater" has its place, and that
of honor in the Roman Mass, where it is surrounded with special rites.
With the Gallicans, as in most other liturgies, it is, as it were,
framed between a prelude or protocol and a conclusion or embolism.
Both of these are variable in the Gallican rite, like the
"Contestatio," the "Post Sanctus," or the "Ad pacem." These various
rites aim at emphasizing the importance of this prayer, taught to His
disciples by Christ Himself, the Prayer of prayers. From the beginning
importance has been recognized and attested by the liturgy. The end of
was enriched with a doxology, as we see in the Didache and in some of
most ancient MSS. of the New Testament; and we cannot be surprised at
that assertion of St. Gregory who, astonished at finding the "Pater"
relegated to a place after the close of the Canon, declared that
was the prayer by means of which the Apostles consecrated (see pp.
It has also an honorable place in Baptism and in the other Sacraments.
In the Gallican Mass it is recited by the entire congregation, as was
also the custom amongst the Greeks; while in Africa and at Rome the
celebrant alone recited the "Pater" aloud, the people responding
"Amen," or "Sed libera nos a malo." In Spain we have seen there was a
special place for
the recitation of this prayer.
Before the Communion the Bishop, or even the Priest, blessed the
faithful. This blessing also is important; it is not confined to the
Gallican liturgy, but took place in Africa also, in the time of St.
It existed, too, in the Eastern liturgies, and even Rome may have known
at one time, though it has been transformed and placed elsewhere.
The meaning of this blessing, a kind of absolution or final
purification before Communion, is determined by the accompanying
Deacon said: "Humiliate vos benedictioni;" or with the Greeks: "Let us
down our heads before the Lord." The pseudo-Germain mentions the
following: "Pax, fides et caritas, et communicatio "corporis et
sit semper vobiscum." He says, too, that the blessing given by the
must be shorter and less solemn than that given by the Bishop. This is
a discreet allusion to the discussions which doubtless took place about
this time, since the canons of some of the Councils of the fifth and
sixth centuries bear traces of the controversy. The question was
whether the right of blessing the people should be reserved to the
Bishop alone, or whether (as here) it was sufficient to mark the
difference between his blessing and that of a Priest (cf. especially
the 44th canon of the
Council of Agde, held 506). The formula varied according to the day. In
the MS. collections many episcopal benedictions exist, some of which
have been published, and these must not be neglected, since they form
of liturgical theology (see our article, "Benedictions episcopales", in
A certain hierarchical order--indeed, a very rigorous one--was enforced
for the Communion. Priests and Deacons communicated at the altar; other
clerics before it; the laity outside the choir. This at least was the
Spanish custom. In Gaul the faithful entered the choir and communicated
at the altar. Men received the Host upon the bare hand; while women
It in a linen cloth called the "Dominical" (Duchesne, op. cit., p. 257).
During the Communion a chant was sung: "antiphona ad accedentes." This,
according to the most ancient tradition, was Psalm XXXIII, "Benedicam
Dominum in omni tempore," or at least some of its verses which apply so
well to the Eucharist: "Accedite ad eum et illuminamini, Iste pauper
clamavit et Dominus exaudivit eum;" and, above all: "Gustate et videte
quoniam suavis est Dominus." Dom Cagin ("Paleographie musicale," Vol.
V, PP. 22-25) has collected the principal evidence as to this
It is interesting to know that Gaul had preserved it. The
amongst others, recalls it, but chiefly to prove that this chant (which
calls the "Trecanum") is an act of Faith in the Trinity. And indeed,
verses which were repeated in a certain manner, and doubtless ended
with the Trinitarian doxology, did teach those who communicated that
is in the Son, the Son in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost in the Son,
again the Son in the Father". P. Thibaut gives an explanation of this
obscure text. "Trecanum" is. an erroneous transcription of "Tricanon"
Greek, "trikanon", three rules, or three bars). Now the Psalm "Gustate
videte" is numbered in Roman figures XXXIII, which was taken as a
symbol of the Trinity, three X's and three I's which must be written
X X X
I I I
1 2 3
3 2 1
This would explain the pseudo-Germain's text on "Circumincession" in
the Trinity. It is very subtle, but subtlety never frightened the
symbolists of that period. However, what is incontestable is that these
with a special doxology are indeed a chant in honor of the Trinity; and
this point the Mozarabic rite agrees with that of Gaul. Other chants
for Communion accompanied this, or took its place, such as the
hymn, "Sancti venite," of the Celtic liturgies. In the Eastern and
Mozarabic rites the Symbol of Nicea-Constantinople was recited at this
What must always be noticed is the intense care taken to cause an act
Faith to precede the participation in the Body and Blood of Christ;
the Eucharist is, above all, the mystery of union with Our Lord, and
through Him between the faithful, in Faith and Charity.
After the Communion was said a prayer, the text of which varied. The
Post-Communions preserved in the Gallican books are well worth study,
they express the faith of these liturgies in the Real Presence, and in
the effects of the Sacrament upon the soul.
After these prayers the faithful were dismissed, as in other liturgies.
The formula in the Roman rite is "Ite, Missa est," in the Missal of
it is "Missa acta est, In pace." The Ambrosian rite has "Procedamus in
in nomine Domini;" while the Mozarabites have an even more solemn
The Eastern liturgies have yet others, and it was not until much later
that, in certain rites, the reading of the Gospel of St. John and other
were added after this dismissal, a custom which causes the latter
to lose all its meaning.
The part played by the Gallican liturgy did not end with its
disappearance. In the history of the liturgy from the ninth-fifteenth
centuries Gaul's place was a very important one--it might be said,
almost the most
important of all. It was in Gaul that the Gelasian and Gregorian
as well as the greater number of the "Ordines Romani," have been
retouched, modified, and finally moulded into that form which may be
the Missals of the ninth-thirteenth centuries, which are in reality
Gallicano-Roman. An influence almost equally considerable was exercised
in that country upon the Pontifical, the Ritual, Breviary, and other
liturgical books. This history of the liturgy is not yet written, but
it can be
said that each day some fresh work on the subject confirms this general
impression. We must also take into consideration the numerous
initiatives undertaken in that country which were in the end adopted in
lands, even by Rome herself, such as the institution of new Feasts, and
more solemn rites.
None the less, it is infinitely to be regretted that, as regards this
liturgy which in the splendor of its forms could rival the Mozarabic,
the Ambrosian, or even the liturgy of Rome, we are reduced to a few
fragments, doubtless of great interest, but which are mere "membra
the poet calls it. What a pity that one of our old Basilicas, that of
Rheims, for instance, or Sens, did not play the same "role" as Toledo
and thus keep till our own day that collection of rites and customs of
which to-day only a few relics are left!
1 Dom Wilmart after Edmund Bishop, has insisted on this point. Cf. Ed.
Bishop, "Observations on the Liturgy of Narsai," pp. 117--121; "Journal
of Theological Studies," 1910 11, Vol. XII, pp. 406-413 ù
"Liturgica Historica," pp. 122, 124; Connolly, "Journal of Theological
1919-20, Vol. XXI, pp. 219-232; Dom Wilmart, art. cit., col. 1075.
in his fifth edition of "Origines du culte chretien," p. 211, note 2,
discusses the attribution to Gelasius of the "Dicamus omnes."
2. Cf. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 221, note 2; and Dom Wilmart art. cit.,
1076; cf. also article "Litanies," in DACL..
3. Under this formula cf. Ambrosian Mass, p. 93.
4. "Glor. Mart," 86; "Hist. France," X, xxxi. 13; P.L., Vol. LXXI,
cols. 569, 781.
5. Cf. on this point Dom Cagin, "Paleographie musicale," Vol. V., p. 55
seq.; Duchesne, loc. cit., p. 230, note 1; Dom Wilmart, art. cit., col.
1085. There has been discussion as to whether these liturgies did not
in primitive days contain the incisive words: "pro nostra et omnium
salute." Cf. "Revue Benedictine," 1910, Vol. XXVII, p. 513 seq.
6. Cf. Dom Wilmart, op. cit., col. 1088; Dom Morin, "Revue
Benedictine," 1912, Vol. XXIX, p. 179 seq.
7. we shall have a word to say as to the neo-Gallican liturgies of the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries on p. 203. But they have in
reality little to do with the Mass.
H. LIETZMANN, "Ordo Missae Romnanus et Gallicanus" (Bonn, 1923) .
J. B. THIBAUT, "L'ancienne liturgie gallicane" (Paris, 1929); and on
this book our article: "Les origines de la liturgie gallicane," in
"Revue d'Hist. eccl. de Louvain," Vol. XXVI, 1930, P. 951 seq
"Liturgia, "PP. 793-800, "La liturgie gallicane."
H. NETZER, "L'Introduction de la Messe Romaine en France sous les
Carolingiens" (Paris, 1910).
In DACL. "Gallicanes (Liturgies)," a very complete bibliography by Dom
LECLERCQ. Cf. also the article "Germain, lettres de Saint."
THE CELTIC MASS
The Celtic liturgical books.--The Celtic Mass.
The title "Celtic liturgy," or rather "Celtic liturgies" (the plural is
used on account of the various forms which this liturgy takes),
designates the rite which was in use amongst the populations of
and Cornwall, Scotland, and Armorican Brittany. I have stated elsewhere
what may be thought as to this expression "Celtic liturgies." For, as a
matter of fact, in the sense in which the term is used to describe the
Mozarabic or Gallican rites, there is really no Celtic liturgy.
THE CELTIC LITURGICAL BOOKS
The Celtic monks, missionaries, and travelers, whom we may consider as
the authors of the above, had no intention of composing a new liturgy,
even one which differed from those already existing. What they did was
take what suited them from one or the other rite, and then to combine
these various elements. That in itself is not enough to constitute a
liturgy. It is none the less true that their liturgical books,
transcribed and arranged as they are by Celtic copyists, have a very
real interest. We
have made a study of them in another volume, entitled "Books of the
Latin Liturgy" (Sands & Co., London), pp. 107--112.
Of these books the most important is a Sacramentary, or Missal, the
"Missal of Stowe;" and in it the Celtic Mass may be studied. Some
critics have placed the date of this MS. as far back as the eighth, or
seventh, century. Certain doubts may be felt as to this great
antiquity; but whatever the date of the MS., it certainly describes a
than the ninth century.
THE CELTIC MASS
In the "Missal of Stowe" the preparation for the Mass comprehends a
confession of sins, a long litany in which are found the names of all
the Irish and Celtic Saints, and a "Apologia sacerdotis," or prayer of
preparation for Mass. This feature is not confined to the Celtic rites;
and we have studied elsewhere these liturgical "Apologies" (cf.
"Apologies," in DACL).
It would seem that the preparation of the oblations took place before
the entrance of the celebrant, as in the Gallican rite. It comprised
several prayers, as follows: in pouring water into the chalice: "Peto
Pater; Deprecor Te, Fili; Obsecro Te, Spiritus Sancte;" in pouring the
wine: "Remittat Pater, Indulgeat Filius, Misereatur Spiritus Sanctus."
Another Celtic book, the "Leabhar Breac," notes that a single drop,
water and wine, should be allowed to fall as the Name of each Person of
the Trinity was pronounced. We first notice here the insistence, found
nowhere else in the same degree, on emphasizing each Person of the
Trinity in the Eucharistic Mystery.
The setting of the Pre-Mass is almost the same as that of the Roman
rite: a prayer, the "Gloria in Excelsis," one or several Collects
(which Celtic priests habitually multiplied to an extent which
sometimes caused the faithful to protest), an Epistle taken from St.
Paul, a Gradual chant,
and the "Alleluia." A celebrated litany, the "Deprecatio Sancti
Martini, Dicamus omnes," was said here.
This is borrowed from the Eastern liturgies, which have prayers of the
same type; the above litany is merely the translation of a Greek text.
has indeed been adopted by other Latin liturgies.
Two prayers followed this. Then the chalice and oblations were
partially unveiled, probably by the removal of the first veil; they
were not completely uncovered until the Offertory. The formula,
Domine," was sung thrice; then one veil of the chalice was taken away,
and the prayer, "Veni, Domine, Sanctificator omnipotens, et benedic hoc
sacrificium praeparatum tibi, Amen," was said three times.
The Gospel followed. One of the fragments discovered by Bannister gives
as that for the Circumcision an apocryphal Gospel of James, the son of
Alphaeus. The "Credo" included the "Filioque," but as an addition to
the primitive text, and with several variants. After the Gospel there
was a chant, which perhaps corresponds to the Mozarabic and Gallican
and to St. Benedict's "Te decet laus."
The Offertory included the complete unveiling of the chalice, which was
elevated, sometimes with the paten; and different formulas given in the
"Missal of Stowe," which have no particular characteristics.
Then came the "Memento of the Dead," with the reading of the
"Diptychs." This is the Mozarabic and Gallican use. The following is
"Has oblationes et sincera libamina immolamus tibi domine ihesu
christe, qui passus es pro nobis et resurrexisti tertia die a mortuis
animamus (animabus) carorum nostrorum N. et cararum nostrarum quorum
nomina recitamus et quorumcumque non recitamus sed a te recitantur in
The Preface begins with "Sursum corda." The text given in the "Missal
of Stowe" is a combination of the "Trisagion" and the Roman Preface of
the Trinity; it also deserves to be quoted. We have already noted this
insistence of the Celtic Mass upon confessing the Trinity.
"Pater omnipotens... qui cum unigenito tuo et spiritu sancto Deus es
unus et immortalis, Deus incorruptibilis et immortalis, Deus
invisibilis et fidelis... te credimus, te benedicimus, te adoramus et
nomen unum in aeternum et in saeculum saeculi, per quem salus mundi,
per quem vita hominum, per quem resurrectio mortuorum, per quem
maestatem tuam laudant angeli, etc."
The "Sanctus" is paraphrased like the Preface:
"Benedictus qui venit de celis ut conversaretur in terris, Homo factus
est ut delicta carnis deleret, hostia factus est ut per passionem suam
vitam aeternam credentibus daret per dominum."
Like the Gallican and Mozarabic books, those of the Celtic rite usually
have a "Post sanctus." The Canon of the "Missal of Stowe," under the
title of "Canon dominicus papae Gilasi" (edn. Warren, p. 274 seq.), is
famous among liturgiologists. This precious text, which by some is
be the most ancient text of the Roman Canon, contains the "Te igitur,"
the "Memento of the Living," and other prayers of the latter rite, but
notable variants, the chief of which are as follows:
"Te igitur clementissime pater... una cum beatissimo famulo tuo, n.
papa nostro, episcopo sedis apostolicae, et omnibus orthodoxis atque
apostolica fidei cultoribus, et abbate nostro, N. episcopo."
"Hic recitantur nomina vivorum."
"Memento etiam, domine, famulorum tuorum, N... qui tibi offerunt hoc
sacrificium laudis pro te suisque omnibus, pro redemptione animarum
suarum, pro stratu (sic) seniorum suorum, et ministrorum omnium
puritate, pro integritate virginum, et continentia viduarum, pro aeris
temperie, et fructum (sic) fecunditate terrarum, pro pacis redetu et
discriminum, pro incolimitate regum, et pace populorum, ac reditu
votis adstantium, pro memoria martirum, pro remissione peccatorum
et actuum emendatione eorum, ac requie defunctorum, et prosperitate
itineris nostri, pro domino papa episcopo, et omnibus episcopis et
et omni ecclesiastico ordine, pro imperio romano et omnibus regibus
christianis, pro fratribus et sororibus nostris, pro fratribus in via
directis, pro fratribus quos de caliginosis mundi hujus tenebris
dominus arcisire dignatus est, uti eos in aeterna summae lucis quietae
divina suscipiat, pro fratribus qui varis dolorum generibus
eos divina pietas curare dignetur, pro spe salutis et incolimitatis
tibi reddunt vota sua eterno Deo vivo et vero communicantes, in natale
domini et diem sacratissimam...."
(Then follows the enumeration of other feasts--Circumcision, Epiphany
under the title of "Stella," Holy Thursday as "Natalis calicis domini
nostri," Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost.)
"Et memoriam venerantes imprimis gloriosae semper virginis. . . .
Hanc igitur oblationem . . . quam tibi offerimus in honorem domini
nostri ihesu christi et in commemorationem beatorum martirum tuorum, in
hac ecclesia quam famulus tuus ad honorem gloriae tuae
quesumus, domine, ut placatus suscipias, eumque, adque omnem populum ab
idulorum cultura eripias, et ad te Deum verum patrem omnipotentem
diesque nostros in tua pace disponas, atque ab aeterna damnatione nos
et in electorum tuorum iubeas grege numerari per, etc."
"Quam oblationem te, deus, in omnibus, quesumus benedictam, ascriptam,
ratam, rationabilem, acceptabilemque facere dignareque nobis corpus et
sanguis fiat dilectissimi fili tui domini nostri ihesu Christi."
"Haec quotiescumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis, passionem meam
predicabitis, resurrectionem meam adnuntiabitis, adventum meum
sperabitis, donec iterum veniam ad vos de caelis."
Passages which bear an analogy with this formula can be found in the
"Apostolic Constitutions," in the liturgies of St. James and St. Basil,
in the Ambrosian and Mozarabic liturgies, etc.
Irish treatises upon the Mass emphasize the importance of the formula
of Consecration. The Priest bows thrice at "Accepit Jesus panem;" the
people prostrate themselves when he offers the bread and wine to God.
prayer has been called the "periculosa oratio," and none must dare to
break silence. The "Penitential of Cummean" inflicts a penance of fifty
strokes upon the Priest who has hesitated once in speaking these words.
In some Missals the word "Periculum" is written in the margin.
all these marks of attention and respect, so well justified, must be
added certain other features which sometimes betray a meticulous and
complicated piety. According to some treatises the celebrant had to
steps forward and three backward, "a triad which recalls the three ways
which man sins, that is, by thought, word, and deed, and the three ways
which he is renewed in God."
After the Consecration we have the prayers "Unde et memores sumus,
Supra quae propitio, Supplices Te," as in the Roman Canon. The "Memento
the Dead" presents a very interesting formula also, which has analogies
with the Mozarabic and Gallican prayers:
Memento etiam, domine, et eorum nomina qui nos praecesserunt cum signo
fidei, et dormiunt in somno pacis, cum omnibus in toto mundo
offerentibus sacrificum spiritale deo patri et filio et spiritui sancto
sanctis ac venerabibus (sic) sacerdotibus offert senior noster, n.
se, et pro suis et pro totius ecclesiae cetu catholicae; et pro
commemorando anathletico gradu venerabilium patriarcharum, profetarum,
et martirun, et omnium quoque sanctorum, ut pro nobis dominum deum
nostrum exorare dignentur."
To this formula must be joined another, which in Warren's edition is
separated from it in mistake by a list of names (pp. 238-240).
"Et omnium pausautium qui nos in dominica pace precesserunt, ab adam
usque in hodiernum diem, quorum deus non nominavit et novit, ipsis et
in christo quiescentibus locum refrigerii," etc.
Then "Nobis quoque" with "Patricio" after "Petro" and "Paulo;" "Per
quem haec omnia...."
We do not think, with certain critics, that it is necessary to see the
most ancient form of the Roman Canon in this formula. The addition
"diesque nostros," made by St. Gregory; that of "Pro fratribus in via
directis," borrowed from the Rule of St. Benedict, and other
opposed to this view. As with the other Celtic prayers, the author has
made a mixture of fragments culled from different sources; but there
can be no doubt that some of these fragments are very ancient, as, for
the two "Mementos."
The rites of Fraction, Immixtion, and Communion in the Celtic Mass
present no less interesting features. On these points there was great
Following the "Per quem haec omnia," the rubric of the "Missal of
Stowe" adds "ter canitur," and in Irish: "here the oblations are raised
the chalice, and half the bread is plunged into the chalice." This is
rite of Intinction practiced in the Syrian liturgy. The versicle "Fiat
domine misericordia tua super nos quemadmodum speravimus in te" follows.
Then the Fraction takes place. "The bread is broken," says the Irish
rubric. This is the usual place for the Fraction in the Latin
liturgies, even in the Roman Mass before St. Gregory's time. The
versicles which follow comment on the actions of the Priest, and
emphasize the special importance of the rite. "Cognoverunt dominum
alleluia, in fractione
panis, alleluia." This is the "Confractorium," or "Antiphona ad
of the Ambrosian and Mozarabic rites, and of which a few vestiges
in certain Roman books. With regard to the Fraction it has been
that in the Celtic, and perhaps in other churches, a Priest here joined
the celebrant, if the latter were a simple Priest, to break with him
Body of the Lord. It was the Confraction. But were the celebrant a
Bishop he broke the Host alone. These other versicles of the
"Panis quem frangimus corpus est domini nostri ihesu cristi. Alleluia."
"Calix quem benedicimus (alleluia) sanguis est d. n. I. C. (Alleluia)
in remissionem peccatorum nostrorum (Alleluia)."
"Fiat domine misericordia tua super nos. Alleluia. Quemadmodum
speravimus in te. Alleluia."
"Cognoverunt dominum. Alleluia."
"Credimus, domine, in hac confractione corporis et effsione sanguinis
nos esse redemptos et confidimus, sacramenti hujus adsumptione munitos,
quod spe interim hic tenemus mansuri in celestibus veris fructibus
perfruamur, per d.," etc.
The Host was divided in seven different ways, according to the Feasts:
into five parts at Common Masses; into seven on the Feasts of Saints,
Confessors, and Virgins; into eight on the Feasts of Martyrs; into nine
on Sundays; into eleven on the Feasts of Apostles; into twelve on the
Kalends of January, and on Holy Thursday; into thirteen on the Sunday
Easter and on the Ascension; and into sixty-five on the Feasts of
Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. The particles were arranged in the
form of a
Cross, and each group received a part of this Cross according to grade.
Everything here seems to have been invented to distract attention at
moment when it should have been concentrated on the One Essential
Happily those chants of the Fraction already mentioned led to more
As in the greater number of liturgies the "Pater," said after the
Fraction, is set between a prelude and an embolism, which differ little
from the Roman formulas; the name of St. Patrick is read after those of
Peter and Paul. There is a blessing here, as in the Mozarabic and
rites, and it runs thus:
"Pax et caritas D.N.I.C. et communicatio sanctorum omnium, sit semper
vobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo.
The Kiss of Peace was then given, as in the Roman Mass. The "Missal of
Stowe" contains at this point many anthems on Peace, mingled with
anthems and chants for Communion.
The Commixtion of the Body and Blood was carried out as in the Roman
rite. The Communion was encircled with rites and chants which gave it
great solemnity. We mention a few: "Novum carmen cantate, Omnes sancti
venite, Panem caeli dedit eis, Sinite parvulos venire ad me, Venite
benedicti Patris mei." Psalm xxxiii., of almost universal tradition at
was also sung. The famous hymn, "Sancti venite, Christi corpus sumite,"
preserved in the "Antiphonary of Bangor," is of lofty inspiration, and
would cause the wearisome prolixity of some other prayers to be
The text of the Post-communions is borrowed from the Roman books. The
dismissal was given in these words: "Missa acta est. In pace."
Beyond a few formulas and rites which seem particularly to belong to
the Celts, it can easily be seen that nothing really original can be
in this Mass. What does distinguish it is the almost equal mixture of
Roman and Gallican rites, with a few features borrowed from the
the Ambrosian liturgy, or from the Eastern rites. It is composite. And
rite of Baptism, which we need not study here, presents the same
1 This very interesting but not specially Celtic text will be found in
Duchesne, "Origines," edition 1908, p. 202.
2. For all this cf. Dom Gougaud's article in DACL., cols. 3008,
3. Cf. "Journal of Theological Studies," 1907-8, Vol. IX, pp.
4. Cf. also Dom Gougaud, loc. cit., col. 3011, and our article "Messe,"
in "Dict. de theol." cath., cols. 1381-85.
5. The "Quorum deus nomina scit," or analogous formulas, have been
pointed out by Le Blant, in his "Inscriptions funeraires de la Gaule,
chret. de la Gaule," p. 563, and notes,
6. Cf. our article "Messe," in "Dict. de theol. cath.," col. 1400.
7. Cf. Dom. Gougaud, loc. cit., col. 3011.
"Celtiques (Liturgies) "in DACL, the very complete article by Dom
Gougaud, with a good bibliography at the end. Cf. also in the same
the articles "Bobbio (missel)" and "sangor (antiphonaire de)." '
"Liturgia," p. 822, an article by Dom Gougaud on the Celtic liturgy;
and his work: "Christianity in Celtic Lands," Chapter IX, "Liturgy and
THE PRIMITIVE LATIN LITURGY
This title is ambitious. It would indeed be over-bold to attempt to
reconstitute the Latin liturgy as it was before the seventh century.
But, taking all the liturgies together--the African, Gallican,
Mozarabic, Ambrosian, Celtic, and Roman, which have just been studied
preceding chapters--a few general features may be noticed as standing
clearly, and these will throw some light upon the first-named.
(1) The Pre-Mass was composed of three Lessons (there are actually two
in the Roman liturgy); each was usually followed by chants or psalmody,
and by a prayer. The chants and psalmody comprise verses of the Psalms,
in the form of responsories, or anthems. The "Alleluia" and "Gloria in
Excelsis Deo" or another canticle also belong to it, as does a special
the Diaconal litanies with the "Kyrie Eleison."
(2) The Pre-Mass terminated with the dismissal of the catechumens and
others outside the fold.
(3) The Mass properly so called began with the "Prayer of the
Faithful," of which some traces still survive.
(4) The Offertory presents analogous characteristics in all these
(5) The reading of the "Diptychs," whatever its actual place was, also
formed part of it.
(6) The Preface, preceded by a dialogue and ending with the "Sanctus,"
was often freely improvised in these churches; but it always began with
the same theme: "Vere dignum et justum est," etc.
(7) The "Sanctus" was followed by the "Benedictus qui venit," while in
the East the "Sanctus" is composed of the formula of the Prophet
and as a rule admits of no complement.
(8) The "Vere Sanctus," which existed amongst the Mozarabites and
Gallicans, is seemingly absent from Rome.
(9) The "Qui pridie" was attached to the "Sanctus," or the "Vere
Sanctus,' by a short formula, of which the book "De Sacramentis" gives
an example which is probably the most ancient.
(10) The "Anamnesis" followed the Consecration in most rites.
(11) The "Post pridie" and "Epiclesis," which hold so large a place in
the Gallican and Mozarabic liturgies, have quite disappeared in that of
Rome. But was it always so? The "Anaphora" of the "Paradosis" of
Hippolytus, composed at Rome in the third century, has an "Epiclesis,"
however discreetly worded, is none the less an invocation of the Holy
while certain ancient texts seem to allude to a Roman "Epiclesis." But
the Roman Church always tended to abridge, and even to suppress
that of Spain on the contrary amplified, developed, and multiplied
(12) The same thing may be noted with regard to the Fraction. While
Rome simplified the rite and suppressed the anthem "Ad confringendum,"
both these were singularly complicated in Spain and among the Celts.
(13) The Pater, with prelude and embolism, usually had its place here.
(14) The same differences and the same analogies may be remarked in the
rites of Communion and Dismissal.
(15) The composition of the Latin liturgical books presents similar
characteristics, while in the East such books are subject to other laws.
All this evidently shows that each church had its own tendencies, which
appear to separate them one from another in the accomplishment of
liturgical functions, though they betray a common origin, and display
even more numerous analogies in the primitive period.
The comparison of the calendars, the divisions of the liturgical year,
of the "cursus" of the Office, and of the administration of the
Sacraments will lead, we think, to the same result.
THE ROMAN MASS, FROM THE EIGHTH TO THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY: ADDITIONS TO
MASS OF ST. GREGORY
THE: DOCUMENTS.--THE MASS.--The Preparation for Mass and the Prayers at
the Foot of the Altar.--The Chants, Collect, and Proses.--The Prayers
the Offertory and of the Censing.--The Secret.--The Preface.--The
In our fourth chapter we described the Roman Mass in the seventh
century. From the seventh-sixteenth centuries it was to undergo rather
important modifications. Not that there were any essential changes
along its principal lines: the Canon remained invariable. But there
certain number of additions in other parts of the Mass.
These are all of Gallican origin, a term which must be understood in
its widest sense, for some of these additions came from Switzerland and
Germany as well as from France. We shall only mention them here, as we
return to this subject in Chapter XI, in which the whole Roman Mass is
We have very sufficient material for the study of this period. In the
first place the Sacramentaries and Missals. We have elsewhere described
the transformation of Sacramentaries written for the celebrant alone,
containing only those parts of the Mass which he had to recite, into
full Missals, in which are united all the Epistles, Gospels, and chants
the Mass; a transformation brought about through many causes, but
chiefly through the multiplication of Low Masses.
There are other documents not less useful: the "Ordines Romani," which
describe the Roman Mass with its various ceremonies. As has been said,
these documents succeed each other from the seventh-sixteenth
centuries, and just as we have had "Ordo I" to guide us in our
description of that Mass in the seventh century, so we have those of a
later epoch for the following period: the "Ordo Romanus III"
(ninth-tenth centuries), the
"Ordo Romanus VI" (tenth-eleventh centuries), and the "Ordo XIV," which
that of the Roman Curia in the fourteenth century exactly at the time
when certain important changes were being made.
Finally we have, especially since the ninth century, treatises on the
Mass. At the Carlovingian Renaissance a strong impulse was given to
liturgical studies. Alcuin Amalarius, Agobard, Florus of Lyon, Rhaban
Maur, and Walafrid Strabo all wrote on various subjects, but especially
Mass, unfortunately their works are all rather symbolic than historic,
only give very little really important information as to their chief
subjects. Rupert, in the twelfth century, is a mere compiler without
originality, while Honorius of Autun in the same century wrote more
especially for edification. Bernold, in his "Micrologue" (eleventh
century), is of
greater value, and Beleth, Jean d'Avranches, above all Durand de Mende
in his "Rationale," deserve serious study. But the most important of
all is Cardinal Lothaire, who became Pope Innocent III (1198-1216), and
wrote the treatise "De sacro altaris mysterio," which describes the
Mass at this period. These different works on the Mass have been
since the sixteenth century by authors like Cochlaeus, Hittorp, and
but all such volumes need re-editing, and the different treatises on
Mass in the Middle Ages ought to be classed methodically.
THE PREPARATION FOR MASS AND THE PRAYERS AT THE FOOT OF THE
ALTAR.--Before the Introit the Psalm "Judica me," the "Confiteor," the
"Aufer a nobis," the "Oramus te, Domine," were added; and, in Solemn
Masses, the censing of the altar.
Psalm xlii. is indicated in the ancient Missals as a preparation for
Mass since the eleventh century. It is well chosen for such an office;
the anthem "Introibo ad altare Dei," taken from the text of the Psalm,
emphasizes, as is intended, the principal verse which usually
determines the use of a Psalm.
The Confession of Sins before Mass is mentioned in the "Didache," and
other ancient liturgical books. It is an apostolic practice. The
formula here employed was the "Confiteor," in the form which prevailed
tenth-eleventh centuries, and which had been used ever since, though
with numerous variations. It was followed by several versicles and
responsories taken from the Psalms; and these too are one of the most
of liturgical prayer.
Then came the "Dominus vobiscum," and the Priest mounted to the altar
where he said the beautiful prayer "Aufer a nobis," from the Leonine
Sacramentary. The "Oramus te" which followed it is less ancient, as the
use of the singular is enough to show (eleventh century); this prayer
recalled the fact that relics of the Saints were beneath the altar
are enclosed within the stone of the altar). The kissing of the altar
was a very ancient practice (Chap. XII).
The censing of the altar which now took place is of Gallican origin,
and was only later adopted at Rome.
CHANTS, COLLECTS, AND PROSES.--The Introit and other chants or anthems
for Offertory and Communion underwent no change; nor did the Gradual
and Alleluia or the Tract. But to the "Alleluia" was added the Prose
while Tropes were sometimes added to the "Kyrie," "Gloria in Excelsis,"
and "Agnus Dei."
Proses were originated, it is thought, in the ninth-tenth centuries,
and the name of their inventor is Notker, a monk of St. Gall. In any
they had a great success in Switzerland, Germany, France, and in most
of the Latin countries; it is sufficient to open certain MS. Missals of
the eleventh-fifteenth centuries to see how these Proses had increased
and multiplied. A Trope was a given liturgical text with additional
and words added to it. Naturally, the only parts sung suited this kind
of ornament very well. The "Kyrie," the "Benedicamus Domino," the
Introits, and other chants all received Tropes, or, to use the current
expression, were "stuffed" (farcis). As, for example, "Kyrie fons
bonitatis, Pater ingenite, a quo bona cuncta procedunt, eleison." Leon
Gautier, who has
made a special study of these Tropes, is very severe in his judgment,
and compares them to mushrooms which threaten to stifle the liturgic
It is almost unnecessary to say that Rome never favored this kind of
composition; and that without condemning the Tropes or the Proses or
the Mysteries, she allowed France, Germany, and the other Western
to revel in this style of pastime, which gave great joy to the simple,
religious population, but nevertheless threatened to compromise the
dignity of the liturgy.
The Collect, too, underwent no change; and the greater number of those
recited to-day existed in the same form in the Sacramentary of St.
Gregory, or even in those of Gelasius andLeo (fifth-sixth centuries).
For the Credo, cf. Chap. VI.
THE OFFERTORY PRAYERS AND THE CENSING.--The prayers introduced since
the tenth-eleventh centuries were the following:
"Suscipe, Sancte Pater;
Offerimus Tibi, Domine;
Suscipe, Sancta Trinitas,
The use of the singular, the style of these prayers, and the intention
explaining all the gestures which previously were made in silence,
to class all these in the second zone of Eucharistic devotions. But
does not mean that they are not often inspired with the breath of true
The Priest, when offering the Host upon the paten, addressed the
Father, begging that the Sacrifice might produce all its effects. The
"Suscipe Sancte Pater" is, however, an ancient prayer of the ninth
century. The prayer when mixing the wine and water, "Deus qui humanae
is one of the most beautiful of the Leonine Sacramentary, and of very
great dogmatic importance.
The chalice, like the Host, was offered with a special prayer,
"Offerimus Tibi," and again "In spiritu humilitatis." The terms of the
"Veni sanctificator" and its accompanying blessing have caused some to
believe that there was an "Epiclesis" here. But this is a mistake, and
prayer, moreover, is of a period when little interest was taken in that
At Solemn Masses the censing of the oblations, the altar, the clergy,
and the faithful was accompanied by different prayers: "Per
intercessionem," "Incensum istud," Dirigatur," "Domine," "Accendat in
under this form is also of Gallican, or even Carlovingian, origin. As
we have seen, Rome in the seventh century was acquainted with the use
incense burned in a "thymia-materium," but there was no censing,
neither at the Gospel, nor of the oblations or clergy. Mgr. Batiffol
has outlined very clearly the different stages in these customs (loc.
cit., p. 153 seq.).
The invocation of St. Michael at this moment has given rise to a good
of discussion, and St. Gabriel, on whom this function more especially
devolved, was sometimes substituted for him. But St. Michael's name can
be justified here, for he was the Angel of the Sacrifice. The censing
the Gospel is of the same period.
In all these prayers at the censing may be noted the care taken to
emphasize each act of the celebrant with prayer. The presence of the
Ablution, with Psalm xxv., "Lavabo," in this place can easily be
explained by the ancient ceremonies of the Offertory, as well as those
of the censing. It still remains, even in Low Masses, as if in memory
The "Suscipe Sancta Trinitas," which again is not in the Roman style,
where each prayer is always addressed to the Father by the Son in the
Ghost, is yet ancient, and dates from the ninth century, though it had
so many variants that it sometimes appears like a prayer over the
Its place, like its text, has varied. We may make the same remark about
age and use of "Orate fratres" and of "Suscipiat." The "Dominus
vobiscum," which should naturally precede the "Secret," as it does all
this kind, was suppressed on account of the use of "Orate fratres."
But if all these prayers have been added to the Offertory, it was, on
the other hand, simplified. The faithful no longer offered the bread
wine, but the collection, which was made at this moment, and the custom
(which does not prevail in England) of giving blessed bread are
it. At Solemn High Masses the Corporal, chalice, paten, and Host were
by the Deacon. At Pontifical Masses the Prelate left his throne at this
moment and proceeded to the altar, which he kissed, then censed, and
lastly performed the different rites of the Offertory. At Low Masses
Priest was charged with all this, and he said in a low voice the
prayers just enumerated. At Solemn Masses the custom of singing the
verse of a Psalm remained; this represents the ancient Offertory chant.
of Offertories is an interesting one; for the Psalm has sometimes been
substituted a text taken from another part of Holy Scripture, as, for
example, the beautiful Offertories "Sanctificavit Moyses," "Vir erat in
terra Hus," "Recordare mei" (eighteenth, twenty-first, and
twenty-second Sundays after Pentecost), and "Domine Jesu Christe," from
the Mass for
the Dead, etc.
THE SECRET.--This still remained the culminating point of the
Offertory; before this time it was the only prayer at the offering (cf.
But it has followed the same law as that of the Collects, the number of
which corresponds to that of the Secrets. The greater part of the most
ancient Secrets were preserved, many being anterior to the ninth
Happily the same can be said of the other formulas of this kind, both
and Post-communion; for the genius of composition was lost after the
Age of the Roman liturgy, and Mgr. Batiffol gives an amusing example of
the errors into which modern composers sometimes fall (loc. cit p.
Many similar examples could be found in other prayers of the same
THE PREFACE.--These, which were reduced to the number of ten in the
Gregorian Sacramentary (there are 267 in the Leonine, and even then the
Sacramentary was not complete!), suffered no change. It is said that
the Preface of the Blessed Virgin was added by Pope Urban II in 1095,
beg the help of Our Lady for the First Crusade
THE CANON.--This again remained unchanged, as it had from the time of
THE COMMUNION.--This too was simplified, since the faithful no longer
brought with them the bread and wine; unleavened bread was used, often
under the form of a small Host; and Communion under the species of wine
But certain prayers were added. In the first place the first three
"Domine, Jesu Christe, qui dixisti;
Domine . . . qui ex voluntate
Perceptio corporis tui."
These three were all prayers of private devotion, as the singular
number proves; they have slipped into the Missals since the eleventh
The first is a prayer for the Peace of the Church, inspired by the "Te
igitur" the third is a commentary on a thought which was very frequent
ancient devotions: "Perceptio corporis tui non mihi proveniat in
judicium." All three are directly addressed to God the Son, as is often
the case in
the Gallican and Mozarabic liturgies, while those of Roman origin are
always addressed to the Father by the Son. Other prayers of this kind
found in the Missals of the Middle Ages, but these were the most
for the sake of their ring of true devotion they deserved to pass into
the Roman Missal. The prayers which follow:
"Domine, non sum dignus;"
form a little collection of prayers from various sources, the greater
number of which are intended to emphasize and explain each phase of the
Communion of the Priest; the first and third for that under the species
of bread, the fourth and fifth for that under the species of wine,
the seventh is for the Ablutions. Among these prayers the "Domine, non
sum dignus" is a well-known passage from the Gospel (St. Matt. viii.
the "Quod ore" is a Roman Post-communion of the Leonine Sacramentary,
the "Corpus tuum" a Gallican Post-communion.
The little ceremonial for the Communion of the faithful is also later
than St. Gregory's day, when Communion was given with no other words
"Corpus Christi" and "Sanguis Christi," to which the communicant
"Amen." The ceremonial is doubtless that used when Communion was given
outside Mass, more especially to the sick. It is made up of duplicates,
is, of prayers already used in Mass: the "Confiteor," "Ecce Agnus Dei,"
"Domine, non sum dignus," "Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat
tuam in vitam aeternam, Amen."
The end of Mass was also enriched (if we may use the term) by the
following prayers: "Placeat Tibi;" "Benedicat vos," Last Gospel.
The "Placeat" recalls the "Suscipe," "Sancta Trinitas" of the
Offertory, but is of much less ancient date, and as was said when we
spoke of the latter prayer, its style betrays an origin which is not
Roman. In the ancient Roman formulary the singular number was never
used, but the
prayer is found in the Missal of the Roman Curia ever since the
The "Ite, Missa est" is, on the contrary, a very ancient formula of
dismissal; we have found it in all the Latin liturgies, and, in oneform
or another, in those of the East "Benedicamus Domino" took its place in
certain Masses which were followed by another Office; the faithful then
were not dismissed, but, rather, invited to remain in church. We have
also spoken of the last Blessing, and of the Gospel of St. John, which
first was a private devotion but which was adopted by the Roman Missal.
In the period which followed, sixteenth-twentieth centuries, there are
very few additions to be noted: three Prefaces, and the prayers added
by Leo XIII at the end of Mass.
Among the most notable additions during the time with which this
chapter is occupied are the Masses on the Thursdays in Lent, under
Gregory II (715-731) In the time of St. Gregory I there was neither a
Station nor a
Mass for these days. One of his successors (Gregory II) desired to fill
this gap, and provided a Mass for all Lenten Thursdays. But the most
superficial study of them will show that the composition of these
Masses does not
at all harmonize with the rest of the Lenten liturgy; and that the
greater part of the items of which they are made up were borrowed from
If we wish to keep count of all the other additions brought to the
Roman deposit since the time of St. Gregory, the ceremonies introduced
the Roman Missal of the ninth-sixteenth centuries must not be
the blessing of candles on 2nd February; the blessing of palms; part of
the ceremonies of Holy Week, beginning with the "Exultet;" and the
celebration of Feasts like All Saints, "Corpus Christi," Trinity
Immaculate Conception. But all this is part of the general history of
the Roman liturgy, or Missal, and it is only attached very indirectly
Before closing this chapter we must note the character of the changes
produced in the Mass during this period. These changes affect
particularly the beginning of Mass, the Offertory, Communion, and
Canon was respected. The additions mentioned are for the greater part
of private devotion, formerly said by the Priest in the sacristy--in
case, outside Mass. These, little by little, slipped into Low Masses,
thence into the Missal. The Mass which up till the ninth century was a
public ceremony of which all the prayers are in the plural, became,
the multiplication of Low Masses, very often a private devotion. This
not mean that the Low Mass dates from the ninth century, we have, on
the contrary, examples of it in the fourth and even earlier centuries
(cf. Chap. XII). But the Roman Mass, as described from the
seventh-ninth centuries was the Mass celebrated by the Pope; the
Bishops and clergy
who surrounded him "concelebrated" with him, and all the people united
with him. It was a solemn and public ceremony of the whole Christian
community, and, as if to insist on this unity, the "fermentum," or part
Sacred Species, was sent to those Priests of the "tituli," or Roman
who, for some reason or another, were unable to be present at that
Mass. Yet they participated in it by uniting their Consecration to that
Another characteristic to note in these additions is the tendency to
emphasize and explain a gesture by a formula. If it be true, as De Vert
says, that the formula calls forth the gesture, just as the sign of the
Cross is added to the word "Benedicere" to bring out its meaning, the
opposite was also true in the course of the late Middle Ages. In the
place where the gesture had been sufficient, as for the Fraction, the
Communion, the Kissing of the Altar, etc., formulas were added; here an
"Aufer a nobis," there the "Oramus Te," elsewhere the "Quod ore
If we did not know by other evidence that these additions were not of
Roman origin, we could guess it from the style of the prayers (singular
instead of plural); and from some other features, such as prayers
addressed directly to God the Son, to the Trinity, etc.
1. Cf. "Books of the Latin Liturgy" (Sands, 3s. 6d.), p. 31 seq.
2. Upon "Ordines Romani," cf. p. 43.
3. Cf. Dom Wilmart, "Expositio Missae" in DACL, and our "Introduction
aux Etudes Liturgiques" (Paris, 1907).
4. Thanks to a statement of this kind relative to the Communions for
the Thursdays in Lent, Dom Cagin has ingeniously drawn up a fresh
in favor of the authenticity of the Gregorian Sacramentary ("Un mot sur
l'antiphonate missarum," Solesmes, 1890. Author not named).
(For bibliography, cf. Chapter IV.)
THE RITES DERIVED FROM THE ROMAN MASS FROM NINTH-SIXTEENTH CENTURIES
The rite of Lyon.--The Carthusians.--Benedictine
Roman liturgy in England.
If a special place has been given in these chapters to the Roman Mass,
it is not only because this liturgy is that of the whole Latin church
the few exceptions mentioned; it is also because it is the most ancient
all, or at least that about which exist the most ancient and numerous
documents. Again, it appears incontestable that the Roman liturgy
others in its dogmatic authority, and even in its literary beauty.
If the Mozarabic, Gallican, and Eastern liturgies show a trace of
lyrical inspiration; if they are more dramatic in character, more
piety than that of Rome; if this latter has perhaps less originality
and brilliance, it makes up for it by the possession of qualities which
are those of the Roman genius; those which strike us in the
architectural monuments of Rome: solidity, grandeur, strength, and a
simplicity which excludes neither nobility nor elegance.
This remark is especially deserved by the ancient Roman liturgy of the
fifth-seventh centuries, for this was its Golden Age. Two hundred years
after the time of St. Gregory, in the ninth century, the scepter had
passed to other lands: to France, England, Switzerland, Germany, and
was in those countries that liturgical initiative was found, that new
Feasts and fresh rites were created, new formulas composed, a more
system instituted for the distribution of liturgical books, as well as
fresh technical methods of decorating and illuminating them. In
of political circumstances Rome was about to lose all she had gained as
the liturgy; and it was not for two or three hundred years that she
would recover her scepter.
But by a rather curious stroke of fortune all the new customs
originated in the countries just mentioned came back to Rome. They
under the covers of the Missal, the Pontifical, Ritual, Breviary, and
other books called Roman, but which are really and more justly
Gallicano or Germano-Roman. And, from the eleventh century onwards,
Rome got back
all her advantages. The reawakening of her liturgical activity was
manifested by the efforts of Pope Alexander II (1061-1073), and later
by those of
St. Gregory VII (1073-1085) to establish the Roman liturgy in Spain
of the Mozarabic. This episode is instructive; the latter Pope in his
letters on this subject to the Kings of Aragon, Castile, and Navarre
them energetically of the Papal right to the charge of Divine worship,
also to that of establishing the Roman liturgy in all Catholic
countries, especially in Spain.
Another indication of the supremacy of the Roman liturgy is that it was
adopted by the new Orders, Carthusians, Praemonstratensians,
Dominicans, Franciscans, and even by the Carmelites, who had an ancient
liturgy of their own; and very soon all these Orders were to become
for its spread through all the countries of the West; not, however,
without having occasionally modified it. In this great work the
played the most important part.
The Roman Curia, which until then had celebrated the same Offices as
those of the Roman Basilicas, notably of that of the Lateran, which was
the cathedral church of Rome, and considered the mother and mistress of
all churches, separated itself from these at the beginning of the
twelfth century, and fixed its own Office for the Breviary. The
this Breviary was actually that of the Lateran, but it differed on
several points, and, above all, it was very much abridged. The same
happened in the case of the Missal. The subsequent history of these
rather curious. Innocent III (1198-1206) revised them. In 1223 St.
Francis of Assisi ordained that the Franciscans should henceforth adopt
the Roman Office; for hitherto they had simply followed the Office of
whatever province they had chanced to find themselves in. This was a
means of establishing amongst the Friars Minor that liturgical unity
which had previously suffered a great deal. But the liturgy they
adopted both for Mass and Office was neither that of the Lateran nor of
Basilicas, but actually that of the Roman Curia, established at the
the twelfth century. This fact was big with consequences for the
The activity of the Franciscans at that time was prodigious; and in all
the countries through which they passed as missionaries they
this use of the Missal and Breviary which they themselves followed;
they slightly modified it, especially in the case of the Franciscan
In 1277 Nicolas III ordered it to be used by the Roman Basilicas;
IX, from the year 1240, had thought of imposing it on the Universal
but that important duty devolved on St. Pius V (1566-1572). In the
century the Council of Trent, having declared that the liturgical books
required revision, confided the task to the Pope, who undertook a work
at once difficult and complicated. In 1568 the correction of the
was completed; in 1570, that of the Missal. Every church which could
prove a local use of at least two hundred years was obliged to adopt
Breviary and the Roman Missal.
But long before this date, since the thirteenth, and even the eleventh
century, the Religious Orders, both new and old, had adopted a liturgy
directly derived from the Roman, especially for Mass.
This point deserves an explanation. We speak sometimes of the Dominican
or Franciscan liturgy, or again, that of Lyon, or of the Carmelites, as
well as of the English "Uses" of Sarum, Hereford, York, etc. But these
are rather misleading, for such liturgies are not autonomous, with
clearly defined characteristics, like those described in Chapters
III-VIII. Not only are they all derived from the Roman liturgy, but
some of them are purely and simply that liturgy just as it existed from
the eleventh-thirteenth centuries before it underwent certain reforms
the changes imposed upon it subsequently. The Orders and churches in
question did not accept these changes, so that the student to-day finds
in presence of a liturgy which is that of Rome between the eleventh and
thirteenth centuries, with a few insignificant exceptions. And as we
are about to see this is specially the case with regard to the Mass.
THE RITE OF LYON.--It is unnecessary to say that we reject the
hypothesis according to which this rite was brought from Asia by St.
St. Irenaeus. In studying the origins of the Gallican liturgy we have
stated that this "Johannic" thesis has no solid foundation. Nor can it
be said that this is the old Gallican liturgy, better preserved in this
in others. Like all the other Gallican churches, Lyon was obligedto
accept the reforms of Pepin and Charlemagne, and to adopt the Roman
with the addition of certain ancient local uses. But to-day it is
generally agreed that the part played by Gallican influence in the rite
may be increasingly reduced, as indeed is the case with all the other
Franco-Gallican rites from the tenth century onwards.
History tells us that towards 789 Charlemagne caused Leidrade, one of
his "Missi Dominici," to be elected Archbishop of Lyon; and that he
him to reorganize public worship on the lines of the customs of the
Palatine chapel at Aix-la-Chapelle. The cause of the difference which
exists, on a few points, between the rite of Lyon and those of some
churches, is that the ecclesiastics of Lyon jealously preserved the
liturgy given them by Leidrade, without accepting the changes and
reforms adopted in
the course of the centuries by the Roman Curia. It was not till the
eighteenth century that De Montazet, Archbishop of Lyon (1758-1788),
unfortunately replaced the venerable liturgy of his church by a
neo-Gallican one. Therefore in the nineteenth century Lyon, like all
the other churches
which had adopted these liturgies, had to come back to that of Rome,
she succeeded in saving some of her ancient usages. Thus she has more
numerous Proses: to the fifteen Prefaces of the Roman Mass Lyon adds
eight. The prayers at the beginning of Mass, the "Suscipe Sancta
some others, present a slightly different text; the "Libera nos" after
the "Pater" is sung at High Mass, as on Good Friday, while after this
prayer a blessing is given, as in the old Gallican rite; the beautiful
the Fraction "Venite, populi" has been preserved; Pontifical Mass is
celebrated with especial solemnity, etc.
THE CARTHUSIANS.--It is a rather curious fact in liturgical history
that the Carthusians have preserved the ancient rite more faithfully
the Lyonnais themselves. The liturgical revolution mentioned as having
taken place in the eighteenth century was not felt by the Carthusians.
This Order, founded in 1084 by St. Bruno, in the mountains of the
Chartreuse, had taken the liturgical uses of Grenoble, Vienne, but
of Lyon. Its founder, who at first had followed the Rule of St.
kept some of its practices. These different usages were codified at
various periods in the Constitutions which have been preserved, and of
the most complete are the "Statuta Antiqua." The prayer "Pone, Domine,
custodiam ori meo," and another, "De latere Domini," recited at Mass,
are derived from the rite of Lyon. On certain Feasts three Lessons at
Pre-Mass have been retained. The wine is poured into the chalice at the
beginning of Mass, as in the Dominican rite. The oblations of bread and
wine (after they have been offered) are covered with the Corporal, as
was the custom before the use of the "Palla" had been introduced.
Jesu Christe" is the only one of the three prayers said before the
Communion; those present in choir remain standing during both
Consecration and Communion; the Mass terminates with "Ite, Missa est."
fourteenth century the Mass of the Dead had a different text from the
Some Benedictine uses have been preserved in the Breviary; while others
to have been derived from the rite of Lyon. For a long time the
Carthusian calendar remained the same as the old Roman one; it was only
very long period that Feasts instituted after the thirteenth century
were admitted, and then not without difficulty. In the sixteenth
some reforms were brought about, either as to the correction of the
ancient books, or as to bringing them into line with the new rules.
BENEDICTINE LITURGY--On the whole it may be said that the Benedictines
have always followed the Roman practice for the Mass. Instituted in the
first part of the sixth century, it appears probable that they first
the Gelasian Sacramentary, adopting the Gregorian in the next
this latter being the work of St. Gregory, who was himself a disciple
of St. Benedict.
But for the daily Office it is quite a different matter. St. Benedict,
while doubtless borrowing a certain number of customs from the Roman
Office then in use, organized the Psalter and the Day and Night Hours
according to a particular plan which has been followed by the
Benedictine Order throughout the centuries, till the present day.
still discussing what has been the respective influence of one use upon
another; but this question cannot be entered into here.
CISTERCIANS.--As is well known, the Cistercians are a reform of the
Benedictine Order. Their founder, St. Robert of Molesmes, wished to
return to the primitive observance of the Rule in 1098. To this end he
rejected all constitutions or additions made since the sixth century.
principle was the same for the liturgy: to bring back the Office as St.
had instituted it. This principle was a good one, but difficult in
application, for it was not exactly known in what the "cursus" of St.
time consisted. Therefore from the beginning there was a good deal of
uncertainty. Then scandal was caused by certain suppressions, and in
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries they came back to their first
as far as the Office was concerned.
As to the Mass, it has been said that the Benedictine Order followed
the use of Rome from the beginning. But the Cluniac monks had accepted
modifications made since the ninth century, and had introduced a very
great solemnity into both Mass and Office. The Cistercian reform
the suppression of all which seemed superfluous, and as concerned the
sacred vases and ornaments, in the return to the greatest simplicity.
was not till quite late, at the beginning of the eighteenth century,
the different liturgical colors were admitted. A certain number of
was also suppressed in the calendar. In the seventeenth century the
General Chapters ordered a general revision of the liturgical books,
and more ancient rites were abandoned.
CARMELITES.--This rite presents a special case. It is that of the
church of the Holy Sepulcher at Jerusalem, which was imposed on the
about 1210 by St. Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and which they kept
long time. It is nothing but a Gallicano-Roman use, brought to
the Crusaders. The Office gave a particular place to all which could
the Holy Land, such as the Mystery of the Resurrection, or devotion to
Our Lady, and had besides several other special customs. In the course
ages the Carmelite liturgy underwent various modifications. The Ordinal
of Master Sibert de Beka (d. 1332), which has been most carefully
published, preserves all the ancient uses conformably to the rite of
the Holy Sepulcher. It is in this document that the Carmelite liturgy
should be studied.
DOMINICANS.--This Order had no special liturgy at its beginning, but
adopted that of the provinces through which the Friars first spread. To
prevent the inconvenience of this variety the Order sought, from the
year 1245, to establish liturgical unity. To this end efforts were made
1244, 1246, and 1251. Finally Humbert de Romans, the Master-General
(1254-1263), was charged with this revision. He accomplished an
enormous work; and
in fourteen volumes published the Lectionary, Antiphonary, Psalter,
of Collects, Martyrology, Processional, Gradual, a Missal for the high
altar and one for the other altars in the church, a Breviary for the
and a portable Breviary, a book of the Epistles and another of the
When in 1568 and 1570 St. Pius V imposed the corrected Missal and
on the whole Church, the Dominicans were allowed to retain their own
use, which dated back more than 200 years.
This liturgy is not, as has been thought, a Gallican, and more
specifically, a Parisian liturgy. It is simply Roman, dating from the
thirteenth century, and has not evolved as the actual Roman liturgy has
done; thus retaining all the ancient customs elsewhere fallen into
disuse. Thus a thesis which at first sight appears paradoxical has been
advanced, to the effect that the Dominican liturgy is more Roman than
Rome herself. This, however, is the case with the greater number of
rites, which did not accept the transformations of the Roman liturgy.
FRANCISCANS.--It has been already explained how the Franciscans adopted
the liturgy which was that of the Roman Curia at the opening of the
thirteenth century. To this they added certain special uses, beginning
Feasts of the Saints of their Order: St. Francis first; then St. Clare;
St. Anthony of Padua; St. Louis, King of France; the Stigmata of St.
Francis; St. Elizabeth of Hungary; St. Paschal Baylon; St. Bonaventure.
the Feasts of Our Lord and of Our Lady owe, if not their actual
institution, at least their speedy popularity to the Franciscans. Such
are the Holy
Name of Jesus, the Immaculate Conception, the Visitation, and the
Presentation. Each Religious Order, each diocese has its own Feasts,
its own Patrons, which they celebrate with great solemnity; they are
the "Proper," as it
is called, of the diocese or Order.
What should be particularly noted about the Franciscans is that, having
adopted the liturgy of the Roman Curia, they made a "second edition of
it," as Mgr. Batiffol remarks; and this was almost the same as that
upon the whole Church for Breviary and Missal by St. Pius V.
PRAEMONSTRATENSIANS.--The Order of St. Norbert, being an Order of
Canons, was bound to give special attention to the liturgy. Its Founder
adopted that of Rome, just as it was practiced in France at the
the twelfth century, at Premontre, in the diocese of Laon. Until the
eighteenth century they kept it piously; and their books are mentioned
one of the purest sources of the Roman liturgy of the twelfth century.
to this antiquity they too benefited by the exception made by St. Pius
in 1570 in favor of ancient customs. Unfortunately, in the eighteenth
century the French Praemonstratensians succumbed to the general
temptation, and modified their books in the neo-Gallican sense. In
other countries, however, the ancient books were preserved.
THE ROMAN LITURGY IN ENGLAND.--Celtic rites had dominated in England
until the arrival of St. Augustine of Canterbury (596). But with the
monks the Roman liturgy was established without difficulty wherever
Christianity was firmly settled in the land; and the Anglo-Saxons
followed it faithfully. Their Bishops and Abbots made frequent journeys
either to procure the necessary singing-books and those of liturgical
interest, or to study the rites more closely. The Norman Conquest of
1066 changed nothing in this regard, for, like all the other French
Normandy had long been conquered by the Roman liturgy. Thus the various
called the Use of Sarum (Salisbury), York, Bangor, Hereford, and other
places, are, like those of the different Orders we have just been
only the Roman liturgy previous to the fourteenth century, with a few
local customs added to it.
"Liturgia, Encyclopedie populaire des connaissances liturgiques"
(paris, 1930),contains a chapter on the different Western liturgies and
those of the Carthusians, Carmelites, and other Religious Orders.
DACL, cf. the articles "Carmes," "Chartreux," "Cisterciens," and also
"Bretagne (Grande)," "La liturgie de la."
ARCH, A.King, "Notes on the Catholic liturgy" (London, 1930), on the
Roman and various Eastern and Western rites.
Our articles "Missel" and "Missel romain" in DACL.
THE MASS, FROM THE SIXTEENTH TO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY: WHAT IT IS
There is no lack of witnesses for this period. Here, as elsewhere, the
invention of printing brought about a revolution. Not that the second
state of things destroyed the first, but it must be remembered that up
then the Missal and all other liturgical books had been copied by hand.
Each copy was private property; and thus very often underwent some
modification in the course of time. However, these liturgical MSS. were
the models copied by the first printers, who drew inspiration from the
of the copyists and religiously respected their text, especially during
that first period from the middle of the fifteenth up to the sixteenth
century. The original printed books are imitations of these MSS.; their
very characters singularly resemble that Gothic writing then generally
The earliest printed copies, up to 1600, are "incunabula;" and the most
precious amongst these precious books are the liturgical volumes,
Psalters, Missals, Breviaries, etc.
But these first printed books usually reproduced the text of the MS.
exactly as it was written; no attempt being made to correct it. The
multiplication of copies of the Missal, for example, brought out very
clearly the differences and variations of its text according to the
province in which it was used. This point was noted at the Council of
Trent, and it was resolved to reduce all these texts to one. The
Fathers began with the Breviary and the Missal; and to Pius IV was
confided the task of correction and unification. But this great work
finished until the days of St. Pius V, who in the Bull "Quo primum" of
29th July 1570 announced a Missal with an invariable text. Clement VIII
and Urban VIII caused new editions to be made; but the only changes
addition of some new Feasts and the modification of a few rubrics.
This Missal of 1570 itself reproduced without much alteration one more
ancient, the first precious original Missal of 1474. This in its turn
conforms to a great extent with an MS. text of about 1200, which was
perhaps written or inspired by Innocent III himself. The text,
"Incipit ordo Missalis secundum consuetudinem Romane Curie," is itself
revelation. The title of the existing Missal is, simply, "Missale
Romanum." That of
the "Curia Romana" was the book used by the Court of Rome from the
twelfth-fourteenth centuries; it differed on several points from the
Missal used in the Roman churches, notably at St. Peter's and the
Lateran. The same may be said of the Breviary used by the Curia, also
different from that of the Roman churches. The Missal and Breviary of
Curia were adopted by certain Religious Orders, especially the
as was stated in a previous chapter; and these Friars were the chief
factor in their diffusion throughout Christendom.
We may therefore consider the text of the Roman Missal, especially as
regards the Ordinary of the Mass, as fixed from the end of the
sixteenth century: if a precise date and official example be asked, by
of St. Pius V in 1570. Thus it seems opportune at this point to give a
chronological table of the Mass in which can be seen, at least in some
degree, the different states in which it existed from the
fifth-twentieth centuries, distinguishing the different epochs as far
Station (7th cent.
Prayer of prepara-
5th-6th, Dom Morin
Ps. xlii. or others.
Greeting of the
Pax vobis, or Dom-
Kissing of altar.
Kyrie Eleison and
Tropes of "Kyrie"
(1Oth, 11th cent.).
"Gloria in excelsis
Pax vobis, Oremus
Many collects from
Collect. (One only.)
11th cent. onwards.
orial Psalm, 5th
Alleluia (5th cent).
Sancte (11th cent.).
Proses: Dies irae
Proses: "Lauda Sion
Only inserted in
"Munda Cor meum"
cent.) (in Gaul).
dicta," after 1570
(in MSS. of 12th and
of Book (cent.)
dismissal of cate-
Kiss of Peace?
bread and wine).
Water mixed with
Kissing of altar
Censing of obla-
tions (11th cent.).
Lavabo (11th cent.).
of Roman origin.
"Trinitas" (9th cent.).*
"Orate pro me
venit (? 5th cent.).
"Te igitur." Memen-
to of Living. "Com-
municantes.2 (5th-6th cent.)
"Hanc igitur obla-
tionem." (5th-6th cent.)
tionem." (5th-6th cent.)
Additions by St.
Leo and St. Gregory.
Elevation of the
"Unde et memores."*
Memento of the
later than preced-
ing prayers, at
least, in this place.
"Per quem haec
of the Cross
at this moment
Fraction (5th, 6th
Prologue of "Pater"
Embolism of "Pater".
tion. Kiss of Peace.
"Agnus Dei (687-
Reduced to three
thems (6th, 7th cent.).
"Domine non sum
Collect, or "Ad com
plendum, or Com-
(Quod ore). Leon-
wine and water
For the Commun-
sum ion of
both kinds till the
13th century and
Prayer, "Super po-
pulum" (?6th, 7th
Kissing of the
Prayers at end
Mass. (Leo XIII).
The foregoing table presents a synchronism of the Roman Mass as it was
about the fifth-ninth centuries, with the additions received until the
twentieth century. We shall now show the existing Mass with its
divisions; a table which will make it easy to understand the whole, as
well as the dependence of the different parts.
PRE-MASS, OR MASS OF THE CATECHUMENS
A. Introduction, or Prelude.
Preparation in the sacristy.
Prayers at the foot of the altar, sign of the Cross, Psalm xlii.
"Confiteor," versicles, and prayers at the altar. (Censing of altar at
B. Chants, Prayers, Lessons.
Introit, "Kyrie," "Gloria in excelsis."
Reading of the Epistle.
Gradual. "Alleluia" (Tract or Prose).
MASS OF THE FAITHFUL OR EUCHARISTIC SACRIFICE
C. Offertory and Offertory Prayers.
Offertory chant. Secret. Preface.
Prayers of the Canon, Consecration, Prayers of Canon continued, and
"Pater," Fraction, Immixtion.
Communion Prayers, "Agnus Dei," singing of Communion, Post-communion.
F. Close of Mass.
Prayers after the Mass.
Thanksgiving in sacristy.
Lastly, as the fitting conclusion of this exposition, we shall give a
few explanations as to some of the more recent portions of the Mass
the sixteenth-twentieth centuries, the other necessary explanations
found in the various chapters of this book.
PREPARATION FOR MASS
Except in the case of Pontifical Masses, when the Prelate recites these
prayers on his throne, reading them from a special liturgical book, the
Canon of Bishops and Prelates, the "Preparatio ad Missam" takes place
to-day in the sacristy. St. Pius V gave a place to these prayers in his
Missal, and the words which follow the title, "Pro opportunitate
sacerdotis facienda," indicate that they are not of obligation, but are
left to private devotion. This preparation is fairly ancient; it is
found, with variations, in MS. Missals from the eleventh century
devotions chosen by St. Pius V consist of Psalms lxxxiii., lxxxiv.,
and cxxix., followed by the "Kyrie," "Pater," some versicles, and seven
prayers. This form of prayer conforms to the use of the ancient Roman
or monastic psalmody. It is almost the same as that primitively adopted
for the Little Hours. A long prayer follows, divided according to the
of the week; and then two others, one of which is attributed to St.
Thomas. The prayer "Summe sacerdos" held an important place in the
history of private devotion in the Middle Ages; it was called the
"Prayer of St. Ambrose," but has been claimed as the work of Jean de
Fecamp (twelfth century).1
PREPARATION OF THE CHALICE.--For Low Masses it is usually the Priest
himself who prepares in the sacristy the chalice, Corporal, paten,
Host, and the veil of the chalice; and who carries them to the altar at
the beginning of Mass. At Solemn and Pontifical High Mass it is the
who spreads the Corporal on the altar, and places the chalice and Host
it, as we have seen was the custom in the seventh century (cf. p. 60).
In the Eastern and Gallican rites this preparation is made at the altar
or credence at the beginning of Mass. It is also the custom of the
Dominicans and other Orders.
ORDINARY OF THE MASS
The "Ordo Missae" is to-day united to the Prefaces and Canon: the
whole, for the convenience of the Priest, being placed towards the
the Missal between Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday instead of at the
beginning. This "Ordinary of the Mass" is, taken as a whole, the same
as that of
the seventh century, as it has been described in Chapter IV, with the
exceptions of the additions which have been pointed out as made between
the ninth-twentieth centuries.
PRAYERS AT THE FOOT OF THE ALTAR.--Psalm xlii., "Confiteor," versicles,
"Aufer a nobis," "Oramus te," and censing(cf. p. 172).
CHANTS, PRAYERS, AND LESSONS:
Introit (cf. Chap. IV).
"Kyrie" (Chap. IV).
"Gloria in excelsis" (Chap. IV).
Collect (Chap. IV).
Lessons (Epistle and other Lessons) (Chap. IV).
Gradual (Chap. IV).
"Alleluia" (Chap. IV).
Tract (Chap. IV)
Proses (Chap. IX).
Gospel (Chap. IV).
Credo (Chap. VI).
OFFERTORY (Chap. IV)
PREFACE (Chap. IV). All the Prefaces and special "Communicantes" are
at this place in the Ordinary of the Mass.
CANON OF THE MASS:
"Te igitur" (Chap. IV).
Memento (Chap. IV)
"Communicantes" and other prayers (Chap. IV).
Consecration (Chap. IV).
"Anamnesis" and other prayers (Chap. IV).
Memento of the Dead (Chap. IV).
"Nobis quoque" up to doxology (Chap. IV).
"Pater" (Chap. IV).
Fraction, Commixtion (Chap. IV).
"Agnus Dei" and Kiss of Peace (Chap. IV).
Communion of the Priest and the faithful (Chap. IV).
CLOSE OF MASS.--Dismissal. "Placeat tibi." Blessing. Last Gospel.
Prayers after Mass.
When withdrawing, the Priest repeats the canticle "Benedicite."
THANKSGIVING IN THE SACRISTY
The Thanksgiving which in the Missal follows the Preparation is also
said in the sacristy. Like the latter it is contained in the "Canon of
the Prelate," and at Pontifical Masses is said at the throne. It is
composed of the canticle "Benedicite," of Psalm cl., and of three
prayers. There follow, at choice, a prayer of St. Thomas, another of
and the "Adoro Te." (As to this last, cf. Dumoutet, "Revue Apolog.,"
p. 121 seq.)
NOTE ON THE NEO-GALLICAN LITURGIES
The Gallican liturgy spoken of in Chapter II, which was as orthodox as
the Mozarabic liturgy, must not be confused with the neo-Gallican
which are on the contrary a "liturgical deviation." It has been said
how the Roman had taken the place of the Gallican liturgy in the times
and Charlemagne. Ancient Gallican customs, however, remained, and the
Roman books, Missal, Breviary, Pontifical, and Ritual underwent a
number of modifications in Gaul from the ninth-fifteenth centuries. But
in substance the Roman liturgy was preserved, and Rome, far from
protesting against these new uses, accepted a great many of them, as we
have also seen.
In the sixteenth century the Council of Trent, greatly concerned to
note the liturgical differences, and even errors, which had slipped
certain Missals and Breviaries, entrusted to the Popes the care of a
general revision of these books. The names of St. Pius V Gregory XIII,
Clement VIII, Paul V, and Urban VIII are attached to this reform. The
"Quod a nobis" (1568) imposed the corrected Breviary on all churches
could not claim a use of at least two hundred years; the Bull "Quo
(1570) imposed the Missal on the whole Church under the same
other liturgical books, Ritual, Pontifical, Ceremonial, Martyrology,
also corrected during the following years. France gladly accepted these
directions, and took part in the reawakening of liturgical studies. It
was only later, in the last third of the seventeenth century that the
movement, justly called "the liturgical deviation," began to take shape.
Certain Bishops, inspired by their Jansenist or Gallican sentiments,
desired to reform the Missal, Breviary, and other liturgical books
contrary to the law obtaining at that time. The Ritual of Alet, the
Breviary of Vienne the Missal and Breviary of Paris and of other
remade, and, unfortunately, in more than one case, Jansenist or
Gallican errors slipped into these books. Another disadvantage was the
introduction of notable differences in the liturgy in different
dioceses, and at the
time of the French Revolution the confusion was at its worst. It was
Dom Gueranger, Abbot of Solesmes, who in 1830 began the war against
these liturgies, and who showed that, without speaking of the errors
they contained, they were all illegitimate from birth. This struggle
crowned with success, and little by little the different dioceses came
the Roman liturgy The Bull "Inter multiplices," published in 1853 by
IX, may be considered as the last act in this history.
1 This famous "editio princeps" has been recently reprinted by the
Henry Bradshaw Society (London, 1899-1907).
2. On the silence of the Canon and the signs of the Cross, cf.
Excursus, Chap. XII.
2. "Communicantes" under Symmachus, "Memento" in 416.
3. Changes introduced by St. Gregory, cf. Chap. IV.
4. All these prayers are of Gallican origin and present variations.
5. Dom A. Wilmart, "L'Oratio S. Ambrosii du Missel romain, R. bened.,"
XXXIX, 1927, P. 317 seq. See also DACL, "Apologies."
On the original (first edition) Missals, BOHATTA-WEALE, "Bibliographica
liturgica. Catalogus missalium ritus latini ab A. 1474 impressorum,
Londini" (Quaritch, 1928). Cf. also "Books of the Latin Liturgy," in
which (p. 151) we give a notice of other works on the ancient Missals.
also p. 156, and the works of DELISLE, EBNER, LEROQUAIS, and others
mentioned in Chap. XII.
On the Neo-Gallican liturgies, besides the great work of Dom Gueranger,
"Les institutions liturgiques," ed. I, Vol. II, cf. "Liturgia," p. 872,
where other works on this subject are mentioned. The Abbe Bremond takes
up this question in his volume "Prieres de l'ancien regime," and, with
his well-known talent, gives it new life. What must be regretted is
the reform was effected with so little intelligence in too many
of the Proses and ancient rites might have been allowed to survive,
even by the desire of Rome. But for lack of competence, all the old
rites and prayers were swept away, even those which could claim an
many centuries. Thanks to the use of Propers granted to the dioceses a
of this destruction may perhaps be repaired.
I. THE DIFFERENT NAMES OF THE MASS AND THE WORD "Missa" IN
PARTICULAR.--II. THE CHANTS OF THE MASS: Parts sung by the Cantors,
schola, or people;
parts sung or recited aloud by the Priest, and those recited in a low
The Gregorian chant.--III. ATTITUDE OF THE FAITHFUL AND LITURGICAL
GESTURES DURING MASS.--IV. THE BOOKS OF THE MASS.--V DIFFERENT SORTS OF
I. THE DIFFERENT NAMES OF THE MASS AND THE WORD "Missa" IN PARTICULAR
THE word "Missa" has given rise to numerous dissertations mentioned in
the Bibliography, and to long philological discussions. The reason for
is that the term was evolved before it was used to design the Mass. It
would seem that the following are the chief stages through which it has
passed. One of the clearest texts is that of St. Avitus, Bishop of
Gondebaud asks him the meaning of the word "Missa," he replies that
"Missam facere" means "dimittere," or dismiss, and that the expression
by Romans in audiences at the palace and in sessions of the tribunal to
denote that the sitting was over. The phrase was even used by them
denote the end of their sacrifices and religious offices.
The custom of giving a signal to show that an Office is ended is
natural enough, and indeed necessary in a numerous assembly. The
Christians no doubt accepted it, and Tertullian already speaks of a
"Dismissio plebis." St. Ambrose also uses the term "Missa" in this
sense (Eph. xx. 4); and
I know not why it should be contested, for it appears quite clear (cf.
Lejay, article mentioned in Bibliography). St. Augustine uses the word
in the sense of "Missio," "Dismissio" (dismissal), at the close of the
Office. From this Mgr. Batiffol justly concludes that the "Ite, Missa
which has the same meaning, dates from the same period. The same sense
given to the expression in the "Peregrinatio Etheriae," in the Rule of
Aurelian, in Cassian, in St. Benedict. It is the end, not only of the
Mass but of every Office. For already in the latter writers, especially
the word has taken on this extended meaning and designs every Office,
"Missa Canonica," a canonical Office, and "Secunda Missa," the evening
In the sixth century we have texts in which "Missa" means Mass. Thus in
Antoninus of Placentia, about 575 --"Missas faciebant"--they said Mass.
The same meaning is given in contemporary authors of that age, Gregory
of Tours, St. Gregory the Great, and Caesarius of Arles.
But why "Missa" instead of "Missio"? It is not a past participle of
"mittere," for it cannot be explained in that sense. "Missa" has been
made out of "Missio," just as "Collecta" has been made out of
there are many examples of this practice, especially in the liturgy.
is thus simply a popular expression which, taking the part for the
has ended by designating the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Some authors,
this etymology rather below the dignity of this function, have sought a
higher origin and meaning in a Hebrew word which signifies Mission or
It is the message of earth to Heaven; of man to God. This is the
which Amalarius gives it in the ninth century. But we are not in the
realm of philology here.
In the terminology of the Gallican and Mozarabic liturgies in the
seventh century, "Missa" also means a prayer. The "Praefatio Missae" is
prelude of a prayer. The second Council of Milevia had already said:
vel orationes Missae." "Missa secreta"=words of Consecration.
For those whom this meaning of "Missa" does not satisfy there is no
lack of synonyms with a much loftier signification.
"Eucharistia" or "Eulogia."--These two terms, the first of which means
thanksgiving, the second, blessing, were once of equal value, and were
used indifferently to design the Eucharist. Thus, in the synoptic
Jesus "blessed the bread" and gave thanks." This, of all blessings the
most efficacious, was doubtless made by the laying on of hands, or, if
like to follow certain other interpreters, by a sign of the Cross,
which prophetically signified the Bloody Sacrifice of the following
is one of the essential elements of the Consecration: the Priest at
Mass blesses and consecrates the bread and wine by a sign of the Cross.
But the term "Eulogy," blessing, early fell into disuse, and merely
meant the bread or other objects blessed at Mass at the same time as
bread and wine. The other term, "Eucharist," has lived longer. In the
the "Gratias agens," giving thanks, is heavy with meaning. Every time
He blessed bread (as in the multiplication of the loaves) Our Lord gave
thanks. The prayer over the bread before taking a meal is a traditional
Jewish custom. This people had felt the necessity of thanking God for
His benefits more strongly than any other ancient race. In the books of
Old Testament, especially in the Psalms, this duty of gratitude to God
is expressed. The first duty of the creature is to thank God who has
to the earth wheat and the vine, fruits, and all things which
to the nourishment of mankind. But the blessing of blessings henceforth
the very bread and wine which Jesus Christ has transformed by His
into His Body and Blood. The most ancient "anaphora," especially that
of the "Apostolic Constitutions," reminds us that the Eucharist is the
great Sacrifice, and the most efficacious means in man's possession to
"render thanks to God."
The "Supper" ("Coena," repast, supper), and more especially the Last
Supper, is a term which we need hardly explain. It was at this Last
Supper, taken with His Apostles on the evening of Holy Thursday, that
Our Lord instituted the Eucharist (cf. Chap. I). But since
sixteenth century, as Protestants have used the words "Last Supper" in
a narrow sense, excluding all relation with the Sacrifice of the Cross,
almost dropped out of Catholic language. However, the Church has
lively remembrance of the Last Supper, and during Holy Week, Holy
the anniversary of this great event, is marked in the liturgical year
by exceptional solemnity. The prayers of the Canon, "Communicantes,"
"Hanc igitur," recall the "Diem sacratissimum quo Dominus noster Jesus
Christus pro nobis est traditus," the "Diem in qua Dominus noster Jesus
Christus tradidit discipulis suis Corporis et Sanguinis sui mysteria
celebranda." The "Qui pridie" itself contains this curious variant:
"Qui pridie quam
pro nostra omniumque salute pateretur, hoc est hodie, accepit panem,"
The Priest consecrates two Hosts, one of which is reserved for the next
day's Mass; this is carried processionally into a chapel, where It is
for the adoration of the faithful during the day and all that night,
and on Good Friday, the day following, is brought back to the high
the same ceremonies, and is consumed at the Mass of the Presanctified.
is the only day in the whole year on which this Mass is celebrated in
the Latin Church.
The term "Sacrifice," "Holy Sacrifice," is also used; the Mass being
for Christians the only Sacrifice, as we have explained (Chap. IV). It
that which has replaced all others; where Jesus Christ, Priest and
Victim, renews the Sacrifice of the Cross, and offers Himself to God
for the salvation of all.
The Mass is also often called "The Sacrament," or "Sacraments,"
especially by the Fathers and in the liturgy, because it is at the same
Sacrifice and Sacrament, the chief of all, since it is the Sacrament of
and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, source of all Sacraments. We often
in prayers the words: "Sacramenta quae sumpsimus," or analogous
The Oblation, Offering ("Offerre"), is also a very ancient term used at
Rome, in Africa, and elsewhere, the Mass being the greatest of all
Offerings, the Sacrifice of sacrifices. The Church offers it by her
Pontiff; and we have seen with what insistence she urges the faithful
to unite their offering with that of the Priest.
The words "Fractio Panis" have been explained in another place (cf.
"Liturgy."--In the East this word is used specially to design the
service of the Mass. Primitively it had a much more extended sense; it
was a general public function, more especially a religious service. In
Christian language it designates all religious services, though in the
East it is confined to the Mass.
Other terms are less popular, yet they express some aspect of the
Eucharist. Mgr. Batiffol explains very well the meaning of the word
"Dominicum" ("convivium"), used in Africa, and even at Rome, in the
time of St. Cyprian. St. Paul had already spoken of the "dominica
coena," or "mensa Domini" (I Cor. xi. 20; X. 21). ("Kuriakon deipnon
kuriou") It is a table, reminding us of the Last Supper wherein Christ
instituted the Eucharist; it is a banquet in which all those present
upon to take part. This characteristic of the Eucharist has perhaps
become slightly effaced in the course of time but in ancient days it
living memory; and the frescoes in the catacombs recall it.
1. "Ep.i.;" "Ad Gond.," c. I.
2. "De anima," c. 9. The text of Pope Pius I (142-57) does not seem to
3. These texts will be found in Kellner and in the other authors cited.
4. Mansi, IV, 330. A good collection and explanation of these terms
found in Thibaut, "Liturgie Gallicane," PP. 49-51; "Liturgie Romaine,"
50, 51, 88, 99, 122 seq.
5. Cf. "Eucharistie, Eulogie," in DACL.
6. Fr. Thurston, S.J., justly remarks that the altar and tabernacle in
which this Host reposes is wrongly called sepulcher. There is a
confusion here, the sepulcher being really a tomb in which a third
Host was also laid on Holy Thursday. This was brought back in
procession on Easter Day to figure the Resurrection. This Mystery was
many churches in the Middle Ages.--Lent and Holy Week, p. 299 (London,
1904). 7. op cit., p. 171 seq.
0. ROTTMANNER, "Ueber neuere und altere Deutungen des Wortes Missa," in
"Theol. quartalsch." (Tubingen, 1889, PP. 531-557).
H. KELLNER, "L'Annee ecclesiastique" (tr. J. Bund), Paris 1910, PP.
111-121, "Digression sur le nom de Messe."
H. KELLNER, "Wo und wann wurde 'Missa' stehende Bezeichnung fur das
Messopfer," in "Theol. quartalsch.," 1901, LXXXIII, pp- 427-443.
P. LEJAY, "Revue d'histoire et de litterature relig.," Vol. II (1897)
P. 287, and VIII (1903), P. 512; and "Ambrosien" in DACL, col. 1400 seq.
FORTESCUE, "The Mass." An appendix on the names of the Mass.
Mgr. BATIFFOL, "Lecons sur la Messe," pp. 166 seq., 175, 183. DACL,
"Actio," "Eucharistie," "Eulogie."
THE CHANTS OF THE MASS
At the Synaxis, or primitive gathering, psalms and canticles were sung
(cf. Chap. I). The Christians inherited the custom of singing after
from the Jews. St. Paul himself alludes to these chants in many
his Epistles (Eph. v. 19; Col. iii. 16). The lessons themselves, as
the prayers, were also probably sung, or declaimed, in a melodic tone.
The actual practice is as follows: at the Pontifical or Solemn High
Mass certain parts are sung, or ought to be sung, by the people:
"Kyrie," "Gloria in Excelsis," "Credo;" while others are reserved to
cantors, or to the schola, and others again are said in a low voice.
must be studied more in detail so as to establish the necessary
1. Parts sung by the cantors, the "schola," or the people.
2. Parts sung or recited aloud by the Priest, and parts said in a low
voice. (The Secret of the Mysteries.)
3. The Gregorian chant.
I. PARTS SUNG BY THE CANTORS, THE "Schola," OR THE PEOPLE.--Another
distinction must be made between the chants belonging to this category.
The Introit, Offertory, and Communion have an almost identical origin;
are sung during a procession, or during movement to and from the altar;
they were instituted in the fourth and fifth centuries, and are
the same end and in the same way- they are Psalms with an anthem.
they have been abridged and reduced to almost a single verse. But their
origin must not be forgotten, and Mgr. Batiffol has very clearly shown
by the example of the Introit for the Epiphany that the choice of Psalm
can only be explained by the verses which are now omitted. The same
procedure may be applied to many of the verses of the Offertory and
The singing of these pieces must necessarily have had special
characteristics, and resemble the psalmodic style.
But this was generally rare, and it would seem that the music which was
wedded to the words dates from a period when these distinctions were
hardly known; it is not always easy to distinguish an Introit and an
Offertory from a Gradual and an Alleluia by the chant which belongs to
it. The Communions, however, especially those for Lent, often have a
purely syllabic melody, which betrays a more ancient origin. This
chant has been better preserved at Vespers and the other Offices. But
there is to-day hardly any difference between the different chants of
such was not the case formerly. Originally the anthem, or Psalm with
antiphon, was the Psalm sung by two choirs, each in its turn repeating
alternate verse until the end was reached. The "Responsory," or
Psalm," is sung by one or more cantors; the choir or the faithful
taking up one
of the verses as a refrain. Probably to simplify matters and to allow
even those who did not know the Psalm to take part in the singing, a
single verse was chosen as anthem, and this served for a refrain. This
case with certain anthems of the Roman Vespers, which must represent an
ancient custom. Certain Psalms, cxxxv. in particular, with its refrain
in aeternum misericordia ejus," point out that this practice originated
the most distant past.
The "Gradual" (cf. Chap. IV) is quite distinct from the chants with
antiphons of the Introit, Offertory, and Communion. It is a Responsory,
or Responsorial Psalm, and is thus sung by one or several cantors, the
people answering by a refrain which is one of the verses of the Psalm.
for Matins (Psalm xciv.) preserves one of the most perfect examples of
this practice, probably borrowed, like that of the Lessons, from the
services of the synagogues. In any case, it belongs to the same
category as the Responsories which follow the Lessons at Matins, and
which St. Benedict
at the end of the fifth century apparently borrowed from the Roman
The Gradual chant is ornate, often difficult, and we can understand why
was reserved to experienced cantors. It also has a special dignity; it
sung from the ambone, or from the steps of the sanctuary. At one time,
the days of St. Gregory, it was reserved for Deacons alone, like the
The "Alleluia" is a case apart. At least originally, it is in reality
neither anthem nor responsory. The existing custom of incorporating it
with the Gradual is not primitive. It is an acclamation, like "Amen,"
"Hosanna," "Deo Gratias," "Benedicamus Domino;" and Cardinal Pitra has
its history is a long poem. As such it was sung frequently, and in
various circumstances. This no doubt is the reason why its place in the
not always the same in the different liturgies. There were variations
at Rome (cf. Chap. IV). At present it follows the Gradual, and is
usually attached to a Psalm, of which a single verse has been
preserved. The "Alleluia" is followed by a "Jubilus," that is to say,
by a somewhat prolonged melody on the final "a."
When it is suppressed under circumstances already stated it is replaced
by the Tract, whose origin is not less obscure. Yet the words
"Tractus," "Tractim" were familiar to St. Benedict in the fifth
century, and used
to denote a Psalm sung without refrain or repetition but consecutively,
and as a whole (Fr., "trait"). It is indeed still executed in this
only difference being that it is sung by two choirs in alternate
that now it resembles the chant with antiphons. The Tract, in the
Gregorian Antiphonary, has preserved its psalmodic appearance better
other chants of the Mass.
The Proses do not go back to an earlier date than the tenth century.
Composed to complete the "Jubilus" of the "Alleluia," they multiplied
prodigiously in the Middle Ages, and hundreds may be counted in the
collections which have been made of them. While much in these poems is
mediocre, some of them are real masterpieces, like those which the
Church of Rome ended by adopting. They form a literature which it would
be a mistake to neglect, and the Proses of Hugo de Saint-Victor, to
one example, are finished models, complete with technical knowledge,
the loftiest theological teaching.
Even in the seventeenth century a few true humanists set to work to
compose hymns for the neo-Gallican breviaries; and the Abbe Bremond, in
tenth volume ("Du sentiment religieux") has made war on their
adversaries. Happily for us this subject is outside our present scope,
hymns in question were written for the Office and not for the Mass.
The "Kyrie," "Gloria in Excelsis," "Credo," "Sanctus," "Agnus Dei,"
"Dominus vobiscum," "Ite, Missa est," and "Benedicamus Domino" are not
taken from the Psalms, like the other chants of the Mass, and thus do
not form part of the psalmody, properly so called. They are sung in
various ways, and the rules to which they are submitted are much
broader. This explains the numerous melodies with which they have been
examples of which may be found in liturgical MSS. from the
ninth-fifteenth centuries. They have also often served as themes for
2. PARTS SUNG OR RECITED ALOUD BY THE PRIEST AND PARTS SAID IN A LOW
VOICE.--At present, and since the tenth century at least, the Priest
must recite all the prayers of the Mass, including (at High Mass) the
sung by the people or the ministers, Epistle, Gospel, Kyrie, Gloria in
Excelsis, etc. The rules for LOW Mass prescribe what has to be said
High Masses the Priest sings the prayers, Preface, and Pater; the
Gospel and Ite, Missa est are sung by the Deacon; the Epistle by the
while the Priest also intones the "Gloria in Excelsis" and "Credo." But
Canon is said in a low voice, even at High Mass, with the exceptions of
the Preface, the "Pater," and of "Nobis quoque" peccatoribus, which the
Pope always said aloud, as the signal for the prostrate sub-Deacons to
But why should the Canon be said in a low voice? It is a question which
seems to-day of secondary importance; and we can scarcely explain why
there was formerly so much discussion about it. But the Secret of the
Mysteries was the subject of a celebrated controversy in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and we can see, in the ninth
volume of the Abbe Bremond, with what skill and talent he fights
against those who with
Dom Gueranger, made a question of orthodoxy of this rubric.
It is clear that primitively, according to the description given in
Chapter I, the Eucharistic prayer properly so called (from the dialogue
of the Preface to the final doxology to which the faithful responded
Amen) was said in an audible voice, and very probably was declaimed on
melopoeia doubtless resembling that of the Preface or the Pater. That
at least is what the terms of this prayer would appear to indicate,
based as they
are on a lyric tone which seems to call for a chant. Ancient texts
which corroborate this hypothesis are not wanting. In any case there is
nothing mysterious in the words; nothing that calls for concealment.
of De Sacramentis quotes them in a work not specially addressed to the
initiated; another example is that of Melanie of Jerusalem, who was
able to hear every word of this prayer; and there are many others of
the same sort. But it is none the less true that this was otherwise
another period, and that the Secret of the Mysteries, of the
Mysteries, is not an empty word. Pope Innocent I (in 416) speaks of
this part of
the Mass as falling under the law of the Arcana, Arcana agenda,
which must not be written about. St. Augustine when he speaks of the
Eucharist uses great reticence in his language, and speaks of those
known to the initiated, the baptized. The discipline of the Arcana is
myth; it was observed for centuries, though not everywhere, nor always
On this point it is curious to observe the variations of Catholic
devotion in different periods and countries. Edmund Bishop has already
out the opposition between East and West; the latter erecting its altar
upon steps in the midst of the sanctuary, as if to expose it to the
all; the former, on the contrary, hiding it behind a screen
and concealing with a curtain the Priest who accomplishes the great
Mysteries. In any case, a law prescribes that the Canon, especially the
Institution, shall be said in a low voice.
"This mysticism is more Eastern than Roman," says Mgr. Batiffol (p.
21). And yet, at a given moment, doubtless under the influence of
Byzantium, Rome became inspired with the same ideas. The Popes hung
hid them from the view of the faithful around the altar. An "Ordo" (II)
prescribed the saying of the Canon in a low voice. We can but indicate
the question here, since it is only indirectly related to our subject;
moreover, we have treated of it elsewhere. We must not be too much
astonished at these fluctuations in Catholic piety. The "Mysterium
Fidei" may be envisaged under many different aspects. At one time
veneration, respect, and--let us say the word--a kind of fear surrounds
Sacrament, and prostrates the faithful before It in adoration. To-day
carried away by Its mercy and Its love. At one time the law of the
Eucharistic fast, so strict at present, scarcely existed; at another,
devotion constrained the Priest to celebrate Mass several times a day;
at yet another, on the contrary, exclusive of all Jansenist influence,
were those who deprived themselves of Holy Communion out of respect for
the great Mystery.
In that book of the Abbe Bremond already quoted the quarrels of
Gallicans, Jansenists, and Ultramontanes on this subject can be
thank God, men's minds are pacified. If the Church formerly made a law
regarding the "Secret of the Mysteries," she is no longer so severe,
and the compilers of the best authorized prayerbooks for the faithful
translate the whole of the Mass without the least uneasiness. Still,
remains that ancient rubric which prescribes that the Priest shall
Canon in a low voice, while he must sing, or say aloud, the Preface and
3. THE GREGORIAN CHANT.--We need not here study the question of the
chant, since this has been done in another volume. We shall only say
seems to be strictly necessary in order to understand the part played
by this chant in the Roman Mass.
The Gregorian chant, the origin of which is obscure, is revealed in
many MSS. from the ninth century onwards under the form of neumes, or
musical signs which it has been possible to decipher by comparing them
other MSS. of a later age, in which these signs are written in such a
to indicate their tonality. But even in the most ancient manuscript
which contains these neumes, that is, of the ninth century, it is
see that there is nothing new in this chant. It is indeed in the second
of its evolution. It has its rules, its laws, a well-established
program, and a learned technique. The attribution of this chant to St.
was attacked in the nineteenth century by those who believed it should
rather be traced to Gregory II (d. 731); but their arguments are more
specious than solid. It is true that the MSS. in which this system of
is found go back no farther than the ninth century, and that from
to the time of St. Gregory there is a gap of two hundred years--truly,
very long time. But these objections have been answered. The single
that the MSS. of the chant of the ninth and tenth centuries are
upon so many different points would alone be a strong argument that
this tradition comes from the same source: the tradition dating back to
the eighth century, which has never hesitated as to the Roman and
Gregorian origin of this chant. It might even be said that it was
this Pontiff, and that St. Gregory only did for the Antiphonary what he
for the Sacramentary which bears his name: he made rules and orders for
it, and, no doubt, simplified it. He reorganized a schola existing
his day, and gave it new life. Some have even thought that the
chant, so closely related to the Gregorian, often betrays this earlier
What must be noticed is the excellence of the Gregorian chant during
first period of its history, its golden age, from the sixth-ninth
The schola became a school of masters, among whom came those who wished
to study the true principles of the Gregorian chant: the disciples thus
formed spread later through other Latin countries. This explains why
annotated MSS. from the ninth-twelfth centuries present as a whole the
musical system in which variants are very rare. This has been most
rigorously proved in the collection "Paleographie Musicale" published
by the monks
of "Solesmes." Still more recently an Anglican Bishop, famous for
his liturgical prowess, recognizes that the Roman Church has supplanted
all other Latin liturgies by her Cantilena rather than by her
1. "Lecons sur la Messe," p. 115.
2. We have summed this up in our article, "Alleluia," in DACL.
3. Cf. "Jubilus" in DACL. On the Gradual and "Alleluia" cf. DACL J. de
Puniet, "La liturgie de la Messe," p. 126 seq.
4. Mgr. Batiffol, loc. cit., p. 206 seq.
5. We need scarcely recall Mgr. Batiffol's dissertation on the
"Arcane:" though he is careful to restrain its scope, he is yet obliged
its existence. We may add that another author, Pere le Brun of the
Oratory, whose scholarship none will deny, is not afraid to devote a
350 pages to pointing out the genuineness of this practice in his great
work on the Mass, "Du silence des prieres de la Messe" (Vol. IV).
6. Cf. the article "Amen" in DACL.
7. Cf. Aigrain, "Religious Music" (Sands, 3s. 6d.).
8. To furnish documents for this publication the Fathers of Solesmes
brought together a unique collection of photographs of annotated MSS.
of the ninth-fifteenth centuries, from Italy France, Germany, Spain,
9. W. H. Frere, "Studies in Early Roman Liturgy," I, The Kalendar
See "Religious Music" (Sands 3S. 6d.), by ABBE: R. AIGRAIN and
"Liturgia, The Gregorian Chant," by Dom. M. SABLAYROLLES, PP. 440-478.
In the bibliography of the last-named the works of WAGNER, GASTOUE, Dom
POTHIER, etc., are cited., Cf. also more recently: TH. GEROLD, "Les
Peres de l'Eglise et la musique" (1932).
III. THE ATTITUDE OF THE FAITHFUL AND THE LITURGICAL GESTURES DURING
To-day it is hardly necessary, in view of the very large number of
studies devoted to this question, to insist on the importance of
gestures or attitude in connection with the liturgy. We have, moreover,
separate study of it ourselves, elsewhere. As the Mass is the
function of the liturgy, it is not astonishing that most of the
gestures belong to it, nor that the Church has very carefully
their form and their number. Certain general rules for prayer were
already established in the time of St. Paul, who alludes to them many
his Epistles. For public prayer each must wait his own turn; must speak
intelligibly when he does speak. Women were not allowed to speak at all
(I Cor. xiv.).
We know from other witnesses, especially Tertullian, in texts often
quoted, that Christians prayed standing, their eyes raised to Heaven,
hands stretched out. No one knelt on Sunday, nor during the fifty days
between Easter and Pentecost. Frescoes in the catacombs represent
the posture described. One such shows a Priest standing before a
"triclinium," his hands outstretched in a gesture of blessing, while
beside him a
woman stands upright.
Certain rubrics in the ancient liturgical books remind us of these old
customs, for some are still preserved in the existing Missal. Thus, the
Deacon at certain moments commands the faithful to kneel down, to bow
the head, to rise; he dismisses them at the end of Mass--"Flectamus
genua," "Levate," "Humiliate capita vestra Deo," "Ite, Missa est." In
and Eastern liturgies these rubrics are much more numerous. Some of
these gestures, as has been stated, are marked in the ancient
but as the gestures at Mass, especially those of the officiant, are
both numerous and detailed, they would have overloaded these books.
Moreover, at that epoch (fourth and ninth centuries) the tendency was
to multiply liturgical books, so as to have one for each function: book
Priest, or Sacramentary; book of Epistles for the subdeacon; of the
the Deacon; book for the cantors, etc. One such book was devoted to
explaining processions: the order to follow, the places to be taken and
the other movements during Mass. These are the "Ordines," and
the "Ordines Romani," which are of the highest value in liturgical
(cf. "Books of the Latin Liturgy," p. 81). These "Ordines Romani," or
Roman Orders, specially describe the Papal Mass; but as we have already
said, this Mass was the same as that of a Bishop, or a simple Priest,
for the number of ministers who assisted at it, and for the solemnity
the ceremonies. Only in Low Mass has the number of the latter been
suppressed; and several of those ceremonies still preserved can only be
by reference to Pontifical High Mass.
This fact being laid down, we can divide our subject, which has never
been studied very methodically so far, into a few paragraphs in which
shall try to throw light on the existing rubrics by the ancient customs.
1. Attitude of the faithful during Mass.
2. Processions, Stations, and general ceremonies.
3. Gestures of the officiant and his ministers during Mass.
1. Attitude of the faithful during Mass.--In certain frescoes in the
catacombs, which seem to be a representation of the Eucharist, we see
guests seated around a table as if for a feast. At the Last Supper,
when the Eucharist was instituted, Our Lord and His Apostles were,
to the best exegetists, seated, or half lying on couches, according to
the general custom. At the "Agape" described by St. Paul, the faithful
were either seated or lying down.
But this position was hardly practicable during the celebration of the
Eucharist as soon as the number of the faithful was greatly increased;
moreover, the respect due to this function would have been quite enough
to impose another attitude. To pray standing was the most usual thing
the Jews, and even with pagans. This position indicated not only
and deference for the person to whom the prayer was addressed, but it
also, in prayer, an attitude of adoration.
The faithful thus heard Mass standing; the practice of kneeling being
reserved, from the second and third centuries, for days of vigil, for
times of penitence, or for certain specially solemn moments, as during
Prayer of the Faithful at the Offertory. A sentence spoken by the
still preserved in our Missal, warned the faithful: "Flectamus genua;"
while after some moments of recollection he said: "Levate." The
then pronounced the prayer--"Oremus"--being, as he was, charged in a
certain sense to sum up and present to God all the intentions of the
was also a rule at this time that on Sundays and during the joyous
days rom Easter to Pentecost, there should be no kneeling. We are yet
reminded of this custom by the fact that during the Ember Days of
on its vigil, the "Flectamus genua," heard during the penitential
It was not customary to sit during the Mass. The Bishop alone was
seated, on his throne, which was not an ordinary seat, but rather a
his functions. The seat of that Bishop of the beginning of the third
century at Rome, to which we owe the celebrated "anaphora" already
mentioned, is a monument of the highest importance, on which have been
titles of his various works. Antiquity has preserved the remembrance of
other Chairs of this distant period, such as that of St. Peter at Rome,
the "Cathedra Petri," which has always been celebrated.
I think, however, that those texts of Tertullian and others in which
Christians are represented standing with outstretched arms during their
prayer have been interpreted too rigorously. Such a prayer would mean
that the word was used in its deepest sense, for the prayers, and
for the whole of the Mass of the Faithful. But they must have sat down
the Lessons of the Pre-Mass, which were often long. Certain texts of
St. Augustine refer to this subject; he says he will not fatigue the
people with a long discourse, as they are all standing. In some places
it was allowed to take a staff into the church, to be used for leaning
as elsewhere, customs must have varied. In certain texts, indeed,
"sedilia" are spoken of, that the people might be seated. St. Benedict,
not given to relaxation, admits monks to be seated during the Lessons,
this was a common practice.
The custom of prostration at the moment of the Elevation dates from the
eleventh century. Before this time it was usual to stand upright; and
this too was the customary attitude for receiving the Eucharist in the
hands, or for drinking the Precious Blood. From this Protestants have
argue against faith in the Real Presence, but their objection is really
too easily answered; and it is almost matter for astonishment that one
writer has thought it necessary to devote a learned work to this
Another custom, much discussed, and on which much has been written, is
that of praying turned towards the East. Christ is the Sun of Justice,
His light illumines the West, the region of darkness. The latter is
the domain of the devil; and it is to the West that men turn to curse
him. Hence also the custom of "orientation:" that is, to build churches
such a way that the Priest while praying looks towards the East. But
this practice often involved such difficulties that it was not always
possible to be faithful to it. It was, however, generally applied in
the construction of churches in the Middle Ages, from the fifth century
onwards. Hence there were certain changes in the ceremonial. The Priest
who, in the first centuries, celebrated before an altar shaped like a
simple table, without gradines or retable (as is still the case in the
Basilica of San Clemente at Rome), was obliged to face the East when
the church was "orientated," and thus, as to-day, turn his back to the
people. Consequently when he addresses them in the words, "Dominus
he turns towards them, facing the altar again as he says: "Oremus."
The "Ordo Romanus" (n. I) thus describes the attitude of the Pope when
celebrating Pontifical Mass. The Pontiff stands upright facing the East
at his throne, which is at the back of the apse; turns towards the
to intone the "Gloria in Excelsis," but turns again to face the East,
remaining standing thus till the end of the chant. He then again turns
towards the people to say: "Pax vobis;" then back to the East when he
says: "Oremus," and the Collect for the day. After the Collect he seats
himself. The Bishops and Priest present also seat themselves, as a
the Pope invites them to do, but the congregation remains standing, as
does the whole time of the ceremony. It has been said that the Deacon
all the faithful to kneel on Good Friday for the Prayer of the
and this ceremony is yet observed.
In our churches at the present time these rules are rather vague. Those
usually observed by choirs of Canons or Monks may be followed. It is
thus customary to stand upright at High Mass during the Introit,
prayers, Gospel, and Canon; to sit during the reading of the Epistle
and other Lessons when there are any, as also for the singing of the
"Gloria in Excelsis," "Credo," "Gradual," and "Alleluia," or Tracts and
to prostrate during the Consecration; and to bow for the blessing of
2. Processions, Stations, general ceremonies.--All these subjects have
been treated by liturgiologists, often with great learning. It can only
be a question here of those connected with the Mass, such as the
and the defiling past at the Introit, the Offertory, and the Communion.
The Procession of the Station is no longer made. But in the time of St.
Gregory and the following centuries the Station began with a most
solemn procession. The suburban Bishops (the seven Bishops of Ostia,
Silva Candida, Albano, Tusculum, Sabina, and Praeneste) and other
present in Rome, the Priests of the 25 "tituli" (Rectors of the
churches in that city), the Monks, and lastly the people divided into
groups according to the seven regions (Quarters) of Rome, an
the head of each group carrying a silver Cross on which were three
candles--all these early awaited the Pope (who came from the Lateran
"cortege") in the church which had been chosen as the starting-point.
arrived on horseback. His following was composed of all the acolytes of
region where the function was being held. After the acolytes came the
"Defensores" of each region: these were a kind of lay functionary
charged with the administration of the ecclesiastical patrimony.
"Defensores" were on foot. The seven Deacons of the seven regions, with
regional sub-Deacons followed next, all on horseback. Two squires were
right and left of the Pope, and in front of him an acolyte bearing the
"ampulla" of the Holy Chrism. Behind the Pope came the "ViceDominus"
and other dignitaries of his household. The sub-Deacon who was to read
Epistle carried the "Epistolarium," while the Arch-Deacon bore the
"Evangeliarium," usually a luxuriously bound manuscript the cover of
which was encrusted with precious stones, and which was carefully
enclosed in its case.
When this almost royal procession, recalling in more than one detail
the ceremonial of the Emperors and Consuls, had reached the church
the Bishops and people were waiting for it, they all set out together
the church at which the Station had been fixed, and where Mass was to
be celebrated. The whole ceremonial for the reception of the Pope in
this church is minutely foreseen and described.
The procession of the Pope and clergy for the beginning of Mass is not
less solemn. In the sacristy or "secretarium" of the Basilica, which
vast enough to serve as a council hall, the Pope was vested with the
liturgical garments, linen tunic, amice, dalmatic, chasuble, "pallium."
At a given signal, accompanied by the Deacons, by the sub-Deacon
bearing the "thymiamaterium" in which incense was burning, and by the
seven serving acolytes with their seven lighted candlesticks, he
advanced up the
great nave (for at that period the "secretarium" was at the atrium, or
entrance of the Basilica, except at St. Peter's) while the "schola"
psalm of the Introit. The Pope saluted the "Sancta" (the "fermentum,"
or Host consecrated at a previous Mass), prayed before the altar, then
the book of the Gospels, placed on the altar itself, and so moved to
his throne, where he remained standing. He made a sign to the "schola"
stop the singing of the psalm, and to begin the "Gloria Patri" which
The order followed at Rome for the Offertory and Communion has been
already described (Chap. IV); that of precedence was most strictly
observed: Bishops first, the ministers to the last rank of the clergy,
Princes, nobles, the faithful, first the men, then the women. It was
Age of the liturgy in Rome from the sixth-ninth centuries; both clergy
and faithful gave admirable examples of behavior, order, dignity, and a
simplicity which did not exclude a certain pomp.
3. Gestures of officiant and ministers during the Mass. --In describing
in the various chapters of this book the Mass at Rome, Milan, in Gaul,
Spain, and Africa, we have already pointed out the chief gestures
for the celebrant, especially at the Consecration, the Fraction, and
the Communion; we have also spoken of censing, of the Kiss of Peace,
and of some other rites of the same kind. We then said that all these
acts and gestures were generally intended to express, in the eyes of
the congregation, an act corresponding to the spoken word; an act which
emphasized it, and threw it into new relief. This idea has been
explained at length and with perhaps too much complaisance by Dom
Vert in a work whose scholarship is more curious than solid. To him,
the word infers the gesture. But, as we have already remarked, it is
just the contrary which happens. In the ancient Roman liturgy, for
a great many gestures were made without any words at all. It was only
later, in the course of the Middle Ages, that a prayer was composed to
an act, such as "Oramus te;" or for certain Offertory prayers:
"Offerimus tibi;" or again for the Communion: "Panem coelestem
ore sumpsimus," "Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam
It must also be noticed that in the liturgy there are gestures which
have not a merely simple, mimetic meaning. Certain unctions, the
of hands, certain signs of the Cross, or blessings are supernaturally
efficacious, and produce what they signify. For all these reasons, and
without going back to different points which have already been
sufficiently explained, we must here give a little supplementary
information as to certain gestures of the Mass, the sense of which is
by no means always understood.
The celebrant and his ministers were thus standing upright during Mass,
except during the Lessons and the chants. This is still the custom; at
Solemn High Masses celebrant and ministers are seated during the
reading of the Epistle and other Lessons, as well as during the singing
"Kyrie," "Gloria in Excelsis," "Credo," Gradual, and other chants.
At certain moments the celebrant spreads out his hands to pray,
reminding us of the attitude of the "Orantes:" this is done during the
the Mass, the Preface, Canon, and "Pater." At other times he bows
as at the "Confiteor," the "Oramus te, Domine," the "Suscipe sancte
and "Suscipe sancta Trinitas," at the words of the Canon "Te igitur"
and "Supplices te," as well as at the "Munda cor meum."
The rubric prescribes that he shall raise his eyes to Heaven at the
"Veni Sanctificator," and at the Consecration of the bread and wine;
that he shall strike his breast at the "Mea culpa" of the "Confiteor,"
at the "Agnus Dei," the "Domine, non sum dignus," and at the "Nobis
Before the prayers he kisses the altar, turns towards the people,
extends his hands and salutes them with "Dominus vobiscum," from the
the altar, at the "Oremus" he salutes the Cross and again extends his
hands. He genuflects at the Elevation, at the "Homo factus est" of the
of the Last Gospel- also, in Solemn Masses he does this each time he
leaves the altar to seat himself, as well as when he returns.
The imposition of hands occurs only once during Mass, at the
"Hanc igitur;" this gesture, indeed, dates only from the fifteenth
and is merely intended to design the oblation. This may appear rather
singular when we know the importance of this act in the Catholic
it must be remembered that signs of the Cross, which often replace the
imposition of hands, are frequent during the Sacrifice of the Mass, and
we may now study their meaning.
The sign of the Cross during Mass is a subject which has long gained
the attention of liturgiologists. It is presented here under different
forms. The usual way of making the ordinary sign of the Cross is for
Priest to trace it upon himself by carrying his right hand from the
the breast, and then from the left shoulder to the right; it has thus
made since the ninth century, as, at the same time, the sign of our
Redemption, and of a doxology to the Trinity, with the words: In the
Name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.
Before this epoch (ninth century) it was more especially the sign of
Christ, and answers to the "In Nomine Christi" so frequently
recommended by St. Paul. The sign was then traced on the forehead, the
lips, and the breast. Under this form it is still used before the
The sign of the Cross is, with the imposition of hands, the most
venerable and expressive act of Christian worship. Innumerable
and articles have been written on this subject. We can only refer here
the articles "Croix" and "Crucifix" in DACL, where a Bibliography of
matter will be found.
The number, place, and form of these signs of the Cross in Mass has
varied according to time and place. The Missal of St. Pius V adopted
greater part of those indicated in the most recent MSS. of that period,
books printed at that time. But these are by no means equally ancient,
the same importance.
Some are mimetic signs which are specially aimed at emphasizing the
text, as in "Haec dona," "haec munera," "haec sancta sacrificia."
the meaning of a blessing, like those which accompany the words
"benedictam," "adscriptam," "ratam," "ut nobis corpus et sanguis," etc.
As much, and
"a fortiori," must be said of the sign of the Cross at "Benedixit" upon
the Host and chalice, at the Consecration, for this reproduces the
of Our Lord in blessing the bread and wine.
But what of those signs of the Cross made upon the consecrated
elements? A blessing upon the Body and Blood of Our Lord would seem
the very least, and yet the signs occur many times, as at "Hostiam
puram," "Hostiam sanctam," etc. There are as many as five, and
at the "Per quem" and "Per ipsum," and at the "Pax Domini" and
We may say at once that usually these signs are not indicated in the
ancient Sacramentaries, nor in the "Ordo I," while a certain variety is
observed even in the other Sacramentaries. Thus, they are not
essential, and often are merely figurative, the word having been the
author of the gesture, according to the theory so dear to De Vert.
At the "Per ipsum" the Priest, holding the Host in his right hand,
traces three signs of the Cross over the chalice, two between the
his breast, before elevating the Host and the chalice at the final
of the Canon.
During the embolism of the Pater, at "Da propitius pacem," he makes the
sign of the Cross with the paten, which he kisses. At the end of
Mass the Priest, turned towards the people, makes with his right hand a
sign of the Cross, which is the sign of blessing. A Prelate makes this
once to his left, once in the center, once to his right.
The kissing of the altar is another act which frequently takes place in
Mass. In the seventh century this gesture was far less common, but was
surrounded with a greater solemnity. Thus at the beginning of the
Office of Good Friday, as has been mentioned, the Pontiff, after the
of Nones, left his throne to go and kiss the altar, returning
to his place. This rite at the beginning of Mass was already a
characteristic of the Papal Mass in the seventh-eighth centuries. It is
preserved to-day, with the "Oramus te, Domine," which gives the reason
for it--"Sanctorum quorum reliquiae hic sunt." The altar is a sacred
stone, containing the relics of Saints; it is the "mensa" which recalls
table of the Last Supper, or again, the stone of Golgotha. It is
to compare this act with that of the Romans, who kissed their pagan
altars, in order to understand the act of veneration accomplished by
the Priest at this moment.
To-day the Priest kisses the altar each time he comes to it, as well as
before the "Dominus vobiscum" of the prayers.
We have already sufficiently explained the blessing of the people by
the Priest at the end of the Roman Mass, as well as that blessing which
the other Latin rites preceded the Communion (Chap IV).
1. See Bibliography at end of this chapter.
2. Cf. DACL, article "Chaires."
3. Jean le Lorrain (d. 1710), "De l'ancienne coutume de prier et
d'adorer debout le jour du dimanche," etc., 2 vols., Liege 1700 Rouen,
171O. Cf. also our article "Liturgie, Dict. de theol. catholique," col.
4. This description has been made in a most interesting way by Mgr.
Batiffol (p. 67 seq.) from the "Ordo Romanus," I. This "Ordo" had been
edited and explained previously, even more in detail, by E. G. F.
Atchley, "Ordo Romanus," I, Book VI of "Liturgiology" (I vol., 8vo,
5. Dom Claude de Vert "Explication simple, litterale et historique des
ceremonies de l'Eglise" 4 vols. (Paris, 1720).
6. Cf. "Imposition des mains," in DACL.
7. On this point see especially Brinktrine, quoted in the Bibliography,
who has studied this subject deeply.
8. On the gesture of the sub-Deacon who gives the paten to the Deacon
at the end of the Pater, and on this sign of the Cross, cf. p. 82.
9. On this blessing at the end of Mass, and on the prayer "Super
populum," cf. p. 87.
The articles "Baiser de Paix," "Croix," "Crucifix," "Imposition des
mains," in DACL.
Our article "Liturgie," in "Dict. de theol. cath.," col. 821 seq. "La
Priere des Chretiens" (Paris, 1929), P. 133 seq.
DE VERT, "Explication des ceremonies de l'Eglise" (Paris, 1713).
LEBRUN, "Explication des Prieres et des ceremonies de la Messe" (Paris,
BRINKTRINE, "Die Heilige Messe, Der Altarkuss," p . 56 seq. For the
signs of the Cross, "Exkurs. I, Die Kreuzzeichen im Kanon," p. 250
seq., and BATIFFOL, loc. cit., pp. 239, 251, 267.
DOLGER, "Zu den Zeremonien der Mess liturgie, II, Der Altarkuss, antike
u. christent." II, pp. 190-221 (1930).
See also our "Monumenta Ecclesiae Liturgica" (table).
IV, THE BOOKS OF THE MASS
This subject having already been treated in another book ("Books of the
Latin Liturgy," see p. 28 et seq.), we may be allowed to sum it Up
shortly here. It may be believed that in the beginning no book was used
Mass. The Consecration of the bread and wine was made after the Formula
by Christ Himself, handed down by St. Paul and the synoptic Gospels.
The prayers of preparation or thanksgiving were left to the
of the celebrant, who did this on a fixed theme, from which it was not
allowed to depart; for the most ancient formulas studied reproduce
In the aliturgical synaxis which became the Pre-Mass (cf. Chapter I)
the Old and New Testament were read, and psalms were sung. Thus the
Bible proved sufficient. But very soon the formulas mentioned were put
into writing, and we have an example of this in the "Didache," which
dates, perhaps, from the year 100, while the "Anaphora" of Hippolytus
from the first quarter of the third century. In the fourth and fifth
centuries liturgical literature was in full flower, especially in the
East. St. Hilary, St. Ambrose, St. Paulinus of Nola, Voconius, Musaeus,
and many others are quoted amongst the authors who composed hymns,
Prefaces, or who chose Lessons drawn from the Old and New Testaments to
be read at Mass or during the Offices. In other books the parts that
were to be sung were collected. From this time, especially during the
period immediately following--from the sixth-ninth centuries-- as the
for these compositions developed, we have books specially devoted to
the various liturgical functions: one for the readings from the
Testaments generally called the Lectionary, or book of lectures, this,
intended for the Mass alone, was called "Epistolarium" (book of
Epistles, or sometimes of Prophecy, or the Apostolic book) . There was
also the "Evangeliarium," containing nothing but readings from the
The chants of the Introit, Gradual, Tract, "Alleluia," Offertory, and
Communion were collected in a book called the "Cantatorium," or book of
chants. This was also sometimes styled "Liber Gradualis," since the
Gradual was the most important and most ancient of these chants.
The Priest used tablets ("plaquettes," "Libelli") in which he found the
prayers and Prefaces with the Canon of the Mass; he also had
"Diptychs:" all these, collected together, were called
"Sacramentaries." This is
the most ancient type of Missal, in use from the sixth-ninth centuries;
it contained only those parts recited at Mass by the celebrant. When
the custom of Low Masses was introduced and multiplied, and the Priest
was obliged to accomplish by himself all those functions which, in High
Masses, fell to the lot of the Deacon, sub-Deacon, lectors, and
cantors, it was necessary to add the Epistle, Gospel, Gradual, and
other chants to the Sacramentary, which thus changed its name and its
nature, and was henceforth called "Plenary Missal," or simply "Missal."
ancient of these go back to the tenth century, or perhaps a little
went on multiplying through the eleventh century, and very soon after
they eliminated and replaced the Sacramentary almost completely.
These liturgical books, some of which were illuminated and bound in the
most luxurious manner, have always attracted the attention of artists,
liturgiologists, and archaeologists; but at the present time it may be
said that they are sought after and studied more than ever, so that
men have set themselves to describe them carefully (see Bibliography).
The price of some of them represents a fortune. It is necessary to add
that this subject is very far from being exhausted, and that in many
ancient libraries precious manuscripts and early printed books still
which deserve to be studied with care.
Prayer Books ("Paroissiens").--The history and bibliography of these
books is yet to be written. That of the Books of Hours, which has
certain scholars, may serve as an introduction to it (cf. "Books of the
Latin Liturgy," pp. 128 seq. and 151 seq.). In that the history of the
different Catholic devotions may be studied, according to period and
Still more recently, in his "Sentiment religieux en France," the Abbe
has shown how much may be drawn from these little books. In them the
Mass naturally has its place, whether the Latin text is given, with a
translation, or whether we find merely explanations and commentaries,
as was the usual practice at a certain period, when translation into
the vulgar tongue was looked on with very little favor if not actually
To-day the liturgical movement has driven the faithful more and more
towards requiring the complete text of the Latin Mass, with its
translation. Thus certain prayerbooks are indeed real Missals for their
1. "Books of the Latin Liturgy" (Sands, 3s. 6d.), p. 24 seq.
2. The word cannot be translated literally. A "Paroissien" is a kind of
abridged Missal which includes the office of Benediction, several
Litanies, morning and night prayers, etc. Vespers of Sunday (and
Compline) are also included. (Note by translator.)
LEOPOLD DELISLE, "Memoire sur d'anciens sacramentaires" (Paris, 1886).
He has also written dissertations on the Psalters and other liturgical
books (see catalogue in DACL, "Delisle").
A. EBNER, "Quellen u. Forschungen zur Gesch. des Missale Romanum in
Mittelalter" (Freibourg-im-Breisgau, 1896).
V. LEROQUAIS, "Les Sacramentaires et les missels manuscrits des
bibliotheques publiques de la France," 3 vols. (Paris, I 924). Cf. also
other works on the same subject "Books of the Latin Liturgy," pp. 151,
156, and our article "Missel" in DACL.
V. DIFFERENT KINDS OF MASSES
The Papal Mass and the Stational Mass.--These have been described in
Chapter IV. The latter was called Stational because there was a Station
on that day. Except a few points already mentioned, they were the same
Pontifical Mass.--It has been already stated that if we wish to
understand the sequence of the ceremonies at Mass, and really enter
spirit of them, we should be present at a Pontifical Mass, which, more
than any other, has faithfully preserved that ceremonial described in
IV. It is, in fact, the Papal Mass, and, with but few differences, that
is celebrated by Bishops and certain Prelates. It is described at
in the Ceremonial of Bishops.
Solemn, or High Mass.--All the ceremonies which are the privilege of
Bishops, such as crosier and mitre, throne, the number of the ministers
(assistant Priest, Deacons of honor, bearers of the insignia, etc.),
are omitted; but the Introit, Gradual, "Kyrie," Lessons, etc., are sung
in Pontifical Masses, and by the same ministers. These comprehend,
the Deacon and sub-Deacon, a "Ceremoniarius," acolytes, and a thurifer.
Sung Mass, or Missa Cantata.--Here there are neither Deacon nor
sub-Deacon, the ministers being reduced to one or two servers; but the
are sung as at High Mass. This Mass is sometimes called in French,
Conventual Mass is said in Chapters of Canons, in Collegiate churches,
and monasteries. It may be either sung or said, with or without
Missa lecta, a Mass which is not sung, is often wrongly styled Low, or
private, Mass, for the rubrics prescribe certain parts to be said
aloud. At this Mass the Priest, with one, or sometimes two, servers,
the various ceremonies of Mass, but nothing is sung.
The history of Low Mass has given rise to certain errors; its evolution
is less well known than that of Pontifical Mass. But there can be no
doubt that in very ancient days--let us say about the third century,
but most probably before that epoch--there were (beyond the Eucharistic
synaxis celebrated by the Bishop, surrounded by his clergy and the
both in cemeteries and in private houses, private Masses said, from
all the ceremonies had been shorn. The story of Hesperus, cured after a
Mass had been said in his house, is well known; Mgr. Batiffol relates
it according to St. Augustine. There are other examples of private
Masses said in domestic oratories, the existence of which is proved
About this time, too (sixth century), churches began to be built with
several altars or chapels, a fact which evidently indicates private
Masses. The Sacramentaries or Missals drawn up from the seventh-tenth
centuries might have served either for a Pontifical or a private Mass.
There must have been also, about this time, and even before it,
leaflets composed of several Masses for the use of the Priest. Of these
we have spoken in the "Books of the Latin Liturgy," mentioning as one
types of this "Libellus" that of the "Masses of Mone."
Missa solitaria.--In certain dioceses and missions the Priest has
obtained permission to say Mass without a server, making the responses
in view of the practical impossibility of finding anyone to serve Mass.
Votive Masses.--As its name indicates, this Mass is said in virtue of a
Vow ("votum"), or, in a wide sense, for a special intention. It is thus
distinguished from the Mass of the day, the character of which is fixed
by the calendar. There are certain days in the year, simple Ferials, or
those on which the Mass is assigned to a Saint with a simple rite or a
semi-double; and on these the Priest can usually celebrate a Votive
the Missal a whole division, following the Common of Saints, is devoted
to Votive Masses. Some are in honor of Our Lady, or other Saints;
again for different circumstances, or devotions, as in time of war, or
peace; of famine or epidemic, etc. They are thus devotional Masses
unlike the Mass for the day, are not attached to the calendar, nor to
Office said on that day, which itself is in relation to the Mass.
Some of these Votive Masses are very ancient, and their texts deserve
study. Some may already be found in the Leonine and Gelasian
Sacramentaries. The Mozarabic "Liber Ordinum" contains a considerable
number. A Missal attributed to Alcuin has Votive Masses for every day
in the week, in honor of the Holy Angels, of the Eucharist, of Our
etc. Franz, in the book we mention, has made a most learned study of
Here is the list of Votive Masses in our Missal:
De Sancta Trinitate,
De SS. Petro et Paulo,
De Spiritu Sancto,
De S.S. Eucharistiae Sacramento,
De Sancta Maria,
Pro eligendo Pontifice,
In anniversario electionis Episcopi,
Ad tollendum schisma,
Pro quacumque necessitate,
Pro remissione peccatorum,
Ad postulandam gratiam bene moriendi,
In tempore belli,
Pro vitenda mortalitate,
Pro sponso et sponsa.
"Missa sicca," or Dry Mass.--This is rarely in use to-day. Whether an
abuse, or simply from singularity, it was fairly widespread in the
Middle Ages. It was a Mass without Offertory, Consecration, or
thus in reality not a Mass at all. Since there was neither Sacrifice
nor Sacrament, it was merely a rite (sacramental, if we wish to call it
which reproduced the ceremonies of the Mass, with the exception of the
parts mentioned. It was regarded as a substitute for Mass. Thus, for
marriages or deaths celebrated in the afternoon, a Dry Mass was said.
As many Dry Masses as it was wished to say from private devotion could
be celebrated on the same day; they were also said for those who wished
have as many Masses on the same day as possible. Bona very justly
protests against this custom, which seems to him an abuse. As a private
devotion, the "Missa Sicca" is still in use among the Carthusians.
Mass of the Presanctified.--A very different thing is the dignity of
this Mass, of which we have already spoken. In the Greek rite it is
used during Lent. Properly speaking, it is not a Mass, since the
is absent. But Holy Communion is given at it, and it was really
to satisfy the piety of those who wished to communicate.
Some other kinds of Mass.--The "Missa Nautica" and "Missa Venatoria"
are also Dry Masses; since by reason of the fear of tempests, or for
other causes, the essential parts are suppressed.
1. op. cit., p. 44. Cf. also Fortescue, Votive Mass, in Catholic
2. See also our article "Missel" in DACL.
The Stational and Pontifical Mass is described in Chapter IV; see the
authors mentioned in the Bibliography of that chapter.
On the ceremonies of the Pontifical Mass, see also:
ADRIAN FORTESCUE "The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite" London, 1918) Cf.
also HAEGY, "Ceremonial" (edn. 1902), and L. HEBERT, "Lecons de
On Votive Masses the most scholarly work is that of AD. FRANZ, "Die
Messe in Deutschen Mittelalter" (Freibourg-im-Breisgau, 1902), PP.
For the rules concerning these Masses, see HEBERT, loc. cit., Vol. II,
FORTESCUE, in his work "The Mass," and in his articles to be found in
the "Catholic Encyclopaedia," gives some information as to these