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from competent evidence to have been introduced after, or not very long before, the time of Gregory the Great. It began at first with a collect, and lessons from Scripture, amongst which a psalm was read or sung, until early in the fifth century an anthem or psalm was appointed to precede them". Then followed the sermon, the dismissal of catechumens, and silent prayers made by the priest and people; after which, the oblations of the people, consisting chiefly of bread and wine, were received while the offertory was sung. The elements being selected from these, and placed on the altar, the priest read the collect called “secreta,” or super

The preparations, Psalm Judica, Confiteor, &c. preceding the anthem called Introitus in the Roman liturgy of modern times, are little older than the eleventh century. The Introit was appointed by Cœlestine, bishop of Rome, A.D. 423.— "Hic- -constituit ut Psalmi David 150 ante sacrificium psallerentur antiphonatim ex omnibus, quod antea non fiebat, sed tantum Epistolæ beati Pauli recitabantur, et sanctum Evangelium." Vita Cœlestini e libro Pontificali. Labbe, Concilia, tom. ii. p. 1610. Compare Missale Romanum, ordo Missæ, p. 187, 188. The Kyrie eleëson had been introduced from the East into the Roman church before the year 529, when it is mentioned by Concil. ii. Vasens. canon 3. Gregory the Great, Ep. ad Jo. Syracus. Ep. xii. lib. ix. edit. Benedict., says that they repeated it at Rome differently from the Greeks, namely, by saying Christe eleëson as often


as they said Kyrie eleëson. Comp. Miss. Rom. p. 188. The Gloria in excelsis was appointed to be sung by Symmachus, bishop of Rome, in the sixth century. Walafrid. c. 22. The collect appears in the sacramentaries of Leo and Gelasius, and is mentioned by the fourth council of Carthage, A.D. 416. After this came on certain occasions the Prophet, and always the Epistle, Psalm called Gradual, and Gospel. See Bona, Rer. Lit. lib. ii. c. vi. vii.

* Of the secret prayer a relic remains in the Roman missal, where the priest immediately before the anthem called Offertory, says, "Oremus." Miss. Rom. p. 190. This custom is mentioned by several ancient ritualists, as Amalarius, lib. iii. c. 19, p. 415. The priest recited an apologia, or confession, privately in this place; see Menard, Sacr. Gregorii, p. 242, et notæ, p. 322.

oblata," and then began the preface or thanksgiving, with the form "Sursum corda," &c.; at the close of which the people chanted the hymn "Tersanctus." The canon now commenced with commending the people's gifts and offerings to the acceptance of God, and prayers for the king and the bishop, with a commemoration of the living, and especially of those who had offered liberally. This was succeeded by a prayer, that the oblation of bread and wine might "be made to us the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord God." The commemoration of our Saviour's deeds and words in celebrating the eucharist followed". After which came an oblation of the sacraments, as a sacrifice of bread and wine, and a petition that they might be presented by the angels on the altar in heaven. Then followed a commemoration of the departed faithful, and prayer for communion with them. The canon being now completed, the bread was broken, and divided into portions for distribution, and then the Lord's Prayer was recited". After which, the clergy and people interchanged a kiss of peace, and all communicated, and the priest concluded the office with a short prayer. This we may certainly affirm to have been the order and substance of the Roman liturgy in the fifth century,

y The oblation intervening in the modern Roman missal, beginning"Suscipe," &c. and the "Lavabo," &c. are much more recent than the time of Gregory. See Miss. Rom. 190, 191.

z See Menard, Sacr. Gregor.

p. 1.

a Ibid. p. 2.

b Ibid. p. 2.
c Ibid. p. 3.

d This ancient order of the Roman liturgy is still visible in the liturgy of Milan. Since the time of Gregory the Great, the Lord's Prayer has been joined immediately to the Roman canon, and the bread is broken afterwards.

and it will be difficult to adduce any reason for thinking, that the same had not prevailed for a very great length of time before.

I a am not aware that any one has yet attempted to give a correct edition of Gergory's sacramentary, on the principle of comparing manuscripts of various countries. It seems to me that such a course would afford the best prospect of attaining a correct text. Much, at all events, might thus be fixed, though a portion would still remain uncertain. English manuscripts particularly should be collated with Italian, because Gregory's sacramentary was sooner used in England than in any other country beyond the Roman patriarchate. German manuscripts should come next, and the Gallican sacramentaries, used before the Roman rite was introduced, would furnish some illustrations. With regard to the ancient Roman liturgy, or the order of prayers and canon, there is neither doubt nor difficulty, as I have already shewn.

The Roman liturgy was illustrated with much learning by John Bona, presbyter cardinal of the Roman church; and the works of Menard', Gavanti, Martene1, and Le Brun', may be consulted by those who wish to acquire further information on the subject.

e In his work, entitled Rerum Liturgicarum libri duo. Paris, 1672.

f Divi Gregorii Liber Sacramentorum. Paris, 1642.

8 Commentaria in Rubricas Missalis et Breviarii Romani,

cum notis Merati. Augustæ Vindel. 1763.

h De Antiquis Ecclesiæ Ritibus, libri iv. Rothomag. 1725.



Explication de la Messe,



THE liturgy of the church of Milan bearing the venerable name of Ambrose, archbishop of Milan, and primate or exarch of the Italic diocese in the fourth century, has long been celebrated. Several attempts have been made at different times to introduce the Roman liturgy in its place, but the attachment of the clergy and people of Milan to their ancient rites has prevailed against the zeal of rash and prejudiced innovators. The Ambrosian liturgy certainly differs in several respects from that of Rome; but it will be seen, in the sequel, that this difference was originally less than might at first sight appear.

The earliest ecclesiastical writer who has been cited as speaking of the Ambrosian rite is Walafridus Strabo, who died A. D. 849, and who wrote thus: "Ambrose, bishop of Milan, appointed for his


'own church, and for the rest of Liguria, the ar"rangements of the liturgy and other offices, which are preserved even to this day in the church of

"Milan"." An anonymous Irish writer, of about the year 700, speaks of Ambrose as the author of some offices', in which he may perhaps allude to the liturgy.

The Ambrosian liturgy, that is, the order of variable prayers, and the text of the canon, can be ascertained by means of ancient MSS., of which two, still extant at Milan, are as old as the ninth or tenth century. The testimony of Walafridus, and the tradition of the church of Milan, at a distance of four hundred years after the death of Ambrose, are not sufficient proofs that he composed missæ for the use of his church; but it is by no means improbable that he may have done so; and this would partly account for the sacramentary, or collection of missæ used at Milan being called by his name; although the substance of the canon and the order of the variable prayers are probably much more ancient than his time.

The first thing to be remarked of this liturgy is, that it has been different from the Roman ever since the time of Gregory the Great, A.D. 594. This patriarch probably first placed the Lord's Prayer immediately after the Roman canon", or before the breaking of bread. which agrees in almost every other respect with the ancient Roman, differs from it in placing the breaking of bread between the canon and the Lord's Prayer, as was the case at Rome until the time of

a Walafridus Strabo, de Reb. Eccl. c. 22.

Spelman, Concilia, tom. i.

p. 177.

c Muratori, Liturg. Rom. vet. tom. i. p. 130, &c.

The Milan liturgy,

d Epist. xii. ad Jo. Syracus. lib. ix. edit. Benedict.

e Miss. Ambros. ap. Pamelii Liturgic. tom. i. p. 303, 304. Bona, Rer. Lit. lib. i. cap. x. § 2.

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