Obrazy na stronie

ablution of hands, the Nicene Creed, and latterly the second oblation in the canon. The church of Milan has, however, preserved many most ancient rites, not only in the liturgy, but in various parts of the ritual and offices. The ancient Italic version of the Psalter, used in the west before the time of Jerome, is still retained in use by this church. The same version is also found in all the Prophets, Epistles, and Gospels read in the Milan liturgy".

No one has yet attempted to furnish an authentic edition of the ancient sacramentary of Milan from a collation of MSS.; but the documents which have been published establish satisfactorily the order of the variable prayers, and the text of the canon, which is all we need in examining the liturgy.

Joseph Vicecomes, doctor of theology at Milan, attempted to trace back the Ambrosian or Milan liturgy to the apostolic age. He ascribes its origin to St. Barnabas, who, he says, first preached the Gospel at Milan "; but this theory is altogether destitute of proof. He observes also, most incorrectly, that the liturgy of Milan scarcely agrees in any respect with those of other nations, or with the Roman. Bona makes some observations on the liturgy of Milan, but does not attempt to explain its original derivation". What I have said in this section may perhaps tend in some degree to the elucidation of the liturgy of Milan, which has not

v Bona, Rer. Lit. lib. i. c. x. p. 67.

w De Missæ Ritibus, lib. i. c. xi. xii. Milan, 1615.


"Nec fere quicquam in

eo reperies, quod cum aliarum gentium ordinibus nedum cum Romano conveniat." Cap. xii. p. 171.

y Rer. Lit. lib. i. c. 10.

yet (as far as I know) been attempted. Before I conclude, I must notice the liturgy of the church of Aquileia, which was the principal church in the provinces of Venetia and Istria in the north of Italy, but in early times was subject to the archbishop of Milan. This church and others adjoining, as Forum Julii, had formerly peculiar rites, which were supplanted by the modern Roman about A.D. 1596. There are MSS. of this liturgy of various ages in existence; one is of the eleventh century, and apparently is the same as the ancient Roman liturgy. In fact, it seems that the same liturgy prevailed throughout the whole of Italy and Sicily during the primitive ages. There is no record of any material difference between the rites of these churches.

z For further information on this subject, see Zaccaria Bi

blioth. Ritualis, tom. i. p. 65, &c.



I NOW enter on the consideration of the rites used by the churches of Africa, the civil diocese of which comprised the provinces of Africa Proconsularis, Byzacium, Numidia, Tripolis, and the two Mauritanias. These churches, once conspicuous in the Christian world, adorned with the piety and learning of illustrious Fathers, and ruled by nearly five hundred bishops, have long ceased to exist. Weakened by unhappy schisms, they were unable to bear up against the tide of Mahommedan infidelity, which in the seventh and eighth centuries threatened to overwhelm the world. No monument of the African liturgy remains: we must be content, therefore, to seek for its relics amongst the writings of those Fathers who lived in Africa.

In perusing many works relating to the primitive liturgy and offices of the Roman church, it has appeared to me, that the most valuable allusions to

a Bingham, book ix. c. 2, § 5.

Roman customs are almost always found in the writings of African Fathers; and it is remarkable that they profess in those places to describe the rites of their own churches, and not those of the Roman. I have thence been inclined to conjecture that the African rites were generally the same as the Roman; and in fact there is no sort of difficulty in supposing that Christianity and religious rites came from Rome to Africa. The geographical position of Africa, separated by deserts from Egypt and the East, renders it more probable that Christianity should have come from the apostolical church of Rome than from any other quarter. Spain and Gaul were probably not converted to Christianity before Africa, therefore it is not likely that they sent missionaries to that country.

The Roman liturgy differed from those of Antioch, Cæsarea, Constantinople, Alexandria, and all the East, and from those of Gaul and Spain in the West, in directing the kiss of peace to be given after the consecration was finished. The only liturgy now remaining which agrees in this respect with the Roman, is that of Milan, which was evidently derived originally from it. The ancient African also agreed with the Roman from the earliest period, in placing the kiss of peace after consecration, as we learn from Tertullian and Augustine. This

[blocks in formation]


sanctificatio dicimus orationem
Dominicam quam accepistis et
reddidistis. Post ipsam dicitur
Pax vobiscum, et osculant se
Christiani in osculo sancto."
August. Serm. 227, in die
Paschæ, p. 974, tom. v. oper.

similarity in so remarkable a point, renders it highly probable that we may find further signs of conformity between these two liturgies; and if it should appear that all the accounts we have of the African liturgy, harmonize with the opinion that it was originally the same as the Roman, we may fairly conclude that such an opinion is correct.

Augustine says, that about his time the custom of singing anthems from the Book of Psalms before the liturgy began at Carthage. We find that Colestine bishop of Rome, about the same time, adopted a similar rule at Rome. The reading of Scripture then commenced. Augustine sometimes speaks of the first lesson being taken from the Prophets, and followed by the Epistle'. In other places he refers to the Epistle as the first lesson. In like manner we find that at certain seasons the Epistle was preceded by a lesson from the Prophets, in the Roman church. After the Prophet (when it was read), and the Epistle, came a Psalm', which corresponds with the Roman Gradual, and to which there is no other exact parallel in any of the eastern or western rites.

d" Hilarius quidam-nescio unde adversus Dei ministros, ut fieri assolet irritatus, morem qui tunc esse apud Carthaginem cœperat, ut hymni ad altare dicerentur de psalmorum libro, sive ante oblationem, sive cum distribueretur populo quod fuisset oblatum, maledica reprehensione ubicumque poterat lacerabat." August. Retractat. lib. ii. c. 11.

e See note ", section vi.

p. 122.

f" In omnibus lectionibus

quas recitatas audivimus si animadvertit caritas vestra, primam lectionem Isaiæ prophetæ

deinde adscendit apostolica lectio," &c. Serm. xlv. p. 218. tom. v.

g 66 Primam lectionem audivimus Apostoli-deinde cantavimus psalmum-post hæc Evangelica lectio." Serm. clxxvi. p. 839, tom. v.

h Vide Lectionar. vel Comitem Pamel. Liturg. tom. ii. p. 1, &c.

i See note in this


« PoprzedniaDalej »