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were the sentiments of St. Træneus,* when he men. tions the necessity of every other church agreeing with that of Rome, and as St. Cyprian says,t he presides as the vicar of Jesus Christ, as the successor of Peter, upon whom only the church was founded, to show its essential unity.
In the year 449 Dioschorus, patriarch of Alexandria, struck the name of Pope Leo from the dyptics of his church, and it was looked upon as an enormous crime. Nicephorus mentions in his xvi L. 17 C. Acacius, the bishop of Constantinople dared to efface from the dyptics the name of Pope Felix II. in 480. The emperor Constantine, Pogonot mentions in a letter which is found in the acts of the Council of Constantinople, in the year 680 and is addressed to the Pope Agatho, that he resisted the patriarch who strove to erase his name from the dyptics : but the great schism under Photius, in 875, completely separated a great portion of the east from Catholicity, and thericeforward it is excluded by his adherants; but the Catholics whether in the east or the west have retained it.
After the name of him who governs the entire church, the name of him who governs the particular portion is next mentioned, for as the Pope is the centre of unity for the whole church, the bishop is for the whole diocese, as St. Cyprian says in his 66th epistle, “ that is a church, a people united to their priest, and the shepherd adhering to his flock.” And nothing can be more natural than that the faithful should pray for their bishops, (Heb. xiii. 17,) because they watch as being to render an account of the souls of their flock, therefore the flock should pray for them. and in some places where there are Catholic princes. heir names are added.
The names of those persons of whom special mention was made in the Mass, were formerly written on
* Lib. 3, De Hercs
+ Lil, de unit. Eccl.
papers or parchment folded twice, so that they were called dyptics, from this double fold; hence then were found upon the dyptics, the names of the Pope, of the Bishop, of the King or Emperor, where he was a Catholic, and in another part of the saints of whom commemoration was made, or whose festivals were celebrated ; and again, of the dead to be prayed for, as we shall see in their proper places. Thus a name being on the dyptics meant its being written on · the scrip of the altar for some one of those purposes.
The prayer continues to advert to the sacrifice being offered not only for those, but also for our other living friends of whom we choose to make special mention; and to allow an opportunity for this the celebrant rests to make his own memento in the proper place, and to allow the assistants to make theirs, but the prayer first reminds them of the necessity of faith without which it is impossible to please God; (Heb. xi. 6.) and hence the prayer continues bi as also for all orthodox believers and professors of the Catholic and apostolic faith”-that faith which is the belief of all nations, and which has been derived from the apostles, and is not the offspring of human vanity nor of human ingenuity, but of apostolic tradition, and which was originally received from Christ himself, and is not the little produce of any single nation and its colonies, and the descendants of the colonists, but that body of doctrine spread through every nation by the messengers of Chrisi, and exhibited in every age by their successors.
After this special application to individuals tha celebrant next reflects upon the numbers that surround him and says "and of all here present, whose faith and devotion are known unto thee, for whom we of fer, or who offer up to thee this sacrifice of praise ;'' because, although the sacrifice is in itself excellent, its application to individuals will be generally beneficial, only in proportion to their faith and devotion, G! which the searcher of hearts alone can judge:
hence the necessity of our attending with the dispositions which have been before enumerated, and of preserving our devotion unimpaired throughout.
Formerly, as we have seen, the faithful made of. ferings in kind for the sacrifice, and other offerings towards the support of the clergy; hence that expression, “ who offer unto thee," but subsequently upon the custom falling into disuse, an offering was inade in money, instead of the original one in kind, with a request that the celebrant would make a spepial offering of the sacrifice on behalf of the contri butor; hence the words 6 for whom we offer”-but as the faithful join with the celebrant, and as he acts as their minister, and on their behalf, they too may be said " to offer this sacrifice of praise for themselves Their families and friends."
Every christian has three great objects in view, the preservation of his bodily health, which is the chief temporal blessing he can expect, his spiritual freedom and the eternal salvation, but he recollects the injunction of the Lord : Be not solicitous saying what shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be covered-for all those things the heahens seek after. *** * seek first the kingdom of God ind his justice, &c. (Matt. vi. 31.) Hence his first petition for hiinself and his friends is, “ for the relemption of their souls,” which have been enslaved by zin; and next“ for the health” of the body, and casting his eyes forward to those regions of eternity, whither he and his friends must pass from this vale of tears, he adds, “ and the salvation they hope for, and for which they now pay their vows," that is, offer up their earnest supplications " to thee, the eteraal living and true God."
The first word of the next palagraph is differently understood by writers on the Liturgy. “Cornmunicating” or holding communion with, is by many, referred to the saints, whose names follow, to shew ilai though now separated from us, and in glory as
the church triumphant, we are members of the same body, holding the same faith as they did on earth, Whilst others say, that it only means holding communion with each other, as members of the true Church here below, and adduce in support of thei; opinion other parts of the Liturgy, which on some occasions are introduced immediately after the word “Communicating,” and altogether disjoining it from the subsequent part of the prayer; as on Easter Sunday, where the meaning is evident, "Being united in communion, and celebrating this sacred day of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the flesh: moreover honouring the memory of the ever glorious, &c." • This portion of the Canon teaches us to honour the memory of the saints, to seek their intercession, and enumerates some of the principal and earliest of those holy personages. Different churches had different names in this place, and many of them a longer enumeration. In the first ages of the church, there was placed upon the altar a paper or parchment folded double, whence it was called a Dyptic ; it was the register of that church; this had three columns, one in which the names of the Pope, the Bishop, sometimes the King or Emperor, and of the benefactors of the church, were inscribed, and this was frequently read aloud at the beginning of the Canon. In the second column were the names of the saints who were principally honoured and invoked in that church, and lastly the names of deceas. ed persons belonging to the church for the repose of whose souls the prayers of the living were implored. Thus the Dyptics exhibited at once the three states of the faithful, militant, triumphant and suffering, but still united in the communion of Saints. The difference of those registers in different churches wil now be no cause of surprist, nor will it exhibit any difference of faith, for though the names may be, and must generally he different, the principles of ihei;
introduction must evidently be the same. At a very early period, the names of the Saints whose memory was to be principally honoured, were transferred from the Dyptics to the Canon, and as the enumeration would be almost interminable if all who were honoured and invoked should be named, only a few were inserted, and the general phrase added, " and of all thy Saints.” Without entering into any proof to support the doctrine, one remark may be allowed, that whatever merits we attribute to them, or whatel ever aid we expect from them, must all be from that great source of good to us “ Christ our Lord.” Ard in the invocation we only follow what has been transmitted to us from the days of the apostles, by whose immediate disciples their names were placed upon the Registers, and to which were afterwards added the names of those who like them had lived in the practice of virtue, and died in the odour of sanctity, Mention was made of them at the altar, as St. Augustine says, * " At the very table, we commemorate them, not that we should pray for them, but rather, that they might pray for us," and in another place + ** It is an injury to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we should be commended.” And thus a learned expounder of the Canon writes f“ We honour the head in his members, God in his Saints."
Being thus fortified by the intercession of those Saints, the celebrant now spreads his hands over the offerings : as the high priest of Judea formerly laid his hands upon the goat to load that victim with the sins of the people, and as the priests of the old law always laid their hands upon the heads of those victims which were offered for sin. By laying his hands thus over the oblation, he too identifies himself therewith, and thus makes the complete sacrifice of bimself, the people, and the bread and wine to the
* Tract 84 in Joan. + Serm. 17 de verbis Apost. Ode
Camerac. in Expos. Sac. Can. dis. 2.