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occurs after the Gospel), and the Priest recited a collect Post precem.
"Then the Deacon proclaimed to the catechumens to depart, but whether any previous prayers were made for them seems doubtful. Germanus speaks of its being an ancient custom of the Church to pray for catechumens in this place, but his words do not absolutely prove that there were particular prayers for them in the Gallican Church, and no other author refers to the custom, as far as I am aware. The catechumens, and those under penitential discipline, having been dismissed, silence was again enjoined, and an address to the people on the subject of the day, and entitled Præfatio, was recited by the Priest, who then repeated another prayer. The oblations of the people were next received, while the choir sang an offertory anthem, termed sonum by Germanus. The elements were placed on the holy table, and covered with a large and close veil or pall, and in later times the Priest here invoked the blessing of God on the gifts.
"Then the tablets called diptychs, containing the names of the living and departed saints, were recited, and the Priest made a collect, post nomina.' Then followed the salutation and kiss of peace; after which the Priest read the collect, ad pacem.' The mystical liturgy now commenced, corresponding to the Eastern 'prosphora,' or 'anaphora,' and the Roman preface and canon. It began with the form sursum corda,' &c., and then followed the preface, or thanksgiving, called 'contestatio,' or 'immolatio,' in which God's benefits to the human race were variously commemorated; and at the proper place the people all joined in singing the hymn Tersanctus.
"The thanksgiving then continued in the form called 'post sanctus,' which terminated with the commemoration of our Saviour's deed and words at the institution of this sacrament. Afterwards the Priest recited a collect entitled 'post mysterium,' or 'post secreta,' probably because the above commemoration was not committed to writing, on account of its being esteemed to have great efficacy in the consecration. The collect, post mysterium,' often contained a verbal oblation of the bread and wine, and an invocation of God to send His Holy Spirit to sanctify them into the sacraments of Christ's body and blood. After this the bread was broken, and the Lord's Prayer repeated by the Priest and people, being introduced and concluded with appropriate prayers, made by the Priest alone.
"The Priest or Bishop then blessed the people, to which they answered, Amen. Communion afterwards took place, during which a psalm or anthem was sung. The Priest repeated a collect of thanksgiving, and the service terminated."
It was on this rite that the Eucharistic customs of the Church of England were founded, although they were plainly revised and altered at several periods, and in several dioceses; as, for example, by St. Augustine in the seventh century, and St. Osmund in the eleventh.
§ The Medieval Liturgy of the Church of England. As, in the early Church throughout the world, there were various forms of the Liturgy, all having a substantial unity, so while England was divided into several distinct districts, by dialect and civil government, the form of Liturgy which was used in various parts of the country was affected by local circumstances; especially as each diocese had the right of adopting (within certain limits) its own particular customs, or 66 use " in Divine Service, until the sixteenth century.
Soon after the Conquest, however, about the year 1085, a great liturgical successor of St. Gregory arose in the person of Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, of whom we know little beyond the fact that he revised the Breviary and Missal, and brought both into a form which commended itself to a large portion of the Church of England, and even to some foreign dioceses. There were, indeed, independent Breviaries and Missals of York, Hereford, Bangor, Lincoln, and perhaps other churches; but those of Salisbury were the most generally used throughout the southern counties, and before the sixteenth century the Missal of that diocese came to be called, in some editions, "Missale secundum usum Ecclesiæ Anglicana." In 1541-2, the Missal as well as
other books of the use of Sarum were formally adopted for the whole province of Canterbury by an act of Convocation. Notwithstanding the variations that had so long existed in the ritual customs of different districts and dioceses, it must not be supposed that these variations extended to any essential matters. On the contrary, there was a distinct generic identity, which showed that all were, in reality, local forms of one great national rite, that rite itself being a branch of one great Catholic system; and this was especially the case with the Communion Office or Liturgy. The substance of the Salisbury Liturgy is given in the Appendix to the Communion Office, but it is necessary to give some account of it here to show the manner in which the Church of England celebrated the Holy Communion from A.D. 1080 to A.D. 1549. Many further illustrations of it, and of the other English uses, as well as of the connexion between them and our present Communion Office, will be found in the subsequent notes.
The Medieval Liturgy of the Church of England was made up, like all others, of the two great divisions which are called in the Eastern Church the Pro-Anaphora and the Anaphora, and in the Western Church, the Ordinarium and the Canon; the former part ending with the Sanctus, the latter part beginning with the Prayer of Consecration and Oblation.
The first portion of the Ordinary consisted of the hymn "Veni Creator," the Collect, "Almighty God, to whom all hearts be open," the forty-third Psalm, "Give sentence with me, O God," the lesser Litany and the Lord's Prayer, all of which were said in the vestry while the Celebrant was putting on his albe, chasuble, &c. The public part of the service began with the "Officium," or Introit, of which many examples are given in the notes to the Epistles and Gospels, and which was sung (in the manner described at p. 71) while the Celebrant and his ministers were going from the vestry to the altar. After this followed the Confession and Absolution, said as at Prime and Compline, and as described in a note at p. 5, the Gospeller and Epistoler taking part with the choir in the alternate form used. This mutual confession of unworthiness was sealed with a kiss of peace given by the Celebrant to the Deacon and Sub-deacon1, and burning incense having been waved before the altar by the former, the "Gloria in Excelsis" was sung (except at certain seasons) as the solemn commencement of the rite. The Mutual Salutation [see p. 22] was then said, and after that the Collect of the Day, the Epistle and Gospel, and the Nicene Creed. The Gospel was preceded by a procession with singing [the Gradale], somewhat similar to the "little entrance" of the Eastern Church [p. 148], and was generally read (in large churches) from the "Jube" or "pulpit," a desk placed between the cross and the chancel wall on the rood-loft. The Nicene Creed was followed by the Offertory, the solemn Oblation of the Elements, short supplications that the sacrifice might be acceptable to God for the living and the departed, and certain private prayers of the Celebrant, with which the first part of the Service, or Ordinarium, may be said to have ended.
The Canon of the Mass was introduced by the Apostolic versicles, the Proper Preface, and the Tersanctus, which we still use in the same place; and then followed a long prayer, interspersed with many ceremonies, but substantially equivalent to the "Prayer for the Church Militant," the "Consecration Prayer," and the first "Thanksgiving Prayer" of our modern English Liturgy. This will be found given at length in the Appendix to the Communion Office.
The prayer of Consecration was not immediately followed by the Participation as in our modern Liturgy. First came the Lord's Prayer, preceded by a short preface, and followed by a prayer for deliverance from all evil, analogous to the Embolismus of the Eastern Church [p. 6]. Then came the Agnus Dei, sung thrice, in the same manner as it is sung twice in the modern Litany. After the Agnus Dei followed the ceremony of the commixture of the consecrated elements, by placing a portion of the wafer into the chalice, in symbolical signification of the union of
1 This is peculiar to the Sarum and Bangor rites, not being found in any other Liturgy in this part of the service.