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(dicendam. Sar.) The Church of Christ has always insisted upon a diligent preparation to be made by all her members before the reception of the Holy Communion: much more therefore should he who is about to Celebrate offer up earnest petitions to the Almighty, for His especial grace; confess his sins, and ask for pardon, and acknowledge his unworthiness. Anciently, (independent of the exact confession which was to be made,) the following prayer was appointed to be said : and, as it is not to be supposed that the Priests of the Church of England in our own times ever think of entering upon this, the most mysterious and awful of their sacred duties, without some such prayer and preparation as I have just spoken of, and, as they are left to their own choice as to what prayers they should use, I would venture to call their attention to this : because, although some expressions in it must not be taken in the exact sense, in which for some time previous to the Reformation they certainly were, yet they will still bear an orthodox interpretation, and the whole prayer has the impress of antiquity, and is in its spirit and intention excellent.
“ | Oratio dicenda ante missam. Deus qui de indignis dignos, de pecca-. toribus justos, de immundis mundos facis: munda cor et corpus meum ab omni contagione et sorde peccati, et fac me dignum altaribus tuis ministrum, et concede propitius : ut in hoc altari ad quod indignus accedo, hostias acceptabiles offeram pietati tuæ pro peccatis et offensionibus meis, et innumeris quotidianisque excessibus ; et pro omnibus hic circumstantibus, universisque mihi familiaritate et affinitate conjunctis, atque me odio aliquo insectantibus et adversantibus, cunctisque lelibus Ch stianis vivis et mortuis : et per eum sit tibi meum votum atque sacrificium acceptabile : qui se tibi Deo Patri obtulit in sacrificium, Jesus Christus, Filius tuus, Dominus noster. Qui tecum vivit et regnat.” Missale Sarum. Edit. 1492. Some editions add, (as all doubtless understand,)“ in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus.”
It will be observed that the York Use makes no mention of any vestments, and the Hereford speaks only of the Amice and the Alb. We must remember that though now they are lost, there were formerly numerous other volumes in which complete instructions were to be found for the due vesting of both the Celebrant and his Assistants: in the Missal, sometimes they were but alluded to, at other times omitted altogether. There cannot be a shadow of doubt, that the full number of vestments was required by the order of the Church of Hereford as well as by the Church of Salisbury : and if one would argue from this rubric “ postquam sacerdos induerit se amictum
Rom. Ad introitum missæ postquam Sacerdos paratus3 cum ingredisacerdos induerit se amictum et tur ad altare, facta illi debita
et albam,” that the Chasuble (for example) was not also necessary, he might as well attempt to prove from the York rubric, that in that Church the Celebrant was not vested at all, and was simply to wash his hands. The following is a Canon of an early Council. “Nullus Presbyter sine amictu, alba, et stola, et fanone, et casula ullatenus Missam celebrare præsumat. Et hæc sacra vestimenta mundissima sint, et in nitido loco intra Ecclesiam collocentur. Nec Presbyter, cum his induitur, extra Ecclesiam exeat: quia hoc lex divina prohibet.” Regino Prumiensis. De Ecc. Discip. Lib.i. p. 57.
2 (Lavat manus suas. Ebor.) I cannot decide whether the rite of washing the hands was peculiar to the Church of York, as the other English Uses omit all mention of it: nor, whether in that and in the Church of Hereford the Hymn Veni Creator, and prayers were said at the putting on of the Vestments. It is not probable that the washing would be omitted: an observance so universal and one which, although a mere ceremony, almost the light of nature would suggest. Euclio says (as cited by Cardinal Bona) “ Nunc lavabo ut rem divinam faciam.” Apud Plautum, in Aulularia, iv. 2. The Christian Church has observed it from the earliest ages. S. Paul alludes to it in his Epistle to Timothy : “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands.” Ep. 1. c. ii. This, we must remember, just after he has been speaking of the Blessed Eucharist. Tertullian asks : “Quæ ratio est, manibus quidem ablutis, spiritu vero sordente orationem obire?” de orat. cap. xi. S. Augustin also: “Si erubescimus, ac timemus Eucharistiam manibus sordibus tangere, plus timere debemus ipsam Eucharistiam intus in anima polluta suscipere.” Ser. 244.
(Sacerdos paratus. Rom.)“ Sacerdos celebraturus Missam, prævia confessione sacramentali, quando opus est, et saltem Matutino cum Laudibus absoluto, orationi aliquantulum vacet, et orationes pro temporis opportunitate dicat. Deinde accedit ad locum in sacristia, vel alibi præparatum, ubi paramenta, aliaque ad celebrationem necessaria habentur : accipit Missale, perquirit Missam, perlegit, et signacula ordinat ad ea quæ dicturus est. Postea lavat manus, dicens orationem. “Da, Domine, virtutem manibus meis ad abstergendam omnem maculam: ut sine pollutione mentis et corporis valeam tibi servire.”
The Roman Missal can be procured by any one: I shall therefore refer he reader to it, and recommend him to read carefully, if he wishes to understand the subject, the “ Ritus servandus in Celebratione Missæ," at the beginning of the book, from which the above is extracted.
cum suis mi- tionem :
rum visita : imple superna gratia, quæ tu creasti pectora. etc. 7. Emitte spiritum tuum et creabuntur. R. Et renovabis faciem terræ. Oratio.
EUS cui omne cor patet et omnis ARGIRE sensi
voluntas loquitur, et quem nullum bus nostris omnilatet secretum : purifica per infusionem potens Pater: ut sicut sancti Spiritus cogitationes cordis nos- hic abluuntur inquinatri: ut perfecte te diligere et digne menta manuum, ita a
Evoluntas loquitur, et
4“ Et si episcopus celebraverit tres babeat diaconos et tres subdiaconos ad minus in omni festo ix. lec. et in omnibus dominicis quando ipse exequitur officium divinum. In die vero Pentecostes et in die coenæ, vij. diaconos habeat, et vij. subdiaconos et tres acolytos. In aliis vero duplicibus festis per annum quinque habeat diaconos tantum, et quinque subdiaconos, et tres acolytos. In die vero parasceves unum solum habeat diaconum.” Rubr. Miss. Bangor. (Signat se signo Crucis. Rom.) Ante omnem actum manus pingat Cru
S. Hieron. Epist. 22. ad Eust. c. 16. et manu dextera, ex Justino Martyre ad Orthod. resp. ad. quest. 118. et manu plena, hoc est, quinque digitis ad quinque vulnera Christi significanda: Durand. lib. ii. cap. 46. sed tribus digitis signum Crucis exprimendum esse, quia sub invocatione Trinitatis imprimitur, aiebat Innoc. III. lib. ii. cap. 45. et memorat Leo IV. Epist. ad Episcopos: ita ut manus a superiori descendat in inferius, et a dextera transeat ad sinistram : quia Christus de Cælo descendit in Terram, et a Judæis transivit ad Gentiles. Quidam tamen, subdit ille, a sinistra producunt in dexteram, quia de miseria transire debemus ad gloriam, sicut et Christus de morte transivit ad vitam. Gavanti Thes. Sac. Rituum, tom. i. p. 170. And so S. Ambrose has said ; that we make the sign of the Cross upon our forehead, that we may always be bold to confess : upon our breast, that we may remember to love : upon our arm, that we may be ready at all times to work.