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Office in the Apostolical Constitutions is the standard and test by which all others are to be tried. And by comparing them with this, the innovations and additions in after times, be they good or bad, will appear.” Being then so valuable a record,” I cannot think that a reprint of it will be out of place in the present volume. We may refer to it as Bishop Hickes has recommended: we may look upon it with Johnson as, in substance, the Apostolic Form, and so learn to judge more truly than we otherwise might of old and modern liturgies. As such a guide I would regard it, not to the exclusion of the Jerusalem, or Alexandrian, or Roman,” (as if they had not also sprung from the teaching and example of Apostles) but as containing in an earlier form than, as we have them now, they do, those rites which are essential to a valid consecration and perfecting of the Eucharist, and without which no Service, though it may claim the name, can be allowed to be a Christian Liturgy. After the Council of Nice, and in the age immediately preceding, additions were unquestionably made to the original Form used in the various Churches. Most of these are easily to be traced: and the observation of S. Paul to the Corinthians in his first Epistle, where he says, “there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you,” is as applicable to the public services and rituals of the Catholic Church, as to the opinions of her individual members.” During the short space when there was indeed but one mind and one Faith, there was little need of cautious phrases, and additional safeguards by which the truth might be preserved: very different however was the case after the time of Arius, and Macedonius, and Nestorius; and epithets even became necessary, which in purer days would, perhaps, but have seemed to mar the earnest simplicity of the Church's
whole liturgies, yet it is certain that there were such in the oldest times,
* It is surely scarcely necessary for me to remind the reader, that
we have also an equally valuable commentary upon it, in the 5th Catechetical Lecture of S. Cyril.
* “That there were ancient liturgies in the Church is evident: S. Chrysostom, S. Basil, and others: and though we find not in all ages
by those parts which are extant: as “Sursum corda,” “Were dignum et justum,” &c. Though those which are extant may be interpolated, yet such things as are found in them all consistent to catholic and primitive doctrine, may well be presumed to have been from the prayers.
first, especially since we find no
ut probati manifesti fiant, id est, ut
FoE must now pass on to consider the particular (5: ! Liturgy, from which the ancient Uses of the #.U. Church of England are usually supposed to & have been more immediately derived. The Roman was among the earliest, and soon became the chief, of the Patriarchates of the Catholic Church. The contentions of neighbouring provinces, the irruptions of barbarians, the local influence of her bishops, and above all, under God, her anxious and untiring energy in the cause of the propagation of the true Faith, rapidly strengthened the primacy of the Church of Rome: and within eight hundred years of the death of our Blessed Lord, she had obtained throughout the West almost imperial power, and in the East considerable influence. We might naturally, therefore, expect that in the remains of antiquity which have been spared to us, we should find a complete liturgy which she had used from her first foundation, with perhaps also a history of it, detailing exactly the various alterations which it has undergone. But we know little about it. Writers who lived long ago, and to whom some accounts we may have supposed would have come down, speak in very general terms. Durand contents himself with saying, “In primordio nascentis Ecclesiae missa aliter dicebatur, quam modo. —Sequenti vero tempore epistola tantum, et evangelio recitatis, missa celebrabatur: subsequenter Coelestinus Papa instituit introitum ad missam cantari.-Caetera diversis temporibus ab aliis Papis leguntur adjecta, prout Christianae religionis cultu crescente, visa sunt decentius convenire.” And as we go back some four hundred
* Rationale div. off. Lib. 4. Cap. I. 5.
years, Walafrid Strabo tells us what is still less satisfactory, “Quod nunc agimus multiplici orationum, lectionum, cantilenarum, et consecrationum officio, totum hoc Apostoli, et post ipsos proximi, (ut creditur) orationibus et commemoratione passionis Dominicae, sicut ipse praecepit, agebant simpliciter.” Hence is it, that some who dislike the authority of liturgies have denied to the Roman all claim to any great age : and have ascribed its first beginning as a Form, to Gregory the Great, or to Gelasius, or Vigilius, or Leo, in succession Bishops of Rome. Others, on the contrary, have boldly given it to S. Peter, as the sole author, at least of the Canon, and that it has come down to us in the main points unimpaired. Those authors from whom I have just made extracts, state their full conviction of the truth of this: for example, Walafrid Strabo, in the same chapter: “Romani quidem usum observationum a beato Petro accipientes, suis quique temporibus, quae congrua judicata sunt, addiderunt.” And, more expressly, an Archbishop of our own Church, AElfric in his pastoral epistle : “Now was the mass established by our Lord Christ; and the holy apostle Peter appointed the Canon thereto, which we call Te igitur.” The later ritualists, men of the greatest learning and of unwearied labour in these inquiries, take the same ground. Gavantus declares that S. Clement received the Roman liturgy from S. Peter.” Le Brun also: “Romanae ecclesiae liturgia dubio procul ex S. Petro per traditionem derivatur.” Georgius again:
* De rebus Eccles. Cap. 22. Edit. Cochlaeus. 1549. This also,
Saxon Laws, &c. Vol. 2. p. 381. * Thesaurus Sacr. Rituum. Tom.
after premising, “quantum invenire
1. p. 2. Merati in his notes tells us of the Altar preserved at Rome, upon which S. Peter is said to have offered the Eucharist. Tom. 1. p. 130.
* Opera. Tom. 2. p. 78.
“Sacrarum caerimoniarum origo, ab Apostolicis temporibus ducta, viam nobis stravit ad Romanæ liturgiae vetustatem, cujus primordia, et ordinem beato Petro ecclesia Romana debet.” ” But the chief authorities upon which these opinions rest are of S. Isidore, who lived in the seventh century; and of Innocent I. in the fifth. The first tells us: “Ordo missae vel orationum, quibus oblata Deo sacrificia consecrantur, primum a sancto Petro est institutus,” and he adds, what certainly was incorrect, “cujus celebrationem uno eodemgue modo universus peragit orbis.” ” Innocent lays down the same, in a passage too long to extract, in an epistle to the Bishop Decentius: and from which Georgius draws this conclusion: “Heus quanta ex hoc plane aureo S. Innocentii Pontificis testimonio hauriuntur ! Vides enim Romanam ecclesiam, a sancto Petro, ut diximus, ordinem missae edoctam.” ” But much more sound is the interpretation which Cardinal Bona,” with whom agrees Pinius,” puts upon the last sentence of S. Isidore; and which I would extend to the other early authorities to the same purpose: “Hoc de re et substantia, non de verborum tenore et caeremoniis intelligendum est.” For as the truth is unquestionably not with the advocates of the first of the two opinions which I have mentioned, so with some limitations, although it may not be freed from all objection, we may agree with the other. To name as the author of the Roman liturgy any particular Apostle, is beyond possibility: but the essential rites which are in all ancient liturgies, are to be found also in the Canon of the Church of Rome, in every age, up to the most early, through which we are able to trace
* De Lit. Rom. Pontif. Tom. Tom. 1. p. 188. 1. p. 9. See also Martene. De 57 Tom. 1. p. 10. Ant. Ecc. Rit. Tom. 1. p. 98. * Rerum Liturg. Lib. 1. Cap.
... * De Eccles. Officiis. Lib. 1. 7. v. Cap. 15. Bibl. Patrum Auct. * De Lit. Ant. Hispanica. P.2.