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IN the Admonition entitled “ Concerning the Service I of the Church,” which succeeds, if indeed it does not rather form a part of, the Preface to our present Book of Common Prayer, we find the following:
“And whereas heretofore there hath been great diversity in saying and singing in Churches within this Realm ; some following Salisbury Use, some Hereford Use, and some the Use of Bangor, some of York, some of Lincoln ; now from henceforth all the whole realm shall have but one Use.”
In this passage the word heretofore does not relate to the time immediately preceding the last Review of the Common Prayer in 1662, for during more than 100 years, (with the exception of the period of the Rebellion, and heretical ascendancy) there had been only one Use of saying and singing in Churches. We must go back to the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and
1 With regard to uniformity of singing, the 49th of Queen Elizabeth's Injunctions declares that “ because in dyvers Collegiate and also some paryshe Churches heretofore, there hath ben levynges appointed for the mayntenaunce of men & chyldren to use synging fin the church, by meanes whereof the lawdable science of musicke hath ben had in estimation and preserved in knowledge: the Quenes maiestie- wylleth and commaundeth, that fyrste no alteration be made of such assignementes of lyvynge but that the same so remayne. And that there bee a modeste and destyncte songe so used in all partes of the common prayers in the Churche: that the same maye be as playnelye understanded, as if it were read without singing."
Injunctions geven by the Quenes Maiestie. Imprinted by
Jugge and Cawood. Anno .m.d.lix. Reprinted in Cardwell. Doc. Annals. i. 196.
beyond that again to the year 1549, when the first Book of King Edward the Sixth having been approved by Convocation, was put forth and enjoined by the authority of the Parliament and the Crown. In the Preface to that Book, there is almost word for word the same injunction.
So also the “ Act for the Uniformity of publick Prayers, and administering the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies, &c. in the Church of England,” (xiv. Car. II.) begins; “Whereas in the first year of the late Queen Elizabeth, there was one uniform Order of Common Service and Prayer, and of the administration of the Sacraments, Rites, and Ceremonies of the Church of England.” And the Act here recited, the first of Elizabeth, refers in like manner to the last year of Edward the Sixth, declaring that then also there was “ one uniform Order.” These Acts, we may say then, recognize the previous existence of various allowed forms or Uses.
There are certainly some who very imperfectly understand what is meant by these Uses of the Church of England; they have often remarked the passage which I have quoted from the Preface to the Prayer Book, and would be glad to learn something about it. Wheatley and Shepherd, authors generally applied to, pass over without remark “the Preface :" the latter however ? in his Introduction does say, that “it is deserving of notice, that hitherto there had not been in England any one service established by public authority for the general) use of the Church. In the southern parts of the island, the Offices according to the use of Sarum, and in the
? Introduction, p. xxxvii.
northern, those of York, were generally followed. In South Wales the Offices of Hereford were adopted, and in North Wales, those of Bangor, &c. :" and so he passes on. Neither does Dr. Nicholls in his Commentary make any remark upon the passage. Bishop Mant in his selection of Notes upon the Common Prayer, has referred to Sparrow and Brown, who give no further information upon the subject, except indeed that Osmund the Bishop of Salisbury, about 1070, was the compiler of the Use of Sarum.
There are many again, who are better informed, but yet have never had an opportunity of examining any copies of the old services which still exist, whether from living at a distance from public libraries, or from some other cause. It is hoped therefore, that an attempt to render accessible these books or portions of them, (in the present instance the most important of all) will not be unacceptable.
Before the Reformation the public services of the Church of England were not contained, as they now are, in one volume, but in several. Prefixed to an edition of the Portiforium secundum usum Sarum, by Grafton and Whitchurch in 1544, are a privilege and license of the King under his great seal to those printers, that they alone should print certain “ bookes of devine servyce, and praier bookes, that is to saie, the Masse booke, ye Graile, the Hympnal, the Antiphoner, the Processyonale, the Manuel, the Porteaus, and the Prymer.”
Of the books here enumerated the Missal contained the rites and ceremonies and prayers to be used in the celebration of the Holy Communion. It has a Calendar
3 In the possession of the Editor.
at the beginning, always I believe in the printed editions, if not in the Manuscripts: then come the Collects, Epistles, Gospels, Secrets, &c. which vary, throughout the year, succeeded by the Ordinary and the Canon : 4 after which are the services appointed at the Communion for Saints days, and the commemorations of confessors, martyrs, and virgins. These are followed by occasional services to be used when required for the King, for peace, for penitents, against pestilence, for travellers, for the newly married, &c.; and the book not uncommonly ends with forms for blessing water, or bread, &c. and directions to the officiating Priest. The Graile or Gradual and the Processional contained the chants and directions for the processions to be used throughout the year :5 in the Antiphoner, as its name imports, were the Introits and other Antiphons, with their music, which were chanted during the celebration of the Communion :
4 The Ordinary and Canon are also, especially in MSS., often placed after Easter Day; they are sometimes printed upon separate sheets, or upon vellum; and are almost always preceded by a large drawing or wood-cut of the crucifixion.
O“ Notandum est volumen, quod nos vocamus Antiphonarium, tria habere nomina apud Romanos. Quod dicimus Graduale, illi vocant Cantatorium, qui adhuc juxta morem antiquum apud illos in aliquibus Ecclesiis uno volumine continetur. Sequentem partem dividunt in nominibus. Pars, quæ continet Responsoria, vocatur Responsoriale. Et pars, quæ continet Antiphonas, vocatur Antiphonarius." Amalarius lib. de Ord. Antiphonarii : cited by Du Cange. Two editions of the Processional, 1532 and 1558, in the possession of the Editor, contain very curious wood-cuts of the positions in which the officiating priest, deacons, and subdeacons, &c. should stand. The censers, candlesticks, and crucifixes are marked, and the clergy distinguished by shaven crowns, the priest alone having part of a cope added below!
6 This is the strict and old meaning of the Antiphonarium: abot the end of the fifteenth century it began to include also the Antiphorlis which were to be sung at Matins, Lauds, and at the other Canonica Hours.