« PoprzedniaDalej »
from those words, “ Hear us, o mercifull Father, foc.' he would answer the end of the Rubric.” This cuts the knot: and like other methods in similar cases, by breaking the rule. Still, however, it does seem, unsatisfactory as it is, the only way left to us, when unfortunately it happens, that the elements first consecrated are not sufficient for the number of communicants; and as to objectors upon the score of obedience, let those who have been accustomed to observe rigidly all the rubrics of the Common Prayer Book, throw the first stone.
Next, as to the Oblation of the Elements, after the recital of the Words of Institution; or, to speak more strictly, as to the offering of the Sacrifice. The Prayer of Oblation, says Wheatley,79 was “mangled and displaced at the review in 1552; being half laid aside, and the rest of it thrown into an improper place: as being enjoined to be said in that part of the Office which is to be used after the people have communicated.” He adds, approvingly certainly than otherwise, the example of another cutting of a knot by Bishop Overall, whose practice was to use the first prayer in the Post Communion Office between the consecration and the administering, even when it was otherwise ordered by the public Liturgy.” 80
79 Bp. Hickes, however, also says that the second oblation, “ is made in substance, and according to the intention of the Church in the prayer of Consecration to God the Father, where after the commemoration of Christ's offering Himself upon the Cross, and His in. stitution of the perpetual Memorial of His precious death, God the Father is implored to hear us," while “according to the same Institu. tion, we receive His creatures of Bread and Wine, in remembrance of His Son, our Saviour's Death and Passion.”
Christian Priesthood, vol. i. p. 119. 80 “ On this Bishop Jolly remarks, that he must have thought it no breach of the Act of Uniformity'-(on the Eucharist, 155); Dr. 81 So also the Book of 1552.
No expression can be more just than this, that in our present Office the Prayer of Oblation is both displaced and mangled : more, the great truth is hidden, as though we feared to speak it. Still, there it is, and we may, using it in humility and thankfulness that it has been spared to us at all, now, as our fathers have ever done since the days of the Apostles, offer up to the Almighty Father the Unbloody Sacrifice, the appointed and powerful Memorials, the Body and the Blood of Christ. Thus then it stands : 81 “O Lord and heavenly Father, we thy humble servants entirely desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching thee to grant, &c.” And again; “ Although we be unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice; yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 82
Lastly, as to the Invocation of the Holy Spirit: that He may descend upon, and make the Representative Elements the Body and the Blood of Christ. It is true
Pusey, (to whom Tract 87, p. 98, warrants us in ascribing the Introduction to Tract 81), that “perhaps his so doing implies that it had always been so done in that portion of the Church, and the Rubric not received in that Church as yet.” (p. 36). Note to Robertson's How to Conform to the Liturgy, p. 127, who, it is but fair to him to add, confesses, that he does not understand Dr. Pusey's explanation.
82 Bishop Watson says; “ In his last supper, Christ beyng our most hye Priest, firste of all did offer a Sacrifice to God the Father, and commaunded the same to be done of the Priestes of his Church that occupye hys offyce, in memorye of hym, and so taughte the newe oblation of the newe Testament, whyche Oblation the Church recyving of the Apostles, dothe offer to God throughoute the holle worlde. Holsome and Catholyke doctrine, p. 68, edit. 1558.
that anciently this was prayed for in plain and direct words. As in the Clementine ; “Send down thy Holy Spirit, the witness of the sufferings of the Lord Jesus, that He may make (aropnun) this Bread the Body of Thy Christ, and this Cup the Blood of Thy Christ.” Again, in the Liturgy of S. James ; “ Send down, O Lord, Thy most Holy Spirit upon us, and upon these Gifts which are here set before Thee, that by His descent upon them, He may make this bread the holy Body of Thy Christ, and this cup the precious Blood of Thy Christ.” And once more, in the Alexandrian ; "Send down Thy Holy Spirit upon us, and upon these loaves and these cups, that the Almighty God may sanctify and thoroughly consecrate them : (ένα αυτά αγιάση και Telewon) making the bread the Body, and the cup the Blood of the New Testament of our Lord Himself, our God, our Saviour, and supreme King Jesus Christ." It does not appear necessary, however, that this Invocation should be so express. The Western Church for a thousand years has not used such a prayer, and we may conclude with Palmer and Waterland, that it is not essential to mention before God the means by which He is to accomplish the end we pray for. “However true it be, that God effects this consecration by means of the Holy Ghost, it is unnecessary to pray expressly for the Holy Ghost to consecrate the elements of bread and wine, because God knows perfectly all the means and methods of consecration, and because any prayer for consecration, is, in fact, a prayer that it may be accomplished by all the means which are known to Infinite Wisdom.” 83 The Invocation, therefore, in the English Liturgy is as follows; “ Hear us, O merciful Father, we most bumbly beseech thee ; and grant that we receiving these thy creatures of bread and wine, according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed body and blood.”84
83 Palmer. Orig. Lit. 2. 138.
We may assert then, that our Liturgy contains the necessary essentials to a valid consecration of the Holy Eucharist. That these are disjointed, misplaced, obscured, is matter for serious exertions to be employed upon, that they may be restored to a due order, and a more evident existence. We are not, however, driven to seek in other Forms, the certainty which we cannot discover in our own : and there can be no surer mark of the ever-abiding presence of our Blessed Lord hitherto, with this the English Branch of His Church, than that we still possess it. Whilst we regret what we have lost, let us acknowledge in deep humility the correcting hand, which has spared us what none will dare to say, we have deserved.
Although I hurry to conclude this Preface, there is yet one more subject upon which I would make some observations. In all the Liturgies reprinted in this Volume, will be found commemorations of and prayers for the dead. There is an uniform observance of the great principle that we who are alive and the Dead Saints form but One Body, “ one family in heaven and earth,” (as it is written in the Ephesians,) under One Head: and that the highest service which can be paid to their Blessed Lord by the living, ought to include also in its
84 So also in the Book of 1552. See Palmer, for further remarks upon this passage.
supplications those who have been already called to their eternal rest, the Dead in Christ.
It has been a pious opinion of the Church that the Holy Angels are especially present with us in the celebration of the Eucharist. As an old Bishop of our Church has written ; “In this geuynge of thankes by Christe oure Lorde, for whose merites they be onely acceptable, the Priest prayeth to be ioyned and associate with the Aungels and Archangels, and all the whole army of the blessed spirites in heaven, who than doo assist the Prieste, and be present there in the honour of hym who is offered, praysynge, honoring, and adouringe the Maiestie of almyghtye God.” 85 But the Angels are in the actual enjoyment of that unspeakable bliss which is not to be bestowed on man until after the great Judgment. For them therefore the Church supplicates not any increase, or any hastening of anticipated joy: but for the Dead She does pray. At the solemn time when the Memorial has been offered to the Almighty of the Passion of the Beloved Son, She thinks not only, speaks not only of Her members who are militant here on earth, but remembers those who are equally Her members still, though removed from the carnal sight: She acknowledges by the mere remembrance, and by Her commemoration, that they are yet living although dead : that they have hopes and expectations, and (if it be not presumptuous to say so) longings for the coming of Christ's Kingdom, for the consummation of all things.
Therefore, with an undoubting and steady voice, has
85 Watson. Holsome Doctrine, &c. p. 79. So in the Hymn Tersanctus we say “ Therefore, with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, wę laud and magnify thy glorious Name."