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Dr. O'Conor, in the second volume of his "Rerum Hibernicarum Scriptores," does not seem to me to be of very great antiquity; and if I may be permitted to conjecture its age from that of other MSS., I should say it was written about the tenth or eleventh century, and probably not very long before the year 1064, between which and the year 1026, Dr. O'Conor says, the very curious inscribed case covering the MS. must have been formed. But we should remember, that although not written before the tenth or eleventh century, it may at that time have been copied from a more ancient MS., which was probably the fact.
This missal is in several ways proved to have belonged to the Irish church. First, it contains rubrics in the Irish language"; secondly, it contains a number of names of Irish saints and worthies '; thirdly, it makes a commemoration in the prayers omnium quoque Scotorum3, "and of all the Irish,” (the Irish being always called Scoti, until the eleventh or twelfth century). Besides this, it accords with the few traces of the Irish liturgy which we can find amongst ancient writers. In the synod of Matiscon in Gaul, A.D. 624, Agrestius objected against Columbanus, an Irish monk, abbot of Bobio in Italy, that he used a number of collects in celebrating the liturgy. On the other hand, Eustasius, a friend of Columbanus, defended this custom. On
O'Conor, Appendix, p. 35, rupit dicens, se scire Columba
h P. 47.
i P. 49.
j P. 48.
num a cæterorum more desciscere, et ipsa missarum solemnia multiplicatione orationum vel collectarum celebrare." See
"At ille (Agrestius) pro- the whole context, and the
referring to Dr. O'Conor's description of the MS. missal, we find it actually does contain several collects before the epistle', contrary to the practice of most of the western churches.
The anonymous Irish writer on the Origin of Ecclesiastical Offices, quoted by Usher, and referred to above, speaks of St. Mark's having appointed all the people to sing Gloria in excelsis, Tersanctus, and the Lord's Prayer"; and as he refers the origin of the Irish liturgy (however erroneously) to S. Mark, these forms must have been used in it. When we turn to Dr. O'Conor's description of the MS. missal, it seems that all these forms occur there. It is remarkable that the Nicene Creed, in this MS., does not contain the addition Filioque, which was generally received by the western churches before the end of the ninth century; neither does it include the article of the descent of our Saviour into hell".
This ancient liturgy begins with an anthem, followed by litanies, and the hymn Gloria in excelsis°; after which are several collects or "prayers, for the 'priest, the people, the universal church, the peace. "and prosperity of princes and kingdoms, for the "distributors of alms," &c. The Epistle, Gospel, and Creed, follow next in order. The remainder
reply of Eustasius, who was
m "Sed beatus Marcus Evangelista totam Ægyptum et Italiam taliter prædicavit sicut unam ecclesiam, ut omnes sanctus, vel Gloria in ex
celsis Deo, vel orationem Dominicam et Amen, universi tam viri quam fœminæ decantarent.' Tract. de Cant. et cursibus Eccl. Spelman, Concilia, tom. i. p. 177.
O'Conor, p. 45. 47.
。 P. 41-43.
9 P. 44, 45.
of the office, including the canon, seems to accord pretty nearly with the ancient Roman, omitting "all festivals and prayers that have been added to "it since the tenth century." The prayers which follow the offertory in the Roman missal are wanting in the Irish; the prayer Deus qui humanæ substantiæ, the Lavabo, and prayer Suscipe S. Trinitas, are omitted. The bread and wine are not offered separately, but simultaneously'. The festivals to be commemorated in the preface or thanksgiving "are placed in the Irish missal in the following or"der: 1. Nativity; 2. Circumcision; 3. Epiphany; "4. Natale calicis Domini (or Lent); 5. Easter; "6. In clausula Pascha (Low-Sunday, the octave "of Easter-day); 7. Ascension; 8. Pentecost. For "these festivals there is but one common preface, "nor is there any distinction, save the inserting in "that preface the name of each festival as it occurs "in the calendars." The canon contains several variations from the ancient Roman of no great consequence. The words following, Hanc igitur, contain a petition that the people may be delivered from idolatry; and remind us of the various prayers which occur in the sacramentary of Gelasius at this part of the service'. The Memento for the departed contains a long list of Irish worthies, the latest of whom, according to Dr. O'Conor, "died before the middle of the seventh century"." The chief peculiarity of this formulary is, that they are invoked after the manner of western litanies, Ora pro nobis. Dr. O'Conor remarks in general of this liturgy, that
r P. 46, 47.
S P. 47.
t See Bona, Rer. Liturgic.
lib. ii. c. 12, num. 4.
"all the improvements which have been made in the Roman missal since the days of Berno, A.D. "1012, and which were universally adopted in Ire"land at the synod of Kells, in 1152, are wanting "in this; and therefore this must be considered as "the missal which was in use in Ireland before that time, probably from the days of Columban. It is "in fact one of the most valuable monuments that "has escaped the ravages of the tenth century "."
I agree with the Doctor in thinking this a valuable and curious record; and that it affords us a clue in our inquiries relative to the ancient Irish liturgy. It is the only document in existence which can be referred to the liturgy of Ireland, before the jurisdiction of the Roman patriarch was established in that country. It seems, however, that this liturgy accorded very nearly with the ancient Roman; and it would in fact be probable, antecedently to a knowledge of this fact, that the Irish used the Roman liturgy from the time of Patrick; for it seems that Palladius and Patrick were successively ordained bishops of the Scoti, or Irish, by Cœlestine patriarch of Rome, A.D. 431 and 432"; and it is natural to imagine, that they brought the Roman liturgy into Ireland. However, the Irish also received the ancient British liturgy in the following century, as I have already observed; and it seems that in later times there were great varieties in the mode of celebrating divine worship in Ireland, which were mentioned by Gillebert bishop of Limerick A.D. 1090*, and which appear to have been removed by
In his book de Usu Ec
v P. 49. "Usser. Britan. Eccl. Antiq. clesiastico, which was written, c. 16, 17. "ut diversi et schismatici illi
the synod of Kells, A.D. 1152, when the Roman rites were established.
With regard to the liturgy of the Saxon church in England, there are no such difficulties as those which attend the British and Irish. There can be no doubt that Augustine and his companions, who preached the Gospel in some part of the heptarchy, at the end of the sixth and beginning of the seventh centuries, carried with them the sacramentary of Gregory, patriarch of Rome, by whom they had been sent to this country. In fact, the liturgical books of the Anglo-Saxon church in subsequent times were nothing else but transcripts of that sacramentary. As, however, each bishop had the power of making some improvements in the liturgy of his church, in process of time different customs arose, and several became so established as to receive the names of their respective churches. Thus gradually the "Uses" or customs of York, Sarum, Hereford, Bangor, Lincoln, Aberdeen, &c. came to be distinguished from each other.
The missals and other ritual books of York and Hereford have been printed; but I have inquired in vain for the names of the bishops who originated the few peculiarities which they contain. Their rubrics are sometimes less definite than those of the Sarum "Use," and they contain some few offices in commemoration of departed prelates and saints, which are not found in other missals, &c. The "Use" or custom of Sarum derives its origin from Osmund, bishop of
ordines, quibus Hibernia pene tota delusa est, uni catholico et Romano cedant officio." Usser. Vet. Epist. Hibernicar.
Sylloge, p. 77.
y For instance, the missal of Leofric, bishop of Exeter, in the Bodleian Library.