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monly spoken of as the 'Expositio brevis:' the other is more concerned with the 'Cursus,' as the Breviary-services were antiently called.
Then finally come the incidental notices in various writers, Quotations especially three-namely, Sulpicius Severus, who died between writers. 397 and 410; Caesarius of Arles, who died about 542; and, most copious of all, Gregory of Tours, who died in 595Ruinart's preface to the writings of Gregory collects and discusses his very numerous allusions; and Mabillon, ‘De Liturgia Gallicana,' does the same, adducing also another valuable source of information, viz. the Canons of Gallican Councils.
A certain amount of additional information may be inferred from the analogy of the Mozarabic, which is certainly constructed upon the same lines.
From these various sources we are enabled to arrive at some very important general conclusions about the nature of the service in the sixth and seventh centuries. We have not knowledge enough to reconstruct it in detail. These are the authorities for the outline of this Liturgy, which is sketched below chiefly from Le Brun.
Sxiv. The Roman Liturgy.
The earliest stages of the Latin Roman Liturgy are involved The early in obscurity. It is, we believe, acknowledged on all sides that Church and the language of the early Roman Church, i. e. of the first three Greek. centuries, was Greek. It will be at all events sufficient to quote the names of Dean Milman as a historian, De Rossi as an antiquarian, and Professor Westcott as a critic1, in support of this opinion. Here are Dean Milman's words ('Latin Christianity,' bk. i. ch. 1):-'For some considerable (it cannot but be an undefinable) part of the three first centuries, the Church of Rome, and most, if not all the Churches of the West, were, if we may so speak, Greek religious colonies. Their language was Greek, their organisation Greek, their writers Greek, their Scriptures Greek; and many vestiges and traditions shew that
1 See De Rossi, Roma Sotteranea Cristiana,' p. 126, and Westcott 'Canon of the New Testament,' p. 215 etc. (2nd ed.)
their ritual, their Liturgy, was Greek.' Certainly, if the Roman Church of this period were as thoroughly Greek as Dean Milman believes, its Liturgy must have been Greek; and, if so, it is only natural to suppose that it would follow the Oriental type rather than that of the Roman Liturgy of later times. At all events no traces remain anywhere of any Greek Liturgy similar to the later Roman: and, actually, we have from Justin Martyr, writing at Rome in the first half of the second century, a description of a Liturgy which tallies very closely indeed with the Clementine (an Oriental) Liturgy.
It would surely be out of harmony with the spirit of the early Church, and be a transference of nineteenth-century ideas back into the second and third, to imagine that the Holy Eucharist, the great means and bond and symbol of unity, was celebrated in two different languages in the same Church for different sets of Christians, Greek-speaking and Latin-speaking, according to different rites. If any difficulty be felt with regard to the native Latin members of the Roman Church, it may be rememGreek widely bered first that Greek, as a language of communication, was far more widely understood among all subjects of the early Roman Empire than is often realised: and further, that after all we should only have another instance of what we have already seen was the case in the Syrian and Coptic Churches, where a Greek Liturgy without doubt preceded the adoption of a vernacular service.
Improbability that there were two Liturgies.
The change from Greek
We can discern two powerful causes which co-operated to to Latin, etc., produce a complete change by the early part of the fourth helped by
1. the great
century. The terrible Oriental plague, introduced into Europe by the army returning from the Parthian war (A.D. 167), gradually spread over and devastated the whole Western world. It raged for a century and a half. At Rome itself at one time its ravages were so fearful that 2000 persons per diem are said to have been buried. Niebuhr, in his Lectures on the Hist. of Rome (vol. iii), sees no reason to disbelieve this statement: and he attributes in large measure to this pestilence an utter decline in literature and even in civilisation accompanying the general distress throughout the latter parts of the third century, and
until the time of Constantine. Then came the transference of 2. The the seat of the Empire to Constantinople, and in consequence the seat of change of of it the concentration of many foreign and disturbing influ- Empire. ences upon the new focus, allowing thereby full freedom of play to the native element. At any rate, at some time in the fourth century what we may style the official language of the Roman Church became Latin: and the first really authentic Historical notices. reference to the Roman Liturgy, viz. in the Letter of Pope The letter of Innocent I to Decentius, Bishop of Eugubium, at the beginning of the fifth century (cir. A.D. 416), tells us that two of the characteristics, which distinguish the Roman from the Hispano-Gallican Liturgies, one of which also distinguishes it from any Eastern type, belonged to it then. These are that the Pax was given after the Consecration, and the list of names to be commemorated was read in connection with the Great Oblation. Thus we seem to have an indication of an independent Liturgy nearly synchronizing with this change of language.
Leo (Pope 440-61) has sometimes been set down as the Leo the author of the Roman Liturgy: yet he is stated by several different writers to have added certain words to the Canon; a statement which implies that the Canon existed before his time.
There is extant a Sacramentary, commonly called the Leo- His Sacranine Sacramentary, published by Muratori in his work 'Liturgia Romana Vetus.' This was found in a MS., which is assigned to the eighth century, from the Library at Verona. This MS. however is imperfect, and contains neither Ordo nor Canon; but only a collection of Missae (sets of Collects and Prefaces) for use throughout the year, beginning in April down to December inclusive. Though some of these Missae may well be Leo's composition, Muratori suspects some of them of being later than his time.
Gelasius (Pope 492–96) is the next name of Liturgical im- Gelasius. portance. Fecit Sacramentorum praefationes et orationes cauto sermone, is the account given of his work by Anastasius in his 'Lives of the Popes.' Preces tam a se quam ab aliis compositas dicitur ordinasse, is the testimony of Walafrid Strabo in the
ninth century. This attributes to him a work of Liturgical revision. The Sacramentary called by his name was first published by Cardinal Thomasius from an early ninth century MS. in the Vatican, which however is thought by Muratori to have some peculiarities not consistent with its being a thoroughly true MSS. of the representative of the Gelasian Sacramentary. Then Gerbertus discovered three MSS., viz. (1) of Reichenau (eighth century); (2) of S. Gall (late eighth or early ninth); (3) a more recent MS. of S. Gall (tenth century); of which the first two agree very closely, and in the third the contents of the second are actually attributed to Gelasius. Gerbertus published the results in his work on the Old German Liturgy (1776-9). The Gelasian Canon printed below (pp. 365, etc.) from Daniel's 'Cod. Liturg.' vol. i. p. 13, is a transcript from the Reichenau MS. No. 1, the various readings in the footnotes being those of the Vatican MS. of Cardinal Thomasius. The Gregorian Ordo and Canon which occupy the opposite pages, also reprinted from Daniel, are transcribed from the Codex Othobonianus, now in the Vatican Library, a MS. of not later date than the beginning of the ninth century. The most casual inspection will show how closely they agree. We cannot help suspecting however, from the presence of S. Gregory's insertion (see below), that the Canon of the Gelasian Sacramentary has been altered into conformity by the transcribers.
To return however to the history. The next important Liturgical notice after Gelasius is contained in the Letter of Pope Vigilius (A. D. 537-55) to Profuturus, Bishop of Braga in Spain. Having been consulted as to the Roman order of saying Mass, he replies as follows:-'Ordinem quoque precum in celebritate missarum nullo nos tempore, nulla festivitate, significamus habere divisum; sed semper eodem tenore oblata Deo munera consecrare. Quoties vero Paschalis, aut Ascensionis Domini, vel Pentecostes, et Epiphaniae, Sanctorumque Dei fuerit agenda festivitas, singula capitula diebus apta subjungimus, quibus commemorationem sanctae solemnitatis aut eorum faciamus quorum natalitia celebramus, caetera vero ordine consueto persequimur.' From this we gather distinctly
that in his time the Canon was invariable, but that certain 'capitula' or clauses, appropriate to the day, were inserted on Festivals and Saints Days. This custom of inserting special appropriate clauses was dropped, perhaps at the instance of Gregory the Great, the next great Liturgical reviser; a trace of it still remains in the paragraph beginning Communicantes' (see below, p. 330): and it is exactly represented in an old Ambrosian Canon, from a MS. of the ninth or tenth century, given by Muratori in the Dissertation prefixed to his 'Liturgia Romana Vetus' (chap. x). It agrees on the whole with the ordinary Roman Canon, but has several special clauses inserted appropriate to Maundy Thursday.
And thus we are brought to the epoch of Gregory the Great Gregory the (Pope, 590-604). He revised, condensed, and reorganised the His liturgical Gelasian Sacramentary, inserted a short passage in the para1 graph Hanc igitur of the Canon, and (most characteristic alteration of all) he placed the Lord's Prayer in immediate juxtaposition with the Canon, from which it had been previously separated by the Fraction, etc. The Ambrosian Liturgy exhibits the older order.
form of the
From the time of S. Gregory to the present there has been The general no change of importance in the general form of the Roman Roman Liturgy. That is to say, the number of prayers composing the altered since Mass, the order in which they occur, and the names of them remain unaltered. In the Missae assigned to particular days there are local variations: expressions in some of the prayers and rubrics have been altered or inserted from time to time, and rubrics have been multiplied: but such variations are of minor importance (apart from questions of doctrine, with which we are not here concerned) inasmuch as they do not affect the general form and order of the Liturgy.
§ xv. The Ambrosian Liturgy.
An account of this Liturgy is given by Card. Bona ('Rerum Sources of Liturg.' lib. i. cap. x), and by Le Brun (tom. ii. dissert. iii).
1 The clause, 'Diesque nostros in tua pace disponas, atque ab aeterna damnatione nos eripi, et in electorum tuorum jubeas grege numerari.'