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pleasing in his sight; this was the lesson taught by God himself in the institution of incense in the old law; as expressed by the royal prophet, who certainly knew, as well by tradition as by inspiration, the object of the Most High. Hence to teach us the necessity of prayer morning and night, it was burned upon a golden altar in the old law morning and evening. Let the christian when he beholds it recollect his duty of sending up the odour of prayer discharged by the ardent fire of faith and charity, towards heaven, that it may be grateful to that God whom he adores. After incensing the altar, the bishop went to his seat, and read in a low voice what the choir had sung. If it was a priest officiated, he read it from the book which was placed upon the altar at the side next the vestry room, which of course was on his right hand side, when he stood with his face to the altar. The very ancient work on the church liturgy, called the Micrologue, and the liturgy attributed to St. James the apostle, as indeed every ancient document on the subject, all mention this confession previous to the introit; and the work on the ecclesiastical hierarchy attributed to Denis, the Areopagite, the antiquity of which is universally admitted, and the liturgy of St. Basil mention the repetition of one or more psalms at the commencement of Mass. But the regulation of the introit, in its present form, is ascribed to Pope Celestine I, in 424. The doxology is of the very highest antiquity, and generally attributed to the apostles. We learn from Theodoret and Sozomen‡ that the Arians changed it to suit their tenets in the following way. Glory be to the Father, through the Son in the Holy Ghost, &c. Whilst the Catholics continued as usual-Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; &c. The ceremony of the sign of the cross with which the celebrant marked himself, by putting his right hand to his forehead,

*

Baronius. † Lib. 2. hist. cap. 42. Lib. 3, cap. 19.

then below his breast, then to his left and right shourders at the commencement of the Mass, and at the beginning of the introit, is the usual manner in which from the very origin of christianity, the true believers brought to their recollection the fact of Christ's having died upon a cross, and from which death they expected every blessing. Tertullian, in the year 250, mentions it as their usual practice upon every occasion.

The celebrant then leaving the book comes to the middle of the altar, and if he be accompanied by the deacon and sub-deacon they stand behind him, the deacon higher than the sub-deacon, from the superiority of his order; and between them they alternately repeat thrice Kyrie Eleison, or the Lord have mercy on us, in Greek, in honour of the eternal Father; thrice Christe Eleison, or Christ have mercy on us, in honour of the eternal Son; and thrice Kyrie Eleison, in honour of the Holy Ghost. This ancient custom has subsisted at all times in the church. It is mentioned in the liturgies of St. James, of St. Mark, of St. Bazil, and of St Chrysostom. St. Gregory the Great mentions it as having been always in use; and St. Augustine states it to be an ancient and universal christian custom* amongst Greeks, Latins, and barbarians. The same saint remarks the admirable disposition of Providence in causing Pilate to proclaim Jesus of Nazareth as king of the Jews to the whole world, in the three great prevailing languages of the universe; for as St. John remarks, the title was placed over his head in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin, so in those three languages in the Mass, is the whole world as it were united in proclaiming his praise, and exhibiting his power, and entreating his mercy. The Greek is here found, and the hosanna and alleluia, are preserved as well as sabaoth and other phrases of

* Epist. 178 Alterc cum Pascent.

the Hebrew, uniting all nations in one, by faith, and prayer, and sacrifice.

The angelic hymn, or Gloria in excelsis, is the next part of the Mass, except when on occasions of grief, penance, supplication for the dead, and other such it is omitted, as being a hymn of joy. It is called the angelic hymn, as its first words are those sung by the angels on the night when Christ was born-"Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace to men of good will," the remainder has been added in the earliest days of the church, some persons say by Pope St. Telesphorus, others by St. Hilary, bishop of Poictiers, others by Pope Symmachus. Whoever added the latter part was evidently filled with an ardent spirit of the most sublime piety. The first expressions are found in the liturgy of St. James: St. Clement of Rome, in his early works, gives a considerable portion of it, which he calls " Morning Prayer:" and Pope Damasus informs us that it was his predecessor Telesphorus, who in the year 142 ordered it to be sung or said at Mass. The choir does not commence this hymn as it does the introit and Kyrie Eleison, but the celebrant sings the first words, and is then joined by the choir. The mystic reason for which is found in the second chapter of the gospel of St. Luke, where he relates that an angel announced in joyful accents the birth of Christ to the shepherds, and then was joined by a multitude of the heavenly host, singing Glory, &c. Thus the celebrant, who, from the nature of his office, is the herald of glad tidings, commences the hymn and is then joined by the choir of faithful servants. When this hymn is sung, the cele brant and his attendants having said it privately, sit down during the performance by the choir.

The celebrant then kisses the altar, and turning towards the people extends his hands, saying, Dominus Vobiscum, "May the Lord be with you," and is answered, Et cum spiritu tuo, “And with thy spirit.'

A bishop says on this occasion, Pax vobis, "Pusce be with you"-and he then goes to the book.

This mode of salutation is most ancient, and may be found in the book of Judges, chap. 6, and in several other parts of the old and new Testament. Nor can there be a more pious mode of expression devised for the occasion. The Spirit of the Lord is as it were drawn or inhaled from Christ, who, as was originally remarked, is represented by the altar, the extension of the hands signifies the union of charity which subsists between the pastor and his flock, and his anxiety to embrace them with religious affection; he desires the Spirit of the Lord to rest with them after its having been derived from Christ, and poured out upon them; and they in grateful return pray that he too may be filled with the same. The bishop, as the successor of those apostles to whom the Saviour gave the injunction related in the 10th chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, wishes them that peace which the world cannot give. This salutation is for the purpose of exciting the attention of the people to the prayers or collects which immediately follow, and to read which the celebrant goes to where the book has remained.

The most ancient Liturgies, those of St. Peter, St. James, St. Mark, St. Basil, St. Ambrose, St. Chrysostom, and in fact every one extant, all exhibit this ceremony.

It is piously remarked, that it is repeated seven times during the office of the Mass, as it were once against each of the capital sins, and to obtain one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. One on each occasion.—

The celebrant having gone to the book again, excites the attention of those present by his invitation to pray, Oremus, "let us pray."-And then, having his hands raised and extended, as Moses held his hands in prayer upon the mountain when Israel overcame Amalec, he reads the Collects.

These prayers are called collects for many reasons;

first, They are offered up in the name and on behalf of the faithful collected together; next, they collect as it were the wishes and wants of the faithful into a few ideas, which are expressed in few words. Va. rious other reasons are added by several writers, but those two, taken from some of the most ancient documents, appear to be the best founded. The collect varies in the Masses of each Sunday, and festival, and also on some few special occasions, as during the Lent, the days of Quarter-tense, &c.; on some occasions three, five, and even seven collects, are said. They are amongst the most ancient prayers in use in the Church; some of them are attributed to the Apostles, and found in the Liturgies which bear their names: others of them have been written by St. Ambrose; some by Pope Gelasius I., and some by Pope St. Gregory, who inserted those approved of into his work called The Sacramental.-The Council of Milevi, held at the commencement of the fifth century, forbad the public reading in Churches of prayers written by individuals, unless they were persons properly qualified, or that the prayers had been approved of by a Synod. At the end of the collect the people answer Amen, to signify their assent and desire.

On occasions of penance and humiliation, the celebrant, before he reads the prayer, says, Flectamus genua, "Let us bend our knees," and then kneels, in which act of humiliation he is joined by the peo、ple. The use of this expression was more generally left to the Deacon, who stood behind the celebrant, and the subdeacon, who stood behind the Deacon, then called upon them to rise to the prayer, by the word Levate.

After the collect follows the Epistle; so called, because it is a portion of the holy Scriptures, generally selected from the Epistles of St. Paul, or one of the other canonical Epistles of the New Testament; but on many occasions, it is selected from one of the

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