Page images

1. Ordinarium Missae.

II. Canon.

Ordinarium Missae.




Ad missam di- Ad missam di- Quando presbyter cendam1 dum sa- cendam executor lavat manus suas2

1 (dicendam. Sar.) The Church of Christ has always insisted upon a diligent preparation to be made by all her members before the reception of the holy communion: much more therefore should he who is about to celebrate offer up earnest petitions to the Almighty for His especial grace; confess his sins, and ask for pardon, and acknowledge his unworthiness. Anciently (independent of the exact confession which was to be made) the following prayer was appointed to be said :

"Oratio dicenda ante missam. Deus qui de indignis dignos, de peccatoribus justos, de immundis mundos facis: munda cor et corpus meum ab omni contagione et sorde peccati, et fac me dignum altaribus tuis ministrum, et concede propitius: ut in hoc altari ad quod indignus accedo, hostias acceptabiles offeram pietati tuæ pro peccatis et offensionibus meis, et innumeris quotidianisque excessibus; et pro omnibus hic circumstantibus, universisque mihi familiaritate et affinitate conjunctis, atque me odio aliquo insectantibus et adversantibus, cunctisque fidelibus Christianis vivis et mortuis: et per eum sit tibi meum votum atque sacrificium acceptabile: qui se tibi Deo Patri obtulit in sacrificium, Jesus Christus, Filius tuus, Dominus noster. Qui tecum vivit et regnat." Missale Sarum. edit. 1492. Some editions add (as all doubtless understand) "in unitate Spiritus sancti, Deus." Two or three other prayers are added, to be said at the option of the priest. The York missal has a very long prayer believed to have been written by St. Augustine.

It will be observed that the York use makes no mention of any vestments, and the Hereford speaks only of the amice and the alb. We must remember that though now they are lost, there were formerly numerous other volumes in which complete instructions were to be found for the due vesting of

Ordinarium Missae.


Ad introitum missa postquam sacerdos induerit se


Sacerdos paratus cum ingreditur ad altare, facta

both the celebrant and his assistants: in the missal sometimes they were but alluded to, at other times omitted altogether. There cannot be a shadow of doubt that the full number of vestments was required by the order of the church of Hereford as well as by the church of Salisbury: and if one would argue from this rubric "postquam sacerdos induerit se amictum et albam" that the chasuble (for example) was not also necessary, he might as well attempt to prove from the York rubric that in that diocese the celebrant was not vested at all, and was simply to wash his hands. The following is a canon of an early council: "Nullus presbyter sine amictu, alba, et stola, et fanone, et casula ullatenus missam celebrare præsumat. Et hæc sacra vestimenta mundissima sint, et in nitido loco intra ecclesiam collocentur. Nec presbyter, cum his induitur, extra ecclesiam exeat: quia hoc lex divina prohibet." Regino Prumiensis, De ecc. discip. lib. i. p. 57.

2 (Lavat manus suas. Ebor.) I cannot decide whether the ceremonial rite of washing the hands was peculiar to the church of York, as the other English uses omit any mention of it: nor, whether in that and in the church of Hereford the hymn Veni Creator and prayers were said at the putting on of the vestments. It is not probable that the washing would be omitted; an observance so universal and one which, although a mere ceremony, almost the light of nature would suggest. Euclio says (as cited by cardinal Bona) "Nunc lavabo ut rem divinam faciam." Apud Plautum, in Aulularia, iv. 2. The Christian church has observed it from the earliest ages. St. Paul possibly alludes to it in his epistle to Timothy: "I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands;" ep. 1. c. ii. This, we must remember, just after he has been speaking of the blessed eucharist. Tertullian asks: "Quæ ratio est, manibus quidem ablutis, spiritu

[blocks in formation]

vero sordente orationem obire?" de orat. cap. xi. St. Augustine also: "Si erubescimus, ac timemus eucharistiam manibus sordidis tangere, plus timere debemus ipsam eucharistiam intus in anima polluta suscipere." Ser. 244.

The "Veni creator" and the prayer "Deus cui omne" or "Largire sensibus" were said in the sacristy before entering the church: from the first antiphon "Introibo" &c. to "Aufer a nobis" below the steps leading up to the altar.


8 (Sacerdos paratus. Rom.) "Sacerdos celebraturus missam, prævia confessione sacramentali, quando opus est, et saltem matutino cum laudibus absoluto, orationi aliquantulum vacet, et orationes pro temporis opportunitate dicat. Deinde accedit ad locum in sacristia, vel alibi præparatum, ubi paramenta, aliaque ad celebrationem necessaria habentur: accipit missale, perquirit missam, perlegit, et signacula ordinat ad ea quæ dicturus est. Postea lavat manus, dicens orationem: 'Da, Domine, virtutem manibus meis ad abstergendam omnem maculam: ut sine pollutione mentis et corporis valeam tibi servire.''

The Roman missal can be procured by any one: I shall therefore refer the reader to it and recommend him to read carefully, if he wishes to understand the subject, the "Ritus servandus in celebratione missæ" at the beginning of the book.

"Et si episcopus celebraverit tres habeat diaconos et tres subdiaconos ad minus in omni festo ix. lec. et in omnibus dominicis quando ipse exequitur officium divinum. In die vero pentecostes et in die cœnæ, vij. diaconos habeat, et vij. subdiaconos et tres acolytos. In aliis vero duplicibus festis per annum quinque habeat diaconos tantum, et quinque subdiaconos, et tres acolytos. In die vero parasceves unum solum habeat diaconum." Rubr. Miss. Bangor.

5 (Signat se signo crucis. Rom.) "Ante omnem actum manus pingat crucem. S. Hieron. epist. 22. ad Eust. c. 16, et manu dextera, ex Justino martyre ad orthod., resp. ad quæst. 118, et manu plena, hoc est, quinque digitis ad quinque vulnera Christi significanda: Durand. lib. ii. cap. 46, sed tribus


amictum et albam: stans ante altare incipiat antiphonam:


illi debita reverentia signat se signo crucis a fronte ad pectus, et clara voce dicit:

digitis signum crucis exprimendum esse, quia sub invocatione Trinitatis imprimitur, aiebat Innoc. III. lib. ii. cap. 45, et memorat Leo IV. epist. ad episcopos: ita ut manus a superiori descendat in inferius, et a dextera transeat ad sinistram : quia Christus de cœlo descendit in terram, et a Judæis transivit ad Gentiles. Quidam tamen, subdit ille, a sinistra producunt in dexteram, quia de miseria transire debemus ad gloriam, sicut et Christus de morte transivit ad vitam." Gavanti, Thes. sac. rituum, tom. i. p. 170. And so St. Ambrose has said; that we make the sign of the cross upon our forehead, that we may always be bold to confess: upon our breast, that we may remember to love: upon our arm, that we may be ready at all times to work.

Venerable Bede insists strongly upon the necessity of teaching the people to use this sign: he is writing to archbishop Egbert: "Eorum quoque, qui in populari adhuc vita continentur, sollicitam te necesse est curam gerere, ut..sufficientes eis doctores vitæ salutaris adhibere memineris, et hoc eos inter alia discere facias, quibus operibus maxime Deo placere, a quibus se debeant, qui Deo placere desiderant, abstinere peccatis,.. qua divinam clementiam supplicantes debeant devotione precari, quam frequenti diligentia signaculo se dominicæ crucis, suaque omnia adversum continuas immundorum spirituum insidias, necesse habeant munire," &c. Beda, Op. hist. minora, p. 221. The archbishop also himself thus writes in his penitential: "Dilecte mi, ego te hortor, ut cogites, &c... Cum mane primum surrexeris, signa te diligentissime, et Deo commenda." Thorpe, vol. 2. p. 227. Ælfric speaks of the sign as "the sign of the rood;" Homilies, p. 73.

The sign of the cross has been removed from the order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper, in the common Prayer book, since 1552. The proper use of the holy sign may well be defended upon many grounds, but not a superstitious or improper excess.

Speaking in another place upon this sign of the cross, Merati says in his additions to Gavantus, tom. ii. p. 108,

« PreviousContinue »