VIII – HOLY COMMUNION:
Title thru Litany
Holy Communion thru Bibliography, this page below
I. Development of the Historic Rites
1. In the Primitive Church
Since the middle of the second century, the eucharistic liturgies of the Christian churches throughout the world display the evolutionary development of a single definite and universal rite. Under all the diversities of their manifold historic forms, they all possess a unanimous fundamental tenor of a central Prayer of Consecration: consisting typically of a Thanksgiving to God for the Redemption, a narrative account of Christ’s Institution, an Oblation of the sacrifice of the New Covenant in formal Commemoration of Christ’s Passion, and an Invocation of the power of God to bless the Gifts for the benefit of the partakers.
Until quite recently, this impressive universal unanimity throughout great diversities has caused every one to assume that this type, which we may call the Historic or “Catholic” Liturgy, has always been the only form for celebrating the Eucharist which has ever existed, and that it might almost be regarded as resting ultimately upon a consensus of the College of Apostles from the very day of Pentecost.
Of late, however, evidence has been accumulating from the literature of the earliest period of the Church, which indicates that at that time there was current another form in at least partial possession of the field, which represents an entirely different liturgical tradition from that of the Catholic Liturgy. This form consecrated the Eucharist by some adaptation of the Jewish table-blessings.
As long as this evidence was drawn chiefly from heretical sources, [Chiefly Gnostic; see below.] it might safely be ignored; but with the discovery of the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, and the establishing of the early date, wide circulation, and unassailable orthodoxy of that document, [It was cited by St. Athanasius (Festal Epistle 39, P.G. 26. 1437), incorporated in the Apostolic Constitutions vii. 1–32, and remained current as late as Nicephorus (†828). Phrases from its liturgical forms were assimilated into the Anaphora of Serapion.] it became necessary to reconsider the whole question. What was the nature of the Last Supper itself, which seems to be so closely copied in this form of Liturgy, yet to which the Catholic Liturgy also appeals as its authority? What is the relation of the Catholic Liturgy to the Last Supper; and what is the source of this form which later so completely swept the field?
As to the Last Supper, modern critics seem rather generally to have come to the conclusion that the chronology of our Lord’s Last Week in the Fourth Gospel is correct. But if so, the Last Supper did not occur at the Passover, but as some sort of Kiddûsh or sacred meal in preparation for that festival.
If, however, the Last Supper was not the Last Passover, did this observance stand as much alone and apart as has been presumed? May it not have marked a customary procedure of Jesus in the circle of his disciples? Such evidence as exists certainly points in that direction. The “Miraculous Feedings” are hardly to be understood nowadays unless they were cultus meals; the recognition at Emmaus, when he was “known in breaking of bread” [Luke 24:35.] by followers not present at the Last Supper, surely implies an habitual rite.
There has been much misconception as to the nature of the rite of the Last Supper. It is natural that attention should have been centered upon the words of Jesus which are quoted in the narrative of the Institution, and not upon those which are not quoted. The words “This is my body,” “This is my blood,” are cited by the Catholic Liturgy as the primary warrant for the observance of the rite. It may even be legitimate to say that they are what the scholastics called the definitive “Form” of the Sacrament, since for us they determine its meaning. In later ages, in some quarters they were magnified into an essential formula of consecration. Yet they were employed by our Lord at the most as words of administration. [In Mark 14:24 not even that; the words regarding the Cup are represented as spoken after the participation.] The actual consecration at the Last Supper consisted of those prayers which Scripture does not record and the historic Liturgy does not rehearse, when Jesus “blessed” or “gave thanks”.
These two terms were absolutely equivalent to the Jews. Over food of any sort they recited a Thanksgiving: which, however, was always in the form “Blessed be God,” rather than “Bless this food”. This difference warns us at once that we have to do with concepts on quite a different plane from our modern idea of a “table blessing,” as an objective and “ministerial” benediction of material things.
To the Jew, all food was potentially sacred, since it was God’s gift for the life of man. It was not permissible to partake of it save as a religious action. Man’s part in that action was conceived as strictly limited to rendering thanks for God’s bounties. The correlated divine action of blessing those bounties to man’s use was implied, not expressed. Nevertheless the Jew believed unquestioningly that the result of his Thanksgiving was a real consecration.
Thus every meal was in some degree both sacrifice and communion. It contained implicitly all the elements of a sacrificial action, since in it fruits of the earth were offered to God as a “sacrifice of praise”; they were hallowed by the divine acceptance; and they were given back from the hand of God to be the food of the faithful. The simplest meal was capable of expressing the most exalted ideas of worship; it might be a Passover, a Lord’s Supper, a Eucharist.
Although, as we have said, the Thanksgiving with which our Lord blessed the holy meal has not been preserved either in Scripture or in the Catholic Liturgy, it seems that its substance is nevertheless recoverable. The book of Berakhoth (“Blessings”) in the Mishnah prescribes these forms of blessings at table: [Berakhoth vi. 1. in Danby The Mishnah [Bib. 54], 6.]
What Benediction do they say over fruits? Over the fruit of trees, one says, [Blessed art thou ...] who createst the fruit of the tree: except over wine; over wine one says, ... who createst the fruit of the vine. Over the fruits of the earth, one says, ... who createst the fruits of the earth: except over bread; for over bread one says, ... who bringest forth bread from the earth.
Now the baptismal Eucharist of the Didaché gives these forms of eucharistic consecration: [C. 9: Quasten, Monumenta; [Bib. 14], 10.]
Concerning the Eucharist: thus shall ye give thanks:
First, for the Cup:
We thank thee, our Father, for the holy Vine of David thy servant, which thou hast made known unto us through Jesus thy servant: to thee be glory for ever.
And for the broken bread:
We thank thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which thou hast made known unto us through Jesus thy servant: to thee be glory for ever. For as this broken bread was scattered over the mountains, and gathered together to be made into one, so may thy Church be gathered from the ends of the earth into thy kingdom: for thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever.
It is obvious that these prayers are messianic adaptations of the traditional table prayers recorded in the Mishnah. Some form of them would be quite conceivable in our Lord’s mouth. Indeed, it is entirely possible that the Didache has preserved approximately the actual Prayers of Blessing used by Jesus at the Last Supper. It looks very strongly as if exactly this ritual tradition was known to the author of the Fourth Gospel: since the distinctive application of the “Vine of David” may well have been the text for the unique passage on the Vine and the Branches in John 15, the “life and knowledge made known through Jesus” for the eucharistic exposition in John 6, and the Gathering together of the Church for the Prayer for Unity in John 17.
In any event, it appears that the “Lord’s Supper” was originally a sacred meal of fellowship which Jesus was accustomed to keep with his disciples; its ritual differing only slightly, if significantly, from that of any Jewish meal.
It further appears probable that this observance was continued in pretty much the original form for some time in Palestine. The habitual “breaking of bread” is continually mentioned in the Acts in terms consistent with such a rite of holy fellowship rather than with a “Mass,” or an explicit commemoration of the recent Passion. [E.g.: “And they, ... breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people.” – Acts 2:46 f.] The early Gnostic Acts [Woolley, Liturgy of the Primitive Church [Bib. 17], 53 ff., 138 ff.; Lietzmann, Messe und Herrenmahl [Bib. 57], 240 ff.; Macdonald, Christian Worship in the Primitive Church [Bib. 58], 125 ff.; Quasten, op. cit., 339 ff.] cite formula of eucharistic consecration which also are forms of table blessings, with nothing in common with the tenor of the Catholic Liturgy – yet they certainly regarded themselves as orthodox, and as certainly proffered forms in general accord with contemporary use.
It will be noted that all this evidence (including the Didaché) comes from Syrian regions where the Pauline influence was least.
Now none of these conclusions deny the probability that a new and even higher meaning had been given to the Holy Meal by the circumstances of the Last Supper. The concepts of communion in Christ’s Body and Blood may date from that observance; or if there had been some previous instruction of the nature of that set forth in John 6, a full realization of its meaning could only have been attained after that event.
There were also other ideas latent in the circumstances of the Last Supper: and these it seems to have been the contribution of St. Paul to make explicit. St. Paul presents his account in 1 Cor. 11 not merely as a tradition of men, but in some sense as a revelation which he had “received of the Lord” (v. 23). But when we compare his statements with those of the Synoptics, [Here one must bear in mind that Luke 22:19b–20 is not original, but an interpolation from the Pauline text.] the chief new element is the idea, twice repeated in words attributed to our Lord, and underscored by St. Paul’s added comment, that this is to be done “in remembrance” of Christ.
Thus it appears that St. Paul was the first to relate the Last Supper to the Passion which followed it, as he was also the first to realize the triumph of the Cross. A commemoration which in the first days after the Crucifixion could have seemed only painful to those who had known and loved the Lord in the days of his ministry, St. Paul saw transfigured in the light of the Resurrection. He also helped to fix the identification of the Last Supper with that Passover which was never held, by his enthusiastic “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast.” 1 Cor. 5:7.)
Clearly St. Paul was the author of the idea of a eucharistic Anamnesis or explicit commemoration of Christ’s Passion, as voicing the ultimate significance of the observance. It is likewise hardly to be doubted that his prayer also included, as the basis for this commemoration, the narrative of the Institution which he quotes as of great importance, a formula “received” and “delivered.”
It also seems reasonable to attribute to St. Paul a further expansion of the idea of the Thanksgiving itself. The Thanksgiving over daily bread, which blessed it to the use of the partakers, had already been sublimated to higher mystic meanings in the Didaché’s version of the “Lord’s Supper,” in the mention of the “Vine of David,” and the “life and knowledge through Jesus.” It was a logical further step to an explicit Thanksgiving for the benefits of the Redemption. And it is probable that St. Paul found a model for this Thanksgiving in the Mishnah’s ascription of praise, which followed the biblical rehearsal of the deliverance out of Egypt, in the accustomed ritual of the Passover observance:
Wherefore it is our bounden duty to confess, praise, glorify, exalt, celebrate and bless, extol and magnify, him who wrought for our fathers and for us all these wonders. He brought us forth from bondage to liberty, from misery to rejoicing, from grief to festival, from darkness into great light, from subjection to redemption; and therefore we say before him, Hallelujah! [I.e. the “Hallel” Psalms (113–118). Pesahim x. 5, in Danby, op. cit., 151.]
By some such process as this, and presumably by the hand or following the influence of St. Paul, the original type of “Lord’s Supper,” which repeated the observance of Last Supper itself as closely as possible in the manner in which it was first celebrated, evolved into a basic form of all subsequent historic liturgies. These, though they also faithfully repeat the Last Supper as a rite, in their ritual make an objective commemoration of the Institution, rightly recognizing the fact that the Last Supper in its own way was an event as unique as Calvary.
It is easy to see how this developed ritual must have commended itself to all who heard it, and how it quietly supplanted the formlessness of the earlier use. It was far more adequate to the full cycle of Christian ideas about the Sacrament; far more natural, as well as significant, as a spiritual action by Christ’s ministers, since the words which he used could not seem sufficient or effectual in any other mouth than his. Though the primitive form of the “Lord’s Supper” lingered on for some time in Jewish-Christian circles, it was the Pauline type of eucharistic Thanksgiving which was the rootstock of the liturgies of the Universal Church.
2. The First Description
About the year 148 we have the first systematic description of the Liturgy in the First Apology of St. Justin Martyr. Although this was an explanation of Christian rites addressed to the pagan Emperor, not a “Church Order” or directory of the service for the guidance of officiating clergy, it is surprisingly exact and complete. Its omissions of features known later must be received subject to other evidence. It may, for instance, be mere inadvertence which makes no mention of psalmody – an element apparently attested still earlier by the Letter of Pliny. [Ep. x. 97.] On the other hand, Justin is probably right in not including mention of the Sanctus and of the Lord’s Prayer. As far as it goes, its descriptions would apply with approximate accuracy to all subsequent liturgies down to the present day. In other words, the general principles and order of the service as a definite rite had been fully developed and fixed by the time of Justin.
This writer indicates a distinct division between the Pro-Anaphora, the common Morning Service characterized by the Ministry of the Word, and the Anaphora or celebration of the Sacrament. The first portion included the General Intercession for All Conditions, just as we find to be the case later [A.C. viii. 36–39 (P.G. I. 1137 ff.; Funk I. 542 ff.); Pilgrimmage of AEtheria 24 (Heraeus 28 f.; McClure 45 f.).] when the Morning Service was used separately from the Liturgy proper; but the juxtaposition of this Intercession with the ensuing Anaphora had already formed an unbreakable connection of thought, so that when the Pro-Anaphora was displaced by the ceremonies of a Baptism, the Intercession was still included in the combined service.
The First Apology is supplemented by other writings of Justin, to show that the Anaphora as he knew it contained a Prayer of Consecration comprising a Thanksgiving to God for the creation and redemption of mankind, [“We both thank God for creating the world with all that is therein for the sake of man, and for delivering us from the evil wherein we were born, and for utterly bringing to nought the principalities and powers through him who was born to suffer according to thy will.” – Dial. Tryph. 41 (P.G. 6. 564; Quasten, op. cit., 338).] the recital of the Institution, [I Ap. 66 (P.G. 6. 429; Quasten, op. cit., 18).] and an explicit Anamnesis or commemoration of the Passion, accompanied by an Oblation. [“The bread of the Eucharist which our Lord Jesus Christ taught us to offer for a Remembrance (εις ανάμνησιν) of the Passion which he suffered,” Dial. Tryph. 41 (P.G. 6. 564; Quasten, op. cit., 337); see also c. 70 (P.G. 6. 641). “Christians have received commandment to offer prayers and thanksgivings even in a memorial sacrifice (και επ αναμνήσει) of solid and liquid food, wherein a Remembrance is made of the Passion which the Son of God suffered for them,” c. 117 (P.G. 6. 745 f.; Quasten, op. cit.. 339).]
Although Justin affords us a definite structure and order of the rite, he explicitly intimates that the tenor of the prayers was “according to the ability” of the celebrant.
3. The First Text
About the year 217, we have the earliest known text of the complete Anaphora, in the Apostolic Tradition of St. Hippolytus of Rome. [Ed. Easton [Bib. 7], 35 f. Unfortunately, we have only the Latin and Ethiopic versions for this portion; the liturgical prayers having been dropped from the other editions of this Order as being in conflict with current use.]
This form is prescribed to be said by a Bishop at his own consecration; and the Thanksgiving for the divine Redemption seems to be designedly phrased so as to bear witness to the orthodoxy of the new Bishop. It is natural therefore that we should find that some of the more individual of its expressions were ignored by subsequent rituals. Nevertheless this form is properly basic to the history of the Liturgy. There is little doubt that it encouraged the fixing of liturgical formulae, and it certainly influenced profoundly their content and expression. It underlies the Liturgy of the Apostolic Constitutions, and strongly colored that of St. Basil; and indeed its effects are traceable in every other historic rite.
This earliest landmark is as follows, in a slightly emended translation:
The Lord be with you all.
And with thy spirit.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up unto the Lord.
Let us give thanks unto the Lord.
It is meet and right.
We give thanks unto thee, O God, through thy dearly beloved Servant Jesus Christ, whom in the last days thou didst send unto us as a Saviour and Redeemer, the Angel of thy counsel; who is thy Word, inseparable from thee; through whom thou madest all things by thy good pleasure; whom thou sentest from heaven into the womb of the Virgin, and who, dwelling within her, was made flesh, and manifested as thy Son, born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin: who, fulfilling thy will, and gaining for thee an holy people, stretched forth his hands, when he suffered to free from suffering those who have believed in thee:
And when he was betrayed to his voluntary Passion, that he might destroy death and break the bonds of the devil and trample hell under his feet and enlighten the righteous and establish a bound and show forth his Resurrection,
Taking bread, he gave thanks unto thee and said: Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you. Likewise also the cup, saying: This is my blood which is shed for you. As oft as ye do this, ye shall do it in remembrance of me.
Wherefore having in remembrance his Death and Resurrection, we offer thee the bread and the cup; giving thanks unto thee for that thou hast counted us worthy to stand before thee and to render unto thee priestly ministry. [ιερατεύειν in the Apostolic Constitutions (LEW 21.2).]
And we beseech thee to send thy Holy Spirit upon the sacrifice [Latin, oblationem; A.C. θυσίαν (LEW 21.6).] of thy holy Church; that thou wouldest grant it to all together who partake thereof in holiness, unto fulfilling with the Holy Ghost, unto confirmation in true faith; that we may laud and praise thee through thy Servant Jesus Christ:
Through whom be unto thee glory and honour in thy holy Church, both now, and world without end. Amen.
This Anaphora is a single uninterrupted prayer. It totally lacks Sanctus, postconsecration Intercession, and Lord’s Prayer – all items which other evidence indicates to be subsequent interpolations. On the other hand, it contains an explicit invocation of the Holy Spirit more than a century earlier than most recent students have been wont to admit that such was possible.
It should be further noted that the primary theme of this Thanksgiving is the benefits of the Redemption in Christ. Apparently it was Hippolytus’ incidental mention of the work of the Logos in Creation which gave the cue to the extensive elaboration of this theme in the Eastern rites. But in the light of this fundamental form it is clear that the Western Prefaces, which mainly confine themselves to phases of the Redemption, varying according to the Christian Year, faithfully represent the original meaning and intent of the Eucharistic Thanksgiving; the influence of the Christian Year has not, as formerly thought, emptied them of a supposed essential content of the rendering of glory to God the Creator.
4. The Eastern Liturgies
In the fourth century for the first time we begin to have abundant data for the history of the rite. The era between the Freedom of the Church through the Edict of Milan in 313, and the capture of Rome by the Visigoths in 410, was the great creative and formative period of the Church’s worship. This time saw the richest flowering of Greek devotional genius, and the definite fixation of the regional rites in forms which they have ever since retained.
About the year 350, the Apostolic Constitutions, the most fully developed of all the “Church Orders,” offers the earliest complete text of the service. It displays a length, and a rhetorical wealth, equaled in no other liturgy, but entirely characteristic of the taste of the time; and virtually every part of it is thoroughly authenticated in manifold detail by the voluminous allusions of fourth-century writers, especially St. John Chrysostom and St. Cyril of Jerusalem. [Collected in LEW 464–481.] It represents the use of the region of Antioch.
The Tract attributed to Proclus (†446) [P.G. 65. 849; translation in Warren, Liturgy of the Ante-Nicene Church (Bib. 16], 197 ff.] probably records a true tradition, in stating that St. Basil at Caesarea (†379) and St. Chrysostom at Constantinople (397–407) successively revised the current Syrian liturgy from a very lengthy form analogous to that of the Apostolic Constitutions to the relative brevity of the Anaphorae which bear their names, and which are still the standard services of the Byzantine rite.
At some time in the same period, a similar simplification at Jerusalem, then a suffragan see of Antioch, was carried out in a form which ere long completely supplanted the original order throughout the Antiochene patriarchate.
Thus the three liturgies of Asia Minor, designated by the titles St. James, St. Basil, and St. Chrysostom, are children of a common parent. They constitute the Syrian type. They are characterized by a highly developed “Great Intercession” within the Prayer of Consecration, following the Invocation. They also possess a distinctive device for handling the problem of Bidding to Prayer, in the form of the “periodic” structure of a diaconal Litany. [See above.]
The East-Syrian or “Nestorian” liturgy, contrary to prevailing opinion hitherto, is of little importance, being wholly secondary and derivative in character. It originated in the expulsion of Nestorius from the see of Constantinople in 435, taking with him an altogether unique liturgy, composed by actually conflating the two parallel Byzantine Anaphorae, of St. Basil and St. Chrysostom. [Renaudot, Liturgiarum orientalium collectio [Bib. 20], II. 620.] This peculiar literary tour de force constituted the parent Anaphora of Nestorius, whose subsequent recensions under the names of Theodore and of The Apostles Addai and Mari are successive degenerative abbreviations. [Ibid. II. 581 ff.] The only real significance of the Nestorian rite lies in the testimony it affords for virtually all the salient phrases of the Byzantine orders, as having been fixed in the year 435 in the form in which we still find them.
Egypt on the other hand had developed a quite different national type of rite. This is first exemplified in the “Sacramentary” of Serapion, [Ed. Brightman in J.T.S. I. 88; Funk II. 158–195; Quasten, op. cit., 49 ff.; English tr., Wordsworth, Bishop Sarapion’s Prayer Book [Bib. 12].] which furnishes a probably provincial, certainly highly individual, but significantly formative stage of this rite about the year 350. The Der Balyzeh Papyrus, [Woolley, op. cit., 120; Quasten, op. cit., 37.] a fragment containing most of the Anaphora, is also attributed to the fourth century; and another papyrus [Andrieu and Collomp, “Fragments sur papyrus de l’anaphore de saint Marc,” in Revue des sciences religieuses VIII (1928), 489; Quasten, op. cit.. 44.] of perhaps still earlier date is known, giving a germinal form of the Intercessions. The standard liturgy of this region is found in the Alexandrian rite under the name of St. Mark.
These Alexandrian types are all characterized by a distinctive preliminary Invocation, before the Institution, in addition to that normally found. This rite also differs from the Syrian in the Biddings to Prayer, using the principle of “parallelism” of alternate Biddings and Collects, like the Western forms. And though the later Alexandrian use borrowed extensively and verbatim from the fruits of Syrian devotional eloquence, it refused to admit the Syrian development of a postconsecration Intercession, adhering to a peculiarity of its own, which duplicated its own proper Prayers of the Faithful, enriched with Syrian material, actually within the Preface, in conjunction with some emphatic phrases of Oblation which existed there before this strange interpolation.
The schisms of the fifth century reduced the adherents of the Orthodox patriarchates of Antioch and Alexandria to vestiges, dependent upon the imperial see of Constantinople; and their own liturgies were first partly assimilated toward, and by the twelfth century entirely supplanted by, the Byzantine rite. They remain as living rites, however, in somewhat altered vernacular translations, in the native schismatic churches. Throughout the Orthodox East today, the Liturgy of Constantinople in many languages completely holds the field.
The dominant characteristic of all the Eastern liturgies is their invariability. Lections and chants indeed vary with the day; but the text of the prayers throughout the service remains unaltered on every occasion. The creative spirit of liturgical invention was forced into the channel of composing entirely new Anaphorae, inserted into the common framework of a rite: of which, for example, the Egyptian and the Nestorian had three, the Abyssinian fifteen, the West-Syrian more than sixty.
5. The Western Liturgies
In fundamental contrast with the fixity of Eastern uses, in the West the properly extempore spirit and method long survived. Even after the services were written down, they remained essentially an Order rather than a Text. There was a definite structure, and a prescribed sequence of parts, each of which had its proper purpose and theme; but virtually every part might vary with each occasion. The whole service was a series of variable collects.
The original form of this use once universal throughout the West has been preserved in the so-called “Gallican” texts. These are found in a pure form in the fragmentary but considerable survivals of the Gallican proper, [The chief texts are the Missale Gothicum (Mabillon [Bib. 31], 188 ff.; P.L. 72. 225 ff.; ed. Bannister [Bib. 29]); the Missale Gallicanum Vetus (Mabillon, op. cit., 329 ff.; P.L. 72. 339 ff.); and the Reichenau Fragments (P.L. 138. 863 ff.): together with the Ordo of St. Germain of Paris (P.L. 72. 89 ff., and Duchesne, Christian Worship, Chap. VII.). A convenient critical outline is collected in Lietzmann, Ordo missae romanus et gallicanus [Bib. 30]. See Leclercq’s article in DAL VI. 473–493, and Thibaut, L’ancienne liturgie gallicane [Bib. 33].] from France, and complete rituals of the fundamentally identical Mozarabic, [The text of Cardinal Ximenes (1500) is in P.L. 85. See also Bib. 41, 42.] which is still a living rite locally in Spain. Later “mixed” books presenting a Roman Canon fitted to a distinctively “Gallican” framework, from Milan [The living “Ambrosian” rite; in Ferrari, Missale Ambrosianum [Bib. 45].] and Bobbio [Under the title, Sacramentarium Gallicanum, in P.L. 72. 447–580; best edition, The Bobbio Missal (H.B.S., London, 1917–24) [Bib. 38–40].] in North Italy, the British Isles, [The Stowe Missal, in Warren, Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church [Bib. 35] and Warner, The Stowe Missal [Bib. 34].] and elsewhere, show the extent to which this use once held sway. After the eighth century, both Gallican and Mozarabic rites suffered a rapid decline from the desire to copy the current customs of the Apostolic See; being completely extinguished in France save for a few minor local details, and in Spain continuing only at Toledo and Salamanca.
The original “Gallican” Rite, alone among known texts, retained the entire Great Intercession in its primordial place [See above.] between Sermon and Offertory. Like the Eastern liturgies, it put the Kiss of Peace at the beginning of the Anaphora. It showed direct Eastern influence subsequent to the fourth century in the adoption of the rite of Prothesis, preparing the Elements before the beginning of the service, and bringing them in with an imposing procession, like the Greek “Great Entrance,” at the Offertory; together with a number of other Eastern importations, such as Kyries, the Byzantine Trisagion, [LEW 35.25.] litanies of Syrian type and phrase, and the like. The Lord’s Prayer was separated from the Consecration Prayers by the ceremony of the Fraction.
All of these features stand in some contrast to the present Roman rite, and attempts were formerly made to attribute to the “Gallican” liturgies an Eastern origin independent of the Roman. This hypothesis has not stood examination. It is virtually certain that the Roman rite was once identical with the “Gallican” in the position of the Intercessions, the Kiss of Peace, and the Lord’s Prayer. As to Eastern importations, they affected the Roman rite to much the same degree as the “Gallican”; though Prothesis and “Great Entrance” never secured admission.
A comparison of “Gallican” and Roman types as a whole shows that both are of essentially the same structure, in their framework of lections, chants, collects, and all the ritual details which take little space in the text, but bulk large as the effective turning points of an enacted ceremonial. In fine, students have increasingly been coming to the conclusion that both types are a single rite of common origin, which in all probability radiated originally from Rome.
The chief problem is to account for the origin of the Roman “Canon” or sequence of fixed Prayers of Consecration. Exactly as in the “Gallican” exemplars, this Canon consists not of a single prayer, but a chain of collects.
The first ray of light on the Canon is the quotation of a single unmistakable phrase during the papacy of Damasus (366–84). [P.L. 35. 2330; cf. Fortescue, The Mass [Bib. 68], 128.] The first text occurs in the tract De Sacramentis, which is a report of catechetical lectures delivered by St. Ambrose of Milan, probably in the year 387. [Thompson and Srawley, St. Ambrose “On the Mysteries” and the Treatise “On the Sacraments” [Bib. 15], xvi. – Text in P.L. 16. 435, and Quasten, op. cit., 137; Eng. tr., Thompson and Srawley.] This document possesses unusual importance, since it comprises precisely the portions of the present Canon which there is no reason to suspect of being subsequent interpolations.
This tract contrasts the Pro-Anaphora or preliminary part of the service with the Anaphora or Consecration Prayer:
Now all the other things which are said in the previous portions are spoken by the priest – praises are rendered to God, prayer is offered for the people, for kings, and the rest; – but when it comes to the consecration of the adorable Sacrament, the priest no longer uses his own words, but uses the words of Christ. (IV. 4. 14.)
While this has been generally taken as alluding to the Preface, followed by the intercessory Collects Te igitur, Memento, Communicantes, and Hanc igitur, as in the present Canon, it is perhaps more probable that this matter of the ancient Prayer of the Faithful had not yet been assimilated into the Canon, but preceded the Preface.
Later, the De Sacramentis quotes these Prayers of Consecration:
Make this oblation to be approved, ratified, reasonable, acceptable, for us, for that it is the figure of the body and blood of Jesus Christ:
Who, the day before he suffered, took bread in his holy hands; looked up to heaven to thee, holy Father, almighty, everlasting God; giving thanks, he blessed, brake, and gave the broken [bread] to his apostles and his disciples, saying: Take, and eat ye all of this; for this is my body, which shall be broken for many. (IV. 5. 21.) Likewise also after supper, the day before he suffered, he took the cup; he looked up to heaven to thee, holy Father, almighty, everlasting God; giving thanks, he blessed, and gave it to his apostles and his disciples, saying: Take, and drink ye all of this; for this is my blood. (5. 22.) As oft as ye do this, so oft shall ye make a remembrance of me, until I come again. (6. 26.)
Wherefore, having in remembrance his most glorious Passion, and Resurrection from the dead, and Ascension into heaven, we offer unto thee this unspotted, reasonable, unbloody sacrifice, this holy bread and cup of everlasting life: and we pray and beseech thee to receive this oblation on thine altar on high, by the hands of thine angels, as thou didst vouchsafe to receive the gifts of thy righteous servant Abel, and the sacrifice of our forefather Abraham, and the offering of thy high priest Melchizedek. (6.27.) We have here typical examples of “Gallican” Post-Sanctus and Post-Pridie prayers, accompanying an early form of the Institution narrative – a complete “Gallican” Canon. The Post-Sanctus is in the form of a prayer for divine acceptance of the sacrifice; and is of identical origin with the same prayer in Serapion. [“Fill also this sacrifice with thy power and thy participation: for we have offered unto thee this living sacrifice, this unbloody oblation: to thee have we offered this bread, the likeness of the body of thine Only begotten.” (Brightman, J.T.S., I. 1, 105.27; Funk II. 174.5–11; Wordsworth, 62.) Cf. also this Post-Pridie prayer in the old Mozarabic rite: “Whose oblation do thou vouchsafe to make blessed, ratified, and reasonable, which is the image and likeness of the body and blood of Jesus Christ thy Son, our Redeemer.” (Ferotin, Liber Ordinum [Bib. 42], 321.)] The Post-Pridie contains three of the four possible elements of this prayer (Commemoration, Oblation, Invocation, Fruits of Communion), all of which appear in every Eastern rite, and any selection of which may occur in any “Gallican” mass. It happens however that instead of a direct expression of the effect of the consecration, such as characterizes most formal prayers of Invocation, there has been substituted the idea of a mystic – and metaphorical – sublating of the oblations to the Heavenly Altar: a form of supplication originally devised with perfect appositeness for the offering of incense, later less felicitously adopted into many prayers of oblation. [Lietzmann, Messe und Herrenmahl, 90 ff.]
It seems that it was around this nucleus that the other prayers of the Roman Canon accumulated. It is a curious and fortunate fact that to this day the text of the Canon preserves a number of seemingly adventitious and liturgically unjustified “Amens,” each of which marks the end of a constituent block of matter of different dates and origins. The details of this process are obscure. It is however hardly to be doubted that the first group of prayers, from Te igitur to Hanc igitur, represents the ancient Prayers of the Faithful, which in some form originally followed the mysterious “Let us pray,” with no prayers to follow, which still remains at the Roman Offertory; [Duchesne (Christian Worship, 172) suggested that the Orationes solemnes of Good Friday represent the ancient Roman Prayers of the Faithful. Their distinctive style, however, is Gallican, not Roman.] and that by the beginning of the fifth century they had been transferred to a place after the Preface for the reasons which Innocent I (†417) alleged with such insistence [Letter to Decentius, Ep. 25. 2 (P.L. 20. 554).] – i.e., in order that they might be drawn into closer association with the central action of the rite.
The other addition, comprising the Memento etiam and Nobis quoque peccatoribus, composes precisely the paired supplications for the Departed and for Those who Offer for them, which seems to have been the first portion of the Intercession to secure a place within the Anaphora in the Eastern rites, as we find in Serapion’s liturgy, [J.T.S. I. 1. 106. 25–37; Funk II. 176.10; Wordsworth, 64.] and which is always embedded, as an inseparable combination, in every post- consecration Intercession.
During the latter half of the fourth century, then, the Roman Canon was crystallized out of a fluid order displaying extreme variability in detail, by a process of arbitrary selection among alternative formulae current at the time. It shows marks of Alexandrian affinities or influence, and represents a stage of development equivalent to the liturgy of Serapion. Like Serapion, it is relatively impoverished of ideas and bald of expression; it is careless of form and order; it is distinctly a provincial and “back-country” product, drawing its materials ultimately from distant creative centers, and presenting them imperfectly transmitted and retained.
It was in fact unfortunate that the Canon should have been so summarily and unalterably arrested at a time of so little literary ability in the West, and so little liturgical knowledge of the organic meaning and purpose of certain portions of the rite. But jejune, abrupt, ill-articulate, and often obscure as it is, it does contain everything that is essential, and most of what is desirable, in a Christian liturgy. It has a noble simplicity, a rugged vigor, and a cogent brevity which compare favorably for practical purposes with the far more elaborate, ambitious, and verbose efforts of the oriental and the Gallican mind. It seems a perfect expression of the Roman genius, in the beauty of strength, careless of minor discords or extrinsic adornment.
6. Subsequent Elaborations
Though the structural outlines, and the text of the central Canon or Anaphora, were pretty well settled for all rites in the course of the formative fourth century, for twelve hundred years thereafter there was continuous elaboration of the scheme, by embellishment with decorative detail.
Some of these hardly concern our purpose, and may be briefly dismissed. Such are the Eastern and Gallican development of a Prothesis and “Great Entrance”; and the Dismissals of various classes not in full communion before the Anaphora, the memory of which now survives only in the term Missa (= Missio, dismissal), by which the Liturgy is called in the Western Patriarchate.
The use of liturgical Litanies, after Syrian precedent, is, as we have seen, something that has come and gone in the West, leaving as vestiges in the Roman rite since the sixth century its responds of Kyrie eleison, and its terminal Collect.
The Lord’s Prayer appears not to have been used at all in the Liturgy in the time of Justin, Hippolytus, Serapion, or the Apostolic Constitutions. The earliest texts which contain it show that it was inserted in a most peculiar manner, actually as a manifest interpolation within the prayer said at the Fraction or Breaking of Bread. [See appended Note at the end of this chapter.] The extant patristic evidence would be satisfied by the hypothesis that the Lord’s Prayer was first added to the Liturgy at Jerusalem about the year 340.
All rites evolved choral parts of the service along mutually parallel lines, and to a similarly high degree. The earliest of these is probably the Gradual Psalms between the Lessons. This was explicitly referred to by Tertullian († ca. 230) [De Anima 9 (P.L. 2. 701; CSEL 20.310).] may have been the “song” mentioned in the Letter of Pliny in 112. Duchesne claimed that it was as old as the Lessons themselves. [Christian Worship, 168.]
The Sanctus seems to have been added to the Liturgy about the year 200 in North Africa; the Benedictus qui venit to have been appended to the Sanctus in Syria about the beginning of the fifth century. [See Note.]
Of the other musical portions of the Roman rite, the Introit, Offertory, and Communion anthems were designed to accompany and cover ceremonies that had grown elaborate. The Agnus Dei at the Fraction is a Roman specialty, dating from the papacy of Sergius I (687–701). [Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis (Paris, 1886–92), I. 376.]
Various rites developed other canticles, sung, like the Sanctus and the Gradual, as an end in themselves, and applied to the adornment of the Pro-Anaphora, to express a joyful and “eucharistic” note rather lacking in the introductory portion of the Liturgy. Such were the Byzantine Trisagion, [Dating from the time of Proclus (sedit 434–446).] adopted in other Eastern uses, and in Gaul; the Gallican use of the Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel, and the Benedicite; and the Roman Gloria in Excelsis. This last originated in Syria as a hymn at Matins, where it is employed in the Byzantine offices to this day. The first version of its text is found in the Apostolic Constitutions, [vii. 47 (P.G. 1. 1056; Funk I. 454).] it was first mentioned by St. Athanasius (†373); [De Virginitate 20 (P.G. 28. 275; Funk I. 455 ff.).] translated by Hilary of Poictiers (†366); [Fortescue, op. cit., 241 n. 7.] its use at Matins in Gaul attested by Caesarius of Arles (469–542); [Reg. ad mon. 21 (P.L. 67. 1102).] and introduced at Rome by Pope Symmachus (498–514) [Duchesne, Lib. Pont., I. 263.] at a bishop’s mass on Sundays and Holy Days, its use being gradually extended until by the eleventh century all priests used it on festivals and on Sundays outside of penitential seasons.
The Creed, originally a baptismal formula, was included in the Liturgy under the provocation of controversies. In the East, it was first introduced at Antioch by Peter the Fuller in 471, at Constantinople by Timothy in 511. The Emperor Justinian (527–65) ordered it sung in all churches. In the West, the Third Council of Toledo in 589 inserted it in the Mozarabic rite as a protest against the Arians. Thence it spread to France; but it was not admitted to the Roman mass until the year 1014. [Fortescue, op. cit., 288.] To this day it is a festal addition rather than a daily essential of the Roman service.
Another great source of elaboration of liturgical texts lay in the natural instinct of devotion which prompted the celebrant to say prayers of his own to accompany ritual actions. At such points as the Preparation, the Censings, the Offertory, Fraction, Communion, and Departure from the altar, these private supplications eventually assumed definite form, and solidified into stated features. Some of these developed rather early in the East, and were copied or paralleled in “Gallican” regions; from whence they invaded the Roman rite. Yet none of these were in evidence in Rome before the eleventh century; they were not in general use in their present form until the fourteenth; and they were not formally admitted to the rite and required throughout the Roman obedience until the Missal of Pius V in 1570.
Thus though at an early date the Roman rite supplanted the luxuriant exuberance of the varying Gallican rituals with the austere unalterable simplicity of its Canon, in the end the Gallican enriched the Roman with an ornate setting of significant ceremonial, and graced it with devotions imbued with inspired feeling.
The services of the Church of England at the time of the Reformation were of this resultant Gallico-Roman type then prevalent throughout the West. There being as yet no authoritative Roman standard imposed urbi et orbi, in England the diocesan, monastic, and regional “Uses” varied in minor detail. Of these the rite of the see of Salisbury possessed the widest influence, so that the term “Sarum” is commonly employed for the English norm in the few particulars where the national customs differed from the Roman. Such were somewhat less elaborate personal prayers of the celebrant at beginning, Offertory, etc.; a medieval use of a Kiss of Peace at the Preparation; a few “Gallican” survivals such as the Bidding Prayer at sermon time, and the priest’s extending his arms to form a living cross at the Anamnesis; and the once universal benediction before communion retained at a bishop’s mass.
Note on the Lord’s Prayer and The Fraction
In the earliest state of the Liturgy, the Fraction, or breaking of the One Loaf of the oblation for the communion of the people, occurred as a necessary action immediately after the Consecration. At first this was done in silence. Later, it attracted ritual words to accompany the action. In the Apostolic Constitutions, the Fraction was performed during the diaconal Litany which introduced the Bishop’s blessing of intending communicants – the original “Prayer of Humble Access”. The next step appears in Serapion, in a special Prayer of the Fraction: which, like all later prayers for this purpose, simply duplicated the communion time themes of the Humble Access prayer. The Ethiopic rite illustrates the ensuing development, with the Lord’s Prayer interpolated between two halves of the Fraction Prayer. The Coptic order shows the final stage, with the second part of the Fraction Prayer assimilated to the concluding “But deliver us from evil” of the Lord’s Prayer, to constitute the so-called Embolismus (Interpolation).
Subsequent degenerations in the great rites obscured this process, and made its development difficult to identify. The original Fraction Prayer was wholly assimilated everywhere to its new office of introducing the Lord’s Prayer. The East and West Syrian rites interpolated a new Prayer of Fraction before the altered old one. The Byzantine, followed by the Armenian, and by the Greek St. James and St. Mark, displaced the Fraction to a place immediately before the Communion. The Byzantine eliminated the Embolismus; and the Western rites reduced the introductory Prayer to a mere proem.
Note on the Sanctus and the Benedictus Qui Venit
We have seen that the Sanctus does not occur in Hippolytus’ single unbroken Prayer of Thanksgiving. It could not be inserted therein save as a violent interruption of the continuous narrative – which is exactly what happens when the Abyssinian rite attempts to adapt Hippolytus’ form to an Egyptian framework. [LEW 231.] All the Eastern rites show the same quality of interruption, with considerable awkwardness; [Except the Greek St. James, where the Thanksgiving has been rewritten especially in order to lead up to the Sanctus.] and no two examples choose precisely the same place for the insertion. Obviously the Sanctus was interpolated into the Eastern liturgies after Hippolytus’ pregnant phrases had been expanded into a systematic account of both the Creation and the Redemption of mankind.
The fact that as late as the sixth century the Council of Vaison (529) [Hefele-Leclercq, Histoire des Conciles, II. 1114.] had to order the Sanctus to be used in all masses, even “early services, in Lent, and at requiems,” is further indication of an innovation only gradually becoming universal.
The first unquestionable allusion to the liturgical use of the Sanctus is in the Acts of Perpetua, written in North Africa at the beginning of the third century. [C. 12; Srawley, Early History of the Liturgy (Cambridge, 1913), 138.] The next is in Tertullian, [De orat. 3 (P.L. I. 1259; CSEL 20.182).] in the same region. Possible references may be reflected in Clement of Alexandria [Stromata vii. 12 [78.5–6] (P.G. 9. 512; Stählin 56).] and Origen. [C. Cels. viii. 34 (P.G. II. 1565 f.; Koetschau 249).] As the first citations come from the vicinity of Carthage, and the next from Egypt, the birth of this feature is, as above, attributed to North Africa, not far from the year 200.
Now all the Eastern liturgies, including Serapion, with the exception of St. James, introduce the Sanctus by a scriptural quotation which conflates Dan. 7:10 and Isa 6:2. Precisely this conflation is given by Clement of Rome in his First Corinthians, about the year 95: “For the Scripture saith: Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him, and thousand thousands ministered unto him (Dan. 7:10); and cried, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Sabaoth; the whole creation is full of his glory. (Isa. 6:2.)”
But the allusion is avowedly to Scripture, and cannot conceivably cite an as yet unwritten Liturgy. Nor is it possible that Clement can have quoted the liturgical use of Rome in his time, only to have Hippolytus, standing in the same Greek tradition of the same center, display entire ignorance of it something more than a century later.
It seems very probable however that the man who first introduced the Sanctus into the liturgical Thanksgiving deliberately adopted for the purpose the formula of introduction which Clement had produced as a purely literary allusion.
The frequent use of the Sanctus in Jewish rituals may have influenced this addition to the Liturgy. [Eisenhofer II. 161 St; Warren, Liturgy of the Ante-Nicene Church [Bib. 16], 215 § 7.]
The Benedictus qui venit is found in all liturgies subsequent to the Apostolic Constitutions, except the Egyptian in all its forms; raising a presumption of Syrian origin at a date when the Alexandrian rite had become so fixed as to refuse admission to this feature, but before the Nestorian schism in 435.
The cause which instigated this supplement was the abrupt ending of the Sanctus, to which even Jewish forms had some tendency to make additions, [Eisenhofer II. 161 § 2.] and to which the Apostolic Constitutions appended a concluding “Blessed for evermore.” [ευλογητος εις τους αιωνας. LEW 19.2.] It seems to have occurred to some one, perhaps at Jerusalem, to amplify this rudimentary Benedictus to the acclamation of Matt. 21:9, some form of which had often been used at the communion time ever since the Didaché. [Didaché c. to (Quasten, op. cit., 12); cf. LEW 24.27, 396.2.] The Syrian Thanksgiving at this period commemorated the Creation in the “Preface,” the Redemption in the Post-Sanctus; and the original rationale of the change seems to have been to reflect this balance of thought in the choral response, joining the two Covenants by adding this Hosanna to the Redeemer to Isaiah’s angelic song of praise to God the Creator.
It is interesting that the Anglican order of 1549 translated its second Hosanna by conflating Luke 19:38 to the original text; and that this conclusion was left appended to the Sanctus when the rest of the Benedictus was excised in 1552: leaving very much the dimensions and effect of the germinal form of this development in the Apostolic Constitutions.
IX – Holy Communion: II. Anglican Rites
1. The First English Liturgy
The Roman Rite throughout is characterized by a very strong sacrificial color, the theme of Oblation being dominant in almost every prayer of the Canon. Nevertheless, the Sacrifice thus indicated is in the strictest sense Eucharistic – it is distinctly a Thankoffering of Fruits of the Earth, Bread and Wine, asking that God may bless them for the communion of the faithful. Strictly construed, there is not one word which could reasonably be forced to denote a ritual Immolation of Christ; not one word which necessitates a notion of Transubstantiation in preference to any other form of belief in the Real Presence.
Yet it is notorious that medieval times distorted the Canon with interpretations, and cumbered it with ceremonial, which were utterly alien to the plain meaning of the text. Against these perversions of the primitive faith, the Reformers desired to restore the Eucharist to its own original purpose, for the use and benefit of the people, that they might once more participate in the Holy Communion, instead of being merely spectators at its celebration.
The first step toward this restoration was obviously the rendering of the service from Latin into the tongue “understanded of the people.” Without waiting for the completion of the entire English liturgy, with its elaborate apparatus of Propers, in 1548 a royal proclamation in accordance with an act of Parliament set forth The Order of the Communion. This comprised a prior “warning” of the celebration; and provision that after the priest’s communion in the Latin mass, the Sacrament should be administered in both kinds, with an Exhortation, the Invitation, Confession, Absolution, Comfortable Words, and Prayer of Humble Access, Administration, and a Blessing, all in English.
These formula; are nearly those that still survive. Some of their details were suggested by German sources; [E.R. I.] but the plan itself was not as revolutionary as might appear. As we shall see later, [See below.] the structure of the primitive order of communion time devotions had degenerated, and become assimilated to or supplanted by the priest’s personal devotions, until it was really inadequate for the people’s use: so that the custom had already grown up, whenever there was a general communion, to insert into the mass at this point an interpolated ritual of much the same nature as that given in the Rituale Romanum to this day. [The Ordo administrandi sacram communionem. For instances of pre-Reformation forms for this purpose in English, see E.R. I. lxxii.]
The following year, the First Prayer Book presented the whole service in English, with the title The Supper of the Lord, and the Holy Communion, commonly called The Mass. This caption gives an excellent idea of the nature of Archbishop Cranmer’s recension. It was an attempt to return to what were believed to be the standards of the Primitive Church, and the intent of her founder, regarding the rite and purpose of this Sacrament; and at the same time to retain, actually and recognizably, the traditional and immemorial use of the Church of England.
The dominant aim seems to have been to preserve the external appearance of the rite and the accustomed order of its ceremonial, at the sacrifice of no noticeable particular.
Thus the traditional eucharistic vestments were retained; [In the “Ornaments Rubric”: E.R. II. 638.] the ritual postures were expressly permitted; [The Elevations were forbidden (E.R. II. 694); otherwise, the observations in “Certain Notes” specify: “As touching kneeling, crossing, holding up of hands, knocking upon the breast, and other gestures: they may be used or left, as every man’s devotion serveth, without blame.” (E.R. II. 926.)] in general it was assumed that the celebrant should follow the rules and actions of the old service, without which the new rubrics were quite inadequate to enable any one to perform the rite. [Even the terminations of the Collects, and of the Trinity Sunday Preface, were left to this customary use.]
The entire musical framework of the mass was preserved. The five fixed elements – the ninefold Kyries, Gloria in Excelsis, Creed, Sanctus, and Agnes Dei – were unaltered, and their simple traditional music was promptly adapted to the English words. [In Merbecke, The Book of Common Prayer Noted (1550); cf. Proctor and Frere, 65.] The variable Introit, Gradual, Offertory, and Communion anthems, and the Proper Prefaces, were considerably simplified in scheme for facility of use, as Cranmer in his struggles with the problems of the Breviary had lost patience with the turning up of mere shreds of propria; but it is safe to say that no member of the congregation would have been aware of the difference.
But all the late accretions of private prayers accompanying ritual actions, at Entrance, Censing, Gospel, Offertory, Fraction, Commixture, Pax, Ablutions, and conclusion, were never properly a part of the public service, and were without uniformity even among the various English uses. They might well be left again to private devotion. So in 1549 the only survival of all this material was the priest’s Paternoster and Collect for Purity at the beginning. For the most part the ceremonies themselves were left undisturbed – e.g., there was a perfectly explicit Offertory Rubric, directing the preparation of the Elements and the manner of their presentation upon the altar – but the whole “Lesser anon” of the offertory prayers was abolished.
In the matter of the Canon, [This title was explicitly given at the end of the office for the Communion of the Sick: E.R. II. 844.] Cranmer firmly and sharply parted company with German influences. Luther’s method of dealing with its problems was to abolish it totally, and instead of a Prayer of Consecration to read merely the narrative of the Institution over the Elements. But Cranmer was imbued with a proper reverence for this central, majestic, and indispensable action of worship, which from the time of Gregory the Great had been known as The Prayer [Ep. IX. 12 (P.L. 77. 956).] of the liturgy. He produced what Dr. Brightman [E.R. I. cvi.] aptly calls an “eloquent” paraphrase of the Canon. It was a liberal translation, rather than a new composition; a recension, not a substitution. Some small details of the original were suppressed; some few cognate expressions conflated into it from other sources; [These comprised the Liturgy of St. Basil; matter from other portions of the Sarum Use; and Reformation documents both Catholic and Lutheran: see E.R. I. lxxii–lxxvi, civ–cxii; II. 638–718. In sum, while the Catholic sources contributed appreciably to the clarification of doctrine, the Protestant yielded little beyond some sketchy structural outlines and incidental phrases.] some crabbed and enigmatic phrases expanded into free renderings which were eminently evangelical, inspiring, and practical; and the spasmodic and ill-connected order reduced to an intelligible sequence and movement by certain rearrangements.
All this was effected with such a confident hand, and such an effortless finish of style, that few Anglicans have given the texts the minute study necessary to establish the fundamental underlying identities with the parent order, and that Roman critics, not unnaturally perhaps, have found themselves unable to recognize them at all. Yet unquestionably Cranmer’s sole aim was to present the vital meaning of the traditional Latin service of the Church of England, sacrificing no detail, even the most minute, which possessed spiritual truth and value, but setting it forth in the clearest and most affecting language.
The chief change of order was the segregation and consolidation of all the Intercession material both for the Living and the Departed into one prayer “for the whole state of Christ’s Church,” following the Sanctus.
The ensuing Consecration Prayer was virtually unaltered in sequence. This left in a very prominent place the Quam oblationem, which constituted the peculiar “preliminary Invocation” which has always characterized the Roman and Egyptian rites. The proper Latin Invocation, the prayer Supplices te rogamus, was not at this time recognized by any one as being an Invocation – indeed, it is very falteringly admitted as such to the present day; so it is not surprising that Cranmer converted it to other purposes, and concentrated the theme of the Invocation of the power of God to consecrate the Sacrament, at this place before the Institution; conflating into it the words Hear us ... we beseech thee: ... thy holy spirit ... bless and sanctify these thy gifts, from the Liturgy of St. Basil. [LEW 329a.26.]
There were moreover some modifications of doctrinal emphasis. Prayer for the Departed and commemoration of the Saints were retained; but the two mutually supplemental lists of Names, [In the prayers Communicantes and Nobis quoque peccatoribus.] representing the vestiges of early local Roman Diptychs, were eliminated, as was the mention of the “merits and prayers” of the Saints.
To meet the medieval distortions which had interpreted the Latin Canon’s innocent and primitive expressions of the Eucharistic Sacrifice into an implication of the reenactment of Calvary, Cranmer felt he had no choice but to eliminate every expression of direct verbal Oblation of the Holy Gifts. All such phrases were carefully transmuted so as to refer not to the Elements, but to the devout aspiration of those who offered them, or to Christ’s “One Oblation” of himself which gave them a divine meaning. As a result, the Eucharistic Sacrifice was represented as a fourfold Commemoration of the Offering upon the Cross, a Sacrifice of “praise and thanksgiving” for the benefits of the Passion, the Church’s corporate Oblation of its members as “a living sacrifice,” and the presentation of their prayers in union with the Heavenly Intercession. [The last two represent a dual development of a single item in the Latin original, the mystical prayer whose source we have noted in the De Sacramentis; in the Roman Canon reading, “bid that these (haec) be brought by the hands of thy holy angel to thine altar on high.” Medieval liturgiologists, perplexed for a factual explanation of this difficult language (seeing that the mysterious haec could not be literally predicated of the Elements), offered two divergent explanations: one, that they were the Church’s prayers; the other, that they were Christ’s Mystical Body the Church itself. Cranmer accordingly incorporated both versions into his text.]
This omission of a verbal Oblation of the Gifts in the text did not of course alter the fact that they were actually offered in the rite. Indeed Cranmer’s interpretation simply made explicit the inherent significance of the sacrificial Action, both in its Godward and its manward aspects, and gave a powerful, brilliant, and deeply spiritual rendering of the essential meaning of the Latin Canon.
Thus Cranmer’s resolute boldness in the handling of nonessentials, and his wise conservatism toward essentials, provided the First Prayer Book with a normal Catholic liturgy, complete in all vital parts. In spite of some alterations in the proportions of its emphasis, it has every claim to comprise a full equivalent of the parent order from which it was derived, and with which it stands in a living continuity. At the same time, both text and rubric were cleared of any expressions or ceremonies which symbolized medieval perversions, not merely of a hypothetical faith and practice of the Primitive Church, but actually of the fundamental import and genius of the Latin rite itself.
2. The Second Prayer Book of 1552
The Liturgy of the First Prayer Book should have been an admirable platform of comprehension for all “men of good will” on both sides. Cranmer had caught the very accent of the Great Liturgies, in that his English was rich and forceful, rather than narrowly precise; and it was open then, as it has been ever since, for people of markedly differing points of view to embrace his liberal language ex animo as embodying a “pious sense” of their own beliefs. And in fact it was reasonably acceptable to moderate men of both parties. Unhappily, at that troubled period of change, moderate men were few. In particular, the Continental divines who had found refuge in England were bitterly outspoken against everything that bore even a reminder of the old customs.
It is possible that Cranmer might have withstood these assaults, if it had not been for what no doubt seemed to him the suspicious complacence of the conservative party. The new “mass” roused on the whole no more opposition from their side than might have been expected toward any English translation; [The rebels of Devon who demanded the return of the Latin services, declaring, “We will not receive the new service, because it is but like a Christmas game,” unquestionably would not have been a whit better pleased by a literal translation, word for word, of the Latin mass. Omne ignotum pro magnifico!] and the more intelligent exponents of the Old Learning, while naturally regretting every alteration of the form they had known all their lives, were nevertheless constrained to admit that it was a sufficient Catholic liturgy. Indeed Bishop Gardiner, the ablest of them, openly confuted Cranmer and maintained his conception of the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist on the basis of the Prayer Book service.
This cut the ground from under Cranmer’s feet, and left him defenseless from the insistence of those who had been demanding a root-and-branch reformation of the Liturgy, to whom the acceptance of the new rite in any degree by even moderates on the Catholic side was intolerable. Therefore Cranmer, while still resolved to retain the essential substance of the traditional Christian rite, set himself so to alter its form as to satisfy his supporters.
So in direct contrast to 1549, in 1552 the apparent intent was to make the service look as different as possible. Most of its decorative detail was swept away: the eucharistic vesture of the “Ornaments Rubric,” the permission for devotional “gestures,” the rubrics directing the offering of the Elements, and the Manual Acts; the ornamental framework of the musical portions, the Introit, Postcommunion Anthem, Benedictus qui venit, [The Benedictus, however, left behind the paraphrase of its second Hosanna – “Glory be to thee, O Lord most high”.] Agnus Dei, Gloria Tibi, “Christ our Paschal Lamb,” the provision for the singing of the Creed, and the Prologue to the Lord’s Prayer; even such minutiae as the recurrent salutation, “The Lord be with you,” before the Collect, Preface, and Postcommunion Thanksgiving, and “The peace of the Lord be alway with you” after the Consecration.
The actual theological objections which Cranmer had to meet were on the whole surprisingly slight: though his attempts to deal with them resulted in some radical reconstructions.
Naturally the foreigners had brought with them Luther’s objection to any sort of prayers for the dead: hence the commemoration of the Departed was excised from the Prayer for the Church, and the limiting description “militant here in earth” [The phrase was derived from the Sarum Horae B.V.M., published in 1514; cf. E.R. II. 662.] added to its Bidding.
Their only other important stricture was against the Consecration Prayer. No one at this time had the faintest doubt about the Real Presence in the Holy Communion – i.e. of the fundamental reality of the spiritual experience of devout receivers of the Sacrament; but the foreigners took exception nevertheless to the idea of the Consecration as directed to the Elements or as entailing any objective effect upon them.
Therefore the Invocation was modified to favor a “receptionist” interpretation. Moreover, it was felt that the long interval between the definitive Words of Institution and the actual reception of the Sacrament ministered to the idea of an objective presence. If, as Peter Martyr said, [Proctor and Frere, 77.] “the words belong rather to men than either to bread or wine,” this aim should be achieved by stopping the Canon at the Institution, and proceeding to the Communion with no interposition whatever.
This was the bombshell exploded under the heart of the Canon in 1552, which sent its disjecta membra flying to distant and sometimes peculiar parts of the service. But though it might seem to the historical student that the traditional Canon was thereby blown to fragments, it is interesting how Cranmer contrived to “gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost.”
The Oblation and proper conclusion of the Consecration Prayer was set – not very happily – as an alternative to the Postcommunion Thanksgiving. The Anamnesis or commemoration of the Passion, dropped from the transferred Prayer of Oblation, was reinserted in an abbreviated form [“According to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion.”] in the Invocation – a really skillful substitution, so adroit as to have escaped the notice of commentators, and coming in very effectively in close sequence to the commemoration of the One Oblation. [When, however, the original Scottish Canon restored the Anamnesis, and transferred the Invocation to an “Eastern” place following the Institution, the Anamnesis was actually left in duplicate forms in close succession. The present Scottish (and proposed English) rites have removed this duplication; though the derived American order has not.] The Lord’s Prayer was put at the beginning of the Postcommunion, where it balanced the like commencement of the “Ante-Communion.” The Exhortation, Invitation, Confession, Absolution, and Comfortable Words were placed before the Preface, and the Prayer of Humble Access after the Sanctus. This offered these devotions as a preparation for the whole Action, instead of merely the Communion; and lightened the service of a heavy anticlimax after the Consecration.
The excisions from the Canon left the Consecration Prayer reduced to the narrative of the Institution, introduced by a kind of Anamnesis of the Passion and an Invocation. If the General Intercession had been left before this abbreviated prayer, the whole structure would have been out of balance. Moreover, Gardiner had stressed the sacrificial meaning of the Intercession within the Canon – which was enough to banish it. By a singularly happy exercise of judgment, it was transferred to precisely the position after the Sermon which it had first occupied in the Primitive Church. Disused in that place for twelve centuries at Rome, it had survived as a living liturgical tradition in the “Gallican” sphere of influence, in the form of the Prone or “Bidding Prayer,” which was a usual Sunday devotion in England. Thus brought once more into conjunction with the Offertory, the words “to accept our alms and” were added to its exordium.
One new addition to the rite caused yet another dislocation. The contemporary orders of Pullain and Laski [E.R. I. clvii and clxi.] may have influenced the insertion of the Ten Commandments – though at least since the thirteenth century the Decalogue had been a stated feature of the vernacular devotions at high mass in England. [E.R. II. 1040.] By assimilating the ninefold Kyries as responses after each Commandment, this form acquired much the quality of a penitential litany.
But this penitential introduction to the service was quite incompatible with the joyful Gloria in Excelsis immediately to follow it. Just as the interpolation of the Gloria in the sixth century on festal occasions banished the liturgical use of the Litany, reducing it to the vestige of its final Kyries on all occasions, so now the reconstitution of the Kyries to a litany form banished the Gloria from this place. Cranmer transferred the Gloria to the only possible place it could appropriately occupy in the service, namely that following the Postcommunion Thanksgiving.
There were a few further changes to meet the views of the foreign reformers. “The Altar” was supplanted by “the Table” in the rubrics, coincidently with a Royal Injunction demanding a real table, “with legs,” which the rubric directed to be brought down at the communion time to “stand in the body of the Church, or in the chancel, where Morning ... and Evening prayer be appointed to be said,” i.e., in view of the congregation, not hidden by the choir screen, and put lengthwise in the aisle, with the celebrant standing “on the north side”. New sentences of Administration, which carefully avoided calling the Sacrament directly the body and blood of Christ, were adopted, seemingly from Laski; [E.R. I. clxii.] and the dements were to be delivered into the communicants’ hands, not their mouths as in Sarum and 1549. At the last minute an Order in Council, with no synodical authority, added to the book the famous “Black Rubric,” the Declaration on Kneeling. [E.R. II. 721.] Apparently designed to make it impossible for any one to profess belief in the Real Presence in the Elements, it did definitely exclude the theory of Transubstantiation by insisting that “the Sacramental bread and wine ... remain still in their very natural substances”; but apart from that, all its intentionally harsh and disagreeable language actually contained no statement with which St. Thomas Aquinas would have disagreed.
Finally, there were a few emendations. The Churchwardens were to gather the alms, instead of having the givers come up individually. The Bishop, if present, was to pronounce the Absolution and Benediction. Octaves were directed for the Proper Prefaces. The use of the “Ante-Communion,” which 1549 had prescribed for the ancient “Station Days” of Wednesdays and Fridays, if there were none to receive the Sacrament, was now extended to Holy Days. The clause, “whose kingdom,” etc., unaccountably missing from the Creed in 1549, was restored. In the Gloria in Excelsis was inserted the “superfluous” repetition of “Thou that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.” This, sometimes taken as a printer’s dittography, [Such was the argument for its removal from the American book in 1928.] was perhaps a deliberate addition, inserted for the purpose of preserving the banished Agnus Dei intact within the Gloria, whence it was conceived to have been derived. The transfer of the Gloria may indeed have moved Cranmer to drop the Agnus, as the nearly identical forms were now close together in the service. [An opinion to this effect was expressed in the Lambeth Judgment, p. 61.]
We have discussed this Liturgy of 1552 with some fullness, because it is of primary importance in the history of Anglican rites, since it was the form that has survived to this day in England, with alterations only in minutiae, and since it was the living stock from which subsequent revisions sprang.
It is true that the remarkably clearcut structure of the first English liturgy was impaired in this recension, and its order of parts strangely dislocated. The position of the Humble Access prayer was indefensible. The curtailing of the Canon was highly regrettable: since in spite of all the attempts to protestantize the service, the net result was that it was ultra-Roman in the predominant emphasis on the formula of the Institution, and by its very structure symbolized medieval theories more absolutely than any other liturgy that has ever existed.
And yet little that was valuable and nothing that was essential was actually lost out of the rite. The new penitential preface was entirely seemly. The Intercession was back in the primitive place, and on the whole the best place. The Confession, etc., formed a noble approach to the altar. The Gloria in Excelsis was a magnificent conclusion.
Though it has long been fashionable to deprecate and deplore the rite of 1552, and though subsequent revisions have wisely reverted to the standards of 1549 in many details, yet the Second Prayer Book established the fundamental structure of a distinctive Anglican type, some of whose arrangements it may never be wise to alter. In general, it has survived because it was worthy to survive. Neither British conservatism nor the very real legal difficulties in the way of change, which proved insurmountable even in 1928, could have preserved for four hundred years a rite which was not organically sound, and adequate to express the devotional needs of the people.
3. Subsequent English Revisions
The Second Prayer Book, which had hardly come into general use before it was outlawed by the Marian reaction, was restored with few changes in the Elizabethan book of 1559. The sentences of Administration of the communion in the books of ’49 and ’52 were combined. The Ornaments Rubric of the First Book was reenacted by reference, but proved wholly unenforceable, and remained a dead letter until the ceremonial revival of the nineteenth century. The “Black Rubric” was omitted.
The ill-fated Scottish Prayer Book of 1637, though utterly rejected at the time in the country for which it was intended, has had great influence on subsequent revisions.
Most of the changes adopted in the present English Prayer Book which has been in use since 1662, date from this book of 1637. These comprised, first, an attempt at a more precise rubric, such as the directions for the priest to turn to the people at the Ten Commandments, for the people to stand at the Gospel and Creed, for the minister who leads the General Confession to kneel, [Implying that the celebrant was to remain standing, as is still the custom in England when there are assistant ministers.] for the covering of the consecrated elements with the Postcommunion Veil, and for their consumption after the Blessing. Rubrics for the Offertory and the Manual Acts, dropped in 1552, were restored. Titles were given to the components of the service in the rubrics: of which The Collect, The Absolution, and the Prayer of Consecration, were adopted in the English book. A more reverent phraseology spoke of the “holy” Gospel, and the “holy” Table. [The latter is found in the English books only at the Offertory.] The Epistle was finished off like the Lessons with “Here endeth the Epistle.” [A similar termination for the Gospel in the Scottish book was rejected in the English; it has been conjectured, for the somewhat mystical reason that the proclamation of Christ’s Gospel never comes to an end! Cf. Hart, The Book of Common Prayer [Bib. 78], 180, and Dowden, Annotated Scottish Communion Office [Bib. 130], 192.] A Commemoration of the Departed was reinserted in the Prayer for the Church Militant. [The form was taken from a Bidding Prayer issued by Royal Authority in 1559; cf. E.R. II. 664.] The Collect for the King was placed before that of the day – regrettably; but it avoided turning back in the book, and kept the Collect of the day in immediate sequence with the Epistle. The congregational Amen was reinstated at the end of the Prayer of Consecration. [Cf. 1 Cor. 14:16.]
Other features of the Scottish book which did not get into the English were the restoration of the Invocation, Anamnesis, and Oblation, and proper conclusion of the Consecration Prayer as in 1549, and the Gloria Tibi before the Gospel, all of which were adopted in the American Prayer Book of 1789; also the Laus Tibi after the Gospel, [This seems to be a borrowing from modern Roman use; it is not found in Sarum.] the Lord’s Prayer with its Prologue after the Canon, and the Prayer of Humble Access before the Communion, which were accepted in our revision of 1928.
A few additions were made in 1662 which were not in the Scottish book. Notices and announcements were put before the Sermon instead of afterward. A rubrical change transferred the meaning of the word “Offertory” from the old Offertorium anthem, as in 1549, to the act of oblation. “And oblations” was added to the “alms” of the Church Militant prayer. [Originally, alms meaning offerings for charitable purposes, the term oblations was added to comprise offerings for all other purposes, not to indicate the Elements, though of course including them constructively. However, a popular interpretation of the “oblations” as denoting the Elements is probably as old as the rubric; and this was definitely adopted in the American book of 1928. Cf. Proctor and Frere, 482 note.] The Doxology of Matt. 6:13 was appended to the Lord’s Prayer.
As a result of one of the meticulous Exceptions of the Ministers, the Manual Acts were amplified with further detail of the “mimetic” gestures which have always tended to invade this point of the service; not very happily perhaps: the simple acts of designation of 1549 should have been sufficient. [Especially the direction to “break the bread” at this point introduced an unhistorical and illogical place for the ancient ritual Fraction; serving to underscore the medieval idea, of which Cranmer unfortunately did nothing to rid the English rite, that the recital of the Institution is the instrument of consecration.]
Directions for a second consecration “if the consecrated bread or wine be all spent before all have communicated” were inserted along the lines of the Order of Communion of 1548 and the Canons of 1604: i.e., by the use of the bare formulae of the Institution, without prayer of any sort. This is easily the worst feature of the book.
The “Black Rubric” was reinserted at the instance of the Presbyterian party; though the Bishops rightly remarked that there was not “any great need of restoring it, the world being now in more danger of profanation than of idolatry.” But it was rewritten to disclaim “Adoration” not of “any real and essential” but of “any corporal presence of Christ’s natural flesh and blood.”
The use of the “Ante-Communion” was now finally extended to Sundays, it having long proved impossible to maintain even a weekly Eucharist with communions in the average parish; and even for large churches the book found it necessary to require the assisting clergy to communicate at least on Sunday, in order to assure a weekly celebration there.
By this path the great attempt of the Reformation to restore the people’s frequent reception of the Sacrament resulted in abolishing even the regular celebration of the service. In 1571 Archbishop Grindal of York had ordered the “accumulation” and continuous recitation of Morning Prayer, Litany, and Communion or “Ante-Communion” – which in practice almost invariably meant the latter, thanks to the rubric which forbade the celebration unless at least three communicants [E.R. II. 715.] had previously [E.R. II. 638 f.] signified their intention to receive. Grindal’s custom had promptly become general; and the rubrics of 1662 simply recognized the existing practice of the Church. The tide did not turn until the “Oxford Movement” emphasized again the paramount importance of the Eucharist in Christian worship, and effected its restoration by the simple process of securing a very general ignoring of the requirement of prior notification of intention to communicate.
4. American Rites
The abortive American book of 1785 followed the current English use closely. But the custom of “accumulated” services had become so fixed, that it was simply assumed that the Holy Communion would never be used separately. Hence the Communion Office was printed directly after the daily services; and the prefatory Lord’s Prayer and the Creed were completely omitted, to avoid a “vain repetition” of those already said in Morning Prayer. The word “Minister” was substituted for “Priest” in the rubrics throughout the service. The “Ante-Communion” ended with the Gospel.
The first authentic American book in 1789 preserved the plan of 1785 by allowing the omission of the first Lord’s Prayer and the Creed, if Morning Prayer preceded immediately; the rubric referring back to the text of Morning Prayer for either Apostles’ or Nicene Creeds, neither of which was reprinted in the Communion.
The great feature of this book was the Consecration Prayer, adopted through Bishop Seabury’s diocesan use of 1786 from the Scottish order of 1764. It begins with the splendid exordium, “All glory be to thee” (first in 1755), which binds the Post-Sanctus to the conclusion of the Sanctus [In its present form, i.e. of the paraphrased Hosanna left behind by the excision of the Benedictus qui vent.] by the repetition of the word “glory,” just as the Syrian rite does with “holy” and the Egyptian with “full”. The Alexandrian-Roman-English feature of a “preliminary Invocation” was removed, the Invocation being placed in connection with the Great Oblation, where alone it has ecumenical warrant. Its phrasing however conflated the current English and Scottish forms. The remainder of the Consecration Prayer followed the structure of 1549; the Scottish transfer of the Intercession and the Preparation for Communion to follow the Consecration being rejected.
Other Scottish features of the service were the Summary of the Law, made a permissive addition to the Decalogue; the Collect for grace to keep the Commandments, [First in 1764. From the “Occasional Collects” of 1549 following the Communion Office; originally from the Sarum commemorations known as “Pretiosa” at the reading of the Martyrology following Prime.] finishing off the recitation of the Decalogue as a true penitential Litany, made complete by this proper Litany collect; and the Gloria Tibi after the announcement of the Gospel, as in 1549.
New details were a simple alternative Preface for Trinity Sunday; and permission to sing a hymn after the Consecration Prayer, and to substitute a hymn for the Gloria in Excelsis.
The rubrics used “Minister” through the collection of the alms, and “Priest” from the presentation of the Elements: thus implying that the “Ante-Communion” might be said by a Deacon.
In 1892, the Nicene Creed was printed in the Communion service, retaining the permission to omit the Creed from the Communion if said before in Morning Prayer, and allowing either Creed in either office, except that the Nicene must be said on at least the five great festivals. The Decalogue must be said once a Sunday – otherwise the Summary and Kyries might be substituted – and the Collect of the Commandments was made optional. The Long Exhortation was required only once a month. The “Warnings” of an ensuing celebration were dismissed to the end of the service. A new rubric aimed at willful “mass without communions” directed that “sufficient opportunity shall be given to all present to communicate.” Five new Offertory Sentences were provided – the last two for use at the presentation of the Alms and Oblations. Addressed to God, they adequately fill the place of the old Secreta Collect.
In the last revision of 1928, the Communion Office was removed from the end to the beginning of the book of Collects, Epistles, and Gospels. This brought it next the section of the Choir Offices, not for mere convenience as in 1785, but that it might be associated in the minds of the users of the book with the general and habitual services of the Church, not with the “Occasional Offices,” before which it formerly stood, and with which some writers had even classified it.
The “canonical” rubrics about repelling unworthy communicants were relegated to an inconspicuous position in the new section of “General Rubrics” at the end. The obsolete directions for the place of the Holy Table and the posture of the celebrant were replaced by “the Priest, standing reverently before the Holy Table” – approximating the “standyng humbly afore the middes of the Altar” of 1549.
Other reversions to the standards of the First Prayer Book were the Salutation The Lord be with you before the Collect of the day – but, inconsistently, not also before the Sursum Corda and the Postcommunion Thanksgiving, turning points which needed to be signalized in the traditional way even more than the Collect; the inclusion of a suffrage for the Departed in the Prayer for the Church, and the deletion of the limiting term “Militant” from its Bidding; the restoration of the Lord’s Prayer, with its ancient Prologue, to follow the Canon, and the placing of the Prayer of Humble Access immediately before the Communion; and the removal of the “superfluous” repetition from the Gloria in Excelsis. [This amendment was first made in the Scottish book of 1755.]
Twelve of the Offertory Sentences of 1892 were dropped; chiefly those exhorting the people to support the clergy, and those implying “unworthy” motives for almsgiving, such as an apparent “bargain with God”; and the two new Sentences for missionary collections were added.
Additional flexibility of use was secured by permitting the omission of the prefatory Lord’s Prayer at discretion, an optional use of the Decalogue in shortened form, and the omission of the Long Exhortation at any time except the first Sundays of Advent and Lent, and Trinity Sunday.
The desire for special “votive” intercessions (hitherto met by interpolating collects after the Collect of the day or before the Blessing) was provided for by permitting special prayers after the Creed or at announcement time, and special Biddings prefixed to the General Intercession.
While the word “Priest” was restored throughout the rubrics, a special provision permits a Deacon, “in the absence of a Priest,” to say the service “to the end of the Gospel.” But in this book the use of the “Ante-Communion” on Sundays and other Holy Days when there is no communion is permitted, not required, by the rubrics.
X – HOLY COMMUNION:
III. The Present American Rite
Historically, the divisions of the Liturgy are the service of the Catechumens; the service of the Faithful; the consecratory Canon; and the Communion.
The Catechumens’ service is entirely general, and mainly didactic, and may be profitably attended by any human being. Technically, in our rite it ends with the Gospel, though there is no break of any kind in the text, save in the separate use of the “Ante-Communion,” which concludes at this point. Today, however, the dismissal of the Catechumens before the secret “Mysteries” known only to the initiate has been disused for over a thousand years. The whole service is primarily the Liturgy of the Faithful – though equally open to any auditor who chooses to attend it. The Anglican position of the Creed immediately after the Gospel and before the Sermon is witness that the ancient distinction has been forgotten; the natural turning point of the service is at the Offertory, where the sacrificial action begins: and the general order, introductory to the eucharistic oblation, may be regarded as extending up to this point.
The service of the Faithful traditionally includes the Creed and the Intercession; which latter was originally par éminence the “Prayers of the Faithful”. The Creed, as we have said is now in the preceding division. The Anglican rites have added to the service of the Faithful the devotions of preparation for communion.
The Canon comprises the Preface and the long Prayer of Consecration, concluding with the congregational Amen. The remainder of the service beginning with the Lord’s Prayer is the Administration, to which medieval times gave the significant title of the “Canon of the Communion”.
2. The General Order
The initial Lord’s Prayer and Collect for Purity are survivals of the priest’s preparation in the Sarum rite. Tradition has maintained the principle that the people should not say the Lord’s Prayer with the priest. [In the rubric on p. 7 of the Prayer Book, “divine service” is technically used to indicate Morning and Evening Prayer, and hence has no application to this place in the Communion Office.]
The use of the Decalogue, introduced in 1552, has never proved entirely satisfactory – perhaps because its purpose has not been clearly understood. Its quality as a form of Litany seems to have been felt in 1764, at which time it was finished off with a true Litany Collect for grace to keep the commandments. Yet we still retain the rubric of 1637, directing the priest to face the people for its recitation, as if it were a fixed Old Testament Lesson. Some of its expressions pertain only to primitive Hebrew conditions: and the book of 1637, followed by the recent Scottish, English, and South African revisions, felt constrained to explain in the rubric that its terms should be applied according to a “mystical” or “spiritual” interpretation. The Commandments are chiefly negative in form: and the Nonjurors’ book of 1718, with the Scottish 1764, the American books, and the recent British revisions, offer our Lord’s “Summary” in positive and universal terms as a complement. Moreover they are lengthy, a distinct element of tedium in the service, and that at a most injudicious place, when the order of worship is just getting under way: hence all the latest revisions have presented them in an optionally or absolutely abbreviated form, similar to that of The Institution of a Christian Man of 1537, The Necessary Doctrine of 1543, and Cranmer’s Catechism of 1548. The American book of 1892 allowed them to be supplanted altogether by the Summary and Kyries, except once a Sunday; the 1928 book requires them only once a month.
The inherent rationale of the Decalogue Litany is that it corresponds to, and may have been designed in some measure to replace, the old preliminary Confiteor of the Latin mass. Its intent is plainly to serve as the basis for an examination of conscience, which shall provide a real content of contrition to the General Confession made later in the service. It happens however that so few people have been, or are, in the habit of making private confessions, that this use of the Decalogue in preparation for a confession has been largely forgotten; and it is very doubtful if many communicants recognize this as a part of the service which calls upon them for a most earnest and active spiritual participation. Without such recognition, the Decalogue becomes merely something to be endured until it is over; and there is little wonder that it has been progressively eliminated from use.
Further experience will tell whether the measures adopted in the latest Prayer Books are sufficient to stay this trend, or whether new ones must be found. We have, for example, the method of flexible alternatives, which was hardly available in the sixth century, or the sixteenth. It might be quite practicable now to restore the Gloria in Excelsis to this place as a joyful beginning of the service on festal occasions, to be replaced by the Decalogue Litany in penitential seasons. The Decalogue could be provided with a Bidding which should make clear its purpose, and arouse the people’s devout cooperation, and might be emphasized in its quality as a Litany by directing that it be said kneeling before the altar.
At present, it is not to be recommended that the Collect of the Commandments be said except after the Decalogue, though the rubric permits it in any combination. Saying the Summary, then this Collect, then making a fresh start with “The Lord be with you,” followed by the Collect of the day, is distinctly awkward.
The use of the Creed in immediate sequence with the Gospel is an Anglican peculiarity; so (in the West) is its required use on all occasions, while in the Latin rite and in 1549 it was purely festal. But the closer the connection of the Creed with the Gospel, the more patent is the justification for its liturgical use: the proclamation of the Gospel is answered by the declaration of our personal and intelligent assent; and the formulation of the Church’s official faith is presented as a systematic summary of the scriptural narrative, as things that really happened. The Creed may (not must) be omitted if Morning Prayer has immediately preceded.
The present Prayer Book has some entirely new and really organic provisions for the use of special intercessions. But though the rubrics are perfectly clear, they do not seem so far to have been very well understood in practice. On p. 71, the direction after the rubric on Notices, Here, or immediately after the Creed, shall be said the Bidding Prayer, or other authorized prayers and intercessions, plainly means that any desired special prayers should be used at the reading desk at announcement time at a principal service where there are formal Notices before the Sermon; but that they may be read at the altar directly following the Creed at a “low celebration”. But on p. 74, Here the Priest may ask the secret intercessions of the congregation for any who have desired the prayers of the Church, certainly indicates special Biddings – not interpolated Collects – prefixed to the Bidding of the General Intercession.
It may be mentioned that the use of the Bidding Prayer is hardly desirable at a celebration of the Communion, for it constitutes an absolute duplication of the substance of the General Intercession which follows so closely in our rite. The Bidding Prayer may however be admirably employed in connection with the “Ante-Communion.” [We may note that the use of a Collect or Invocation before sermons is a survival of the traditional use of the Bidding Prayer at that point before the Reformation.]
3. The Devotions of the Faithful
The Offertory Sentences, which Cranmer originally designed to have sung as liturgical Anthems (Offertoria), now serve only to announce the beginning of the act of Oblation; and one of them is read whether or no there is any “collection” to be taken up. Another rubric provides for an independent “Hymn, or an Offertory Anthem,” to be sung “when the Alms and Oblations are being received and presented.” The descriptive phrase, “in the words of Holy Scripture or of the Book of Common Prayer,” establishes a standard, though perhaps hardly so rigid a one as to prohibit the use of anthems of equivalent quality which do not conform to the absolute letter of those categories; the further proviso that they should be “under the direction of the Priest” being apparently designed to restrain ambitious choir directors who tended to depart too widely from this standard.
The “Minor Oblation” so dreaded in 1552 has been explicitly restored: the priest is told to “offer and place upon the Holy Table the Bread and the Wine,” following Scottish use since 1735. The intercalation in the Intercession is reduced to “accept our [alms and] oblations.” This makes it clear that the elements themselves are oblations, and constitutes the Intercession as a corporate offertory prayer. The entire action, beginning here, is sacrificial; and this part is quite as integral to it as the later “Major Oblation” which pleads the sacrifice before God.
The sense of a corporate and vital act is accentuated by the new rubric directing this connection for preferring the special petitions of the offerers who have desired the Church’s prayers.
In 1549 the First Prayer Book ordered that at the offertory time the intending communicants should gather in the choir, and all others depart out of it – which, in a large church with a heavy chancel screen, meant that they must get out of sight and hearing of the altar, and naturally resulted in their leaving the church altogether; in effect a “Dismissal of Catechumens and Penitents”. No Prayer Book since has continued this rubric in any form: but the English books since 1552 have ended the “Ante-Communion” with the Prayer for the Church; and the custom has survived to our day in many places in all branches of the Church for non-communicants to leave at this point.
Unsanctioned by rubric, and undesirable from the point of view of the communicants, whose devotions it interrupts, this custom is sometimes a practical necessity, especially in city churches. It is in fact a survival of the very ancient and entirely valid distinction between communicants and auditors; and while the Church no longer expels the latter from the celebration of its Mysteries, they do have the right to withdraw at their own option from a portion of the rite of which they are not actually participants.
After all, it really is the fact that the Invitation, Confession, Absolution, and Comfortable Words constitute a new movement in the service. They concern not a mixed congregation, but those who propose to receive the Sacrament. And as now prefixed to the Consecration, instead of to the Communion only, as in 1549, they have accentuated the sense of a united sacrificial action of the Church. They form an effective introduction to the solemn Prayer of Consecration; they symbolize the chancel steps by which the communicants “draw near with faith” to the inner shrine.
4. The Canon of Consecration
The term “Preface” is purely Western. In the East, it is properly the “Thanksgiving”; and as such is not only integral to the central Anaphora [As late as the eighth century, texts of the “Gelasian” Sacramentary still counted the Preface as part of the Canon; cf. Fortescue, The Mass [Bib. 68], 315, and Eisenhofer II. 152b.] (as appears in the first text of Hippolytus’ Apostolic Tradition, where it is an undivided part of the Consecration Prayer), but indeed is the portion from which the term “Eucharist” takes its name.
The Anglican Prefaces are all in line with the “basic” Hippolytan rite in rendering glory to God for phases of the Incarnation. Their number was judiciously enlarged at the last revision, with provisions for Epiphany, three festivals of our Lord, and All Saints’. Future ages may see this part of the service still further adorned; but it is a perilous task, demanding supreme expression. Some of the new Prefaces in other recent Prayer Books are distinctly pedestrian. The English and Scottish books however offer the somewhat attractive feature of extending the use of some Prefaces from Octaves only to some whole seasons every day of which is of equal honor: that of Christmas until the Epiphany, that of Easter until the Ascension, that of Ascension until Whitsunday, that of All Saints’ to Saints’ Days generally.
Our Consecration Prayer is a rich heritage. Roman scholars, humanly offended where we have abandoned their undeniably venerable but undeniably crude and obscure standards, have tended to dismiss it as a synthetic product. But it comes to us as the result of an organic evolution, a legitimate inheritance from the valiant Laud, the learning and devotion of the Nonjurors who embraced exile for conscience’ sake, the tenacity of the faithful remnant in Scotland, and the faith which ventured to found the Episcopate in the New World.
The Liturgy of Jerusalem which rightly attracted eighteenth-century minds by its supreme literary quality, and wrongly, as the supposed apostolic rite of the Cradle of the Faith, was in fact not as primitive as the Roman; but in the matter of the Invocation of the power of God to consecrate the Sacrament it did faithfully preserve a more ancient tradition which the Roman had once possessed, in the time of Hippolytus, but had so obscured as virtually to have lost. Once again the Anglican rites have restored what the most recent Roman scholars have reluctantly come to admit to be the rightful meaning of their own cryptic formula.
Though there has been some tendency in certain quarters in England to conform to Roman ideas of the meaning, formula, and moment of consecration, yet both the English and South African revisions, together with most of the local rites of the missionary dioceses, have accepted the historical evidence, urged by the eminent Scottish liturgiologists, and adopted the same Scottish structure of the Consecration Prayer which the American Church has had from its beginning.
Two Roman criticisms are that our narrative of the Institution is Lutheran, and our Invocation “receptionist.”
It is true that the Institution is very close to the Brandenburg-Nürnberg Kirchenordnung, reproduced in the Nürnberg Catechism of Justus Jonas, which was translated and adapted in Cranmer’s Catechism of 1548. But the fact is of no significance. The Roman narrative of the Institution is a conflation of all four scriptural accounts, plus certain rhetorical embellishments. [For the widely varying forms of the narrative of the Institution in the historic liturgies, cf. Neale and Littledale, Translations of the Primitive Liturgies, Appendix I, 193–247, and Arthur Linton, Twenty-five Consecration Prayers (S.P.C.K., London, 1921).] The Nürnberg and English forms castigate the Latin text of the non-scriptural additions, and further conflate into it three phrases from the Pauline tradition. Yet the Mozarabic rite, which at some unknown time underwent a precisely similar revision, [Certainly at one time it began Qui pridie, like the Roman and Gallican, since the following prayer is always entitled the Post-Pridie – though its present narrative of the Institution now begins quite differently.] made almost identically the same excisions from the Roman, and the same additions from St. Paul. [Compare all the parallels in E.R. I. cvii ff.]
As to the Invocation, there is really a certain hollowness in the controversies between proponents of subjective and objective ideas of the Consecration. Obviously it is not possible to “receive” anything which is not in some sense objectively real; and on the other hand, it is of no importance what the Elements may be alleged to have been made in themselves, unless they are subjectively realized within the soul of the communicant.
Besides, even the most extreme form of 1552 was intrinsically not a bit more “receptionist” than the “ut nobis fiat” of the Latin original. The Invocation of the Roman liturgy, like that of every other, even the frankly “metabolist” formula of St. Chrysostom, [LEW 330b. 5, 9.] ends by expressing a worthy communion as the objective of the whole consecratory action.
The present American rite expresses adequately the idea of an objective Consecration by returning to the First Prayer Book for the form then borrowed from St. Basil – “vouchsafe to bless and sanctify with thy Word* and Holy Spirit these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine” – while retaining the Second Prayer Book’s safeguard for the equally vital subjective realization, “that we receiving them ... may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood.”
[*Cranmer’s original “holy spirit and word” was doubtless intended to combine Eastern and Western theories of the consecration, designating the Holy Spirit as the agent, and our Lord’s “word” (of Institution) as the means. The Scottish 1764 spoke of the “Word and Holy Spirit,” i.e., the personal Word or Logos, co-working with the creative Spirit, and in some sense to be included and identified with Him: cf. John 14:18, 2 Cor. 3:17–18, Gal. 4:6, Phil. 1:19: or in other words it is Christ, the Eternal Priest, who Himself, through the ministry of the Spirit, consecrates the Sacrament: cf. the Invocation in Serapion (J.T.S. I. 1. 106.13; Funk II. 174.28; Wordsworth, 64); St. Athanasius quoted in P.G. 26. 1325; and St. Chrysostom in 1 Cor. Hom. 24. 2 (P.G. 61. 200), and in Mat. Hom. 82. 5 (P.G. 58. 743.]
Since the appearance of the 1928 book, two criticisms of the Consecration Prayer have been heard with some frequency.
The first concerns the emphatic designations of Christ’s “one Oblation of himself” at the beginning. In origin, these were distinctly Protestant phrases, designed to safeguard the uniqueness of the Cross against medieval ideas of repeated immolations of Christ in the repudiated “sacrifices of masses”. This danger having long been forgotten, the objection now is that these terms are too close to concepts of a substitutionary Atonement which have been very generally superseded in the minds of modern men. It may be admitted that there is something in this contention – certainly “satisfaction” is one word too many.
Every ancient liturgy contains archaic phrases, once held in interpretations now outgrown, which we do not so hold or interpret. Bringing the language up to date is sometimes very difficult – it has so far proved impossible in the case of the Apostles’ Creed. Recent suggestions are not acceptable which would omit the essential content of this part of the Consecration Prayer, or water it down inconclusively. This weighty, solemn, and for the most part directly scriptural language is in fact a restoration of the primitive Post-Sanctus in rites both Eastern and Western, consisting of a narrative of the Redemption as an objective historical fact, and forming an indispensable introduction of the Institution as a narrative equally objective and historical, rather than as a magic formula of consecration. Its balance should not be destroyed, nor its force weakened, in any future alteration.
The other criticism is of the conclusion of the Prayer, following the paragraph entitled “The Invocation”. There is a distinct lag in the service at this portion, with some tendency to wandering of mind.
Some of the phrases here are really superfluous now, as the transfer of the Prayer of Humble Access to a closely adjacent position has revealed certain duplications of ideas concerning the fruits of communion.
What is fundamentally the trouble with this passage is that historically it is composed of odds and ends of Collects from the Latin order, from which their substantive, concrete, and interesting elements have been eliminated. [E.g. the patriarchal sacrifices from the Supra quae, the Heavenly Altar from the Supplices, and the part and lot with the Saints from the Nobis quoque.] On the other hand, our prayer contains some valuable and distinctive phases of the Christian sacrifice, notably the Church’s corporate oblation of itself, which ought not to be lost. It ought to be possible to reduce this paragraph to elements not expressed elsewhere, providing a dignified but brief conclusion. [For instance: “And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee; humbly beseeching thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offenses, through Jesus Christ our Lord; etc.”]
This growing desire to terminate the Prayer of Consecration as soon as may be after the Invocation, is an instance of the sound instinct which caused the first American book of 1789 to reject the use of Scotland since 1735 and Bishop Seabury’s form of 1786, which followed Syrian precedent by appending the General Intercession after the Consecration, succeeded by the Preparation for Communion as in 1549.
An anticlimax is an essential part of every art-form—after the soaring upward rush of the spirit there must be a return to common earth—but it is an artistic necessity that such an anticlimax be as brief as possible, else the whole effect is ruined. The sharp descending limb of the parabolic curve, which is the scientist’s graph for the wax and wane of any natural phenomenon, should be our guide for any artistic form, whether it be the emotion of a sonnet, or the spiritual movement of a liturgy.
Structurally, the Scottish arrangement is a mistake; and the tedium of its inordinately lengthy anticlimax may probably account for the fact that it has never been able entirely to supplant the rite of the Church of England in Scotland itself. Historically, it is no less a mistake, for, as we have seen, the Syrian and Scottish place for the General Intercession is not primitive, while the English and American location is.
5. The Canon of the Communion
The consummation and objective of the whole Liturgy is the act of Communion. Unlike the Pro-Anaphora, which at various times and places has varied widely, in ways of considerable interest but little fundamental importance, the concluding portions of the rite from the earliest examples to the latest have possessed and preserved a structural framework more definite, more primitive, and more resistant to alteration, than even the consecratory Canon itself. The medieval liturgiologists who called it the “Canon of the Communion” were imbued with a sound instinct. But it can hardly be said that any modern student has hitherto given it even his serious attention. The rationale of this part of the service has been, and is, so little understood, and even so misunderstood, that the treatment of its history and principles has been deferred to this point for examination in detail.
The first available texts in the fourth-century Apostolic Constitutions [LEW 24 ff.] and the possibly still earlier Ethiopic Church Order, [LEW 190.37 ff.] present this structure in the clearest form:
1. A Prayer of the Fraction or Breaking of Bread. [This was the prayer into which the Lord’s Prayer was afterward interpolated; cf. p. 154D. – Found in the Ethiopic, not the Apostolic Constitutions.]
2. The Bishop’s Blessing of intending communicants.
3. The so-called Elevation (really the bringing out of the Elements ready for reception with a word and gesture of invitation).
4. The Act of Communion.
5. The Postcommunion Thanksgiving.
6. A Commendatory Prayer over the congregation.
7. The Dismissal.
In the medieval Roman rite this lucid order was somewhat obscured. The original One Loaf of the oblation had been supplanted by separate wafers, ready for the communion of the people, so that the ancient “Breaking of the Bread” survived only in the form of a ritual Fraction of the Priest’s Host; and the Prayer of Fraction was reduced to a vestige, the Prologue to the Lord’s Prayer, and its original Prayer to form the so-called “Embolismus”. [I.e. “Interpolation,” as a supposed insertion between the body of the Lord’s Prayer and its scriptural Doxology – though on the contrary it was the Lord’s Prayer itself which was the interpolation.] The “Elevation” remained informally, in the celebrant’s turning to the people and holding up the host, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world.” The Thanksgiving after receiving was represented by the Postcommunion Collect, variable with the day: but while usually with some reference to the Sacrament received, in most instances it had lost the note of thanksgiving, which had been absorbed in the priest’s private prayers at the Ablutions. The Commendatory Prayer over the congregation (“Super populum”) is found in nearly all masses in the Leonine Sacramentary, in most in the Gelasian, from Septuagesima to Easter in the Gregorian, and has finally been confined to the weekdays of Lent in the present Missal of Pius V: vanishing pari passu with the development of a declarative sacerdotal Benediction at the end.
The Blessing of Communicants disappeared from the Roman rite very early, because the bishop’s Salutation, “The peace of the Lord be alway with you,” which originally introduced it, by the beginning of the fifth century had attracted to itself the Kiss of Peace from its former location at the beginning of the Anaphora. [Cf. Fortescue, The Mass, 370 f. – The Roman signing of the Chalice with a particle of the Host at this point is a last ritual vestige of the former Blessing of Communicants.] But this Blessing survived in the Gallican rites, and remained as a Gallican inheritance in England down to the Reformation, with numerous formulae, varying with the season, in the Sarum Pontifical. But priests did not use it; and we have seen [See above, Chapter IX.] that in England as elsewhere a Confession and Absolution were interpolated here to supply the psychological lack of some immediate conclusion entirely assimilated to the last clause of the Lord’s preparation for communion.
Nearly all of this rational order for the Administration of the Communion in the primitive liturgies has been restored in substance in our present service – intuitively, we may say, and by an instinctive feeling for liturgical principles; since neither Cranmer nor any subsequent revisers possessed a historical knowledge of what the primitive scheme was.
There is now, indeed, no Prayer of the Fraction, as a legitimate evolution has absorbed this supplication into a setting for the Lord’s Prayer. But our latest revision restored the Lord’s Prayer to its place of primary honor and greatest significance immediately after the Consecration, and provided it with the ancient Prologue to introduce it with proper dignity. This Prologue contains a touching reminder of the disciplina arcani of the days of persecution, that reserved the knowledge of this most sacred of all prayers from the uninitiate. The old tradition, which the Roman rituals still preserve intact, was never to repeat the Lord’s Prayer aloud in any of the offices of worship, except at the moment of baptismal initiation into the Christian Mysteries, and at this place in the Communion. [The original form of the Hours of the Breviary, for example, never gives more than the beginning and ending of the Lord’s Prayer, the rest being recited silently. The Benedictine rule, however, introduced the custom of saying it aloud at Lauds and Vespers; and this monastic use survived in the Preces Feriales employed at these Hours in the Roman Breviaries since the twelfth century; cf. Eisenhofer I. 173; II. 525, 527. – For possible still more ancient roots of the reserve in the use of the Lord’s Prayer, cf. Hippolytus’ Apostolic Tradition § 23.14 (ed. Easton [Bib. 7], 49), and note (ibid. 95).] Here, at the consummation of the Christian Sacrifice, with all alien ears excluded, the faithful rightly “are bold to say” the Lord’s own words.
The recent restoration of the Prayer of Humble Access to the position before the act of communion, for which it was originally designed, fills a real need. Both in tone and content it is a full equivalent of the bishop’s Blessing of those about to receive in the Eastern rites, from which, in St. Basil’s version, Cranmer took the idea for this prayer, and some of its expressions. [E R. II. 698; I. lxxv.] The ceremony only is different, the celebrant now identifying himself with the worshipping congregation, and kneeling with them to make this preparation for himself as well as for them, instead of pronouncing it over them in benediction.
The Postcommunion Thanksgiving also reverts to Eastern standards [LEW 342.16.] in being a fixed prayer, instead of a “Gallican” variable Collect. It should be noted that this is properly our own – and only – “Postcommunion”.
Instead of a blunt word of dismissal by the Deacon, the service now ends with a priestly benediction in the Name of God. The Sarum rite had not yet acquired the final Benediction of the present Roman; [The Benediction seems to have grown out of the Bishop’s custom of blessing his people as he went out in the recessional. When adopted as a formal feature, it borrowed the minimum form previously employed for the benediction before communion.] and it appears that Cranmer turned from the untranslatable Latin “Ite, missa est,” to the Byzantine “Let us depart in peace,” [LEW 397.20.] where he found the suggestion for the beautiful use of Phil. 4:7 to introduce the Blessing.
Thus it appears that the only missing elements of the primitive structure are some sort of immediate Invitation to Communicants, and a final Commendatory Prayer “over the congregation.”
Cranmer had something of the nature of the Invitation in his “Christ our Paschal Lamb” in 1549; [E.R. II. 696.] but this was dropped in 1552, and never restored in any form. The matter is hardly important; but a small awkward pause at this juncture sometimes bears witness of this ritual link that has dropped out, and indicates that such an Invitation might be of value to start a diffident congregation toward the altar- rail. At a choral service, this is sometimes virtually supplied by the Hymn at the communion-time, corresponding to the Ambrosian Anthem Ad Accedentes – i.e. “For those who draw nigh” to receive the communion.
The Commendatory Prayer “Super populum” has completed the process of degeneration which it underwent in the Roman books, by being entirely absorbed in the invariable use of Phil. 4:7 which ushers in the final Benediction, and which indeed represents its essential content. It survives separately and unmistakably, however, in the three services in the Ordinal. The three prayers there are not in any sense “Postcommunions” – they have no allusion to the Sacrament received – they are precisely Commendatory Prayers over the newly ordained clergy and the congregation, for enabling grace in time to come.
The Ordinal of 1550 directed these prayers to be said after the last Collect, and immediately before the benediction. Now in 1550 this “last Collect,” which normally occurred “immediately before the benediction,” was in fact the fixed Postcommunion Thanksgiving. But when in 1552 and all following books the Gloria in Excelsis was transferred to the place “immediately before the benediction,” the rubric in the Ordinal – which stands unaltered to this day – became quite inaccurate: and this misleading reference gave rise to the mistaken hypothesis that these final Commendatory Prayers in the ordination services were themselves Postcommunion Collects, and that their rubric implied the habitual use of a “last Collect” in the normal service.
Hence the use of so-called “Postcommunions” at the option of the celebrant now has the prescription of a long tradition, and indeed has been explicitly authorized in the recent Scottish and English revisions. We have seen that our book of 1892 allowed the Occasional Prayers to be used at this place, [See end chapter VII.] and that the amended rubric of 1928 was not quite definite enough to bring this practice to an end. But the fact is that Anglican use has displayed an unanalyzed confusion of three quite different types of prayer, and mist use of two of them in this place: special intercessions and commemorations, which have no appropriateness here; Postcommunion prayers and thanksgivings, of which there is only one possible example in our Prayer Book, that in the text of the service; and final Commendatory Prayers over the congregation. It seems that the old rule for terminating the “Ante-Communion” with General Collects, and the present custom of “Table Prayers” appended to Morning Prayer and Sermon, have kept alive the sound liturgical instinct of the early Church to conclude the Communion with some comprehensive supplication for perseverance in righteous living. It is this last, though under the wrong name, which the British books have sanctioned, and which will probably continue to prevail in our own.
To all this essential structure of the Administration of the Communion, there has been added an adequate musical adornment. The “Hymn” which 1789 provided after the Consecration, now naturally follows the Prayer of Humble Access, and accompanies the Breaking of Bread and the Communion. The proposal to restore the Agnus Dei at this point was narrowly defeated in 1928; but the Agnus may be described as a “hymn,” and hence has continued to be sung with some color of liturgical authorization, as it long has been in England with none. [But compare Chapter IX, § 2.]
The provision of a Hymn as a substitute for the Gloria in Excelsis was introduced in 1789 because of the frequent difficulty of getting the Gloria sung under pioneering conditions. The alternative is useful now in replacing the Gloria in penitential seasons, at least in a choral service; at an early celebration it can hardly be said that the singsong repetition of a metrical hymn is edifying. The English use of 1928 follows 1549 in permitting the Gloria to be simply omitted on weekdays. Historically, the Gloria was an interpolation on festivals; and there seems little reason why it should not be recognized and treated as such.
The Ablutions come after the Blessing in our rite. This seems, and indeed was, sheer afterthought, as this provision was not made at all until 1637; the first three Anglican Prayer Books having taken it for granted that the Priest would make the Ablutions in the wonted place for them, immediately after the Administration. It was only as the memory of this tradition died out, and Puritan clergy threw out any of the consecrated elements that were left over, or took them home for domestic use, that explicit directions for their disposal became necessary. It may be noted that the rubric refers only to any overplus inadvertently left over from the Communion: it has no application to a portion of the elements which has been intentionally set aside for the later communion of the sick or absent. Canons and customs of the Church regulate the question of “Reservation” – not this rubric.
The Ablutions, occurring now after the Benediction, entail an awkward pause, and are a distinct drag on the smooth conclusion of the service. It is interesting to observe how, extra-rubrically, they have attracted to themselves the singing of the Nunc Dimittis or some other musical morceau – yet another instance of the old instinct to accompany silent ceremonial actions with musical ornament. But it might seem desirable to restore the Ablutions to their natural location at the end of the act of communion.
XI – OCCASIONAL OFFICES: BAPTISM, INSTRUCTION,
1. The Baptismal Liturgy
The rites of initiation into the Christian Church offer some significant parallels to the eucharistic Liturgy. In the traditional view of the Church, both the “Great Sacraments” claim immediate institution by our Lord, assert his authority for their continued observance, and embody definite forms of words attributed to him. Both display the fixed procedure of a distinctive Rite, uniform in its essentials throughout the world, attested in the earliest Christian writers, and even to some extent recognizable in the New Testament accounts.
Indeed a fully developed structure of the baptismal order receives rather earlier and wider attestation than that of the Eucharist. Moreover, this Baptismal Liturgy, as it has every right to be called, has on the whole been less subject to accretions and innovations than the Communion. Hence to this day it is inherently the same in all branches of the historic Church, and very little altered anywhere from what it is known to have been at the beginning of the third century, and what it may have been much earlier.
Just as in the case of the Eucharist, of late the ultimate origins of the baptismal rites have been the subject of somewhat searching criticism. The results of that investigation, so far, are somewhat disconcerting to traditional views; and may of course be disregarded by those satisfied with such views, and content to rest their conceptions of the history of the Sacrament upon the prima facie evidence of plain statements of the New Testament as it stands, before critical methods are applied to that evidence. The following section is submitted to the judgment of the reader as a summary of inquiries which are still being pursued, and which later discussion may modify.
2. In the New Testament
In the Hebrew religion, there were many rites which we call ceremonial ablutions, but which the Jew believed to be immediately effectual, [Cf. Heb. 9:13.] with no merely “symbolic” element, and with no contrast between ceremonial and moral purity. Of these rites, perhaps the most striking was the Baptism of Proselytes – a self-administered bath of purification, in the ceremonies of initiation into the family of Israel.
It was this rite which was adopted in the “revival mission” of John the Baptist. In effect he told the complaisant orthodox Jews that they were apostate by their sins, so that like the despised Gentiles they needed to renounce their old life and embrace a new one, by a comprehensive act of cleansing of the whole man.
It seems probable that this act, like the Baptism of Proselytes, was in most cases self-administered: that the multitudes immersed themselves [εβαπτίζοντο in Mark 1:5 and Matt. 3:6 is more probably a middle (reflexive) voice than a passive. Cf. the reading of Luke 3:7 in D and the Old Latin versions: “were baptized in his presence.”] in the Jordan in the presence of John. And while the immediate effect of this baptism was “for the forgiveness of sins,” it was also a regeneration, a new birth and initiation into a new life and a new fellowship. Indeed, John’s baptism and his “church” did not cease with the coming of Christ. [Cf. Acts 18:25, 19:3.] This explains the fact that Christianity did not regard Baptism as a purification which might be repeated, but as an entering upon a new status for life.
Both the Synoptics and the Acts are silent as to any use of Baptism during our Lord’s ministry. Acts 1:5 picks up Mark 1:8 precisely, pointing to Pentecost as the beginning of the distinctively Christian rite. Against this we find standing alone the statement of John 4:1–2, that “Jesus baptized more disciples than John,” with the qualification “though Jesus baptized not, but his disciples.”
The question of a direct institution of Christian Baptism by our Lord, which was asserted with such confidence by all parties at the Reformation, is now somewhat under a cloud, with the reluctance of modern critics to adduce the Fourth Gospel in evidence, and with the authenticity of Matthew 28:19 also defended by few. Yet the explicit statement of John 4:1–2 may still be correct; and certainly something of the nature of the discourse on Baptism in John 3 seems required to explain the Church’s unhesitating adoption of the fundamental rite of Christian initiation. Underlying these passages, there may well be a genuine tradition of some definite instruction by the Lord.
It seems certain that Christian Baptism at the first was at least in some cases self-administered, exactly as its Jewish antecedents were. The reflexive form of the verb is used unmistakably in the Greek of Acts 22:16, and 1 Corinthians 6:11 and 10:2. The “three thousand” on the day of Pentecost could hardly have been immersed individually by the Apostles; it is more probable that this was a group baptism like the multitudes of John’s followers. St. Paul seldom administered Baptism in person; [1 Cor. 1:14–17.] and we have seen that the testimony of the Fourth Gospel as to the practice of Jesus is along the same lines.
Hence the action of an official “minister” appears to have been no more essential then for Baptism than it is now for Marriage. [See below.] The function of the officiant in both cases may be described as supervising the due performance of the voluntary actions of the individuals concerned before proper witnesses. The fact that lay Baptism is recognized in the Church, though lay celebration of the Eucharist is not, may have its origin in these primitive circumstances.
It further appears that the only “Form” of the administration of Baptism was the declaration of faith proclaimed by the candidate. Apparently for Jewish converts this was the affirmation, “Jesus is Lord.” [Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:3; Phil. 2:11.] The accession of Gentiles brought in a Trinitarian formula, which left its mark on Matthew 28:19, and ultimately became standard in the Church; we find it complete in the Didaché [C. 7 (Quasten, Monumenta [Bib. 14], 9).] and Justin Martyr. [I Ap. 61 (P.C. 6. 420; Quasten, op. cit., 14).]
Originally, the Christian Initiation was normally designed for the admission of adult converts on profession of their faith. Yet the example of the Jewish reception of the whole families of proselytes, and the repeated mention of the baptism of the “households” of Cornelius, Lydia, Stephanas, and the Jailor at Philippi, as well as the lack of any negative evidence in the entire history of the Church, make it an undeniable inference that from the beginning infants were thus brought within the Christian Covenant.
Jewish baptisms required complete submersion, forbidding even rings and hairpins as preventing entire contact with the cleansing waters. Immersion was certainly the normal mode of Christian Baptism. St. Paul found in it a secondary symbolism of the Christian’s burial and resurrection with Christ. [Rom. 6:3 ff., Col. 2:12.] Yet as the primary meaning was that of a rite of purification, the essential symbolism could be carried out with any amount of water, however small, which was available. The “three thousand” baptisms on Pentecost would seem to offer practical difficulties. Certainly early in the following century, the Didaché explicitly allows affusion if immersion is impracticable; [C. 7 ut supra.] and all the pictorial representations of Baptism, which show affusion, with or without partial immersion, reflect the subsequent practice of the Church.
The mode of administration very early acquired another ceremony from current custom. At this period, immersion in a bath was always preceded and followed by an anointing of the body with oil. All ancient baptismal rites both Eastern and Western have always had this dual anointing before and after Baptism: indeed, in all of them the post-baptismal Unction has overshadowed the laying on of hands as the ceremony of Confirmation. Now necessary actions in connection with sacred rites always tend to become ceremonies, invested with mystical interpretations. The act of anointing, originally as purely utilitarian as the corresponding modern use of soap and cold-cream, became aligned with the Jewish ritual unctions at the consecration of prophets, priests, and kings. [Easton, Apostolic Tradition [Bib. 7], 36 §5.2; Wilson, Gelasian Sacramentary [Bib. 27], 70.] This use is unmistakable as early as the year 180; [Theophilus of Antioch Ad Autolyc. i. 12 (P.G. 6. 1041): “We are called Christians for the reason that we are anointed (Χριστιανοι, ότι χριόμεθα) with the oil of God.”] and there remains the possibility that the primarily spiritual expressions in the New Testament about anointing and “sealing” may reflect an already emergent ritual practice. [1 John 2:20, 27; 2 Cor. 1:21–2, Eph. 1:13, 4:30.]
But if the anointing was in some way integral to the baptismal ceremonies, as soon as they settled into a fixed rite, there is more difficulty about the other ceremony of laying on of hands, which we find associated with Baptism in the New Testament in ways which are not altogether clear or consistent with each other. This action was the accustomed Jewish rite for transmitting divine power; its function in Christian use was to convey a special impartation of the Holy Spirit. But while in Acts 19:1–6 we have an instance of the laying on of hands continuously with Baptism administered by an Apostle, and in 8:14–17 as an apostolic act supplementing a previous Baptism by a Deacon, in 9:17–18 and 10:47 this action, and the gift of the Spirit, precedes the Baptism. According to the Lucan theory, then, this rite conveys the Spirit only, Baptism cleanses only, and they might be administered in either order. Against this stands the Pauline and Johannine postulate that the Spirit is given in Baptism. [1 Cor. 12:13, Eph. 1:13, Titus 3:5, John 3:5.] This latter, in fact, is the rationale which appears in all the Church’s baptismal liturgies from the beginning. But while the Church in practice conformed to the custom recorded in the Acts that Baptism should normally be supplemented with “Confirmation,” it did not require Confirmation for any of the rights of membership, but in theory aligned it with Ordination, as a particular enabling gift and grace for a sort of lay priesthood.
3. The Third Century
At the beginning of the third century we have copious attestations of baptismal customs from St. Cyprian and Tertullian, embodying almost everything known in subsequent rituals. Even more important, the Apostolic Tradition of St. Hippolytus furnishes us with a complete basic order of the Baptismal Liturgy in use in Rome at the beginning of the century, in substantial agreement with the North African use just mentioned, with the witness of St. Cyril of Jerusalem in 347, and with customs Eastern and Western to the present day. [Easton, op. cit., 41–49.]
By this time, the new institution of the Catechumenate had grown up. There are no traces of this in the New Testament; then all applicants had been immediately accepted on expression of their faith and desire. But under the stress of persecution without and inconstancy within, the Church had been compelled to safeguard its holy mysteries and to assure the character of its membership by imposing a period of probation, during which careful instruction was imparted to the candidates.
According to the Apostolic Tradition, the candidates had to apply for enrolment as Catechumens, each vouched for by a Sponsor; and those in occupations inconsistent with the Christian profession must abandon them. A probationary period of three years was suggested, to be shortened at discretion. During this time the Catechumens were admitted as “Hearers” to the preliminary part of the eucharistic Liturgy, being dismissed before the Gospel [The liturgical Gospel was reckoned at Rome as belonging to the disciplina arcani, along with the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. Outside the Roman sphere of influence, the Catechumens were generally allowed to remain until after the Sermon following the Gospel, being dismissed immediately before the Anaphora.] after an instruction, with a prayer of blessing and imposition of hands.
As the stated time of Baptism drew near, their conduct during their probation was subject to review: and those who were acceptable were enrolled for the period of intensive instruction. Hippolytus calls them those “set apart.” [Later known in various regions as the Electi (chosen ones), Competentes (eligible candidates), or φωτιζόμενοι (those under process of enlightenment).] Thenceforth throughout the Lenten season there was daily instruction, with imposition of hands and exorcism.
Finally on Maundy Thursday the candidates made their preparations; fasted on Good Friday; and assembled on the morning of Saturday for the concluding prayers, imposition of hands, exorcism, exsufflation, [I.e., breathing in the face; cf. John 20:22.] and instruction. They were told to bring their offerings to the eucharist of the Easter Vigil that night.
After the Lections of the Vigil Eucharist, at cockcrow toward the dawn of Easter morning the baptismal water was blessed; and the Bishop said an exorcism over one quantity of oil, and a “thanksgiving” over another. The candidates removed their clothing. Each made a renunciation of Satan, all his servants, and all his works; and the Presbyter anointed him with the “exorcised oil,” with a final sentence of exorcism. All the candidates descended into the water, accompanied by a Deacon. The chief officiant put his hand on the head of each, demanding his assent to each of the three clauses of an interrogative Creed, and on receiving each assent, immersed him. Evidently this is a transition-form from the self-baptism which we have seen to have been the original form, to a clerical administration of the rite; but there is still no other “Form” than the candidate’s profession. [Exactly this form, accompanied by a clear implication that the candidate still dipped himself, is found in the year 387 in the tract De Sacramentis II. 7. 20 (P.L. 16. 448; Quasten 149; tr. Thompson and Srawley [Bib. 15], 93).]
Ascending from the font, each was anointed by the presbyter with the “Oil of Thanksgiving, [Coptic, “Oil of eucharistia:” cf. the decree of the Council of Carthage in 255 (P.L. 3. 1078; CSEL 3. 768): “Porro autem eucharistia est unde baptizati unguntur oleum in altari sanctificatum.”] dried and clothed, and brought into the church to the Bishop, who laid his hand on their heads, saying:
O Lord God, who hast vouchsafed these persons to be worthy to obtain remission of sins through the laver of regeneration of the Holy Spirit, bestow upon them thy grace, that they may serve thee according to thy will; for thine is the glory, etc.
Then each was anointed on the forehead with the “Oil of Thanksgiving” in the name of the Trinity, and signed with the sign of the Cross. The Prayer of the Faithful, Kiss of Peace, and offering of the Eucharist now followed. At the end of the Canon, water, milk, and honey were blessed, to be received by the newly baptized between the two species of their first communion.
4. The Seventh Century
The “Gelasian” Sacramentary at the end of the seventh century furnishes a developed form of this rite already established in the third. The enrolment of prospective candidates had become a formal service “for Making a Catechumen,” consisting of exsufflation, naming and signing, prayer and imposition of hands, and the giving of salt [Peculiar to Rome and North Africa.] to symbolize the “wisdom” of the instructions to follow.
The intensive preparation consisted of six Masses of “Scrutiny,” as they were called, held from the third to the fifth weeks in Lent. [Our lections for Lent III are those for one of these Masses of Scrutiny, reflecting the instruction and exorcism of the candidates.] In these, after the Collect of the day, the Godparents signed the candidate; this being followed by signing, prayer, imposition of hands, and exorcism by the Acolytes, and the same without exorcism by the Priest; concluding with another signing by the Godparents. As in the time of Hippolytus, the Catechumens were dismissed before the Gospel.
At the third Scrutiny the hitherto reserved instruction on the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the liturgical Gospel was imparted to the candidates: the communication of the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer being accompanied by the special Roman ceremony of the “Opening of the Ears,” wherein four Deacons in solemn procession brought in the books of the four Gospels, reading and expounding the introductory passages of each.
The seventh and final Scrutiny was held at 9 A.M. on Easter Eve. This time the Priest himself signed, imposed hands, and exorcised. Then followed the peculiar Roman unction of ears and nostrils with saliva, known as the Effeta (i.e. Ephphatha, cf. Mark 7:34). [The Effeta was already known to St. Ambrose: De Mysteriis i. 3 and De Sacramentis I. 1. 2 (P.L. 16. 406 f, 435; Quasten, op. cit., 114, 139; Thompson and Srawley [Bib. 15], 46, 76).] The preliminary unction with holy oil was reduced to an anointing of breast and back. This was succeeded by a triple renunciation of Satan, and by the reddition of the Creed inculcated at the third Scrutiny – theoretically by the candidates, but actually performed by the Priest, laying his hands on their heads successively.
After the Lections of the Vigil Mass that night, the font was blessed with long and imposing ceremonies. Then after the triple profession of faith in response to the interrogative Creed, Baptism was administered by triple immersion. The Priest then anointed the candidates with chrism, with a version of precisely the same prayer as Hippolytus cites for the Bishop’s “Confirmation”. Clothed in white robes and brought into the church, the Bishop laid his hands upon them with a doublet of this Confirmation Prayer, enlarged with the recital of the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit, and signed them with chrism. [Exactly this duplication of prayers in the same form as the Gelasianum was in use in the time of St. Ambrose: De Sacramentis II. 7. 24 and III. 2. 8 (P.L. 16, 450, 453; Quasten, op. cit., 150, 153; Thompson and Srawley, op. cit., 94, 100).] Then followed the Easter communion, succeeded by the gift of milk and honey.
It will be noted that although by the seventh century the Catechumenate was really obsolete, most baptisms being those of children, yet the whole structure of the service remained unchanged, and the infants were treated throughout as if they were adults, the Godparents, by a legal fiction, assuming responsibility for them.
5. The Sarum Rite
Immediately before the Reformation, the service was still on the ancient basis. Baptism was not confined to the paschal season, however, and the whole ceremony was conducted at a single session. The introduction to the Sarum service was still called “The Order for Making a Catechumen,” and began symbolically at the church door. It consisted of the same elements as in the seventh century; but the ceremonies of the old Scrutinies were reduced to signing, prayers, and exorcism performed by the Acolytes and repeated by the Priest. The “Opening of the Ears” left as its vestige the reading of a Gospel (Matt. 19:13–15). It was followed by the Effeta, and by the “redditions” represented by the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and Creed, by the Priest and Godparents. Then the child was signed, blessed, and carried into the church.
At the Font, the triple Renunciation was made; [The present Roman rite marks the historical transition from the matter of the Seventh Scrutiny to the Baptismal Office proper by exchanging a violet stole (and cope) for white at this point.] followed by the anointing on breast and back, and the triple Profession of Faith in response to an interrogative Creed still retaining its primitive summary form. After the Baptism by triple immersion, the child was signed with chrism, clothed in the “chrysom” or white robe, and given a taper. [A “Gallican” feature.] The service concluded with an Exhortation to the Godparents.
Confirmation, at this period usually a separate rite, was in the same form as in “Gelasian” times.
6. Anglican Services Before The Last Revision
The Administration of Public Baptism in 1549 kept the outlines of the Sarum ceremonial intact, omitting only the exsufflation, salt, acolytes’ exorcism, Effeta, Hail Mary, and the first anointing. The German orders contributed the seven explanatory and hortatory addresses to the people, and suggested the substitution of Mark 10:13–16 for the old Gospel. The Interrogatory Creed was given in full instead of in summary, but in a paraphrase independent of the form in Mattins. A Blessing of the Font, for use as needed, was appended to the service. It seems to have been derived from some “Gallican” source not now extant, since it does not quite coincide either with the Mozarabic rite or the Missale Gallicanum. It consisted of a prayer for the benediction of the water, followed by eight of the sixteen Mozarabic suffrages for the candidates, with an effect something like a little Litany, concluding with a summary Collect.
The Second Prayer Book, under Continental pressure, abolished nearly all the remaining “pictorial” ceremonies – the exorcism, imposition of hands, chrysom, and anointing. It rather neatly transferred the Signing with the Cross to the place and office of the baptismal Unction, thus removing the needless doublet of the Confirmation prayer and ceremony. The “Reddition” of the Creed disappeared, as the Creed now occurred in full in the interrogative form. The Lord’s Prayer also was transferred to begin a new section of Thanksgiving at the end, on the analogy of like changes made in the Communion Office in the same book. The text of the order for the Blessing of the Font was incorporated into the service after the Interrogations, excising from it however the initial prayer for the blessing of the water, and half the remaining eight Suffrages. This left both Suffrages and Collect devoted to sole reference to the candidates, and coming in with really admirable continuity of thought in connection with the preceding Baptismal Vows.
In 1662 a phrase for the blessing of the water was inserted into the Collect. A fourth Interrogation as to intention to live according to God’s Commandments was inserted, taken from the Catechism. This Book also reverted to first principles by instituting a special office for the Baptism of Adults. Naturally this was modeled on the current service for infants, from which it differed only in a special Gospel, some proper matter in the Exhortations, and the addressing of the Interrogations to the candidate rather than the sponsors.
The first American Prayer Book of 1789 made mutual alternatives out of the first two prayers of the service, since they had been left in direct sequence and apparent duplication by the removal of the Sign of the Cross after the first one in 1552. The prayer and exhortation before the Interrogations were dropped outright; and the Gospel and the following exhortation, and the Suffrages after the Interrogations, might be omitted at discretion, provided they were said once a month! The Sign of the Cross might be omitted if requested by the family; a permission which quieted an old controversy quite painlessly, as there does not seem to be any case on record where such request was made.
The revision of 1892 restored the omitted prayer and exhortation, but as before allowed the service to be abbreviated by passing from the first prayer to the Interrogations, and from thence to the Blessing of the Font.
The only other important variant introduced by these American books was the substitution of the question, “Dost thou believe all the Articles of the Christian Faith, as contained in the Apostles’ Creed?” for the paraphrased interrogative Creed of the English orders. This completed the elimination from the baptismal service of the recitation of the Creed, whose prime origin had been as a baptismal profession of faith.
7. Private Baptism, and Other Makeshift Orders
To this situation before the last revision must be added the fact that this portion of the Prayer Book was cluttered with ill-considered forms and directions for private baptisms at home in case of emergency, for the reception in church of those so baptized, and for combinations of baptisms and receptions, and of the offices for infants and adults.
The provisions for emergency baptism in 1549 were taken straight out of the Saxon Agenda, without regard for the quite different rationale of the normal English service of Public Baptism. Those present were directed to “call upon God for his grace” – apparently extemporaneously – and say the Lord’s Prayer; then name and christen the child. 1662 advised as many “Collects” as possible from the order of Public Baptism, and appended the Thanksgiving. 1789 extended the use of emergency baptism to adults; and 1892 specified that in that case the Interrogations should be put to the candidate before he was baptized.
If the child to whom private baptism had been administered in apparent danger of death survived, it was to be brought to the church to be received, and to have some omitted portions of the rite supplied. The text of this supplementary service was given in full, but treated in a perfunctory manner – it was never brought up to date and into conformity with the public office in any given revision. The Prayer Book of 1549 had an extended but rather irrelevant inquiry into the circumstances of the private baptism, ending in a public certification that what had been done was well done; followed by the baptismal Gospel and its exhortations, Lord’s Prayer and Creed, Interrogations, gift of chrysom (though not Unction, which was the one supplement one might have expected at this date), the prayer Almighty and everlasting God, heavenly Father, transferred from its place after the Creed in default of any other Thanksgiving, and the final Exhortations. 1552 dropped the Creed and chrysom, but did not insert the new Thanksgiving nor the Sign of the Cross from the public office, nor alter the position of the Lord’s Prayer, which remained in its 1549 place in Private Baptism through the book of 1892! 1662 added the Sign of the Cross, and the Thanksgiving with its Bidding; but a printers’ misunderstanding of Cosin’s copy curtailed the final Exhortation [Blunt, Annotated B.C.P. [Bib. 125], 422 note.] The American books filled up the latter; allowed the Priest to pass from the Certification to the Interrogations (omitting Gospel, Exhortation, and Lord’s Prayer); and permitted the reception of one child in combination with the baptism of another – entailing some real confusion of reference and inappropriateness of tenses.
The American books further attempted to give a consolidated order for the combined baptism of infants and adults, consisting of the first Exhortation from the Adult office, one of the two first prayers, the Interrogations first for adults and then for infants (omitting therefore even the prayer for the Blessing of the Font), the remaining prayers, and the final respective Exhortations, one after the other.
8. The American Baptismal Rite of 1928
All this accumulated confusion, disharmony, and complicated rubric demanded a thoroughgoing revision more than any other part of the Prayer Book. Few clergy understood all the intricacies of the matter; and faced with an unusual combination, did not try to tread the maze themselves, but fell back upon some such compilation as The Priest’s Prayer Book to straighten out the tangle for them, leaving the congregation to follow as best it might.
The revisers of 1928 set themselves to reduce four different baptismal orders to one straightforward scheme, usable alike for infants and adults, or both, without confusion on the part of any one who could read; shortened at the places where it was really redundant, namely the homiletical Exhortations, so that there would be no excuse for abbreviating it by omitting parts integral to its structure; consolidating the scattered rubrics to bring the Church’s requirements in intelligible form into a prominent position where they could not be ignored; and reducing the orders for Emergency Baptism and Reception to such conformity with the public office that all that was needed to use them was a simple directive rubric.
The result was outstandingly skillful and successful. The most minute collation of the rubrics, especially, shows a masterly discrimination, economy, and finesse. There was no attempt (as, broadly speaking, there was no need) to go back of the provisions of 1892. There was no question at this late date of restoring the old “pictorial” ceremonies: however ancient some of them may be, however significant to those accustomed to their use, none were in the least essential to the rite, or desirable to be reintroduced now. From a practical point of view, virtually all the changes in the structure of the service since 1549 have been actual improvements.
The only revival of an archaic feature was the restoration of “The Lord be with you” from 1549 before the Blessing of the Font. This is now followed (as also in the English and Scottish books) by the Sursum Corda, with a corresponding modification of the beginning of the prayer. By this means the whole has been brought into line with the solemn Benediction of the Font in the ancient liturgy of the Easter Vigil, from which it was ultimately derived. This prayer now constitutes the only example we possess, outside the Communion Office, of a “eucharistic” or preface form prayer, such as the Latin rite freely employs for the greater benedictions.
The first of the two prayers at the beginning of the service was now omitted. So likewise was the permission to leave out the Sign of the Cross. This permission had served its purpose, as all objection to the ceremony seems to be extinct.
Those accustomed to the office of the Baptism of Infants prior to 1928 not unnaturally miss some of the beautiful phrases of the first Exhortation, and of that following the Gospel. But these are precisely the portions where the services for infants and adults necessarily diverged; and by their combination into one order they inevitably eliminated each other. As for the Exhortations for adults, this was small loss.
The Interrogations were increased to six in both cases, by incorporating the effective substance of the former final Exhortation for infants into two personal promises by the Sponsors, and by interpolating two distinctly evangelical vows of faith in Jesus, and intention to accept and follow him as Saviour and Lord, for the use of adults. [This returned to the standards of the earliest days of the Church, which administered Baptism on profession of a personal faith in and allegiance to the Lord, and seems preferable to the action of the latest British books in interpolating the Apostles’ Creed into the Baptismal Vows. Peter’s Confession (Matt. 16:16) utilized for the Vow of Faith is equally adequate, and is inserted without formal interruption. Yet it seems at least historically regrettable that the recitation of the Creed has been entirely eliminated from the baptismal service which gave it birth.]
Three alternative Gospels were provided, one from each of the old orders, and one suitable to a combined baptism. The Doxology was most appropriately appended to the Lord’s Prayer – as Wren had intended to do in 1662. [Proctor and Frere, 583 n. 1.] And a new proper Benediction was added, summarized from Ephesians 3:14–19.
9. Rubrics and Use of the Baptismal Service
It was certainly high time that the present initial rubric on p. 273, directing that the clergy should “often admonish the People, that they defer not the Baptism of their Children,” was rescued from the relative obscurity of the office of Private Baptism: since in this country in the present age there is manifest a considerable carelessness, often an absolute indifference, toward what is certainly a primary duty of Christian parents. [The First Prayer Book insisted that infants must be baptized at once, on the first Sunday or other Holy Day following their birth. This was relaxed to the “first or second” in 1662, and to the “fourth or fifth” in the recent British orders; but all the British books specify that the time requirement may be waived only “upon a great and reasonable cause to be approved by the Curate.” The lack of any such urgent stipulation in all the American books may have something to do with the present laxity of practice.]
It was also a gain to have brought to a like prominence the rule against baptisms at home except in emergency. Baptism is a corporate act of the Church, not the expression of the whim of individuals. Children should be brought to the church, to be received by the congregation, instead of being subjected to the too common abuse of submerging a sacred rite in a social function.
It is likewise advisable, as the rubric intimates, that Baptism, when practicable, be solemnly performed at a principal service on a Sunday – the alternative of Holy Days having ceased to mean much, except for Easter Even. All the recent books indeed leave it to the discretion of the Minister to appoint other days and times. But mere convenience should not be the sole guide; suitable opportunities should be embraced to administer the Sacrament in the presence of a general congregation.
The present rule as to the number and sex of the Godparents has prevailed since 1662. In ancient times, one Sponsor, of the same sex as the candidate, was required for admission to the Catechumenate, another at Baptism, and yet another at Confirmation; and the Church displayed considerable reluctance to admit more than one at any of these junctures. Thus our three Godparents at Baptism are a reminiscence of the old triple sponsorial system. The three were considered a normal maximum; there was hardly need for the American books, in the face of missionary conditions, to be apologetic about it with the qualification “when they can be had.” But as the provision exists, parents should be encouraged to fill up the whole number of Godparents to which their children are entitled. The ancient ban on parents’ occupying the position of sponsors was reenacted as recently as 1603 in England; but the American books abrogated it from the first, the Convocation of Canterbury followed suit informally in 1865, and all the recent revisions of the Prayer Book have done the like. Another provision of the 29th Canon of 1603, that sponsors must be communicants of the Church, is grounded in reason, and may profitably be observed in America; though neither our canons nor rubrics so specify.
The requirement of a minimum of two “Witnesses” of an adult Baptism comes from the Scottish rite, and characterizes all recent revisions. There is more than a hint of the discipline of the old Catechumenate in the other directions for an adult Baptism, prescribing ample prior notice, instruction, and preparation by prayers and fasting.
Both text and rubric still treat Immersion as the normal and primary method of Baptism, though actual instances of its use are exceedingly rare. Responsibility for choosing the mode was placed upon the Godparents in 1662; and the American books have always treated the two methods as simple alternatives.
The regulations for Private Baptism expressly indicate that in cases of sudden emergency when a clergyman cannot be procured, any baptized person may validly administer the Sacrament. This is a reversion to the general consensus of the Primitive Church, which, after some outspoken controversies, came to the realization that as Baptism is the sole gate of the Church, that gate must be made as wide as possible, and open to the knock of any one at any time. The Roman doctrine is that any human being may so officiate – a Jew, a Turk, an infidel soldier, an atheist doctor – any one who knows that this is a rite for admitting one to the Christian Church – provided he uses the appointed matter and form. For our purposes, there was no need to explore the extreme limits of these possibilities; but the new permission rescinded the action of 1604, which restricted emergency baptism to “the Minister of the Parish, (or, in his absence, any other lawful Minister that can be procured).” The Bishops at the Savoy Conference accepted this restriction on the insistence of the Presbyterian party, who in this instance as in many others showed themselves to be more sacerdotalist than the historic Church of the land. The other recent revisions also now extend the ministration of Baptism in necessity to any one present.
The provisions for Conditional Baptism furnish a form for use when there is “reasonable doubt” as to valid matter and form having been employed in a former purported administration of the Sacrament. Since Baptism is of prime importance, and since the assurance of all other Sacraments subsequently conferred depends upon it, the conditional form should always be used in the reception of persons baptized in other communions, if there appears any question, even the slightest, of the fact or the manner of their Baptism. But there is little ground for copying the custom of Rome, which, in actual practice if not in theory, is content to acknowledge the certainty of no ministrations but its own, and requires the conditional baptism of all converts whatsoever.
10. The Offices of Instruction
Catechesis is as old as the Christian Faith. Its essential meaning is mouth-to-ear instruction. In the time of St. Augustine, and of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, this was in the form of lectures. The term Catechism however was first applied to the Interrogations of the Baptismal Office. By the time of the Reformation this application to the ritual examination in the essentials of the preparatory instruction was extended to the method of teaching by approved answers to set questions.
We have seen that the Catechumenate was originally a preparation for the baptism of adult converts. With the growth of infant baptism, the grounding in Christian principles necessarily came after baptism. It was not, as at present, a specific preparation for Confirmation (which, as we shall see, was generally administered immediately after infant baptism until the thirteenth century), so much as a general instruction of the whole congregation. From the eighth century on, the English clergy were repeatedly enjoined to teach their people the substance of Christian faith and practice, on the basis of the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments.
German Protestant influence led Cranmer to adopt the principle of Confirmation at “years of discretion.” This had been increasingly advocated by Catholics on the Continent for the preceding three hundred years, but apparently without affecting English practice appreciably. The innovation was now justified at some length in the argumentative rubrics of the office of “Confirmation, wherein is contained a Catechism for Children.”
This Catechism was proposed as the basis for a public examination of candidates for Confirmation before that service, and also as the groundwork of instruction to be held at least every six weeks, in the half-hour before Evensong. [The Book of 1552 extended this to all Sundays and Holy Days; 1662 transferred the time to after the Second Lesson at Evening Prayer; the American books removed the specific requirement of both the frequency and the hour of such instruction.] It was by no means intended as a complete summary of divinity, but quite explicitly as an interpretation of the Baptismal Vows, which were now conceived as being ratified propria persona at Confirmation. The traditional instruction of the congregation induced the inclusion of the Decalogue here, righteousness of life being a necessary implication of the Christian profession; and this in turn, as we have seen, produced in 1662 an explicit Baptismal Vow to correspond.
Presbyterian demands for a fuller schedule of teaching resulted in the addition of the matter on the Sacraments in 1604. The Convocation of Canterbury in 1887 proposed a further exposition on the Church and the Ministry. This was not adopted by the Upper House; but, with judicious amendments and condensations, it was incorporated in the Office of Instruction of the American revision of 1928.
The new Offices of Instruction thus contain the old Catechism, with minimum additions to cover some other essential matters which “every Christian ought to know and believe to his soul’s health.” The straight catechetical material has however been incorporated into a public service of worship, which is not addressed at all to children as such, but to a general congregation. Such in fact is the intention: parents and sponsors being directed not to “send,” but to “bring,” the children, and hence to stay and participate with them in the Church’s teaching.
The only substantial omission from the old Catechism was that crux infantium, the “I desire.” It can hardly be denied that the Lord’s Prayer needs careful explanation to young children: but it has long been abundantly clear that the Catechism’s paraphrase of that Prayer left much to be desired for such an explanation,
It was the intention of the Revision Commission to present the new Offices of Instruction not merely in part to supplement, but absolutely to supplant the Catechism. This proposal however met with some resistance; with the result that while the new Offices were adopted in the body of the Prayer Book, the old Catechism was also retained in an appendix, and Canon 21 was left unaltered. Literally construed, it would seem that the Church Catechism is still the legal standard and method of instruction.
Comparing other Reformation Catechisms, it may be said that no other conveys so much in so little space. The content of the Anglican syllabus of instruction is eminently sound and practical. Modern pedagogical theories seem inclined to take issue with the old methods of its inculcation. But if it is approached by an inductive method, and not taught by rote until it is to some extent understood, these objections will lose much of their force. Moreover, some hundreds of years of practice have qualified the Church to maintain that some of the newest psychologies do not give enough weight to the value of a “form of sound words” written indelibly on the mind, and waxing in meaning with ripening experience.
We have seen that both in the New Testament and the early Church, Confirmation normally followed immediately upon the rite of Baptism, as its complement and consummation. This remained true down to late medieval times in the West, Confirmation being separated from Baptism only when a Bishop was not available, regardless of the age of the candidate. In the East, where the right of administering Confirmation has everywhere been conceded to priests, to this day infants are confirmed directly after they have been baptized, in a single ceremony.
The Council of the Lateran in 1215 seems to have been the first to indicate Confirmation for the “years of discretion” – which Roman practice has interpreted as the “years of reason,” i.e. normally not earlier than seven, though not later than twelve. But this does not seem to have penetrated England to any real extent before the Reformation. The Sarum rite directed that children should be presented to the Bishop at the first available opportunity after their baptism; and Archbishop Cranmer baptized and confirmed Queen Elizabeth at the age of three days. The idea of Confirmation as a responsible act of the candidates, and a rite to be administered only to those who had memorized the Catechism, was, as we have shown, an innovation.
The English canons intimate that Confirmation may be administered at twelve, and require it to be received by the age of sixteen (Can. 112). Yet the custom of confirmation at ages as early as seven survived in the time of Bishop Andrewes, and was warmly advocated by him. At the present time there seems to be some trend toward earlier confirmations. It is argued that the unstable transition-years of adolescence are a bad time to implant lasting impressions, and that it is more important to “condition” children to definite habits of the reception of the Sacraments, than it is to secure a more thorough understanding of all the difficult matters inculcated in the Catechism.
Whatever measure of truth such considerations may contain, and however they may affect a priest’s judgment in individual cases, they can hardly outweigh the accumulated experience of the Church, which has found it best to accept one of the great natural turning points of life, and to consecrate the first important voluntary act of adult status to the personal acceptance of religion. The burgeoning altruisms, ideals, and enthusiasms of that period mark it as the “acceptable time” for such an act of self-devotion. And it must not be forgotten that the ultimate “Mother Church” of Israel retains it to this day as it did in the time of our Lord; and that Rome, which of recent years has been experimenting with First Communion at seven, still feels it cannot give up Confirmation at adolescence.
The First English Prayer Book followed the Sarum rite of Confirmation very closely, with Suffrages, the prayer for the Sevenfold Gifts of the Spirit, the ceremony of Consignation (marking the forehead with a cross), a prayer for God’s continuing blessing, and a brief Benediction. The last fine prayer however was taken from Hermann’s Consultation; the Sarum psalm verse was omitted; and the anointing with chrism was abolished.
The essential “form” of the rite was originally considered to be the prayer for the ordaining power of the Spirit, which in the time of Hippolytus was accompanied by the imposition of hands. But just as in the ordination services the plurality of candidates caused the primary precatory “form” to be said with hands outstretched over the whole group collectively, so it was here, leaving the consignatory Unction to be performed individually. There is of course no doubt whatever as to the imposition of hands in the New Testament, while, as we have seen, the Unction alluded to may be metaphorical. Certainly Cranmer so understood it, for he conjoined the Imposition to the Consignation, with only a verbal reference to an “inward unction” of the Holy Ghost.
The Second Prayer Book abolished also the Consignation, and substituted the present beautiful sentence in precatory form: “Defend, O Lord, this thy child with thy heavenly grace, that he may continue thine for ever; and daily increase in thy Holy Spirit more and more, until he come unto thy everlasting kingdom.” Thus while the primordial Confirmation Prayer has been displaced from its central position and office, the new Sentence is really a full equivalent of it; and our rite has in fact returned to the primitive form of Confirmation by prayer accompanied by imposition of hands. [It may be noted that although a Roman Bishop sits to confirm, with his gremial in his lap, because he is bestowing Unction, and is able to wear his miter, because he employs a declarative formula, yet any Anglican copying of this use is inappropriate with our precatory form, since it is not in conformity with Catholic precedent that any one should say any prayer seated and with head covered.] It seems a mistake for the recent Scottish and South African books to have restored the Consignation – in South Africa with optional use of Unction – accompanied by a declarative form such as seems so much more definite to the modern, as it did to the medieval, mind; but the English and American books join in rejecting such a backward step. [It appears that, although the custom of Consignation, with the use of the Christian name, was abolished in 1552, it survived sporadically to the beginning of the eighteenth century: cf. Blunt, Annotated B.C.P. [Bib. 125], 443, 444 n 1.]
The revision of 1662 incorporated the apologetical rubrics of 1549 into a homiletical Preface to the office, followed by a summary reaffirmation of the Baptismal Vows. In both passages the words “ratify and confess” of the First Prayer Book became “ratify and confirm” – leaving the unfortunate impression on the minds of many generations that Confirmation is essentially an act of the individual in “confirming” his Vows, instead of the heavenly grace of the Spirit confirming him! [The English Alternative Order of 1928 reverts to confess – though it might seem that profess would come nearer to conveying the original idea.]
1662 also added the Lord’s Prayer after the Imposition, and the Collect for grace to keep the Commandments from the Occasional Collects. [Cf. Chapter IX, § 4 in notes.]
The American revision of 1892 made the Preface optional, and appended after it a presentation of the candidates, analogous to that at ordinations, and also a lection from Acts 8:14–17. [The Episcopal Church in America, surrounded by denominations which reject Confirmation, thought it worth while to adduce in its own ritual this testimony that the rite is both scriptural and necessary. Our use of this passage is not intended to assert, and in fact is not understood to convey the idea, that Baptism is not both a ministration and an impartation of the Spirit, but rather that there are many gifts of the Spirit in divers measures and for different ends; among which this quasi-ordination of laity has real power for their “vocation and ministry.”]
Our last revision dropped the Preface entirely; and added a second question, “Do ye promise to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour?” in line with those added to Adult Baptism. The recent English and Scottish books offer the feature of rehearsing the Baptismal Vows in full, instead of by summary reference.
The final rubric, And there shall none be admitted to the Holy Communion, until such time as he be confirmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed, was added in 1662, after Confirmation had been in entire abeyance under the Commonwealth. It was taken from a rubric of the old Sarum baptismal service, which in turn was derived from the Constitutions of Archbishop Peckham of 1281. Properly speaking, this rubric has no bearing on the practice of what was known in England as “occasional conformity”; it defines admission to the full and permanent privileges of the status of a communicant in the Church.
The latest English and Scottish books require, when possible, the presence of a Godparent at Confirmation. This is in line with the declaration of their responsibility to see that their Godchildren be brought to the Bishop to be confirmed – which is made an explicit promise in the American rite. It has been suggested that it might be desirable to have such Godparents stand at the altar rail with their Godchildren, and themselves, with the Priest, present them to the Bishop. The present ceremony symbolizes the unsatisfactory fact that the enlistment, preparation, and presentation of candidates is in practice left to the sole responsibility of the parish priest. A change of rubric here might add considerably to the strength of the Church.
XII – Other Occasional Offices
The institution of Marriage is older than anything that can be called civilization, and is a chief cornerstone of such civilization as our race has yet achieved.
The marriage ceremony is in essence the public ratification of a mutual contract between a man and a woman for a lifelong union. No recognized civil contract of marriage is any less than this definition, since even a marriage before a Justice of the Peace must express the intention of the parties to engage in an enduring relation; and the subsequent production of evidence that it was their intention that the tie should not be permanent has often been held to invalidate the contract from the beginning. Nor is any ecclesiastical marriage any more, since even Roman theologians assert that the clergy do not marry people – the people marry each other, and are themselves the ministers of the Sacrament conferred upon each other; and the marriage of two baptized persons, before whomsoever solemnized, is sacramental. [The modern legislation, applying the Ne Temere decree of the Council of Trent, excepts Roman Catholics (only) from the operation of these principles, requiring their marriage before the parish priest of one of them, or his authorized representative, and imposing on them a “diriment impediment” against any other condition.] The Church indeed imposes conditions, exacts vows, and bestows a solemn blessing – but all with the purpose of safeguarding what any marriage ought to be, and of realizing, if possible, the ideal of that monogamy which imperfect man in a rudimentary social order is trying to attain.
The Church found Marriage as an already existing institution, with established customs and ceremonies connected with the publication of the contract. Among the Jews, there was originally no religious solemnity, the presence of a Rabbi at a wedding not being required until the Middle Ages. After a declaration before witnesses, the bridegroom simply brought the bride to his tent: a ceremony which had a ritual reminiscence in the “Veiling” which long survived, in the form of extending a canopy over the couple at the blessing of their marriage. [Eisenhofer II. 411 f.]
The old Romans first held a solemn public betrothal, consisting of mutual consents to the future marriage expressed in fixed formulas, and the delivery of the marriage contract, and the giving of a ring and other presents from the bridegroom to the bride, as symbolic tokens of dowry. Then on the wedding day, the bride wore a distinctive veil, and both parties were crowned with flowers. The contract was signed; their hands were joined; and the marriage was sealed by the Confarreatio – the partaking of a sacrificial loaf accompanied by fruits. They then made the circuit of the altar while the priest recited a prayer. Then followed the sacrifice of an animal, and the wedding-feast.
At the first the Church took no account of these rites, Jewish or pagan, contenting itself with blessing a marriage already contracted by such forms as were customary. St. Ignatius at the beginning of the second century wrote: “It is fitting for those who purpose matrimony to accomplish their union with the sanction of the Bishop, that their marriage may be in the Lord, and not merely in the flesh. Let all things be done to the honor of God.” [Ep. ad Polycarp. 5 (P.G. 5. 724). ] And a century later, Tertullian spoke of the happiness of a marriage that is “arranged by the Church, confirmed by the oblation, sealed by the benediction, proclaimed by the angels, and ratified by the Father.” [Ad uxor. 2. 9 (P.L. I. 1415).] Nothing more is here implied than the nuptial Eucharist and benediction, which long remained the only ceremonies in which the Church concerned itself.
In the course of time, however, the Church found that a proper safeguarding of the marriage of its members required it to lay down prior conditions for a union, and eventually to take over the ratification of the contract itself, as an ecclesiastical rite. A statute of Charlemagne at the beginning of the ninth century forbade marriages without inquiry by the clergy into possible impediments of consanguinity, etc.; [Eisenhofer II. 414.] the publication of the Banns was developed for this purpose, until it was required universally by the 51st Canon of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, and until in some places a final warning of this nature was prefixed to the marriage service itself, as still in our present rite.
The first recorded instance of priestly participation in the espousals was at the marriage of the daughter of Charles the Bald (840–97). Lay espousals began to be forbidden in the thirteenth century, but they were not everywhere interdicted until the Council of Trent. In the latter days of the “secular” contracting of marriages, they were held in the church porch, immediately before the Nuptial Mass; and when the Church took over the rite, it was performed at the church door. Later, a certain twisting of the rubric brought the espousals to their present place at the chancel door. [Ante ostium ecclesiae originally referred to the outer door; cf. Eisenhofer II. 415; but the rubric before the Baptismal Office specified ad valvas ecclesiae, which was taken as fostering the idea that the ostium ecclesiae could be interpreted as the chancel gate. The Sarum rubric of the marriage service, which adds the further description coram Deo, sacerdote, et populo, may indicate that the transfer of place had already been effected.]
Meantime, certain developments of society in Northern Europe had wrought some changes in the old Roman rites which had been handed down as folk customs. The Betrothal – an optional feature in Roman use – became an essential in Teutonic regions during the period of parental authority, and acquired the feature of the formal “giving away” of the bride by her father. As parental control in turn was relaxed, there was a new emphasis on the mutual action of the parties as free agents in giving themselves to each other; the vows and the dowry tokens of the Betrothal were reduplicated in the ensuing Espousal; the original engagement ring, incidentally, becoming the wedding ring.
The rites of the Sarum Manuale at the time of the Reformation were in general according to this North-European development of those of the ancient Roman Empire. Naturally, apart from the Eucharist, they were chiefly in the vernacular. [Hence Roman Catholic marriage rites in English-speaking countries resemble those of the Church of England more than they do the Italian minimum prescribed by the Rituale Romanum, since both Roman and Anglican forms are descended from the common ancestor of the English services before the Reformation.]
The service in 1549 followed closely the order of the Sarum Use. The chief differences were the lengthening of the initial Exhortation with German material; [E.R. I. cxxiii; II. 800, 802.] the Teutonic “giving away” of the bride from the York rite; the conversion of two prayers for blessing the ring into a prayer over the newly betrothed; [ER. II. 806.] the addition of the Declaration, “Those whom God hath joined together,” [From the Gospel of the Nuptial Mass.] and the Proclamation of the Marriage, [E.R. I. cxxiii. This seems to have been a “Gallican” feature, as Marten quotes it from an order of Limoges (de ant. eccl. rit. [Bib. 24] I. ix. 5, ord. 12), and of Milan (ib., ord. 15); and the Polish Catholics used it in the eighteenth century (Pullan, The Book of Common Prayer [Bib. 83], 222).] from Lutheran sources; and the transfer of the benedictory prayers formerly interpolated into the Nuptial Mass to the second part of the marriage service.
This left the rite consisting of two parts: the Marriage proper, composed of consolidated Betrothal and Espousal, held “in the body of the church”; and the Blessing of the Marriage, comprising a psalm said in procession to the altar, and subsequent prayers at the altar rail. The Eucharist as such contained nothing proper to the marriage; [Sarum had used the Votive Mass of the Holy Trinity, adding proper Collects for the marriage to those of the festal order, and substituting a special Epistle, Sequence, and Gospel; from 1549 nothing was specified, and the Communion Office of the day was employed.] and it is not remarkable that the revision of 1662 removed the requirement of it.
The American Prayer Book of 1789 dropped the second part of the service altogether. Cranmer’s transmutation of the blessing of the ring into a blessing of the parties had indeed left the second section without sufficient raison d’etre, since it rounded out the first part of the service as complete in all essentials, with the marriage contracted, blessed, and proclaimed. The American rite also shortened again the first exhortation, eliminating the statement of the purposes of marriage, from a dislike of the Tudor frankness in which they were put. [Blunt speaks of Cosin’s desiring to amend some “unnecessarily coarse words” (Annotated B.C.P. [Bib. 125], 451). The English book of 1928 has revised this intrinsically valuable matter with consummate skill.]
The latest revisions, American, English, and Scottish, all add a Blessing of the Ring, and omit the “obey” clause from the bride’s betrothal question and marriage vow, making the formula for both parties identical in tenor. The American book further dropped “with all my worldly goods I thee endow”; [English, Scottish: share.] and added for optional use judiciously amended versions of the two outstanding prayers for children, and for mutual happiness, from the second section of the English services. All revisions append a proper Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for the Nuptial Eucharist for use where desired.
The American service still provides for publishing the Banns, if required by the civil law. Nowadays, however, the marriage license, which was originally an episcopal dispensation from the necessity of calling the Banns, has become the State’s authorization and registration. It protects the officiating clergyman in questions of fact. The Church’s underlying requirement of due publicity has not yet been satisfactorily met by recent canonical experiments with the exaction of prior notice of a projected marriage in lieu of the obsolete system of the Banns. [The Roman rule exacting authentication from their own parish clergy for persons married elsewhere than in the place of their domicile is more practical than mere prior notice, which offers no guarantee for persons who happen to be in a position to furnish it, and places needless obstacles in the way of worthy persons who cannot.]
In our present order of the service, the first two exhortations were formerly known as the Cautelae or “Cautions”. They express in the most solemn possible language the safeguards with which the Church surrounds the rite, and the necessity for its worthy reception.
The following questions represent the ancient Betrothal; they are still in the future tense. Though in a sense they cover the same ground as the following vows of espousal, they are retained as a logical sequel of the “Cautions,” in the light of which the parties must immediately affirm that they voluntarily and sincerely desire to proceed to the marriage.
The “giving away” of the bride is in form the one archaism surviving in our rite from the days when women were property; but its significance has been wholly converted from the transfer of obedience to that of loving care.
The incorporation of the characteristic prayers from the second part of the English service has now furnished our order with all desirable completeness. At one stage of the last revision it was proposed that our rite be conformed to the two divisions of the English; but it was rejected as involving something of an anticlimax.
There is some difficulty however when it is attempted to copy the English ceremonial with our consolidated service. Somehow or other it has very generally come to be the custom to hold the first part of the service through the betrothal vows in the old place at the chancel door, and to go to the altar for the espousals and prayers. This does not correspond with the British division, which in the latest English and Scottish books has been made clear by subtitles as between “The Marriage” and “The Benediction”. Some of our clergy indeed conform to this natural and organic division of the service, by making the procession to the altar rail come after the giving of the ring and before the prayers, avoiding the interruption of what is now a continuous action. Our rubrics however do not provide for either custom.
2. The Thanksgiving After Childbirth
The Jewish idea of a period of separation and a ceremony of reconciliation after childbirth [Levit. 12.] was brought before the Church by the incident of the Purification of the Virgin Mary. This idea is found in the Canons of Hippolytus; [C. 18 (Riedel 209 f.).] and an accustomed service of thanksgiving, rejecting Jewish ceremonial concepts, is noted in the time of Gregory the Great. [Bede H.E. I. 27. 8 (P.L. 95. 62 f.).]
The Purification of Women in 1549 followed closely the Sarum order, and has remained unaltered in its essentials, though the title was changed to its present form of “Thanksgiving, ... commonly called the Churching” in 1552.
Strong Puritan objections [Cf. Hooker, Ecclesiastical Polity, V. lxxiv. 2.] were successfully met in England, where the service has remained habitual. Elsewhere, either these objections, or Victorian prudery, or possibly sheer carelessness, have caused the service to fall into general disuse. The American book of 1928 rescued the office from the end of the collection to a place after the marriage service; the Scottish adds it to the group of baptismal offices.
3. Visitation of the Sick
A large part of our Lord’s ministry was devoted to the healing of the sick. It may be said that health of body and mind together was the primary objective of that wholeness and fullness of life which he came to bring; certainly it is the immediate expression for that normality, security, and sanity of living, which the New Testament calls σωτηρία (deliverance, safety), and which Latin devotion translated as salus (safety, health), that we have converted into the more abstract conception of Salvation itself.
He acknowledged that sickness is sometimes the result of sin; [John 5:14.] he habitually exacted some measure of prevailing faith, and once [Mark 2:5.] a restitution to moral wholeness, as prerequisites of healing; but in general he condemned the popular idea that sickness is a condign punishment of misdeeds of the sufferer or his forefathers. [Luke 13:4, John 9:2–3.]
Often he made use of “suggestive” ceremonies, [Matt. 20:34, Mark 1:31, 41; 5:23, 41; 6:5; 8:23; 9:27; Luke 4:40.] and even of material media; [Mark 7:33, 8:23; John 9:1–7.] and while there is no record that he used oil, his followers did, [Mark 6:13.] and the therapeutic practice of anointing was common among the Jews at that time; [L. & W. 510.] and the words of St. James [James 5:14–16.] mark the employment of oil as customary in the early Church, as subsequent evidence shows it to have been thereafter.
The gift of healing was explicitly bestowed upon the Apostles. [Matt. 10:1 ff.; Luke 9:1 ff. (Luke 10:9 ff., the commissioning of the “Seventy,” is a doublet of the passage on the Apostolate).] The early Church regarded it as a normal function of the ministry: not however in any sense as a magical act, ex opere operato, displacing the physician, [Cf. Ecclus. 38:1, 4, 12; and Col. 4:14.] but as a ministration to the soul, curing the spiritual obstacles to physical recovery. The Canons of Hippolytus mentioned powers of exorcism and healing as bestowed at the ordination of bishops, [C. 3 (Riedel 202).] and the Apostolic Constitutions bracketed gifts of healing with the word of teaching at the ordination of presbyters. [A.C. viii. 16 (P.G. I. 1113; Funk I. 522).]
Our earliest liturgical document, Hippolytus’ Apostolic Tradition, has a blessing of oil for the sick at the end of the eucharistic Canon, at the point where the Holy Oils are still consecrated in the Roman rite on Maundy Thursday with a formula which retains some of Hippolytus’ words to this day. [Easton, Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus [Bib. 7], 36; Wilson, Gelasian Sacramentary [Bib. 27], 70.] Bread, water, and oil for the healing of the sick were blessed in the Prayer Book of Serapion. [J.T.S. I. 1. 108, I. 2. 267; Funk II. 178 f., 190 f.; Wordsworth, 66, 77.] The early Syrian Church prayed at every Eucharist for those in mental darkness (the Energumens) as regularly as for the Catechumens; [LEW 7, 477.45, 487.24, 490.31.] and Serapion had a corresponding prayer for the sick in general in the normal liturgy. [J.T.S. I. 1. 102; Funk II. 164 ff.; Wordsworth, 83, 93.]
From as early times as we have any information, we find all branches of the Church applying its spiritual remedies for soul and body together to the benefit of those who could not come to church to receive them, in formal Offices for the Visitation of the Sick. This Visitation was not a personal call of the clergyman to console the sufferer, but a corporate act of the Church, a concourse of clergy, choir, and friends, [Cf. L & W. 495. This still remains a custom in some Latin countries; an excellent example being narrated in Eleanor Mercein Kelly, Nacio, His Affairs (Harpers, N.Y., 1935), 312.] for the purpose of administering the sacramental rite of the Anointing of the Sick.
This Anointing was regarded as distinctly a ministration of the Spirit; [L. & W. 513.] as restoring the grace of Confirmation; [Ibid., 488 (2) and n. 5.] and not merely as palliating the results of sin, like Absolution, but as actually curing spiritual maladies by destroying the roots and causes of sin. [Ibid., 491, 507.] A consequent physical recovery was confidently expected. [Ibid., 502, 514 f.]
These beliefs regarding the Sacrament of Unction still remain in the East. [Ibid., 502.] But in the West, a pernicious change beginning about the ninth century transformed the rite from a sacrament of healing to a preparation for death, under the name of Extreme Unction – i.e., the Anointing of those in extremis. [Ibid., 490.] A new ritual was devised of anointing seven parts of the body, with formulae professing to remit specific sins committed through the several senses. This converted the ceremony from a “confirming” consecration to a solemn Absolution in imminent expectation of death.
In the light of such depressing doctrines it is a little surprising that Unction survived at all in 1549, and not at all remarkable that it was eliminated in 1552. It is only very recently that a better understanding of the primitive doctrine and use of the rite have made it possible to restore it in the latest revisions of the Prayer Book. [Of late even Roman theologians have been rebelling against the theory and practice of a “Sacrament of the Dying”; cf. L & W. 535, 538.]
At the Reformation, the Sarum Visitation of the Sick comprised the Seven Penitential Psalms with their Antiphon “Remember not,” on the way to the house; the salutation “Peace be to this house” on entering, and upon reaching the sick chamber a sprinkling with holy water, Kyries, Lord’s Prayer, suffrages, and nine collects. Then followed an Exhortation to the sick person to prepare him for the reception of Unction by first quieting his mind and conscience, containing an examination of faith, and counsel to acts of charity and restitution. This led to a sacramental confession, followed by an emphatic declaratory Absolution, and also by the much older prayer of absolution which was the formula normally employed for this purpose until the twelfth century. [The prayer at the bottom of p. 313 of the present American Prayer Book. This is the form used at the solemn Reconciliation of Penitents on Maundy Thursday in the “Gelasian” Sacramentary (ed. Wilson [Bib. 27], 66). – Indicative forms of Absolution began to appear in the ninth century; cf. Eisenhofer II. 342.] Then the rite of Unction was introduced with Psalm 71 with its Antiphon “O Saviour of the world”. Next came the sevenfold anointing of the organs of sense, each followed by a psalm; then a concluding prayer and psalm; and the office ended with communion from the reserved Sacrament.
Most of this structure was retained in outline in 1549. One of the Penitential Psalms (143), formerly said on the way, was now repeated on entering the chamber, in lieu of the Aspersion. The nine collects were reduced to two, and those by no means the strongest of the list, materially impairing the former confident note of expected recovery. The first part of the Exhortation, on the moral values of sickness, was much expanded, especially along the unfortunate line of submission to suffering as divine retribution; the passages on charity and restitution were reduced to rubrics leaving their treatment to the discretion of the priest. Confession was recommended, and the old forms of Absolution retained. The Anointing was to be with the sign of the cross upon forehead and breast only, with a single confident prayer for healing, remission, and grace – a material improvement on its immediate sources, though not free from medieval misconceptions in detail. Psalm 13, the first of the eight psalms connected with the Sarum Anointing, concluded the office.
But the abolition of the Anointing in 1552 destroyed at a stroke the whole objective and rationale of the rite. It was entirely appropriate that there should have been an adequate and searching penitential preparation for receiving what was accepted as an effectual Sacrament of Healing. But the removal of that terminus ad quem left all that preparation directed only toward death, or at best to subduing the soul to patience under continued illness. In the first sense, the office is psychologically and therapeutically quite as deleterious as “Extreme Unction” itself, viewed as a “Sacrament of the Dying”; in the second, it “definitely countenanced the view that sickness is, as a rule, a divine punishment for sin, and that therefore it is a sick person’s principal duty to glorify God by remaining ill and suffering patiently, rather than by recovering quickly through the ministrations of His Church.” [L. & W. 514.]
The development of modern psychology and psychotherapy, and the revival of some understanding of the real manner and import of the ministrations of the early Church, have caused our Visitation Office to be increasingly disused. The more dangerously ill the patient, the less chance that a wise clergyman would subject him to such a strain – or that the physician or family would permit him to do so. For those painfully but not dangerously sick, there is little of comfort or consolation in the service. There are probably few clergy now living who have ever employed the office formally and as a whole. Even as a storehouse of helpful and hopeful devotions it leaves much to be desired.
Most of the changes made in the service since 1552 have been directed toward making it more available for the consolation of the sick. Psalms 143 and 13 were dropped in 1552. Four supplemental prayers were added at the end of the office in 1662, and three more in 1789. The first American book also substituted Psalm 130 for Psalm 71, and eliminated all mention of a private confession.
Our revision of 1928 struck out the old gloomy Exhortation, referring to its subject in a rubric. Private confession is again mentioned, and the short Absolution as in Evening Prayer appended after the service. The framework of the old office remains; but an attempt has been made to import an element of comfort and edification by incorporating five psalms, each preceded by an Antiphon and followed by a Collect. The appendix to the service has been enlarged by a Litany for the Dying, prayers for the Commendation of the Soul, and very brief forms for Anointing or Imposition of Hands.
The English and Scottish revisions have likewise been in the direction of providing a ministry of comfort, abolishing morbid elements, and listing about sixty consoling psalms and lections.
All these revisions antedate the adoption of the report on the Ministry of Healing at the Lambeth Conference of 1930, which established the fact that the whole trend of modern psychology is to recognize the fundamental place of spiritual wholeness in bodily healing, and to approve what we have seen to be the faith and practice of the primitive Church. The way is therefore open for future revisions to reconstruct the now obsolete Office of Visitation along primitive lines, and to restore it as a living and usable rite.
4. Communion of the Sick
The Anglican Church stands almost alone in encouraging the private celebration of the Eucharist for the purpose of the Communion of the Sick. The ancient Church regarded the Liturgy as a corporate act of the whole body, [L. & W. 543.] and as early as Justin Martyr [I Ap. 65, 67 (P.G. 6. 428 f.; Quasten, Monumenta [Bib. 14], 17, 20).] directed the Communion to be taken from the altar to the sick. Down to the Reformation, instances of private celebrations are few and doubtful. [L. & W. 547.] Even the Calvinists retained this point of view, [Ibid., 579 ff.] and reluctantly preferred some form of Reservation to private celebrations.
The First Prayer Book provided that if the sick communion was to be made on a day when the Sacrament was celebrated in church, the priest should reserve at the open communion as much as was necessary for the sick person, and take it to him after service, administering it with Confession, Absolution, Comfortable Words, and Postcommunion Thanksgiving. If it came on a day when there was no Communion in church, then, upon sufficient notice, and provided there was a suitable place in the sick man’s house [Ibid., 552 note.] where he might reverently celebrate, he should consecrate the Sacrament by a form comprising Introit, Kyries, Collect, Epistle, Gospel, and Preface “unto the end of the Canon,” and so administer the communion. In event of emergency, or lack of warning, or other just impediment, the sick person was to be instructed to make a spiritual communion, exactly as the Sarum Manual had provided in like case. It is on the whole probable that Cranmer intended these three methods to be exhaustive; although in fact continuous reservation for the sick was nowhere forbidden in the book, and might indeed be legitimately applied where there was ample “warning,” but no service in church, and no “convenient” place to celebrate in the house: and there is some evidence that such reservation survived in some places. [Ibid., 554 ff.]
The Prayer Book of 1552 dropped all mention of the “Justinian” method of communion the same day from the service in church, as well as all other rubrics specifying the manner of administration. Here it is at least possible that the directions were not intended to be exclusive, since they were hardly even sufficient. Perhaps the idea was to avoid the mention of deeply controverted subjects, and leave the practice to traditional custom and the discretion of the clergy. Certainly Elizabeth’s Latin Prayer Book of 1560 retained the “Justinian” reservation of 1549; and Bishop Sparrow’s Rationale, published in various editions from 1657 to 1684, and for nearly two centuries the most esteemed commentary on the Prayer Book, maintained that this procedure had continued to be legitimate. [A Rationale of the B.C.P. (1657; cf. Bib. 135), 349.]
Continuous Reservation was permitted in the Nonjurors’ book of 1718; and has long been legal in the Episcopal Church of Scotland. A proposal to authorize it in the English book of 1928 was a chief cause of the defeat of the sanction of that book by Parliament. A like proposal was rejected by General Convention for the American revision of 1928. Yet Reservation with or without episcopal license has long been known both in England and America. It is obviously a convenience, sometimes a necessity, for busy clergy; likewise it is somewhat less of a strain on a very sick communicant than a whole celebration. Perhaps there might have been less opposition to its authorization if its advocates had been willing to refrain from some uses of the Sacrament in ceremonial cultus which seem to many to be dangerous infringements of the principles of Articles XXV and XXVIII.
All recent orders for Communion of the Sick offer alternative provision of Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for the depressing assignments of 1549, with their dominant note of submission to the will of God. The American books since 1892 have allowed the use of the full proper service of the day in the case of bedridden persons not critically ill; and the new book offers a shortened Confession and Absolution.
5. Burial of the Dead
A belief in human immortality is as old as religion. [Modern historians find it inseparably involved with the dawn of primitive religions.] All races and faiths have provided for the reverent disposition of the outworn tenement of the soul. For the most part, the funeral ceremonies have expressed or symbolized not only consolation for the bereaved, but some sort of help for the departed in the new life upon which he had entered. The rationalistic and skeptical attitude of the party of the Sadducees kept this latter to a minimum in Jewish belief; and it is a curious fact that there is no entirely undeniable allusion to prayers for the dead in either the canonical Old or New Testaments. Nevertheless this was an established custom in the time Second Maccabees was written; [2 Macc. 12:43–45 (written probably ca. B.C. 75).] and regular commemorations of the departed were made at every synagogue service in the time of our Lord, as they have been ever since. [The Jahrzeit (anniversary) of the death of his parents is the last religious observance which a lapsed Jew of today gives up.]
The Resurrection of our Lord, acclaimed by the Apostles as the primary ground of their Christian confidence, [Rom. 1:4.] and observed by the Church in weekly festival, filled up an immemorial hope with the certainty of faith, and exalted the immortality of the soul beside the being of God as an equally fundamental assurance of religion. To the Christian, death Was become “the gate of everlasting life”; and the Church kept the anniversaries of the tragic ends of the Martyrs as their Natalia or “birthdays” into the life of eternal blessedness. For the first thousand years the Church wore white at funerals, in contrast to the black of pagan and Jewish mourning; and to this day the burial service of the Eastern Church redounds in the acclamation of Alleluias.
The Martyrdom of Polycarp in 158 is witness for the celebration of the Eucharist both at a funeral and on anniversaries; and in the same century Tertullian gives a like testimony for North Africa. [De coron. 3 (P.L. 2. 99); Exhort. ad cast. II (P.L. 2. 975); De monog. to (P.L. 2. 992).] By the middle of the fourth century we have evidence for prayers for the dead in the normal liturgy, in Serapion and the Apostolic Constitutions. The latter document gives an account of funeral services, displaying the features of all subsequent burial offices: a funeral procession, psalms, lessons of Scripture, prayers, and the celebration of the Eucharist. [A.C. vi. 30 (P.G. I. 988; Funk I. 381): embodying the much earlier Didascalia vi. 22 (Funk I. 376; tr. Connolly [Oxford, 1929], 252 f.). Also A.C. viii. 41 (P.G. I. 1144; Funk I. 550 f.).] Memorial services, composed of psalms, lessons, and prayers, were held on the third, ninth, and fortieth days, and the anniversary, [A.C. viii. 42 (P.G. I. 1145; Funk I. 552 f.).] as they still are in the Eastern Church. [The Western days are the third, seventh, and thirtieth.]
In the West, in the “deformation” period of the ninth and tenth centuries, the medieval doctrines of Purgatory, with its penal torments, again cast a pagan gloom over the burial of the Christian dead, bringing a revival of the black garments and the notes of mourning and terror of heathen days.
At the Reformation, the tone of the services left much to be desired toward voicing the consolations of the Christian hope. Yet they did express an unremitting solicitude, and filled the time from the decease to the interment with an most unbroken round of the offices of religion. The rites for the dying might be prolonged to any required length; concluding with the magnificent Commendation of the departing soul. A further commendatory farewell followed the death. During the preparation of the body, the Placebo or Vespers of the Dead was said. The body was borne to the church in a procession with psalms and prayers. Then came the Dirige (whence dirge) or Matins and Lauds of the Dead; and the Requiem Mass, followed by the Absolutions or final blessings of the body. Another procession with psalms and collects brought them to the grave, which was opened and blessed to the accompaniment of further psalms and prayers. The body was committed to the ground; and the grave filled in again during more psalmody. A final office, [This was a sort of rudimentary Matins; a legitimate descendant of the Office of the Dead in the A.C., and much older than Placebo and Dirige, whose parent it was.] consisting of psalms, prayers, and the canticle Benedictus, concluded the rite; and the Penitential Psalms were said while returning from the grave.
The First Prayer Book selected the salient essentials of this prolific order. The Processions were reduced to one from the lychgate to the church or grave. The ceremonial opening and blessing of the grave was eliminated from the Burial, and the subsequent covering of the body confined to a symbolic gesture. The Service of the Dead might occur either before or after the Burial, and consisted of Psalms 116, 139, and 146, the Lesson from 1 Corinthians 15, Kyries, Lord’s Prayer, suffrages, and Collect. It was followed by a proper Requiem Eucharist. Of this material, the German orders suggested the use of 1 Corinthians 15 in church, and the anthem “In the midst of life” [Containing a “Gallican” adaptation of the Greek Trisagion, and attributed to Notker of St. Gall in the ninth century. The Sarum and Ambrosias Uses employed this Anthem in the Offices in Lent; other occurrences are found at Tours and in some German breviaries – though it never secured a place in any Roman ritual.] at the grave.
The Second Prayer Book abolished the Requiem, and in the Service of the Dead and the Burial eliminated the Psalms, the Suffrages, and all the prayers but two – from which every explicit intercession for the departed soul had been removed, as had the commendation of the soul to God from the Committal. What was left of the Service of the Dead must follow the Burial, so that the whole office was said at the graveside.
The revision of 1662 returned to the alternative procedure of 1549 in holding the Service of the Dead in the church before the Burial. Psalms 39 and 90 were incorporated from the liturgies devised by Sanderson and Jeremy Taylor for use during the period when the Prayer Book was interdicted under the Commonwealth. This revision also prefixed the “canonical” rubrics denying Christian burial to the unbaptized, excommunicates, and suicides.
The latest revisions in England, Scotland, and America offer these features: amended versions of the Sentences; additional alternative psalms, lessons, and prayers – some of which now again include specific supplications for the departed soul; a restoration of the commendation of the soul at the Committal, and of provision for the proper Eucharist; and permission to say the whole service under cover of the church. [This has been an American use since 1892.] The English and Scottish books offer additional Sentences, and restore the Suffrages after the Lord’s Prayer. The English and American give an Anthem alternative to “Man that is born of a woman”. The English returns to 1549 by allowing the Service of the Dead either before or after the Burial; and has made a move toward reconstituting the Matins of the Dead by allowing three lessons alternating with three psalms – in effect approximately the structure called a “Nocturn,” as a constituent of Matins. The American rite abolishes the “canonical” rubric, which often imposed an unendurable hardship upon those already under deep affliction – contenting itself with specifying that “it is to be noted that this Office is appropriate to be used only for the faithful departed in Christ, provided that in any other case the Minister may, at his discretion, use such part of this Office, or such devotions taken from other parts of this Book, as may be fitting.”
All revisions provide a special office for the Burial of a Child, [Such an office is provided in the Rituale Romanum (1614).] dealing tenderly with those who mourn under conditions which to them are always the purest tragedy, with the comfort of faith and hope most difficult to attain. The American service is peculiar in encouraging, if it does not actually adopt, the conception of modern popular theology that the souls of children become “angels” in heaven.
XIII – The Ordinal
The Preface to the Ordinal as it appeared in 1550 begins with the words, “It is evident unto all men diligently reading Holy Scripture, and ancient authors, that from the Apostles’ time, there have been these Orders of Ministers in Christ’s Church, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.”
The fine restraint of these words is characteristic of the entire Prayer Book tradition. The English Reformers, in the spirit of their time, turned to the Scriptures as the primary rule of faith and practice – but, unlike others, they did not stop there. They took the wider view that the Scriptures could not and did not contain exhaustive regulations for the conduct of the Church in all future generations. The Bible must be interpreted by the actual life and growth of the Church; the witness of History must be weighed, in order to determine what elements of the Christian faith are essential, as well as what developed under the varying pressure of circumstances.
Thus the English Church accepted the ministry in its historic form, and proclaimed its intention to perpetuate it as such. But this was stated in the most general terms, without attempting to fix upon the Church any particular theory of the origin of the ministry, or of its place in the teaching and purpose of our Lord. It left scholars free to face without prejudice the historical questions which must arise.
This characteristic Anglican position is particularly important at the present time, when, in view of the movements toward Reunion, questions concerning the ministry of Christ’s Church ought no longer to be matters of controversy, but altogether matters for careful research. In what follows, we have endeavored to present only the facts as to the historic rites of ordination; touching upon the conflicting theories of Orders only to the limited extent to which they are involved in the actual forms used, and therefore cannot be wholly excluded from an impartial interpretation of those rites.
There is little clear evidence of such rites in the New Testament. Our Lord commissioned the Apostles, as he did the Seventy – unless indeed the accounts are doublets. He is reported as charging both groups in some detail as to the principles which should govern their work; but there is no suggestion of any method of that commissioning other than his word. In the passage in John 20:21–23, the words “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” represent the Johannine interpretation of Pentecost, and intimate a gift bestowed upon the whole Church. Certainly these words were not used as a necessary formula in the early ordination services, nor interpreted as the essential “Form” until the Middle Ages.
Outside the Gospels, the other New Testament documents present as the one and only ceremony of ordination the laying on of hands – the familiar Jewish rite of solemn benediction. [Such was the commissioning of Joshua in Num. 27:15–-23; and the Elders of the Sanhedrin were so ordained.] This was used by the Apostles in commissioning “elders” or “overseers,” and deacons. [Acts 6:6, 13:3; 1 Tim. 4:14, 5:22; 2 Tim. 1:6.] And we have an explicit account of the ordaining of the Seven Deacons, which seems to have established the outlines of the procedure of all later ordinations of whatever grade. The candidates were elected by the people on consideration of their character and ability; they were formally presented, and ordained with prayer and imposition of hands. [Acts 6:3–6.]
2. The First Text
No further light for this study appears until the beginning of the third century, when Hippolytus’ Apostolic Tradition furnishes us with a first and basic text of the rite. [Ed. Easton [Bib. 7], 33, 37 f.]
All three orders were elected by the people, and ordained on a Sunday. After a last opportunity to voice objections to the choice, there was a pause for silent prayer. Then the candidate was ordained with a single prayer, accompanied by the imposition of hands. Hippolytus explains in detail that the Bishop alone laid his hand upon a Deacon, who was his immediate assistant and agent, but who was not a partaker of the powers of the college of Presbyters; that the whole Presbytery joined in the laying on of hands upon a Presbyter, not however as ordaining, since it was their distinctive characteristic that they had no such power, but as welcoming the ordinand into their rank; and that at a consecration to the Episcopate, one Bishop, by the delegation of all, imposed his hands and said the Ordination Prayer. [Ibid., 38.]
Hippolytus’ prayers of ordination, reconstituted from the parallel documents, are as follows; phrases surviving in later Western ordinals being in capitals:
TO THE DIACONATE
O GOD, WHO HAST CREATED ALL THINGS, AND adorned them BY THY WORD, the Father of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, whom thou didst send to minister [διαχονειν] thy will and manifest to us thy desire; BESTOW THE HOLY SPIRIT Of GRACE and ZEAL and DILIGENCE upon THIS THY SERVANT, whom thou hast chosen TO MINISTER [διαχονειν] to THY CHURCH, and to bring forth the holy things which are offered by thine appointed High Priests to the glory of thy Name: that having ministered [διαχονειν] to thee BLAMELESSLY and PURELY, HE MAY BE FOUND WORTHY of a good DEGREE and thy favour; through thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, etc.
TO THE PRESBYTERATE
O GOD AND FATHER of our Lord Jesus Christ, look UPON THIS THY SERVANT, and fill him with the Spirit of grace and counsel FOR THE PRESBYTERATE, that he may HELP and GOVERN THY PEOPLE with a pure heart, even as thou didst regard thy chosen people, and didst enjoin MOSES to choose out presbyters, whom thou didst FILL WITH THY SPIRIT, which thou hast bestowed upon thy servant. And now, Lord, grant that thou PRESERVING IN US THE SPIRIT of thy grace, we may be found worthy to serve thee IN FAITH with simplicity and A PURE CONSCIENCE, [In the Leonianum and later Latin forms, these phrases were transferred to the prayer for a Deacon.] praising thee through thy Servant Jesus Christ; by whom, etc.
TO THE EPISCOPATE
O GOD and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ... who settest the bounds of thy Church by the word of thy grace, who didst foreordain from the beginning a righteous race from Abraham, who didst appoint them RULERS and PRIESTS, and didst not leave thy sanctuary without a ministry, who from the foundation of the world hast been well-pleased in those by whom thou hast chosen to be praised; NOW POUR OUT THE POWER which is from thee of thy directive SPIRIT, which thou didst bestow by thy beloved Servant Jesus Christ upon the holy Apostles, who established thy Church in every place of thy sanctification, to the continual glory and praise of thy Name. O Father, WHO KNOWEST THE HEARTS, [In the Leonianum and later Latin forms, these phrases were transferred to the prayer for a Deacon.] grant to this thy servant, whom thou hast chosen to the Episcopate, to feed thy holy flock, and to exercise his HIGH PRIESTHOOD unto thee without blame, ministering [λειτουργουντα] before thee DAY AND NIGHHT, [Leonianum, etc., transferred to the prayer for a Presbyter.] and continually to propitiate thy countenance, and to offer thee the Gifts of thy holy Church; and by the high-priestly Spirit to have AUTHORITY to remit sins according to thy commandments, to choose clergy according to thine ordinance, TO LOOSE also EVERY bond according to the authority which thou gavest to the Apostles, and to please thee in meekness and purity of heart, offering thee a sweet-smelling savour; through thy Servant Jesus Christ, through whom, etc.
The prayer for the ordering of a Deacon, in spite of its brevity, a little vagueness in the application of its terms, and some doubtfulness as to the transmission of its text, does sufficiently express the duties of his office as an assistant to the pastoral and liturgical functions of the Bishop. Much more of the essential detail of this prayer has survived to the present day than in the case of either of the other Orders. Naturally, the most frequently used rite, by which all clergy entered Holy Orders, has varied least.
The prayer for the Consecration of a Bishop is also adequately expressive of his functions. The Bishop is in possession of the Church’s High Priesthood, and is the primary minister of all Sacraments. His duties are to feed the flock, offer the holy Gifts, remit sins, choose clergy, and bind and loose.
But the prayer for a Presbyter is unexpectedly vague, void, and perfunctory. Nothing more is specified than that he is to take his part in the administration of the Church, assisting the Bishop as the “Elders” assisted Moses in ruling Israel. Nor is it likely that this is a mere fanciful analogy, like the term “Levites” applied to the Deacons in later Roman rituals; the status and the functions of the Presbyters in the early Church are too exactly like those of the Jewish Elders not to render it most probable that the origin of this Order lay in a direct inheritance from Judaism. [Easton, op. cit., 75 ff.]
There is no indication of any “sacerdotal” functions in this prayer of Hippolytus. This is in accord with the historical fact that in the early period the College of Presbyters was little more than the Bishop’s Council of Advice. [Ibid., 77. The Roman Cardinals were originally this kind of Diocesan Council.] At the first, there was a very slow growth of suburban and rural churches, which of course had to be manned by presbyters; and within a city, a plurality of parishes was regarded as an unwarrantable division of the faithful. As late as the fourth century, the great centers of Rome and Alexandria, which were too populous to be gathered into a single “cathedral” congregation, but which were reluctant to divide the episcopal authority with suffragan bishops, stood almost alone in a rapid growth of the parochial system within their borders. [Cf. Brightman, The Sacramentary of Serapion of Thmuis, in J.T.S. I. 2 (January, 1900), 256 f.] In most places, the Bishop habitually celebrated the one Eucharist for all the faithful, assisted by the Deacons; the like was true of the rites of Baptism and Absolution: so that the liturgical duties of the Presbyters were few.
Hence we shall find that all the Ordinals testify that the essentially suffragan ministry of the Presbyterate was very slow to achieve a clear expression of its functions, as history shows that it was slow to enter upon a full exercise of those functions.
3. The Fourth Century
About the year 350, the witness of Hippolytus is closely paralleled in the first Eastern text, furnished by Serapion in Egypt. [Ibid. 266 f.; Funk II. 188 f.; Wordsworth, 72.] Here also are three prayers, but without rubrical directions. The prayer for a Deacon intimates that the Order is after the pattern of the first Seven Deacons; the special blessing is “the Spirit of knowledge and discernment”; the duties of the office are to “serve in this ministration (διακονησαι εν τη λειτουργία).” For a Presbyter, the analogy is that of the Seventy Elders; the grace is “a portion of the Holy Spirit, from that Spirit which was upon the Onlybegotten, for the grace of wisdom and knowledge and right faith”; the office is “to serve in a subordinate capacity (υπηρετησαι) [Acts 26:16; 1 Cor. 4:1. The Apostolic Constitutions i–vi, and the Council of Laodicea (363) called a Subdeacon υπηρέτης: LEW xxix. 10, 518.22, 519.28; in line with Luke 4:20.] with a pure conscience” – but there is also mention of the ministry of the word (πρεσβεύειν τα θειά σου λόγια), of the ministry of reconciliation (καταλλάξαι τον λαόν σου), and of the management of a parish (οικονομησαι του λαόν σου), in line with what has been said as to the early development of the parochial system in this region. The Bishop is “in succession of the holy Apostles”; he is to receive “grace and the Divine Spirit, which thou gayest to all thine own servants and prophets and patriarchs”; his duty is, solely and simply, to “feed the flock.” In none of Serapion’s prayers is there any mention of any sacrificial ministry.
4. Western Rites of the Seventh Century
In the seventh century we have a pure Roman text, in the “Leonine” Sacramentary, [Ed. Feltoe [Bib. 22], 119–122.] and a pure Gallican order in the Missale Francorum, [Mabillon, Liturgia Gallicana [Bib. 31], 303–310; P.L. 72. 320–326.] substantiated also by Isidore of Seville. [De ecclesiasticis officiis, Lib. II (P.L. 83. 777 ff.).]
In both cases, the rites were still essentially what they had been in the time of Hippolytus. The candidates were presented to the people for their acceptance; then there was a Bidding, and a pause for congregational prayer; then a single solemn Prayer of Ordination, accompanied by the Imposition of Hands. The chief divergences of these parallel rites of ultimately common origin were that the original pause for silent prayer was occupied at Rome by the Ordination Litany; and that the Gallican rite in the sixth century had added an anointing of the hands of priests and bishops. The Gallican texts also present a special collection of General Rubrics under the title “Ancient Statutes of the Church,” [Quoted, L. & W. 647 f.] dating from the fifth century, and identical in their directions for the three Holy Orders with the provisions of Hippolytus, save for the added Eastern ceremony of imposing the open Book of Gospels on the head and neck of a Bishop, to symbolize the derivation of his commission directly from Christ.
In both, the prayers are expanded from the simplicity of Hippolytus and Serapion, and are stiff with stately rhetoric; but their actual content of thought remains the same. For a Deacon, the analogy of the Levites is proposed in the Roman prayer, the Seven Deacons in the Gallican; in both his office is defined as “to minister at the altar”. For a Presbyter, the analogy is of the Seventy Elders and the Sons of Aaron in the Roman, Titus and Timothy in the Gallican; both mention the “honor of the Presbyterate,” and the teaching office; otherwise, his duties in the Roman are only to assist the Bishop – whereas the Gallican rite for the first time succeeded in importing a definitely “sacerdotal” note, by transmuting an original supplication that his ministry might transform the mystical Body of Christ “into a perfect man,” into an explicit prayer for power to “transform the Body and Blood of Christ. [Ibid. 635.] For a Bishop, the forms are identical in both sources – it has been surmised that one or the other may have been lost – mentioning High-Priesthood, and authority to rule the Church; although the Gallican includes a passage not found in the pure Roman books [I.e., the Leonianum, Gregorianum, and present use, though occurring in the Gelasianum and Missale Francorum.] recounting also preaching, the ministry of reconciliation, the power of the Keys, and stewardship over the household of God.
5. Synthesis of the Latin Ordinal
The ninth century saw a complete consolidation of these parallel and mutually equivalent Gallican and Roman forms. The various Orders, major and minor, to and including the Priesthood, were now conveyed successively in the same service; so the Litany was put before the ordination to the Diaconate. The relevant Rubric from the “Ancient Statutes” was inserted before the rite for each Order. Then in each followed the Roman Bidding, succeeded immediately by the former Litany Collect for that Order; then the Roman Ordination Prayer; then the doublet of these, the Gallican Bidding and Prayer.
Compromise by combination may sometimes have its merits; but this duplication of essential forms simply destroyed the very idea that they were essential forms. As we have seen, from the time of Hippolytus to the present day the proper Ordination Prayer for the Priesthood has been nearly as vague as it could be as to the functions and powers of the Order conferred. And from the ninth to the thirteenth centuries, speakingly dramatic ceremonies were added to symbolize those functions and powers, thus opening the door to seize upon various of them as constituting the vital “Form” and moment of Ordination. Such were the Gallican Unction of Hands, the Investiture with the Chasuble, and the so-called “Presentation of the Instruments” derived by analogy from the Gallican rites of Minor Orders [These were ordained by the presentation of their official insignia, e.g. the keys to the Doorkeeper, the Cruets to the Acolyte, etc.] – all of which have at various times been maintained to be the effectual means of conferring the Priesthood. [This Porrectio Instrumentorum was declared to be the essential Matter of ordination to the Priesthood by Eugenius IV in 1439 in his Decretum ad Armenos. Though this doctrine was exploded by Jean Morin in the seventeenth century (De sacris ecclesiae ordinationibus, Paris, 1655), and is not maintained by any Roman scholars now, the rubrics of the Pontifical are constructed on this basis, calling the candidate a Deacon before that point, and a Priest afterward; and the Holy Office still orders that if the Porrectio has been omitted, the candidate must receive conditional reordination ab initio, while the omission of the Imposition of Hands entails only the separate supplying of that ceremony alone! Cf. L. & W. 643.]
Another source of confusion was the obscuring of the one undoubted apostolic ceremony of the Imposition of Hands, by a change due to the multiplicity of candidates to be ordained at the same service. If several men are to be ordained at one time, it is impossible for the Bishop to hold his hands upon the head of each during a long prayer of ordination; the only feasible alternative, as we have seen in the case of Confirmation, [See above.] is for him to hold his hands outstretched over the whole group collectively, in the form in which all solemn general Benedictions and Absolutions of the Church are necessarily conveyed. But the Roman rite underwent a further degeneration. At present, hands are outstretched only during the former Litany-Collect; and the proper Ordination Prayer, which since the tenth century has been cast in “eucharistic” or preface-like form, is now said manibus extensis ante pectus, i.e. in the conventional posture of public prayer, with no reference of gesture toward the ordinand.
Meanwhile the initial Rubric from the “Ancient Statutes” before each Order, which explicitly directed the imposition of hands in exactly the terms used by Hippolytus, had the peculiar effect of attracting the Imposition to that place in the service; whereby the ritual of ordination to each grade was made to commence with an Imposition, either in silence, [As in the present Roman Pontifical at the Ordination of Priests, this imposition having disappeared entirely in the rite for the Diaconate.] or with the words “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” [At the Consecration of Bishops.]
Finally, the form for the Priesthood acquired another Imposition at the conclusion, accompanied by the words, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins,” etc., to round out the dramatizing of each several element of grace and power imparted by thus committing the ministry of reconciliation.
The difficulty underlying all this confusion of forms in the medieval period was a confusion of mind between the idea of a commissioning and a consecration. When Innocent I said that it would have sufficed at the beginning if the ordinand had simply been told, “Be a Priest!” and intimated that probably something of that sort had been done originally, he spoke of course in ignorance; we have seen that what the early Church actually did was to offer a prayer that he might be a good priest. So in its preoccupation with a theoretical Aristotelian “character” imprinted indelibly upon the soul, the medieval Church lost sight of the greater matter of a personal priestly character filled with the Spirit, and transfigured into the likeness of Christ – yet it was the latter conception, not the former, which the primitive Church contemplated as the divine effect of Holy Orders.
Ruling princes of the Church made the mistake of imitating the formal commissions, the ceremonial investitures, the symbolic presentations of official insignia, which characterized the installation of secular dignitaries; and thus while they externalized with dramatic pomp the functions of an ecclesiastical Order, they lost account of the most vital element of the inward and spiritual grace to be received.
This temper which was not content with a prayer to God as the only essential for the bestowal of Orders, also sought some kind of declarative or even imperative formula. This has affected even the Eastern rites, where the “Form” of Orders is considered to be the proclamation, “The Divine Grace, which ever healeth the infirm and supplieth that which is lacking, advanceth N. the most pious Deacon to a Presbyter,” etc. But happily this proclamation is immediately followed by a proper Ordination Prayer, accompanied throughout by the Imposition of Hands.
6. Anglican Ordination Services
No Anglican Pontifical was printed before the Reformation. Existing only in manuscript, regarded as the personal possession of the Bishop, and subject to any alterations which he might consider desirable, and which could be easily made by the stroke of a pen in the margin, there was no uniformity of use, but a great variety of detail and order from church to church.
Hence the basis of Cranmer’s work was not precisely the Sarum Pontifical, which approximated Roman standards, so much as other local rites with which he was familiar; some of which were conservative, retaining ancient features which had become obscured in Roman use. The Pontifical of Archbishop Bainbridge (†1514), for example, at the beginning of the sixteenth century still retained the actual Imposition of Hands during the priest’s Ordination Prayer; and this and like survivals may have influenced Cranmer’s restoration of the Imposition of Hands as the essential ceremony. Certain Canterbury Pontificals [E.R. I. cxxxiv.] justify the position of the Litany and the Veni Creator in the Ordinal of 1550, which differs here from the Sarum order.
It has been commonly held that Reformation influence was represented in a tractate of Bucer’s, De ordinatione legitima, which was supposed to be a draft drawn up for Cranmer’s guidance in framing the new Ordinal, and to have been the source of long passages appearing verbatim in the Ordination of Priests. But scholars have now come to the conclusion that this tractate was in fact intended as an appendage to Bucer’s Censura of the First Prayer Book; that it was based on a Latin translation of the 1550 Ordination of Priests specially made for him (Bucer knew no English): and therefore that it is Cranmer’s own original work which appears in the Ordinal. [L. & W. 671 f.] The passage in question, in the long Exhortation to Priests, was an expression of Cranmer’s highest ideals for the personal and pastoral side of the priest’s office, such as has never been equaled, and which has led the souls of generations of clergy to more absolute devotion to the obligations of their high calling.
The chief new features of the ordination services are this Exhortation, and the detailed Examinations of Deacons and Priests, parallel to those previously in use at the consecration of Bishops. There was some precedent for both. [E.R. I. cxxxv.] But it is one of the distinguishing marks of the Anglican Communion that the Examination of Priests imposes upon them responsibilities for teaching and maintaining right doctrine, thus adding a new significance to their office.
We have mentioned that Cranmer restored the apostolic ceremony of the Imposition of Hands as the essential “matter” of the rite. But the prevailing misconceptions of his time, which placed their emphasis upon one or another imperative formula, effectively forestalled him from reverting to the apostolic “Form” of an Ordination Prayer, such as we find in Acts 6:6. In default of any information as to the actual usage of the early Church, he attempted to carry the origin; of Orders back to some example of our Lord, and naturally selected John 20:22, “Receive the Holy Ghost,” as the Form for a Priest or Bishop – qualified in each case with some other biblical phrases identified in his mind with the respective offices.
Of all the old subsidiary ceremonies, the only one retained was the “Presentation of the Instruments,” in the giving of a New Testament (in lieu of the former Book of Gospels) to a Deacon, of the Bible and eucharistic vessels to a Priest, and of the Pastoral Staff to a Bishop. Cranmer knew that none of these were scriptural; but the dominant theory of his time accounted them the essential ceremonies of ordination, and though he did not so consider them, he nevertheless continued their use, as a sort of warranty of the bona fides of his “intent that these Orders should be continued.”
The Ordering of Deacons prescribed a Presentation of the candidates; a Challenge, “Brethren, if there be any of you who knoweth any impediment,” etc.; the Litany, in full, with a special Suffrage for the candidates; followed by the Litany-Collect, which also served as the initial Collect of the Communion; [Until 1662, all preliminary matter of the Communion Office before the Collect was omitted here, exactly as we have seen that Dr. Frere recommends when the Litany prefaces the Communion (see above).] the Epistle; the imperative formula, “Take thou authority to execute the office of a Deacon in the Church of God committed unto thee: in the name of the Father,” etc., unaccompanied by any proper ordination-prayer at all; the presentation of the New Testament; after which one of the new Deacons read the Gospel. At the end of the Communion Office, before the Benediction, there was a true Super populum Collect, a Commendatory Prayer [See above.] over the new Deacons, taken from the old Ordination Prayer, and strikingly preserving some of the very phrases first found in Hippolytus.
The Ordination of Priests had a proper Introit (omitted in 1552), but no Collect – apparently the Collect of the day was used. After the Gospel, the Veni Creator was sung in a lengthy and prosaic paraphrase. Then followed the Presentation, Challenge, Litany, Litany Collect (a brief summary paraphrase of the old Ordination Prayer), the new Exhortation and Examination, a new Ordination Prayer emphasizing exclusively the evangelistic work of the ministry, the imperative form, “Receive the Holy Ghost: whose sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven: and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained: and be thou a faithful dispenser of the word of God, and of his holy Sacraments,” etc., and the presentation of the Bible and eucharistic vessels – the latter however being discontinued in 1552. The Commendatory Prayer for the new priests at the end was specially composed, and again spoke of the ministry of the word.
In 1662, this order for Priests through the Litany Collect was transferred to the beginning of the service, exactly as in the case of the Diaconate, to simplify its use in combination with the ordering of Deacons, which has always been very common. Thus here also the Litany Collect took the place of the Collect of the day. The Veni Creator was transferred to a more effective place immediately before the Ordination Prayer, as in the Consecration of a Bishop, and furnished in a briefer and more accurate alternative translation.
At the Consecration of a Bishop, there was also a proper Introit, but no Collect, until in 1552 the former was dropped, and in 1662 a form of the Collect for St. Peter’s Day was employed at the Communion. The ordination took place after the Gospel and Creed, with Presentation, Bidding, Litany, Litany Collect borrowed from and duplicating that in the Ordination of Priests, Examination, Veni Creator, Ordination Prayer – the only one in the three services which corresponds with its Latin prototype – the imperative formula, “Take the Holy Ghost: and remember that thou stir up the grace of God, which is given thee by this Imposition of our hands,” etc., the imposition of the Bible on the ordinand’s neck and the presentation of the Pastoral Staff – these last converted in 1552 to the presentation of the Bible accompanied by the combined Charge of the two former ceremonies. The final Commendatory Prayer of this service was taken from a Collect for the enthroning of a Bishop. [E.R. II. 1016.]
The revision of 1662 added a specific designation of the name of the Order conferred in the case of a Priest or Bishop, by interpolating “for the office and work of a Priest (Bishop) in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the imposition of our hands,” after “Receive the Holy Ghost” in the respective formulas of ordination. This addition was prompted by the contention of the Presbyterian divines at the Savoy Conference, when they claimed a parity of the Presbyterate and Episcopate, on the ground that there was no real distinction between the “forms” employed to confer them. At the same time and for the same reason, certain transfers were effected of the Epistles and Gospels read at the two services, in order to clarify what the Church had always believed and practiced.
Thus there is no foundation for the intimation of the papal Bull Apostolicae Curae, that the Church of England realized at this time that its Forms for conferring these sacerdotal Orders were defective, and filled them up – too late to do any good, since by the Roman hypothesis Priesthood had by this time already become extinct in this Church. The underlying Roman contention is perhaps true, namely that the “Form” of a Sacrament must designate unmistakably what it purports to effect – at least if we add the indispensable qualification, that it must so designate it to the understanding of those who participate in the rite. The moment these Forms became equivocal to English churchmen, they needed to be changed. But originally, it was quite sufficient that the scriptural citations, “Whose sins,” and “Remember that thou stir up,” were fixed in the minds both of those who constructed and those who used the services as denoting definitely the Priesthood and the Episcopate respectively.
Relatively little has been done with the offices of the Ordinal since 1662. Even the rubric directing the place of the concluding Collect has, as we have seen, [See above.] stood uncorrected in a misleading form ever since 1552. The latest English and Scottish books, however, have accomplished a much-needed reform by restoring the proper Ordination Prayer for the Diaconate (since 1550 used as a Last Collect) to its rightful place in the service. [This leaves this service without a Last Collect.] These books also follow one meritorious development of the medieval Pontificals, in presenting all the Ordination Prayers in solemn “eucharistic” or preface form. The English rite makes the use of the Litany optional at all ordinations; the American has a special Ordination Litany, of most excellent plan and admirable condensation, but somewhat uninspired literary quality.
7. The Genius of the Anglican Ordinals
In the past, the character of a given Christian communion, its effectiveness in the world, and its relations to other bodies of Christians, have been largely determined by the kind of meaning which it has given to its official ministry. Now, and in time to come, this matter remains paramount over other questions of faith and worship among the influences that are bringing Christians together, or keeping them apart. We cannot leave this subject without some consideration of the general characteristics and implications of the services of the Ordinal.
Especially noteworthy in the Anglican ordinals is the emphasis upon the Holy Scriptures. Bishops, Priests, and Deacons signify their acceptance of the Scriptures as “containing all Doctrine required as necessary for eternal salvation”; [In 1928 the American Book altered the question to the Deacon to conform with the others, in place of the rather too unqualified form previously in use.] and the Priest, like the Bishop, pledges himself “to teach nothing, as necessary to eternal salvation, but that which he shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved by the Scripture.”
This vow of the Priest, which is a distinguishing mark of the Anglican Ordinal, is of great significance. In the ancient Catholic Church, the Bishops were considered to be the guardians of Christian truth. This guardianship (the original “Apostolic Succession”) was handed down from one generation to another: with the consequence that as the Church developed, and questions of doctrine became important, it was assumed that they should be referred to the Bishops alone. The pre-Reformation Ordinals were consequently framed on the basis of this theory.
The Church of England, in breaking with this tradition, lifted the Presbyterate to a new importance, and opened the way to a more thoroughly representative expression of the common faith of all Christian people. The position which the Episcopal Church in America has taken in giving to General Convention – laity as well as clergy – the final decision in interpretation of doctrine, would hardly have been possible were the Bishops regarded as its sole guardians and interpreters. Likewise, the Anglican priest is free, intellectually as well as morally.
Another important element in our Ordinal is the happy balancing of the two elements in ordination – commissioning and consecrating – which, as we have noted, have often been confused. The rite essential in commissioning stands out clearly as the laying on of hands. No one can for a moment think that the presentation of the New Testament or the Bible is anything more than a symbol of certain functions which are assigned by that commission. But with the ceremony likewise goes the prayer that the Holy Spirit may make this formal commission effective for the work of the Church; and that ideal inspires the offices throughout. Thus consecration and commission stand together. Inadequate consecration and inadequate commission both make defective the work of the minister of Christ.
The liberality of these wide horizons is also reflected in those portions of our rites which express the meaning of the commission to the ministry.
In the American books, one important addition was made in 1789 in the service for Priests, by the inclusion of an alternative Sentence of Ordination: “Take thou Authority to execute the Office of a Priest in the Church of God, now committed to thee by the Imposition of our hands. And be thou a faithful Dispenser of the Word of God,” etc. This form omitted the words from the Fourth Gospel, “Whose sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained.” The purpose of the alternative was of course to make the service more acceptable to the evangelical groups who disliked the sacerdotal implications of the English form.
Since either alternative is sufficient, there are two obvious consequences: that either may be interpreted by the other; and that therefore the Church has deliberately intended to open the widest latitude of opinion or belief concerning the meaning of Priesthood. The Church intended to “make Priests,” who should be qualified to do what priests have always done, and designed to consecrate them to that office by prayer that they might be worthy – and left it at that.
Thus the Ordinal is definite in its expression of faith that the historic ministry is historic; it is quite as definite in its expression of its purpose to continue that ministry: but on the other hand it has not surrounded that purpose with a multitude of unessential factors. It has returned to the simplicity of the earliest rites, and effectively conformed the whole office to the spirit of the New Testament tradition. And it has imposed upon no one, clergyman or layman, any special doctrinal interpretation. It appeals to facts, but leaves thought free.
In all the discussions of the Ministry which are so vital an element in the problems of Christian reunion, the Episcopal Church may point with reasonable satisfaction to its official Ordinal, as being at once in harmony with the age-long tradition of the Christian ministry, and yet consistent with and expressive of those ideals which in all the varied patterns of ecclesiastical organization have dominated and must dominate in the great United Church of the future.
Part Four – Conclusion
XIV – Ritual and Ceremonial
1. Rites and Ceremonies
It is no part of the purpose of this book to discuss in detail the ceremonial connected with the various offices which we have been studying except as the consideration of individual rubrics has made it necessary. But ceremonial and ritual are inextricably intertwined. Ritual is the actual performance of the rites or appointed ministrations of the Church. Ceremonial is the prescribed or accustomed order of actions necessary to conduct those rites. Some ceremonial is necessary for the conduct of any rite, however simple. The rubrics deal constantly with it. The authority which controls its use is the same, or derived from the same sources, as that which controls the Prayer Book ritual.
It seems desirable therefore to consider in closing two closely related matters: the nature of such authority as guides and governs both ritual and ceremonial; and the principles which must be taken into account in all rendering of the Prayer Book offices, and especially in such part of the ceremonial as is not definitely fixed by law.
2. Development of Ceremonial Law
Authority in these matters as we think of it today is in effect a modern growth. Christian worship was at the beginning, as we have seen, a spontaneous thing, unrestricted save by such considerations as St. Paul presents to the Corinthians. Liturgies develop not by legislation but by the “trial and error” method. In the Middle Ages in Western Europe there was still a great deal of variety in diocesan uses. In England alone, as we have seen, Hereford, Bangor, York and Lincoln disputed the preeminence with Sarum. The Roman use had supplanted the Celtic because of its obvious practical advantage; but that meant only a certain typical order. Sarum became the model of English dioceses because of its intrinsic excellence. In other places the prestige of the great metropolitan Church, the tendency to follow the leader, and the survival power of the best, brought a certain kind of uniformity. Generally speaking, a western Christian of the Middle Ages would have found himself at home wherever he happened to attend mass or a baptism or burial. But it was a voluntary uniformity.
Then came the Reformation period. In England political exigencies seemed to require uniformity. It was a generous uniformity as Elizabeth’s advisors saw it, based upon a recognition that the national Church must be comprehensive, but it was none the less uniformity imposed by authority. In the uncertainties of a revolutionary age (like our own) authority always tends to become more rigid. It was the revolt of the Reformation which ultimately converted Rome into the centralized autocracy which culminated in Infallibility; and as part of the process Rome also accepted the principle of regulating liturgical use by law. [The first Roman “Act of Uniformity” on a worldwide basis was the legislation imposing the Missal of Pius V in 1570. Yet many different rites are still sanctioned within the Roman Communion, since regional, national, and monastic uses with a prescription of long tradition behind them were exempted from being superseded by the new standard.] In our own Communion, the Act of Uniformity of 1559 was carried to the colonies, and after our independence, there seems to have been no question whatever that one of the weighty responsibilities of General Convention should be the adoption of a Prayer Book and the enforcement of its use. Worship in Virginia must be the same as in New York or Connecticut.
Now the difficulty with any such ideal is that it overlooks the immense diversity of life. Times change. Social customs vary in different localities. Racial inheritances bring varied emphases. Forms of thought respond to new conditions; and – chief factor of all – individuals are perpetually seeking expression consonant with their own inner needs. One of the ultimate contradictions of life faces us here. Men refuse to be regimented, and yet they love uniformity. That is the despair of the dictator and the ecclesiastic. It is the joy of the democrat and the prophet.
The ideal of uniformity, developed late in the history of the Church, is enshrined in our tradition and our legislation. But it is perpetually attacked. Diversity will assert itself. We cannot use the Prayer Book intelligently, therefore, nor lead worship adequately, without having tried to think through the situation: to understand on the one hard the sources of authority, and its nature; and on the other, the extent of freedom, and its limitations.
3. The Nature of Ceremonial Law
We begin with legislative authority. There is now no canonical regulation of ceremonial, save as it is included in the general legislation concerning the Prayer Book. Efforts have been made from time to time to curb by canon what may have been thought dangerous innovations; but the good sense of the Church has never permanently sustained such effort.
It is altogether different with the Prayer Book rites and such ceremonial as the Prayer Book directs. That legislation is definite. [Constitution, Art. X; Canons 44 and 45.] Although couched in different form and language, its purpose is obviously the same as that of the English Act of Uniformity. It establishes a standard Book, with which the custodian must compare all editions and certify to their correctness. It requires that this Book so certified and none other shall be used in all the public worship of the Church. Whatever liberty may be allowed for supplementary services, it is clearly not that of substitution except as provided in the Prayer Book itself. The question of interpolations, additions or amendments will be discussed later. For the offices provided by the Prayer Book that book itself must be used. Whatever considerations, practical, liturgical, or theological, may lead to the use of unauthorized books, whether in the celebration of the Holy Communion, or in the comparatively trivial matter of “mission leaflets,” all such are illegal. There is no doubt of the intent of General Convention.
The Prayer Book itself is, then, the fixed standard of worship. The Church intends that no priest or congregation shall have the right to change its language in any way. But we are dealing here with liturgical use, which in itself is not unlike human personality. It is a living thing, and cannot be altogether codified. An occasional altering of a phrase to suit a special emergency could hardly be condemned. The substitution of a synonym such as “Holy Spirit” for “Holy Ghost” at certain times and places to make the meaning clearer, or for the same reason the use of a paragraph in the Gospels and Epistles from the Revised Version, is sufficiently common to pass unnoticed. But on the other hand the offices as we have them represent the mature thought and experience of the Church. They are intended to express corporate rather than individual acts of worship. No priest, unless he is exceptionally gifted liturgically, is likely to be able to improve their language, even if it needs improvement (as some of it certainly does). Furthermore, the congregation has its rights which must be respected, and that is especially true when the change of language may carry with it obvious and intentional change of teaching. The question for the bishop or priest is thus carried back to the interpretation of his ordination vows. What does it mean when he pledges loyalty to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Church? His problem, it may be noted, is a part of the fundamental problem of the individual and the community. The intent of the Church is clear. Obedience and loyalty are expected. But with the wisdom which it shows in so many other ways, the Church does not expect slavish obedience. There must be a margin of freedom which rests upon the conscientious decision of the priest.
4. The Authority of Rubrics
The difficult question of rubrics, which now comes into view, touches both ritual and ceremonial. What is the authority of a rubric? The disciplinary rubrics must of course be distinguished from the liturgical. The former have essentially the character of a canon. The directions for example concerning those who may not be admitted to Holy Communion are laws. They are not liturgical, and do not enter into our present discussion. On the other hand a liturgical rubric is not properly a law at all. Historically it comes from a pre-law day. It is a direction to ensure ease or uniformity in the conduct of the service. In the Prayer Book, however, liturgical rubrics such as those “concerning the service of the Church” have assumed far more than a mere directive authority. The Church does not say that some other devotions may be substituted for Morning or Evening Prayer in parish Churches “when expressly authorized by the Ordinary,” only to mean that any priest may make such a substitution when he thinks it desirable, without consulting the Bishop. On the other hand there are rubrics which have no such weight, and in our interpretation we must distinguish relative importance. There is for example no provision for only one lesson in Morning Prayer except when “the Holy Communion is immediately to follow”; but there could be no very serious objection to reading only one lesson on some special occasion, a commemoration service, e.g., with an especially long address, or when Confirmation is to take place.
The assumption which underlies the above statements, that the interpretation of rubrics rests in some degree with the priest, applies also to the matter of interpolations and additions. The intent of the Church is in the office; its spirit and meaning must not be tampered with. No one could seriously object on rubrical grounds to using the Nunc Dimittis or the Christmas Gospel at the close of the Communion Service. It is an entirely different matter to change the order of the office, or to put into it such a canticle as the Benedictus qui venit at a place where the Church has refused to permit it. To change the language of the Absolution so that it cannot mean what it is intended to mean, or to omit the Confession and Absolution altogether, is to tamper with the genius and spirit of the office. To substitute in the Baptismal service another form of questions to the sponsors, is to violate not only a long historic tradition but also the obvious intention of the Church. In such of the offices as have a quasi-private character, the temptation to alter or interpolate must be carefully guarded. Few Church people would object to the introduction of extra-liturgical prayers in the Burial Office. The practice is common; but there are two dangers. The office is in intent objective, relatively impersonal, fitted to express the attitude of the Church corporately in relation to a private sorrow. Its spirit is destroyed if, under the guise of prayers, personal eulogy creeps in. Furthermore, such interpolations are like the attempts of individuals to improve the language of the prayers. They must ordinarily fail to reach the high level of the prayers which the Church has set forth.
Two other guiding principles remain to be mentioned. The first concerns the habitual use of the offices. Whatever reasons may be valid for introducing changes, interpolations, or additions, on special occasions, such ought not to be made habitual. In Morning and Evening Prayer many priests are introducing prayers from outside sources. No bishop would want to be beset with innumerable requests to authorize such prayers. But while there may be good reason for them now and then, they ought never to be made a regular part of the service,
The second guiding principle is that the congregations have the right to be protected from the idiosyncrasies of individuals. Often a new prayer will be a real help to a worshipping congregation, but it will not always continue to be a help, nor is its constant repetition in accord with the meaning of liturgical worship. The utmost care must be used as soon as a priest ventures beyond what the Church has authorized.
5. “Jus Liturgicum”
The liturgical authority (jus liturgicum) of the bishop is strictly limited. He has no more authority than the priest to alter the Prayer Book services, or to authorize substitutions for them, except within the very narrow limits prescribed in the rubric “Concerning the service of the Church” to which reference has already been made. But he may authorize prayers or services for special occasions, and if so none other may be used. Carrying a little further the intent of this rubric, the Bishop in the interests of liturgical experiment may very properly authorize “other devotions” as contained in some one of the many experimental collections for occasions not provided in the Prayer Book and not contrary to its teaching and spirit. [General Convention itself in 1934 authorized such a use of the English Grey Book.] But neither bishop nor priest would have the right to use such devotions with a frequency and in such a manner as practically to eliminate one or another of the offices authorized by the Church. There is good ground for the assertion that we need liturgical experiments. There is excellent ground for the judgment that the Prayer Book with all its values is neither as complete nor as permanent as our forefathers used to think it. The time span of revisions will never again be the century. But experiment does not mean lawlessness; nor is it really experiment if it means only the guesses of individuals, unrelated to other attempts and often without knowledge of what liturgical propriety and beauty may mean.
6. Discretion of the Minister
Looking back, then, over the ground we have traversed, it is clear that so far as canonical and rubrical directions in the use of the Prayer Book offices are concerned, the very definite principles which are embodied in them leave a considerable measure of discretion to the minister. His obedience as already indicated is that of the intelligent servant rather than the slave.
But when we approach the matter of ceremonial alone, this discretion comes to take a place of paramount importance. There are no canonical regulations of ceremonial in America. The much controverted “Ornaments Rubric” of the English Book was omitted from ours, and therefore has no canonical authority. It can represent at best only the English precedent of 1549. For a good many years during the third quarter of the last century, there was constant and unhappy struggle over what in those days was called “Ritualism”. It culminated in 1874 in the adoption of a canon regulating some points of ceremonial. But the effort was futile. The canon was never enforced, and in 1904 was dropped without dissent. The House of Bishops has from time to time issued statements on certain points as, e.g., that of 1834 which deals with the proper postures during the Communion Service. But the Bishops’ judgments have only moral, not legal authority.
7. The Authority of Custom
The Prayer Book itself adds practically nothing. The rubrical directions are little help except when interpreted on the basis of an already understood custom. Without custom or tradition the minister would be lost in almost any office. The gaps are innumerable. [A quaint instance of this is that at a Baptism the minister is directed to take the child into his arms, but the rubric says nothing about giving it back.] Although there are many directions as to kneeling or standing, there are next to none as to vestments, or place, and none at all as to the furniture and arrangements of the church or altar. Custom rules. Every clergyman starts his ministry with what the past has brought him. He enters a church already furnished. He wears vestments like those of the clergy about him.
Now custom varies in both time and place. The priest preaches today in cassock and surplice. A century ago he would have worn a black gown and bands. In one diocese he celebrates the Holy Communion in that same cassock and surplice. In another he wears a chasuble. This variation is entirely Catholic. Quite apart from the inevitable local variations, we cannot imagine for a moment that the ceremonial expressions of worship in the Roman, Orthodox, and Anglican Communions could ever be brought into uniformity. This is important to remember since it throws light on the frequently raised question of what is Catholic in ceremonial. The fact that a particular use is Roman or medieval does not make it Catholic in the sense of justifying or giving authority for its use in the Anglican Communion. Being Western rather than Eastern may establish some presumption that it is more congenial to Western ways of worship. But within Western Christianity the ceremonial which must have authority for the Anglican Communion is that which has developed along lines expressive of the attitude towards religion enshrined in the Prayer Book rites, not that which expresses Latin ideals.
There is, in fine, no type of ceremonial which has ecumenical authority. It follows that the rule which guides in ceremonial is essentially a practical one. The Anglican priest and congregation find themselves within an area, a diocese or regional Church, in which a certain use and practice prevails. That is for them a Catholic use. That is their starting point if modifications are sought; and such modifications should be only those which may better express the meaning of the Prayer Book rites. It is true that in the pendulum movement of religious life much that is beautiful and helpful may at one time or another have been lost from contemporary practice. Such losses may be recovered; but here again guidance is necessary and discretion indispensable. Distinctive Anglican tradition is a rather vague phrase. The fact that certain uses prevailed in fifteenth-century England may be a good reason for preferring them to some modern Latin use, but it does not justify the assumption that they are better or more Catholic than others which prevail today. We might as well imagine that five centuries from now the Church would find in certain Victorian uses of 1850 a quasi-authority for substituting them for some familiar ways of that distant future age. It is true that just as there are and must be certain common elements in all the great Catholic liturgies, so there are and must be in the ceremonial which accompanies and expresses them. But beyond that there can be little claim of ecumenical authority for any details of ceremonial, and no justification whatever for a priest’s dipping here and there into the past and choosing what he likes. The Anglican priest and congregation find Catholic precedent and authority primarily in the use and practice prevalent within their own diocese or ecclesiastical “area”. [Precisely this contention as to the paramount authority of the customs of a regional “Use” within even the Roman Communion is emphatically asserted by Adrian Fortescue, The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite (London: Burns-Oates, 1920), xx f.]
8. Appropriate Ceremonial
It follows that the first emphasis in ceremonial must come in making such familiar ceremonial as nearly perfect as our limitations, personal and in equipment, will permit. It is, as stated at the beginning of this chapter, altogether beyond the purpose of this book to discuss details of such ceremonial; and it is perhaps worth adding that such details being, as we have seen, so variable, they could be discussed adequately only at great length, or with a dogmatism which the very principle we have emphasized invalidates. But details aside, there are certain large principles which are implicit in all proper ceremonial. If the first task of the priest and congregation is to make ceremonial adequate to the meaning and dignity of the offices of worship in the Prayer Book, these principles need to be considered.
We turn then to the presentation of certain principles of ceremonial which seem to lie, as it were, upon the surface and to be universal in their application. In his contribution to the book Liturgy and Worship Dr, Brabant says, “Worship must be both expressive and suggestive.” That is to say, it must express the religious emotion and ideals of the worshippers, and it must likewise bring to them impulse to a life which is closer to God. What is true of worship in general is particularly true of the ceremonial aspects of it. Ceremonial is the outward and visible means of heightening the effect, whether it be expressive or suggestive of the rite itself. An office intended to be heard by the people and to gather up consciously their aspirations fails altogether if it is read inaudibly. Strictly speaking, it is the ceremonial which determines whether corporate worship shall adequately express the meaning of the rite.
If then the purpose of all worship is to lift men into the presence of God, and in his presence to find for them new strength for life, it is clear that the first thing to be sought is that, whatever the character of the ceremonial, it should contribute to rather than detract from the sense of God. This is a truism, but if it is put in the forefront of all consideration of the conduct of worship, it will be found to be an extraordinarily deep-cutting test. On the one hand shoddiness, carelessness, vulgarity, on the other elaborateness, artificiality, fussiness, will vanish. The dignity, the beauty, the teaching power which we shall discuss below, all find their place naturally.
But it must never be forgotten that worship, as we pointed out in our first chapter, is by and for the whole man. Otto’s striking contribution to the theological thinking of our day noted there, has led in many quarters to an overemphasis on the mystery of God; but Otto himself is emphatic in his insistence that Christianity is ethical through and through. The mystical loss of self, the trancelike state of ecstasy or the mere aesthetic satisfaction of a great and beautiful ceremonial, are inadequate to the fullness of Christian worship. Mind and will must have their part as well. The love of God’s worship ought to issue in active love of God’s children, and in deepening love of God’s truth. Adoration must lead to action.
The practical bearing of such considerations on the matter of ceremonial has already been touched upon. All ceremonial must heighten the effect of the rite. Clear enunciation so that the office may be “understanded” of the people is a first requisite. Posture, vestments, colors all have their place; but solely in order to heighten this effect. They must not obscure its meaning by overlaying it with unnecessary elaborations, nor divert attention from its purpose and intent. It is the beautiful garment which should fit perfectly the figure which it clothes.
All that has been said emphasizes the teaching power of ceremonial. Its symbolism is of immense importance. To kneel or to stand during prayer is a continuous reminder of the need of reverence. The sign of the Cross in baptism is as perfect a suggestion of the life into which the baptized is born as the water itself is of the cleansed soul. In spite of the controversies which have raged around them, and the vastly differing interpretations which have been put upon them, the broken bread and poured-out wine remain for all Christians the perfect signs and symbols of Calvary.
The furniture of the Church is constantly teaching. No one can worship year after year in a building in which on one side is the pulpit, on the other the lectern, with the altar and its cross at the center of vision, without discovering that all unconsciously he has been appropriating something of the genius of the Prayer Book interpretation of Christianity. A pulpit as part of such furniture is not a platform from which to speak: it is a prophet’s sanctuary. To preach is to celebrate the Sacrament of the Word. The lectern, again, shows us that the Bible is not merely a devotional book to be read when and where we will: it is the rule of our Church’s faith and practice; a chief fount, and the ultimate test, of the Church’s teaching. And both pulpit and open Bible lead to Christ, for they point the way to that altar and cross which are the very symbols of what Christ means in life.
But in all this use of the teaching power of symbolism, we must bear in mind two limitations. The symbolism must be true to the teaching which it professes to illuminate, and it must guard against excess. For example, the teaching of the Prayer Book concerning the consecration of the Eucharist is clear. Consecration is certainly not completed until the Invocation has been offered. Any ceremonial which suggests to the worshipper that the Words of Institution are a formula of consecration is altogether misleading. Our canon, as has been seen, follows the Eastern liturgies (and undoubtedly the original meaning of the Roman Liturgy) and regards the words of Institution only as the historical warrant for the observance of the Sacrament and the assurance of its meaning.
In the matter of excess, the use of the sign of the Cross which we have seen is so effective in baptism is a good illustration of the danger. It was no wonder that the Reformers turned against it. During the Middle Ages it had come to be a bit of magic. It kept away devils. It ensured the active intervention of God. We do not drive devils away with it today; but it is very easy to use it as a substitute for real prayer. Unheedingly performed, it may be quite meaningless. Genuflections are another example. They may easily become as exhausting to the worshippers as they may have become mechanical to the minister.
The proper fitting of the garment of ceremonial to the office which it is to render will achieve the ultimate goal of all outward expressions, the goal of beauty. Beauty in worship certainly includes four elements which indeed merge into one another and cannot always be distinguished. They are appropriateness, harmony, unity, and simplicity.
Appropriateness is of great importance in every aspect. Churches are constantly deprived of beauty not by the poverty but by the ill-fitting character of their furniture. Pulpits imposing enough for a cathedral distract the sight of a score of people in a tiny country church. Huge altars destroy the symmetry of what might be an attractive and graceful little building. One does not exalt the Sacrament by ugliness. Music appropriate to cathedrals is attempted in small parish churches. Anthems fail to reflect the underlying note of season or service. Choirs move in and out with a ceremony which would suggest that their processions are the chief part of worship. “Amens” are treated with a deference which suggests that the hearts of the congregation have been stirred by some supreme emotion. The voice of the minister frequently reveals that he himself hardly knows the quality of that which he is reading.
Appropriateness leads directly to that second quality of beauty: harmony. Not only should altar and chancel and vestments make a harmonious whole; but the conduct of the service in music and in quality of voice and gesture should be without a jarring note. Ease of movement, dignity, quiet, are essential things. Fussiness, jerkiness, aimless motions, destroy the harmony and so the beauty of the service.
Harmony is really only an aspect of unity. The former refers to the ease with which each part accords with or leads to another. The latter refers to the impression which is rendered by the whole. The Eucharist has its own inner unity which, in a sense, it is difficult to destroy. The Church Calendar assures a pretty definite unity at all times in the year on certain points. But neither the dramatic unity of the great Liturgy, nor the incidental unity of color and emphasis, can ensure the completeness of the total effect if the priest has no feeling for it. The sacrament of love finds a poor preface in a bitter or scolding or controversial sermon. The freedom of the preacher to choose his theme should not be limited even at the Holy Communion. But his freedom of treatment must be limited.
Finally, beauty demands simplicity, for simplicity means the discarding of the unnecessary. The danger of all liturgical development is elaboration, and such danger is particularly present in the Communion. The Reformers found themselves compelled to deal with offices in which the main intent had been obscured through the multitude of detail. Each little addition to the Baptism itself had, for example, found a perfectly good reason, as indeed Cranmer suggests in the general statements of the prefaces to the First Prayer Book. But ultimately with all this increment of exorcism and anointing, the essential Sacrament did not stand out clearly. Simplification was necessary. The entire Prayer Book illustrates this. It carries on, as we have seen, the great fundamentals of Catholic worship; but it cuts out the impedimenta which had accumulated during centuries. Doctrinal and liturgical reasons here joined hands. The genius of the Book is simplicity. That is the liturgical analogue of the moral life of Christians, which gains its beauty not through meticulous obedience to manifold rules but by the supreme simplicity of inner sincerity.
Two observations may close this discussion. One is of minor importance. The other is essential. All that has been said about beauty represents an ideal which is extraordinarily difficult of attainment. Vast numbers of congregations must perforce worship in churches which are not in themselves beautiful. Architects, builders, vestries, congregations, do not always know what is beautiful. The clergy are themselves often without trained discrimination on these points. In a drab, industrial, standardized world, we can hardly expect that beauty will blossom. In a world which is beginning to awaken to what beauty means, we must expect crude and barbaric attempts to achieve it in ecclesiastical as in domestic or public matters. But the obligation is upon the Church. The responsibility cannot be ignored.
Finally we must always go back to that with which we began. The purpose of ceremonial is only to contribute to this one great end: every item in worship must be constantly tested by the question, Does it help to bring God nearer? Beauty of ceremonial is demanded of us because God is eternal beauty. That Platonic tradition has never been lost from Christianity, although at some times and in some places it has been obscured. To worship God in truth is to worship him in goodness and in beauty.
Ablutions: ceremonial cleansings: as in Baptism; or of the eucharistic vessels after Communion.
Accumulation: the recitation of two or more offices of worship continuously.
Administration: 1) the application of a Sacrament or other rite to a recipient (The Administration of the Lord’s Supper; the Ministration of Holy Baptism); 2) the giving of the sacramental elements to a communicant (the Words of Administration).
Agapé: (αγαπή, love; cf. Jude 12): the “Love Feast”; a meal of holy fellowship in the early Church, at first associated with the Eucharist, later divided from and contrasted with it; surviving until the third century.
Agnus Dei: invocations of Christ as Lamb of God, originating in the Liturgy of St. James of Jerusalem (LEW 62a. 24); introduced into the Western Litany and Liturgy by Sergius I (687–701).
Aliturgical ( < a- negative + liturgical, [cf. αλειτούργητος): without a celebration of the Holy Liturgy.
Alleluia (Heb. Halelu-jah, Ps. 104:35; αλληλούϊα, Rev. 19:1 ff.): Praise ye the Lord; universally sung before the Gospel in the old Liturgies, and frequent in other offices; in the West omitted or supplanted in penitential seasons.
Ambo (άμβων [< αναβαίνειν, go up], originally any eminence, later a raised stage or desk): a pulpit (there were usually two), from which Epistle or Gospel was read.
Anamnesis (ανάμνησις): the liturgical commemoration of Christ’s Passion and Redemption.
Anaphora (αναφορά, offering up): the Eastern name for the consecratory Canon of the Eucharist, beginning with the Sursum Corda.
Ante-Communion: the preliminary part of the Communion Office, used in conjunction with Morning Prayer, without an actual celebration of the Sacrament; ending with the Creed in the British books, with the Gospel in the American.
Anthem: 1) formerly, an Antiphon; 2) in modern use, any portion of Scripture set to sacred music, for occasional use.
Antiphon (αντίφωνον, responsive strain): 1) formerly, a musical Respond after each verse of a Psalm or Canticle; 2) now a verse introductory to such Psalm or Canticle, so chosen as to give a sort of “keynote” to it, according to the occasion.
Aspersion: sprinkling with holy water.
“Athanasian” Creed: the Canticle Quicunque vult, of unknown authorship in South France or North Spain; known to the Synod of Autun in 670 as “The Faith of St. Athanasius”; bound up with the Psalter at the end of the seventh century; in use since the end of the eighth century at Sunday Prime; daily in the Sarum Use: now substituted for the Apostles’ Creed at Morning Prayer on certain festivals in the British books.
Banns (F. ban, G. Bann, proclamation, || Gr. φάναι, L. fari, speak): the public proclamation of a proposed marriage.
Benedicite: a Canticle, Song of the Three Children 35–65, formerly sung at Sunday Lauds, now an alternative to the Te Deum at Morning Prayer.
Benediction (L. bene + dictio, exactly translating ευλογία): a ministerial (sacerdotal) blessing of things or persons.
Benedictory Prayer: see Commendatory Collect; Super populum.
Benedictus: the Canticle, Luke 1:68–79, formerly sung at Lauds in the Sarum Use, now after the Second Lesson at Morning Prayer.
Benedictus es, Domine: the Canticle, Song of the Three Children 29–34, since 1928 an alternative to the Te Deum at Morning Prayer.
Benedictus qui venit: the acclamation of Matt. 21:9, appended to the Sanctus in the fifth century; removed in 1552.
Betrothal: 1) the signifying of free consents to an ensuing marriage; 2) the introductory portion of the modem marriage service certifying such consents.
Bidding: an invitation to prayer, usually naming the object.
Bidding Prayer: an address to the people, moving them to prayer, and proposing objects for their intercessions. (Bidding < AS, biddan [G. bitten, beten], ask, pray; so that the “‘Bidding of the bedes” [AS. bede = G. Bitte, prayer: the word bead being wholly derived from its use in counting prayers] originally meant the praying of prayers. Bid = pray being obsolete, the sense of asking is now dominant, so that the surviving phrases now bear the connotation of inviting to prayer, rather than engaging in prayer.)
Black Letter Festivals: days commemorated in the Calendar in black type, but not provided with proper liturgical services; contrasted with Red Letter Festivals.
Breviary (breviarium < brevis, brief): a book containing the Daily Offices or canonical Hours of Prayer; so called from the abbreviation of the many part books of the old choir offices to make a portable volume.
Canon (χανών, rule): a fixed order of prayer; especially the sequence of consecration prayers (Canon actionis, Canon consecrationis) in the Roman rite, as distinguished from the variable beginning of the Liturgy: formerly counted as commencing with the Preface, now with the prayer Te igitur.
Canon of the Communion (medieval Canon communionis): the definite order and structure of the prayers for the Administration of the Communion and the conclusion of the Liturgy, following the Consecration.
Canonical Rubrics: directions incorporated in the text of the services, embodying provisions of ancient Canon Law, such as those specifying those eligible to receive Holy Communion or Christian burial.
Canticle: a non-metrical song or hymn in the services of the Church.
Capitulary: a book containing or specifying the capitula of the Gospels to be used at the Liturgy.
Capitulum (heading; diminutive of caput, head): a lesson of Scripture read at the services; originally a substantial section, the forerunner and pattern of the “Chapters” into which Archbishop Stephen Langton divided the text of our Bible, but in later medieval times usually reduced to a single verse at the Hours.
Catechesis (χατήχησις < χατ- ηχέω, re-echo, cause to resound, “din into one’s ears”): instruction by rote.
Catechism (χατηχισμός): a form of instruction and examination by set questions and answers.
Catechumen (χατηχούμενος, pres. pass, part.): one under elementary instruction in Christian doctrine.
Catechumens, Service of (Missa catechumenorum): the preliminary part of the Liturgy, to which (alone) those not in full membership were admitted in the early Church.
Cautions (cautelae): the solemn warnings of the first two Exhortations prefixed to the Marriage Service, to safeguard the sacredness of the institution.
Censing: the ritual use of incense, dating from the fourth century; at first offered to God without ceremony, as a metaphor of prayer; later applied like the aspersion of holy water, as a sanctification of persons and things.
Ceremonial: the actions necessary for the performance of a rite; cf. Ritual.
Character (χαραχτήρ, mark or stamp): the medieval concept of an indelible spiritual mark or seal imparted by Baptism, Confirmation, and Orders – Sacraments incapable of being reiterated – said to be drawn from the analogy of the regimental insignia imprinted upon the foreheads of recruits enlisted in the Roman army.
Choir Offices: the daily Hours of Prayer, as said in the choir, not at the altar.
Chrism (χρισμα < χρίω, anoint): a holy oil consecrated with special solemnities; usually perfumed with aromatic balm.
Chrysom or Chrisom (< chrism): the white robe put on after Baptism.
Church Orders: treatises describing current disciplinary and liturgical customs of various centers, circulated in many recensions during the period when both Canons and Liturgies were becoming fixed, exercising an important influence on the forms which they assumed, and now conveying valuable information as to their early stages.
Collect (collectio, collecta): a term of Gallican origin for a brief prayer, limited to a single theme, originally designed to gather up or collect the accumulated intentions of a pause for prayer.
Commendatory Collect: a term employed in this book to distinguish the use of a final benedictory supplication for perseverance in righteous living, as a Last Collect at the Communion, in accordance with the primitive structure of the rite. See Super populum.
Commination (comminatio, threatening): 1) a recital of the denunciations of God’s wrath against sinners, in the words of Deut. 27:16–25, Lev. 18:20, Jer. 17:5, Rom. 1:31, and 1 Cor. 6:9–10; 2) the service for Ash Wednesday, containing these passages, in the British books.
Commixture: the uniting of the two species of the eucharistic elements by dropping a particle of the Bread into the Chalice after the Consecration in the Latin rite. The Commixture is a relic of two customs of early days in Rome: the Sancta, which was a particle of the eucharistic Bread reserved from one celebration to the next, in token of the continuity of the Church’s worship; and the Fermentum, which was a portion of the consecrated loaf sent by the Bishop to the parish churches, as a symbol of unity. In both cases, the Bread (leavened, at that period) was dry and hard after a week, and was softened in the Chalice. Cf. Fortescue, The Mass, 366 ff.; Eisenhofer II. 201 f. This ceremonial is entirely without meaning now.
Common: any constituent of a service equally suitable to any festival of a given kind or class; opposed to Proper.
Common Prayer: public or corporate worship.
Communion, Holy: 1) originally, the act of partaking of the Eucharist, or the portion of the Liturgy for administering such participation to the people. The title of the English Liturgy of 1549 so employed the term. 2) The title of the service since 1552 extends the use of the term to the whole service.
Compline (Completorium): the final daily Hour of Prayer, at the time of retiring.
Concord: a parallel version of the same passage in another book of Holy Scripture.
Confarreatio: the rite of sealing a marriage in pagan Roman use by mutual partaking of a sacred meal, including the farreum (spelt or barley cake).
Confiteor: the Roman formula for the General Confession.
Conflation (< con-flare, blow together, fuse): the combination of two related texts into one composite reading.
Consignation (consignatio, a sealed document): the “sealing” of a Confirmation with the Sign of the Cross.
Consuetudinary (consuetudo, custom): a book setting forth the accustomed usages of a given Church or diocese.
Course, In: the system of using Psalms or Lessons on successive occasions in the same order in which they occur in the Bible.
Credence (credentia, trust, faith; in medieval times, a buffet or side table on which dishes of food were set before serving, to be tested for poison): a table or shelf on which the bread, wine, and water are arranged in readiness for their use in the celebration of the Eucharist.
Cultus Meal (cultus, worship): a ceremonial meal with religious significance.
Daily Offices: the canonical Hours of Prayer (in Anglican use the services of Morning and Evening Prayer), provided for each day in the year. Daily recitation of the Offices is still incumbent upon the clergy of the Church of England.
Day Hours: Terce, Sext, and None.
Dead, Service of the (servitium mortuorum): the office of Psalms, Lesson, etc., recited in connection with a Burial. Formerly a matutinal office of commemoration for deceased members and benefactors of a monastery; later adopted for funeral use.
Decalogue (δεχάλογος, δέχα λόγοι, the “Ten Words”): the Ten Commandments found in Ex. 20:1–17.
Deprecations (< deprecari, to avert by prayer): petitions for deliverance from evil, in the Litany.
Diptychs (δίπτυχοι, folded in two): lists of the names of the Living and the Dead commemorated in the Liturgy; so called from the double-hinged tablets upon which the Names were originally inscribed.
Dirige: Matins and Lauds of the Dead; named from the beginning of the first Antiphon (Ps. 5:8b).
Disciplina arcani: the discipline of the Secret: a system of reserve toward the uninitiate regarding certain central “mysteries” of the faith (the Creed, Lord’s Prayer, and eucharistic Anaphora, and in the West, the liturgical Gospel as well); in force from the third to the fifth centuries.
Dismissals (missa or expulsio catechumenorum, etc.): the sending out of the church of classes not in full communion (Catechumens, Energumens, Penitents) before the Anaphora, and of the congregation of the Faithful at the end of the Liturgy. This is first attested at the Offices, and later adopted in the Liturgy. It may have originated in the individual blessing of the congregation as they left one by one at the end of the service, as is still the Greek custom to the present day. Cf. Mass.
Divine Service: the worship of God; in the strict sense, used only of the Daily Offices.
Double Festival: a term applied to certain Holy Days of major importance, on which originally each of the Hours of Prayer was actually doubled, i.e., recited once for the day of the Church Year, and again for the feast. Nowadays, only the Antiphons are “doubled,” being repeated after as well as before their Psalms and Canticles.
Doxology (δοξολογία < δόξα, glory, + λέγω, say): an ascription of praise to God; especially the concluding formula of a prayer.
Eastward Position: since the tenth century, the position of the celebrant of the Eucharist, facing the altar.
Effeta (εφφαθά, Mark 7:34): a ceremony of anointing the organs of sense with saliva at Baptism in the Roman rite.
Elevation: the ritual lifting up of the consecrated Elements.
Embolismus (εμβολισμός, interpolation, < εμβάλλειν, throw in, interject): the expansion of the theme of the concluding Deliver us from evil interpolated between the body of the Lord’s Prayer and the final doxology in Greek and Latin rites.
Energumen (ενεργούμενος, pass. part. ενεργειν, work within): a person possessed by an evil spirit; a demoniac.
Espousal (sponsalia, < spondere, make a solemn contract, || σπένδειν, make libation, σπένδεσθαι, conclude a treaty): 1) the whole rite of contracting a marriage; 2) in modern use, the definitive mutual plighting of troth (sponsalia per verba de praesenti) which effectually contracts the marriage, as distinguished from the prior exchange of consents in the Betrothal (sponsalia per verba de futuro).
Eucharist (ευχαριστία, Thanksgiving): 1) the service for the celebration of Holy Communion, named from the Thanksgiving which was its original Prayer of Consecration; 2) as early as the Didaché and Justin Martyr, the term was applied to the consecrated Elements.
Eucharistic Prayer: a solemn prayer in the form and style of a eucharistic Thanksgiving or Preface.
Evensong: from Saxon times the designation of combined Vespers and Compline; still officially applied to Evening Prayer in the British lectionary tables.
Exhortation: an address to the people in the text of the services.
Exorcism (εξορχισμός, < εξ + ορχίζειν, bind by an oath (όρχος): an adjuration for the expulsion of evil spirits.
Exsufflation: breathing upon the subject of Baptism.
Extreme Unction (extrema unctio, the last anointing): the anointing of the dying.
Faithful, Prayer of the: a general Intercession for all conditions in the Church; originally said immediately after the expulsion of the Catechumens in the Liturgy.
Ferial (feriae, holidays): originally applied to the festal days (dies feriatae) following Easter and Pentecost; now to weekdays in general, in opposition to festivals.
Fixed Collects, Psalms, etc.: elements of an Office which are invariable in that service, unaltered by the Christian Year.
Fixed Festivals: Holy Days attached to dates of the civil Calendar.
Form: the fixed words accompanying a ceremony, and giving it a definite sacramental meaning; cf. Matter.
Fraction (fractio panis, < frangere, to break): the ritual breaking of bread before the administration of Communion.
Gallican: 1) pertaining to the services of the Church of France; 2) common to non-Roman Western rites: in this sense cited in this book as “Gallican”.
Gloria tibi, Domine: the Respond, Glory be to thee, O Lord, to the announcement of the Gospel (Sarum, 1549; dropped in 1552, restored in 1637 Scottish, 1789 American, and 1928 English).
Godparents: see Sponsors.
Gradual: a solo anthem sung after the Epistle, formerly from the steps (gradus) of the Ambo.
Great Entrance (η μεγάλη είσοδος): the Byzantine procession from the chapel of the Prothesis with the Elements at the offertory time; contrasted with the Little Entrance with the Book of Gospels at the beginning of the service.
Great Intercession: the general prayer of the celebrant for all conditions of men at the Eucharist; the Prayer of the Faithful.
Great Oblation: the solemn offering of the Christian sacrifice, in remembrance of Christ’s Passion, for God’s acceptance, and His consecrating benediction, following the recital of the Institution; in contrast to the Minor Oblation or presentation of the Elements at the Offertory.
High Mass (Missa solemnis): the Liturgy performed with full ceremony, with Deacon, Subdeacon, and choir.
Holy Days: festivals, including Sundays, for which proper services are provided and general observance expected.
Homilies (ομιλία, assembly > address to an audience, < ομιλός, gathering, < ομός, together, + ίλη, crowd): prepared sermons; especially the official expositions of Christian faith and practice set forth by Archbishop Cranmer in 1547, ordered to be read in lieu of sermons during the transition period of the English Reformation.
Hours of Prayer: the canonical Daily Offices of Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline.
Humble Access: the prayer beginning We do not presume to come to this thy Table, preparatory to receiving Holy Communion. This title in common use is derived from the rubric before this prayer in the Scottish Communion Office, since 1637.
Imposition: a laying on, as of hands, or of the Bible.
Imprecatory Psalms (imprecare, to pray against): Psalms which invoke evil against one’s enemies; notably Psalms 7, 9, 10, 14, 35, 40, 58, 59, 60, 69, 70, 83, 109, 137, which the American Book does not use on festivals or in the Table of Psalms for the Sundays of the Church Year.
Inclination, Prayer of: a benedictory prayer before the Communion or the Dismissal in the Greek rites, heard by the congregation with bowed heads.
Institution: the account of the establishing of the rite of he Holy Eucharist by our Lord, in all liturgies, conflating the narratives of Matt. 26:26–28, Mark 14:22–24, Luke 22:19–20, and 1 Cor. 11:23–25; commonly with other scriptural additions, especially Matt. 14:19 and 1 Cor. 11:26; and often with purely rhetorical interpolations.
Intention: a special object of prayer.
Intinction ( < in- + tingere, moisten, || Gr. τέγγειν, Ger. tunken): the method of administering both elements of the Communion together, the Bread moistened in the Wine.
Introit (introitus, entrance, < intro-, within, + ire, to go): an anthem sung during the entrance of the officiating clergy at the Eucharist.
Invention (< in-venire, to come upon): the discovery of the body of a Saint, the Holy Cross, etc.
Investiture: the clothing of a candidate for ordination with the distinctive garb of his new office.
Invitatory: an Antiphon prefixed to the Venite.
Invocation (in-vocare, to call upon): 1) any prayer calling upon God, Christ, or the Saints, by name; 2) especially the prayer calling upon God to accept and consecrate the Eucharist.
Jus liturgicum (liturgical right): the Bishop’s right to control the order of services: absolute in the earliest ages, but progressively confined by the fixing of text and rubric, and by constitutional limitations.
Justinian Reservation: the method of communicating the sick or absent described by Justin Martyr, i.e., by taking the Sacrament directly to them from a celebration in the church.
Kiddûsh: (Heb. = sanctification): a Hebrew cultus meal.
Kyrie Eleison (Κύριε ελέησον): Lord, have mercy; the principal respond of the Syrian litanies; adopted in triple or nine-fold form in the West. See Lesser Litany.
Laud(s) (laudes, praise; with especial reference to the Fixed Psalms 148–150 concluding the office): the second of the medieval Hours of Prayer, now usually recited continuously between Matins and Prime.
Laus tibi, Christe: “Praise be to thee, O Christ”: a response by the people after the reading of the Gospel, adopted in Am. 1928 from Sc. 1637, and apparently derived from modern Roman use, as it was not in Sarum.
Lection or Lesson (lectio, reading, < legere, read): a passage of Scripture to be read at the services.
Lectionary: 1) a table of Lessons to be read at the Offices throughout the year; 2) a like table of Epistles (whose title in the Roman rite is Lectio) for the Liturgy.
Lesser Canon (canon minor): a term for the highly developed group of Roman Offertory Prayers in later medieval times, as comprising elements of oblation, invocation, and intercession, parallel, and largely equivalent, to those in the Canon actionis.
Lesser Litany: the supplication “Lord, have mercy upon us; Christ, have mercy upon us; Lord, have mercy upon us,” with which the essential structure of the Litany concludes: found in the Communion as the vestige of a former Litany; and often used to introduce the Lord’s Prayer in other services.
Litany Collect: the concluding prayer summing up and resolving the “periodic” structure of a Litany.
Little Hours: the brief offices of Terce, Sext, and None. Also called the Day Hours.
Liturgy (λειτουργία, public service, < λέιτος [< λαός, λεώς, people, || Ger. Leute], + έργον, work): 1) first applied to the service of the Eucharist or Holy Communion; 2) later, any appointed ritual.
Low Mass: the Latin liturgy performed by the celebrant alone, without choir or assistant ministers.
Manual (manuale, handbook): the Sarum name for the collection of parochial offices known in the present Roman rite as the Rituale.
Manual Acts: the manipulation of the Elements directed by rubric curing the recital of the Institution.
Mass (missa = dismissio): the Roman name for the eucharistic Liturgy, adopted by synecdoche from the phrases missa catechumenorum, missa fidelium – originally the dismissal of catechumens and faithful. The term survived in 1549, and was eliminated in 1552.
Matins (matutinae, morning prayers): 1) at first, the title of the service of Lauds; 2) later, the Vigil office of Nocturns, transferred from midnight to precede Lauds as the first of the canonical Hours of the day; 3) in popular use before the Reformation, the accumulated services of Matins, Lauds, and Prime, said together at daybreak; 4) in the form Mattins, the official title of the office of Morning Prayer in 1549, surviving in the lectionary tables in later British books.
Matter: the material substance or ceremony employed in a Sacrament. See Form.
Memorial (memoria, remembrance): originally, an added Collect commemorating the Departed; now any subsidiary Collect, whether prescribed or ad libitum, appended to the Collect of the day on all but the greatest festivals.
Metabolism (μεταβολή), change – the customary Eastern rendering of transubstantiatio): implying a transformation of the Elements at the consecration of the Eucharist; cf. μεταβαλων in the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom, LEW 330b. 5 and 9.
Mimetic (< μιμεισθαι, to imitate): imitative; applied to the tendency to introduce dramatic gestures to act out the Words of Institution as they are uttered, regardless of their organic meaning in the rite.
Minister (minister, servant; originally a double comparative, < root of minor, less; cf. Gr. superl. ending -ιστος): 1) primarily, a servant of the people, who administers to them the Word and Sacraments; 2) frequently strongly colored by its fundamental etymology, an assistant to the principal officiant; 3) in general modern Protestant usage, absolutely, a servant of God, i.e., an official rather than an officiant. The rubrics of the Latin books, and of the First Prayer Book of 1549, confined the word to sense 2), and applied it only to assistant ministers fulfilling the office of Deacons in the conduct of the services. Subsequent Anglican books revert to sense 1), and apply it to any officiant, even a Lay Reader.
Minor Oblation: the preparation and presentation of the Elements upon the altar at the Offertory, before the Canon or Thanksgiving.
Missal: a book containing all parts of the text of the Mass or eucharistic Liturgy for every occasion of the year.
Mixed Sacramentaries: books combining the pure local Roman tradition of the papal court with Gallican or other non-Roman elements.
Mozarabic (Moorish musta’rib, “Arabized,” i.e., attributed to the Moorish regions of medieval Spain): the native liturgy of Spain; fundamentally identical with the Gallican.
Nocturn: a group of Psalms sung at Matins; the name preserving a reminiscence of the original use of this Office as a midnight Vigil service. Ordinary days have a single Nocturn; festivals, three.
None(s): the sixth of the canonical Hours of Prayer: originally said at the ninth hour of the day (3 p.m.), subsequently usually anticipated: > English noon.
Notices: the publication of forthcoming days to be observed, services to be held, banns of marriage, and other announcements, directed by rubric after the Creed at the Communion Office, and customary before sermons at other services.
Numinous (numen = divinity, Godhead): filled with a mystic recognition of divine presence and response to man’s acts of religion.
Oblation (< oblatus, p.p. of offerre): the act of offering the eucharistic Elements to God.
Oblations: formerly, in the English books, offerings of money for other than charitable purposes, as indicated by the form of the omissible clause “[alms and oblations]” in the Prayer for the Church. But an old interpretation of oblations as = oblata = the Elements offered, has been adopted in the American Book of 1928 by printing “[alms and] oblations”.
Obsecrations (< obsecrare, to ask on religious grounds, < ob + sacer; sacred): the clauses of the Litany beginning with the word by (L. per), imploring mercy by adjuring Christ’s redemptive acts.
Occasional: pertaining to particular needs and junctures of life; applied to special Collects and services.
Octave (octavo dies, eighth day): the week following a festival; especially the concluding day, falling on the same day of the week as the original feast.
Offertory: 1) originally the Offertorium or anthem sung at the offering of the Elements; 2) since 1662, the action of Oblation.
Office (officium, duty, service): 1) any religious service; 2) especially the Daily Hours.
Order (ordo): a structural outline of a service, as distinguished from a text prescribed in all its parts; usually involving a greater or less degree of flexibility in the choice of its component elements.
Ordinal: 1) (< ordines, orders, rules): Sarum and Roman, a book containing directions for the conduct of services; 2) (< ordines, [Holy] Orders): Anglican, the book of offices for the ordination of the clergy.
Ornaments Rubric: a general rubric before the Order of Morning Prayer in the present English book (E. R. I. 127b) regulating the “Ornaments of the Church, and of the Ministers thereof at all times of their Ministration” by reference to the authoritative use in the first year of Edward VI. (Cf. E. R. II. 926.) A chief battlefield in the controversies over the vesture of officiating clergy.
Paternoster (Pater noster, Our Father): the Lord’s Prayer.
Patronal: pertaining to the Saint to whom a particular church is dedicated.
Pax: the ritual Kiss of Peace at the Eucharist.
Penitential Psalms: Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143.
Pentecost (πεντηχοστη ημέρα, Fiftieth day): the seventh Sunday after Easter; Eng., Whitsunday. In the early Church, also the whole period between Easter and Whitsunday.
Petitions (< petere, ask, seek): the intercessory supplications of the Litany, each beginning That it may please thee.
Placebo: Vespers of the Dead; named from the beginning of the first Antiphon (Ps. 116:9, after the Vulgate version 114:9).
Pontifical (< pontifex, a word of lost derivation; possibly < Umbrian puntis = propitiatory offering? + facere, make; applied to a high-priestly order of pagan Rome, subsequently as a title of Christian bishops): a book containing the special offices of which the Bishop is minister.
Porrectio instrumentorum (the proffering of the instruments): the symbolic conferring of the implements of an office; first employed in Minor Orders, afterward invading Holy Orders.
Postcommunion Collect: a prayer for continuing grace by virtue of the Sacrament just received; variable with the day in the Latin order, invariable in the Greek and Anglican books, which afford no other examples except the Postcommunion Thanksgiving.
Postcommunion Veil: the “fair linen cloth” with which, since 1637/1662, the Anglican books have directed that the consecrated Elements should be covered after the Communion of the people.
Post-Sanctus: the passage in the Liturgy following the Sanctus, leading up to the recital of the Institution. The term is derived from the “Gallican” rite, where it is a regular feature.
Preces (prayers): petitionary responsive versicles.
Preface (praefatio, < prae, before, + fari, speak): a solemn ascription of thanksgiving to God, originally an integral part of the Consecration Prayer, now terminated by the Sanctus. In the West, it is variable with the day, and counted as outside and prefatory to the Canon in the Roman rite. The term is Roman; Gallican: Contestatio (“testimony,” or ascription of praise), Illatio (a “bringing in,” = Prafatio? or = αναφορά?); Eastern, ευχαριστία (“Thanksgiving”).
“Preliminary” Invocation: a feature originating in the Egyptian rites, frequent in the Gallican, and characteristic of the Roman and English liturgies, containing an Invocation of the consecrating power of God upon the Eucharist in the course of the Post-Sanctus, before the recital of the Institution.
Prime: the third of the canonical Hours of Prayer, said at the First Hour or 6 a.m. Originated by St. Basil as an office lat dawn (εωθίνη); in Western monastic use at sunrise.
Primers (Fr. premier, primary): private collections of elementary religious instructions and devotions, in vogue before the Reformation.
Pro-Anaphora: the introductory portion of the Liturgy, before the Sursum Corda.
Prologue (πρόλογος, < πρό, before, + λέγειν, say): a brief introductory phrase before the Lord’s Prayer in the Liturgy; a vestige of the ancient Prayer of the Fraction, into which the Lord’s Prayer was first interpolated.
Prone (pronus, pronaus [< praeconium? πρόναος?], the chancel grill, or place where notices are read): the vernacular instructions and devotions used before the Sermon at High Mass in Northern Europe.
Proper (proprium): appropriate to special festivals, seasons, or occasions; opposed to Common.
Prothesis (πρόθεσις, a setting forth): an office for the preparation of the eucharistic Elements before the beginning of the Liturgy.
Quicunque vult: see “Athanasian” Creed.
Receptionism: a belief that communion with Christ is really attained through the receiving of the Sacrament, but that His presence does not inhere objectively in the consecrated Elements.
Reddition (redditio, giving back): the recitation of instruction previously imparted by rote.
Red Letter Festivals: days commemorated in the Calendar in red type, and provided with proper liturgical services; opposed to Black Letter Festivals.
Requiem: a mass celebrated for the repose of the soul of a departed person; named from the first word of its Introit, Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord.
Reservation: the keeping over of the Elements consecrated at a celebration of the Liturgy, for the subsequent administering of Holy Communion to those not present at the service.
Respond: a response by choir or congregation to the officiant; especially in the Latin rite, a short Anthem after a Lection, or section thereof.
Rite (ritus, accustomed order, || Sanskrit riti, a stream, flow, custom, < ri, flow, Gr. ρέω): 1) the prescribed order for the performance of a public service (e.g., the “rite of celebrating the Holy Communion”): a sense chiefly concerned with rubrics and ceremonies; 2) such service as actually performed (e.g., the “Rite of Baptism”): here comprising the order of the text as well as of the action, and approximating the meaning of Liturgy or Ritual; 3) the standards of a given Church for the conduct of its services (e.g., the “Roman Rite”).
Ritual: pertaining to the performance of a rite according to either definitions 1) or 2) above; especially however the latter, including both text and ceremonies, and in contrast to Ceremonial alone.
Rituale: see Manual.
Rogation Days: the three days preceding the feast of the Ascension. Originally Litany Days for deliverance from calamity, they have been assimilated to prayers for the forthcoming harvest.
Rogations (rogationes, < rogare, ask, supplicate): the old Roman term for Litanies.
Rubrics (rubrica, red coloring matter, < ruber, red): originally the chapter headings of the books of the civil law, because written in red; then a law of any kind; then the ceremonial laws of the Church. The term antedated, and induced, the writing in of ceremonial directions into the service books in red letters.
Sacerdotal (sacerdos, priest, < sacer, sacred, + dare, to give): pertaining to the orders of Priesthood, as dispensers of divine gifts and graces.
Sacramentary (sacramentarium, book of Sacraments): a book containing the celebrant’s part at the Eucharist and other Sacraments and rites.
Salutation: the greeting, “The Lord be with you,” before prayers.
Sanctorale: the Calendar of Saints’ Days and other fixed festivals; opposed to Temporale.
Sanctus (sometimes called Tersanctus): the angelic song of Isa. 6:3, interpolated into the eucharistic Consecration Prayer about the beginning of the third century.
Sarum: the Use of Salisbury.
Scrutiny: an examination of candidates for Baptism.
Secreta: a Collect, variable with the day, recited inaudibly (secreto) at the Offertory in the Roman rite; also called Super oblata.
Secular: 1) non-monastic; 2) non-ecclesiastical or civil.
Sext: the fifth of the canonical Hours of Prayer, originally recited at the sixth hour (12 noon).
Sponsors (< spondere, make a solemn engagement; cf. Espousals): 1) originally, sureties for the character of an adult candidate for Baptism – a use surviving in the Roman requirement of a Sponsor at Confirmation; 2) since the seventh century, the Godparents who take the baptismal vows on behalf of an infant, and assume responsibility for his religious education. In the Anglican form of Adult Baptism, the Sponsors are called Witnesses, and have no active part in the rite.
Station Days: in the early Church, the fasting days of Wednesdays and Fridays, when the Christian went “on guard duty (in statione)” against his spiritual enemies.
Stations: the churches of Rome where official services of the papal court were held on stated occasions.
Subdeacon (subdiaconus, υποδιάχονος; in the Apostolic Constitutions and the Canons of Laodicea, υπηρέτης: cf. Luke 4:20): an assistant to the Deacon. Originally, and to this day in the East, the Subdiaconate was the highest of the Minor Orders; in the West, since the twelfth century, it has been accounted the lowest of Holy Orders, though the Latin rite of ordination is still that for a minor, not a major, Order.
Suffrages (suffragia, < suffragari, support (as with a vote), assist, be favorable): 1) individual petitions in a prayer or Litany; 2) short petitions used as versicles and responses (Preces).
Super oblata (“over the oblations”): see Secreta.
Super populum (“over the people”): a final benedictory or commendatory prayer “over the congregation” in the Western rites; a fourth variable Collect before the Dismissal of the Faithful, formerly common to all masses, now confined to the weekdays of Lent: corresponding to the fixed Prayer of Inclination in the Eastern rites. See Commendatory Collect.
Sursum Corda (Άνω τας χαρδίας): the dialogue beginning “Lift up your hearts,” which ushers in the liturgical Thanksgiving in all historic liturgies.
Table Prayers: 1) grace over meat; 2) concluding Collects recited at the Holy Table at the end of the Ante-Communion, or after Sermons.
Temporale (< tempus, time, season): the Calendar of the Seasons of the Church Year, including the Movable Feasts; opposed to Sanctorale.
Terce: the fourth of the canonical Hours of Prayer, originally recited at the third hour (9 a.m.).
Thanksgiving: 1) a prayer ascribing grateful praise to God; especially 2) the unbroken Prayer of Consecration of the primitive Church (see Eucharist): and 3) the first portion of this prayer, now cut off by the Sanctus, so called in Eastern rites, corresponding to the Western Preface.
Translation (< translatus, p.p. transferre): the removal of the bones of a Saint to their final resting place in a church.
Trisagion (Τρισάγιον): a canticle thrice repeating Άγιος ο Θεός; (LEW 35.25) in the Byzantine and some other Eastern rites; dating from the patriarchate of Proclus (434–46).
Unction: ritual anointing with holy oil or chrism.
Urbi et orbi: a favorite papal phrase, For the City and the World, i.e., universally imposed and required throughout the Roman obedience.
Use: 1) a prevailing custom; 2) a regional rite.
Vacant Sundays: the Sundays marked Dominica vacat in the early Sacramentaries and Lectionaries. Strictly speaking the term is a misnomer, as the Sundays never were aliturgical. During the days when all-night Vigils were kept on the eves of Easter and the Ember Seasons, they had a celebration in the early hours of the Sunday. When the Vigils were anticipated on Saturday mornings, new provisions were made for the Sunday services.
Variables: movable feasts.
Versicles (versiculi, little verses): short verses of the Psalms, said responsively according to the antiphonal structure of Hebrew poetry.
Vigils (vigilia, < adj. vigil, wakeful, < vigere, to be vigorous, || Eng. wake): watch night services, formerly solemnized on the eves of certain great festivals, culminating in celebrations of the Eucharist in the early hours of the new day. Of these, the Christmas midnight celebration is the only modern survivor, the liturgical functions of the others (Easter, Whitsunday, and the Ember seasons) having been transferred to the morning before. Cf. Vacant Sundays. The British books since 1662 have retained a list of Vigils and Eves of certain festivals as fasting days.
Votive (votum, desire): a term applied to prayers and services for special objects, used at the discretion of the officiant, instead of by the course of the Calendar.
Warning: a giving of notice in advance.
The literature which liturgical studies have accumulated in the last three centuries is enormous. The conclusions of many of the older books have naturally been superseded by later research, although some of them retain much of value for the study of ultimate origins. Many of them, however, are almost unobtainable in this country. The modern literature also is constantly being added to, especially abroad, where the importance of such studies is better recognized than it has been with us.
We can make no attempt to give a complete directory of this formidable mass of material. We note here an outline of some of the principal sources and most significant discussions; choosing chiefly such as may prove most accessible to American students who may desire to verify statements, or to pursue further such lines of investigation as may have been indicated.
“Oxford” and “Cambridge,” given alone, refer to the University Presses in the respective cities.
1. The Didaché
1. Ed. Metropolitan Bryennios. Constantinople, 1883.
2. — Funk, F. X.: Opera patrum apostolicorum. Tubingen, 1887.
3. — Lietzmann, H.: Die Didache, in Kleine Texte no. 6. Berlin: Gruyter; many editions.
4. Tr. in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, VII. 377. N. Y.: Scribners, 1890.
5. — An English Translation of the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. London: S.P.C.K., 1921.
2. The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus
6. Connolly, R. H.: The So-Called Egyptian Church Order and Derived Documents, in Texts and Studies, vol. VIII, no. 4. Cambridge, 1916.
7. Easton, B. S.: The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus. Cambridge, 1934.
8. Hauler, E.: Didascaliae apostolorum fragmenta veronensia latina. Leipzig: Teubner, 1900.
9. Horner, G.: Statutes of the Apostles. London: Williams & Norgate, 1904. (Eng. tr. only: Oxford, 1915.)
3. The Sacramentary of Serapion
10. Ed. Brightman, F. E.: in Journal of Theological Studies, vol. I. nos. 1 and 2 (October 1899, January 1900).
11 — Funk, F. X.: Didascalia et constitutiones apostolorum, II. 158–195. Paderborn: Schöningh, 1905–6.
12. Tr. Wordsworth, J.: Bishop Sarapion’s Prayer Book. London: S.P.C.K., 1899.
4. Other Early Texts
13. Frankland, W. B.: The Early Eucharist. London: Clay, 1902.
14. Quasten, J.: Monumenta eucharistica et liturgica vetustissima (Florilegium Patristicum, vol. VII). Bonn: Hanstein, 1935–7.
15. Thompson, T., and Srawley, J. H.: St. Ambrose “On the Mysteries” and the Treatise “On the Sacraments.” London: S.P.C.K., 1919.
16. Warren, F. E.: Liturgy of the Ante-Nicene Church. London: S. P. C. K., 1897.
17. Woolley, R. M.: Liturgy of the Primitive Church. Cambridge, 1910.
5. Eastern Liturgies
18. Brightman, F. E.: Liturgies Eastern and Western. Oxford, 1896.
19. Funk, F. X.: Didascalia et constitutiones apostolorum. Paderborn: Schöningh, 1905–6.
20. Renaudot, E.: Liturgiarum orientalium collectio. 1716. Reprinted, Frankfurt: Baer, 1847.
21. Swainson, C. A.: The Greek Liturgies. Cambridge, 1884.
6. The Roman Rite
22. Feltoe, C. L.: Sacramentarium Leonianum. Cambridge, 1896.
23. Lietzmann, H.: Das Sacramentarium Gregorianum nach dem Aachener Urexemplar. Munster: Aschendorff, 1921.
24. Martène, E.: De antiquis ecclesiae ritibus. 4 vols. Venice, 1733.
25. Mohlberg, K.: Die älteste erreichbare Gestalt des Liber Sacramentorum der römischen Kirche. Munster: Aschendorff, 1927.
26. Muratori, L. A.: Liturgia romana vetus. 2 vols. Venice, 1748. Reprinted in P. L. 53, 72, 74, 78.
27. Wilson, H. A.: The Gelasian Sacramentary. Oxford, 1894.
28. — The Gregorian Sacramentary. London: Henry Bradshaw Society, vol. 49, 1915.
7. Gallican Liturgies
29. Bannister, H. M.: Missale gothicum. London: Henry Bradshaw Society, vols. 52, 54, 1917, 1919.
30. Lietzmann, H.: Ordo missae romanus et gallicanus. Berlin: Gruyter, 1935.
31. Mabillon, H.: De liturgia gallicana. Paris: Montallant, 1729. Reprinted, P. L. 72.
32. Mone, F. J.: Lateinische und griechische Messen aus dem 2. bis 6. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt, 1850; reprinted, P. L. 138. 863 ff. (Reichenau Fragments. Cf. Revue Benedictine 28 , 390 ff.)
33. Thibaut, J. B.: L’ancienne liturgie gallicane. Paris: Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1929.
8. Celtic and Related Books
34. Warner, G. F.: The Stowe Missal. London: Henry Bradshaw Society, vols. 31–32, 1906, 1915.
35. Warren, F. E.: The Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church. Oxford, 1881.
36. — The Antiphonary of Bangor. London: Henry Bradshaw Society, vols. 4, 10, 1893, 1895.
37. Sacramentarium Gallicanum (the Bobbio Missal): P. L. 72. 447 ff.
38. Legg, J. W.: The Bobbio Missal (facsimile). London: Henry Bradshaw Society, vol. 53, 1917.
39. Lowe, E. A.: The Bobbio Missal (text). London: Henry Bradshaw Society, vol. 58, 1920.
40. Wilmart, A.: Lowe, E. A.; Wilson, H. A.: The Bobbio Missal (notes and studies). London: Henry Bradshaw Society, vol. 61, 1924.
41. Firotin, M.: Le liber mozarabicus sacramentorum et les manuscrits mozarabes. In Monumenta ecclesiae liturgica, VI. Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1912.
42. — Le liber ordinum en usage dans l’église wisigothique et mozarabe d’Espagne. Paris: Picard, 1904.
43. Ximenes, Cardinal F.: Missale mixtum-plenarium. 1500; ed. Azavedo, Rome, 1775, reprinted in P. L. 85. 109 ff.
44. Codex sacramentorum bergomensis (10th–11th century). In Supplementum sive auctarium solesmense. Solesmes, 1900.
45. Ferrari, A. C.: Missale ambrosianum. Milan: Agnelli, 1902.
46. King, A. A.: Notes on the Catholic Liturgies. (Non-Roman rites.) London: Longmans, 1930.
47. Lippe, R.: Missale romanum Mediolani. 1474. London: Henry Bradshaw Society, vols. 17, 33, 1899, 1907.
48. Magistretti, M.: Missale ambrosianum cum critico commentario continuo. Milan: Ghirlanda, 1913.
49. Brightman, F. E.: The English Rite. 2 vols. London: Rivingtons, 1915. (Sources, and texts verbatim, literatim, et punctatim, of the Prayer Books of 1549, 1552, and 1662, with their intermediate development.)
50. Legg, J. W.: The Sarum Missal. Oxford, 1916.
51. Maskell, W.: The Ancient Liturgy of the Church of England. 3rd ed. Oxford, 1882.
52. — Monumenta ritualia ecclesiae anglicanae. 3 vols. 2nd ed. Oxford, 1882.
53. Warren, F. E.: The Sarum Missal in English. Alcuin Club Collections; London: Mowbray, 1913.
54. Danby, H.: The Mishnah. Oxford, 1933.
55. Gavin, F.: The Jewish Antecedents of the Christian Sacraments. N.Y.: Macmillan, 1928.
56. Goossens, W.: Les origines de l’eucharistie. Paris: Beauchesne, 1931. (Elaborate analysis of current literature and theories.)
57. Lietzmann, H.: Messe und Herremnahl. Bonn: Marcus & Weber, 1926.
58. Macdonald, A. B.: Christian Worship in the Primitive Church. Edinburgh: Clark, 1934.
59. Macgregor, G. H. C.: Eucharistic Origins. London: Clarke, 1929.
60. Oesterley, W. O. E.: The Jewish Background of the Christian Liturgy. Oxford, 1925.
61. Willis, E. E.: The Worship of the Old Covenant. London: Parker, 1880.
2. History of the Liturgy
62. Baumstark, A.: Die Messe im Morgenland. Kempten: Kosel, 1906.
63. — Vom geschichtlichen Werden der Liturgie. Freiburg: Herder, 1923.
64. Brilioth, Y. T.: Eucharistic Faith and Practice. London: S.P.C.K., 1930.
65. Duchesne, L.: Origines du culte chrétien. 5th ed., Paris, 1925; Eng. tr., Christian Worship (London: S.P.C.K., 1927).
66. Ebner, A.: Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte und Kunstgeschichte der Missale Romanum in Mittelalter. Freiburg: Herder, 1896.
67. Eisenhofer, L.: Handbuch der katholischen Liturgik. 2 vols. Freiburg: Herder, 1932–1933.
68. Fortescue, A.: The Mass: a Study of the Roman Liturgy. London: Longmans, 1914.
69. Maxwell, W. D.: An Outline of Christian Worship. Oxford, 1936.
70. Underhill, E.: Worship. N.Y.: Harpers, 1937.
3 The Book of Common Prayer
71. Armitage, W. J.: The Story of the Canadian Revision of the Prayer Book. Cambridge, 1922.
72. Chorley, E. C.: The New American Prayer Book. N.Y.: Macmillan, 1929.
73. Clarke, W. K. L., and Harris, C.: Liturgy and Worship. N.Y.: Macmillan, 1932.
74. Daniel, E.: The Prayer Book. London: Gardner, 1890.
75. Dowden, J.: The Workmanship of the Prayer Book. London: Methuen, 1899.
76. — Further Studies in the Prayer Book. London: Methuen, 1908.
77. Gasquet, E. A., and Bishop, E.: Edward VI and the Book of Common Prayer. London: Hodges, 1890.
78. Hart, S.: The Book of Common Prayer. 2nd ed. Sewanee, Tenn.: University of the South, 1913.
79. Huntington, W. R.: A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer. N.Y.: Whittaker, 1893.
80. Muss-Arnolt, W.: The Book of Common Prayer among the Nations of the World. London: S.P.C.K., 1914.
81. Perry, W.: The Scottish Prayer Book. Cambridge, 1929.
82. Proctor, F., and Frere, W. H.: A New History of the Book of Common Prayer. London: Macmillan; last revision 1905, last imprint 1932.
83. Pullan, L. The History of the Book of Common Prayer. London: Longmans, 1900.
84. Vroom, F. W.: Introduction to the Prayer Book. N. Y.: Macmillan, 1930.
III. SPECIAL STUDIES
1. Calendar and Lectionaries
85. Bludau, A.: Die Pilgerreise der Aetheria. Paderborn: Schöningh, 1927.
86. Dowden, J.: The Church Year and Kalendar. Cambridge, 1910.
87. Easton, B. S., and Robbins, H. C.: The Eternal Word in the Modern World. N.Y.: Scribners, 1937.
88. Frere, W. H.: Studies in Early Roman Liturgy. 3 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press (Alcuin Club Collections):
I. The Kalendar. 1930.
II. The Roman Lectionary. 1934. (Gospels.)
III. The Roman Epistle Lectionary. 1935.
89. Gatterer, M.: Annus liturgicus. 4th ed. Innsbruck: Rauch, 1925.
90. Grisar, H.: Das Missale im Lichte römischer Stadtgeschichte. Freiburg: Herder, 1925.
91. Heräus, W.: Silviae vel potius AEtheriae peregrinatio. Heidelberg: Winter, 1929.
92. Kellner, K. A. H.: Heortologie, oder die geschichtliche Entwicklung des Kirchenjahres und der Heiligenfeste. 3rd ed. Freiburg: Herder, 1911. Eng. tr. of 2nd ed.: Heortology. London: Paul-Trench-Trübner, 1908.
93. Klausner, Th.: Das römische Capitulare Evangeliorum. Minster: Aschendorff, 1935–.
94. McClure, M. L., and Feltoe, C. L.: The Pilgrimage of Etheria. London: S.P.C.K., 1921.
95. Müller, K.: Das Kirchenjahr. Freiburg: Herder, 1911.
96. Seabury, S.: The Theory and Use of the Church Calendar. N.Y.: Potts, 1872.
97. Staley, V.: The Seasons, Fasts, and Festivals of the Christian Year. London: Gardner, 1913.
98. Wormald, F.: English Kalendars before A. D. 1100. Vol. I, texts. London: Henry Bradshaw Society, vol. 72, 1934.
2. The Choir Offices
99. Battifol, P.: Histoire du bréviaire romain. 3rd ed. Paris: Picard, 1911. Eng. tr. of 2nd ed., London: Longmans, 1912.
100. Bäumer, S.: Geschichte des Breviers. Freiburg: Herder, 1895. French tr. by Biron, Paris: Letouzey, 1905.
101. Legg, J. W.: Breviarium romanum a Francisco cardinali Quignonio editum. Cambridge, 1888.
102. — The Second Recension of the Quignon Breviary. London: Henry Bradshaw Society, vols. 35, 42, 1908, 1912.
3. The Communion Office
103. Atchley, E. G. C. F.: Ordo romanus Primus. London: Morning, 1905.
104. Gummy, H. R.: The Consecration of the Eucharist. Philadelphia: Anners, 1908.
105. Blum, F.: Die liturgischen Einsetzungsberichte. Munster: Aschendorff, 1928.
106. Scudamore, W. E.: Notitia eucharistica. 2nd ed. London: Rivingtons, 1876.
107. Wilson, H. A.: The Order of the Communion, 1548. London: Henry Bradshaw Society, vol. 34, 1908.
4. Baptism and Confirmation
108. Confirmation, or the Laying on of Hands. Vol. I: Historical. London: S.P.C.K., 1926.
109. Ermoni, E.: Le baptême dans l’église primitive. Paris: Bloud, 1904.
110. Plus, R.: Baptême et confirmation. Paris: Flammarion, 1929.
111. Stone, D.: Holy Baptism. London: Longmans, 1899.
112. Thompson, T.: The Office of Baptism and Confirmation. Cambridge, 1914.
113. Umberg, J. B.: Die Schriftlehre vom Sakrament der Firmung. Freiburg: Herder, 1920.
114. Wirgman, A. T.: The Doctrine of Confirmation. London: Longmans, 1902.
115. Howard, G. E.: History of Matrimonial Institutions. London: Unwin; and Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1904.
116. Lacey, T. A.: Marriage in Church and State. London: Scott, 1912.
6. The Visitation of the Sick
117. Kern, J.: De sacramento extremae unctionis. Regensburg: Pustet, 1907.
118. Puller, F. W.: The Anointing of the Sick in Scripture and Tradition. London: S.P.C.K., 1904.
7. The Ordinal
119. Ellard, G.: Ordination Anointings in the Western Church. Cambridge, Mass.: Medieval Academy of America, 1933.
120. Morin, J.: Commentarius de sacris ecclesiae ordinationibus. Paris: Meturas, 1655; often reprinted.
121. De Puniet, P.: Le pontifical romain. Paris: Desclée, 1930.
122. Van Rossum, S. M.: De essentia sacramenti ordinis. Freiburg: Herder, 1914.
123. Tixeront, J.: L’ordre et les ordinations. Paris: Lecoffre, 1925. Eng. tr., Holy Orders and Ordination. St. Louis: Herder, 1928.
IV. COMMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
124. Barry, A.: The Teacher’s Prayer Book. N.Y.: Nelson, 1898.
125. Blunt, J. H.: The Annotated Book of Common Prayer. N.Y.: Dutton, 1894.
126. Burgess, F. G.: The Romance of the Book of Common Prayer. Milwaukee: Morehouse, 1932.
127. Dearmer, P.: The Art of Public Worship. London: Mowbray, 1920.
128. — The Parson’s Handbook. London: Milford, 1928.
129. De Witt, W. E.: Decently and in Order. Milwaukee: Morehouse, 1929.
130. Dowden, J.: The Annotated Scottish Communion Office. London: Parker, 1884.
131. Frere, W. H.: Some Principles of Liturgical Reform. London: Murray, 1911.
132. Gwynne, W.: Primitive Worship and the Prayer Book. London: Longmans, 1917.
133. Hebert, A. G.: Liturgy and Society. London: Faber, 1935.
134. Hislop, D. H.: Our Heritage in Public Worship. N.Y.: Scribners, 1935.
135. Sparrow, A.: Rationale upon the Book of Common Prayer. 1655–7, and later editions; often reprinted, esp. by Parker (Oxford, 1843, and later).
136. Suter, J. W., and Addison, J. T.: The People’s Book of Worship. N.Y.: Macmillan, 1919.