Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 6

A Late 3rd-century mosaic depicting Christ as the sun god Helios or Sol Invictus, from the Mausoleum of the Julii (aka Tomb M or The Tomb of "Cristo Sole"), the Necropolis under St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican


By this time, the District-Subdeacons are now standing in front of the Altar facing the Pope while the Bishops stand behind him (the senior in the midst, and the rest in their order), the Archdeacon standing on their right, the second Deacon on their left, and the rest in order arranged in a line. They make the responses to the Pope, who now begins:

Pope: "Dominus vobiscum."
R: "Et cum spiritu tuo."
Pope: "Sursum corda."
R: "Habemus ad Dominum."
Pope: "Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro."
R: "Dignum et justum est."
Pope: "
Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus: te quidem omni tempore, sed in hoc praecipue die laudare benedicere et praedicare, quod pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus.
Per quem in aeternam vitam filii lucis oriuntur, fidelibus Regni coelestis atria reserantur, et beati lege commercii divinis humana mutantur.
Quia nostrorum omnium mors cruce Christi redempta est et in resurrectione ejus omnium vita resurrexit. Quem in susceptione mortalitatis Deum Majestatis agnoscimus et in divinitatis gloriam Deum et hominem confitemur.

Qui mortem nostram moriendo destruxit et vitam resurgendo restituit, Jesus Christus Dominus noster.
Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus, cumque omnia milita coelestis exercitus, hymnum gloriae tuae canimus, sine fine dicentes:
Choir: "
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis.
Benedictus sunt qui veni in nomine Domini; Hosanna in excelsis.

(Pope: The Lord be with you.
R: And with your spirit.
Pope: Lift up your hearts.
R: We lift them up to the Lord.
Pope: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R: It is meet and right to do so.
Pope: It is truly meet and just, right and profitable, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, O Holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God; glorious in truth is it to praise You at all times, but especially on this day, when Christ our Passover Lamb was sacrificed for us; through whom the sons of light arise to eternal life, the courts of the Heavenly Kingdom are opened to the faithful, and by the law of blessed fellowship human things are changed to divine.
The death of us all is destroyed by the Cross of Christ, and in His Resurrection the life of every man has risen again; whom we own in his putting on of our mortality to be the God of Majesty, and acknowledge to be God and Man in the Glory of His Godhead; who by His death had destroyed our death, and by His Resurrection had restored to us life, Jesus Christ our Lord. And therefore, with the Angels and Archangels, Thrones and Dominions, and with the whole company of the Heavenly Army, we sing the hymn of Your Glory, saying without ceasing:

Choir: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts;
Heaven and Earth are full of Your glory.
[Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.])

Mosaic bust of Christ from the Chapel of St. Zeno in the Basilica of St. Praxedes, Rome.


After the Choir had finished singing, the Pope rises alone and recites the Canon. The Bishops, however, and the Deacons, Subdeacons, and Presbyters remain in the Presbytery, and bow themselves down. An Acolyte comes near, with a linen cloth thrown around his neck, holding the Paten before his breast, and stands on the right side [of the Altar?] holding it until the middle of the Canon.

Pope: "Te igitur, clementissime Pater, per Jesum Christum, Filium tuum, Dominum nostrum, supplices rogamus ac petimus, uti accepta habeas, et benedicas haec + dona, haec + munera, haec + sancta sacrificia illibata, in primis quae tibi offerimus pro Ecclesia tua sancta Catholica: quam pacificare, custodire, adunare, et regere digneris toto orbe terrarum: una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro illo, et Antistite nostro illo Episcopo."

(Therefore, most gracious Father, we humbly pray and beseech You, through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord, to hold acceptable and bless these + gifts, these + offerings, this + holy and unspotted sacrifice, which in the first place we offer You for Your holy Catholic Church, that it may please You to grant her peace: as also to protect, unite, and govern her throughout the world, together with Your servant N. our Pope, N. our Bishop.)

Pope: "Memento, Domine, famulorum famularumque tuarum et omnium circumstantium, quorum tibi fides cognita est, et nota devotio, pro quibus tibi offerimus, vel qui tibi offerunt hoc sacrificium laudis, pro se suisque omnibus: pro redemptione animarum suarum, pro spe salutis, et incolumitatis suae: tibique reddunt vota sua aeterno Deo, vivo et vero."

(Be mindful, O Lord, of Your servants and handmaids and of all here present, whose faith and devotion are known to You, for whom we offer, or who offer up to You this Sacrifice of praise for themselves and all those dear to them, for the redemption of their souls and the hope of their safety and salvation: who now pay their vows to You, the everlasting God, living and true.)

The Apse mosaic of the Basilica of St. Pudenziana in Rome, dating from about 390 (the oldest in the city). The lower part of this mosaic was destroyed in the 1588 or 1598 restoration.

Pope: "Communicantes, et diem sacratissimum celebrantes, Resurrectionis Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum carnem: sed et memoriam venerantes, in primis gloriosae semper Virginis Mariae, Genitricis Dei et Domini nostri Jesu Christi: sed et beatorum Apostolorum ac Martyrum tuorum, Petri et Pauli, Andreae, Jacobi, Johannis, Thomae, Iacobi, Philippi, Bartholomaei, Matthaei, Simonis, et Thaddaei: Lini, Cleti, Clementis, Xysti, Cornelii, Cypriani, Laurentii, Chrysogoni, Johannis et Pauli, Cosmae et Damiani: et omnium Sanctorum tuorum; quorum meritis precibusque concedas, ut in omnibus protectionis tuae muniamur auxilio. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum."

(In communion with, and keeping this most holy day of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh; and also reverencing the memory, first, of the glorious Mary, ever Virgin, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ: and also of Your blessed Apostles and Martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus, Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Your Saints. Grant for the sake of their merits and prayers that in all things we may be guarded and helped by Your protection. Through Christ our Lord.)

Mosaic of Christ blessing the loaves and fishes (ca. 504), from the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna. Note Jesus' lack of a beard.

Pope: "Hanc igitur oblationem servitutis nostrae, sed et cunctae familiae tuae, quam tibi offerimus pro his quoque, quos regenerare dignatus es ex aqua, et Spiritu Sancto, tribuens eis remissionem omnium peccatorum, in Christo Jesu Domino nostro, quaesumus, Domine, ut placatus accipias: diesque nostros in tua pace disponas, atque ab aeterna damnatione nos eripi, et in electorum tuorum jubeas grege numerari. Per Christum Dominum nostrum."

(We therefore beseech You, O Lord, to graciously to accept this oblation of our service and that of Your whole household, which we make unto You on behalf of these whom You had deigned to bring to a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, granting them remission of all their sins in Christ Jesus our Lord. Dispose our days in Your peace, preserve us from final damnation and rank us in the number of Your Elect; through Christ our Lord.)

Mosaic of the Last Supper (ca. 504), also from the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna. Comparing this to the above mosaic, one can note that Christ now has a beard (mosaics of Christ's ministry on the left side of the Church show Him beardless and rather youthful while mosaics of the Passion, minus the Flagellation and Crucifixion on the right show Him bearded. For the Arians, this emphasized that Christ grew older and became a "man of sorrows," as spoken of by the prophet Isaiah). This points to the Arian origins of this church as it was originally erected by the Arian Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great as his palace chapel dedicated to Christ the Redeemer. It then became orthodox property and was reconsecrated in 561 under the rule of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I and dedicated to St. Martin of Tours, and was finally renamed again in 856 when the relics of St. Apollinarius were transferred to this church from the Basilica San Apollinare in Classe.

Pope: "Quam oblationem tu Deus, in omnibus quaesumus, bene + dictam, adscriptam + , ratam +, rationabilem, acceptabilemque facere digneris; ut nobis Corpus +, et Sanguis + fiat dilectissimi Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi.

Qui pridie quam pateretur, accepit panem in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas, et elevatis oculis in coelum ad te, Deum Patrem suum omnipotentem, tibi gratias agens, bene + dixit, fregit, dedit discipulis suis dicens:
Accipite et manducate ex hoc omnes; HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM.

Simili modo posteaquam coenatum est, accipiens et hunc praeclarum calicem in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas, item tibi gratias agens, benedixit, dedit discipulis suis dicens: Accipite et bibite ex eo omnes;
IN REMISSIONE PECCATORUM. Haec quotienscumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis.

(We ask You, O God, to be pleased to make this same offering wholly blessed +, to consecrate + it and approve + it, making it reasonable and acceptable, that it may become for us the Body + and Blood + of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Who, the day before He suffered, took bread into His Holy and venerable hands, and having lifted up His eyes to heaven, to You, O God, His Almighty Father, giving thanks to You, He blessed it +, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: "Take and eat this, all of you; FOR THIS IS MY BODY."

In the same manner after supper, taking also into His holy and venerable hands this goodly chalice, again giving thanks to You, He blessed it +, and gave it to His disciples, saying: "Take and drink this, all of you; FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL TESTAMENT; THE MYSTERY OF FAITH,
As often as you shall do these things, do this in memory of Me.



There was, originally, no Elevation of the Sacred Species at Mass, it being a recent development. The Eastern liturgies, and notably the Byzantine, have indeed a showing of the consecrated Host to the people, with the words "Holy things to the holy" (Greek: Ta Agia tois Agiois, Slavonic: Svyataya Svyatym) followed by the response "One alone is holy, One alone is the Lord, Jesus Christ; to the glory of God the Father, Amen" (Greek: "Eis Agios, Eis Kyrios, Iēsous Christos, eis doxan Theou Patros, Amin", Slavonic: "Edin Svyat, edin Gospod', Iisus Khristos, vo slavu Boga Ottsa. Amin'."
), but this should rather be regarded as the counterpart of our "Ecce Agnus Dei" and as a preliminary to the Communion; they do not elevate the Bread nor the Chalice during the Words of Institution.

The Elevation of the Host (and still more of the Chalice) to the people after the utterance of the words of Institution, "Hoc est enim corpus meum", is not known to have existed earlier than the close of the 12th century to the beginning of the 13th. Eudes de Sully, Bishop of Paris from 1196 to 1208, seems to have been the first to direct in his episcopal statutes that after the consecratory words the Host should be "elevated so that it can be seen by all".
At this time, there were many under the influence of Berengarius (c. 999-1088) who questioned the doctrine of Transubstantiation; also (at least in Paris, the centre of intellectual life during this time period) eminent scholars such as Peter Cantor are putting forth the view that the Transubstantiation only takes place after the Priest has said the Words of Consecration on both the Host and Chalice. This view aroused suspicion amongst many clergy (such as the aforementioned Bishop de Sully and Stephen Langton) and as a form of protest against this view, the custom of adoring the Host immediately after the words, "Hoc est enim corpus meum" were spoken was adopted, and by a natural transition they encouraged the practice of showing it to the people for this purpose.

We find mention of a little bell of warning (the Sacring-Bell) in the early years of the 13th century, and before the end of the same century it was enjoined in many dioceses of the Continent and in England that one of the great bells of the church should be tolled at the moment of the Elevation, in order that those at work in the fields might kneel down and adore. The Elevation of the Host at Mass seems to have brought in its train a great idea of the special merit and virtue of looking upon the Body of Christ.

Promises of an extravagant kind, almost bordering on superstitious, circulated freely among the people describing the privileges of him who had see the Lord in the form of bread, such as not dying a sudden death, immunity from hunger, infection, the danger of fire, etc. As a result, an extraordinary desire developed to see the Host when elevated at Mass, and this led to a variety of abuses (such as people going inside a Church during the Elevation to look at the Host, then leaving and rushing to another Mass, the reason being 'the more Elevations you saw the more grace you would acquire', people suing each other to get on the 'best seats' in the Church, or Priests being bribed to protract the Elevation) which were rebuked by preachers and satirists.

As for the Elevation of the Chalice, it came later than the Elevation of the Host, as it was not adopted at St. Alban's Abbey until 1429, and even to the present, it was not traditionally practised by the Carthusians (who retained some liturgical practices long since abandoned in many church circles) in their Rite.


Originally, an Acolyte held the Paten during the earlier part of the Canon. Ordo Romanus I describes it thus:

We have, by the by, omitted something about the Paten. When the pontiff begins the Canon, an Acolyte comes near, having a linen cloth thrown around his neck, and holds the Paten before his breast on the right side [of the Altar?] until the middle of the Canon. Then the Subdeacon-attendant holds it outside his planeta, and comes before the Altar, and waits there with it until the district-Subdeacon takes it from him...
Meanwhile, the Ordo of St. Amand says:

If, however, they be not solemn days, when the Chalice is put on the Altar, the presbyters go back into the presbytery, and the rest of the clergy in like manner go back and stand below the platform; and if it should happen to be a Sunday, the presbyters stand with bowed heads, but if on weekdays they bend the knee when the choir begins: "Holy, Holy, Holy".

Then the Acolytes come and stand before the altar behind the Deacons, on the right and left, wrapped in linen cloths: and one of them, holding the Paten before his breast, stands first, and others hold bowls with ewers, others little sacks...
Archdale King (in his 'The Liturgy of the Roman Church') says:

"Ordo Romanus I said that from the beginning of the Canon until the 'Pater Noster', and acolyte, with a linen scarf attached to his neck, held the paten with the sancta before his breast. This 'humeral veil' as it is now called, was originally made of white linen...Amalarius (c. last quarter of the 8th C.-850) tells us that the Paten was held in his day from the offertory until 'Te Igitur' by an Acolyte, and from then until the 'Pater Noster' by the Subdeacon. The sacramentary of St. Vaast (10th century), however, directed the Acolyte to retain it until it was required by the priest.
The Paten, wrapped in the chalice veil, remained on the Altar, to the right of the Priest, according to a rubric in a missal of Grenoble (1522). Neo-Gallican liturgies, in a desire to follow usages supposedly 'in diebus illis', prescribed distinctive practices. Thus the ceremonial of Paris directed an Acolyte, vested in a cope, to hold the Paten; while the missal of Soissons (1745) appointed a boy from the choir (puer chori), wearing a tunicle [to do so]..."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 5


A 5th-Century Gallo-Roman Paten measuring 19.5cm x 12.5cm, and 1.6 cm deep, from the Treasure of Gourdon, presently in the Cabinet des Médailles

The Deacon returns to the Altar where an Acolyte holding a Chalice with a Corporal (which back then was big, almost as large as the Altar) lying on it. He raises the Chalice on his left arm and offers the Corporal to the Deacon, who takes it off the Chalice and lays it on the right side of the Altar, throwing the other end of it over to the second Deacon in order to spread it. Then the Chancellor and the Secretary, and the chief counsellor, with all the District-officials and notaries go up the Papal Throne; but the Subdeacon with the empty Chalice follows the Archdeacon.

The Pope then goes down to where the notables sit, the Chancellor holding his right hand and the chief Counsellor his left: and he receives the loaves of the princes in the order of their offertory.

The Archdeacon next receives the flasks of wine, and pours them into the greater Chalice which is carried by a district-Subdeacon, and an Acolyte follows him holding a bowl with his hands covered by the planeta, into which the Chalice when full is emptied. A district-subdeacon takes the loaves from the Pope and hands them to the Subdeacon-attendant, who places them in a linen cloth held by two Acolytes.

A hebdomadary Bishop receives the rest of the loaves after the Pope, so that he may, with his own hand, put them into the linen cloth which is carried after him.

Following him the Deacon-attendant receives the flasks of wine, and pours them into the bowl with his own hand, after the Archdeacon. Meanwhile the Pope, before passing over to the women's side, goes down before the Confessio, and there receives the loaves of the Chancellor, the Secretary, and the Chief counsellor (For on festivals they offer at the Altar after the deacons.) In like manner the Pope goes up to the women's side (The women are separated from the men at Church), and performs there all things in the same order as detailed above. And the presbyters do likewise, should there be need, either after the Pontiff or in the Presbytery.

After this, the Pope returns to his throne, the Chancellor and the Secretary each taking him by the hand, and there washes his hands.

The Archdeacon stands before the Altar and washes his hands at the end of the Offertory. Then he looks the Pope in the face, signs to him, and, after the Pontiff has returned his salutation, approaches the Altar.

Then the District-Subdeacons, taking the loaves from the hand of the Subdeacon-Attendant, and carrying them in their arms, bring them to the Archdeacon, who arranges them on the Altar. The Subdeacons bring up the loaves on either side. Having made the Altar ready, the Archdeacon then takes the Pope's flask of wine from the Subdeacon-oblationer, and pours it through a strainer into the Chalice; then the Deacons' flasks, and, on festivals, those of the Chancellor, the Secretary, and the Chief Counsellor as well.

Then the Subdeacon-Attendant goes down into the Choir, receives an ewer of water from the hand of the Ruler of the Choir and brings it back to the Archdeacon, who pours it into the Chalice, making a Cross as he does so. Then the Deacons go up to the Pontiff; on seeing which, the Chancellor, the Secretary, the Chief of the District-Counsellors, the District-Notaries, and the District-Counsellors come down from their ranks to stand in their proper places.

XIV. THE OFFERTORY VERSE (Ps. 75 [76]: 9-10, 2-5)
Choir: "Terra tremuit et quievit cum exsurgeret in judicium Deus, Alleluia."
Cantor: "Notus in Judaea Deus; in Israel magnum nomen ejus."
Choir: "Terra tremuit..."
Cantor: "Et factus est in pace locus ejus, et habitatio ejus in Sion."
Choir: "Terra tremuit..."
Cantor: "Ibi confregit potentias arcuum, scutum, gladium, et bellum; Illuminans tu mirabiliter a montibus aeternis."
Choir: "Terra tremuit..."

(Choir: The Earth trembled and was still when God arose in judgment, Alleluia.
Cantor: In Judea God is known: his name is great in Israel.
Choir: The Earth trembled...
Cantor: And His place is in peace: and his abode in Zion.
Choir: The Earth trembled...
Cantor: There hath He broken the powers of bows, the shield, the sword, and the battle; Thou enlightenest wonderfully from the everlasting hills.
Choir: The Earth trembled..")
XV. THE OFFERTORY (continued)

A Golden Chalice measuring 7.5 cm tall, also from the Gourdon Treasury (note particularly the handles).

Then the Pope, arising from his Throne, goes down to the Altar and salutes it, and receives the loaves from the hands of the hebdomadary Presbyter and the Deacons. Then the archdeacon receives the Pontiff's loaves from the Subdeacon-Oblationer,
and gives them to the Pope. And when the latter has placed them on the Altar, the Archdeacon takes the Chalice from the hand of a District-Subdeacon and sets it on the Altar on the right side of the Pope's loaf (the one which he will Consecrate), the Offertory-Veil being twisted about its handles. Then he lays the veil on the end of the Altar, and stands behind the Pope. The latter then bows slightly to the Altar and then turns to the Choir and signs to them to stop singing.

At this, the Bishops stand behind the Pope; the senior in the midst, while the Archdeacon stands at the right side of the Bishops and the Assistant-Deacon at the left. The rest stand arranged in a line behind the Bishops while the the District-Subdeacons go behind the Altar at the end of the Offertory and face the Pope. They make the responses to the Pope until the Sanctus.

Here is an excerpt from Ordo Romanus I (from which this series is mainly based) concerning Concelebrations:
"On festivals, that is to say on Easter Day, Pentecost, St. Peter's Day, and Christmas Day, the cardinal Presbyters assemble, each one holding a Corporal in his hand, and the Archdeacon comes and offers each one of them three loaves. And when the Pontiff approaches the altar, they surround it on the right and the left, and say the Canon simultaneously with him, holding their loaves in their hands, and not placing them on the Altar, so that the Pontiff's voice may be heard the more strongly, and they simultaneously consecrate the body and blood of the Lord, but the Pontiff alone makes a Cross over the Altar."
Here is another Ordo (which came a bit later than Ordo Romanus I) also describing the liturgical practices of the City of Rome, the Ordo of St. Amand (I might also make a series of posts on the St. Amand Ordo, though there will be some overlap between that and this series) on the same subject:
On Christmas day, the Epiphany, the Holy Sabbath, Easter Day, Easter Monday, Ascension day, Whitsunday, and the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the Bishops stand behind the pontiff with bowed heads, and the presbyters on their right and left, and each one holds a corporal in his hand; two loaves are then given to each of them by the Archdeacon, and the pontiff says the Canon so that he can be heard by them; and they hallow the loaves which they hold, just as the Pontiff hallows those on the Altar. The Deacons, however, stand with bowed heads behind the bishops; and the Subdeacons face the Pontiff with bowed heads until he says, 'Nobis quoque peccatoribus'.
Pope: "Suscipe, quaesumus Domine, preces populi tui cum oblationibus hostiarum: ut paschalibus initiata mysteriis, ad aeternitatis nobis medelam, te operante, proficiant. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, (aloud) per omnia saecula saeculorum."
Response: "Amen."

(We beseech You, O Lord, accept the prayers of Your people together with the Sacrifice they offer, that what has been begun by the Paschal Mysteries, by Yout working may profit us unto eternal healing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit; God, (aloud) Forever and ever.
R: Amen.)


(Excerpt from the Catholic Encyclopedia article 'Corporal')

It may fairly be assumed that something in the nature of a corporal has been in use since the earliest days of Christianity. Naturally it is difficult, based on the extant records from the early church, to distinguish the corporal from the altar-cloth. For instance, a passage of St. Optatus (c. 375), where he asks, "What Christian is unaware that in celebrating the Sacred Mysteries the wood [of the altar] is covered with a linen cloth?" (ipsa ligna linteamine cooperiri) leaves us in doubt which he is referring to. This is probably the earliest direct testimony; for the statement of the "Liber Pontificalis", "He (Pope Sylvester I) decreed that the Sacrifice should not be celebrated upon a silken or dyed cloth, but only on linen, sprung from the earth, as the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ was buried in a clean linen shroud" cannot be relied upon. Still, the ideas expressed in this passage are found in an authentic letter of St. Isidore of Pelusium and again in the "Expositio" of St. Germanus of Paris in the sixth century. Indeed they lasted through the Middle Ages.

It is quite probable that in the early centuries only one linen cloth was used which served both for altar-cloth and corporal. This would have been of large size and doubled-back to cover the chalice. Much doubt must be felt as to the original use of certain cloths of figured linen in the treasury of Monza which Barbier de Montault sought to identify as corporals. The corporal was described as palla corporalis, or velamen dominicae mensae, or opertorium dominici corporis, etc.; and it seems generally to have been of linen, though we hear of altar-cloths of silk, or of purple; (a coloured miniature in the tenth-century Benedictional of St. Thelwold also seems to show a purple altar-covering), or of cloth-of-gold. In some of these cases it seems difficult to decide whether altar-cloth or corporal is meant. However, there is no doubt that a clear distinction had established itself in Carlovingian times or even earlier. Thus, in the tenth century, Regino of Pram quotes a council of Reims as having decreed "that the corporal [corporale] upon which the Holy Sacrifice was offered must be of the finest and purest linen without admixture of any other fibre, because Our Saviour's Body was wrapped not in silk, but in clean linen".

(Excerpt from the Catholic Encyclopedia article 'Paten')

[The Paten] seems from the beginning to have been used to denote a flat open vessel of the nature of a plate or dish. Such vessels in the first centuries were used in the service of the altar, and probably served to collect the offerings of bread made by the faithful and also to distribute the consecrated fragments which, after the loaf had been broken by the celebrant, were brought down to the communicants, who in their own hands received each a portion from the patina. It should be noted, however, that Duchesne, arguing from the language of the earliest Ordines Romani , believes that at Rome white linen bags were used for this purpose. We have, however, positive evidence that silver dishes were in use, which were called patinae ministeriales, and which seem to be closely connected with the calices ministeriales in which the consecrated wine was brought to the people. Some of these patinae, as we learn from the inventories of church plate in the "Liber Pontificalis", weighed twenty or thirty pounds and must have been of large size. In the earliest times the patens, like the chalices, were probably constructed of glass, wood, and copper, as well as of gold and silver; in fact the "Liber Pontificalis" speaks of glass patens in its notice of Pope Zephyrinus.


The Secret (Latin Secreta, sc. oratio secreta) is the prayer said in a low voice by the celebrant at the end of the Offertory in the Roman Liturgy. It is the original and for a long time was the only offertory prayer. It is said in a low voice merely because at the same time the choir sings the Offertory, and it has inherited the special name of Secret as being the only prayer said in that way at the beginning. The silent recital of the Canon (which is sometimes called "Secreta", as by Durandus), did not begin earlier than the sixth or seventh century, Cardinal (Giovanni) Bona thinks not till the tenth.

Moreover all our present offertory prayers are late additions, not made in Rome till the fourteenth century. Till then the offertory act was made in silence, the corresponding prayer that followed it was our Secret. Already in the "Apostolic Constitutions", VIII, XII, 4, the celebrant receiving the bread and wine, prays "silently", doubtless for the same reason, because a psalm was being sung. Since it is said silently the Secret is not introduced by the invitation to the people: "Oremus". It is part of the Proper of the Mass, changing for each feast or occasion, and is built up in the same way as the Collect. The Secret too alludes to the saint or occasion of the day. But it keeps its special character inasmuch as it nearly always (always in the case of the old ones) asks God to receive these present gifts, to sanctify them, etc...

The name "Secreta" is used in the Gelasian Sacramentary; in the Gregorian book these prayers have the title "Super oblata". Both names occur frequently in the early Middle Ages.
In "Ordo Romanus II" they are: "Oratio super oblationes secreta".
In the Gallican Rite there was also a variable offertory prayer introduced by an invitation to the people. It has no special name.
At Milan the prayer called "Oratio super Sindonem" (Sindon for the veil that covers the oblata) is said while the Offertory is being made and another "Oratio super Oblata" follows after the Creed (N.B. The Creed is recited after the Offertory and before the Preface in the Ambrosian Rite), just before the Preface.
In the Mozarabic Rite after an invitation to the people, to which they answer: "Praesta aeterne omnipotens Deus", the celebrant says a prayer that corresponds to our Secret and continues at once to the memory of the saints and intercession prayer. It has no special name.
But in these other Western rites this prayer is said aloud. All the Eastern rites have prayers, now said silently, after the Great Entrance, when the gifts are brought to the altar and offered to God, but they are invariable all the year round and no one of them can be exactly compared to our Secret. Only in general can one say that the Eastern rites have prayers, corresponding more or less to our offertory idea, repeated when the bread and wine are brought to the altar.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Greek and Latin Creed in Scrutinies

We've talked about the Creed being recited in Greek and Latin in the Catechumenal liturgy on the Wednesday after the fourth Sunday of Lent. Here are the liturgical texts in detail:

From the Gelasian Sacramentary (8th century):

...Post haec accipiens Acolytus unum ex ipsis infantibus masculum, tenens eum in sinistro brachio, ponens manum super caput ejus. Et interrogat ei Presbyter: "Qua lingua confitentur Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum?"
Respondet: "Graecae."
Iterum dicit Presbyter: "Adnuntia fidem ipsorum qualiter credunt."
Et dicit acolytus symbolum Graecae decantando, tenens manum super caput infantis, in his verbis:

(Transliterated Greek) "Pisteuo hisena Theon Pathera panhocratoran pyetin uranu kaegis oraton kaepanton kaeauraton.

Kae hisena kyrion Ihm Xpm tonion tutheu tonmonogenin tonectupatros genitenta propanton toneonon. Fos ec fotos theon alithin ec theu alithinu, genithenta upyithenta, omoysion tupatri, diutapanta egenonton.
Tondihimas tus antrophus kaediatin himeteran soterian kateltonta ecton uranon kae sarcotenta ecpneuma tos agiu kaeMarias tispartenu kae inantropisanta.

Staurothenta deyper imon epi Pontio Pilatu kae pathonta kae tapenta, kae anastenta trititi himera kata tas graphas kae anelthonta histus uranus kaekatezomeno endexia tupatros kaepalin ercomenon metadoxis crine zontas kaenecrus utis basilias ucestin thelos.

Kae histo pneuma toagion tonkyrion kae zoopyon tonec tu patros emporegomenon ton syn patri kae yion synpros kynumenon kaesyn doxazomen tolalesas dia ton prophiton.

Hismian agian catholicin kae apostolocin eclesian. Omologo en baptisma hisapes inamartion. Prosdogo anastas sinnecron kae zoin tumellos tos aeonas Amin.

"Fili carissimi: audistis symbolum Graecae, audi et Latinae."
Et dicis: "Qua lingua confitentur Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum?"
Respondet: "Latinae."
"Adnuntia fidem ipsorum qualiter credunt."
Ponens manum acolytus super caput infantis, et dicit Symbolum decantando his verbis:

"Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.
Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Dei Unigenitum, de Patre natum ante omnia saecula; Lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero, natum non factum, consubstantialem Patris, per quem omnia facta sunt.

Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem, descendentem de caelis, et incarnatum de Spiritu Sancto et Maria virgine et humanatum, Crucifixum etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato et passum et sepultum, et Resurgentem tertia die secundum scripturas, et ascendentem in caelis, et sedentem ad dexteram Patris, et iterum venturum cum gloria judicare vivos et mortuos, cujus regni non erit finis.

Et in Spiritu Sancto, Dominum et Vivificatorem, ex Patre procedentem, qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratum et conglorificatum, qui locutus est per prophetas.

In unam, sanctam, catholicam, et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum.
Spero resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam futuri saeculi. Amen.


After this, taking a male child from these children and holding it on his left arm, the Acolyte places his hand above it. And the Priest asks him, saying: "In what language do they confess our Lord Jesus Christ?"
The Acolyte responds: "In Greek."
The Priest speaks again: "Proclaim their faith, just as they believe."
And the Acolyte recites the Symbolum, singing in Greek, placing his right hand above the head of the child, in these words:

"Πιστεύω είς ενα Θεόν, Πατέρα, παντοκράτορα, ποιητήν ουρανού καί γής, ορατών τε πάντων καί αοράτων. Pisteuō eis ena Theon, Patera, pantokratora, poietēn ouranou kai gēs, oratōn te pantōn kai aoratōn.

Καί είς ενα Κύριον, Ίησούν Χριστόν, τόν Υιόν του Θεού τόν μονογενή, τόν εκ του Πατρός γεννηθέντα πρό πάντων τών αιώνων.
Kai eis ena Kyrion, Iēsoun Christon, ton Yion tou Theou ton monogenē, ton ek tou Patros gennēthenta pro pantōn tōn aiōnōn.
Φώς εκ φωτός, Θεόν αληθινόν εκ Θεού αληθινού γεννηθέντα, ού ποιηθέντα, ομοούσιον τώ Πατρί, δι’ ού τά πάντα εγένετο.
Phōs ek phōtos, Theon alithinon ek Theou alithinou, gennēthenta, ou piēthenta, homoousion tō Patri, di'ou ta panta egeneto.
Τόν δι’ ημάς τούς ανθρώπους καί διά τήν ημετέραν σωτηρίαν κατελθόντα εκ τών ουρανών καί σαρκωθέντα εκ Πνεύματος ‘Αγίου καί Μαρίας τής Παρθένου καί ενανθρωπήσαντα.
Ton di imas tous anthrōpous kai dia tēn imeteran sōtērian, katelthonta ek tōn ouranōn, kai sarkōthenta ek Pneumatos 'Agiou kai Marias tēs Parthenou kai enanthrōpisanta.
Σταυρωθέντα τε υπέρ ημών επί Ποντίου Πιλάτου καί παθόντα καί ταφέντα, καί αναστάντα τή τρίτη ημέρα κατά τάς Γραφάς.
Staurōthenta te yper imon epi Pontiou Pilatou, kai pathonta kai taphenta, kai anastanta ti triti imera kata tas Graphas.
Καί ανελθόντα είς τούς ουρανούς καί καθεζόμενον εκ δεξιών τού Πατρός, καί πάλιν ερχόμενον μετά δόξης κρίναι ζώντας καί νεκρούς, ού τής βασιλείας ουκ εσται τέλος.
Kai anelthonta eis tous ouranous, kai kathezomenon ek dexion tou Patros, kai palin erchomenon meta doxis krinai zōntas kai nekrous, ou tis Basileias ouk estai telos.

Καί είς τό Πνεύμα τό ¨Αγιον, τό Κύριον, τό ζωοποιόν, τό εκ τού Πατρός εκπορευόμενον, τό σύν Πατρί καί Υιώ συμπροσκυνούμενον καί συνδοξαζόμενον, τό λαλήσαν διά τών Προφητών.
Kai eis to Pneuma to Agion, to Kyrion, to Zōopoion, to ek tou Patros ekporeuomenon, to syn Patri kai Yiō synproskynoumenon kai syndoxazomenon, to lalēsan dia tōn Prophēton.

Είς μίαν, αγίαν, καθολικήν καί αποστολικήν Έκκλησίαν.‘Ομολογώ εν βάπτισμα είς άφεσιν αμαρτιών. Προσδοκώ ανάστασιν νεκρών, καί ζωήν τού μέλλοντος αιώνος. Άμήν.
Eis mian, Agian, Katholikin kai Apostolikin Ekklēsian. 'Omologō en baptisma eis aphesin amartiōn. Prosdokō anastasin nekrōn, kai zōēn tou mellontos aiōnos. Amin."

(The Priest will then say): "Beloved brethren; you have heard the Symbol in Greek, hear it now in Latin."
And he will say: "In what language do they confess our Lord Jesus Christ?"
The Acolyte responds: "In Latin."

(The Priest speaks again): "Proclaim their faith, just as they believe."
The Acolyte, placing his hand above the head of the child, says the Symbol, singing it in these words:

"Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.
Et in unum Dominum, Jesum Christum, Filium Dei Unigenitum, de Patre natum ante omnia saecula; Lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero, natum non factum, consubstantialem Patris, per quem omnia facta sunt.

Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem, descendentem de caelis, et incarnatum de Spiritu Sancto et Maria Virgine et humanatum.
Crucifixum etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, et passum et sepultum, et Resurgentem tertia die secundum Scripturas, et ascendentem in caelis, et sedentem ad dexteram Patris, et iterum venturum cum gloria judicare vivos et mortuos, cujus regni non erit finis.

Et in Spiritu Sancto, Dominum et Vivificatorem, ex Patre procedentem, qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratum et conglorificatum, qui locutus est per prophetas.

In unam, sanctam, catholicam, et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Spero resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam futuri saeculi. Amen.


"I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, only-begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, True God of True God; born not made, consubstantial with the Father, through Him all things were made.
Who, for us men and our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was made incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
Who, also for us, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered and buried, on the third day rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead: of Whose kingdom there shall be no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father; Who, together with the Father and the Son is adored and conglorified, who spoke through the Prophets.

And in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I hope for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the future age. Amen."

A text almost exactly similar to the one in the Gelasian Sacramentary can be found in a 10th Century Sacramentary from Fulda:

... Accipiens Accolitus unum ex ipsis infantibus masculum et tenens eum in sinistro brachio ponit manum super eum.
Et interrogat eum presbiter dicens:
"Qua lingua confitentur dominum nostrum Iesum Christum?"
Respondit Accolitus: "Greca."
Iterum dicit presbiter: "Annuntia fidem ipsorum qualiter credant."
Et tenens Accolitus manum dexteram super infantis (caput) dicit symbolum decantando grece: "Pysteuvo is ena. Theon patera pantocratora. Pythin uranuke is orathon te panthon ke oaraton..."


...taking a male child from these children and holding it on his left arm, the Acolyte places his hand above it.
And the Priest asks him, saying:
"In what language do they confess our Lord Jesus Christ?"
The Acolyte responds: "In Greek."
The Priest speaks again: "Proclaim their faith, just as they believe."
And holding his right hand above (the head) of the child, the Acolyte recites the Symbolum, singing in Greek: "Pisteuo..."

In some traditions, the first interrogation was even recited in Greek, as in the following sentence, which clearly indicates that the text was copied without being understood (Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana Z 52 sup., according to Caspari, p. 483, n. 18.):

Et interrogat eum Presbiter Graece. Dicit: "(P)ya glossa omologesin ton Kirion ymon Iesun Christon?"
Respondit Acolytus: "Ellenistin."
Iterum dicit Presbiter: "Anangilon tin pistin auton ton os pisteugesin."
Et dicit Acolytus Simbolum graece decantando his verbis: "Pysteugon..."

The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 4

A 6th-7th century mosaic from the Church of Agios Demetrios in Thessaloniki (aka Thessalonica or Salonica), Greece depicting St. Demetrius with donors (one of the few works of Byzantine art to have survived the Iconoclast Controversy). Note particularly the attire of the Bishop on the left.

VII: THE GRADUAL (RESPONSUM) (Psalm 118 [117]: 24; 1, 2, 3, 4, 16, 22, 26)

After the Subdeacon had finished reading the Epistle, he goes down the Ambo while a Cantor takes away his planeta, goes up and sings the Gradual:

Cantor: "Haec est dies quam fecit Dominus; exsultemus, et laetemur in ea."
Choir: "Haec est dies..."
Cantor: "Confitemini Domino quoniam bonus, quoniam in saeculum misericordia ejus."
Choir: "Haec est dies..."
Cantor: "Dicat nunc Israel: Quoniam bonus, quoniam in saeculum misericordia ejus."
Choir: "Haec est dies..."
Cantor: "Dicat nunc domus Aaron: quoniam in saeculum misericordia ejus."
Choir: "Haec est dies..."
Cantor: "Dicant nunc qui timent Dominum: quoniam in saeculum misericordia ejus."
Choir: "Haec est dies..."
Cantor: "
Dextera Domini fecit virtutem; dextera Domini exaltavit me: dextera Domini
fecit virtutem.
Choir: "Haec est dies..."
Cantor: "Lapidem quem reprobaverunt aedificantes, hic factus est in caput anguli."
Choir: "Haec est dies..."
Cantor: "Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini: benediximus vobis de domo Domini."
Choir: "Haec est dies..."

(Cantor: This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us be glad and rejoice therein.
Choir: This is the day...
Cantor: Give praise to the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Choir: This is the day...
Cantor: Let Israel now say, that he is good: that his mercy endureth for ever.
Choir: This is the day...
Cantor: Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Choir: This is the day...
Cantor: Let them that fear the Lord now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Choir: This is the day...
Cantor: The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength: the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me: the right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength.
Choir: This is the day...
Cantor: The stone which the builders rejected; the same is become the head of the corner.
Choir: This is the day...
Cantor: Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord. We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.
Choir: This is the day...)

Fresco of the Crucifixion in Santa Maria Antiqua, Rome dating from between 741 to 752, during the reign of Pope Zachary (papacy 741-752). The style of the fresco points to Byzantine influence (parts of Italy were under the control of the Byzantine Empire during this time period, and thus, had influenced it and the Church of Rome in many ways); Pope Zachary was, in fact, born of a Greek family in Bari, which was then under the Byzantine Catepanate of Italy.

IX: THE ALLELUIA or TRACT (1 Cor. 5: 7-8)

Another singer then comes up and sings the Alleluia or the Tract; if when neither one nor the other is appointed, only the respond is sung.

Cantor: "Alleluia, Alleluia. Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus."
Choir: "Alleluia, Alleluia. Pascha nostrum..."
Cantor: "Epulemur in azymis sinceritatis et veritatis."
Choir: "Alleluia, Alleluia. Pascha nostrum..."

(Cantor: Alleluia, Alleluia. Christ our Pasch is sacrificed.
Choir: Alleluia, Alleluia. Christ our Pasch...
Cantor: Let us feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Choir: Alleluia, Alleluia. Christ our Pasch...)

A 6th-century Ivory Diptych from N. Italy. Most likely used as a Bible cover.

X: THE GOSPEL (Mark 16: 1-8)

At the end of the Alleluia, the Deacon who will read the Gospel will kiss the Pope's feet while the Pope says to him: "Dominus sit in corde tuo et in labiis tuis."
(May the Lord be in your heart and in your lips.)

The Deacon then goes up the Altar and takes the Gospel Book and walks to the Ambo while the Pope rises from his throne and with him, all the clergy. Two District-Subdeacons walk before the Deacon, one on his right and one on his left. One of them carries a Censer received from the Assistant-Subdeacon, and before them walk two Acolytes carrying Candlesticks. On coming to the Ambo, the Acolytes part before it, and the Subdeacons and the Deacon pass between them.

The Subdeacon who is not carrying the Censer then turns towards the Deacon, and offers him his left arm on which to rest the Gospel Book, in order that the former may open it with his right hand at the place where the mark for reading was put; then, slipping his finger into the place where he has to begin, the Deacon goes up to read, while the two Subdeacons and the Taperers turn back to stand before the step coming down from the Ambo:

Deacon: "Dominus vobiscum."
R: "Et cum spiritu tuo."
Deacon: "Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Marcum."
R: "In illo tempore: Maria Magdalene, et Maria Jacobi, et Salome emerunt aromata, et venientes ungerent Jesum. Et valde mane una sabbatorum, veniunt ad monumentum, orto jam sole. Et dicebant ad invicem: "Quis revolvet nobis lapidem ab ostio monumenti?" Et respicientes viderunt revolutum lapidem. Erat quippe magnus valde. Et introeuntes in monumentum viderunt juvenem sedentem in dextris, coopertum stola candida, et obstupuerunt. Qui dicit illis: "Nolite expavescere: Jesum quaeritis Nazarenum, crucifixum: surrexit, non est hic, ecce locus ubi posuerunt eum. Sed ite, dicite discipulus eius, et Petro, quia praecedit vos in Galilaeam: ibi eum videbitis, sicut dixit vobis." At illae exeuntes, fugerunt de monumento: invaserat enim eas tremor et pavor: et nemini quidquam dixerunt: timebant enim."
R: Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.

(Deacon: The Lord be with you.
R: And with your Spirit.
Deacon: The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Mark.
R: Glory to You, O Lord.
Deacon: And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: "Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre?" And looking, they saw the stone rolled back (for it was very great). And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe: and they were astonished. Who saith to them: "Be not affrighted; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he is risen, he is not here, behold the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee; there you shall see him, as he told you." But they going out, fled from the sepulchre. For a trembling and fear had seized them: and they said nothing to any man; for they were afraid.
R: Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.)


The Dismissal of the Catechumens was once done at this point. During the days of Pope St. Gregory (who mentioned this form of dismissal in passing at his Dialogues, where he tells the story of two nuns who died excommunicate and buried inside the church rising from their tombs and leaving when the Deacon says the Dismissal), the Deacon called out: "Si quis non communicat, det locum!" (If any one does not communicate, let him go away!)

This had disappeared by the time of Ordo I, but at Scrutiny Masses the deacon still called out here: "

Let the catechumens depart! Whoever is a catechumen, let him depart! Let all catechumens go out of the doors!"

The Pope then says: "Pax tibi." (Peace to you), then:

Pope: "Dominus vobiscum."
R: "Et cum spiritu tuo."
Pope: "Oremus."

(Pope: The Lord be with you.
R: And with your spirit.
Pope: Let us pray.)

The Deacon goes down the Ambo, then the Subdeacon who first opened the Gospel Book previously takes it from him and gives it to the other Subdeacon standing beside him. The latter, holding the Book before his breast, with his hands covered with the planeta, offers it to kissed by all who stand in the quire in the order of rank. Afterwards an Acolyte carrying the Book's case comes and the Subdeacon puts the Book inside that it may be sealed. But the Acolyte of the same district as that to which the Subdeacon belongs carries it back to the Lateran.



(Excerpt from the Catholic Encyclopedia article THE GOSPEL IN THE LITURGY)

...The "Dominus vobiscum" at the beginning, the announcement of the Gospel ("Sequentia sancti Evangelii" etc.), and the answer, "Gloria tibi Domine", are also mentioned by the sixth-century Germanus (Ep. 1, P. L., LXXII, 91). At the end of the Gospel the people answered, "Amen", or "Deo Gratias", or "Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini" (Durandus, "Rationale", IV, 24; Beleth, "Rationale", XXXIX; St. Benedict's Rule, XI). Our present answer, "Laus tibi Christe", seems to be a later one (Gihr, "Messopfer", 444)...

(adapted from the Catholic Encyclopedia article CATECHUMEN)

Assemblies of Catechumens were called "Scrutinies" (examination and presentation of the candidates), and were seven in number:

-At the first scrutiny the Candidates gave in their names. After the collect of the Mass, and before the lessons, the ceremony of exorcism was performed over them. This was done at all the scrutinies except the last, by the exorcists, and then the priest signed them with the cross and laid hands upon them. It is interesting to know that the words at present used in baptism "Ergo, maledicte diabole", etc. belonged to the exorcism, and the words "Aeternam ac justissimam pietatem" etc. belonged to the laying on of hands.

-At the third scrutiny, the candidates received the Gospel, the Symbol (Creed, recited both in Greek and Latin), and the Our Father. Each of these was accompanied by a short explanation. For example, St. Augustine has left four Sermons, "De Oratione Dominica, Ad Competentes", and three on the delivery of the Symbol. In the pre-conciliar Missal the Mass of the Wednesday of the fourth week in Lent has a lesson in addition to the ordinary Epistle, or rather Lesson. The former is taken from the Ezekiel 36, the latter from Isaiah 50; and both (together with the Introit and the two Graduals, and the Gospel, the healing of the man born blind, John 9) have obvious reference to the "great scrutiny".

-The seventh scrutiny took place on Holy Saturday, apart from the Mass, as there was formerly no Mass for that day. The priest himself performed the ceremony of the Exorcism and the Ephphetha (Mark 7). Then followed the anointing on the breast and back. The candidates pronounced the three-fold renunciation of Satan and recited the Creed.

The actual initiation, (baptism, confirmation, and Communion) took place at the Paschal Mass, at which the neophytes assisted for the first time, being now no longer mere catechumens. But until the Sunday after Easter they were considered as "infants", receiving further instruction, especially on the sacraments which had lately been conferred upon them. Finally, on Low Sunday (Dominica in Albis depositis) when the Introit of the Mass speaks of the "new born babes" (1 Peter 2:2), they put off their white garments, and were henceforth counted among the regular "faithful".


(From E.G. Atchley's 'Ordo Romanus Primus')

The creed was neither sung nor said during mass at Rome until the time of Benedict VIII (1012-1024). Berno, abbot of Reichenau, relates that the emperor, Henry II, inquired in his presence of the Romans why they never recited the creed after the Gospel; and that he heard them reply that they did not do so as the Church of Rome had not been infected by any taint of heresy, and therefore that they did not need to recite it.
But the emperor did not desist until he had obtained the consent of the Pope to have the creed sung at public mass. 'But whether they still keep up this custom we cannot affirm, because we are not sure.'

Some writers have thought that Leo III introduced this practice, because in 809 he told the ambassadors of Charlemagne that he had given permission indeed for singing it, but not for adding to it or taking from it (alluding to the introduction of the Filioque clause). "We, however, do not sing it, but read it, and in reading teach," he says again; and he goes on to advise that the practice of singing it be given up gradually, 'because in our Church it is not sung.'

Leo was referring not to ordinary Masses, but to the recitation of the Creed, which was done in Greek and in Latin at the third Scrutiny before solemn Baptism. The Vllth Roman Ordo giving the Baptismal rites and ceremonies of the ninth century, describes the mode of reciting it in Greek by the word decantando, but in Latin by dicitur.

As evidence of the feeling of reserve, which prevented any public use of the Creed for so long, the intention of Sozomen to transcribe that of Nicaea for his History may be instanced. He was dissuaded from so doing by godly and learned friends, who represented to him that such matters ought to be kept secret, only for disciples and their instructors; and probably his book would fall into the hands of the unlearned.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 3

Another reconstruction of the interior of Santa Maria Maggiore


After the Kyrie, the Pope turns to the people and intones the Gloria if it be the season for it (The Gloria can be said by a Bishop during Sundays and Feastdays while Priests recite it only during Easter Sunday):

Pope: "Gloria in Excelsis Deo..."
Choir: "...Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.
Laudamus te. Benedicimus te. Adoramus te. Glorificamus te. Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.

Domine Deus, Rex Coelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.
Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe. Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris.

Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Qui tollis peccata mundi suscipe deprecationem nostram. Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.

Quoniam tu solus sanctus. Tu solus Dominus. Tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe.
Cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.


After the Gloria, the Pope once again faces East wherein he will say the Collect:

Pope: "Pax vobiscum." (Peace be with you.)
R: "Et cum spiritu tuo." (And with your spirit.)

Pope: "Oremus. Deus, qui hodierna die per Unigenitum tuum, aeternitatis nobis aditum devicta morte reserasti: vota nostra, quae praeveniendo aspiras, etiam adiuvando prosequere. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum."
R: "Amen."

(Let us pray. O God, who, on this day, through Your only-begotten Son, has conquered death, and thrown open to us the gate of everlasting life, give effect by Your aid to our desires, which You anticipated and inspired. Through the same Jesus Christ, You Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit; God, forever and ever.
R: Amen.)

At the end of the Collect, he then sits down and signals to the Bishops and the Presbyters to also sit. Meanwhile the district-Subdeacons go up to the Altar, and place themselves at the right and left of it.


Ministers up an Ambo.

The District-Subdeacons will then go up to the Altar and place themselves at the left and right sides of it. When the Subdeacon who will read the Epistle notices that the Pope, the Bishops and Presbyters are sitting down, he will go up to the Ambo and read the Epistle facing the Altar.

In some churches, such as in San Clemente in Rome (pictured below) there are two Ambos. In that case, the Subdeacon will go to the Ambo intended for the Epistle and read it from there.

The two Ambos at San Clemente

Subdeacon: "Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Corinthios (1 Cor. 5: 7-8).
Fratres dilectissimi: Expurgate vetus fermentum, ut sitis nova conspersio, sicut estis azymi. Etenim Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus. Itaque epulemur: non in fermento veteri, neque in fermento malitiae, et nequitiae: sed in azymis sinceritatis, et veritatis.
R: "Deo Gratias."

(Sd: A reading from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corithians:
Beloved brethren: purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened: for Christ our Pasch is sacrificed. Therefore let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
R: Thanks be to God.)



The title and beginning of the Great Doxology used in the Catholic Mass, Divine Service of the Lutheran Church and in the services of many other Christian churches. It is derived from the Great Doxology, a longer and fuller version, used in the Byzantine Churches outside the Eucharistic liturgy.

The song was originally in Greek and goes back very far in the history of Christianity. Another form of the song goes to at least the third century, if not to the first. A longer version dating to the fourth century is still sung in the Greek Orthodox church. The Latin version differs from the present Greek form. They correspond down to the end of the Latin, which however adds: "Tu solus altissimus" and "Cum sancto Spiritu".

The song was gradually adopted as a fixture in the liturgy.
The first Pope to order this part of the liturgy was said to be Pope Telesphorus (128–139?), who ordered it sung at every Christmas, and Pope Symmachus (498–514) ordered that it be said every Sunday.


The word ambo comes from a Greek word meaning an elevation. It was originally an elaborate raised platform in the middle of the nave from which the Epistle and Gospel would be read, and was occasionally used as a speaker's platform for homilies. It was joined to the sanctuary by a raised walkway called the soleas.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 2

Emperor Justinian I ( 482 or 483-565) with Bishop Maximianus of Ravenna. You can see Bishop Maximianus wear a planeta and a pallium with the Deacons wearing a Dalmatic.


The Pope then makes his way to the Sacristy, supported by the Deacons who received him when he dismounted, and sits at the Sedan-chair (the one prepared by the Lay Chamberlain). The Deacons salute him and go out of the Sacristy and vest before the doors.
The Deacon who will read the Gospel makes ready the Gospel Book (the seal of which has been unlocked) which an Acolyte, or two, if the Book used is larger, holds for him with his hands covered by the planeta (also known as paenula, the ancestor of the present-day chasuble).
The Acolyte/s take the Book into the Presbytery before the Altar and hands it to the Subdeacon-attendant who places the Book honorably into the Altar with his hands covered with the planeta.
Meanwhile, after the deacons go out of the Sacristy, there remain with the Pontiff the Chancellor, the Secretary, the Chief Counsellor, the District-Notaries, and the Subdeacon-Attendant who bears the Pope's pallium with its pins on his left arm covered with the planeta.
The Clerical Chamberlain receives the vestments folded up from the Door-warden and brings them.
Near the head of the bench the district-subdeacons take the vestments to put on the Pope according to their order:
-Linen (Lineum)
-Girdle (Cingulum)
-Anagolaium (also Anabolagium)
-a linen Dalmatic (Lineam Dalmaticam)
-the larger Dalmatic (Majorem Dalmaticam)
-Planeta (Chasuble)
In this order the district-Subdeacons then vest the Pope. A Deacon or Subdeacon chosen by the Pope will then take the Pallium from the Subdeacon-attendant and sets it about the Pope's shoulders, fastening it to the planeta behind, in front, and on his left shoulder by means of pins.
Subdeacon-Attendant: "Iube, domne, benedicere." (Grant, sir to bless.)
Pope: "Salvet nos Dominus." (May the Lord save us.)
Subdeacon-Attendant: "Amen."
One of the district-Subdeacons, with the Pope's mappula (maniple?) on his left arm over his unrolled planeta goes out:
District-Subdeacon: "Schola." (Choir!)
Choir: "Adsum." (Present.)
District-Subdeacon: "Quis psallet?" (Who shall sing the Psalm?)
Choir: "Ille et Ille." (N. and N.)
The Subdeacon will return to the Sacristy, present him the Mappula and bows to the Pope's knees, saying:
"Servi domni mei, talis Subdiaconus regionarius leget Apostolum, et talis de schola cantabit." (My lord's servants, N. the District-Subdeacon will read the Epistle, and N. of the Choir will sing.)
Note that after this announcement was made, no change can be made in who will read the Epistle or sing the Psalm or else the the Ruler of the Choir (Archiparaphonista, i.e. the Fourth of the Choir who always informs the Pontiff on matters that relate to the singers) will be excommunicated by the Pope.
The Subdeacon-attendant will then stand behind the Pope until the latter gestures to him that the Introit may be started. The Subdeacon-attendant will then go outside the Sacristy and say: "Accendite!" (Light up!) wherein the lights are then lighted. This done, the Subdeacon-attendant will take a golden Censer and put incense on it in front of the Sacristy Doors.
The Ruler of the Choir then passes through the presbytery to the Precentor ("first singer") or the Succentor (the second) or vice-Succentor, and bowing his head to him says: "Domne iubete." ("Command, sir.")
The Choir then rises up and pass in order before the Altar and the two rows then arrange themselves: the men-singers on either side without the doors of the presbytery, and the children on each side within. The Precentor then begins the Introit.

Psalm 138 [139])
1st Semi-chorus: "Resurrexi, et adhuc tecum sum, Alleluia: posuisti super me manum tuam, Alleluia: mirabilis facta est scientia tua, Alleluia." (I arose, and am still with Thee, Alleluia; Thou hast laid Thy hand upon me, Alleluia; Thy knowledge is become wonderful, Alleluia.)
2nd Semi-chorus: "Domine, probasti me, et cognovisti me: tu cognovisti sessionem meam, et resurrectionem meam." (Lord, Thou hast searched Me and known Me; Thou knowest my sitting down and My rising up.)
1st Semi-chorus: Resurrexi...etc.
2nd Semi-chorus: "Intellexisti cogitationes meas; de longe semitam meam et funiculum meum investigasti." (Thou hast understood my thoughts afar off: my path and my line Thou hast searched out.)
1st Semi-chorus: Resurrexi...etc.
When the Deacons hear the Introit, they go at once to the Sacristy. The Pope then rises and gives his right hand to the Archdeacon and the left to the second Deacon or whoever may be appointed; who, after kissing his hands, walk with him as his supporters.
Then the Subdeacon-attendant goes before him with the Censer; and Seven Acolytes of the Disctrict which is responsible for that day will go before the Pope to the Altar, carrying seven lighted candlesticks. (NOTA BENE: This is the ancestor of our custom of placing seven candles in the Altar during a Pontifical Mass)
Before they arrive at the Altar, the Deacons take their planeta off in the Presbytery and the district-Deacon takes them and gives each to an Acolyte of the district to which each Deacon belongs.
Two Acolytes then approach carrying open Pyxes containing Bread consecrated in the previous Mass, and the subdeacon-attendant, taking them, with his hand in the mouth of the Pyx, shows the Body to the Pope and the Deacon who goes before him, who bow their heads in salutation, and look at the Pyx in order that if there be too many fragments he may cause some of them to be put in the aumbry.
The Pope then makes his way to the Altar, but before he comes to the Choir the Acolytes carrying the Candles divide, four to the right and three to the left. The Pope passes between them to the upper part of the choir and bows his head to the Altar. He then rises up and prays, and makes the Sign of the Cross on his forehead; after which he gives the Kiss of Peace to one of the hebdomadary Bishops, and to the Archpresbyter, and to all the Deacons.
He then turns and signals to the Precentor to start singing the Gloria Patri. The precentor then bows to him and begins it. Meanwhile the Ruler of the Choir precedes the Pope in order to set his faldstool (oratorium) before the Altar, if it should be the season for it; and approaching it, the Pope prays thereat until the repetition of the verse [i.e. the anthem for the entry]:
"Gloria Patri, et Filio et Spiritui Sancto; Sicut erat in principio (The Deacons rise up in order to salute the sides of the Altar, two by two and return to the Pope. And then the Pope arises, kisses the Book of the Gospels and the altar, and, going to his throne, stands there facing Eastwards) et nunc, et in semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen."

"Resurrexi, et adhuc tecum sum, Alleluia: posuisti super me manum tuam, Alleluia: mirabilis facta est scientia tua, Alleluia."

A Reconstruction of the interior of St. Mary Major.

The Choir then starts to sing the Kyrie, alternating with the District officials.
During the singing the Precentor keeps his eye on the Pope, so that the latter may sign to him if he wishes to change the number of the Kyries, and bows to him:
Choir: "Kyrie Eleison."
District Officials: "Kyrie Eleison."
Choir: "Kyrie Eleison."
District Officials: "Christe Eleison."
Choir: "Christe Eleison."
District Officials: "Christe Eleison."
Choir: "Kyrie Eleison."
District Officials: "Kyrie Eleison."
Choir: "Kyrie Eleison."
(The number of times the Kyrie is sung is determined by the Pope, as mentioned above)

A place for the teaching and practice of ecclesiastical chant, or a body of singers banded together for the purpose of rendering the music in church. In the primitive Church the singing was done by the clergy, but, in order to set them free from this and enable them to give their attention more to what strictly pertained to their office, trained singers for the musical part of the liturgy were introduced. Pope Hilary (d. 438) is sometimes credited with having inaugurated the first schola cantorum, but it was Gregory the Great, as we are told in his life by John the Deacon, who established the school on a firm basis and endowed it. The house in which the schola was lodged was rebuilt in 844 by Pope Sergius II, who had himself been trained in it, as were also the popes Sergius I, Gregory II, Stephen III, and Paul I. This Roman school furnished the choir at most of the papal functions and was governed by an official called prior scholae cantorum or simply cantor.

The name given in later antiquity and the early Middle Ages to those clerics and officials of the Church of Rome who were attached neither to the papal palace or patriarchium, nor to the titular churches of Rome, but to whom one of the city regions, or wards, was assigned as their official district. For internal administration the city of Rome was a divided by the Emperor Augustus into fourteen regions.
From the fourth century developed (evidently in connection with the seven Roman deacons) an ecclesiastical division into seven regions, which gradually replaced the earlier civil divisions.
Many branches of the ecclesiastical administration were arranged in accordance with the seven regions-especially the care of the poor, provision for the maintenance of the churches, and whatever else pertained primarily to the office of the deacons, one of whom was appointed over each of the seven regions (diaconus regionarius).
As the deacons were assisted by seven subdeacons, we also find the term subdeaconus regionarius.
The notaries and defensores employed in the administration of the regions were also known as notarii regionarii and defensores regionarii. There is also occasional mention of acolyti regionarii.
Little is known about the functions exercised by these regionarii, as in general concerning the ecclesiastical administration in ancient Rome, in as far as it affected the regions.