Monday, June 23, 2008

The Mass as it was in the City of Rome: The Ordo of St. Amand, part 1

Formerly I have talked about the order of the Mass as it appears in Ordo Romanus I, the first part of which, detailing the Easter Liturgy, may describe a Stational Mass as celebrated during the time of Pope St. Gregory the Great (c. 540-604, Papacy 590-604), with (obviously) some modifications and additions of the end of the 7th century.

Amalarius of Metz (?-c. 850), a ninth-century Liturgical writer, seems to have had a copy of this Ordo before him. However, he did not find its description of the Easter Liturgy in agreement with the actual Roman practice of his day, as expounded to him by Archdeacon Theodore in 832, which led some to theorize that the Ordo is only a model for celebration of the Liturgy; it does not actually describe the practices in Rome. Others, however, take the position that the difference is due to the antiquity of the Ordo Missae in the text, which some believe to date from the late 6th-early 7th century, as stated above (i.e. the Liturgy had evolved since).

The following text is a Roman Ordo found from a manuscript at St. Amand, dating from the 9th century and thus is roughly contemporaneous or just after Amalarius' generation. This gives us a good glimpse on how the 9th-century Roman Liturgy looks like, just two centuries after the Ordo Romanus I's Mass.

Translation taken from E.G. Atchley's Ordo Romanus Primus, with some modernization and modification

An 11th century fresco depicting Sts. Cyril and Methodius bringing the relics of St. Clement, Basilica di San Clemente, Rome. Note that by this time (1000 AD), the Pallium is now in its more familiar Y-shape.

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Here begins the Order in which Mass is celebrated in the Holy and Apostolic Roman Church, which we have taken care to set forth with the utmost assiduity and the greatest diligence, not in grammatical phrases, but plainly and exactly; that is, how the Pontiff proceeds on a solemn day with great honour, as has been found out from the holy fathers.

(cf. The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 2)

1. Now, first of all, all the Clergy as well as all the people proceed to the Church where the Mass is to be celebrated, and the Pontiff enters the Sacristy and puts on his sacerdotal vestments.

When he wears a dalmatic, the Deacons also wear dalmatics in the same manner, and the Subdeacons wrap themselves in amices about the neck, and vest themselves in such white tunics as they have, either silken or linen.

But if the Pontiff does not wear a dalmatic, the Deacons and Subdeacons do not wrap themselves in amices, but walk with white tunics and planetas.

In the meantime, while the Pontiff sits in his seat in the Sacristy, the Deacon who is going to read the Dospel takes care of the Gospel-Book, and afterwards hands it to the Subdeacon. Then the Subdeacon carries it through the midst of the Presbytery, and no one presumes to sit when they see him pass by; and, advancing through the Presbytery, the Subdeacon places it on the Altar.

And meanwhile the Ruler of the Choir stands before the Pontiff and says to the district-subdeacon: "So-and-so sings the respond, so-and-so the Alleluia."

Then the Pontiff says to the Choir, "Enter!" and he sends word to the Precentor, and says, "Command!" Then the above-mentioned Subdeacon comes to the Pontiff's ear and says in an undertone (secreto), "So-and-so reads; so-and-so and so-and-so sing the Psalms."

(cf. The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 2)

2. Then the Oblationer lights two tapers before the Sacristy for the Pontiff's lights, which is the custom at all times, and goes in before the Pontiff, and sets them behind the Altar in two candlesticks, one on the right and one on the left.

Then the Acolytes light their candlesticks before the Sacristy; and the Pontiff comes out of the Sacristy with the Deacons, two of them supporting him, on the right and the left, and there go before him the seven candlesticks, and the Subdeacon-Attendant with a censer.

The Deacons have their planetas over their dalmatics until they come with the Pontiff to the upper part of the presbytery. On arriving there, they remove the planetas which they have on, and their ministers take them. Now when the subdeacon who is precentor sees them taking off their planetas, and the Pontiff entering the Presbytery, he too removes the planeta which he is wearing, and an Acolyte from the choir receives it.

Then the Priests (Sacerdotes) rise up and stand. The Subdeacons who come in before the Pontiff do not pass on through the midst of the Choir, but stand right and left before the screen, on either side. And when the Pontiff has approached the choir, the Acolytes stand there with their candlesticks, their order being changed, the last being first.

Then the Pontiff passes through the midst of the Choir with the Deacons, and signs to the precentor to say the "Gloria Patri". Then the senior Bishop and the Archpresbyter draw near, and the Pontiff gives them the kiss of peace, and afterwards to the Deacons. But if the Pontiff should not be present, the Deacon who is going to read the Gospel that day gives it in the same way.

Then the Pontiff comes before the Altar, and stands there with his head bowed down, and the Deacons in like manner. When the choir have said "Sicut erat in principio" the Deacons rise up from prayer, and kiss the Altar on either side. And when the Choir have repeated the verse, the Pontiff arises from prayer, and kisses the Gospel-Book which lies on the Altar, and goes from the right side of the Altar to his Throne, the Deacons being with him on either side, standing and facing Eastwards.

(cf. The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 2 and The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 3)

3. Then the Acolytes set the candlesticks which they are holding on the ground. And when the Choir have finished the anthem, the Pontiff signs to them to say "Kyrie Eleison". And the Choir says it, and the District-Officials who stand below the Ambo repeat it. When they have said it a third time, the pontiff again signs to them to say "Christe Eleison". And when that has been said three times, he again signs to them to say "Kyrie Eleison". And when they have completed the ninth time, he signs to them to stop.

Then turning towards the people the Pontiff says "Gloria in Excelsis Deo", and turns back again to the East, and the Deacons with him, until the hymn is finished. When this is done he looks towards the people and says "Pax vobiscum", and they answer "Et cum spiritu tuo". Then he says, "Oremus".

Then the Acolytes lift up their candlesticks, and set them down before the Altar in the order which they keep.

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