Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Mass as it was in the City of Rome: The Ordo of St. Amand, part 3

THE PREFACE, SANCTUS and THE CANON (cf. The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 6 and part 7)
8. 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".

9. 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, "Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus".

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, wrapped in a silken pall with a cross on it, holding the paten before his breast, stands first, and others hold bowls with ewers, others little sacks. Now when the Pontiff has come to "Omnis honor et gloria", he takes up two loaves in his hands, and the deacon takes the chalice and lifts it up a little until he says, "Per omnia saecula saeculorum, Amen."

THE PATER NOSTER, THE LIBERA NOS, THE FRACTION and THE AGNUS DEI (cf. The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 7 and part 8)

10. Then the Deacons and Priests rise up from prayer. And when the Pontiff has said, "Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum" the Subdeacon takes the Paten from the Acolyte, and offers it to the Archdeacon, who holds it at the Pontiff's right hand; and the Pontiff breaks one of the loaves which he offers for himself, and sets the crown of it down on the Altar, putting one whole one and the other half on the Paten; and the Archdeacon returns the Paten to the Acolyte, and the Pontiff goes to his Throne.

Then the other Deacons break [the loaves] on the Paten, and the Bishops also [break loaves] in the right side of the Apse. Then the Archdeacon lifts the Chalice up from the altar and gives it to the Subdeacon, and stands with him at the right corner of the Altar; the Acolytes then approach the Altar with little sacks and stand around the Altar; and the Archdeacon puts the loaves into their sacks, and they return to the Presbyters in order that they may break them. Meanwhile the Presbyters and the Deacons sing in an undertone, "Blessed are those that are undefiled."

If it should happen to be necessary, the loaves are first split asunder by a Presbyter, and afterwards broken in pieces by the District-Subdeacons. The choir then return to the left side of the presbytery, and the archdeacon signs to them to say, "Agnus Dei..." And in the meantime, while the Fraction is being carried out, the Acolytes who hold the bowls and the flasks answer again, "Agnus Dei..."

And when they have finished the Fraction, the Archdeacon takes the holy Chalice from the Subdeacon, and another Deacon takes the Paten from the Acolyte, and they go before the Pontiff.

THE COMMUNION and THE INVITATIONS (cf. The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 8)

11. The Pontiff takes the Holy Element (Sancta) from the Paten, bites a small piece off, and makes a Cross with it over the chalice, saying in an undertone, "Haec commixtio...etc." Then the Pontiff communicates of the Chalice which is held by the Archdeacon. Then the Bishops and Presbyters receive the Holy Element from the Pontiff's hand and go to the left part of the Altar and place their hands on it, and so communicate. When the Bishops and Presbyters begin to communicate, the Archdeacon goes to the right side of the Altar, and a collet stands before him with the chief bowl. Then the former announces the next station, and they all answer, "Deo gratias," and then he pours from the Chalice into the bowl.

Next, he gives the Chalice to the Bishop who first communicated, and goes to the Pontiff and receives the Holy Element from his hand, and the other Deacons do the same; and they go to the right side of the Altar and communicate. Then they partake of the Chalice at the hands of the same Bishop who communicated the Presbyters therewith. Then the Pontiff communicates the chief and the second (of the schools of the notaries and counsellors). Then the Archdeacon takes the Chalice from the Bishop, and a Subdeacon comes up with a little strainer in his hand, and he takes the Holy Element out of the Chalice, and puts it into the chief Ewer whence the Archdeacon will communicate the people; and the Archdeacon empties the Chalice into the second Chalice, and the Acolyte pours from this into the chief Ewer.

Then the Pontiff goes down to communicate the people, and the Archdeacon signs to the choir to say the Communion-Anthem. And when the choir have said it, the Subdeacons on the left side of the screen below the Throne (thronum) repeat it. And when the Magnates, Tribunes, Counts, and Judges, and any others whom he wishes, have been communicated [by the Pope], he goes to the women's side below the screen, followed by the Deacons who administer the cup to the people. Then, when he desires it, he returns to his Throne, and the Priests stand below the Presbytery to communicate the people in both species.

And in the meantime the Pontiff sits on his Throne, and an Acolyte stands before him with the holy Paten, and the Subdeacons, Notaries, and District-Officials come before him, and the Deacon communicates them with the species of Wine.

12. Then the Notaries stand before the Pontiff with pen and book (dhomum, i.e. tomum) in their hand, and he bids them write the names of those whom he wishes invited. Then the Notaries go down from the Throne, and announce the Invitations to those whose names are written down.

13. Meanwhile a Priest comes and communicates the Choir, and the Ruler of the Choir holds in his hand an Ewer which has been filled from the principal bowl; and a Presbyter takes it from his hand and makes a Cross with the Holy Element over the Ewer, and drops It in, and then he administers the Cup to the Choir. All the Presbyters do likewise when they communicate the people with the Cup. And when the Archdeacon sees that few are left to be communicated, he signs to the Choir to say, "Gloria Patri,...etc." and the subdeacons reply, "Sicut erat in principio,..." and the Choir repeat the verse.

14. Then the Pontiff comes down from the Throne and goes before the Altar, and the candlesticks are put behind him. And in the meantime the Priests and the Deacons wash their hands, and give one another a kiss in order, and the Subdeacons in their turn where they stand, and the Choir likewise in the place where they stand.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Mass as it was in the City of Rome: The Ordo of St. Amand, part 2

An 11th-century fresco from the Basilica di San Clemente in Rome depicting a Mass. Note the maniple and the pallium.

THE EPISTLE, GRADUAL, ALLELUIA and THE GOSPEL (cf. The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 3, part 4)

4. The Collect ended, the Pontiff sits in his Throne, and the Deacons stand on either side; and the Choir turn back below the platform which is below the Ambo, and
the Subdeacons who stand below the screen go up to the Altar and stand on either side of it. Then the Pontiff signs to the priests (sacerdotes) to sit down in the Presbytery.

Then a Lesson is read from the Ambo by a Subdeacon. Then one of the Choir or an Acolyte, after removing his planeta, takes the Gradual and goes up into the ambo and says the respond: and another in like manner the Alleluia. At the conclusion of this, the Deacon bows to the Pontiff, and the latter orders him to read the Gospel; he then goes up to the altar, kisses the Gospel-Book and takes it up. Then the Pontiff rises from his Throne and all the Priests stand. And there go before the Deacon Subdeacons, one on the right, the other on the left, and two Acolytes carrying two candlesticks before him.

And when they arrive at the Ambo, the Subdeacon who is on his right offers him his left arm, and the Deacon rests the Gospel-Book on it while he finds the mark [for reading]. Then he goes up into the Ambo, while the Taperers turn back to stand before the Ambo; and then the Gospel is read.

5. After this the Subdeacon takes the Gospel-Book, and holds it leaning against his breast, below the Ambo, while all kiss the Book. Then he puts it back in its case. The Deacon returns to the Altar, and the Taperers go before him and put their candlesticks behind the Altar, as also the rest of the candlesticks.

If there should be a cloth (pallium) on the Altar, he folds it on one side towards the East, and the corporal is then spread over the Altar by the Deacons.

THE OFFERTORY (cf. The Mass as it was in the City of Rome part 5)

6. Then the Pontiff washes his hands, and rises from his Throne; and the Choir go back to the left side of the Presbytery. Then the Pontiff goes down, receive the offerings from the people, and the Archdeacon signs to the choir to say the Offertory-Anthem.

As the pontiff receives the loaves, he hands them to the Subdeacon, who puts them into a linen cloth held by the Acolytes who attend him. The Deacons receive the flasks of wine. The stational Chalice is carried by the district-subdeacon, and the Deacon pours the flasks into the holy Chalice itself; and when it is full, it is emptied into the bowls which the Acolytes carry. Then the Pontiff goes with the Deacons to the women's side, and they do the same there. He then goes back to his Throne, but the Deacons remain to receive the flasks of wine. In the meantime there stand before the Pontiff the Chancellor, the Secretary, the Notaries and District-officials, while the Presbyters are receiving loaves and flasks within the Presbytery, both from the men's side as well as the women's; and the Acolytes hold linen cloths and bowls to gather them in.

7. Then the Archdeacon washes his hands, and the rest of the Deacons wash their hands. Then the Acolytes hold the linen cloth with the loaves, which the Pontiff received from the people, at the right corner of the Altar: some of which the Subdeacon-Attendant selects and hands to a District-Subdeacon, who gives them to the Archdeacon. The latter places them upon the Altar in three or five rows, only so much as may suffice for the people, and remain from that time till the next day, according to canonical authority.

In the meantime the Chalice is held by the District-Subdeacon, and the Archdeacon takes the Pontiff's flask from the hand of the Oblationer and empties it into the holy Chalice; and in like manner the flasks of the Presbyters and those of the Deacons as well.

Then the Subdeacon holds a strainer over the Chalice, and the wine which the people offered and which is in the bowl is poured through it. Then one of the Choir brings an ewer with clean water in it, and gives it to the Oblationer, and the latter offers it to the Archdeacon, who takes it and pours it, making a Cross as he does so, into the holy Chalice which is held by the Subdeacon at the right corner of the Altar.

Then the Pontiff descends from his Throne, and comes before the Altar; and the Archdeacon receives the Pontiff's loaves from the subdeacon-oblationer, and hands them to the Pontiff, who sets them on the Altar. Then the Archdeacon takes the chalice from the Subdeacon and sets it on the Altar. The Pontiff then signs to the Choir to make an end to the Offertory-Anthem: and they turn back and stand before the platform.

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.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Word of Gratitude

I just noticed that a German site, Summorum, had linked to my posts on Ordo Romanus I in an article. Admittedly, I do not know Deutsche Sprache (save for a few words and phrases here and there) so I can't read it much, but I'd really like to thank the owner of that site.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

And now, something from the past...Weapons of Liturgical Warfare

-Do you feel a weird feeling that something is not right everytime you attend one of those clown Masses in your local church?
-Do you get an impulse to break out to the doors as dancers break out their jigs on the Altar?
-Have you ever mentioned words like Liturgical Abuse to someone in the parish and all you get is a blank stare or worse, get ridiculed or even ostracized?
-Did you ever use words like obedience, tradition, rubrics, Pope Benedict, GIRM, Summorum Pontificum, or better yet, talk in Latin to your local Liturgist, who suddenly looked like he/she will rotate his/her head and would have pea soup spurt out of his/her mouth by merely hearing it (or have even done the above)?
-Is there a mysterious drought of Holy Water during Lent at your Holy Water Fonts?
-Are Father A. or Deacon B.'s chances of wearing properly ordered or colored vestments next to nil?
-Does any god have a greater probability of being mentioned or invoked in your Sunday Mass except for the true God?
-Is the word men, male or he banned in your parish to the point that God is never referred with the above words, or worse is considered a she?

Or if actually used, is always used after female pronouns to the point that (if you are a male) you wanted to start an organization to stop this sexist discrimination of males in our present society?
-Do you play a little game called 'Where's Jesus?' everytime you visit your church?
-Does your local Priest or Ordinary prove to have a head, ears and a heart made of stone on Liturgical matters?
-Have your Sunday Liturgy become such that it is no longer 'Protestant-looking' nor 'Paganlike', but had turned into something so bad that the English language had not invented a term for it yet?

Fret no more, for now there is a weapon to counter all these things:

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, finally here are weapons that can combat those dastardly 'Weapons of MASS destruction' that so plague many of our Churches today: the Roman Missile (Type IHS-BXVI-VII-MM-TRAD) along with its companion instruction book, the General Instruction for the Roman Missile. Order now and you will also receive for free:

The Roman Cannon with its companion book, the Code of Cannon Law.
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The Motu Motor!
Is your local priest or bishop adamant in his position against the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite? Just install the Motu Motor in your Roman Cannon and we'll guarantee that your local cleric would change his mind and embrace tradition! So call now at 1800-STOPLITURGICALABUSES and order your Roman Missile today!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 9

The Salus Populi Romani, an 117 x 79 cm (5 x 3¼ ft) icon of Our Lady and Our Lord, perhaps dating in its original form from Late Antiquity, located in St. Mary Major.

XII. THE COMMUNION (continued) and THE COMMUNION-ANTHEM (1 Cor. 5: 7-8, Ps. 138 [139])

Now as soon as the Pope began to communicate the magnates, the choir immediately began to sing the Communion-Anthem by turns with the Subdeacons.

Choir: "Alleluia. Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus, Alleluia; Epulemur in azymis sinceritatis et veritatis, Alleluia."
Subdeacons: "Pascha nostrum..."
Choir: (sings the rest of Psalm 138; i.e. where they left off at the Introit to sing the Gloria Patri)
Subdeacons: "Pascha nostrum..."
Choir: (sings the next verse)
Subdeacons: "Pascha nostrum..." (And so on until the Pope gives the signal to sing the Gloria Patri)

(Choir: Alleluia, Alleluia. Christ our Pasch is sacrificed, Alleluia; Let us feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Subdeacons: Christ our Pasch...
Choir: (Psalm 138 verse)
Subdeacons: Christ our Pasch...
Choir: (Psalm 138 verse), etc.)

The Pope, after communicating those on the women's side goes back to the throne and communicates the District Officials in order, and those who stand in a group, and on festivals twelve of the Choir as well. But on other days these communicate in the Presbytery.

After all these the Invitationer, and the Treasurer, the Acolyte who holds the Patenn, he who holds the towel, and he who offers water at the Washing of the hands, receives Communion at the Throne. After the Pope has given them the Consecrated Bread, the Archdeacon administers the Chalice to them.

Then a District-Subdeacon stands before the Pope in order that he may sign to him: but the latter first looks at the people to see if they have finished Communion, and then signs to him. Then he goes to the Pope's shoulder and looks towards the Precentor, making a Sign on the Cross on his forehead as a sign to him to sing the Gloria Patri. The Precentor returns his salutation, and sings:

Choir: "Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto."
Subdeacons: "Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen."
Choir: "Expurgate vetus fermentum, ut sitis nova conspersio, sicut estis azymi."
Subdeacons: "Pascha nostrum..."

(Choir: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Subdeacons: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; world without end. Amen.
Choir: Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened.
Subdeacons: Christ our Pasch...)


At the end of the Communion Anthem the Pope rises with the Archdeacon and comes before the Altar and says the Post-Communion, facing Eastwards. He does not face the people here when he says Dominus vobiscum.

Pope: "Dominus vobiscum."
R: "Et cum spiritu tuo."
Pope: "Oremus. Spiritum nobis, Domine, tuae caritatis infunde: ut, quos sacramentis Paschalibus satiasti, tua facias pietate concordes. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum."
R: "Amen."

(Pope: The Lord be with you.
R: And with your spirit.
Pope: Let us pray. Pour forth upon us, O Lord, the spirit of Your Love, that, by Your loving kindness, You may make to be of one mind those whom You have satisfied with the Paschal Sacraments. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit; God, forever and ever.
R: Amen.)

The facade of St. Mary Major today.


A Deacon appointed by the Archdeacon looks towards the Pope so that the latter may sign to him, and when he does, the Deacon says to the people:

Archdeacon: "Ite, missa est, Alleluia, Alleluia."
R: "Deo gratias, Alleluia, Alleluia."

(Archdeacon: Go, the dismissal is made, Alleluia, Alleluia.
R: Thanks be to God, Alleluia, Alleluia.)

The seven Acolytes who carry the candlesticks and the District-Subdeacon with the Thurible go before the Pope to the Sacristy. When the latter goes down from the presbytery, the Bishops say:

Bishops: "Jube, domne, benedicere."
Pope: "Benedicat nos Dominus."
Bishops: "Amen."

(Bishops: Grant, sir, to bless.
Pope: May the Lord bless us.
Bishops: Amen.)

Next the Presbyters follow and do the same. Then follows the Monks, then the Choir, then the Military Banner-bearers (those who carry standards), then the Bearers, then the Taperers, then the Acolytes who watch the gate (of the Confessio?) after them. Outside the Presbytery the Crossbearers and then the junior Sextons ask for the same, and this done the Pope then enters the Sacristy, ending the Mass.


When Bishops are celebrating Mass on their own respective Sees, they follow the rites discussed above. However, if the Pope is unable to be present on a Mass in a Stational Church, a Bishop celebrates it on his behalf, during which the following differences are observed (In other respects the Bishop will celebrate just like the Pope):

1.) The Deacons, and not the Bishop who is celebrating that day, enter with the candlesticks and Thurible.
2.) The Bishop does not sit in the Throne (Cathedra) behind the Altar.
3.) He does not say the Collect behind the Altar, but on the right side of it.
4.) The Deacon, and not the Bishop himself, makes the Sign of the Cross in the place where it is customary.
5.) The Chalice is not elevated by the Archdeacon after the Canon at the Per quem haec omnia and the Per Ipsum.
6.) The Subdeacon-Oblationer brings the Fermentum (a fragment of the loaves consecrated by the Pope in a previous Mass and sent by him through the Subdeacon-Oblationer) and gives it to the Archdeacon, and he offers it to the Bishop, who making the Sign of the Cross with it thrice as he says the 'Pax Domini' and drops it in the Chalice. This also is done differently, since the Pope does not break one of the loaves, but the Bishop breaks one over the Corporal.
7.) All receive Communion except the celebrant Bishop (for he does not Communicate himself by his own hand). Another Bishop puts a part of a loaf into his hand, and then he communicates himself from his own hand. Likewise a Presbyter does for a Presbyter, and a Deacon for a Deacon.


Same as the Bishop above, save that he does not recite the Gloria in Excelsis (since Priests could only say it at Easter at this time period).


A. THE FERMENTUM (from E.G. Atchley's Ordo Romanus Primus)

...The [Fermentum] was similar (to the Sancta), but different. When the Pope was unable to celebrate Solemn Mass in person, he sent a fragment of the loaves consecrated by him at some previous Mass to the Stational Church, by the hands of the Subdeacon-Oblationer; and the same custom obtained at Masses celebrated at the titular Churches.

This was put into the Chalice by the celebrant instead of the Sancta, and at the same liturgical moment. It is to this custom that the notice in the Life of Zephyrinus (203-221) refers:

The Liber Pontificalis tells us that this Pope ordained that when he was not present in person, but only by deputy, the Mass should not proceed till the Presbyter had received from the Bishop (i.e. the Pope) a consecrated corona or loaf.
The same book tells us that Melchiades (311-314) "caused that consecrated Oblation-loaves should be sent to the Churches of that consecrated by the Bishop; which is known as the Fermentum, or leaven."

Siricius (385-398) is also recorded to have "ordained that no Presbyter should celebrate Masses throughout the week, unless he should receive a certified consecrated [loaf] from the Bishop of the place appointed [? for the Stational Mass]," words which appear to refer to the same practice.

Innocent I, writing to Decentius in 416, says:

But concerning the Fermentum, which we send on Sundays to the titular Churches, you wished to consult us superfluously, since all our Churches are situated within the city, the Presbyters of which being unable to meet together with us on that day, because of the people committed to their care, therefore receive by the hands of Acolytes Fermentum consecrated by us, so that they may not appear to be separated from Communion with us, specially on that day.

I do not, however, think that this should be done for country Churches, because the Sacraments should not be carried about far (we do not send to the Presbyters attached to the different cemetery-Oratories), and their Presbyters have the power and licence to consecrate.
The Fermentum was sent, as we see from these quotations, to symbolize the unity of the Eucharists celebrated at the same time by Presbyters in their Parish Churches, or by the Pope's deputy at the Stational Church, with the Pope's Eucharist.

As the Sancta demonstrated unity in point of time, so the Fermentum demonstrated it in point of place. Both set forth the teaching of the Church that all persons offer as the one mystical Body of Christ, a united body at one with itself, and that, as one of our reformers (John Cosins) puts it: "The virtue of the Eucharistic Sacrifice doth not only extend itself to the living and those that are present, but likewise to them that are absent, and them that be already departed or shall in time to come live and die in the faith of Christ."

This note of unity in celebrating one Eucharist in one Church or diocese is strongly emphasized by St. Ignatius. In his epistle to the Ephesians he hopes that they will be "united in one faith, in obedience to their Bishop and Presbyterate with entire affection, and in breaking one Loaf, which is the medicine of immortality."

In that to the Philadelphians he urges them to "endeavour to use one Eucharist. For one is the Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one the Chalice in the unity of his Blood; one the Altar, and one the Bishop, with the Presbyterate, and the Deacons my fellow-servants."

And more plainly still in the Epistle to the Smyrnaeans: "Let no one do any of those matters which pertain to the Church without the Bishop. Let that Eucharist be esteemed valid which is either offered by the Bishop or by him to whom he has given permission."

This ceremony of the Fermentum was a visible sign, so long as it lasted, of the unity (and consequent validity) of the Eucharist celebrated by the presbyters of the diocese in various places, with that offered by the Bishop.

B. THE POST-COMMUNION COLLECT (from E.G. Atchley's Ordo Romanus Primus)

After the Communion, the Pope says the Post-Communion Collect. But he does not turn to the people in making the usual salutation. The usual explanation of this is that the veils of the Ciborium (Canopy) were all drawn, so that he could not be seen at all; or, at any rate, that the custom arose at a time when such was the practice.

C. ITE MISSA EST (from the Catholic Encyclopedia article)

This is the versicle chanted in the Roman Rite by the Deacon at the end of Mass, after the Post-Communions. It is our formula of the old dismissal (apolysis) still contained in all liturgies. It is undoubtedly one of the most ancient Roman formulæ, as may be seen from its archaic and difficult form. All the three oldest Roman Ordines contain it.
...The medieval commentators were much exercised to explain the meaning of the strange expression. Durandus suggests several interpretations. It has been thought that a word is omitted: Ite, missa est finita; or est is taken absolutely, as meaning "exists; is now an accomplished fact".

The real explanation seems to lie rather in interpreting correctly the word missa. Before it became the technical name of the holy Liturgy in the Roman Rite, it meant simply "dismissal".

The form missa for missio is like that of collecta (for collectio), ascensa (ascensio), etc. So Ite missa est should be translated "Go it is the dismissal".

On certain days which have the character of fasting or penance, this versicle is replaced by the words Benedicamus Domino. The fact is noticed by medieval liturgists since about the 11th century. The three Roman Ordines before the tenth century know only the form Ite missa est.

The explanation is that originally the people were not dismissed on such days, but stayed in Church for further prayers after Mass, suitable to fasting days. This is confirmed by a now extinct medieval custom of singing Benedicamus Domino at the end of midnight Mass at Christmas, because Lauds follow at once. So the idea obtained that Ite missa est implies a festal Mass. Our present rule that it follows the Gloria in Excelsis (and therefore the Te Deum in the Office) is noted in "Micrologus" (xlvi). Either versicle was always answered by the obvious response Deo gratias, implying thanks that the Sacrifice has been offered -- is now complete.

At Requiems (since they have no Gloria) Ite missa est is not said. In this case the versicle is Requiescant in pace. The response is Amen. Jean Beleth says that this arose "only from a general custom".

Till about the 12th century the Ite missa est really ended the Liturgy, as its form implies...It was not till the 16th century (Missal of Pius V) that the accretions to the Mass that had gradually been introduced (Placeat, Blessing, Last Gospel -- all originally private prayers) were definitely recognised as part of the Liturgy to be said at the Altar.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 8

A 9th-century mosaic from the San Zeno Chapel in the Basilica of Santa Prassede, Rome, depicting the Lamb of God on the top, and four women, namely (from left to right): Theodora the mother of Pope Paschal I (reigned 817-824; who enlarged and decorated the Basilica; she is given the title Episcopa in the mosaic because of her son's position as Episcopus of Rome), St. Praxedis, the Virgin Mary, and St. Pudenziana. Theodora is still notably alive by the time of this mosaic's execution, due to her square halo.


The Archdeacon lifts up the Chalice and gives it to the District-Subdeacon, who holds it near the right corner of the Altar. Then the Subdeacons-attendant, with the Acolytes who carry little sacks, draw near to the right and left of the Altar; the Acolytes hold out their arms with the little sacks, and the Subdeacons-attendant stand in front, in order to make ready the openings of the sacks for the Archdeacon to put the loaves into them, first those on the right, and then those on the left.

The Acolytes then pass right and left among the Bishops around the Altar, and the Subdeacons go down to the Presbyters, in order that they may break the consecrated loaves.

Two District-Subdeacons, however, have proceeded to the throne, carrying the Paten to the Deacons, in order that they may perform the Fraction. Meanwhile the Deacons keep their eyes on the Pope so that he may sign to them when to begin, and when he
has signed to them, after returning the salutation, they start the Fraction.

The Archdeacon, after the Altar has been cleared of the loaves (except the fragment which the Pope broke off; so that while the Solemnities are being celebrated, the Altar may never be without a Sacrifice) looks at the Choir, and signals to them to sing the Agnus Dei and then goes to the Paten with the rest:

Choir: "Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi; miserere nobis."
Acolytes: "Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi; miserere nobis."

(Choir: Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world; have mercy on us.
Acolytes: Lamb of God...)

The Pope breaks one of the Loaves on the right side and leaves the fragment upon the Altar while he puts the loaves on the Paten the Deacon is holding. He then returns to his throne.

Immediately the Chancellor, the Secretary, and the Chief Counsellor, with all the District-Officials and Notaries, go up to the Altar and stand in their order on the right and left. The Invitationer and the Treasurer, and the Notary of the Papal Vicar, go up when the choir starts to sing the "Agnus Dei" and stand facing the Pope in order that he may sign to them to write down the names of those who are to be invited either to have breakfast with him, by the breakfast-invitationer, or with the Papal Vicar, by his Notary. When the list of names is completed, they go down and deliver the invitations.

A fresco dating from the first half of the 2nd Century, known as the Fractio Panis (the Breaking of Bread) from the Greek Chapel (Capella Greca) in the Catacomb of Priscilla, situated on the Via Salaria Nova in Rome, depicting an Early Christian Breaking of the Bread (the Eucharist).


The Fraction being done, the second Deacon takes the Paten from the Subdeacon and carries it to the throne to communicate the Pope. After partaking, the Pope puts a particle which he has bitten off the Body into the Chalice which the Archdeacon is holding, making a Cross with it three times:

Pope: "Fiat commixtio et consecratio Corporis et Sanguinis Domini nostri Jesu Christi accipientibus nobis in vitam aeternam."
R: "Amen."
Pope: "Pax vobiscum."
R: "Et cum spiritu tuo."

(Pope: May the commixture and consecration of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ help us who receive it to everlasting life. Amen.
R: Amen.
Pope: Peace be with you.
R: And with your spirit.)

The Pope is then communicated with the Chalice by the Archdeacon. After that, the Archdeacon comes with the Chalice to the corner of the Altar, and announces the next Station Church (this being Easter Sunday, the Church for Easter Monday would be St. Peter's Basilica).

After the Archdeacon has poured a small quantity of the contents of the Chalice into the bowl held by the Acolyte, the Bishops in order, and then the Presbyters in the same manner approach the Papal Throne, so that the Pope may give them communion. As they receive the Body from the Pope's hands, they go to the end of the Altar (the Bishops and Presbyters to the left, but the Deacons to the right), and, placing their hands upon it, eat the Consecrated Bread.

Then the chief Hebdomadary Bishop takes the Chalice from the hands of the Archdeacon, in order to administer the Precious Blood to the remaining ranks down to the Chief Counsellor. Then the Archdeacon takes the Chalice from him, and pours it into the bowl mentioned above; he then hands the empty Chalice to the District-Subdeacon, who gives him the reed wherewith he communicates the people with the Precious Blood.

The Subdeacon-Attendant takes the Chalice and gives it to an Acolyte, who replaces it in the Sacristy. And when the Archdeacon has administered the Blood to those whom the Pope communicated, the latter comes down from his Throne, with the Chancellor and the Chief Counsellor who hold his hands, in order to communicate those who are in the places allotted to the Magnates, after which the Archdeacon communicates them with the cup.

After this the Bishops communicate the people, the Chancellor signing to them to do so with his hand under his planeta, at the pontiff's formal request, and then the Deacons administer the cup to them (The people receive the Precious Blood through the aforementioned reed.)

Next they all pass over to the left side of the Church, and do the same there. Moreover, the Presbyters, at a sign from the Chancellor, by Papal command, communicate the people also, and afterwards administer the Chalice to them as well.

VIIIa. ANNOTATIONS (from E.G. Atchley's Ordo Romanus Primus)


The singing of Agnus Dei during the Fraction was introduced by Pope Sergius I (687-701). At first it seems to have only been sung once, and by clergy and people together. But in Ordo I the people's part has disappeared, and in the Ordo of St. Amand it is sung by the Choir and then by the Acolytes. It is still only sung twice in the Ordo of John of Avranches, in the 11th century.

In the 11th century (Jean) Beleth

says that it is sung twice with the ending "Have mercy upon us" (Miserere nobis), and a third time with "Grant us thy peace" (Dona nobis pacem); but Innocent III tells us that in many Churches the ancient custom still obtained of singing it thrice uniformly with "Have mercy upon us", as was always done in the Lateran.

John the Deacon, in the 13th century, also tells us that "Grant us thy peace", was never sung at the Lateran after "O Lamb of God, etc". The Agnus Dei has never been introduced into the Mass of Easter Even, except in the Ordo Romanus of Einsiedeln, which also differs from all other Ordines in several other respects.


Justin Martyr tells us that after the people's prayers were over, "they saluted one another with a kiss". And then Bread, and Wine mingled with water were brought in to the President of the brethren. The Kiss of Peace thus fell between the end of the Missa Catechumenorum and the Missa Fidelium. In the Oriental Rites it maintained its position there, as in the Gallican.

In the African Church, as we learn from St. Augustine, the Peace fell after the Lord's Prayer at the end of the Canon; "After it, Peace be with you is said, and Christians salute one another with a holy kiss, which is a sign of peace."

Innocent I in 416 lets us know that the practice at Rome was the same, although elsewhere there was a custom (which he reprobates) of giving the kiss of peace ante confecta mysteria, before the Offertory most probably, in the Gallican and Oriental way. In Ordo I it is still found just before the Communion.


There is no form of words given in Ordo I for use at the administration of the Communion. The author of the treatise De Sacramentis, at one time ascribed to St. Ambrose, incidentally gives a formula: "The priest says to thee: The Body of Christ." This represents a North-Italian use, c. 400. In the life of St. Gregory by Paul the Deacon, c. 780, we also incidentally get another formula: "The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ avail unto thee for the remission of all sins and for everlasting life."

But in his life by John the Deacon, c. 875, in the course of relating the same story, we have: "The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve thy soul." Whether there was a fixed formula in the 8th century at Rome we cannot say; probably there was not.


St. Augustine more than once refers to the fact that the Eucharist was put into the hands of the communicant. Two centuries later, we find that at Rome the custom was to place it in the mouth of the receiver; at least, we are entitled to gather that this was so from the story of Agapitus, which St. Gregory tells in his Dialogues, about a deaf mute whose tongue was loosened when the saint put the Lord's Body into his mouth.

At the time of Ordo I the people, and perhaps everybody, were communicated with the Sacrament of the Blood through a thin tube, called pugillaris, made sometimes of silver, sometimes of gold. At a later date the Pope generally used a similar instrument at Solemn Masses, for in Ordo Jf, which Mabillon refers to the 11th century, we are told that on Maundy Thursday the pope 'confirms' himself, not with a calamus or reed, but with the Chalice only. Innocent III bears witness to the same practice in the following century.

This custom lasted long and was widespread on the Continent. In spite of the numerous fractions and pourings of the consecrated Wine from one vessel into another, we have no directions for any precaution against crumbs or drops of wine falling to the ground, accidents exceedingly likely to occur, one would imagine.

It is quite unlikely that the Romans of the 8th century ignored such possibilities; but with them custom had not crystallized into formal rule. Nor is anything said of systematic ablutions. Probably such matters were left to individual devotion. We may remember that the early Church dwelt far more strongly on the Sacrifice offered to the Father in the Mass, than on the worship of our Lord in the same.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Mass as it was in the City of Rome, part 7

A 4th-century mosaic depicting Christ and St. Peter, Basilica of Sta. Costanza, Rome.

XVIII. THE CANON (continued)
Pope: "Unde et memores sumus, Domine, nos servi tui, sed et plebs tua sancta, Christi Filii tui Domini nostri, tam beatae Passionis, nec non et ab inferis Resurrectionis, sed et in coelos gloriosae Ascensionis: offerimus praeclarae majestati tuae de tuis donis ac datis, hostiam puram, hostiam sanctam, hostiam immaculatam, Panem sanctum vitae aeternae, et calicem salutis perpetuae."

(Wherefore, O Lord, we Your servants and Your holy people are mindful both of the blessed passion of Christ Your Son, our Lord, and also His Resurrection from hell, and His glorious Ascension into heaven and offer unto Your most sovereign Majesty out of Your own gifts and presents, a pure Victim, a Holy Victim, a Spotless Victim; the holy Bread of life eternal, and the Chalice of everlasting Salvation.)
A mosaic depicting the offerings of Abel and Melchizedek in the chancel of the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, built between 526-530 AD

Pope: "Supra quae propitio ac sereno vultu respicere digneris, et accepta habere, sicuti accepta habere dignatus es munera pueri tui justi Abel, et sacrificium patriarchae nostri Abrahae, et quod tibi obtulit summus sacerdos tuus Melchisedech, sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam.

Supplices te rogamus, omnipotens Deus, jube haec perferri per manus Angeli tui in sublime Altare tuum, in conspectu divinae majestatis tuae: ut quotquot ex hac Altaris participatione, sacrosanctum Filii tui Corpus, et Sanguinem sumpserimus, omni benedictione coelesti et gratia repleamur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.

(Deign to regard with gracious and kindly attention and hold acceptable, as You deigned to accept the offerings of Abel, Your just servant, and the sacrifice of Abraham our Patriarch, and that which Your high priest Melchizedek offered to You, a holy Sacrifice and a spotless victim.

Most humbly we implore You, Almighty God, bid these offerings to be brought by the hands of Your Angel to Your altar above, before the face of Your Divine Majesty. And may those of us who, by sharing in the Sacrifice of this Altar, shall receive the Most Sacred Body and Blood of Your Son, be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing; through Christ our Lord.)
When the Pope began the Canon, an Acolyte came near, having a linen cloth thrown around his neck, and held the Paten before his breast on the right side [of the Altar?] until the middle of the Canon. The Subdeacon-Attendant then holds it with his hands covered by the planeta, comes before the Altar, and waits there with it until the District-Subdeacon takes it from him. At the end of the Canon, the District-Subdeacon stands behind the Archdeacon with the paten.
(The following prayer is noticeably absent in many early Sacramentaries or Missals and may have been a later addition; thus it may have at least not said primitively (or so it would seem), except in Masses for the Dead: "Memento etiam, Domine, famulorum famularumque tuarum Illo et Illo qui nos praecesserunt cum signo fidei, et dormiunt in somno pacis. Ipsis, Domine, et omnibus in Christo quiescentibus, locum refrigerii, lucis et pacis, ut indulgeas, deprecamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum.")

[Be mindful, O Lord, of Your servants and handmaids N. and N., who are gone before us, with the sign of faith, and sleep in the sleep of peace. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, we beseech You, grant a place of refreshment, light, and peace; through the same Christ our Lord.]

Pope: "Nobis quoque peccatoribus (Here the Subdeacons rise up) famulis tuis, de multitudine miserationum tuarum sperantibus, partem aliquam, societatis donare digneris, cum tuis sanctis Apostolis et Martyribus: cum Iohanne, Stephano, Matthia, Barnaba, Ignatio, Alexandro, Marcellino, Petro, Felicitate, Perpetua, Agathae, Lucia, Agne, Caecilia, Anastasia, et omnibus Sanctis tuis: intra quorum nos consortium, non aestimator meriti, sed veniam, quaesumus, largitor admitte, per Christum Dominum nostrum."

(To us sinners, also, Your servants, hoping in the multitude of Your mercies, deign to grant some part and fellowship with Your holy apostles and martyrs: with John, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicitas, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia, and with all Your saints; into whose company we ask You to admit us, not considering our merit, but of Your own free pardon. Through Christ our Lord.)

Pope: "Per quem haec omnia, (Here the Archdeacon rises up) Domine, semper bona creas, sanctificas, vivificas, benedicis, et praestas nobis. Per ipsum, et cum ipso, (Here the Archdeacon lifts up the Chalice again with the offertory-veil passed through its handles, and holds and raises it towards the Pope. The latter, meanwhile touches the side of the Chalice with loaves that he carries in his hands) et in ipso, est tibi Deo Patri omnipotenti, in unitate Spiritus Sancti, omnis honor et gloria; Per omnia saecula saeculorum."
R: "Amen."

(Through whom, O Lord, You create, sanctify, fill with life, bless and bestow upon us all good things. Through Him, and with Him, and in Him, is to You, God the Father Almighty, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory, forever and ever.
R: Amen.)
The Pope sets the Loaves down again in their place, and the Archdeacon puts the Chalice down by them, and removes the Offertory-Veil from the handles of the Chalice.

Pope: "Oremus. Praeceptis salutaribus moniti, et divina institutione formati, audemus dicere:
Pater noster, qui es in coelis: sanctificetur nomen tuum: adveniat regnum tuum: fiat voluntas tua, sicut in coelo, et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
R: "Sed libera nos a malo."

Pope: "Amen. Libera nos, quaesumus, Domine, ab omnibus malis praeteritis, praesentibus, et futuris: et intercedente beata et gloriosa semper Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beatis Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo, atque Andrea, et omnibus Sanctis, da propitius pacem in diebus nostris: ut ope misericordiae tuae adjuti, et a peccato simus semper liberi, et ab omni perturbatione securi (Here the Archdeacon turns around, and after kissing the Paten, takes it and gives it to the second Deacon to hold). Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus. Per omnia saecula saeculorum."
R: Amen.

Pope: Pax + Domini sit + semper vobis + cum.
The Pope then drops a fragment of the bread consecrated on the previous Mass, called the Sancta. This was seen as a symbol of unity, linking the Communicants with that of the previous Mass, where the fragment used was consecrated and on through the ages as long as the ceremony had existed.

R: "Et cum spiritu tuo."
(And with your spirit.)
The Archdeacon then gives the kiss of peace to the Chief hebdomadary Bishop, then to the rest of the Clergy in order, and then to the people.


A. THE PATER NOSTER (excerpts from E.G. Atchley's Ordo Romanus I)

St. Gregory was accused of having appointed that the Lord's Prayer should be said directly after the Canon, and of following the Church of Constantinople in so doing.
What is his answer? He does not deny that he has introduced the custom:

"It seemed to me extremely unsuitable to say the Canon over the Oblation, which was composed by some [learned man], and not to say over His Body and Blood that prayer which our Redeemer Himself composed."

From this we can gather that the Lord's Prayer was not used in the Roman Rite before the time of St. Gregory the Great at the liturgical moment when we find it in Ordo I, that is between the last prayer of the Canon and the Fraction. More than this: taking his words as they stand, they seem to indicate that it was not used at any time before the Communion; if so, it would still be said "over the Body and Blood."

St. Augustine has left it on record that "almost the whole Church concludes the Canon with the Lord's Prayer"; and referring to the use of his own Church of Hippo, he says: "Behold, when the hallowing is accomplished, we say the Lord's prayer which ye have received and repeated. After it is said Pax vobiscum, and Christians salute one another with a holy kiss." Was the Church of Rome one of the exceptions which St. Augustine had in his mind?

In the Gallican Churches the Pater Noster was recited after the Fraction, not before; and we find the same in many Oriental Rites. If the Damasian origin of the Canon be the true one, we should naturally expect that that Pope would introduce the Lord's Prayer in the place in which he had been accustomed to hear it, viz. after the Fraction...It is more likely, then, that St. Gregory did not actually introduce the custom of saying the Lord's Prayer, but altered the time at which it was said.

If the Church of Rome had been so singular as not to use it, it is in the highest degree probable that we should have had some allusion to the peculiar custom of so eminent a Church, the most important in the whole of the West; but we have none at all beyond St. Augustine's, "almost the whole Church." And, indeed, this one allusion to the practice of not using it, is rather against the idea that
Rome did not use the Pater Noster; for its omission by so important a Church would, one may believe, hardly have been passed over so briefly by him...

...St. Gregory affirms that it was the custom of the Apostles to consecrate the oblation solely with the Lord's Prayer. Of course, St. Gregory's belief that such was the case is no evidence whatever that it really was so; and it would be very surprising if it were true.
He may have meant that the Lord's Prayer was the only fixed part of the form which they used ; or, more likely, had some passage running through his mind like St. Jerome's statement that our Lord "taught his Apostles that daily in the Sacrifice of his Body believers should be bold to say, Our Father, etc."

St. Jerome wrote this at Bethlehem, c. 415, so that he was most probably referring to the custom of the Church of Jerusalem; perhaps quoting in a free fashion from St. Cyril, who says much the same thing in one of his Catechetical Lectures. St. Jerome's remark can hardly be taken as evidence for the use of the Church of Rome, although we might not unnaturally expect some reference to it here, if the Pater Noster had not formed part of the Roman Mass.

Gregory to John, Bishop of Syracuse.
Someone from Sicily has told me that a friend of his, whether Greeks or Latins I don't know, but having great zeal for the Roman Church, grumble about my arrangements, saying: 'How can he be arranging so as to keep the Church of Constantinople in check, when in all respects he follows her usage?' And when I said to him, "Which of its customs do we follow?" He answered, 'Why, you have caused Alleluia to be said in Masses out of Eastertide, you have ordered the Subdeacons to go in procession disrobed (i.e. not wearing their planetas), you have caused Kyrie Eleison to be said, and you have appointed the Lord's Prayer to be said immediately after the Canon!'

And I answered, "Well, in none of these things have we followed any other Church. For as to our custom here of saying the Alleluia, it is said to have been taken from the Church of Jerusalem in the days of Pope Damasus, of blessed memory, according to the tradition of blessed Jerome; and so we have rather curtailed that practice in this matter, which had been handed down by the Greeks."
I did, however, cause subdeacons to proceed disrobed, and it was an ancient custom of the Church. But it pleased one of our Bishops (I know not which) to order them to proceed in linen tunics. Now, did we take this tradition from the Greeks? Whence comes it today, do you suppose, that the Subdeacons proceed in linen tunics, save that they were ordered so to do by their mother the Roman Church?

As to Kyrie Eleison we neither have said it, nor do we now, as it is said by the Greeks: for among them all the people sing it together, whilst with us it is said by the clerks, and the people make answer; and Christe Eleison (which is never said among the Greeks) is said by us as many times as Kyrie Eleison. But in Ferial Masses we leave out the other things which are usually said, and only say Kyrie Eleison and Christe Eleison, so that we may be engaged a little longer in the words of supplication.

But we say the Lord's Prayer directly after the Canon for the following reason; because it was the custom of the Apostles to consecrate the sacrificial oblation solely with this prayer. And it seemed to me extremely unsuitable to say over the oblations the Canon, which was composed by some learned man, and not to say over his Body and Blood that prayer which our Redeemer Himself composed. Moreover, amongst the Greeks the Lord's Prayer is said by all the people, but with us by the priest alone. In what, therefore, have we followed the customs of the Greeks, since we have either revived old customs of our own, or established new and useful ones, in which nevertheless we are not shewn to have imitated others?

Thus, when an occasion presents itself, let your Charity proceed to the Church of Catana (a city in Sicily); or in the Church of Syracuse teach those whom you believe or understand may possibly be murmuring with respect to this matter, holding a conference there, as though for a different purpose, and so do not desist from instructing them.

For as to what they say about the Church of Constantinople, who can doubt that it is subject to the Apostolic See, as both the most pious lord the Emperor and our brother the Bishop of that city continually acknowledge? Yet, if this or any other Church has anything that is good, I am prepared in what is good to imitate even my inferiors, while prohibiting them from things unlawful. for someone who thinks himself first in such a way as to scorn to learn whatever good things he may see is foolish.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Can you guess which website this picture came from?

Unbelievable as it may sound, this picture actually came from the infamous Oregon Catholic Press' website (as part of the flash thingy in the main page). I think this is a positive sign that Summorum Pontificum is beginning to take root in many Church circles (even in unlikely places, such as this) and many are reevaluating their preconceived (and oftentimes prejudiced) opinions, beliefs and thoughts because of it. That is an encouraging thought for all of us.

Over at The New Liturgical Movement (where this pic came from), an article entitled:
The Mansion of the Past Reopened.