« PreviousContinue »
they sang the 113th Psalm, When Israel went out from Egypt. The Psalm usually performed on this occasion in the early days of Christianity, was the 33d. I will bless the Lord at all times, the 9th verse. O, taste and see that the Lord is sweet, &c. was sometimes chosen as the Antiphon. Other Psalms were sometimes taken, and then only part of a Psalm, and at present but one or two verses, which is called the communion, though at present the communion is frequently given after Mass, and not at this
The book was removed to the side where it originally was, as being its usual place; or for the mystic reason, to shew that the Jewish Church would in the latter days come over to Christ, after the fullness of the Gentiles * should have been received. The celebrant reads the communion at the book, and then going to the middle of the altar, gives the people the usual salutation, and then at the book in
vites them to join in prayer. Oremus. "Let us pray," and reads or sings the Post communion, which prayer corresponds with the collect, and secret, and is generally a thanksgiving for communion, and has its name from having been read after the communion. Besides the Post-communion, there is sometimes read at the same place, a prayer headed Super populum "over the people," and before which a notice was given by the Deacon Humiliate capita vestra Deo, "Bow down your heads to God." Upon which they bowed towards the East, and the prayer was then said; this was only on days of penance or humiliation, particularly when no person but the celebrant communicated, and when therefore they who did not receive the holy communion could not so well join in the Post-communion. The celebrant again saluted the people, and except on days of penance or in Masses for the Dead, the Deacon turned round and gave notice of departure by saying or singing Ite Missa
* Rom. xi. 19.
est. "Go, the Mass is over." In Easter week he added two alleluias, and the choir answered "Deo Gratias. Thanks be to God." The people, howev er, did not generally depart before they received the blessing, previously to giving which, the celebrant bowing down before the altar repeated the prayer. Placeat. "Let the performance of my homage, &c." After which he gave his blessing, praying that the "Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, may bless them." On days of penance, instead of lie Missa est, the Deacon turns to the altar, not to the people, and says or sings Benedicamus Domino " Let' us bless the Lord" as an invitation to them to continue in prayer; and in Masses for the Dead Requi escant in pace "May they rest in peace." In those latter Masses, no blessing is given, because the principal object of the Mass is the relief of the faithful departed, and not so much the advantages of the assistants, for whose benefit this last blessing was introduced, in the very earliest of ages in the Greek Church, and subsequently in the Latin Church.
The celebrant then repeats the Gospel of St. John which contains the most sublime testimony of the Divinity and Incarnation of our blessed Lord, and at the passage, And the word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, he and the congregation bend their knees to honour the divine mystery. This has been introduced at the request of pious persons who have in various places at different times besought it, and is in general practice now upwards of 800 or 900 years. In place of this Gospel sometimes another is said. This occurs when a festival is celebrated on a Sunday, or on a day in Lent, or Quarter-tense, which has a proper gospel of its own, and which gospel is then read instead of that of St. John.
In some places it is usual for the celebrant after reciting the last Gospel to repeat together with the as sistants the 129th Psalm. From the depths, &c. for the faithful departed.
In the foregoing explanation, the origin and meaning of the various ceremonies and observances, and restments and prayers of the liturgy of the Mass are laid before the reader in such a manner as it is hoped exhibits the action to be a pious, and rational and edifying observance, derived from the earliest antiquity, and founded upon divine authority. When therefore the Christian attends thereat, he should endeavour to go back in spirit to Jerusalem and CalVary, and contemplating the institutions of Christ, and his sufferings, so to conduct himself as to obtain abundant benedictions, which must always be derived from the merits of that victim who offers himself in this Sacrifice on our behalf.
The compiler has laboured under many disadvantages, from the situation in which he has been placed, occupied in visiting his Diocess, and without books to which he might refer, during a considerable portion of the time in which this dissertation has been hastily thrown together. compiled at one time but with many interruptions. It has not been For its literary faults he must be excused. He is under the impression that its doctrine is perfectly correct, but if in any thing he have deviated from the form of sound words held by the holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, he is anxious immediately
to correct it.
CONTAINING A SUMMARY OF THE RUBRICS.
I. The Mass consists of several portions, some of which are always the same, and some of which vary on several occasions.
II. That part which does not vary is called "the ordinary of the Mass," and may be found in its pro per place, after the office of holy Saturday, that is the Saturday next before Easter Sunday.
III. That part which varies, consists of the Introit, Collects, Epistle with its accompaniaments, Gospel, Offertory, Secrets, Preface, Communion and Post Communion, and they may be found in their proper place as described below."
1. The prefaces are all found together between that part of the Ordinary of the Mass which immedi ately precedes the Secrets, and the Canon, and each preface has its proper title, by which it may be easily known.
IV. The church celebrates her offices either ac cording to the time of the year, or for the festival of some Saint, or for some particular occasion.
V. The year begins with the first Sunday of Advent, after Advent is the festival of Christmas, on the eighth day after which is the Circumcision, next is the Epiphany, after which the Sundays are numbered, first, second, &c. to Septuagesima Sunday; then the Sundays of Sexagesima, and Quinquagesi ma, the Wednesday next after which is Ash Wednes day the first day in Lent, in which there are proper
asses for every day; the fifth Sunday of Lent is called Passion Sunday, the next Palm Sunday, the week of which is called the greater week; this is followed by Easter Sunday and the Easter week; the next Sunday is called Low Sunday, which is the first after Easter. Between Easter and the Ascension are five Sundays, which after Low Sunday are numbered the second, third, &c. after Easter. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after the fifth of these of the Ascension; ten days after which is Pentecost are called Rogation days. Thursday is the feast or Whit Sunday, with its week; the next Sunday is Trinity Sunday, which is of course the first after Pentecost; the Thursday following, which is the festival of the most holy Eucharist, commonly called Corpus Christi. From this the Sundays are numbered, second, third, &c. after Pentecost to advent,
which commences the next year.
VI. The festivals of the saints begin with the vi29th of November, and proceed regularly through gil or eve of St. Andrew the apostle, which is the the days of the month, until the round of the entire year is made, unto the 28th of the same month.
VII. The offices for particular occasions are celebrated, for the dedication of a church, for choosing a pope, on the anniversary of the bishops' consecra
tion, for the dead, &c.
VIII. On every day in the year, except Good
Friday, mass can be celebrated.
be found by knowing what office is celebrated on
that particular day.
X. Sometimes the festival of a saint occurs on the same day when some office according to the time of the year should be celebrated.
XI. To regulate this, the offices of the time and of
2d class: greater doubles, plain doubles, semi-deta