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cludes by the words which clearly prove those merits to be the foundation on which we rest all our hope by those words, “ Through the same Christ, our Lord, Amen."
But why, it is said, need we ask to have our sacrifice received, if that sacrifice be Christ, who must necessarily be acceptable ? Because we are not nem cessarily acceptable, and the object is to apply to us the benefit of this offering, by granting to us those dispositions which will qualify us to profit by that which in itself is excellent.
This prayer was originally said, only on the festivals of saints, and special mention then was made of that saint whose festival was celebrated, but during the latter 700 or 800 years the special name has been omitted, and the general form used as now. Many of the ancient Missals style it the prayer of St. Anbrose, we however, have no better evidence to attribute its formation to him.
The celebrant then having kissed the altar through respect, turns round to request the faith ful to pray with him, saying Orate fratres, &c “ Brethren pray," &c.-the answer to which is gis. en in the name of the people by the attendant praying Suscipiat, &c. " May the Lord receive," &c. The celebrant pronounces only the first words in an andible voice ; and repeats the remainder in a perfectly under tone, to teach the faithful that silent or internal prayer, together with meditation on the divine mysteries is what best befits the solemn occasion which now presents itself; and this invitation is given to rouse them from any distractions which might have occupied their thoughts, as well as to excite them to greater attention to the solemn mysteries : and in order to cut off all occasion of distraction from the celebrant, no person is allowed to come so near as to be under his observation, except when it is necessary to attend him. Nor does he turn round towards the people from this moment un
which shall be noticed.
us to profit be
In many of
Deacon mutually said.
cludes by the words which clearly prove those sel til after the conclusion of the Sacrifice; but as Moits to be the foundation on which we rest al si es held his hands lifted and apart in prayer upon hope by those words, * Through the same cost be mountain, in order that Israel might overcome our Lord, Amen."
Amalec.* He now holds them in the same manner But why, it is said, need we ask to hare erstwhilst the faithful endeavour to overcome that enecrifice received, if that sacrifice be Christ
, whorf by who impedes their progress to the true land of necessarily be acceptable ? Because we are lot
four inheritance: nor does he change them from this cessarily acceptable
, and the object is to apply to the benefit of this offering, hy granting to use which requires their use and on a few other occasions
position except when any special act is to be done, dispositions which will qualify which in itself is excellent.
The mode of invitation to prayer at this place, and This praver was originally said, only on the liter its answer have varied very considerably, but the vals of saints, and special mention then was made
substance has always been the same. that saint whose festival was celebrated, but do the Ancient Missals, the words which the priest the latter 700 or 800 years the special name has led says now in a loud voice, viz. Orate fratres, is all omitted, and the general form used as now. that was marked, whilst others entered more fully of the ancient Missals style it the prayer of St. Le into the explanation of the object of the prayer. In brose, we however, have no better evidence lo a
the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom, the celebrant and tribute its formation to him.
The celebrant then having kissed the short scend upon you," and in the Liturgy of St. James, ful to pray with him, saying Orate fratres, . through respect, turns round to request the fall the celebrant continued his prayer at the altar, and
just before the preface the assistants prayed as in the
Liturgy of St Chrysostom. In others the celebrant " Brethren pray," &c.---the answer to which is en in the name of the people by the attendant porn gave the invitation, and the people prayed without ing Suscipiat, &c. “ May the Lord receive, * & ving a special a The celebrant pronounces only the first words !!
been generally established in the Latin Church dur
answer ; but the present order has audible voice ; and repeats the remainder in a fectly under tone, to teach the faithful thai siled!" internal prayer, together with meditation on the
The prayer exhibits the progress of charity and vine mysteries is what best befits the solemn and sion which now presents itself; and this invitam
the communion of the faithful : after seeking the
Praise and glory of the Lord, we then desire our
own benefit, and then that of the whole church; is given to rouse them from any distractions of
showing that we must first love God above all things, might have occupied their thoughts, as well and even above ourselves, then loving ourselves, and excite them to greater attention to the solemo ere
our brethren as ourselves for the love of God. teries : and in order to cut off all occasion of 1
The celebrant then reads the prayer or prayers come so near as to be under his observation, exercorresponds to the number of Collects. This prayer traction from the celebrant, no person is allomatinis called the secret or secrets, the number of which when it is necessary to attend him. Nor does by tum round towards the people from this momento"
* Exod. xvii.
"May the Holy Ghost de
ing 800 or 900 years.
has been differently called, sometimes Super oblata “over the oblations.” This needs no explanation, for now the oblations were on the altar. This is found in the Sacramentary of St. Gregory, and in that of Pope St. Gelasius. They are more generally called Secreta or Secrets. Some authors say that this name was given because they were said in a low voice; however, we have seen all the prayers since the offertory, and find that with the exception of the preface, and the Lord's prayer, all the other prayers to the end of the Canon are said in a low voice. The compiler of this essay is therefore more inclined to the opinion of the great Bishop of Meaux* that this prayer was called Secreta, because it was said over the part of the offerings of the people, which was to be consecrated after the Secrelio or separation had been made. This explanation appears the more natural as being at the same time founded upon a fact, and having the very same meaning as súper oblata the other title of the prayer.
During the repetition of the secret prayers the celebrant is supposed to have so thoroughly imbibed the spirit of devotion, that he no longer can contain it within, and be therefore concludes them by repeating or singing the latter words per omnia Secula Seculorum, “World without end" aloud; the choir answers “ Amen." The next salutation is that of Dominus vobiscum which has been already explain ed. Then Sursum Corda “Lift up your hearts" to which he is answered Habemus ad Dominum “We have lifted them up to the Lord." Then the celebrant says or sings, Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro, “ Let us give thanks to the Lord our God." And is answered, Dignum et justum est. “It is meet and just,” after which he says or sings the preface, which is so called, because it immediately precedes the canon of the Mass.
*Bossuet Explicat De la Messe, parag. ä.
per Formerly, in some churches, immediately after satin h the Orate fratres the Sanctuary was enclosed in curby is la lains, and the celebrant was not seen, hence it was d in the useless for him to turn towards the faithful in salut
ing them during the Canon, or immediately precedhating it: but even where there where no curtains, as
at present we have none, the solemn occupation of
the celebrant prevents his turning round. The inte min most ancient liturgies contain this invitation to lift
up our hearts to the Lord, and it is so general through all the first writers and early documents, as to be evidently of Apostolic introduction. It is found in the constitutions by Clement Lib. 8. c. 17. St. Cyprian. fer. 6. de orat. Dom. Cyril of Jerusalem. Cat Myst 5. divers places in St. John Chrysostom and St. Augustine, &c. The invitation to give thanks to the Lord our God is equally ancient, and the preface is found in every Liturgy which has been The Greeks have only one preface, but the Latins have had a vast number, almost every principal festival of the great mysteries or of any distinguished Saint
, having a proper preface: but about the year 1050, they were reduced to ten, and all the others abolished. Those retained, are the same that were enumerated as fully sanctioned by the church, about the year 580, by Pope Pelagius II, in his answer to the Bishops of Germany and France. They are the
common preface, and those of Christmas, Epiphıany, Lent, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, the Trinity, the Apostles, and the Cross. Pope Urban II, in the year 1095, approved of that of the blessed Virgin in the Councils of Plaisance and Clermont. Though the decree be not found in the Acts of the Councils
, it is quoted by Gratian 50 years after. Tuose form at present the body of prefaces of the
can be more appropriate than for man who aspires to a heavenly country, to lift up his
heart and seek for it. His thoughts and his desires should be in heaven, for where his treasure is, there also should his heart be; he desires to join with the angels in glory, then should he also join with them here below in praising their great Creator. And nothing can surely be more just, nor more necessary than that we who have received all things from his bounty, and who have so often experienced his mercy, should give him thanks therefor ; but at no moment should our gratitude be more strong, nor our feelings more lively, than when we contemplato the son of God slain for our transgressions, and now expect him upon the altar to be under the sacramental veils, at once our victim, and our sustenance.
Our praises are given to God, through our Lord Jesus Christ; and in giving them, we behold him, surrounded as it were by the whole heavenly court, from the most humble angel, to the most ardent se raph, who rapt in the fire of love, burns in extacy and blazes in glory near the throne. And* they rent not day and night, saying HoLY, HOLY, ROLY, amu! giving glory and honour and benediction to him thal sitteth on the throne. In the fervour of the moment, the celebrant invites his flock to join with them in the sacred canticle, and the choir and people unite in their jubilee of exultation.
In saying those words, Holy, &c. the celebrant joins his hands, and bows down his head, in humble adoration, whilst he repeats to the Lord God of Sabaoth, the heavens and the earth are full of his glory : Hosanna in the highest; blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord;" and he makes the sign of the cross, to exhibit the source of blessing to fallen man, and repeats “ Hosanna in the highest."
This hymn is found in all the most ancient Liturgies.t St. Gregory of Nyssa, in his address to the Catechumens,urging them to accelerate their prepa
* Apoc. iv, 8. Sec Le Brun, part iv, parag. 4.