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And St.

ration for baptism, "Why do you not hasten to re-
ceive baptism, that you may be able to sing with the
faithful the canticle of the Seraphim?”
John Chrysostom asks the faithful how they can sing
indecent songs with those mouths which have chaunt-
ed Holy, Holy, Holy to the Lord. It was formerly
omitted on fast days, and in masses for the dead;
but the second council of Vaison, in 529, at which
St. Cesarius was present, ordered it to be said at all
masses, "even in Lent and for the dead." This
custom soon became general.

The hymn is found in the first place in the
sixth chapter of the prophet Isaias, where we
read the very words, as sung by the seraphim, Ho-
ly, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth, or of armies,
or hosts; the heavens and the earth are full of his
glory. For the reason which has been previously
given, the church retains the original Hebrew word
Sabaoth, instead of taking its translation. St. Am-
brose says, the triple chaunt is in honour of the
Trinity; and this great Lord is called the God of
armies, or of hosts: for he is that Ancient of days
described by Daniel,† from before whom a fiery
stream issued, and thousands of thousands ministered
unto him, and ten thousand times hundreds of thou-
sands stood before him.
church causes us to repeat it here below, that we
Tertullian says, that the
may be associated with those, in whose company we
hope to rest for eternity.

ject of the sacrifice, the church contemplates him But now coming more directly to the specific obwho reconciled us to his Father, and beholding his near approach, she puts into our mouths the Hosannas to him who comes in the name of the Lord. The son of David, not now entering Jerusalem to be mangled upon the cross, but preparing to descend upon our altar to immolate himself as the victim of "Lib. xxx, c. 18, de Spir. Sanc. vii, 9, &c. De orat iii:

his own love and our salvation. Hosanna is not only an ejaculation of praise, but also a prayer for mercy. It was the cry of the Jews at the feast of Tabernacles, and of the multitudes, who strewed their garments in his way, and accompa nied Jesus into Jerusalem, bearing branches in their hands, and crying out, *Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

The various other additions to the preface on the occasion of special feasts, or observances, are sufficiently explanatory in themselves, such as the shedding of that ray of divine light upon us by the birth of the Saviour, which is alluded to in the preface, proper for christmas. His appearing manifest in our flesh, in that for Epiphany. The object of the fast in Lent; the effect of his crucifixion in the preface of the cross; his sacrifice, by which he is our Pasch, and his resurrection at Easter; his conversation with his apostles and ascension; the descent of the Holy Ghost at whitsuntide, and the effects of this descent; the favour conferred on the blessed Virgin Mary, and the power of the apostles, together with the unity of the church, and the source of spiritual jurisdiction. All those are separately and specially brought in review before our minds through the year, on various occasions, by the special or proper prefaces.

The assistant rings the bell at the sanctus, to rouse the attention of the congregation, and to exi cite them to join in the hymn.

The next part is the Canon. This has its name from being a part which has always been an unchanging rule, by which the celebrant was to be directed; and which was not subject to the discretion of the priest or bishop, even in those early days when much was left to their prudence. The mean

*Matt. xxi, 9.


ing of the word canon, is "a rule." It consists of
that part of the Liturgy which commences with the
words Te igitur clemen tissime pater, &c.; “we
therefore, humbly pray," &c. down to the words per
omnia Sæcula Sæculorum, Amen. "For ever and
ever, Amen." just before the Lord's prayer. But
latterly the Canon is considered to comprise the
Lord's prayer, and to extend to the prayers at tak-
ing the Chalice and the ablutions inclusive.

It is

This is one of the most ancient parts of the liturgy; we ûnd it in very nearly the same words as are now in the Roman Missal, in the ancient Ordo Romattus, which quotes it as of the oldest date. on all hands agreed that the last person who amended and reduced it to its present form, was Pope St. Gregory the great, in the year 595. Kemnitz and most others who have written against the Catholic doctrine on this point, say that in the year 590 it assumed its present form. In his 63d epistle, St. Gregory states that before his time, but he does not state exactly when, it had been compiled by an eminent Scholastic; that is, by a person of considerable information. Pope Vigilius in the year 545, mentions it as the "text of Canonical prayer." Pope Leo I in the year 445, added the following words Sanctum Sacrificium et immaculatam hostiam, holy sacrifice and unspotted victim," just after the words tibi obtulit Sacerdos tuus Melchisedech " high priest Melchisedech offered to thee," at the thy conclusion of the second paragraph after the words of consecration: and Pope Innocent 1, calls the Canon, by excellence" The prayer," in the year 408, in his Epistle to Decentius, where he speaks of the custom of repeating the names, or making the memento, "before the Priest makes the prayer.” St. Augustin about the year 420, calls it by the same name, where he says in his 149th Epistle that "nearly the entire Church concludes all its petition with the Lords prayer." St. Ambrose who was the

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teacher of St. Augustine in his 4th book on the Sacraments, has the two prayers which immediately precede the consecration, and the two which immediately follow it, almost letter for letter as they are now found in the Canon, and he quotes them as taken from the Ancient rites. In the 4th Chapter of this 4th book, he distinctly mentions the substance of the first prayer of our Canon, as does Optatus of Milevi, in his second book against Parmenian, and St. Augustine in his 84th tract on St. John, mentions those prayers thereof, in which the Saints are named and invoked, and prayers offered for the dead. St. Cyprian in the year 250, calls it the prayer which follows the preface. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Basil, and Pope Vigilius testify that those customs and prayers were handed down from the Apostles; and this testimony was not contradicted, but was supported by their cotemporaries and immediate successors. It was also called Actio, Mysterium, &c. by many of the most ancient writers. St. Pelagius writes both phrases. In actione Sacri Mysterii is the name by which he calls it "in the performance of the holy mystery." The second council of Carthage in the year 390, calls it Ordo agendi "the order of doing" that is, of producing the Sacraments or offering the Sacrifice-doing an act. They who are at all conversant with the history of the early ages of the Church, will not be astonished at not finding earlier written documents upon the subject, for they are well aware of the custom which prevailed during the first three centuries and a half, of not committing the forms of the Sacraments or the prayers of the mysteries to writing, they were taught to the Clergy, and not written; hence we could have no earlier documents. It must be then quite plain that no better evidence could be expected of the Antiquity of our Canon.

*S Pelag. in Ep. Agobard. ad Ludov. imp.

But in addition to these we may add some considerations which have very great weight. First it is usual in the dyptics of the churches to insert the names of the saints, to be repeated in the canon; now in this canon there is not the name of any but of a martyr of a very early date-therefore all the dyptics which have been introduced, must have been of a corresponding period, and not later than the third century. Secondly, we have the most accurate statements of all the changes that have been made in the canon by any of the Pontiffs, and they are very few, we have also the various additions to that part of the office, which was left more to discretion than the canon, hence we conclude that if the canon was not of apostolic origin, we would have had some account of its author; or if any serious change had been made, we would have learned it equally well as we did that made by Pope Leo, and that other by Pope Gregory, when in his revision thereof he added the words Diesque nostros in tua pace disponas. peace," as at the end of the prayer said by the cele"And dispose our days in thy brant with his hands spread over the offering-and again in the enumeration of the apostles, the order is very different from any other which we find; and can be best accounted for, as also can the introduction of their names and of those of saints who lived nearly two centuries after the apostles, in a work attributed to the apostolic age, by the account of

what the dyptics

We shall now examine the prayers of the canon, were as shall be given. and find that as the council of Trent declares,* it contains nothing but what is calculated to lift the soul to God, and that it consists of the compositions of our Lord himself, of the apostles, and the most

holy and earliest Pontiffs.

The celebrant begins by lifting his hands and eyes

* Sess. xxii. c. 4.

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