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ing out the hand upon which he was to receive his Eng, and how he should at the same time bow doron in adoration before the sacred chalice. St. Ambrose" treating of that passage of the 98th Psalm, adore the footstool of his feet, says that it is the earth which is that footstool ; from that earth the flesh of Christ originally came, “this” he says “ we adore in the mysteries, and it was this which the apostles adored in the Lord Jesus, as we said above." St. Augustine mentions it in his explanation of that verse of the 21st Psalm, f and all the rich ones of the people have eaten and adored, where he speaks of their coming to the Eucharist and eating that which they have adored ; and again in his commentary on the 98th Psalm he explains the passage as St. Ambrose did, but much more fully and amongst other expressions he has the following "No person eats that flesh unless he have first adored it." In the ancient work on the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy attributed to Denis the Areopagyte we finds a prayer of adoration addressed to Christ in the sacrament, Origens in an address to the faithful about to communicate, tells them to bumble themselves before their Lord as the centurion did. St. John Chrysostom in his 61st homily to the people of Antioch, calls upon them to adore the sacrament, and to receive it. In his liturgy the Rubric states after the consecration, the priest adores, then the deacon adores, and then the people adore, the deacon calling upon them to give their attention, the priest then makes the holy elevation. But this elevation, in the Greek church, was generally made just before the communion, and not, as we hare it now, at the instant of consecration. The ceremony, as described by the ancient books and rituals, was very striking. It has been before observed, that at the beginning of the Canon, the sanctuary was clo
Lib. 3 de Spir. Sanc. + Ep. 120 ad. Honor . 27. Cap. 3, par. 3. Hom. 5 in divers. De la Hogue. Tract de Euch. p. 147.
sed, and curtains drawn round it; now the curtains were drawn aside, the gates flew open, and the celebrant presented the holy sacrament to the adoration of the faithful, before the communicants approachede in some places they knelt, in others they only bowed the lead; and in some places a custom, even to this day, prevails, that soldiers only present their arms. St. John Chrysostom, in his 3d Homily to the people of Epliesus, says, that they should look upon the opening of the gates of the sanctuary as the opening of the gates of heaven; and with the eyes of faith to behold present Christ and his angels. And in his 61st, to the people of Antioch, “Behold the table of the King; angels are his attendants. The King is there; if your garments be clean, adore him, and receive the cominunion.” St. Germanus, of Constantinople, in the middle of the Sth century, states,* that the elevation of the adorable body represents the elevation on the cross, and also the resurrection from the dead; and that when with this holy sacrament the sign of the cross is thrice made over the patten, it is in hos nour of the Trinity.
It was the custom for the deacon then to call out immediately after the elevation,t "Holy things for holy persons ;” and the people answered, * There is but one holy, one Jesus Christ, who is in the glory of his Father.” “ This,” says, Simon of Thessalonica, commenting on it, “is the fulfilment of that prophecy of St. Paul, that every knee shall bend at the name of Jesus, and every tongue confess, that the Lord Jesus is in the glory of the Father.”
Amalariusi mentions their remaining on their knees in adoration in the Latin church until the Lord's Prayer; just before which, formerly the only elevation of the host which was made took place.But after the errors of Berengarius, the piety of the
* Lib. 1. Rer. Eccl. + Euchol. Græc. p. 81.
| Lib. 8. c. 22, & 23.
cartei farthful introduced stronger evidence of their faith,
and the first person who introduced the elevation, as adorabe it is now practised in the Latin church, immediately
after the consecration, is thought to be Hildebert, is borwa Bishop of Mans, and subsequently, about the year
1130, Archbishop of Tours in France. Many religious orders, which existed early in the twelfth cen
tury, had the custom then; and that also of ringing he opet the bell at the elevation. Yvo of Chartres, who died Day Bein 1115, complimend Maud, queen of England, for
the present which she made to the church of our la
dy of Chartres, of bells to ring at the consecration; ing; but the custom was not yet general, for it was only
in 1215 that a general statute was made, by order be city of Citeaux, to have the bell rung during the conse
cration; in 1188, Eudes, bishop of Paris, ordered plant the bost to be elevated at the consecration; and soon
after, William, Bishop of Paris, made a statute to e dei ring the bells. The custom was introduced into sipan Germany in 1203, by Guy, the cardinal legate, and
about the same period we have a statute of the bishop
of Coventry, in England, upon the subject. Thus call of the custom was caused by the error of Berengarius,
in order to evince by more precise external obser-
no longer bread and wine to contemplate, but the body and blood of Christ under their appear ance; and we must keep this in mind in considering
prayers which follow. In the first prayer the celebrant makes the sign of the cross over the victin, when he calls it "a pure host, an holy host, an linspotted host, the holy bread of eternal life, and chalice of everlasting salvation." But it is no longer
bless them, for the Author of every blessing is there. The sign is made to remind us, first, that We have present the victim who immolated himself
for us upon the cross ; next that every blessing must I. be derived from that immolation, and then to com
memorate his death, and obtain its application to our souls. We here “his servants” at the altar, and “his holy people,” who attend with devotion, thus fulfil the injunction of Christ, to do this in commemoration of him; for we commemorate the passion, resurrection, and ascension of our blessed Lord Je sus Christ, and "offer to his most excellent majesty this host, pure, holy, and unspotted, which has been now produced from those gifts and bounties which he has bestowed upon us.”
The celebrant proceeds to entreat that the Lord would “vouchsafe to look with a propitious and serene countenance" upon our oblation, which now consists of the body and blood of Christ, and which must of its own nature be acceptable, and needs not our entreaty to gain favour in heaven; and ourselves and our prayers, which are not so perfect, and may therefore be objects of displeasure in his sight, in consequence of our crimes, and the imperfection of our acts, even when we undertake to do the work of the Holy Ghost. In the fear, therefore, which accompanies this doubt, we make the request, and to animate our hope, we call to mind some of our fel. low-mortals, whose dispositions did render them objects of celestial favour. We hence are emboldened to ask that he would “accept” us and our offering, " as he was graciously pleased to accept the gifts of his just servant Abel," *uho by faith offered io God a sacrifice exceeding that of Cain, by which he oblain, ed a testimony that he was just. "And the sacrifice of our Patriarch Abraham,” who thy faith, when he was tried, offered Isaac ; and he that received the promises, offered up his only begotten son. (70 whom it was said, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.) Accounting ihal God is able to raise up even from the dead. Whereupon also he received him for a parable. " And that which his high priest Melchisedech offered to him a boly sacrifice and unspotted victim."
* Heb. xi. 4.
+ lb xj, 17.
memorate his death, and obtain its application to souls. We here : his servants” at the alare fith and sacrifice with the venerable sages of anti
Here now the christian beholds himself united in “ his holy people," who attend with devotion
quity, for Abel knew that redemption should be effulfil the injunction of Christ, to do this in cur fected in blood,* and without the shedding of blood moration of him; for we commemorate the past there is no renission; therefore he took not of the resurrection,
and ascension of our blessed Land fruits of the earth, but of the firstlings of his flock, sus Christ, and offer to his most excellent mes and offered his sacrifice in the hope of future atonethis host, pure, holy, and unspotted, which has the ment, and only through the merits of Christ, the Now produced from those gifts and bounties or shedding of whose blood was figured therein, was it has bestowed upon us." The celebrant proceeds to entreat that the li the land of vision, darted his eye through the shadowy
acceptable. Abraham who had learned mysteries in would "vouchsafe to look with a propitious 23 vista of ages, tRejoicing that he might see the day of rene countenance” upon our oblation, which
the Saviour: he saw it and was glad. must of its own nature be acceptable, and need embraced the living Isaac upon the mountain ; Isaac, consists of the body and blood of Christ, and we heart vearned within him, when after the holocaust, he our entreaty to gain favour in heaven; and out his dearly beloved, who carried upon his back, the therefore be objects of displeasure in his side after the oblation; and whilst the tear of gratitude and and our prayers, which are not so perfect, and wood upon which he was to be immolated, and yet lived our acts, even wheb we undertake to do the road of his aged cheek, the venerable father of the faithful consequence of our crimes, and the imperlecare devotion swelled in the eye, or moistened the furrow the Holy Ghost. In the fear, therefore, whest
could scarcely repress his feelings at beholding the animate our hope, we call to mind some of a companies this doubt, we make the request. zx figure of Christ immolated and living, sacrificed and low-mortals, whose dispositions did render thens
not consumed. Melchisedech was king of Salem,
priest of the most high God, who met Abraham rejects of celestial favour. We hence are embull to ask that he would " accept” us and our conta him, king of justice, and king of peace, without fa
turning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed i as he was graciously pleased to accept the point ther, without mother, without genealogy; having his just servant Abel," *ucho by faith offered to have a sacrifice exceeding that of Cain, by which he day
neither beginning of days nor end of life, but likened a testimony that he was just. “And the sacris
greater than Abraham. Of Melchisedech St. Paul of our Patriarch Abraham," who thy faiti, sest
had much to say, and hard to be intelligibly uttered, was tried, offered Isaac ; and he that recente
because they to whom he wrote had become weakto hear. promises, offered up his only begotten rohom it was said, In Isaac shall thy seed be call
This Melchisedech offered sacrifice in bread and wine.
Here then we have the atonement by blood, iu Abel, Accounting that God is able to raise up eren fra
the victim immolated and living in Isaac; and under dead. Whereupon also he received him for a peri ble. " And that which his high priest Melchiseked
Heb. i., 22. John viii. 56. Heb. vii. pas. offered to him a holy sacrifice and unspotted Tko
sim. Heb. v. 4.