1902 Encyclopedia > Liturgy

Liturgy




LITURGY. The word " Liturgy " technically denotes the " Order for the Celebration and Administration of the Eucharist." It has come to be used in a more popular sense to denote any or all of the various services of the Christian church, whether contained in separate volumes or bound up together in the form of a Book of Common Prayer. We propose to treat of " the liturgy " chiefly, but not exclusively, in the former and stricter sense, and, without further discussion of the use of the word in Biblical or patristic literature, and without entering into various questions with reference to their origin, growth, first committal to writing, &c, to give our readers some account of the principal liturgies which exist, or have existed, in the Christian church.

There are five main families or groups of liturgies, three of them Eastern in origin and use, one Eastern in origin but Western in use, one Western both in origin and use. They are known either by the names of the apostles with whom they are traditionally connected, or by the names of the countries or cities in which they are known or believed to have been once or always in use.

GROUP I. St James, West Syrian, Jerusalem. —The prin-cipal liturgies to be enumerated under this group are the Clementine, so called from being found in the eighth book of the Apostolic Constitutions, which have been erroneously referred to St Clement, first bishop of Borne (lib. viii. 10-15) ; the Greek and Syriac liturgies of St James ; the Greek liturgies of St Basil and St Chrysostom ; the Armenian liturgy of St Gregory the Illuminator, first patriarch of Armenia ; a large number of later Syriac liturgies springing from the Syriac liturgy of St James. Of these liturgies, that of St Chrysostom is used now by the Orthodox Eastern Church, except on the first five Sundays in Lent, Thursday and Saturday in Holy Week, the vigils of Christmas and Epiphany, and St Basil's Day, when the liturgy of St Basil is used; and in Lent (except Sundays and Saturdays and Lady Day), when the liturgy of the pre-sanctified is used.

This group, like all the purely Eastern liturgies, is marked by an absence of flexibility as to number and shape of prefaces, collects, &c. Its special feature, if we may adopt a recently employed canon of difl'erentiation, is the position of the great intercession for quick and dead, for rulers in church and state, for the sick, for travellers, for the fruits of the earth, &c, after the consecration of the elements has been completed by the invocation of the Holy Spirit (C. E. Hammond, Lit. Eastern and Western, pp. 26-29).

GROUP II. St Mario, Egyptian, Alexandria.—-This group includes the Greek liturgies of St Mark, St Basil, and St Gregory; the Coptic liturgies of St Cyril, St Basil, and St Gregory; the Ethiopic liturgy known as the " Cauon Universalis" or " Liturgy of all the Apostles," together with sixteen other subordinate Ethiopic liturgies. They are distinguished by the position of the great intercession in the middle of the preface, as well as by the prominent part assigned throughout to the deacon.

GROUP III. St Adxus, East Syrian, Edessa.—There are three extant liturgies belonging to this group, now exclusively used by Nestorian Christians,—those of SS. Adaeus and Maris, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and Nesto-rius ; the titles of three lost liturgies have been preserved, —those of Narses, Barsumas, and Diodorus of Tarsus. The liturgy of the Christians of St Thomas, on the Malabar coast of India, formerly belonged to this group, but it was almost completely assimilated to the Boman liturgy by Portuguese Jesuits at the synod of Diamper in 1599. The characteristic of this group is the position of the great intercession in the middle of the consecration, between the words of institution (or, to speak more accurately, the place where the words of institution must have occurred) and the invocation.

GROUP IV. St John, Hispano-Gallican, Ephesus.—This group of Latin liturgies, which once prevailed very widely in western Europe, has been almost universally superseded by the liturgy of the Church of Bome. Where it survives it has been either partially or almost completely assimilated to the Boman pattern. It prevailed once throughout Spain, France, part of northern Italy, and Great Britain and Ireland, in forms of which a detailed account is appended. The term "Ephesine" has been applied to this family of liturgies, chiefly by modern English liturgiologists, to denote a theory as to their origin which, although upheld by other than English writers, must be regarded rather as a possible hypothesis than a proved fact (Leslie, Pref. to Mozar. Missal, sect. 25 ; Bickell, Messe und Pascha, p. 10). The many traces of Eastern influence in their composition, and the close connexion which is known to have existed at a very early period between the churcujs of Lyons and of western Asia Minor, have suggested the theory that the latter country must have been the birth-place of this class of liturgies. The names of the apostle St John and of Ephesus his place of residence have been pressed into service as further particularizations of the same theory. The special feature of these liturgies is the position of the great intercession after the offertory, before the com-mencement of the preface and canon.

The chief traces of Oriental affinity lie in the follow-ing points:—(1) the various proclamations made by the deacon, including that of " Silentium facite" before the epistle (Migne, torn. Ixxxv. p. 534) ; (2) the presence of a third lesson, preceding the epistle, taken from the Old Testament; (3) the occasional presence of " preces," a series of short intercessions resembling the Greek " Ektene," or deacon's litany; (4) the position of the kiss of peace at an early point in the service, before the canon, instead of the Roman position after consecration; (5) the exclamation " sancta Sanctis" occurring in the Mozarabic rite, the counterpart of the Eastern TO, ayia rots aytots; (6) traces of the presence of the " Epiklesis," that is to say, the invocation of the Holy Spirit, in its Eastern position, after the words of institution, as in the collect styled the Bost-pridie in the Mozarabic service for the second Sunday after Epiphany:—" We beseech thee that thou wouldest sanctify this oblation with the permixture of Thy Spirit, and con-form it with full transformation into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ." On the other hand, the great variableness of its parts, and its immense number of proper prefaces, ally it to the Western family of liturgies.

We now proceed to give a more detailed account of the chief liturgies of the Hispano-Gallican group.

1. The Mozarabic Liturgy.—This was the national liturgy
of the Spanish Church till the close of the 11th century,
when the Boman liturgy was forced upon it. Its use,
however, lingered on, till in the 16th century Cardinal
Ximenes, anxious to prevent its becoming quite obsolete,
had its books restored and printed, and founded a college
of priests at Toledo to perpetuate its use. It survives
now only in that and one other church in Spain, and even
there not without certain Boman modifications of its
original text and ritual.

Its date and origin, like the date and origin of all exist-ing liturgies, are uncertain, and enveloped in the mists of antiquity. It is evidently not derived from the Roman liturgy. Its whole structure, and every separate detail, disprove such a parentage, and therefore it is strange to find St Isidore of Seville (Lib. de Eccles. Offic, i. 15) attributing it to St Peter. No proof is adduced, and the only value which can be placed upon such an unsupported assertion is that it shows that a very high and even apos-tolic antiquity was claimed for it. A theory, originating with Pinius, that it may have been brought by the Goths from Constantinople when they invaded Spain, is as im-probable as it is unproven. It may have been derived from Gaul. The Gallican liturgy stood to it in the relation of twin-sister, if it could not claim that of mother. The resemblance was so great that, when Charles the Bald (843-877) wished to gain some idea of the character of the already obsolete Gallican rite, he sent to Toledo for some Spanish priests to perform mass according to the Mozarabic rite in his presence. But there is no record of the conversion of Spain by Gallican missionaries. Christi-anity existed in Spain from the earliest times. Probably St Paul travelled there (Bom. xv. 24-28). It may be at least conjectured that its liturgy was Bauline rather than Petrine or Johannine.

2. Gallican Liturgy.—This was the ancient and national
liturgy of France till the commencement of the 9th century,
when it was suppressed by order of Charlemagne, who
directed the Roman missal to be everywhere substituted
in its place. All traces of it seemed for some time to have
been lost, until three Gallican sacramentaries were dis-
covered and published by Thomasius in 1680, under the
titles of Missale Gothicum, Missale Gallicum, and Missale
Francorum, and a fourth was discovered and published
by Mabillon in 1687, under the title of Sacramentarium
Bobbiense. Fragmentary discoveries have been made since
then. Mone discovered fragments of eleven Gallican
masses, and published them at Carlsruhe in 1850. Other
fragments from the library of St Gall have been published
by Bunsen (Anal. Ante-Nic, iii. 263-66), and from the
Ambrosian library at Milan by Cardinal Mai (Scrip. Vet.
Vat. Coll., iii. 2, 247). More of this MS. is being pre-
pared for publication by Dr Ceriani. A single page was discovered in the library of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, in 1867, which has not yet been published. These documents, illustrated by early Gallican canons, and by allusions in the writings of Sulpicius Severus, CBesarius of Aries, Gregory of Tours, Germanus of Paris, and other authors, enable scholars to reconstruct the greater part of this liturgy. The previously enumerated signs of Eastern origin and influence are found here as well as in the Mozarabic liturgy, together with certain other more or less minute peculiarities, which would be of interest to professed liturgiologists, but which we must not pause to specify here. They point to the possibility of the theory that the Gallican liturgy was introduced into use by Irenseus, bishop of Lyons (c. 130-200), who had learned it in the East from St Polycarp, the disciple of the apostle St John.

3. Ambrosian Liturgy.—Considerable variety of opinion has existed among liturgical writers as to the proper classifi-cation of the " Ambrosian " or " Milanese " liturgy. If we are to accept it in its present form, and to make the present position of the great intercession the test of its genus, then we must place it under Group V., the " Petrine," and con-sider it as a branch of the Roman family. If, on the other hand, we consider the important variations from the Roman liturgy which yet exist, and the still more marked and numerous traces of variation which confront us in the older printed and MS. copies of the Ambrosian rite, we shall detect in it an original member of the Ephesine group of liturgies, which for centuries past has been undergoing a gradual but ever increasing assimilation to Rome. We know this as a matter of history, as well as a matter of inference from changes in the text itself. Charlemagne adopted the same policy towards the Milanese as towards the Gallican Church. He carried off all the Milanese Church books which he could obtain, with the view of substituting Roman books in their place, but the complete-ness of his intentions failed, partly through the attachment of the Lombards to their own rites, partly through the intercession of a Gallican bishop named Eugenius (Mabillon, Mus. Ital., i., ii. p. 106). It has been asserted by Joseph Vicecomes that this is an originally independent liturgy drawn up by St Barnabas, who first preached the gospel at Milan (De Missse Bit., i. chap, xi., xii.), and this tradition is preserved in the title and proper preface for St Barnabas Day in the Ambrosian missal (Pamelius, i. 385, 386).

We can trace the following points in which the Milanese differs from the Roman liturgy, many of them exhibiting distinct lines of Ephesine or Eastern influence. Some of them are no longer found in recent Ambrosian missals, and only survive in the earlier MSS. published by Pamelius (Liturgicon, torn. i. p. 293), Muratori (Lit. Rom. Vet., i. 132), and Ceriani (in his edition, 1881, of an ancient MS. at Milan).

(a) The collect entitled "oratio super sindonem," correspond-ing to the ¤vxh LitTa TO aTrKca&Tivai rb ei\VT6y; (b) the procla-mation of silence by the deacon before the epistle; (e) the litanies said after the Ingressa (introit) on Sundays in Lent, closely resembling the Greek Ektene ; (d) varying forms of introduction to the Lord's Prayer, in Coena Domini (Ceriani, p. 116), in Pascha (ib., p. 129); (e)the presence of passages in the Prayer of Consecra-tion which are not part of the Roman canon, and one of which at least corresponds in import and position though not in words to the Greek 'Em'/cATjtns : Tuum vera est, omnipotens Pater, mittere, &c. (ib., p. 116) ; (/) the survival of a distinctly Gallican form of con-secration in the Post-Sanctus " in Sabbato Sancto": Vere Sanctus, vere benedietus Domimis noster, &c. (ib., p. 125); (g) the varying nomenclature of the Sundays after Pentecost; (h) the position of the fraction before the Lord's Prayer; (-t)the omission of the second oblation after the words of institution (Muratori, Lit. Rom. Vet., i. 133); (Jc) a third lection or Prophetia from the Old Testament pre-ceding the epistle and gospel; (I) the lay offering of the oblations and the formulae accompanying their reception (Pain., i. 297) ; (m) the position of the ablution of the hands in the middle of the canon just before the words of institution; (») the position of the "oratio super populum" which corresponds in matter but not in name to the collect for the day before the Gloria in Excelsis.

4 Celtic Liturgy.—We postpone the consideration of this subject to a position under the heading of the liturgies-of Great Britain and Ireland.

GROUP V. St Peter, Italian, Rome.—There is only one-liturgy to be enumerated under this group, viz., the present liturgy of the Church of Rome, which, though originally local in character and circumscribed in use, has come to be nearly coextensive with the Roman Church, sometimes cuckoo-like ejecting earlier national liturgies, as in France and Spain, sometimes incorporating more or less of the ancient ritual of a country into itself, and producing from such incorporation a subclass of distinct uses, as in England, France, and North Italy. Even these subordinate uses have for the most part become, or are rapidly becoming, obsolete. The genius and policy of Rome are in favour of uniformity; and it requires no keen powers of vision to foretell that, liturgically speaking, she will be, before long, within all her dominions supreme.





The date, origin, and early history of the Roman liturgy are obscure. The first Christians at Rome were a Greek-speaking community, and their liturgy must have been Greek, and is possibly represented in the so-called Clemen-tine liturgy. But the date when such a state of things ceased, when and by whom the present Latin liturgy was composed, whether it is an original composition, or, as its structure seems to imply, a survival of some intermediate form of liturgy,—all these are questions which are waiting for their solution, and to which no certain answer can be given, unless and until some further discovery shall be given of earlier liturgical remains.

One MS. exists which claims to represent the Roman liturgy as it existed in the time of Leo I., 440-61. It was discovered at Verona by Blanchini in 1735, assigned by him to the 8th century, and published under the title of Sacramentarium Leonianum; but this title was from the first purely conjectural, and is in the teeth of the internal evidence which the MS. itself affords, and is now being gradually abandoned. It is impossible here to enter into the minutiae of the evidence for this and other conclusions. The question is discussed at some length by Muratori, Lit. Rom. Vet., i. chap. 3.

A MS. of the 9th or 10th century was found at Rome by Thomasius, and published by him in 1680 under the title of Sacramentarium Gelasianum. But it was written in France, and is certainly not a pure Gelasian codex; and, although there is historical evidence of that pope (492-96) having made some changes in the Roman liturgy, and although other MSS. have been published by Gerbertus and others, claiming the title of Gelasian, we neither have nor are likely to have genuine and contemporary MS. evidence of the real state of the liturgy in that pope's time.

The larger number of MSS. of this group are copies of the Gregorian sacramentary, that is to say, MSS. representing, or purporting to represent, the state of the Boman liturgy in the days of Gregory the Great (590-604). But they cannot be accepted as certain evidence, for the following reasons :_—not one of them was written earlier than the 9th century; not one of them was written in Italy, but every one north of the Alps ; everyone contains internal evidence of a post-Gregorian date in the shape of masses for the repose or for the intercession of St Gregory, and in various other ways.

The Roman liturgy was introduced into England in the 7th, into France in the 9th, and into Spain in the 11th century. In France certain features of the service and certain points in the ritual of the ancient national liturgy became interwoven with its text, and formed those many varying mediaeval Gallican uses, which are associated with the names of the different French sees.

The distinguishing characteristics of the Petrine liturgy are these :—

(a) the position of the great intercession within the canon, the commemoration of the living being placed just before, and the commemoration of the departed just after, the words of institution;

(b) the absence of the Epiklesis or Invocation of the Holy Spirit;

(c) the position of the Pax or " Kiss of Peace" after the consecration and just before the communion, whereas in other liturgies it occurs at a much earlier point in the service.

Liturgies of the British Islands. PERIOD I. The Celtic Church.-—Until recently almost nothing was known of the character of the liturgical service of the vast Celtic Church which existed in these islands before the Anglo-Saxon conquest, and which continued to exist in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall for very considerable though varying periods of time after that event. But recently a good deal of light has been thrown on the subject, partly by the publication of the few genuine works of SS. Patrick, Columba, Columbanus, and other Celtic saints; partly by the discovery of liturgical remains in the Scottish Booh of Deer, and in the Irish Boohs of Dimma and Mulling and the Stowe Missal; partly by the publication of mediaeval Irish compilations such as the Leabhar Breac, Liber Hymnorum, &c, which contain ecclesi-astical calendars, legends, treatises, &c, of considerable but very varying antiquity. The evidence collected from these sources is sufficient to prove that the liturgy of the Celtic Church was of the Ephesine type. In central England the churches, together with their books and everything else belonging to them, were destroyed by heathen invaders from Jutland, Schleswig, and Holstein at the close of the 5th century; but the Celtic Church in the remoter parts of England, as well as in the neighbouring kingdoms of Scot-land and Ireland, retained its liturgical independence for many centuries afterward.

An examination of its few extant service books and fragments of service books yields the following evidence of the Ephesine origin and character of the Celtic liturgy :—(a) The presence of whole collects and anthems which occur in the Gallican and Mozarabic but not in the Roman liturgy ; (6) various formulae of thanks-giving after communion ; (c) frequent addresses to the people in the form of Gallican Prsefationes ; (d) the Gallican form of conse-cration prayer, being a variable Post-Sanctus leading up to the words of institution ; (e) the complicated rite of fraction as described in an Irish tract at the end of the Stowe missal finds its only counter-part in the elaborate ceremonial of the Mozarabic Church ; (/) the presence of the Gallican ceremonial of Pedilavium or "Washing of Feet " in the earliest Irish baptismal office. For a further descrip-tion of these and of other features which seem to be peculiar to the -Celtic liturgy the reader is referred to Warren's Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church, 1881.

PERIOD II. The Anglo-Saxon Church.—We find ourselves here on firmer ground, and can speak with certainty as to the nature of the liturgy of the English Church after the beginning of the 7th century. Information is drawn from the liturgical allusions in the extant canons of numerous councils, from the voluminous writings of Bede, Alcuin, and many other ecclesiastical authors of the Anglo-Saxon period, and above all from a very considerable number of -service books written in England before the Norman Conquest. Three of these books are manuscript missals of more or less completeness, and, as none of them have yet been published, their names are appended: — (1) the Leofric missal, a composite 10th to 11th century MS., presented to the cathedral of Exeter by Leofric, the first bishop of that see (1046-1072), now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford; (2) the missal of Bobert of Jumieges, arch-bishop of Canterbury (1051-52), executed probably at Winchester, and presented by Archbishop Bobert to his old monastery of Jumieges in the neighbourhood of Bouen, in the public library of which town it now lies; (3) the Bed Book of Derby, an incomplete missal of the second half of the 11th century, now in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

A perusal of these volumes proves, what we should have expected a priori, that the Boman liturgy was in use in the Anglo-Saxon Church. This was, no doubt, the case from the very first. That church owed its foundation to the forethought of a Boman pontiff, and the energy of a band of missionaries, headed by St Augustine, who came directly from Borne, and who brought, as we are expressly assured by Bede, their liturgical codices with them from their native country (Hist. Ec, ii. 28). Accordingly, when we speak of an Anglo-Saxon missal, we mean a Boman missal only exhibiting one or more of the following features which differentiate it from an Italian missal of the same century.

(a) Rubrics, and other entries of a miscellaneous character, written in the vernacular language of the country ; (b) the commemora-tion of national or local saints in the calendar, in the canon of the mass, and in the litanies which occur on Easter eve, and in the baptismal offices ; (c) the presence of a few special masses in honour of these national saints, together with a certain number of collects of a necessarily local character, for the rulers of the country, for its natural produce, &c. ; (d) the addition of certain peculi-arities of liturgical structure and arrangement interpolated into the purely Roman service from an extraneous source. There are two noteworthy examples of this in Anglo-Saxon service books. Every Sunday and festival, and almost every votive mass, has its proper preface, although the number of such prefaces in the Gregorian sacramentary of the same period had been reduced to eight. There were a large but not quite an equal number of triple episcopal bene-dictions to be pronounced by the bishop after the Lord's Prayer and before the communion. This custom must either have been perpetuated from the old Celtic liturgy, or directly derived from a Gallican source.

PERIOD III. Anglo-Norman Church.—The influx of numerous foreigners, especially from Normandy and Lorraine, which preceded, accompanied, and followed the Conquest, and the occupation by them of the highest posts in church as well as state, had a distinct effect on the liturgy of the English Church. These foreign ecclesiastics brought over with them a preference for and a habit of using certain features of the Gallican liturgy and ritual, which they succeeded in incorporating into the service books of the Church of England. One of these prelates named Osmund, a Norman count, earl of Dorset, chancellor of England, and bishop of Salisbury, 1078-99, undertook the revision of the English service books, and the missal which he produced in 1085, which we know as the Sarum Missal, or the Missal according to the Use of Sarum, practi-cally became the liturgy of the English Church. It was not only received in the province of Canterbury, but was largely adopted beyond those limits—in Ireland in the 12th, and in various Scottish dioceses in the 12th and 13th centuries.

It would be outside the scope of a general article like the present to tabulate the numerous and frequently minute differences between a mediaeval Sarum and the earlier Anglo-Saxon or contemporaneous Roman liturgy. They lie mainly in differences of collects and lections, variations of ritual on Candlemas, Ash Wednesday, and throughout Holy Week, the introduction into the canon of the mass of certain clauses and usages of Ephesine character or origin, the wording of rubrics in the subjunctive or imperative tense, the peculiar "Preces in Prostratione," the procession of Corpus Christi on Palm Sunday, the forms of ejection and reconciliation of penitents, &c. The varying episcopal benedictions as used in the Anglo-Saxon Church were retained, but the numerous proper pre-faces were discarded, the number being reduced to ten.

Besides the famous and far-spreading use of Sarurn, other uses, more local and less known, grew up in various English dioceses. In virtue of a recognized diocesan independence, bishops were able to regulate or alter their ritual, and to add special masses or com-memorations for use within the limits of their jurisdiction. The better known and the more distinctive of these uses were those of York and Hereford, but we also find traces of, or allusions to, the uses of Bangor, Lichfield, Lincoln, Ripon, St Asaph, St Paul's, Wells, and Winchester.

Other Service Books.—The Eucharistic service was contained in the volume called the MISSAL (q.v.), as the ordinary choir offices were contained in the volume known as the BREVIARY [q.v.). But besides these two volumes there were a large number of other ser-vice books. Mr Maskell has enumerated and described ninety-one such volumes in the use of the Western Church only. It must be understood, however, that many of these ninety-one names are synonyms (Hon. Bit. Ecclcs. Anglic., 1846, vol. i. p. cxciv.)- The list might he increased, but it will be possible here only to name and describe a few of the more important of them. (1) Agenda= Bituale. (2) The Antiphonary contained the antiphons sung at the canonical hours, and certain other minor portions of the service. (3) The Beneclictional contained those triple episcopal benedictions previously described as used on Sundays and the chief festivals throughout the year, (4) The Collectarium contained the collects for the season, together with a few other parts of the day offices. It was an inchoate Breviary. (5) The Epistolarium con-tained the epistles, and (6) the Evangelistarium the gospels for the year. (7) The Gradual contained the introit, gradual, sequences, and the other portions of the communion service which at high mass were sung by the choir. (8) The Legenda contained the lections read at matins and at other times, and may be taken as a generic term to include the Homiliarium, Martyrology, Passional, and other volumes. (9) The Manual was the term usually employed in England to denote the Bituale. (10) The Pontifical contained the order of ordination, consecration, and such other rites as could, ordinarily, only be performed by the bishop. (11) The Bituale or Bitual comprised the occasional offices for baptism, marriage, burial, and those other offices which it ordinarily fell to the lot of the parish priest to execute. To these we must add a hook which was not strictly a church office book, but a handy book for the use of the laity, and which was in very popular use, and often very highly embellished in the 14th to 16th century, the Book of the Hours, or Horas Beatse Marise Virginis. It contained portions of the canonical hours, litanies, the penitential psalms, and other devotions of a miscellaneous and private character.

The Eastern Church, too, possessed and still possesses numerous and voluminous office books, of which the chief are the following:— The Euchologion, containing the liturgy itself with the remaining sacramental offices bound up in the same volume ; the Horologion, containing the unvarying portion of the Breviary, the Mensea being equivalent to a complete Breviary; the Menologion, or martyrology; the Octoechus and Paracletice, containing Troparia, and answering to the Western Antiphonary ; the Pentecostarion, containing the ser-vices from Easter Day to All Saints' Sunday, as the Triodion con-tained those from Septuagésima Sunday to Easter eve. The Typi-cum was a general book of rubrics corresponding to the Ordinale or the Pie of Western Christendom.

PERIOD IV. The Reformed Church.-—The liturgy of the English Church passed through a more marked phase of change in the 16th century than during any of those periods which we have briefly described. The desire for some reform, and the sense of its necessity, which had been manifesting itself in various ways for more than a century and a half, culminated in the reign of Edward VI., and caused the appearance, with the full sanction of church and state, of the First Prayer Book of Edward VI. which was published on March 7, 1549, and came into general use on the feast of Whitsunday, June 9, 1549. Without attempting to enumerate particular points, we will sum-marize the general features which marked this change, and will exhibit the gains of such a reform, which, from an Anglican point of view, constitute its complete justification.





(a) Simplification in the number and character of books required for divine service. The Prayer Book is a compendium of most of the volumes which have been recently named and described. Its matins and evensong are a compilation from the Breviary ; the office of Holy Communion, with the collects, epistles, and gospels, is a translation and adaptation of the missal; the occasional offices represent the ritual or manual, and the offices of confirmation and of ordination are taken, with modifications, from the pontifical.

(b) The removal from the service of a vast quantity of legendary matter which was read in the form of lections, and which was objec-tionable partly because it was unhistorical, partly because it was ludicrous and almost profane. As an instance of unhistorical matter, we quote a passage from the fourth lection for the festival of St Silvester, December 31, bishop of Rome, 314-335:—

" In which office of the priesthood he (Silvester) distinguished himself ahove the rest of the clergy, and afterwards succeeded Melchiades on the papal throne in the reign of Constantine. That emperor suffered from leprosy, and, in order to cure himself, by the advice of his physicians he ordered a bath to be prepared of infants' blood. But the hoiy apostles Peter and Paul appeared to him in private, and told him that, if he wished to be free from his leprosy, he should abandon the mad plan of an impious bath, and send for Silvester dwelling in seclusion at Mount Soracte, that by him the emperor should be refreshed in the bath of salva-tion, and should order temples to be built in every province of the Roman empire after the fashion of the Christians, and that he should do away with the images of vain deities, and institute the worship of the true God Constantine, therefore, in obedience to the divine warnings, made diligent search for and summoned Silvester, by whom, recognizing the description of the apostles, he was baptized, and incited to defend and extend the Christian religion."

This lection retains its position in the present Roman Breviary, although its unhistorical character can be abundantly proved and is generally acknowledged. The Breviary in fact is still, and was even more so then, full of legends which once passed for but have long since been abandoned as history.

As examples of the ludicrous we quote the first lection for the festival of St Foelanus from the Aberdeen Breviary of 1509, fol. xxvi., and the eighth lection for the festival of St Serf from the same Breviary (July 2, fol. xvi.):—

" He (Foelanus) was born, as it was foretold of him, with a stone in his mouth, on account of which he was so despised by his father that lie was ordered immediately after his birth to be thrown into a neighbouring pond and drowned. In this pond he was miraculously nourished by angels for a whole year. But after the lapse of a year he was found by Bishop Ibarus, to whom a divine revela-tion of the fact had been given, playing among the angels. He was taken out of the pond safe and sound, was baptized, and afterwards became distinguished in sacred literature."

" A certain robber carried off one day a sheep which used to live and feed in the house of St Serf, and killed it and ate it. Diligent inquiry was made for the thief but without success. At length suspicion fell on the robber, and he hastened into St Serf's presence, prepared to deny the accusation with an oath. He swore a big oath that he was innocent of the charge laid against him, when, wonderful to relate (a fact which would not be believed on merely human testimony), the sheep which had lately been eaten began to baa in the stomach of the robber. Whereupon in confusion the man fell prostrate to the ground, and humbly asked for pardon, and the saint prayed for him."

There was also a quantity of objectionable matter introduced by a process of adaptation, or sometimes, as it was technically termed, by a process of farsing, into the older prayers. The Gloria in Excelsis in the Sarum Missal is printed thus (Burntisland edit., 1861, p. 586)—the farsed words are represented by italics :—

"Qui tollis peceata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram, ad Marise glori im. Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis. Quoniam tu. olus sanctus, Mariam sanctificans. Tu solus Dominus, Mariam gubernans. Tu solus altissimus, Mariam coronans, Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris. Amen."

(c) For the first time, so far as can be ascertained, in the history of the English Church, the vernacular tongue was employed.

(d) The numerous litanies to and invocations of the saints, especially of the Virgin Mary, were expunged.

(e) There was a very great extension of the portion of Holy Scrip-ture read in divine service, partly by the excision of non-Scriptural matter, partly by the lengthening of lessons which sometimes con-sisted only of one or two verses, so " that many times there was more business to find out what should be read than to read it when it was found out."

(f) There was a general simplification of the services, by the re-duction of the number of saints' days, by the cutting away of anthems, invitatories, and^responds, by the compression of the seven canonical hours into the two daily services of matins and evensong, &c.

(g) The various offices for the dead were abolished, and numerous prayers which involved a belief in the mediaeval idea of the penal flames of purgatory made way for the present burial office and the commemoration of the departed in the Eucharistic service.

The first reformed Prayer Book of 1549 remained in use till 1552, when by Act of Uniformity passed on April 6 it was ordered that a further reformed Prayer Book should come into general use on the feast of All Saints (November 1) following. This lecond Prayer Boob, commonly spoken of as the Second Prayer Book of King Edward the VI., marks the furthest point in the Puritan direction which was ever reached by the liturgy of the Church of England. An idea of its character may be gained by mentioning some of the features retained in the first and discarded in the Second Prayer Book, and some of the features added in the Second but absent from the First Prayer Book.

In the former class are—(a) the sign of the cross used in consecration, confirmation, marriage, and visitation of the sick ; (b) the use of exorcism, chrisom, and chrism in baptism ; (c) unction of the sick ; (d) certain prayers for the dead, and a special Eucharist for funerals ; (e) the mention of vestments with albs and tunics for Eucharistic use, and of the pastoral staff and cope for bishops; (/) the ceremonies of crossing and knocking on the breast left optional; (g) the invocation of the Holy Ghost before consecration; (h) the mixed chalice ; (i) directions to communicants to receive the consecrated bread in their mouths, and for reservation for the sick. In the latter class are—(a) the addition of the Scriptural sentences, exhortation, confession, and absolution before morning and evening prayer ; (b) the addition of the Jubilate, Cantate, and Deus Misereatur as alternative canticles; (c) the words "com-monly called the mass" omitted from the title of Holy Communion; (d) the words "militant here on earth" added to the title of the prayer for the whole state of Christ's Church ; (e) the decalogue introduced at the commencement of the communion service ; (f) the second clause in the formula of sacramental distribution was substituted for the first, the two being subsequently combined in 1559. These are merely samples out of many more points which might be named.

It has not been ascertained that this Prayer Book ever received the sanction of Convocation, and it probably never came into complete use. Such use was in any case shortdived, for Edward VI. died on July 6, 1553, and the English Prayer Book was abolished and the Latin missal restored to use by one of the first Acts of Queen Mary, in October 1553. Queen Mary died on November 17, 1558, and another complete change of policy took place. The reformed Prayer Book was brought into use again on June 24, 1559, not in the exact shape which it bore in 1552, but with various modifications, which we forbear to enumerate in detail. It may be said of them, as of the various alterations introduced subsequently into the Prayer Book, that their general tendency was conservative rather than destructive, and in a Catholic rather than in a Protestant direction. The next important revisions of the Prayer Book took place in 1604, under James I., after the Hampton Court Conference, and in 1661-62, after the restoration of Charles II. The Book of Common Prayer had been abolished under the Commonwealth, and it could only be used under the risk of heavy penalties from 1645 to 1661. It was now restored with a considerable number of additions and alterations, after having been discussed without any satisfactory result between churchmen and Puritans at the Savoy conference in 1661. When these had received the sanction of the Convocations of Canterbury and York, it was attached to an Act of Uniformity which received the royal assent on May 19, 1662, by the pro-visions of which Act it came into general use on St Bartholomew's Day, August 24, 1662. Since that date, although various slight changes have been made in recent years, nothing has been done amounting to a revision or new edition of the Prayer Book, or demanding notice in these columns.

A few words are added about other national versions of the reformed liturgy.

The Liturgy of the Scottish Episcopal Church.—This liturgy in nearly its present form was compiled by Scottish bishops in 1636, and imposed, or, to speak more accurately, attempted to be imposed upon the Scottish people by the royal authority of Charles I. in 1637. The prelates chiefly concerned in it were Spottiswood, bishop of Glasgow; Maxwell, bishop of Ross; Wedderburn, bishop of Dunblane; and Forbes, bishop of Edinburgh. Their work was approved and revised by certain members of the English episcopate, especially Laud, archbishop of Canterbury; Juxon, bishop of London; and Wren, bishop of Norwich. This liturgy has met with varied fortune, and passed through several editions. It is now used as an alternative form with the English communion office in the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Among its more noteworthy features are—(a) the retention in its integrity and in its primitive position after the words of institu-tion, of the invocation of the Holy Spirit; (b) the reservation of the sacrament is permitted for the purpose of communicating the absent or the sick ; (c) the mixed chalice is explicitly ordered ; (d) the minimum number of communicants is fixed at one or two, in-stead of three or four. The general arrangement of the parts ap-proximates more closely to the First Prayer Book of Edward VI. than to the present Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

The American Liturgy.—The Prayer Book of the " Protestant Episcopal Church " in America was adopted by the General Convention of the American Church held in 1789. It is substantially the same as the English Book of Common Prayer, but among the more important variations we may name the following :—(a) the arrangement and wording of the communion office rather resembles that of the Scottish than of the Anglican liturgy, especially in the position of the oblation and invocation immediately after the words of institution; (6) the Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis, and Athanasian creed are disused ; (c) ten selections of psalms are appointed to be used as alternatives for the psalms of the day. In addition to these there are various verbal and other unimportant alterations.

The Irish Prayer Book.-—The Prayer Book in use in the Irish portion of the United Church of England and Ireland was the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, but after the disestablishment of the Irish Church several changes were introduced into it by a synod held in Dublin in 1870. These changes included (a) the excision of all lessons from the Apocrypha, (6) of the rubric ordering the recitation of the Athanasian creed, (c) of the rubric ordering the vestments of the second year of Edward VI., (d) of the form of absolution in the office for the visitation of the sick, (e) the addition of one question and answer in the Church Catechism, bringing out more clearly the spiritual character of the real presence.

The Presbyterian Church.—The Presbyterian churches of Scotland at present possess no liturgy properly so called. Certain general rules for the conduct of divine service are contained in the "Directory for the Public Worship of God," agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines at West-minster, with the assistance of commissioners from the Church of Scotland, approved and established by an Act of the General Assembly, and by an Act of Parliament, both in 1645. In 1554 John Knox had drawn up an order of liturgy, closely modelled on the Genevan pattern, for the use of the English congregation to which he was then ministering at Frankfort. On his return to Scotland this form of liturgy was adopted by an Act of the General Assembly in 1560, and became the established form of worship in the Presbyterian Church, until the year 1645, when the Directory of Public Worship took its place. Herein regulations are laid down for the conduct of public worship, for the reading of Scripture, and for extempore prayer before and after the sermon and in the adminis-tration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper, for the solemnization of marriage, visitation of the sick, and burial of the dead, for the observance of days of public fasting and public thanksgiving, together with a form of ordination, and a directory for family worship. In all these cases, although the general tenor of the prayer is frequently indicated, the wording of it is left to the dis-cretion of the minister, with these exceptions :—at the act of baptism this formula must be used—"I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;" and for the Lord's Supper these forms are sug-gested, but with liberty to the minister to use "other the like, used by Christ or his apostle upon this occasion :"—

'' According to the holy institution, command, and example of our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, I take this bread, and, having given thanks, break it, and give it unto you. Take ye, eat ye ; this is the body of Christ which is broken for you ; do this in re-membrance of him." And again ; " Accoraing to the institution, command, and example of our Lord Jesus Christ, I take this cup and give it unto you ;this cup is the New Testament in the blood of Christ, which is shed for the remission of the sins of many ; drink ye all of it."

There is also an unvarying form of words directed to be used before the minister by the man to the woman and by the woman to the man in the case of the solemnization of matrimony. The form of words on all other occasions, including ordination, is left to the discretion of the officiat-ing minister, or of the presbytery.

Continental Protestant Churches. The Calvinistic Churches.— Rather more of the liturgical element, in the shape of a set form of words, enters into the service of the French and German Calvinistic Protestants. The Sunday morning service, as drawn up by Calvin, was to open with, a portion of Holy Scripture and the recitation of the Ten Commandments. Afterwards the minister, inviting the people to accompany him, proceeded to a confession of sins and sup-plication for grace. Then one of the Psalms of David was sung. Then came the sermon, prefaced by an extempore prayer and con-cluding wdth the Lord's Prayer, creed, and benediction. The communion service began with an exhortation leafiing up to the apostles' creed ; then followed a long exhortation, after which the bread and cup were distributed to the people, who advanced in reverence and order, while a Psalm was being sung or a suitable passage of Scripture was being read. After all had communicated a set form of thanksgiving was said by the minister. Then the hymn of Simeon was sung by the congregation, who were then dismissed with the blessing. This form of service has been modified in vari-ous ways from time to time, but it remains substantially the type of service in use among the Reformed Churches of Germany, Switzerland, and France.

The Lutheran Church.—Luther was far more conservative than the rest of the Protestant Reformers, and his conservatism appeared nowhere more than in the service books which he drew up for the use of the church which bears his name. In 1523 he published a treatise Of the Order of the Service in the Congregation, and in 1526 he published the German Mass. Except that the vernacular was substituted for the Latin language, the old framework and order of the Roman missal were closely followed, beginning with the Con-fíteor, Introit, Kyrie Eleison, Gloria in Excelsis, &c. The text of this and other Lutheran services is given in Agende fur christliche GemeindendeslutlierischcnBelccnntnisses, Nordlingen, 1853. At the same time Luther was tolerant, and expressed a hope that different portions of the Lutheran Church would from time to time make such changes or adaptations in the order of service as might be found convenient. The Lutheran Churches of northern Europe have not been slow to avail themselves of this advice and permission. Most of them have drawn up liturgies for themselves, sometimes following very closely, sometimes differing considerably from the original service composed by Luther himself. In 1822, on the union of the Lutheran and Reformed (Calvinistic) Churches of Prussia, a new liturgy was published at Berlin. It is used in its entirety in the chapel royal, but great liberty as to its use was allowed to the parochial clergy, and considerable variations of text appear in the more recent editions of this service book.

The
Swedenborgians, Irvingites, and other Protestant bodies have drawn up liturgies for themselves, but they are hardly of sufficient historical importance to be described at length here.

The
Old Catholics, lastly, published a Sitúale in 1875 containing the occasional offices for baptism, matrimony, burial, &c., and a form for reception of holy communion, in the German language. The latter is for temporary use in anticipation of a revised and not yet published missal, corresponding to the order of communion in English published March 8, 1548, in anticipation of the complete office in the Prayer Book of 1549. (F. E. W.)


Footnote

The present clause runs thus:—" And we most humbly beseech thee O merciful Father to hear us, and of Thy almighty goodness vouchsafe to bless and sanctify with Thy word and Holy Spirit these and Thy gifts and creatures of Bread and Wine, that they may become the Body and Blood of Thy most dearly-beloved Son." This petition is fonnd in the Eastern but not in the Roman or Anglican liturgies.




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