LITURGY (Low Lat. liturgia; Gr. λεῖτος, public, and ἔργον, work; λειτουργός, a public servant), in the technical language of the Christian Church, the order for the celebration and administration of the Eucharist. In Eastern Christendom the Greek word λειτουργία is used in this sense exclusively. But in English-speaking countries the word “liturgy” has come to be used in a more popular sense to denote any or all of the various services of the Church, whether contained in separate volumes or bound up together in the form of a Book of Common Prayer. In this article the liturgy is treated in the former and stricter sense. (For the ancient Athenian λειτουργίαι, as forms of taxation, see Finance.)
In order to understand terms and references it will be convenient to give the tabular form the chief component parts of a liturgy, selecting the Liturgy of Rome as characteristic of Western, and that of Constantinople as characteristic of Eastern, Christendom; at the same time appending an explanation of some of the technical words which must be employed in enumerating those parts.
Ordinary of the Mass.
1. Introit, or as it is always called in the Sarum rite, “Office,” a Psalm or part of a Psalm sung at the entry of the priest, or clergy and choir.
2. Kyrie eleison, ninefold, and sometimes lengthily farsed representing an older, now obsolete, litany.
3. Collect, i.e. the collect for the day.
4. Prophetic lection, now obsolete, except on the Wednesday and Saturday Ember Days, Good Friday and Easter Even, and Wednesday after fourth and sixth Sundays in Lent.
6. Gradual. A few verses from the Psalms, the shrunken remainder of a whole Psalm.
7. Sequence. A hymn now obsolete except on Feast of the Seven Dolours, Easter, Pentecost, Corpus Christi and at Masses for the dead.
10. Collect, now obsolete, though the unanswered invitation, “Let us pray,” still survives.
11. Offertory. A verse or verses from the Psalms sung at the offering of the elements.
12. Secret. A prayer or prayers said at the conclusion of the Offertory.
13. Sursum Corda. “Lift up your hearts,” with following versicles.
14. Preface. There are now ten proper or special prefaces and one common preface. In older missals they were extremely numerous, almost every Sunday and Holy-day having one assigned to it. Many of them were very beautiful. In older missals, Nos. 13, 14 and 15 were sometimes arranged not as the concluding part of the Ordinary, but as the opening part of the Canon of the mass.
15. Sanctus, or Tersanctus, or Triumphal Hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” &c., ending with the Benedictus, “Blessed is he that cometh,” &c.
1. Introductory prayer for acceptance. Te igitur, &c.
2. Intercession for the living. Memento, Domine famulorum, &c.
3. Commemoration of apostles and martyrs. Communicantes et memoriam, &c.
4. Prayer for acceptance and consecration of offering. Hanc igitur oblationem, &c.
5. Recital of words of institution. Qui pridie quam pateretur, &c.
6. Oblation. Unde et memores, &c.
7. Invocation. A passage difficult of interpretation, but apparently meant to be equivalent to the Eastern Epiklesis or invocation of the Holy Ghost. Supplices te rogamus, &c.
8. Intercession for the dead. Memento etiam, Domine, famulorum, &c.
9. Lord’s Prayer, with a short introduction and the expansion of the last petition into a prayer known as the “Embolismus.”
10. Fraction, i.e. breaking of the host into three parts, to symbolize the death and passion of Christ.
11. Commixture, i.e. placing a small portion of the consecrated bread into the chalice symbolizing the reunion of Christ’s body and soul at the resurrection.
12. Agnus Dei, i.e. a three-fold petition to the Lamb of God.
13. Pax, i.e. the kiss of peace. The ancient ritual of the Pax has become almost obsolete.
14. Three prayers, accompanying the Pax and preliminary to communion.
15. Communion of priest and people (if any), a short anthem called “Communio” being sung meanwhile.
16. Ablution of paten and chalice.
17. Post-communion, i.e. a concluding prayer.
The Canon of the Mass strictly ends with No. 9; Nos. 10-18 being an appendix to it.
Mass of the Catechumens. After preparation and vesting.
1. The Deacon’s Litany.
2. Three Anthems with accompanying prayers.
3. Little Entrance, i.e. ceremonial bringing in of the Book of the Gospels.
4. The Trisagion, i.e. an anthem with an accompanying prayer different from the Latin Sanctus or Tersanctus.
6. Gospel with a prayer preceding it.
7. Bidding prayer.
8. Prayer for catechumens.
9. Dismissal of catechumens.
10. Spreading of the corporal.
11. Prayers of the faithful.
12. Cherubic Hymn, “Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim, &c.” not represented in the Latin liturgy.
13. Great Entrance, i.e. of the unconsecrated elements with incense and singing and intercessions.
14. Kiss of peace.
16. The Benediction, i.e. 2 Cor. xiii. 14.
17. Sursum corda.
19. Sanctus, or Tersanctus, or “Triumphal Hymn.”
20. Recital of Words of Institution, prefaced by recital of the Redemption.
21. The oblation.
22. The invocation or Epiklesis.
23. Intercession for the dead.
24. Intercession for the living.
25. The Lord’s Prayer.
26. Prayer of humble access (a) for people (b) for priest.
27. Elevation with the invitation “Holy things to holy people.”
In both these lists many interesting features of ceremonial, the use of incense, the infusion of warm water (Byzantine only), &c., have not been referred to. The lists must be regarded as skeletons only.
There are six main families or groups of liturgies, four of them being of Eastern and two of them of Western 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 have been or are still in use.
Group I. The Syrian Rite (St James).—The principal liturgies to be enumerated under this group are the Clementine liturgy, so called from being found in the eighth book of the Apostolic Constitutions, which claim in their title, though erroneously, to have been compiled by St Clement, the 1st–century bishop of Rome; the Greek liturgy of St James; the Syriac liturgy of St James. Sixty-four more liturgies of this group have existed, the majority being still in existence. Their titles are given in F. E. Brightman’s Liturgies, Eastern and Western (1896), pp. lviii.-lxi.
Group II. The Egyptian Rite (St Mark).—This group includes the Greek liturgies of St Mark, St Basil and St Gregory, and the Coptic liturgies of St Basil, St Gregory, St Cyril or St Mark; together with certain less known liturgies the titles of which are enumerated by Brightman (op. cit. pp. lxxiii. lxxiv.). The liturgy of the Ethiopian church ordinances and the liturgy of the Abyssinian Jacobites, known as that of the Apostles, fall under this group.
Group III. The Persian Rite (SS. Adaeus and Maris).—This Nestorian rite is represented by the liturgy which bears the names of SS. Adaeus and Maris together with two others named after Theodore of Mopsuestia and Nestorius. This group has sometimes been called “East-Syrian.” The titles of three more of its now lost liturgies have been preserved, namely 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 Roman liturgy by Portuguese Jesuits at the synod of Diamper in 1599.
Group IV. The Byzantine Rite.—The Greek liturgies of St Chrysostom, St Basil and St Gregory Dialogus, or The Presanctified, also extant in other languages, are the living representatives of this rite. The Greek liturgy of St Peter is classified under this group, but it is merely the Roman canon of the Mass &c., inserted in a Byzantine framework, and seems to have been used at one time by some Greek communities in Italy. To this group also belongs the Armenian liturgy, of which ten different forms have existed in addition to the liturgy now in general use named after St Athanasius.
We now come to the two western groups of liturgies, which more nearly concern the Latin-speaking nations of Europe, and which, therefore, must be treated of more fully.
Group V. The Hispano-Gallican Rite (St John).—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 Rome. Where it survives, it has been more or less assimilated to the Roman pattern. It prevailed once throughout Spain, France, northern Italy, Great Britain and Ireland. The term “Ephesine” has been applied to this group or family of liturgies, chiefly by English liturgiologists, and the names of St John and of Ephesus, his place of residence, have been pressed into service in support of a theory of Ephesine origin, which, however, lacks proof and may now be regarded as a discarded hypothesis. Other theories represent the Gallican to be a survival of the original Roman liturgy, or as an importation into Western Europe from the east through a Milanese channel. The latter is Duchesne’s theory (Christian Worship, London, 1904, 2nd ed., p. 94).
We must be content with mentioning these theories without attempting to discuss them.
The chief traces of oriental influence and affinity lie in the following points:—(1) various proclamations made by the deacon, including that of “Silentium facite” before the epistle (Migne, Pat. Lat. tom. lxxxv. col. 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 “Ektené” 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, being the counterpart of the Eastern “Τὰ ἅγια τοῖς ἁγίοις,” that is “holy things to holy people”; (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 prayer styled the Post-pridie in the Mozarabic service for the second Sunday after the octave of the Epiphany: “We beseech thee that thou wouldest sanctify this oblation with the permixture of thy Spirit, and conform it with full transformation into the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Migne, Pat. Lat. tom. lxxxv. col. 250). On the other hand the great variableness of its parts, and the immense number of its proper prefaces, ally it to the Western family of liturgies.
We proceed now to give a more detailed account of the chief liturgies of this group.
1. The Mozarabic Liturgy.—This was the national liturgy of the Spanish church till the close of the 11th century, when the Roman liturgy was forced upon it. Its use, however, lingered on, till in the 16th century Cardinal Jimenes, 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 several churches in Toledo and in a chapel at Salamanca, and even there not without certain Roman modifications of its original text and ritual.
Its date and origin, like the date and origin of all existing liturgies, are uncertain, and enveloped in the mists of antiquity. It is not derived from the present Roman liturgy. Its whole structure, as well as separate details 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 apostolic 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 improbable as it is unproven. It may have been derived from Gaul. The Gallican sister 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 get 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. Christianity existed in Spain from the earliest times. Probably St Paul travelled there (Rom. xv. 24). It may be at least conjectured that its liturgy was Pauline rather than Petrine or Johannine.
2. Gallican Liturgy.—This was the ancient and national liturgy of the church in 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 discovered 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 Missale Gallicanum. Fragmentary discoveries have been made since. Mone discovered fragments of eleven Gallican masses and published them at Carlsruhe in 1850. Other fragments from the library at St Gall have been published by Bunsen (Analecta Ante-Nicaena, iii. 263–266), and from the Ambrosian library at Milan by Cardinal Mai (Scriptt. Vet. Vat. Coll. iii. 2. 247). A single page was discovered in Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, published in Zeitschrift für Kath. Theologie, vi. 370.
These documents, illustrated by early Gallican canons, and by allusions in the writings of Sulpicius Severus, Caesarius of Arles, Gregory of Tours, Germanus of Paris and other authors, enable us 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 are the origin of the Ephesine theory that the Gallican liturgy was introduced into use by Irenaeus, 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 classification 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 for quick and dead the test of its genus, then we must classify it as “Petrine” and consider 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 traces of still more marked 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 Hispano-Gallican group of liturgies, which for centuries underwent 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 Ambrosian church books which he could obtain, with the view of substituting Roman books in their place, but the completion 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. tom. i. Pars. 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 Missae Rit. 1 capp. xi. xii.), and this tradition is preserved in the title and proper preface for St Barnabas Day in the Ambrosian missal (Pamelius, Liturgicon, i. 385, 386), but it has never been proved.
We can trace the following points in which the Ambrosian differs from the Roman liturgy, many of them exhibiting traces of Eastern influence. Some of them are no longer found in recent Ambrosian missals and only survive in earlier MSS. such as those published by Pamelius (Liturgicon, tom. i. p. 293), Muratori (Lit. Rom. Vet. i. 132) and Ceriani (in his edition, 1881, of an ancient MS. at Milan). (a) The prayer entitled “oratio super sindonem” corresponding to the prayer after the spreading of the corporal; (b) the proclamation of silence by the deacon before the epistle; (c) the litanies said after the Ingressa (Introit) on Sundays in Lent, closely resembling the Greek Ektené; (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 consecration 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 Invocation: Tuum vero, est, omnipotens Pater, mittere, &c. (Ib. p. 116); (f ) the survival of a distinctly Gallican formula of consecration in the Post-sanctus “in Sabbato Sancto.” Vere sanctus, vere benedictus Dominus noster, &c. (Ib. p. 125); (g) the varying nomenclature of the Sundays after Pentecost; (h) the position of the fraction or ritual breaking of bread before the Lord’s Prayer; (i) the omission of the second oblation after the words of institution (Muratori, Lit. Rom. Vet. i. 133); (k) a third lection or Prophetia from the Old Testament preceding the epistle and gospel; (l) the lay offering of the oblations and the formulae accompanying their reception (Pamelius, Liturgicon, i. 297); (m) the position of the ablution of the hands in the middle of the canon just before the words of institution; (n) 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 liturgy till after we have treated of the next main group.
VI. The Roman Rite (St Peter).—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 co-extensive with the Roman Catholic Church, sometimes superseding earlier national liturgies, as in Gaul and Spain, sometimes incorporating more or less of the ancient ritual of a country into itself and producing from such incorporation a sub-class of distinct Uses, as in England, France and elsewhere. Even these subordinate Uses have for the most part become, or are rapidly becoming, obsolete.
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 Clementine 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 solution.
One MS. exists which has been claimed to represent the Roman liturgy as it existed in the time of Leo I., 440–461. It was discovered at Verona by Bianchini in 1735 and assigned by him to the 8th century and published under the title of Sacramentarium Leonianum; but this title was from the first conjectural, and is in the teeth of the internal evidence which the MS. itself affords. The question is discussed at some length by Muratori (Lit. Rom. Vet. tom. i. cap. i. col. 16). Assemani published it under the title of Sacramentarium Veronense in tom. vi. of his Codex Liturg. Eccles. Univ.
A MS. of the 7th or 8th 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 Pope Gelasius I. (492–496) having made some changes in the Roman liturgy, and although 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 most modern and the best edition of the Gelasian Sacramentary is that by H. A. Wilson (Oxford, 1894).
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 Roman liturgy in the days of Pope Gregory the Great. 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; every one 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 seems to have been introduced into England in the 7th, into France in the 9th and into Spain in the 11th century, though no doubt it was known in both France and Spain to some extent before these dates. 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 medieval Gallican Uses which are associated with the names of different French sees.
The chief distinguishing characteristics of the Roman rite are these: (a) the position of the great intercession for quick and dead 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 an “Epiklesis” or invocation of the Holy Ghost upon the elements; (c) the position of the “Pax” or “Kiss of Peace after the consecration” and 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 Celtic church which existed in these islands before the Anglo-Saxon Conquest, and continued to exist in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall for considerable though varying periods of time after that event. But in recent times a good deal of light has been thrown on the subject, partly by the publication or republication of the few genuine works of Patrick, Columba, Columbanus, Adamnan and other Celtic saints; partly by the discovery of liturgical remains in the Scottish Book of Deer and in the Irish Books of Dimma and Mulling and the Stowe Missal, &c.; partly by the publication of medieval Irish compilations, such as the Lebar Brecc, Liber Hymnorum, Martyrology of Oengus, &c., which contain ecclesiastical kalendars, 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 Gallican type. In central England the churches, with everything belonging to them, were destroyed by the heathen invaders 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 Scotland and Ireland, retained its independence for centuries afterwards.
An examination of its few extant service-books and fragments of service-books yields the following evidence of the Gallican origin and character of the Celtic liturgy: (a) the presence of collects and anthems which occur in the Gallican or Mozarabic but not in the Roman liturgy; (b) various formulae of thanksgiving after communion; (c) frequent biddings or addresses to the people in the form of Gallican Praefationes; (d) the Gallican form of consecration, being a prayer called “Post-Sanctus” leading up to the words of institution; (e) the complicated rite of “fraction” or “the breaking of bread,” as described in the Irish treatise at the end of the Stowe Missal, finds its only counterpart in the elaborate ceremonial of the Mozarabic church; (f) the presence of the Gallican ceremonial of Pedilavium or “Washing of feet” in the earliest Irish baptismal office.
For a further description of these and other features which are characteristic of or peculiar to the Celtic liturgy the reader is referred to F. E. Warren’s Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church (Oxford, 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 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 considerable number of service-books written in England before the Norman Conquest. Three of these books are missals of more or less completeness: (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; edited by F. E. Warren (Oxford, 1883); (2) the missal of Robert of Jumièges, archbishop of Canterbury (1051–1052), written probably at Winchester and presented by Archbishop Robert to his old monastery of Jumièges in the neighbourhood of Rouen, in the public library of which it now lies; edited by H. A. Wilson (London, 1896); (3) the Red Book of Derby, a MS. 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 Roman liturgy was in use in the Anglo-Saxon church. This was the case from the very first. That church owed its foundation to a Roman pontiff, and to Roman missionaries, who brought, as we are told by Bede, their native liturgical codices with them (Hist. Eccles. lib. ii. cap. 28). Accordingly, when we speak of an Anglo-Saxon missal, we mean a Roman missal only exhibiting one or more of the following features, which would 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 commemoration of national or local saints in the kalendar, in the canon of the mass and in the litanies which occur for use on Easter Even and in the baptismal offices. (c) The presence of a few special masses in honour of those local 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 peculiarities of liturgical structure and arrangement interpolated into the otherwise 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 was a large but not quite equal number of triple episcopal benedictions 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 the Norman prelates, Osmund, count of Séez, earl of Dorset, chancellor of England, and bishop of Salisbury (1078–1099), is credited with having undertaken the revision of the English service-books; and the missal which we know as the Sarum Missal, or the Missal according to the Use of Sarum, practically became the liturgy of the English church. It was not only received into use 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 beyond our scope here to give a complete list of the numerous and frequently minute differences between a medieval Sarum and the earlier Anglo-Saxon or contemporaneous Roman liturgy. They lie mainly in differences of collects and lections, variations of ritual on Candlemass, Ash Wednesday and throughout Holy Week; the introduction into the canon of the mass of certain clauses and usages of Gallican 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 prefaces were discarded, the number being reduced to ten.
Besides the famous and far-spreading Use of Sarum, 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 commemorations 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.
Service-books.—The Eucharistie 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 service-books. Mr W. Maskell has enumerated and described ninety-one such volumes employed by the Western Church only. It must be understood, however, that many of these ninety-one names are synonyms (Mon. Rit. Eccles. Anglic. 1882, vol. i. p. ccxxx.). The list might be increased, but it will be possible here only to name and briefly describe a few of the more important of them. (1) The Agenda is the same as the Manual, for which see below. (2) The Antiphonary contained the antiphons or anthems, sung at the canonical hours, and certain other minor parts of the service. (3) The Benedictional contained those triple episcopal benedictions previously described as used on Sundays and on 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 contained the epistles, and the Evangelistarium the gospels for the year. (7) The Gradual contained the introit, gradual, sequences, and the other portions of the communion service which were sung by the choir at nigh mass. (8) The Legenda contained the lections which were read at matins and at other times, and may be taken as a generic term to include the Homiliarium, Passional and other volumes. (9) The Manual was the name usually employed in England to denote the Ritual, which contained the baptismal, matrimonial and other offices which might be performed by the parish priest. (10) The Pontifical contained the orders of consecration, ordination, and such other rites as could, ordinarily, only be performed by a bishop. To these we must add a book 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 from the 14th to the 16th century, the Book of Hours, or Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis, also known as the Prymer or Primer. It contained portions of the canonical hours, litanies, the penitential Psalms, and other devotions of a miscellaneous and private character. Detailed information about all these and other books is to be found in C. Wordsworth and H. Littlehales’, The Old Service Books of the English Church.
The Eastern Church too possessed and still possesses numerous and voluminous service-books, of which the chief are the following: (1) The Euchologian, containing the liturgy itself with the remaining sacramental offices bound up in the same volume. (2) The Horologion, containing the unvarying portion of the Breviary. (3) The Menaea, being equivalent to a complete Breviary. (4) The Menologion or Martyrology. (5) The Octoechus and (6) The Paracletice, containing Troparia and answering to the Western antiphonary. (7) The Pentecostarion, containing the services from Easter Day to All Saints’ Sunday. (8) The Triodion, containing those from Septuagesima Sunday to Easter Even. (9) The Typicum is a general book of rubrics corresponding to the Ordinale or the Pie of Western Christendom.
Period IV. The Reformed Church.—The Anglican liturgy of Reformation and post-Reformation times is described under the heading of Prayer, Book of Common, but a brief description may be added here of the liturgies of other reformed churches.
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 Ely. This liturgy has met with varied fortune and has passed through several editions. The present Scottish office dates from 1764. It is now used as an alternative form with the English communion office in the Scottish Episcopal Church.
The general arrangements of its parts approximates more closely to that of the first book of Edward VI. than to the present Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Among its noteworthy features are (a) the retention in its integrity and in its primitive position after the words of institution of the invocation of the Holy Spirit. That invocation 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 thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine that they may become the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved Son” (edit. 1764). This kind of petition thus placed is found in the Eastern but not in the Roman or Anglican liturgies. (b) The reservation of the sacrament is permitted, by traditional usage, for the purpose of communicating the absent or the sick. (c) The minimum number of communicants is fixed at one or two instead of three or four.
For fuller information see Bishop J. Dowden, The Annotated Scottish Communion Service (Edinburgh, 1884).
American Liturgy.—The Prayer Book of “the Protestant Episcopal Church” in America was adopted by the general convention of the American church in 1789. It is substantially the same as the English Book of Common Prayer, but among important variations we may name the following: (a) The arrangement and wording of the order for Holy Communion rather resembles that of the Scottish than that of the English liturgy, especially in the position of the oblation and invocation immediately after the words of institution. (b) The Magnificat, Nunc dimittis and greater part of Benedictus were disused; but these were reinstated among the changes made in the Prayer Book in 1892. (c) Ten selections of Psalms are appointed for use as alternatives for the Psalms of the day. (d) Gloria in excelsis is allowed as a substitute for Gloria Patri at the end of the Psalms at morning and evening prayer. In addition to these there are many more both important and unimportant variations from the English Book of Common Prayer.
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 at Dublin in 1870. These changes included such important points as: (a) the excision of all lessons from the Apocrypha, (b) 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 to the Catechism of a question and answer 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 Westminster, 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 administration of the sacrament 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, though the general terms of the prayer are frequently indicated, the wording of it is left to the discretion 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 suggested, but with liberty to the minister to use “other the like, used by Christ or his apostles 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 remembrance of him.” And again “According 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 officiating minister or of the presbytery.
European 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 supplication for grace. Then one of the Psalms of David was sung. Then came the sermon, prefaced by an extempore prayer and concluding with the Lord’s Prayer, creed and benediction. The communion service began with an exhortation leading up to the apostles’ creed; then followed a long exhortation, after which the bread and wine 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 Song of Simeon was sung by the congregation, who were then dismissed with the blessing. This form of service has been modified in various ways from time to time, but it remains substantially the type of service in use among the reformed Calvinistic 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 Confiteor, Introit, Kyrie eleison, still always sung in Greek, Gloria in excelsis, &c. The text of this and other Lutheran services is given in Agende für christliche Gemeinden des Lutherischen Bekenntnisses (Nördlingen, 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 parochical clergy, and considerable variations of text appear in the more recent editions of this service-book.
The Church of the New Jerusalem (Swedenborgians) and the Catholic Apostolic Church (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 Rituale in 1875 containing the occasional offices for baptism, matrimony, burial, &c., and a form for reception of Holy Communion, in the German language. This latter is for use in the otherwise unaltered service of the mass, corresponding in purpose to the order of Communion in English published the 8th of March 1548 and in use till Whitsunday 1549. (F. E. W.)