AMBROSIAN 395 AMBROSIAN Cujus celebritatis devotio usque in hodiemum diem noil solum in eadcm ecolesia veruin per omne.s pipiie Oci-identis nrovincias manet " (Now for the first time antiphons, liymns, and vicils began to be part of the observance of the Chun'h in Milan, which devout observance lasts to our day not only in that church but in nearly every province of the West). From the time of St. Ambrose, whose hynms are well- known and whoso liturgical allusions may certainly be explained as referring to a rite which possessed the characteristics of that which is called by his name, until the period of Charlemagne, there is some- thing of a gap in the history of the Milanese Rite, though it is said (Uantii, Milano e il suo territorio, 1, lib) that St. Siniplician, the successor of St. Am- brose, addetl much to the Kite and that St. Lazarus (4.3S— 1.51) introduced the three days of the Litanies. The Church of Milan underwent various vici.ssitudes, and for a period of some eighty years (570-049), during the Lombard conquests, the see was actually removed to (lenoa. Mgr. Duchesne and M. Lejay suggest that it was during that time that the great- est Roman intiueiu'e was felt, and they woukl trace to it the adoption of the Roman Canon of the Mass. In the eight M-ccntury numuscript evidence begins. In a short treati.se on the various curstis or forms of the Divine OtHce u.sod in the Church, entitled "Ratio de Cursus qui fuerunt e. auctores" (sic in Cott. MSS., Nero A. II, in the British Museum), written about the middle of the eighth century, probably by an Irish monk in I'Vanoe, is found what is perhaps the earliest attribution of the Milan use to St. Am- brose, though it cjuotcs the authority of St. Augustine, probably alluding to the passage already mentioned: "Est et alius cursus quem refert beatus augustinus episcopus quod l>eatus ambrosius propter hereticorum ordinem dissimilem composuit (piem in italia antea de cantabatur" (There is yet another Cursus which the ble.ssed Bishop Augustine .says that the blessed Am- bro.se composed because of the existence of a different use of the heretics, which previously u.sed to be sung in Italy). The passage is quite ungranunatical, but so is the whole treatise, though its meaning is not obscure. According to a not verj' convincing narra- tive of Landulphas Senior, the eleventh-century chronicler of Milan, Charlemagne attempted to abolish the Ambrosian Rite, a-s he or his father, Pepin the Short, had abolished the (iallican Rite in France, in favour of a (iallicanized Roman Rite. He sent to Milan and caused to be destroyed or sent beyond the mountain, (juasi in exilium (as if into exile), all the Ambrosian books which could be fouml. Eugenius the Bishop, transmontantis epis- copus (transmontane bishop), as Landulf calls him, l>egged him to reconsider his decision. After the manner of the time, an ordeal, which reminds one of the celebrated trials by fire and by battle in the case of .-Vlfonso V'l and the Mozarabic Rite, was de- termined on. Two books, .mbrosian and Roman, were laid closed upon the altar of St. Peter's Church in Rome and left for three days, and the one which was found open wsis to win. They were both found oiien, and it was resolved that as C!od had shown that one wa.s as acceptable iis the other, the Am- brosian Rite should continue. But the destruction had lieen so far effective that no Ambrosian books could be found, save one missal which a faithful priest had hidden for six weeks in a cave in the mountains. Therefore the Manualc was written out from memory by certain priests and clerks (Lan- dulph, Chron.. 10-13). Walafridus Strabo, who died AblKit of Reichenau in 849, and must therefore have been nearly, if not quite, contemporarj' with this in- cident, says nothing about it, but (I)e Rebns Eccle- siasticis, xxii), speaking of various forms of the Mass, says: "Ambrosius quocjue Mediolanensis epis- copus tarn missu) ciuani ca^terorum dispositionem ofli- ciorum sua; ecclesix et aliis Liguribus ordinavit, quae et usque hodie in Mediolanensi tenentur ecdesia" (Am- brose, Bishop of .Milan, also arranged a ceremonial for the M:i.ss and other offices for his own church and for other parts of Liguria, which is still observed in the Milanese Church). In the eleventh century Pope Nicholas II, who in 10(iO had tried to abolish the Mozarabic Rite, wished also to attack the Ambrosian, and was aided by .St. Peter Damian, but he was unsuccessful, and Alexander II, his successor, himself a Milanese, re- versed hLs policy in this respect. St. Cregory VII made another attempt, and Le Brun (Explication do la Me.s.se, III, art. I, § 8) conjectures that Lan- dulf's miraculous narrative was written with a pur- pose about that time. Having weathered tliese storms, the Ambrosian Rite had peace for some three centuries and a half. In the first half of the fifteenth century Cardinal Branda da Castiglione, who died in 1443, was legate in Milan. As part of his plan for reconciling Philip Mary Visconti, Duke of Milan, and the Holy See, he endeavoured to .substitute the Roman Rite for the Ambrosian. The result was a serious riot, and the Cardinal's legateship came to an abrupt end. After that the Ambrosian Rite was safe until the Council of Trent. The Rule of that Council, that local uses which could show a pre- scription of two centuries might be retained, saved Milan, not without a struggle, from the loss of ita Rite, and St. Charles Borromeo, though he made some alterations in a Roman direction, was most careful not to destroy its characteristics. A small attempt made against it by a Governor of Milan, who had obtained a permission from the Pope to have the Roman Mass said in any church which he might happen to attend, was defeated by St. Charles, and his own revisions were intended to do little more than was inevitable in a living rite. Since his time the temper of the Milan Church has been most con- servative, and the only alterations in subsequent editions seem to have been slight improvements in the wording of rubrics and in the arrangement of the books. The district in which the Ambrosian Rite is used is nominally the old archiepiscopal prov- ince of Milan before the changes of 1515 and 1819, but in actual fact it is not exclusively used even in the city of Milan itself. In parts of the Si-iss Canton of Ticino it is used; in other parts the Roman Rite is so much preferred that it is said that when Cardinal Gaisruck tried to force the Ambrosian upon them the inhabitants declared that they would be either Roman or Luthenin. There are traces also of the use of the Ambrosian Rite beyond the limits of the Province of Milan. In 1132-34, two Axigustinian canons of Ratislxin, Paul, said by Baumer to be Paul of Bernricd, and Gebehard, held a correspond- ence (printed by Mabillon in his " Musa-um Italicum" from the originals in the Cathcdnd Library at Milan) with Anselm, Archbishop of Milan, and .Martin, treas- urer of St. Ambrose, with a view of obtaining copies of the books of the Ambrosian Rite, so that they might introduce it into their church. In the four- teenth century the Emperor Charles IV introduced the Rite into the Church of St. Ambrose at Prague. Traces of it, mixed with the Roman, are said by Iloeyinck ((ieschichte der kirchl. Liturgic des Bis- thums .ugsburg) to have remained in the diocese of Augsburg down to its hist breviarj- of 1.584, and according to Catena (Canti), Milano e il suo terri- torio, 118) the u.se of Capua in the time of St. Charles Borromeo had .some rcsembhance to that of Milan. II. OniGiN. — The origin of the Ambrosian Rite is still under discus-sion, and at least two conllicting theories are held by leading liturgiologists. The de- cision is not made any the easier by the absence of any direct evidence as to the nature of the Rite before about the ninth century. There are, it ia
Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/439
This page needs to be proofread.