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Cabrol F. Chapter VII. The Mass in Gaul


By the Right Reverend Dom Fernand Cabrol



The Mass of the Catechumens. — The Mass of the Faithful.

In the volume on "Books of the Latin Liturgy" (Sands & Co., London), pp. 96-103, we have mentioned the different documents by the aid of which the Gallican Mass may be reconstituted and the origins of this liturgy established. On this subject we have also stated that for the description of the Gallican Mass no reliance can be placed on the pretended letters of St. Germain of Paris, though this has been done too often. These letters are not a document of the middle of the sixth century, but an anonymous treatise written a century later (ibid., p. 99). We must therefore, like Mabillon and, more recently, Dom Wilmart (DACL, "Germain, Lettres de St."), keep solely to the other documents which we possess on this subject, and to the texts of contemporary authors, the most valuable of which is that of Gregory of Tours. A very complete bibliography of all these documents will be found in the article ("Gallicanes Liturgies)" of Dom Leclercq, DACL.


The Gallican Pre-Mass, or Mass of the catechumens, was already very fully developed; it possessed chanted anthems, psalms, canticles, readings, and litanies. It began with an anthem and a psalm, while the Priest went from the sacristy to the altar. This chant, executed by clerics, existed also in the Mozarabic Mass, and 138 answers to the Roman "Introit" and the "Ingressa" of the Milanese rite. Gregory of Tours, whatever may be said to the contrary, makes no allusion to this introductory anthem.

The Deacon enjoined silence, probably in these words: "Silentium facite." The Bishop saluted the congregation with the formula: "Dominus sit semper vobiscum." At Rome and Milan the salutation is: "Dominus vobiscum." But the former greeting is found in the Mozarabic rite.

The letters of the pseudo-Germain announce the solemn singing of the "Aios" in Latin and in Greek at this point. What was this chant? It is not the "Sanctus," as has been wrongly believed, and which, also wrongly, has sometimes been called the "Trisagion." The latter title must be reserved for a chant of Byzantine origin, the history of which is well known. It was introduced there under Theodosius II (408-450), but is perhaps more ancient, and runs thus: "Hagios ho Theos, Hagios Ischuros, Hagios Athanatos Eleeson Hemas" Pierre le Foulon (+477) added these words to it: "Ho Staurotheis di Hemas," and there was much quarreling over this formula, which for its author had a monophysite meaning, and which was adopted by the Syrian Jacobites. On Good Friday, in the Roman liturgy, we have the "Trisagion" under its primitive double form in Greek and Latin, naturally without Foulon's addition. There is yet another form in the Mozarabic liturgy, which does not concern us here (cf. Dom Ferotin, "Liber Ordinum," cols. 737, 760, and 809).

The Kyrie Eleison was then sung, once only, by three children. We have spoken elsewhere as to the researches recently made regarding the "Kyrie Eleison," and upon its use; we shall therefore merely refer to the article under that heading in DACL.

The singing of the Prophecy which came next means the singing of the "Benedictus." This point is now finally settled, and the "Collectio post Prophetiam" in the Gallican books is the prayer which followed. On the bearing of this canticle on the Mass we may also refer to our article, "Cantiques (evangeliques)," in DACL. P. Thibaut has recently called attention to this chant, and its title of "Prophetia." In his opinion it is exclusively Gallican, and is an allusion to the conversion of Clovis, who became the protector of the Gallo-Roman churches. The "Cornu salutis" may indeed have given rise to the legend of the "Sainte Ampoule" (op. cit., p. 29).

Next comes the first Lesson. According to the pseudo-Germain this is taken from the Prophets or the historical books, and from the Apocalypse during Paschal time; while on the Feasts of Saints their Acts were read, "Gesta sanctorum confessorum ac martyrum in solemnpnitatibus eorum." The usage of the prophetic Lesson has almost entirely disappeared from the Roman Mass since the fifth century; it was maintained longer at Milan, and on this point the Gallican books confirm the testimony of the pseudo-Germain. The Mozarabic rite has also preserved the ancient use of this Lesson. The importance of the reading of the Lives of the Saints at Mass will be noticed; this point is confirmed by Gregory of Tours and by the Gallican books. In Spain and at Milan the custom was the same.

The second reading at Mass was taken from the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles. After these two Lessons the Canticle of the Three Children in the furnace was sung, "Benedictus es," also called "Benedictio." This fact is confirmed by the same witnesses. The importance attached to this rite is shown by the fact that the Council of Toledo of 633, which was presided over by St. Isidore, laid down that in all churches of Spain and Gaul, in the solemnity of all Masses, the aforesaid hymn shall be chanted from the Lector's pulpit." Only, in the Mozarabic liturgy the canticle was inserted between the first and second readings. The singing of the Benedictus es in the Roman Church on Ember Saturday is an old tradition which recalls this custom. In the Missal of Bobbio a collect "post Benedictionem" is mentioned, but this would seem to be a derogation from the usage attested by many witnesses of a sung Responsory here, which chant must be identified with the "Psallendum," the "Versus" or "Clamor," or "Psalmellus." At Rome, after the Lessons, there was the Responsory and "Alleluia," sometimes replaced by the "Tractus." The Council of Toledo just mentioned forbade the custom which had been introduced into several Spanish churches of singing "Laudes" between the Epistle and Gospel. We may take it, with St. Isidore, that this word signifies "Alleluia" (Dom Wilmart, op. cit., col. 1072). This chant, which is another Gallican feature, is also a memorial of the Baptism of Clovis, according to P. Thibaut; it should be followed by a "Collectio post Benedictionem," as mentioned in the Missal of Bobbio (op. cit., p. 39).

The pseudo-Germain notes here the repetition of the chant of the "Agios," or "Trisagion," an innovation of which no other example is found at this place in the Mass in any liturgy. It was evidently intended to give greater solemnity to the reading of the Gospel, which was about to follow. The author of this document emphasizes this intention in the following remarkable terms: "Expeditur processio sancti evangelii velut potentia Christi triumphantis de morte, cum praedictis armoniis et cum septem candelabris luminis . . . ascendens in tribunal analogii . . . clamantibus clericis: Gloria tibi, Domine." The "tribunal analogii" means an ambone or tribune, raised and decorated, from which the Bishop would preach, and upon which he would appear as a judge upon his tribunal. The acclamation "Gloria tibi, Domine," or "Gloria Deo omnipotenti," of which Gregory of Tours speaks, answers the Deacon's announcement: "Lectio sancti evangelii."

The Gospel was usually followed by a chant. The pseudo-Germain says that the "Trisagion" sung before the Gospel is again taken up and repeated at this point. At Milan the Gospel was followed by Dominus vobiscum and a triple "Kyrie" with anthem. At Rome the Pope saluted the Deacon with "Pax tibi," and then said the "Dominus vobiscum" and "Oremus." The homily generally followed the Gospel.

Here occur the litanic prayers which may be attached to the Pre-Mass, at least in the Gallican use, since the catechumens were not dismissed until these were said. The pseudo-Germain thus describes these prayers: "precem (psallant levitae) pro populis, audita (apostoli) praedicatione, levitae pro populo deprecantur et sacerdotes prostrati ante dominum pro peccatis populi intercedunt."

There can be no doubt but that we recognize here the diaconal litany referred to in the preceding pages, and which must not be confused with the "Prayer of the Faithful," as Duchesne and others after him have confused it.[1] Each of these prayers presents analogies, and belongs, we believe, to the class of litanic prayers; yet they are distinguished by certain characteristics which must be mentioned here as this question has its importance.

These litanies, or "Diakonika," are recited by the Deacon, and form part of the Pre-Mass. To each invocation made by the Deacon the people respond: Kyrie Eleison, and at the end the celebrant concludes with a prayer.

This type of prayer, doubtless created at Antioch, was adopted at Constantinople, and thence transported to Rome and Gaul in the fifth century. The "Supplicatio litaniae" of which it is question in the Rule of St. Benedict the "Preces deprecatoriae," the "Letaniae," the "Kyrie" of the Roman Mass are all derived from this.

We have spoken elsewhere of this diaconal prayer, of its origin and destinies; many examples of it exist in the Gallican books, such as the "Divinae pacis," and "Dicamus omnes." Both these are given by Mgr. Duchesne in his chapter on the Gallican Mass (fifth edition, pp. 210, 211), to which we may refer our readers. Further, they present the most striking analogies with those we have quoted from the "Apostolic Constitutions," with the "Deprecatio Sancti Martini" of the "Missal of Stowe," and the "Deprecatio pro universali Ecclesia," which good judges continue to attribute to Pope Gelasius (492-496) in spite of the opinion of Duchesne.[2]

The Mass of the catechumens is certainly finished with these diaconal prayers, and the catechumens are dismissed by the Deacon. The formula is not given here but an equivalent will be found in the Milanese ritual. "Si quis catechumenus procedat, si quis judceus procedat, si quis paganus procedat, si quis haereticus procedat, cujus cura non est procedat."[3] St. Gregory mentions another formula: "Si quis non communicet det locum;" and the Pontifical even yet contains this curious formula at the Ordination of Exorcists: "Exorcistam oportet . . . dicere populo ut qui non communicat det locum." The pseudo-Germain recalls in this connection the energetic words of the Gospel: "nolite dare sanctum canibus neque mittatis margaritas ante porcos."

All these precautions prove the importance of the action which is about to take place, and fresh warnings from the Deacon awaken the attention and respect of the people. Formerly the formula was "Silentium faciet," or "Pacem habete," as in the Milanese rite. The pseudo-Germain, who often comments on or interprets the rite, says that they made the sign of the Cross on eyes, ears, and mouth, "ut hoc solum cor intendat ut in se Christum suscipiat."


The "Prayer of the Faithful" is a prayer recited after the departure of the catechumens by the faithful alone; thus it forms part of the Mass of the Faithful. Sometimes it is called the Prayer of the Church, or the Common Prayer. In the West, especially at Rome, it was recited in the following way: the Pontiff invited the faithful to prayer; the Deacon gave the order to bend the knee; the Bishop pronounced the prayer, and the people responded "Amen." Ed. Bishop remarks acutely, in this connection, that this prayer bears the seal of the Roman Church, in which ecclesiastical authority always maintains its rights, the part of the faithful being reduced to a minimum; while in the East the initiative of Christian people is allowed a much wider scope. To such a degree is this the case that at Rome this prayer might more correctly be called the Prayer "for" the Faithful. We have a very well-preserved type of the prayer in the "Orationes solemnes" of Good Friday. But all other trace of it has disappeared from the Roman liturgy. Under an analogous form it existed in the Gallican liturgies in the sixth century, as is proved by a text of the Council of Lyon under Sigismond (516-523), which alludes to the "Oratio plebis quae post evangelium legitur (Concilia aevi merovingici," p. 34). But since then it has disappeared, as it has at Rome, and we find in the Gallican liturgy only diaconal litanies, imitated from those in the Byzantine liturgy.

The offering of bread and wine in Gaul, as elsewhere was made by the faithful. What must be remarked here and what to some extent is peculiar to the Gallican Mass are the honors paid to the oblations, i.e. the elements which are to be consecrated. Analogous customs exist in the Eastern liturgies, and there is a temptation to see in this the results of Byzantine influence (Duchesne, op. cit., p. 216; Dom Wilmart, art. cit., col. 1080). It is surprising to find the pseudo-Germain describe these elements, in a prolepsis, by the following words: "Procedente ad altarium corpore Christi, praeclara Christi magnalia dulci melodia psallit Ecclesia" (P.L., Vol. XXII col. 93). Gregory of Tours expresses himself in somewhat similar terms when he says that the "Mysterium dominici corporis" was contained in vessels shaped like towers; wooden towers, sometimes covered with gold.[4]The wine to be consecrated was brought in a chalice: "sanguis Christi . . . offertur in calice." Water was added to the wine, as in all other rites. The bread was placed on a paten. Reference is made to the veils which covered the oblations: the first, "Palle," of linen or wool; the second which was placed beneath the oblations, of pure linen "Corporalis palle;" finally, a precious tissue of silk and gold, ornamented with jewels, which covered them. Although analogous rites are certainly encountered elsewhere, some of those just described seem peculiar to the Gallican churches. In any case, they testify to the care and respect paid to he elements even before the Consecration. (For details, and comparison with other rites cf. Dom Wilmart, op. cit., col. 1081 seq.)

The "Sonum quando procedit oblatio" was a special canticle, very closely allied to the "Cheroubicon" of the Greeks. When the oblations were placed upon the altar the choir chanted the Christmas "Laudes" of the Mozarabites: "Alleluia, Redemptionem misit Dominus populo suo; mandavit im aeternum testamentum suum; sanctum et terribile nomen ejus, Alleluia." These chants, "Sonum" and "Laudes," practically correspond with the Offertory psalm used at Rome and Milan.

The reading of the Diptychs occurs here, as it does in most liturgies; but we have no special information as to this rite in the Gallican churches. The names of the living for whom the Sacrifice was to be offered, and names of other personages, were read at this moment. From the theological point of view this rite is important, because the inscription on the Diptychs is a sign that the faithful were in communion with those whose names were read out. The names of heretics were struck off the list, a practice which often gave rise to bitter controversies. Lastly, the Pope's name was usually in the place of honor (cf. art. "Diptyques," in DACL). We give as a type the following formula, taken from Duchesne ("Origines du culte," p. 221): "Offerunt Deo Domino oblationem sacerdotes nostri" (here the Spanish Bishops are signified), "papa Romensis et reliqui pro se et pro omni clero ac plebibus Ecclesiae sibimet consignatis vel pro universa fraternitate. . . . Item pro spiritibus pausantium, Hilarii, Athanasii," etc. In the Gallican and Mozarabic rites this reading is followed by a prayer: "Collectio post nomina." The numerous formulas preserved in the Gallican books should be studied at first-hand, for allusion is made to the effects of the Sacrifice of the Mass (see art. "Mozarabe, Messe," in "Dict. de Theol. Catholique"). The whole of this rite of the Diptychs is, moreover, deeply interesting, for it is a proof of faith in the intercession of the Church, in the efficaciousness of that Sacrifice, and in the union of all the faithful in the Church on earth and with the Saints in Heaven.

The Kiss of Peace which followed is also accompanied by a prayer, "Collectio ad pacem." In the Gallican and Mozarabic books this, like the preceding prayer, varies with every Feast. They are a rich collection of texts, often expressive; it will be sufficient here to quote one example of the "Collectio ad pacem," that of the Assumption of Our Lady, celebrated by the Gallicans in January. It is taken from the "Missale Gothicum" (P.L., Vol. LXXII, col. 245):

"Deus universalis machinae propagator, qui in sanctis spiritaliter, in matre vero virgine etiam corporaliter habitasti; que ditata tuae plenitudenis ubertate, mansuetudine florens, caritate vigens, pace gaudens, pietate praecellens ab angelo gracia plena, ab Elisabeth benedicta, a gentibus merito praedicatur beata; cujus nobis fides mysterium, partus gaudium, vita portentum, discessus attulit hoc festivum; precamur supplices, ut pacem quae in adsumptione Matris tunc praebuisti discipulis, solenni nuper (doubtless sollempniter) largiaris in cunctis, salvator mundi, qui cum Patre.... mundi, qui cum Patre...."

We know that as regards the Diptychs and the Kiss of Peace the Roman liturgy differs in many important respects from the Gallican and Mozarabic rites, which latter on these points approach more closely to those of Constantinople. But we see, from what has gone before, that many ceremonies were borrowed comparatively late (cf. our article "Baiser de Paix "in DACL).

In the Gallican books the "Collectio ad pacem "is followed by an even more important prayer, usually called in these books the "Contestatio," or "Immolatio;" it corresponds to the Roman "Preface," and begins with "Sursum corda:" "Habemus ad Dominum. "The prelude, too, is the same "Vere dignum et justum est." But these Gallican "Contestationes," like the Mozarabic "Immolationes," are characteristically different from the Roman Prefaces. They are, if we may use such a comparison, like locally grown fruit. The Gallo-Roman genius of the sixth and seventh centuries here gave itself free rein. The Latin of that period was no longer the classical language of Augustan Rome; it is very often prolix; we find in it antitheses, ornaments, and even verbal conceits which we should desire to see banished from ecclesiastical compositions. The Roman manner, especially at the time of Gelasius and Gregory, has incontestably more discretion, more dignity; moreover, it expresses a more carefully guarded orthodoxy. But from the point of view which alone interests us here this rich collection of "Contestationes" preserved in the Gallican books is a treasure as yet little explored by theologians. Here may be studied the doctrines of this Church on the Eucharist, Grace, the Incarnation, and Redemption, better perhaps than in any other collection. We can but mention here this source of the history and theology of the Gallican Church, for a detailed explanation would require a long thesis.

As in other liturgies the "Contestatio" ends with the "Sanctus." But the Gallican and Mozarabic liturgies have another prayer, the "Collectio post Sanctus," which is a transition from the "Sanctus" to the recital of the Institution. It generally begins with these words: "Vere Sanctus." Thus in one of the Masses of Mone: "Vere Sanctus, vere benedictus dominus noster Jesus Christus filius tuus qui pridie" (P.L., Vol. CXXXVIII, col. 866). But usually more ample developments are found, where dogmatic questions are touched upon, as in the following from the same collection (loc. cit., col. 873):

"Hic inquam Christus Dominus noster et Deus noster, qui sponte mortalibus factus adsimilis per omne hunc aevi diem immaculatum sibi corpus ostendit, veterisque delicti idoneus expiator sinceram inviolatamque peccatis exhibuit animam, quam sordentem rursus sanguis elueret, abrogataque in ultimum lege moriendi, in caelo corpus perditum atque ad patris dexteram relevaret, per Dominum nostrum qui pridie...."

In the MS. this passage is altered, but we can guess the meaning (see Denzinger's note, col. 873). The "Post Sanctus" also answers to a prayer of the same kind in the Eastern liturgies. That of Rome has no prayer which corresponds to the "Vere Sanctus."

The recital of the Institution, introduced in the Gallican liturgies by "Vere Sanctus," follows the text of St. Matthew and St. Mark with the words: "qui pridie quam pateretur." Here is an instance of complete accord between the rites of Rome and Gaul; but on this point we can but refer to the remarks of other liturgiologists, especially to those of Dom Cagin, who has drawn his conclusions from this fact extremely well. The Eastern liturgies follow another tradition, and say with St. Paul: "In qua nocte tradebatur." Spain, it is true, also says: "In qua nocte", but this is generally attributed to Byzantine qua nocte, but this is generally attributed to Byzantine influence in a later age. This is all the more likely because the Spanish books called the prayer which follows, "Post pridie.[5]

The words "Mysterium fidei" also seem to have been adopted in Gaul, as in the Roman formula, and probably under Roman influence.

In Gaul the words of Consecration were accompanied by the sign of the Cross traced on the oblation; a gesture recognized as possessing the special virtue of accomplishing the Mystery, and which is ratified by Heaven. The pseudo-Germain, speaking of the transformation operated by the Consecration of the bread and wine, alludes to the Angel of God who blesses the Host: "Angeles Dei ad secreta super altare tamquam super monumentum descendit et ipsam hostiam benedicit instar illius angeli qu Christi resurectionem evangelizavit." In this connection the story related by Gregory of Tours may well be recalled, he tells us that St. Martin appeared in the Basilica dedicated to him in that town, and blessed, "dextera extensa," the Sacrifice offered on the altar, "juxta morem catholicam signo crucis superposito" ("Vita Patrum," XVI, 2- P.L. Vol. LXXI, col. 1075; cf. Dom Wilmart, col. 1086).

The following prayer is of the first importance for the theology of the Mass. It bears the name Post Secreta, and elsewhere "Post Mysteria," "Post Eucharistiam." This title, this formula, the miracle of St. Martin just mentioned the fact that Gregory of Tours calls the words of Consecration "Verba sacra" ("Glor. Mart.," 87; P.L., Vol. LXXI col. 782), and other texts we could mention, sufficiently prove that the words of the Institution were considered as operating the mystery of the Eucharist. But it must be added that this prayer is frequently conceived in terms which would incline a reader to the contrary belief, i.e. that Transubstantiation is wrought by the "Epiclesis," such as that of one of the Masses of Mone (P.L. Vol. CXXXVIII, col. 871, and Vol. LXXII, col. 257). In any case, the collection of these prayers, "Post Secreta" in the Gallican liturgies, is one which should be most carefully studied, in order to realize the faith of these churches in the Eucharistic Mystery.

It has been thought, since the word is "Post Secreta" that the formula of Consecration was said in a low voice while the "Contestatio" and "Post Sanctus" were said aloud. We shall not take up here that question so hotly debated in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, by theologians and liturgiologists, as to the Secret of the Mysteries, which we treat elsewhere (Chap. XII).

The rites of the "Fraction" and the "Commixtion" are attached to the prayer "Post Secreta." In the primitive Mass the "Fraction" was a rite of the first importance. The name of "Fractio panis" given to the Eucharist at the beginning, the place of the word "Fregit" in the story of the Institution, the insistence of all the most ancient liturgies in this formula upon the words "(corpus meum) quod pro vobis confringetur," and many other indications which could be given are sufficient to prove this fact. There are numerous variants of the rite in the various liturgies. In the Celtic rite, as we shall see, the Irish divided the Host in seven different ways, according to the Feast. In Gaul they divided it into nine particles, in the form of a Cross. Sometimes the particles were arranged on the paten to design a human form. The Council of Tours in 567 forbade this practice as superstitious, and ordained that the particles were to be disposed in the form of a Cross. The meaning of this act is given in the chant of the "Fraction," called "Confractorium," or "Ad Confractionem." We have mentioned some of these in our article "Fractio Panis" (DACL). Here is one of them:

"Credimus Domine, credimus in hac confractione corporis et effusione tui sanguinis nos esse redemptos: confidimus etiam quod spe hic mysterium jam tenemus, in aeternum perfrui mereamur. Per. . . ."

The "Commixtion," or "Immixtion," has, like the "Fraction," a dogmatic bearing. The celebrant soaks one or several of the consecrated particles in the chalice, allowing one of them to fall into it. Under this form, with the words accompanying it in many liturgies, the sole meaning of this rite is to show to the faithful, before Communion, that it is the very Body and Blood of Christ which they are about to receive; and that their separation under the different species of bread and wine is only apparent. Although at this epoch Communion under both kinds was almost universal, the doctrine that Christ was present, whole and entire, under both species, was none the less of equally universal acceptance. The rites of "Commixtion" or "Immixtion," which are attached to this part of the Mass, seem, in our opinion, to favor this interpretation (see "Immixtion" in DACL).

The recitation of the "Pater" follows the "Fraction" and "Commixtion." Its recital during Mass in this place, or at some place very near to these two rites, is an almost universal practice. Some exceptions might indeed be mentioned. The "Apostolic Constitutions" do not speak of the "Pater;" neither does St. Hippolytus, nor Serapion, nor the "anaphora" of Balizeh. But these are exceptions. The "Pater" has its place, and that a place of honor in the Roman Mass, where it is surrounded with special rites. With the Gallicans, as in most other liturgies, it is, as it were, framed between a prelude or protocol and a conclusion or embolism.

Both of these are variable in the Gallican rite, like the "Contestatio," the "Post Sanctus," or the "Ad pacem." These various rites aim at emphasizing the importance of this prayer, taught to His disciples by Christ Himself, the Prayer of prayers. From the beginning its importance has been recognized and attested by the liturgy. The end of the "Pater" was enriched with a doxology, as we see in the Didache and in some of the most ancient MSS. of the New Testament; and we cannot be surprised at that assertion of St. Gregory who, astonished at finding the "Pater" relegated to a place after the close of the Canon, declared that originally this was the prayer by means of which the Apostles consecrated (see pp. 79-81). It has also an honorable place in Baptism and in the other Sacraments.

In the Gallican Mass it is recited by the entire congregation, as was also the custom amongst the Greeks; while in Africa and at Rome the celebrant alone recited the "Pater" aloud, the people responding "Amen," or "Sed libera nos a malo." In Spain we have seen there was a special place for the recitation of this prayer.

Before the Communion the Bishop, or even the Priest, blessed the faithful. This blessing also is important; it is not confined to the Gallican liturgy, but took place in Africa also, in the time of St. Augustine. It existed, too, in the Eastern liturgies, and even Rome may have known it at one time, though it has been transformed and placed elsewhere.[6]

The meaning of this blessing, a kind of absolution or final purification before Communion, is determined by the accompanying formulas. The Deacon said: "Humiliate vos benedictioni;" or with the Greeks: "Let us bow down our heads before the Lord." The pseudo-Germain mentions the following: "Pax, fides et caritas, et communicatio "corporis et sanguinis D.N.J.C. sit semper vobiscum." He says, too, that the blessing given by the Priest must be shorter and less solemn than that given by the Bishop. This is a discreet allusion to the discussions which doubtless took place about this time, since the canons of some of the Councils of the fifth and sixth centuries bear traces of the controversy. The question was whether the right of blessing the people should be reserved to the Bishop alone, or whether (as here) it was sufficient to mark the difference between his blessing and that of a Priest (cf. especially the 44th canon of the Council of Agde, held 506). The formula varied according to the day. In the MS. collections many episcopal benedictions exist, some of which have been published, and these must not be neglected, since they form part also of liturgical theology (see our article, "Benedictions episcopales", in DACL).

A certain hierarchical order — indeed, a very rigorous one — was enforced for the Communion. Priests and Deacons communicated at the altar; other clerics before it; the laity outside the choir. This at least was the Spanish custom. In Gaul the faithful entered the choir and communicated at the altar. Men received the Host upon the bare hand; while women received It in a linen cloth called the "Dominical" (Duchesne, op. cit., p. 257).

During the Communion a chant was sung: "antiphona ad accedentes." This, according to the most ancient tradition, was Psalm XXXIII, "Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore," or at least some of its verses which apply so well to the Eucharist: "Accedite ad eum et illuminamini, Iste pauper clamavit et Dominus exaudivit eum;" and, above all: "Gustate et videte quoniam suavis est Dominus." Dom Cagin ("Paleographie musicale," Vol. V, PP. 22-25) has collected the principal evidence as to this tradition. It is interesting to know that Gaul had preserved it. The pseudo-Germain, amongst others, recalls it, but chiefly to prove that this chant (which he calls the "Trecanum") is an act of Faith in the Trinity. And indeed, three verses which were repeated in a certain manner, and doubtless ended with the Trinitarian doxology, did teach those who communicated that "the Father is in the Son, the Son in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost in the Son, and again the Son in the Father". P. Thibaut gives an explanation of this obscure text. "Trecanum" is. an erroneous transcription of "Tricanon" (in Greek, "trikanon", three rules, or three bars). Now the Psalm "Gustate et videte" is numbered in Roman figures XXXIII, which was taken as a graphic symbol of the Trinity, three X's and three I's which must be written thus:

X X X         I I I 
1 2 3         3 2 1

This would explain the pseudo-Germain's text on "Circumincession" in the Trinity. It is very subtle, but subtlety never frightened the symbolists of that period. However, what is incontestable is that these three verses with a special doxology are indeed a chant in honor of the Trinity; and on this point the Mozarabic rite agrees with that of Gaul. Other chants for Communion accompanied this, or took its place, such as the beautiful hymn, "Sancti venite," of the Celtic liturgies. In the Eastern and Mozarabic rites the Symbol of Nicea-Constantinople was recited at this moment. What must always be noticed is the intense care taken to cause an act of Faith to precede the participation in the Body and Blood of Christ; because the Eucharist is, above all, the mystery of union with Our Lord, and through Him between the faithful, in Faith and Charity.

After the Communion was said a prayer, the text of which varied. The Post- Communions preserved in the Gallican books are well worth study, for they express the faith of these liturgies in the Real Presence, and in the effects of the Sacrament upon the soul.

After these prayers the faithful were dismissed, as in other liturgies. The formula in the Roman rite is "Ite, Missa est," in the Missal of Stowe it is "Missa acta est, In pace." The Ambrosian rite has "Procedamus in pace, in nomine Domini;" while the Mozarabites have an even more solemn formula. The Eastern liturgies have yet others, and it was not until much later that, in certain rites, the reading of the Gospel of St. John and other prayers were added after this dismissal, a custom which causes the latter ceremony to lose all its meaning.

The part played by the Gallican liturgy did not end with its disappearance. In the history of the liturgy from the ninth-fifteenth centuries Gaul's place was a very important one — it might be said, almost the most important of all. It was in Gaul that the Gelasian and Gregorian Sacramentaries, as well as the greater number of the "Ordines Romani," have been retouched, modified, and finally moulded into that form which may be studied in the Missals of the ninth-thirteenth centuries, which are in reality Gallicano- Roman. An influence almost equally considerable was exercised in that country upon the Pontifical, the Ritual, Breviary, and other liturgical books. This history of the liturgy is not yet written, but it can be said that each day some fresh work on the subject confirms this general impression. We must also take into consideration the numerous initiatives undertaken in that country which were in the end adopted in other lands, even by Rome herself, such as the institution of new Feasts, and of more solemn rites.

None the less, it is infinitely to be regretted that, as regards this liturgy which in the splendor of its forms could rival the Mozarabic, the Ambrosian, or even the liturgy of Rome, we are reduced to a few fragments, doubtless of great interest, but which are mere "membra disjecta," as the poet calls it. What a pity that one of our old Basilicas, that of Rheims, for instance, or Sens, did not play the same "role" as Toledo or Milan, and thus keep till our own day that collection of rites and customs of which to-day only a few relics are left![7]


1 Dom Wilmart after Edmund Bishop, has insisted on this point. Cf. Ed. Bishop, "Observations on the Liturgy of Narsai," pp. 117 — 121; "Journal of Theological Studies," 1910 11, Vol. XII, pp. 406-413 щ and "Liturgica Historica," pp. 122, 124; Connolly, "Journal of Theological Studies," 1919- 20, Vol. XXI, pp. 219-232; Dom Wilmart, art. cit., col. 1075. Duchesne, in his fifth edition of "Origines du culte chretien," p. 211, note 2, discusses the attribution to Gelasius of the "Dicamus omnes."
2. Cf. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 221, note 2; and Dom Wilmart art. cit., 1076; cf. also article "Litanies," in DACL..
3. Under this formula cf. Ambrosian Mass, p. 93.
4. "Glor. Mart," 86; "Hist. France," X, xxxi. 13; P.L., Vol. LXXI, cols. 569, 781.
5. Cf. on this point Dom Cagin, "Paleographie musicale," Vol. V., p. 55 seq.; Duchesne, loc. cit., p. 230, note 1; Dom Wilmart, art. cit., col. 1085. There has been discussion as to whether these liturgies did not in primitive days contain the incisive words: "pro nostra et omnium salute." Cf. "Revue Benedictine," 1910, Vol. XXVII, p. 513 seq.
6. Cf. Dom Wilmart, op. cit., col. 1088; Dom Morin, "Revue Benedictine," 1912, Vol. XXIX, p. 179 seq.
7. we shall have a word to say as to the neo-Gallican liturgies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries on p. 203. But they have in reality little to do with the Mass.


H. LIETZMANN, "Ordo Missae Romnanus et Gallicanus" (Bonn, 1923) .

J. B. THIBAUT, "L'ancienne liturgie gallicane" (Paris, 1929); and on this book our article: "Les origines de la liturgie gallicane," in "Revue d'Hist. eccl. de Louvain," Vol. XXVI, 1930, P. 951 seq "Liturgia, "PP. 793-800, "La liturgie gallicane."

H. NETZER, "L'Introduction de la Messe Romaine en France sous les Carolingiens" (Paris, 1910).

In DACL. "Gallicanes (Liturgies)," a very complete bibliography by Dom LECLERCQ. Cf. also the article "Germain, lettres de Saint."

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