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Gallican rites


Gallican is the name usually given to the liturgy that prevailed in Gaul from the beginnings of Christianity in that country to about the end of the 8th century, when Charlemagne imposed the Roman rite there. The difficulty of such a concept is that there was no single form of worship in the earliest times, but rather a diversity of liturgical forms, because Gaul was not a political or ecclesiastical unity. The characteristics that distinguish the socalled Gallican rite from that of Rome appear only in a later period, and many of them are then shared by other Western rites, such as the Spanish, Celtic, and Ambrosian. It is a serious mistake and, from a scholarly point of view, impossible to see these characteristics as belonging to the earliest period.  


Unfortunately, the Gallican liturgy has so far not found its historian. There are a great number of problems regarding its origin that have escaped any solution. Several theories have been advanced, but none of them seems satisfactory. According to the oldest theory, the Gallican rite was brought to Lyons from Ephesus by St. Photinus and St. Irenaeus and was of apostolic origin, since they had received it through St. Polycarp from St. John the Apostle. This idea has been given up by all serious scholars because such an early beginning is absolutely improbable. It is the second theory, developed by L. Duchesne, that has found many adherents. According to this theory, the Gallican liturgy was strongly influenced by Milan, especially in its Oriental features. In fact, to Duchesne the Gallican liturgy is an Oriental liturgy introduced into the West toward the middle of the 4th century via Milan. This theory can no longer be regarded as convincing because Duchesne’s reconstruction of the Gallican Mass of the 6th century is based on the assumption that the so-called Letters of St. Germanus of Paris are authentic. A. Wilmart, however, has clearly demonstrated that these letters have nothing to do with St. Germanus (d.576) or with Paris, but that they were composed in the south of France about the year 700. Thus Duchesne’s reconstruction may give an idea of the Gallican liturgy of the 7th or 8th centuries, but not of the 6th, because these letters represent the Gallican rite, not in its early purity, but in the period of its decadence after it had been transformed by a number of foreign elements. One must take account of O. Faller’s and H. Connolly’s vindication of St. Ambrose’s authorship of the treatise De sacramentis. There remains nothing to prove that the liturgy of Milan in the second half of the 4th century was a liturgy imported from the East. It was fundamentally a Roman rite, except for minor details. De sacramentis demonstrates that the Church of Milan was already using an early form of the Roman Canon. Hence Duchesne’s theory that Milan was the center of diffusion for the Gallican rite in the West, which he supposed had been imported from the East by St. Ambrose’s predecessor, Auxentius, about 360, must be discarded. Moreover, the greatest obstacle to a clear understanding of the beginnings of the liturgies in the West, Duchesne’s theory of an Oriental origin for all non-Roman Western rites, has been eliminated, and the way has been opened for a new study of the beginnings of the Gallican rite.  

E. Griffe, though fully aware of the remaining problems, has come to the conclusion that the early Gallican liturgy did not come from Milan, nor from the East, but from Rome. Far from being prolix and oratorical, this early liturgy was remarkable for its simplicity and sobriety of style. It was only in the course of the 6th and 7th centuries that the Gallican liturgy became enriched by new rites that had their origin in the Orient. Some of these rites were introduced via Rome, others via Spain, and others again directly from the East, especially Syria. In order to understand the beginnings of the Gallican liturgy, it will be necessary to leave these later additions aside.  

Unfortunately, almost all the extant sources of the Gallican rite are of a later period and do not give any information for the 5th century and earlier. Hence, A. Wilmart was of the opinion that the liturgy of Gaul of that time must remain a myth. The so-called Gallican rite of that early period, if it existed at all, was not different from that of Rome.  

If one wishes to get an idea of the liturgy for the period of 150 to 313, for which there are no Gallican sources at all, it may suffice to recall the description of the eucharist that St. Justin gave in his Apology. It provides an idea not only of the eucharist at Rome, but also for the other churches of primitive Christianity. The following order is found in ch. 65 and 67: (1) readings from the Old and New Testaments, (2) the homily, (3) the prayer of the faithful, (4) the kiss of peace, (5) the offering of bread and wine, (6) the Eucharistic Prayer, and (7) Holy Communion distributed by the deacons. The first Christian communities organized on the soil of Gaul most probably followed this order presented by the Church of Rome between 150 and 250. Its primitive structure can be recognized even in the later, more developed Gallican forms.  

It was the 4th century that saw the Church of Gaul definitely organized, and this must have been the time that local differences in the liturgy began to appear. The Consuetudines of local synods of the 5th and 6th centuries testify to this development. Very soon this liturgical evolution led to the presence of two different types of liturgies in the West: the Roman, used in all Italy and in Africa, the Gallican, in Gaul and Spain. The writings of Gregory of Tours and Caesarius of Arles and the Merovingian councils enable one to get some idea of this early Gallican liturgy of the 6th century.  


It is only after this period that there are available liturgical sources, such as Missals, Benedictionals, and Lectionaries. For the later form, there is the very valuable description found in the so-called Letters of St. Germanus, which show evidence of a definitely Eastern influence.  

Mone Masses. Mass formularies have been published by F. J. Mone, Lateinische und griechische Messen aus dem zweiten bis sechsten Jahrhundert (Frankfurt 1850). They have been reprinted by J. M. Neale and G. H. Forbes, The Ancient Liturgies of the Gallican Churches (Burntisland 1855), by Migne, Patrologia Latina 138:863–882, and more recently by L. C. Mohlberg and P. Siffrin, Missale Gallicanum Vetus (Rerum Ecclesiasticarum Documenta, Series Maior, Fontes III; Rome 1958) 61–91. Mone discovered these Masses in a late 7thcentury palimpsest manuscript belonging to the library of Karlsruhe, Germany, but originally from the Abbey of Reichenau. It contains 11 Masses of the pure Gallican type, notable for the absence of all reference to the cycle of liturgical feasts. One of them is in honor of St. Germanus of Auxerre, but the others do not specify any festival. H. Brewer [Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie 43 (1919) 603–703] is of the opinion that these Masses were composed by Venantius Fortunatus. This is highly improbable, except for one, Sidera de sede nitens, which is almost entirely in hexameter verse (the Post-Pridie is in prose). For the time of origin and the order of these Masses, see A. Wilmart, ‘‘L’Âge et l’ordre des Messes de Mone,’’ Revue Bénédictine 28 (1911) 377–399; for the place of origin and authorship, see P. Radò, ‘‘Verfasser und Heimat der Mone-Messen,’’ Ephemerides liturgicae 42 (1928) 58–65; for the sources used in their composition, see L. Eizenhöfer, Revue Bénédictine 43 (1953) 329–332.  

Missale Gothicum
. This is a Gallican Sacramentary, now in the Vatican Library (Cod. Vat. Reg. Lat. 317), written at the end of the 7th century and belonging formerly to the Petau Library. The misleading title, Missale Gothicum, was added to the manuscript in the 15th century and caused its first editor, G. M. Tommasi, to attribute it to Narbonne, then under Visigothic rule. The inclusion of the Masses for the feasts of St. Symphorian and St. Léger led L. Duchesne to believe that it was from Autun. Hence it is frequently called the Sacramentary of Autun. Following the order of the Proprium de tempore, it contains Masses from the Vigil of Christmas to Pentecost, interspersed with some saints’ days, Rogation Days, and the Feast of the Finding of the Cross. It ends with Masses for the Common of Saints, six Sunday Masses, and a fragment of a Mass, Missa Cotidiana Romensis, for use of ferias. The arrangement throughout is that of the Gallican Mass, though for the Masses of the saints the formularies are Roman. It was first edited by G. M. Tommasi, Codices Sacramentorum Nongentis Annis Vetustiores (Rome 1680) 263–317, and by J. Mabillon, De Liturgia Gallicana (Paris 1685) 188–300; reprinted by L. A. Muratori, Liturgia Romana Vetus (Venice 1748) 517–558, by F. M. Neale and G. H. Forbes, The Ancient Liturgies of the Gallican Church (Burntisland 1855) 32–150, and by Migne, Patrologia Latina 72:225–318. Modern editions are: H. M. Bannister, Missale Gothicum: A Gallican Sacramentary (London 1917); facsimile edition by L. C. Mohlberg, Missale Gothicum: Das gallikanische Sakramentar (Cod. Vat. Regin. Lat. 317) des VII.–VIII. Jahrhunderts (2 v. Augsburg 1929). [For a study of the place of origin see G. Morin, ‘‘Sur la provenance du Missale Gothicum,’’ Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique 37 (1941) 424–430.]  

Missale Gallicanum Vetus. The Sacramentary of Auxerre is preserved in a single manuscript, Codex Pal. 493 of the Vatican Library; it was written at the end of the 7th century or the beginning of the 8th and is in fragmentary condition. There is a certain disorder of arrangement that Tommasi tried to improve. The series of Masses begins with one for the feast of St. Germanus of Auxerre (Oct. 9), which is followed by prayers for the blessing of virgins and widows, two Advent Masses, a Mass for the Vigil of Christmas, the Expositio, Traditio Symboli, and other Lenten ceremonies preparatory to Baptism, the ceremonies for Holy Week and Easter Sunday including the baptismal liturgy, and Masses for the Sundays after Easter up to the Rogation Mass. Many prayers are identical with those in the Missale Gothicum. The Good Friday prayers are the same as in the Roman Missal, except for a few variations. The manuscript has been edited by Tommasi, 433–492; Mabillon, 329–378; Muratori, 697–760; Migne, Patrologia Latina 72:339–382; and Neale and Forbes, 151–204. There is a new edition by L. C. Mohlberg, L. Eizenhöfer, and P. Siffrin, Missale Gallicanum Vetus (Rome 1958).  

Bobbio Missal. Now at Paris (B.N. MS lat. 13.246), this Missal is of the 8th century and represents an important collection of Gallican prayers, although it was compiled probably by an Irishman and written originally in Italy in the monastery of Bobbio, where Mabillon found it. The original edition was published by J. Mabillon, Museum Italicum seu Collectio Veterum Scriptorum ex Bibliothecis Italicis eruta (Paris 1687) 1.2:278–397. It was reprinted by L. A. Muratori, Liturgia Romana Vetus (Venice 1748) 775–968, and Migne, Patrologia Latina 52:451–580. A modern critical edition was published by E. A. Lowe, The Bobbio Missal, A Gallican Mass Book (Henry Bradshaw Society 56; London 1920). There is a facsimile edition by J. Wickham Legg, The Bobbio Missal, Facsimile of MS Paris. lat. 13.246 (Henry Bradshaw Society 53; London 1917). A volume of notes was added later by A. Wilmart, E. A. Lowe, and H. A. Wilson, The Bobbio Missal, Notes and Studies (Henry Bradshaw Society 61; London 1923). [For a description see A. Wilmart, Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie 2.1:939–962; ‘‘Une Curieuse instruction liturgique du missel de Bobbio,’’ Revue Charlemagne 2 (1912) 1–6.]  

Mass Fragments. Fragments of Masses of the Gallican rite have been found by a number of scholars. D. de Bruyne edited from a Gospel manuscript of the 7th century (BN Codex 256) prayers and a contestatio of a Missa pro defuncto [D. de Bruyne, ‘‘Une Messe gallicane inédite pro defuncto,’’ Revue Bénédictine 34 (1922) 156–158; repr. L. C. Mohlberg, Missale Gallicanum Vetus (Rome 1958) 96–97]. G. Bickell published a fragment of a Gallican Christmas Mass from a codex of Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge (No. 820) of the middle of the 8th century [G. Bickell, ‘‘Ein neues Fragment einer gallikanischen Weihnachtsmesse,’’ Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie 6 (1882) 370–372; repr. L. C. Mohlberg, Missale Gallicanum Vetus 370–372, and K. Gamber, Sakramentartypen (Beuron 1958) 28–29]. There are fragments from a codex of the monastery of St. Gall in Switzerland (Stiftsbibliothek Codex 194). Six palimpsest pages of this MS contain a Benedictio populi and a Postcommunion that seems to be the end of a Pentecost Mass (see K. Gamber, Sakramentartypen 29). A. Dold has published fragments of a Sacramentary from Codex M 12 of the Ambrosian Library at Milan that represent a mixture of Gallican and Visigothic type of the 7th century. The framework is more Gallican, the formularies more Visigothic [A. Dold, Das Sakramentar in Schabkodex M 12 Sup. der Bibliotheca Ambrosiana mit hauptsächlich altspanischem Formelgut im gallischen Rahmenwerk (Texte und Arbeiten 43; Beuron 1952)]. J. Mabillon edited a Missa in honorem S. Remigii from Codex Reims 1395 of the 9th century [Annales Ordinis S. Benedicti 1 (Paris 1703) 63, 680; repr. L. C. Mohlberg, Missale Gallicanum Vetus 91–92; see also F. Baix, ‘‘Les Sources liturgiques de la Vita Remigii de Hincmar,’’ Miscellanea A. De Meyer 1 (Louvain 1946) 222–227]. A. Dold also published, from Codex Sangallensis 908 of the 6th or 7th century, a series of Missae defunctorum et exhortationes matutinales [Palimpsest-Studien 1 (Texte und Arbeiten 45; Beuron 1955) 1–36; see J. A. Jungmann, ‘‘Die vormonastische Morgenhore im gallischspanischen Raum des 6. Jahrhunderts,’’ Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie 78 (1956) 306–336]. W. J. Anderson published fragments of a Gallican Sacramentary from Codex London W. Merton of the 8th century [‘‘Fragments of an Eight-Century Gallican Sacramentary,’’ Journal of Theological Studies 29 (1928) 337–345; repr. L. C. Mohlberg, Missale Gallicanum Vetus 98–102]. A Praefatio Missae from Codex latinus Monacensis 14429 of the 7th or 8th centuries was published by Dold [‘‘Liturgie-Fragmente aus Clm 14429,’’ Revue Bénédictine 38 (1926) 277–287; see M. Frost, ‘‘A Prayer-Book from St. Emmeran, Ratisbon,’’ Journal of Theological Studies 30 (1929) 32–45; H. Frank, ‘‘Die Briefe des hl. Bonifatius und das von ihm benutzte Sakramentar,’’ Sankt Bonifatius: Gedenkgabe zum 1200. Todestag (Fulda 1954) 75]. P. Siffrin published fragments of a Calendarium from Codex Berlin lat. fol. 87 and Regensburg Graf Walderdorff of the 8th century [P. Siffrin, ‘‘Das Walderdorffer Kalendarfragment saec. VIII,’’ Ephemerides liturgicae 47 (1933) 204–209; repr. L. C. Mohiberg, Missale Francorum (Rome 1957) 71–85]. Fragments of a Cologne Codex GB Kasten B 24.123, 124 of the 8th century were published by H. M. Bannister [‘‘Fragments of an AngloSaxon Sacramentary,’’ Journal of Theological Studies 12 (1911) 451–455]. Two Postcommunions were discovered in Codex Parisinus Bibl. Nat. MS. lat. 242 of the 9th century and edited by A. Wilmart [Archivum latinitatis medii aevi 15 (1940) 207; repr. L. C. Mohlberg, Missale Gallicanum Vetus 102–103]. In addition, L. C. Mohlberg published Fragmentum diptychorum ex regula S. Aureliani (92–93) and Priscilliani benedictio super fideles (103–105) from Codex Würzburg, Univ. Q.3 of the 5th or 6th centuries and reprinted (93–94) the fragment of a lost Codex of Fulda of the 8th century, which was first edited by A. Ruland [Theologische Quartalchrift 39 (1857) 420–421]. Missae in honorem S. Samsonis were edited by F. Duine [Inventaire liturgique de l’hagiographie bretonne (Paris 1922) 20–23, 236–237].  

Benedictionalia. Pope Zacharias, in a letter (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Epistolae III, Merov. et Karol. aevi 1:371) addressed to St. Boniface in 751, criticized the custom that the bishops of Gaul had of inserting blessings after the Our Father at Mass as against apostolic tradition, and exhorted him to remain loyal to the Roman custom, which did not have such blessings. A number of such prayers are preserved in collections called Benedictionales. The oldest of them seems to be the Benedictionale Frisigense vetus composed in Gregorienmünster at the end of the 7th century and later used in Freising [W. Dürig, ‘‘Das Benectionale Frisigense Vetus (Clm 6430 fol. 1–14),’’ Archiv für Liturgiewissenschaft 4 (1955) 223–244; for a later Freising collection see W. Dürig, ‘‘Die Typologie der Osterwoche im jüngeren Freisinger Benedictionale,’’ Paschatis Sollemnia, ed. B. Fischer and J. Wagner (Freiburg 1959) 197–207].  

A shorter Gallican collection is the Benedictionale Friburgense found in the 9th-century Codex 363 of the University of Freiburg [M. J. Metzger, Zwei karolingische Pontifikalien vom Oberrhein (Freiburg 1914) 87–92, 18*–25*]. A third collection is the Benedictiones Gallicanae found in MS Clm 29163m of the 9th or 10th centuries in the Munich Library [W. Dürig, ‘‘Die Bruchstücke einer Sammlung von Benedictiones Gallicanae in CL 29163,’’ Revue Bénédictine 64 (1954) 168–175]. For further Gallican Benedictiones Episcopales see Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie 2.1:717–720; W. Lüdtke, ‘‘Bischöfliche Benediktionen aus Magdeburg und Braunschweig,’’ Jahrbuch für Liturgiewissenschaft 5 (1925) 97–122; R. M. Wooley, The Benedictional of John Longlonde (London 1926); A. de Vasconcelos, ‘‘Notas liturgico-bracarenses,’’ Opus Dei 5 (1930–31) 21–28, 46–54; G. Manz, Ausdrucksformen der lateinischen Liturgiesprache (Beuron 1941) 25–36; J. Leclercq and J. Laporte, ‘‘Bénédictions épiscopales dans un manuscrit de Huesca,’’ Hispania Sacra 5 (1952) 79; L. Eizenhöfer, ‘‘Nochmals Spanish Symptoms,’’ Sacris Erudiri 4 (1952) 32–42; and L. Brou, ‘‘Encore les Spanish Symptoms et leur Contre-Partie,’’ Hispania Sacra 7 (1954) 467–485.  

Gallican Lectionaries
. The oldest Gallican Lectionary is that discovered and edited by A. Dold from the palimpsest Codex Weissenburgensis 76 of the 5th or 6th century in the Herzog August Bibliothek at Wolfenbüttel [Das älteste Liturgiebuch der lateinischen Kirche (Beuron 1936)]. This Lectionary is the oldest document of liturgical Scripture lessons that has been preserved. The Lessons are taken partly from a pure Vulgate text, partly from an older Latin Scripture text, partly from a mixture of both. A very interesting feature is the fact that the ecclesiastical year of this Lectionary begins with Easter and ends with Holy Saturday. Hence the first Lessons are those of the Easter Vigil. There follow those of Easter and Easter week, including the Octave of Easter (Low Sunday), the Gallican Rogation Days, and the feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost. In between Ascension and Pentecost, the Lectionary gives the Lessons for the anniversary of the Dedication of the Cathedral. Then follow the Lessons for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, for the feasts of St. Peter and St. Stephen, Epiphany, the feast of the Cathedra Petri, and Lent, including Holy Week, ending the ecclesiastical year with a liturgy for Holy Saturday. An appendix contains the Lessons for special liturgical occasions (e.g., the consecration of a bishop and the ordination of a priest), the Lessons of the Common of one or several martyrs, of a confessor, of a dedication of a church, of the birthday of the diocesan bishop, of the funeral of a bishop and of Christians in general, of the consecration of a virgin, and for the offering of tithes. The order of the Lessons for the ecclesiastical year may reach down even to the period before the Council of Ephesus. The Lectionary was written in southern France in the old Septimania.  

The Luxeuil Lectionary, part of MS 9427 of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, was discovered by J. Mabillon in the Abbey of Luxeuil. It is of the 7th century and contains, among its very few saints’ days, the feast of St. Genevieve, a feature that induced G. Morin to attribute it to Paris. Beginning with Christmas Eve, it gives the prophetical Lessons, Epistles, and Gospels of the liturgical year, followed by the Lessons for a few special Masses, for the burial of a bishop, for the dedication of a church, for when a bishop preaches, for the giving of tithes, for when a deacon is ordained and when a priest is blessed, and for starting on a trip, and lectiones cotidianae. J. Mabillon [De Liturgia Gallicana (Paris 1685) 106–173] gives only the references to all the Lessons and the beginnings and endings of the texts. A critical edition of the entire text was published by P. Salmon [Le lectionnaire de Luxeuil I-II (Collectanea Biblica 7, 9; Rome 1944–53); for the place of origin see C. Charlier, ‘‘Note sur les origines de l’écriture dite de Luxeuil,’’ Revue Bénédictines 58 (1948) 149–157; E. Masai, ‘‘Pour quelle église éxécuté le lectionnaire de Luxeuil?’’ Scriptorium 2 (1948) 37–46; 3 (1949) 172; P. Salmon Le Lectionnaire de Luxeuil: Étude Paléographique (Rome 1953)].  

For other Gallican Lectionaries see E. Chatelain, ‘‘Fragments palimpsestes d’un lectionnaire mérovingien,’’ Revue d’histoire et de littérature religieuse 5 (1900) 193–199 (palimpsest Codex of Paris, B.N. lat. 10863 of the 7th century); P. Salmon, ‘‘Le Systéme des lectures liturgiques contenu dans les notes marginales du MS. Mp. Th.Q. la de Wurzbourg,’’ Revue Bénédictines 61 (1951) 38–53 (Evangelium S. Kiliani); G. Morin, Études, textes, découvertes (Maredsous 1913) 440–456 (Lectionary of Schlettstadt of the 8th century), 446 (Epistolary of Schlettstadt of the 8th century); P. Salmon, ‘‘Le Texte biblique de l’Évangéliaire de St. Denis,’’ Miscellanea Mercati 1 (1946) 103–106 (Gospel book of St. Denis in Codex Paris, B. N. MS lat. 256 of the 8th century); D. de Bruyne, ‘‘Les Notes liturgiques du manuscrit 134 de la Cathédral de Trèves,’’ Revue Bénédictines 33 (1921) 46–52 (Gospel book of the 8th century); A. DOLD, Die im Codex Vat. Reg. lat. 9 vorgeheftete Liste paulinischer Lesungen für die Messfeier (Texte und Arbeiten 35; Beuron 1944) 39–52 (Lectionary of Tegernsee in Clm 19126 of the 8th century); C. H. Turner, The Oldest MS. of the Vulgate Gospels (Oxford 1931) 217 (Gospel books of Durham in MS of the 8th or 9th century); U. Robert, Pentateuchi versio latina antiquissima e cod. Lugdunensi I (Paris 1881) XIX-XLI; II (Lyons 1900 XIII; E. A. Lowe, Codices Lugdunenses antiquissimi (Lyon 1924) 32–33; A. Wilmart, ‘‘Une Lectionaire d’Aniane,’’ Revue Mabillon 13 (1923) 40–53 (Epistolary in Codex Montpellier, Bibl. mun. 6 of the 9th century); B. Bischoff, ‘‘Gallikanische Epistelperikopen,’’ Studien und Mitteilungen aus dem Benediktiner und Zistertienser-Orden 50 (1932) 515–519 (Epistolary of Freising in Clm 6229 of the 8th century).  

The Letters of St. Germanus of Paris. The most important source for knowledge of the late Gallican liturgy is the so-called Expositio Brevis Antiquae Liturgiae Gallicanae. It is preserved in a codex from the Abbey of St. Martin at Autun, at present in the library of the Seminary of Autun, the only manuscript of this valuable document that exists. The Expositio consists of two letters, the first of which describes the rite of the Gallican Mass, while the second deals with diversa ecclesiae carismata, i.e., with the baptismal rite, liturgical vestments, antiphons, responses, etc. The first to edit this text was A. Martène, Thesaurus novus anecdotorum 5 (Paris 1717) 91–100; repr. Migne, Patrologia Latina 72:83–98. A separate edition was published by J. Quasten, Expositio antiquae liturgiae Gallicanae Germano Parisiensi ascripta (Münster 1934). The question naturally arises as to the authorship of these letters and as to the time of origin. The Epistula prima seems to answer this question, because it starts with the following sentence: Capitula patrum traditionum suscipimus. Quomodo solemnis ordo ecclesiae agitur quibusve instructionibus Kanon ecclesiasticus decoratur, Germanus episcopus scripsit de missa (Expositio 10.4–7). Germanus was born about 496 near Autun, and he was ordained in 530. From 555 until his death, May 28, 576, he was bishop of Paris. The Expositio would therefore belong to the 6th century if the introductory sentences are correct in attributing these letters to Germanus of Paris. A. Martène, P. Lebrun, L. Duchesne, A. Franz, and others did not question this statement. L. Duchesne went so far as to state: ‘‘I do not believe that there is the slightest reason to doubt the authenticity of this heading’’ [Christian Worship (5th ed. London 1919) 155]. Today very few scholars dare to think of Germanus as the author. A critical analysis proves that the letters make use of Isidore of Seville’s De ecclesiasticis officiis, a work that originated about the year 620. It is therefore more probable that the two letters were composed by an anonymous author of the 7th or 8th century. The liturgy that they describe seems to be not the liturgy of Paris, but perhaps that of Autun, where the manuscript was found. The Gallican rite as described in these letters shows strong influence of Oriental liturgies [see A. Wilmart, ‘‘Germain de Paris (Lettres attribuées à Saint),’’ Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie 6.1: 1049–1102; A. Gaudel, ‘‘Le Problème de l’authenticité des Lettres attribuées à St. Germain de Paris,’’ Revue des sciences religieuses 7 (1927) 299; J. Quasten, ‘‘Oriental Influence in the Gallican Liturgy,’’ Traditio 1 (1943) 55–78].  

Points of Difference.

From these sources, especially from the letters attributed to Germanus, the following specialities can be pointed out for the late form of the Mass and Baptism in the Gallican rite.  

Mass. The ceremony begins with an antiphon, an entrance chant, and a greeting, after which comes the Aius, i.e., the Trisagion sung in Greek and Latin, well known from all Oriental Liturgies. Both the letters of PseudoGermanus and Bobbio Missal mention the Trisagion as part of the introduction to the Mass. According to Pseudo-Germanus, this hymn occurs three times during the Mass, the second and third time before and after the Gospel. The Trisagion was not reported in Gaul until the very end of the 6th century, the period when importations from Syria became evident in the liturgy of France.  

Upon the Aius there follows a threefold Kyrie, which in turn is followed by the Benedictus. The use of the Benedictus is attested by the Missale Gothicum, the Bobbio Missal, and the letters of Pseudo-Germanus. In the Gallican Mass of the 6th century it held the position that the Gloria held at that time in the Roman liturgy. According to Pseudo-Germanus, after the Epistle the Canticle of the Three Children, or the Benedicite, is sung. The Lectionary of Luxeuil mentions it once after the OT Lessons and once after the Epistle. In the Roman Mass it appears on Ember Saturdays after the last OT Lesson.  

The Diptychs and the Kiss of Peace occurred before the Canon. In the Roman Mass the Diptych for the dead did not exist at that time. It appeared in the Gallican Mass in the 7th or 8th century. The Roman Mass did not adopt the commemoration of the dead in all Masses before the 9th century.  

Of special interest in the Gallican Mass is the fact that the Canon, except for the words of Institution, varied with the season. The words of Institution were followed in many Gallican Masses by a prayer Post-Pridie. In 11 of the Mone Masses that represent such an early state of the Gallican liturgy, four contain a form of an EPICLESIS in this Post-Pridie.  

The letters of Pseudo-Germanus state that the Fraction takes place while an antiphon is sung. In the Ambrosian rite, this antiphon is called Confractorium. The Pater Noster followed the Fraction but was preceded by a variable introduction and followed by a variable EMBOLISM . During the Communion, the Trecanum was sung; this is a Trinitarian hymn, which seems to be a counterpart of the Trinitarian acclamation preceding Holy Communion in Oriental Liturgies.  

Baptism. The authorities for the Gallican baptismal service are the Mixssale Gothicum and the Missale Gallicanum Vetus. The baptismal formula was: ‘‘Baptizo in nomine . . . Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti in remissionem peccatorum, ut habeas vitam aeternam.’’ The Missale Gallicanum Vetus and the Bobbio Missal mention the ceremony of Feet-washing. The letters of Germanus mention too that Baptism was not administered during Lent; for this reason the baptistery was closed. The Gallican rite here accords with the liturgy of Spain and Syria.  

Bibliography: H. NETZER, L’ Introduction de la messe romaine en France sous les carolingiens (Paris 1910). J. B. THIBAUT, L’Ancienne liturgie gallicane, son origine, et sa formation en Provence aux V e VI e siècles (Paris 1929). F. CABROL, ‘‘Les Origines de la liturgie gallicane,’’ Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique 30 (1930) 951–962. G. NICKL, Der Anteil des Volkes an der Messliturgie im Frankenreich von Chlodwig bis Karl den Grossen (Innsbruck 1930). H. G. J. BECK, The Pastoral Care of Souls in South-East France during the 6th Century (Analecta Gregoriana 51; 1950). È. GRIFFE, ‘‘Aux origines de la liturgie gallicane,’’ Bulletin de littérature ecclésiastique 52 (1951) 17–43. H. ASHWORTH, ‘‘Gregorian Elements in Some Early Gallican Service Books,’’ Traditio 13 (1957) 431–443. W. S. PORTER, The Gallican Rite (London 1958). A. A. KING, Liturgies of the Past (Milwaukee 1959) 77–185. J. KOVALEVSKY, Le canon eucharistique de l’ancien rite des Gaules (Paris 1957). GERMANUS OF PARIS, Expositio antiquae liturgicae gallicanae (London 1971). J. A. FRENDO, The ‘‘post secreta’’ of the ‘‘Missale Gothicum’’ and the eucharistic theology of the Gallican anaphora (Malta 1977). K. GAMBER, Ordo antiquus Gallicanus; der gallikanische Messritus des 6. Jahrhunderts (Regensburg 1965). K. GAMBER, Die Messfeier nach altgallikanischem Ritus (Regensburg 1984). K. GAMBER, Der altgallikanische Messritus als Abbild himmlischer Liturgie (Regensburg 1984).  


New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2003. Vol. 6. P. 67-72.

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