Dean of Quebec.
The Rt. Rev. Lennox Waldron Williams, M.A., D.D. (Oxon)
The Dean of Quebec has done well in allowing himself to be persuaded to publish, in pamphlet form, this excellent "Paper" originally read before the "Society of Sacred Study" of the Diocese of Quebec.
The history of the formation of the Ancient Liturgies, and the comparison of them with those of more recent date, must be full of interest to all Church people who love their Prayer Book, and is particularly valuable at the present time when there is a strong desire on the part of many to bring our Holy Communion Office more into conformity with the Liturgies of the Church in all ages.
Other than that incomparable Prayer, which the Christian world reverently and gratefully calls the LORD'S Prayer, there are no definite Forms of petition for general use in the New Testament. There are intimations that such existed. The disciples "continued steadfastly", we are told, "in the doctrine, and the fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers of the Apostles" (Acts II., 42); but these prayers are not recorded in detail.
Our Prayer Book is a growth, of which the Prayer of the LORD, and those of the Apostles are the germs.
Our Blessed LORD gave the formula in precise words with which Baptism was to be given to those who, in this way, became members of His Church; and the full Service for the Administration of that holy Sacrament grew up around that. Doubtless St. Philip did not neglect to pray, when he baptized the Eunuch, but the inspired records tell only that he insisted upon the Divine Object of belief, and the sincerity of the faith of the Candidate.
The history of the Order for the Administration of the Holy Communion was more full and complete than that from the very first. In the Upper Room, chosen because it was the best in the house, our LORD kept the Passover with His Disciples. That divinely appointed Feast being ended, it was so that the provision, which had been supplied for it, was not all consumed.
There was still bread and wine upon the table, and taking these, the Son of God, with them, instituted and ordained another Divine Ordinance, which should "speak (yet) better things" than the older ever could, great as its utterance was.
True, as in the instances of the Baptisms of Pentecost and Gaza, we are left, by these actual records, to conjecture much; but we are told more than in the initial Sacrament. Christ blessed the elements which He had selected for His purpose; He gave thanks to GOD; He brake the Bread; He took the Cup and again gave thanks. [5/6] Having done these things, He administered to those present the Gifts which He had blessed, and which had now become so changed, that He Himself announced in solemn statement of truth, "This is My Body", "This is My Blood".
Here we have at once the origin and the nucleus of our Service. There were blessing and thanksgiving; there were manual acts; there were words of administration. That the actual words are not recorded with which our LORD "blessed" and "gave thanks" does not in any way weaken the assertion that He did both these things.
And when we remember the promise made by Him to His disciples that the Holy Ghost would recall to their memories all things that He had said unto them, we are surely justified in believing that, in their method of administering the Holy Communion, they would naturally imitate what He had done and said in their presence.
St. Paul it is true, was not one of the original twelve, but he received a special revelation of that Service, and from his recital of that revelation, as far as he has made it known to us, it would appear that this conclusion is correct, for he uses these words: "He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He brake it", and the words of administration follow (I Cor. XI: 23, 24). And again "The Cup of blessing which we bless" (I Cor. X: 16).
The Service of the Administration, as conducted by the Apostles, and their early successors, may have been at times very brief. But the very highest authorities, when writing of this, explain it by pointing out that danger, or other urgent circumstances made it, at times, difficult for them to celebrate the Divine Mysteries at all.
(Note, too, in this connection, our own Rubric for the administration of Holy Baptism in a case of extreme illness.)
And another consideration must be not merely mentioned in passing, but must be emphasized. Just as the story of the Gospel was not at once committed to writing,--that by Saint John not until the close of the first century--so the words of the Liturgy were not at first written down, but were, in great part, recited from memory.
Blunt, (Ann'd B. of C. P.) in the "Introduction to the Liturgy", says: "Liturgies were not committed to writing until the end of the second century". "This rule", he adds in a note, "'was observed from feelings founded on our LORD'S words 'Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls [6/7] before swine'. (S. Matt. VII: 6). For the same reason great reserve was used in speaking and writing on the subject of the Holy Eucharist; and therefore little can be learned from the Fathers of the first three centuries about the mode in which it was celebrated."
Let me quote in proof a Dialogue taken from Theodore, Bishop of Cyrrhus (A.D. 393-458). The illustration is strengthened by the fact that the date is at the close of the fourth or the beginning of the fifth century.
In the Second Dialogue:
Eranistes--Answer now to my questions.
Orthodoxus--I will answer.
Eran.--Before the priestly invocation, what do you call the gift that is being offered?
Orth.--One should not say it openly, for it is likely that some who are uninitiated are present.
Eran.--Let your answer be phrased enigmatically.
Orth.--The food that is made of a kind of grain.
Eran.--And by what name do you call the other symbol?
Orth.--This name is common too, signifying a kind of drink.
Eran.--But after the consecration how do you entitle these things?
Orth.--Christ's Body and Blood.
(Quoted by Lucius Waterman, p. 191, in "The Primitive Tradition of the Eucharistic Body and Blood".)
If we turn here to Palmer, "Antiquities of English Ritual", we may continue:
"For it was chiefly, if not only in the mystical Liturgy of the Eucharist that the Primitive Church spoke without reserve all the sublimities of the Christian Faith. When the Catechumens and infidels, who were permitted to hear the Lessons and Sermon, had been dismissed, there was no longer anything to impede the disclosure of those profound truths which the faith of the ignorant and undisciplined could not yet receive. It was then that in the fulness of faith and love and confidence, the Brethren offered up prayers to GOD, and saluted one another with an holy kiss." Introduction, p. 13.
"This primitive discipline", Palmer goes on to say, "is [7/8] sufficient to account for the fact that very few allusions to the Liturgy or Eucharistic Service, are found in the writings of the Fathers; and that, on the more solemn part of the Consecration, they are almost entirely silent."
Under these circumstances, and for these reasons, it is, admittedly, not an easy task to trace the detailed growth of the Liturgy continuously, from the earliest times, down to, and through, the undisputed centuries of history; but we are not left entirely in the region of conjecture.
Justin Martyr (110-165) is the first writer to whom we will apply. In his first apology, (Chapters 65, 66, 67) he writes that, at the Celebration of the Holy Communion, "there is brought to him who presides among the brethren, bread, and a cup of water mixed with wine, and he, taking them, sends up praise and glory to the Father of all, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and makes thanksgiving at length for our being counted worthy of these things from Him. And when he has concluded the prayers, and the thanksgiving, all the people present assent, saying 'Amen'".
After telling how the Deacons administer to those present, and carry away the Holy Sacrament to those not present, he proceeds:
"And this food is called by us 'Eucharist'. For not as common bread and drink do we receive these. But in like manner as JESUS CHRIST, our Saviour, was incarnate by the Word of GOD, and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so also have we been taught that the food, from which our flesh and blood receive nourishment by assimilation, having been consecrated by prayer of the Word that is from Him, is the Flesh and Blood of that same JESUS Who was incarnate."
The question has been pressed: "Why, if the Invocation of the Holy Ghost is so important a feature of the Consecration, does not Justin Martyr tell of its use?" To which we reply that the description of the office as given by Justin is not full in all details; for example, although he mentions, as a matter of history, the words of our LORD in the Institution of the Holy Sacrament, he does not say that those words were actually used in the Consecration. We would not wish to argue therefore, that these words did not form part of the Prayer of Consecration.
This view of the matter would seem to be strengthened by an examination of the writings of the next witness--Irenaeus, in his treatise "Against Heresies." Like Justin, he lived in the apostolic [8/9] age, (120-202), and his words are these: "For as bread, which is from the earth, receiving the invocation of GOD, is no longer bread, but Eucharist, consisting of two things, an earthly and an heavenly.'"' (Book IV., Chap. 18: 5.)
Or again, "When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receive the Word of GOD, and become the Eucharist, the Body of Christ . . . . . . . . As the grain of wheat falling into the ground, and becoming decomposed, is raised with manifold increase through the Spirit of GOD, Who upholdeth all things, and then, having received the Word of GOD, becomes Eucharist, that is, the Body and Blood of Christ." (Book V., Chap. 2: 3.)
His evidence is also very relevant when he speaks of the actions of a certain heretic named Marcus, of whom he says, "Pretending to consecrate cups mixed with wine, and extending to great length the word of Invocation, he makes them appear purple and reddish." (Book I., Chap. 13:2.)
We may stop for a moment, at this point, to refer to the Didache: "It does not mention the Invocation of the Holy Ghost; therefore, such Invocation was unknown to the Church of that day." In reply, let us quote Bishop Gore, (Dissertations p. 53): "In the document called the Didache, we have a specimen of an inadequate, indecisive Jewish Christianity. It has indeed broken with legalism and circumcision.--as a result in part of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple--but it has no distinctive Christian theology beyond the barren recitation of the formula of Baptism."
The Ethiopic Church Ordinances may now come next in order. This compilation by Hippolytus used to be quoted as of a date nearly at the middle of the fourth century; but the studies of Dom Conolly, as set forth in his book, "The So-Called Egyptian Church Order", place it at about 230 A.D., a date accepted by Dr. Brightman.
Hippolytus called it the "Apostolic Tradition". In this there is given a lengthy Prayer of Consecration in which Thanksgiving is the opening note; the earthly experiences of Christ are referred to; the words of Institution are related, and the Anaphora proceeds "Remembering, therefore, his death, and his resurrection, we offer Thee this bread and cup, giving thanks unto Thee for that Thou hast made us meet to stand before Thee, and do Thee priestly service. We beseech Thee that Thou wouldest send Thine Holy Spirit on the oblation of this Church; give It altogether unto them that partake (for) sanctification and for fulfilling with the Holy [9/10] Ghost, and for confirming true faith, that they may laud and praise Thee in Thy Son JESUS CHRIST, through Whom to Thee be glory and dominion in the holy Church both now and ever, world without end. Amen." (Brightman: "Liturgies Eastern and Western." Vol. I., pp. 189-190.)
It was about the same date (230 A.D.) that Cyprian. Bishop of Carthage, wrote (Epist. 64:4): "The oblation cannot be consecrated where the Holy Spirit is not." And when he writes "Concerning the Unity of the Catholic Church" he describes one who makes divisions in very severe terms, one of these being that "he dares to set up another Altar, to make another prayer with unauthorized words . . . . . . . . " It is possible that the expression, (Chap. 17) 'unauthorized words' may allow the conclusion to be drawn that the formularies of the Church, at least in some localities, were now becoming more definitely crystallized; and, therefore, departure from these was more noticeable.
Not far from the period of Cyprian, the Didascalia Apostolorum speaks in this way: "The Thanksgiving (Eucharist) is hallowed by the Holy Ghost", and in another place there occurs the question, "Which is greater, bread, or the Holy Ghost who hallows the Bread?" (Hauler Didasc. Apost. Frag. pp. 80-81.)
Hippolytus, Bishop of Porto, in his Philosophumena, written about A.D. 230, copies the statement of Irenaeus about Marcus, a heretic: "He used to take a cup, as if for the purpose of consecrating, and carrying out, at great length, the words of Invocation, he would make the mixture of wine and water appear purple."
The extant fragments of Origen's Homilies on I. Corinthians (about 232 A.D.) speak of the Holy Communion as "Loaves on which has been invoked the name of GOD, and of Christ, and of the Holy Ghost."
Eusebius, (Caesarea), 260-340, in his 'Panegyric on Constantius', Chap. XVI., says: "Who else than our Saviour alone gave the tradition to His disciples to consecrate the unbloody and reasonable sacrifices through prayers and the ineffable address to GOD."
Another Bishop, also of the Diocese of Caesarea, Firmilianus by name, in a letter written about A.D. 256, to Cyprian describes the actions of a certain female heretic who, twenty-two years earlier, that is about A.D. 234, proclaimed herself a prophetess, and [10/11] deceived many Cappadocian Christians. He expressly says that "she carefully followed the Church's customs", and adds, "she frequently dared to hallow the bread and consecrate the Eucharist with the Invocation." The matter of course manner in which the "customs of the Church" are here spoken of supplies valuable evidence of a common occurrence.
Athanasius of Alexandria (296-373) says in a sermon to those preparing for Baptism: "You will see the Levites bringing breads and a cup of wine, and ordering the Table. And so long as the intercessions and supplications have not been made, it is merely the bread and the cup. But when the great and wonderful prayers are completed, then the bread becomes the Body and the Cup the Blood, of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. "
And once more he repeats: "Let us come to the Consecration of the mysteries. This bread and this cup, so long as the prayers and supplications have not been made, are mere elements. But when the great and holy supplications have been put up, the Word comes down upon the bread and the cup, and it becomes His Body."
The recently discovered Sacramentary of Sarapion, Bishop of Thmuis, in Egypt, will repay study, and give us valuable information. It bears date about 350 A.D. This is somewhat unusual in its form, but it combines the great principles of Institution, Oblation, and Invocation. It begins: "'Full is the heaven, full also is the, earth of Thy excellent glory, O LORD of Hosts; fill also this Sacrifice with Thy power and Thy participation, for to Thee have we offered this living sacrifice, this unbloody offering."
The recitation of the words of Institution with reference to the bread follows,--with a prayer for all the souls of those for whom the Saviour died. Then there is the offering of the Cup, and the recalling of the words of Christ concerning it. Now the prayer proceeds: "O GOD of truth, let Thy holy Word come to sojourn on this bread, that the bread may become the Body of the Word, and this Cup, that the cup may become the Blood of the Truth."
This can be seen from the words of Basil, Bishop of Caesarea, in Cappadocia. In his work "De Spiritu Sancto" (written in A.D. 374), he asks: "which of the Saints has left us in writing the words of the Invocation at the Consecration of the Bread of the Eucharist, and the Cup of Blessing!" He seems to regard the custom (the use of the Invocation) as Apostolic--one of those things which were "delivered to us from the tradition of the Apostles". (C. XXVIL)
 Let one more be quoted:
S. Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386) ought not to be omitted, because in him we have the meeting point of the early patristic testimony, and the direct witness of the earliest liturgical rescripts.
In the course of his catechetical Lectures to those who had been baptized, in preparation for their reception of the Holy Communion, he says: "For as the bread and wine of the Eucharist before the Invocation of the holy and adorable Trinity is simple bread and wine, while after the Invocation the bread becomes the Body of Christ, and the wine the Blood of Christ, so . . . . . . . . " Catecheses XIX. (Myst. I) 7.
"For as the bread of the Eucharist, after the Invocation of the Holy Ghost is mere bread no longer, but the Body of Christ, so . . . . . . . . " Catecheses XXI., (Myst. 3) 3.
The last Lecture is a description of the Liturgy of Jerusalem as then in use:
"The priest cries aloud, 'Lift up your hearts'. Then ye answer, 'We lift them up unto the LORD.' The priest says, 'Let us give thanks unto the LORD.' Then ye say, 'It is meet and right.'"
Here there follows thanksgiving for all Creation visible and invisible: "We make mention," he says, "of the Seraphim . . . . . . . . singing, 'Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD of hosts'; for we recite the divine Song that has been handed down to us from the Seraphim, in order that we may be partakers in the hymn of praise with the hosts of the world above."
"Then having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual hymns, we beseech the merciful GOD to send forth the Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before Him; in order that He may make the bread the Body of Christ, and the wine the Blood of Christ; for whatsoever the Holy Spirit has touched is sanctified and changed." Catecheses XXIII, (Myst. 5) 4, 5, 6, 7.
A little farther on in the same Lecture, when the Communicants are being invited to approach for the actual reception, he says:
"After these things, (the Intercessions and the LORD'S Prayer), the priest calls out 'Holy things to the holy.' Holy are the offered gifts, having received the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit." Catecheses XXIII., (Myst. 5) 19.
There is no mention here of the recital of the words of institution. No conclusion is drawn from this omission that they [12/13] were therefore, not recited. In view of the constant mention of them in other descriptions of ancient offices, the inference might rather be that those words, being only historical, are regarded as a matter of course. But we are now, when with Cyril, in the fourth century. It was at this time that Macedonius had conceived and set forth his heresy concerning the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, and the Church was so stirred that her Leaders thought it necessary to reply to him with her most authoritative utterance. The Council of Constantinople accordingly added to the Nicene Symbol those statements which had not been thought necessary when that declaration was drawn up; and, moved by the same impulses, a chorus of writers mention, more emphatically than occasion had previously required, the customs of the Church.
Thus Cyril, no less than three times in the course of a single Lecture, mentions the Invocation of the Holy Spirit, in the Consecration of the Eucharist.
In this paper, it is claimed that the mention of the Invocation is more prominent about the fourth century because of then existing circumstances, than before. May we here quote Bishop Maclean. He tells us that he is not satisfied with the evidence that the Epiclesis was in constant use before the Fourth Century; "but," he adds, "it appears that some writers have gone much too far in suggesting that Invocations of the Holy Ghost were an innovation of that century. It is more probable that they date back to a much earlier time, though they were not the only form of Epiclesis in use. While an Epiclesis of some sort is extremely ancient, it is probable that the Invocations of the Holy Spirit were not so frequent before the rise of the Macedonian controversy about the Holy Spirit in the fourth century as they were afterwards."
(From "Recent Discoveries Illustrating Early Christian Life and Worship.")
Now, if we have not failed in our quotations, there are certain conclusions which can be drawn from them.
In the Consecration of the Eucharist there was always prayer, frequently lengthy prayer; there was the Invocation of the Holy Spirit, both upon worshippers and upon the Holy Gifts; with special emphasis upon the latter; the words of Administration, used by our Blessed LORD were not recited as the sole source or means of Consecration.
And then on the authority of all the Liturgists, we can say [13/14] that, in all the primitive offices of the Holy Communion, there is a consistency of structure which shows that they were based on one common mode, or else on certain fixed principles. They consist of two principal portions, the Proanaphora and the Anaphora, the former comprising all that precedes the Sursum Corda, and the latter everything from that high call to the end.
The conclusions, which are suggested by the facts brought out in the preceding historical survey of records, are strongly illustrated and buttressed by comparisons made with certain great actual Liturgies of Antiquity.
Four of these are universally regarded as expressing the mind of the Early Church, as having been compiled from one common pattern, and used in the four great Centres of Ecclesiastical life. They were those of St. James, in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem; of St. Mark, of Alexandria; of St. John, of Ephesus; and that of St. Peter of Rome.
Copies, have, therefore, been made, of certain principal, selected portions of these Liturgies as found tabulated in Blunt's Annotated Book of Common Prayer, (p. 148), and together with them, corresponding portions, where they exist, are tabulated, as showing the structure of those four Liturgies, of comparatively recent times, and of our own day, which it is one of the objects of this paper to study. The writer thinks that by this method the comparison will be made easy. And this is the true comparison--not simply comparing these four Liturgies with each other, but rather subjecting them to comparison with the standards set by those who were nearest to the Apostles.
Liturgy of St. James.
Words of Institution.
Prayers for the Living and Departed.
The LORD 'S Prayer.
* * * *
 Liturgy of St. Mark.
Prayers for the Living and Departed.
Words of Institution.
The LORD'S Prayer.
Liturgy of St. John.
Prayers for the Living and Departed.
Words of Institution.
The LORD'S Prayer.
Liturgy of St. Peter.
Prayer for the Living.
Words of Institution.
Prayer for the Departed.
The LORD'S Prayer.
* * * *
 The Liturgy of 1549.
Prayers for the Living and Departed.
Words of Institution.
The LORD'S Prayer.
The Liturgy of 1552.
Words of Institution.
The LORD'S Prayer.
Oblation (?) (imperfect and optional).
The Scottish Liturgy.
The Words of Institution.
Prayers for the Living and Departed.
The LORD'S Prayer.
The American Liturgy.
Words of Institution.
Prayers for the Living.
The LORD'S Prayer.
 Having now before us a fairly definite statement and "Norm" of the Divine Liturgy in use in the Primitive Church, we are in a position to compare the four Offices which we have undertaken to consider.
The Book of 1549.
The first Prayer Book of Edward VI., that of 1549, gave to the Church of England, now once more free from foreign domination, the first complete Office, in English, after the Reformation, for the Administration of the Holy Communion.
The men who gave it to the Church were not unscholarly; they had studied the manner in which Christians of former periods of the Church's history had approached GOD in this Holy Service. More than once the emphatic assertion is made by them that their wish was to walk in the old paths, and not to break with antiquity in the search for novelty. Acting in this spirit they refused to be driven into panic because others had added to, or perverted the truth. They went deliberately about their work. In 1542 a Committee was appointed by Convocation, with the Royal approval, to revise the Service Books. This Committee worked for a little more than seven years on the task entrusted to it, and the result was the Office which we are now to consider. Archbishop Cranmer was the leader of this group of students, and he said concerning the work: "The manner of the Holy Communion which is now set forth, is agreeable with the institution of Christ, with St. Paul, and the old primitive Apostolic Church, and with the right faith of the Sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross." (Defence of the Catholic Doctrine of the Sacrament.)
And the Act of Parliament legalizing this Book specifically declared that it "was compiled by the aid of the Holy Ghost; that it was agreeable to the word of GOD, and the primitive Church, very comfortable to all good people desiring to live in Christian Conversation."
The Records of Convocation of that date were destroyed in the Great Fire of London; but there is a strong assertion made in a letter from the King to Bishop Bonner which declares that the uniform order of worship had been set forth "not only by the Common agreement and full assent of the Nobility and Commons of the late session of our late Parliament, but also by the like assent of the Bishops in the said Parliament, and of all others the learned men of this our realm in their Synods and Convocations provincial."
 This evidence will enable us to understand the Status, civil and ecclesiastical, of the Book. Turning now to that particular portion which is the subject of our Study, we find the Title "The Supper of the LORD, and The Holy Communion, commonly called the Masse" and the Rubric gives this direction: "The Priest that shall execute the holy Ministry shall put upon him the vesture appointed for that ministration, that is to say, a white albe plain, with a vestment or cope."
He shall then "stand humbly afore the middle of the 'Altar' and shall saie the Lordes Prayer, with the collect" for Purity.
This is his own private preparation, for the Sacred Service for the next Rubric directs that a Psalm appointed for the Introite shall be said, as the commencement of the Public Service. And then, at once, the pleading souls, being taught to know their own sinfulness, and knowing, too, their need of mercy, are led in the utterance of the three fold Kyrie. The climax of this Sacred Service is the coming of the Spiritual Presence of Christ, and, therefore, "The Prieste standying at Goddes borde, shall begin, in the words of the Angel of Bethlehem, on the first Christmas morn 'Glory be to GOD on high' and like the multitude of the heavenly host, the Clerkes join in the chorus 'And in yearth peace, good will towards men.'" (The redundant sentence which has somehow crept into this sublime anthem in our Service Books today, is not to be found here). "Dominas vobiscum" with the response, is the mutual Salutation following, and then the Collect "of the daie", (a prayer for the Kyng is also inserted here). The Epistle and Gospel follow; the Faith of the Church is proclaimed in the Symbol of Nicaea, and the sermon is preached.
The exhortations which follow here need not be read if, in the Sermon, the duty and privilege of the receiving of the Holy Communion has been already enjoined.
The offerings of the people are then taken, and sentences of Holy Scripture are to be "saied" or "song" by "Minister or Clerkes" according to the length and shortnesse of "the tyme that the people be offering".
The first Rubric of the Office had already directed those who intended to be partakers of the Holy Communion "to signifie their names to the Curate, over night, or else in the morning, afore the beginning of Matins, or immediately after"--but here another specific order is given, that "so manye as shalbe partakers of the Holy Communion, shall tary still in the quire or in some convenient [18/19] place nigh the quire, the men on the one syde, and the women on the other syde. All other (that mynde not to receive the said Holy Communion) shall departe out of the quire."
These explicit directions are, of course, intended to guide the Priest in obeying the next Rubric, for he is now told to "take so much Bread and Wine, a little pure and clean water is to be added to the wine, as shall suffice for the persons appoynted to receive", and so to avoid the guess-work, which is our unfortunate lot in our sometimes clumsy and unhappy methods of today. It ought to be carefully noted that those who "mynde not to receive" are bidden to "depart out of the quire" intimating very clearly that they are not bidden to leave the Church.
Thus far the Service is preparatory; or, to use the Eastern expression, thus far is the Pro-anaphora.
As of old the deeper part of the Service now begins with the "Sursum Corda"; "Lift up your hearts" with the "Proper Prefaces" numbering five, one for each of the great Festivals.
At this Service, above all others, the primitive Church was always eager to remember that Christ did not die only for the few, but also for the many, and that, therefore, her sympathies must go out away and beyond the visible group, however large, which may be gathered in anyone place, or even all those who are still living in this world; and so "the summons to prayer is "for the whole state of Christes Church" thus recalling before GOD all who are living the life here, as well as those whom we call dead, "Most high praise and heartie thankes" are given "for the wonderful grace and vertue, declared in all Sainetes from the begynning of the worlde ". The Blessed Virgin, the Mother of our LORD is individually named; (See Acts I. 14) with "holy Patriarches, Prophetes, Apostles and Martyrs" together with all others "which are departed hence from us with the signe of faith, and now do reste in the slepe of peace." "Grant unto them, we beseche Thee, Thy mercy and everlasting peace."
Having summoned thus before the Cross all those faithful souls who had striven while here to lay hold upon its benefits, together with all those still in the realm of struggle, the Prayer of Consecration proceeds without pause having within it the Invocation, "Heare us (O Merciful Father) we beseche Thee; and with thy Holy Spirite and Worde, vouchsafe to bl+esse and sanc +tifie these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wyne that [19/20] they maie be unto us the bodye and bloude of thy most derly beloved Sonne Jesus Christe."
(A Rubric is here inserted forbidding elevation of the Sacrament.)
And now the Oblation follows in its ancient place; and the Fatherhood of GOD supplying in love the help to enable souls to turn from sin, is thankfully remembered in the recitation of the prayer given us by our LORD.
Then, although the intending Communicants have given in their names, and, as a further declaration of their intention have taken their places nearer to the Altar, they are again affectionately warned of the solemnity of the impending action, and they are bidden to confession before Communion, in order that Absolution may be granted them.
Souls that are sincere must ever feel that they dare not rush into the presence of Christ, and reverent hesitation does not prove lack of faith. To all such who have heard the Priest speaking with Christ's authority in the banishment of sin there are added Comforting words from Christ's own lips, and from two of those whom He personally authorized to speak for Him.
Even yet humility in the Divine presence must be the dominant mark of the Christian's approach, and so before the sacred gifts are received, the Prayer of Humble Access is offered, and then, with this preparation, the Soul draws near.
The sentence of Administration in each instance is single. "The Body"--"The Blood"--bearing to the recipient its power of preservation in this temporal life here, and on through eternity hereafter.
The denial of the Cup to the Laity--Council of Constance 1415--an innovation contrary to primitive Catholic practice,--made it necessary that the Rubric should here introduce the words "in both kinds." Another Rubric directs that "the Breade prepared for the Communion" . . . . . . . . be unleavened and rounde, as it was afore, but without all manner of printe, and somethynge more larger and thicker than it was, so that it may be aptly divided in divers pieces, and every one shall be divided in two pieces at the least."
The final direction given is that the wafer, for reason stated, should be placed by the officiating Priest directly in the mouth of the recipient.
 Returning now to the Office proper, we note that it was commanded as soon as the Celebrant had himself received the Holy Sacrament the Clerkes should begin to sing the Agnus Dei, continuing as long as the administration lasted.
Sentences of Holy Scripture are added here, one to be sayd or sung "after the Holy Communion", and then with the Thanksgiving and the Blessing, the people were allowed to retire.
That we have, in this Reformed Liturgy of 1549, an Office for the Administration of the Holy Communion which is primitive, can be seen at a glance,--comparing its tabulated portions with those of the Liturgies bearing the Apostolic names.
The Book of 1552.
The Book of 1549, the second year of Edward VI., was short lived. In three years time another Book was in existence. This was the Book of 1552. A brief study of the influences which gave it birth--of its origin and status, will be in order.
The Reformation on the Continent was not conducted on the lines of that in England. It was revolutionary in its character, and lost in many particulars touch with Catholic antiquity, and followed after novelty. Archbishop Cranmer had already been brought in contact with many of the men who were responsible for this. Employed by Henry VIII, upon confidential missions, he spent much time among them. He saw much, for example, of Osiander, (whose niece, indeed, he married) who with John Brentz, had been engaged in preparing the Brandenburg Nurnberg Kirchen Ordinung. Carlstad, too, had put forth a scheme for the reformed "Mass", and he and Cranmer were in frequent contact. "Calvin himself thrust a correspondence upon the Protector Somerset, upon the young King, and upon Archbishop Cranmer" (Blunt Intro.). "Peter Martyr and Martin Bucer (neither of whom could understand the English language) were placed in the most important positions at Oxford and Cambridge by Somerset; John a Lasco, a Polish Refugee, was quartered upon Cranmer for six months, and afterwards established in a schismatic position in London" (Ibid).
"These influences soon began to affect the Book of Common Prayer, which had been with so much forethought, learning and pious deliberation, prepared by the Bishops and other Divines who composed the Committee" (Ibid).
 Other writers are emphatic in their statements concerning the Book of 1552.
"This Book owed its existence," Canon MacCall frankly says ("Lawlessness, Sacerdotalism and Ritualism") "not to any change of opinion on the part of the English Church, but to the accidental influence then exercised on English legislation by 'a revolutionary and aggressive party'; a party which, besides being 'revolutionary and aggressive', was alien to the English Church in language, nationality, doctrine, sympathies and respect for law." The Book was sanctioned by Parliament, but not, according to the fullest evidence, by Convocation. The Act of Parliament, however, explains the change in the Form of the Administration of the Holy Communion, as set forth in the Book of 1549 by saying that "divers doubts (had) arisen for the fashion and manner of the Administration of the same", and the Act expressly says that these doubts proceeded "rather from the curiosity of the ministers and mistakers, than of any worthy cause." The keen comment made by Collier upon this piece of frank legislation is: "And thus, in the judgment of the Parliament the First Common Prayer Book was formed by Divine Assistance, and discharged by human infirmity."
And Pullan, in his "History of the Book of Common Prayer" (p. 109) says, without hesitation, "the second Prayer Book received no sanction on the part of the Church of England. Its publication was a gross breach of faith as the Council had falsely declared in a previous Statute of Parliament that it was an explanation and perfection of the former 'Order of Common Service'."
The unhappy results of these influences were to become at once apparent, in many ways, in the new form for the Administration of the Holy Communion. The doctrine, thank GOD, was not lost. That was still retained in the new office. More particularly is this doctrine plainly set forth in the Catechism which was drawn up by a true Son of the Church, untainted by Continental influence.
We turn to the Office.
It is entitled "The Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper, or Holy Communion". The word "'Masse" is gone. In itself it is altogether innocent, derived, as it is said to be, from the words used for the dismissal of the Communicants at the close of the Service "Ite Missa est". But we do not clamour for its return. In the popular mind it is connected with practices which the [22/23] Catholic Church as a whole, has never endorsed. We are willing to bid it farewell "Ite, Missa est".
The "Ornaments Rubric" is to be cited here: "And here it is to be noted that such Ornaments of the Church and of the Ministers thereof at all times of their ministration, shall be retained, and be in use, as were in this Church of England, by the authority of Parliament, in the second year of the reign of King Edward the Sixth."
The Rubric, therefore, of the Book of 1549 is still in force in this particular, "The Priest that shall execute the Holy Ministry shall put upon hym the venture appointed for that Ministration, that is to saye, a white Albe plain, with a vestment or Cope."
The "Altar" becomes the "Table", and the position of the Priest is directed to be "at the north side".
The Service begins after the long established manner, with the LORD'S Prayer, and the Collect for Purity, which constitute the preparation.
And then, at once, there is introduced into the Service something absolutely new, which had never, in the history of this "Sacred Office" found a place there before, and which is altogether peculiar to the Anglican Communion. This is the recitation of the Decalogue. No opinion is here expressed of the fitness or unfitness of this. The simple intention is to state the historic fact. It is a novelty in the Liturgy, having no precedent in antiquity.
Alternate prayers for the King are provided, followed by the Collect for the Day, and the Epistle and Gospel. In the words of the great symbol of Nicaea, the faith of the worshippers is laid before the Throne of GOD. The sermon finds its utterance, and the offerings of the people are asked for in a becoming manner. Bread and Wine are brought that they may be ready for their holy use, (there is here no direction for the mingling of water with the wine) and now immediately a great change in the Service is before us.
The two main principles of the Service which, we have seen, were the features of the ancient Liturgies are here no longer observed in their order. The great Prayer of Consecration has been divided, as well as changed in spirit.
The Prayer for the Church, formerly as wide in its reach and sympathies as the Church itself, is sought to be contracted so as to refer only to the little portion of the Mystical Body of Christ [23/24] which is "Militant here on earth." We say "sought" because the effort was not entirely successful. Remnants of that old faith which once was general among Christians still assert their power.
The words "the Universal Church" are heard; as also elsewhere, "we and all Thy Whole Church"; and at the close of the prayer itself all GOD'S servants "departed this life in His faith and fear" are remembered in petition "that with them we may be partakers of His everlasting Kingdom."
But the place of the Prayer in this Office is not that which Antiquity gave it.
And a most unhappy custom, which has not a vestige of Authority, even in this Book, has grown out of this dislocation. The Rubric in the Book of 1549 commanded those who were about to receive the Holy Sacrament to come into the Choir, and those who were not intending to make their Communion to depart out of the Choir. It did not say "out of the Church".
After this there are portions of the Service which were not, of old, placed in this part of the Service at all, viz., the Invitation, the Confession and Absolution with the Comfortable Words.
As soon as the Sursum Corda, The Ter Sanctus, and the Proper Prefaces have been said we find another dislocation in the position of the Prayer of Humble Access, and then the second part of the Canon, called by the Rubric "the Prayer of Consecration". In this Service the Consecration is made to depend absolutely and solely upon the recitation of the words of Institution, with the manual acts. Listen to Bishop Maclean once more:
"It will be remembered that at the Last Supper the Lord 'blessed and gave thanks' and brake the bread and then gave it to the disciples saying, 'Take, eat, this is My Body' and so on; and similarly with the Cup. We are not told what were our Lord's words of 'blessing' or 'giving thanks'; and therefore, when we ask what words we must use in consecrating the Eucharist, it is no answer to say that we must use our Lord's words, 'This is My Body', and the rest, because these were not the words with which He 'blessed' or 'gave thanks', but those which He used when He administered the Sacrament to the Disciples. We have then to ask what form the words of our Lord take in these early Liturgies. The answer is that they take the form of an historical statement prefacing the Oblation and Invocation, somewhat in this way, 'We give Thee thanks for sending Thy Son for our Redemption [24/25] . . . . . . . . who in the night that He was betrayed, took bread and so on.' This is exactly the form of the Scottish Communion Office, which has no prayer until we come to the Oblation and Invocation." --The Words of the Lord", Lecture 1, 5, pp. 21-2.
The sentences of Administration were changed, and those words which recalled Christ's own declaration: "Whoso eateth my Flesh and drinketh my Blood hath eternal life" were lost. The pleading of the Sacrifice before GOD, of the Saviour of the World on the Cross was left unemphasized, and there was only an appeal to memory remaining. The Invocation of the Holy Ghost, an outstanding and universal feature of the old Liturgies, was eliminated altogether, or possibly retained only in a weak and emasculated echo of the old definite appeal.
The third part of the Prayer of Consecration--the Oblation, was placed entirely out of its ancient position, and its use made voluntary.
The Thanksgiving for GOD's unspeakable "favour and goodness towards us" which was one of the chief marks of our BLESSED LORD'S own Institution, is also optional, and may be omitted altogether.
The final displacement is seen in the position occupied by the Gloria in Excelsis which has also inserted in it, nobody knows by whom, a redundant and unauthorized repetition of words, possibly the mistake of some Copyist.
The Service can have but one ending, it closes with the Benediction.
As we look back in review of the Service it is not too much to say: Its structure in the Book of 1552 is as though the old Service was allowed to fall upon the ground, and was broken into fragments, and then the pieces were picked up and put together again, but without reference to the old order which had, through the Centuries, marked the Church's method in the Celebration of the Eucharist." If words like these sound too strong, let us examine the tabulated description of the Office; and allow Bishop Maclean to speak once more:--
"It seems that the scheme of the Roman rite was entirely misunderstood in the Middle Ages. The idea became prevalent that the words 'This is my Body' and the rest, were the only. consecrating 'form', and the meaning of the Prayer 'Supra quae' was lost. [25/26] Hence we find Cranmer in 1549 developing the preliminary prayer of the Sarum and Roman rites into an express Invocation of the Holy Spirit in the place where a preliminary Epiclesis comes in the Egyptian rite (Introduction p. VI.) and in 1552 dropping the important prayer 'Supra quae' after the Oblation altogether, and putting the Oblation itself (in a much mutilated form) after the Communion of the people, and even there only as an alternative to the thanksgiving after reception.
"Thus the English Communion Office ends its prayer of consecration at the very point where the solemn action of Consecration in the ancient rites begins." --"The Words of the Lord", Lecture 1. 5. pp 24-25.
And Bishop Charles Gore, then of Oxford, in his Introduction to Dr. Sparrow Simpson's "Prayer of Consecration", says:--
"Nevertheless our present Service is unprimitive and abnormal, both in what it omits, and in the order or confusion of its elements, and the best present remedy would be the authoritative permission of an alternative order, or alternative Liturgy."
The Scottish Liturgy.
The third of the Offices set for our consideration is that of the Scottish Liturgy.
A word of history will help us in our study. Archbishop Laud at first evidently wished that there should be one Office for both England and Scotland, but the Scots wished otherwise. Laud yielded, but sought, if change there must be,--that, it should be along right lines, of Catholic antiquity; and yet, in spite of all that has been said about his overbearing nature, he was cautious, the alterations should not be too radical--there should be the invocation of the Holy Spirit. The Prayer of Oblation was placed where it now stands; and the Prayer of Humble Access immediately before the actual reception as now. Speaking without extreme detail, the rest of the Service remained unchanged. This was in 1637.
The Book was rejected--fiercely and completely by the majority of hostile elements, who would have none of it. The opposition was less doctrinal than patriotic and political. For seventy years no Prayer Book whatever was used in public worship. [26/27] Only in some private families was there the continued use of the English Prayer Book. At the end of that period the Book began to come back again into public use. The next Revision was made in 1764 which brought the office (practically) to its present form, to be considered in a moment.
Before approaching the actual study of it, it may be of value to refer to the fact that the English Office was also incorporated in the Scottish Book. This was explained by three reasons. First: Because of the disappearance of Laud's book. Second: Because of the residence of many Clergy of English Ordination in Scotland; and third: because of the poverty of the Scottish Church, which was so marked that a considerable number of copies of the English Book were presented to the Scottish Church. Indeed, as late as 1862 an influential effort was made to get rid of the Scottish Office altogether because of the disabilities which lay upon the Clergy of Scottish Orders under the English Statutes. Gladstone opposed this most emphatically. "The Scottish Bishops," he wrote, "are engaged in discreditable and shady proceedings." They were "bartering the Scottish Communion Office for access to preferment in England."
"If such negotiation be in progress as a concession to civil privilege in return for the surrender of an ecclesiastical and symbolic document, it is a transaction which neither Bishops, nor Christians nor men of honour should have part."
Added to this, "the strong advocacy of that great liturgical student John Mason Neale helped the Scottish Church to a right appreciation of its treasures, so that the Scottish Church at the present time holds its liturgy in high esteem, and views the past depreciation of it with feelings of regret." (Simpson, pp. 41-42.)
As we have seen, the Liturgy dates from 1637 A.D., but frequent changes have been made in it since that date. Editions of 1743, 1755, 1761, 1764, 1796 and 1800 all show changes in the Office; the last revision is that of 1911-1912.
We will examine the service as it stands today. The title reads "The Scottish Liturgy". This is the only one of the four which we are considering which uses the word here in its ancient magnification, "for the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist and Administration of Holy Communion, commonly called The Scottish Communion Office."
The opening Rubric brings us in sight of "The Holy Table" [27/28] with its "fair white linen cloth upon it, and other decent furniture meet for the High Mysteries there to be celebrated . . . . . . . . " The Celebrant is here called "The Presbyter" and he is "standing at the Holy Table". The LORD'S PRAYER and the Collect following are said as a "due preparation". The Decalogue follows, the Summary of the Law being permitted as an Alternative.
Or, instead of either there may be sung or said on week days, not being Great Festivals, the Kyrie Elieson, with response, with the Domnius vobiscum.
The Collect, Epistle and Gospel follow; the response after the latter being "Thanks be to Thee O LORD, for this Thy glorious Gospel", and then the Creed of Nicaea is sung or said.
When, after the offering of the Alms, the Bread and Wine are brought--the great declaration is said which first came from the full heart of David (II. Chron. 20; 10-14) in recognition of his people's offering, for the Temple which some day was to be built by David's Son.
The former of the two Rubrics at the close of the Office reads: "It is customary to mix a little pure water with the wine in the Eucharistic Cup."
Here the Service deepens with the Sursum Corda with response, and the Angelic Trisagion. There are twelve (12) Proper Prefaces; five (5) of these being regularly used on their appointed Festivals, and seven given for special occasions "at the discretion of the Minister."
The position of the Celebrant is stated, in the Rubric before the Prayer of Consecration as "standing at such part of the Holy Table as he may with most ease and decency use both his hands."
We meet now, at this juncture, the great change from our own present Office in the great Prayer of Consecration. There is the recitation of the circumstances of the Institution, of the actions and words of our Blessed LORD at that supreme moment. There is the solemn oblation of the Gifts to GOD, for the purposes of the Holy Sacrament.
The Ancient prayer for the descent of the Divine Spirit of GOD upon these gifts is offered that they may be blessed and hallowed by His life-giving power, and become the body and blood of the Incarnate Son of GOD; and then, as those, who are about to receive the holy mysteries, place themselves at GOD'S disposal that, through His mercy, they may obtain those blessings, which it was in the Divine intention to bestow when the Holy [28/29] Sacrament was entrusted to the Church, the very soul is prostrate, and laid open before Christ, now Sacramentally present.
In happy reasonableness this is before the actual reception. In this prayer "all the whole Church" is mentioned, but the fulness of sympathy aroused in the hearts of the worshippers, cannot remain satisfied with that, but desires larger expression, and, remembering that the Sacrifice of Christ was made not only for those who are alive in this world now, but for all mankind of every age, and that hosts of them, thank GOD, believed in Him, the whole of Christ's Church without the limitation of those "Militant here in earth" are brought before the throne of GOD in prayer. Those are remembered "who having finished their course in faith, do now rest from their labours". The blessed Saints are recalled with thanksgiving, and the pleading goes up to GOD that the full purposes of the Sacrifice of Christ may be fulfilled and that "we and all they, who are of the mystical body of Thy Son may be set on His right hand . . . . . . . . "
The thought is still carried on, and the whole Fatherhood of GOD is sought to be realized in the utterance of the prayer which was given by our Saviour Jesus Christ.
And now in this attitude of mind those about to draw near and take the Holy Sacrament are invited to confess their sins to the Father who loves them, which being done the blessedness of absolution is granted them, and souls still timid hear the assurance of the Comfortable words.
Even yet souls, though absolved, are still human, and the mysteries are Divine, therefore the Prayer of Humble Access becomes the avenue of approach to the reception of the sacred gifts. The words of administration are in each case the direct and simple prayer that the strength of the Saviour's Almighty power, exercised through His Own chosen instruments, may avail to the preservation of the body and soul to everlasting life.
With the Thanksgiving, the Gloria in Excelsis, omitting the redundant sentence, an act which thus far, neither the English nor the Canadian revisers have had the courage to imitate, and the Blessing, the great Service comes to a fitting close.
In the second of the Rubrics placed here authority is given for the reservation of the Sacrament for the sick unable to be present in the Church.
 The American Canon.
The Church in America in those early days, while the Colonies were still British, used the English Prayer Book.
After the successful Revolution, followed, as it was, by the Declaration and acknowledgement of Independence, changes occasioned by the altered political status were necessary, and were easily made.
The Church, however, was without an Episcopal Head, resident in the Country, and efforts were early made to supply this defect, which in the good Providence of GOD, were blessed with success, by the election of Dr. Samuel Seabury to be Bishop. He crossed the Ocean seeking Consecration, was received by the English Bishops not unkindly; but regulations, growing out of the Establishment, which they could not disobey, and to which he could not submit, barred the action of both. Finally, after considerable delay, Dr. Seabury was consecrated at Aberdeen, Nov. 14, 1784 by Bishops Kilgour, Petrie and Skinner of the Non-Jurors.
On the day following the Consecration, a Concordat was drawn up and agreed to between the Bishops concerning the Office for the Administration of the Holy Communion in the national Church of the United States. The Scottish Bishops naturally recommended their own Office, and Bishop Seabury agreed to "give his sanction to it, and by gentle methods of argument and persuasion to endeavour, as they had done, to introduce it by degrees into practice, without the compulsion of authority on the one side, or the prejudice of former custom on the other."
In our study now let us see how far he was able to carry out this agreement.
The title is left as it was in the English Prayer Book. The first Rubric in the English Prayer Book--long a dead letter--was omitted. The others were allowed to remain.
The "North side" becomes the "right side" for the position of the Celebrant.
The LORD IS PRAYER and the Collect are given as the preparation; but the former may be omitted if Morning Prayer has been said immediately before.
The Decalogue follows, but is compulsory only once on each Sunday. Whenever it is omitted the Summary of the Law must be substituted for it. Then follows a Collect, found in our Post Communion Collects, asking for help towards obedience.
 The Collect for the Day, the Epistle and Gospel hold their usual places.
The Creed of Nicaea is placed after the Gospel, but permission is given to say, in its stead, the Apostle's Creed, or both may be omitted, if Morning Prayer with Creed, has just been said.
The Nicene symbol, however, is rescued for the five great Festivals, when it is compulsory. Sermon and Offertory follow, and the bread and wine, as in judgment sufficient, are also offered. During these offerings a Hymn, or an Anthem may be sung; but the words of the latter are wisely limited to those taken from Holy Scripture, or the Book of Common Prayer.
The dislocated order in the position of the great Prayer for the Church, which we have noted in the Book of 1552 is followed here, with its title changed by the omission of the redundant and unnecessary words "here in earth". The Church in Paradise is not "militant", since the Apostle happily assures us that "he that is dead is freed from sin". (Rom. VI. 7.)
The shortest of the three Exhortations addressed to the Communicants, is here required to be said on one LORD'S Day in each month; and thence onwards the Service proceeds as we are familiar with it, unto the end of the "Prayer of Humble Access", he single noticeable difference being an alternate Proper Preface for the Feast of Trinity.
But at this portion of the Service it is evident that Bishop Seabury's "gentle methods of argument and persuasion" had borne fruit.
The Prayer of Consecration harks back to primitive days and forms.
There are the words of Institution, the offering of the Gifts to GOD; The Invocation, The bringing of the "whole Church" before GOD, although neither here, nor in the Prayer for the Church Militant, are the departed more specifically mentioned.
The Invocation is not adopted in full from the Scottish Book, but, by omission and alteration, becomes a combination of that and of the Book of 1552.
The sentences of Administration are in the double form of our own of today; and the Service concludes as in the English Book, except that the 1st Post Communion Collect has already been said, and the Thanksgiving, which was one of our BLESSED LORD'S own distinguishing features of the first Eucharist, is not optional, as ours unhappily is.
 We may sum up the American Office by pointing out that it is a compromise between the Order as contained in the Book of 1552, and that of the Scottish Church, with some of the greater glories of the latter adopted, and some of the features of the former retained, but on the whole, a vast improvement over the Book of 1552, in presenting a great step in the return to antiquity.
It is hardly necessary for the writer to remind his readers that the Book of 1552 was slightly revised under Elizabeth, and again in the reign of King James I.
The earnest plea here made is that that work might be carried further so that the "Order for the Administration of the Holy Communion" might be enriched and beautified, and brought more fully in accord with the Liturgies of primitive times.
"'Priests must labour with prayer to GOD, and with persuasions and arguments to men,--for the perfect restoration of the Oblation"--so wrote Johnson of Canbrooke, the great 17th Century Theologian.
Bishop Charles Gore,--at the time of the writing, Bishop of Oxford, in the Introduction to Dr. Sparrow Simpson's Book "The Prayer of Consecration" mentions certain definite objections to our present Office, when judged by primitive standards, and continues: "But the objection would still remain that our Service contains . . . . . . . . no distinct invocation of the divine power upon the Gifts. These elements so primitive, and so general in the liturgies of Christendom, we must passionately desire to restore."
I cannot better close my "Paper" than with the Prayer of Bishop Wilson, the Saintly, in his Sacra Privata (Works V. 74): "May it please GOD to put into the hearts of such as ought to do it, to restore to us the first Service of Edward VI., or such as shall be more conformable to the appointment of Christ, and His Apostles, and their successors. Which may the Divine Majesty vouchsafe to grant, for His sake who first ordained the Holy Sacrament, AMEN."