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A Liturgical Study.



Rector of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Baltimore County, Maryland.


A Reprint from the American Church Review, April 1876.



The Bishop of Delaware, in an article on the Church Reform Movement in Mexico, in the CHURCH REVIEW, of last October, says (p. 586):

"The Liturgy in use is understood to be provisional. * * There is no prescribed Lectionary. This and other defects are obvious. How can they best be remedied? Not, in the judgment of the writer, by imposing our formularies, or by proposing hasty emendations. The Liturgy must be formed by the deliberate and mature action of the Church which is to use it, a Church, be it remembered, whose members are of Spanish, not Anglo-Saxon race and education. Precious materials may be drawn from the ancient Mozarabic Liturgies. Time, learning, study, and experience must all combine to perfect so important a work as the permnanent cultus of this Church."

It is not necessary now that we should go into a discussion of the defects of the Libro de Oracion. Should any of these seem to the Mexican Commission of our House of Bishops, so great as to give rise to any question whether "the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance, in all things that of necessity are requisite to the same," they will of course, in their wisdom, take the proper means to have the error corrected. Minor defects may, under the circumstances, be overlooked for the time.

There are, however, those who think, and, as it seems to the writer, justly, that it would be a serious error of judgment in the leaders of the Mexican Reform movement, to delay, one day longer than is absolutely necessary, the preparation of as good a Liturgy, in all its essential parts, as can now be prepared, To us, who know [3/4] the influence on heart and mind of a true Liturgy, it is needless to argue the inestimable benefit of such an one to those who use it. But beside those in Mexico who have openly taken a stand for Reform, there are, there is reason to think, very many more, both of clergy and laity, who in their hearts feel the need of it. To these, a well-ordered Liturgy would be at once a guarantee of the real nature of the Reform movement, and, in itself, no slight attraction.

And there is another point not without importance. The Mexican Reformers ask the sympathies and help, not only of our Church in its corporate capacity, but also of its members as individuals. Why have these not been more freely rendered? Is it not in a great degree because, to use the words of a recent editorial in one of our Church papers:

"Information is needed sufficiently detailed and precise to interest and satisfy the majority of our people, who still know little more than that a movement is in progress in Mexico, but are in doubt as to its true character. It may as well be plainly said that a doubt on this point prevails widely, and accounts for much of the apathy which is shown." [Church Journal, Feb. 23, 1876.]

On the part of many intelligent and large hearted Churchmen, the feeling is not one of apathy, but of suspense of judgment; they are unwilling to believe that things are wrong, they cannot quite convince themselves that all is right. If these Mexican Reformers could but put into the hands of such men, either in Spanish or in an authorized translation translation, a Liturgy, and say, "Examine this and see that we stand in the old ways and walk in the old paths, and have but turned from Romish error; thus and so we worship, so we administer the Sacraments--this will show our belief as to them," the interest of many would be secured, who now stand aloof, but not at all from indifference. With them the lex orandi is an important factor in forming their judgment of a Church. A Liturgy drawn upon true liturgical principles would do very much to secure the aid and sympathy of American Churchmen.

It is, of course, most to be desired in any Church Reform that the continuity between old and new be preserved. As Anglican Reformers appealed to the teachings, not only of the Primitive [4/5] Church Catholic, but also, with an especial force, to those of the early British and Anglo-Saxon Churches, and based their Liturgy on the ancient use of Sarum--so it is pleasant to know that those who are laboring for Reform in the Church in Mexico, appeal to the doctrines and practices of the early Spanish Church, and intend making the Mozarabic Liturgy the main source from which their own is to be taken.

The question may be asked, what is this Mozarabic Liturgy? He who would have a full answer may look for it in Neale's Essays on Liturgiology and Church History; in Neale's Introduction to the History of the Holy Eastern Church, pp. 339-703, where he compares the Mozarabic and several Eastern Liturgies; in Alexander Leslie's Prefatio ad Missale Mozarabicum; and in a study of the Liturgy itself. There is but space here for a few facts in regard to it. It is Neale's opinion [Essays on Liturgiology, p. 130] that "the groundwork of the present Mozarabic Liturgy is coeval with the introduction of Christianity into Spain, but that the Goths may possibly have added, and St. Leander did certainly introduce, some approximations to the Oriental rite." The learned Saban y Blanco says that "in the year 633 no other rite than this [which he calls Gothic] was used throughout the Peninsula." [Quoted by the Rev. A.H. De Mora, a clergyman of our Church, now laboring in Lisbon, Portugal, on page 100 of La Iglesia en España, a modest little work, but showing considerable research, and of real merit.] At the time of the Mahometan invasion, this Liturgy acquired the name Mozarabic, which has so puzzled etymologists. Pagi and others make the word to be equivalent to Mixtarabic, because this Liturgy was used by Christians who dwelt among their Arab conquerors. Flores, the Church Historian of Spain, derives the first two syllables from the Arabic Macih (Messiah); others have formed, or invented, the word Musa, but of these some say it is a name for "Christian," others that it was the name of one of the Arab conquerors, who, by his kindness to the Christians, won their esteem.

Neale says, "The real derivation is simple enough: Arab Arabe signifying an Arab by descent (like an Hebrew of the [5/6] Hebrews), Arab Most-Arabe an Arab by adoption, and the latter term gradually having been softened into Mozarabe, and applied to the Liturgy." [Essays on Liturgiology, p. 131.]

Rome has ever had a jealousy of National rites, and in the eleventh century she succeeded in suppressing the use of the Mozarabic Liturgy almost throughout Spain. The people of Toledo, however, so clamored for its continuance with them, that this was conceded in the case of the seven most ancient Churches in that city.

The great Cardinal Ximenes, among other steps towards reform in the Spanish Church, endeavored, so far as he might, to revive the use of its national Liturgy. The copies, of the Mozarabic Office Books were few, and some of them very incorrect. He had them carefully edited, and printed in the years 1500 and 1502. He built and endowed a chapel, in connection with the Cathedral of Toledo, in which the Mozarabic Liturgy was always to be used. A similar chapel was founded at Salamanca. Only in these two Cathedral Chapels, and in the Churches of St. Mark and St. Justa, in Toledo, does the Spanish Church use its own Liturgy.

The existing copies of the Mozarabic Liturgy have suffered from changes and additions which have not been improvements. Still is there much that is most admirable in them; still is it most true that, in the words of the Bishop of Delaware, "precious materials may be drawn from them," for the Liturgy of the old Catholic Church of Mexico. There would seem to be a providential intimation that the Mexicans should use these materials in the fact that an Archbishop of Mexico (afterwards Cardinal) Lorenzana was most earnest in reviving a knowledge of the Mozarabic Liturgy at a time when it was well-nigh forgotten. For many years it was practically impossible to obtain a copy of it. In 1760, Lorenzana had the Ordinary of the Liturgy reprinted at Puebla. Translated at Toledo, he had a large part of the Offices printed in Madrid in 1775, with an introduction written by himself, the remainder appeared in Rome, after his death--but at his expense.

The Mozarabic Liturgy may well be used as a basis for the Mexican Liturgy, but something will be needed beside a fitting translation into Spanish, and the removal of the errors which, in the course of time, have crept in. The statement of a well-known traveller in spain, Mr. Ford, 'that one of the marked features of [6/7] the Mozarabic Ritual is its simplicity,' is as correct as travelers' stories are apt to be who repeat what they are told on insufficient authority, or through incompetent interpreters, without having the previous knowledge of the subject which would enable them to know that very much fo what they thus learn, is utterly valueless. The Mozarabic is, as that most competent authority, Neale, informs us, "about the most complicated use that exists." It is exceedingly diffuse as well as complicated. Migne's reprint of the Mozarabic Liturgy, in very large octavo, small print, occupies nearly 1,200 pages. Of course great simplification and condensation would be required in preparing, from all this, a "Book of Common Prayer."

In the following pages the writer has drawn up, from the Mozarabic Liturgy, an Order for the Holy Communion, parallel to our own. In a few instances, brief phrases have been taken from Holy Scripture, the common heritage of the Churches of God, in a very few--which are always noted--he has quited from our own Liturgy when he did not find in the Mozarabic what was so well suited to the purpose. He has aimed, of course, to translate Liturgical Latin into Liturgical English. Sometimes he has paraphrased expressions which were too diffuse, or not quite in keeping with the position here assigned them. In all cases he has given the original Latin at the foot of the page, and referred to the volume and column in Migne's reprint whence the quotations were made. [Latin footnotes omitted in this transcription.]

The writer may be asked whether, in his opinion, a Spanish Liturgy so drawn up would be just what was needed in Mexico? He would unhesitatingly answer, No. The words in this are Mozarabic, the structure Anglican. In one or two cases, he has ventured to follow the genius of the Mozarabic Liturgy, as in having a special Prophecy as well as Epistle and Gospel; our Church using but one Prophecy for every Sunday or holy day, Exodus xx., 1-18. The writer thinks that a conformity, in other respects also, to ancient Spanish use, would be wisein a Liturgy for Mexicans.

The writer has but endeavored to draw attention to the treasures of the Mozarabic Liturgy--to show what could be done with these rather than what should be. As Bishop Lee well says, "The [Mexican] Liturgy must be formed by the deliberate action of the Church which is to use it." They may ask, if so minded, the help  of others, the final responsibility must rest upon themselves.


[It has not been thought necessary in this draft of an Order to give Rubrical directions, or a form of notice of the Holy Communion to be used on a preceding Sunday or Holy Day.]


I will arise, and go to my Father, and will say unto Him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and am no more worthy to be called Thy son.

Let us pray.

Lord have mercy upon us.
Christ have mercy upon us.
Lord have mercy upon us.

OUR Father, etc., etc.

Cleanse Thou us O Lord from secret faults.
And keep Thy servants from presumptuous sins.

Lord, hear our prayer.
And let our cry come unto Thee.

O GOD, who makest the unworthy to be worthy, the sinner to be just, and the impure to be pure; cleanse our hearts and bodies from all thought and pollution of sin, that we may acceptably serve Thee, through that Great High Priest without spot of sin, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in [8/9] the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

The Lord be ever with you.
And with thy spirit.

A lesson from the book of ------, ----- chapter, beginning with the ---- verse.

Thanks be to God.

[At this place is usually read a lesson from the Old Testament: on Easter-day, the lesson is Revelation i, 1-9.]

Confitemini Domino. Psalm cvi.

O GIVE thanks unto the LORD, for He is gracious: and His mercy endureth forever.

Who can express the noble acts of the LORD: or show forth all His praise?

Blessed are they that alway keep judgment: and do righteousness.

Remember me, O LORD, according to the favor that Thou bearest unto Thy people: O visit me with Thy salvation.

That I may see the felicity of Thy chosen: and rejoice with the gladness of Thy people, and give thanks unto Thine inheritance.

O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is gracious: and His mercy endureth forever.

[10] GLORY and honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

The Lord be ever with you.
And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

[The Collect for Easter-day

O LORD Jesus Christ, Who didst die for the sins of the whole world, and, as at this time, didst rise from the dead; by Thy resurrection, mortify and kill all vices in us: and as, by Thy Cross and Passion, Thou didst destroy the power of death, make us to share in the blessed life; through Thy merits, O Blessed Saviour, Who dost live and govern all things, world without end. Amen.]

The Epistle (or  the portion of Scripture appointed for the Epistle) is written in the ----- chapter of -----, beginning at the ------ verse.

Thanks be to God.

[The Epistle for Easter-day is Acts ii. 29-40.]

The Holy Gospel is written in the ----- chapter of ----, beginning at the ----- verse.

Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

[The Gospel for Easter-day is St. John xx., 1-19.]

The faith that we hold in our hearts, let us confess with our mouths.

The Nicene Creed.

[11] Hymn.


The Offertory Sentences.

ALL things come of Thee O LORD; and of Thine own have we given Thee.

Let us pray for the whole state of Christ's Church militant.

ALMIGHTY and Everliving God, mindful of Thy precept to make supplications, prayers, and intercessions, and to give thanks for all men: We humbly beseech Thee most mercifully to accept our alms and oblations, and to receive these our prayers, which we offer unto Thy Divine Majesty:

Beseeching Thee of Thy goodness, to enrich the Holy Catholic Church in faith, hope, and charity; to sustain her in danger, protect her in adversities, and make her watchful in prosperity.

And grant that all they who do confess Thy Holy Name may live in pure and sincere love of the brethren.

And keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

Make, we beseech Thee, all Christian Rulers and Magistrates to [11/12] truly and impartially administer justice, for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well.

Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops and other ministers, faithfully to preach Thy truth, setting forth in their lives what they preach with their lips,

And to rightly and duly administer Thy holy sacraments.

And grant that all Thy people, and especially this congregation here present, may truly receive Thy Holy Word which is preached unto them,

And serve Thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life.

And we most humbly beseech Thee, of Thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succor all those who are in need, trouble, sickness, or any other adversity.

And we also bless Thy holy Name

For all Thy servants departed this life in Thy faith and fear, beseeching Thee to give us grace so to follow in their footsteps, that with them we may be partakers of Thy heavenly kindgom."

Grant this, O Father, for the sake of Thine Only-begotten Son, [12/13] Jesus Christ, our Lord, through Whom Thou givest all good to us Thine unworthy servants. Amen.

DEARLY beloved brethren; We who mind to come to the Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ, must confess our sins, if we would not be condemned at God's Judgment. We must humble ourselves before men if we would be glorified before the angels. We must mourn here, if we would reign with Christ hereafter.

May our merciful Lord Jesus grant us so truly to confess our sins, that we may obtain speedy remission; may He clothe us with the Wedding Garment, that we may come holy and clean to the Heavenly Feast.

WITH a full trust in God's mercy through Christ, let us make our humble confession unto Him, devoutly kneeling.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we acknowledge that we have grievously sinned against Thee, by thought, word and deed, and by omission;

We do earnestly repent of these our misdoings;

[14] We are heartily sorry for our sins;

We are bowed down under the burden of them.

Turn Thy face from our sins, O Lord, and blot out all our iniquities. Have mercy upon us, we beseech Thee, supplicating Thy favor, for the sake of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who died upon the Cross for our salvation, forgive us all the evil that we have committed, cleanse us from all the stains of sin, and fill us with all spiritual gifts,

That we may ever hereafter walk in newness of life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

ALMIGHTY God our Heavenly Father Who, of His great mercy, hath promised forgiveness of sins to all those who, with hearty repentance and true faith, turn unto Him,

Have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

Confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,

And bring you to everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to Him.

[15] COME unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. ST. MATT., xi., 28.

So God loved the world, that He gave His Only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ST. JOHN, iii., 16.

Hear also what St. Paul saith.

This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I. TIM. i, 15.

Hear also what St. Paul saith.

If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the Propitiation for our sins. I. JOHN, ii., 1, 2.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up unto the Lord.

Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
It is meet and right so to do.

IT is very meet and right, that we should always give thanks to Thee, O Holy Lord, Everlasting Father, Almighty God:

[Preface for Easter.

Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who, as at this time, manifesting the glory of His Resurrection, came forth from the tomb in triumph, when He had overcome death by dying, and by His Blood had reconciled the earthly with the heavenly.]

THEREFORE with Angels and Archangels, and with all the [15/16] company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name; evermore praising Thee and saying,

HOLY, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts; Heaven and earth are full of the glory of Thy Majesty; Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the Highest.

Hagios, Hagios, Hagios, Kyrie, O Theos. Amen.

WE come to this Thy Table, O Lord, in humbleness of spirit, trembling because of our sins, but trusting in Thy mercy. We hide not our sins from Thee, heal us through the merits of the One Sacrifice.

Grant us, O Lord our God, so to partake of the Body and Blood of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, that we may receive remission of all our sins, be filled with Thy Holy Spirit, and, in the world to come, attain the crown of everlasting life. Amen.

VERILY Holy and Blessed art Thou, O God the Father Almighty, Who didst send Thine Only-Begotten Son to take upon Him our nature, and to die for the salvation of the whole world; Who, [16/17] by His Cross and Passion, bare the burden of our sins, and made an end of atoning sacrifices by that One Oblation of infinite worth; Christ the Lord, and our Eternal Redeemer:

WHO, in the night before He suffered, took Bread, and, giving thanks, blessed and brake it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, take, Eat, This is My Body, which is given for you; As often as ye eat This, Do it in Remembrance of Me.

Likewise, after supper, He took the Cup, saying, This is the Cup of the New Testament in My Blood, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins; As often as ye drink This, Do it in Remembrance of Me.

As often as ye shall eat This Bread, and drink This Cup, ye shall shew forth the Lord's Death until He come in glory from Heaven. Amen.

THUS doing, Most Holy Father, with these Thy Holy Gifts, which we now offer unto Thee, we set forth the Death of Thine Only-Begotten Son, by which we were redeemed, as He commanded us to do, until He Himself should come.

[18] Having in remembrance His Glorious Passion, and Resurrection, and Ascension;

Rendering unto Thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same.

AND we most humbly beseech Thy Majesty, that Thou wouldst send down Thy Holy Ghost, with the fulness of Thy blessing, upon these Thy gifts and creatures of Bread and Wine; that we, receiving them according to our Saviour Jesus Christ's Holy Institution, may be partakers of His Most Blessed Body and Blood.

WE earnestly pray Thee, O Heavenly Father, most mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. And here we offer and present unto Thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies to be a reasonable, holy and living sacrifice unto Thee; [18/19] humbly beseeching Thee, that we, and all others who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion, may worthily receive the Most Precious Body and Blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ, and be filled with Thy heavenly grace, and that He may evermore dwell in us, and we in Him.

We come before Thee in a spirit of Humility, and with contrite hearts, May we be accepted Lord by Thee, and may what we offer Thee be pleasing in Thy sight, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, ever world without end. Amen.

THE Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Amen.

The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Amen.

OUR Father, Who art in Heaven, etc.

WE thank Thee, O God the Father almighty, that Thou hast deigned to feed us, who have duly received these Holy Mysteries, [19/20] with the spiritual food of the Most Precious body and Blood of Thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ; Grant that this may not turn to our judgment and condemnation, but may profit to our salvation, and the healing of our souls unto life eternal, through the same, Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O LORD our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, make us ever to seek and to love Thee, and may we have grace, through this Holy Communion which we have received, nevermore to draw back from Thee, but ever to do those things that are pleasing in Thy sight; For Thou art God, and beside Thee there is none else, world without end. Amen.

GLORY be to God on High, etc., etc.

THAT peace which our Lord Jesus Christ, when he ascended up on High, left to His disciples, be ever with you in all its fulness:

And the Blessing of God the Father Almighty, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, descend upon you, and remain with you always. Amen.


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