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Title: The Ceremonies of the Holy-Week at Rome
Author: Baggs, Charles Michael
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Provide yourself with a HOLY-WEEK-BOOK, or _Uffizio della Settimana
Santa_. Take care that your dress is according to rule. For many of
the ceremonies ladies require tickets signed by _M. Maggiordomo_.

On Palm-sunday morning the Pontifical ceremonies begin at S.
Peter's, at about 9 o'clock: no stranger can receive a palm without
a permission signed by _M. Maggiordomo_. In the afternoon the Card.
Penitentiary goes at about 4 or half past 4 to S. John Lateran's,
where the Station of the day is held.

On the _afternoons_ of _Wednesday_ and _Thursday_, (between 4 and half
past 4) and of _Friday_ (half an hour sooner) the office of Tenebræ
begins at the Sixtine chapel. After it is over, you may go to S.
Peter's to bear the conclusion of a similar service: there on Thursday
evening the high-altar is washed by the Card, priest and chapter;
on Friday the Pope, Cardinals etc. go thither to venerate the relics
after Tenebræ in the Sixtine chapel; and on the afternoons of both
days the Card. Penitentiary goes thither in slate. In the evening of
these three days the feet of pilgrims are washed, and they are served
at table by Cardinals etc. at the Trinità dei Pellegrini.

On _Thursday morning_ you can see the oils blessed at S. Peter's: this
ceremony begins _early_. There is little difference between the mass
(at about half past 9 or 10) in the Sixtine chapel on this day, and
on ordinary days, and there is generally a great crowd: the procession
after mass is repeated on the following morning; and the papal
benediction on Easter Sunday: your best plan therefore will be to go
at an early hour to see the blessing of the oils, and afterwards the
washing of the feet, at S. Peter's; and then go to see the dinner
of the _apostles_ near the balcony from which the Pope gives His
benediction. The _Sepulchres_, particularly that in the Cappella
Paolina, may be visited.

On _Friday morning_ the service of the Sixtine chapel begins at about
half past 9 or 10. (Devotion of 3 hours' agony from about half past
12 to half past 3 at the Gesù, SS. Lorenzo e Damaso etc.; after the
_Ave Maria_ the _Via Crucis_ at Caravita, and devotion of the dolours
of the B. Virgin at S. Marcello, etc. An hour after the _Ave Maria_
poetical compositions are recited at the Serbatojo dell'Arcadia).

On _Saturday morning_ service begins at S. John Lateran's at about
half past 7. As soon you have seen the baptism at the baptistery, you
had better drive to the Vatican, to attend at the beautiful mass of
the Sixtine chapel.

On _Saturday afternoon_ you may go to the Armenian mass at S.
Biagio or S. Gregorio Illuminatore: it begins towards 4 o clock. On
Easter-Sunday the Pope sings solemn mass at S. Peter's, at about 9
o'clock. He afterwards venerates the relics, and gives His solemn
benediction. In the afternoon, besides Vespers there is a procession
at S. Peter's called that of the 3 Maries. (At S. John Lateran's
the Cardinals assist at Vespers, and afterwards venerate the relics
preserved there) At night the cupola is illuminated, and on the
following night there are fireworks or _girandola_ at Castle S.
Angelo. On Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday there is _cappella papale_ at
the Vatican, but it differs little from the ordinary _cappelle_.




    Origin of the word _ceremony_--object of
    ceremonies--institution of the mass--its earliest
    ceremonies--discipline of secrecy--liturgy of the Roman
    church--general review of the principal ceremonies of
    the mass--mass of the catechumens, _ambones_--mass of the
    faithful, blessed water, secrecy, prayers for the dead--Latin
    the language of the Roman liturgy, and why--usual ceremonies
    of high-mass in the papal chapel--sentiments of S. John

    "_It was chiefly, if not only, in the mystical liturgy of the
    eucharist, that the primitive church spoke without reserve
    of all the sublimities of Christian faith._" Palmer, Origines
    Liturg. vol. I, p. 13.

[Sidenote: Origin of the word ceremony.]

From Rome our Saxon forefathers received Christianity; and from the
same source we have derived several words denoting Christian rites.
Thus the words _religion, sacrament, sacrifice, communion_, and others
are Latin, with the exception of the termination. The word _ceremony_
also is Latin, and owes its origin to an interesting fact in ancient
Roman history. When the Capitol was besieged by the Gauls (A.U. 365)
most of the inhabitants of Rome provided for their own safety by
flight: but the Flamen Quirinalis or priest of Romulus, and the
Vestal virgins loaded themselves with the sacred things, that they
might secure those hallowed treasures from profanation. "They were
proceeding" (says Livy lib. V, c. XXII) "along the way which passes
over the Sublician bridge, when they were met on the declivity by L.
Albinus a plebeian, who was fleeing with his wife and children in
a _plaustrum_ or cart: he and his family immediately alighted: then
placing in the cart the virgins and sacred things he accompanied them
to Cære where they were received with hospitality and respect". Hence
(says Valerius Maximus lib. I, c. 1.) "sacred things were called
ceremonies, because the inhabitants of _Cære_ revered them when the
republic was broken, as readily as when it flourished". Thus is the
word ceremony associated at once with the devotion of Albinus, with
the Gaulish invasion of the Capitol, and with Cære, one of the twelve
cities of Etruria, now called Cervetri or Cære vetus[1]. The Pagan
Romans derived their religious rites from Etruria, and in particular
from Cære on account of its proximity to Rome: this may be another
reason for the adoption of the term _ceremony_, which was afterwards
applied to the rites of all religions[2].

[Sidenote: Object of ceremonies.]

But what, it may be asked by many, is the use of ceremonies? I shall
answer in the words of the council of Trent. "Since the nature of man
is such, that he cannot easily without exterior helps be raised to
the meditation of divine things, the church as a pious mother has
instituted certain rites, namely, that some things in the mass should
be pronounced in a low voice and others aloud; she has also used
ceremonies, as mystical benedictions, lights, incense, vestments,
and many other things of that kind, from apostolical tradition and
discipline, in order that the majesty of so great a sacrifice might
be displayed, and the minds of the faithful might be excited by these
visible signs of religion and piety to the contemplation of those
sublime things which are concealed in this sacrifice". Session XXII,
c. V.--These words lead us to treat briefly of the mass, the principal
act of divine worship during holy-week as at all other seasons of the
year. This we do now the more readily, that we may not afterwards be
obliged to interrupt our account of the peculiar ceremonies of Holy
week, which presuppose an acquaintance with the mass.

[Sidenote: Institution of the mass.]

Jesus Christ instituted the mass at his last supper, when he took
bread and blessed and broke and gave to his disciples and said, Take
ye and eat, this is my body; and taking the chalice he gave thanks,
and gave to them saying, Drink ye all of this: For this is my blood
of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of
sins: Matth. XXVI, 26. In this brief account are mentioned all the
_essential_ parts of the mass. Christ commanded the apostles and
through them their successors to perform the same holy rite "in
commemoration" of Him, and they obeyed His commands, as we learn from
the acts of the apostles, and the first epistle to the Corinthians.

[Sidenote: Its early ceremonies.]

Gradually various prayers and ceremonies were added to the sacred
words pronounced by Christ, as the Apology of St. Justin, the writings
of St. Cyprian, the catechetical discourses of St. Cyril of Jerusalem
and other early works prove. The Apostles themselves had added the
Lord's prayer[3]. The liturgy however during the first four centuries,
as Le Brun maintains[4], or, according to Muratori followed by Palmer,
the first three centuries, was not written, but was preserved by oral
tradition, according to the received practice of the early church,
which, unwilling to give what is holy to dogs, or to cast pearls
before swine concealed from all persons, except the faithful, the
mysteries of faith. It would seem from St. Justin's apology, that
much was left to the particular devotion of the bishop or priest who
offered mass, and hence we might expect not to find in the earliest
liturgies great uniformity, except in essentials and general outline.
Yet Le Brun has endeavoured to restore, from the early Christian
writers, the liturgy used in the first four centuries: and it contains
the most important prayers and ceremonies of the mass in its more
modern form.

[Sidenote: Discipline of secrecy.]

We shall so often have to recur to the discipline of secrecy alluded
to above, that we consider it necessary to speak of it briefly,
before we proceed further. The Pythagoreans, the Stoics, Plato, the
Epicureans and other ancient philosophers concealed their doctrines
from the uninitiated: the mysteries also of Osiris, Isis, Bacchus,
Ceres, Cybele etc. were carefully kept secret. There was no novelty
therefore for the ancients in the discipline of secrecy, the
institution of which in the Christian church is attributed by many
fathers to Christ himself, who directed that his disciples should not
"give what is holy to dogs, or cast pearls before swine". Matt. VII,
6. This injunction was observed by the whole church from the apostolic
age till the fifth century in the east, and the sixth century in the
west: it extended to dogmas as well as rites, and in particular to
those of the holy Trinity and the sacraments, especially the blessed
Eucharist[5]. For "those things" says St. Cyril of Alexandria "are
generally derided, which are not understood" adv. Julianum. The
pagans, at the instigation, it would appear, of the Jews and early
heretics, availed themselves of this secret discipline to charge
the Christians with the detestable crimes of Oedipus and Thyestes,
pretending that in their secret assemblies they murdered an infant
covered with flour, and drank his blood. (Cecilius ap. Minut. Fel.)
It was solely with the view of refuting these calumnies, that Justin
Martyr explained, in his apology addressed to Antoninus Pius, the
catholic doctrine of the eucharist. S. Blandina on the contrary
endured the most cruel torments rather than reveal it, though its
profession would have confuted the same odious calumnies; and S.
Augustine observes a similar reserve when answering the pagan Maximus

"Who" says the protestant Casaubon "is so little versed in the
writings of the fathers, as to be ignorant of the formulary used
principally of the sacraments, the initiated understand what is said:
it occurs at least fifty times in Chrysostom, and almost as frequently
in Augustine". S. Fulgentius inserts in his answer to the deacon
Ferrandus the following words of S. Augustine to the neophytes "This
which you see on the altar of God you saw last night: but what it was,
what it meant, and of what a great thing it contains the sacrament,
you have not yet heard. What therefore you see is bread and the
chalice. What your faith demands is, that the bread is the body of
Christ, and the chalice contains the blood of Christ". S. Cyril
of Jerusalem in his catechetical discourses addressed to the newly
baptised inculcates in the strongest terms the doctrine of the real
presence, but charges them most strictly not to communicate to the
catechumens his instructions. In consequence of this practice the
early fathers often speak obscurely of the B. Sacrament, and call it
bread and wine and _fermentum_ after the consecration, though they
clearly teach the _faithful_ the doctrine of the real presence[6].

[Sidenote: Liturgy of the Roman church.]

Pope Innocent I, writing to Decentius at the beginning of the fifth
century, attributes the liturgy of the Roman church to St. Peter. It
was first written in the fifth century; and Pope Vigilius sending it
in 538 to Profuturus derives it from Apostolic tradition. The most
ancient sacramentary or liturgical work extant of the Roman church is
that of Gelasius who was Pope from 492 to 496[7]. He collected prayers
composed by more ancient authors, and also composed some himself:
and this Gelasian compilation was reformed by Gregory the Great and
reduced to one volume[8], which may be considered as the prototype
of our present liturgy. The canon or most solemn part of the mass
has been preserved inviolate ever since, as appears from the Ordines
Romani written shortly after the time of S. Gregory, and also from the
explanations of it written by Florus and Amalarius. This canon as well
as the order of prayer are the same as those of Gelasius, as Palmer
observes (Orig. liturg. vol. 1, p. 119,) and are also nearly identical
with those of the sacramentary of S. Leo. The Ambrosian and African
liturgies also were evidently derived at a very remote period from
that of Rome. From such considerations as these Mr. Palmer proves the
very ancient or apostolical origin of the "main order", the substance
of the Roman liturgy. Origines liturg. vol. I, sect. VI. The author of
the canon is unknown; yet we know the authors of some additions to the
canon. Thus S. Leo I added sanctum sacrificium immaculatam hostiam, S.
Gregory I, diesque nostros in tua pace disponas.

[Sidenote: Review of the ceremonies of the mass.]

[Sidenote: Mass of the catechumens, ambones, sermons.]

We shall not examine minutely all the prayers and ceremonies of the
mass, or stop to enquire at what time and by what pope each of
them was first introduced, lest we should weary the patience of our
readers[9]; but we shall content ourselves with a general review of
the mass, as it is now celebrated. We may divide it, as the ancients
did, into two parts, the mass of the catechumens, and the mass of the
faithful. The first part includes the preparation and confession of
sins at the foot of the altar, the _introit_ or anthem and part of
a psalm sung at the _entrance_ into church, the _Kyrie eleison_ or
petition for mercy, the _Gloria in excelsis_ or hymn of praise (both
of great antiquity, as Palmer following our catholic divines has
shewn) the collect or collects so called from their being said when
the people are collected together, the epistle and gospel, and also
the verses, said or sung between them both, called the Gradual[10]:
if sung by one voice, it is called the Tract; if by choir, the
Responsory. The collects and other prayers are said with the arms
extended in the same manner as many figures are represented praying on
old christian as well as pagan monuments. After the gospel the sermon
used to be preached, as it generally is in our times[11] and after
the sermon Pagans, Jews, heretics, schismatics, energumens, public
penitents and catechumens were dismissed by the deacon; for the
faithful alone were allowed to be present at the celebration of the
sacred mysteries, in conformity to the discipline of secrecy. That
part of mass, which we have described was called the mass of the
catechumens, because these were allowed to be present at it.

[Sidenote: Mass of the faithful, blessed water.]

From the _missio_, _missa_, or dismissal announced by the deacon to
the people before and after the mass of the faithful, the term _missa_
or mass is derived. It was in use in the early ages; for it is found
not only in the epistle to the bishop of Vienne attributed to Pope
Pius I, and in that of Pope Cornelius to Lupicinus: but S. Ambrose
also says "I continued my duty, and began to celebrate mass" and in
another place he exhorts the people to "hear mass daily[12]".

When the church had been cleared of all except the faithful, the
second part of our mass, or the mass of the faithful, began with the
Nicene symbol or creed. Then followed the offertory, or part of a
psalm sung anciently while the people made their offerings to the
church, particularly of bread and wine[13]. The priest offers to God
the bread, and wine mixed according to apostolic tradition[14] with
a little water, which our Saviour is believed to have mixed with
the wine at the last supper; he implores God's blessing on these
offerings, and washes his hands in token of the purity of soul[15]
with which the sacred mysteries should be approached, and at high mass
for the sake of outward cleanliness also, on account of the incense
which he has used. Having commemorated the passion, resurrection,
and ascension of Christ, as he does also after the consecration, he
calls on those present to join him in prayer, he says another prayer
or prayers called the _secret_, because said in secret, and then
recites the _preface_ to the canon, a prayer in which he unites with
the celestial spirits in praise and thanksgiving as Christ himself
gave thanks at the last supper: it concludes with the Tersanctus or
Trisagion "Holy, Holy, Holy etc." which, as Palmer observes, has been
probably used in the Christian liturgy of the east and west since the
ages of the apostles. V. 2. p. 219.

[Sidenote: Prayers for the dead.]

The canon of the mass next follows, which as well as many of the
preceding and following prayers is said in a low voice, according to
the ancient custom alluded to by Innocent I, S. Augustine, Origen, and
other Fathers[16]. In it the priest prays for the church, the Pope,
the bishop of the place, the living and the dead[17] he reveres the
memory of the B. Virgin, the Martyrs and other Saints[18], and having
once more implored the blessing of God, and spread his hands over the
victim, according to the custom of the Jews, he pronounces over the
bread and wine the words of consecration according to the command of
Christ, and adores and raises for the adoration of the people the
body and blood of our Divine Lord. It is in this consecration that
the sacrifice of the mass principally consists; as by it the victim
is placed on the altar, and offered to God, viz. Christ himself,
represented as dead by the separate consecration of the bread and
wine, as if His blood were separated from His body. After some other
prayers, in which the priest offers to God the holy sacrifice, and
prays for mercy and salvation for all present, he elevates the host
and chalice together; this was the ancient elevation, as the more
solemn one, which follows immediately after the consecration, was
introduced generally in the 12th century, in opposition to the heresy
of Berengarius. Then concluding the canon the priest recites the _Our
Father_, and breaks the host, as Christ broke the bread, and as His
body was "broken" for us[19]; he puts a particle of the host into
the chalice[20]; he implores mercy and peace from the lamb of God, at
solemn masses gives the kiss of peace according to the recommendation
of scripture, and receives the two ablutions of the chalice, one of
wine, the other of wine and water, lest any portion of the sacred
blood should remain in it: he recites the communion or anthem, which
was originally sung while the holy communion was distributed; he says
the prayer or prayers called postcommunion, dismisses and begs God's
blessing on the people, in fine he recites the beginning of St. John's
gospel or some other gospel appropriate to the day. We shall on other
occasions recur to various ceremonies of the mass[21].

[Sidenote: Latin the language of the liturgy.]

The language of our liturgy has descended to us as a precious legacy
from the time when Peter and Paul preached in Rome. It would be
incongruous that our ancient hierarchy robed in ancient vestments
should perform our ancient liturgy in a moderne language. As in all
parts of the globe there are members of the Catholic church, she has
wisely preserved in her liturgy a language common to all countries,
the language too of majesty, civilisation and science, as De Maistre
observes. Like her divine founder she is the same yesterday and
to-day: like the rock, on which she is built, she is proof against
the winds and waves; she is unchanged and unaffected by the wayward
caprices of fashion. Translations of her liturgy are published for the
use of those who are unacquainted with Latin so that they may either
join in reciting the prayers of the church, or say others which their
own devotion may suggest.

Having described the ceremonies of low-mass, we shall subjoin a brief
account of those customary at high-mass when celebrated in the papal
chapel: we shall thus avoid unnecessary repetitions in the course of
this work. The beginning of the mass is said by all persons within
the sanctuary: and the Pope recites it before the altar with the
celebrant. As His Holiness is the ecclesiastical superior of the
latter, and is habited in his sacred vestments, many benedictions are,
according to a general rubric, reserved to Him, which are otherwise
given by the person who sings mass. Thus He blesses not only the
incense, the water at the offertory, the subdeacon and deacon, the
preacher, when there is a sermon, and the people after the sermon
and at the end of mass, but also the Cardinals on several occasions,
and the celebrant himself before he offers up mass. "For without
contradiction (says St. Paul) that which is less is blessed by the
better". Hebr. VII, 7. He also, and not the celebrant, kisses the
book of the Gospel. The first cardinal priest present hands to Him the
incense, and also incenses him, kneeling down if the Pope be seated
at the time, and standing if the Pope stands[22], and therefore, he
is seated near the Pope during part of the Mass, that he may be ready
when his services are required.

Incense is used, as is customary at high masses, before the introit,
at the Gospel, after the offertory and during the elevation. Before
the introit the crucifix, the altar[23], the celebrant and the Pope
are successively incensed. Before the deacon sings the gospel he
incenses the book; and after it the Pope is once more incensed by
the first cardinal priest. After the offertory, besides the bread
and wine, the crucifix, the altar, the celebrant and the Pope,
the Cardinals and the first in rank among the prelates and other
personages are incensed by the deacon. At the elevation the blessed
Sacrament alone is incensed.[24]

When the Pope reads from the missal, this book is held by the first,
and a taper by the second, patriarch or assisting bishop[25]. The
_Kyrie eleison_, the _Gloria in excelsis_, _Credo_, _Sanctus_
and _Agnus Dei_ are said by all persons within the sanctuary: the
cardinals descend from their seats to say them, and form a circle in
the middle of the chapel; having received the Pope's blessing they
return to their places. After the _Sanctus_, the Pope goes before
the middle of the altar followed by the assistant bishops and others
of His train's and all kneel till the elevation is ended. After the
_Agnus Dei_, the first Card. priest goes up to the altar, kisses it,
and receives from the celebrant the kiss of peace: this he gives to
the Pope, from whom the two first Card. deacons receive it. The Card.
priest then returns to his place, and gives the kiss of peace to the
priest who assists the celebrant; from him the first of the other
cardinals and principal prelates receive it and communicate it to
their colleagues. The assistant priest then gives it to the master of
ceremonies, who has accompanied him, from whom the other colleges of
prelates receive it and in fine (if time permit) to the deacon, from
whom it passes to others who assist at the altar. When the pope gives
His blessing, the cross is held before Him by the last auditor of the
rota, and His vestment by the first protonary. Such are the ceremonies
generally observed at high mass in the papal chapel, except at masses
for the dead, when some of them, and in particular those of incensing
(except at the offertory and elevation) and of the kiss of peace, are

[Sidenote: Sentiments of S. John Chrysostom.]

We shall conclude with the words of a holy and eloquent bishop of
Costantinople of the 4th century, "When thou seest the Lord immolated
and placed there, and the priest engaged in the sacrifice and praying,
and all present empurpled with precious blood, dost thou think that
thou art among men, and art standing on the earth? and not rather
that thou art instantaneously transferred to heaven, where casting
out of thy soul every fleshly thought thou lookest around on heavenly
things. O miracle! O the love of God for man! He, who sits above with
the Father, is at the same time held in the hands of all, and gives
himself to those who wish to receive and embrace him. Wishest thou
to see the excellence of this _holiness_ from another miracle? Depict
before thy eyes Elias and an innumerable multitude surrounding him,
and the victim placed on the stones; all the others in profound
silence, and the prophet alone praying; then suddenly fire rushing
from heaven on the sacrifice. These things are astonishing and replete
with wonder. Then transfer thyself thence to the things now effected,
and thou wilt find them not only wonderful, but surpassing all
astonishment. For here the priest bears not fire, but the holy Ghost;
he pours out long supplications, not that fire descending from above
may consume the offerings, but that grace falling on the sacrifice
may through it inflame the souls of all and render them purer than
silver purified by fire. This most dread rite then who, that is not
altogether insane and out of his mind, shall be able to contemn? Art
thou ignorant that no human soul could have sustained this fire of the
victim, but all would have totally perished, unless the assistance of
divine grace had been abundant" S. John Chrysostom, De Sacerdotio Lib.
3, c. IV.

[Footnote 1: It is situated near the road leading from Rome to
Civitavecchia at the distance of about 27 miles from the former city.
Its necropolis has lately enriched the new Gregorian museum with some
of its most precious treasures, consisting in gold ornaments of the
person, in silver and painted vases etc. of very ancient and admirable
execution. See Nibby, Analisi storico-topografica etc. as also Grifi.
The Etruscan and Egyptian museums entitle His present Holiness Gregory
XVI to be ranked with many of His predecessors among the greatest and
most munificent patrons and collectors of ancient monuments.]

[Footnote 2: If we compare with this term others of similar
termination, such as _sanctimonia_ from _sanctus_, we shall find in
them a confirmation of the etymology given above: _monia_ serves to
form the substantive, but does not otherwise alter the meaning.]

[Footnote 3: S. Greg. M. lib. VII, epist. 64.]

[Footnote 4: See Le Brun, Explic. Missae T. 2. dis. 1. Also Renaudot.
They have however been refuted by Assemani, Maratori and Zaccaria.]

[Footnote 5: The _Pater noster_ is still said in secret, except after
the canon of the Mass, because at that part of the Liturgy only the
faithful were present. See Moroni's learned work entitled, Dizionario
di erudizione ecclesiastica.]

[Footnote 6: See Schelstratius, de Disciplina Arcani, or Trevern's
answer to Faber's Difficulties of Romanism: also Bingham lib. X, c. 5.
Times are now so much altered that it is difficult to conceive how the
Reserve in communicating Religious knowledge recommended in one of
the Tracts for the Times could be practicable, even if it were judged

[Footnote 7: It was first published by B. Card. Tommasi from a very
ancient manuscript in the queen of Sweden's library. Cave, Mabillon,
Muratori, Assemani and other eminent critics admit its authenticity.
There is however another sacramentary _perhaps_ more ancient called
the Leonian, because it is attributed by the learned to Leo the great,
A.D. 450. It was first published by Bianchini in the 4th volume of
Anastasius the librarian from a Verona MS. written 1100 years ago.]

[Footnote 8: This new Gregorian sacramentary was carried to England
by St. Augustin and the other missionaries. Mr. Palmer and after him
Mr. Froude (Remains, vol. 2nd, p. 387) give a similar account of the
Roman liturgy. They, like archbishop Wake, attribute the origin of the
Roman, Oriental, Ethiopic and Mozarabic liturgies to St. Peter, St.
James, St. Mark and St. John, and observe that all other liturgies
are copied from one or other of these. "In each of these four original
liturgies the eucharist is regarded as a mystery and as a sacrifice"
p. 395: they all agree in the principal ceremonies of the mass, and
all contain a prayer for the rest and peace of all those who have
departed this life in God's faith and fear" p. 393. "Now it may
be reasonably presumed", says archbishop Wake "that those passages
wherein all these liturgies agree, in sense at least, if not in words,
were first prescribed in the writings of the ancient fathers". See
Tracts for the times, no. 63.]

[Footnote 9: They who wish for further details may consult Le Brun,
Card. Bona, Martene, Gavant, Rock's Hierurgia etc.]

[Footnote 10: Because anciently sung from the _steps_ of the _ambo_ or
pulpit, according to Rabanus Maurus an author of the 9th century, and
others. In the ancient churches there were generally in the _chorus_
or choir two ambones, one from which at solemn masses the lector and
at a later period the subdeacon used to sing the gospel, with his face
usually turned towards that side of the church, where the _men_ were
assembled; at Rome this was generally the south side. At low masses
the missal was removed from the epistle side of the altar at the
beginning of the offertory, in order to leave room for the offerings,
according to an Ordinarium of Monte Casino of the year 1100. It has
for a long time been customary to remove it before the gospel, which
the priest recites turned towards the same direction as the deacon at
high mass. Mystical meanings were afterwards assigned for this removal
of the book.]

[Footnote 11: It is astonishing how Mr. Palmer could assert that "Leo
bishop of Rome in the fifth century appears to have been the only
bishop who preached in the Roman church for many Footnote: and it is
said that none of his successors until the time of Pius the fifth,
five hundred years afterwards, imitated his example". Orig. Liturg.
vol. II, p. 59. Bingham I. IV, c. §.3. Mr. Palmer forgot all the
homilies of Gregory the great, as well as the chronology of the Popes.
The latter might find in the multiplicity and importance of their
other occupations abundant motives for abstaining from preaching, a
duty to which so many of their clergy dedicate themselves. That the
early Popes however preached there can be no doubt, although most
of their homilies, if ever written, have not reached our time. Not
only the example of S. Peter who (whatever we may think of the local
tradition of Rocca S. Pietro above Palestrina) used certainly to
preach, as the Acts of the Apostles prove; but the general custom of
other cities would induce the zealous Bishops of Rome to exhort and
encourage their flock, particularly in time of persecution; and that
at a later period they were not unaccustomed to preach is evident
from the Ordo Romanus of Card. Gaetano published by Mabillon and from
a Vatican MS. no. 4231, p. 197; both these documents are quoted by
Cancellieri, _Descriz. delle Cappelle etc. p. 328_. See proofs that
the Popes preached drawn up in chronological order in Sala's notes to
Card. Bona, lib. 2. c. 7-]

[Footnote 12: S. Ambros. Ep. 13, serm. 34.]

[Footnote 13: Of the ancient offerings the following vestiges remain:
candles are offered by the clergy at their ordination, bread and wine
by bishops at their consecration, chalices and torches by the Roman
senate on particular festivals, and in fine bread, wine, water, and,
till lately, doves and other birds at the canonisation of the Saints.
On the ancient offerings see Cancellieri, de Secretaries, t. I, p.

[Footnote 14: "This custom prevailed universally in the Christian
church from the earliest period" Palmer Orig. Liturg. vol. 2, p. 75.]

[Footnote 15: As the ancient Roman houses had an _impluvium_ in the
midst of the _atrium_, so in the _atria_ annexed to the Christian
churches was one or more fountains (Eus. Eccl. Hist. l. X, c. 4) and
sometimes a well or cistern. In these the faithful used to wash their
hands (Tertull. De orat. §, De lavat. man.) Thus in the atrium of
St. Paul's basilica there was a cantharus, restored by Pope Leo I, of
which the saint writes thus to Ennodius;

  Quisque suis meritis veneranda sacraria Pauli
      Ingrederis, supplex ablue fonte manus.

The _cantharus_ is mentioned by Virgil Eclog. VI, 21.

  Et gravis adtritâ pendebat cantharus ansa.

A large vessel of this description may be seen in the _cortili_ of S.
Cecilia and SS. Apostoli at Rome. It used to be blessed on the vigil
or festival of the Epiphany, as it is now in the Greek and even the
Roman church. When churches were built without _atria_, a vessel
of blessed water was placed inside the church: in some of the older
churches there is even a well. See Nibby, _Dissert. sulla forma, etc.
delle antiche chiese_.]

[Footnote 16: See Le Brun tom. IV, diss. 15. Super usu recitandi
silentio missæ partem etc. This custom was connected with the
discipline of secrecy. The scripture itself does not mention what
words Christ used, when He "gave thanks", before He pronounced the
words of consecration; and the early church imitated this reserve.
Anciently curtains concealed the altar, during the most solemn part of
mass, as now in some Oriental churches. St. John Chrysostom (Hom. 3,
in Ep. ad Ephes.) mentions this custom; and traces of it still remain
at St. Clement's church in Rome.]

[Footnote 17: See ancient inscriptions from the catacombs, containing
prayers for the dead in Bock's Hierurgia (vol. 2, ch. 7), also in
Annali delle Scienze Religiose, Luglio 1839, as also in the well-known
works on the catacombs. Bingham admits that the eucharistic sacrifice
was offered for S. Augustine, S. Monica, the emperors Constantine
and Valentinian at their funerals. (S. Ambrose prayed for Valentinian
Gratian and Theodosius.) "In the communion service" says he "according
to the custom of those times, a solemn commemoration was made of the
dead in general, and prayers were offered to God for them". Bingham,
Antiq. l. 23, c. 2. "The custom of praying and offering up sacrifice
for the faithful departed most evidently appears to have prevailed in
the church even from the time of the apostles", says the Protestant
bishop Milles, Opera S. Cyrilli. p. 297. "In primitive times" says
Palmer "these commemorations (in the mass) were accompanied by
prayers for the departed". Origin. Liturg. vol. 2, p. 94. With these
Protestant admissions before us and many others collected in the
Annali delle Scienze Relig. Luglio 1839, we opine that the Rev. Mr.
Breeks ought to have been solicitous for his own soul rather than for
that of Mrs. Wolfrey, whose inscription was dictated by the spirit
of primitive Christianity. The following is the inscription on
Thorndike's tomb at Westminster "Tu lector, requiem ei et beatam in
Xto resurrectionem precare". On Bp. Barrow's tomb at S. Asaph's "O
vos transeuntes in domum Domini, domum orationis, orate pro conservo
vestro ut inveniat requiem in die Domini". Both were written by their
own direction: other Protestant testimonies may be seen ap. Srett. o.

[Footnote 18: Pope Vigilius (A.D. 538.) in his epistle to Profuturus,
bishop of Braga in Spain, says, that the canon never varied, but that
on particular festivals "we make commemoration of the holy solemnity,
or of those saints whose nativities we celebrate".]

[Footnote 19: "The bread which we break is it not the communion of the
body of Christ". 1 Cor. X, 16.]

[Footnote 20: This custom we may consider with Palmer as a memorial
of an ancient mode of communicating under both kinds united, which
is still observed in the oriental churches: Vol. 2, p. 146; or with
Le Brim as a record of the practice of sending the particle to the
priests of titular churches, T. 4. Micrologus and others consider
this mixture as a representation of Christ's resurrection. It is very
ancient, as Sala shews.]

[Footnote 21: "St. Paul calls the Eucharist 1 Cor. X, 16 the cup of
_blessing_ which _we bless_." This incidental information vouchsafed
to us in scripture, should lead us to be very cautious how we put
aside other usages of the early church concerning this sacrament,
which do not happen to be clearly mentioned in scripture". Tracts for
the Times, Vol. 1, no. 34. The "Mass" in Cranmer's Form of prayer
and administration of the Sacraments, which was declared by act of
Parliament "agreable to the word of God and the primitive church"
differs but little from the Roman mass above described. See Pugin's
Letter on the proposed Protestant Memorial. London 1839.]

[Footnote 22: Macri in his Hierolexicon says, that the Cardinal
kneels, to incense the Pope when seated, from respect to his
_cattedra_ or chair, which is the first see in the Christian church.
Others say from respect to his temporal sovereignty, the archbishops
of Milan are incensed with the same formality. This custom is
mentioned in the 13th century by Card. Giaconio Gaetano. Ordo
Romanus § 112. A certain love of proportion may have had its share
in the origin of this ceremony, by which the same relative height is
preserved between the Pope and the Cardinal in all cases in which
the former is incensed. Thus also the assistant Bishop, who holds
the Missal for the Pope, kneels when He is seated, and stands when
He stands. We kneel to the Pope to receive his blessing, as we do to
bishops and even priests; we also kneel from respect to his exalted
dignity, not only as sovereign, but also as head of the Catholic
church. It is well known that the British peers kneel even to the
empty throne of their sovereign. Kneeling is a very ancient token of
profound respect; it was paid to Joseph in Egypt, Gen. XLI, 43; to
Elias, 4 Kings I, 13 etc.]

[Footnote 23: "O that an angel" says St. Ambrose, "would appear to
us also, when incensing the altar, and offering sacrifice". Expl. in.
Luc. l. 1, c. 25, n. 9.]

[Footnote 24: Incense is, as we shall see in c. 2; an emblem of
prayer, and in this sense it is offered to the B. Sacrament, to Christ
represented by the crucifix, and adored on the altar. The gospel
is incensed to signify the sweet odour which it communicates to our
souls; and the ministers of God, to signify, according to St. Thomas,
that God maketh manifest _the odour_ of his knowledge by us in every
place: "For we are unto God _the good odour_ of Christ in them who are
saved, and in them who perish". 2 Cor. II, 14, 15. In fine the bread
and wine offered to God are incensed to signify the spices with which
the body of Christ was embalmed in the tomb; such at least is the
explanation given in the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom; and it is from the
oriental churches that the Latin church has taken this last practice.
Incense is a token of respect in these and other cases.]

[Footnote 25: A taper with a stand, called a _bugia_, is held at
divine service for persons in ecclesiastical dignity, as a sign of
distinction, and to throw additional light on the book from which they
read. The taper held for the Pope at the _cappelle_ has no stand,
and is enkindled from a light concealed within the desk, on which the
assistant Bishop places the missal. This is a memorial of an ancient
monastic custom mentioned by Martene Lib. 1, De rit. Eccl. p. 277,




    Part 1. _Introductory_. Mysteries and devotion of
    holy-week--Palm-Sunday, entry of Christ into Jerusalem--of
    Julius II into Rome--Sixtus V and Captain Bresca--triumphant
    return of Pius VII to Rome, contrasted with ancient Roman
    triumphs. Part 2. _Descriptive_, Palm-sunday--lights used at
    mass etc.--vestments--_ubbidienza_, blessing of the palms,
    benedictions, holy water, incense--distribution of the
    palms--order in which the prelates and others
    receive them--solemn procession with palms, _sedia
    gestatoria_--ceremonies peculiar to this procession--its
    antiquity--High mass, its peculiar ceremonies on
    palm-sunday--Passio--Cardinal great Penitentiary at S. John

    "_Hosanna to the son of David: blessed is he that cometh in
    the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest_". Matt. XXI, 9.

[Sidenote: P. I. Holy-week]

The sufferings and death of Jesus Christ are the mysteries which the
catholic church commemorates during holy week. "On these days" says
S. John Chrysostom (in Ps. CXCIV) "was the tyranny of the devil
overthrown, sin and its curse were taken away, heaven was opened
and made accessible". It was then becoming that christians should
consecrate these days of mercy, of grace and salvation to exercises
of penance, devotion, and thanksgiving. The imposing liturgy of the
Roman church is at this season more than usually solemn; and it is our
task to describe, and endeavour to trace to their origin, its varied

[Sidenote: Palm-Sunday, Christ's entry into Jerusalem.]

Palm-sunday is so called from the commemoration of our blessed
Saviour's entry into Jerusalem, when, according to St. John (XII, 13)
"a great multitude took branches of palm-trees, and went forth to meet
him, and cried: "Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the
Lord". Thus when Simon Maccabee subdued Jerusalem, he entered it "with
thanksgiving and branches of palm-trees, and harps, and cymbals, and
hymns and canticles, because the great enemy was destroyed out of
Israel". 1 Macc. XIII. The entry of our divine Redeemer therefore was
one of triumph: but it was also the entry of a king into his capital:
for "many spread their garments in the way" (Mark XI, 8), as when
Jehu was elected king, (4 Kings IX, 13), the Israelites spread their
garments under his feet. Thus also Plutarch relates of Cato of Utica,
that the soldiers regretting the expiration of his authority with many
tears and embraces spread their garments, where he passed on foot.

Pope Julius II returning to Rome after the siege of Mirandola
distributed palms to the Roman court at S. Maria del Popolo; and
then rode in triumphal procession to the Vatican passing under seven
arches adorned with representations of his extraordinary and heroic

[Sidenote: Sixtus V and Captain Bresca.]

When Sixtus V. undertook to erect in the Piazza di San Pietro the
ponderous egyptian obelisk[27], which formerly adorned Nero's circus
at the Vatican, he forbade on pain of death that any one should speak
lest the attention of the workmen should be taken off from their
arduous task. A naval officer of S. Remo, who happened to be present,
foreseeing that the ropes would take fire, cried out "_acqua alle
funi_". He was immediately arrested by the Swiss guards, as we see
him represented in the small fresco in the Vatican library, and was
conducted before the Pontiff. Sixtus shewed that his severity was
based on justice; for instead of punishing the transgressor of his
orders, he offered him the choice of his own reward. They who have
observed the great abundance of palms which grow in the neighbourhood
of S. Remo, on the coast between Nice and Genoa, will not be surprised
to hear, that the first wish of the gallant captain was to enjoy the
privilege of supplying the pontifical chapel with palms. The Pope
granted him this exclusive right and it is still enjoyed by one of
his family.

[Sidenote: Return of Pius VII to Rome.]

When the meek and benevolent Pius VII was returning to Rome from
exile and captivity, Dr. Bresca, one of the captain's descendants,
contrived, though not without great risk, to convey to Rome the
choicest palms of S. Remo and Bordighera. At the house of his friend
Viale half a mile outside the Porta del Popolo, he assembled twenty
five _orfanelli_ dressed in their white cassocks, and forty-five
_verginelle_. When the carriage of the beloved Pontiff approached,
this double choir of children appeared, bearing palms in their hands
and singing joyous canticles of benediction but I must describe this
lovely scene in the melodious language of the south. "Ciascuno di
essi (says Cancellieri) recava in mano una di queste palme di color
d'oro altissime e cadenti come tante vaghissime piume. Sei zitelle
sostenevano de'galanti panieri di freschissimi fiori pendenti dal
loro collo, con nastri bianchi e gialli, relativi allo stendardo
Pontificio. Quindi tutti si schierarono in buon ordine sulle due ale
delta strada, e mentre le ragazze versavano graziosamente a mani piene
da' loro canestrelli la verzura ed i fiori, quella selva ondeggiante
di palme, tributate al trionfo del S. Padre dal candore e dall'
innocenza, sorprese con la novità di uno spettacolo, che non potè a
meno d'intenerire, e di muovere tutti gli astanti".

If we now look back for a moment to the triumphs of the pagan
emperors, well may we bless God for the change which the religion of
Christ has wrought in this city. After they had let loose war, and
famine, and pestilence, to prey upon hapless nations, they ascended
the Capitol to offer incense with polluted hands to their profane
gods; and meantime the groans of the dying and unpitied princes, whom
they had reserved to decorate their triumph, ascended from the scala
Gemonia to call down the vengeance of heaven upon their oppressors.
But while the pacific and holy vicar of Christ returns in triumph to
his capital, the lips of babes and sucklings sing his praises, as they
did those of his Divine Master, and he implores heaven to shower down
benedictions on his enemies as well as his beloved children.

[Sidenote: P. II Papal chapel on palm-sunday.]

[Sidenote: Lights used at mass, etc.]

At about 9 o'clock on palm-sunday morning the Cardinals, Prelates
and others assemble near the chapel of the Pieta at S. Peter's, as at
present the solemn service takes place in that basilica, and not as
formerly in the Sixtine chapel. The crucifix over the altar is veiled,
in token of the mourning of the church over her divine spouse's
sufferings[28]. On the altar are six lighted candles, and other
torches are brought in after the _Sanctus_ of the Mass, and held till
after the elevation, in honour of the B. Sacrament, by four _acoliti

[Sidenote: sacred vestments]

As the pope is to bless and distribute the palms, and a solemn
procession is to take place, the Cardinals put on their sacred
vestments, viz. all of them the amice, the cardinal bishops the
surplice and the cope, the priests the chasuble, and the deacons a
chasuble shorter in front than that of the priests. The auditors of
the Rota, _Cherici di Camera, Votanti_, and _Abbreviatori_ put on a
_cotta_ or supplice. The bishops and mitred abbots wear the cope,
and the _Penitenzieri_ or confessors of St. Peter's, the chasuble.
The copes of the cardinal bishops are ornamented with a _formale_,
adorned with three large bosses or projections of pearls arranged in
a perpendicular line, while the Pope's are in a triangular order,
evidently alluding, to the blessed Trinity. As this is a day of
mourning, the sacred vestments are purple.

[Sidenote: _ubbidienza._]

Thus attired and holding their mitres the Cardinals remain standing
while the Pope is vested by the assistant Cardinal-deacons who put
on His Holiness the amice, alb, girdle, stole, red cope, _formale_ or
clasp, and mitre. All then move in procession towards the high-altar
in the order observed in the procession of the palms, as described
below:[30] the Pope descends from His _sedia gestatoria_ to adore the
Holy Sacrament with the Cardinals etc. The procession then goes to
the high-altar; and having prayed for a short time before it, the Pope
goes to the throne,[31] and there receives the _ubbidienza_ or homage
of all the cardinals present, who in turn kiss His right hand covered
with the cope. This ceremony which takes place at all solemn offices,
except on good friday, and at masses for the dead, bears some
resemblance to the old homage of feudal times[32].

[Sidenote: Blessing of the palms.]

Some palms are arranged on the altar. The Pope's chief Sacristan, who
is a bishop chosen from the Augustinian order bears one, and kneels
on the steps of the throne between the deacon and subdeacon, who bear
two larger palms. His Holiness reads the usual prayers over the palms,
sprinkles them with holy water, and incenses them three times.

[Sidenote: Distribution of the palms.]

When the palms have been blessed[33], the Cardinal Dean receives from
the governor of Rome and presents to the Pope those three palms, which
were borne by _M. Sagrista_, the deacon and subdeacon. One of these
is held during the service by the prince assistant at the throne,
the other two are delivered to the care of _M. Coppiere_, one of the
_Camerieri segreti partecipanti_: the shortest is carried by the Pope
in the procession. An embroidered apron is now placed over the Pope's
knees, and the cardinals in turn receive a palm from Him, kissing
the palm, his right hand and knee. The bishops present kiss the
palm which they receive and his right knee: and the mitred abbots
and _Penitenzieri_ kiss the palm and his foot[34], as do all who
come after them in the following order, which is observed also
on good-friday at the kissing of the cross, and it is also on
candlemas-day and ash-wednesday.

The Governor, the Prince assistant, the _Uditore della Camera_,
the Treasurer, the _Maggiordomo_, the Apostolic protonotaries; the
Generals of Religious Orders, the _Conservatori_ and Prior of the
_Caporioni_, the _Maestro del S. Ospizio_, the _Uditori di Rota_,
the _Maestro del S. Palazzo_, the _Votanti di Segnatura_, the
_Abbreviatori del Parco maggiore_, the priest, deacon, and subdeacon
who assist the cardinal who is to celebrate mass, the Masters of
ceremonies, the _Camerieri segreti_ and _d'onore_, the Consistorial
advocates, the _Cappellani segreti_, _d'onore_ and _comuni_, the
_Ajutanti di camera_, the _bussolanti_, the _Procuratori generali_
of religious orders, the _Procuratori di Collegio_, the singers,
the clerks of the papal chapel, the cardinal's _caudatarii_, the
_ostiarii_, the mace-bearers, some students of the German college, and
in fine such noblemen and gentlemen as are admitted on this occasion
to receive a palm from His Holiness, who is assisted as usual by two
Card. deacons.

During the distribution of the palms, the anthems _Pueri Hebræorum_
etc. are sung by the choir; and when it is finished, the Pope washes
His hands, and says the usual concluding prayer: the prince stationed
at the throne brings the water, and the Cardinal Dean presents the
towel to His Holiness.

[Sidenote: _Solemn procession._]

The Pope then puts incense into the thurible for the procession, and
the first Card. Deacon turning towards the people says according to
the old formula Let us proceed in peace: the choir answers, in the
name of Christ. Amen'. The procession, in which the blessed palms
are carried, moves round S. Peter's, in the following order, which
is observed also for the most part on holy thursday and good friday.
The _Procuratori di Collegio_,[35] _Procuratori generali_, the
_Bussolanti_, the _Ajutanti di Camera_, _Cappellani comuni_ and
_segreti_, the Consistorial advocates, the _Camerieri d' onore_,
and _segreti_, the singers, the _Abbreviatori, Votanti di Segnatura,
Cherici di Camera, Uditori di Rota_, the Thurifer, (_Votante di
Segnatura_), the Subdeacon (_Uditore di Rota_) who carries the cross
ornamented with a small palm, between two acolythes (_Votanti di
Segnatura_) carrying candles, the _Penitenzieri_, the mitred abbots,
bishops and the Cardinal deacons, priests and bishops all wearing
their mitres.[36] The Pope is preceded by many officers of his guards
(who go to the throne towards the end of the distribution of palms),
the _Maestro del S. Ospizio_, the _Conservatori_, Senator and Governor
of Rome. His Holiness is carried on his _Sedia gestatoria_[37] under
a canopy supported by 8 _Referendarii_ (prelates of the tribunal of
_Segnatura_) between the _flabelli_ carried by two of His _Camerieri_.
He is followed by the dean of the Rota (whose duty it is to bear His
mitre) between two _camerieri segreti_ (who as well as two Auditors of
the Rota bear His train when occasion requires), by the _Uditore della
Camera_, the Treasurer, _Maggiordomo_, Protonotaries and Generals of
religious orders.

During the procession the choir sings the anthem, _Cum appropinquaret
etc._ When the procession is in the portico, two soprano singers
reenter the basilica, and shut the door: then turning towards
the door, they sing the first verse of the hymn _Gloria, laus et
honor_[38] and the other verses alternately with the choir, which
remains without. The subdeacon knocks at the gate with the cross, and
it is immediately opened; the procession returns into the church, and
the choir sings the concluding anthems.

[Sidenote: _its antiquity._]

The solemn commemoration, which we have described, of Christ's
triumphant entry into Jerusalem, could never have taken place
during times of persecution: nor did it originate immediately after
Constantine had ensured peace to the church. Martene (De ant. Eccl.
Rit. lib. IV, c. 20) could find no mention of it before the 8th or 9th
century, when Amalarius says "In memory of this we are accustomed to
carry palm-branches, and cry Hosanna". Merati however, in his notes to
Gavant, considers that he has found traces of it in the Gregorian and
Gelasian sacramentaries, and in a Roman calendar of the beginning of
the fifth century[39] and his opinion is adopted by Benedict XIV. The
ceremonies of the church of Jerusalem on this day were a still closer
imitation of the entry of Christ into that city.

When the procession is ended, the cardinals, bishops, and mitred
abbots take off their sacred vestments and the prelates their
surplices, and they all resume their respective _cappe_; the
_Penitenzieri_ retire, and mass is celebrated by a cardinal of the
order of priests. Having already given an account not only of
low mass, but also of the additional ceremonies of high mass, as
celebrated in the papal chapel, we shall here mention those only which
are peculiar to palm-sunday.

At those words of the epistle (which is sung as usual by the
subdeacon), "in the name of Jesus let every knee bow", the whole
assembly kneels to adore their divine Redeemer, who became obedient
unto death for our salvation. The affecting account of His sufferings
and death is then sung by three priests[40] belonging to the
pontifical choir, and habited as deacons in alb and stole. The history
itself is sung by a tenor voice, the words, of our Saviour by a bass,
and those of any other single voice by a _contralto_, called the
_ancilla_, as he sings the words of the _maid_ to S. Peter: the choir
sings the words of the multitude[41]. The church, mourning over the
sufferings of her divine Spouse, does not allow the incense, lights,
or the benediction and salutation usual before the gospel; but the
palms are borne to signify the triumphs consequent on His death as
they are also from the elevation till after the communion. All stand
up as usual from respect to the holy gospel ("as servants before their
Lord" Amalarius) but kneel for a short time at the words "Jesus crying
with a loud voice yielded up the ghost", to adore that God of love who
died for mankind. The latter part of the gospel is sung in the usual
chant by the deacon, but without the customary lights[42]. At the
offertory is sung the first part of the beautiful hymn _Stabat Mater_:
the music is Palestrina's, and is justly and highly panegyrised by
Baini; it has been published by Dr. Burney. Both the _introit_ and
communion are sung without, and the offertory with, counterpoint: the
_Kyrie eleison_, Gradual and tract, in plain chant. The Benedictus
qui venit is usually very beautiful. At the end of the mass, as there
has been no sermon, the Card. celebrant announces from the altar the
Pope's usual grant to all present of an indulgence[43] or remission
of the _temporal_ punishment due for past sins, whose guilt has been
already remitted.

[Sidenote: indulgences]

When the mass is ended, the palms are carried home by those who have
received them, and are preserved with respect. Two larger than the
rest are kept until the ascension, in the sacristy called the _Letto
dei Paramenti_ because anciently the aged Pontiffs after their
fatiguing walk to the stational churches used to repose on a _letto_
or bed prepared for them in the sacristy, where they afterwards put
on the _paramenti_ or vestments. The paschal candle also, an emblem
of Christ the true light, as we shall afterwards see is removed on
the day of the ascension: this circumstance may explain the
above-mentioned custom.

[Sidenote: Cardinal penitentiary at S. John Lateran's.]

In the afternoon of palm-sunday, the Cardinal great Penitentiary
goes in state to S. John Lateran's. He is met, before he enters
their college, by the minor penitentiaries, who at this basilic are
Franciscans, _minori osservanti_. Having sprinkled those present with
holy water, he goes up to their private oratory[44] in the Lateran
palace, whither he is escorted by the prelates and other ministers of
the apostolic _Penitenzieria_. After a short prayer, he proceeds to
the library, where he holds the _Segnatura_ or tribunal for signing
documents relating to his office, and afterwards enters the basilic of
St. John Lateran's, where he is received by four canons. Here seated
at his tribunal of penance, he touches with his rod the heads of the
prelates, ministers and others who approach to him; and for this
act of humiliation they receive an indulgence, or remission of the
canonical penance, of 100 days. He also hears the confessions of
any persons who may choose to present themselves: but the solution
of difficult cases and absolution from crimes reserved to his
jurisdiction may be obtained without confessing to his Eminence on
so public an occasion[45].

The ceremonies, which we have described, are designed to honour
our divine Redeemer, whose actions and sufferings are thereby
commemorated, and at the same time to excite sentiments of devotion
in the hearts of His servants. Here ought the catholic to exercise
faith, hope, love, and contrition for his sins: and _all_, of whatever
country or creed they may be, who are admitted with hospitality and
liberality to witness the solemn and imposing service, if they do not
feel such noble sentiments, ought at least to observe that external
decorum, which the season, the place, the hierarchy, and above all the
commemoration of the sufferings of the God of charity will dictate to
every well-educated and well-principled mind. It is to be lamented,
that not only the devotion of Catholics is disturbed, but their
feelings also are occasionally insulted in their own house of worship
by the unbecoming remarks of individuals--but enough: "you have not
so learned Christ: if yet you have heard him, and have been taught in
him, as the truth is in Jesus". Ephes. IV, 20, 21. If on this day even
the inhabitants of Jerusalem received Him with triumph and jubilee,
let us His disciples and children offer to Him the best tribute in our
power of love praise and adoration.

[Footnote 26: See Cancellieri, _Solenni possessi de'Papi, p_. 539.]

[Footnote 27: According to Champollion, it was originally erected in
Heliopolis by Ramesses 7th son of the great Ramesses or Sesostris;
Pliny says by Nuncoreus son of Sesostris. Caligula transported it to
Rome, and placed it in the circus afterwards called Nero's, where it
remained standing till the time of Sixtus V.]

[Footnote 28: It was customary in Lent, says St. Audoenus, to cover
with a linen veil the tomb of Eligius to conceal the brightness of the
gold and the splendour of the gems". Vita S. Eligii l. 2. c. 40. Thus
does the church at this season put off her costly nuptial robes, and
vest herself in weeds of deepest mourning. The time for veiling the
crucifix and images has varied at different periods. The Saturday
before passion-sunday is now the first, and holy Saturday the last
day, of this observance.]

[Footnote 29: S. Isidore (A.D. 600.) observes, that acolythes are
called in Latin _Ceroferarii_ "from their carrying wax tapers when the
gospel is to be read or sacrifice is to be offered". In the eleventh
century Micrologus testifies "that Mass, according to the _Ordo
Romanus_, was never celebrated without lights, even in the day time,
as a type of the light of Christ". To this custom we shall recur in
the following chapter.]

[Footnote 30: Pietro de Marca maintains, that the crucifix borne
before the Pope was substituted in place of the _labarum_ or standard
carried before the emperors. That of Constantine had the form of a
cross, and was surmounted with XP the first letters of Christ's name,
Eus. In Vita Const. l. 4.]

[Footnote 31: I shall not speak of some ancient ceremonies of holy
week which have fallen into disuse, such as the custom of carrying the
gospel or the B. Sacrament in triumphant procession on Palm-Sunday,
and others alluded to by Cancellieri and described by Martene, De
Antiq. Eccl. Rit.]

[Footnote 32: In times of schism caused by antipopes it was a practice
of the utmost importance. Thus we read in Baronius' Annals A.D. 1160,
that when the antipope Cardinal Octavianus, who assumed the name of
Victor, had been illegitimately elected, the chapter of St. Peter's
came immediately to the feet of the said Pope Victor, and _obeyed_
"obedivit" and the clergy and people paid due reverence to him, and a
great multitude in like manner _obeyed_: "the rectors also came to his
feet, and paid _obedience_ and reverence". Then follows a long list of
the clergy of various Roman churches, all of whom it is said that they
_obeyed_. Thus,

"The Lateran prior and his canons _obeyed_. The clergy of the
patriarchal church of S. Mary Major's _obeyed_ etc."

This _obedience_ was evidently an external sign of their acknowledging
Victor as Pope in place of Alexander, the legitimate pontiff.
Anciently the Pope received the homage of the deacons in the sacristy;
they afterwards went out of the sacristy to put on their dalmatics.
Cancellieri de Secretariis T.I. In the sacristy the Pope gave the
_peace_ to the Bishops, Cardinals, Prefect, Senator, and other lay
princes according to the canon Benedict, Cencius Camerarius and
Cajetan. The ordines Romani mention the bowing of the Subdeacon at the
knees of the Pontiff, and the kissing of his hand by the priests, the
archdeacon and secundarius De secretariis T. I, p. 409.]

[Footnote 33: Many forms of benediction of persons and things taken
from ancient Pontificals and manuscript rituals may be seen in
Martene, De antiquis Ecclesiae Ritibus. The church generally uses
holy-water and incense when blessing God's creatures, which are
"sanctified by the word of God and prayer" 1 Tom. IV, 5. God had
appointed water of expiation to be used by the Jews, Numbers XIX.
Lustral water used to be sprinkled also by the Pagans; Terque senem
flamma, ter aqua, ter sulphure purget. Ov. Met. l. 7. Anastasius
says that Alexander I, who was Pope in 108 "appointed that water
for sprinkling should be blessed with salt in private houses." It
is mentioned also in the apostolic constitutions. Boldetti in his
_Cemeterii de' martiri_ notices the short columns supporting small
vases, in corners of the chapels in the catacombs; and Bottari has
published and illustrated in his _Roma sotterranea_ an interesting
fresco discovered in the catacombs of S. Agnese, and representing five
figures carrying vessels closely resembling those still used for holy
water; four of those figures carry branches supposed to be of the
palm-tree: the fifth holds an aspergillum with which holy water is
still sprinkled. A copy of this fresco may be seen also in Rock's
Hierurgia, p. 668. Incense is a symbol of prayers. "Let my prayer, O
Lord" we say with the Psalmist "be directed as incense in thy sight".
God had appointed it to be used in the Jewish worship, and St. John
says, that an "angel came and stood before the altar, having a golden
censer, and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer
of the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar, which is
before the throne of God: and the smoke of the incense of the prayers
of the saints ascended up before God, from the hand of the angel".
Apoc. VIII, 3, 5. Of the apostolic antiquity of its use the Protestant
bishop Beveridge adduces proofs in his Vindication of the apostolical
canons. The ancient liturgies of the east and west agree in
prescribing the use of incense, and in particular at the beginning
of mass, at the offertory etc. See Renaudot, Assemani, Le Brun etc.
Constantine, according to Anastasius in his life of S. Silvester, gave
two golden thuribles to the Lateran basilis, and a third adorned with
jewels to the Baptistery. See Card. Bona, Rerum Liturgicarum lib. I,
c. XXV, § 9.]

[Footnote 34: Of the antiquity of the custom of kissing the Pope's
foot we have proofs in Anastasius the librarian in the lives of Popes
Constantine and Leo IV. When Valentine was elected Pope in 827, his
feet were kissed by the Roman senate and people at S. John Lateran's.
Numerous instances also are on record of sovereigns who have kissed
the feet of the Popes, and Pouyard has written a dissertation to shew,
that this custom was anterior to that of marking the papal shoes or
sandals with a cross. This token of profound respect was given also to
the emperors of the east at Byzantium.]

[Footnote 35: These are distinguished lawyers habited in black
_cappe_. For an account of the various offices above-mentioned and of
their origin see The Papal Chapel, Described etc. by C.M. Baggs. Rome.

[Footnote 36: That crosses, candles and incense were anciently used in
processions appears from S. Gregory of Tours, de Vit. Patrum, c. 13.]

[Footnote 37: The kings and chief magistrates of ancient Rome were
entitled to a _sella curulis_, or chair of state, which used to be
placed in their chariots. Gell. III; 18. They were seated on it also
at their tribunal on solemn occasions. Virgil makes old king Latinus

Et _sellam regni_ trabeamque _insignia nostri_. Æn. XI. 334. The
Romans had borrowed it from the Etruscans according to Dionysius of
Halicarnassus. (Clement of Alexandria observes, That many of the rites
of Etruria were imported from Asia; and Diodorus (lib. 5.) represents
these insignia as derived from Lydia. See Phoebens. De Identitate
Cathedræ S. Petri p. XX. seq.) It was richly adorned, _conspicuum
signis_, according to Ovid, Pont. IV. 5, 18. In the Pope's carriage
even now there is a chair of state, and to Him alone is reserved the
honour of a _sedia gestatoria_. Pope Stephen II in 751 was carried to
the basilica of Constantine on the shoulders of the Romans exulting
at his election: and from this fact some derive the custom of carrying
the Pope in His chair on solemn occasions.]

[Footnote 38: This hymn is attributed to the abbot Theodulph
afterwards bishop of Orleans, who lived in the 9th century. If it
were true, that he sang it as the emperor Louis le debonnaire was
passing by the prison, in which he was confined, and that he was in
consequence liberated, we should have a historical reason for the
shutting and opening of the door, and for the hymn's being sung partly
inside the church. This account has however been called in question
by Menard, Macri, Martene and others; and hence Pouget, and after him
Benedict XIV and others are contented with a mystic reason for such
ceremonies, viz, that heaven was closed to man in consequence of sin,
and was opened to him by the cross of Christ.]

[Footnote 39: In these it is called Dominica ad Palmas, Dominica
in Palmis, and in the Gregorian Sacramentary mention is made, in
the prayer which precedes communion, of the faithful carrying

[Footnote 40: Anciently a cardinal deacon used to read it, and to sing
only the words "Eli, Eli, lamma sabachthani".]

[Footnote 41: The author of this exquisite chant is unknown: Baini
supposes that he was a member of the pontifical choir: it has been
sung in the papal chapel since the middle of the 13th century. In 1585
it, together with the rest of the service of holy week, was published
by Tommaso da Vittoria with the words of the people harmonised for 4
and 5 voices; his method was adopted by the papal choir, which adorns
it with many traditional graces, and in particular gives occasionally,
says Baini, to the words of the multitude "the irresistible force of
a most robust harmony". The abbate Alfieri has published a new edition
of the _Passios_.]

[Footnote 42: In Africa till the time of S. Augustine, the Passion
used to be read in holy week from the gospel of S. Matthew alone; but
by his direction, as he mentions in his 232nd discourse, it was read
every year from all the four evangelists; and this custom is still

[Footnote 43: That God, after He has pardoned sin and consequently
remitted its eternal punishment, often, if not generally, demands
temporal satisfaction from the sinner, is evident from many instances
in scripture, such as those of David (2 Sam. XII) of Moses (Deuteron.
XXXII compare Num. XIV) to say nothing of Adam (Gen. III) and all his
posterity, who endure the temporal punishment of original sin, even
when its stain has been washed away by baptism. Now the church by
virtue of the ample authority with which Christ has invested her
(Matt. XVIII, John XX) and in particular her chief pastor (Matt. XVI)
has from the beginning exercised the power of remitting the temporal
punishment of actual sins. Thus S. Paul pardoned the incestuous
Corinthian (2. Cor. II): in times of persecution the bishops at the
request of the martyrs remitted the penance imposed on those who had
fallen into idolatry (Tersul. lib. ad martyres, Euseb. Hist. Eccl.
lib. V, c. 4. S. Cyprian. Epist. XIII etc.), to say nothing of canons
of the 4th century which prescribe that indulgences should be granted
to _fervent_ penitents, of the crusades, and of the indulgences
granted to those who contributed money for the building of S. Peter's,
etc. Indulgences presuppose repentance and confession, and the
performance of those good works which are prescribed as conditions
necessary for their acquisition, as communion, prayers, alms etc.]

[Footnote 44: It was built by Calixtus II, and was for two centuries
and a half the Vestry of the Roman Pontiffs. It was repaired and
consecrated in 1747. See Cancellieri. De Secretariis T. I, p. 342.]

[Footnote 45: In the third century, in the time of Pope Cornelius
there were priests appointed to absolve those who had fallen into
idolatry; and they were called _Presbyteri Pænitentium_. S. Marcellus
also, according to Anastasius, after the persecution raised by
Diocletian, appointed in Rome titular churches, in which penance as
well as baptism were administered by priests, the former sacrament is
conferred by the minor penitentiaries. Pope Simplicius in fine, as
we learn from the same author, destined fixed weeks at S. Peter's,
S. Paul's, and S. Laurence's, to _receive penitents_ and administer
baptism. From the usual custom of Rome in such matters, Zaccaria
argues that during the first five or six centuries, according to the
general custom proved by Thomassin, the great penitentiary was the
_bishop himself of the city_ in which they resided. It is however
certain, that in the 4th century from the numerous priests of
Constantinople one was selected called a penitentiary, who took
cognisance of crimes, to which public penance was annexed by the
canons. At Rome also there was a cardinal penitentiary long before
the fourth council of Lateran, which in 1215 prescribed that bishops
should appoint penitentiaries, for Berthod priest of Constance relates
in his chronicle, that in the year 1084 he was promoted to the dignity
of cardinal-priest and penitentiary of the Roman church.]




    PART 1. _Introductory_. Breviary--Divine office, its
    origin--performed by the early Christians--ancient and modern
    editions of the breviary. PART 2. _Descriptive_. Office of
    Tenebræ--Matins and Lauds--extinction of the lights--meaning
    of this ceremony--chant, lamentations--conclusions of the
    office--_Miserere_, its music--Card. Penitentiary at S. Mary
    Major's. _Trinità dei Pellegrini_.

    "_I will bless the Lord at all times_: _his praise shall
    always be in my mouth_". Ps. XXXIII, 2.

    "_He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the
    death of the cross_". Phil. II, 8.

[Sidenote: P. I. Breviary.]

We shall not hesitate to borrow the following account of the church
office contained in the Roman Breviary from a Protestant divine
(Tracts of the Times no. 75). "The word _Breviarum_ first occurs
in the work of an author of the eleventh century (Micrologus) and
it is used to denote a compendium or systematic arrangement of the
devotional offices of the church. Till that time they were contained
in several independent volumes, according to the nature of each. Such,
for instance, were the _Psalteria_, _Homilaria_, _Hymnaria_, and the
like, to be used in the service in due course. But at his memorable
era, and under the auspices of the Pontiff who makes it memorable,
Gregory VII, an Order was drawn up, for the use of the Roman church,
containing in one all these different collections, introducing the
separate members of each in its proper place, and harmonising them
together by the use of rubrics.

[Sidenote: Divine office, its origin.]

"Gregory VII did but restore and harmonise these offices; which seem
to have existed more or less the same in constituent parts, though not
in order and system, from Apostolic times. In their present shape they
are appointed for seven distinct seasons in the twenty four hours,
and consist of prayers, praises and thanksgivings of various forms;
and, as regards both contents and hours, are the continuation of a
system of worship observed by the Apostles and their converts. As to
_contents_, the Breviary service consists of the Psalms; of Hymns
and Canticles; of Lessons and Texts from inspired and Ecclesiastical
authors; of Antiphons, Verses and Responses, and Sentences; and of
Collects. And analogous to this seems to have been the usage of the
Corinthian Christians, whom St. Paul blames for refusing to agree in
some common order of worship, when they came together, _every one
of them_ having a Psalm, or a doctrine, a tongue, a revelation, an
interpretation (1 Cor. XIV, 26). On the other hand, the catholic
_seasons_ of devotion are certainly derived from apostolic usage. The
Jewish observance of the third, sixth and ninth hours for prayer,
was continued by the inspired founders of the Christian church. What
Daniel had practised, even when the decree was signed forbidding it,
"_kneeling on his knees three times a day, and praying and giving
thanks unto his God_", S. Peter and the other Apostles were solicitous
in preserving. It was when "_they were all with one accord in one
place_", at "the _third_ hour of the day", that the Holy Ghost
came down upon them at Pentecost. It was at the _sixth_ hour, that
St. Peter "went up upon the house-top to pray" and saw the vision
revealing to him the admission of the gentiles into church. And it
was at the _ninth_ hour that "Peter and John went up together into the
temple", being "the hour of prayer". But though these were the more
remarkable seasons of devotion, there certainly were others besides
them in the first age of the church. After our Saviour's departure,
the Apostles, we are informed, "all _continued_ with one accord in
prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus,
and with His brethren": and with this accords the repealed exhortation
to pray together without ceasing, which occurs in St. Paul's epistles.
It will be observed that he insists in one passage on prayer to the
abridgment of sleep (Eph. VI, 18); and one recorded passage of his
life exemplifies his precept: "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed,
and sang praises unto God, and the prisoners heard them".

In subsequent times the Hours of prayer were gradually developed from
the three, or (with midnight) the four seasons above enumerated, to
seven, viz. by the addition of Prime (the first hour), Vespers (the
evening), and Compline (bedtime); according to the words of the
Psalm, "Seven times a day do I praise Thee, because of Thy righteous
judgment. Other pious and instructive reasons existed, or have since
been perceived for this number".[46] Thus far our Protestant author,
with whose remarks we are too well pleased to go out of our way to
dispute with him the truth of some other portions of his tract, which
are objectionable.

[Sidenote: Performed by the early Christians.]

That the early Christians continued after the time of the apostles to
observe the hours of prayer above enumerated is proved by Martene (De
Ant. Eccl. Rit. T. 3) who has collected many decisive passages from
the Greek and Latin Fathers. We shall content ourselves with one taken
from a work on prayer by S. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage in the third
century. Having mentioned Daniel's practice of praying three times
a day, he observes, that it is manifest that there was something
mysterious or symbolical in the ancient practice. "For the holy Ghost
descended on the disciples at the third hour; at the sixth hour Peter
going to the house-top was instructed by God to admit all to the
grace of salvation; and the Lord, who was crucified at the sixth
hour, washed away our sins with his blood at the ninth hour, and
completed the victory by his passion. For us however, besides the
hours anciently observed, the times and also the symbols of prayer
have increased. For we must pray in the morning, to celebrate the
resurrection of the Lord; also when the sun recedes and the day
ceases; for Christ is the true sun and the true day, and when we pray
that the light of Christ may again come upon us, we pray that his
coming may impart to us the grace of eternal light: and let us who
are always in Christ, that is, in the light, not cease from prayer at
night". See also Dr. Cave's Primitive Christianity Part. 1, c. 9.

[Sidenote: Editions of the breviary.]

"The old Roman breviary" says the author of Tract 75 above quoted
"had long before Gregory VII's time been received in various parts of
Europe; and in England since the time of Gregory the great who after
the pattern of Leo and Gelasius before him had been a reformer of it".
The people used anciently to join with the clergy in offering this,
constant tribute of praise to God; but the duty of daily reciting it
is obligatory only upon the Catholic clergy, and religious orders.
S. Benedict shortened it considerably, (as Grancolas observes, Com.
Hist. in Brev. Rom.) New editions and emendations of it were published
successively by the authority of St. Gregory VII, Nicholas III,
and Clement VII, and finally the Roman Breviary at present used was
restored by order of the Council of Trent, published by Pope Pius V,
and revised by Clement VIII, and Urban VIII. It follows closely, as
Merati observes, that first adopted by the regular-clerks in the 16th
century, and resembles the edition published by Haymo, general of the
Franciscans, and authorised by Nicholas III (A.D. 1278). Hence it
is called by the author of Tract 75 the _Franciscan_ Breviary. It is
however founded upon the old Roman Breviary, which the Franciscans
by the direction of their holy founder had adopted: for according
to Rodolfo, dean of Tongres Cap. XXII, when the Popes dwelt at the
Lateran, the _office of the Papal chapel_ was much shorter than that
of the other churches of Rome; it was composed by Innocent III, and
was adopted by the Franciscans instituted at his time. Nicolas III
ordered that all the Roman churches should use the Franciscan Breviary
as reformed by Haymo, in 1241. "Our own daily service", says the
above-mentioned minister of the church of England is confessedly
formed upon the Breviary".

[Sidenote: P. II. Office of Tenebræ.]

Having premised thus much on the office in general, we may now return
to holy-week. Besides palm-sunday, three other days in the week
are particularly devoted to the commemoration of the history of our
redemption; holy-thursday, because on it our Lord instituted the
blessed Eucharist, and his passion began; good-friday, on which He
was crucified and died; and holy saturday, on which His sacred body
remained in the tomb. The church commences her solemn service of each
of these days with that part of the divine office called matins and
lauds, and at this time Tenebrae from the _darkness_ with which it
concludes. It used of old to be celebrated at night, as it still is
by some religious communities[47]; but it now takes place on the
afternoon preceding each of those three days. Nor is this unusual:
for "the ecclesiastical day is considered to begin with the evening
or Vesper service, according to the Jewish reckoning, as alluded to in
the text. "In the evening and morning and at noon day will I pray, and
that instantly". (Tracts of the Times, No. 75).

[Sidenote: Matins and Lauds.]

The office of Matin so called from Matuta or Aurora consists at
Tenebræ of three _nocturns_. Each of these is composed of three
appropriate psalms with their anthems, followed by three lessons taken
from scripture or the fathers. Immediately after matins, Lauds or
the praises of God are sung: they consist of five psalms besides the
_Benedictus_ or canticle of Zachary, to which succeeds the _Miserere_
or 50th psalm. Some of the short prayers usually said are omitted: for
the church during this season of mourning strips her liturgy as well
as her altars of their usual ornaments[48].

[Sidenote: Extinction of the lights.]

A triangular candlestick, upon which are placed fifteen candles,
corresponding to the number of psalms recited before the _Miserere_,
is peculiar to this solemn office, and is placed at the epistle-side
of the altar. After each psalm one of the candles is extinguished by
a Master of ceremonies, and after the _Benedictus_ the candle placed
on the top of the triangular candlestick is not extinguished, but is
concealed behind the altar and brought out at the end of the service;
while that canticle is sung, the six candles on the altar also are
extinguished, as well as those above the _cancellata_ or rails[49].

[Sidenote: Meaning of this ceremony.]

Lamps and candelabra were presented to the sanctuary by the faithful
during the first ages of persecution; and in more tranquil times to
the basilicas by Constantine and others who erected or dedicated them.
They were lighted, as S. Jerome observes, in the day time "not to
drive away darkness, but as a sign of joy": and therefore the custom
of gradually extinguishing them at the office of Tenebrae we may
justly consider with Amalarius as a sign of mourning, or of the
sympathy of the church with her divine and suffering Spouse. The
precise number of lights is determined by that of the psalms, which
is the same as at ordinary matins of three nocturns.

The custom of concealing behind the altar during the last part of the
office the last and most elevated candle, and of bringing it forward
burning at the end of the service, is a manifest allusion to the death
and resurrection of Christ, whose light, as Micrologus observes, is
represented by our burning tapers. "I am the light of the world". John
VIII. 12[50]. In the same manner the other candles extinguished one
after another may represent the prophets successively put to death
before their divine Lord: and if we consider that the psalms of the
_old Testament_ are recited at the time, this explanation may appear
more satisfactory than others, which would refer them to the blessed
Virgin, the apostles and disciples of Christ[51]. In the triangular
form of the candlestick is contained an evident allusion to the
B. Trinity. This candlestick is mentioned in a MS. Ordo of the 7th
century published by Mabillon.

[Sidenote: Chant, lamentations.]

The anthems and psalms, with the exception of the _Miserere_ which is
the last psalm at Lauds, most of the lessons and other parts of the
office, are sung in plain chant. From the middle of the 15th century
the three lamentations or first three lessons of each day used to be
sung in _canto figurato_ in the papal chapel: but by order of Sixtus
V, only the first lamentation of each day is thus sung, and even it
is much shortened, as Clement XII directed: the two others are sung
in _canto piano_ according to Guidetti's method. The first lamentation
both of the first and second day is by the celebrated Pierluigi da
Palestrina: that of the third day by Allegri. Baini observes, that
the first lamentation of the second day is considered the finest:
Palestrina composed it for four voices, besides a bass, which entering
at the pathetic apostrophe 'Jerusalem, Jerusalem, be converted to the
Lord' "every year makes all the hearers and singers, who have a soul,
change colour". Bayni, Mem. Stor. T. 1. The lamentations of Jeremiah
have the form of an acrostic, that is, the verses begin with the
letters of the Hebrew alphabet in regular order, the first with
Aleph, the second with Beth, and so in succession. It was difficult
to observe a similar order in the Latin Vulgate: but to preserve
some vestige of it, the name of the Hebrew letter, with which each
verse begins in the original, is sung before the same verse in the

[Sidenote: Conclusion of the office.]

When the _Benedictus_ or canticle of Zachary and its anthem are
finished, the choir sings the verse "Christ was made for us obedient
even unto death": on the second night they add "even unto the death of
the cross": and on the third, "for which reason God hath exalted him,
and hath given him a name, which is above all names". The heart of the
christian is melted to devotion by these words, sung on so solemn an
occasion: he kneels before his crucified Redeemer, and recites that
prayer of love, that prayer of a child to his Father which He that
man of sorrows dictated to His beloved disciples; and then remembering
those sins, by which he offended that dear and agonising parent, and
touched with sorrow and repentance, yet more and more excited by the
music, I might almost call it celestial, his heart calls loudly for
that mercy to obtain which Jesus died. He joins with God's minister
in fervently repeating the prayer imploring God's blessing on those
for whom Christ suffered and died: the noise which follows it recals
to his mind the confusion of nature at the death of her creator; the
lighted candle once more appearing reminds him that His death was only
temporary: and he departs in silence impressed with pious sentiments,
and inflamed with devout affections.

[Sidenote: Miserere, its music.]

They who have assisted at the office of Tenebræ will not be surprised
at the saying of a philosopher, that for the advantage of his soul he
would wish, that when he was about to render it up to God, he might
hear sung the _Miserere_ of the Pope's chapel. In no other place has
this celebrated music succeeded. Baini the director of the Pontifical
choir, in a note to his life of Palestrina, observes that Paride de
Grassi, Master of ceremonies to Leo X, mentions that on holy wednesday
(A.D. 1519), the singers chanted the _Miserere_ in a _new_ and
_unaccustomed_ manner, alternately singing the verses in symphony.
This seems to be the origin of the far-famed _Miserere_. Various
authors, whom Baini enumerates, afterwards composed _Miserere_[52];
but the celebrated composition of Gregorio Allegri a Roman, who
entered the Papal college of singers in 1629, was the most successful,
and was for some time sung on all the three days of Tenebræ. Then one
composed by Alessandro Scarlatti, or that of Felice Anerio, used to
be sung on holy thursday: but these were eclipsed by the _Miserere_,
composed in 1214 by Tommase Bai a Bolognese, director of the choir of
S. Peter's. From that time only Allegri's and Bai's were sung in the
Pope's chapel; till Pius VII directed the celebrated Baini to compose
a new _Miserere_, which has received well-merited applause. Since the
year 1821 all three, viz. Baini's, Bai's, and Allegri's _Misereres_
are sung on the three successive days, and generally in the order in
which we have mentioned them: the two latter are sometimes blended
together. The first verse is sung in harmony, the second in plain
chant, and so successively till the last verse, which alone is sung in
harmony by both the choirs, into which the singers are divided; only
one choir sings the other verses[53].

[Sidenote: Cardinal penitentiary]

[Sidenote: Trinità dei Pellegrini]

On Wednesday-afternoon, the Cardinal great Penitentiary goes in state
to S. Mary Major's, where the minor Penitentiaries are Dominicans.
For an account of this custom see the preceding chapter. On Wednesday,
Thursday and Friday evenings, Christians may be edified at the Trinità
dei Pellegrini[54] by the sight of Cardinals, princes, prelates and
others, washing in good earnest, and afterwards kissing the feet of
poor pilgrims, while they recite with them the Our Father, Hail Mary,
Glory be to the Father, and other beautiful prayers, such as;

  _Gesù, Giuseppe, Maria,_
  _Vi dono il cuore e l' anima mia._
  _Gesù, Giuseppe, Maria,_
  _Assisteleci nell' ultima agonia, etc._

They afterwards wait on them at table, and accompany them to
their beds, reciting other devout prayers. In another part of that
establishment, princesses and other ladies practise the same offices
of charity towards the female pilgrims. Here might we fancy that the
primitive christians were before us, those men of charity, simplicity,
and lowliness: and when in the same place, a few years ago, that
devout Pontiff Leo XII on his knees washed and kissed the feet of
pilgrims, who had journeyed from afar; who that saw him did not call
to mind with tears the lowliness and charity of his predecessor Peter,
and of a greater than Peter, who "washed the feet of his disciples,
and who wiped them with the towel wherewith he was girded".

Marius mourned over the ruins of Carthage; but his was the sorrow
of disappointed, selfish ambition. Jeremiah lamented the fall and
desolation of Jerusalem: and his plaintive accents were inspired by
genuine patriotism and religion. Observe his venerable figure in the
Sixtine chapel; there he sits pensive and disconsolate, with his legs
crossed, his wearied head resting upon his hand, and his eyes rivetted
on the ground, as if nothing could engage his attention but the woes
of the daughter of Sion[55]. Then listen to the lamentations of this
inspired and afflicted prophet: they are full of deepest pathos,
and uttered in notes sweet as the warblings of philomel. Turn now, O
Christian soul, to a more sublime and mournful spectacle. Jesus in
the garden of Gethsemani and on mount Calvary mourned not for a single
city or nation: he sorrowed over the ruins of a world, not as of
old Noah may have done, when secure from danger he looked down upon
the waters which overspread the earth; but "He was wounded for our
iniquities, and he was bruised for our sins: and the Lord hath laid on
him the iniquities of us all", He suffered and died for us. The moral
ruins of the world, our sins and their awful consequences, caused all
the pangs and sorrows of Jesus. Come then let us cast ourselves at the
foot of that cross, and cry aloud for mercy with a contrite and humble
heart, which He will never despise. To _Thee_ alone, shall we say,
have we sinned, and have done evil before thee; yet have mercy on
us, O God, according to thy great mercy. And thou, O blessed Virgin
and Mother, who standest in silent anguish beneath the cross of thy
agonising Son[56], would that we could feel love and sorrow like unto

  _Eja mater fons amoris_
  _Me sentire vim doloris_
  _Fac, ut tecum lugeam._
  _Fac, ut ardeat cor meum_
  _In amando Christum Deum,_
  _Ut sibi complaceam. Amen._

[Footnote 46: See also Palmer's Origines Liturgicæ, Vol. 1 Antiq. of
the English ritual c. 1, p. 1. Both writers do not hesitate to admit
that the breviary is the great source of the Church of England's
Morning and Evening prayer.]

[Footnote 47: Our divine Lord sometimes passed the night in prayer;
and the early Christians, as Pliny informs his master Trajan, used to
assemble before the light to sing a hymn to Christ. Lucian as well as
Ammianus Marcellinus complained of their spending the night in singing
hymns. S. Jerome in fine writes to Eustoch. (Ep. 22) that besides the
daily hours of prayers we should rise _twice and thrice at night_.]

[Footnote 48: In the mass and office for the dead several prayers and
ceremonies otherwise prescribed are omitted: so on this occasion, says
Benedict XIV, "the church forgetting all things else thinks only of
bewailing the sins of mankind, and condoling with Christ our Redeemer
in His sufferings". As for the antiquity of this service, Martene
remarks (lib. IV, c. 22) that the order of the _nocturnal_ and diurnal
offices of holy-thursday is found, such as we now observe it, in the
ancient Antiphonarium of the Roman church, and in that of S. Gregory
published by B. Tommasi, so that there has been scarcely any variation
during the last thirteen hundred years.]

[Footnote 49: When the Pope officiates, the eight candles over the
_cancellata_ are lighted: six are lighted for a Cardinal, and four
for a Bishop. Amalarius priest of Metz in the ninth century (De ordine
antiphonarii), mentions the extinction of the lights in the office
of these three days. It would seem however, that it was not then
customary at Rome, for Theodore, archdeacon of the Roman church,
in answer to his enquiries had said to him "I am usually with the
Apostolic Lord at the Lateran, when the office of Coena Domini (Holy
Thursday) is celebrated, and it is not customary to extinguish the
lights. On Good Friday there is no light of lamps or tapers in the
church in Jerusalem (Santa Croce) as long as the Apostolic Lord offers
up solemn prayers there, or when the cross is saluted". This latter
custom is still continued.]

[Footnote 50: In confirmation of this explanation we may observe, that
the candle is placed behind the altar after the _Benedictus_ during
the anthem alluding to Christ's passion, and remains there while the
verse 'Christ became obedient unto death' the psalm _Miserere_, and
the prayer which mentions the crucifixion, are sung.]

[Footnote 51: See such opinions ap. Benedict. XIV, De festis Lib.
1, c. 5. The system of Du Vert, who would reject all mystical and
symbolical significations attributed to the church-ceremonies, has
been satisfactorily confuted by Langlet, Le Brun, Tournely and other

[Footnote 52: Tartini's and Pisari's lasted only one year each.]

[Footnote 53: Persons, who go immediately after the service in the
Sixtine chapel to S. Peter's, are generally in time for part if not
the whole of the _Miserere_ sung in that Basilic. The compositions of
Fioravanti the late, Basili the present, master, and Zingarelli, are
sung there.]

[Footnote 54: See Reminiscences of Rome. Letter 4th. London, 1838 On
pilgrimages and pilgrims see Mores Catholici Book 4th, ch. 5th. S.
Philip Neri founded the Confraternity of Trinità dei Pellegrini.]

  [Footnote 55:      ... lia fatto alla guancia
  Della sua palma sospirando letto. Dante Pur. VII.

Sed frons læta parum et dejecto lumina vultu. Virg. Æu. VI, 863.
See the learned canon. De Jorio's Munica degli antichi, art. Dolore,
Mestizia. We may add that conquered provinces are often represented in
a similar attitude as statues, on bas-reliefs, and on medals. See for
instance, Judæa Capta, a reverse of Vespasian, ap. Addison, Dialogues
on ancient medals.]

[Footnote 56: "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother". John
XIX, 25.]




    General character of the liturgy of holy thursday--its ancient
    form--blessing of the oils at S. Peter's, communion under
    one kind--origin and explanation of the blessing and
    salutation of the oils--High mass in the Sixtine chapel,
    _troccole_--procession of the B. Sacrament to the Pauline
    chapel--antiquity of processions--reservation of the B.
    Sacrament--Papal benediction from S. Peter's, _flabelli_--bull
    in Coena Domini--washing of the feet--dinner of the
    _apostles_--antiquity and meaning of this custom of
    washing feet--customs of other churches: Leonardo da Vinci,
    Michelangelo, Dante--Cardinals' public dinner etc.--Tenebræ:
    Card. Penitentiary--recapitulation of the principal ceremonies
    of the day--S. Peter's on holy thursday-evening: washing of
    the high-altar--antiquity and meaning of the stripping and
    washing of the altars--conclusion.

    "_Before the festival day of the pasch, Jesus knowing that
    his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to
    the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he
    loved them to the end_". John XIII, 1.

[Sidenote: Liturgy of holy-thursday]

During the last three days of holy-week the church celebrates the
funeral obsequies of her Divine Spouse: and hence there are numerous
signs of mourning in her temples, in her liturgy, and in the dress of
her ministers. On thursday however, a passing gleam of heavenly light
irradiates the solemn gloom in which she is enveloped: for on this day
Jesus Christ, having loved his own even unto the end, instituted the
holy sacrament, the staff of our pilgrimage, our solace in affliction,
our strength in temptation, the source of all virtue, and the pledge
of everlasting life. Accordingly the liturgy of holy-thursday bears
the impress both of sorrow and of gladness: it is not unlike a fitful
day of April in our northern climes, when the sun now bursts from the
clouds which had concealed his brilliancy, and now once more the sky
is shrouded in murky gloom--an apt emblem this of the over-changing
state of man, who at one moment quaffs the inebriating cup of earthly
joys, and yet a little, and it is dashed from his grasp; and sickness,
sorrow and death are his portion.

[Sidenote: its ancient form.]

Anciently three masses used to be celebrated at Rome[57] on this day,
as is evident from the sacramentary of pope Gelasius; and at all the
three the Pope himself officiated. At the first the public penitents
were absolved:[58] at the second the oils were blessed; the last (ad
vespertinum officium) was intended to commemorate the institution
of the blessed Sacrament. Public penance gradually declined in the
western church after the seventh century; and the three masses are now
reduced to one. That of the Sixtine chapel, at which the Pope assists,
differs very little from ordinary Masses celebrated there, and the
concourse of persons is generally very great.

[Sidenote: Blessing of the oils at S. Peter's]

[Sidenote: Communion under one kind.]

The oils are blessed in S. Peter's during mass, by the Card.
archpriest, or a Bishop in his stead. They are three, viz. 1 the oil
of catechumens, used in blessing baptism, in consecrating churches and
altars, in ordaining priests, and in blessing and crowning sovereigns:
2 the oil of the sick used in administering extreme unction and in
blessing bells: 3 sacred chrism, composed of oil, and balm of Gilead
or of the west Indies[59]: it is used in conferring baptism and
confirmation, in the consecration of bishops, of patens and chalices,
and in the blessing of bells. The Roman Pontifical prescribes, that
besides the bishop and the usual ministers, there should be present
twelve priests, seven deacons, and seven subdeacons, all habited in
white vestments. After the elevation at those words of the canon, _Per
quem hæc omnia etc._ a little before the _Pater noster_, the Bishop
sits down before a table facing the altar, and exorcises and blesses
the oil for the sick, which is brought in by a subdeacon. He then
proceeds with the mass, and gives communion to the ministers and the
rest of the under the form of bread alone[60]. Having received the
ablutions, he returns to the table above mentioned, and awaits the
coming of the procession of the priests, deacons, subdeacons etc. In
it, the balsam is carried by a subdeacon, etc. the oil for the chrism
and that for the catechumens by two deacons: and meantime the choir
sings appropriate verses. The bishop blesses the balsam, and mixes
it with some oil; he then breathes three times in the form of a cross
over the vessel of chrism, as do the twelve priests also. Next follows
the blessing, and then the salutation, of the chrism: the latter
is made 3 times by the bishop and each of the twelve priests in
succession, saying, Hail holy chrism, after which they kiss the vessel
which contains it. The oil of catechumens is blessed and saluted
in like manner: and the procession returns to the sacristy; in the
mean time the bishop concludes the mass; and thus this solemn rite

[Sidenote: Origin of the blessing of the oils.]

The oil of the sick is mentioned in the well-known passage of St.
James V, 14 "Is any man sick among you; let him bring in the priests
of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in
the name of the Lord etc." At the beginning of the fifth century also,
Pope Innocent I observes that it is the office of the bishop to make
or prepare (_conficere_) this "holy of chrism" or unction: and in the
Sacramentary of Pope Gregory the great the rite; by which this oil was
blessed and administered to the sick, is described. Chrism and the
oil of catechumens also are mentioned by many ancient Fathers. (See
Turnely T. 7 de Sacram. Bapt. et Confirm, etc.)[61] St. Basil in the
4th century attributes the origin of the custom of blessing the oils
to tradition. "We bless the water of baptism and the _oil of unction_,
as well as the person who receives baptism. By what scriptures? Is
it not from silent and secret tradition?" (De Spir. S. c. 27). It is
mentioned also in the second and third councils of Carthage, by S.
Cyprian, who says "The eucharist, and the oil, with which the baptised
are anointed, are sanctified at the altar". Ep. 70.

It would appear however from the 20th canon of the first council of
Toledo that anciently chrism could be blessed _at any time_; and hence
Benedict XIV is of opinion, that the custom of blessing it only on
holy Thursday began about the seventh century; for it is mentioned in
the Sacramentary of S. Gregory, in the old Ordo Romanus, and in other
works written after that period. This day has been with reason chosen
for this ceremony, as St. Thomas observes, in order that the chrism
may be prepared for the solemn baptism administered on Easter Eve;
and because on it the Eucharistic sacrament, for which the other
sacraments are as it were preparatory, was instituted. S. Isidore
however assigns a different reason, viz. that two days before the
pasch Mary _anointed_ the head and feet of the Lord". De Divi Off.
lib. 2, c. 28.

[Sidenote: Meaning of the ceremonies already described.]

Pouget (Institut. Cath. t. 2, c. 8) proves that the blessing of the
oils originates in apostolic tradition, as St. Basil cited above
observes. He proves also that since the fifth and sixth centuries the
bishop and priests used to breathe three times over the chrism and
oil of catechumens, and to salute them with the words "Ave sanctum
chrisma: ave sanctum oleum". Our Saviour breathed on His apostles,
when He said 'Receive ye the holy Ghost': and hence his ministers
breathe over the chrism, by which the Holy Ghost is conferred in
confirmation, and over the oil of catechumens, which is used in other
sacred rites. Respect is paid to them, because they are employed in
God's service, and hence it is a relative respect directed to Him.
An ardent soul will never hesitate to address inanimate objects; in
fact some of the finest passages of ancient and modern oratory are
apostrophes of this nature[62]. S. Andrew is said to have saluted the
cross, on which he suffered, S. Paula the birth-place of our divine
Lord; and theirs were words of love of God, and not of idolatry.

[Sidenote: High mass in the Sixtine chapel.]

In the Sixtine chapel the crucifix and tapestry over the altar are
covered with a white and not a purple veil; the throne also is white,
and the Pope is vested in a white cope. On the rich facing of the
altar is represented Christ dead, His descent into limbo, and His
resurrection. The cardinal dean generally celebrates the high mass,
after the _Gloria in excelsis_ of which no bells are allowed to be
tolled in Rome (except at the papal benediction) but in their stead
are used _troccole_ or boards struck with iron: this practice is
observed until the _Gloria in excelsis_ is sung in the papal chapel
on the following saturday-morning[63].

After the offertory of the mass Palestrina's motet _Fratres ego enim_
is sung; of which Baini says that he "does not hesitate to affirm that
it resembles as closely as possible the music of heaven". Two hosts
are consecrated, one of which is received by the celebrant, and the
other destined for the following day is put into a chalice, which the
deacon covers with a paten and _palla_ or linen cloth, as the dead
body of Christ was wrapped in "fine linen"[64]. Mark XV, 46. At
the beginning of the canon twelve lighted torches are brought in
by _bussolanti_; and after the elevation two masters of ceremonies
distribute among the cardinals and others candles carried by clerks of
the chapel, in preparation for the procession. The usual kiss of peace
is not given, from detestation of the treacherous kiss given this day
by Judas to his divine master, as Alcuin remarks[65].

[Sidenote: Antiquity of processions]

Immediately after mass the cardinal celebrant with his ministers
leaves the chapel; the other cardinals, bishops and mitred abbots, put
on their respective sacred vestments, and the _Uditori di Rota_, the
_Cherici di Camera, Votanti_, and _Abbreviatiori_, their surplices:
the other prelates wear their usual _cappe_. They all now accompany
the B. Sacrament to the Pauline chapel[66] in solemn procession, which
is regulated like that of palm-Sunday. The singers go to the _sala
regia_, illuminated with large cornucopia, and there begin to sing
the _Pange lingua_ (a hymn in honour of the holy Sacrament) as soon
as the cross covered with a purple veil appears: the last verses of
it are sung in the Pauline chapel, which is splendidly illuminated.
The cardinals bearing their mitres and torches precede two by two
the Holy Father, who bare-headed and on foot carries the blessed
Sacrament under a canopy supported by eight assistant bishops or
protonotaries[67]. When the Pope reaches the altar, the first cardinal
deacon receives from His hands the B. Sacrament, and preceded by
torches carries it to the upper part of the _macchina_; M. Sagrista
places it within the urn commonly called the sepulchre, where it is
incensed by the Pope; in the mean time the conclusion of the hymn is
sung. M. Sagrista then shuts the sepulchre, and delivers the key to
thy Card. Penitentiary, who is to officiate on the following day.

[Sidenote: Reservation of the B. Sacrament.]

Two objects are obtained by this custom; 1st. the blessed sacrament
is solemnly preserved for the adoration of the faithful on this
anniversary of its institution, as well as for the priest's communion
on good friday[68]; 2nd. the burial of our divine Saviour is
represented: this is anticipated, in order that the principal altar
may be striped, in sign of mourning, and as He was stripped before His

[Sidenote: Papal benediction: _flabelli_.]

[Sidenote: Bulla in Coena Domina.]

The procession, of which we have already spoken, afterwards proceeds
from the Pauline chapel to the _loggia_ in front of S. Peter's: but
the Pope, as he no longer carries the B. Sacrament, wears his mitre,
and is seated in his _sedia gestatoria_ under a canopy carried by
eight Referendarii[69]; and the _flabelli_[70] are carried at each
side of Him. He now gives his solemn benediction to the multitude
assembled before St. Peter's. This however is repeated with even
greater splendour on Easter-Sunday, as well as on the Ascension and
Assumption; and we shall therefore reserve a description of it to
another occasion, especially since generally speaking, persons who are
anxious to witness the _lavanda_ or washing of the feet will find it
difficult to be present also at the Benediction[71].

[Sidenote: Washing of the feet.]

After the benediction, the cardinals and others take off their sacred
vestments, and resume their _cappe_, which they wear during the
_lavanda_ or washing of the feet. This now takes place in S. Peters,
in a side-chapel adorned with two _arazzi_; one representing Leonardo
Da Vinci's last supper is placed behind the benches prepared for the
priests whose feet are to be washed by the Pope: and the other, which
represents Providence seated on the globe between Justice and Charity,
above two lions holding banners of the church, is placed over the
throne. The Pope is habited in a red cope, and wears a mitre. Seated
on His throne, and surrounded by cardinals, prelates, and other
dignitaries of His court, He puts incense into the thurible, being
assisted as usual by the first Cardinal priest. He then gives the
blessing, usual before the gospel is sung, to the Cardinal-deacon
habited in his sacred vestments, who sings that beautiful passage of
the gospel of S. John, which explains the origin of this ceremony:
"Jesus knowing that his hour was come, that he should pass out of
this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world,
he loved them to the end. Knowing that the Father had given him all
things into his hands, he began to wash the feet of his disciples, and
wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded, and he said to them;
If I being Lord and Master have washed your feet, you also ought to
wash one another's feet; for I have given you an example, that as I
have done to you, so you do also". At the end of the gospel, the Pope
kisses the book, the Cardinal Deacon incenses Him as usual, and the
choir begins to sing beautiful anthems allusive to the affecting
ceremony, and recommending charity, the distinctive virtue of
Christians, more precious than even faith and hope. The Pope's cope is
then taken off, and a towel is fastened to his girdle by the assisting
Card. deacons; and then, in imitation of his Divine Master, he washes
and kisses the right foot[72] of 13 priests, called the _apostles_,
dressed in _cappe_ of white cloth, and wearing high cap, which in form
resemble those on the bas-reliefs of Persepolis: each of them receives
from Him a towel, and a nosegay, besides a gold and silver medal
presented by the Treasurer[73]. The Pope then returns to his throne,
washes his hands[74] is vested once more in the cope, and recites the
Our Father and the concluding prayers.

[Sidenote: Dinner of the _apostles_.]

His Holiness afterwards waits on the 13 _apostles_ at table, in a hall
in the Vatican palace, (at present in the hall above the portico of S.
Peter's), giving them water to wash their hands, helping them to soup,
one or more dishes, and pouring out wine and water for them once or
twice. The plates are handed to Him by prelates of _mantelletta_, and
during the ceremony one of His chaplains reads a spiritual book. He
then gives them his blessing, washes His hands, and departs. "Which
is greater" says our Saviour, "he that sitteth at table or he that
serveth? Is not he that sitteth at table? but I am in the midst of you
as he that serveth?"

[Sidenote: Antiquity and meaning of the _lavanda_.]

From the most remote antiquity, it was customary among the Hebrews and
other nations, that the feet of strangers and guests should be washed
before they reclined at table, as they had often travelled on foot.
Thus the angels entertained by Abraham and Lot (Gen. XVIII, XIX),
were supplied with water to wash their feet: Abraham's servants in
the house of Laban, and the brothers of Joseph, when received by him,
washed their feet. (Gen. XLIII, 24)[75]. In these cases however the
guest washed his own feet; and hence the condescension of our Divine
Lord was an act not of hospitality or charity alone, but also of
profound humility; and accordingly he put on a towel or apron, like
an ordinary slave, as Ferrari observes (De Re Vestiaria par. 1).
Most interpreters are of opinion, that Christ washed the feet of His
disciples towards the close of the ordinary supper, and shortly before
He instituted the holy Sacrament; in order to signify the purity
with which it should be received. His example was imitated by His
disciples, and accordingly S. Paul (1 Tim. V, 10) speaks of widows who
"have washed the saints' feet," as Magdalen had washed those of our

In the Roman church, as in that of Bologna, it has been for many
ages customary for the Bishop to wash feet on this day. In the _Ordo
Romanus_ of Cencius Camerarius it is mentioned, that the Roman Pontiff
after mass washed the feet of twelve subdeacons, and after dinner
of 13 poor persons, or according to the Ordines Romani published by
Mabillon, of 12 deacons. The _Ceremoniale_, attributed to Marcellus
archbishop of Corcyra, prescribes that the Pope should wash the feet
of thirteen poor men. Various causes are assigned by different authors
to explain, why the number is thirteen, and not twelve as was that of
the apostles. (See Benedict XIV, De Festis, lib. I, c. VI, §§ 57, 58).
The most probable account, we think, is that the thirteenth _apostle_
was added in memory of the angel, who is believed to have appeared
among the 12 poor guests of S. Gregory the great, while he was
exercising united charity and humility. A painting of this event may
be seen in one of the chapels near his church on the Cælian mount,
in which is preserved the table, at which he daily fed twelve poor
persons. (See the passage of John the deacon cited above in the note).
The two customs of washing the feet first of 12, and then of 13, have
been reduced to one, and in it the number 13 is preserved[76].

[Sidenote: Cardinals' public dinner.]

Till within the last few years the Cardinals used to dine in public
at the Vatican on holy Thursday and good Friday, that they might be
spared the trouble of returning to their respective palaces before
Tenebræ; and anciently the Pope used to dine with them at the Lateran
palace, in the hall called the Triclinium Leonianum[77]. The Pontiff
wore on such occasions his cope and mitre, and the Cardinals were
habited in sacred vestments with mitres. After dinner a sermon was
preached before the Cardinals. _Mons. Maggiordomo_ used to invite on
these days prelates, officers, and others engaged in the _cappella_ or
palace, to a dinner at which he presided.

[Sidenote: Tenebræ etc.]

[Sidenote: Recapitulation.]

In the afternoon, at the office of Tenebræ, among other signs of
mourning, the cross is veiled in black, and the candles are of yellow
wax: the Pope's throne is stripped of its usual ornaments, and is
without a canopy: the cardinals' and prelates' benches also are
without carpets. The Cardinal Penitentiary goes to S. Peter's, where
the minor Penitentiaries are Conventuals of S. Francis. We have spoken
on these subjects in the preceding chapters. We may here recapitulate
the principal ceremonies of the day, as Morcelli has done in his
Calendar. The oils are blessed in S. Peter's; the Pope assists at mass
in the Sixtine chapel, carries the B. Sacrament to the Pauline chapel,
gives His solemn benediction from S. Peter's, washes the feet of
thirteen priests and serves them at table. In the afternoon Tenebrae
in the Sixtine chapel; and the Cardinal great Penitentiary goes to S

[Sidenote: S. Peter's on holy thursday-evening.]

In this basilic the B. Sacrament is preserved amid many lights in the
_Sepulchre_ in a side-chapel[78], and several confraternities come
in procession to venerate the relics, of which we shall speak in the
next chapter. It is much to be regretted that the cross, which used
on holy-Thursday and good-Friday to glow with 628 lights[79], and to
produce a splendid effect by the _chiaroscuro_ which resulted from it
in this vast and magnificent fabric, is no longer suspended before
the Confession, in consequence of irreverent conduct on preceding

[Sidenote: Washing of the altar.]

There still remains another remarkable ceremony customary in S.
Peter's on holy-Thursday. After the office of Tenebræ, the chapter of
that basilica proceeds in procession from the chapel of the choir to
the high altar. The black stoles which six of the canons wear, and the
yellow and extinguished tapers of the acolythes, are signs of mourning
for the sufferings of Christ. They all carry elegant _aspergilli_[80]
of box or other wood, and having prayed for a short time in silence,
they chant the anthem "They divided my garments etc." and the psalm "O
God, my God, why hast thou abandoned me?" A fine cloth, which covered
the altar, is then removed from it, and the Cardinal-priest of the
church and the six canons pour whine upon the altar, and wash it
with their _aspergilli_ or brushes. After the other canons, beneficed
clergymen, etc. have in turn washed it in like manner: the Cardinal
and the six canons begin to dry it with sponges and towels: all then
kneel down, and the ceremony concludes with the verse "Christ became
obedient unto death etc." the Our Father, and the prayer of the day
"Look down, we beseech thee etc."[81] The chapter then venerates the
relics shewn as usual from the gallery above S. Veronica's statue.

[Sidenote: Antiquity and meaning of these ceremonies.]

The _stripping_ of the altars, which is practised on this day
throughout the western church, is mentioned in the most ancient _Ordo
Romanus_: indeed anciently the altars used to be stripped every
day, as Du Vert (Ceremon. de l'Eglise T. IV.) and Cancellieri (De
Secretariis T. IV.) have shewn. The custom of _washing_ the altar
is observed in the Latin church in those of the Dominicans and
Carmelites; and also according to Benedict XIV "in many churches of
France, Germany and other remote countries" among which Cancellieri
reckons Spain. It is mentioned by S. Isidore (lib. de Eccles. Offic.
c. 18) by Alcuin (de divinis offic.) and in the Sarum, Parisian and
many other missals quoted by Martene. What however is its meaning?
While Monsignor Battelli, in his dissertation on the subject,
maintains that this custom was instituted for the sake of cleanliness,
rather than from a wish to denote any mystery, and that this day
was selected as the most convenient, because the altars were already
stripped; the abbot Rupert and Belet discover mystical meanings in
the sponges, towels, wine, water, and even _aspergilli_. We prefer
a middle course, and while we are willing to admit with Durandus and
others an allusion in the wine and water to the blood and water which
flowed from our Saviour on the cross, we maintain with the learned S.
Isidore, S. Eligius, Benedict XIV and others, that we wash the altar,
the symbol of Christ, from motives of respect to Him, who on this day
washed the feet of His disciples.

Two great virtues are embodied in the ceremonies of this day, and
impart to them their life and loveliness: they are the essential and
characteristic virtues of Christians, by the practice of which they
imitate their divine Master and model, and come at last to be united
to Him in heaven. Christ was moved by charity to institute the Holy
Sacrament, and by humility to wash His disciples feet. Let us then
learn of him because He was meek and humble of heart, and let us love
one another, because Christ hath first loved us, and commands us to
love one another.

[Footnote 57: In Africa two were customary, one in the morning, and
the other after supper. S. August. ep. 54 ad Januarium.]

[Footnote 58: For an account of this ancient ceremony the reader
may see Fleury, Moeurs des Chretiens; _Funz. della Settimana Santa._
Martene, lib. IV, 22. etc.]

[Footnote 59: "Balsam is produced in the vineyards of Engaddi, and
in preparing chrism it is mixed with oil and consecrated by the
pontifical benediction, that all the faithful may be signed with this
unction at confirmation". Ven. Bede, in canlic. cap. I. The Greeks
bless the chrism on the same day as the Latins, having prepared it a
few days previously. See their Euchelogium, Ordo VIII entitled, On
the composition of the great ointment in the Costantinop. church ap.
Martene, loc. cit.]

[Footnote 60: Only one priest says mass in each on this day and
the other priests communicate, as on it Christ alone said mass, and
distributed the Holy communion to the apostles. Although for many
centuries both kinds were ordinarily received, yet the custom of
communicating under the form of bread alone is very ancient. Thus
in time of persecution the faithful used to carry to their houses
the holy communion under the form of bread alone, the hermits also
preserved it in the deserts, the sick received it as their viaticum,
the ministers of God kept it in the churches, for their spiritual
support, and the bishops used to send it to their clergy in token of
their union in charity. These were all instances of communion under
one kind, which are enumerated and proved by many Catholic divines,
as for instance by Dr. Rock in his Hierurgia. They demonstrate the
constant belief of the church, that the whole sacrament is received
under one kind only; and Christ himself in the scriptures attributes
its admirable effects to the act of _eating_ only as well as to that
of _eating and drinking_. "He that eateth this bread shall live for
ever" etc. In fact since His resurrection "He dieth now no more": His
body and blood and soul and Divinity are united together for evermore,
and consequently the communicant receives under the form of bread
alone Christ himself whole and entire. The Latin church prescribed
the general reception of communion under one kind, in order to obviate
accidents which frequently arose from the indiscriminate use of the
chalice, and in opposition to the error of the Hussites: Thus Paul
II took occasion from the presence of Frederic III at Rome, to give a
public and illustrious proof of the condemnation of this new heresy
by the church, by giving communion under one kind only to the Emperor,
and also to the deacon and subdeacon, who generally communicate under
both kinds when the Pope sings mass. In the Greek and other oriental
churches communion is administered under one kind to the sick and
others who are prevented by distance from communicating in the
churches. The general communion customary on holy-thursday is
prescribed by the English bishop Walter in the 10th century, in the
capitulary of Theodulph of Orleans, and by all ancient pontificals and
missals, according to Martene T. 3, p. 98. It is practised also by the
Greeks, as Leo Allatius testifies. De consensu utriusque Ecclesiæ lib.
3. Palmer (Vol. 2. p. 76) says "It is not essential to the validity
of the Sacrament, that the bread should be whole and entire before
consecration, and broken afterwards: but the Universal practice of
the Christian church, derived from the apostles and from Jesus Christ
himself ought not to be infringed in this matter". Yet even Bp.
Middleton whom he quotes in the same page, says "When there were
many communicants, _in primitive times, there were several cakes or
loaves_, in proportion to the number: and it took some time after the
consecration was finished, to break and divide them for distribution".
Each person communicated from his own offering: hence S. Augustine
says "Erubescere debet homo idoneus si de aliena oblatione
communicaverit" Serm. 215 de Temp, any longer justification of the
general practice of the Roman church would therefore be superfluous.]

[Footnote 61: "From the frequent mention of _oil_ in scripture as the
emblem of spiritual gifts it was actually used in the primitive church
in the ceremonies of admitting catechumens, and in baptising". Tracts
of the Times, Vol. 1, no. 34.]

[Footnote 62: Our ardent love of this classic soil tempts us to insert
the following noble instance from Cicero (pro Milone XXXI) "Vos enim
jam _Albani_ tumuli atque luci vos, inquam, imploro alque tester
vosque Albanorum obrutæ aræ, sacrorum populi Romani sociæ et æquales,
quas ille præceps amentia cæsis prostratisque sanctissimi lucis
substructionum insanis molibus oppresserat: vestræ tum aræ, vestræ
religiones viguerunt, vestra vis valuit, quam ille (Clodius) omni
scelere polluarat: tuque ex tuo edito monte, Latiaris sancte Jupiter,
cujus ille lacus, nemora, finesque sæpe omni nefario stupro et scelere
macularat, aliquaudo ad eum puniendum oculos aperuisti: vobis illæ,
vobis vestro in conspecta seræ sed justæ tamen et debitæ pænæ solutæ

[Footnote 63: These _troccole_ were formerly called by the hard names
of _crepitacula ligna congregantia, mallei excitatorii_. The Greeks
used them anciently, as Martene proves from a libellus de miraculis
Anastasii presented to the second council of Nice, from S. John
Chrysostom's life by Metaphrastes etc. etc. In modern times also they
continue to use them. Benedict XIV observes that the practice of the
Latin church on these days is intended to preserve the remembrance of
the ancient custom. It is also evidently intended, like the reversed
arms of the soldiers, as a sign of mourning for the death of Christ.
This silence of the bells is prescribed in the ancient rituals:
mystical interpreters assign as a reason, that they signify Christ's
preachers and apostles, who were silent during the sufferings of their

[Footnote 64: S. Greg. Turon. De mirac. S. Martini "oblatis super
altare sacris muneribus, mysterioque Corporis et Sanguinis Christi
palla ex more cooperto.", Vid. Bona. Lib. II, c. 13. not. 12.]

[Footnote 65: This mass is found in the Antiphonary and Sacramentary
of Pope Gregory the great; in all churches but the Roman, as Marlene
observes, vespers were joined with the mass on this day, as they are
on holy Saturday throughout the Latin church. On holy-thursday the
Pope used generally to preach after the gospel, and in the mean time
the Cardinals stripped the altar: after the sermon the Pope blessed
the people as usual, and then began the _Credo_, according to
Benedict, Canon of S. Peter's. His Holiness drank on this day directly
from the chalice, and did not use the golden reed or _fistola_, as on
other occasions; this we learn from the Apamean Pontifical.]

[Footnote 66: This chapel was erected by Paul III according to the
design of Antonio Sangallo. Its two large frescoes are the last
efforts of the genius of Michelangelo, then aged 75 years: they
represent the crucifixion of S. Peter and the conversion of S. Paul.
The fall of Simon Magus, and the baptism conferred by S. Peter,
painted on the righthand-wall are works of Federico Zuccheri; on the
opposite side S. Paul at Malta, and restoring the young man, who had
fallen from a window, are by Lorenzo Sabbatino da Bologna, the ceiling
was painted by Federico Zuccheri. The B. Sacrament is publicly and
solemnly exposed in this chapel for the adoration of the faithful on
the first Sunday of Advent as well as on holy-thursday See Chaltard;
_Descriz. del Vaticano_ Taja, _Palazzo Vaticano_.]

[Footnote 67: S. John Chrysostom established processions at
Constantinople in opposition to those of the Arians; and the empress
Eudoxia supplied the people with silver crosses and wax lights, to be
carried on such occasions. Socrat. Hist. Eccl. lib. VI, c. 8, Sozomen
lib. VIII, c. 8. Processions were incompatible with the persecutions
of the first three centuries. During them, and even long after
Constantine, in consequence of the discipline of secrecy, there was
neither public exposition or procession of the B. Sacrament. The
faithful however adored it privately, as for instance, S. Gregory
Nazianzen relates of his sister Gorgonia, that when seized by a fever
"she fell down with faith before the altar, and invoked with a loud
cry Him who is honoured thereupon". (Discourse on her funeral). S.
Cyril of Jerusalem also exhorts the believer, that when he receives
the chalice of the blood of Christ he should bow down profoundly
and adore. (Catech. 5), The office and mass of Corpus Christi
were composed by S. Thomas Aquinas. As holy-thursday is in great
part devoted to the sufferings of Christ, the festival of _Corpus
Christi_ with its procession was instituted about the middle of the
thirteenth century by Urban IV at the petition of B. Juliana of Mount
_Cornelione_, and in consequence of the miracle of Bolsena, well known
as the subject of one of Raffaello's frescoes in the Vatican. See
Bened. XIV, De Festis, and the authors cited by him. The miraculous
corporal stained with blood is still preserved at Orvieto, the
celebrated cathedral of which owes its foundation to the miracle. "No
one eats that flesh, says S. Augustine, unless he has first adored" in
ps. 98 "The flesh of Christ," says S. Ambrose "which we adore even now
in the mysteries, and which the apostles adored in the Lord Jesus" (de
Spir. S. lib. 34, c. 12) All the fathers and liturgies mention this
adoration, which was therefore derived from apostolic tradition. Sala
ad Bonæ lib. 2, c. 13.]

[Footnote 68: In the Greek church communion is on this day reserved
for the sick of the ensuing year under the form of bread alone,
according to Leo Allatius. (De utriusque Ecclesiæ consensione). Pope
Innocent I in the beginning of the 5th century directs, that the
eucharist be preserved on this day for the priest and the sick. This
reservation is mentioned also in the Gregorian sacramentary, without
any mention of the sacred blood, since it might be spilt. It has taken
place in the Pauline chapel ever since its erection by Paul III. A
particle of the B. Sacrament was formerly preserved after mass on
festivals and carried back in procession to the sacristy: it was
carried to the altar in procession on the next festival, and a portion
or the whole of it was put into the chalice before the host was
broken. See Cancellieri, De Secretariis T. I, p. 217, seq.]

[Footnote 69: These prelates used to refer cases and petitions to the
Popes, as they now do the former to their tribunal, which according to
Gonzalez derives its name of _Segnatura_ from the _signature_ of the
sovereign affixed to its decree.]

[Footnote 70: They are formed of peacocks' feathers, the eyes of which
according to Macri and others signify the vigilance and circumspection
of the Pontiffs. They are mentioned in the apostolic constitutions, in
which it is prescribed, that two deacons should hold, them in order
to drive away flies, which might otherwise fall into the chalice.
Accordingly, at the ordination of the deacons in the Greek church,
among other instruments a Flabellum is given to them for their
ministry at the altar: this S. Anastasius is said to have used while
a deacon. Flabella are mentioned in the liturgies of SS. Basil,
Chrisostom, and other Greek and Syriac liturgies, Flabella are in
the Latin church a mark of distinction, and are carried for the Grand
Prior of the knights of Malta the bishop of Troja in Aquila, and the
archbishop of Messina, as well as for His Holiness.]

[Footnote 71: Since the time of Clement XIV, the custom of reading
from the _loggia_ on this day the bull in _Coena Domini_ has been
abolished. (On this bull see de Maistre du Pape lib. 2, c. 14).
According to the doctrine of S. Paul, the B. Sacrament is the bond
as it is the symbol of union or _communion_ between the faithful; "We
being many are one body, all who partake of one bread" 1 Cor. X, 17,
and hence this day of its institution was selected for the public
_excommunication_ of those, who reject the doctrines of the church, or
maliciously oppose her ordinances. After the bull had been read "many
candles are lighted, of which the Lord Pope himself holds some, and
each cardinal and prelate one lighted, and he extinguishes and throws
them on the ground, saying, we excommunicate all the aforesaid; and
then the bells are rung together without observing any order". Ap.
Gatticuin, Acta Cerem. 82. These ceremonies are interpreted to mean
the _extinction of the grace_ of the holy Ghost; and the dispersion
of unbelievers, as on the contrary the regular and orderly ringing of
bells calls the faithful together.]

[Footnote 72: It is supported by the subdeacon habited in the tunic or

[Footnote 73: John the deacon, in his life of Gregory the great,
mentions the _Sacellarius_ or Treasurer (see Thomassin lib. 2. c. 103,
n. 11), whom that holy Pope commanded according to custom to invite
the twelve pilgrims to dinner. Besides the gifts mentioned above,
the white dress is given to these _apostles_, who are chosen by some
Cardinals, Ambassadors, the Propaganda, the _Maggiordomo_, and the
captain of the Swiss guards.]

[Footnote 74: The water is brought to him by the Prince assisting at
the throne, and the towel is presented by the first Cardinal Priest.
When the Pope is prevented from performing this ceremony, the Cardinal
Dean supplies his place in presence of the sacred college (Lunadoro).
In that case the gospel is sung, not by a cardinal, but by the prelate
who is deacon of the _cappella_. Formerly, according to the MS.
Pontifical of the Apamean church written in 1214, Vespers were sung by
the Pope's chaplains, while he washed the feet of twelve subdeacons.]

[Footnote 75: Chardin and other travellers testify, that this practice
is preserved in modern times. In Homer's Odyssey the custom of taking
a bath before a banquet is frequently mentioned, III, 467; IV, 49, VI.
216; VIII, 449.]

[Footnote 76: The emperors of Costantinople used (according to
Codinus De Officiis Aulæ Costantinop.) to wash the feet of twelve poor
persons: and Vespasiano Fiorentino in the fifteenth century, in his
life of Alfonso di Napoli quoted by Cancellieri, says that "Il Giovedi
Santo lavava i piedi a tanti poveri, quant' egli aveva anni, et
lavavagli, come si deve ... et a tutti dava una veste bianca, et un
pajo di calze, et un Alfonsino, et un fiorino et un carlino, et non
so che altra moneta. Dipoi il Giovedi medesímo faceva ordinare una
cena,... et la Maestà del Re la pigliava, et metteva loro innanzi, e
con il vino, et quello avevano di bisogno con grandissima umiltà".
See also Martene, De Ant. Eccl. Rit. Lib. IV, c. XII, § 8. Our readers
will here call to mind the good old custom still preserved of the
maundy of our British Sovereigns, so called from mandatum, the first
word of the first anthem sung during, the washing of the feet. In the
Greek church, according to Baillet, not only are the feet of twelve
poor persons washed, but the name of an apostle is given to each of
them; as it may be supposed, nobody is anxious to have the name of
Judas Iscariot: so lots are drawn to determine the person who is to
represent that traitor. This may remind us of the threat of Leonardo
da Vinci to copy the head of Judas, in his celebrated last supper,
from the importunate Prior of S. Maria delle Grazie of Milan. Poor
Leonardo despaired of finding a model for the head of our Saviour; and
for more than a year was seeking the rabble for a fit subject whom he
might represent as Judas: meantime the Prior was continually worrying
him to finish the fresco. "In ogni caso poi" said he to Lodovico
Sforza, "faro capitale del ritratto del P. Priore, che lo merita
per la sua importunità e per la sua poca discrezione". The story of
Leonardo bears some resemblance to the manner in which Michelangelo
punished Biagio da Cesena Pontifical Master of Ceremonies, who
before Daniel of Volterra had acquired his well-known nickname of
_braghettone_ complained to the Pope, that the naked figures of
the last judgment were unworthy of a house of prayer. The artist
introduced his censor in his painting as Minos judge of the infernal
regions, with long ears like those of the other devils, and a
serpent's tail. Paul III when appealed to is said to have answered,
that if his Ceremoniere had been in Purgatory, he might have helped
him out, but out of hell there was no redemption. This Papal witticism
Platner could not find in any writer earlier than Richardson (See
Beschreibung der Stadt Rom) but _se non è vero, è ben trovato_.
Dante was not more scrupulous than Michelangelo about thrusting his
opponents into his _inferno_.

      Pictoribus atque poetis
  Quidlibet audendi semper fuit æqua potestas.

[Footnote 77: The mosaics with which it was adorned by Pope Leo III
are preserved in the great niche adjoining the _scala santa_.]

[Footnote 78: The Portuguese, Spanish and some other churches
are generally distinguished on this day by the brilliancy of the
illumination of their _sepulchres_.]

[Footnote 79: In the eighth century Pope Hadrian I, according to
Anastasius, suspended under the principal or _triumphal_ arch, as it
was called, a silver cross with 1365 or 1380 small lamps, which where
lighted at Easter and other great festivals. This was perhaps the
origin of the cross which used to be suspended in S. Peter's at this

[Footnote 80: We have already mentioned an ancient Christian fresco in
which an aspergillum is represented.]

[Footnote 81: Formerly, as Card. Borgia has proved (De Cruce Vaticana)
this ceremony was performed in S. Peter's on good Friday. In other
churches there were two distinct observances; 1. that of stripping
the altars on holy Thursday, when Christ's passion began; and 2. that
of washing them with wine and on good Friday, when blood and water
flowed from His side, as the Abbot Rupert observes. For the ancient
ceremonies of this day at Rome see besides the Apamean Pontifical
above-cited, the Pontificals of Egebert archbishop of York and of
Tirpin archbishop of Rheims ap. Martene, loc. cit. In some places
the fast of Lent was not observed on this day, as appears from
S. Augustine, Ep. 54 and Januarium. Of old this was the day for
shaving in preparation for Easter-Sunday: it was therefore called




    Ancient ceremonies at Rome--Service in the Sixtine
    chapel--Passio--Sermon and indulgence--Prayers for all
    mankind--exposition of the cross; ancient crucifixes and
    crosses--_adoration_ of the cross; its antiquity--Palestrina's
    _improperii_, Trisagion--chant of the hymn _Pange lingua
    gloriosi lauream etc_,--Procession of the B. Sacrament--_Mass_
    of the Presanctified, Vespers--Tenebræ--Veneration of the
    principal relics at S Peter's--Grounds of belief in the
    genuineness of relics--1. Relic of the cross--2. of the
    lance--3. _Volto Santo_--Reflections--Recapitulation.

    "_The principal object of the church in the office of this
    day is, that Jesus Christ crucified may be placed before
    our eyes, that touched with contrition at the sight, our
    souls may be so disposed, as to obtain the fruit of
    redemption_" Bened. XIV, De Festis D.N.J.C. lib. 1. c. 7.

[Sidenote: Ancient ceremonies.]

On good Friday the Pope used formerly to go with the Cardinals and the
other members of the court to the Oratory of S. Lorenzo called _Sancta
Sanctorum_ in the Lateran palace, where they venerated and kissed the
relics of SS. Peter and Paul, as well as two crosses preserved there.
One of these was then carried by a Cardinal Priest, and and the Host
consecrated on the preceding day was borne by another Cardinal of
the same order; the Pope, the Cardinals and all the others were
bare-footed, and walked in procession reciting psalms to S. John
Lateran's and thence to S. Croce, where the station was held and the
ceremonies of the day were performed.[82]

[Sidenote: Service in the Sixtine chapel.]

[Sidenote: Passio.]

[Sidenote: Sermon and indulgence.]

These take place at present in the Sixtine chapel; in which the yellow
colour of the candles and torches, the nakedness of the Pope's throne
and of the seats of the church denote the desolation of the church at
the sufferings and death of her divine founder. The Cardinals do not
wear their rings; their dress is of purple, which is their mourning
colour; in like manner the Bishops do not wear rings and their
stockings are black: those of the Cardinals are purple; and the
maces as well as the soldiers' arms are reversed. The Card. great
Penitentiary with the sacred ministers are habited in black. There is
no thurifer and there are no lights; for the death of the Son of God
is going to be commemorated; and while He was hanging upon the cross
and when He died, there was darkness over the whole earth. The Pope
is habited in a red cope: he does not wear his ring nor give his
blessing: but if he be present at this part of the service, His
Holiness kneeling with the Card. Penitentiary at his left hand offers
up prayers for a short time before the altar. This, which was stripped
on the preceding day, is now covered with a linen cloth by two
_Cerimonieri_[83]. The Pope then goes to His seat; and the Card.
Celebrant accompanied by the ministers to the altar, and thence to
his _faldistorio_ or seat. An appropriate passage from the prophecy
of Osee is sung by one of the choir, and the precept from Exodus
concerning the killing of the paschal-lamb, a type of Christ, by
the subdeacon. The Pope and the Card. Celebrant also read both these
lessons, after each of which a tract is sung by the choir; and between
them a prayer by the Celebrant. After the prophecies, which are a
powerful confirmation of the truth of our holy religion, the account
of the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ, penned by an eye-witness
S. John, the disciple of love, is recited[84]. It is read in a low
voice by the Card. Celebrant and sung with the same impressive chant
as on Palm-Sunday by three cantors wearing the alb, a black maniple
and stole: they used formerly to recite it bare-footed. At those words
"And bowing down his head he gave up the ghost" all kneel to adore
their Redeemer. It is related of a servant of God of the name of
Piccolomini, that he expired in church on good Friday when those
words were sung. The latter part is chanted, but without the usual
ceremonies, by the deacon, after he has taken off his folded chasuble
and put on the large band or stole. A short sermon is then preached by
a conventual Friar, who afterwards according to custom publishes the
indulgence or remission of temporal punishment of thirty years granted
by the Pope to those who have confessed and sincerely repented of
their sins. See p. 37. As Morinus has shewn (De Penitentia cap. 4.) in
most churches penitents were absolved and reconciled after the gospel.

[Sidenote: Prayers for all mankind.]

Christ, says S. Paul, died for all men, and when suffering on
the cross, He prayed even for his relentless persecutors: on the
anniversary then of his death it is fit that His church should pray
for all men, that all may be saved by the application of His merits to
their souls. The Card. Celebrant commences the beautiful, charitable,
and ancient prayers of this day with the words, Let us pray, dearly
beloved, for the holy church of God etc. The deacon then kneeling says
(according to the ancient custom mentioned by S. Cesarius of Arles
in his 36th homily, and by S. Basil in his book on the Holy Ghost c.
XXVII) Let us bend our knees, and the subdeacon answers, Stand up, as
it was customary to pray standing. This form is repeated before each
prayer, except that which is offered for the Jews[85]: for their
soldiers, bowing the knee before our Lord, mocked him saying in
derision, Hail king of the Jews. Prayers follow for the Pope, for all
the clergy, and holy people of God (formerly for the Emperor also) and
catechumens who are to receive baptism on the day following. Having
prayed for all members of the church, we then pray for heretics and
schismatics, that God may deign to "deliver them from all errors,
and bring them back to their holy mother the catholic and apostolic
church"; and these petitions are followed by others for the conversion
of Jews and Pagans[86].

[Sidenote: Exposition of the cross: ancient crucifixes and crosses.]

[Sidenote: _Adoration_ of the cross: its antiquity.]

When these prayers are ended[87] the officiating Cardinal takes off
his chasuble, and going to the epistle-side of the altar receives from
the deacon the crucifix[88] covered with a black veil. Then turning
towards the people, and uncovering the upper part of the crucifix, he
sings, Behold the wood of the cross, on which hung the salvation of
the world; in singing which words he is joined by two tenor-voices
from the choir. The choir answers, Come, let us adore[89]. The Pope
and all others kneel, except the Cardinal celebrant, who advances
nearer to the middle of the altar, and uncovers the right arm of the
crucifix, and repeats the same words in a higher tone, and again in
a still higher tone before the middle of the altar, where he uncovers
the whole cross. The choir answers as before, and all except the
celebrant kneel each time the words are repeated. The Cardinal then
places the crucifix on a rich cushion lying on the steps of the

[Sidenote: Trisagion.]

I observed above, that it was formerly customary for the Pope and all
others to walk bare-footed in the procession of this day, as others
royal personages have done; for instance, S. Louis of France, S.
Elisabeth of Hungary, and others. Thus to be barefooted was a sign of
mourning (1 Sam. XV, 30. Jer. II, 25) among the Jews. Their priests
were without shoes at their functions, in token of reverence (Exod.
III, 5. Jos. V, 15). Some memorial of this practice is preserved in
the present custom of taking off the shoes of the principal persons
who revere and kiss the cross on this day. The Pope's shoes are taken
off by an _Ajutante di Camera_, His cope by acolythes (_Votanti di
Segnatura_), and afterwards His Holiness then makes three profound
genuflections before the crucifix, gradually approaching nearer to it,
and then kisses it in token of his love for Him, who died upon it for
our salvation[91]. He also empties a purse, containing an offering
of 100 _scudi d'oro_, into a silver basin near the crucifix. When the
Pope is about to make the first genuflection, the choir begins to sing
the _improperii_, the sentiments of which, and the chant composed by
Palestrina [92], are admirably adapted to the pathetic ceremony. In
them God enumerates the unparalleled benefits which he lavished upon
the Jews, and the atrocious crimes by which they repaid Him. At the
end of each _improperium_ or reproach, the Trisagion is sung by one
choir in Greek, and in Latin by another "Holy God! Holy strong one!
Holy immortal, have mercy on us"[93]. The Pope then returns to his
throne; he resumes his previous vestments and reads the _improperii_
from the Missal held as usual by an assist. bishop kneeling. The
Cardinal celebrant and all the other members of the sacred college,
after their shoes have been taken off, assisted by the _Ceremonieri_
revere and kiss the crucifix in the same manner as the Pope has done;
and each of them leaves an offering of a _scudo d'oro_ according to
an ancient custom.[94] When they return to their places, their shoes
are put on by their respective _camerieri_, who afterwards leave the
chapel. The patriarchs and bishops assistant and non-assistant and the
generals of religious orders without shoes, and all the other prelates
etc. wearing their shoes, _adore_ and kiss the cross in like manner,
observing the same order as in going to receive palms on the preceding
sunday; and they also make their offerings before the cross. When
the sacred college has finished the _adoration_, the choir having
ended the _improperii_ sings the anthem _Crucem tuam_, the psalm
_Deus misereatur nostri_, the hymn _Pange lingua gloriosi lauream
certaminis_[95] etc. Towards the end of this beautiful ceremony the
candles are lighted, the deacon spreads out the corporal[96] as usual,
placing the purificator near it. He then respectfully takes the cross,
and places it on the altar amid the candlesticks.

[Sidenote: Chant of _Pange lingua_ etc.]

A procession, arranged like that of the preceding day, now goes to
the Pauline chapel. Assisted as usual by the first Card. priest, the
Pope kneels and incenses the B. Sacrament three times. _M. Sagrista_
delivers the B. Sacrament to the Cardinal celebrant, who presents it
to the Pope; His Holiness covers it with the end of the veil placed
over his shoulders[97] and the procession returns to the Sixtine
chapel [98]. In the mean time the choir sings the hymn "_Vexilla Regis
prodeunt_". When the Pope arrives at the altar, he delivers the B.
Sacrament to the Card. Celebrant, who places it on the altar. His
Holiness then incenses it and returns to his throne.

During the procession the crucifix on the altar of the Sixtine chapel
is removed, and a larger cross containing a considerable relic of the
true cross is substituted for it. This relic was sent to Pope Leo the
Great in the 5th century by Juvenal Bishop of Jerusalem. It was lost,
but found again by Pope Sergius I in 687: it was stolen at the sack
of Rome in 1527, and removed from its case of silver: however it was
recovered by Clement VII, who ordered the rich cross, in which it
is at present preserved, to be made: in 1730 it was again stolen but
recovered once more by Clement XII. At the close of the last century,
though the candlesticks, and the statues of the Apostles belonging
to the papal chapel were lost, this cross was preserved. In 1840 His
present Holiness Gregory XVI ordered it to be again exposed to the
public veneration in the Sixtine chapel: He gave it to the charge
of the chapter of S. Peter's, who deliver it to _M. Sagrista_ on
Good-friday morning: and it remains in the Sixtine chapel till the
end of Tenebrae on that day. Moroni _Cappelle Pontificie etc._

The _Mass_ of the _Presanctified_, as it is called, is next
celebrated; Card. Tommasi, following S. Cesarius of Arles, calls
it the office, and not the mass of good-Friday; for mass, strictly
speaking, is not offered up on this day, since no consecration takes
place, and the B. Sacrament is received by the celebrant under the
form of bread alone, as it could not be preserved with safety under
the form of wine[99].

[Sidenote: Mass of the Pre-Sanctified.]

The Card. Celebrant places the B. Sacrament on the paten[100] and
thence on the corporal. In the meantime the deacon puts wine into the
chalice, and the subdeacon water, which however are neither blessed or
consecrated[101] on this day. The cardinal then places the chalice on
the altar, and the deacon covers it with the _palla_ or pall (a small
square piece of linen, which serves to prevent flies etc. from falling
into it). The Cardinal incenses the offerings and the altar, washes
his hands, and recites the _Orate Fratres_ and Our Father. All then
kneel to adore the blessed Sacrament, which he raises over the paten.
He divides it as usual, but without saying any prayer [102], into
three parts, putting one of them into the chalice. Striking his
breast, and acknowledging his own unworthiness, he receives communion,
taking the sacred host, and afterwards the consecrated particle with
the wine in the chalice [103]. He then receives the ablution, washes
his hands, and returns to the sacristy with the sacred ministers.

[Sidenote: Vespers.]

Anciently on fasting days nothing was allowed to be eaten till sunset;
and Vespers used therefore to be said before dinner: now that the one
meal allowed on such days may be eaten as early as noon, the ancient
practice of saying Vespers before dinner is still preserved. Vespers
are therefore sung immediately after the mass of the Presanctified:
they consist of the Our Father and Hail Mary said in secret, of five
psalms with their anthems, and the _Magnificat_ with its anthem. At
the verse 'Christ became obedient unto death', all kneel down to adore
Him, and the _Miserere_ and the usual prayer are recited, but without
the solemnity of Tenebrae[104].

[Sidenote: Tenebræ.]

[Sidenote: Principal relics.]

In the afternoon at Tenebrae, the office, being that of Holy Saturday
anticipated as usual, refers to the repose of the body of our blessed
Lord in the tomb. When it is finished, the Pope wearing his stole,
and the Cardinals having taken off their _cappe_, go to S. Peter's in
procession, accompanied by the Papal _Anticamera segreta_, the guards
and others, to venerate the relics of the Cross, the Lance, and the
_Volto Santo_, which are shewn by the Canons from the gallery above
the statue of S. Veronica [105]. The Pope meantime, and the Cardinals
and others arranged on each side of Him, remain kneeling. The
Pontifical cross is borne as usual before the Pope, when going to S.
Peter's by an _Uditore di Rota_, and when returning to His apartments
by His cross-bearer who is one of His chaplains.

[Sidenote: Grounds of belief in relics.]

Catholics are bound to believe with divine faith only those doctrines,
which the church defines to be doctrines taught by God; and hence with
regard to particular images or relics or miracles, concerning which
Christ has taught nothing, they believe them to be genuine or reject
them, according to the evidence which accompanies them. We shall
therefore briefly examine what evidence there is in favour of the
relics in question.

[Sidenote: 1. Relic of the cross.]

1. The relic of the cross was placed here in 1629 by Urban VIII; but
it was formed of some pieces taken from the churches of S. Anastasia
and S. Croce in Gerusalemme. The Jews were accustomed to bury the
instruments of punishment in or near the place where the persons
executed were buried; but on this subject I must content myself with
referring to Baronius, Calmet, Menochius, Gretser etc. who cite the
Rabbins in proof of this assertion. Now according to the ancient
historians, Eusebius, Sozomen and Socrates: the Emperor Adrian erected
a temple of Venus over the tomb of the God of purity, after he had
covered it with a great quantity of rubbish. Helen the saintly mother
of the emperor Costantine, after many searches (according to Eusebius
in his life of that emperor) at length discovered the sacred tomb, in
which was found, according to Sozomen, the inscription placed over the
cross by Pilate, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews"[106]. Near the
tomb in another part of the cave were found three crosses: but here a
difficulty arose on which of these three was our Saviour crucified?
At the suggestion of Macarius Bp. of Jerusalem, a woman at the point
of death, as Ruffinus, Socrates, Theodoret, Sozomen and Nicephorus
relate; or a dead man, according to Paulinus and Severus Sulpicius,
was brought to the spot, and restored to health or to life, when
placed on _one_ of the three crosses. If we consider, that it is
related in the 2nd book of Kings c, XIII, that when some persons "were
burying a man, they cast the body into the sepulchre of Eliseus.
And when it had touched the bones of Eliseus, the man came to life
and stood up on his feet," we may not be unwilling to admit the
possibility or probability, that such a miracle may have occurred at
the sepulchre of the God of Eliseus. Besides the authors whom I have
mentioned, this history is attested by S. Ambrose, S. Chrysostom, and
S. Cyril of Jerusalem. This great bishop and Eusebius lived at the
time when the event is said to have happened: the other writers lived
not long after, and Ruffinus and Theodoret passed part of their lives
in Syria. The same historians mention, that S. Helen divided the
Cross into three parts, one she left in Jerusalem, another she sent
to Costantine, according to the author of the life of Pope Sylvester
published by Pope Damasus towards the close of the 6th cent.; and the
third she reserved for herself, to Rome. She placed the last mentioned
piece in the Sessorian Basilica, called also the Basilica of Helen,
because erected by her, in the Horti Variani: hence is derived
its title of S. Croce in Gerusalemme. On this subject additional
information may be found in the work of the late Padre De Corrieris,
De Sessorianis praecipius D.N.J.C. reliquiis, in Trombelli De cultu
SSrum and Ben. XIV. De festis. From Santa Croce a piece of the cross
was taken to S. Peter's, and is one of the relics shewn on good
friday. Even in the fourth century S. Cyril of Jerusalem testifies,
that particles of the true cross had been sent to every Christian

[Sidenote: 2. of the lance.]

2. The lance also with which our divine Saviour's side was pierced,
was found by S. Helen, as the Bollandists shew: and it was preserved
in Jerusalem, as S. Gregory of Tours and our venerable Bede observe:
but towards the end of the 6th cent., the iron part of it was
transfered to Costantinople; of this the point was placed in the
imperial palace; the other part in the church of S. Sophia, and
afterwards in that of S. John. William of Tyre and Anna Comnena
mention it as existing there in the 11th and 12th centuries. Towards
the close of the 13th century the point of the lance with other
relics passed into the possession of S. Louis of France: the other
part of the lance still remained at S. John's in Constantinople,
as Buondelmount, who saw it, bears witness. When Mahomet subdued
Costantinople, he preserved all the relics, as Theodore cited by
Benedict XIV relates in his history of the Turks, and his son Bajazet
sent an ambassador with the relics of the lance to Pope Innocent VIII,
in order to induce his Holiness not to protect Zizimus, who disputed
with him the succession to the Turkish throne. The Pope received it
with great reverence, and placed it in the Vatican. As some suspicion
was entertained about the veracity of the Turkish ambassador, Benedict
XIV, as he mentions in his very learned work on the Canonisation
of the Saints, from which I have extracted this account, sent for
an exact cast of the point preserved at Paris, which perfectly
corresponded with the piece preserved in the Vatican; and thus were
confirmed the assertion of the Turk[107].

[Sidenote: 3. _Volto Santo_.]

3. As for the _Volto Santo_, or image of our Saviour it was placed in
an Oratory of the Vatican Basilica by John VII as long ago as 707,
as may be seen in Marlinetti, Dei pregii della Basilica Vat. Who S.
Veronica or Berenice was, who is said to have wiped our Saviour's face
with the handkerchief is another question, as Benedict XIV observes,
to whom and to Marlinetti I shall content myself with referring. It
appears that this ancient likeness of our Saviour was afterwards kept
at S. Spirito: six Roman noblemen had the care of it; and to each of
them was confided on of the six keys, with which it was locked up.
They enjoyed various privileges, and among others, says an ancient MS.
Chronicle quoted by Cancellieri, "havevano questi sei ogni anno, da
Santo Spirito, due vacche in die S. Spiritus le quali se magnavano
li con gran festa". In 1410 the _Volto Santo_ was carried back to S.
Peter's, where it has ever since remained[108].

[Sidenote: Reflections.]

The Council of Trent, in the 25th Session, teaches that veneration and
honour are due to relics of the Saints, and that they and other sacred
monuments are honoured by the faithful not without utility. We all
honour the memorials of the great, of the wise and of the brave; who
has not venerated the oak of a Tasso or the house of a Shakespeare?
While _We_ revere the relics of a Borromeo at Milan, of a Francois
de Sales at Annecy, of a Luigi Gonzaga, a Filippo Neri, a Camillo de
Lellis at Rome, others respect the chair and table of Wickliffe at
Lutterworth, or the room of Luther at Eisenach. If infidels unite in
paying homage to the house of the impious _philosopher_ of Ferney, let
all Christians, however they may be otherwise unhappily divided, join
in shewing their respect for the image of their Saviour, and for those
instruments which touched his sacred body, and were sanctified by his
precious blood. O let them gaze with reverential awe on that lance
which entering into his adorable side drew from it blood and water,
and on that cross to which he was nailed and on which he died for
our salvation. The early Christians, our forefathers in the faith,
manifested great respect for the bodies and the blood of the martyrs,
because they were faithful _followers_ of Christ. Thus, in the letter
of the faithful of Smyrna preserved by Eusebius, they mention that
they gathered up the bones of their bishop Polycarp, (a disciple of
S. John the Apostle) "more precious than pearls, and more tried than
gold, and buried them. In this place, God willing", say they "we shall
meet and celebrate with joy and gladness the birthday of this martyr".
SS. Praxedes and Pudentiana, and many other devout females used
to collect the blood of the martyrs with sponges and cloths, as
if they feared that one drop of it should be lost. Read the poems
of Prudentius, observe the phials of blood[109] placed before the
martyrs' tombs in the catacombs, and you will not doubt the truth of
such assertions[110]. The shadow of Peter, the handkerchiefs which
had touched the body of Paul, could cure diseases, as the Scripture
witnesseth; but here are the relics of a greater than Paul, of a
greater than Peter: O then let us kneel, and love, and venerate them;
for they were closely united to Him who is the author and object
of our faith, the only foundation of our hope, the centre and the
consummation of our love.

[Sidenote: Recapitulation.]

It does not fall within my plan to speak of the devotion of the three
hours of agony, practised on this day in many churches, as at the
Gesù, S. Lorenzo in Damaso etc. or of that which is practised after
the _Ave Maria_ at S. Marcello, Caravita etc. or of the elegies
recited by the Arcadian pastors over their Redeemer. Let us rather
briefly recapitulate with Morcelli the principal ceremonies of
the day: Station at S. Croce; service in the Sixtine chapel,
the veneration of the Cross; the B. Sacrament carried thither in
procession from the Pauline chapel, Mass of the Presanctified and
Vespers. In the afternoon Tenebræ, and veneration of the relics at S.

[Footnote 82: See a MS. Apamean Pontifical ap. Marthene T. 3, p.
132, Benedict Canon of S. Peter's in his _Ordo Romanus_, Marangoni,
_Istoria dell antichissimo Oratorio o Cappella di S. Lorenzo nel
Patriarchio Lateranense_. Roma 1747. S. Louis of France used to walk
barefooted on this day to the churches, praying and giving abundant
alms, as did also William, king of the Romans. (Chronicon Erphordense
ad ann. 1252), S. Elisabeth of Hungary used to devote the day to
similar acts of piety, walking barefooted and in the dress of a poor
woman to the churches, and there making her humble offerings at the
altars, and distributing copious alms. On her practices of piety
during holy-week see her life by Le Cte de Montalembert c. 9.]

[Footnote 83: The Corporal, which was anciently much longer than at
present, was spread in this manner at all masses before the offertory.
See Cancellieri, De Secretariis T. I, Fleury, Moeurs des Chretiens.]

[Footnote 84: The lessons, the prayer, and the passion are found in
the ancient ordo Gelasianus for this day.]

[Footnote 85: According to the Gelasian Sacramentary all were to
genuflect at the prayer for the Jews, as well as at the other prayers;
not so according to the Gregorian Sacramentary.]

[Footnote 86: "God our Saviour", says S. Paul (1 Tim. II, 4) "wishes
all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth". The
Catholic church is animated by the same spirit of charity, as the
admirable prayers of this day might alone prove. If she teaches
exclusive salvation. Christ taught the same "He that believeth and
is baptised shall be saved: he that believeth not shall be condemned"
Mark XVI, 26. We cannot therefore consistently accuse the church
of want of charity, when she proclaims the general conditions of
salvation, without at the same time charging Christ himself, who first
taught them, with the same fault. True charity desires the salvation
of all but she warns others of their danger; and does not cruelly
conceal it from them till it is too late.]

[Footnote 87: After these prayers the faithful used anciently to leave
the church, and the Priests to go to their own churches, to perform
the ceremonies till the evening-service: so that what follows was then
a totally distinct service. See Sacram S. Gregorii, ant. Ord. Roman,
etc. ap. Martene lib. IV, c. 23.]

[Footnote 88: It would appear, that, before Costantine abolished the
punishment of malefactors on the cross, the Christians, who well knew
with S. Paul that Christ crucified was to the Jews a stumbling-block,
and to the gentiles foolishness', prudently abstained from
representing our Saviour nailed to the cross, and used rather to
depict a lamb with a cross near it, of which instances may he seen in
Rork's Hierurgia p. 520. The first mention of the _crucifix_ in the
church is believed to occur in the poem titled _De Passione Domini_
referred to the fourth century. That the use of the sign and the
image of the _cross_ was much more ancient and very prevalent among
Christians will appear from the following facts. "At every step and
movement" says Tertullian (in the early part of the third century)
"whenever we come in or go out, when we dress and wash ourselves, at
table, when lights are brought in, whether we are lying or sitting
down; whatever we are doing, we mark our foreheads with the sign of
the cross". Eusebius mentions that Constantine placed a magnificent
cross De Vit. Const. I. 3. In the fourth century in his palace S. John
Chrysostom in one of his eloquent homilies observes "Every where the
symbol of the cross is present to us. We inscribe it very diligently
on our houses, and walls, and doors, and brows, and thoughts". S.
Basil (De Spirit. S. ad Amphilochium c. 27.) derives the sign of the
cross from Apostolic tradition. That this custom universally prevailed
among Christians might be proved from S. Jerome, from the historian
Socrates and others, and from monuments of the early Christians still
preserved in Egypt: but why travel so far? we have only lo look around
us in the catacombs, or in the Vatican Museum and Library. The cross
is the chosen, the beloved sign of Christians; they repeated it a
thousand times on their lamps, on their rings, on their cups and
sacred vessels, that they might have the sign of their redemption ever
before their eyes, they kissed it at the hour of their death, and
had it marked on their tomb, as a sign of their hope of salvation. No
sooner had peace shone upon the church, than crosses were erected on
high roads, and in many places of public resort: and would to God that
those sacred ancient monuments, which once adorned our own country,
bore public testimony to the faith of its inhabitants, and recalled
to the minds of passers-by the sufferings of their Saviour, had not
been too rudely treated in the first heat of religious and political
frenzy! For some ancient representations of the cross see the learned
work of Dr. Rock on the mass. I shall content myself with noticing an
interesting instance, which he has not mentioned. At Pompeii the house
of Pansa, as it is called, is one of the most remarkable yet excavated
on account of its extent and regularity. Some parts of it were used
as shops, and appear to have been let out, (as is still the custom in
some palaces of Rome): for they have no communication with the body
of the building. Between two parts thus separated is an entrance from
a side street to the peristyle or open court surrounded by columns;
and on the pier between the two doors is, or rather was a painting
representing one of the guardian-serpents or tutelary deities, who
were sometimes represented under that form, as we occasionally see
at Pompeii, and as we learn from Virgil (lib.) V. Hence as we see
in Titus' baths and are informed by Persius, a place was considered
sacred, in which serpents were painted. Indeed these reptiles became
such favourites, that, according to Seneca, they used to creep upon
the tables amid the cups: and some ladies so far overcame natural
prejudices, as to place real serpents, if not boas, round their necks,
to cool them, instead of using artificial boas to warm themselves.
"Si gelidum nectit collo Glacilla draconem" says Martial. Before the
serpent painted in Pansa's house is or was a projecting brick intended
to support a lamp: the painting in consequence of its situation could
be seen only by persons within the house: but upon the opposite wall
there is or was a cross worked in bas relief upon a panel of white
stucco, so situated as to be visible to all persons passing. It had
the form of a Latin cross, which, we may observe, as well as the Greek
cross: is found upon ancient Christian monuments; though of course
we cannot bring forward other instances so ancient as the monument
in question. (See Rock p. 516). "It is hard to conceive", says the
learned Mazois, "that the same man should bow at once before the cross
of Christ, and pay homage to Janus, Ferculus, Limetinus, Cardia, the
deities of the threshold, and the hinges of doors. Perhaps at this
time the cross was of a meaning unknown except to those who had
embraced the Christian faith, which, placed here among the symbols
of paganism, as if in testimony of gratitude, informed the faithful,
that the truth had here found an asylum with a poor man, under the
safeguard of all the popular superstitions". So far Mazois, whose
opinion is embraced by the author of the interesting work on Pompeii
published by the society for promoting useful knowledge: but is it not
probable, I may ask, or rather is it not certain that, at that early
period, while some members of the same family were pagans, others were
Christians? it is not then surprising if in the same house we find
both Christian and Pagan emblems: we may suppose, that some such
persons may have been inmates of the same house as Mr. Bulwer's
pagan gladiator Lydon and his Christian father Medon. Pompeii was
overwhelmed by ashes in the year of Christ 79: and if Vesuvius still
occasionally lay waste the surrounding country, we are indebted to it
for the preservation not only of a thousand classical monuments, but
also of a representation of the cross of Christ, which cannot be of a
much later date than the time of the destruction of Jerusalem.]

[Footnote 89: St. Helen discovered the cross on which Christ suffered,
and erected a church in Jerusalem, in which it was deposited.
"The bishop of that city every year, at the season of the paschal
solemnity, exhibits it to be _adored_ by the people, after he himself
has first performed his act of profound veneration". S. Paulinus
of Nola, A.D. 430, ep. 11 ad Sever. "In the middle of Lent, the
life-giving wood of the venerable cross is usually exposed for
_adoration_". S. Sophronius patriarch of Jerusalem in 639. (Orat. in
Exalt. Crucis). From this custom of the church of Jerusalem probably
arose that of the Roman church, in which a crucifix, containing a
particle of the true cross, was publicly venerated on good Friday. In
the Sacramentary of pope Gelasius (A.D. 402) we read in an account
of the ceremonies of this day "The priest comes before the altar,
adoring the Lord's cross and kissing it--all adore the holy cross and
communicate". This ceremony is mentioned also in the Antiphonary of
S. Gregory the great and the ancient _Ordo Romanus_. Flecte genu,
lignumque crucis venerabile adora, says Lactantius. See bishop
Poynter's Christianity p. 151. Of the Greeks Leo Allatius relates that
"on good-friday, while they accompany as it were Christ himself to the
tomb, they lead round through the cities and _adore_ the sculptured
body of Christ". De consensu utriusque Eccl. lib. 5. c. 15. The
Syrians also practise this ceremony, as we learn from documents
published by Card. Borgia and Nairon. This rite is called the
_adoration_ of the cross. Let us not forget what is said in the Book
of Common Prayer in the solemnization of Matrimony "With this ring
I thee wed; with my body I thee _worship_". Such words of doubtful
signification must be interpreted from the doctrine of the church
which adopts them. Hanc veniam petimusque damusque vicissim. Now
the word _adorare_ used in our liturgy (derived from _ad_ and _ora_,
because persons when _adoring_ used to put their right hand to their
mouth; Plin. I. 28, c. 2. Apuleius in Apolog.) signifies not only to
pay divine worship, but also to venerate and even to salute. Thus
from the instances collected in Forcellini's Lexicon we may select the
following: "Primo autem septimum Germanici consulatum adoravi". Stat
in præf i. 4 Silv. Imo cum gemitu populum sic adorat: Apulei. lib 2.
Metam. The doctrine of the catholic church on this subject is as usual
clear and decided. The twenty-fifth session of the Council of Trent
decreed as follows: "The holy synod commands all bishops, and others
sustaining the duty and care of teaching, that they should diligently
instruct the faithful concerning the legitimate use of images
according to the custom of the catholic and apostolic church received
from the commencement of christianity, and the consent of the holy
fathers, and decrees of the sacred councils, teaching them ... that
the images of Christ; of the Virgin mother of God, and other saints,
are to be had and retained especially in churches, and that due honour
and veneration are to be given them: not that any divinity or virtue
is believed to exist in them for which they are to be worshipped, or
that any thing is to be asked from them, or that confidence is to be
placed in images, as was formerly done by the Gentiles, who used to
place their hope in idol; but because the honour which is given to
them is referred to the prototypes which they represent; so that
by the images which we kiss, and before which we uncover our heads
and bow our bodies, we adore Christ, and venerate the Saints, whose
likeness they bear: this has been decreed against the opposers of
images by the decrees of councils, especially of the second synod of
Nice. And let the bishops diligently teach, that by the histories
of the mysteries of our redemption expressed in pictures or other
likenesses the people are instructed and confirmed in commemorating
and assiduously venerating articles of faith, and that from all sacred
images a great fruit is derived, not only because the people are
admonished of the benefits and gifts conferred on them by Christ, but
also because God's miracles through the saints, and salutary examples
are laid before the eyes of the faithful, that they may return
thanks for them to God, and may compose their life and manners to an
imitation of the saints, and may be excited to adore and love God and
cherish piety". The council then gives directions for the extirpation
of any abuses which may creep in. These words, by which our faith
and practice are regulated, are too clear to need comment, and
sufficiently justify catholics from the foolish and calumnious charge
of idolatry. The true Catholic practice is well expressed in a work
attributed to Alcuin "We prostrate our bodies before the cross, and
our souls before the Lord: we venerate the cross by which we have been
redeemed, and we supplicate Him who redeemed us".]

[Footnote 90: This rite is described in the Ordo Romanus XIV with the
same ceremonies. It is first mentioned in the Ordo XI of the Canon

[Footnote 91: We kiss and press to our hearts the pictures of those
whom we love, and shall we think it sinful to kiss the image of Him,
who for love of us humbled himself even to the death of the cross?
Oh! let each one of us rather exclaim with S. Paul "God forbid that I
should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the
world is crucified to me and I to the world" (Gal. VI): or in the
words attributed to S. Andrew when he was going to be crucified "Hail
precious cross, that hast been consecrated by the body of my Lord, and
adorned with his limbs as with rich jewels. Oh good cross, that hast
received beauty from our Lord's limbs, I have ardently loved thee,
long have I desired and sought thee; now thou art found by me and made
ready for my longing soul". Act. S. Andreæ.]

[Footnote 92: "The greatest glory" says Baini "was deservedly obtained
by _Pierluigi_ on account of the _improperii_, and the hymn _Crux
fidelis_ which he set to music for 8 voices divided into two choirs,
and which were sung for the first time by the choir of the Lateran
basilica on good Friday in the year 1560: by them _fece sbalordire
arte e natura_. Pius IV demanded them for the use of the apostolic
chapel, and, after he had heard them, declared that Palestrina had
surpassed his expectations. These _improperii_ are still sung and will
ever be sung in the apostolic chapel" Baini, Mem. storic. di Giovanni
Pierluigi da Palestrina 1. p. 64.]

[Footnote 93: This hymn is frequently sung in the Greek and Oriental
church. Renaudot T. I, p. 70. According in the Menologium Græcum
and S. John Damascen it was first used in the reign of Theodosius,
when public supplications were offered to heaven during a terrible
earthquake at Costantinople. This Palmer admits, I, 64. It is still
said in Greek, in which it was originally composed, as well as in
Latin, in the Roman church. See Goar in notis ad Rituale Græc.]

[Footnote 94: In the Ordo Romanus XII, Ap. 1, de Presbyterio, it is
prescribed that "according to ancient custom whatever is offered upon
the cross ought to belong to the _schola_ (or company)" of the cross:
in the Ordo XIV, that it belongs to the _Sagrista_. The sum collected
is at present the perquisite of M. Sagrista and the two principal
Masters of ceremonies. These offerings were customary also in other
churches, and in particular at Paris.]

[Footnote 95: Baini observes, that the chant of this hymn is one of
the few instances of _rhythmical_ chant preserved by uninterrupted
_tradition_ in the papal chapel and adorned with the ancient
ornaments. (See his Saggio sopra l'indentità dei ritmi musicale e
poetico. Firenze, 1820). "The chant of that hymn" says Eximano (quoted
by Baini, Mem. Stor.) is a true plain chant, that is, a chant of
unison, such as it is found in all choral books: but the mode of
singing it in the pontifical chapel makes it appear different from
what is sung in other churches--Above all, the distribution of the
notes, which are sung (not of those which are written) adapted to
express the length and shortness of the syllables which compose the
rhythm of the hymn, ought to be studied. "Se si dà quell'inno ad un
maestro di cappella per metterlo in musica concertata ed in _battuta
sensibile_, verrà subito distrutto il _ritmo_, e se la cantilena
della cappella pontif. si scrive in battuta, si vedranno cadere
nel _battere_ alcune sillabe brevi, senza pregiudizio della loro
quantità". Dubbio di D. Antonio Eximeno sopra il saggio fondamentale
pratico di contrappunto del R.P.M. Martini. Roma, 1773.]

[Footnote 96: The corporal is a square piece of linen so called,
because the Corpus or body of Christ is placed on it. S. Isidore of
Pelusium in the beginning of the 5th century says, that the white
linen cloth, which is spread under the divine gifts, is the clean
linen cloth of Joseph of Arimathea: "for we, sacrificing the bread of
proposition on the linen cloth, without doubt find like him the body
of Christ": it was anciently much larger than it is at present. The
purificator is a small towel, which serves to wipe the chalice and
the hands and mouth of the priest, after he has received the B.

[Footnote 97: The veil is used from reverence to the B. Sacrament:
on an ancient mosaic on one of the arches of S. Prassede, a person
is represented enveloped in it, holding a sacred vessel apparently
intended to contain the B. Sacrament. Ciampini, Vet. mon. T. 2.]

[Footnote 98: According to the Gelasian Sacramentary, "the deacons go
to the _sacrarium_ and walk in procession with the body and blood of
the Lord, which remained from the preceding day": with it the most
ancient Ordo Romanus ad usum monasteriorum agrees.]

[Footnote 99: In the fourth century Pope Innocent I in his epistle to
Decentius assigns as a reason, why the holy sacrifice is not offered
up on this day, the example of the apostles who, concealing themselves
for fear of the Jews, spent this and the following day in fasting and
mourning for the death of their master, and were thus debarred from
the holy mysteries. During the whole of Lent the Greek church still
celebrates, towards evening, only the mass of the presanctified,
except on Saturdays and Sundays, and on the feast of the Annunciation,
when the ordinary mass is offered up. This is one of the ancient
instances of communion under one kind; for, as Leo Allatius observes,
either it is received under the form of bread alone, or if some drops
of the sacred blood were sprinkled on the host, all the species
of wine have disappeared before communion. (De utriusque Ecclesiæ
consensione, p. 875). Neither in the Latin or the Greek church is the
mass of the pre-sanctified a _Missa sicca_ or dry mass: in which not
only the consecration, but also the communion, and all those prayers
which are said over the holy Eucharist, used to be omitted. See
Durandus in Rationali c. 1. This is the only day in the year on which
mass is not offered up in the Latin church, and even on it the priest
communicates: on holy Saturday mass is said, but the priest alone
communicates: on all other days all the faithful may and many do
communicate, either during mass or before or after it according to
circumstances. Palmer having quoted a passage from Bona, in which the
Cardinal regrets that communion, as well as other rites to which the
mass is not essential, is often delayed till after the mass is ended,
subjoins the following ejaculation. "Would that they who communicate
with the Roman church were not too timid or too lukewarm to return to
the practice of the primitive church in this and many other respects".
Orig. Liturg. vol. 2, p. 154. Now in the primitive church the
faithful, and even those in health, used to communicate not only
during mass, but also at other times, as is evident from the office of
the presanctified, at which, according to the Gelasian sacramentary,
all present communicated, as well as from the numerous ancient
instances of communion under one kind mentioned in the preceding
chapter; for in these cases it was not received during the mass, and
many of them are cases of "_persons in health_". In the same page Mr.
Palmer observes that "_during all the primitive ages_ the whole body
of the faithful communicated at each celebration of the liturgy". Now
has the church of England preserved this "practice of the primitive
church"? So far is this from being the case, that Palmer considers
her _ordinary_ office as a "_Missa sicca_; or dry service" p. 164,
in which there is neither consecration or communion, and the earliest
notice of which occurs in the writings of Petrus Cantor (A.D. 1200),
according to Palmer's own admission, ibid. Even on those few days
in the year when she admits her children to communion, her ministers
generally consider that they make an oblation only of bread and wine,
and not of the body and blood of Christ, whereas, whatever Palmer or
the Tracts for the Times may say to the contrary, we are prepared to
prove from the _very liturgies_, which the former cites, that in the
mass there is an oblation not merely of bread and wine but also of the
body and blood of Christ; and accordingly even the author of Tract 81,
vol. 4, admits, p. 61, that "the real point of difference between the
primitive church and modern views is whether there be in this oblation
a _mystery_ or no". It is truly lamentable that men of learning should
falsely accuse the Roman church of departure from primitive discipline
in a matter of so little comparative importance as the precise
_time_ when communion is to be received, while they themselves must
acknowledge, that they have _abolished communion_ itself as well as
_consecration_ on _nearly_ all the days of the year, and that they
have reduced the oblation of the mass from a '_mystery_' and a
'_venerable, tremendous_ and unbloody sacrifice' (Palmer vol. 2, p.
84) to an offering of bread and wine. They have thus deprived their
followers of the inestimable fruits of communion enumerated by Christ
in the gospel--yet these forsooth are the men who charge Catholics
with a departure from primitive practice. How many other _primitive
practices_ mentioned in this work have been abolished by the church
of England!]

[Footnote 100: This plate, which is of gold or silver-gilt, resembles
_in form_ the patera used in the ancient sacrifices, and generally
represented together with the _prefericulum_ on sepulchral monuments
dedicated to the Manes.]

[Footnote 101: The wine is sanctified, but is not consecrated, either
by the particle of the sacred host, or by the recital of the _Pater
noster_, as has been shewn by Mabillon, (Museum Ital.) Bossuet, and
other authors quoted by Benedict XIV. The wine and water represent
the blood and water, which flowed on this day from Christ's body. See
Act. Coer. p. 54. Whenever priests _say Mass_, they receive under both
kinds, in compliance with the command of Christ "Drink ye all of this"
which words as well as those others, "Do this in commemoration of me"
were addressed to the apostles and their successors.]

[Footnote 102: According to the direction of the Gelasian
sacramentary, the _Pax Domini etc_. is not said on this day.]

[Footnote 103: "As the communion," says Mabillon "is of the nature of
a sacred banquet, it consists of food and drink; hence the other part
of the banquet, viz. drink, was supplied by wine, mixed with water,
but sanctified by a particle of the B. Sacrament" See for the service
of this day a MS. Pontifical of the church of Apamea in Syria ap.
Martene t. 3, p. 132. It is found with little variation also in the
Gelasian Sacramentary, in a very ancient _Ordo Romanus_, and some MSS.
cited by Martene. In the Roman church, as Amalarius was informed by
the Roman archdeacon "at the station no one communicated". In many
other churches there was general communion; this is prescribed by the
church during this holy season.]

[Footnote 104: In many churches the crucifix used to be solemnly
placed in the _sepulchre_ after the Vespers. See the Sarum and other
missals, ap. Martene t. 3, p. 139.]

[Footnote 105: So jealously are these relics kept, that even
sovereigns cannot go up where they are preserved, without being
first appointed Canons of the Basilica. The Emperor Frederic III,
and afterwards Ladislaus son of the king of Poland, and Cosimo III
grand-duke of Tuscany went up dressed as Canons of St. Peter's.]

[Footnote 106: The learned professor Sholz after his return from
Palestine defended in a dissertation the genuineness of this tomb
against Dr. Clark's objections: if it be within the walls of the
modern city of Jerusalem, it was certainly outside the ancient walls.]

[Footnote 107: The lance preserved at Nuremberg resembles in form that
of St. Peter's, but is made of common iron, united with a part of one
of the nails of the cross.]

[Footnote 108: These relics are shewn to the people on holy-Wednesday
after the matins of Tenebræ; on Thursday and Friday several times in
the day: on holy Saturday morning after mass: on Easter Sunday after
the Pontifical mass: on Easter Monday, and a few other festivals.]

[Footnote 109: The opinion of Röstell (Beschreibung der Stadt Rom, B.
I, p. 400) that these phials contained the blessed eucharist under
the form of wine, if admitted, would form a new proof of the real and
permanent presence of Christ's blood in the B. Sacrament; yet it is
a novel, unsupported, and untenable conjecture. Some of the ancient
Christian Fathers complain, it is true, of the abuse of burying the
eucharist with the deceased under the form of bread; but the phials of
blood have been found with so many bodies, that we cannot reasonably
suppose the custom to have been an abuse: and who among the ancients
mentions that the eucharist was ever buried with them under the form
of _wine_? That the palm-branch or crown accompanied by these phials
of blood are authentic signs of martyrdom, see Raoul-Rochette's
Memoires sur les pierre sepulcrales, t. XIII des Mem. de l'Academie,
p. 210, 217. On one of the phials mentioned by Röstell was found the
inscription Sanguis Saturnini.]

[Footnote 110: In the Vatican Library is a small relic-case, marked
with the monogram, of great simplicity and consequent antiquity. There
is another of ivory, adorned with bas-reliefs of the resuscitation of
Lazarus, Christ's apprehension etc. Plainer, Bescher. der Stadt Rom.
B. 2. See also Rock's Hierurgia Vol. 2, cap 6.]




    Service of Easter-eve--Ceremonies of
    holy-saturday-morning--Sixtine chapel. 1. Blessing of the fire
    and incense-procession; Paschal candle--the deacon sings the
    _Exultet_--triple candle--2. Baptism administered on this
    day: communion of children in former times--prophecies--3.
    The litany: invocation of Saints--change from mourning
    to rejoicing--High mass: sacred pictures
    etc.--_Alleluja_--Vespers--end of the mass: mass of Pope
    Marcellus--Ceremonies at S. John Laterans. Blessing of
    the font: baptistery--baptism of adults--litanies and
    confirmation--mass and ordination--Armenian catholics--their
    liturgy; and high mass on Easter-eve--reflections--Conclusion.

    "_But now Christ is risen from the dead, the first-fruits of
    them that sleep_". 1 Cor. XV, 20.

[Sidenote: Service of Easter-eve.]

I remarked in the last chapter, that anciently mass was not said
either on good-friday, or holy-saturday, and I quoted Pope Innocent I,
who assigns as a reason the example of the Apostles, who spent those
days in mourning for their Master. It was formerly customary to
celebrate mass on the night of Easter-eve or holy Saturday. Hence when
Tertullian, the oldest Latin Christian writer, endeavoured to dissuade
his wife from ever marrying a pagan, in case of his own death, among
other arguments he used the following; "Who will tranquilly wait for
you, when you are spending the night at the paschal solemnities?"
S. Jerome also (in cap. 25 Matt.) says, that according to apostolic
tradition, the people did not leave the church on Easter-eve before
midnight. This custom continued for many ages; but Hugh of S. Victor
in the twelfth century says, that in his time, in order to avoid
weakness arising from long fasting, the hour anciently observed was
anticipated. The service, which is now performed before noon on holy
Saturday, was formerly assigned to the night of Easter-eve: and this
anticipation accounts for the occasional mention of night, which
it contains, as well as for the early celebration of Christ's

[Sidenote: Ceremonies of holy saturday.]

The ceremonies of holy saturday-morning may be arranged under three
heads: 1st. the blessing of the fire and of the paschal candle: 2nd.
the preparation for, and ceremonies of, baptism: 3rd. the litany
and mass. All three allude, as we shall see, to the resurrection of
Christ, which is the great object of our devotion on this day. In Rome
two sanctuaries are the great centres of attraction in the morning,
viz. S. John Lateran's on account of the baptism of adults, and
the Sixtine chapel, where the service is always beautiful, and
particularly on this day. We shall first give an account of the
ceremonies observed in the latter, and shall then describe the
additional interesting rites of S. John Lateran's.

[Sidenote: Sixtine chapel: 1. Blessing of fire and incense.]

1. As the missal prescribes, the altar is covered at a convenient
hour, and the candles of the altar are not lighted till the beginning
of the mass. A light, from which the charcoal for the incense is
enkindled, is struck from a flint in the sacristy; where also _M.
Sagrista_ privately blesses water. The cardinals enter the Sixtine
chapel vested in their purple _cappe_: the maces are reversed, as on
friday. Meantime in the sacristy the Card. Celebrant wearing a purple
cope and mitre, and assisted by the sacred ministers, blesses (as
usually with holy water and incense) the fire and the five grains of
incense, which are to be fixed in the paschal candle[111].

[Sidenote: Procession: Paschal candle.]

The Cardinal afterwards changes his cope for a chasuble, which is
purple as well as that of the subdeacon; but the deacon, as he is
going to bless the Paschal candle[112], wears a white dalmatic. They
then enter the Sixtine chapel; where, having put incense into the
thurible, the Cardinal remains: but the deacon, the subdeacon who
carries the cross, and the other ministers go to the Pauline chapel,
whence a procession returns in the following order. After two mace
bearers comes an acolythe with the five grains of incense, and another
with the thurible; then the subdeacon carrying the cross; and the
deacon with a reed, at the top of which are 3 candles united together.
At his left hand is a Master of ceremonies with a small candle lighted
from the blessed fire, and he is followed by two other acolythes.
When the deacon arrives near the door of the _cancellata_, one of the
three candles is lighted, and all genuflect, except the subdeacon: the
deacon then sings, _Lumen Christi_, the light of Christ, and the choir
answers, Thanks be to God. The other two candles are lighted in turn,
as the Deacon approaches nearer to the altar; singing the same words
each time, but gradually in a higher tone. He then gives the reed
to an acolythe; and before he sings the _exultet_ or blessing of the
Paschal candle, he receives the benediction of the Card. Celebrant,
who once more puts incense into the thurible.

[Sidenote: Deacon sings the _Exultet_:]

[Sidenote: triple candle]

The deacon[113] goes to the book, and has the subdeacon on his right
hand, and on his left the thurifer and two acolythes, one of whom
holds the reed, and the other the plate containing the five grains of
incense. All stand, as at the gospel: he incenses the book, and then
sings the _Exultet_[114]. After the words _curvat imperia_, he fixes
in the candle the five grains of incense in the form of a cross[115].
At the words "_ignis accendit_" he lights the paschal candle with one
of the _three_ lights[116]. When the blessing, as it is called, is
ended, the paschal candle is left lighted near the pulpit and the
seats of the Card. deacons, and the triple candle is placed near the
altar on the gospel-side[117]. The deacon then takes off his white
vestments, puts on others of a purple colour, and joins the Card,
celebrant, who accompanied by the ministers takes his seat on
_Faldistorio_ near the altar on the epistle-side, to hear the
prophecies recited.

[Sidenote: 2. Baptism administered.]

[Sidenote: communion of children.]

2. The administration of the Sacrament of Baptism forms an important
feature in the ceremonies of this day: indeed anciently it was
customary to confer it only on holy-saturday, and the eve of
Whit-sunday, except in case of necessity[118]. On these two days those
Catechumens who were sufficiently instructed, and also children, used
to be baptised[119] by the bishop, and by the bishop of Rome as well
as others[120]; and after they had been baptised, they all received
Confirmation and the holy Eucharist[121].

[Sidenote: Prophecies.]

The twelve lessons or prophecies read on this day were intended for
the instruction of the catechumens; and they are well selected for
that purpose, as they contain an account of the creating, the flood,
the obedience of Abraham, the deliverance of God's people from their
enemies at the red sea, the precept concerning the paschal lamb,
the conversion of Ninive, the refusal of the three children to adore
Nabuchodonosor's statue, etc. they are twelve in the ancient Gelasian
Ordo. They are sung in the Sixtine chapel by members of the papal
choir, and are read by the Card. celebrant. After each prophecy the
Cardinal standing up sings a prayer: the deacon chants _Flectamus
genua_ and the subdeacon _Levate_ before each, except the last, when
the knee is not bent, in order to shew abhorence of the idolatry
exacted by Nabuchodonosor for his statue. After the 4th, 8th, and 11th
prophecies an appropriate Tract is sung by the choir. Formerly some or
all of these prophecies were said in Greek as well as in Latin. (See
Cancellieri, _Funz. d. Set. S._ § 4, Martene T. 3. p. 148.). These
lesson are recited even where there is no baptismal font, as at the
Sixtine chapel. After them follow in S. John Lateran's and other
churches the blessing of the font, and in some of them administration
of baptism.

[Sidenote: 3. The litany: invocation of Saints.]

[Sidenote: Change from mourning to rejoicing.]

3. In the papal chapel, immediately after the prophecies, the
Celebrant takes off his chasuble, and prostrates himself with the
sacred ministers before the altar; all the others also kneel, and
two tenor voices from the choir chant in the middle of the chapel the
greater litanies, called those of the saints, each petition of which
is repeated in the same words by the choir[122]. Before the verse
"_Peccatores te rogamus audi nos_" the assistant priest and ministers
go to the sacristy, and put on white vestments. Then returning to the
chapel they assist the Card. Celebrant to put on his white vestments
at his _faldistorio_. The candles are now lighted (at the _Agnus Dei_
of the litany, as the Sacramentary of S. Gregory and the Ordo Romanus
prescribe); the purple veil which covered the throne and the purple
_paliotto_ or facing of the altar are removed; and both appear decked
in white. The Cardinals assisted by theirs _caudatarii_ take off
their purple _cappe_, and put on others of scarlet brought in by their
respective _camerieri_. The reason of this sudden change from mourning
to rejoicing we have already seen: the celebration of Christ's
resurrection from the dead is celebrated by anticipation.

[Sidenote: High mass.]

At the end of the litanies, the Pope (if His Holiness were not present
at the preceding ceremonies) enters the chapel, wearing a white
cope and a mitre; at the foot of the altar he repeals as usual the
beginning of the mass with the Card. Celebrant at His left hand: in
the meantime the choir sings solemnly the _Kyrie eleison_ etc. (as
there is no _Introit_ of the Mass, because the people were assembled
in the church previously): the Pope goes to His throne, and receives
the usual _ubbidienza_; and the other customary ceremonies of high
mass in the papal chapel take place (see p. 19 and foll.) with such
exceptions as we shall now mention. As soon as the Celebrant commences
the _Gloria in excelsis_, the veil is removed from the tapestry over
the altar; which represents Christ rising from the dead[123], the
cannons of S. Angelo are discharged, the arms are no longer reversed
and the bells of the city are tolled, to announce to its faithful
inhabitants the resurrection of their Divine Lord.

[Sidenote: Alleluja.]

After the epistle, sung as usual by the subdeacon, another subdeacon
(_Uditore di Rota_) wearing a white _tonacella_ or tunic announces
at the foot of the throne the joyful tidings to His Holiness[124] by
chanting aloud; "_Pater sancte, annuntio vobis gaudium magnum, quod
est, Alleluja_": having then kissed the Pope's foot he returns into
the sacristy. This word of joy[125] _Alleluja_, (praise God) which
had not been once uttered during the long season of mourning which
preceded this solemnity, is now sung thrice by the Celebrant,
gradually raising his voice to a higher tone. The choir reechoes it
each time, singing it in _contrapunto_, and then chants the verse
_Confitemini_, and the tract, which is ordinarily recited in
penitential times. Throughout the mass the joy of the church is
incomplete; for though Christ has risen from the dead, He has not
yet appeared to His disciples, and the light of faith is still
overclouded, as Alcuin remarks: hence lights are not carried at the
gospel; the Creed, offertory, motetto and _Agnus_ _Dei_ are omitted,
and the kiss of peace is not given[126]. Merati adds to the cause
already assigned the wish to abridge service; particularly on account
of the newly-baptised children, who communicated at this mass; and the
unusual shortness of the Vespers confirms this opinion.

[Sidenote: End of the mass.]

After the Celebrant has communicated, Vespers are sung by the choir,
in place of the _communion_ and postcommunion. They consist of the
anthem _Alleluja_ repeated three times before and after the short
psalm _Laudate Dominion omnes gentes_ etc.; of the anthem _Vesper
autem sabbati_, which the Celebrant commences and the choir continues;
of the _Magnificat_[127] and in fine of the prayer which is chanted
by the Card. Celebrant. While the anthem before the _Magnificat_ is
sung, the Pope puts incense into the thurible; the celebrant incenses
the crucifix and the altar, and is incensed by the deacon, and the
incensing continues as after the offertory at high-mass (See p. 21) At
the _Gloria Patri_ the deacon, having incensed the Card, priests, bows
his head in the middle of the chapel, and then proceeds to incense the
Card, deacons. After the prayer; _Ite Missa est, Alleluja, Alleluja_,
is sung; and the choir answers, _Deo gratias Alleluja, Alleluja_: the
Pope gives the usual blessing, the Celebrant publishes the indulgence
of thirty years and this beautiful service terminates. In the sacristy
His Holiness puts on a _mozzetta_ of white (instead of red) damask,
and wears it during the whole of Easter week: His shoes also are
white. The Cardinals put on red _mantellette_ and _mozzette_ over
their purple cassocks; these they afterwards change for others of

[Sidenote: Mass of Pope Marcellus.]

The mass sung on this day is that of Pierluigi da Palestrina, called
the mass of Pope Marcellus; not because it was composed during his
pontificate; but because, according to Baini, Pierluigi had intended
to dedicate a work to that Pope, to whom he was grateful and attached,
but was disappointed by His Holiness' premature death; and therefore
he persuaded Card. Vitellozzi to give it that name in honour of
his former patron. This is the celebrated mass, which rescued
ecclesiastical music from the dangers which surrounded it in the
Pontificate of Pius IV (as we have related in The Papal Chapel, Rome,
1839), and not of Marcellus II, as Baini has proved. It is said, that
when it was first sung in the papal chapel, the Card. dean Francesco
Pisani was so enraptured with it, that he exclaimed with Dante,
Paradise, Canto X.

  _Render è questo voce à voce in tempra_
  _Ed in dolcezza, ch' esser non può nota_
  _Se non colà dove il gioir s'insempra._

to whom, with all the readiness of the bucolic shepherds, whom this
classic soil even now produces, Card. Sorbelloni, the Pope's cousin,

  _Risponda dunque; O beata sorte!_
  _Risponda alla divina cantilena_
  _Da tutte parti la beata Corte,_
  _Si ch' ogni vista ne sia pià serena._

Baini Mem. Stor. T. 1.

[Sidenote: Ceremonies at S. John Lateran's.]

The ceremonies of holy-week are performed at S. John Lateran's[128]
by the chapter of that protobasilica, and resemble for the most part
those which we have already described. On holy-saturday however, in
addition to the rites before mentioned, the font of the baptistery is
blessed by the Card. Vicar, baptism is solemnly administered there to
adults, the newly-baptised are confirmed in the church, ordination is
conferred during mass upon candidates, for the priesthood. We shall
treat briefly of these various ceremonies.

[Sidenote: Blessing of the fonti: baptistery.]

After the twelve prophecies have been recited, the Card. Vicar, (as
the representative of the Bishop of Rome) wearing a purple cope and
a mitre, goes in procession from the tribune of the basilica to the
baptistery[129]. He is preceded by acolythes bearing the paschal
candle[130], and the cross and usual lights, as well as by the
candidates for baptism and orders, and the chapter of the basilica.
In the mean time the beautiful tract, As the stag thirsts for the
fountains of water, etc. is sung[131]. His Em. then chants the prayers
appointed for the benediction of the font; he divides the water with
his hand in the form of a cross, exorcises it, touches it, signs it
three times with the sign of our redemption, and pours some of it
towards the four parts of the world, in allusion to the command of
Christ: "_Go teach all nations, baptising them_" (Matt. XXVIII). He
then dips the paschal candle three times into the water, singing, and
each time raising his voice to a higher pitch than before: "May the
power of the Holy Ghost descend upon the fulness of this font"; as
when He descended, says Gavant, "in the form of a dove at the baptism
of Christ represented by this candle plunged into the water". Then
breathing three times on the water nearly in the form of a cross "that
he may unite the Trinity with the cross" (as the same author observes)
he continues the chant, and raises the candle from the water,
alluding in the prayer to "the effect of baptism, which confers grace,
_raising_ the soul from sin to glory". (Gavant). The blessed water
is then sprinkled upon the people, and some of it is reserved to be
sprinkled in houses, etc. In order to sanctify the water still
more, the Cardinal now pours into it, in the form of a cross, oil of
catechumens and chrism; and mixes them with the water of the font,
in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This last ceremony
is intended to signify, according to mystical interpreters, such as
Amalarius, Honorius, Durandus, etc. "the union of Christ by baptism
with the members of the church" (Gavant). The prayers of this
benediction, most of which are sung in the tone of the _preface_ at
ferial mass, contain beautiful allusions to the mention of water in
the Old and New Testaments, as for instance: "O God, whose Spirit at
the very beginning of the world was borne upon the waters, that the
nature of water might even then conceive the power of sanctification;
O God, who washing with waters the crimes of a guilty world, didst
sign the figure of regeneration in the very out-pouring of the deluge;
may this font receive of the Holy Ghost the grace of thy only begotten

[Sidenote: Baptism of adults.]

The Cæremoniale Episcoporum prescribes that infants, except in danger
of death, should not be baptised during the eight preceding days, that
they may be reserved for holy-Saturday. The beginning of the baptismal
service and the exorcisms are performed privately in the sacristy
by the parish-priest, while the prophecies are read in church[133].
After the font has been blessed, the catechumens wearing a long white
dress, and accompanied by their respective godfathers and godmothers,
approach the font, and in turn ascend. In answer to the questions of
the Cardinal (who is now vested in a white, and not a purple, cope,)
having renounced Satan and all his works and pomps, they profess
their belief in the articles of Christian faith, and their desire of
baptism[134]: then assisted by their sponsors they are baptised by
infusion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; they are
anointed with chrism, receive a white garment, with a charge to bear
it unspotted before the tribunal of Christ, and in fine a lighted
taper, that "when the Lord shall come to the nuptials, they may meet
him in the heavenly court unto life everlasting".

[Sidenote: Litanies and confirmation.]

The litanies are sung, while the procession returns to the church,
where the newly-baptised are confirmed in a side-chapel, and exhorted
to perseverance in virtue, by the Cardinal[135]; the litanies are
then continued, but cease while all kneeling venerate the heads of
SS. Peter and Paul shewn from above the high altar; the procession
afterwards returns to the tribune, where the mass of the day is sung,
and orders are conferred by the Cardinal-Vicar.

[Sidenote: Mass and ordination.]

The orders of priests and deacons are often mentioned in the N.
Testament: and the church, as S. Thomas observes, instituted the
inferior orders. Subdeacons are mentioned by Pope Cornelius and S.
Cyprian in the 3rd century, as well as acolythes, exorcists, and
lectors. S. Augustine and S. Gregory Nazianzen speak of _ostiarii_;
and the clerical tonsure is mentioned by S. Isidore at the beginning
of the 5th century, as a rite established before his time. Orders
are conferred by the laying on of hands and prayer, as the scripture
teaches, and also by the delivery of the instruments belonging to each
order: appropriate exhortations addressed to the candidates for the
different orders are interspersed with the prayers prescribed in the
pontifical. (On their antiquity the reader may consult Morinus de
Ordinationibus, Martene de Antiquis Eccl. Ritibus, T. 2. etc.) The
tonsure is given after the _Kyrie eleison_ of the mass, the 4 minor
orders after the _Gloria in excelsis_; subdeacons are ordained before
the epistle, which one of them repeats; deacons after the epistle
and finally priests after the first part of the tract. These last,
after the imposition of hands, receive their peculiar vestments,
viz. the stole hanging down in front, and the chasuble: their hands
are anointed with oil of catechumens, and they receive a chalice
containing wine and water, a paten with a host, and power to say
mass. (Luke XXII, 19). After offerings of candle have been made to the
ordaining Bishop, the new priests join him in saying mass[136]: and
after the newly-ordained and baptised have communicated, the priests
profess their faith by reciting the apostles' creed; they receive
power to forgive and retain sins (John XX, 22, 23), they promise
reverence and obedience to their ecclesiastical superior, and receive
the bishops blessing, who then directs that masses and prayers be
said by those whom he has ordained, and recommends himself to their
prayers. In other respects the mass is similar to that of the Papal
chapel[137]. Morcelli in his calendar in summing up the ceremonies
of this day, having mentioned the station at S. John Lateran's, the
baptism of Jews and Turks, and mass in the papal chapel, says that
at the _Gloria, tonitrus tormentorum ab Arce fiunt, Æra templorum ac
Turium sonant._

[Sidenote: Armenian Catholics:]

Having spoken of the ceremonies of the Vatican and S. John Lateran's,
we might consider our task as completed[138]. Yet one more _funzione_
attracts our countrymen on this day; and we are therefore unwilling to
bid them farewell, before it is ended. Come then to S. Biagio or to S.
Gregorio Illuminatore, to assist at the Armenian mass; and on the
road we may talk of the venerable and amiable Fathers who perform that
solemn service, and of the nature of their liturgy.

SS. Bartholomew and Thaddaeus were the first apostles of Armenia:
but it was not till the beginning of the 4th century, that the whole
country became Christian in consequence of the divine blessing, which
attended the zealous exertions of S. Gregory surnamed the Illuminator.
In the 6th century great numbers of the Armenians were infected with
the heresy of Eutyches, who denied that there were two natures in
Christ: and to this error they afterwards added some others. In the
pontificate of John XXII, about the year 328, a zealous Dominican
bishop, called Bartholomew of Bologna, went as a missionary among
them; and many of the Eutychians or Monophysites returned to the bosom
of the Catholic church. In the 16th century the Catholics were so
furiously persecuted by Zachary, a schismatical patriarch, that they
fled and took refuge in other countries. They have at present two
establishments at Rome, one of the Antonian monks at the church of
S. Gregory Illuminator, behind the colonnade of S. Peter's; and a
national _ospizio_ at S. Biagio in strada Giulia.

[Sidenote: their liturgy.]

"The Armenians," says Palmer "have only one liturgy, which is written
in the ancient Armenian language, and has been used by them from time
immemorial. The whole groundwork and order of the Armenian liturgy
coincides with the Cæsarean, as used in the time of Basil. This
liturgy has, like most others, received many additions in the course
of ages. There are several prayers extracted from the liturgy of
Chrysostom, and actually ascribed to him" Vol. 1, Liturgy of Armenia.
"The liturgy of Basil can be traced with tolerable certainty to the
4th century. Striking as are some of the features, in which it differs
from that of Antioch, it is nevertheless evidently a superstructure
raised on that basis: the composition of both is the same, i.e. the
parts, which they have in common, follow in the same order. The same
may be said of the Constantinopolitan liturgy, commonly attributed to
S. Chrysostom, of that of the Armenian church, and of the florid and
verbose composition in use among the Nestorians of Mesopotamia. So
that the liturgy of Antioch, commonly attributed to S. James, appears
to be the basis of all the oriental liturgies". Tracts for the Times,
N. 63. The author then proceeds to state the grounds of the belief
that the liturgies of Antioch, Alexandria, Rome and Gaul were of
Apostolic origin; concluding thus "It may perhaps be said without
exaggeration, that next to the holy scriptures they possess the
greatest claims on our veneration and study". Padre Avedichian
observes in his preface to the Armenian liturgy, that it was probably
compiled by John _Mandagunense_, an Armenian patriarch of the fifth

[Sidenote: Armenian high-mass.]

We shall now give a brief account of their high mass, which we do the
more readily, because Mr. Palmer represents it in a very mutilated
form. The celebrant, whether priest or bishop, is vested in the
sacristy: the vestments bear some resemblance to those of the Greeks.
The beginning of the mass is the only part probably taken from the
Roman liturgy, but it contains an invocation of the B. Virgin and of
the saint of the day. When the celebrant goes up to the altar, the
veil is drawn: he uncovers the chalice, blesses the host, which is
like ours of unleavened bread; pours wine and water into the chalice,
and recites the beautiful prayer of S. John Chrysostom: "O Lord our
God, who hast sent our Lord Jesus Christ the celestial bread, the
nourishment of the whole world; do thou bless this proposition etc."
The veil is then drawn back, and the offerings, the altar, and the
people are incensed. The Celebrant recites the prayer of the festival,
followed by other prayers composed by S. John Chrysostom: the
Trisagion is sung, and the gospel is carried in procession, and is
kissed by one of the congregation. Then follow the epistle, gospel,
and creed. After two prayers, and two benedictions imparted to the
people; the offerings are carried in procession to the altar, the
celebrant offers them up to God, and prays that Jesus Christ will make
him worthy to consecrate, and receive his "holy and immaculate body
and precious blood; for thou, O Christ our God, art he who offers
and is offered". After he has washed his hands, he says "O Lord God
of armies, let this victim become "the true body and blood of thy
only begotten Son". He then blesses the people, says prayers which
correspond to our preface and _Sanctus_, and pronounces the words of
consecration. After he has said other prayers, and made the sign of
the cross several times over the host and chalice, he invokes the holy
Ghost, begging also that the body and blood of Christ may produce "the
salvation of our souls and the remission of our sins". He then prays,
through the merits of the holy sacrifice, for the whole world, the
church and state, all conditions of men and for all the faithful
departed: he invokes the intercession of the B. Virgin and all the
Saints: he prays for the Pope and all present; and after other similar
supplications, he says the _Pater noster_. The elevation takes place
at this part of the mass, and also the blessing of the people with
the consecrated host and chalice, accompanied by appropriate prayers.
After the curtains have been drawn, the priest breaks the host, and
puts a particle of it into the chalice: he then receives communion,
blesses the people with the chalice and particle, and distributes
communion; before its distribution the curtains are drawn back. When
the ablutions and prayers after the celebrant's communion are ended,
turning towards the people, he recites a prayer of S. John Chrisostom,
which is followed by the last gospel. Then invoking the holy cross he
blesses the people, who unite in praising God. He finally blesses them
again, and distributes blessed bread (not consecrated) among them. At
S. Gregorio Illuminatore Vespers are added and said _in circolo_: the
clergy carry tapers; and the gospel is held up by the Celebrant to
implore blessings on the people.

[Sidenote: Reflections.]

These ceremonies may appear singular to us, who are of a different
clime and different customs; their music in particular is little in
accordance with our taste, or notions of melody and harmony. Yet the
remark of Montfaucon (Diario Italico) "æra Dodonæa dixisses", alluding
to the brass kettles of the oracle (Potter Arch. Graec. B. 2, § 8)
is an exaggeration. Their _flabelli_ are of metal, of a round form,
surrounded with little bells, which are sounded at the seraphic hymn,
to express, if we might believe Cancellieri, "by the trembling of the
hands, that of the blessed spirits, who assist at the throne of the
Divine Majesty with fear and trembling". (Tre Pontific. Not. VI).
Their mass is anticipated, but not at so early an hour as that of
the Latin. (Even in the Latin church, permissions to say mass in
the afternoon of this day have been granted by some Popes; they may
be seen in Cancellieri. _Funz. d. Sett. S. p_. 183, 184). Amid the
numerous differences between their rite and our own, the attentive
spectator will not fail to remark the similarity of the substance and
order of their liturgy, and of that of the Roman church; although,
with the solitary exception of the beginning of the mass, both have
existed independently of one another during the last 1400 years. This
is a powerful argument in favour of the great antiquity, nay of the
apostolic origin of their most important ceremonies, which may be
traced through different channels to the _primitive_ liturgies of Rome
and Antioch. It is also one of those striking illustrations, which
Rome presents, of the unity and catholicity of the church; and at
the same time of the adaptation of her immutable doctrines and sacred
practices to the feelings and customs of widely-separated nations who,
having little in common but human nature, yet all acknowledge "one
Lord, one faith, and one baptism". (Ephes. IV. 5); and all belong to
"one fold and one shepherd". John X, 16.

[Sidenote: Conclusion.]

Having now considered in detail the various ceremonies of Holy Week
at Rome, a philosophic mind will take a general review of them: and
this question will very naturally suggest itself: What judgment
ought I to form concerning them? am I to consider them as mummery, or
superstition, or idolatry, as many most confidently pronounce, who
are unacquainted with their nature, their origin, and their meaning;
and at the same time are little accustomed from early infancy to
any language or gesticulations save those of the tongue? or am I not
rather to regard them as a solemn, and sacred, and pathetic, and most
ancient expression of Christian faith and Christian feeling; which,
united as it is with the noblest productions of divine inspiration and
of Christian art may haply not only instruct and elevate the mind, but
also enkindle in the soul flames of that pure and practical devotion,
which this holy season demands from every follower of Christ? Let the
reader decide for himself; but for our part, we envy not the mind
or heart of him, who can prefer the former of these views. We shall
ever bless God, that we have learnt in another school not to condemn
the customs and manners of other countries and other people, merely
because they differ from our own; and that we are disposed to
attribute to signs the meaning attached to them by those who adopt
them, and not that of our own fancies. Men of warmer climates than our
own convey to others their sentiments and feelings by action as easily
as by the tongue. Italians, as well as Greeks and Orientals, have
inherited from their fathers a language of gesture more powerful and
expressive than that of words. The Hebrew prophets, Isaiah, Ezechiel,
and others, nay Christ himself, spoke by action as well by the tongue.
God appointed in the old law innumerable ceremonies: Christ in the new
law of spirit and truth instituted sacred rites, or sanctified those
which previously existed: the early church imitated His blessed
example: and they have been faithfully preserved as a precious
inheritance till the present time. The very objection, that some of
them were borrowed from Jews or Pagans, is a proof of their primitive
antiquity: Christ or the church removed from them all profaneness or
superstition, and then adopted and sanctified them. (See Wiseman's
Letters to Poynder). If all parties unite in approbation of the
illumination of the cupola of S. Peter's, and of the fireworks of S.
Angelo, considered as outward demonstrations of the exultation of the
church at the resurrection of her Divine Spouse; we shall ever admire
also the expressions of christian feeling exhibited in the interior
of her temples, whether they consist in ceremonies or words; and on
this day emulating the transports of joy of the fervent and eloquent
pilgrim to Jerusalem and Mount Sinai, when shall unite our voices with
those of the angelic spirits in singing, _Alleluja_; "because Jesus
Christ, our Lord, who was delivered up for our sins, rose again for
our justification". Rome. IV, 24, 25.[139]

[Footnote 111: Anciently in some churches, as Thomassin has shewn (de
dierum Festorum celebratione lib. 2. c. 14), fire used to be struck
from a flint to light the church-lamps etc. every day and particularly
on Saturday, and the new fire was blessed; on holy Saturday however
this ceremony was performed with great solemnity; and in the 11th
century it was restricted to that day alone. At Rome in holy week
this practice was not originally confined to holy Saturday, but was
observed on the three days before caster: for the first _Ordo Romanus_
directs, that on holy _thursday_ fire should be struck from a flint
outside the church, and blessed. Amalarius also (4e Ordine Antiph.)
testifies that on good _friday_ "new fire was enkindled and reserved
till the nocturnal office". Leo IV however (A.D. 847) appears to have
first ordered that on Easter Eve "the old fire should be put out, and
new fire blessed and distributed among the people" (Homil. de cura
Pastorali). For Pope Zachary, about the year 731. in answer to
the enquiries of Boniface, bishop of Mayence, states that "on holy
thursday, when the sacred chrism is consecrated, three lamps of a
large size filled with oil collected from the different lamps of the
church, and placed in a secret part of the said church, should burn
there constantly, so that the oil may suffice till the third day,
that is saturday. Then let the fire of the lamps which is used for the
sacred font be renewed. But concerning the fire taken _ex cristallis_,
as you have asserted, we have no tradition". Pouget (Inst. Cathol. l.
1) observes that the new fire is blessed with great solemnity on this
day, "because the fire struck from a flint appears to be a type of
Christ arising from the dead". Formerly not only the lights of the
church, but all the fires of the city were enkindled from the blessed
fire (as we learn from a MS. Sancti Victoris (ap. Martene, De ant.
Eccl. Ritibus lib. IV, c. XXIV). "After the _Ite Missa est_" says
the Ordinarium of Luke archbishop of Cosenza "the bishop gives his
blessing, and immediately the deacon commands the people, saying
"Receive the new fire from the holy candle, and having put out the
old, light it in your houses in the name of Christ; then rejoicing
they depart with the light". This custom is mentioned also in Leo
IVth's homily above quoted.]

[Footnote 112: As for the Paschal candle, Anastasius says that
Zosimus, who was elected pope in 417, gave leave that candles should
be blessed in the churches. Bened. XIV, Merati and Gretser understand
by these words, that that Pontiff only extended to the parish churches
a custom already practised in the greater churches: however this may
be, the blessing of this candle is at least as old as the time of Pope
Zosimus. It is inserted in the ancient sacramentary of Pope Gelasius
(A.D. 495). S. Augustine (lib. 15 de Civ. Dei) mentions some verses
written by himself in praise of the paschal candle. S. Jerome also
speaks of it in his epistles; and Ennodius bishop of Pavia in
519 wrote two formulas, according to which it might be blessed.
Cancellieri, at the end of his _Funzioni della Settimana Santa_,
describes two blessings of the paschal candle contained in manuscripts
of the 12th century. Du Vert as usual rejects every mystical meaning
of the candle: but why then should it be lighted on this night, and
not on christmas and other nights? The 4th Council of Toledo, held in
633, states that the paschal candle is blessed, in order that we may
receive the mystery of Christ's resurrection; and hence the abbot
Rupert says, that the candle when lighted represents Christ's
resurrection from the dead. That such is its meaning appears from the
five holes made in it in the form of a cross, to represent the five
wounds of Christ: in them the five grains of incense are fixed by the
Deacon, in order to represent, according to Rupert, the spices applied
to Christ's body by Joseph of Arimathea. In confirmation of this
explanation, we may observe that this candle is not removed from the
church till the gospel has been sung on Ascension-day when Christ
departed from among men: and it is lighted at solemn mass before the
_gospel_ and at vespers before the _Magnificat_ on the Sundays and
holidays which occur between holy saturday and the ascension. To the
same symbolical meaning of this candle we must attribute the ancient
custom of affixing to it (as a symbol of Christ) a tablet on which
the current year of our Lord and its indiction were marked: sometimes
these, if not other chronological dates, were inscribed on the candle
itself by the deacon, before he sang the _Exultet_, as Ven. Bede
testifies, The same idea was preserved in the practice of forming the
_Agnus Dei_ with the wax of the paschal candle. "On this day" (holy
saturday) says Durandus "the acolythes of the Roman church make
_lambs_ of newly blessed wax, or of the _wax of the paschal candle_
of the preceding year mixed with chrism: on Saturday in Albis they
are distributed by the Lord Pope to the people in the churches".
Amalarius likewise mentions this custom. It appears also from the
two benedictions of Ennodius mentioned above, that the faithful used
particles of the pascal candle as a preservative against storms: the
good effects hoped for in this and similar cases are attributed to the
prayers of the church, which God in His goodness has promised to hear.
The paschal candle is painted according to an ancient custom.

  "Ast alii _pictis_ accendant lumina _ceris_".

S. Paulinus Nat. VI. S Felicis

Pierin del Vaga, whom Vasari considered as the most distinguished
of Raffaello's assistants, was originally nothing more than a
candlepainter. His creation of Eve at S. Marcello at Rome, and
his frescoes in the Doria place at Genoa, are well-known; at the
Vatican he assisted Giovanni d'Udine in his arabesques, Polidoro in
his antique chiaroscuri, and executed some of the most beautiful
historical paintings of the loggie di Raffaello. Hence may we judge of
the versatility of his talents.]

[Footnote 113: Why does a deacon perform this ceremony? since other
benedictions are reserved to bishops and priests. Rupert assigns as a
reason, that Christ's body was wrapped in spices by his disciples, and
not by the apostles whose successors are bishops and priests: besides,
the hymn sung by the deacon is the præconium Paschale, or announcement
of the Resurrection, which was first made by inferiors to their
superiors, by the women to the apostles. We may add that both the fire
and the 5 grains of incense are previously blessed by the priest, and
in the præconium itself there is not any form of blessing, strictly
speaking. In the church of Ravenna however the bishop used to
bless this candle (S. Gregory ep. 28, lib. 9). In the Roman church,
according to cardinal Gaetani, the last of the Cardinal priests
usually blessed the fire, and the last Card. deacon lighted the _lumen
Christi_, or triple candle, and the Paschal candle. The deacon used
to bless the latter either at the steps of the presbytery, or from the
ambo; and hence we find a marble column, intended to support it, fixed
to the ambo in S. Clement's S. Laurence's, and S. Pancras' churches
at Rome. See another marble column destined for the same use ap.
Ciampini, Vet. mon. cap. 2.]

[Footnote 114: Martene (De antiquis Eccl. rit. lib. 4, c. 24)
maintains that this hymn was composed by S. Augustine, and this
opinion is adopted also by Baillet and Benedict XIV, and confirmed by
a MS. pontifical of the church of Pavia of the 9th century, and other
documents cited by Martene, ibid: it was corrected by S. Jerome, if
we may believe an ancient Pontifical of Poitiers (quoted ibid.) The
_chant_ of this beautiful hymn is very ancient. "I have seen," says
Baini "in many manuscripts both anterior and posterior to the 11th
century the melodies of the preface, of the _Pater noster_, of the
_Exultet_, and of the _Gloria_ precisely such as the modern" (T. 2,
p. 92). In a splendid roll of the Minerva (signed D. 1. 2) of the 9th
century, are contained the _Exultet_, the solemn benediction of the
baptismal font, and the administration of all the ecclesiastical
orders. Nor is this the only roll containing the chant precisely
similar to the modern. D'Agincourt left another to the Vatican
library. See also MS. no. 333 of the Barberini library, of the year

[Footnote 115: Prudentius speaks of the "guttas olentes" or
odoriferous drops of the candle, and S. Paulinus of Nola of "odora
lumina": hence P. Arevalo conjectures that the grains of incense were
fixed in the paschal candle even at the time of Prudentius in the 4th

[Footnote 116: In churches, at the words _Apis mater eduxit_, the
lamps also are lighted. With regard to the triple candle, we may
observe that on an ancient marble column preserved in the Piazza
before the cathedral of Capua is a bas-relief representing the
lighting of the paschal candle by means of a reed surmounted by 3
small candles, as the Canonico Natali testifies in a letter printed at
Naples in 1776. The triple candle is mentioned in the Ordo Romanus
of Card. Gaetano, in that of Amelius, and in a MS. Pontifical of the
church of Apamea, ap. Martene. As Thomassin observes, "we light a
candle divided into three in honour of the Trinity, considering that
enlightened by Christ we know that recondite mystery". Gavant also
gives the same explanation. In the Greek service the bishop gives
his blessing, as often as he sings mass, with a triple candle. In the
Latin church it is used only on holy Saturday.]

[Footnote 117: See Appendix.]

[Footnote 118: This custom is proved from the letter of Siricius
Pope in the 4th century to Himmerius, from letters of S. Leo and
Pope Gelasius, as well as other ancient documents (ap. Bened. XIV,
Institut. prima ed lat.); and vestiges of it are preserved in the
liturgy of the weeks of Easter and Pentecost. Ordinations were
generally conferred before Christmas, as is evident from the lives of
the early Popes. Baptism was administered before the great festivals
of Easter and Pentecost, that the newly-baptised might be prepared to
celebrate them worthily, and receive the graces therein commemorated.
Perhaps another reason for selecting the eve of Easter may be found in
the parallel drawn by S. Paul between baptism and Christ's death and
resurrection (Rom. VI, 5 and foll.): "we who are baptised in Christ
Jesus are baptised in his death. For we are buried together with him
by baptism unto death: that as Christ is risen from the dead by the
glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life" etc.]

[Footnote 119: See on such subjects Del Signore's Institut. Hist.
Eccles. with notes by Prof. Tizzani Cap. V. § 19 seq.]

[Footnote 120: See Comm. ad Ord. Rom. Mabillonii tom. 2, Mus. Ital. p.

[Footnote 121: According to the Ordo Romanus, children after baptism
on this day were to take no food or milk before Communion "and on all
days of Easter-week let them go to Mass, and let their parents offer
for them, and let all communicate". As Cabassutius proves in his
notitia Ecclesiastica sæculi primi, they used to receive the B.
Sacrament under the form of wine alone. The bishop dipped his finger
into the sacred blood, and then put it into the mouth of the child a
practice observed in modern times in some parts of the East, according
to the learned Maronite Abraham Ecchellensis; afterwards a little milk
and honey was put into their mouths, as an emblem (according to John
the deacon) of the promised land, to which they were called. This
custom of giving communion to children was not of necessity for
salvation, as Cardinal Noris proves in Vindiciis Augustinianis § 4,
and the Council of Trent observes. In some places an abuse crept in
of putting the milk and honey into the consecrated chalice, but it was
prohibited by an African Council.]

[Footnote 122: In the 4th century, S. Basil writing to the clergy of
Neocesarea observes, that the litanies, which they then used, were
introduced after the time of S. Gregory Thaumaturgus (Epist. 63). In
Gaul about the year 452, S. Mamertus bishop of Vienne appointed solemn
litanies to be recited on the three _rogation_ days. "At Rome," say
Palmer, "no doubt litanies were in use at an early period, since we
find that in the time of Gregory the great (A.D. 590), the appellation
of litany had been so long given to processional supplications,
that it was then familiarly applied to those persons who formed the
procession". Vol. 1, p. 271. That holy Pontiff gave the following
directions; "Let the litany of the clergy set out from the church of
S. John the Baptist, the litany of the men from the church of the holy
martyr Marcellus, the litany of the monks from the church of SS John
and Paul: the litany of the handmaids of God from the church of the
blessed martyrs Cosmas and Damian, the litany of the married women
from the church of the blessed protomartyr Stephen; the litany of the
widows from the church of the blessed martyr Vitalis, the litany of
the poor and children from the church of the blessed martyr Cecilia".
Vita S. Gregorii a Joanne Diacono, lib. 1, c. 42. That the litanies
were recited on holy-saturday appears from several ancient _rites_
quoted by Marlene (De Ant. Eccl. Ritibus, lib. 4, c. XXV, and lib. 1,
c. I, art. 18). Palmer, wishing to defend the liturgy of the church
of England, maintains the antiquity of litanies, but pretends that the
invocations of saints were not originally contained in them, but were
added to them in the west about the eighth century (vol. I, p. 289).
From a passage in Walafridus Strabo he is led to admit that at _his_
time (the ninth century) "these invocations must have been _for
some time_ in use, and accordingly manuscript litanies containing
invocations have been discovered by learned men, which appear from
internal evidence to be as old as the eighth century". He attempts
however by _negative_ arguments to shew, that these invocations
are not more ancient than that period; although at the same time he
confesses that "we have no _distinct account_ of the _nature_ of the
service which was used on occasions of peculiar supplication during
the earliest ages". p. 272. To his arguments we may oppose the
_positive_ testimony of Walafridus Strabo, who says "The litany of the
holy names is believed to have come into use after Jerome, following
Eusebius of Cesarea, had composed the martyrology". A long time,
about three centuries, elapsed before the _canon_ of the scriptures
was determined; and it is not therefore surprising if the _canon_
of saints, (if such it may be called), who died at considerable
intervals, required some time for its formation. Invocations of the
saints in ancient litanies may be seen ap. Martene (lib. 4f c. 27
and lib. 1, c. 1, art. 18). One would conceive from Palmer's account
of the Ambrosian litany that it did not contain invocations of
the saints, p. 276; yet in the Ambrosian processional, to which he
alludes, we read as follows "Afterwards they go to the altar, were the
litanies are recited on bended knees, in reciting which the _names
of the saints_ without _Intercede pro nobis_ are sung aloud by the
provost and clergy of the first collegiate church; and by the other
clergy with _Intercede pro nobis_ and this rite of singing the
_litanies_ and antiphons is observed in every other stational church".
ap. Martene lib. 4, c. 28. In the Ordo Romanus also De Benedictione
Ecclesiæ these invocations are found. The question however concerning
their antiquity _in the litanies_ is of minor importance. Even Palmer
admits, that "Catholic fathers in the 4th century invoked the saints"
p. 292, though he gravely assures his readers, that "they were too
well instructed in the Christian faith to believe positively that the
saints heard our prayers". He mentions the learned work of Serrarius
called "Litaneutici seu de Litaniis etc." as an instance of the
writings, in which "innumerable passages have been cited from ancient
writers to prove, that the invocation of saints is more ancient than
the eighth century. But most of those passages do not refer to the
invocation of saints, but to prayers made to God for the intercession
of saints". Palmer, vol. I, p. 278. We consider that there is little
difference in principle between these two things: we shall however, to
satisfy him, quote only one passage from an ancient Oriental liturgy.
"Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, pray for me to the only begotten
Son, who was born of thee, that he may forgive me my offences and
sins, and may receive from my feeble and sinful hands this sacrifice,
which in my weakness I offer on this altar, through thy intercession
for me, O holy Mother". (From the ancient liturgy used by the
Nestorians called the liturgy of the holy apostles. Renaudot, t. II.
See bishop Poynter's Christianity, Note E: and ancient inscriptions
in Rock's Hierurgia, p. 347 and foll.) Though we have the _innumerable
ancient_ passages above-mentioned in favour of the Catholic doctrine,
yet shall we call Mr. Palmer's attention to the following passage of
his own work. Speaking of secrecy, he says: "this primitive discipline
is sufficient to account for the fact, that very few allusions to
the liturgy or eucharistic service are found in the writings of the
Fathers". I, p. 14. His fears of _heresy and blasphemy_ arising from
the invocation of Saints may be calmed by the simple perusal of the
doctrine of the church taught by the Council of Trent, sess. 25. "The
holy synod commands all bishops and other teachers--_diligently to
instruct the faithful, teaching them_ that the Saints reigning with
Christ offer to God their prayers for men; that it is _good and
useful_ to invoke them with supplication, and to have recourse to
their prayers, help, and assistance, in order to obtain benefits _from
God through his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who alone is our Redeemer
and Saviour_". Accordingly we say in the litany "Lord, have mercy on
us: holy Mary _pray for us_" etc.]

[Footnote 123: We shall say nothing of sculptured figures taken
from the catacombs, such as the statues of the good shepherd and
S. Hippolitus now in the Vatican, or the numerous bas reliefs on
Christian sarcophagi (on which see Raoul-Rochette, Tableau des
Catacombes, c. IV. Beschreibung der Stadt Rom. B. 2, in the
description of the Christian Museum in the Vatican Library). On
another class of Christian representations the reader may consult
Buonarruoti's _Osservazioni sopra alcuni frammenti di vetro, ornati
di figure_. We shall rather call the attention of the Christian
antiquarian to the numerous frescoes painted in the chapels of the
catacombs, and illustrated by Bosio, Bottari, d'Agincourt etc.,
the latter of whom attributes some of them to the second century on
account of the similarity of their style to that of frescoes in the
tomb of the Nasones, which is situated on the Flaminian way at a short
distance from Rome; his opinion is confirmed by the fact that some of
them have been broken through, with the view of preparing a place of
burial for the bodies of martyrs slain in _subsequent persecutions_.
A list of their subjects which are _generally_ taken from the old and
new Testaments may be seen in Raoul-Rochette (c. 3, p. 157 foll. ed.
de Brusselles). Of these we may briefly notice in particular some of
the representations of Christ, of the B. Virgin, of the apostles and
martyrs. In them Christ sometimes appears as an infant on the lap
of His holy mother, Who ever pure and modest is always veiled; and
this lovely group is found not only on these paintings, but also on
bas-reliefs and glass-vessels generally anterior to the 4th century,
and consequently to the general council of Ephesus held in 431;
although it is pretended that such figures were first designed after
that period. (Instances are enumerated by Raoul-Rochette c. VI).
Constantina, daughter of Constantine, whose tomb is still preserved
at Rome, begged of Eusebius bishop of Cesarea a likeness of our Divine
Saviour (Concil. Labbe. t. VII, 493 seq): we must have recourse to
the catacombs for His most ancient portraits. See one resembling
the ordinary type of His sacred head and taken from the cemetery of
Calixtus, at the end of Raoul-Rochette's work. This type, repeated
again and again on Christian monuments during the last sixteen hundred
years or more, may suggest the hope that some traces of our Divine
Saviour's features are still preserved among us, notwithstanding
the diversity of His portraits, of which S. Augustine complained, De
Triniti l. 8, c, 4 5. Raoul-Rochette's opinion, that this likeness and
the portraits of the apostles were of Gnostic origin, is altogether
unsupported, as the Belgian editors of his work justly observe. Christ
is frequently represented also as seated amid His apostles, of whom
SS. Peter and Paul were favourite subjects of the old artists: see
Raoul-Rochette c. VI, where he mentions, after the older antiquaries,
the ancient representations of S. Ciriaca, S Priscilla, SS. Stephen,
Cyprian, Laurence, Agnes, and other martyrs. During Diocletian's
persecution, the provincial council of Eliberis in Spain decreed, that
there should be no paintings on the walls of churches: its 36th canon
was evidently intended to save sacred pictures from the profanations
perpetrated by the pagans. The faithful however, fertile in
expedients to gratify their devotion, now began to use those portable
representations of pious subjects called diptychs, because they
generally consisted of two tablets which could at pleasure be _folded_
together. They were formed of ivory or wood, and resembled the
presents of that name formerly sent by the consuls on the day of their
entrance into office: on these were usually inscribed the names and
the portraits of the new magistrates. (Symmachus lib. 2, ep. 80, all
71). The sacred diptychs, of which many are preserved in the Vatican
Library, were easily saved from the fury of the Iconoclasts. Their
folding form without their portability is preserved in many of the
ancient altar-pieces of Italian and other churches and from them the
modern altar-pieces are derived: they did not however supersede the
use of frescoes, or mosaics, as is evident from innumerable ancient
and modern ecclesiastical monuments of this city. In the preceding
chapter we laid before our readers the doctrine of the catholic church
concerning respect paid to images, p. 80.]

[Footnote 124: "He is risen; he is not here. But _go, tell_ his
disciples and _Peter_, that he goeth before you into Galilee". Mark
XV, 6 7.]

[Footnote 125: This Hebrew word, which frequently occurs in psalms
of praise, CIV, 34, CV, 45, CVI, 1, etc. has been preserved, as well
as _Amen_, and _Sabaoth_, in its original form in most liturgies.
According to S. Gregory (Ep. 64, ind. 2). who appeals to S. Jerome's
authority, it was introduced into the Roman liturgy in the time of
Pope Damasus. S. Gregory forbade it to be sung at funerals, (as it had
been at that of Fabiola: S. Jerome in Epitaphio Fabiolæ;) or during

[Footnote 126: Gavant and others, following Walafridus Strabo and the
abbot Berno, think that the Offertory and _Agnus Dei_ are not said,
in order to signify the silence of the holy women returning from the
sepulchre (Mark XVI, 8). Others attribute some of these omissions
to the circumstance, that there is no communion; on this day, and
therefore neither offertory or postcommunion; anciently however
communion was given on this occasion, as is evident from the Gelasian
sacramentary (See Bened. XIV, De Festis c. VIII). The kiss of peace,
as Grancolas observes, is not given, because formerly at the dawn of
easter-sunday, soon after the mass of easter-eve, the faithful used to
assemble in the church "and kissing one another with mutual charity to
say, _Surrexit Dominus_ "; (the Lord is risen) Ordo Rom. ab Hittorpio
ed. p. 55. Merati says, that the _Agnus Dei_ is omitted because it
is of recent origin, having been first introduced into the liturgy by
Pope Sergius A.D. 688 (lib. Pont.), whereas the Mass of the day is of
greater antiquity.]

[Footnote 127: Cancellieri says that the music of this _Magnificat_
was composed by Luca Marenzio. Among the compositions prior to
Palestrina, and still sung in the papal chapel, Baini reckons the
Magnificats of Carpentrasso and Morales, as well as the _Te Deum_
and _Lumen ad revelutionem gentium_ of Costanzo Festa.]

[Footnote 128: This basilic, which is the cathedral of the bishop of
Rome, was first erected by Constantine, whose statue taken from his
baths adorns the portico. It was in great part destroyed by fire in
1308; but it was restored by the munificence of the Popes and the
piety of the faithful, emulated in these days, in which we deplore the
burning of S. Paul's. In the gothic tabernacle over the high altar are
preserved the heads of SS. Peter and Paul. The mosaics of the tribune
were made by order of Nicholas IV (A.D. 1278-1292).]

[Footnote 129: This baptistery, as well as the basilica, is attributed
to the time of Constantine; it was reduced to its present state by
Urban VIII; On an ancient and interesting Christian sarcophagus taken
from the Vatican cemetery is represented a basilica with its apsis,
and near it a circular building evidently meant for the baptistery:
this is covered with a cupola surmounted by the monogram of
Christ; and over the gate are curtains drawn up on each side, See
Raoul-Rochette-Tableau des Catacombs, p. 332. The font is an ancient
urn of basalt the paintings above it, between the second order of
columns, representing, the life of S. John Baptist, are by Carlo

[Footnote 130: In a missal of Pavia it is called a figure of the
column which preceded the Israelites going out of Egypt.]

[Footnote 131: The stag was a favourite subject of the early Christian
artists, who often represented it in their paintings, and afterwards
on their mosaics. The text above quoted explains its signification.]

[Footnote 132: "In most of the old rituals we find that the font was
hallowed with various ceremonies besides prayer. It was customary
to make the sign of the cross, as we learn from the testimony of
Chrysostom, Augustine, and Pseudo-Dionysius". Palmer vol. 2, p. 195.
Martene observes that the rite of pouring chrism into the water
is mentioned in all the ancient Gallican, Ambrosian, and Mozarabic
liturgies. The blessing of baptismal water is reckoned by S. Basil,
in the 4th century, among apostolical traditions. (De Spiritu. S. c.

[Footnote 133: "Some form of admission to the class of catechumens was
used in all churches at an early period, and it seems most commonly
to have consisted of imposition of hands with prayers for the person.
To this in many places were added various rites, such as, signing the
forehead of the candidate with the cross, the consecration and giving
of salt, which was entitled the sacrament of catechumens, repeated
exorcisms, or prayers and adjurations to cast out the power of Satan,
anointing with oil, and other mystical and figurative rites. In the
course of many ages, when the Christian church had overspread the face
of the world, and infidelity had become in most places extinct, the
form of admission to the class of catechumens was from a veneration
for old customs in many places conjoined to the office of baptism,
and administered at the same time with it to the candidates for that
sacrament whether they were infants or not". Palmer, vol. 2, c. 5,
sect. 1.]

[Footnote 134: "It has been customary in the Christian church from
the most remote period, for the candidates for baptism to renounce the
devil and all his works, before they were admitted to that sacrament.
This renunciation was always followed by a profession of faith in
Christ, as it is now in the English liturgy. The last interrogation
and answer "Vis baptizari, Volo" have long been used in the west.
(Martene de Antiq. Eccl. rit. tom. I, p. 180, 192). According to the
ancient custom of the Roman church, represented in the Sacramentary of
Gregory, the profession of faith occurs between the hallowing of the
water and the administration of the sacrament. This custom has long
been used in the Roman church; since the Sacramentary of Gelasius
(A.D. 494) appointed the confession of faith to be made immediately
before baptism, _though the renunciations were made some hours
before_. In primitive times the sign of the cross was not only made
on the forehead of the elect at the time of baptism, but was used very
often in other ways: this act is probably not more recent than the
apostolical age; and this sign was made in some part of almost every
Christian office. The administration of baptism was succeeded by
various rites in the primitive church; among other the newly-baptised
were clothed in white garments. Formerly also confirmation followed
immediately after baptism". I have extracted the preceding passages
from different sections of Palmer's 5th chapter, vol. 2: coming from a
clergyman of the church of England, they are important admissions, and
they dispense with the necessity of my proving the antiquity of these
various baptismal riles. The reader may see proofs of them collected
in Palmer (loc. cit.) Martene T. 1: cap. 2, etc.]

[Footnote 135: Palmer says, that in confirmation, to the rites of
prayer and imposition, of hands was added "that of anointing with an
unguent or chrism, made of oil and balsam, and hallowed by the prayers
of the bishop.--We learn from the writings of Tertullian and Origen,
that it was already customary both in the east and the west at the end
of the 2nd or beginning of the 3rd century. This chrism was intended
to signify the grace of the Holy Spirit then conferred". Palmer,
Or. Lit. vol. 2, p. 199. If this unction had not been of apostolic
origin, it would not have been customary in all churches at so early
a period.]

[Footnote 136: At S. John Lateran's, when the _Agnus Dei_ is said, the
ancient custom is preserved, which was originally established by Pope
Sergius, of saying _Miserere nobis_ three times, and not _Dona nobis
pacem_, which words were introduced into the liturgy, (according
to Innocent III, De Myst Missæ) about the 10th century, in time of

[Footnote 137: Orders are generally conferred on the saturday of each
ember-week, besides the saturday before passion and easter sundays.
A minute detail of the numerous ceremonies of ordination can not be
expected in a work on the ceremonies of holy-week. The reader may find
them all enumerated in the Pontifical, and on their antiquity he may
consult Morinus, De Ordinationibus; Martene, De Ant. Eccl. Rit. t.
2. etc. On the service of holy saturday see the MS. Pontifical of
the Apamean church and various Ordines ap. Martene, lib. IV, c. 24.
Formerly after the mass there was general communion; and at Rome no
Vespers were said (Alcuin), and 7 altars were consecrated.]

[Footnote 138: In the afternoon the parish-priests bless with prayers
and holy water the houses and paschal food of their parishioners.
In the Ordo Romanus, besides the blessing of milk and honey, there
is a formula of benediction of a lamb and other food. Durandus
also (lib. 6 Ration.) mentions the blessing of the lamb, a custom
which is preserved at Rome till the present time. The shops of the
_pizzicaroli_ are illuminated and gaily decorated, probably because
_they_ have peculiar reasons to rejoice at the conclusion of the
_austerities_ of lent.]

[Footnote 139: For the ceremonies of Easter-sunday see The Pontifical
Mass sung at S. Peter's on Easter-sunday etc. By C.M. Baggs. D.D. Rome



Having spoken of the blessing of the paschal candle at Rome, we may
for a few moments turn our thoughts towards a city still more ancient,
and trodden by holier and more exalted beings than even the apostles
and martyrs of the eternal city. The justly-celebrated traveller John
Thevenot in his Voyage du Levant describes the ceremonies of holyweek
performed at Jerusalem; the distribution of palms, the washing of the
feet on Maunday-Thursday at the door of the holy Sepulchre; and the
procession to the holy places or stations performed by the Catholic
Christians. Concerning this the eloquent Pere Abbé de Geramb, in his
interesting Pelerinage at Jerusalem in 1832, informs us that "by means
of a figure in relief of the natural size, whose head, arms, and feet
are flexible, the religious represent the crucifixion, the descent
from the cross, and the burial of Jesus Christ, in such manner as
to render all the principal circumstances apparent to the senses and

Both these distinguished writers of different periods agree in
testifying, that all the devotions of the Catholics were and are still
conducted with so much order that they are admired both by Christians
and Turks, whereas those of the schismatical Christians took place
with much confusion, and with such a noise, that the Janissaries, who
had to preserve order, were obliged to strike the persons engaged in
them as well as the spectators. This statement is confirmed by the
account, which they and other travellers give, of the _holy fire_
of the Greeks and other schismatics. Benedict XIV observes that no
mention is made of the supposed miracle of the holy fire by early
Christian writers who lived at Jerusalem; as Eusebius, S. Jerome, S.
Epiphanius, or S. Cyril bishop of Jerusalem. It is however spoken of
by Bernard a Frank monk of the ninth century, and in a Pontifical
of the church of Poictiers of about the tenth century: by Hugo
Flaviniacensis in Chronico Virdunensi, in the discourse of Urban II
in the council of Claremont, and in other documents of the middle
ages mentioned by Martene (lib. IV, c. XXIV). Lupi (tom. 4, Conc. gen.
etc.) thinks it probable, that the custom of burning lights and the
paschal candle on this day was instituted, in order to return thanks
to God for a miracle (which _may_ of old have happened at Jerusalem)
and to announce it to all nations.

I shall now extract a brief account of the scene of confusion enacted
in modern times at Jerusalem on such occasions from Thevenot, in whose
work is a print representing it. "After our Catholic office was ended"
says he, "we prepared to enjoy the sight of the holy fire of the
Greeks, Armenians and Copts, whose priests make their people believe,
that on holy Saturday fire descends from heaven into the holy
Sepulchre, and on that account make each of their pilgrims, who are
very numerous, pay some money. This solemnity appears rather a comedy
or a farce than a church-ceremony, and is very unbecoming in a place
so sacred as the holy Sepulchre. After we had finished our service,
which was about eight in the morning, they, extinguished all their
lamps and those of the holy Sepulchre, and then they commenced their
folly, running round the holy Sepulchre, like mad people, crying,
howling, _et faisans un bruit de diables_; it was charming to see
them running one after another, kicking and striking one another with
cords; many of them together held men in their arms, and going round
the holy Sepulchre, let them fall, and then raised horrible shouts
of laughter, while they who had fallen ran after the others to avenge
themselves: it seemed that both old and young were downright mad. From
time to time they raised their eyes, and stretched their hands, full
of taper, to heaven, crying all together _eleison_, as if they were
wearied at the delay of the holy fire. This scene continued till
towards three in the evening, when two Greek archbishops and two
bishops habited as patriarchs, for the patriarch was not then at
Jerusalem, left their choir with all their clergy, and began
the procession round the holy Sepulchre: they were joined by the
Armenians, four of whom wore mitres: then came a Coptic bishop, with
all his clergy and people. After they had walked three times round the
holy Sepulchre, a Greek priest came out of the chapel of the Angel,
which is close to that of the holy Sepulchre, and gave notice to him
who represented the Patriarch, that the holy fire had descended from
heaven: the latter then entered into the holy Sepulchre, followed
by the representatives of the Armenian patriarch and of the Coptic
bishop. After they had remained there a short time, we saw the Greek
archbishop in an amusing posture, bending down his head, and bearing
in each hand a quantity of lighted tapers. No sooner had he appeared,
than all rushed one upon another to light their tapers from those of
the archbishop; as that is considered the best fire, which is first
lighted. The Janissaries however, who were stationed near the door
of the chapel of the Angel, did not stand with their arms folded, but
made the calpacs and turbans of the Greeks fly from one end of the
church to the other, striking around on all sides with their sticks,
to make way for the poor archbishop, who also as we may suppose
did all in his power to save himself. He then mounted in haste a
stone-altar opposite the entrance of the holy Sepulchre, where he was
immediately surrounded by the people: those also who had lighted their
tapers endeavouring to save themselves were overwhelmed by the others:
the confusion was horrible, and blows were not unfrequent. After the
Greek archbishop has come out, the Armenian appears, and saves himself
from the crowd in the church of the Armenians, and the Copt in that
of the Copts. Every one was in such a hurry to get some of the holy
fire, that in a moment more than 2000 bundles of candles flamed in
the church: and the people, crying out like persons possessed began
greater follies than before. A man carrying a drum on his back began
to run with all his might round the holy Sepulchre, and another
running in the same manner struck it with two sticks; and when he
was tired, another immediately took his place. "_Il semble qu'
on soit dans un enfer, et que ce soient tout autant de diables
déchainès_."--But enough of this unedifying scene, of which the Abbé
Geramb gives a similar account. If we contrast with it the majestic
and edifying ceremonies of the Roman church, we shall feel grateful
to God for having preserved us from such disorders. I shall merely add
from Thevenot, that the Christians are called to office at the holy
Sepulchre by boards struck with iron, as we are for two days in
holy-week: but drums and other instruments are also played there,
which make, he (adds), "une musique enragée".

The distinguished missionary and pilgrim D. Casto Gonzalez recounts
other disorders of the Greeks during Holy Week, and profanations of
the most holy sanctuaries of Palestine. In the year 1833 he exposed,
but not without great risk, the fraud of the "holy fire". On the
holy-Saturday of the Greeks the officiating Bishop accompanied by an
Armenian and a Coptic Bishop and their respective clergy had already
walked thrice round the holy Sepulchre, when the missionary ignited a
match with phosphorus, and holding it up exclaimed "Look, the heavenly
fire has fallen into my hands": he then extinguished it and lighted
it again several times to the great astonishment of the assembled
multitude. He was protected by the Turks from the dangers which
surrounded him. So manifest was the fraud of the pretended "holy fire"
that even the schismatical Armenian patriarch issued a circular letter
forbidding his spiritual subjects to be present at the disgraceful

The Pere Abbé de Geramb gives a glowing account of the Catholic
service and mass on holy saturday; and we most warmly recommend to our
readers the perusal of the 34th _Lettre_ of his _Pelerinage_, in which
he describes all the ceremonies of holy week at Jerusalem, where they
are invested with the peculiar charm arising from spots so sacred,
where Christ suffered, and died, and rose again. Though in other
respects the Roman ceremonies are of a more exalted nature, yet here
must we be contented to transport ourselves in imagination to those
beloved sanctuaries, and to see the _representation_ of the holy
Sepulchre at S. Maria Egiziaca. We shall conclude with the words of
the distinguished writer: "Jamais douleur n'affecta plus vivement mon
àme, que celle qui s'en empara au moment où je m'arrachai pour jamais
de l'église du saint Sepulcre. Taut que je vivrai elle sera aussi
présente à mon esprit que profondément gravée dans mon coeur; toujours
souvenir me fera tressaillir, parce que toujours, et plus qu' aucun
autre souvenir, il me rappellera Jésus, crucifié pour mon salut, pour
la salut du genre humain, à l'amour duquel nous devons repondre par le
plus vif, le plus tendre, le plus absolu de tous les amours; ce Jésus
auquel je dois l'ineffable bonheur de comprendre, de sentir cette
grande verité, que je voudrais faire comprendre et sentir a l'univers
entier, que lui seul est tout, que tout ce qui n'est pas lui, n'est
rien, n'est que neant". Pelerinage à Jerusalem, Lett. 36.

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