Published by the Association Pittsburgh, Pa., 1906.
The Lutheran Liturgical Association.
[These volumes have been scanned and proofread, but may still contain errors. Original pagination has been indicated throughout.]
THE study of our historical antecedents and the attainment of doctrinal definiteness by our Church in this country have emphasized the great points which Lutherans of every land and language hold in common and which show us to be more truly United and to stand more firmly within the unbroken historical development of the Church Universal than any other Christian Communion. Our wide dispersion, the various national and linguistic factors and especially the un-Lutheran and sectarian influences to which various parts of the Church were subjected have naturally resulted in a very decided lack of uniformity in our external life. The recognition of our essential doctrinal unity, the growing appreciation of the meaning and value of the liturgical, musical and other art treasures of our fathers, the adoption of common liturgical forms upon the basis of a concensus of historic usage, the general advancement in intelligence and culture as well as the rapid Anglicization of our vast numbers in this country,—these are the potent factors in the present powerful movement that seeks to secure beauty, correctness and desirable uniformity in the department of Liturgiology and Ecclesiastical Art—our Public Worship, Church Architecture and Ornament, Church Music, Hymnology, Ministerial Acts and every other element of a churchly life. Such consistent, historical and distinctive practice with all its evident advantages can be established only upon a discriminating knowledge of liturgical
history in general and of the historical development of Church Art, as well as upon a thorough understanding of the particular liturgical and artistic principles, usages and tradition, of our, own distinctive Church-life. To encourage and promote such study the Lutheran Liturgical Association was organized. Its consistent purpose and effort have been to assist clergymen and laymen in developing an intelligent and deeply spiritual devotional life, and in rightly interpreting our beautiful Services, to guard against the hasty adoption of innovations and practices foreign to Lutheran principles or usages, and to meet and solve the many important and practical questions constantly arising in the individual parish.
The organization of the Association was suggested by the President in a conversation with the future Vice President and Secretary during the annual meeting of the Pittsburgh Synod of the General Council at East Liverpool, Ohio. A preliminary meeting was held during this session of the Synod, September 3rd, 1898, which was attended by twenty or more clergymen. A permanent organization was effected at a meeting held in the First English Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, Pa., the rev. Dr. D. H. Geissinger, Pastor, October 3rd, 1898, by the adoption of a constitution and the election of the following officers:
President, The rev. Luther D. Reed,
Vice President, The rev. Prof. Elmer F. Krauss, D. D.
Secretary and Treasurer, The rev. R. Morris Smith,
Archivarius, The rev. George J. Gongaware.
These officers have been re-elected every succeeding year. Together they constitute the Executive Committee. The practical direction of the interests of the Association has thus been uninterruptedly in the hands of those most active in its organisation seven years ago.
The regular monthly meetings have, without exception, been held in the First Church, Pittsburgh, Pa., the revs. D. H. Geissinger, D. D., and George J. Gongaware, Pastors. Fifty-one such regular, Conventions have been held, at which many valuable papers, prepared by many of the best-informed men in all parts of the Church, have been presented. During the first few years of the Association’s history, in addition to the afternoon sessions in the First Church, an evening session was held each month in one of the various churches of Pittsburgh or vicinity, to which the congregations of the city were especially invited. At these sessions Vespers were read and various liturgical subjects of a more generally popular nature were discussed.
From the very beginning the Association endeavored to give the results of its studies permanent form and thus to make them useful to a far larger number than could possibly attend the meetings. The income received from subscriptions permitted the publication of the most valuable papers in the MEMOIRS. Subscribers receive every single publication as it is issued, as well as copies of all programs, etc., and are also entitled to club reduction upon publications controlled by American publishers and importers.
The work and membership of the Association soon expanded beyond all anticipation and demonstrated that the Association had found a sphere of real usefulness in almost every portion of the English-speaking Lutheran Church in America. Synodical boundaries and distinctions, have never limited its work.
The first year the membership comprised seventy-five subscribers in seven different States. Last year (1905) there were enrolled nearly four hundred members, most widely distributed throughout twenty-two States of the Union, four Provinces of Canada, the District of Columbia, and India, and representing
five General Bodies, of the Church. Members of nearly all the Synods of the General Council, the General Synod, the United Synod of the South, the joint Synod of Ohio, the Icelandic Synod and the United Norwegian Synod have prepared papers for the Memoirs and the surprisingly extensive correspondence which from the beginning has devolved upon the President and the Secretary of the Association, is unmistakable evidence of a widespread and genuine interest in all parts of the Church and in all parts of the country on subjects within the liturgical field.
In the publication and dissemination of its printed literature the Association finds its most important work‑the work that is of permanent value to the Church. The first publication issued was a sixteen page “Bibliography and Outline of Study” which soon was out of print. Four papers were also published the first year and comprised Volume I of the MEMOIRS, issued at a cost of $64.75. The growth of the work is indicated by the fact that the mere printing of last year’s MEMOIRS (Volume VII, 187 pages) cost the Association $319,25. The total receipts from membership dues, sale of publications and other sources since the organization has been $2,249.60; total expenditures $2,243.28.
The papers collected and issued in the various volumes of the MEMOIRS are undoubtedly of very unequal merit. Some are quite brief; others are exhaustive treatises which embody the fruits of years of earnest and patient investigation. Altogether they unquestionably comprise the most extensive and most valuable collection of Lutl1eran liturgical literature in the English language. Gathered from innumerable sources and adapted to the conditions of our Church in this country by special students of acknowledged standing, many of these papers present information that is invaluable. The MEMOIRS are regularly used as supplementary text books in some of our Theological Seminaries
and they have certainly proved of inestimable service to pastors and laymen in many parishes.
At a meeting of the Association held December 4th, 1905, the Association declined to accept the resignation of the President, but by resolution acceded to his urgent request to be relieved of the duties of his office for the present. It was also resolved that the regular meetings and publications be for the present discontinued and that the present publications, in so far as possible, be collected and issued in a single bound volume.
Volumes I and II of the MEMOIRS are out of print. The members of the Association have been invited to forward their copies of these volumes and have them bound together with the later annual numbers. Otherwise this volume is necessarily limited to Volumes III-VII, inclusive. The exceedingly valuable Index, prepared by the Secretary, however, includes the entire seven volumes.
In taking advantage of this resting point in the Association’s work and in issuing this bound volume, it was deemed advisable Ito include the facts and figures given above relating to the origin and development of the Association and its work. In years to come they may seem of greater interest than even in the immediate present.
LUTHER D. REED.
Page v b
I 1 The Fundamental Principles of Christian Worship (J. C. F. Rupp)
I 9 Our Distinctive Worship—The Common Service and Other Liturgies, Ancient and Modern (L. D. Reed)
I 19 The Significance of Liturgical Reform (E. T. Horn)
I 41 The Sources of the Morning Service of the Common Service (R. M. Smith)
II 1 The Architecture of the Chancel (E. F. Krauss)
II 7 The Significance of the Altar (W. E. Schramm)
II 15 The Swedish Liturgies (N. Forsander)
II 29 Altar Linen (L. D. Reed)
II 35 The Sources of the Minor Services (R. M. Smith)
II 57 The History of the Liturgy of the Lutheran Church in Denmark (E. Belfour)
II 75 Thematic Harmony of Introit, Collect, Epistle, and Gospel (D. H. Geissinger)
II 83 Art in Worship (J. F. Ohl)
III 1 The Administration of the Lord’s Supper in Different Ages of the Church (G. S. Seaman)
III 9 The Liturgical History of Confirmation (C. T. Benze)
III 19 The Church and the Liturgy (C. M. Jacobs)
III 35 The Church Prayer (C. A. Miller)
III 47 The Value of Liturgical Study for Organists (G. C. Rees)
III 59 A General Survey of the Book of Common Prayer (S. A. Bridges Stopp)
III 75 Means of Liturgical Reform (T. W. Kretschmann)
III 81 Liturgical Education of the Church’s Youth (R. E. McDaniel)
III 89 The Sacrificial Idea in Christian Worship (G. F. Spieker)
III 101 The Place of Liturgy in the Church’s Thought, Life and Art (J. A. W. Haas)
III 113 The Liturgical History of Baptism (H. S. Gilbert)
IV 1 The Liturgical Influence of the Lesser Reformers (C. T. Benze)
IV 17 The Ecclesiastical Calendar (N. R. Melhorn)
IV 29 Luther’s Liturgical Writings (E. A. Trabert)
IV 47 The Pericopes (A. Spaeth)
IV 63 Liturgical Development in the Period of the Reformation (E. T. Horn)
IV 67 The Liturgical Deterioration of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (J. F. Ohl)
IV 79 Liturgy and Doctrine (D. H. Geissinger)
IV 85 Early American Lutheran Liturgies (D. M. Kemerer)
IV 95 The Liturgy of the Icelandic Church (F. J. Bergmann)
V 1 The Liturgical Influence of Gregory the Great (A. L. Ramer)
V 9 The Function of the Minister in Divine Worship (E. F. Krauss)
V 21 A Laity Liturgically Well-Informed (A. B. Markley)
V 31 The Significance of Symbolism and Its Employment in the Service of the Church (G. J. Gongaware)
V 41 The Collects (S. A Bridges Stopp)
V 53 The Fundamental Principles of Divine Service (G. W. Mechling)
V 69 Regulations and Customs Pertaining to the Use of the Sacraments (I. M. Wallace)
V 85 Liturgical Accuracy and Spirituality (H. D. Spaeth)
VI 1 Contributive Influences Noted in the History and Structure of the Liturgy (W. A. Lambert)
VI 17 Remarks on Some of Our Liturgical Classics (E. T. Horn)
VI 23 Preaching and the Day (P. Z. Strodach)
VI 41 Christian Worship in the Apostolic Age (C. M. Jacobs)
VI 65 The Liturgical History of Confession and Absolution
VI 77 The Sacramental Idea in Christian Worship (A. Spaeth)
VI 89 Paraments of the Lord’s House (G. U. Wenner)
VII 1 Liturgical Colors (P. Z. Strodach)
VII 19 Consecration (G. U. Wenner)
VII 27 The Liturgical Use of the Creeds (J. W. Horine)
VII 35 The Liturgy of the Norwegian Lutheran Church (E. K. Johnsen)
VII 49 Christian Worship in the First Post-Apostolic Age (C. M. Jacobs)
VII 75 The Application of Lutheran Principles of the Church Building (E. T. Horn)
VII 121 The Bidding Prayer, Litany, and Suffrages (C. K. Fegley)
VII 159 The Use of Stained Glass in Ecclesiastical Architecture (E. F. Krauss)
VII 169 Sacred Monograms—The Charisma and the Holy Name (E. F. Krever)
volume 1 page 1
THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
We are exploring the foundation upon which the glorious temple of worship is built. This foundation is an eternal rock; the Tabernacle; revealed on Sinai is based upon it; the glorious Temple in the vision of Ezekiel and St. John’s Tabernacle with men in the New Jerusalem rest upon the same foundation. There “they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.” It is the worship of in the Holy City, wherein no temple is seen: “for the Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple thereof.” Thus the principles of worship are eternal, though it is adapted to the changeful, spiritual conditions of mankind.
Underlying worship is a divine purpose, just as the mountains are the visible outlines of the hidden framework of the earth, upon which the upper and outer world of life and beauty is built. We come to this Paradise of the Lord to find the seed-germs of divine grace and power which luxuriate so richly into the flowers and fruit of worship. The manner of Christian worship, how it becomes an avenue of grace to the worshipper, is in wondrous harmony with the appropriation of God’s gracious purpose of salvation to man’s spiritual wants. The essence of worship bas the flavor of the divine means employed as the vehicle of this grace.
The divine purpose underlying is worked out in the Providence of history and illustrated in the development of the human conception of worship. God’s purpose is the instruction of men unto edification in life. In all things man learns slowly and nowhere is this fact better
Volume 1 Page 2
illustrated than by the evolution of the idea of worship, as recorded in its several stages, in written language. True, the essence of worship is not derived from etymology, but from religion; equally certain it is, however, that the meaning of the word worship, revealed in the history of its slow growth, is a search-light upon, the unrevealed purposes of God; it is a development from the rudimentary thought of human personal worthiness up to its present exclusively religious meaning. The essence of the religion determines the essence of the consequent worship, but, at the same time, the worship is a fair index of the religious character of a people. The life of religion, pure and undefiled, is set forth in warm and glowing forms of living faith. Its worship is a robe of rich but modest coloring. Worship is a fine old word, handed down in its original Saxon purity with striking significance in the now archaic form used in olden times to denote the outward recognition of personal worth. Our Saviour says, when one is promoted through the lower degrees of preparation to the highest emoluments of honor, “then thou shalt have worship (doxia) in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.”
This divine purpose outcrops in the several and respective strata of human life. It is not to be forgotten that the social bond, involved in the organic unity of the race, is a principal factor in worship; in the same way, sin became universally powerful throughout the race. Some one says, that the secret of the great power of the Christian Church is discovered in the habit of associated worship. It is undoubtedly true that the social feature is one of the normal conditions of religion, but it is possible to give it too great prominence and hence strike the source whence some of the secret dangers come that constantly threaten religious life. To linger upon the social beauties of our worship is to forget the divine in worship, to reduce religion to mere naturalism, and stripping it of its heavenly habiliments to make the pure fellowship of the saints only the baldest anarchistic socialism. Even the agnostic finds in the primal idea of worship the moral tendencies arising from the culture and refinement of civilized life and consequently he limits the power of religion to the effect of art cultivated by the social instinct and impulse of the congregation.
The geologist explains the principles underlying the effects produced by the cooling mass of the earth in the-convolutions of the enfolding crust. But back of these smiling valleys, back of the principles of art, of socialistic theories, and the religious idea,—back of these there is somewhere a divine purpose. It is the living power which set
in operation the laws that sometimes harmonize with and sometimes contradict our philosophy and theories of natural science. There is no elevating power, no spiritual uplift in the cultus of social instinct per se. God’s persistent purpose breaks through human contradictions as a divinely upward impulse and marks the unfathomable abyss between natural cultus and divine worship.
Worship is a communion of saints. It makes the race feel its spiritual destitution. Certain it is, the history of the word is abundant evidence of this recognized human need for a divine stimulus to loftier motives and purer emotions. Christian worship supplies this want. Realizing this only in religious experience, the social consciousness gradually restricted the meaning of worship to denote chiefly the part of religion and to direct the ascription of honor and dignity to the Supreme Being alone. In this way worship becomes an act, or the acts collectively, of homage at a given time and place, “such as adoration, thanksgiving, prayer, praise, and offering.”
Therefore, worship in spirit and truth has a positive power. For example, the soul in which the feeling of gratitude is quickened by divine gifts is susceptible to the power of worship, and grace reveals to it the character of our God as worthy “to be had in reverence of all them that are about Him.
So grace provides a fulcrum sufficient to make worship a mighty lever for the spiritual and moral uplift of humanity. Christian worship is a divine moral uplift, but its divine possibilities are not evolved, from the merely human aspirations for the beautiful, the true, and the good. This motive in itself is only a noble humanitarianism, not worth cultivating simply for its own sake, but of great value in its proper auxiliary relation to nobler fruits, and very different in style and effect from the divine element in worship, whose chief and only end is to glorify God and magnify Him forever. This human motive may have great moral force in the development of literature, art, and science, as the mental activity, the artistic spirit, or refining influence of the age. But all such moral achievements through human resources alone are like the laurel chaplets that wither upon the victor’s brow. It has no eternal principle, no controlling purpose, no persistent divinity, to implant new motives, to transform character, and to beautify human life.
All this is a part of Christian worship, its human element, the sacrifice which humanity offers; but this is its lesser half, in itself
“As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.”
Along with the human there is a divine element; the two are inseparably wedded. The divine is a sacrament which brings imperishable grace to the worshipper in spirit and truth. Christian worship is the channel for the incoming grace, rather perhaps the flood-gate, shut and opened at human will, joining the reservoir of the fulness of divine love to the appointed means of grace in word and sacrament. Therefore, in its essence, worship is pre-eminently sacramental; it makes man the recipient of good and reaches its climax and summum bonum in the Holy Supper.
This divine element of worship always makes a man receive more than he can give. It has this sacramental character, because it revolves around Christ as its centre, and has its fulness of blessing in Him who is the Saviour of the world. Christ is the one chief stone in the corner, the true foundation of our temple of worship. This sacramental character makes it the purpose of every act of worship first to exalt and magnify Him forever. It is a truly Christian worship, though a nominally Christian worship may be lacking in every essential principle of Christian worship, and be only a kind of nominalism with no objective reality in the faith and life of Christ. He is the heart, the magnet that draws all unto Himself. He is the divine cause that calls forth the act of worship. He appeals to the heart and conscience of the worshipper and comes through the enlightening power of the Holy Ghost who confers His gifts upon believers and creates the insatiable thirst for the water of eternal life. Thus the intellect is sharpened, the sense of esthetic beauty refined, and the ethical judgments of conscience confirmed; so fully does Christ enter the life, absorb every faculty of the soul, and make every act of worship begin and end in Him.
But one may fully understand the general truth and state the theory of worship in harmony with the general proposition without possessing this vital principle of worship. For the essence of worship is the essence of religion. At their root religion and worship coincide “so far, that no man can fully perform all that is involved in worship without doing all that is involved in religion.”
The Word of God declares the divine purpose in worship. It is a pure worship so far as it contains the pure Word of God. The fruits and effects of grace are bestowed through God’s Word. Worship has its best expression in the language of Scripture. Worship in spirit and truth is not simply a spiritual act or mental abstraction apart from the spoken word or spiritual condition. It is rather the spirit of devotion
quickened by the truth—Thy Word is truth—and comforted by the Spirit who dwelleth in the Word of truth. We find in the words of Scripture the forms in which every act of worship may find expression. Long usage crystallizes the thought of Scripture into forms which preserve the odor of sanctity. For there can be no worship apart from the Church which is the assembly of saints, in which the Gospel is truly preached and the sacraments in due form administered. The instruction of God’s Word, the formal preaching of the Gospel, is the centre of Christian worship. Its truly sacramental character is set forth in the absolution promised in the Gospel and received by the truly penitent and believing. So worship in the use of the fixed forms of Collect, Word, Creed, Sermon, and Sacrament preserves the doctrinal purity of the faith.
The human element in worship is of minor importance only in a degree; but as the whole consists of all its parts there is superlative necessity for it to round out the act of perfect worship. The neglect of the human in worship chills it and tends to make it a lifeless formality. According to the law of liberty this is the place of the variable and free. It leaves room for so wide an adaptation to circumstances as to meet all emergencies. It is the pre-eminently sacrificial, not in the sense of making propitiation for sin, but as being the avenue through which are brought the offerings of confession, praise, and adoration, prayer, supplication and thanksgiving. Worship is both sacramental and sacrificial, for it brings to the worshipper the gift of grace, and offers to God honor, reverence, and glory. Worship is refreshing because in it men receive mercy and peace, and inexpressible joy in the Holy Ghost; at the same time, it is decorous in action and dignified in confession of sin and eucharistic offerings:
The true worshipper is devout; he comes in the spirit of devotion; when edified he departs with the fragrance of a devout spirit. Devoutness makes the heart and mind receptive to sacramental grace. The worshipper sings devoutly, prays devoutly, and listens devoutly. The of worship is established as a habitude by observing regularly appointed seasons, by using fixed forms, especially the divinely given words in Gospel and Sacrament as the voice of highest service. Of course, the simple act of worship is not unattended by danger. In the many common duties of life many things are done in a perfunctory way. It is possible even in worship for the mind to wander and allow the formal act, apart from the spirit of true devotion, to crystallize into the mere, cold formality, like an icicle sparkling with all the outward
richness and wealth of beauty stored up in the cold but brilliant jewel.
However, this danger threatens every form of worship and is never quite so chilling as in the threadbare formality that knows no forms; it is obviated in all only by a living sacrifice of prayer, praise and thanksgiving; by the faithful and intelligent cultivation of the sacrificial in the variable parts, of worship which allow ample freedom and spontaneity. In the fixed centres of worship, like the Word and Sacrament, we have divinely appointed foci to quicken spiritual activity and put within reach the great wealth of divine mercy and grace; they are the “golden candlestick,” “the lamp unto our feet and the light on our path,” and also the table of “shew-bread,” for “man lives not by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Likewise in the free and variable forms of worship we have our sacrificial altars whereupon the flame of our devotion, burns; the golden altar of incense from which our prayers arise like clouds of incense to the skies. It is little that we give in return for the boundless treasures that we receive; but in our destitution our offering, at best but a scanty gift, is still our all: our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, our reasonable service.
An important corollary to this proposition of the fundamental principles of worship is the fitting time and place. In our worship we ought to enjoy the benefits of redemption. Its great facts are to be emphasized. Beginning with the weekly cycle of the resurrection in the Lord’s Day, the contemplation of the year of grace includes every feature and doctrine of the redemptive work.
It is true that
“The groves were God’s first temples. Ere man learned
To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave,
And spread the roof above the—ere he framed
The lofty vault, to gather and roll back
The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood,
Amid the cool and silence, he knelt down,
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks and supplication.”
But it is equally true that God has always chosen a place for His local habitation with men. The place where His people meet with Him should be suitable for such an occasion, neither in barn nor opera-house, Jewish Temple nor Mohammedan Mosque, factory nor theatre, but in a Christian Church. On such an occasion the church should harmonize with the divine purpose in worship.
Art is a handmaid to worship. In architecture it makes the stones speak the story of redemption through the eye, in sculptured
wall and painted arch. Architecture, sculpture and painting tell the pictured story, while the other arts poetry, music, and eloquence tell the same story to other sense-perceptions and fill the storied temple with the words and spirit of worship.
In studying the Fundamental Principles of Worship the following outline was pursued:
I. There is a divine purpose for instruction and edification in worship.
II. It appears in the association and fellowship of worship.
III. It is accomplished by the means of grace employed in worship.
1. The Sacramental character, or the divine elements of worship:
(1) It is Christo-centric;
(2) It uses the Word of Scripture
(3) It is the Means of Grace;
(4) It conserves doctrinal purity.
2. The Sacrificial character, or the human elements of worship:
(1) Eucharistic offerings;
(2) Variable forms;
(3) The Times and Places;
(4) The use of Art.
J. C. F. Rupp.
OUR DISTINCTIVE WORSHIP—
THE COMMON SERVICE AND OTHER LITURGIES, ANCIENT AND MODERN.
Principle and Form are related as Soul and Body. The latter is the medium through which the former is able to express itself. The intellect, will, the emotions, in fact the SOUL LIFE of the human personality is only able to reveal itself, and indeed only possesses objective existence, in the physical life. So abstract principles may have some quasi existence within the realm of the metaphysical, but in order to our real apprehension of them in time and space they must have a concrete, formal expression. The animating principles of Christian faith constantly appear in the several spheres of Christian life, and nowhere more clearly than in the department of Christian Worship. The distinctive differences in doctrine held by different Churches may not be evident in the private lives of their members, but they will inevitably appear in the public worship of their congregations. Doctrines in principles of worship are proclaimed not only from the pulpit, but from the altar, from the pew, from the organ bench and choir room; liturgy as truly as in Confessional Symbol; in rubric often more clearly than in text; in manner, gesture, posture as surely as in spoken or printed word. Everything is pregnant with meaning when one learns to read it aright. We understand not the mannerisms of strangers, but the simple tone of voice, the glance of an eye, or the most
trivial gesture of a dear friend conveys deep significance. So greater intimacy with the forms of devotion may reveal to us many qualities hitherto unperceived.
It is a very superficial opinion, oft expressed, that there is little difference between Churches. “We all are going to the same place,” it is said; as if it were immaterial in undertaking a journey to a distant city whether we kept in the King’s highway with its signboards and places of refreshment, or stumbled in danger and discomfort through the woods and swam swollen streams. Or as if because we all live upon what we eat, there were no difference in foods! A Lutheran is not a Romanist, a Quaker or a Methodist. We have a distinctive doctrine, a distinctive apprehension of God’s revelation, as have they; and our cultus, or form of worship, as expressing our belief, is just as distinctive in character. It is our purpose therefore, by a study of our Service and a comparison of it with others to see wherein this distinctiveness lies.
We may look first at the Service as a whole. The first impression we gather is that it is not only in the language of the people, but that the latter actively participate in every portion of it. There is no suggestion of a vicarious performance, but of a personal participation. Pastor and people together enter the Holy of Holies and commune with God. Here is the living embodiment of a cardinal principle of the Reformation, and indeed of the New Testament,—the Universal Priesthood of All Believers. Hear what Dr. Rock, a most eminent Roman Catholic divine, says with reference to the celebration of the Roman Mass. “In the performance of this sacred service no Office is assigned to the people. The sacrifice is offered up by the priest in their name and on their behalf. The whole action is between God and the priest. So far is it from being necessary that the people shall understand the language of the sacrifice, that they are not allowed even to hear the most important and solemn part of it. … They do not act, they do not say the prayers of the priest, they have nothing to do with the actual performance of the Holy Sacrifice.” (Hierurgia I:314).
Hear again the words of Dr. Boardman, one of the most prominent Baptist divines in this country, as he laments the vicarious character of worship in his own and other non‑liturgical Churches. He says, “No voice but the preacher’s is heard in adoration, thanksgiving, confession, supplication, intercession, aspiration, communion. So far as the vocal act of homage goes, the preacher alone worships. … Alas! this individual privilege of each member of the congregation we allow the min-
ister to appropriate to himself. He alone lifts the veil, and enters the Holy of Holies, and communes before the mercy-seat; while the congregation stands mute in the outer court. The New Testament doctrine the rent veil and the priesthood of all Christians gives way to the Old Testament doctrine of a sacerdotal order; or what is worse, to the Roman heresy of a priestly caste and a priestly worship. Even pulpit has been removed from the side to the centre; so that the preacher is perpetually in the foreground, while the worship of Almighty God is consigned to a comparatively subordinate niche. How painfully true this is, may be seen in the fact that while it is not considered rude to enter the sanctuary during the earlier parts of the service, such as the singing or the Bible reading,—that is to say, be it observed, during that part of the service which is distinctively liturgical or worshipful,—it is considered rude to come or go out while the minister is preaching, as though, forsooth, the main thing in worship were ignorant, feeble, sinful man, instead Jehovah of Hosts.” (Christian Worship, p. 291 sq.) Out of their own mouths they stand convicted, the Romanist asserting the doctrine of the vicarious work of a priestly order, and the Baptist admitting its virtual practice. Take the Common Service and see pastor and people unite in common confession, and appropriation of God’s forgiveness; see them direct to the throne of grace common praise and petition in the Gloria Patri, the Kyrie, the Gloria in Excelsis, the Collect, the General Prayer, the Preface, Sanctus, Agnus and Nunc Dimittis; their common confession of belief in the Creed as well as many other parts of the service; see them together honor and reverence and use the Word and the Sacrament, uniting in all that pertains to the administration and the reception of both. In its every line our Service is vocal with the principle of a Universal Priesthood engaging in a Common Ministry.
Worship is a transaction between God and Man; in it therefore are two active elements, the divine and the human. Theories of worship fundamentally differ as the emphasis is placed upon either of these elements. The Roman, and perhaps to a less degree the Greek Liturgy, reeks with the human, the sacrificial element. God is still to be appeased, His wrath averted by the work which the Church, through its priesthood, must do every day. All service centres about the work, the sacrifice of the Mass. It is not what God brings to man in worship, but what man does for God. The Reformed, by which we understand the other Protestant Churches except the Lutheran, also emphasize the
human or sacrificial side. Not indeed the propitiary sacrificial theory of the Romanists, but the eucharistic-sacrificial idea. God is appeased, Christians gather to thank and praise Him, and to offer Him their prayer and grateful service, provoking one another’s devotion and sacrifice by mutual fellowship. But again it is not what God brings, but what man does. The Lutheran lays stress upon the Divine element in worship. The propitiary sacrifice has been made once for all by the death of Jesus; this, and this only, is the basis for our every approach to God in worship. God desires all men to receive most fully the benefits of Christ’s work. He conveys these benefits and blessings, pardon, peace, spiritual strength, GRACE in fact, through certain means. These are His Word and Sacraments. He says, “Thou art redeemed, O Man; Christ died for thee. Come, commune with Me; I will give thee My Word and Will; will assure thee of pardon; will give thee My Strength to help thy weakness; will give thee in My Sacrament a seal and pledge of thy acceptance, and will make and confirm with thee an everlasting covenant.” The sinner, though assured of God’s mercy, is ever conscious of his own sin; and his every experience but impresses him with his own weakness. He comes to receive again what God offers him through the means entrusted to His Church. Hence our distinctive teaching is that we gather in Divine Service primarily to receive the gifts of God, and then secondarily to give Him our praise and prayer. We receive far more than we can ever give. The Divine element predominates; the human is governed by it. It is not what man does, but what God brings. Examine the Service in the light of this distinctive principle; see the importance accorded the Divine element, the Means of God’s coming to us, the Word and the Sacrament. Luther in his very first liturgical writing said, “One thing is needful, namely, that Mary should sit at Christ’s feet and hear His Word daily, which is that best part which she has chosen, and which shall never be taken from her. There is one eternal Word. Everything else must pass away, no matter how much concern it may cause Martha.” See how he labored to give the Word to the people in their own language; how the Sermon as the exposition of it was restored; how the legends of the saints, the work of the priests, the penances of men, the figment of the Virgin’s powers, were all swept aside. Like another John the Baptist he came crying, “Make straight the way of the Lord.”
We, as his heirs in doctrine as in name, have entered into his works. The Greek and Roman Liturgies today are filled with works and ceremonies, with elaborate dramatic symbolism, with invocation of the
saints and adoration of the Virgin; but of the pure Word of God, His message to human hearts, there is little. We put them down in sorrow and turn to Orders and Directories of Worship used by many Protestant Communions. Here is abundant provision of Hymns and Prayers and Anthems; even the Apostles’ Creed may be said and the Gloria Patri sung, and if the Lord’s Prayer be added yet it is regarded as a remarkably rich liturgical service. And yet that is all man’s work, his offering to God. All that God brings to man must come through perhaps a single short portion of His Word, for it is to be feared that the Sermon frequently is so filled with the social, political, or at best moral opinions of the preacher that there is scant opportunity for a morsel of Divine truth, an assurance, a promise, or a pledge, to trickle through. In sorrow again we place these down. Let us examine our Service. At the very beginning pastor and people encourage each other to approach the throne of grace by the messages of God delivered to His people thousands of years ago, and so we say, “Our help is in the Name of the Lord, … For Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” and after united confession we receive the assurance of His Gospel again that “Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, hath had mercy upon us and given His Only Son to die for us, and for His sake forgiveth us all our sins. To them that believe on His Name, He also giveth power to become the Sons of God, and bestoweth upon them His Holy Spirit. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Then the Introit gives us in the language of the Psalms again the special message of the day, which we are to receive more fully later in Lessons and Sermon, and about which all our response is to cluster. The very words of the Kyrie, Gloria in Excelsis and Collect bring before us, chiefly in the very language again of Scripture, the Person and Work of our Saviour, and the assurance of His love, His intercession, His benediction. And then we have directly His particular message in the Epistle and Gospel; that portion of His Life, His Work, His Teaching that is to be His especial assurance, promise, warning or exhortation,—the particular Gift of His love for the time to those who gather in His courts below.
And now about this message, this Divine Gift, which is further explained and applied in the Sermon, based directly upon it and not determined by some passing whim or caprice of the preacher;—about this Divine Gift, gathers our grateful response in acceptance and affirmation in the Creed, and our further appropriation and thankful in the Hymns. And so it is the WORD that rules, that is the
centre, that is the life of the Service. The Church in its Pericopes) or selection of Lessons, as related to the general plan of the Christian Year, has rightly divided this Word of Truth, and given us a proper portion for every service in the year. “Worship”, says the President of Union Theological Seminary, and he voices the conception of all the Reformed Churches on this point, “worship has for its characteristic idea, its main object, not impression, but expression.” “Its two chief elements are praise and prayer.” (p. 312 & 306 in Christian Worship.) “Not so!” says the Lutheran, with the Common Service in his hand. “The chief thing is God’s Gift to us, His Message in His Word, His pledge in His Sacrament.” About these have grown up that rich devotional literature, as well as that wonderful body of Church Song,—the Hymns, the Graduals. the Choräle, the Chants and part compositions—that show most clearly that the Lutheran Church does not underestimate the subjective or human element in worship, but that she bases it upon the Divine element. God speaks first; we hear and answer.
It is hardly necessary to indicate the manner in which our Service emphasizes the Divine element in the Sacrament. The Eastern Liturgy of St. James says “Remembering, therefore, His life-giving sufferings, … we, sinful men, offer unto Thee, O Lord, this dread and bloodless sacrifice, praying that Thou wilt not deal with us after our sins, nor reward us according to our iniquities.” The Roman Liturgy says “Accept, O Holy Father, Almighty, Eternal God, this immaculate Host, which I, Thy unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, for my innumerable sins, offences and negligences, and for all here present, as also for all faithful Christians, both living and dead, that it may be profitable for my own and for their salvation unto eternal life. Amen.” Here everything is human offering, work and action. Let us glance at some Protestant Liturgies. Here the Holy Communion is a service of commemoration, of Christian union and fellowship, a sign of faith and a promise of consecration on the part of men. In Zwingli’s Liturgy, as indeed in Knox’s and in many of Reformed services today the people remain in their seats, the bread and wine are distributed by the deacons or even passed from hand to hand while a Psalm or Hymn is sung or words of Scripture read. The fundamental idea appears in a sentence of the recent Liturgy proposed for use in the Presbyterian Church by Dr. Shields,—”And here we offer and present unto Thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy and lively sacrifice unto Thee; humbly beseeching Thee, that all we, who are partakers of this holy Communion, may be
fulfilled with Thy grace and heavenly benediction.” (p. 245). The Liturgy of the Reformed Church in the U. S. says (p. 96), “Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, sanctify, we beseech Thee, by Thy Word and Spirit, these elements of bread and wine, that, being set apart now from a common to a sacred and mystical use, they may exhibit and represent to us with true effect the Body and Blood of Thy Son, Jesus Christ,” and in the Distribution the formula is “The bread which we break is the Communion of the body of Christ” and “The cup of blessing which we bless is the Communion of the blood of Christ.” The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England in the formula for distribution says, “Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on Him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.” Examples might be multiplied, but this will suffice to show us that here again is human work, human commemoration, human consecration, human fellowship, but not the Divine Gift for which we long,—the real Divine Presence in the transaction and the personal, individualized assurance of Divine forgiveness, for which we hunger and thirst. Take the Common Service and see its simple but soul-satisfying words. The communicants come to the altar and reverently kneel before the Lord Who has chosen this way in which to impart Himself to them. Their sin sees the pledge of its pardon in the Holy Elements; with holy reverence and deepest gratitude they receive the Divine Gift, as they hear the very words of the Giver, “Take and eat, this is the Body of Christ, given for thee.” “Take and drink, this is the Blood of the New Testament, shed for thy sins.” Devoutly we appropriate to ourselves the message of pardon, peace, imputation, impartation; reverently we receive CHRIST, with all His Work, in all His plentitude of Power. No, in this solemn moment, not human works as offering, but Divine Gift and assurance.
There are many other distinctive traits in our beautiful Service, but time permits us to mention but one particularly. It presents Christ our Saviour as the object and centre of all our worship; it is a living embodiment of the spirit of the First and Second Commandments, which declare that “thou shalt have no other gods beside Me;” and “thou shalt not take My Name in vain”. We have already seen how the Roman Service centres, not in the propitiary sacrifice which Christ once offered on the cross, but in that which the Church now from day to day continually offers. Its Liturgy is further crowded with references to the Virgin, the Archangel Michael, the Apostles, Martyrs and Saints, some forty of whom are men-
tioned by name; not simply references to them, but ‘we should have said confession to them for their intercession with God. And while the clergy are hastily mumbling or chanting this service in a foreign tongue the laity are busy in the pew “working out their salvation”, as with marvelous celerity they cover the decades of the rosary, reeling off the vain repetitions” of Ave Marias, Pater Nosters, and Gloria Patris, Work! Work! Work! Christ’s work ignored; man’s work exalted! The Church, Mary, the Martyrs, the Saints traditions and legends, but little of Christ and His Word. Now take up a Monday morning paper in any great city and read the reports of the majority of sermons there given. Political situations, industrial conditions, sociological problems, criticisms of the national policy, reviews of recent publications, discussion of athletics or Art; disquisitions philosophical, geographical, historical, ethnological, biographical,—but what of Christ and Him crucified” than Whom Paul declared that he would know nothing? Take up again the Common Service. Its very beginning is in the Name of the Triune God; His assurance of pardon meets our confession of sin; our cry of need ascends to Christ in our Kyrie, and Agnus Dei; our praise is given Him in the Gloria, the Hallelujah, the Response to His Gospel, the Sanctus, the Thanksgiving, the Benedicamus; we confess our faith in Him in Preface and Nunc Dimittis; from Him we receive sacramental grace in Lessons, Sermon, Absolution, Communion and Benediction. His Life, His Work, His preaching, His Intercession, His Exhortation, His Promise. We are on the mount of Transfiguration,— Christ is with us in all His Divine Glory, Majesty and Power. All else is down in the valley, far beneath. Jesus is all in all.
Not only, however, does our Service reflect in its form our distinctive views of Divine Worship, but it is a living embodiment of our whole doctrinal System, from which indeed, our conceptions of Worship naturally emerge. We believe that in the very words of the Service not only every fundamental, but every distinctive doctrine of our Church finds expression. The doctrine of the Trinity is proclaimed constantly in Invocation, Declaration of Grace, Gloria Patri, Kyrie, Gloria in Excelsis, Collects, Creeds, General Prayer, Proper Preface, Sanctus, and Benediction. The doctrine of Creation and Providence in the very first Versicle, as well as in Collects, Creeds and General Prayer; human sin and God’s mercy and forgiveness appear in the Confession and
Declaration, Gloria in Excelsis, Collects, Creeds, Offertory, General Prayer, Proper Prefaces, Verba, Agnus and Distribution. Concerning the Person of Christ, the doctrine of His two Natures is shown in Collects, Creeds, Proper Prefaces; the doctrine of His Offices passim,—as Prophet in Collect and Sanctus; as Priest making intercession and satisfaction in Declaration, Gloria in Excelsis, Collects, Creeds, Proper Preface; as King reigning in His kingdoms of Power, Grace and Glory in Gloria in Excelsis, Collects, Creeds, General Prayer and Gloria Patri everywhere. Likewise the doctrine of His States. The Humiliation appears in Confession, Collects, Gradual, Creeds, General Prayer, and Proper Prefaces: the Exaltation in Gloria in Excelsis, Collects, Creeds and Proper Prefaces. Of the teaching concerning the Holy Spirit, we see faith, justification, calling, illumination, regeneration, conversion, sanctification proclaimed in Confession, Declaration, Collects, and Creeds.
The doctrine of the Means of Grace not only underlies the whole conception of the Service, but appears specifically as well in individual portions of it. The power and efficacy of the Word is not only emphasized by the dominating, position accorded it as controlling every variable part of the Service, but the very words of the Liturgy itself are in great measure Scriptural, and if not literally so, entirely so in spirit. The whole second portion of the Service enshrines in forms of living beauty the Lutheran doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. We have already spoken of at least one of the individual parts which shows that he who engages in this holy service in the spirit and words of this Liturgy cannot regard the Sacrament either as a sacrificial offering, or a mere commemorative or consecratory form, but as in very truth the way chosen by our Lord Himself to impart Himself in all His plenitude of saving grace and power to us personally and individually. And so we may mention every vital, fundamental doctrine of Christian faith, and every distinctive principle and tenet of Lutheranism and we find it not only dimly reflected but generally most clearly stated in our incomparable Service.
It had been our intention to give a concise summary or characterization of the different families of liturgies, and indicate the place of the Common Service among them;—in other words, to treat of the somewhat complicated questions of liturgical consanguinity and affinity, to present at least, of the ledger in which History has recorded the debt credit account of these near relatives in their dealings with one another,—but this manifestly ties beyond the limits
of this paper. We trust that sufficient has been presented to show that not only in its general outline and spirit, but in its individual parts, our Service is at once a living embodiment and a luminous and lovely exposition of the Holy Christian Faith as apprehended by the Lutheran Church, and that as such it deserves to stand as a worthy contribution of American Lutheranism to the number of Confessional Symbols of our Church: not as a dry, dogmatic formula of belief to be taken down from dusty shelves in time of controversy and argument, but as a living thing of surpassing beauty, which our hands, lips and heart may together use whenever we enter the sanctuary of God to commune with Him.
LUTHER D. REED.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LITURGICAL REFORM
Few delights are comparable with that of a scholar who thinks he has lighted on a fact which other students have not known, or recognized, or taken into account. As when a chemist, who has put certain substances together a hundred times without being able to make them unite, suddenly hits upon the right proportions, and in the right temperature fails of no necessary condition, and sees them make the nation which exactly imitates and therefore explains nature, so the ardent student glows over the possibility that in Occam he will find the germs of Luther’s theory of the Sacraments, recognizes in Augustine the beginning or reflection of the Collects, or constructs from the “faithful sayings” of the New Testament Epistles a theory of the daily life of the Apostolic Church. But how common is it to find that he is only repeating a discovery, made many times before; to have men say in the face of his prophetic voice, O, I knew that; that is an old story. The critics are fond of showing that every poet is a plagiarist. The commentator discovers in earlier seers the material of later prophecy. The plots of our novels and dramas are tracked to prehistoric story. And we are almost compelled to believe that all possible knowledge is made up of a few score original elements, whose combinations only are variable, as in a Chinese puzzle.
It is very curious again how often a great discovery has been made simultaneously by several investigators. Astronomers differ over the right to name a planet; physicians challenge the title to the discovery of anaesthetics; steam and electrical appliances are ascribed to different inventors. It seems as if when the time had come for the evolution of
some new contrivance, when all the conditions had at last been perfected by patient work in many lands, and further progress waited on its emergence, it waited on no man’s wit to discover it, but forced its way through the brains and hands of many, wherever there were thoughtful and unselfish men fitted to be the conductors of the gifts of God.
Let me congratulate this Association formed for liturgical study and research, upon your program and the zeal with which you have begun to follow it. I may not be wrong in the surmise that the Association owes its being and the direction and thoroughness of its studies to the impulse given by a teacher in our theological Alma Mater and the delightful fruits of labour in these fields under his guidance. And he was called into these special studies by the opportunity which occurred (now twenty years ago) to review, extend and defend our liturgical forms. And this opportunity came out of the growth and refinement of our Church, as it cast the chrysalis of its ancestral tongue and began to think and speak and pray in English. But it would be a mistake for this Association to conceive itself to be a pioneer; or as it puts its hand to the axe to hew itself a way and to build itself a home in what seems still a wilderness, to think there are no other workmen, that there are no other clearings, and that stately cities have not risen where a forest was. I propose that we consider the Origin of Liturgical Reform; that we analyze the work in which we are interested, and ask whence came the impulse to it, as worthy of those who are consecrated to the service of God in the world.
No one will deny that there are strong practical reasons in the present for liturgical reform. All of us can remember bald and tiresome religious services, which repeated and multiplied the iteration of hymn and long prayer and targumed Scripture lesson and lengthy sermon and doxology and benediction, as if no other way of worshipping God ever had been known or was possible; and there are around us extravagances enough to show us how overwearied men are trying to escape from it. Wonderful things have been accomplished within the memory of living man. But much remains to do. There are churches of hopeless ugliness; in many congregations an historical service is mangled and misshapen; there are ministers who seem to think of themselves only in the Church, who do and say things revolting to delicate taste and to the reverent mind, and who are unable to explain to their flocks any of the parts of worship or even to discern any reason in it. Eccentric mistakes, the idiosyncrasies of a man or a congregation,
are repeated over a wide country in lesser churches. And many a change, which for a while is applauded, is after all but a heartless following of a fashion.
But our Church has awakened to the necessity of liturgical reform. Our people share in the general culture of the community. They wish to have fine churches, and ecclesiastical architecture and an historical service answer to each other. They read; and as they read the best English books they imbibe the spirit of the Anglican Church, and demand the same tone in their own, or that purer and better spirit which fanned the worship of the English Church. They are unwilling to be abandoned to the ignorance or impertinence or vagaries or narrowness of any preacher, and yearn to breathe the communion of saints, the native air of the Universal Church, in the house of God. Then we have grown in appreciation of the doctrinal belief of the Church. The Holy Sacrament is the Centre of our worship and asserts its place. The Word of God will no longer be dealt out as the utterance of a man, but must have its sacramental dignity. Nor should we leave out of view, on the other hand, that liturgical reform is demanded by just such a time of decaying faith as this. It is noteworthy that what are called Broad Churchmen in the Protestant Episcopal Church make much of ritual. As beliefs become cloudy, when men are holding their faith in abeyance, they want a standard, a beacon; and they value a worship whose forms stand, and which goes on undisturbed, even when the worshippers are cold and faith is weak. These are some of the reasons which make liturgical reform a necessity in the present time merely as a practical measure, and would justify earnest men in studying the measures to adopt, the principles to be observed, and the aim to keep in view. But I wish to remind you that liturgical reform is a larger thing than this. It is a part of a wide, deep and venerable movement. It is a world-tendency upon which we are borne. It is rooted in the life of the Church.
At the beginning of this Century in many of the churches of Germany the Gottesdienst had given place to Gottesverehrung. In some of the churches the service of the 16th Century still was said, the ministers wore the alb, there were many services on a Sunday and during the week, and every regulation of the reformers was unchanged;—to such an extent, indeed, that in some places on high days the main parts the Service, except the pericopes and the Words of Institution, were sung in Latin, and, I fear, on other days, when they were not sung in Latin, were not said at all. It is not hard to see that if the Liturgy in
such a case was faultless in form, it was an opus operatum: the people had no part in it; they were spectators only. Such a liturgy was only a survival. The life of the Church was not in it, and was not nourished by it. It was not altogether a false motive which led men to substitute a new order and new formularies for the old that seemed to have no meaning; just as in this country the simpler and emptier Service of 1786 no doubt seemed to answer the mind of the Church better than the full Lutheran Order of 1748. But the change went very far. The new formularies were pompous, and were intended to move the people to worship. The Holy Supper no longer was regarded as the centre and focus of worship. The Sacramental idea was forgotten. With alb and Latin song went the whole structure of the Service. Not much was left to the congregation but to be preached to and prayed at. But at the beginning of this Century the whole face of Europe was changed. The conquests of Napoleon broke down the old order. He demonstrated the worthlessness of the structure. And when he had been overcome, it was impossible to set it up again. The French revolution with the horrors that attended and followed it had made men feel how far they had drifted from patriotism, purity, homely affection and religious faith, and brought about a great revival, a conversion of the nations. It was natural there should be a reaction after the excesses of skepticism and political liberty. With renewed assertion of the rights of kings, renewed submission to the authority of the Church, a painful endeavour to restore what was venerable, there was an honest abasement before God,—the hearts of the earnest cried out for more than rationalistic forms could give them. To this era belongs what is called the Romantic movement in literature—of which Walter Scott was a product and a force, to which the Schlegels belonged in Germany, and from which came the Pre-raphaelite School in Art and the revival of Gothic architecture. The Tercentenary of the Reformation occurred in 1817 and directed the thoughtful to the principles and achievements of the reformers. Frederick William III. of Prussia sought the union of the Evangelical Church in Germany—the ancestral dream of his house. He and his successor hoped for a closer relation to the Church of England. He discerned the real causes of the disunion, weakness and overthrow of Germany. The Liturgy for the Garrison Church at Berlin, of which the king was the compiler, Bunsen’s Capitoline Liturgy intended for the use of the Evangelical Church in the Embassy at Rome, and finally the new Liturgy for the Prussian Church, all followed one line, namely, a return to the historical order of service which had been in
use in the Western Church from early times, and a return to the order and forms of that Service as “Father Luther” had purified and arranged them. Different views may be taken of the liturgies which the king and his friends published and he tried to force on the Church. But it is evident that they rested on a study of the original and characteristic Service of Worship of our reformers, which deserved to be recalled to mind. In the controversy that ensued men were compelled to study the old Church Orders, to admire the wealth of liturgical material so strangely forgotten, to recognize that such a liturgical service at every point answered to the structure of the old faith, which had been forgotten too, so that in every part the one demanded the other, and to seek and regard the essential principle of the worship of the Christian Church. The past century seemed to have been lost time. The Church awoke with a sigh to the faith of the fathers and to their mode of worship. The contest in Prussia spread to the other states. And so the work of liturgical reform has steadily proceeded in Germany. Probably no German state has been content with the Order and constituents of worship which were in use at the beginning of the century. At present the liturgy of the Lutheran Church in Russia is under revision. And everywhere—while in some places there is incompleteness, and in some a conscious and obdurate aversion to Lutheran forms, based on an aversion to the Lutheran faith,—wherever there has been intelligent guidance, liturgical reform has returned to the principles and liturgy of “Father Luther.”
In this country our churches owe so much to the influence of the Protestant Episcopal Church for the maintenance of liturgical taste, that we are apt to think that the Anglican Church has always been as well ordered as it is to-day. It is a curious fact that, as in the Reformation the Lutheran Service was practically fixed in the period between 1523-1539 while the first English Service, which was drawn from it, was not published till 1548-9, so the reaction, conversion and reform of which I have spoken had declared itself and taken shape and started on its resistless way before the beginning of the Oxford movement, which, in spite of the Romeward tendency it developed, has had so mighty an influence on the liturgical reform of the Anglican Church. It would be unfair to say that it is due to the movement in Germany. The Romantic movement, the conservative reaction, found leaders and prophets in England. The English and the Germans are of the same stock. German sovereigns, whose continental realm possesses one of the purest of Lutheran communities, sat on the throne of England. There is
too much in common between the Lutheran and the Anglican Churches for one to be deeply stirred without the other feeling it. Yet it must not be left unnoticed that German influence in this direction was felt in England. Baron Bunsen, for instance, was as effective in England as in Germany. He profoundly influenced Broad Churchmen there. The healthy core of the English Church always is nourished on Lutheran theology. And the very attempt of Frederick William IV. to unite the German and Anglican churches in the Jerusalem bishopric, though it rested on a misconception of the genius of both churches urged on the movement to the revival and criticism and repristination of the forms of the past.
I may say that in the Church of England in this country before this movement began, there was little order. And in England the churches were neglected, instruments of handiwork stood in chancels, the usages of the fathers were forgotten, the clerk and not the congregation said the responses, and it even was forgotten what vestments were in use in earlier time. There is much reason to admire the dignity of the Service of the English Church and its so-called uniformity, but we must not forget that it has been attained under much greater advantages, yet not without sore struggle, in the course of that very movement of liturgical reform upon which we are borne in our own Church, which seems so incomplete, but in which we are striving to do our part.
The progress of liturgical reform in our own country has gone the same course that I have described. The earliest liturgy of our Church in this country was of the historical Lutheran type, but by the beginning of this century another had succeeded it, which answered to the colder faith of the time. And when our first English Churches were organized, our first books breathed the grandiloquent uncertainties and touching periphrase which were a truthful utterance of weakness of conviction. The revival of Church-consciousness, a renewed interest in doctrine, were in no small measure due to the movement in Germany, and in later years the influence of controversy in England was felt. The same movement began in other churches. Dr. Nevin revived a churchly theology and his followers tried to establish a liturgy constructed on ancient models. Dr. Schaff gave a voice to German thought. The General Synod was always aiming at an improved liturgy. In that improvement the Pennsylvania Synod was a pioneer. The Southern Churches practically adopted the Pennsylvania Synod’s scheme. The Church Book finally came into being: and then the Kirchenbuch; and
finally the Common Service. We now have the full Lutheran Service with all its provisions for all who wish to use it. We see, ever more clearly, the Christian principle of worship. We are learning to discern principle of worship which our fathers held to be Scriptural and proper to the Church from that which has mastered the Roman Catholic Church and so troubles the Protestant Episcopal Church to-day. And having reached this stage, we recognize it is but a stage. We have yet to understand one book; to criticise it; to live it; and to make it the possession and life of our people. It is yet a mark to aim at. It will be long before the fidelity of many make it a starting-point for further development of the Church.
I have dwelt at length on the origin of the present movement of liturgical reform. It is well to remember that the same interest that occupies us is felt throughout the Christian Church. It has its roots very deep in history. It is a part of the progress of our race. And it is not a spent force.
There have been several great eras of liturgical reform. Perhaps the first was when the simple Service of New Testament time, such a Service as the Didache or Justin Martyr tells of, became such as that of the earliest Greek written liturgies that have come down to us. The adoption of the dramatic principle, the secret discipline, the growing distinction between clergy and laity, the transference to Christian worship of Old Testament forms, the development of a priesthood and a Sacrifice, are elements of it; there are evidences of hesitation and criticism; and we are not yet able to say how much of this early form may have been borrowed in Alexandria from Egyptian rites and in the Greek world from the Mysteries.
A second period of liturgical reform of the greatest importance was that of the formation of the Latin Service. How strange that so momentous a change should have taken place somewhere in the 3d Century, and yet there should be no record of it; strange enough if it been a mere translation of the venerable Greek form; but stranger as manifesting a critical and creative spirit guiding it, so as to form a distinctive Western Service, which shall be the old Service, yet a new, simpler, no less majestic, and lucid; without the invocation of the Holy Ghost upon the elements, though there is evidence that there was a question about this omission; but with the marvellous addition of the Collects, for which we should ever be grateful, and the skilful and suggestive variation of the liturgy at every Service of the Christian Year.
The next great period of liturgical reform is marked by the name
of Charlemagne. How I wish we knew more of him! He was the first great German. The Roman Service took the place of the particular liturgies which had maintained themselves in Spain, for instance, and in France. Among many other reforms we owe it to Charlemagne that the reading and inculcation of the Scriptures in the Service were arranged and enforced; an endeavour that early to make the Roman Liturgy something else than an opus operatum.
The fourth great period was the era of the Reformation. Before the Lutherans began it for themselves, the movement to liturgical reform had begun in the Roman Church. In 1525 the Pope took steps for the reformation of the Breviary, and the work was completed and published by Cardinal Quignonez; in 1533-6. The debates between Roman and Protestant theologians showed how unsettled was the doctrine of Sacrifice which was held by many adherents of the old order. Charles V. attempted a reformation at Augsburg in 1548. And finally the Council of Trent instituted a reformation of the office of the Mass. In this, of course, the conception of Christian Worship as a Sacrifice offered to God, in which our Lord is immolated in the Holy Supper, and which reaches its culmination in the consecration and oblation of the elements, was established. This was the Roman liturgical reform. The opposite conception and the uncertainties about the matter were condemned and cast out. The work of liturgical reform did not then come to an end in the Roman Church. It was merely confined within a narrow channel. But, besides the addition of new festivals and new forms of devotion, hymns in the vernacular have been admitted, the Scriptures are read in the language of the people, a sermon is made customary at Mass, a translation of the whole service is published for the use of worshippers, and there have been teachers to urge the use of the whole Mass in the common tongue.
The reformation of worship which Rome condemned, took two opposing lines. One set of teachers would have brushed away the whole structure of worship which had grown up in the history of the Church, to reconstruct it anew on the principles of the Scriptures and perhaps after the example of the Churches in the time of the Apostles. This tendency has gone so far as practically to deny the possibility of any common worship: if there is to be any public prayer, it is to be only the occasional outpouring of an overcharged soul; and the Word of God is not presented as God’s Word, but never without comment, and always addressed as the word of man to the minds of men and subjected to the private judgment of every hearer. On the other hand the
vast majority of the Protestants against Rome acknowledged a certain right and authority of the traditional order of worship. They might criticise or reshape it or try to purify it or seek to give it another explanation than that which Rome canonized; they might accept or reject more or less of it; but the Order of the Mass was there, to be reckoned with like the Scriptures and the ancient Creeds and the decrees of Councils and the Hierarchy. In the course of time there has been a deep difference between the principles of liturgical reform which have guided different communions. Roman Catholic writers will tell you that Luther was not honest in his reformation of the Service. They say that he left the forms of the old worship, so that all appeared to simple folk as it had hitherto, and skilfully slipped out of it all that was of moment, and thus furtively changed the faith of the people while he amused their ears and eyes. The very objection betrays its groundlessness. It was the change of faith, which was of moment. Doctrine was at the heart of the Lutheran reformation of worship and governed every part of it. And while addresses to the saints, for instance, were lopped off, and the Scriptures were read to the people in a tongue they could understand, and in the hymns they were given a voice in worship and gradually all the parts were translated with much study and anxious attention to form as well as meaning, the heart of Luther’s reform is that God gives us all and we bring Him nothing but open mouths and empty hearts,—that Word and Supper are primarily and essentially Sacrament not Sacrifice, the impartation of complete redemption and sufficient grace, and that our Sacrifice is only the other side of it, begotten by it, included in it, subordinate to it. This is the centre and focus of the Lutheran reform. It casts out the whole doctrine of a propitiatory Sacrifice in the Mass, which the Roman Church made to be the whole of worship. And it starts the question whether Luther and his coadjutors in so many German cities had a theory of Christian worship which demanded and justified their retention of the old Order and constituents of worship after they had cut the Canon of the Mass out of it. There are those who say he had none. There are German scholars who say that his work was incomplete, but was not meant to be complete; that he set up the principle which was destined to be the solvent before which the whole of the old Order should crumble; and that therefore the disappearance of the traditional order in the German Churches in the last century was the result of the persistence of the good leaven, and that it is the duty of the adherents of Luther in the present age not to go “back to Father Luther,” as the king of Prussia
essayed to do, but to construct a new Order of fresh materials, the original utterance of an emancipated age. This is one of the issues of liturgical reform to which I shall revert. I allude to it to show two of the lines of liturgical reform which the movement of the era of the Reformation has taken,—Luther’s reconstruction of the Service on the Sacramental principle and the demand for a modern revision of his work. But there was also another line, which must be taken into account. It is represented in the history of the Book of Common Prayer. The varying currents of the English Reformation need not be described again. But it will not be too much to say that the Church of England has received the liturgical reform of the Protestants—the order of the old Service with the distinctive Roman and mediaeval Sacrifice taken out of it—but is unwilling to supply the Lutheran content. She wonders at and prizes the ancient relic, but cannot explain it; and goes about to invent other sacrificial theories to take the place of the central immolation of our Lord in the Mass.—Here we have five theories of Christian worship, all represented in the movement of liturgical reform in the life of the Christian Church today.
Let us turn to the problems of liturgical reform. It is clear that men may engage in the work of liturgical reform from very different interests. Let us classify them as aesthetical, historical and practical. A taste for ritual or for extreme simplicity in worship might be without any appreciation of the historical questions involved and might lead to steps hurtful to the congregation. On the other hand a scholar might take great delight in historical study of Christian worship and yet be entirely careless of the Service in his own Church. Many a practical man wishes uniformity and order, but has no taste, and violates the historical meaning of the Service ruthlessly.
What authority has taste? If taste had been consulted, we could not have secured the Common Service. It was by the exclusion of personal preference and common submission to the norm, that agreement was reached. Yet taste had play. There were minor parts of worship which taste ruled out. The Nunc Dimittis is retained in our Communion Service because the taste of all agreed on this point rather than because it belongs to the normal Lutheran order. Taste had much to do with the original Lutheran reform. Luther’s sympathetic preference for rhymed verse, his keen musical perception, caused him to hesitate to receive translations of texts which were at hand, and to spend a long time perfecting his Service, and, no doubt, this had a good deal to do with his retention of the Latin and of many of the songs. Even
his taste was sometimes at fault, as witness his German Sanctus, Isaiae dem Propheten dies geschah! And some of his cotemporaries made a clumsy work of the Collects. To eminent delicacy and courage in liturgical composition we owe the English form of parts of the Service. But while we wonder at the marvellous skill and taste of German and English reformers, there was much in the 16th Century Service-books which does not suit the taste of this age. This suggests a question which the scientific liturgist must meet. What are the canons of liturgical taste? In how far can the subjective and the temporary be allowed to alter that which belongs to the whole Church of all ages and times?
It is somewhat annoying to one whose interest in liturgical reform is largely historical to meet with men and women who have a taste for ritual and would change our churches and pass judgment on our usages and manner of worship from the standpoint of fashion. They think they are “liturgical” because they sing Amen at the end of hymns. They would require us to kneel in prayer, against the custom of our fathers and the Nicene rule. They declare it is essential to kneel in the Holy Supper, against the custom of the Early Church. They add a song instead of the Offertory Sentences. They subordinate ecclesiastical symbolism to adornment. But another question has to be met here. Liturgical taste is set among us principally by the English Church; and its canons, when not arbitrary, are derived from the Roman. Why are these to be preferred to those of the German Churches? Why is that to be called churchly or liturgical which agrees with English or Roman usage, rather than that which has the sanction of the Churches from which we sprung? It will therefore be the task of the aesthetic liturgist to compare these uses, and trace them to their real origin, and detect their real worth. There are canons of taste in every art. There should be such in liturgical reform.
There is a large body of Churchmen in Germany who have no sympathy with the repristination of the Reformation liturgies. I believe they would even deny the possibility of the maintenance of such a Service as we have. But they are not without liturgical taste and zeal. They are eager for what they call the enrichment of worship. They publish journals. They collect information. They propose the employment of the most diverse elements. For instance, some of them urge that the organ and choir be put behind and above the altar; they censure the erection of Gothic churches with the old arrangement of chancel and altar; they clamour for the development of a modern and
evangelical style of architecture; they advocate the recension of venerable forms, for instance, of the Gloria in Excelsis and the Formula of Consecration; they abandon the historical and claim everything and hold that they have a right to adopt it. There is a good deal of this in our American churches. It is the assertion of “taste.” And what do we mean when we say it is “unliturgical”? Smend says Zwingli had more liturgical genius than Luther. What right have we to say that taste must be limited, governed, subjected by any rule; and what shall the rule be except the consent, that is the common taste, of the worshippers? This is an issue in the movement to liturgical reform.
And so we come to another question—What is liturgical progress, and what is liturgical decay? We look upon the effect of Pietism and the final triumph of Rationalism over the Reformation liturgies as steps of decay. But in their time they were thought steps of progress. It was thought a great thing when the old full list of services, the varied vestments and complete Service, which had lingered at Nuremberg until this century, while church after church through Germany had put on the stately emptiness of the 18th century, were done away. Now we are looking back to what was abandoned. If we go into a Church where hearty congregational singing has given place to an artistic service, and there are lights and genuflexions and vestments, which appeal to a refined taste, but are a mere gazingstock to the people, do we not again say that this is decay? How shall we decide what is liturgical progress and what is decay? Are the Introits always to be chained to their archaic music? Are the Gregorian tones as sacred as the Psalms? Cannot history show us some forms or principles which are inseparable from Christian worship and assert and maintain themselves through all change? This is a question for liturgical taste.
The historical student finds in the liturgy of the Church an authentic witness of the past. As in rebuilding old churches they find in the walls traces of the work of masons and architects separated from each other by centuries, so he delights to recognize the parts of the Service which belong to various remote ages, to trace their development, to read the story of their own time in them, and to explain their place in this secular mosaic. We owe a great deal to such cool investigators. The devotee accepts all without question, even the tradition concerning its origin; every part of the Sacramentary of Gregory he ascribes to him and shudders to be told of a comparison of manuscripts which proves that a great part of it is centuries later in date than Gregory. But the scholar is cool as an anatomist. He burrows and speculates,
hesitates and decides, like Layard and Schliemann among the ruins of the past.
We have not more than begun the investigation of liturgies. So far as our own Church is concerned, and its own order derived from the 16th century forms, we have only secured an outline upon which to work. There are questions about all the texts: whence are they derived; what variations appear in the Reformation formularies; why do different Church Orders insist on slight variations; what was the objection to the earliest translations, which caused the neglect and final rejection of them; and what can be said of the merit of the rhymed translations which got such vogue? New discoveries are being made of letters, memoranda, city records, Church Orders, in libraries, sacristies, and town-halls, which multiply the knowledge of ten years ago.
Then comes the question as to the originals from which these German texts were rendered: What Missals and Breviaries were in the hands of our reformers? And what is to be said of the variations between these Missals? And when the original usage has been discovered, then comparison must be made between the Ambrosian, Gallican and Mozarabic Masses and the Roman. This brings the liturgist back to the origins of the Latin Service. He seeks them in the writings of Tertullian and Cyprian, in North Africa rather than in Rome. And then come the Eastern liturgies. What a maze! How shall he disentangle the original from later additions; and to which shall he assign priority—to the versions—the Syriac, the Armenian, the Coptic,—or to the extant Greek form? And here again he must go to what remains of early Christian literature for a check upon the forms themselves.
The texts ascertained, or, rather, their history and variations having been chronicled (and on the way to this how much will our liturgist have learned of the interaction and successive superiority of the divine and the human factors in the life of the Church,)—he will meet the question of the rationale, the meaning, of the parts and their order. Is there any reason why the worship of the Church should contain just such parts in just such order? Was there a conscious purpose in the construction of the Church Service? Has the whole a single and definite significance, and is each part essential to the structure? Are not many venerable parts of the traditional worship merely rudimentary survivals, whose use is forgotten, unascertainable, and which are subjected to arbitrary and varying explanation, like the lights on the altar, for instance? Are they like knots on a tree’s trunk, only marks where something else was? Do they give forth the same voice they had at
first? Or are they organic utterances of the very heart of Christian worship? And if there is a meaning, what are you to say of the variations between Greek Liturgy and Roman Mass and Protestant Communion? Is there a common residuum on which the variants are an exfoliation? Or can one maintain its claim to have its root in the Upper Chamber and its topmost boughs flower-crowned in the Holy of Holies?
This brings us to the numberless questions involved in the development of ritual. I have adverted to the different elements of which the Christian Service is composed. We may find—remnants of the earliest Service in the New Testament. Was it not natural that forms of the Old Testament worship should be taken over? Perhaps these were at first used figuratively, then kept in token of their fulfilment in Christian realities, but can we wonder if those whose Christian life was in so large part nourished by the Old Testament Scriptures and who, coming out of the corruptions of heathenism, so needed the discipline of the Law, and still were accustomed to sacrifices as the universal expression of worship, adopted also forms of the Ceremonial Law? That Ceremonial Law was constructed on patterns of things heavenly showed to Moses in the Mount. Still, the heavenly patterns were expressed in forms not unknown to the patriarchs, to Egypt and to Assyria. Universal forms of worship were purified and rearranged in the Tabernacle. Here seems to be a sanction of the adoption of what appears characteristically human, as well as the promulgation and fixation of something which is Divine and therefore eternal, immutable. What is that imperishable, normal, real thing in the Old Testament ritual, which dares not be absent from the worship of the Church on earth, as it is not absent from its worship in Heaven? The same considerations join with the genius of the peoples among whom the worship of the Church took form, to justify the use of symbolical action. This had a use and a meaning then, which among us it has not. The beginnings of ritual perhaps are traceable to Jerusalem. It does not seem a false tradition which ascribes a standard Greek Liturgy to Alexandria. Scholarship has as yet done no more than suggest the great part Egyptian traditions and habits, ingrained in the people and fortified by the remains of age-old cults, had in the formation of the Christian forms of worship. At places also the Christian ritual strangely touches the Mithraic ceremonies which maintained themselves in Italy. Gregory’s principle expressed in his letter to Augustine of Canterbury and illustrated in the religious habits of Germany and Scandinavia, to adopt and Christianize
heathen customs, was no invention of his age but in all probability was the tradition of the Church from the beginning. It is the task of the scientific liturgist to seek the heart, the essence, the soul, of Christian worship, that is incorporate in a body nourished upon and assimilating these elements; but when the soul is encountered, shall the scientific liturgist stay and strip off this body? Can the soul live disembodied? Or shall we admire and value and use the Service which bears the mark and is the offering of every age and every people and every conquered faith through which the undying Church has passed?
We need a complete study of the doctrine of Sacrifice in Christian Worship. How early was the figure mixed with a literal interpretation? The priesthood of all believers, the spiritual sacrifices, the Eucharist of the Church, strive to maintain themselves side by side with the immolation of Christ by a regular priesthood. Political urgency, innate convictions, false exegesis, all conspired to fix this doctrine on the Church, so that, though at the time of the Reformation there were many more or less Scriptural theologians to deny it, it long had been practically the rule and habit of faith. So we come upon a serious question: at what stage did the historical Service begin to leave the true type; when did it cease to be Christian; how can we explain the true elements which not only continued to exist in it, but, like the Collects for instance, seem to have been begotten and born in what we pronounce an age of retrogression and decay? In how far are we justified in picking out the framework, in which the propitiatory sacrifice is imbedded, as if the latter had been a complete superaddition on the former?
Two events in the early history of the Service are most suggestive. One is the omission from the Western Service of the Epiclesis, the invocation of the Holy Ghost upon the Elements (and upon the worshippers) in the Holy Communion. It occurs in all of the older liturgies.* It has been urged by the Eastern Church against the orthodoxy of the Roman Mass, that it omits this essential rite. The Nonjurors in
[*Footnote: Cyril Cat. Myst. V. 7. After hallowing ourselves by these spiritual hymns, we beseech the merciful God to send forth His Holy Spirit upon the elements displayed on the table, to make the bread the Body of Christ and the wine the Blood of Christ. For most certainly, whatsoever the Holy Spirit may have touched, that is hallowed and transformed.
Lit. Clem., Ap. C. VIII. 12. 17. That he may declare (apofhnh) this bread the Body of Thy Christ, and this cup the Blood of Thy Christ, in order that they who partake of it may be confirmed in piety, obtain remission of their sins, be delivered from the devil and his deceits, be filled with the Holy Spirit, be made worthy of Thy Christ, obtain everlasting life, Thou being reconciled to them O Lord Almighty.
Lit. Chrys. (Make) this bread etc.—changing them by Thy Holy Spirit.
Lit. St. Mark. Send forth Thy Holy Spirit upon us, and upon these cups, that He may sanctify and consecrate them, as God Almighty, and may make the bread the Body etc.
Mozarabic (for 2 S. after Ep.) That Thou wouldst sanctify this oblation by the permixture of Thy Holy Spirit, and wouldst conform it with full transformation to the Body and Blood etc.
Syriac St. Basil. He beseeches God that His Spirit should come on the congregation and the gifts and (anadeixai) exhibit the bread and cup as the precious Body and Blood of our Lord.
England insisted on its restoration to the Service and it has been inserted in the Scottish and the American Prayerbooks, over against the Book of Common Prayer. The liturgies betray the force that was ascribed to it, There is little doubt that it was found in the Greek Liturgy of the Church at Rome. But it is omitted in the Latin, which came into being in the 3d Century. Yet there survives in one of the oldest MSS., the so-called Leonine Sacramentary, “a distinct invocation of the Holy Spirit.” * Its omission therefore was deliberate, purposed. Why? What doctrinal departure was represented by this momentous, almost essential liturgical change? To me this seems a question of the greatest importance, and if it cannot be answered only shows how ignorant we really are of the genius and rationale of our Liturgy.
Footnote: * “The first, and undoubtedly the oldest, is a sacramentary discovered in the library at Verona and published by Blanchini in the year 1735. He gave to it the title Sacramentarium Leonianum, and attributed it (without any documentary evidence) to pope Leo the Great. … It seems now to be generally agreed that the MS. was prepared by some ecclesiastic for his own, either private or public, use… It contains a collection of prayers such as were used at the eucharistic services etc.… A distinct invocation of the Holy Spirit is on pp. 79, 147 (cf. p. 139).” Dict. Christ. Antt. 1032.
Another very curious variation occurs between the Armenian and Coptic versions on the one hand, and the Greek liturgies as they have come down to us. In the latter the offering is made to God the Father. In the former, on the other hand, the offering is made to the Lord Himself. It hardly is conceivable that in the earliest form of the Liturgy the Church immolated Christ and offered Him to Himself. Are these ancient versions in this particular a faithful translation (imbedded in a corrupt representation of earlier forms) of the original
Footnote: † Lit. St. Greg. “Remembering Thy coming upon earth, Thy Death, Thy Resurrection, Ascension and coming Advent, we offer to Thee of Thine own gifts.” And he beseeches Christ to come and complete the mystic service, to send His Spirit and sanctify and change the gifts into the Body and Blood of out redemption.
In the Greek and Arabic St. Basil in the Epiclesis the appeal is to God, in the Coptic to Christ.
St. Mark. The intercessory prayers which are offered by the priest after the giving of thanks in the “dignum et justum est,” are addressed in the Greek Liturgy to the Father, in the Coptic to our Lord. … In the Coptic the prayer is addressed to Christ to receive “the sacrifices and oblations of those who offer on His spiritual heavenly altar;” in the Greek a similar petition is addressed to God.
Syriac St. Bas. Addressed to God. D. C. A. 1022.
thank-offering of the redeemed Church, the Body of Christ, to its Head; of which the present form preserves the gradual and final misconception and perversion?
As we study the Liturgy we shall become more and more enamoured of the ancient forms. At first taste may select a few forms or texts; then we allow ourselves to criticise old forms; we even re-arrange (as, for instance, some would place the Introit before the Confession of Sins and the Kyrie before the Declaration of Grace in the Communion); it does not seem wrong to adapt the old Service to modern taste and a logical scheme; but as we persist in studying it, it more and more seems sacrilege to depart in the least from the model. Finally it is enough that “in the Sources” the text is given in that way (which it were sacrilege to amend) and the parts in that order (which it is “unliturgical” and “unchurchly” to criticise). Another way to state this is, that, as we use the old Order it justifies itself. And this suggests a question which the student must settle for himself, the question of the liturgical value of tradition, of ancient usage. We may be glad to have the historical Service as a witness to the history of the Church. So we could revere a mediaeval Cathedral. But ought we insist on copying it in a place of worship, if no words that were said could be understood in it? Are not we and each successive age of the Church to resist the erection of archaic forms instead of the living worship of the Church; to criticise, select and reconstruct; and to yield due respect to the new forms of worship, which, just like the Collects, the Sunday Gospels, the Lutheran church-hymns, and the Confession and General Absolution in the Communion, still are being developed in every age? It is easy to answer this question in the affirmative; but what are the rules on which this criticism shall proceed and which will defend us against the vagaries of personal taste and preserve for us the seminal forms in the use of which we participate with the whole body of the
faithful? I urge this, that we may feel the peril that awaits the historical liturgist, and to defend our Church against the unhappy condition of the Anglican liturgists, who resolutely shut their eyes against all that is not found in their Service, seek and revere every prereformation precedent, and labour to invent a convenient explanation for all they have or have not, until, threatened by endless contradictions, they are driven to the faith and practice of the nought—explaining Church of Rome.
We need spend but little time upon the problems of the practical liturgist. His devices must be subject to liturgical taste and liturgical knowledge. He seeks order and edification. He estimates the demands and limitations of the present. He guards against a development of the liturgy away from the congregation. While he depends on the student, as a pastor waits for the instruction of the theologian, we are not to forget that the Church owes all to her practical liturgists. Gregory reformed the Service, vigorously cutting out superfluities, and impressing order upon those who wished for independence. Luther and his friends seem to have studied the different uses of the West and the liturgies of the East, and they possessed intuitive taste, but he was a practical liturgist,—as was Cranmer in his own age, and Cosin in a later. He put his hand to the very central sanctuary of the Roman Mass, and cut the Canon out of it; he put the Gospels into the vernacular; he passed every prayer in review; he criticised the feast-days; and he put an end to the awkward transference of Epiphany Sundays to the end of the Christian Year, supplying an appropriate finial to the whole year. There is, however, a sphere in which the historical liturgist and the practical come together—in the region of Symbolism. All the constituents of the Service are said to have a meaning, and all the accessories too. Volumes have been written on the signification of colours, vestments, candles, incense, shapes, materials, architectural ornaments, rites. What, if the explanations differ? Do we turn to the altar in prayer, because we pray with the congregation, or because the Sun rites in the East, or because we wish to pray towards Jerusalem, or because the Incarnate Lord is on the Altar? Or what, again, if these things did once speak volumes in an imaginative age? The practical liturgist must decide whether they are now vocal or dumb, or whether they preach truth or falsehood, and how they may be made to contribute to communion between man and God.
The practical liturgist has to consider not only how he may speak to men, or how he may help men to speak to God, or how he may
bring God’s Word to men; it is his duty also to maintain Churchliness. And what is “churchliness”? It is conscious fellowship with all the members of the Body of Christ, in the present, in the past, and in the world to come. Here taste and historical scholarship and practical purpose will unite, and find in the possession of the historical Service the means of enkindling the consciousness of the Communion of Saints.
We must briefly notice the results to be expected from liturgical reform, especially in our own communion. The attainment of a beautiful and right praxis will not guarantee its maintenance. Our Service of worship seems to be a truthful utterance of our faith, and at the same time is well adapted to nourish the right faith, and we value it because it is commended by the example and precept of the Reformers. Perhaps it is more beautiful now than it was in their time, for our congregations are more intelligent than most of theirs were, and say and sing, for they do not need to depend upon choirs better trained, unhampered by tradition, we are able to omit many things whose use even then was a riddle, and, which perhaps interfered strangely with the Service. Our Service, again, is a witness to the unity and continuity of the One Holy Christian Apostolic Church. But dear as it is to us and sacred, the mere recovery of it and its re-establishment in our congregations, fortified as it will be by such earnest research as this Association has entered on, will not guarantee its perpetuity. The Orders of worship which the Reformers occupied years in perfecting, fell into disuse. A time came when there was hopeless dissonance between the taste and faith of the churches and the old forms. The old liturgies that lingered, were obsolete long before men replaced them with others. It was wise in Muhlenberg to bring the Lutheran liturgy to America, but in less than fifty years one was composed which that age thought better, or at least more manageable. We must face this fact and provide against hurtful change. But at the same time, not against all change. There is a sense in which even what is loveliest becomes obsolete and needs amendment. Every age will have its own faith springing from the old truth, and its own voice in which to confess it. The Service of the Church is what it is because every age has given to it its life-blood. It has been sprouting in new forms, opening into new blossoms continually. It would be false (unliturgical) to go back to the First Age, or even to the Sixteenth Century, for an absolute standard. It is a delight and a nourishment to our souls to mark the origin of the different parts of our worship in successive eras. An incense fills our churches in which linger the devotions of Egypt and Asia
Minor, of Jerusalem, of the catacombs, of Roman churches when the barbarians were hovering on the borders of the Empire, of France when the Moors had swept over Spain, of the heroic age in Germany, and just as well of the Pietistic and Moravian eras, and of later days. We must expect and serve the development of the liturgy, its healthy and natural growth.
Therefore while truthfulness of life and in the expression of life must be a prime law, liturgical reform among us will aim at the ascertainment of the true principle of liturgical authority. I account it a great gain to the Church that Lutherans have made the Liturgy a principal subject of study. They are not bent on a defense of what is, like Roman scholars. Too often Anglicans are averse to the consideration of any fact which will make against their own Order. You will look in vain into their books for a comprehensive, scientific and exhaustive study of all the elements of Christian worship. But the Lutheran is keenly alive to the perils of authority and of historical authority without criticism. That a thing has been so, is rather a reason for doubt than acceptance. The clear light of the Word and an imperturbable modernness in the application are his means. He turns from a dim fane, bleak and cobwebbed, in which is the moan of archaisms, and says, Ye make void the Word of God with your traditions.
We may expect great changes in our Church from the liturgical reform in progress. The possession of a Book, of a uniform Service, of an historical Service—the peculiar possession of an historical Church, the explanation and inculcation of that book, and the use of it from childhood, will produce a generation very different from our hardy fathers. This is not yet attained; but it is in process. The sense of the unity among our churches, of the unity of our own time with the past, of the unity of those of our faith with all the saints of God, will become a much more potent element in our religious life. It may be expected that our churches will retain a larger proportion of their educated members, whose taste is cultivated, for hitherto these have been attracted to churches more in sympathy with the literature on which their culture is based; and their influence will be felt. Impelled by them we shall have to meet larger questions of popular concern than hitherto have seemed to require an answer from us. It will be a great thing to have order impressed on our religious life. I look to see a fuller expression of the mind of the reformers in this land than under the repression of Europe ever found voice. The antinomies of our confession will again demand solution. And, no doubt, under the mel-
lowed tone of this old ritual, in the daily consciousness of the communion of saints, the controversial spirit which has characterized our teachers will yield to a broader sympathy‑
A great result of the closer study of liturgical history and the forms of Christian worship will be a development of the doctrine concerning the Church. A “liturgical service” is incompatible with individualism. It is a worship in fellowship; and in the fellowship; in real fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ; and therefore with His Body, the whole Church of which He is Head; a worship rendered not by men simply, but by men in their several estates and offices, as they are organically related in our Lord. The Holy Scriptures in this worship are imparted as the living Word of God; are divided and applied on days and in seasons which derive their sanctity from it; but are not proposed to the private judgment of the hearers; but are interpreted by the Church’s Service and offered as the Means of Grace. No doubt Ritschl is right in saying that out reformers set forth “the Church basis for the course of justification and renovation.” The doctrine Of the Church was not fully developed. There are contradictions in it yet unsolved, which perhaps are as stubborn as those between “free will and foreknowledge absolute,” and those which are fused in the Person of our Lord; yet doubtless they would be as fruitful to the mind and spirit as the exploitation of those mysteries is. Those embarked on the stream of liturgical reform are carried directly to the problem of the Church. Perhaps God is calling the Lutheran Church to a thorough study, a fuller recognition, a clear and convincing statement, of the truth of the One and the Real Church which transcends all outward mechanism.
EDWARD T. HORN.
SOURCES OF THE MORNING SERVICE OF THE COMMON SERVICE.
WE are the possessors of a matchless liturgical Order of Worship. What is the origin of its component parts? To this question many, who have used it for years, cannot return a satisfactory answer. Their ideas respecting the origin of the various parts are hazy and confused. Some seem to think that their source lies bodily in the Office Books of the Roman Church; others, that Luther, his co-laborers and followers composed and presented our Service to the Church. To trace the origin and to some extent the development of the different parts, their use in the Christian worship of the early and mediaeval church, and their retention in the Orders of the Church of the Reformation of the XVI century, (the consensus of which formed the basis, of “The Common Service”), is the design of this paper. If by it any are stimulated to further research of their own, or obtain a higher appreciation of our Service, the writer will feel amply repaid for the many, by no means unpleasant, hours spent in poring over volumes that exhaled the fragrance of languages other than his mother-tongue.
The Lutheran Church has ever claimed, and rightfully too, to be the Church conforming most closely to Holy Scripture. Her Liturgical Service cannot consequently be incompatible with Scripture. We purpose, therefore, to trace
THE SCRIPTURAL SOURCES.
The Invocation is at once recognized as the Baptismal Formula in Matt. 28:19.
The Call to Confession has its origin in Hebrews 10:22.
The first part of the Versicle is taken from Ps. 124:8, and the second from Ps. 32:5.
The Confession is not Scripture, word by word, but is nevertheless Scriptural.
The Declaration of Grace has its source in John 3:15, 1:12; Mark 16:16.
The Introits are found as follows: I. Advent, Ps, 25:1-4; II. Advent Zech 9:9; Isa. 30:30,29; Ps. 80:1. III. Advent, Phil. 4:4-6; Ps. 85:I. IV. Advent, Isa 45:8; Ps. 19:1. Christmas, Isa. 9:6; Ps. 98:1. Sunday after Christmas, Ps. 93:5, 2,1. New Year, Ps. 8:1,4; Isa. 63:16. Epiphany, Mal. 3:1; Ps. 72:1. I. Epiphany, Isa 6:1; Rev. 19:6; Ps. 100:1. II. Epiphany, Ps. 66:4,1,2. III. Epiphany, Ps. 97:7,8,1. VI. Epiphany, Ps. 77:18; 84:1. Septuagesima, Ps. 18:5,6,2. Sexagesima, Ps. 44:23-25, 1. Quinquagesima, Ps. 31:2,3, Ash Wednesday, Ps. 57:2,1. Invocavit, Ps. 91:15,16,1. Reminiscere, Ps. 25:6,2,22,1. Oculi, Ps. 25:15,16,1,2. Laetare. Isa. 66:20; Ps. 122:1. Judica, Ps. 43:1,2,3. Palmarum, Ps. 22:19,21,1. Monday in Holy Week, Ps. 35:1-3. Tuesday and Thursday in Holy Week, Gal. 6:14 Ps. 67:1. Wednesday in Holy Week, Phil. 2:10,8,11; Ps. 102:1. Good Friday, Isa. 53:3-6; Ps. 102:1. Easter, Ps. 139:18,5,6,1,2; or Luke 24:6,5,7; Ps. 8:5-6. Quasimodogeniti, 1 Pet. 2:2; Ps. 81:8,1. Misericordias, Ps. 33:5,6,1. Jubilate, Ps. 66:1,2,3. Cantate, Ps. 98:1,2. Rogate, Isa. 48:20; Ps. 66:1,2. Ascension Day, Acts 1:1-11, Ps. 47:1. Exaudi, Ps. 27:7,8,9,1. Whitsunday, Wisdom 1:7; Ps. 68:3,1. Festival of the Trinity,—I. Ecclesiastical, Ps. 8:1. II. Isa. 6:3; Rom. 11:36; Ps. 8:1. Sundays after Trinity,— I. Ps. 13:5,6,1. II. Ps. 18:18,19,1,2. III. Ps. 25:16,18,1,2. IV. Ps. 27:1,2,3. V. Ps. 27:7,9.1. VI. Ps. 28:8,9,1. VII. Ps. 47:1,3. VIII. Ps. 48:9,10,1. IX. Ps. 54:4,5,1. X. Ps. 55:16,18,19,22,1. XI. Ps. 68:5,6,35,1. XII. Ps. 70:1,2. XIII. Ps. 74:20-23,1. XIV. Ps. 84:9,10,1. XV. Ps. 86:1-4. XVI. Ps. 86:3.5,1. XVII. Ps. 119:137,124,1. XVIII. Ecclesiasticus 36:16,17 Ps. 122:1. XIX. Ps. 35:3; 34 17; 48:14; 78:1. XX. Dan. 9:14; Ps. 115:1; 119:124; 51:1; 48:1. XXI. Psalm 119:1. XXII. Ps. 130:3-4,1,2. XXIII. Jer. 29:11,12,14; Ps. 85:1. XXIV. Ps. 95:6,7,1. XXV. Ps. 31:9,15,17,1. XXVI. Ps. 54:1,2,5. Festival of Harvest, Ps. 65:11,9,10,1. Festival of the Reformation, Ps. 46:7,2,1. Day of Humiliation and
Prayer, Isa. 1:2,4; Ps. 130:3. Day of General or Special Thanksgiving, Ps. 150:6,2,1. Annunciation, Ps. 45:12,14,15,1. Evangelists’, Apostles’, and Martyrs’ Days, 2 Tim. 1:12; 4:8; Ps. 139:1,2. St. Michael’s Day, Ps. 103:20,21,1.
The Gloria Patri has as its basis Rom. 16:27; Eph. 3:21; Phil. 4:20; Rev. 1:6.
The Kyrie is found in Ps. 51:1; 123:3; Matt. 9:27; 15:22; 20:30; Mark 10:47.
The Gloria in Excelsis rests upon the angels’ song as wafted over Judea’s plains on the night of the Saviour’s nativity,—Luke 2:14.
The Salutation is taken from Ruth 2:4, and the Response follows Ruth 2:4; 2 Tim. 4:22.
The Collects are largely Scriptural. This fact may not always be evident, owing to the changes made in translation. An example is furnished in the Collect for Epiphany, which is plainly built upon Matt. 2:9; .2 Cor. 5:7; 1 John 3:2.
The Epistles and Gospels are necessarily all Scripture.
The Sentences after Epistle are found as follows: Advent, Ps. 25:6 Epiphany, 117:1-2; Passion, Phil. 2:8, Easter, 1 Cor. 5:7; Whitsuntide, Ps. 104:30; Trinity, Ps. 119:124-125; or Ezra 7:21 and Song of the Three Holy Children.
The Creed has its basis in Scripture.
The Sermon should be largely a “Thus saith the Lord.”
The Votum is found in Phil. 4:7.
The Offertory selections are from Ps. 51:17-19; 51:10-12.
The General Prayer like the Collects is largely Scriptural. The
Lord’s Prayer is from Matt. 6:9-13.
The Salutation and Response of Preface are from Ruth 2:4; 2 Tim. 4, 22.
The Sursum Corda —(?)
The Proper Prefaces abound in Scriptural expressions.
The Sanctus is taken from Isa. 6:3 and Ps. 118:26.
The Exhortation contains many interwoven Scriptural phrases.
The Words of Institution are found in Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-25
The Agnus Dei is taken from John 1:29; Matt. 9:27.
The Pax has its origin in Luke 24:30; John 20:19-21; Rom. 16:16; 1 Pet. 5:14.
The Words of Distribution only assume a slightly different form of Christ’s own words at the Institution.
The Nunc Dimittis is the grand hymn of Simeon recorded in Luke 2:29-32.
The Call to Thanksgiving and Response are taken from Ps. 136:1.
The Collect, while not Scripture, is Scriptural.
The Salutation and Response as above.
The Benedicamus. —(?)
The Benediction is from Num. 6:24-26.
From the above it will be seen that unscripturalness can certainly not be charged against “The Common Service.” What may be of greater interest is reserved for the consideration of
THE LITURGICAL SOURCES.
It must ever be remembered that Luther had no desire to break with the past in beginning and prosecuting the work to which in the providence of God he had been called. Reformation, not revolution; reconstruction, not destruction; revision, not creation, was his aim. His energies were directed against all corruptions whether in doctrine or practice; and to bring the Church to the purity of both was his steadfast endeavor. As he moved in the van in purifying the doctrines, so also he led the way in purging the Service of the Church. Whatever was evangelical and not in conflict with the Word of God, he retained; and whatever was the fabrication of a corrupt hierarchy he set aside, as so much dross. We are consequently not at all surprised to find many things in our Service that have come to us as a heritage from the Church of past ages.
We do not pretend to speak with final authority as to the sources of all the various parts. In some instances this is impossible; but enough will be said to establish the claim that when worshipping in our churches, we connect directly with the saints of the most ancient times. To trace the liturgical origin of our Morning Service we shall now proceed.
Although not a component part of the normal Lutheran Service, this is nevertheless a fitting introduction. While it has its origin in the Confiteor or Praeparatio in Missam of “The Ordinary of the Mass,” it bears but faint resemblance to it when analyzed. Its usage even in the Roman Church is not of a very early date,—probably the 13th century. Most of the Lutheran orders of the 16th century rejected it. A few, e. g., Reformation of Cologne 1543, Bugenhagen 1524, Strassburg Kirchenampt 1524, Doeber’s Nuernburg Ev. Mass 1525, Mecklenburg 1552 retained it. Brandenburg-Nuernburg 1533 says concern
ing it: “Wenn der Priester zum Altar kommt, mag er das Confiteor oder was ihn seine Andacht errinert, sprechen.” (When the priest comes to the altar he may say the Confiteor or what his meditation suggests.) Loehe gives several formulas for such devotions. The Invocation, “In the Name of the Father etc.,” is found in the Praeparatio in Missam and also occurs as the beginning of the Strassburg-Erfurth Kirchenampt 1525.
The Address is not found in the Roman Confiteor and the form in The Common Service is taken from Mecklenburg 1552. It is also found in Wittenberg 1559 and Austria 1571.
The first Versicle is found in the Roman Order having been probably introduced about the first quarter of the 5th century. Mecklenburg 1552 also contains it. The second Versicle does not occur in the Roman Confiteor and The Common Service adopted it from Doeber’s Nuernberg Spitalmesse 1525, Strassburg Kirchenampt 1524, Cologne 1543 and Austria 1571. The Confession unlike anything in the Roman Order save the phrase, “thought, word and deed,” is from Mecklenburg 1552.
The Declaration of Grace is likewise from the same order.
The Introits have their origin in the Psalmody with which in, the primitive ages of the church the services began. Originally entire Psalms were sung; but already in the time of Gregory the Great (†604), we find, instead of entire Psalms, individual verses from the same. Also to be noticed is the change of Introits to correspond with the different seasons of the Church Year (Introitus de tempore). Celestine I. (†432) is supposed to be the originator of this change. About the beginning of the 8th century an Antiphon announcing, in an emphatic way, the thought of the day, was prefixed.*
Footnote: * Schoeberlein, “Schatz etc.” Vol. I. p. 45.
Luther in his Formula Missae 1523, says,—”We approve and preserve the Introits for the Lord’s Days and the festivals of Christ, viz., Easter, Whitsunday, Christmas; although we prefer the Psalms whence they were taken, as of old; but we permit the usage already established.” His preference was not generally followed. The rubric,—”Instead of the Introit, a Psalm or Hymn may be used,” was undoubtedly the result of different usages in the various 16th century Orders.
THE GLORIA PATRI.
Just at what period of time the Gloria Patri, which follows every Psalm and also every Psalm verse of the Introit, had its origin, seems
impossible to determine. Of an early usage, however, we are assured. Originally the form was either “Glory to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Ghost,” or “Glory to the Father, in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost.” But in the time of Arius (318) and his followers who denied the co-equality of the Son with the Father, the more definite form, “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost,” was given it; and because, in the Arian controversy, the co-eternity of the Son with the Father was denied, the conclusion, “as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen,” was added, first in the Eastern, then in the Western Church.*
Footnote: * Alt, Kirchl. Gottesdienst, p. 500.
This comes to us hoary with the frosts of time. The Liturgies of St. James, St. Mark and the Greek fathers as well as those of the Armenians, Syrians and others contain it. From the earliest times it was used in the Greek Church, only in a different connection, either with the General Prayer or the Litany. The Apostolic Constitutions prescribe that in the recitation of the Litany by the deacon, the whole congregation and especially the children shall respond, Kyrie Eleison (Lord, have mercy) after each petition. This very ancient custom has continued in the Eastern Church to the present, so that in the Greek Church of Russia, e. g. the “Gospodi pomilui” is repeated innumerable times.† Its introduction into the Latin Church, though attributed to Gregory the Great, is by no means certain. Sylyester I. (314-335) is supposed to have first introduced the use of the Greek words into the Roman Church. Thence was added the “Christe Eleison” and the formula became the well-known
Kyrie Eleison (Lord, have mercy),
Christe Eleison (Christ, have mercy),
Kyrie Eleison (Lord, have mercy).
Footnote: † Alt, p. 492.
Bearing evident reference to the Trinity in this form, it was soon separated from the Litany and became a distinct part of the Liturgy. As such the form was apparently too brief and then it began to be oft repeated on the one hand and enlarged on the other. According to the old Roman service the choir was to continue singing the Kyrie until the priest signified it to cease. In the Roman mass Kyrie Eleison was to be sung thrice, then Christe Eleison thrice, then Kyrie Eleison thrice again.
In the Formula Missae 523, Luther says:—”The Kyrie Eleison, as heretofore, used, with its various melodies adapted to the various seasons, we accept;” but in his German Mass 1526, he directs that the Kyrie be sung three and not nine times, as had been the Roman practice. Reduced to this threefold form we use it in The Common Service.
THE GLORIA IN EXCELSIS.
This is as old as the Kyrie and its use in the Liturgical Service of the Church. In its original, simple form, “Gloria in Excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis,” it is indisputably one of the oldest of all the hymns of the Christian Church. It is of Eastern origin. Its ascription to Bishop Telesphorus (127-138) cannot be substantiated; neither is there sufficient authority to attribute its Latin form to Hilary of Poictiers (†368). It is supposedly older. Already in very early times it developed beyond the simple form above given, as may be seen from the Apostolic Constitutions 7:47.*
Footnote: * Ante-Nicene Fathers, Scribner Ed. Vol. 7, p. 478.
In the earliest Ordo Romanus it was used only at Christmas by the bishop, and as given in St. Luke. The Gregorian order allows it to be sung on Easter by a priest. Many of the Lutheran Orders of the 16th century prescribe a versification of the Gloria in Excelsis by Nicolas Decius 1531.
THE SALUTATION AND RESPONSE.
In the early Greek Liturgies, at the beginning of the Preface, are found the Salutation and Response. They introduced the lections in the Mozarabic and Coptic Liturgies. In the mediaeval church they introduced every integral part of the Service. Although not mentioned in the outline of many of the Orders of the 16th century, they were evidently not intended to be omitted, because music for them is provided in the old Cantionales. Brandenburg-Nuernberg 1533; Brandenburg 1540; Prussia 1544; Ritzebuettel 1544; Waldeck 1556 and 1. Edward 1549, prescribe them.†
Footnote: † See Horn, Liturgics, p. 62; and Lutheran Sources &c. p. 13.
The Collects are found principally in the old Sacramentaries. Until at least the year 1000 the Order of Holy Communion or “The Mass,” as then called, was distributed through four books,—the Lectionary containing the Epistles; the Evangelistary containing the Gospels; the Antiphonary containing the Introits, Communions and Post-Communions; and the Sacramentary containing the Collects and “The Canon of the Mass.” Three such Sacramentaries were in existence. The
oldest was that of Leo, Bishop of Rome, 440-46 1; next came that of Gelasius raised to the Bishopric of Rome, 492; and then followed that of Gregory the Great raised to the same Bishopric, 590. In these Sacramentaries are principally found the originals of which the Collects of The Common Service are, in the main, translations. Designating these Sacramentaries, in their order, by L. Gl., and Gr., the following will show whence the Collects are derived:—
I. Advent, Gr.
II. Advent Gl.
III. Advent Gl.
IV. Advent Gl.
I. Other Advent Collect, Gl.
Christmas Night, Gl.
Christmas Day, Gl.
I. New Year, Gr. Partly.
II. New Year, —?
I. Epiphany, Gr.
II. Epiphany, Gr.
III. Epiphany, Gr.
IV. Epiphany, Gr.
V. Epiphany, Gr.
VI. Epiphany, —?
Ash Wednesday, I. Edward VI. 1549, though the Invocation and first clause may have a Gregorian origin.
Monday in Holy Week, Gr.
Tuesday in Holy Week, Gr.
Wednesday in Holy Week, Gr.
Thursday in Holy Week, —?
I. Good Friday, Gr.
II. Good Friday, —?
III. Good Friday, —?
Easter Eve, Gl.
Easter Day, Gr., though the first half appears already in the Gelasian Sacramentary.
I. Other Easter Collect, Gr.
II. Other Easter Collect, Gl.
This is the second half of that noted under Easter Day.
I. Ascension Day, Gr.
I. Ascension Day, This appears as an Antiphon for Vespers on Ascension Day in Sarum Breviary. May have an earlier origin.
Monday in Whitsun-week, Gr.
I. Trinity, Gl.
II. Trinity, Gl.
III. Trinity, Gr.(Probably older)
IV. Trinity, L.
V. Trinity, Gl.
VI. Trinity, Gl.
VII. Trinity, Gl.
VIII. Trinity, Gl.
IX. Trinity, Gl.
X. Trinity, Gl.
XI. Trinity, Gl.
XII. Trinity, L.
XIII. Trinity, L.
XIV. Trinity, Gl.
XV. Trinity, Gl.
XVI. Trinity, Gr.
XVII. Trinity, Gl.
XVIII. Trinity, Gl.
XIX. Trinity, Gl.
XX. Trinity, Gl.
XXI. Trinity, Gr.
XXII. Trinity, Gr.
XXIII. Trinity, Gr.
XXIV. Trinity, Gr.
XXV. Trinity, —?
XXVI. Trinity, —?
Festival of Harvest
Festival of Reformation.—?.
Day of Humiliation and Prayer—?
Special or General Thanksgiving,—?
Presentation of Christ, Invocation and first clause, Gl, rest Gr.
I. Evangelists’ &c. Days—?
II. Evangelists’ &c. Days—?
III. Evangelists’ &c. Days—?
I. Edward 1549
St. Michael’s Day, Gr.
Only a thorough and devout study of the Collects will reveal their true beauty and sublimity. “One has seen at the root of a decaying tree tufts of wild hyacinths or primroses, the seeds of which, wafted by winds, or carried by birds or insects, have found in this friable, corrupting soil a congenial habitat. And there are correspondences in the moral world with this natural phenomenon. When the old Roman Empire was in its last stage of decay; when all old landmarks were being removed, and old institutions were going to pieces, then
appeared for the first time these bunches of fragrant, beautiful prayers, giving token of a spiritual vitality below the surface of society, a sure evidence that all was not corrupt, that the antiseptic salt of God’s grace in the hearts of His elect endured still, and had not lost its savor.”*
*Footnote: Goulburn, Collects, Vol. I, p. 38
In the ancient Liturgies and the works of the Apostolic Fathers the general appellation of the Epistle was “The Apostle.” It is so spoken of by St. Augustine and, also in the Gregorian Sacramentary. The patriarchate of Constantinople even now retains this designation. In the early ages of the Church the Epistle was read from the ambon by a special reader. Many of the Eastern Churches still employ a special reader for this office. This custom was abandoned by Rome about the eighth century and the sub-deacon then read the Epistle. Later the custom of reading the Epistle from the left side of the altar was introduced by the Roman Church. In our church the Epistle was usually read by the minister, although this office was at times delegated to an assistant, also called sub-deacon.† Following Luther in his German Mass, 1526, the reader stood with “face turned to the people” and it was left optional whether he stood in the middle, at the right or south side of the altar as viewed from the congregation, at a lecturn, or in a place where he could be heard by the whole congregation. In the sixteenth century arose the custom, here and there, to read the Epistle from the pulpit when it formed the text for the sermon.
Footnote: † Ottheinrich, 1543.
THE HALLELUJAH AND SENTENCE.
From the earliest times the Hallelujah was in liturgical use. It was sung at the Passover Feast of the Jewish Church. For a long time it was sung in the Eastern Church only from Easter to Pentecost. St. Jerome, however, did not approve of this restricted use and the Hallelujah was then sung even during Masses for the dead.
In the Western Church, it was restricted at first to Easter Day; but in the time of St. Augustine this restriction was removed and in many churches it was sung every Lord’s Day. The old Mozarabic and Gallican Liturgies, following the custom of the Eastern church, used it during Masses for the dead. Since the time of Gregory the Great, it became a general custom to omit it during penitential seasons.
In our church it is omitted during the Passion season.
The liturgical use of the Sentences
is not easily
determined. Whether all of them had a pre-Reformation origin is doubtful. Those
Passion season and Whitsuntide were used as Graduals in the Roman Church.
Their Lutheran source is also not very apparent. Schoeberlein in his “Schatz etc.” gives all those of The Common Service with the exception of that for Whitsunday. His notations are that the Advent Sentence is traced through Elizabeth 1542 to Deutsch Kirchenampt of Erfurth 1526; that for Epiphany as occurring in Hessian Agenda 1574 for the Passion season in Elizabeth 1542; first for Trinity in I. Strasburg 1525; second for Trinity in Elizabeth 1542; for Easter in Elizabeth 1542; this also occurs as a Versicle and Response in Onalzbach, and in fuller form as a Gradual in Lossius, Elerus and Rhein-Pfalz 1570; that for Whitsunday occurs as an Antiphon in Lossius.
Especial reverence has always been paid the Gospel inasmuch as it comprises a part either of Christ’s life or His teachings. In primitive times it was read either by a deacon, arch-deacon, or priest, and on the Lord’s Day by the Bishop. It was read from the ambon and in the IV. century the reader was preceded by lighted wax tapers. In Aethiopia bells were rung before the Gospel. After the reader had ascended the pulpit and announced the Gospel, the people responded “Glory be to Thee, O Lord.” “This custom of giving glory to God for His holy Gospel appears to have prevailed from remote antiquity in all the churches of the East and West.”* Reverence originated the beautiful custom of standing during its reading and this custom prevailed already in the time of the author of the Apostolic Constitutions, where in Book II.57† it is expressly commanded, “And while the Gospel is read, let all the presbyters and deacons, and all the people, stand up in great silence.” Very early also the custom obtained in the West for the “Gospeller” to stand “facing the South.” Anciently in the churches of Gaul and Spain a Hallelujah or Anthem was sung after the Gospel and this custom was in all probability the origin of the sentence, “Praise be to Thee, O Christ.” In the mediaeval and still in the Roman Church the Gospel was and is introduced by a special prayer. This is followed by the Salutation and Response, and the announcement of the Gospel. The answer, “Glory be to Thee, O Lord,” follows. At the end of the Gospel comes the response, “Praise be to Thee, O Christ.” The Common Service does not contain this elaborate arrangement, and omits all that precedes the announcement of the Gospel and with the Pomeranian Agenda 1553, allows the “Glory be to
Footnote: * Palmer, “Origines Liturgicae,” Vol. II. p. 51.
Footnote: † Scribner Ed. p. 421 .
Thee, O Lord,” before and “Praise be to Thee, 0 Christ,” after the Gospel. *
Footnote: * Kliefoth VIII. V. p. 33; Horn, “Lutheran Sources,” p. 15.
We take occasion here to say a word with reference to the particular selections known as the “Epistles and Gospels.” About the middle of the V. century the Roman church still observed the lectio continua throughout the greater part of the year. But certain it is that even then particular Pericopes were begun to be appointed for particular days. There were books called Comites in which such selections were noted with reference to the Church Year. According to the testimony of Jerome, Hippolytus, a pupil of Clement of Alexandria, already gave a collection of lections in his Canon Paschalis. A similar collection was arranged by Claudianus Mamercus for the church at Vienna, and another by the presbyter Musaeus for the church at Marseilles. These collections, however, have been lost and of those that have come down to us, the oldest is the Lectionarium Gallicanum of the VI. century, and the next oldest the Comes sive Lectionarius per Circulum Anni ascribed to Jerome, but which later received so many additions that it is impossible to determine what the original work of Jerome, was like. The Lectionarium Romanum treated by Gregory the Great in 40 sermons and belonging in its original, constituent parts to the VI. century, contains appointed lections from the Epistles and Gospels that in the main agree with our Pericopes. †
Footnote: † See Alt, I. p. 547.
The committee on The Common Service did not revise the Pericopes, but took them as in use in Germany in the pre-Reformation missals,—Bamberg and Nuernberg. The Epistles and Gospels for Holy Week are from the Comes Theotinchi except the Epistle for Good Friday.‡
‡ See Appendix to Ranke’s “Perikopen System,” LXXXVI.
The Nicene or Communion Creed was the result of the opposition to the heresy of Arius. It was formulated at the first General Council of Nice [Nicea], A. D., 325. As presented then it ended with “I believe in the Holy Ghost.” The second General Council of Constantinople in May, 381, added the remainder, affirming the divinity of the Holy Ghost against the heresy of Macedonius. It was not until the V. century that the controversial filioque was added. This affirmed the procession of the Holy Spirit from both the Father and the Son and produced a schism between the Eastern and Western Churches.
When the Creed was first used in the Liturgy we are not certain. It is supposed to have been inserted first by the patriarch of Antioch, Peter Fullo, about 471. In 511, the Liturgy of Constantinople adopted it. The churches of Spain adopted it in 589. The Roman Church was very slow in receiving it and only incorporated it about the beginning of the XI. century.
Anciently the Creed was not recited until after the expulsion of the catechumens and infidels: but as this division of the Service gradually became obsolete, the Creed was placed before the Sermon, which position it occupies in our Service.
The Nicene Creed was generally prescribed by the XVI. century Orders. Only one, Doeber’s “Messordnung fuer die Spitalkirche in Nuernberg” 1525, has the Apostles’ Creed. According to the Pomeranian Agenda, the Athanasian Creed is to be used at the opening of Synods, on Trinity Sunday, and once a month. It permits the use of the Te Deum because of its Trinitarian contents.*
Footnote: *See Kliefoth, VIII. (V.) p. 45.
In the Roman sense the Lutheran Church knows no Offertory. Originally it was an anthem, taken principally from the Psalms, and was intended to give the deacons time and opportunity to gather the oblations of Bread and Wine brought by the faithful to the Church for use in the Sacrament.† Time wrought a fearful perversion of this ancient idea as may be seen by a careful perusal of the Roman Offertory.
Footnote: † Alt, Kirchl. Gottesdienst, p. 505.
The so-called (but scarcely deserving the name) Offertory of The Common Service has reference altogether to Psalmody. Following Schoeberlein in his “Schatz &c,” where the second of our Offertories is given with musical settings, The Common Service adopted two taken from Psalm 51, with permission to use “any other suitable.”
THE GENERAL PRAYER.
This has its origin in the Pauline injunction, 1 Tim. 2:1-2. In very early times it immediately followed the Sermon and formed the connecting link between it and the Communion. Later, when the service was divided into the Missa Catechumenorum and the Missa Fidelium, the General Prayer was likewise divided. The first part was offered in behalf of the catechumens, energumens, and penitents after which they were dismissed. The Fideles, or those who remained, then assembled during the “secreta,” after which they reverently joined the deacon in the second part of the prayer which in form and contents
somewhat resembles the Litany. This part of the prayer contained petitions
1. For the peace of the world and the prosperity of the church;
2. For the congregation, its elders and church officers
3. For all classes and conditions of men. For all in distress, for travellers, for prisoners, for enemies and false believers and for the children.
4. For grace and strength to lead a Christian life and to die a happy death.
Subsequent hierarchical development pressed the General Prayer into the Act of Communion, becoming a part of the Offertory where it lost its distinctive nature and degenerated into a series of petitions connected with the worship of saints and prayers for the dead.*
Footnote: * See Alt, Kirchl. Gottesdienst, pp. 650-651.
The Reformation found the Church without a true General Prayer. Rejecting the Roman Offertory, Luther nevertheless felt the necessity for such a prayer. His paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer, to be used after the Sermon before the altar, is as to form and contents a type of the General Prayer. Some of the Orders prescribe the Litany, others the Te Deum, and still others like Brandenburg-Nuernberg of 1533 have a combination of several Collects.
While we owe the General Prayer, as such, to the Reformation, traces of it may be clearly seen in the earliest periods of the Church. The following parallel between parts of our General Prayer and those in the Eighth book of the Apostolic Constitutions shows a very striking analogy,—
Most heartily we beseech Thee so to rule and govern Thy Church universal, with all its pastors and ministers, that it maybe preserved in the pure doctrine of Thy saving Word, whereby faith toward Thee may be strengthened and charity increased in us toward all mankind.
Grant also health and prosperity to all in authority, especially to the President (and Congress) of the United States, the Governor (and Legislature)
We further pray unto Thee, O Lord, for Thy holy church spread from one end of the world to another, which Thou hast purchased with the precious blood of Thy Christ, that Thou wilt preserve it unshaken and free from disturbance unto the end of the world; for every episcopate who rightly divides the Word of truth. — Sec. II. 12.
We further pray Thee, O Lord, “for the king and all in authority,” for the whole army that they way be peaceable toward us, that so, leading the whole
of this Commonwealth, and to all our Judges and Magistrates; and endue them with grace to rule after Thy good pleasure, to the maintenance of righteousness, and to the hinderance and punishment of wickedness, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
May it please Thee also to turn the hearts of our enemies and adversaries, that they may cease their enmity, and be inclined to walk with us in meek, ness and in peace.
All who are in trouble, want, sickness, anguish of labor, peril of death, or any other adversity, especially those who are in suffering for Thy Name and for Thy truth’s sake, comfort, O God, with Thy Holy Spirit, that they may receive and acknowledge their afflictions as the manifestation of Thy fatherly will. Preserve us from false and pernicious doctrine, from plague and pestilence, from all calamity by fire and water, from hail and tempest, from failure of harvest and from famine, from anguish of heart and despair of Thy mercy, and from an evil death. And in every time of trouble, show Thyself a very present Help, the Saviour of all men, and especially of them that believe.
Cause also the needful fruits of the earth to prosper; that we may enjoy them in due season.
time of our life in quietness and unanimity, we may glorify Thee through Jesus Christ. Sec. II. 12.
Let us pray for “kings and those in authority, “ that they may be peaceable toward us, “that so we may have and lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” Sec. II. 13
We further also beseech Thee for those that hate us and persecute us for Thy Name’s sake; that Thou wilt convert them to goodness, and pacify their anger, Sec. II. 12.
Let us pray for our brethren exercised with sickness, that the Lord may deliver them from every sickness and disease, and restore them sound into His holy Church. Let us pray for those that travel by water or by land. Let us pray for those that are in the mines, in banishment, in prisons, and in bonds, for the name of the Lord. Let us pray for those that are afflicted with bitter servitude. Sec. II. 10.
Thou who dost nothing for favour; Thou whom none can deceive; deliver them from every sickness, and every disease, and every offence, every injury and deceit, from the fear of the enemy, from the dart that flieth in the day, from the mischief that walketh about in the darkness. Sec. II. 11.
We further beseech Thee also for this city and its inhabitants, for those that are sick; for those in bitter servitude; for those in banishment for those in prison; for those that i1ravel by water or by land; that Thou, the helper and assister of all men, wilt be their supporter. Sec. II. 12.
We further offer to Thee also for the good temperature of the air, and the fertility of the fruits, that so, partaking perpetually of the good things derived from Thee, we may praise Thee without ceasing. Sec. II. 12.
Let us pray for the good temperature of the air, and the proper maturity of the fruits. Sec. 11. 13.
The General Prayer of the Common Service is a combination of a number of Collects. The first paragraph after the invocation is taken from the Hesse Order of 1657. The second introduces General Collect, sixteen; the third Bidding Collect, four; the fourth General Collect, twenty-six; the fifth seems to have no dependence upon any Collect in the Church Book; the sixth is taken from the Leipzig Order of 1707 and introduces important Litany elements; the seventh Bidding Collect, eight.*
Footnote: * See “The Lutheran,” Jan, 4th, 1894, Article, The General Prayer.
The combination of these Collects gives us an idea of the construction of the General Prayer, although they do not form it verbatim.
“The first General Prayer of The Common Service is, except the first paragraph, in the Strassburg Order of 1598, and is probably considerably older. In its main features, it is found in the Austrian Order of 1571 †
Footnote: † Jacobs, “The Lutheran Movement in England,” p. 303.
We now approach the most solemn part of the Service,—peculiarly THE LITURGY. It begins with
No part of the Service has undergone less change than this. It is also the oldest portion of the Liturgy. Tertullian (about 201 A. D.) alluded to it. Cyprian, about the middle of the 3rd century, directly mentions it. In his treatise on “The Lord’s Prayer,” he says: “Moreover, when we stand praying, beloved brethren, we ought to be watchful and earnest with our whole heart, intent on our prayers. Let all carnal and worldly thoughts pass away, nor let the soul at that time think on anything but the object only of ‘ its prayer. For this reason also the priest, by way of preface before his prayer, prepares the minds of the brethren by saying, “Lift up your hearts,” that so upon the people’s response, “We lift them up unto the Lord,” he may be reminded that he himself ought to think of nothing but the Lord.” ‡
Footnote: ‡ See Ante-Nicene Fathers, Scribner Ed., Vol. V. p.455:3
Augustine avers that the Sursum Corda was used “per universum orbem,” i. e. in all churches. It is found in the Eastern liturgies of Sts. James, Mark, Clement, Chrysostom, Basil and the Malabar. It occurs also in those of Rome, Milan, Gaul and Spain. Minor differences may be noted by a comparison of these ancient Liturgies. In general it may be stated that in the Eastern Church, the Introduction consisted of the Apostolic benediction with response, and in the Western, of the Salutation with response, which are found in the Gregorian Sacramentary, as in our service, immediately before the Sursum Corda.
The “Common Preface” is found in both the ancient Eastern and Western Churches, though as a rule, the Western is much shorter.
These are peculiar to the West and have a very early origin. Originally there was but one Preface for all Lord’s Days and festivals, but with the development of the Church Year, Proper Prefaces were composed and introduced. They multiplied so rapidly that they were soon numbered by the hundred. In the time of Gregory the Great, they were reduced to nine. The Common Service retains but six. The originals may be found as follows:
For Christmas, Gregorian Sacramentary, Muratori, II. 10; for the Passion Season, Greg. Sacr. Mur. II. 318; for the Easter Season, Gelasian Sacr. Mur. I. 572 or Wilson, 89; for Ascension, Greg. Sacr. Mur. II. 85, for Whit Sunday, Greg. Sacr. Mur. II. 80, although the first half is found already in Gelasian Sacr., Wilson, 120; for Festival of the Trinity, Gelasian Sacr., Mur. I. 606, Wilson, 129. The original of the Trinity Preface is much longer than that of The Common Service. The translation of our Proper Preface for the Passion Season is taken from Shipley’s “Ritual of the Altar.”
This is frequently, though incorrectly, called the Trisagion. The Trisagion, is peculiar to Eastern Liturgies, Neale’s translation of it is as follows: “Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy upon us.” The difference between it and the Sanctus is readily discerned. The Sanctus is in all probability of apostolic origin so far as its use in the Liturgy is concerned. At least its early use in the churches of the East and West is attested by Tertullian, The Apostolic Constitutions, Origen, Chrysostom, Cyril of Jerusalem, Cyril of Alexandria, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Tours, Hilary of Poictiers, Caesarius of Arles, and Isidore of Seville. The Benedictus, or the words, “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord,” is supposed to have been added by Caesarius of Arles.* The Hosanna occurs in the earliest known Communion Service as may be seen from, “The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles,” ch. X.
Footnote: * Daniel, Cod Lit. I p. 31.
This has no earlier origin than the Reformation. It is a new Liturgical part peculiar to the Lutheran Church. It was introduced for the purpose of instructing those raised under Romish error concerning the true nature of the Sacrament. However edifying its character, it acts
as an intruder and hence is often omitted. Luther’s paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer with appended Exhortation was one form very largely used. Another one, that of The Common Service, is by Wolfgang Volprecht, 1525.
THE LORD’S PRAYER.
This prayer has always formed an integral part of the Communion Liturgy. There is, however, no direct testimony for its use until the 4th century. Tertullian, Cyprian, and Origen bear indirect testimony. But the fact that Cyprian referred to it as “a public and common prayer;” that it was frequently called “the prayer of the faithful;” that in the first centuries already the fourth petition was referred to the bread in the Sacrament, all this argues very strongly for the later tradition that it was always a part of the Communion Service. The earliest direct testimony seems to be that of Cyril of Jerusalem, A. D. 350, who, after explaining to his “competentes,” or more advanced catechumens, parts of the Liturgy, says: “Then, after these things, we say that prayer which the Saviour delivered to His intimate disciples, out of a pure conscience addressing God and saying, ‘Our Father, &c.,’”*
Footnote: * Dict. Christ. Antt. II. 2056.
In the time of St. Augustine it was in so general a use that he declares, “Quam totam petitionem fere omnis ecclesia Dominica oratione concludit.”
St. Jerome in a work written about A. D. 415, says, “So He taught His Apostles that daily in the Sacrifice of His body, believers should “made bold to speak thus, ‘Our Father, &c.’”† It is found in all the early Liturgies, as well as later Greek, Roman and other Western. Its pre-Reformation usage was after the Words of Institution. It is not a consecratory prayer and is not essential to the Service.
Footnote: † Dict. Christ. Antt. II. 2056.
THE WORDS OF INSTITUTION.
These are essential to the consecration of the elements. They are found in the early as well as the later Greek and Roman Liturgies, but usually in an interpolated form. In the consecration of the bread the words, “which is given for you” are omitted by the Roman Liturgy.‡ The Common Service gives the words of the New Testament in their grand simplicity.
Footnote: ‡ Durand’s Catholic Ceremonies, p. 259.
THE AGNUS DEI.
Virtually this is of Western origin, although reference is made to “The Lamb of God” in the Liturgies of Sts. James and Chrysostom.§
Footnote: § See Neale’s Primitive Liturgies, pp. 71, 141.
This addition to the Service is ascribed to Sergius I, (687-700). How often the versicle was to be repeated is not stated in the older Roman orders; but before the year 1000 the threefold repetition was enjoined in the Church of Tours, and in the 12th century, this was the universal custom.* The words “Grant us Thy peace” at the end of the third repetition were added since the XI. century and Innocent III. informs us that they were the result of the disturbances that beset the Church at that time.†
Footnote: * D. C. A. p. 44,
Footnote: † Alt, Kirchl. Gottesdienst, p. 509.
Our Church also adopted the Agnus Dei into her Liturgy, but altogether in a different Position from its use in the Roman Church. In the Romish Mass it had and still has its place in the fractio panis, and was said by the priest. In setting this act aside, another place had to be found for the Agnus Dei, if it was to be retained. Restricting the consecration solely to the verba testamenti, Luther in his Formula Missae placed it in the Act of Administration, to be sung while the pastor “administers the communion both to himself and the people.” In his German Mass, he thought it would be more appropriate to consecrate and administer the bread first, then to bless the cup and administer the same while the Agnus Dei was being sung,
Daniel,‡ quoting Gerbert§ mentions as an ancient custom, what is frequently the case in our Church, viz.,—the singing of the Agnus Dei during the distributing of the elements.
Footnote: ‡ Codex Liturgicus, I. p. 148.
Footnote: § De Cantu et Musica Sacra, I p. 458.
It was retained in Formula Missae, 1523, German Mass, 1526, entire Nuernberg Series, Prussia, 1525, Nordheim, 1539, Saxony, 1539, Mecklenberg, 1552, Austria, 1571, Nassau, 1575, Coburg, 1626 and others.
The development of the Pax is most interesting. Its origin lies undoubtedly in the greeting of the risen Saviour, Luke 24:36; John 20:19 and 21. This greeting was in all probability with the words, “Peace be unto you” and the kiss. Luther commenting on 1 Peter 5:14 says: “In the Gospel, we read clearly that Christ received His disciples with the kiss. This was the usage in those lands.”¶ This custom found its place in the worship of the Apostolic Church. In conformity with the injunctions of the Apostle, St. Paul, Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; II Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26; and of St. Peter, 1 Epistle 5:14, the
Footnote: ¶ Luth. Com. Rom. 16:16.
“Kiss of Peace “ became a fixed form in the koinwnia (communion, fellowship). At what point of the Service this ceremony took place we are not informed; but its significance shows that it was either at the beginning of the General Prayers and Oblations as an attestation, or at the end of these, as a seal of their fellowship.
Later in the time of Justin Martyr the General and Eucharistic Prayers, (with the latter of which the oblations were connected,) were separated and the Kiss of Peace formed the conclusion of the former. This separation, Tertullian perfected still further, and speaks of the General Prayers as “precationes et orationes” and of the Eucharistic Prayers as “Oblationes” or “Sacrificiorum Orationes.” The General Prayers were divided and the last division, “oratio cum fratribus,” was said after the expulsion of the catechumens. Then followed the Kiss of Peace. In the time of Cyprian, the old division of the Service into three parts was reduced to two,—the Missa Catechumenorum and Missa Fidelium. The General Prayer, in the developmental period of the cultus of the Church likewise appeared in a twofold division, one before, the other after the Kiss of Peace. The first division closed the homiletical part of the Service, the second with the Kiss of Peace began the Sacrifice of the Mass.
The 19th Canon of the Council of Laodicea gives this order for the Missa Fidelium,—(a) Silent prayer; (b) two public prayers; (c) Kiss of Peace, (d) distribution. Here it will be noticed that the Kiss of Peace has been removed further into the Communion Service and closes the Eucharistic Service, as formerly it closed the Sacrifice of the prayers and oblations. In the time of St. Augustine, the principles of Cyprian were carried to a fuller development. With a proper General Prayer began the Missa Fidelium, in which we find another General Prayer that closed with the Lord’s Prayer and the Kiss of Peace. The order, then, is as follows: (a) prayer; (b) Preface; (c) consecration; (d) Lord’s Prayer; (e) Kiss of Peace.
St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, gives but little on this point in his works. In a letter to Maxcellinus he mentions the Kiss of Peace once; and in his De Dignitate Sacerdotali, cap. 5, he refers to the impartation of peace as the function of the bishop: “pronuntiat enim episcopus ad populum dicens: Pax vobis.” Thus the formula is spoken, but the actual kiss is not given. Minor points of difference may be noted in the Spanish and Gallican Liturgies, but are not necessary to be embodied here. It may be remarked, however, that where Roman influence prevailed over the Gallican Canon, the prayer Ad Pacem
was dropped from the latter and the Kiss of Peace before the Preface in the Gallican Sacramentary was removed to the end of the Consecration, where the Romish Canon has it; and from this forth we find that the Kiss of Peace was given to one another by the communicants only, and not by the whole congregation.
In the Gregorian Sacramentary the Pax Domini: sit semper vobiscum follows the Lord’s Prayer and precedes the Agnus Dei. It seems to have been retained until the time of Innocent III. (1161) and then abolished because it was deemed inappropriate. Here and there arose the, custom of passing metal plates whereon was the image of Christ, the so-called osculatoria, which the people kissed. But this custom did not obtain long, and towards the end of the Middle Ages the priest simply gave the salutation to the people, while he and his assistants exchanged kisses. A trace of this remains in the Roman Church “in the custom of the congregation kissing the Pax after the priest has kissed it.” Also continued is it in the Christos voscress of Easter Day in the Greek Church, when
“See! the bearded faces kiss each other:
Every Russian Christian loves his brother.
Serf or noble, each to-day may claim
Friendly kiss in that all friendly Name.”*
The Reformation found the Pax in this form, viz.: at the end of the Consecration and as an introduction to the Distribution the priest saluted the congregation with the words Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum (The peace of the Lord be with you alway) and the congregation responded, et cum spiritui tuo (and with thy spirit.)
Footnote: * Pulpit Com. 1 Cor. p. 551.
Luther in his Formula Missae very forcibly states his views of the Pax, when he calls it “a public absolution of the communicants; a voice truly evangelical announcing the forgiveness of sins; the only and most worthy preparation for the Lord’s Table, if it be apprehended by faith not otherwise than as directly issuing from the mouth of Christ.”† Warmly as Luther received it, it is more than strange that in his German Mass he dropped it, and in this he was followed generally by the XVI. century Liturgies. It was retained, however, besides Formula Missae, 1523, by the entire Nuernberg family of Liturgies and Prussia, 1525. The Standard MS. of The Common Service inserts it immediately after the Consecration and before the Agnus Dei and the rubric is, “Then shall be sung the Agnus Dei and the Distribution shall begin.” Who is responsible for the unhappy departure from this order in the Church Book we know not.
Footnote: † Daniel, Cod. Lit. 11. p, 88.
THE FORMULA OF DISTRIBUTION.
It is difficult to determine when words were first used in connection with the delivery of the consecrated elements. From the writings of Tertullian and Dionysius of Alexandria it would appear that the custom dates back at least as far as the second or third century. That this custom had an early origin is evident from the Apostolic Constitutions. In Book VIII. 14 sec. 3, we read: “Let the bishop minister the oblation saying, ‘The Body of Christ’ and let him that receiveth say Amen; and let the deacon hold the cup, and say as he administers, ‘The Blood of Christ, the Cup of Life,’ and let him that drinketh say, Amen.”
The Liturgy of St. James gives no formula whatever.
The Coptic of St. Mark has simply, “The Holy Body;” “The precious Blood of our Lord and God and Saviour.”
The Byzantine of St. Chrysostom gives a fuller formula. The priest as he distributes the elements to each, says, ‘N., the Servant of God is made partaker of the pure and holy Body and Blood of our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, for the remission of his sins, and life everlasting.”* In the time of, Gregory the formula was: “Corpus Domini Nostri Jesu Christi posit tibi in remissionem omnium peccatorum et vitam aeternam.” (The Body of our Lord, Jesus Christ, avail for thee unto the remission of all sins and eternal life.)
Footnote: * Neale, Prim. Lit., p. 123.
In the time of Charlemagne it read: “Corpus Domini Nostri Jesu Christi custodiat te in vitam aeternam.” (The Body of our Lord, Jesus Christ, preserve thee unto eternal life.)
Luther in his Formula Missae virtually preserved the old formula: “The Body of the Lord, &c. preserve my or thy soul unto eternal life;” and “The Blood of our Lord preserve thy soul unto eternal life.”
Some of the XVI. century orders retained no words of Distribution, inasmuch as all that needed to be said was said already in the Consecration. Many allow them but have no fixed formula. A number of formulas may be found in Hoefling’s Urkundenbuch, p. 124.
The formula of The Common Service is from Brandenberg-Nuernberg, 1533. Traces of the permissive formula of dismissal are recognized in the ancient Distribution formulas. That of the Church Book is found first in Augsburg-Strassburg (1565?).
THE NUNC DIMITTIS.
The use of this is permissive. Beautiful and even appropriate as it is, it has no early authority in the Communion Liturgy. According to Schoeberleint† it is used in the Greek Church. It has authority as Lutheran usage in Bugenhagen, 1524, Doeber, 1525 and Slueter, 1531.
Footnote: † Schatz &c., p. 450.
This has no earlier authority than the Reformation, so far at least as the contents of the form are concerned. In the old orders a great diversity is noticed in this part of the Service; but very many (Coburg, 1626, E. Frisia, 1631, Hildburghausen, 1685, Magdeburg, (2) 1667, Schwarzburg. 1675, Dantziger, 1708,), introduced the Collect with the Versicle and Response.* Later Agendas as a rule followed this arrangement. The Versicle and Response appear first in Coburg, 1626. The Collect is first found in Luther’s German Mass, 1526.
Footnote: * Kliefoth, V. 140; Schoeberlein, Schatz, etc., 451.
THE SALUTATION AND THE BENEDICAMUS.
The Salutation and Response are found in the Roman and Ambrosian Liturgies.† They are found also in Prussia, 1525, Pommern, 1535, Schleswig-Holstein, 1542.
Footnote: † Daniel, Cod. Lit. I., p. 108.
Early in the Middle Ages there appeared a companion to the customary formula of dismissal, “Ite missa est” in the “Benedicamus Domino.” (Bless we the Lord) with the response “Deo Gratias,” (Thanks be to God). In the “Micrologus, etc.” of Ivo von Chartres (date uncertain) we find these two formulas paralleled. After the Council of Trent the Benedicamus was only permitted during Advent and Lent.
Luther in his Formula Missae says: “In place of the “Ite Missa” let the Benedicamus Domino be said, with the Hallelujah added, where and when it pleases, in its own melodies; or the Benedicamus may be borrowed from the Vespers.” In this he was followed by the entire Nuernburg family of Liturgies.
The use of the Aaronic Benediction appears already in the Apostolic Constitutions. In Book II. Sec. 7:57, we read that the deacon after offering a General Prayer and a prayer for peace, concluded with “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; the Lord make His face to shine upon thee, and give thee peace.” Only bishops and presbyters were allowed to pronounce this blessing. In Book III. Sec. 1:10, a distinction is made between the greater, (Num. 6:24) and the lesser, (2 Cor. 13:14) formulas of blessing. During the Middle Ages a large number of Benedictions came into vogue, the use of several of which Luther in his Formula Missae allowed. But in his German Mass he cast aside all except that from Numbers 6:24. Numerous as were
the forms of Benediction in our own Church during the Reformation era* they were gradually supplanted by the Aaronic.
Footnote: * See Hoefling’s Urkundenbuch, pp. 132-133.
It should be remembered that the Benediction is not a prayer or pious wish, in which the minister can include himself; but it is the Lord’s Word of Blessing, and only can the change of pronouns from “thee” or “you” to “us” be sanctioned when the formula is turned into a prayer or wish, e. g., “May the Lord add His blessing upon us etc.”†
Footnote: † Kliefoth, V. 142-143.
R. Morris Smith.