« ZurückWeiter »
tive Church, that the first usage should be restored again, that the people should receive the Sacrament with the priest.” Ridley replied to the same effect. All the others most approve that administration of the Eucharist in which the people communicate, but admit that if individuals from the congregation do not present themselves, the priest may lawfully receive alone. The seventh question is ; " Whether it be convenient that masses satisfactory should continue, (that is to say, Priests hired to sing for souls departed ?” Cranmer and Ridley answer it flatly in the negative. Cox says, “ Masses to be said for satisfaction of sin, since Christ is the only satisfaction for all sin, is an abuse not to be continued : and priests to be hired only to sing for souls departed, seemeth to be a superfluous function in Christ's Church.” Holbeach, after citing two texts from the Hebrews d which assert that Christ made at once a sufficient sacrifice for sin, adds, “ which redemption and satisfaction, unless we think insufficient, it were meet masses satisfactory to be taken away, and not to count Christ and his Apostles, either unlearned, or unloving teachers, and who could not, or would not teach a thing so necessary.” The Bishop, however, admits it to be recorded by Nauclerus of Gregory III.*, that
d Heb. ix. 12. x. 10.
Gregory III. who has gained a memorable, if not an honourable name for his exertions in the cause of image-worship, was Bishop of Rome between the years 731, and 741. Du Pin, II. 535.
he desired priests to pray and offer for the dead, but he denies that any ancient author mentions the hiring of ecclesiastics for these purposes. All the other prelates evade the question as to the word “ satisfactory,” but they assert that priests may lawfully celebrate masses with a view to praying both for the living and the dead, and that they are justified in accepting a pecuniary recompense for such services. In the eighth place it was asked, “ Whether the Gospel ought to be taught to the understanding of the people present at the time of the mass ?” The two Archbishops, Holbeach, Goodrich, Aldrich, Ridley, Bush, and Cox, answered this question in the affirmative. The others maintained that such discourses were not necessary at every mass, but they admitted the desirableness of delivering them often. The ninth question was, “Whether in the mass it were convenient to use such speech as the people may understand ?" Cranmer's reply to this exhibits a remarkable instance of the power exerted by early prejudice over the human mind. " I think it convenient,” he says, “ to use the vulgar tongue in the mass, except in certain secret mysteries, whereof I doubt.” Ridley not only approves the vulgar tongue for the mass, but also maintains that the words generally should be spoken in an audible voice. Nevertheless," he adds, “as concerning that part which pertaineth to the consecration, Dyonise' and Basil move me to think
$ « The counterfeit St. Dennis.” Collier, II. 245.
it no inconvenience that it should be spoken in silence." Tunstall thinks it desirable to retain the Latin tongue in the more mysterious parts of the mass, at all events, as being the language of the ancient western Church. But he admits the propriety of inserting in the service certain prayers
: In a low tone of voice, according to the usage of the Romish priesthood in pronouncing the words of consecration. This absurd and superstitious practice most probably took its rise from the prevalence of a belief in transubstantiation; it being thought becoming to pronounce with an air of mystery words which were thought to convert bread and wine into flesh and blood. This usage, however, like many others, when once adopted, was recommended to vulgar approbation by a lying legend culled from the ample pages of Popish mythology. The words, deemed so mysterious, had been formerly, it was said, uttered aloud, and were consequently well known to the populace. This knowledge proved fatal to some shepherds, who having placed the bread, which they were about to eat, upon a stone, blasphemously pronounced over it the form of Eucharistic consecration. Immediately the bread became flesh, and soon after, a flash of lightning struck the unhappy scoffers. In order to guard against the recurrence of such accidents, it was ordered that, in future, the words of consecration should be spoken in a tone inaudible by the people. Durandus does not, however, seem inclined to stake his credit upon this relation, but rather records it as a marvellous account in ordinary circulation. His words are, “ Fertur enim, quod cum antiquitus publice et alta voce canon diceretur, omnes pene per usum illum sciebant, et in plateis et in vicis decantabant. Unde cum quidam pastores illum in agro cantarent, et panem super lapidem posuissent, ad verborum ipsorum prolationem, panis in carnem conversus est : ipsi tamen divino judicio igne cælitus misso percussi sunt: propter quod sancti patres statuerunt verba ista sub silentio dici, inhibentes sub anathemate ne proferantur nisi a sacerdotibus super altare, et in missa, et cum vestibus sacris." Rationale, 58.
in the vulgar tongue for the people's edification. Bush thinks it undesirable to have the whole mass in the vernacular language, because if it were so, England would differ from the rest of Christendom. Boner, Heath, Skip, Repps, Day, and Parfew, briefly dismiss the question by saying that they thought it “ neither expedient nor convenient to have the whole mass in English.” Aldrich modestly said, that in this matter he was willing to abide by the decision of his “superiors and betters.” On the other hand, Holgate, Goodrich, and Holbeach approve without any qualification of having the whole mass made intelligible to the people. The tenth query was, “ When began the reservation of the Sacrament, and the hanging up of the same?” To this we find only two answers. Cranmer says, “ The reservation of the Sacrament began, I think, six or seven hundred years after Christ. The hanging up began, I think, of late time.” Holbeach cites Polydore Vergil for the fact, that Innocent III. enjoined the reservation of the Eucharist for the sick, and he adds, that Honorius III. made regulations for its custody, and for the people's adoration, whenever it should be presented to their sight. As for hanging the Sacrament over, or placing it upon the altar, he decides that it is a practice of comparatively recent origin, and one that has never been universally received".
The mode of administering the Eucharist adopt
► Burnet, Hist. Ref. Records, II. 185.
ed by the Apostles and their contemporaries, was simply to break the bread intended for distribution, to repeat the words used by our Saviour at the institution of the Holy Supper', and to add the Lord's prayerk. In process of time, as the Church enlarged her borders, and a mixed multitude gladly listened to her voice, it became the general opinion, that if the Communion service were judiciously augmented, it would be rendered more beneficial to Christian congregations, constituted as they then were. Hence pastors accompanied the Eucharistic feast with prayers, thanksgivings, exhortations, and the reading of
St. Matt. xxvi. 26, 27. 1 Cor. xi. 23, 24, 25. * " Gregorius M. lib. 8. ep. 7. testatur, nude et simpliciter juxta Christi institutionem ab Apostolis Coenam administratam fuisse, adjecta solummodo Oratione Dominica. Mos, inquit, A postolorum fuit, ut ad ipsam solummodo Orationem Dominicam oblationis hostiam consecrarent. Habet hoc absque dubio ex Hieronymo, qui lib. 3. contra Pelagianos dicit, Dominum docuisse Apostolos, ut Orationem Dominicam dicerent super sacrificio corporis. Hinc etiam Durandus scripsit lib. 4. Dominum instituisse quidem Coenam ; nec aliis verbis usum esse quam consecrationis; quibus Apostoli adjecerint Orationem Dominicam. Atque hoc modo idem author refert D. Petrum primum in Oriente missam celebrasse. Adstipulatur etiam his Antoninus tit. 5. cap. 2. 1. Chronicon Martini et aliorum. Platina etiam in vita Sixti 1. dicit Orationem Dominicam præmisisse : Nuda, inquit, ab initio fuit sacrosanctæ illius actionis omnis ceremoniarum ratio, plus pietatis habens quam apparatus. Apostolus enim Petrus in consecratione Coenæ tantummodo Oratione Dominica usus est, et paua cissimis quibusdam preculis. Et Innocentius III. in prologo librorum 6. mysteriorum Missæ, Primus, inquit, B. Petrus Apostolus missam Antiochiæ dicitur celebrasse, in qua tres tantum orationes in primordio nascentis Ecclesiæ dicebantur.” Hospinian, 13.