« FöregåendeFortsätt »
observe the mysteries as they are celebrated; yet, in this the church proposes to herself a meaning of a mystical kind, which is that they are the altars of mediation between heaven and earth.
In the same manner the sacred vestments were, we are told, originally common garments, in universal use when first introduced into the offices of religion. These several vestments are called by the following names: The chasuble and dalmatic : these were coloured dresses, corresponding in shape to the French frock worn by our labouring peasants: convenience has taught the Catholics to leave the seams unsewed at the sides.The cope. This is an exact pattern of our modern trooper's cloak. The stole this was a smaller cloak, more resembling a tippet, or a Spanish mantle, which the scissors have gradually narrowed to its present shape.-The manuple was originally a cloth, hanging from the left arm, to wipe the face. The amice was a cloth tied over the head; used perhaps for warmth, and so placed that it might be drawn back upon the neck and shoulders at pleasure. The alb was the universal under garment of all ranks, full, and reaching down to the heels; and is still the common dress of the Asiatics.-The girdle was a cord necessary to confine it close to the body.-The surplice was a short loose white dress, and so called because occasionally worn over a dress made of the fur and hair of animals.
Such are the names, and such the origin, of the principal vestments worn by the Catholic priests of the present day ; but influenced by the ever-varying fashion of the times, the church soon affixed to them a mystical signification, and piously assim ilated them to the virtues in which the Christian's soul is ever supposed to be arrayed. The amice, or head-cloth, for instance, was compared to the protecting helmet of spiritual grace and salvation. The long alb, or white linen garment, was supposed to be emblematical of future glory and immortality.-The manuple was thought to be an emblem of persecutions and sufferings for Christ's sake; and the chasuble, dalmatic, &c. to express the yoke and burthen of the gospel.
Divine service, amongst the Catholics, consists of prayers and holy lessons, which the church has appointed to be read every day by the clergy at particular hours. This service is called by the church the canonical hours; because it was ordained by the canons of the church, which not only prescribe the hours in which it was to be said, but likewise the particular circumstances by which it is to be said.
This office is generally called the breviary, which derives its name from its being an abridgment of a longer service, that was formerly used, than is at present.
This office is to be said in a standing posture, pursuant to the ancient custom of the church; and upon the knees on the day of penance.
The office consists of seven hours, if mattins and lauds are to be reckoned one; but of eight, in case they are divided. In
the more early ages it was composed of six parts only. At present they are divided into seven or eight parts, (viz.) mattins for night, lauds for the morning; prime, tierce, sexte, and none for the day; vespers for the evening, and compline for the beginning of the night.
The hour of saying prime is directly after sun-rising; tierce is fixed to the third hour of the day; sexte at the sixth hour none at the ninth hour; vespers towards the evening, and compline after sun-set. Due care is taken, that these offices be all punctually performed at or near the times specified.
When the pope celebrates mass himself, the cardinals appear in white damask robes, laced with gold. The cardinal bishops wear copes; the cardinal priests chasubles; the cardinal deacons tunics; and all of them white damask mitres. The bishops were copes also; but they are all of rich silks, embroidered with gold, and white linen mitres sewed on pasteboards.
The Ceremonies of the Mass come next to be described. In this most solemn service, which is, as I have already stated, a holy sacrifice, the church not only prays herself, but Jesus Christ, by the sacrifice of his own body, is supposed to offer up to God his Father the most perfect adoration that can possibly be paid, since it is nothing less than a sacrifice offered to the Almighty by one who is himself God.
The mass consists of two parts, (viz.) first, from the beginning to the offering, formerly called the mass of the catechumens; and the second, from the offernig to the conclusion, called the mass of the faithful. All persons without distinction being present at mass till the offering, the deacon then crieth out holy things are for such as are holy let the profane depart hence !"
In Picart's book on Religious Rites and Ceremonies we have no fewer than thirty-five curious prints, illustrative of the several parts or portions of this great service: they are briefly as follow:-1. The priest goes to the altar, in allusion to our Lord's retreat with his apostles to the Garden of Olives. 2. Before he begins mass, he says a preparatory prayer. The priest is then to look on himself as one abandoned of God, and driven out of Paradise for the sin of Adam. 3. The priest makes confession for himself, and for the people, in which it is required that he be free from mortal and from venial sin. 4. The priest kisses the altar, as a token of our reconciliation with God, and our Lord's being betrayed by a kiss. 5. The priest goes to the epistle side of the altar, and thurifies or perfumes it. Jesus Christ is now supposed to be taken and bound. 6. The "Introite, said or sung, e. a psalm or hymn, applicable to the circumstance of our Lord's being carried before Caiaphas the high-priest. 7. The priest says the Kyrie Eloison, which signifies, Lord, have mercy upon us, three times, in allusion to Peter's denying our Lord thrice. 8. The priest turning towards the altar, says, Dominus vobiscum, i. e. The Lord be
with you; the people return this salutation, cum Spiritu tuo, and with thy Spirit, Jesus Christ looking at Peter. 9. The priest reads the epistle relating to Jesus being accused before Pilate. 10. The priest bowing before the altar, says Munda cor, i. e. Cleanse our hearts. The gradual is sung. This psalm is varied according as it is the time of Lent or not. The devotion is now directed to our Saviour's being accused before Herod, and making no reply. 11. The priest reads the gospel wherein Jesus Christ is sent from Herod to Pilate. The gospel is carried from the right side of the altar to the left, to denote the tender of the gospel to the Gentiles, after refusal by the Jews. 12. The priest uncovers the chalice, hereby to represent our Lord was stripped in order to be scourged. 13. The oblation to the host, the creed is sung by the congregation. The priest then kisses the altar, then the priest offers up the host, which is to represent or import the scourging of Jesus Christ, which was introductory to his other sufferings. 14. The priest elevates the chalice, then covers it. Here Jesus being crowned with thorns is supposed to be figured to the mind, shewing that he was going to be elevated a victim; and it is well known the victims of the Pagans were crowned before they were sacrificed to their idols. 15. The priest washes his fingers, as Pilate washed his hands, and declares Jesus innocent, blesses the bread and the wine, blesses the frankincense, and perfumes the bread and wine, praying that the smell of this sacrifice may be more acceptable to him than the smoke of victims. 16. The priest turning to the people, says, Coremus Fratres, i. e. let us pray. He then bows himself to the altar, addresses himself to the Trinity, and prays in a very low voice. This is one of the secretums of the mass, and the imagination of the devout Christian is to find out the conformity between this and Christ being clothed with a purple robe; but we shall be cautious of adding more on this head, that we may not loose ourselves in the boundless ocean of allusions. 17. The priest says the preface at the close of the Secretum. This part of the mass is in affinity to Jesus Christ being crucified. The priest uses a prayer to God the Father, which is followed by the Sanctus, holy, holy, holy is the Lord, &c. which the people sing. 18. The priest joining his hands prays for the faithful that are living. This is said to be in allusion to Jesus Christ bearing the cross to die upon, that we might live. 19. The priest covers with a cloth the host and chalice, St. Veronica offering her handkerchief to Jesus Christ. 20. The priest makes the sign of the cross upon the host and chalice, to signify that Jesus Christ is nailed to the cross. 21. The priest adores the host before elevated,~ and then he raises it up, in the best manner to represent our Saviour lifted upon the cross. He repeats the Lord's prayer, with his arms extended, that his body might represent the figure of a cross, which is the ensign of Christianity. 22. The priest likewise consecrates the chalice, and elevates it, to rep