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“Priest.-Let us give thanks unto the Lord. “ People. It is meet and right.
“ Priest. It is verily meet and right, holy and becoming, and advantageous to our souls,” &c.
From the Liturgy of Mesopotamia, and Malabar, representing the form prevailing in the furthest East
“ Priest.—Lift up your minds.
* People.—They are lifted up to Thee, O God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, the King of Glory.
“ Priest.-Let an oblation be offered unto God the Lord of all. " People. - It is meet and right.”
From the Mozarabic, representing the ancient Liturgies of Spain and Gaul before the Roman was forced upon them
“ Priest.--Your ears to the Lord. " Peopie.
We raise them to the Lord. “ Priest.-Lift up your hearts. “People.We lift them up unto the Lord.
“ Priest.-To our Lord and God Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is in the heavens, let us render worthy praise and worthy thanks.
“ People.—It is meet and right.”
It is not my intention here to enter at large into the subject of ancient Liturgies, the very many points in which they agree, and the many points in which they differ. I must restrict myself to bringing before the reader certain features, in which they all agree in giving the congregations opportunity to take part in the most sacred portions of the service. I have already noticed two—the responses at the commencement of the more sacred part, and the Seraphic Hymn. I will notice three
All the Liturgies agree in reciting the words used by our Lord as the form of consecration, but in no case adhering strictly to any one of the four accounts given in the Evangelists; sometimes adding to one account what is taken from another; most of them amplifying. Now here, in almost every Liturgy, we find a rubric, or specific direction to the people to say, “ Amen.” In some cases, a distinct response is provided for them, but in all cases they are supposed to take part in this most sacred portion of the service. Thus, in the Liturgy of St. Mark, they simply respond “Amen," while in the equally ancient Liturgy of St. James, after the consecration of the cup, they take their part by a very significant response, which I give :
“ The Priest... This is My blood of the New Testament which is shed and given for you and for many for the remission of sins.
“ The People. Amen.
“ The Priest.- Do this in remembrance of Me, for as oft as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the death of the Son of Man, and confess His resurrection till His coming again.
“ The People.-0 Lord, we shew forth Thy death, and cunfess Thy resurrection."
In the Armenian Liturgy, there are three responses for the people. One, at the commencement of the words of institution, is simply " We believe."
The second is simply “ Amen,” after the recital of our Lord's words respecting the bread.
A third is after the recitation of the words respecting the cup, and is very touching :-
“ Priest.—This is My blood of the New Testament, which for you and for many is shed for the remission and pardon of sins.
“People.-0 heavenly Father, who didst give up Thy Son to death, as the debtor of our debts, we beseech Thee, for the sake of His blood, which hath been shed, have mercy upon Thy rational fock.”
In the Ethiopic (as given by Brett) the people respond
“ Amen, Amen, Amen! We believe and are sure; we praise Thee, O Lord our God: this is truly Thy body, and so we believe.”
And after the cup
“This is truly Thy blood, and we believe it."
The opportunities given for response in this most solemn part of the service are particularly to be noticed.
A great principle seems to be asserted in them, -no less than the priesthood (in its due place) of the whole flock of Christ.
Mr. Neale, in his “ Translation of Primitive Liturgies,” gives in full the “words of institution as they are read in no less than fifty of these venerable documents.
It is to be noted that in all the Eastern Liturgies, and in the Mozarabic, directions are given for at least two distinct responses, one after the words relating to the bread, the other after those relating to the cup.
So that the principle of the priesthood of the whole flock of Christ in that they have part given to them in the very consecration itself—is asserted in those documents more clearly than in our reformed office, which gives opportunity for but one response in the shape of one
Amen,” after the prayer of consecration.
Again, in all, or at least in a large number of these Liturgies, the Lord's Prayer is preceded by a sort of preface, expressing particular unworthiness to say this prayer above all others, and asking for boldness and confidence in calling God “Our Father.”
This prefatory prayer is said by the priest, and the people join in with the Lord's Prayer itself, wþich is said with their united voices,
The example I first give is from the Liturgy of St. James
“And grant us, Lord and Lover of men, with boldness, without condemnation, with a pure heart, with a broken spirit, with a face that needeth not to be ashamed, with hallowed lips, to dare to call upon Thee, our Holy God and Father in the heavens, and
“ People.—Our Father,” &c.
“And sanctify us wholly, soul, body, and spirit, that with Thy holy Disciples and Apostles we may say to Thee this prayer, -Our Father, &c. And make us worthy, O Lord and Lover of men, with boldness, without condemnation, with a pure heart, with an enlig soul, with a countenance that needeth not to be ashamed, with hallowed lips, to dare to call upon Thee, our Holy God and Father, and to say~ “People.-Our Father," &c.
From the ancient Mesopotamian Liturgy of “ All Apostles," with which agrees, verbatim, the Malabar
“Forgive, O Lord, by Thy clemency, the sins and transgressions of Thy servants, and sanctify our lips by Thy grace, that they may give the fruit of praise and thanksgiving to Thy Godhead, with all Thy Saints in Thy kingdom. And make us worthy, O Lord God, that without spot we may ever stand before Thee, with puro heart and open face, and with confidence towards Thee mercifully given to us. So will we TOGETHER call upon Thee, saying, -Our Father,” &c.
From an extremely ancient Gallican office, discovered by Mone
“ We are indeed unworthy of the name of sons, Almighty God; but Thou being our Helper, trembling, yet obeying our Lord Jesus Christ, with humble mind we pray and say-Our Father,” &c.
I shall conclude with one more instance of a form in
which all the congregation are called upon to bear their part.
There is, in almost all ancient Liturgies, a part towards the conclusion called the "Sancta Sanctis," consisting of the words “Holy things for holy persons," followed by a very striking response.
In the Clementine it runs thus :
Bishop.—Holy things for holy persons. And let all the people answer—There is one Holy, one Lord, one Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father, blessed for evermore. Amen. Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth peace,” &c.
The Liturgy of St. James differs but slightly“Holy things for holy persons.
“People.-One Holy, one Lord Jesus Christ in the glory of God the Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever."
In St. Mark's Liturgy the response is“ People. There is one Holy Father; one Holy Son; one Holy Ghost, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.”
In the Ethiopian the response is the same as in St. Mark's.
In the Malabar the form runs“ Priest.—That which is holy befits the holy, my Lord, to be received.
“ Deacon.—One Holy Father, one Holy Son, ono Holy Ghost. Glory be to the Father," &c.
In the Mozarabic this form also occurs, but in the case of this Liturgy alone without its response.
The Sancta Sanctis is referred to by St. Cyril of Jerusalem (A.D. 350) in these words: “Holy things to holy men. Holy are the gifts presented, since they have been visited by the Holy Ghost; holy are you also, having been vouchsafed the Holy Ghost; the holy things therefore correspond to the holy persons. Then ye say, 'One