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men and women prayed indiscriminately in the churches. This circumstance, combined with the alteration of the habits of common life, and the decline of Christian sanctity in the great body of the faithful, rendered it no longer possible to continue the apostolic kiss of peace. But instead of substituting some other salutation, which would have at once suited the manners of the age, and fulfilled the apostolic injunction, an entirely different course was adopted. A relic or picture, entitled the osculatorium, was passed from one person to the other; and all that part of the congregation who kissed this memorial, thought only of venerating it v. Thus the apostolical custom became extinct both in letter and spirit; and all that remained at the period of the English reformation was the name of the osculum pacis. If our reformers omitted a name, which had long been connected with a practice that led to superstition, and often to idolatry, they at least substituted in its place an exhortation, which was intended to promote that internal charity which the apostolical salutation of peace was meant to express. The salutation occurred before the Anaphora or solemn prayers and consecration in the patriarchates or exarchates of Antioch, Cæsarea, Constantinople, Alexandria, and Ephesus, and in Gaul and Spain W. In the English liturgy,

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v See Ducange, Glossar. vo- biscum,' diaconi vel subdiaconi cibus osculatorium, osculum. He imaginem quandam adstanti. says of the salutation of


bus clericis, et plebi, osculanin the west, “ Abrogatus de- dum porrigant, quam vulgari inde osculorum pacis in ecclesia vocabulo pacem appellamus.” usus, inductusque alius, ut dum

w See vol. i. p. 31, 65, 77, sacerdos verba hæc profert, 98, 108, &c. 161, 174.

Pax Domini sit semper vo



the exhortation, which at present supplies the place of this salutation, occurs exactly in the same position as the salutation did in the ancient Gallican and Spanish liturgies, namely, after the commemoration of the living and dead, and before the form Sursum corda, “ Lift up your hearts X.” In the liturgies of Milan, Rome, and Africa, the salutation of peace followed the solemn prayers and consecration, and immediately preceded the actual communiony. In most of the eastern liturgies, and in those of Gaul and Spain, a prayer for peace and charity followed or preceded the salutation. But it is more than doubtful whether such prayers were used in the most primitive times, though in some churches they may be traced back with a degree of probability to the fifth or fourth century.



Independently of the self-examination and repentance which the primitive church required from the faithful, preparatory to the reception of the sacrament of Christ's body and blood; we find that in some churches there was a general confession of sins made by the people during the liturgy; after which, the bishop or priest pronounced a benediction or absolution of the penitents. I shall consider this more at large, by viewing separately the forms of confession and absolution which occur at this part of the English liturgy.

x See vol. i. p. 161, 174.

y Vol. i. p. 123, 128, 130, 135.


It was generally the office of the deacon, in the primitive church, to make proclamations in the assembly, to command silence, to invite to prayer or psalmody, and to direct the attitudes which befitted attention or reverence?. However, if the deacon was not present, the priest himself might very properly fulfil this office. In the liturgy of the church of Jerusalem, the deacon addressed the people thus before communion : “ Draw near with the fear of God, with faith, and charitya.” This address plainly resembles the commencement of our own, to which we have added an exhortation to the people to confess their sins.

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It has been very anciently the custom in many churches for the priest or the people to confess their sins in the liturgy, either aloud or in silence. In the liturgies of Rome and Milan, in early times, the priest made a long confession of his sins in silence, after the catechumens had been dismissed, and the linen cloth laid b; and at the same time the people also may have probably made a similar confession and prayer in secret. In the ancient western mis

z See Bingham’s Antiqui. psallendo, sive in lectionibus ties, book ii. chap. 20. sect. audiendo.” 10. 14.

These various offices a ο διάκονος, μετά φόβου θεού are all mentioned in the an- και πίστεως και αγάπης προσέλ. cient liturgies. Isidor. Hispa- dete. Liturgia Jacobi. Asselens, de Eccl. Off. lib. ii. c. 8. mani, Codex Liturgicus, tom. Ipsi enim (diaconi) clara v. p. 58. voce in modum præconis ad- b See vol. i. p. 122. note *, monent cunctos sive in orando,

p. 129. sive in flectendo genua, sive in


sal, published by Illyricus, there is an apology or confession of the priest, and a prayer of the people for him, immediately after the elements are placed on the table and offered, and before the canon begins c. This instance perhaps accords more nearly with the position of our confession than any other. In the middle ages the secret apology of the priest and people became obsolete, though we have good reason for thinking that it had prevailed from the most primitive ages. A confession and absolution were placed at the beginning of the liturgies of Rome and Milan; and this custom having been introduced into England also, the confession and absolution stood at the beginning of our liturgy, when it was to be revised in the reign of Edward the Sixth d. At present the confession occupies a place in our liturgy much more consistent with the primitive Roman and Italian liturgies, than the modern Roman missal itself prescribes. In the liturgy of the orthodox of Jerusalem we find, exactly in this place, a long apology or confession of the prieste, in which he acknowledges the sins of himself and the people, and implores God to have mercy upon them. This form occurs between the osculum pacis, which is represented by our exhortation, and the form of Sursum corda, as our confession does.

In the liturgy of the church of England before the reformation, the priest confessed his sins before the choir, or people, who prayed for him when he had concluded. The people then confessed their sins, and in turn the priest implored the divine benediction upon themf. We have now united these confessions; the priest or one of the ministers repeats the confession, and both priest and people approach God together, as sinners needing God's pardon and absolution. In the liturgies of Alexandria, Antioch, Cæsarea, and Constantinople, though we find the priest confessing his unworthiness and weakness in the sight of God, yet we do not perceive the solemn confession of priest and people which has so long been used in the liturgies of the west.

c Martene, de Antiq. Ecclesiæ Ritibus, lib. i. c. 4. art. 12. P. 503. 506.

d Miss. Sarisb. fol. 71. Miss.

Eborac. modus præparandi.
Miss. Hereford. idem.

e Liturgia Jacobi. Asseman. Codex Lit. tom. v. p. 25, &c.

If we cannot directly trace all the words and expressions of our confession to primitive liturgies, we find examples of confessions in very old rituals, which in substance are not materially unlike our


Almighty God, Father of our A te Domine supplex in conLord Jesus Christ, Maker of fessione peto veniam et indulall things, Judge of all men; gentiam de universis meis maWe acknowledge and bewail lis, et iniquitatibus : quicquid our manifold sins and wicked- ab infantia mea usque in hanc ness, Which we, from time to horam in cogitatione, locutime, most grievously have tione, et operatione, et deleccommitted By thought, word, tatione mala, et deliberatione and deed, Against thy Divine turpissima in conspectu tuo Majesty, Provoking most justly peccavi. Multo Domine pecthy wrath and indignation a- cavi, et innumerabilia et gragainst us. We do earnestly viora sunt super arenam maris. repent, And are heartily sorry In omnibus malis miser sum, for these our misdoings; The misericors es, miserere meis. remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have

f Miss. Sar. Ebor. Hereford. ut supra.

g Extracted from a sacra

mentary of the time of Charlemagne. Martene, lib. i. c. 4. art. 12. p. 517.

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