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was universally prevalent in the Christian liturgies from the very earliest period; and therefore it is most highly probable that the apostles themselves communicated it to all churches. I have not read that any allusion to this hymn has been found amongst the voluminous works of Augustine ; but this may perhaps have been from some oversight on my part.
I may venture to observe, that, owing perhaps to a want of clear and definite rubrical direction, or from some mistake, it has been customary in many of our churches for the clerks and people to repeat, not only the seraphic hymn itself, but a portion of the preface also, beginning at “therefore with angels” &c. This never was the custom of the primitive church, and could not have been intended by those who revised our liturgy, nor is it warranted by the nature of the preface itself. It has perhaps arisen from the custom of printing the latter part of the preface in connexion with the hymn Tersanctus, and from the indistinctness of the rubric, which, in fact, gives no special direction for the people to join in repeating the hymn Tersanctus.
The seraphic hymn, as used by the church of England, contains little more than the words which Isaiah describes as being sung by the angels and six-winged seraphim. In this respect the practice of the English liturgy approximates to that of the ancient liturgies of the patriarchates of Antioch and Alexandria.
ALEXANDRIA. Holy, holy, holy, Πάς ο λαός άμα εί- Populus. Sanctus, Lord God of hosts, Táto "Ayios, äylos, &- Sanctus, Sanctus, heaven and earth γιος Κύριος Σαβαώθ Dominus Deus Saare full of thy glo- ańons ó oủpavòs kai baoth.
Pleni sunt ry: Glory be to thee, ń yn rñs dółns aŭtoû. cæli et terra sanctiΟ Lord most High. ευλογητός εις τους αι- tate gloriæ ejus d. Amen.
ώνας. Αμήν C. In the liturgies of Constantinople, Cæsarea, and of Antioch and Jerusalem at a later period, we find added to the seraphic hymn, the hymn used by the multitude who rejoiced when the blessed Redeemer entered Jerusalem. It was probably from these liturgies that the Roman and Italian churches adopted the same addition. The church of England has all along used the hymn Tersanctus: but at the period of the revision of our liturgy in the reign of Edward the Sixth, it was thought proper to omit this latter part, in accordance with the more ancient liturgies of the east and of Egypt. CÆSAREA, CONSTAN
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Kúpos Eaßawl, Sanctus es, Domine Sanctus, Dominus pns ó oủpavòs kai ń yü Deus fortis Sabaoth. Deus Sabaoth. Pleni της δόξης σου, ωσαννά Pleni sunt celi et sunt cæli et terra εν τοις ύψιστοίς. ευ- terra gloria et de- gloria tua. Osanna Roynuévos ó épxouévos core majestatis tuæ, in excelsis. Beneλογημένος εν ονόματι Κύριου. ώ- Domine. Hosanna dictus qui venit in Cavvà év rois etia in excelsis. Bene nomine Domini. O. στοις Θ.
dictus qui venit et sanna in excelsis g.
sanna in excelsis f. c Apost. Const. lib. viii. c. tomi, ibid. p. 76. Jacobi Græc. 12. p. 402. ed. Clerici.
Assemani, Codex Liturg. tom. d Liturg. Æthiop. Renaud.
v. p. 34 Liturg. Oriental. tom. i. p. Liturgia Jacobi Syr. Re516. Liturg. Cyrilli et Marci, naudot, tom. ii. p. 31. ibid.
g Menard. Sacram. Gregoe Liturgia Basilii, Goar Rituale Græc. p. 166. Chrysos
rii. p. 1.
The hymn of the seraphim is generally repeated in the church by all the people, without singing; and this is the most ancient custom, as it may also be admitted to be the best. But in places where there are singers, it has often been customary to sing or chant it, which is not by any means to be blamed. Music is not inappropriate on so sublime and solemn an occasion. The Christians have sung or chanted hymns from the time of our Lord himself; and this is the most ancient, the most celebrated, and the most universal of Christian hymns.
PRAYER AFTER THE SERAPHIC HYMN.
That part of the liturgy which followed the hymn Tersanctus, and preceded the beginning of the consecration, varied much in the ancient liturgies as to substance. In Antioch, Cæsarea, and Constantinople, this intervening part consisted of a continuation of thanksgiving, including more especially a commemoration of the principal events of our Saviour's life and ministry, which gradually was brought on to a commemoration of his words and deeds at the last supper, with which consecration began. The liturgies of Gaul and Spain followed the same order. On the other hand, in the Roman and Italian liturgies there was nothing of the kind in this part of the liturgy; but as soon as the seraphic hymn was concluded, the priest proceeded to commend the oblations of the people to the acceptance of God, and to offer the solemn prayers for the church, &c. All the solemn prayers for the living occurred here in the Roman and Italian liturgies, while in those VOL. II.
oriental liturgies already alluded to, they took place after consecration. In the ancient liturgy of Alexandria, again, this part appears to vanish entirely; for though there are a few words in that liturgy as used in the fifth centuryh, imploring the benediction of God on the elements, &c.; yet there is reason to think that this petition was not used in the time of Athanasius, A. D. 330, when the Æthiopians derived their liturgy from the Alexandrian; for the Æthiopian liturgy does not contain this petition i.
The intermediate part of the English liturgy, which intervenes between the end of the seraphic hymn and the beginning of consecration, may be considered to include not only the prayer which is the subject of the present section, but a portion of the next also. The part of the prayer of consecration which may be considered as forming part of the intermediate portion of the liturgy, is the introduction, which terminates with these words, “ until his coming again.” I shall endeavour to compare the part of our liturgy included in the prayer after Tersanctus, and the preface of the prayer of conse
, cration, with the corresponding part of ancient liturgies, which intervenes between the seraphic hymn and the beginning of consecration. I shall follow the order of our liturgy, and only comment on the former prayer at present, reserving for the next section any remarks which may occur on the preface.
The humble deprecation of this prayer is perhaps best paralleled by the liturgy of Cæsarea or of
h Liturgia Cyrilli Copt. Re- section iv. of Dissertation on naudot, tom. i. p. 46. Marci, primitive Liturgies, vol. i. p. p. 154, 155
89, &c. for remarks on the i Liturgia Æthiopum Re- Æthiopian liturgy. naudot, tom. i. p. 517. See
Basil. In this liturgy, that part which follows Tersanctus begins with an acknowledgment of our unworthiness and sin.“ With these blessed powers, O merciful Lord, we sinners also cry and say),” &c. After which it proceeds to commemorate the dispensations of God and the principal actions of Christ's life and ministry. This may be regarded as affording a parallel to our liturgy, where, first, in the prayer after Tersanctus, we in like manner acknowledge our sins; and, secondly, in the preface of the prayer of consecration, we commemorate the dispensation of God in giving Christ to die for us, and the actions of Christ, in offering himself as a sacrifice for us, and commanding us to continue a memorial of his precious death. In a subsequent part of the liturgy of Cæsarea, (before, however, the consecration is completed,) we find the slight hint which occurred at the commencement of the intervening part cited above, enlarged and developed, so as to bear a marked resemblance to the first part of the prayer after Tersanctus in the English liturgy.
We do not presume to come Διά τούτο, δέσποτα πανάγιε, και to this thy table, O merciful ημείς οι αμαρτωλοί και ανάξιοι δουLord, trusting in our own right- λοί σου, οι καταξιωθέντες λειτουρ
, eousness, but in thy manifold γείν τω αγίω σου θυσιαστηρίω, ου and great mercies.
διά τας δικαιοσύνας ημών, ου γαρ not worthy so much as to ga- εποιήσαμέν τι αγαθών επί της γης, ther up the crumbs under thy αλλά διά τα ελέη σου, και τους table. But thou art the same οικτιρμούς σου, ους εξέχεας πλουLord whose property is always σίως εφ' ημάς, προσεγγίζομεν τω to have mercy.
αγίω σου θυσιαστηρίωk.
και μετά τούτων των μακαρίων δυνάμεων, δέσποτα φιλάνθρωπε, και ημείς οι αμαρτωλοί βοώμεν και λέ
youev, K.T... Liturg. Basilii
166. k Liturg. Basilii Goar, p. 169.