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candidates at the same time, and blessed them, ought not to be blamed, or considered invalid.
The office of confirmation begins with a preface or address, in which the bishop, or some person appointed by him, reminds the candidates for confirmation of the promises made by their sureties, which they must now themselves renew. This preface, and the following question of the bishop, in which he inquires whether the candidates for confirmation renew the solemn promises and vows made for them at baptism, are probably peculiar to the English office of confirmation; but it would be difficult to find any fault in them; and as we know that the office of baptism in the primitive Gallican church commenced with a preface or address, and there were always questions and vows made in that office, it seems very consistent with ancient customs to place an address and question in the cognate office of confirmation.
After the reply of the candidates in the affirmative, the office proceeds with some versicles and responses, which in ancient times formed the beginning of the office in the English church of Salisbury. The Bishop
Imprimis dicat Episcopus, Our help is in the name of Vers. Adjutorium nostrum the Lord;
in nomine Domini. Answer. Who made heaven Resp. Qui fecit cælum et and earth.
terram. Bishop. Blessed be the name Vers. Sit nomen Domini beof the Lord;
Resp. Ex hoc nunc et usque in sæculum.
Vers. Dominus vobiscum.
Answer. Henceforth, world without end.
Bishop. Lord, hear prayers.
Answer. And let our cry come unto thee.
Resp. Et cum spiritu tuok.
The following prayer is one of very great antiquity, and is found in the sacramentary of Gelasius, of Gregory, and of many of the western churches. Originally it was accompanied by the imposition of hands; that is, the bishop held his hands raised over the heads of all who were to be confirmed, while he repeated it, as we may perceive by the sacramentary of Gelasius, and the old ordo Romanus, and also by the sacramentary of Leofric bishop of Exeter, where it is entitled, Ad manús impositionem!. As the following prayer is found in the sacramentary of Gelasius, we may say that it is at least as old as the year 494; but it is probably much more ancient. The invocation of the Holy Spirit, or prayer for his grace, seems essential to this rite, and we may justly conclude that the following prayer is one of the most important parts of the whole office. In
every ritual now extant in the world, whether of the western or eastern churches, we find a similar form to that of the English ritual, which has been used by our church for above twelve hundred years.
The Bishop. Let us pray.
Oremus. Almighty and everliving God, Omnipotens sempiterne Dewho hast vouchsafed to rege- us, qui regenerare dignatus es nerate these thy servants by hos famulos tuos ex aqua et water and the Holy Ghost, Spiritu Sancto, quique dedisti
k Man. Sarisb. fol. 156.
1 MS. Leofr. fol. 286.
and hast given unto them for- eis remissionem omnium pecgiveness of all their sins ; catorum : immitta in eos septistrengthen them, we beseech formem Spiritum Sanctum Pathee, O Lord, with the Holy raclitum de cælis: spiritum saGhost the Comforter, and daily pientiæ et intellectus; spiritum increase in them thy manifold scientiæ et pietatis ; spiritum gifts of grace; the spirit of consilii et fortitudinis; et imwisdom and understanding; the ple eos spiritu timoris Domispirit of counsel and ghostly nim. strength; the spirit of knowledge and true godliness; and fill them, O Lord, with the spirit of thy holy fear, now and for ever. Amen.
The solemn invocation of the Holy Spirit is followed by the imposition of hands, which is given to each individual while the bishop repeats a benediction. As I have before observed, this imposition of hands does not seem, in early times, to have been given to every distinct individual in the Roman church; nor have we any account of it in the other churches of the west; but the rituals of Chaldea and Alexandria both direct the priest or bishop to give the imposition of hands to every separate person; though the former does not prescribe any particular benediction in each case, but one general prayer after the individual imposition of hands". In the Alexandrian ritual, as in the English, there is first a general prayer for the Holy Spirit, and after
m Manuale Sarisb. fol. 156. pontifical of Egbert, abp. of Miss. Leofr. fol. 286. Sacram. York, in the eighth century. Gregorii a Menard. p. 74. Mu- See also the other orders which ratori, Sacram. Gelasii, tom. i. p. 571. Compare Martene de
n Assemani Cod. Lit. tom. Antiq. Eccl. Rit. tom. i. p. 249. iii. p. 138. where it is copied from the
wards a particular benediction, accompanied with the imposition of hands on each individualo.
Then follows the Lord's Prayer. I do not find that the churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Rome, Milan, or any others in the west, have ever used it in this place. But it is unnecessary to defend the use of this prayer on any occasion, as no orthodox Christian can object to it. However, in the patriarchate of Antioch it has long been customary for the people to recite the Lord's Prayer after confirmation has been administered P. The church of England has used it in this place since the review of the ritual in A. D. 1661.
The collect which follows the Lord's Prayer has been used, with some variation, for many centuries in the churches of England : we find it in the manual of Salisbury, and in a manuscript pontifical of Egbert, archbishop of York, in the middle of the eighth century; from which last I transcribe the following original.
Almighty and everliving God, Deus, qui Apostolis tuis Sancwho makest us both to will and tum dedisti Spiritum, et per to do those things that be good eos, eorumque successores, cæand acceptable unto thy divine teris fidelibus tradendum esse Majesty; We make our hum- voluisti; respice propitius ad ble supplications unto thee for humilitatis nostræ famulatum, these thy servants, upon
whom et præsta ut eorum earumque (after the example of thy holy corda, quorum vel quarum hoapostles) we have now laid die frontem delinivimus et sigour hands, to certify them (by no crucis confirmavimus, Spithis sign) of thy favour and ritus Sanctus adveniens, tem
o Assemani Cod. Lit. tom. iii. p. 82, 84.
P Assemani Codex, Rituale Syrorum, p. 156, 171, 178.
gracious goodness towards plum gloriæ suæ dignanter inthem. Let thy fatherly hand, habitando perficiat. Per 9. we beseech thee, ever be over them; let thy Holy Spirit ever be with them; and so lead them in the knowledge and obedience of thy word, that in the end they may obtain everlasting life, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
The collect which succeeds is a most excellent form, but I am not aware that it is very ancient, or that it can be traced in the primitive formularies of the English church, or of any other. The benediction at the conclusion is directed by the manual of Salisbury; and we find very long benedictions used at this place by the English church in the eighth century, according to the pontifical of Egbert, archbishop of York".
The blessing of God Almigh- Benedicat vos omnipotens ty, the Father, the Son, and Deus Pater, et Filius, et Spirithe Holy Ghost, be upon you,
tus Sanctus. Amen. and remain with you for ever. Amen.
The rubric at the conclusion is also derived from the ancient practice of the English church.
4 Manuale Sarisb. fol. 156. Pontificale Egberti ap. Martene de Antiq. Eccl. Rit. tom.
i. p. 249.