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casions not so full or complete as those of the eastern catholic churches. In the English liturgy it would appear that the common preface might be enlarged without injury, so as to correspond in length with the prefaces appointed for peculiar days. The common preface has been used in England from a remote period of antiquity; but what that period may have been I am unable to determine.

It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God.

Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name; evermore praising thee, and saying:

Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere, Domine Sancte, Pater Omnipotens, Æterne Deus.

Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum thronis et dominationibus, cumque omni militia cœlestis exercitus, hymnum gloriæ tuæ canimus, sine fine dicentes":


The preface formerly used in the church of England on this occasion was not the same as ours, which rather seems to resemble the ancient collect for the day before, in the sacramentary of Gelasius, patriarch of Rome, A. D. 494. I rather cite this collect to shew the conformity of doctrine than for any other object.

Because thou didst give Jesus Christ thine only Son to be born as at this time for us; who, by the operation of the

o Missale Eboracens. Præfatio Communis ante Canonem.

Deus, qui per beatæ Mariæ sacræ Virginis partum sine humana concupiscentia procreatum, in Filii tui membra veni

Miss. Herefordens. ante Cano


Holy Ghost, was made very man of the substance of the Virgin Mary his mother; and that without spot of sin, to make us clean from all sin. And therefore with Angels &c.

entes paternis fecisti præjudiciis non teneri: Præsta, quæsumus, ut hujus creaturæ novitate suscepta vetustatis antiquæ contagiis exuamur. Per eundem Dominum P.


This preface may be considered as old as the fifth century, as it occurs in the sacramentary of Gelasius; and it has been used in the English church since the arrival of Augustine, in 595, as it is also found in the monuments of the Anglo-Saxon church, and in all the English liturgies anterior to the reformation.

But chiefly are we bound to praise thee for the glorious Resurrection of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord: For he is the very Paschal Lamb, which was offered for us, and hath taken away the sin of the world; who by his death hath destroyed death, and by his rising to life again hath restored to us everlasting life. Therefore with Angels &c.

Et te quidem omni tempore, sed in hac potissimum nocte gloriosius prædicare: Cum Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus. Ipse enim verus est agnus qui abstulit peccata mundi. Qui mortem nostram moriendo destruxit, et vitam resurgendo reparavit. Et ideo cum Angelis &c.q


This preface is to be regarded as the composition of Gregory the First, patriarch of Rome, about the

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year 590, and has been used in the English church for above twelve hundred years.

Through thy most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who after his most glorious resurrection manifestly appeared to all his Apostles, and in their sight ascended up into heaven to prepare a place for us; that where he is, thither we might also ascend, and reign with him in glory. Therefore with Angels &c.

Per Christum Dominum nostrum: qui post resurrectionem suam omnibus discipulis suis manifestus apparuit. Et ipsis cernentibus est elevatus in cœlum, ut nos divinitatis suæ tribueret esse participes. Et ideo cum Angelis &c.r


The preface formerly used in the church of England for Pentecost was not equal to that which we use at present, as it contained a very short and imperfect allusion to the great event which is this day commemorated. We may compare our preface with that of the ancient Gallican church on the same occasion, without feeling that there is any inferiority either in the ideas or language of our own.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord; according to whose most true promise, the Holy Ghost came down as at this time from heaven with a sudden great sound, as it had been a mighty wind, in the likeness of fiery tongues, lighting upon the Apostles, to teach them, and to lead them to all truth; giving

r Sacramentar. Gregorii Menard. p. 95. Muratori, tom. ii. p. 85. MS. Sacramentar. Leofr.

In hoc præcipue die, in quo sacratissimum Pascha quinquaginta dierum mysteriis tegitur; et per sua vestigia, recursantibus dierum spatiis, colleguntur: et dispersio linguarum, quæ in confusione facta fuerat, per Spiritum Sanctum adunatur. Hodie enim de cœlis repente sonum audientes Apo

Exon. fol. 128. Miss. Sar. fol. lxxv. Miss. Ebor. Herefordens.

them both the gift of divers languages, and also boldness with fervent zeal constantly to preach the Gospel unto all nations; whereby we have been brought out of darkness and error into the clear light and true knowledge of thee and of thy Son Jesus Christ. Therefore with Angels &c.

stoli, unius Fidei Symbolum exceperunt et linguis variis Evangelii tui gloriam gentibus tradiderunt, per Christum Dominum nostrums.


This preface is as old as the time of Gelasius, patriarch of Rome, A. D. 494; it also appears in the sacramentary of Gregory the First; and being found in the monuments of the Anglo-Saxon church, as well as in the more recent English liturgies, there can be no doubt that it has been used in the church of England for above twelve hundred years.

Who art one God, one Lord; not one only Person, but three Persons in one Substance. For that which we believe of the glory of the Father, the same we believe of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or inequality. Therefore with Angels &c.

s Missale Gothicum. Mabillon de Liturgia Gallicana, p. 269.

Gelasii Sacramentarium. Muratori Liturg. Rom. tom. i.

Qui cum unigenito Filio tuo et Spiritu Sancto, unus es Deus, unus es Dominus, non in unius singularitate personæ, sed in unius trinitate substantiæ: quod enim de tua gloria, revelante te, credimus; hoc de Filio tuo, hoc de Spiritu Sancto sine differentia discretionis sentimus. Ut in confessione veræ sempiternæque Deitatis, et in personis proprietas, et in essentia unitas, et in majestate adoretur æqualitas t.

p. 606. Gregorii Sacrament.
Menard. p. 104. MS. Sacram.
Leofr. Exon. episcopi, fol. 135.
Miss. Sar. fol. lxxv. Miss. Ebor.



It is probable that this hymn has been used in the Christian liturgy of the east and west since the age of the apostles. Certainly no liturgy can be traced in antiquity, in which the people did not unite with the invisible host of heaven in chanting these sublime praises of the most high God.. From the testimony of Chrysostom and Cyril of Jerusalem, we find that the seraphic hymn was used in the liturgy of Antioch and Jerusalem in the fourth century ". The Apostolical Constitutions enable us to carry it back to the third century in the east". In the same century with Cyril and Chrysostom, Gregory, bishop of Nyssa in Cappadocia, testified its use in the patriarchate or exarchate of Cæsarea; and Severianus of Gabala attested the same for the church of Constantinople *. Cyril, pope of Alexandria, and Origen, in the fifth and third centuries, allude to the seraphic hymn, as used in the patriarchate of Alexandria y. In Gaul it was mentioned by Hilary of Poictiers, Cæsarius of Arles, the council of Vaison, and Gregory of Tours2; who inform us, that it was sung by all the people. Isidore of Seville speaks of its use in the Spanish liturgy a. In the liturgy of Milan it has been used from time immemorial, under the name of Trisagium; and in Africa we learn that it was customary in the second century from Tertullian b. Thus it appears that this hymn

u Vol. i. p. 32, 35. v Ibid. p. 39.

w Ibid. p. 69.

x Ibid.

p. 78.

y Ibid. p. 102.
z Ibid. p. 161.

a Ibid. p. 174.
b Ibid. p. 137.

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