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COLLECTS, EPISTLES, AND GOSPELS.
THE Liturgy consists of a fixed and unvarying portion, and of a | Collect; but Hymns have been generally substituted since their portion which varies at least once a week; the fixed part is omission. The “Communio" was also fixed in the first Prayer printed by itself in a later division of the Prayer Book, and the Book, being the Anthem, “O Lamb of God, which takest away variable part is that included under the title of “The Collects, the sins of the world, have mercy upon us;" and for this, a soft Epistles, and Gospels, to be used throughout the year,” and now and solemn organ voluntary seems to have been afterwards subcoming under notice.
stituted, such as is still to be heard at Durham Cathedral and In the early ages of the Church, the Office of the Holy Com- elsewhere during the Administration. munion was contained in several separate volumes, one for the This arrangement of the variable parts of the Communion Epistles, called the Comes, Lectionarius, or Epistolarium ; another Service is, however, much more ancient than the Salisbury for the Gospels, called the Evangelistarium; a third for the Missal. The selection of the Epistles and Gospels for the Sun. Anthems, called the Antiphonarius, or Gradual; and a fourth for days and some of the other Holy Days is attributed to St. Jerome the fixed part of the Service and the Collects, which went by the in the fourth century; and most of the Collects come to us name of the Liber Sacramentorum, or Sacramentary. These four originally from the Sacramentaries of St. Leo, Gelasius, and St. separate volumes were eventually united into one, under the Gregory; the last of whom died A.D. 604. name of the Missal; and the two portions of the Prayer Book in which the varying and unvarying parts of the Communion Ser
& Collects. vice are contained, constitute, in fact, the Missal of the Church of The Collects which are now used in the Communion Service England, which is almost universally bound in a separate form for appear to be the growth of the fifth and sixth centuries, as is use at the Altar.
stated above, though it is far from being improbable that the The modern arrangement of these variable parts of the Sacramentaries of that date were, to a large extent, compilations Liturgy is derived directly from the ancient Missals of the of previously existing forms, rather than original compositions of Church of England, of which the principal one was that of those whose names they bear. These Sacramentaries have the Salisbury. Like the rest of the Prayer Book, it has undergone appearance of methodizing and rearranging established customs some condensation. Offertory sentences were formerly placed in and formularies; and there is an antecedent improbability in the this part of the Liturgy, but are now collected into the unvary. statement that SS. Leo, Gregory, or any other single individual, ing portion. There was also a short Anthem, or Gradual (with its invented so large a body of public devotions, and wrought so response), placed after every Epistle, and a Collect called “Post great a revolution in the habits of the Church, as to bring it communio !,” but both of these have been discontinued. The suddenly into use. Cardinal Bona [Rer. Liturg., ii.5; iv.] gives Introit, or Officium, was likewise appointed for every celebration some evidence in support of the supposed Apostolic origin of the of the Holy Communion, and a short Anthem to be sung during form of prayer known by the name of Collect, though he thinks the Administration. In the first Prayer Book, the Introits the general tradition of the Christian world a sufficient proof were taken from the Psalms, and were all printed before the that Gelasius and St. Gregory composed those now in use.
It may be considered an argument against this theory of 1 In the Prayer Book of 1549 a number of Sentences of Scripture were
Apostolic origin, that the Collect is a form of prayer unknown in appointed for Post-Communions, and printed after the Agnus Dei.
the Eastern Church, which has always been so conservative with ? It may be useful to annex a list of the Introits as arranged in the First
regard to its ancient customs and formularies. But Archdeacon English Prayer Book, as many Ritualists think them better adapted for
Freeman has shown that there is a distinct likeness between their purpose than hymns :INTROITS.
certain kinds of hymns (called “ Exaposteilaria ") of the Eastern 1st Sunday in Advent ......... Ps. 1 ! Sunday next before Easter ...Ps. 61
Church, and the Collects of the Western, by which a common 2nd
20 Good Friday.......... 3rd ,
88 6th Sun.aft.)
.} Ps. 119 ... Et veniat. 21st Sun.aft.) P. u19 Principes 4th , Easter Day, Ist Communion.. ,,
persecuti. Christ."'Day, 1st Communion 2nd
... Porlio mea.
lquet. F. of St. Stephen ..............
....................... Ps. 124 , St. John, Evangelist ....,,
1 fecisti. 24th ,, the Holy Innocents......, 79 2nd
127 Sunday after Christmas.. 121 Зrd
St. Andrew, Apostle ......
llth Circumcision ...... 4th
St. Thomas, Apostle Epiphany.......... 5th
Conversion of St. Paul ...... 1st Sunday after the Epiphany Ascension Day ..........
num. Purification of St. Mary, Virg. 2nd Sunday after Ascension Day..
| Quomodo di St. Matthias, Apostle ..... 3rd Whitsunday...........
lexi. Annunciation of the V. Mary 4th Monday in Whitsun Week 100
Lucerna pe St. Mark, Evang. ...
dibus. St. Philip and St. James ....... Trinity Sunday .................. 67
Iniquos St. Barnabas, Apostle
15th Ist Sun, aft. p. 110 Beati imma
odio. St. John Baptist .................. Sexagesima....
Feci judi St. Peter, Apostle ............... 144 Quinquagesima.
In quo cor
cium. St. James, Apostle.............. 145 2nd Ash-Wednesday
115 Ist Sunday in Lent
117 serro tuo.
(Clamavi in 19th
St. Michael and all Angels ...
| Vide humi- St, Simon and St. Jude, Apos. .. ... Legem pone.
litatem. All Saints .....
.. • Mary
140 131 141 1:33
origin seems to be indicated; and he gives the following hymns | it with the collected assembly 2 of the people; others have inter. at Lauds on Easter Day as an example [Princip. of Div. Serv., i. preted the name as indicating that the prayer so called collects 142):
together the topics of previous prayers, or else those of the “Thou, O Lord, that didst endure the cross, and didst abolish Epistle and Gospel for the day. But the most reasonable interdeath, and didst rise again from the dead, give peace in our life, pretation seems to be that which distinguishes the Collect as the as only Almighty.”
prayer offered by the priest alone on behalf of the people, while “Thou, O Christ, Who didst raise man by Thy resurrection, in Litanies and Versicles, the priest and the people pray altervouchsafe that we may with pure hearts hymn and glorify nately. This interpretation is found in Bona, Rer. Liturg., ii. 5. Thee."
üi., Durand. iii. 13, and Micrologus, iii.; the words of the latter Although the variable Exaposteilaria in actual use are attri being, “Oratio quam Collectam dicunt, eo quod sacerdos, qui buted to a ritualist of the tenth century, Archdeacon Freeman legatione fungitur pro populo ad Dominum omnium petitiones ea considers that they represent a much older system of precatory | oratione colligit atque concludit.” As of Common Prayer, in hymns, and quotes from Dr. Neale, that the aim of them “ seems general, so we may conclude especially of the Collect, in par. originally to have been a kind of invocation of the grace of ticular, that it is the supplication of many gathered into one God,” which is a special feature of Collects.
by the voice of the priest, and offered up by him to the Father, It is not quite correct, therefore, to say that such a form of through our Lord and only Mediator 3. prayer is wholly unknown in the Eastern Church ; and this There is a very exact and definite character in the structure of argument against the primitive antiquity of it cannot be con- | Collects; so exact, that certain rules have been deduced from sidered to have much force.
these prayers of the Saints for the construction of others, as rules There are two, and only two, prayers of the Church given in of grammar are deduced from classic writers. the New Testament. Both of these are in the Acts of the First, may be mentioned the characteristics which distinguish Apostles, and both of them have a striking similarity to the this special form of prayer, and which have been loosely menprayers we now know as Collects. The first is in Acts i. 24, 25, tioned above :" Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, show whether 1. A Collect consists of a single period, seldom a long one. of these two Thou hast chosen, that he may take part of this 2. A single petition only is offered in it. ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, 3. Mention is made of our Lord's Mediation; or else that he might go to his own place.” The second is in Acts iv. 4. It ends with an ascription of praise to God. 24, “Lord, Thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, These features of the Collect at once distinguish it from the and the sea, and all that in them is : Who by the mouth of Thy long and often involved forms of Eastern prayers, and also from servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the the precatory meditations which became so familiar to English people imagine vain things ? The kings of the earth stood up, and people in the seventeenth century; and the chastened yet comthe rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against prehensive character of Collects is owing, in no small degree, to the His Christ. For of a truth against Thy holy Child Jesus, necessities imposed upon the writers of them by this structure. Whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, This general outline of the Collect developes itself in detail on with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered a plan of which the most perfect form may be represented by two together, for to do whatsoever Thy hand and counsel deter of our finest specimens, the one as old as the Sacramentary of mined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threaten. St. Gregory, in the sixth century, the other composed by Bishop ings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they Cosin, more than a thousand years later. may speak Thy word, by stretching forth Thine hand to heal ; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of Thy holy
Whitsunday. Child Jesus.” In both of these prayers, the address, or invoca
6th Sunday after Epiphany. tion, is a prominent feature; and in the latter it occupies more than two-thirds of the whole prayer ; while the actual supplica 1. Invocation.
O GOD, tion itself, though in both cases of the highest importance possi.
2. Reason on Who as at this time didst Whose blessed Son was ble, is condensed into a few simple words. These Apostolic which the Peti- teach the hearts of Thy manifested that He might
tion is to be faithful people by sending destroy the works of the prayers, therefore, bear a great resemblance to Collects, and
to them the light of Thy devil, and make us the sons might not unreasonably be spoken of as the earliest on record.
of God, and heirs of eternal But the real model of this form of prayer is to be found in a still higher quarter, the Lord's Prayer itself. If we compare
3. PETITION. grant us by the same Spirit grant us, we beseech Thee,
to have a right judgment that having this hope, we some of the best of our ancient or modern collects (as, for instance,
in all things,
may purify ourselves, even the Collect for Whitsunday, which has been familiarly known to
as He is pure; the Church in her daily Service for at least twelve centuries and 4. Benefit hoped and evermore to rejoice in that when He shall appear
His holy comfort ; a half, or that for the Sunday after Ascension, which is partly of
again with power and great
glory, we may be made like Reformation date) with the Prayer of Prayers, we shall find in
unto Him in His eternal and both that the tone is chiefly that of adoration, and subordinately
glorious Kingdom, that of supplication; and, also, that the human prayer follows 5. Mention of through the merits of Christ where with Thee, O Father,
Christ's Media-Jesus our Saviour, Who and Thee, O Holy Ghost, the Divine pattern in the adoption of a condensed form of
tion, or Ascrip-liveth and reigneth with He liveth and reigneth, erer expression, which is in strict accordance with the injunction, tion of praise: or Thee, in the unity of the one God, world without
same Spirit, one God, world end. « God is in heaven, and thou upon earth, therefore let thy words
without end. be few.” Such a comparison will bring home a conviction to the mind, that when we use this terse form of mixed adoration and prayer, we are not far from carrying out, with literal exactness,
Thus it will be observed that, “after the Invocation, a founda
tion is laid for the petition by the recital of some doctrine, or of the still more authoritative injunction of Him who gave us His own prayer as the type of all others, “ After this manner, therefore, pray ye '.”
The Holy Communion was once known by the name Collecta. Buna, I. The origin of the name “Collect” is uncertain ; and various 3. ii. meanings have been given to it. Some ritualists have connected
3 So in the old " Mirrour," or commentary on the Divine Offices, the explauation of the word is given thus: “Yt is as moche as to saye a gatherynge
togyther, for before thys prayer ye dresse you to god, and gather you in 1 It is an ancient rule of the Church to have an uneven number of Col onhed to pray in the person of holy chirche, that ye sholde be the soner lects. Micrologus (iv.) says that either one, three, five, or seven are used : harde." And with respect to the ending the explanation is very properly one from tradition; three, because our Lord prayed thrice in His agony; given : "Ye ende all youre orysons by oure lorde Jesu cryste, and in hys five, because of His fivefold Passion; seven, because there are seven peti- blyssed name, by cause he sayde in his gospel, that what euer ye aske the tions in the Lord's Prayer.
father in my name, he shall gyue yt you." fol. Ixxiii.
some fact of Gospel history, which is to be commemorated. | holy and lively sacrifice' in that high ordinance, the same Upon this foundation so laid down, rises the petition or body of oblation of ourselves do we carry on and perpetuate by it. the prayer. Then, in a perfect specimen ... the petition has the Through the Collect, in a word, we lay continually upon the wings of a holy aspiration given to it, whereupon it may soar to altar our present sacrifice and service, and receive, in a manner, heaven. Then follows the conclusion, which, in the case of from the altar, a continuation of the heavenly gift 3.” Thus it prayers not addressed to the Mediator, is always through the is a constant memorial before God of the great Memorial which Mediator, and which sometimes involves a Doxology, or ascription joins on the work of the Church on earth to the intercession of of praise 1.” This last member of the Collect has, indeed, our Mediator in heaven ; and it is also a memorial to the mind always been constructed with great care, and according to rules of every worshipper of the sanctification which is brought upon which were put into the form of memorial verses, at a period all our days and all our prayers by the Sacramental Presence of when it was the custom to write the Collect in a short form, our Blessed Lord. [See also p. 24.] and only to indicate the ending by “per,” “Qui vivis," " per eundem," or whatever else were its first word or words. One of
$ The Epistles and Gospels. these aids to memory is as follows :
The Holy Communion was celebrated and received by the “Per Dominum,' dicas si Patrem Presbyter oras. faithful for nearly twenty years before St. Paul wrote his first
Si Christum memores per Eundem,' dicere debes. Epistle, and for nearly thirty years before the first Gospel was
written by St. Matthew; and none of the Gospels or Epistles are • Qui Tecum,' si sit collectæ finis in Ipso;
likely to have been generally known in the Church until even a Si memores Flamen; Ejusdem,' dic prope finem ?." much later time. The Scriptures of the New Testament did not, Illustrations of these endings will be found in the Collects for therefore, form any part of the original Liturgies 4. It has been the Epiphany, the Nativity, Easter Day, and Whitsunday. supposed by many ritualists, that portions of the Old Testament
The number of the variable Collects in the Book of Common were read at the time of the celebration : and the gradual introPrayer is eighty-three. These are all traced to their original duction of our present system is indicated by the usage shown in sources, so far as they have been discovered, in the following an Irish Communion Book of the sixth century, which has one pages; and it will be observed, that fifty-nine out of the eighty. unvarying Epistle and Gospel, 1 Cor. xi., and St. John vi. This three have come to us through the Sarum Missal, from the system is attributed to St. Jerome by the almost unanimous ancient Sacramentaries; all but one of that number being con voice of ancient writers on the Divine Service of the Church; tained in the Sacramentary of St. Gregory. Of the remaining | and a very ancient Book of Epistles and Gospels exists, called the twenty-four, the germ and spirit, and often the language, may Comes, which has gone by the name of St. Jerome at least since be found in ancient Liturgical forms; and the sixteen of the the time of Amalarius and Micrologus, in the ninth and eleventh twenty-four, of which no such origin is indicated in the following centuries. pages, will perhaps be discovered, by future research, to be either The antiquity of the Comes Hieronymi has been disputed, translations or adaptations. Only one new Collect, that for chiefly because the system of Epistles and Gospels which it conSt. Andrew's Day, was inserted in 1552; and only four in 1661. tains differs from that of the Roman rite; but there seem to The latter are written in the margin of Bishop Cosin's Durham be several good reasons for supposing that it really belongs to as Book, in his bandwriting. That for St. Stephen's Day he early a time as that of St. Jerome; and as its system agress adapted from one (in the Scottish Prayer Book) which is attri with the old and modern English one, where it differs from the buted to Archbishop Laud, while those for the Third Sunday in Roman, the question has a special interest in connexion with the Advent, the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany, and Easter Even, are Book of Common Prayer. either composed by himself, or derived from some ancient This ancient Lectionary, or Comes, was published by Pamelius originals which have not been identified.
in the second volume of his Liturgicon Ecclesiæ Latinæ, under The primary use of the Collect is to give a distinctive tone to the title, Divi Hieronymi presbyteri Comes sive Lectionarius : the Eucharistic Service, striking the key-note of prayer for the and is also to be found in the eleventh volume of St. Jerome's particular occasion on which the Sacrifice is offered. But by the Works, p. 526. It contains Epistles and Gospels for all the constant use of it in its appointed place in the Daily Mattins and Sundays of the year, the Festivals of our Lord, some other FestiEvensong, it also extends this Eucharistic speciality into the vals, and many Ferial days. It is some evidence in favour of its other public Services of the Church, and carries it forward from great antiquity that no saints are commemorated in it of a later one celebration to another, linking these offices on to the chief date than the time of St. Jerome: and that the Epiphany is Service and Offering which the Church has to render to Almighty called by the name of the Theophania, a name which was disGod. “Used after such celebration, the Collect is endued with continued not long after in the Western Church. The Comes is a wonderful power for carrying on through the week the peculiar mentioned in the Charta Cornutiana, a foundation deed belonging Eucharistic memories and work of the preceding Sunday, or of a to a Church in France, and printed by Mabillon (Lit. Gall. Pref. Festival. Under whatsoever engaging or aweing aspect our Lord vii.], and this charter is as early as A.D. 471. It is mentioned by has more especially come to us then in virtue of the appointed Amalarius [iii. 407, who wrote A.D. 820; and in Micrologus (av., Scriptures, the gracious and healthful visitation lives on in a liturgical treatise of about A.D. 1080, it is spoken of as “Liber memory, nay, is prolonged in fact. Or in whatever special Comitis sive Lectionarius, quem Sanctus Hieronymus compagi. respect, again, suggested by these same Scriptures, and embodied navit:” while about the same time Beleth writes that Pope for us in the Collect, we have desired to present ourselves 'a Damasus requested St. Jerome to make a selection of Scriptures
from the Old and New Testament to be read in the Church. The I Goulburn on the Communion Office, p. 37.
latter statement derives confirmation from the fact, that before 8 A much longer form may be found at p. 73 of Chambers' Sarum Psalter,
the time of Damasus (A.D. 366-384] the Fathers cite Scripture with an elaborate note on the subject. The following rules may prove without giving any indications of such a selection being in use : sufficient for practical purposes at the present day :
while after that time there are such indications in the writings 1) Collects addressed to God the Father should end :-" Through Jesus Christ our Lord (or if our Lord has been previously mentioned :— Through
of ss. Ambrose, Augustine, Leo, Salvian, and Cæsarius; the the same Jesus Christ our Lord'], Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and
three latter of whom were accustomed to use St. Jerome's ver the (or if the Holy Ghost has been previously mentioned :-- The same') sion of the Scriptures, and not the Septuagint. All this seems to Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen."
show that there is much to be said for the ancient statement, that 2) Collects addressed to God the Son should end :-"Who livest and reignest with the Father and the for the same'] Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen."
3 Principles of Div. Serv. i. 369. 3) Collects addressed to the Blessed Trinity should end :-"Who livest 4 On the other hand, there are those who believe that many expressions and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen."
in the New Testament Scriptures are derived from Liturgies known to and Some other variations, as “ Where with Thee," after the inention of used by the Apostles. See an Essay on Liturgical quotations in Neale's Heaven, will suggest themselves.
Liturgiology, pp. 411-474,
St. Jerome first arranged the Epistles and Gospels, and that his , of consecutive reading similar to that in use for our daily Lessons, arrangement is extant in this Lectionary.
a system still followed out in the East : that the Epistles have In the Comes there are Scriptures for twenty-five Sundays after continued to be used in a consecutive order, but that the Gospels the Octave of Pentecost, as in our Prayer Book and in the have been chosen with the special object of illustrating the season ; ancient Salisbury Use (though in both the latter they are num or, where there is nothing particular to illustrate, of harmonizing bered as after Trinity), but the Roman rite has them only as far with their respective Epistles. Whatever changes were made at as the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost. The Epistles and the Reformation may be seen by the tabular arrangement under Gospels for these twenty-five Sundays and those for Advent cach Collect. In 1661 the only changes made were in the Gosexactly agree with the ancient and modern English, which (as pels for the Holy Week, some of which were shortened by Bishop will be seen in the tables annexed to every Sunday in the following Cosin ; in the insertion of those for a Sixth Sunday after Epi. pages) are quite different in arrangement from the Roman. The phany; and in printing all Gospels and Epistles from the AuthorComes also contains Epistles and Gospels for Wednesdays and ized Version of 1611, instead of from that of 1540. Fridays in Epiphany, Easter, and Trinity seasons, which were in the Salisbury Missal, but are not in the Roman. It has also [The Introits printed at the end of the Notes for each Sunday five Sundays before Christmas (that is, in Advent), instead of four, and other Festivals, are translated from the Salisbury Missal, the a peculiarity of notation which indicates very early origin, and more familiar name of Introit having been substituted for that which is reproduced in the “Sunday next before Advent" and of “Officium,” by which they are there designated. The Salis. four Sundays in Advent, of the English Use. These parallel pecu bury rubric directs them to be used in the following manner :liarities between the Comes and the English arrangement, differ “ Officium missæ usque ad orationem prosequatur sacerdos : vel ing as they do from the Roman, form a strong proof that our | usque ad Gloria in excelsis : quando dicitur. Et post officium et Eucharistic system of Scriptures had an origin quite independent psalmum repetatur officium : et postea dicitur Gloria patri et of the Roman Liturgy; or, at least, that it belongs to a system Sicut erat. Tertio repetatur officium : sequatur Kyrie." Some which is much older than that now in use in the latter. It may of these Introits are selected with a striking appropriateness to be remarked, in conclusion, (and perhaps this is the most impor the days for which they are appointed, and show a deep appretant fact in connexion with this diversity,) that the Collects, ciation of the prophetic sense of Holy Scripture. Epistles, and Gospels for Trinity Season are all in harmony in the The Hymns are also those of the Salisbury Use, which, as is English Missal, while that harmony is entirely dislocated in the well known, it was the intention of Cranmer and his coadjutors Roman.
to have translated into English with the Prayer Book. Most of The principle on which portions of Holy Scripture are selected the Hymns are to be found in the original Latin in “Hymni for the Epistles and Gospels is that of illustrating the two great Ecclesiæ," published in 1865 by Macmillan. The references divisions of the Christian year, from Advent to Trinity, and from appended to each are to translations contained in the following Trinity to Advent. In the one, and more emphatic division, our well-known Hymn-books :Blessed Lord is set before us in a life-like diorama of Gospels, H. N. The Hymnal Noted. Where there is a double reference which tell us about Him and His work, not as in a past history,
under these initials, it is (1) to the “Hymnal Noted” but with that present force, wherewith the events of His life
in two volumes, with the music; and (2) to the “Words and suffering are pleaded in the Litany. In nothing is the
of the Hymnal Noted.” graphic action of the Church (sometimes very truly called “his. H. A. M. Hymns Ancient and Modern. trionic') shown more strongly, than in the way by which the C. H. The “Congregational Hymn and Tune Book,” edited Gospels of the season are made the means of our living over again,
by the Rev. R. R. Chope. year by year, the time of the Incarnation, from Bethlehem to A. A. The “Appendix to the Hymnal Noted” used at St. Bethany; while in the long-drawn season of Trinity, we see the
Alban's Church, Holborn. Church's continuance by the power of the Pentecostal outpouring D. H. The “Day Hours of the Church of England.” in the true faith of the Blessed Trinity, and in the faithful follow. Want of space alone has prevented the Editor from giving the ing of her Master and Head through a long probationary career. Hymns at length in the Notes; but the references thus inserted
The special bearing of each Gospel and Epistle on the day for will indicate the ancient custom of the Church of England in which it is appointed will be shown in the Notes that follow. using them; and may, perhaps, assist in establishing a more It is sufficient here to say, in conclusion, that the existing arrange orderly use of the proper hymns of the Church for their appointed ment of them appears to be founded on some more ancient system days and services.]
COLLECTS, EPISTLES, AND GOSPELS
TO BE USED THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
See the rules
given at p. 24.
John nii. 19
2 Cor. vi. 2.
Note, that the Collect appointed for every
Sunday, or for any Holiday that hath a
[Benedictio. A LMIGHTY God, give us grace MNIPOTENS Deus vos placato (Greg. Hebd. ii., James iv. 6. A that we may cast away the works vultu respiciat, et in vos donum Domini.] Rom. xiii. 12, 13. of darkness, and put upon us the ar- suæ benedictionis infundat. Amen. Matt. xxi. 5. mour of light, now in the time of this Et qui hos dies incarnatione Unigeniti Matt. xxv.3i, 32. mortal life (in which thy Son Jesus sui fecit solemnes a cunctis præsentis i Thess. iv. 16, Christ came to visit us in great hu- et futuræ vitæ adversitatibus reddat
mility); that in the last day, when he | indemnes. Amen. Ut qui de adventu
2 Tim. iv. I.
Advent in the Eastern Church, which has always carefully preADVENT.
served ancient customs intact; though it observes a Lent before From the first institution of the great Festivals of the Church Christmas as well as before Easter. each of them occupied a central position in a series of days ; ! Durandus (a laborious and painstaking writer, always to be partly for the greater honour of the Festival itself, and partly for respected, though not to be implicitly relied upon) writes that St. the sake of Christian discipline. Thus Christmas is preceded by Peter instituted three whole weeks to be observed as a special the Sundays and Season of Advent, and followed by twelve days i season before Christmas, and so much of the fourth as extended of continued Christian joy which end with Epiphany.
to the Vigil of Christmas, which is not part of Advent. [Durand. Under its present name the season of Advent is not to be traced vi. 2.] This was probably a very ancient opinion, but the earliest further back than the seventh century: but Collects, Epistles, extant historical evidence respecting Advent is that mentioned and Gospels for five Sundays before the Nativity of our Lord, and above, as contained in the Lectionary of St. Jerome. Next come for the Wednesdays and Fridays also, are to be found in the two homilies of Maximus, Bishop of Turin, A.D. 450, which are ancient Sacramentaries, and in the Comes of St. Jerome. These headed De Adventu Domini. In the following century are two offer good evidence that the observance of the season was intro- | other Sermons of Cæsarius, Bishop of Arles [501–542], (for. duced into the Church at the same time with the observance of merly attributed to St. Augustine, and printed among his works,) Christmas : yet there is not, properly speaking, any season of and in these there are full details respecting the season and its