Gallican Rite - The Mass

The Mass

The chief authorities for the Gallican Mass are the letters of St. Germanus of Paris (555-576); and by a comparison of these with the extant Sacramentaries, not only of Gaul but of the Celtic Rite, with the Irish tracts on the Mass, with the books of the still existing Mozarabic Rite, and with the descriptions of the Hispanic Mass given by St. Isidore, one may arrive at a fairly clear general idea of the service, though there exists no Gallican Ordinary of the Mass and no Antiphoner. Louis Duchesne, in his "Origines du Cult chrétien", has given a very full account constructed on this basis, though some will differ from him in his supplying certain details from Ambrosian books, and in his claiming the Bobbio Sacramentary as Ambrosian rather than Celtic.

The Order of this Mass is as follows:--

  1. The Entrance.-- Here an Antiphona (Introit) was sung. Nothing is said of any Praeparatio Sacerdotis, but there is one given in the Stowe Missal; and the Irish tracts describe a preliminary preparation of the Chalice, as does also the Mozarabic Missal. As no Antiphoner exists, we have no specimen of a Gallican Officium or Introit. Duchesne gives a Mozarabic one, which has something of the form of a Roman Responsary. The Antiphona was followed by a proclamation of silence by the deacon, and the salutation Dominus sit semper vobiscum by the priest. This is still the Mozarabic form of Dominus vobiscum.
  2. The Canticles.-- These, according to St. Germanus, were:
    1. The Ajus (agios) which may be the Greek Trisagion (hagios Theos, k.t.l.) or the Greek of the Sanctus, probably the latter which is still used elsewhere in the Mozarabic, and seems to be referred to in the Ajus, ajus, ajus of the life of St. Géry of Cambrai and the Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus of the Council of Vaison (529). In the Bobbio there is a prayer Post Ajus.
    2. The Kyrie Eleison, sung by three boys. This has disappeared from the Mozarabic. It is mentioned by the Council of Vaison (529).
    3. The Canticle of Zacharias (Benedictus). this is called Prophetia and there are collects post Prophetiam in the Riechenau fragments, the Gothicum and the Bobbio. The Mozarabic and Celtic books have Gloria in Excelsis here, but in the former the Benedictus is used instead on the Sunday before the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, called Dominica pro adventu S. Johannis. A different Canticle, Sanctus Deus Angelorum was used, according to St. Germanus, in Lent.
  3. The Lessons—These were the Lectio Prophetica from the Old Testament, and the Lectio Apostolica or Epistle. In Paschal time the Apocalypse took the place of the Lectio Prophetica, and a lesson from the Acts of the Apostles that of the Epistle. In Lent the Histories of the Old Testament were read instead of the Prophetical Lesson, and on Saint's Days the Acts of the Saints. This agrees with the present Mozarabic, except in the Acts of the Saints, and with the Luxeuil Lectionary, and the Bobbio. The Acts of the Saints were used as Mass Lessons in the Ambrosian Rite as late as the twelfth century. According to St. Germanus the second lesson followed immediately on the first, but in the Mozarabic the Benedicite and a Psallendo (Responsary) come between them. In the Gallican the Benedicite and the Responsorium followed the Epistle. The Bobbio has a fixed collect, Post Benedictionem, which is that which follows Benedictus es (Dan., iii) on Ember Saturdays in the Roman Missal.
  4. The Gospel-- This was preceded by a procession to the ambo. A clerk again sang the Ajus, and seven lighted candles were carried. The clerks cried out Gloria tibi, Domine. Sanctus was sung as they returned. Nothing is said about Alleluia preceding the Gospel, nor is there any in the Mozarabic Rite. The Celtic Rite as shown in the Stowe Missal, included an Alleluia at that point, as do most other rites.
  5. Here, according to St. Germanus, followed the Homily.
  6. The Prex-- The passage of St. Germanus is "Preces vero psallere levitas pro populo ab origine libri Moysaici ducit exordium, ut audita Apostoli praedicatione levitae pro populo deprecentur et sacerdotes prostrati ante Dominum pro peccatis populi intercedant". Duschene makes this refer to a Bidding Litany to follow the Homily, but judging from the analogy of the Stowe Mass, which places a litany between the Epistle and Gospel, and of the Mozarabic, which on Sundays in Lent has a very similar litany between the Prophetical Lesson and the Epistle, said by the priest who "prosternat se ad pedem altaris", it might be possible to understand "audita Apostoli praedicatione" to mean "after the Epistle". The Roman Good Friday prayers, however, which are similar in import to this litany, follow the Gospel; and so does the Great Synapte of Clementine, the Byzantine, and other Eastern rites which have petitions of the same type, and one of which is probably the original source of the Prex. The Council of Lyon (517) also mentions "orationem plebis quae post evangelia legeretur". No Gallican text of this litany exists, but it was probably much of the same type as that of the Stowe, which is called "Deprecatio Sancti Martini, and that which takes the place of the "Gloria in Excelsis" in Lent in the Ambrosian. The Prex is followed by a prayer called Post Precem.
  7. The Dismissal of the Catechumens.-- This is mentioned by St. Germanus as an ancient rite of which the form was still observed. He says in almost the same words which James of Edessa, speaking of the Syrian Rite, used a century later, that the deacon proclaims "juxta antiquum Ecclesiae ritum". No mention is made by St. Germanus of penitents, but the Council of Lyon just mentioned gave them permission to remain until after the Prex. In the Stowe Mass, as in the Roman, there is no allusion to catechumens or penitents.
  8. The Great Entrance and Offertory.-- It seems appropriate to give the Byzantine name to this ceremony, for, according to St. Germanus's description, it resembled the Great Entrance of that rite rather than anything which is now found in either the Roman or the Mozarabic of today, or in the Celtic Rite; and the Procession of the Vecchioni at Milan is altogether a different matter. First came the closing of the doors. This took place immediately after the Dismissal of the Catechumens in the Liturgy of St. James, and is put at the same point in the description of James of Edessa. In the Byzantine Rite of today it comes after the Great Entrance. In the Roman Rite there is no sign of it. St. Germanus gives it a mystical meaning about the gates of the soul, but James of Edessa gives the real origin, the guarding of the mysteries against the heathen. Then the already prepared Elements were brought in, the bread in a vessel shaped like a tower, the mixed wine and water in a chalice. St. Germanus speaks of them as Corpus Domini and Sanguis Christi (cf. The wording of the Byzantine hymn known as the Cherubicon). While this was done the choir sang what St. Germanus called the Sonus. The Mozarabic Missal calls the Responsory that comes at this point the Lauda, and the name Sonus is given to very similar Responsories sung at Vespers and Lauds. While the elements were being offered the choir sang the Laudes, which included Alleluia. This is the Mozarabic Sacraficium, the Roman Offertorium. St. Isidore gives the latter name to it. The tract in the Irish "Leabhar Breac" speaks of elevating the chalice "quando canitur Imola Deo sacrificium laudis", but the Stowe, being a priest's book, is silent about any antiphon here, though the prayers said by the priest are given. In the Stowe Missal the Offertory, which is a good deal Romanized, is preceded by the Creed. In the Ambrosian, as in the Byzantine, the Creed follows the Offertory. In the Gallican of St. Germanus there was as yet no Creed. By the time of James of Edessa it had got into the Syrian Liturgy, but the Roman did not adopt it until much later. St. Germanus mentions three veils, the "palla linostima" "corporalis palla" of pure linen, "super quam oblatio ponitur", and a veil of silk adorned with gold and gems with which the oblation was covered. Probably the "linostima" covered the chalice, like the modern pall.
  9. The prayer that follows is not mentioned by St. Germanus, but is given in the Gallican books. It is preceded by a Bidding Prayer. The titles of the two are Praefatio Missae and Collectio (the usual expression being "Collectio sequitur"). They vary with the day and are found in the Gothicum, Gallicanum, Bobbio, and some of the Reichenau fragments. St. Isidore mentions them as the first two of the prayers of the Mass. In the Mozarabic the Bidding Prayer is called Missa, and is followed by "Agyos, agyos, agyos, Domine Deus Rex aeterne tibi laudes et gratias", sung by the choir, and an invariable invitation to prayer. The variable prayer which follows is called Alia Oratio. The "Missa" is almost always a Bidding Prayer addressed to the people, while the "Alia Oratio" is nearly always addressed to God, but sometimes both are Bidding Prayers and sometimes both are prayers to God.
  10. The Diptychs—St. Germanus says "Nomina defunctorum ideo hor illa recitantur qua pallium tollitur". The Gallican books and the Bobbio have variable prayers Post Nomina, and the Reichenau fragments have also prayers Ante Nomina, which are sometimes Bidding Prayers as are sometimes the prayers Post Nomina in the Gothicum. The form of the Intercession is given in the Stowe, but moved to its Roman positions in the Gelasian Canon. The Mozarabic retains the old position and has a prayer Post Nomina, which St. Isidore calls the third prayer. The position of the Great Intercession at this point exactly is peculiar to the Hispano-Gallican Rite, but it comes very near to the Alexandrian position, which is in the middle of the Preface, where a rather awkward break is made for it. The West Syrian and Byzantine Liturgies place the Great Intercession after the Epiklesis, the East Syrian before the Epiklesis, and the Roman and Ambrosian divide it in two, placing the Intercession for the Living before, and that for the Dead after the Consecration, with Commemorations of Saints with each.
  11. The Pax-- St. Germanus mentions that the Kiss of Peace came next, as it does now in the Mozarabic. St. Isidore associates it with the fourth prayer, which in the Gallican and Mozarabic books is called Ad Pacem. The Roman Rite, which has completely obliterated all distinction between the Missa Catachumenorum and the Missa Fidelium, associates this sign of unity, not with the beginning of the latter, but with the Communion, and this position is as old as the letter of St. Innocent I (416) to Decentius of Giubbio. The Ambrosian now follows the Roman, as did the Celtic Rite when the Stowe Missal was written, but the Bobbio retained the collect Ad Pacem in its original place, though it was probably not used with the Gelasian canon.
  12. The Anaphora-- St. Germanus merely mentions the Sursum Corda, and says nothing about what follows it. The dialogue was probably in the usual form, though the curious variation in the Mozarabic Rite makes that somewhat uncertain. Then follows the Contestatio or Immolatio, called by the Mozarabic Books Illatio, which is in the Roman Rite the Praefatio. St. Isidore calls it the fifth prayer and uses the word Illatio for it. The Gallican books, the Bobbio, and the Mozarabic Missal give a variable one for every Mass, and the Gallican books often give two. The general form is the same as the Roman, perhaps more diffuse in its expressions. Usually the words Per quem alone at the end of the proper section indicate the conclusion. The Mozarabic Illations end in varying ways, always of course leading up to the Sanctus.
  13. The Sanctus.-- The Gallican wording is not found, but there is no reason to suspect any variations unless the Mozarabic "gloria majestatis tuae" was also Gallican.
  14. The Post-Sanctus.-- This takes up the idea of the Sanctus and amplifies it, leading on to the Recital of the Institution. It generally, but not always, begins with "Vere Sanctus, vere Benedictus". There is a variable Post-Sanctus for every Mass. In the Gallican books this passage ends with some expression, generally simply "per Christum Dominum nostrum", which serves as the antecedent to "Qui pridie"; but, owing to the interpolated prayer" Adesto, adesto Jesu", etc., the Recital of the Institution begins with a fresh sentence with no relative. All Liturgies except the Roman have some form of Post-Sanctus. Even the Ambrosian has one for Easter Eve, and the Celtic Stowe Missal seems to use one with or without the Roman Canon. The Bobbio, completely Romanized from the Preface onwards, does not include one among its variables. In one Mass in the Gothicum (Easter Eve) the Post-Sanctus (so called by Neale and Forbes) contains a quite definite Epiklesis, but the prayer which follows is called ad fractionem panis, so it may be really a Post-Pridie.
  15. The Recital of the Institution.-- "Qui pridie quam pro nostra omnium salute pateretur" is all that exists of the Gallican form, as catchwords, so to speak. This, except that "et" comes there before "omnium", is the Ambrosian. The Stowe and the Bobbio have the Roman "Qui pridie quam pateretur", etc., but the corrector of the Stowe has added the Ambrosian ending "passionem meam praedicabitis", etc. The Mozarabic, though Post-Pridie is the name of the prayer which follows, has (after an invocatory prayer to our Lord) "D.N.J. C. in qua nocte tradebatur", etc., following St. Paul's words in I Cor., xi, in which it agrees with the principal Eastern Liturgies. This is probably a late alteration.
  16. The Post-Pridie, called also Post Mysterium and Post Secreta, these two being the more usual Gallican names, while Post-Pridie is the universal Mozarabic name. This is a variable prayer, usually addressed to Christ or to the Father, but occasionally in the Mozarabic in the form of a Bidding Prayer. The petitions often include something of an oblation, like the Unde et memores, and often a more or less definite Epiklesis. Of the eleven Masses in the Reichenau fragment four contain a definite Epiklesis in this prayer, one has a Post-Pridie with no Epiklesis, one is unfinished, but has no Epiklesis as far as it goes, and in the rest this prayer is wanting. In the Gothicum there is generally no Epiklesis, but nine of the Masses there have one of some sort, in some cases vague. In the Mozarabic this prayer is usually only the oblation, though rarely there is an Epiklesis. It is followed there by a fixed prayer resembling the clause Per quem haec omnia in the Roman Canon.
  17. The Fraction.-- Of this St. Germanus says only that it takes place, and an antiphon is sung during it. The only rite which now retains this antiphon always is the Ambrosian, where it is called Confractorium. The Mozarabic has substituted for it the recitation of the Creed, "praeter in locis in quibus erit antiphona propria ad confractionem panis", which is chiefly during Lent, and in votive Masses. In the Stowe there is a long responsory, apparently not variable. No Gallican Confratorium remains. The fraction is not described, but in the Celtic Rite (q.v.) there was a very complicated fraction, and in the Mozarabic the Sacred Host is divided into nine particles, seven of which are arranged in the form of a cross. The Council of Tours (567) directs that the particles shall be arranged "non in imaginario ordine sed sub crucis titulo", so that it is probable that the Gallican fraction was similarly elaborate. The Stowe Gaelic tract speaks of two fractions, the first into two halves with a re-uniting and a commixture, the second into a number of particles varying with the rank of the day. The "Leabhar Breac" tract only mentions the first. Dom L. Gougaud (Les rites de la Consecration et de la Fraction dans la Liturgie Celtique", in "Report of the 19th Eucharistic Congress" (p. 359) conjectures that the first was the Host of the celebrant, the second that for the communicants.
  18. The Pater Noster.-- This was preceded by a variable introduction after the plan of Praeceptis salutaribus moniti and was followed by a variable Embolism. These are entitled in the Gallican books Ante Orationem Dominicam and Post Orationem Dominicam. In the Mozarabic the introduction Ad orationem Dominicam is variable, the Embolism is not.
  19. The Commixture.-- Of the manner of this in the Gallican Rite there is no information, nor is there any record of the words used. In the Mozarabic the particle Regnum is dipped in the chalice with the words "Vicit Leo de tribu Juda, radix David, Alleluia. Qui sedes super Cherubim, radix David, Alleluia", and the particle is dropped into the chalice, the priest saying "Sancta sanctis; et conjunctio corporis D.N.J.C. sit sumentibus et potantibus nobis ad veniam et defunctis fidelibus praestetur ad requiem."
  20. The Benediction.-- This when pronounced by a bishop was a variable formula, sometimes of considerable length. St. Germanus gives a form which was said by priests "Pax, fides et caritas et communicatio corporis et sanguinis Domini sit semper vobiscum." There is a very similar form in the Stowe Missal and in the Ambrosian, but in both these it is connected with the Pax which comes at this point, as in the Roman Rite. In the Mozarabic, the deacon proclaims "Humilitate vos benedictioni". This is alluded to by St. Caesarius of Arles and is very like tas kephalas hemon to kyrio klinomen in the Byzantine Rite. Then follows a long variable Benediction of four clauses, pronounced by the priest, the people responding "Amen" to each clause. The Gallican Benedictions were of the same type. The practice of a Benediction before Communion continued in France long after the extinction of the Gallican Rite and survives to this day at Lyon. It was also the practice of the Anglo-Saxon Church. Dom Cabrol ("Benediction Episcopale" in "Report of the 19th Eucharistic Congress") considers that the Anglo-Saxon Benedictions were not survivals of Gallican (Celtic) usage, but were derived from the ancient practice of Rome itself, and that the rite was a general one of which traces are found nearly everywhere.
  21. The Communion.-- St. Germanus gives no details of this, but mentions the singing of the Trecanum. His description of this was not very clear. "Sic enim prima in secunda, secunda in tertia, et rursum tertia in secunda rotatur in prima." But he takes the threefold chant as an emblem of the Trinity. The Mozarabic on most days has a fixed anthem, Ps. xxxiii, 8 (9) (Gustate, et videte) 1 (2) (Benedicam Dominum) and 22 (23) (Redimet Dominus), and the Gloria with three Alleluias after each verse. This is called Ad Accedentes. In Lent and Easter-tide there are variants. The rather obvious Gustate et videte is given also in the Stowe Missal and Bangor Antiphoner, and is mentioned by St. Cyril of Jerusalem. It occurs in certain Eastern Liturgies. In the Mozarabic it is followed by the Communio "Refecti Christi corpore et sangunie, te laudamus, Domine, Alleluia" (thrice), with a variant in Lent. This is found also in the Celtic books. Probably it was used by the Gallican also. In the Mozarabic the priest's Communion, with his private devotions, goes on during these anthems. Caesarius of Arles and the Council of Auxerre (about 578), quoted by Duchesne, allude to the fact that men received the Host in the bare hand, but that women covered the hand with a linen cloth called dominicalis, which each brought with her.
  22. The Post-Communion-- This, as given in the Gallican books, is a variable Praefatio, or Bidding Prayer, followed by a collect. The former is entitled Post Communionem, the latter Collectio. The Mozarabic has only a collect which is variable, but with a smaller selection than the other prayers.
  23. The Dismissal formula of the Gallican Mass is not extant. It may have been like the Stowe "Missa acta est in pace", or one form of Mozarabic "Missa acta est in nomine D.N.J.C., proficiamus cum pace."

It will be seen from the above analysis that the Gallican Mass contained a very small number of fixed elements, so that nearly the whole service was variable according to the day. The absence of an Ordinary is, therefore, of less importance than it would be in, for instance, the Roman or the Ambrosian. The full list of variables, as shown from the Reichenau fragments, the Gothicum, and St. Germanus's description, is:--

(1) The Introit. (2) (Collectio) post Prophetiam. (3) Lectio Prophetica. (4) Lectio Apostolica. (5) Responsorium" before the Gospel. (6) Gospel. (7) Post Precem. (8) Sonum. (9) Laudes. (10) Praefatio Missae. (11) Collectio. (12) Ante Nomina. (13) Post Nomina. (14) Ad Pacem. (15) Contestatio or Immolatio. (16) Post Sanctus. (17) Post Pridie. (18) Confractorium? (19) Ante Orationem Dominicam. (20) Post Orationem Dominicam. (22) Trecanum? (23) Communio? (24) Post Communionem. (25) Collectio or Consummatio Missae. Of these nos. 2. 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25 belong to the priest's part, and are therefore found in the Sacramentaries; 1, 5, 8, 9, as well as 18, 22, and 23, if these last were variable, belong to the part of the choir, and would be found in the Antiphoners, if any such existed; and 3, 4, 6, are found in the Lectionary. No. 12 is only found among the Reichenau fragments, but it is found there in every Mass of which the MS. is not imperfect at that part of the service. Thus the fixed parts of the service would only be: (a) The three Canticles. (b) The Ajus and Sanctus, etc., at the Gospel. (c) The Prex. (d) The Dismissal. (e) The priest's prayers at the Offertory. (f) The Great Intercession. (g) The Pax formula. (h) The Sursum Corda dialogue. (i) The Sanctus. (j) The Recital of the Institution. (k) The Pater Noster, and possibly the Confractorium, Trecanum and Communio, with probably the priest's devotions at Communion. Most of these are very short and the only really important passage wanting is the one fixed passage in the Prayer of Consecration, the Recital of the Institution.

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