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be taking bread, by blessing giving it for them, and afterwards giving the Sacrament to them.

Our only object at present is to trace as well as we can the origin, and to find the exact meaning of the prayer which immediately precedes the words of consecration in the Romal Missal. Christ used prayer, gave thanks, and he blessed the bread which he took, and he then declared what substance was there; and be commanded the Apostles, and through them their successors, to do what he did, Do this.


It has been before remarked, and no fact is better established than it is, that in the early ages of the Church, the forms or words for the Sacraments were not committed to writing: thus St. Basil says "who is it that has left us in writing the words which are used for the consecration of the Eucharist."And just after he continues, "we are not content with using only those words which are reported by the Apostle, and the Gospel; but we add to them others before and after, as of great efficacy for the mysteries, and which we have learned only from this unwritten doctrine." Justin Martyr in his Apology

says, that our ordinary food" is changed into the Eucharist by the word of God and by prayer." Origen says, that "we eat of this bread sanctified by the word of God and by consecration." Tertullian says that Christ "made the bread his body by the words this is my body." St. Ambrose says "The change of the bread and wine into the body and blood takes place the moment the words of Christ are pronounced: "before the consecration, it is bread, but when the words of Christ are added, it is no longer bread, but the body of Christ." The same writer says "Blessing is of more efficacy than nature,

li de Spiritu S. c. 27. Apolog. 2 ad Antonin. Hom. 15. in Matt. § Tert. adver. Marc 1. 4. c. 40. || De Sacram ). 4. c. 4. De iis qui. init. c. 9.

for the blessing changes nature itself" and the ex-
ample he adduces is the consecration of the Eucha
rist by the blessing. St. Augustin says, “But our
bread and chalice become mystical to us by conse
cration ;" and in another place," It is consecrated
by the mystic prayer," Thus we find, prayer, bles-
sing and the words of Christ all through used for the


The prayer which next follows has been looked upon at all times as that which has come down from the Apostles, in the way mentioned by St. Basil. In repeating it, the celebrant thrice makes the sign of the Cross over the offerings, then once over the bread, and once over the wine, and lifting his eyes to heaven to invoke the power of the eternal God, and in imitation of the Saviour, he again holding the bread in his hands, makes the sign of the Cross over it at the word blessed, and pronouncing the words of Consecration bending over the altar, and holding the host in his hands, he kneels to adore his Lord and Saviour then concealed under the appearance of bread, and rising, elevates it to be seen and adored by the people; and having again made his adoration, he repeats the same ceremony with regard to the Chalice.

In the prayer the celebrant intreats of the Lord "that he would vouchsafe in all respects to bless the oblation" now made, by separating it from common use to be a holy oblation, "to approve" it by ranking it amongst those, which having been sanctified, are Jooked upon with peculiar favour "to ratify," the same, by so fully confirming his benediction, as that these gifts may never more be taken from the Lord. "To make it rational" as well by enabling us to appear in a rational and becoming manner before our God, according to that of the Apostle. I beseech you brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present *Lib. 20. Contra Faust. lib. 3 de Sacerd. Rom.

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your bodies a living Sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God your reasonable service, as by making it the body and blood of Christ, who taking away the Sacrifices of irrational animals offered himself with his rational soul, &c. and "acceptable,” so that in every respect it may be faultless, not only on the part of the vic tim, but on the part of the celebrant and the assistants. The great object of all is thus expressed "that it may be made for us, the body and blood of thy most beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord." There is no doubt but the institution of the Saviour will produce its effect; and the body and blood of Christ will be produced; but the object of the prayer is more, it is to have the benefit of his death applied to us, by making it available for us.

The other part which is the consecration, is taken chiefly from the Gospels, in the repetition of which the celebrant lifts his eyes to heaven, and blesses the bread, and the chalice as the Saviour did, and hav ing pronounced the words of consecration pays the tribute of his adoration to the true victim which has now been produced by the operation of the Holy Ghost, in place of the substances of bread and wine which have been destroyed.

We may here well exclaim with St. John Chry sostom * "O miracle! O the benignity of God, who whilst he is seated with the Father above, is in the same moment of time in the hands of all, and gives himself to those who desire to receive and to embrace him." And again + "Elias left his cloak to his disciple, but the Son of God ascending on high left his flesh behind. Elias was indeed stripped, but Christ at the same time left it to us, and ascended with it in his possession." In another place he says "At that time the Angels assist with the Priest and the whole order of heavenly powers lifts its shout; and the place near the altar is full of Angels

Hom. 2. ad, pop. Antioc. † Lib. 6 de Sacerdot. Lib.

3 de Trin. c 4.

in honour of him who is immolated.". He then re-
lates a vision of an old man, who had often been fa-
voured by the Lord with special manifestations, and
who stated that, as far as human weakness could
bear the sight, he was enabled on one occasion to
behold a multitude of the heavenly host, such as ap-
peared to the Shepherds on the night of the nativity,
as related by the Evangelists, clad in shining gar-
ments, surrounding the altar at the time of the con-
secration, and with their heads bowed down as sol-
diers, were accustomed to bow down before their
kings and emperors, and in his 21st Homily on the
Acts, the same writer has this passage.
you? The host is in his hands, the Angels are pre-
"What say
Sent, so are the Archangels, the Son of God is there,
all attend with the greatest awe."

The mode of paying the tribute of adoration to the Saviour who then was present, was different according to the customs of the times and of the people. In the liturgy of St. James, the mode was for the deacon to proclaim immediately after the consecration, that it had taken place, and to call upon the congregation for their praise and preparation. The following is the enumeration of epithets used by him. For those oblated gifts, sanctified, precious, superheavenly, ineffable, unspotted, glorious, redoubtable, terrific, divine." In the mass of the tified, "Now the virtues of the heavens join invisibly in adoration with us, for behold the lord of glory enters," was the expression by which proclamation was made of the bringing in of the Sacrament which had been consecrated on the preceding Sunday; and in the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, just before communion was the time fixed for it, then approaching-the person said, "I believe, O Lord, that thou art Christ, the son of the living God." "I will not give you a traitor's kiss, as Judas did."


In the latin church, the principal time was at the old elevation; that is, just before the Lord's prayer,

when the celebrant lifting the host and chalice together, said the words all honour and glory." The custom was so general, so well known, and so little notion of its being contradicted or called in question in the early days of the church, that we have scarcely any thing written upon the subject. Thus although there are some few persons who do not take off their hats at present in their religious assemblies, yet the custom is so general and so well known, that the necessity of our stating the practice of being uncovered in order to give the testimony to posterity would never strike any person. But if a serious deviation from an old doctrine were attempted, the persons who held that doctrine, would mark their adherence more strongly in order to its confirmation, thus it was only upon the attempt at innovating upon her doctrines that the Catholic Church more particularly marked by some striking exhibition, her adherence to truth and her opposition to innovation. The doctrine of the real presence was not seriously opposed until the time of Berengarius, about 1050; it is true he quoted John Scotus Erigena, and Bertram, about two centuries preceding; but their innovations were so little known, if indeed it were true that they com piled what was attributed to them, that they and their errors were then forgotten.

But centuries before their days, Theodoret had stated that christians adored the sacred symbols, as being what they were believed to be, this expression, " what they were believed to be," is found in Ter tullian, treating of the Eucharist, and in other early writers upon the same subject, as they did not wish to speak too openly of their doctrines before the Pagans. But St. Cyril of Jerusalem,† informs us, as do many of the other writers before and at that time, what they believed it to be, when he tells the Christian of the profound respect he should feel in reach

Dial. 2. Cat. v. Myst.

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