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§ 35. The Liturgical Standards of the Roman Church.


Missale Romanum, ex decreto sacro-sancti Concilii Tridentini restitutum, S. Pii V., Pontificis Maximi, jussu editum, Clementis VIII. et Urbani VIII. auctoritate recognitum; in quo missæ novissimæ sanctorum accurate sunt dispositæ. (Innumerable editions.)

Breviarium Romanum, ex decreto SS. Concilii Tridentini restitutum, S. Pii V., Pontificis Maximi, jussu editum, Clementis VIII. et Urbani VIII. auctoritate recognitum, cum Officiis Sanctorum novissime per Summos Pontifices usque ad hunc diem concessis. (The Paris and Lyons edition before me has over 1200 pp., with a Supplement of 127 pp. The Mechlin ed. of 1868 is in 4 vols.)

Pontificale Romanum, Clementis VIII. ac Urbani VIII. jussu, editum, inde vero a Benedicto XIV. recognitum et castigatum. Cum Additionibus a Sacra Rituum Congregatione approbatis. (The Mechlin ed. of 1845 is in three parts, with all the rules and directions printed in red; hence the word Rubrics.)

George Lewis: The Bible, the Missal, and the Breviary; or. Ritualism self-illustrated in the Liturgical Books of Rome. Edinburgh, 1863, 2 vols.

A secondary symbolical authority belongs to those Latin liturgical works of the Roman Church which have been sanctioned by the Pope for use in public and private worship. They contain, in the form of devotion, nearly all the articles of faith, especially those referring to the sacraments and the cultus of saints and of the holy Virgin, and are, in a practical point of view, even of greater importance than the doctrinal standards, inasmuch as they are interwoven with the daily religious life of the priests.

Among these works the most important is the Missale Romanum, as issued by Pius V. in 1570, in compliance with a decree of the Council of Trent. It was subsequently revised again under Clement VIII. in 1604, and under Urban VIII. in 1634. The substance goes back to the early eucharistic services of the Latin Church, among which the principal ones are ascribed to Popes Leo I. (Sacramentarium Leonianum, probably from 483–492), Gelasius I. (Sacramentarium Gelasianum), and Gregory I. (Sacramentarium Gregorianum). But considerable diversity and confusion prevailed in provincial and local churches. Hence the Council of Trent ordered a new revision, under the direction of the Pope, with a view to secure uniformity. The Missal consists of three parts, besides Introduction and Appendix, viz.: (a) The Proprium Missarum de Tempore, or the services for the Sundays of the Christian year, beginning with the first Sunday in Advent, and closing with the last after Whitsuntide, all clustering around the great festivals of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. (b) The Proprium Missarum de Sanctis contains the forms for the celebration of mass on saints' days and other particular feasts, arranged according to 190the months and days of the civil year; the annually recurring death-days of saints being regarded as their celestial birth-days, (c) The Commune Sanctorum is supplementary to the second part, and devoted to the celebration of the days of those saints for whom there is no special service provided in the Proprium. The Appendix to the Missal contains various masses and benedictions.

Next comes the Breviarum Romanum, revised by order of the Council of Trent, under Pius V., 1568, and again under Clement VIII., 1602, and finally brought into its present shape under Urban VIII., 1631. Since that time it has undergone no material changes, but received occasional additions of new festivals. The Breviary360360   The term Breviary is derived from the abridgments of the Scriptures and lives of saints contained therein, as distinct from the plenarium officium; by others from the fact that later editions of the work are abridgments of former editions. contains the prayers, psalms, hymns, Scripture lessons, and patristic comments not only for every Sunday, but for every day of the ecclesiastical year, together with the legends of saints and martyrs, presenting model characters and model devotions for each day, some of them good and harmless, others questionable, superstitious, and childish. The Breviary is a complete thesaurus of Romish piety, the private liturgy of the Romish priest, and to all intents and purposes his Bible. It regulates his whole religious life. It is divided into four parts, according to the four seasons; each part has the same four sections: the Psalterium, the Proprium de Tempore, the Proprium Sanctorum, and the Commune Sanctorum. The Introduction contains the ecclesiastical calendar. The office of each day consists of the seven or eight canonical hours of devotion, which are brought into connection with the history of the passion.361361   Matins, Lauds (3 A.M.), Prime (6 A.M.), Tierce (9 A.M.), Sext (12 M.), Nones (3 P.M.), Vespers (6 P.M.), and Compline (midnight devotion). The Nocturn is a night service. The custom of saying prayers at these hours goes back to the third century, and partly to Jewish tradition. Tertullian (De jejun. c. 10) speaks of the tertia, sixta, and nona as apostolical hours of prayer. On the mystical reference to Christ's passion, comp. the old memorial verse:    'Hæc sunt, septenis propter quæ psallimus horis
   Matutina ligat Christum, qui crimina purgat.

   Prima replet sputis. Dat causam tertia mortis.

   Sexta cruci nectit. Latus ejus nona bipertit.

   Vespera deponit. Tumulo completa [completorium] reponit.'
The Breviary is the growth of many ages. In the early Church great liberty and diversity prevailed in the forms of devotion, but the Popes Leo I., Gelasius I., Gregory I., Gregory VII., Nicholas 191 III., and others, labored to unify the priestly devotions, and this work was completed after the Council of Trent.

Besides the Missale Romanum and the Breviarium Romanum, there is a Rituale Romanum, or Book of Priests' Rites; an Episcopale Romanum, containing the Episcopal ceremonies, and a Pontificale Romanum, or the Pontifical. They contain the offices for sacramental and other sacred acts and ceremonies, such as baptism, confirmation, ordination, matrimony, dedication of churches, altars, bells, etc., benediction of crosses, sacred vestures, cemeteries, etc.


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