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THE earliest information as to the services used in the Christian Church comes to us, not from the direct evidence of Service-books, but indirectly from other sources. The services were at first very free; it was only by degrees that liturgical forms of prayer were stereotyped, and until the forms had attained some fixity there was no great place for Service-books.

None of the earliest of such books have survived, but quotations from the Liturgy exist in writers of the second and third centuries, increasing in volume as time goes on: some such quotations have been surmised to exist in documents of the first century such as S. Clement’s letter,1 and the Didache,2 or even in the New Testament writings.3 Descriptions of services arc given by Pliny in his celebrated letter to Trajan4 (circa 112), by S. Justin Martyr in his First Apology (c. 148)5 and at a later date in several passages of Tertullian and others. More full than these are the descriptions dating from the fourth century, such as those given by S. Cyril of Jerusalem in his Catechetical Lectures delivered in Jerusalem in 348, and by S. Silvia of Acquitaine in her Peregrinatio ad loca sancta (circa 385): the former are official comments on the Liturgy delivered by the Bishop,6 while the latter are a pilgrim’s descriptions of the services held in Jerusalem other than the Liturgy.7

At an earlier date (c. 250), the interesting document commonly called the Hippolytean Canons) contains directions and formulas, for the Liturgy and other rites, .especially Ordination and Holy Baptism.8

When we come to the celebrated ecclesiastical manual called The Apostolic Constitutions, we are on the debateable land between a treatise and a service-book. The book is definitively a treatise and a compilation from many sources, but the liturgical formulas which it includes are of such magnitude that it might almost be said that a service book is incorporated in the treatise.9 The same is true also of the newly-published Testament of our Lord, which contains the essential parts of the Liturgy, the Baptismal and Ordination Services of an even earlier date (250-380), but in the form of a book of Church law and practice rather than that of a Service-book.10

The first collection to which the name of Service-book can properly be given is that of the prayers of Serapion, Bishop of Thmuis (c. 350). This is what was called in the West in later times a ‘Sacramentary,’ viz. a collection of the prayers said by the celebrant in the administration of Sacraments and Sacramental Rites.11

Primitive Service-Books
Nothing so complete is met with again till the seventh century, when the earliest MSS. of Western Service-books make their appearance. The interval between these dates is bridged over by many treatises of both the Eastern and Western Church from which information and formulas can be recovered.12 But the continuous literary history of the Service-books proper cannot be said to begin before the seventh century.
The earliest Service-books
At that date the worship of the Church had reached a fully developed state: not only had the sacramental system of the Church its organised services, but in the west, at any rate (to which our attention is practically confined), the· two other chief classes of Christian worship had attained a clear and definite position, viz., (a) The Divine Office, comprising the Hours of Prayer throughout the day, and (b) The Occasional Services, Comprising under that heading such services as the Dedication of Churches or the Consecration of Virgins, as well as the occasional services of the sacramental system, such as Ordination, Marriage, or the Reconciling of Penitents.
Medieval Services.

The Service-books required for this worship were many, and were arranged on a principle different from that which was adopted later. In the XIVth and XVth centuries it seemed desirable. to collect in one volume all the various formulas (prayers, antiphons, responds, lessons) &c.) required for the performance of any particular service. At first this was not so, but just as the service was distributed among many persons, each of whom contributed his quota to it, so a Service-book was written for a particular person rather than for a particular service, and in view of the particular part assigned to him. Thus a ‘Sacramentary’ was written for the principal officiant at the service, and contained the celebrant’s prayers, not only in the Liturgy, but also such as he would use at Baptism, Ordination; &c. On the same principle, a ‘Gospel-book’ was written for the deacon who read the Gospel, and an , Epistle-book for the subdeacon who read the Epistle, while musical Service-books were written for the choir, containing in some cases the musical parts, not only of the Liturgy but of other services, and even of the Divine Office side by side with the Liturgy. At the Divine Office, again, the readers of Lessons had their ‘Legend’ or ‘Lesson-book’ quite independently of the choir or the rest: again, the principal officiant, whose duty it was to say the Chapters and Collects, had a book of his own (a ‘Collectar’) written for him in view of his particular requirements.

This method of providing Service-books for individuals is all of a piece with the old view of what a service is: it was normally regarded, not as a simple function, performed by a minister for the benefit of a congregation, but rather as being a complex act of worship, to which many and various persons combined to contribute the various component parts: and this being so, it is only natural to find that the earliest Service-books were arranged upon this principle, so as to enable each individual, not so much to take an active part in the whole service, as to contribute his quota.13 But later, as piety decayed, the services were said in a less dignified way; the old Solemn Mass disappeared almost entirely and even High Mass with three Ministers gave way before the custom of celebrating Low Masses without deacon and subdeacon or choir; in these the celebrant became responsible for the whole service instead of only his own proper part, and therefore he required a ‘Missale plenum,’ containing all the various parts combined. Again, as the result of a similar decadence, the Divine Office. was recited in private instead of in choir, and a similar fusion of all the component parts into one book became necessary. Thus, in later medieval times, the ‘Missal’ arose to take the place of ‘Sacramentary,’ ‘Gospel book,’ ‘Epistle book,’ and the music books belonging to the Liturgy: the ‘Breviary’ combined the ‘Psalter’ with the ‘Lesson-book,’ the (Collectar’ and the music books of Divine Service, while other services were relegated to the ‘Manual;’ or, if they were proper to a Bishop, to the ‘Pontifical.’

Origin of Medieval Service-Books.
It must not be supposed that the Rites contained in these Service-books were uniform throughout the Westcrn Church. The earliest Service-books introduce us into a state of things in which there is a keen battle raging between two different types of Liturgy in the West;14 one is pre-eminently Roman, as emanating from Rome and from the practice of the Pope; the other is non-Roman: and though it takes various shapes in various places, Gallican in France, Ambrosian in Italy, Mozarabic in Spain, Celtic in the British Isles, it is at bottom one and the same, and probably derives directly from the earliest Use of the Western Church apart from Rome.15 Thus, in the liturgical sphere, the same contest was going on as is noticeable in other spheres between the central influence of Rome and the Papal services on the one side, and the general diffused traditions of Western Christendom on the other. The victory lay with the former. The Roman Liturgy, after adopting : many features from the other Rites, ousted each of them in turn, with the single exception of the Ambrosian Rite, which has survived, though in a Romanised form, to the present day. The cause of the transformation seems to have been neither any inherent superiority of the Roman Liturgy, nor any urgent desire on the part of the Popes to press their Rite upon others, but simply a wish on the part of other churches to conform to the practice of the Roman church.

Conflicting Rites and Uses.

Two types of liturgy.

The Liturgy in use in the British isles before the seventh century was no doubt of the non-Roman type. The missions sent from Rome introduced the Roman services, while the great Celtic missions propagated the non-Roman forms. The early policy of the former was, at S. Gregory’s express direction, one of toleration,16 but it is not clear how far it was carried out: what is clear is that these differences led to many a struggle, for the Celtic party were very tenacious of their customs and jealous of external interference; but the strong sense of gratitude to the city and see of Rome and of admiration for the Roman methods, which characterised the early English Christianity, was continually enlisted on the side of the Roman services, and as the Roman organisation of the church gradually absorbed into itself the magnificent harvest of the Celtic missionaries, so the Roman ousted the Celtic Liturgy.17
The position in England.

Disappearance of Celtic forms


With the single exception of the curious collection known as the Bangor Antiphoner,18 no MS. Service-books of purely Celtic origin exist: such books as there are show a mixed character in which the Roman elements predominate. For the rest, to arrive at the Celtic Liturgy itself, it is necessary to argue by analogy from Gallican and Mozarabic books which were undoubtedly akin to it; but even these are few, and many of them are full of Roman features.
Without attempting this task here, for the purposes of the History of the Book of Common Prayer it is enough to realise (i) that all the existing English Service-books are of the Roman type, with at most some small Gallican or Celtic features adopted into them; and (ii) that it is from such books that the Prayer-book is derived.19
Roman parentage of the later books.
We have, so far, been considering exclusively the Liturgy; but with regard to the Divine Service and the other offices, the case is not widely different. It is true that the battle of Rites was not a simple duel here, as it was in the case of the Liturgy. While all agreed upon Mattins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Evensong, and Compline as the Hours of daily prayer, the variety of forms in celebrating the Divine Service was considerable: it is natural to expect this in a scheme of worship which does not, like the Liturgy, go back to Apostolic ordinance, nor rest upon our Lord’s injunctions, but had its’ origin in the free wish of various communities of people — men, women, monks, consecrated virgins, canons, secular clergy, &c. — to devise an edifying scheme for the orderly recitation of the Psalter and reading of the Bible.
Types of Divine Service.
Here three chief types of service stood out finally — a Benedictine type, a Gallican type, and a Roman type: the conflict was divided into two distinct battles, (i) between the Benedictine type ·on one side against other ‘monastic’ schemes of service, and, (ii) between the Roman type on the other against other non-monastic or ‘secular’ types of service.20 In the end, the Benedictine type beat out of the field all rival monastic schemes21 and the Roman all rival secular schemes except the Ambrosian. The result here, then, is closely analogous to the result which has been indicated above in the case of the Liturgy.

A similar History.


There is no Service-book of the British Isles extant which exhibits any Gallican form of Divine Service except the Bangor Antiphoner; all belong to one or other of the two types which ultimately won the victory, viz., the monastic, i. e. Benedictine type or the secular, i. e. Roman type. The Divine Service in the Book of Common Prayer is entirely derived from the ‘secular’ type of service, and this therefore alone comes into question henceforward.

With regard to other Rites, such as Baptism, Ordination, Consecration of Churches, &c., &c., the Roman model had here an even easier victory than in the case of the. Liturgy or Divine Office. Certain Gallican and non-Roman features no doubt appear in such services, particularly in English and French Service-books, but here, too, the type is Roman, and these features have been imported into the services from outside without altering the general character of the Rites.

Other services.
It is thus clear that the Service-books to which the services of the Book of Common Prayer are to be ultimately traced are Service-books of the Roman type with some small admixture of non-Roman features. The old English Service-books, however, though all of one type, differed in detail to a considerable extent; and, indeed, there was no idea of strict liturgical uniformity, either in England or abroad, in medieval times: it arose simultaneously both in England and abroad in the sixteenth century, and issued alike in the Book of Common Prayer and in the Tridentine revision of the Latin Services.22 But before discussing the variations in detail between the various old English Service-books, it is desirable to get a clearer idea of the points in which they all agreed; in other words, it is desirable to realise what is meant by saying that they all belong to the Roman type.

The Roman type of service is the source of the English books


In the first place, the Roman kalendar, in one or other form, was the basis of the English kalendars :23 in the Liturgy, the ‘Canon’ or central prayer, including the consecration, was the Roman canon, and in fact the rest of the- invariable framework of the public service (or ‘Ordinary’) was that adopted from Rome24: as regards the variant parts of the service, the musical elements were taken from the great storehouse of the Roman cantilena, and next to the Canon and Ordinary this is the most unchanging element in all services of the Roman type25: again, the Collects were mainly drawn from Roman sources) the nucleus of the Epistles) Gospels) and Lessons followed more or less closely the old Roman arrangement.26

In other words) the materials were provided from Roman sources) and the variations mainly arose (i) from a different use of the ·common storehouse of materials) (ii) from the introduction of new festivals or the provision for greater va,riety in the services.

In the Divine Office, the allotment of Psalms to the services of the week was the Roman allotment:27 the music was largely drawn from Roman sources) though there was not the same musical uniformity here as in the Liturgy: the Lessons to some extent conformed to a common outline: e. g. Isaiah was read in Advent and so forth. The variations are far greater in the Divine Service than in the Liturgy, for there was far more liberty to alter or to import novelties into the former than into the latter.

But while the framework of the services was constant and the materials of the services were largely. drawn from a common source) there still remained room for considerable variety. It is very rare to find any two early MS. Service-books quite alike: no doubt this fact is to be discounted) because so small a number of early Service-books at all is extant: but after making all due allowances it is more right to regard each MS. as a book standing by itself than to expect to find a number of books exactly alike. In England in early days it seems clear that books differing considerably from one another were not only used but deliberately provided for use side by side in the same church.28 The inconvenience of this is obvious, but it was not apparently till the twelfth or thirteenth century that any serious attempt was made to remedy it. When the influential churches had reduced their own services to order, it was natural for others in the neighbourhood to follow them, and thus there grew up in the thirteenth century, under the guidance or with ‘the sanction of the Bishop, the Diocesan Use, i.e. a species of service emanating from a cathedral, radiating widely throughout the diocese and even spreading into other dioceses.29
But a variety of Service-books.

The history of the origin and diffusion of these Uses is very obscure: but for the present it is enough to notice that there were three principal Uses current in England from the thirteenth century to the Reformation, connected respectively with Salisbury (Sarum Use), York and Hereford.30 Of these the first was the best known and most widespread; it may therefore be looked upon as that which has most direct bearing on the history of the Prayer Book.


The English Uses.


The see of Salisbury was founded to take the place of the old sees of Ramsbury and Sherborne in 1075: three years later S. Osmund became Bishop, and under his powerful and fostering hand both cathedral and chapter were built up, until in 1090 two formal documents crowned his work, and the Sarum cathedral-body was equipped with an endowment, and also with a constitution which was to become the model of many other cathedral-bodies. There is no evidence that S. Osmund’s work dealt with the liturgical arrangements:31 it was left to Richard Poore, first as Dean and then as Bishop, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, when the see was transferred from Old Sarum to New Sarum, and from the old Norman cathedral which has perished to the existing Early English building, both to develop more fully in his Consuetudinary the constitutional legislation of S. Osmund, and to add to this a full code of liturgical rules. This may be taken as the date of the definitive settling of the Use of Sarum. The term includes both the form of services executed in the cathedral church, and also the method .of executing them: in i other words, the books required for the due performance of the Use of Sarum were of two kinds, first the actual Service-books themselves, and, secondly, the books of directions explaining the method of performance.


Sarum Service-books

The Use of Sarum.

Attention has already been called to some of the Service-books required for Divine worship. They may be classified as follows :—

(i) For the Mass. (a) The Sacramentary, containing the Ordinary, Canon, Collects, &c., said by the celebrant. (b) The Epistle-book for the Subdeacon. (c) The Gospel-book, for the Deacon. (d) The Gradual, formerly called Antiphonarium Missæ, or Cantatorium, for the Choir. (e) The Troper, or book containing the more recent musical additions to the traditional music, which, from the twelfth century onward, after the disappearance of the bulk of the tropes, consisted mainly of the sequences.

(ii) For the Divine Service or Canonical Hours. (a) The Psalter, containing the psalms and canticles. (b) The Legend, containing the Scriptures, Homilies, Lives of Saints, &c., which were read as lessons. (c) The Antiphonal, containing the musical parts of the services, and very constantly including (d) the Hymnal, (e) The Colectar, containing the short texts from Scripture and the Collects, which were said by the principal officiant.

Ritual Books

The two books of directions which were needful to show the proper method and use of the Service-books, were the following: (a) The Ordinal, which (i) brought together into one the opening words of all the various component parts drawn from the various books and showed how they were to be fitted in together, and (ii) gave general directions in view of the variations of kalendar from year to year. (b) The Consuetudiuary, which prescribed the ceremonial and assigned to the various persons concerned the part which each was to take in the service, according to certain rules of precedence and local custom.

In process of time, the contents of the whole of the first group were thrown together in one volume into the Missal, and the contents of the second group into the Breviary. The Ordinal, then, was no longer so necessary for its first purpose, and tended to become fused with the Consuetudinary on the one hand, and on the other hand with the Pie or Perpetual Kalendar, which provided in detail for all the possible contingencies that can arise through the varying in date of Easter Day and Christmas Day: in this later form it often took the name of Directorium. Meanwhile it became increasingly common to insert the ceremonial directions contained in these books, into the actual Rites themselves, in the form of rubrics, though this was never, either before or since the Reformation, very fully or scientifically carried out.32

(iii) The occasional services as performed by a priest, such as Baptism, Marriage, Services of the Sick and Dead, &c., were collected in the Manual, while those performed by a Bishop, such as Ordination Services, Consecrations of places and people, together with Episcopal Benedictions, and very constantly the foregoing priestly services, were combined in the Pontifical.

(iv) The services used in the various processions, whether connected with Mass or Divine Service or independent, were in the later medieval period often for convenience sake collected in the Processional: but they were chiefly made up of materials — Antiphons, Responds, Collects, &c. — drawn from other sources, and therefore a separate Processional was more a luxury than a necessity.

Ceremonial Books.
Together with the foregoing books required for public services, it is important also to take note of a class of books which, though designed for private use, were of considerable importance and exercised considerable influence on the development of the English Prayer Book.
Books of Private Devotion
The Psalter, with an appendix added to it containing Canticles, Creeds, Lord’s Prayer, Gloria in Excdsis, &c., was the nucleus round which private devotions were gathered, just as it was the germ of the public Hour Services. Thus not only were private prayers appended to it, but also some of the Secondary schemes of Hour Services which grew up in imitation of the Primary or Canonical Hours of the Breviary; these were originally adopted, first by monks, and afterwards by secular clergy, as a series of Hours to be recited publicly through the day, supplementary to the ordinary Canonical I-Tours; but they were also subsequently adopted as acts of private devotion by private persons, and incorporated in their private Psalters. A similar development brought the Services of the Dead first into public use, as a secondary service supplementary to the Breviary Services, and secondly into private use, as a general act of devotion on behalf of the departed. From the Xth century onward, there are to be found Votiva Laus in veneracione Sanctae Mariae Virginis,33 Horæ de Trinitate, Horæ de Sancto Spiritu, Horæ in honore sancte crucis, and (most commonly of all) Horæ de Beata Virgine Maria attached together with private prayers and for the purposes of private devotion to copies of the Psalter;34 and from the XIIIth century onward, these additions, after acquiring a status of their own as an appendix to the Psalter, were thrown off and became a separate book, varying greatly both in its contents and in its titles. From one point of view the set services, and especially the Horæ B. V. M., were the most conspicuous part of the collections, and consequently the name of Horæ B. V. M. was given to the whole: from another point of view, the educational value of the layman’s book (often, no doubt, his only one) was made more prominent than the devotional; the A.B.C., Pater Noster, Ave Maria, Devotions in English, &c. were prefixed to it and it thus became his lesson book, and was called the ‘Primer.’
Origin of the Primer, or Horæ
The Horæ or Primer thus formed appears with the Hours in Latin from the XIIIth century onward, and in English from the XIVth century onward;35 the supplementary prayers were in Latin and at times in English also; from the time of the invention of printing numberless editions in Latin, or in English, or in Latin and English, were poured forth from the press. The earliest complete printed book of this class which is known is one issued by W. de Worde, circa 1494: its contents may be summarised as follows.

The Primer of 1494.


1. Orationes quotidianæ, prayers for private use at home and at church, in Latin.

2. Horæ B. V. M., in Latin, one series of seven Hours to be said without variation: but printed with the special antiphons, chapters, &c. of ‘Hours of the Passion’ and the ‘Hours of the Compassion B. V. M. appended to it, so that these services could be used as alternatives.

3. Miscellaneous prayers including the Orationes B. V. M., the XV Oes or prayers of S. Bridget on the Passion36 and the Suffragia Sanctorum or short devotions (Antiphon, V and R and Collect) commemorative of a number of Saints.

4· The Seven penitential Psalms and the fifteen gradual Psalms.

5. The Litany and Suffrages.

6. The Services of the Dead (Placebo, Dirige and Commendation).

7· The Psalms of the Passion, XXII-XXXI, with the selection from the Psalms known as S. Jerome’s Psalter.

8. An appendix in English containing ‘The XV Oes and other prayers.’37

This represents the Horæ or Primer in a well developed state: the collection of devotions in MS. copies was not as a rule so large, and even many of the later printed editions were less voluminous. On the other hand, fresh matter was added constantly in successive editions; other Horæ, e. g. De Sancto Spiritu in 1498, Dulcissimi Nominis Jesu in 1503, or the two alternative forms of Horæ B. V. M. as contained in the Breviary for use (a) during Advent and (b) between Christmas and Candlemas, in 1511; a votive Mass such as the Missa de Nomine Jesu, in 1528, a rhythmical version of the X Commandments in 1523, the Proper Prefaces at Mass in 1539, the Epistles and Gospels in English in circa 1537 — to mention only some of the larger items. It is easy thus to see that the popularity of the Primers was great, and their position in the liturgical changes of the XVIth century an important one. They provided for the laity a simple unchanging form of Hour-services and, if they desired it, several alternative and similar forms, as well as their own private prayers to be said at home and in Church.
Later additions.
The Service-books of the Use of Salisbury had acquired considerable fixity by the time of Bishop Poore’s great work at the beginning of the thirteenth century, and, in fact, were beginning also to acquire that prestige which ultimately made Sarum Use the dominant Use in England. Its history before that time is very I obscure: if the Use as a whole may be ascribed in its settled form to Bishop Poore, it must at the same time be remembered that, as has been said already, nearly the whole of these services, as of other Western services, is drawn from a common storehouse, and very little indeed except the work of selection and arrangement is peculiar to Sarum : even the customs and ceremonies, which are really much more distinctive of a Use than the actual Rites, Sarum largely shared with other churches. It is impossible at present to trace the actual channels through which the old materials made their way to Salisbury and formed the local Use. But this much is clear, that when once the Use was formed, it was the clearness and fixity that it possessed which recommended it to others. Salisbury had already a wide reputation in the thirteenth century for being a model cathedral-body from the point of view of constitution, and this must have facilitated the adoption of Salisbury Use as a model also from the point of view of Services and Service-books. In course of time the Sarum Use was adopted in whole or in part by Wells, Exeter, Lichfield, London (St. Paul’s),38 Lincoln, and other cathedral churches besides numbers of collegiate churches and other large foundations: it was constantly called ‘the Use of the English Church,’39 and finally, in 1542, on the eve of the Reformation changes, the Convocation of Canterbury adopted the Sarum Use for saying the Hour Services throughout the Southern province.40
The Spread of Sarum Use.

If little is known as to the origin and history of the Use of Sarum,41 it must be confessed that still less is known of the history of the other English secular Uses. Lincoln and Bangor seem to have varied only slightly from Sarum, while Exeter was eclectic and combined Sarum customs with Roman features. York and Hereford. were far more independent, but the only clear point in the history of either is the revision of Hereford Use under Bishop Trillek (1344-1361). This absence of information, though regrettable, is very natural. The Sarum Use had become the dominant one, partly, perhaps, because of its clearness and fixity, partly, perhaps, because the Bishop of Sarum was regarded as Precentor of the Southern Province, and more probably still because there was at Salisbury a continuous tradition of skill in liturgical matters, and the Canons of Salisbury became the referees for disputed questions.42 There is plenty of evidence that Ceremonial and Ritual matters were hotly debated at any rate in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries: liturgical punctiliousness was strong in Wiclif’s day and strongly denounced by him, and even the authority of the Canons of Salisbury could not satisfy a contentious ritualist of the fifteenth century such as Clement Maydeston, the author of the popular Directorium Sacerdotum and other ritual handbooks. But this did not prevent the diffusion of the Sarum Use nor the supremacy of its Service-books at the beginning of the sixteenth century.


Other English Uses.

1 1 Clem. 59-61. This and other Ante Nicene liturgical remains arc given in Warren’s Liturgy of the Ante Nicene Church. Cap. III.

2 Capp. 9, 10. Warren, l. c. p. 172.

3 E.g. 1 Tim. iii. 16; Eph. v. 14. Warren, l. c. p. 34

4. Epistles, x. 97. Warren l. c. p. 51.

5 Apologia, i. 6 and 65-67.

6 Brightman, Liturgies Eastern and Western, has collected the passages, pp. 464-470.

7 Duchesne, Origines du Culte chrétien, gives the chief passages, pp. 472-503. See also Itinera Hierosolymitana, vol. 39 of the Vienna Corpus Script. Eccl. Lat.

8 See Origines, pp. 504-521. Warren l. c. pp. 88, 192, &c.

9 See Brightman’s L. E. W. 1-30, and the description, pp. xvii-xlvii. This deals only with the Liturgy. The other liturgical formulas (Books vii. and viii.) are distinguished by different type in Pitra’s edition (Iuris Ecclesiastici Græcorum Historia et Monumenta, Rome, 1864), p. 366 and ff., but not in Lagarde’s or Ueltzen’s edition. See also Warren, l.c. Appendix, pp. 255--319, for a translation into English.

10 Testamentum Domini nostri Jesu Christi (ed. Rahmani) 1899.

11 See Journ. Theol. Stud. (1899) I. 88, 247, and Bishop Wordsworth’s translation, Bishop Sarapion’s Prayer Book, S.P.C.K. 1899.

12 See the reconstructions in the Appendixes to Brightman’s Liturgies. For the Ambrosian Rite, see Magistretti, La Liturgia della Chiesa Milanese nel Secolo iv. (1899).

13 There are some exceptions: e.g. The Bangor Antiphoner (Henry Bradshaw Society, vols. iv. and x) is a composite Service-book See p. 9.

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14 See Duchesne, Origines, c. iii. Les deux usages liturgiques de l’occident Latin.

15 The Ephesine origin of these Rites is hardly a tenable view. Traces of this type are found in nearly every part of Western Christendom outside Rome. The view stated above though more tenable is far from certain. See below, pp. 313, 446, and ff.

16 Beda, Hist. 1. 27: ‘Interrogatio Augustini. Cum una sit fides, cur sunt ecclesiarum diversæ: consuetudines, et altera consuetudo missarum in sancta Romana ecclesia, atque altera in Galliarum tcnetur? Respondit Gregorius papa. Novit fraternitas tua Romanæ eeclesiæ consuctudinem, in qua se meminit nutritam. Sed mihi placet, sive in Romana, sive in Galliarum, seu in qualibet ecclesia aliquid invenisti quod plus omnipotenti Deo possit placere, sollicite eligas, et in Anglorum ecclesia, quæ adhuc ad fidem nova est, institutione præcipua quæ de multis ecclesiis colligere potuisti, infundas. Non enim pro locis res, sed pro bonis rebus loca amanda sunt. Ex singulis ergo quibusque ecc1esiis, quæ pia, quæ religiosa, quæ recta sunt elige, et hæc quasi in fasciculum collecta apud Anglorum mentes in consuetudinem depone.’

17 For the History. see Bright’s Early English Church History. The end of the conflict was marked by the victory of Wilfrid and the Roman party at the Conference at Whitby in 664 (Bright, 194 and ff.), on the two chief points of dispute, viz., the date of Easter and the form of the Tonsure. The definite liturgical settlement was formulated at the Council of Cloveshoo in 747, thus: ‘Tertio decimo definitur decreto, ut uno eodemque modo dominicæ dispensationis in carne sacrosanctæ festivitates, in omnibus ad eas rite competentibus rebus, id est, in baptismi officio, in missarum celebratione, in cantilenæ modo, celebrentur juxta exemplar videlicet quod scriptum de Romana habemus ecclcsia. Itemque ut per gyrum totius anni natalitia sanctorum uno eodemque die, juxta martyrologium ejusdem Romanum ecclcsiæ, cum sua sibi convenienti psalmodia seu cantilena venerentur.’ Haddan and Stubbs. Councils, iii. 367.

18 Henry Bradshaw Society: vols. iv. and x.

19 The whole question is dealt with in Warren’s Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church (Oxford, 1881), and the chief Scotch and Irish documents of the Celtic Rite are printed there.

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20 The Roman type had probably a monastic origin, but it was adopted from the monks by the secular clergy, and then came to be considered the ‘secular’ type of service, while the Benedictine type acquired an exclusive right to the term ‘Monastic.’ See below, p. 348.

21 It is to be noted that later religious orders, e.g. Dominicans and Franciscans, adopted the Roman type of service. Each type contained, however, many variant species. A Cistercian and a Carthusian Breviary are both of the Benedictine type, but are not the same; the Sarum, the’Dominican, and the ancient Paris Breviaries are equally of the Roman type, but they are unlike one another, and unlike the Roman Breviary.

22 A curious attempt at enforcing uniformity on Roman lines was made by Gilbert, the first Bishop of Limerick, early in the XIIth century. ‘Episcopis, presbyteris totius Hibernia:, infimus præsulum Gillebertus Lunicensis in Christo salutcm. Rogatu, necnon et præcepto multorum ex vobis, carissimi, canonicalem consuetudinem in dicendis horis et peragendo totius ecclesiastici ordinis officio scribere conatus sum, non præsumptivo, sed vestræ cupiens piissimæ servire jussioni; ut diversi et schismatici illi ordines, quibus Hibernia pene tota delusa est, uni Catholico et Romano cedant officio. Quid enim magis indecens aut schismaticum dici poterit, quam doctissimum unius ordinis in alterius ecclesia idiotam et laicum fieri?’ Prolog. Gilberti Lunicensis Episc. De Usu Ecclesiastico. Migne Pat. Lat. CLIX. 995.

23 See below, pp. 324 and ff.

24 See below, p. 469.

25 See Introduction to Graduale Sarum. (Plainsong and Medieval Music Society, 1894, and reprinted as The Sarum Gradual, 1895.)

26 See below, pp. 522 and ff.

27 See below, pp. 312 and ff.

28 The Norman Conquest brought additional complications with it. Among the many foreigners who were appointed to bishoprics and abbacies was Thurstan, Abbot of Glastonbury (1083). He attempted to compel his monks to use a style of church music invented by William of Fécamp, instead of the Gregorian chant which they had taken over from Rome, and to which they were attached. The chroniclers, e.g. Simeon of Durham, (in Twysden Scriptores Decem. col. 212), John Brompton, (ib. 978) and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (ad. an. 1083) give a piteous description of the tumult and bloodshed that ensued; for armed soldiers drove the monks from the chapter, and slew many of them in the church.

29 It must be remembered that a large number of the cathedrals were served by monks, whose services were ‘monastic,’ and not ‘secular,’ and could not therefore form a model for the parish churches of the diocese. Also that the Diocesan Use never had any concern with Monastic or Conventual Churches.

30 Other Uses, such as those of Lincoln and Bangor, which are mentioned in the preface of the Book of Common Prayer, do not seem to have possessed such a marked individuality as these three.

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31 See for an estimate of his work Frere, Use of Sarum, I. xiv and ff. and Wordsworth, Lincoln Cathedral Statutes, ii. 860 and ff.

32 It is necessary to distinguish Rite from Ceremony and Ritual from Ceremonial; a Rite is a service, a Ceremony is any action accompanying it, either necessary or subsidiary to it, This distinction was obscured in the Sixteenth century, and the two terms were constantly used as synonymous: e.g. in the Acts of Uniformity, or title page of the Prayer Book. See also the Rationale (Collier, v. 106, 191), and below, p. 34, The confusion of language is still a common one, and cannot be defended. But as a fact of history it must be recognized and the ignoring of it has led to a mistaken interpretation of Reformation documents in recent times.

33 For the early English forms of Horæ B. V. M., see H. B. S. vol. XXI.

34 See: Hoskins, Primers, pp. vii. and ff.

35 The early MSS. of the Primer in English have been dealt with fully by Mr. Littlehales. See The Prymer, 2 vols. 1891 and 1892, and The Prymer or Lay Folks Prymer Book. Early Eng. Text Soc., original series 105 and 108.

36 See p. 44; note 9.

37 This had a separate existence, and had already been separately printed by Caxton, circa 1490. This edition was reproduced in facsimile in 1869.

38 The Use of St. Paul’s in London continued until 1414, in which year, ‘Oct. 15, Richard Clifford, then Bishop of London, by the consent of the dean and chapter, ordained that from the first day of December following, beginning then at Vespers, the Solemn celebration of Divine Service therein, which before that time had been according to a peculiar form anciently used and called Usus Sancti Pauli, should thenceforth be conformable to that of the Church of Salisbury, for all Canonical Hours, both night and day.’ Dugdale, Hist. of St. Paul’s, p. 24.

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39 Primers Secundum usum ecclesiæ Anglicanæ are Sarum Primers.

40 Wilkins, Conc. III. 861. For the fuller history, see Frere, Use of Sarum, Introduction.

41 The most valuable investigations , that have yet been made are those of Dr. Wickham Legg in the third volume of The Westminster Missal (H. Bradshaw Soc. vol. XII), pp. 1406 and ff.

42 See Credo Michi in The Tracts of Clement Maydeston (H. B. S., vol. vii), ed. Wordsworth.


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THE Church-Books required in the Anglo-Saxon period are enumerated in the 21St of the Canons called Archbishop Ælfric’s (circ. 1006). ‘Psalter, Epistle-book, Gospel-book, Missal, Song-book, Hand-book, Gerim)1 Passional,2 Penitential,3 and Reading-book.4 The books used in the Anglo-Norman period are enumerated among the things which the parishioners were bound to provide for the service of their church, in the fourth of the Constitutions of Archbishop Winchelsey, published in a synod at Merton (circ. 1300): ‘legenda, antiphonarium, gradale, psalterium, troperium, ordinale, missale, manuale.’5 A similar list had been prescribed by earlier bishops, Worcester (1240) and York (1250).6 In addition to these, Quivil, Bishop of Exeter(1287), had ordered ‘venitare, hymnare, et collectare.’7 For the time immediately preceding the Reformation we find the following named, in the preface to a Portiforium secundum usum Sarum (1544), as church-books which might be printed only by Richard Grafton and Edward Whitchurch :— ‘the Masse booke, the Grailc, the Hympnal, the Antyphoner, the Processyonall, the Manuel, the Porteaus,8 and the Prymer both in latine and also in english.’9 And the statute of 1550,10 which ordered the old church-books to be abolished and extinguished,
described them under the names of Antiphoners, Missals, Grayles, Processionals, Manuals, Legends, Pies, Portuasses, Primers in Latin or English) Couchers,11 Journals,12 and Ordinals.13






The arrangement of medieval Service-books needs to be understood) both because this is essential to the student who would find his way about them, and because it has left its mark upon the Book of Common Prayer. Nothing need be said of those which were merely collections of distinct services, but as to the others which had to deal with a yearly course of services — such as the Breviary, Missal, or Processional, &c. — it is necessary to point out that — (1) The services consist of (a) permanent and (b) variable parts. (2) The permanent parts stand generally in the middle of the volume) i.e. the Psalter as arranged tor weekly recitation) together with the rest of the ferial service in the middle of the Breviary) and the Ordinary and Canon of the Mass in the middle of the Missal. (3) The variable parts are generally in three groups:

(a) The proprium de tempore or Temporale containing the variants required for the Church’s seasons from Advent to Advent.

(b) The proprium de sanctis, or Sanctorale containing the variants required for the Saints’ days, ranging generally from S. Andrew to S. Katherine.

(c) The Commune sanctorum containing special forms of common service prescribed for e.g. an Apostle, a Martyr, a Confessor) &c., and used in the case of those Saints’ days which have individually little or nothing distinctive of their own, and therefore share a common service with others of the same group.

Such is the most common arrangement in medieval Service-books, but neither in detail nor in general outline is it universal.

It is to be noted also that, for convenience sake, sometimes the system of division is broken through, e.g. when the services of the Saints) days after Christmas are inserted, not in the Proprium sanctorum, but in their chronological sequence in the Proprium de tempore, as is still done in the Book of Common Prayer.

The arrangement is further complicated by the occurrence of supplementary services; for example, in the Breviary the Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the services of the Dead) or the Commemorations, i.e. the special services which actually displaced the regular canonical hours on certain days, prescribed by the complicated rules of the Ordinal and Pie; or again, in the Missal the votive Masses provided for special occasions.

The system had, by means of these additions and substitutions, become an extremely elaborate one: the arrangement of the books and the code of directions provided by the Ordinal and other handbooks was admirably planned and executed under the circumstances, but the system was too intricate for common use:14 it was too much to ask that each man should, before the week’s services began, sit down and master the elaborate rules without which he would be sure to go wrong15; no doubt the complaint recorded in the Preface to the Book of Common Prayer ‘that there was more business to find out what should be read than to read it when it was found out,’ was one which awakened a responsive echo, and did much to recommend the bald simplicity of the new Order.


1 The compotus, or calendar, with Its calculations of Easter, &c. Arithmetic is rím-cræft. Maitland, Dark Ages, p. 29.

2 Containing the passions of the Saints to be read on their festivals.

3 A handbook of Church discipline, and not liturgical.

4 Mansi, Concil. XIX. 700; Wilkins, I. 252; Johnson’s English Canons (cp. Ang-Cath. Libr.), I p. 394; cp. Thorpe’s Ancient Laws, II. 350, and for another list, Ælfric’s Pastoral Epistle, ibid. 384.

5 Lyndwood, Provinciale, Lib. III. Tit. 27, p. 251, ed. 1679; Wilkins, Conc. II. 280; Johnson, II. p. 318.

6 Hard. vii. 331. Wilkins, I. 763.

7 Synod. Exon. can. xii. Mansi, XXIV. 800; Wilkins, II. 139.

8 The ‘portiforium’ was another name for the Breviary, and it appears in many strange forms when translated into English.

9 Maskell, Mon. Rit. I. p. xvii. or xxi.

10 Stat. 3 and 4 Edw. VI. Cap. 10, cp. the Royal Writ, Doc. Annals, xx.

11 Coucher appears to have been the common name for a large book which must lie upon a desk for use: — ‘unum coucner magnnm de usu Ebor.’ Surtees Society, vol. 64, p. 235. Couch is connected with colloco: cf. ledger, or ledger-book. See Skeat.

12 i.e. Diurnale, containing the Day Hours as distinct from the great night service of Mattins or Nocturns.

13 For fuller details see Dr. Swete’s Church Services and Service-books, Wordsworth and Littlehales, Old Service Books.

14 The people were accustomed and also greatly attached to the Sunday services of Mattins, Mass and Evensong, but in practice the pre-Reformation congregation did not expect to follow every point of the services. The people knew little of the Breviary Hours except for Sundays, and the Hours which they knew best were the little Hours of the B. V. M. in the Primer which were commonly said during Mass. (Italian Relation, Camden Soc., p. 23.) The}’ were however well instructed in the Mass: the ceremonial enabled them to follow all the points, and they were taught to say prayers meanwhile. See for examples the Lay folks Mass Book (E. E. T. S.), and other devotions in the Primers. Preaching was common, until the uneasiness of the XVIth century starred part of the supply, and was very popular. It was generally accompanied by some vernacular devotions, the Gospel read in English, the Bidding of Bedes, &c. (Sec Gasquet, Old English Bible, Essay IV.) or The Holy Water sprinkling. (Blunt, p. 6.)

15 Vos igitur O emptores, O domini sacerdotes, O clerici omnes charissimi adhortor in visceribus Jesu Christi ut rubricas has in vestrum alieno sudore commodum paucas breues lucidasque effectas una cum prefata tabula non modo vigilantes perlegatis verum etiam tenaci commendatis memoriæ. Picam quoque secundum anni cursum diligenter perlegere studeatis ante primas vesperas cuiusque dominice.
    The printer’s address to the purchaser of Portiforium Sarum, 8vo. 1507, quoted in Tracts of Clement Maydeston, p. xli.

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