|The Book of Common Prayer|
SECT. I.-The Early Days of the Ministry.
plain from the New Testament that our Lord Himself instituted a Ministry
for His Church, and that those Apostles and others who first held a place
in it derived their authority immediately from Him.1 It
is also clear that provision was made for the continuance of this ministry
through the handing on of ministerial powers by those, who had the authority
of the Church to do so, to others who were appointed to receive them in
their turn.2 The ministers of the Church
had thus a double commission: they were from the earliest times selected
or at least approved by the body of Church members,3 and
at the same time, besides the human authorization from below, they received
a divine commission, through this transmission to them in their turn of
the divine gifts of ministerial power, with which our Lord had endowed
In the New Testament.
|It is equally clear that our
Lord did not leave a definite form by which this function of ordination
was to be carried out, as He had done in the case of Holy Baptism: nor was
there any action of His own in the matter, so conspicuously impressed upon
the mind of the Church, that it was an obvious model which the Church was
bound to follow, — as was the case with the Holy Eucharist. But,
in spite of this absence both of direct charge and of precedent, the Church
was able at once to lay down a definite method of ordination, of which
the essential features were (i) imposition of hands, and (ii) appropriate
prayer. This comes out in the appointment of the deacons,5 and
the same points are pointed to by S. Paul in writing to S. Timothy as the
prominent features of his ministerial commission, which he will do well
to bear in mind.6
|In the first age
of the Church the three orders of the Ministry, now familiar, do not stand
out with the clearness which afterwards was the case. This does not imply
that men were free to take ministerial functions upon themselves, nor yet
does it imply that there was, no gradation in the ministry: some had powers
that others had not:7 there was a definite
commission and it involved ‘differences of administration.’ It was not
any absence of method, but the richness of the Pentecostal gift, which
was the cause of the variety of ministerial functions, and of the number
of grades of ministry, which are seen to have been prominent in apostolic
times. In later times, just as the gifts of the Spirit in general became
confined to more normal forms, and the extraordinary gifts disappeared,
so there disappeared also the extraordinary ministries (e .g. that
of the prophet8), and the normal type of
ministry for the organized Christian Church became the three-fold form,
with which Church history is familiar, comprising the episcopate, the priesthood
and the diaconate.
In apostolic times.
Great variety and richness
settle into the normal triple ministry.
The earliest forms of ordination, which are extant, correspond with what would be expected from the New Testament and from the history of the early days of the Church. The first are those of the Hippolytean Canons,9 which are mainly remarkable because the same prayer is assigned for the consecration of a bishop and the ordination of a priest, with only a change of word, where mention is made of the grade which is being conferred.10 Other forms are to be found in The Testament of our Lord, the Apostolic Constitutions and the Sacramentary of Serapion. These show that, while the forms of prayer varied, the two features which were evident in apostolic times are still the two chief features of the service, viz. the imposition of hands and the appropriate prayer. They show also the existence in the Church of Minor Orders.11 that is of ministerial grades inferior to the diaconate, which have not come down from apostolic times, but have developed since then, and in different methods and degrees, to meet varying needs of the Church.12
|Forms of Ordination.
Appearance of the Minor Orders.
SECT. II.— The Mediæval Latin Services.
We do not get upon the direct line of ancestry of the actual formulas
of the English Ordinal till the Latin Sacramentaries and Ordines13 are
reached in the VI th, VIIth and VIIIth centuries. The purely Roman documents
(that is to say the Leonine and Gregorian Sacramentaries and the Ordines)
present a certain contrast with the Gallican canons about ordination in
the Statuta Ecciesiæ Antiqua and with Roman Service-books
which have been modified under Gallican influence. It is the latter composite
books which are here most in question, since the English services derived
from the mixed use. The orders recognized in the Church are now seen to
comprise five minor orders besides the three chief grades, viz (4) subdeacons
(5) acolytes (6) exorcists (7) readers (8) porters: these had been so recognized
at Rome ever since the middle of the IIIrd century;14 and
they therefore represent the orders current in the English Church from
the earliest times down to the Reformation.
Early Latin Service-books.
The Roman and Gallican Rites.
The Minor Orders.
|A broad distinction existed at
first between the appointment to the minor orders and the ordination to
the sacred orders; while the latter was effected by the imposition of hands
with prayer, in the case of the former there was in the West no imposition
of hands,15 and no solemn prayer, but merely
a symbolical ceremony — the
handing to the candidate of some instrument representative of his function,
as an authorization to him to exercise that function.16 At
Rome for example during the Mass17 at the
time of communion the acolyte was given a linen bag, the receptacle then
in use for the Holy Eucharist, and the subdeacon was given a chalice: the “tradition
of the instrument “ appropriate
to the office constituted the whole ceremony.18
The Roman and
In the Gallican rite the minor orders had meanwhile been dignified with a much greater service. To each candidate, as he received his instrument, a solemn charge was given, and this was followed by a bidding of prayer and a solemn benediction: in the case of each order all the three formulas employed were specially connected with the office and grade which was being conferred. At a later date these were adopted into the Roman series of ordination services; they ousted the simple old Roman rite and thus came to form the service for the minor orders in all the later mediæval Pontificals in England as well as elsewhere.19
This type of service also, as will be shown later, had an influence on
the development of the ordination services for the three sacred orders
(as the Prayer Book reckons them) of Bishops,20 Priests
|the Gallican services.|
|When the Gallican rite was confronted
with the Roman, the question of minor orders offered no difficulty, since
the very slender Roman rite readily disappeared in favour of the Gallican
rites: but in the case of the holy orders it was different, since there
was a substantial Roman rite in possession of the field: the result was
that here the two rites coalesced: and thus the ordination services of
the latter middle ages were in the case of the minor orders wholly Gallican,
and in the case of the sacred orders were the result of a fusion of Roman
and Gallican rites.
The Gallican supersedes the Roman,
|The Roman rite for the ordination
to each of the holy orders was made up of a series of four items inserted
into the Mass:— (1) a bidding to prayer, (2) the litany, (3) the
collect, which corresponded to the bidding and summed up the petitions
of the Litany21 (4) the eucharistic
prayer of consecration said by the Bishop. The candidates had previously
been presented by the Archdeacon to the Bishop and a final opportunity
had been given for any one to raise objections to their ordination. During
the actual ceremonies after the Litany they knelt before the Bishop for
the imposition of hands: when the consecratory prayer was ended, they saluted
the Bishop and other clergy, and took their places with the other clergy
of their order, each vested in the vestment appropriate to his new order.
The Holy Orders.
|The Gallican rite was similar
in construction: (1) The bishop invited the people’s approval of the candidates,
and, when they had expressed it by the reply Dignus
est, “He is worthy, “ the
Bishop said (2) a bidding prayer and (3) the eucharistic or consecratory
prayer with hand outstretched over the candidate’s head; but the formulas
were entirely different from the Roman formuls.22 Further
there were incorporated into the service as rubric the provisions of the
Gallican lawbook called the Statuta ecciesiæ antiqua23 which
laid down the ceremonial of ordination: and at the end of the ordination
of priests (and later of deacons as well) there was added a prayer for
the consecration of their hands with holy oil and chrism.24
||The Gallican Rite.|
|The fusion of the Gallican and
Roman rites is already found in the Gelasian Sacramentary, which is otherwise
almost entirely Roman, and in the Missale Francorum which is mainly
Gallican: it must have taken place as early as the VIIth century, and by
the end of the IXth century it had become general. The method of fusion
was simple and in one respect was important: the Gallican bidding and consecratory
prayer, was added after the Roman consecratory prayer, and the Gallican
quotations from the Statuta were prefixed to the service as rubric. In the
case of the Deacon, Priest and Bishop these prescribed the imposition of
hands and in the case of the Bishop a further ceremony as well, viz. the
holding over his head of the gospel-book. The result of the incorporation
of these provisions was, that at a later date the imposition of hands was
transferred to this point of the service, and thus took place in silence
and not in connexion with either of the consecratory prayers.
||The fusion of the two.|
|In course of time further developments
took place. (1) Formulas were inserted in connexion with the vesting of
the candidates in the vestment appropriate to their new order.25 (2)
The symbolical ceremony of “the tradition of the instruments, “ which
had hitherto been the distinctive feature of admission to minor orders,
was grafted on to the ordination services for sacred orders, probably in
the XIth century: thus the gospel-book was handed to the deacon, with a
charge to take it and read the Gospel: the paten and chalice, with hosts
and wine prepared ready for use, were given to the priest, and he was charged
to take authority to offer the Holy Sacrifice: similarly to the bishop
at his consecration there was given the ring and pastoral staff, and he
was charged to maintain discipline and to be sound in the faith. (3) The
ceremonial unction and consecration of hands was amplified and there was
added to it an anointing of the head also, drawn no doubt from the consecration
of Aaron: but this did not survive into the later Pontificals except in
the case of the Bishop.26 (4) Later still
there was added an instruction in the duties of each order.
These represent the main features in the growth of the ordination services in mediæval times: they are common to all the English Pontificals,27 but in other respects the books varied slightly from one another even down to the time of the Reformation: there was no printed edition of the Pontifical, and no uniformity, for each Bishop had his own book in MS. and followed such traditions as seemed best to him: but the ordination services were substantially the same, though differing in arrangement.28
|The English Pontificals.|
SECT. III.— The Ordering of Deacons and Priests.
The following table gives an outline of the Latin service in its latest
pre-Reformation shape: the old Roman and old Gallican elements
are distinguished by different type from the later accretions. These
latter are not inserted always in the same places in the various books:
the order given here is that of the Sarum Pontifical as printed by Maskell
and reproduced above;29 Parallel with
the outline of the Latin service is an outline of the present Prayer
Book services for Deacons and Priests, combined as is commonly done in
actual practice. When the Ordinal was first put out in 1550 the two services
were not parallel in structure: the presentation of candidates for the
priesthood with the Litany following was deferred till after the Gospel,
instead of preceding the Communion Service, as in the case of deacons.
The Veni Creator then preceded the
Presentation. In 1661 the Presentation and Litany were in each case appointed
to precede the Communion Service: further the Veni
Creator was deferred
till after the examination of the candidates, so that it preceded the
solemn prayer. Another slight change was also made which affected both
services: the special prayer for the candidates, which in 1550 was appended
to the Litany, was in 1661 transferred from that position to become the
Collect in the Holy Communion Service. These are the only structural
alterations whereby the book of 1550 differs from that of 1661. Other
variations in the successive books will be dealt with later.
The Ordering of Deacons and Priests.
The revision in the Prayer Book.
|The general character of the
reform in the Ordinal can easily be understood from the comparative table.
Neither in 1550 nor in 1661 had the revisers the advantage of knowing the
history of ordination in the way in which it is now known. In 1550 they
could merely look at the Pontifical, as it lay before them, in the light
of the current theories of the nature of Holy Order and in the light of
Holy Scripture. Their main object was clearly set forth in the preface
of the English Ordinal, viz. to ‘continue’ in valid succession the three
orders of the ministry as they had been received ‘from the apostles’ times’
by episcopal consecration: their method was to ensure the essentials of
ordination as they are discernible in the New Testament, viz. ‘public prayer
with imposition of hands’ by the Bishop. Having secured this, they had
secured all that is essential. But in other respects the reform kept close
to the old customs. The ordination was still to form part of the Holy Communion
Service: the Litany with special clauses and the Veni
Creator were retained,
as well as a form of tradition of instruments. The last was a measure of
some importance, for according to mediæval theory this ceremony was
held to be the essential feature of ordination: it had been so defined
by Eugenius IV. in 1439,30 and the theory
to a considerable extent held the field in Roman theology until the XVIIth
century, when the ceremony was proved to be only an innovation made in
the Xth century, and the theory was seen to be untenable.31 The
Revisers of 1549 therefore while securing the real essentials, viz. prayer
and imposition of hands, were careful also to retain the tradition of instruments
and not go against the current scholastic theories.
The Principles of the revision,
How far conservative.
Tradition of instruments.
|Another point of special interest
is their treatment the imposition of hands: it has been already shown how
in mediæval times this had been transferred from its proper place
and was no longer done in connexion with the great central prayers, but
was done in silence at an earlier point in the service. In the ordination
of priests there had been added to the Latin service at a late period a
second imposition of hands accompanied by the charge ‘Receive the Holy
Ghost’ (Accipe Spiritum Sanctum &c.) based on S. John xx,
22. The revisers restored the imposition of hands to its central position
and accompanied it with the solemn words of a charge to the candidates
authorizing them in their new order. In the ordination to the priesthood
they brought together the two impositions of hands from the beginning and
the end of the service into one central place, and took, as the words of
the solemn charge accompanying it, the biblical formula already in use,
‘Receive the Holy Ghost &c.’
This action was very significant: it had the effect of bringing out the
essentials of ordination, and concentrating into one brief moment the true
significance of the whole service,32 which
was much less clear in the complex Latin rite, with its clumsy fusion of
two original uses, overlaid with subsequent accretions.
Imposition of hands.
|At the same time those who are
familiar with the old services will regret that the revisers abandoned the
great consecratory prayer prefaced by the solemn bidding, the salutation
and the Sursum Corda. The prayers themselves were fine, and there
was nothing in them to which exception could be taken: and further it is
now seen that the use of such a type of prayer as the central point of
the service is a characteristic deep-rooted in the ancient services; such
a prayer is in fact the central feature not only of the Liturgy proper,
where it has been retained by us, but of other services such as Baptism,
Ordination, where it has been lost, not to mention other ancient services,
such as The Consecration of a Church, Churchyard or Altar, The Profession
of Nuns, The Blessing of Abbat or Abbess, &c., — services not
known to the Prayer Book, but of which again this type of eucharistic prayer
is the central feature. Such prayers were abandoned, no doubt, because
of the wish to shorten, simplify and compress the ordination, coupled with
the belief, generally held at the time, that it was the imperative formulas
rather than the prayers, which were the crucial parts of the service.33
How far radical.
|Such results as these, which
the comparative study of Service-books in modern days has brought out,
were not present to the mind of the Revisers: on the other hand, there
were present the results of other inquiries and questionings current at
the time, and these have left their mark upon the Ordinal.
||Influence of the affairs of the time.|
|First there was a great desire
to recover a wider and truer view of the functions of the ministry, to
include the pastoral and prophetical side of the office as well as the
specially sacerdotal side. Again it was felt very necessary, especially
in such times of change, that candidates should be’ first called, tried,
known to have such qualities as were requisite.34 It
was for such reasons as these, that there were introduced into the services
the instructions and the examinations. Neither of them were new features,
for of late the Pontificals had included a brief description of the functions
of each order: and an examination of the ordinand in the course of the
service had long been regular feature in the consecration of a bishop35
and an occasional feature in the ordination of priests:36 but
both of these features assumed quite new proportions.
Already in Germany these desires had found practical expression in Lutheran
schemes and services.37 and Revisers
had before them a draft of Ordination Services drawn up by Martin Bucer
probably for their special benefit. While they rejected Bucer’s doctrinal
standpoint, they accepted much of his plan, and drew largely upon him
for the exhortations and examinations.
The instructions and examinations.
|After this general description
of the objects of the Revisers, which shows that they were in the main
conservative, though not unwilling to give a fuller expression than had
been customary to the needs and wishes of their time, it will be well to
turn to the present service, and note in order the detailed points which
call for notice, either (i) because they exemplify these general principles,
or (ii) because they underwent revision in the successive changes from
1550 to 1661.
||The present service.|
|The Preface defines the purpose
of the whole Ordinal: it went through some modification of language in
1661; (i) to make more abundantly clear the difference between the Ministry
of the Church and the Ministries of the various sects, which had usurped
its place under the Commonwealth: (ii) to raise the age for the diaconate
from twenty-one to twenty-three:38 (iii)
to prescribe that ordinations should. normally take place at the Ember
Seasons in accordance with Canon xxxi.39
|The opening rubrics of the Ordering
of Deacons have been altered as regards the dress of candidates: in 1550
it was ordered that they should be in albs, this order was omitted in 1552,
and when the rubrical directions were made more ample in 1661 it was provided
that they should be ‘decently habited.’ Similar changes were made elsewhere
in 1552 to agree with the lower standard then prescribed for the ornaments
of the minister. The Sermon, Presentation, and Litany follow the line of
the Latin service, but the final ‘Si quis ‘ inquiry, in the case of the
priests, follows closely the service drafted by Bucer in 1549 for Ordination:40 the
transference of the prayer after the Litany to form the Collect at the
Eucharist has been already noticed, but the change of the word ‘congregation’
into ‘church’ may also be noted as it falls into line with similar changes
made elsewhere in the book. The Oath of Supremacy has taken various shapes:41 it
now is taken before the service42 in a
very simple form. The Epistles and Gospels in each of the services are
proper to the occasion. Some of them were suggested by Bucer’s draft, as
were also the psalms appointed in 1550 for the Introit in the Ordering
of priests.43 Still
more noticeable is the influence of that form upon the Examinations of
the three orders in the Ordinal. Bucer made practically no distinction
in the service for the three nominal grades of ministry which he recognised,44 so
that his draft is only a single service: but the influence of it may be
traced in each of the three examinations in the English Ordinal.45
Influence of Bucer’s Draft.
It is also conspicuous in the Bishop’s exhortation preliminary to the examination of the candidates for priesthood,46 and in the prayer which follows upon it.47 But here the similarity ends, and when the more crucial parts of the service are reached there is no sign of Bucer’s influence.
In the Ordering of priests the Veni Creator follows the examination
and precedes the prayer, and thus is placed in between two Bucerian sections,
having been moved there from the beginning of the service in 1661. At
the same time an alternative translation of the hymn was given, drawn
from the collection of Private Devotions made by Bishop Cosin,
which has already been noticed as influencing that revision:48 and
the older version was retouched.
|The two formulas in the Ordering
of Deacons for the imposition of hands and tradition of the New Testament
call for no further comment: but with regard to the two corresponding formulas
in the ordination of priests, it is to be noted that a change of some
interest has been made in the wording of the charge based upon S. John
xx. 22. In 1550 it was taken in
its simple scriptural shape direct from the Latin rite, thus: ‘Receive
the Holy Ghost: whose sins, &c.,’ i.e., the passage descriptive of
the priesthood: only there was added to the original clause, the second
clause now in use, ‘Be thou a faithful dispenser, &c.’49 A
similar formula was at the same time adopted in the consecration of bishops,
‘Take the Holy Ghost: and remember that thou stir up, &c.,’ i.
e., the passage from 2 S. Tim. i. 6, 7, which is descriptive
of the work of a bishop. These very similar formulas were fastened on
by the Puritans as an argument that no distinction was drawn by the Church
between the episcopate and the priesthood. The plea was most insecure,
as in reality the scriptural texts sufficiently made clear that in one
case the reference was to the episcopate, and in the other to the priesthood.
But to make the differentiation more abundantly clear these formulas
were expanded in 1661, and there was introduced a definite mention of
the particular ‘office and work’, now committed by imposition of hands.’50
||The imperative formulas.|
|The tradition of instruments
in the case of the deacon followed closely the Latin rite: in the case
of the priest there was a change: instead of the chalice and paten prepared
for use, he was given in 1550 the Bible in one hand and the chalice in
the other: in 1552 the latter was omitted. The formula expressed his authorisation
to do the work of a priest ‘by administering the Holy Sacraments,’ i.
e., in less narrow terms than the Latin formula, which only authorised
him to say Mass.51
The porrection of instruments.
|The other ceremonies of the Latin
rite disappeared, such as the anointing of hands and the vesting, and in
their place there were provided solemn prayers for each order, to be said
immediately before the close of the Communion Service,52 where
formerly there had been lately added to the Pontifical the second imposition
of hands with a Benediction and a final charge.
The rubrical direction that the newly ordained priests. ‘shall remain in the same place where hands were laid upon them until such time as they have received the Communion ‘ continues the custom of the Latin rite, but the actual wording seems to be drawn from Bucer’s draft.53 The custom has its roots far back in the history, and represents a survival of the old custom of the priests joining with the Bishop as concelebrants.54
|The relic of Concelebra-tion.|
SECT. IV.— The Consecration of Bishops.
The general features of the history of this service are the same as
those of the previous services, and have been described with them: there
was the same fusion of Gallican and Roman rites, the same transference
of the imposition of hands to the silent Gallican ceremony prescribed
by the Statuta Antiqua: and further in this case the laying
of the gospel-book on the head of the elect at his benediction: the same
addition of further ceremonies, in this case the tradition of Pastoral
Staff, Ring, and, at a later date, of Mitre and Gospel Book, and the
putting on of the Gloves; the same enlargement of the ceremonies of unction
including the anointing of the head as well as of the hands. But it is
noticeable that the fusion of the two rites was less systematic: in many
Pontificals the silence at the Gallican imposition of hands and of the
gospel-book was broken at a late date by the addition of the words ‘Receive
the Holy Ghost’ (Accipe Spiritum Sanctum) or by the singing
of the Veni
Creator at this point. It is noticeable also that there was great
variety of use in the English Pontificals with regard to the additional
and later ceremonies, their order and contents.55
Consecra-tion of Bishops.
Similarity and contrast to the preceding.
|But there is one special feature
which distinguished the service of the consecration of a bishop from the
other services, viz., the long and minute examination: with which the service
opened. The importance of the episcopal office made it necessary that additional
precautions should be taken, both to ascertain and to assure the people
of his worthiness to be consecrated. Thus, while the testing of candidates
for other orders came to be less and less connected with the ordination,
the testing of the bishop elect became more and more formally a part of
the service. His election and the public confirmation of his election represent
the legal and constitutional side of his appointment, while the testing
in the service represents the theological and spiritual side.56 The
form which is found in the later pontificals seems to’ have taken shape
as early as the IXth century,57 but it
was freely adapted in different ways in different books.
The following table gives
an outline of the service in its most fully developed English form, and
parallel with it an outline of the service of the Prayer Book. The bracketed
items are those which are least common. The fusion of rites is, as before,
expressed by differences of type.58
|It is at once obvious that there
is a great deal of reduplication in the service. Besides 9, the old Roman
consecratory prayer, there are two other prayers in the same solemn form,
viz. 11, which is in the ancient style, but does not occur in the older
English Pontificals, and 12, which is very possibly the old Gallican consecration
prayer, surviving in English pontificals,59 though
not in the Gallican-Roman services such as those of the Gelasian Sacramentary
and the Missale
Francorum, Again, the ceremonies of unction (10 and 14) are repeated
several times over in the Salisbury Pontifical, from which this service
is taken, though other Pontificals have generally only one or two of the
The old redundancies
In face of this reduplication and this multiplication of ceremonies it is natural to find that the revision made in the Prayer Book aimed at greater simplicity. The principles were those stated above. The examination was already there in the service, and did not need to be added: the solemn prayer, imperative formula60 and imposition of hands were again made the central feature of the service, followed by a tradition of instruments. In the First Prayer Book this ceremony took a double shape: first, The Archbishop shall lay the Bible upon his neck, saying ‘Give heed unto reading,’ &c.; secondly, There shall the Archbishop put into his hand the pastoral staff, saying ‘Be to the flock of Christ a shepherd,’ &c. These were combined, substantially in their present form, in 1552. At the same time the rule as to the vestments prescribed in 1550 was omitted:61 so when mention of the surplices and copes with pastoral staves as the ornaments of the bishops and the elect was gone, there was no rule given as to the dress of any of the persons until the present directions were inserted in 1661. Beyond the addition of another question to the examination and the alteration, already described, of the formula ‘Take the Holy Ghost’, the other changes then made were not of great magnitude.
Changes in the later books.
1 S. John xx, 21, 22.
2 Acts XIV. 23; 1 Tim, v. 22.
3 Acts vi. 1-6. Cp. 1 Tim. iii. 7 and ff.
4 See Gore, The Church and the Ministry: ch. IV. especially,
and ch. V. as to the Biblical question : ch. II. as to the meaning of
5 Acts vi. 6. The laying of hands on SS. Barnabas and Paul at Antioch (Acts xiii, 3) is probably not to be regarded as an ordination service, but as a valedictory service.
6 1 Tim. iv. 14; cp. i. 18; and 2 Tim. i. 6.
7 The position of the deacons exemplifies this, and especially the restriction, which prevented S. Philip the Deacon from confirming those whom he had baptized, and rendered necessary the intervention of the Apostles. Acts viii. 12 and ff.
|Return to text|
9 Can. Hipp. 7-42. For only the three sacred orders is a formula provided, and imposition of hands prescribed: but mention also is made of Reader, Subdeacon, and Virgin.
10 This is less remarkable if, as has been suggested, the Hippolytean Canons were really Alexandrine in their origin (see above, p. 313): for Alexandria was exceptional in this respect.
11 The Sacramentary of Serapion gives forms of ordination only for the three sacred orders, which it reckons in accordance with the N. T., as being of divine institution. But it mentions three minor orders. (Journ. Theol. Stud. i. 253 .and ff.) The Testament gives also formulas for Widow, Subdeacon and Reader (chapters xli, xliv, xlv.): ,the Apostolic Const. for Deaconess, Subdeacon and Reader (viii. 19, 21, 22), and mentions Confessors, Virgins, Widows. and Exorcists as not ordained (ibid. 23-25) with imposition of hands.
12 For their history see Morin, De Sacra Ord. III. i. 2,26. Gore, p. 171.
13 Leonine Sacr. pp. 421 and ff. Gelasian
Sacr. pp. 512 and ff.; 619
and ff. Gregorian Sacr. pp. 357 and ff. Missale
Franc. pp. 661 and ff.
Ordines, viii. and ix, Later services are given in the Appendix to the
Gregorian Sacramentary, pp. 405 and ff. The Statuta
Ecclesiæ Antiqua, a collection of Gallican canons, dating from the beginning of the Vlth
century, gives the only pure testimony extant as to the Gallican Rites.
See Bruns, Canones, i. 140, where it is (as often) wrongly ascribed to
the fourth Council of Carthage. For the whole of this part of the subject
see Duchesne, Origines, ch. x.
|Return to text|
14 See letter of Pope Cornelius in Eusebius, H. E. vi. 43.
15 Compare the statement above, p. 650, note 4. [note 11]
16 This followed the analogy of civil life. Gore, 170.
17 Minor orders were conferred at any time of the year: but the holy orders were restricted to solemn times of ordination, and eventually to the Ember Days. See above for them, p. 332.
18 For the ‘clerk’ or acolyte the Bishop ‘porrigit
in ulnas eius sacculum super planetam et prosternit se in terram cum
ipso sacculo : et dat ei orationem sic:— Intercedente beata
et gloriosa semperque virgine Maria et beato apostolo Petro, salvet
et custodiat et protegat te Dominus. Amen.’ In the case of the Subdeacon, ‘porriget
ei archidiaconus vel episcopus calicem sanctum in ulnas foras planetam
: et se in terra prosternet et, dat ei orationem ut supra diximus.’ The
prayer thus is common to all the minor orders: probably it is a later
addition to the ceremony. Ordo Romanus viii. 1 and 2. Migne. P.
L. LXXVIII. 1000. It is not
given in the Roman services as prescribed in the Leonine and Gregorian
Sacramentaries. Duchesne, Origines, 339.
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19 See p. 295, where a specimen is given of the services for admission to minor orders.
20 In mediæval times the episcopate and priesthood were popularly : reckoned as one order: and latterly the subdiaconate was reckoned with them among holy orders, thus making four minor orders and three holy orders; but all the Church’s rites and best traditions are in favour of making the episcopate a separate order: and of reckoning the subdiaconate among minor orders. See Morin, De Sacra Ord. III. i. 2. 26 : Gore, p. 105, for the first point.
21 The Litany here occupied the interval (or most of it) which it was
customary to leave for private prayer between the bidding and the collect.
See above, p. 523. It included special clauses of intercession for the
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22 Except the consecratory prayer for the episcopate, where the same prayer (in two forms) occurs in both uses: one original formula, either the Gallican or the Roman, has disappeared. Origines, 361. Possibly it is preserved in the prayer Pater sancte, omnipotens, deus, qui per DNJC. See below, p. 672.
24 This is given in the Gelasian Sacr. at the end of the Gallican appendix,
containing the formulas for the minor orders (p. 622), and not with the
rest of the prayers for the priesthood (p. 514): but elsewhere it is
in its right place, e.g. Missale Franc. 669 (two formulas) for the priesthood:
Egbert Pontifical (Surtees Soc. Vol. 27), 21 for the diaconate. This
MS. is not itself that of Archbishop Egbert (766), but is a later copy
with additions dating from the Xth century.
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25 The ninth Roman Ordo shows that the stoles in Rome were placed upon the ‘confession’ i .e., the tomb of S. Peter to hallow them, as is still done with the pallium. In later times a prayer of hallowing was said (see e. g. Egbert Pontifical, p. 16 Leofric Missal, p. 215), but these prayers did not survive into the later Pontificals. The formulas which did survive were words to be said at the investiture. See pp. 297, 299, 304. For the history of these additions, see Braun, Die priesterlichen Gewänder, pp. 79, go, 110, 148; and Die pontificalen Gewänder, pp. 55, 85.
26 See Maskell ad loc. and Egbert, pp. 3, 24: Brit. Mus. Cotton MS., Claudius A. III. and the Pontificals of S. Dunstan and Robert of Jumieges, Abps. of Canterbury, in Martene, Lib. I. Cap. VIII. Ordo III. The ceremonies of unction were probably British in their origin: they are first mentioned in the VIth century by Gildas (Epist. 106), with regard to the hands. It was only subsequently to the IXth century that they were adopted at Rome, as Nicholas I. witnesses with regard to the hands, (Ep. 63, ad Rodulfum Bit., in Migne, P. L. CXIX. 884=Gratian, 1. XXIII. (2), and Amalarius with regard to the head (De Offic. ii. 14).
27 The Surtees Society has printed two, those of Abp. Egbert and of Abp. Bainbridge: the latter volume contains a list and description of all the known MSS. The Exeter Pontifical of Bp. Lacy was printed in 1847 by R. Barnes; the Salisbury Pontifical was reproduced in large measure in Maskell’s Monumenta with a collation of other books. A Scottish Pontifical of Bp. de Bernham was reprinted in 1885 by Chr. Wordsworth.
28 E. g. the position of the Litany varied: sometimes it was said before
the admission to minor orders, but more commonly, according to Roman
custom, before the ordination of deacons. Similarly different traditions
were current as to the presentation of candidates: in some cases the
candidates for the diaconate and priesthood were presented separately
from the rest.
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p. 294 where the same
distinction of type is made, and the sections are numbered to correspond
with this table. See also a table giving in full the development of the
service for the ordination of a priest in C. H. S. Tract XLI. Priesthood
in the English Church.
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|30 In his decree addressed to
the Armenians at the Council of Florence. ‘Sextum sacramentum est ordinis,
cuius materia est illud per cuius traditionem confertur ordo : sicut presbyteratus
traditur per calicis cum vino et patenæ cum pane porrectionem. Diaconatus
vero per libri evangeliorum dationem.’ Harduin. IX. 440. The ‘matter’ having
been thus defined, he continues: ‘Forma sacerdotii talis est “Accipe
potestatem offerendi sacrificium in ecclesia pro vivis et mortuis: in nomine, &c.”’
ibid. This definition was promulgated by Pole in the Marian times (1556)
as the current doctrine. See Wilkins, Conc. IV. 121. The language is borrowed
from Aquinas, Expositio in articulos fidei.
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31 Morin begins his third book by disproving this theory, See Gore 61,62, n.
32 See the Responsio of the English Archbishops (Sapius
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33 Responsio, p. 32.
34 Preface to Ordinal.
35 See below, p. 670.
36 See note on p. 664. [note 46]
37 See e.g. Hermann’s Consultation, Of the appointing and instituting
of pastors,’ fol. CCXXIII. and ff: where similar wishes are expressed.
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38 The age for orders has varied greatly at different times and places. See Blunt ad loc. Martene, 1. viii. 3.
39 For the ancient rules see Martene, 1. viii. 4.
40 See above, p. 62. This was first printed in 1577, among his Scripta
Anglicana, pp. 238-259, under the title, De
ordinatione legitima ministrorum ecclesiæ revocanda.
41 For Hooper’s trouble about the form prescribed in 1549 see above, p. 61.
42 By the Clerical Subscription Act of 1865.
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43 Ibid. p. 255.
44 ‘Cum autem tres ordines sunt presbyterorum et curatorum ecclesiæ . . . . ita ordinatio quoque attemperatur ut, cum ordinetur aliquis, superintendens, id est episcopus, omnia aliquanto plenius et gravius gerantur et perficiantur quam cum ordinatur presbyter secundi ordinis vel tercii. Ita etiam fit nonnullum discrimen inter ordinationem presbyterorum secundi et tercii ordinis.’ Ibid. p. 259 and cp. p. 238.
45 The eight questions in ‘The Ordering of Priests’ lie closest to Bucer’s questions: the phraseology is modified, but the general scheme and method is followed; the ninth and last of Bucer’s questions, exacting a promise from the ordinand that he will not desert his church except in response to a legitimate call, has no equivalent in the English service.
46 After the ‘Si quis’ follows this exhortation:
47 Post hæc jubetur etiam ecclesia eadem
orare (pro) ordinandis in silentio, hisque precibus datur justum spacium,
quo finito subjicit primarius ordinator.
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49 The reference here to
Acts vi. 4 still more clearly defines the meaning of the formula as intended
for the priesthood in contradistinction to the diaconate, while the idea
of stewardship accords with S. Luke xii. 42, and 1 Cor. iv. 1.
50 Objections have also been raised to these two formulas from the Romanist side, on the ground that it is essential that in the form of ordination the order conferred should be clearly determined: and it is no doubt true that some such determination is needed, so as to make clear what is being done: but it is not necessary that this should be done simultaneously with the imposition of hands: it is not so in the Roman rite, and the old ordination prayers are not all explicit on the point. There are plenty of passages all through the English Service which determine the order which is being conferred, and no possible room is left for doubt on the point. See Priesthood in Engl. Ch: pp. 40, 41. Responsio, p. 23.
51 Another Roman objection has been raised here on the ground that it
is necessary that the formula, if it fails to mention priesthood, must
allude to it as being the power of offering sacrifice. But it is clear
that this is not necessary; for the oldest ordination prayers, such as
those of the Hippolytean Canons and of Serapion, have no such explicit
mention of offering sacrifice: and it may be further replied (i) that
such mention was not originally part of the Roman rite: and (ii) that
such powers are included as a matter of fact in the general phrase of
the English formula. See Priesthood in the English
Church, pp. 42 and
ff. Responsio, p. 19.
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52 ‘After the last collect and immediately before the Benediction.’ The phrase is important, because it implies, what is not elsewhere stated, that one or more post- communion collects are said normally at the Eucharist after the Gloria in Excelsis and before the Blessing. Cp. the similar rubric prescribing two prayers ‘for the last collect’ in the Consecration of Bishops. See above, p. 498.
53 Contrast the form in Bucer’s draft. ‘His finitis, canit ecclesia Symbolum fidei et proceditur ad communionem quam ordinati una sumant: qui etiam, dum communionem sumpserint, in eo loco manent ubi impositæ eis manus sunt,’ Bucer, p. 259.
54 In describing the position of the newly ordained, after the ceremony
of ordination is completed, the most ancient Roman Ordines show
that they stood with the rest of the priests and took their part in the
service: this meant at that date, that they held each one his paten with
two hosts and joined with the Bishop, consecrating as he consecrated.
The tradition that they should share in the consecration was kept up
in the later middle ages, even after the practice. had been given up
of the priests joining habitually in the consecration with the Bishop:
the question was much discussed as to whether there could be several
consecrators with only one host as had come to be the case: (see e.
g. S. Thomas, Summa III. 82. 2.) but it was decided in the affirmative and
the custom was accepted and universally used (as it is to this day in
the Roman Pontifical), though it was not explicitly required in the English
Pontificals. Thus the position of the newly ordained in standing before
the altar throughout the consecration is a relic of the former custom
of the priests participating in the Eucharistic consecration effected
by the bishop as principal celebrant. See Morin, III. viii. on the question
of concelebration and its survival at the ordination of priests and bishops.
Also Georgi, De Liturgia Rom. Pont. iii. 1.
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55 A comparative study of
a number of the later English Pontificals shows that the service practically
fell into two divisions: the first comprising the fused Gallican and
Roman Rites as found in the earlier English books: in this division the
amount of variation is small: the second comprising the ceremonies of
unction and tradition of instruments of which only some small beginnings
are to be seen in the earlier English books: in this the variation is
56 Regulations for the whole are found in the early Roman Ordo, VIII. ii, (Migne, P. L. LXXVIII. 1001).
57 The form of examination beginning Antiqua sanctorum Patrum is in the Gregorian Sacramentary of the Vatican Library published by Rocca in 1605 and reprinted in S. Gregory’s Works (see also Morin, pt. II. Ordo, 5.) and in Radbod’s Pontifical (Martene, I. viii. Ordo, vi.) both of the IXth century.
58 Cp. the service as printed above, p. 301.
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59 It is in the Dunstan, Jumieges, Leofric and later Pontificals. Possibly vice versa, 9 is Gallican and 12 Roman: see p. 654, note 1 [note 22]
60 See above, pp. 660, 661.
61 But the transference of the prayer after the Litany, to be the Collect
at the Eucharist, effected in the other two services, was not effected
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