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A History Of The Mass And Its Ceremonies In The Eastern And Western Church -Rev John O'Brien A.M.

From what we have said in another place regarding the singular care which is taken by the Orientals in the matter of the sacrificial oblations, it will be easy to understand why the custom so long prevalent in the Western Church—viz., of receiving bread and wine from the people for altar purposes—never gained any ground with them. The Orientals take nothing for the holy Mass except what has been first prepared and presented by their own clergy. There is, then, strictly speaking, no offering on the part of the people in the Oriental Church, but donations in the shape of money are handed in for the sustenance of the clergy. “Before they go to the Prothesis” (the cruet-table), says Dr. Covel, “to begin the liturgy, all good people who are disposed to have their absent friends, living or dead, commemorated go to them that celebrate and get their names set down—there being two catalogues, one for the living, one for the dead—for which they deposit some aspers, or richer presents in silver or gold, as they are able or disposed, this being a great part of the common maintenance of a priest, especially in country villages” (Neale and Littledale, Primitive Liturgies, p. 186, note). This offering, then, takes place in the East at the beginning of Mass, at what is called the Little Entrance, or Introit, and there is no offering whatever made at the Offertory proper.

Before we pass on to the next portion of the Mass we beg to delay the reader here a while, in order to say a few words about certain liturgical appurtenances that were in quite general use in days gone by. We refer to the Holy Fan (Sacrum Flabellum), the Colum or Strainer, and the Comb.








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