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

We have stated that immediately after the consecration the blessed Body of our Lord is elevated on high for the adoration of the people. Before the eleventh century the elevation did not take place at this part of the Mass, but only at the “Omnis honor et gloria,” a little before the “Pater noster,” which we now call the minor elevation. The present discipline was introduced as a solemn protest against Berengarius, who had the audacity to deny Tran-substantiation. It first began in France, for Berengarius was a native of that country, and archdeacon of Angers; from France it was introduced into Germany, and from Germany it found its way into the other countries of Europe, until at last it came to be an established law of the Church, binding everywhere. It must not, however, be supposed that when the new discipline of elevating the Sacred Species here was first introduced both the Host and chalice were elevated. Not so; for quite a long time there was no elevation at all here of the chalice, but only of the Host—a custom which we yet see in vogue with the Carthusians. The elevation of one species was considered enough, inasmuch as our Lord was as complete under one kind as under both by what is termed concomitance; but that the elevation of the chalice soon followed that of the Host there is every reason to believe, for Durandus, Bishop of Mende, whose death is placed at 1296, makes mention of it in his Rationale Divinorum (p. 265, No. 52). Then, again, as to the manner of elevating, local customs varied. Some covered the chalice with the pall, as we see the Mozarabics still do.

The question is sometimes asked, Has it been customary from the beginning to have an elevation of some kind? All are agreed that it has, but Cardinal Bona says that it is impossible to tell, from the data given, whether the Sacred Species were raised any higher than they are now at what we call the minor elevation. As a precedent for our custom of elevating the Sacred Species may be mentioned the practice which obtained in the old law of lifting the victims on high at the regular sacrifices (Exod. 29; Levit. 7 and 23)








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