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

During the days of persecution permission was granted the faithful to bring the Blessed Sacrament to their houses and communicate themselves in case of imminent death. St. Basil speaks of this custom as prevailing throughout all Egypt. Tertullian and St. Cyprian frequently allude to it also. The Holy Eucharist on these occasions used to be carefully put away in little boxes specially made for the purpose, on the lids of which some such pious devices as IHS (Jesus) or XP (Christ) used to be engraved. These boxes were generally made of gold or silver when owned by the wealthy classes, and had a ring attached to their lids, through which was passed a string, in order to fasten them to the neck (see Hierurgia, p. 194, note).








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