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

The Purificator, called also the Mundatory, is a piece of linen about twenty inches long, and in width, when folded in three, about four inches. It has a small cross in the centre, and when not in use it is kept wrapped up by the priest in the Amice.

That the Purificator is of modern introduction, we are justified in asserting from the fact that it is mentioned by none of the ancient liturgists. All that we learn concerning it is that formerly the custom prevailed with the monks of certain monasteries of appending a piece of linen to the Epistle side of the altar by which the Chalice used to be wiped after Communion (Bona, Rer. Liturg., p. 297; Kosma, p. 86). When the Purificator became one of the Chalice linens, is not easy to determine; certain it is that no mention is made of it by any writer prior to the thirteenth century. Pope Innocent III., who died in 1216, makes no allusion to it, although he wrote a very exhaustive work on the Mass and its ceremonies; neither does Durandus speak of it, although he describes the other linens minutely.

Instead of a Purificator like ours, the Greeks use a sponge, and this with reference to the sponge employed at our Lord’s Crucifixion (Goar, Euchol., p. 151). The Greeks rarely use anything in their service which has not a reference of some kind to our Saviour’s life upon earth.








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