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

Besides the regular lights placed upon the altar at the beginning of Mass, others are brought out by acolytes at the approach of consecration, and are kept burning as long as our Divine Lord is present on the altar—that is, until after the Communion.

Oriental Practice in this Respect.—The discipline of the Oriental Church and ours is in perfect agreement on this point, as every one can testify who has ever travelled in the East or looked into any of the Oriental Liturgies. The Copts on no account will say Mass without two candles at least. “Liturgia non celebretur,” says one of their canons, “absque cereis duobus majoribus aut minoribus qui altare luceant”—that is, “Let not the Liturgy be celebrated without two large wax candles or two small ones to burn on the altar” (Renaudot, Liturg. Orient. Col., i. p. 179). The rest of the Oriental churches are equally strict in their observance of this practice.

We have designedly dwelt on this subject in order to show that Protestants have no grounds whatever for saying that our practice of burning lights in the open day is ridiculous, and without any meaning or precedent to justify it.








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