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CANISIUS, in his work de Mariâ Deiparâ Virgine, p. 514, while engaged in showing the carefulness with which the Church distinguishes the worship of God from the cultus of the Blessed Virgin, observes, Lest the Church should depart from Latria (i.e. the worship of God) she has instituted the public supplications in the Liturgy in perpetuity in such wise as to address them directly to God the Father, and not to the Saints, according to that common form of praying, Almighty, everlasting God, &c.; and the said prayers which they also call Collects, she generally ends in this way, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.’” He says more to the same purpose; but the two points here laid down are sufficient; viz. that as to the Latin Missal, Ritual, and Breviary, (1.) Saints are not directly addressed in these authoritative books: and (2.) in them prayers end with the name of Jesus. An apposite illustration of both of these, that is, in what is omitted and what is introduced, is supplied by the concluding prayer of the Offertory in the Latin Mass. If in any case the name of our Lady and all Saints might at the end of a prayer be substituted {154} for our Lords name, it would be when the object addressed is, not God the Father, but the Son, or the Holy Trinity; but let us observe how the prayer in question runs:—

Suscipe, Sancta TrinitasReceive, O Holy Trinity, this oblation which we make to Thee, in memory of the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in honour of the Blessed Mary, Ever-Virgin, of Blessed John Baptist, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of these and all Saints, that it may avail for their honour and our salvation, and that they may vouchsafe to intercede for us in heaven, whose memory we celebrate on earth, Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

When in occasional Collects the intercession of the Blessed Mary is introduced, it does not supersede mention of our Lord as the Intercessor. Thus in the Post-Communion on the Feast of the Circumcision,—

May this Communion, O Lord, purify us from guilt; and at the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, make us partakers of the heavenly remedy, through the same our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

In like manner, when the Son is addressed, and the intercession of Mary and the Saints is supplicated, His atoning passion is introduced at the close, as on the Feast of the Seven Dolours:—

God, at whose passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, the most sweet soul of the glorious Virgin-Mother Mary was pierced through with the sword of sorrow, mercifully grant, that we, who reverently commemorate her piercing and passion, may, by the intercession {155} of the glorious merits and prayers of the Saints who faithfully stood by the Cross, obtain the happy fruit of Thy Passion, who livest and reignest, &c.

We offer to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, our prayers and sacrifices, humbly supplicating, that we, who renew in our prayers the piercing of the most sweet soul of Thy Blessed Mother Mary, by the manifold compassionate intervention of both her and her holy companions under the Cross, by the merits of Thy death, may merit a place with the Blessed, who livest, &c.

Now let us observe how far less observant of dogmatic exactness, how free and fearless in its exaltation of the Blessed Virgin, is the formal Greek devotion:—

1. We have risen from sleep, and we fall down before Thee, O good God; and we sing to Thee the Angelic Hymn, O powerful God. Holy, holy, holy art Thou, God; have mercy on us through the Theotocos.

Thou hast raised me from my bed and slumber, O God. Lighten my mind, and open my heart and lips, to sing of Thee, Holy Trinity. Holy, holy, holy art Thou, God; have mercy on us through the Theotocos.

Soon will come the Judge, and the deeds of all will be laid bare ... Holy, holy, holy art Thou, God; have mercy on us through the Theotocos.—Horologium, p. 2, Venet. 1836: vide also, pp. 34, 48, 52. Also Eucholog. Venet. p. 358.

2. O God, who lookest on the earth, and makest it tremble, deliver us from the fearful threatenings of earthquake, Christ our God; and send down on us Thy rich mercies, and save us, at the intercessions ([presbeiais]) {156} of the Theotocos.—Ibid. p. 224. Vid. also Pentecostar. p. 14.

3. O Holy God, ... visit us in Thy goodness, pardon us every sin, sanctify our souls, and grant us to serve Thee in holiness all the days of our life, at the intercessions ([presbeiais]) of the Holy Theotocos and all the Saints, &c.—Euchologium, p. 64. Venet. 1832.

4. Again, and still again, let us beseech the Lord in peace. Help, save, pity, preserve us, O God [through] her, the all-holy, Immaculate, most Blessed, and glorious ([diaphulaxon hemas ho Theos, tes panagias]), &c.—Euchologium, p. 92. Venet. 1832. Vid. also Pentecostar, p. 232; and passim.

5. Lord, Almighty Sovereign, ... restore and raise from her bed this Thy servant, &c. ... at the intercession ([presbeiais]) of the all-undefiled Theotocos and all the Saints.—Ibid. p. 142.

6. Have mercy and pardon, (for Thou alone hast power to remit sins and iniquities,) at the intercession of Thy all-holy Mother and all the Saints.—Ibid. p. 150.

7. O Lord God Almighty, ... bless and hallow Thy place ... at the intercession ([presbeiais]) of our glorious Lady, Mary, Mother of God and Ever-Virgin.—Eucholog. p. 389.

Is the Blessed Virgin ever called our Lady, as here, in the Latin Prayers? whereas it is a frequent title of her in the Greek.

8. Save me, my God, from all injury and harm, Thou who art glorified in Three Persons ... and guard Thy flock at the intercessions ([enteuxesin]) of the Theotocos. {157} —Pentecostarium, p. 50. Venet. 1820. Vid. also Goar, Eucholog. p. 30.

9. In the porch of Solomon there lay a multitude of sick ... Lord, send to us Thy great mercies at the intercession ([presbeiais]) of the Theotocos.—Pentecostar. p. 84. Vid. also Goar, Eucholog. pp. 488, 543.

10. O great God, the Highest, who alone hast immortality ... prosper our prayer as the incense before Thee ... that we may remember even in the night Thy holy Name, ... and rise anew in gladness of soul ... bringing our prayers and supplications to Thy loving kindness in behalf of our own sins and of all Thy people, whom visit in mercy at the intercessions ([presbeiais]) of the Holy Theotocos.—Ibid. p. 232. Vid. Horolog. p. 192. Venet. 1836.

11. Between the Trisagion and Epistle in Mass. O Holy God, who dwellest in the holy place, whom with the voice of their Trisagion the Seraphim do praise, &c. ... sanctify our souls and bodies, and grant us to serve Thee in holiness all the days of our life, at the intercession ([presbeiais]) of the Holy Theotocos and all the Saints.—Eucholog. p. 64. Venet. 1832.

12. In the early part of Mass. Lift up the horn of Christians, and send down on us Thy rich mercies, by the power of the precious and life-giving Cross, by the grace of Thy light-bringing, third-day resurrection from the dead, at the intercession ([presbeiais]) of our All-holy Blessed Lady, Mother of God and Ever-Virgin, and all Thy Saints.—Assemani, Codex Liturg. t. v. p. 71. Rite of St. James.

13. At the Offertory at Mass. In honour and {158} memory of our singularly blessed and glorious Queen, Mary Theotocos and Ever-Virgin; at whose intercession, O Lord, receive, O Lord, this sacrifice unto Thy altar which is beyond the heavens.—Goar, Euchol. p. 58. Rite of St. Chrysostom.

14. In the Commemoration at Mass. Cantors. Hail, Mary, full of grace, &c. &c. ... for thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls. Priest. [Remember, Lord] especially the most Holy Immaculate, &c. ... Mary. Cantors. It is meet truly to bless ([makarizein]) thee, the Theotocos ... more honourable than the Cherubim, &c. ... thee we magnify, who art truly the Theotocos. O Full of Grace, in thee the whole creation rejoices, the congregation of Angels, and the race of men, O sanctified shrine, and spiritual Paradise, boast of virgins, &c.—Assemani, t. v. p. 44. Jerusalem Rite.

15. In the Commemoration at Mass. Priest. Especially and first of all, we make mention of the Holy, glorious, and Ever-Virgin Mary, &c. Deacon. Remember her, Lord God, and at her holy and pure prayers be propitious, have mercy upon us, and favourably hear us. Priest. Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, pray for me to thy Son Only-begotten, who came of thee, that, having remitted my sins and debts, He may accept from my humble and sinful hands this sacrifice, which is offered by my vileness on this altar, through thy intercession, Mother most holy.—Ibid. p. 186. Syrian Rite.

16. Apparently, after the Consecration. The Priest incenses thrice before the Image (or Picture, imagine) of the Virgin and says: Rejoice, Mary, beautiful dove, who {159} hast borne for us God, the Word; thee we salute with the Angel Gabriel, saying, Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, Hail, Virgin, true Queen; hail, glory of our race, thou hast borne Emmanuel. We ask, remember us, O faithful advocate, in the sight of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He put away from us our sins.—Ibid. t. vii., pars 2da. in fin. p. 20. Alexandrian Rite.

17. At the Communion in Mass. Forgive, our God, remit, pardon me my trespasses as many as I have committed, whether in knowledge or in ignorance, whether in word or in deed. All these things pardon me, as Thou art good and kind to men, at the intercession ([presbeiais]) of Thy all-undefiled and Ever-Virgin Mother. Preserve me uncondemned, that I may receive Thy precious and undefiled Body, for the healing of my body and soul.—Goar, Euchologium, p. 66.

18. After Communion at Mass. O Lord, be merciful to us, bless us, let Thy countenance be seen upon us, and pity us, Lord, save Thy people, bless Thine heritage, &c., ... through the prayers and addresses (orationes) which the Lady of us all, Mother of God, the divine (diva) and Holy Mary, and the four bright holy ones, Michael, &c., &c.—Renaudot, Liturg. Orient. t. i. p. 29. Coptic Rite of St. Basil. Vid. also ibid. pp. 29, 37, 89, 515, of St. Basil, Coptic; of St. Gregory, Coptic; of Alexandria, Greek; and of Ethiopia.

19. After Communion at Mass. We have consummated this holy service ([leitourgian]), as we have been ordered, O Lord ... we, sinners, and Thine unworthy servants, who have been made worthy to serve at Thy holy altar, in offering to Thee the bloodless sacrifice, the {160} immaculate Body, and the precious Blood of the Great God, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to Thy glory, the unoriginate Father, and to the glory of Him, Thy only-begotten Son, and of the Holy Ghost, good, life-giving, and consubstantial with Thee. We ask a place on Thy right hand in Thy fearful and just day through the intercession ([dia ton presbeion]) and prayers of our most glorious Lady, Mary, Mother of God, and Ever-Virgin, and of all saints.—Assemani, Cod. Liturg. t. vii. p. 85. Rite of Alexandria.

20. After Communion at Mass. We thank Thee, Lord, Lover of men, Benefactor of our souls, that also on this day Thou hast vouchsafed us Thy heavenly and immortal mysteries. Direct our way aright, confirm us all in Thy fear, &c, ... at the prayers and supplications of the glorious Theotocos and Ever-Virgin Mary, and of all Thy saints.—Eucholog. p. 86. Venet. 1832.

21. Concluding words of Mass. Blessed is He who has given us His holy Body and precious Blood. We have received grace and found life, by virtue of the Cross of Jesus Christ. To Thee, O Lord, we give thanks, &c. Praise to Mary, who is the glory of us all, who has brought forth for us the Eucharist.—Renaudot, Liturg. Orient. t. i. p. 522. Rite of Ethiopia.

I will add some of the instances, which have caught my eye in these ecclesiastical books, of expressions used of the Blessed Virgin, which, among Latins, though occurring in some Antiphons, belong more to the popular than to the formal and appointed devotions paid to her.

22. Thee we have as a tower and harbour, and an {161} acceptable ambassadress ([presbin]) to the God whom thou didst bear, Mother of God who hadst no spouse, the salvation of believers.—Pentecostar. p. 209. Venet. 1820.

23. O Virgin alone holy and undefiled, who hast miraculously ([asporos]) conceived God, intercede ([presbeue]) for the salvation of the soul of thy servant.—Eucholog. p. 439. Venet. 1832.

24. Show forth thy speedy protection and aid and mercy on thy servant, and still the waves, thou pure one, of vain thoughts, and raise up my fallen soul, O Mother of God. For I know, O Virgin, I know that thou hast power for whatever thou willest.—Ibid. p. 679.

25. Joachim and Anna were set free from the reproach of childlessness, and Adam and Eve from the corruption of death, O undefiled, in thy holy birth. And thy people keeps festival upon it, being ransomed from the guilt of their offences in crying to thee. The barren bears the Theotocos, and the nurse of Life.—Horolog. p. 198. Venet. 1836.

26. Let us now run earnestly to the Theotocos, sinners as we are, and low, and let us fall in repentance, crying from the depths of our souls, Lady, aid us, taking compassion on us. Make haste, we perish under the multitude of our offences. Turn us not, thy servants, empty away; for we have thee as our only hope.—Ibid. p. 470. Vid. My whole hope I repose in thee.—Triodion, p. 94. Venet. 1820.

27. We have gained thee for a wall of relief, and the all-perfect salvation of souls, and a relief ([platusmon]) {162} in afflictions, and in thy light we ever rejoice; O Queen, even now through suffering and danger preserve us.—Ibid. p. 474.

28. By thy mediation, Virgin, I am saved.—Triod. p. 6. Venet. 1820.

29. The relief of the afflicted, the release of the sick, O Virgin Theotocos, save this city and people; the peace of those who are oppressed by war, the calm of the tempest-tost, the sole protection of the faithful.—Goar, Eucholog. p. 478.

30. All through the Office Books are found a great number of Collects and Prayers to the Blessed Virgin, called Theotocia, whereas in the Latin Offices addresses to her scarcely get beyond the Antiphons. There are above 100 of them in the Euchology, above 170 in the Pentecostarium, close upon 350 in the Triodion. These, according to Renaudot, are sometimes collected together into separate volumes. (Liturg. Orient. t. ii. p. 98.)

31. At p. 424 of the Horologium there is a collection of 100 invocations in her honour, arranged for the year.

32. At page 271 of the Euchologium, is a form of prayer to her in the confession of a sinner, consisting of thirty-six collects, concluding with a Gospel, supplication, &c. If there were any doubt of the difference which the Greeks make between her and the Saints, one of these would be evidence of it. Take with you ([paralabe]) the multitude of Archangels and of the heavenly hosts, and the Forerunner, &c., ... and make intercession ([presbeian]), Holy one, in my behalf with God, p. 275. Vid. also ibid. p. 390, &c.

33. There is another form of prayer to her at p. 640, {163} of forty-three collects or verses, in expectation of war, arranged to form an Iambic acrostic, O undefiled, be the ally of my household. Among other phrases we read here, Thou art the head commander ([ho archistrategos]) of Christians; ... They in their chariots and horses, we, thy people, in thy name; with thy spiritual hand cast down the enemies of thy people; Thy power runs with thy will ([sundromon echeis]), &c. Deliver not thine heritage, O holy one, into the hands of the heathen, lest they shall say, Where is the Mother of God in whom they trusted? Hear from thy holy Temple, thy servants, O pure one, and pour out Gods wrath upon the Gentiles that do not know thee, and the kingdoms that have not faithfully called upon thy glorious name.

34. It is remarkable, that, not only the Jacobites, but even the Nestorians agree with the Orthodox in the unlimited honours they pay to the Blessed Virgin. No one, says Renaudot, has accused the Orientals of deficiency in the legitimate honours, which are the right of the Deipara; but many have charged them with having sometimes been extravagant in that devotion, and running into superstition, which accusation is not without foundation.—t. i. p. 257.

Another remark of his is in point here. The extracts above made are in great measure from Greek service-books of the day; but even those which are not such are evidence, according to their date and place, of opinions and practices, then and there existing. Their weight does not depend on the authority of the writers, but on the use of the Churches. Those prayers had {164} their authors, who indeed were not known; but, when once it was clear that they had been used in Mass, who their authors were ceased to be a question.—t. i. p. 173. The existing manuscripts can hardly be supposed to be mere compositions, but are records of rites.

I say then, first:—That usage, which, after a split has taken place in a religious communion, is found to obtain equally in each of its separated parts, may fairly be said to have existed before the split occurred. The concurrence of Orthodox, Nestorian, and Jacobite in the honours they pay to the Blessed Virgin, is an evidence that those honours were in the irsubstance paid to her in their Undivided Church.

Next:—Passages such as the above, taken from the formal ritual of the Greeks, are more compromising to those who propose entering into communion with them, than such parallel statements as occur in unauthoritative devotions of the Latins. {165}








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