Philip Freeman.

The principles of divine service; an enquiry concerning the true manner of understanding and using the order for morning and evening prayer, and for the administration of the Holy Communion in the English Church (Volume 1) online

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Offices with toleration at best, and as impeding rather
than promoting the highest kind of spiritual life and
growth. Tlioy see not why the ordinary Daily Offices,
or the Morning Office at the least, might not be dis-
pensed with, and daily celebration of the Eucharist
be put in its place. The rest of the Western Church
is known to have even substituted, in practice, non-
coinmunkaliny attondance at the celebration of the
Eucharist, for her nominal Morning Offices; which
have accordingly, as has been already '' pointed out,
ceased to exist as the vehicle of the peo})le's devotion.
And some among us would perhaps advocate oiu'
following even this extreme example'. But at pre-

' Compare cli. i., sub fin.

' On non-com muiiicating aUeudancc at the Eucharist, .soc tli(! htst
chapter of tliis volume.

J20() THE rUlNClPLES or DIVINE SERVICE, [chap. ll.

sent I have in view the case of tliose only who would
desire the substitution of a daily and genuine congre-
gational Eucharist for our ordinary Office of Morn-
ing Prayer. This view, as expressing a zeal for the
one act of worship instituted by our Lord Himself,
is naturally engaging to devout and reverent minds.
But it leaves out of sight, on the one hand, certain
limiting and restraining facts adduced above, which
render it likely — nay, which prove with the force of
a moral demonstration — that daily Eucharistic cele-
bration Avas not the intended rule for the Church's
observance; — such as the absence, acknowledged by
all learned men who have examined the subject, of
such frequency during apostolic and early times ;
the declension of Christianity under the condition
of daily celebration ; and the high festival character
of the rite itself. And again, on the other hand, this
expression of zeal for the Eucharist ignores the posi-
tion, dignity, and powers of the Ordinary Worship
of the Church ; its position as being, under one view,
the indispensable instrument for the carrying out
of the Eucharistic idea; its dignity in virtue of that
connection ; and its powers, in virtue both of our
Lord's express and separate promise to it, and of the
quasi-priestly and sacrificial character which, in its
degree, it shares with the Eucharist.

Others, again, without concurring in the desires
and aims of those just alluded to, yet are impressed,
more or less consciously, with the sense of there being
a kind of rivalry between the Eucharistic and the
Ordinary Worship of the Church, rather than that
perfect compatibility and harmonious connection which
in reality, as has been here shewn, exists between


Nor are such views of the whole field of Christian
ritual less necessary for those — including, perhaps, the
vast proportion of the English Church, both lay and
clerical — whose danger lies in the opposite direction ;
who are even too well satisfied with the ordinary
Services of the Church. Nothing short of an entire
and radical misconception as to the Apostolic idea of
Christian Worship and Service as a whole, could have
brought in that generally prevailing acquiescence in
infrequent celebration of the Holy Communion which
characterizes the English Church at the present day.
I say acquiescence in such infrequency ; for that is the
peculiar character of our shortcoming in the matter.
AVhile other Churches, to secure Apostolic frequency,
have resorted to unapostolic and unjustifiable modes
of celebrating, we have secured Apostolic and genuine
celebrations, but Apostolic frequency we have, speak-
ing generally, been careless of. This subject will be
treated of hereafter ; I will only point out here, with
reference alike to Sunday and week-day Ordinary
Offices, that in Apostolic times, the idea of their
standing alone, or superseding the weekly Eucharist,
was absolutely unknown.

There is, again, an important theological difference
in the })resent day, about which the views contained
in this chapter would seem to open the way towards
something like an agreement. The assertion of cer-
tain real priestly functions as peculiar to the clergy,
and specially of a commission to consecrate and ad-
minister the Holy Eucharist, is the distinguishing
note of one large and iiifiucntial school within the
English Church. The assertion, again, of a Ciuistiaii
priesthood as appertaining to the laity, has been taken
up as an antagonistic truth in other quarters. But


surely the two positions, far from being antagonistic,
not only may be harmonized, but must both of them
be most firmly and fully maintained, if we would hold
the true Christian doctrine in perfection. Each of
these two great and earnest parties may, in fact, learn
somewhat from the other. The one, in maintaining
the power, undoubtedly pertaining to the clergy, to
consecrate and administer the Holy Eucharist, have
perhaps been too little careful to represent them as,
(1) essentially and entirely ministerial under the Great
High-Priest, whose Hand, as it were, they are; and
as also (2) needing the concurrent action of the people ;
not ivithout tohom, as necessary consentients and co-
adjutors, they perform that sacred function. Such
is unquestionably the view of the early Church as
expressed in her Liturgies. ''Be present, be present,
Jesu, Thou good High-Priest, in the midst of us,
as Thou wert in the midst of Thy Disciples," (i.e. at
the original institution,) " and sanctify this Oblation,
that we may by the hands of Thy holy Angel receive
that which is sanctified," are the words of one very
ancient Communion Office"; and correctly represent
the mind of all. And again, it is priest and people
imited that make the solemn oblation of the Elements,
call down the grace of the Holy Spirit upon them, and
plead the merits of the One all-prevailing Sacrifice. It
is in the plural number, in the congregational form,
that these great transactions between heaven and
earth take place. Above all, it is in the presentation,
yet more by themselves than by the clergy, of an ac-
ceptable people, — acceptable^ in Christ, and as the

K The Mozarabic, or aucieut Spaiiisli. Vide Neale, Tetral. Liturgic,
or Gen. lutrod., p. 545. On the joint action of priest and people in
llie consecration, see also Note G.

■• Compare Jer. Taylor, Golden Grove, (Works, vol. xv. p. 01): "That


Body of Christ, — that the glory of that great Offering
consists. The holocaust that flames on the altar,
" the sweet savour acceptable to the Lord," is " them-
selves, their souls and bodies, a reasonable, holy, and
lively sacrifice." In the power thus concurrently with
the clergy to offer and plead, and finally to participate,
the Christian priesthood of the people formally and
essentially consists ; nor can any of these functions be
denied to them without abridging the gifts and privi-
leges which are theirs in Christ. And these functions
of the people as " priests unto God," thus chiefly and
supremely exercised in taking part in the Eucharistic
Rite, they do in a lower degree, as has been repre-
sented in this chapter, discharge also in joining in the
Ordinary Services of the Church. Nay, even in their
common life, they part not with these powers, but
carry on the same work : it is their privilege accept-
ably to present to God in Christ every action and
every hour of their lives ; and what is priesthood but
the power to present acceptably ? Only this priest-
like action, as we may venture to call it, is to be ever
and anon gathered up for more formal and ritual pre-
sentation in the Services, both Eucharistic and ordi-
nary, of the Sanctuary.

It is then in the more habitual recognition of a
priesthood as appertaining to the people, that, as I
conceive, the one of the two schools of theological
opinion referred to may take example from the other.
It may be questioned whether such recognition ap-
pears so distinctly, prominently, and broadly in their
teaching as might be desired, and as it ccrlainly ;ij)-
pears in every line of the ancient Comnnniion Ollices,

she may for ever advance llie honour of the Lord Jesu.s, and rcprrscnt
His Sacrifice, &c., &c., and be accrp/rrl of Thee in her Blessed Lord.'*



and of our own. So long as we stipulate for the in-
dispensableness of a duly (i.e. an apostolically) com-
missioned ministering priesthood in order to the effec-
tual celebration of the Holy Communion, it would seem
to be almost impossible to insist too strongly on the
people's position as " priests unto God." For it may
truly be said that all other priesthood, yea, the very
Priesthood of Christ Himself, exists but for the sake
of this, as the means exist for the sake of the end.
Not for His own sake, but " for their sakes" did He
" sanctify Himself V' i.e. consecrate Himself as a Priest
and Offering unto God, "that they also might be sanc-
tified," and become prevailing priests, and an accept-
able sacrifice. Nor is there, perhaps, any truth which
the laity generally have greater need to be taught, than
the existence and nature of these lofty privileges of
theirs, and how the exercise of them is involved, in
different degrees, in the higher and lower kinds of
attendance in the Sanctuary.

Those, on the other hand, who arc so earnest in
maintaining the existence and the rights of Christian
priesthood as pertaining to the people, are in general
very far from entertaining any just or adequate con-
ception of what priesthood is. For this they must
have recourse to the ancient teaching of the Church,
embodied in her Communion Offices, and thoroughly
confirmed by Scripture ''. They must in their turn be
willing to learn much on this point from those whom
they now look upon as enthusiasts or upholders of
priestcraft. Let them accept and realize, first, the
verity of the Priesthood of Christ, and especially its
intimate connection with the original institution of
the Eucharist ; next, the continuation of that priestly

' St. John xvii. 19. •■ See Part II.


operatiou of His on earth by the hands of His mi-
nisters, as in heaven by His own ; and lastly, the
priestly character of even the people's part in that
most exalted function of humanity, the great Eucha-
ristic Transaction. Then, but not till then, they will
believe in a "lay priesthood" worth upholding. At
present, it must be plainly said, their view is for the
most part a purely rationalistic one ; a mere negation
of the gifts and powers of the Gospel; a casting down
of the ladder between heaven and earth, with all its
array of ascending and descending ministries, in order
to substitute for it the efforts of all but unaided natural
piety. Those who entertain this view, while profess-
edly looking to the grace of God, do in reality seek
to cut the Church off from the guaranteed reservoirs
and channels of that grace : those reservoirs being
the Incarnation and the Priesthood of Christ; those
channels, the Sacraments ordained by Him. AVould
that such could be brought to see that, in their zeal
against a ministering priesthood, they really arrive at
a position which evacuates the Gospel, for clergy and
people alike, of its best gifts and privileges ; and that
it is through the instrumentality of such a duly em-
powered priesthood, and no otherwise, that the Chris-
tian scheme provides a true and worthy priesthood for
the people of God.

It is obvious to remark upon the ilkistration wliich
the views here expressed receive from tlic contents of
the Clnu-ch's Ordinary Offices, which are to some ex-
tent derived from the Dapti.smal (Jllico on tlie one hand,
and from the Eucharistic on tlie oilier. One feature
of our own morning offices, from St. Gregory's time
downwards, has been, tlicre can be little (loul)t', tliat

' ycc above, c'liap. i. p. 97.


Creed which is the peculiar note of Baptismal profession.
That synil)ol of our faith having had a place in the
ancient Prime Oflice for near a thousand years, was
maintained in a corresponding position in our present
Morning OflHce. Thus is the Baptismal position day
by day taken up, by profession of the Baptismal Creed :
whether, as in the case of the merely baptized, setting
forth the whole of their Christian position ; or, as
in that of communicants, recalling to their recollec-
tion these first and earlier vows. The Lord's Prayer,
whether primitively or not, has certainly for many
hundred years been in use, both in the Eastern and
the Western Church. This may be viewed indiffer-
ently, either as imparting a Baptismal or Eucharistic
character to the office : that prayer having so signal
a place in the offices proper to both Sacraments ; in
the one, as the prayer of the adopted ; in the other,
as the perfect verbal compendium"^ of the great Eucha-
ristic actions of Oblation, Participation, and Pleading.
But again, the Ordinary Offices of the Church, in
the East and West alike, have ever, as we have seen
in the first chapter, embodied some portion of the
Eucharistic Offices. It may suffice now to advert
to one or two signal instances of this. The " Col-
lect for the Day," which has ahvays formed part of
the English Morning Offices, is manifestly designed
to import into it the entire spirit and essence of
the variable part of the Eucharistic Office; being,
as a general, if not a universal rule, the concentra-
tion into a prayer of the spirit of the Epistle and
Gospel. Nothing can more clearly, or in a more
practical form, mark the desire of the Church that
the Daily or Ordinary Offices should not lose sight of

" See Part II., Primitive Form of Liturgy.


the Eucharistical, but be considered as ancillary to
it. We have a recognition, in this adoption of a Eu-
charistic feature in Ordinary Worship, of that lower
kind or degree of Priesthood which has been above
spoken of as attaching to the latter.

In the Eastern Church, again, wc have discerned
a kindred phenomenon to the Western Collect, only
on a yet broader scale. The Ectenes, or supplications,
too, used at the Ordinary Offices are borrowed entire,
with much besides, from the great Liturgies " ; some-
times from the very Consecration Prayer itself.

But it is much to be observed, that while the
Church draws thus freely upon her Eucharistic Offices
for the materials of her Ordinary Worship, she is
careful to reserve to the exclusive use of the former
certain high and transcending ideas and expressions ;
thus vindicating to the Eucharist its proper character
as the supreme channel of intercommunion between
God and man, and as having certain aspects and
privileges of which no more than the shadow or faint
image is communicable to lower forms of worship.
Thus, though praise of any kind may not unjustly be
called a sacrifice, and the application of this term even
to Ordinary Worship might reasonably plead the
sanction of St. Paul's words in Heb. xiii.°, yet wc
find that in the practice of the Church, the expres-
sion is generally restricted to directly Eucharistic
Offices. Our own Daily Office is an instance of this.

" Instances may be seen in Ncalc's Introd. to Hist, of Easloni
Cliurcil, vol. ii. p. 897, compared with vol. i. p. 381 ; at p. '.)01, with
p. 595 ; p. 902 with 442. Sec ch. i. 8. 0.

" "By Tlim, fhorcfoin, let us ofTrr the sacrifice of praise lo (iod C(tn-
linually, that is, the fruit of our lips, f,'ivinf,' tiianks (o His Name."
It may of course be maiutaincil tiiis is a strictly Eucharistic


111 the General Tlianksgiving we desire grace "to
sliew forth God's praise, not only with our lips but
in our lives ; by giving up ourselves to Ilis service,"
&:c. ; thus following closely upon the steps of the
apostolic injunction, and of the Eucharistic Offices.
Yet we forbear to take into our lips the expression,
"sacrifice," and use only those of "praise" and
" service." Very different is the holy boldness with
which, in a single Eucharistic prayer, we three times
use the term " sacrifice ;" " entirely desiring God's
fatherly goodness to accept our sacrifice of praise and
thanksgiving," presenting " ourselves as a reasonable,
holy, and lively sacrifice," and acknowledging our
unworthiness, yet our bounden duty, to offer such
" sacrifice."

The same is observable in the Eastern Offices. A
remarkable instance occurs in the adaptation made of
a portion of St. James' Liturgy to ordinary use. It
is part of the solemn intercession immediately after
consecration, and we find all that modesty, so to
speak, in making use of it, which becomes the inferior
Office. While the things prayed for are the same,
the form of prayer is in one case the high and solemn
Eucharistic phrase, " Remember ^ ;" in the other it is
lowered to the more ordinary form, " We pray for."

A comparison of our Baptismal and Eucharistic
Offices in like manner, exhibits very strikingly the
discrimination to be made, in the Church's view,
between Baptismal and Eucharistic powers and func-
tions. The ideas which pervade the Baptismal Office
are purely those of renewal and regeneration ; death

P "Remember, Lord, them that bear fruit and do great deeds in Thy
holy Churches," &c. (Lit. S.James, Neale, vol ii. p. 594). But,
"We pray for them that bear fruit and do good deeds in this holy
Chuixh," &c. (Eastern Vespers, ibid., p. 901).


to the old man, and rising again in newness of life.
The particular aspect, that is to say, of the saving
actions of our Lord, into which the baptized enters, is
that which belongs to them as the direct working out
of the Incarnation. Though the baptized necessarily
partake of the benefit of the Death of Christ as
a Sacrifice, and are admitted by Baptism to the
ri(jlLts of active Christian priesthood, yet their position
and duties arc described without reference to these
ideas. The dedication of them to God is spoken of
as a passive thing (" Grant that whosoever is here
dedicated to Thee by our office and ministry," &c.)
even in the case of adults ; they are not exhorted
to " present themselves a reasonable sacrifice," or the
like ; because, although in some true sense they are
capable of doing so, yet for the highest and truest
measure of that capacity they must await their enter-
ing, by Eucharistic attendance and participation, on
the actual discharge of the priestly or sacrificial func-
tions of a Christian.




"And these words, whicli I command thee this day, shall be
a thine heart ; and thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when
thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou
rbest up."

The earliest phase of our Offices of Ordinary Wor-
ship, discernible in the corresponding ritual of the
Eastern Church, has been dwelt upon at some length
in the first chapter of this volume ; with a minute-
ness, indeed, which may at first sight seem dis-
proportionate. Yet I know not to which of the two
classes of readers into whose hands this w^ork may
fall, any apology on the score of such minuteness is
likely, on consideration, to seem necessary. Such as
possess much previous acquaintance with the Daily
Offices either of the East or the West, or of both,
will, it may reasonably be hoped, be interested in the
line of research here pursued ; this department of
Eastern ritual having never before, I believe, been
investigated, or only cursorily and unsystematically,
with a view to elucidating the Western Offices. The
feeling which naturally accompanies such an investi-


gation and comparative analysis, is surely not unlike
that with which the modern astronomer studies the
constellations of another hemisphere, and finds in them
ever new illustrations of the sidereal truths familiar to
him in his own ; or even elaborates, by the help of
them, a more comprehensive and sounder conception
of the entire science. Those, again, to whom such
researches are more or less new, will find their ac-
count in this somewhat full inquiry into the earlier
condition of the Church's ritual : —

" Lorsqu' on vcut cxposer," says a methodical and cfFcctivc
writer on a very different subject, " unc science peu connue,
le moyen le plus simple consiste a en faire 1' histoire. Les
connaissanccs s'introduisent alops dans I'esprit du lecteur,
commc clles se sont formees dans celui des generations ; on
suit, pour ainsi dire, la science pas a pas: et Ton passe avcc
clle de ses elemens les plus simples a ses theories Ics plus

Now, as Mr. Palmer, in his invaluable " Disser-
tation on Primitive Liturgies," or Communion Offices,
has once for all elevated that branch of ritual study
from a mere empiricism and guess-work to the dignity
of a regular science, having its fi.\ed laws and its
classified phenomena ; so is it a part of my endeavour,
in this volume, to perform a like service for the study
of the Ordinary Offices of the Christian Clnirch : and
it is in a clear and detailed conception of tlieir earhcr
successive stages and aspects that the foundations of
a correct apprcliension of tlicm can be most easily
and securely laid, lint so it is, that in the anii;ils
of the Ordinary Offices of tlic Eaul, and tiierc only,
can we study that succession. Wc there obtain a

■ Paul (If R(.'iiiiis;il, sur unc Revolution (laiis lii Cliiuiic (vid. Kevur
(Ics deux Mondcs, 1855).


view, not of the result merely, as in studying the cor-
responding Western Offices, but of the process also.
Their stratification, if I may be allowed to borrow an
illustration from modern science, is distinctly seen
in the order of its occurrence. The successive depo-
sition of a first, a second, and a third formation go
on almost before onr eyes in the ritual history of the
first few ages in the East. We have first the primary
and simple twofold structure, composed in a great
measure of the detritus of the elder Jewish forma-
tion, and comparativel} little organized. This passes,
within the first three or four centuries, into the three-
fold and far more elaborately organized structures of
what we may call the second period. And we shall
presently be called upon to witness the leisurely super-
position of an entirely novel group, completing the
series. The Western scheme, on the contrary, forged
or recast as it was by a single process, (so to speak,)
out of the Eastern materials laid ready to hand, pre-
sents no such leisurely and progressive phenomena to
the eye of the student.

But again, the nomenclature, and to a certain ex-
tent the nature, of the elements entering into certain
of the Western Offices, and those the great and prin-
cipal ones, have meanwhile been gradually brought to
view by this method of proceeding. The invitatory ;
the hymns ; the various modes of using the Psalms, —
whether continuously and without selection, or by se-
lecting them with adaptation to particular purposes; —
the difi'erent number of them appropriated almost uni-
versally to the different services, — as 12 to Matins, 6
to Lauds, 5 to Vespers ; — the nature of Antiphons, and
the various classes of them ; the complex system by
which the Psalms, on festivals more especially, were


interwoven with the Lessons in one ^reat musical
scheme of mingled meditation and praise; the Re-
sponsories entering into that scheme ; the Canticles
forming another important feature of it ; the Versicles
and Responses, the Capitula, the Collect, the Confes-
sion and Absolution ; — all these we have discerned in
their rudiments, and, as it were, in the very course of
formation. And even of our existing ritual not a few
particulars have been examined by the way, and the
view to be taken of them in a great measure sug-
gested. So that not only the general purpose of this
work, to investigate the universal principles of Chris-
tian worship, but its more particular aim of fixing the
ideas proper to our own forms of service, have been
more materially advanced in our first chtvptcr than
might at the time appear.

The object, however, with which we set out, was,
it will be remembered ^, to ascertain the earlier his-

Online LibraryPhilip FreemanThe principles of divine service; an enquiry concerning the true manner of understanding and using the order for morning and evening prayer, and for the administration of the Holy Communion in the English Church (Volume 1) → online text (page 17 of 33)