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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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^ Sec the Ea.stern Lauds, Nealr, jjp. 91."), OH).

I 1 Ti"< -i 1 2. '" I.. 112; ami Ncdo, p. 015.



306 THE rRINCIPLKS of DIVIXK SERVICE. [ciiAr. IV.

not accidental appears from hence, tliat tlie petition
for " peace" is the old antiphon used at Vespers just
before the Collect for peace ", having been substituted
at the Revision for the older petition, (" Grant them
peace in Thy strength," &c.,) which formed the ver-
sicle and response to that Collect. The intermediate
three answer to the prayers for the Queen, the Clergy,
and for all Conditions of men. And it is by no means
improbable, though we have no proof of the fact, that
the fillino- in, at the later revisions, of the scheme of
our collects and prayers, was suggested by the head-
ings which these petitions furnish. Whether the cor-
respondence, however, was designed or accidental, it
legitimates our present intercessory prayers in refer-
ence to the old forms, as being a natural development
out of them ; though, indeed, as will be pointed out
presently, the old Offices were by no means so devoid
of detailed intercessions as is commonly supposed.

Of the THREE Collects at Morninoj and Evenino;
Prayer, it may be truly said that each one is a micro-
cosm, revealing, on close examination, singular beau-
ties of structure and contents. And the morning and
evening group, though composed, as regards the two
last, of different elements, are, even as regards these
perfectly parallel and in harmony, owing to their being
drawn from parallel parts of the older system. It
should be observed, however, that though all three of
these prayers are alike called Collects, they are so in
different senses. The two former only are connected
with the Communion Office at all, and only the first
with that of the current week.

No part of the ritual mechanism of the West is
more worthy of admiration than the means by which

" Traiisl. Sar. Psalt., p. 298.



SKCT. v.] MORNING AND EVENING PR.'.YEIl, 367

the ordinary Office is continually linked on to the
Eucharistic. The chief medium for effecting this,
and indeed the only one that is of continual ai)plica-
tion, is the weekly Collect. We have traced ° in an
earlier page the probable derivation of this element of
ser\ice from the Eastern system. But it possesses
such marked characteristics of its own, that it may
nevertheless be said of it that fofa nostra est. In its
terseness and high finish, and in its continual use, it
differs widely from its Eastern prototypes. In the
East, the Vespers and Lauds preceding a Sunday or
Festival are largely coloured by the infusion of a va-
riety of hymns, many of them resembling prayers, and
all referring to the Gospel of the coming day. In the
West, though originally there were several ^, we have
now (mostly) a single prayer, composed generally out
of Epistle and Gospel taken together, or with some
reference to both. And this, though specially used
at the Vespers of the Eve, and characteristic of that
office, is also continued throughout the week.

It is to be observed, then, that om- Eikst Collect
is not merely a bond of union between our connnon
and our Eucharistic Ollice, but such a one as to pre-
sent to us the api)ointed variation of that Oflice for
the current week. The Collect, every one knows,
varies with the week ; but it is not so generally ob-
served, or taken into account, that it is of itself no
random thing, but a reflection of the mind and spirit
of the Epistle and Gospel'^. Ilere, tiien, is opened ii|)
a field of weekly study, really indispensable to a full



" pp. in— 117. " p. 115.

^ A valuable 8cric8 of scrmon.s, bringing ont the design of llio Epi-
stles, Gospels, and Collects, has just been pnt for(h by Mr. Isaac
Williams.



368 THE nUNCirLES OF DIVINE SKIlVrCE. [chap. IV.

perception and riglit use of a portion of our Daily
Offices. At each Communion our Lord is presented
to us, tlirougli the medium of the Epistle and Gospel,
under some special aspect ; or some particular duty or
doctrine is set forth to us. Now such varying aspect
of our Blessed Lord, such duty, or doctrine, is only
appreciable in one way. If we would be faithful to the
design of the Church for us in her Daily Offices, — I
had almost said, if we use them as a whole in any in-
telligible sense, — it need scarcely be pointed out what
our endeavour or desire in this matter should be. The
Epistle and Gospel, and the Collect epitomizing them,
were appointed and fixed with no other design in the
world than that they should accompany Eucharistic
celebration ; that they should impart a certain colour,
varying with the season or the week, to the one di-
vinely-appointed memorial Offering and participation
of Christ. It is when, by joining in that high act, we
have taken home to ourselves, under circumstances of
special supernatural aid, the lesson of those Scrip-
tures ; when it has blended itself with the most awfid
and absorbing moments of our spiritual existence on
earth ; it is then that we are fitted, in any true sense,
to say with the Church her profoundly- related weekly
Collect. The mere reading and hearing on the Sun-
day of the Epistle and Gospel, apart from Communion,
though better than no hearing of them at all, and
serving to set, to that extent, the tone of the week,
is a feeble substitute indeed, as regards the purpose
before us, for the use of them according to their pro-
per intention. Used, on the other hand, after such
celebration, the Collect is endued with a wonderful
power for carrying on through the week the peculiar
Eucharistic memories and work of the preceding Sun-



SECT, v.] MORNING AND EVENING PRAYER. 369

day, or of a Festival. Under whatsoever engaging or
aweing aspect our Lord has more especially come to
us then in virtue of the appointed Scriptures, the
gracious and healthful visitation lives on in memory,
nay, is prolonged in fact. Or in whatever special re-
spect, again, suggested by these same Scriptures, and
embodied for us in the Collect, we have desired to
present ourselves " a holy and lively sacrifice" in that
high ordinance, the same oblation of ourselves do we
carry on and perpetuate by it. Through the Collect,
in a word, w^e lay continually upon the altar our pre-
sent sacrifice and service, and receive, in a manner,
from the altar, a continuation of the heavenly gift.

The Second Collects at IMorning and Evening,
both entitled "for Peace'," have a peculiar and
deeply interesting origin. It should perhaps have
been explained before, that in the old English Lauds
and Vesper Offices certain features \ called " Memo-
rials," were introduced on week-days, varying with
the season. Each " Memorial" consisted of a special
antiphon prefixed to the Benedictus or Magnificat,
a versicle, and a Collect ; all bearing upon some one
doctrine, such as the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, the
Holy Spirit, the Communion of Saints. The Collect
was mostly taken from the Communion Offices of
the Festivals connected with these doctrines, such as
the Purification, Whitsuntide, All Saints', &c. Thus
was the Lauds Office, — the Office, as it may be
called, of man's mystical estate in Christ, — and the

' Matins, rubric and title ; Evensong, rubric.

• See Transl. Sar. Psalt., jip. 175, ISl, for an accurate account of
the Memorials.

' In a perfectly f)arall(;l nianiu-r were lli



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 29 of 33)