Liturgical History

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A survey of the early history of the liturgy reveals great richness in both its plurality and its organic dynamism, defying any neat categorizations of universal linear development. Even the definition of "early" can vary from geographical area to area, ranging from subapostolic to anywhere between the 6th and the 10th centuries. For the purposes of this essay, "early" will cover the development of the liturgy from the sub-apostolic period to the 8th century.


Modern scholarship on early liturgical history can be described as a movement from the quest for the "original" liturgy to the recognition that the first four centuries represent a movement from tremendous pluriformity to regional uniformity. While the three great branches of Christian liturgy (Greek, Syriac and Latin) are rooted in these early centuries we can also see the regional, cultural and linguistic liturgical rites taking shape by the late third and early fourth centuries.

Jerusalem. From Jerusalem, the birthplace of Christianity, we have evidence of liturgical practices and understandings that reflect the multilingual and multicultural center of Christian pilgrimage, resulting in liturgical practices both influenced by and influential throughout the Christian churches in late antiquity and beyond. The bulk of the written evidence dates from the fourth and fifth century, revealing a marriage of the indigenous Semitic and cosmopolitan Greek influences. The primary texts are those of cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem (the Catecheses of the mid-4th century and possibly the Mystagogical Catecheses of the 380s), and egeria, whose travel diary is calculated to date from 381 to 384 and compares in interesting ways to the earlier travel diary of an anonymous pilgrim from Bordeaux (c. 330). In addition, the Armenian and Georgian lectionaries from the first half of the fifth century give evidence of liturgical continuity and change, as does the Georgian chantbook (the Iadgari, 7th century). The earliest Eucharistic liturgy (The Liturgy of Saint James ) with roots in Jerusalem is quite late from a manuscript perspective (9th century) but may reflect late 4th/early 5th century practices of Jerusalem intertwined with those of other Eastern Christian areas. Archaeological work has also contributed to our understanding of the central Christian complex in Jerusalem built around Constantine's martyrion (now Holy Sepulchre ) and how it was used liturgically.

Rome. From Rome, one of the earliest and most prominent centers of Christianity, we have evidence from varied types of sources, but not as comprehensive as those of Jerusalem. First is the valuable description of justin martyr, who defends Baptism and Eucharist to the emperor in his First Apology, c. 150. Another voice from a Roman church, although disputed as to authorship and dating, is the church order Apostolic Tradition, an edited document probably covering two centuries of information on how to perform different rites, making it one of the earliest ordines. In addition, the Philocalian Calendar, dating from 354, and the Liber Pontificalis of the sixth century both contribute to our understanding of the liturgical calendar. Later resources, such as the sermons of Leo the Great (44061) and Gregory the Great (590604) and the earliest collections of liturgical texts (libelli, lectionaries, and sacramentaries ) which emerge in the 6th and 7th centuries, give scholars a clearer sense of the characteristics of liturgy in the city of Rome and its environs. (For further information on the liturgy in the city of Rome, see roman rite.)

Alexandria. Alexandria and Lower Egypt represent another of the great early centers of Christianity and have yielded multifaceted sources for understanding liturgy, but rarely in the form of actual liturgical texts. Two early Christian theologians, clement of alexandria (c. 150215) and origen (c. 185254), both refer to liturgical practices and reveal a fascination with symbolic meanings, especially in the poetic texts of Clement's hymns. The Trinitarian and Christological controversies that tore the fabric of Coptic Christianity in these early centuries also contributed to descriptions or clarifications of liturgy, particularly in the writings of athanasius, sometimes bishop of Alexandria (c. 296373), whose festal letters help our understanding of the development of Lent and Easter in Egypt and elsewhere. epiphanius, bishop of Salamis in Cyprus (367403), contributes to our understanding of the origins of Epiphany and Christmas in 4th century Egypt. From the Egyptian monastic writers, particularly pachomius (c. 290346) and cassian (c. 360435), we have descriptions of monastic daily prayer that contribute to our later understandings of how non-Eucharistic prayer grew. Liturgical texts from Egypt include the Canons of Hippolytus (dating disputed, but perhaps as early as mid-4th century), a collection of liturgical directions with clear roots in the Apostolic Tradition of Rome. One of the most important documents is the so-called Sacramentary (or prayer book) of Sarapion, a 4th-century bishop of Thmuis (lower Egypt). Sarapion's texts include Eucharistic prayers and a number of blessings. The early Egyptian church has also contributed three fragmentary Eucharistic prayers; the first is the prayer included in the Strasbourg papyrus 254 (late 4th to early 5th century), the related Anaphora of Saint Mark (mid-5th century) and finally the Liturgy of Saint Basil, possibly 4th century, which could either be indigenous to Egypt and borrowed by Basil of Cappadocia, or brought to Egypt by Basil himself. Egyptian or Coptic liturgical practices are fundamental to the development of the liturgy of Ethiopia, which preserves many similarities in its ancient Ge'ez language rites.

Syria. The liturgies of Syria form a major liturgical family, although differences exist between Western and Eastern Syria. Syria yields some of the earliest liturgical ordines, or practical instruction books on how to do liturgy, which parallel the family tree of the Roman document, the Apostolic Tradition. The Didache (late 1st century), the Didascalia (c. 230), the Apostolic Constitutions (c. 380), the Epitome (5th century) and the Testamentum Domini (5th century) are all from the Syrian Christian tradition with links to other Christian centers. Each ordo hands down to us valuable information on prayer patterns, initiation, Eucharist, appointment of community leaders and their duties, and eventually the layout of liturgical space and the unfolding of the liturgical year. The related West Syrian Synodicon (7th century) contains additional information on the sanctoral cycle. From East Syria, the Acts of John (c. 200) and the Acts of Thomas (c. early 3d century) offer evidence of different patterns of Baptism and similar patterns of Eucharistic celebration, as does the 5th-century Armenian Ordo, which preserves much of the East Syrian liturgical pattern. From the environs of Antioch in West Syria comes a series of episcopal writings which include extensive liturgical descriptions or explanations. john chrysostom's (c. 347407) writings contain information on initiation (including the catechumenate), Eucharist and ordination. theodore of mopsuestia (c. 350428) also writes extensively of Baptism, Eucharist, and the catechumenate. The letters and sermons of severus of antioch (bishop from 512 to 518) preserve information on the cult of martyrs, the liturgical year and the meaning of Lent. Two Eucharistic liturgies, the Anaphora of the Twelve Apostles and the Liturgy of John Chrysostom, both have roots in this area, whether or not the two related anaphorae are from the hand of Chrysostom or not. Finally, the Syrian Martyrology of 411 provides a parallel liturgical calendar to the Philocalian of Rome and helps organize the various sermons preached on the feasts of martyrs. From Eastern Syria, the writings of aphraates (early 4th century) and ephrem (c. 30673) often reveal in poetic form many of the important images underlying the Syriac Christian understanding of the meaning of initiation and Eucharist (as well as penance, anointing of the sick, and leadership in the churches). The Anaphora (Eucharistic prayer) of Addai and Mari, dating perhaps from the 3rd century, reflects some of the key differences in the East Syrian church. Later writings, such as the anonymous Liber Graduum (late 4th century) and the Liturgical Homilies of Narsai (d. c. 503) deal with the interpretations of meaning for Baptism and Eucharist. The 6th-century Sogitha on the Temple of Edessa contains a valuable discussion on the meaning of liturgical space in relation to the liturgical action. Finally, some local Eastern councils contain legislation regarding various aspects of liturgy, especially the Synod of Laodicea (c. 370) and the Canons ascribed to Maruta of Maipherqat (7th century).

Constantinople. The imperial city of constantinople was a late but important player in the development of early church liturgy. Beginning in the 4th century with the move of the emperor Constantine to the city, Constantinople became the recipient of a major imperial building project (beginning about 328), which changed the landscape of the city to fit the needs of Christian liturgies and processions. This use of stational liturgy, also seen in Jerusalem and Rome, made the city the church, with processions gathering in public places and moving from dedicated Christian building to building, shifting with the liturgical year. The Great Church, or Hagia Sophia, first dedicated in 360, was the heart of the system of stational liturgy and remained so through the rebuilding projects of the emperor Justinian (52765), who continued developing the "Christian topography" of the city. The written sources that tell us how these spaces were used are primarily those of two bishops; gregory of nazianzus (bishop from 37981), John Chrysostom (bishop from 398403); two 5th-century church historians, socrates and sozomen; a 6th-century church historian, theodore lector; the 7th-century Chronicon Paschale, which makes reference to a number of liturgical processions and liturgies from 330 to 533; the Byzantine chronicler theophanes confessor (752818); and a number of 10th and 11th-century sources which witness to the continuity of Constantinople's stational liturgy. Within the unique pattern of liturgy in this city, the sources mentioned above yield a rich display of chants, popular religious practices, eucharistic liturgies, the cult of saints, daily office and the unfolding of the year according to the Byzantine liturgy. One notable liturgical text that has its origins in the Constantinopolitan stational liturgy is the trisagion, a chant originating in the 5th century and spreading from here to many other Christian liturgies.

North Africa. The North African church was crucial to the development of Latin language theology and liturgy because of several extremely influential writers. tertullian (Christian from c. 195230) gives us the earliest description of Baptism related to Easter and some of the elements of Baptism (De Baptismo ), as well as reflecting on Eucharist, agape, evening prayer and other daily prayers. cyprian, bishop of Carthage from 248 to 258, wrote extensively on leadership within the church, particularly the roles of presbyters and bishops, the requirements for an efficacious baptism, the Eucharist as sacrifice and memorial, and what would later be called "public" or "canonical" penance, the process whereby serious sinners (especially apostates in times of persecution) were to be admitted back into the church. augustine, bishop of Hippo from 396 to 430, gives us an extensive collection of sermons from which we know a great deal about the catechumenate, the celebration of the rites of initiation, the seasons of the year, the setting of the Eucharist, the cult of the martyrs, and funerals for Christians, as well as the current theological arguments regarding penance, orders and Baptism. The liturgical information gleaned from these three is corroborated by several local synods; Hippo (393) and Carthage (397, 407 and 419) all of which reflect a growing tendency toward "official" prayers and collections of prayers to offset misleading or possibly heretical liturgical texts. Unfortunately, none of these texts in question survives. In addition to these writings, the other important "voice" for liturgical information is archeology; there are many remains of churches, baptistries, cemeteries, inscriptions and mosaics. These all contribute to a better understanding of the setting for Baptism and Eucharist, the latter especially as it intersects with funerals and the cult of martyrs.

Northern Italy. A number of bishops from northern Italy provide information on 4th-and 5th-century liturgical practices. The most prominent is ambrose, bishop of Milan from 373/374 to 397. Ambrose wrote extensively on Baptism and Eucharist; his mystagogical catecheses known as De Sacramentis (preached to the newly baptized in Milan c. 391) reveals invaluable information on how he and his community understood the rituals of initiation (anointing, Baptism, chrismation, foot-washing and Eucharist). The practices reveal continuity with some Roman traditions in later centuries and also link to the East. Ambrose was a prolific hymn and antiphon writer also, and his poetic compositions preserve a theology of liturgy with regard to daily prayer, Christmas, Easter and other occasions. The continuation of an extended and elaborate catechumenate and rites of initiation are captured in the writings of other less-known bishops such as chromatius, bishop of Aquileia (c. 388407), gaudentius, bishop of Brescia (c. 397), zeno, bishop of Verona (362c. 375), maximus, bishop of Turin (died c. 423) and peter chrysologus, bishop of Ravenna (c. 40050). In addition, several early Western liturgical texts come from the north of Italy, including the Rotulus of Ravenna (c. 5th7th century), and a number of lectionaries, gospel books, or lists of scripture readings for the Eucharist, such as the Lectionary of Sélestat, c. 700; Bobbio Missal,c. 6th; and the Gospel Book of Vercelli, c. 4th8th centuries.

Spain. The early liturgical evidence from Spain is not as extensive as other geographical centers. Aside from a number of local synods concerned with funerals Eucharists held at the cemetery and the cult of martyrs, it is not until the primary Spanish liturgical books, the Liber mozarabicus sacramentorum and the Liber ordinum, that we have extensive knowledge of the Mozarabic rite (materials date from the 5th to the 10th centuries). One of the great early poets and hymn writers in the Latin language was a Spaniard, prudentius (348c.410), whose texts covering the feasts and seasons of the liturgical year are still sung today.

Gaul. The great explosion of liturgical texts from Gaul occurs in the late 7th and 8th centuries, but several different sources inform our knowledge prior to that. The earliest references are from irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (c. 177200), who, while not a native of Gaul, reflected local practices in his extensive writings on the meaning of Baptism, Eucharist and Christian death. Other early liturgical references come from the canons of local Gallican councils and synods, of which there were many between the 4th and the 7th centuries, and the canonical collection, Statuta ecclesia antiqua, of the late 5th century. The writings of various bishops reveal a great deal about liturgical practice, especially those of caesarius of arles (c. 470542) and gregory of tours (bishop from 57394). A rare source for liturgical detail is the disputed (as to author and date) Expositio antiquae liturgiae gallicanae, perhaps written by Germanus, Bishop of Paris (55576). The document contains a wealth of information which supports other evidence of the strong Eastern (and particularly Syrian) influences in Gallican liturgy and the cult of the martyrs. There are extensive hagiographical resources from Gaul, including the Life of Martin of Tours by Sulpicius Severus (c. 401) and the History of the Franks, Glory of the Martyrs, and Glory of the Confessors all by Gregory of Tours, which contain information about daily prayer, healing and anointing, Eucharist, Baptism, funerals, the liturgical year and the rise of monastic influence on parish liturgy. Finally, two early lectionaries, the Wolfenbüttel Palimpsest (c. 500) and the Lectionary of Luxeuil (c. late 7th century) contribute to our understanding of how the developing cycle of the liturgical year was arranged.

Out of this regional variety emerges the great liturgical families of rites in the 5th to 7th centuries: the roman rite, which in a hybrid form would eventually dominate in Europe; the gallican rite; the mozarabic rite of Spain; the ambrosian rite of Milan; the celtic rite; the coptic and ethiopian Rites; the various Syrian Rites (east syrian, maronite, syro-malabar); the armenian rite; and the byzantine rite (and later related national rites).

Early Historical Shifts in Initiation and Eucharist. The early history of the church is the setting for some of the most dramatic shifts in the two major liturgical actions of the church, initiating new members and the ongoing center of ecclesial identification, the Eucharist. Without forcing an artificial uniformity in the early rites of initiation, there are still some generalizations which can be made with regard to ritual and interpretation in Christian initiation. The scriptural evidence reveals a simplicity of profession of faith, minimal preparation, water bath and, of course, a changed life. This pattern soon develops from a sequence of more deliberate preparation, water bath and Eucharist (Didache and Justin Martyr ) to the addition of anointings, sometimes multiple (Tertullian and the Apostolic Tradition ) and finally to the large-scale and rigorous catechumenate of the 4th century (see especially the catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem, Ambrose of Milan, John Chrysostom and Theodore of Mopsuestia). As the church moved through the 4th century, the "cost" of baptism began to shift dramatically, from the potential danger of being martyred to the reality that baptism could lead to status and position in worldly affairs. While not outwardly reflected in the rites themselves, certainly this dramatic shift changed the understanding of what was happening in initiation. The elaboration of ritual and ritual process reaches an apex by the 5th centuries, however, at which time the complex rites begin to change, either taking place within a considerably shorted amount of time (Greek and Syrian) or, fractured into distinct actions separated by years (Latin). This shift goes hand in hand with another major change, adults to infants as the subject of the initiation process. This is a shift with wide-ranging ramifications, most notably the reversal of catechesis first-initiation second, to initiation first-weak catechesis second. This shift affects understandings of what initiation does, the role of personal affirmation of faith, the meaning of Lent, and the unity of the rites of initiation, to name just a few. Shifts in Eucharist during the early centuries of the church will also result in dramatic changes in practice and understanding. The textual shift from a preference for blessing in Judaism to a preference for thanksgiving and offering in Christianity will impact the construction of fixed prayers; the shift from domestic settings to public spaces will change the view of who participates and who leads; the move from small groups of people who knew each other to larger and larger gatherings removes Eucharist from the meal setting and changes the fabric of relationships; the legalization of Christianity opens the door to the increasing inculturation of the ritual to the imperial cult, rivaling the glories of the court; the change in design of buildings, removing the action of the Eucharist from access and sight parallels the shift in understanding of Eucharist as meal to Eucharist as awe-filled mystery and sacrifice. In the West, the evolution of language will result in a distancing of comprehension from a liturgical language which did not change, and the stratification of ranks of Christians within the church will affect understandings of access and worthiness. Finally, in spite of great continuity in the shape of the Eucharistic liturgy, reductions in primary rituals and expansions in secondary rituals will result in a liturgy which appears quite different by the late 7th-to early 8th-century description of Roman papal liturgy detailed in the Ordo romanus primus. Parallel shifts in the early rites of reconciliation, ordination, anointing of the sick and eventually marriage can be traced through these same pivotal centuries of the church.

Bibliography: j. baldovin, The Urban Character of Christian Worship (Rome 1987). p. bradshaw, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship (New York 1992). m. johnson, ed., Living Water, Sealing Spirit (Collegeville 1995). g. macy, The Banquet's Wisdom: A Short History of the Theologies of the Lord's Supper (New York 1992). e. mazza, The Celebration of the Eucharist: The Origin of the Rite and the Development of Its Interpretation (Collegeville 1999). f. paxton, Christianizing Death: The Creation of a Ritual Process in Early Medieval Europe (Ithaca 1990). t. talley, The Origins of the Liturgical Year (Collegeville 1986). p. turner, The Hallelujah Highway: A History of the Catechumenate (Chicago 2000). c. vogel, Medieval Liturgy: An Introduction to the Sources trans. and rev. by w. storey and n. rasmussen (Washington, D.C. 1986). e. yarnold, The Awe-Inspiring Rites of Initiation: The Origins of the RCIA (Collegeville 1994).

[l. larson-miller]


For the purposes of this entry, "medieval liturgy" will refer to the development of the liturgy from the mid-8th century to the early 16th century in the Latin West, from the rise of the Carolingian monarchy to the 95 Theses of Martin Luther.

Some trends in the complex history of medieval liturgy may be observed from the outset. The first is that of two broad periods of Romanization: the Carolingian renaissance and the propagation of the liturgy of the Roman curia. The second is a general movement from widely variant customs, through a sense of unity, to the uniformity of a single Roman liturgical practice.


To appreciate the importance of the Carolingian liturgical renaissance, some background is needed. The liturgical centers of the early church developed under the aegis of the Roman Empire. With the fall of Rome in the early 5th century, those provinces whose wellbeing depended on the pax romana were thrown into chaos. Moreover, the boundaries of the known world continued to expand North and East into regions lacking historical liturgical centers.

Gaul, nominally Christian since the baptism of Clovis (496), experienced scattered integration of Roman liturgical culture as a result of initiatives of private individuals, primarily monks and pilgrims, bringing back books and mementos from Rome. The Gallican church was organized on a local basis, and with the exception of early conciliar efforts to unify provinces with the same liturgical practice, there was little concern about liturgical unity.

When, with papal approval, the Carolingians usurped the Frankish throne in the mid-8th century, they sought to reorganize church life as an aid to unifying the realm and expanding into pagan territories. They had long sponsored the work of Anglo-Saxon missionaries (e.g., Boniface) who had strong ties to Rome and had restored ecclesiastical discipline via episcopal councils. The organization of a unified liturgical practice in Gaul was more difficult as available liturgical materials were varied and often threadbare. Years of constant warfare had interrupted the output of books by monastic workshops, and the Carolingians turned to Rome for help.


The Carolingian Synthesis . With the reign of Pippin III (741768) the church became the focus of the Carolingian renaissance, and the enterprise of Romanization shifted from assimilation to substitution. In attempting a revival of old Roman culture, the Frankish monarchs created something new, a church-state led by an emperor thoroughly reliant upon monks and bishops (e.g., Alcuin, Theodulf). The leadership of the Frankish church took up the task of renewal with great energy and creativity, producing an explosion of liturgical materials. They, like their emperor, set about to restore the Roman liturgy, and ended up producing a hybrid of old and new. With the revival of monasticism, the Carolingians made it possible for Frankish scribes to set about assembling and systematizing liturgical texts. The 9th through 11th centuries were centuries of the book.

Liturgical Books . A significant Carolingian achievement was the development of the Sacramentaries, a book containing the words spoken by the liturgy's presider. Sacramentaries evolved from libelli missarum, small booklets containing the presider's prayers (excepting the canon missae ) for one or more masses. Sacramentaries occasionally included ritual comments that became known as rubrics after the custom of writing them in red to distinguish them from the spoken words. By the early 8th century, two principal types of Roman sacramentaries were circulating in Gaul: gelasian and gregorian. These types were differentiated both by their origin and organization of material. Gelasians originated in the presbyteral liturgies of the Roman parish churches (tituli ) and were organized into distinct cycles: Sundays and feasts celebrating events in life of Jesus (Temporale ), and feasts of the saints (Sanctorale ). Gregorians were a presbyteral adaptation of the papal liturgy used at St. Peter's, and the materials appeared in a single series according to the movement of the liturgical year. These two types were blended together with older Gallican material to form the so-called Frankish (or, 8th-century) Gelasian Sacramentaries.

To make sense of the confusing proliferation of resources, the Carolingians imported both books and liturgical personnel from Rome. The principal example was Charlemagne's request for "pure" Roman sacramentary from Pope Hadrian (r. 772795). After considerable delay, the pope sent a book that represented a papal liturgy from the early 8th century. The Hadrianum, a type of Gregorian sacramentary, was received with some confusion as it contained no formulae for many Sundays. To provide missing materials and address local circumstances, Frankish liturgists under the guidance of benedict of aniane (d. 821) assembled a supplement of optional texts. Charlemagne issued the Hadrianum and its supplementknown by its incipit Hucusque with a decree requiring the use of the former, and recommending the latter. In subsequent copies the division between the sacramentary and the supplement was blurred, and the entire work took on royal authority. The Carolingians had succeeded in cataloging liturgical texts, but not systematizing them. Use of the Hadrianum spread sporadically as it was too expensive to replace old manuscripts that were still usable. But the sacramentary was a book for the presider only, and other books, each with its own complex history, were required to conduct the liturgy.

An ordo (pl. ordines ) contained ceremonial directions for conducting a service (Eucharist, Baptism, Ordination, etc.) and was a necessary accompaniment to a sacramentary. Various ordines migrated north of the Alps independently to be gathered into collections by Frankish liturgists. Like the sacramentaries, ordines were adapted for local use.

The lectionary, a list of readings for specific services, developed in several ways. Readings could simply be noted in the margins of a book of Scripture; a separate list could be made, indicating where readings began and ended (capitulary ); readings could be written out in full, and assembled in an independent book; or they could be written out in full and assembled with the other texts required for the liturgy. An evangelary was a type of lectionary containing only readings from the Gospels.

The antiphonary contained all of the things to be sung for either the office or the Eucharistic liturgy. The Roman antiphonary and members of the schola cantorum brought from Rome by Pippin were vital to the Frankish liturgical reform as cantors also served as masters of ceremony and liturgical experts. The book of music for the Eucharist was sometimes called the gradual.

The pontifical included material needed by a bishop for non-eucharistic services (e.g., Baptism, Ordination). The pontificala much later termwas a practical combination of non-eucharistic ordines with corresponding prayers from the sacramentary, and took many centuries to evolve into the Pontificale Romanum of 1596. An important Carolingian landmark was the Romano-Germanic Pontifical (RGP) from about 960. Compiled by Frankish liturgists, it played an important role in the Ottonian reform of Roman liturgical life in the 10th century The development of pontificals illustrates the presumption that the ordinary liturgical presider is no longer the bishop, and we see an analogous development of the ritual, a resource providing priests with materials needed for the non-eucharistic services for which he was responsible (baptism, penance, marriage, anointing, burial).

The Church's Worship: Calendar . The seasons before and after Easter were the first to develop in most liturgical traditions; Sundays bore a direct connection to the celebration of the Resurrection. By the Carolingian period the unity of the Paschal celebration had begun to break apart, with each of the three days of the ancient Triduum developing a distinct character. The everpresent strain of liturgical interest in the course of Jesus' earthly life found great room for growth, and we see the roots of Western drama in the development of liturgical drama (e.g., Quem quaeritis and Passion plays). A similar piety will flourish around the Nativity cycle. The Carolingians also introduced the preface De Trinitate (Concerning the Trinity) that became the permanent Sunday preface and marked a decisive shift of the Sunday Eucharist from resurrection memorial to doctrinal formulation. The bulk of medieval additions to the calendar were in the Sanctorale, with saints' days providing holidays.

The Church's Worship: Daily Prayer . Two different traditions of daily prayer had developed in the early period, the so-called cathedral and monastic traditions. Meant for different audiences, each was a combination of psalmody, readings, song, and prayer. The cathedral office was celebrated morning and evening, ideally in the presence of the bishop, and included large amounts of unchanging material. It was time-related, with the rising sun and the evening lamp becoming images of Christ as the light of the world. Another feature of the cathedral office was a weekly resurrection vigil, held on Saturday evening. By the 12th century, the establishment of parish churches contributed to the demise of the cathedral office as the people were less able to gather at local cathedrals.

The monastic office was an eight-fold structure: matins, lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers, compline. The psalter was sung (or recited) weekly, and the office included scripture readings, canticles, hymns, hagiography (histories of saints), patristica (writings by church fathers), prayers, responses, and the Apostles' Creed. Eventually, so-called little offices in honor of Mary and the dead were attached to the daily cycle.

The monastic reforms of Benedict of Aniane were important building blocks of the Carolingian revival. Monasteries served as cultural and educational centers, vital to the production of liturgical books and reflection on liturgical practice. Benedict's reforms were to have an effect on the regular (i.e., non-monastic) clergy as well. At Metz, chrodegang issued a Rule (c. 753) requiring priests to live in community and recite the office daily. He even directed them to say the office in private if unable to do so in common. Such a practice, novel for regular priests, set a trend toward a wider privatization of the church's official prayer.

The Church's Worship: Sacraments . Christian Initiation. In the Old Gelasian Sacramentary (Frankish redaction c.750) we see textual evidence of a central shift in Christian initiationthe presupposition of baptizing children rather than adults. Despite this change, the questions addressed to those being baptized were still aimed at those able to answer for themselves. The ancient multi-year catechumenate had become mostly ceremonial with its various rites all taking place within Lent. To the traditio (handing over) of the Gospels, Lord's Prayer and Creed to catechumens, the Carolingians added exorcism and the presentation of the Gospels. Baptism took place at the Easter Vigil or Pentecost, and included the laying on of hands by the bishop and communion. In the Romano-Germanic Pontifical (10th century) there was also a new order of Baptism combining many of the pre-baptismal and baptismal rites together for the baptism of children outside of Easter or Pentecost.

Eucharist. The Carolingian reforms had a vast influence on the celebration of the Eucharist in the West. Latin was becoming a specialized religious language, and the liturgical books were in constant flux. In addition to the increasing monasticisation of clerical life, the emperors laid down strict standards of clerical education, including regular examinations. Such particular attention to what the priest said and did at the Eucharist was to have a profound impact. Two immediate results were the rise of Mass commentaries (expositiones missae ) and Eucharistic controversies.

Expositiones missae, a genre of liturgical exegesis whose origins were found in the mystagogical catecheses, found new life in the Carolingian educational program. The foremost figure was amalarius of Metz (c. 775850), who applied a fully developed vocabulary of symbolic interpretation to such commentaries; his principal work was the Liber officialis. Though officially condemned in his own day, Amalarius's work became the cornerstone for most subsequent medieval liturgical expositors, culminating in the Rationale divinorum officiorum of William Durandus the Elder (c. 12301296).

Already in the 9th century questions arose about the Eucharist that would influence the experience and the theology of the sacrament for centuries. Around 825, a Frankish monk at the monastery of Corbie, ratramnus had proposed an understanding of the real presence of Christ in the eucharistic species based on an Augustinian conception of the reality of symbolic presence. His abbot, paschasius radbertus preferred a more physical conception in the literal sense. berengarius of tours revived the issue about 150 years later. Prayers by priests to be made worthy to celebrate the Eucharist began to appear at many points in the liturgy. These prayers (apologiae ) soon formed part of the unchangeable Order of Mass (ordo missae ) that began to take on the tone of a privatized devotional experience for the priest.

Priests began to fill roles of other liturgical leaders (e.g., deacon, lector, psalmist), often becoming the sole liturgical minister. Increasing attention was paid to the canon missae and institution narrative ("words of consecration"), a natural if problematic by-product of the eucharistic controversies. If what happened at the Eucharist was of great concern, when it occurred was equally important. The canon missae became inaudible to the people, though most did not understand Latin, and was gradually punctuated with gestures and bells to highlight its solemnity. The increase of such ritual elements throughout the liturgy accompanied the impoverishment of essential elements, e.g., the communion of the faithful.

In this period, we also see the beginnings of the private masspriests celebrating the Eucharist without a congregation. The exact origins of this practice are unclear but, given the recent proliferation of ordained monks, one possibility is that it might have been monastic in origin. The great Carolingian monastic churches developed around the idea that each church, with its principal altar and many side altars, was a miniature copy of urban Rome with its many churches. While full privatization of the mass would come later, the Carolingian age provided the necessary tools: many priests and many altars. Some scholars have suggested that the side altars grew when pilgrimages to the Holy Land were no longer possible under Muslim rule. The side altars became substitutes, each altar representing a particular pilgrimage shrine. Others have identified the proliferation of side altars with the rise of private solitary masses and the notion of the mass as an opus bonum (good work) that each priest was obligated to perform.

Penance . In the pre-Carolingian period, penance was a multi-stage and public experience, including admission to the Order of Penitents, and eventual public reconciliation (cf. Old Gelasian Sacramentary). It was non-repeatable, and was used only for those considered to be in grave sin. Frankish liturgists added elements including vesting in a penitential garment and imposing ashes (cf. Ordo Romanus 50). In time, penitents were expelled from the congregation. These developments roughly coincided with the advent of private penance, introduced to the Frankish church by Irish and Anglo-Saxon monks though resisted by the Frankish bishops. In this new system now administered by priests, there was no order of penitents, no communal prayer, no liturgy of penance, and no need for bishops. A tariff system developed along with private penance, wherein certain offences had prescribed penalties, including monetary fines.

Conclusion . The Carolingians imported what they thought was the Roman liturgy into the chaotic liturgical world of 8th century Gaul. Finding it insufficient to their needs they added to it, forming a hybrid European (often known as the Romano-Frankish or Romano-Germanic) liturgy. They also turned their considerable creativity to adapting other remnants of Roman culture: language, music, script, architecture, painting and sculpture. By focusing on educating an increasingly monasticized clergy, they created a highly developed clerical culture that became more insular. This clerical and sacral class became the liturgical representatives of the observing laity. After Charlemagne's death, Carolingian culture declined quickly in the West, but was well preserved in the monasteries of the Eastern ("German") part of the Empire. It was from here that the Ottonian emperors were able to impose the hybrid European liturgy on Rome in the middle of the 10th century.


The Roman curia . After the Ottonian period, there were great changes in the administration of the church. During the Investiture Controversy, Pope gregory vii (pope from 1073 to 1085) vastly increased his authority in relationship to the Emperors. The administrative workings of the church were systematized and, with important developments in canon law, the church became a governmental system with the pope at its head. Rome had long laid claim to the imagination of Western Christians; now it was also the seat of a powerful monarch. In the late 11th century, the papal court (curia Romanum ) developed to assist in the governmental affairs of the church. Within the Lateran complex, the pope had his own chapel, and the celebration of the liturgy with pope and people of Rome in stational churches gave way to pope and court in the curial chapel. Special books were needed, and it was the European liturgy brought to Rome by the Ottonians that was adapted for this purpose.

Liturgical Books . Missal. A number of factors accompanied the growth of the missal, including an increasing number of churches and ordained priests. Additionally, new legislation obliged priests to recite to themselves all the parts of the Mass, even when performed by other ministers (e.g., deacon, psalmist). A practical book, the missal was a combination of sacramentary, lectionary, gradual and ordo. An important exemplar was the missal created for the curial chapel by Honorius III (pope from 1216 to 1227). In the Missale plenum (full missal), a later adaptation, texts were combined into mass formularies for each celebration. The Missale plenum would evolve into the Missale Romanum of 1570. (For a further discussion, see missal, roman.)

Pontifical and Ritual. The pontifical continued to evolve, heavily reliant on the RGP. The two principal pontificals of the 13th century were that of the Roman curia under the influence of innocent iii, and that of William Durandus (c. 12301296). With additional editing the latter became the Pontificale Romanum of 1596. Unlike the pontifical, the ritual was more adaptable to local circumstances, and there was considerable crosspollination with the pontifical for services not reserved to bishops. Sometimes bound with sacramentaries, rituals became discrete books in the 11th century, and were made mandatory for priests from about the 12th century. (For more information, see pontifical and ritual, roman).

Breviary. Analogous to the missal, the breviary began to appear in the 11th century, a practical compilation from many sources (Psalter, Collectar, Lectionary, and Antiphonary ). Legislation of the Fourth Lateran Council (1214) bound the entire clergy to recite the Office. Innocent III (pope from 1198 to 1215) compiled the Ordinale, a prototype of the breviary, for curial use. Up until this time the Office had been marked by great creativity, and much material was omitted to form the breviary. The mendicant Orders of the 13th century, especially the Franciscans were instrumental in popularizing the breviary.

The Church's Worship: Daily Prayer . Official Prayer. From the 8th to the 12th centuries, monastic communities were the principal elaborators and transmitters of the divine office. The new mendicant orders such as those founded by Dominic (11701221) and Francis (11811226) found the complex monastic liturgical style unsuited to their itinerant lifestyle and pastoral work in urban areas. The liturgical books available at the cathedral of Assisi were those of the papal court and were used as models for a new style of liturgical books carried across Europe by the Franciscans. Still more revisions were made by Favo of Haversham (d. 1244).

In the same era, time demands upon priests attached to the new universities increased the pressure for private recitation. By the 15th century private recitation had become the norm for non-canonical priests. Although no synod before Trent obliged private recitation, the trend toward privatization begun in the Carolingian period had continued to escalate, with the result that the official prayer of the church was seen as an individual obligation of the ordained representative of the faithful.

Popular Prayer and the Saints. In the face of the increasing clericalization of official prayer, popular piety found ever-new modes of expression. Shortened versions of the divine officeespecially little office of the blessed virgin mary and the Office of the Dead became popular with lay people. Members of the upper classes commissioned sumptuous Books of Hours. New celebrations of Mary and the saints and their relics continued to be added to the liturgical calendar. The sense of the year's progress and the Mass itself as a dramatic representation of salvation history also contributed to the proliferation of piety that the Council of Trent attempted to address.

The Church's Worship: Sacraments . Christian Initiation. Since the Carolingian period, infant baptism had become increasingly normative. The multi-year catechumenal rites, collapsed into Lent by the Carolingian period, had been further folded into one rite. Over the course of the Middle Ages the initiation process was gradually divided into three stages (Baptism, Confirmation, Communion) often separated by numbers of years, and involving different ministers. Several developments contributed to these changes. Eucharistic controversies contributed to misgivings about communing infants, although this varied widely. Additionally, the reigning theology of Baptism had become one of washing away Original Sin, resulting in an urge to baptize children as soon as possible after birth, and a final disconnection from Easter.

From the 14th century on, councils decreed that children be baptized within eight days of birth. Under these circumstances, it was unlikely for a bishop to be present for Confirmation, and later theologians began to assert that Confirmation augmented the grace of Baptism, and determined that it should administered at the age of reasonseven years old. Once Confirmation was an independent rite, more elements were added. Anointing becomes the central act of confirmation.

Eucharist. By the 12th century, the Eucharist had become the domain of the people's ordained representatives, rather than the people themselves. Latin was no longer a vulgar tongue in Europe. The Eucharistic table had become an altar at the east end of the church with only a small space for plate and cup. The faithful had become onlookers and liturgical details with visual interest were introduced. The most important of these was the elevation of the host in the middle of the canon missae. Officially prescribed in 1209, the so-called minor elevation spread rapidly. Such a visual focus on the consecrated Host opened the door to a preoccupation with ocular rather than oral communion. The evolution of tabernacles, rites of Exposition and Benediction, stories of miraculous (or bleeding) hosts, and the Feast of Corpus Christi (1264) were extensions of this highly specific and visual eucharistic piety.

Over time, the notion of the Eucharist as opus bonum (good work) gave rise to an elaborate stipendiary system, whereby a monetary offering is given to priests to say a mass for a specific intention. An elevated sense of unworthiness on the part of the laity, and the increasing emphasis on the priest celebrating the private mass (missa privata ) hastened this development. In many places, the stipendiary system evolved into a full-blown system of remuneration for priests. Rich lay persons began to endow chantry chapels, setting up a trust to pay a priest to say a mass a day in perpetuity for the donor's soul.

Penance. By the first half of the 13th century, the tariff system had developed to such an extent that it was possible to exempt oneself from penance (e.g., fasting) with monetary payments (redemptiones ), often in the form of paying mass stipends. In an attempt to curb such abuses, private confession was introduced into the rite of penance. This new focal point of the rite was soon overshadowed by the priest's absolution. All of this did not do away with the tariff system, and redemptiones developed into indulgences.

Conclusion . The liturgy of Rome, imported to Gaul in the 8th century and amended by Frankish liturgists, was re-imported to Rome in the 10th century. This hybrid, European liturgy was simplified for use in the Papal court, and further adapted by the mendicant orders of the 13th century who would popularize it across the face of Europe where it replaced a wide variety of traditions. This loose unity of liturgical practice would become codified at Trent, becoming the obligatory, uniform use of the Roman Catholic Church until the late 20th century.

Bibliography: r. crocker, An Introduction to Gregorian Chant (New York 2000). g. dix, The Shape of the Liturgy, with notes by p. v. marshall (San Francisco 1982). m. e. fassler and r. a. baltzer, eds. The Divine Office in the Latin Middle Ages: Methodology and Source Studies, Regional Developments, Hagiography (New York 2000). j. harper, The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy from the Tenth to the Eighteenth Century: A Historical Introduction and Guide for Students and Musicians (New York 1991). j. a. jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite: Its Origins and Development (Missarum sollemnia), tr. f. a. bruenner (New York 1950). l. larson-miller, ed., Medieval Liturgy: A Book of Essays (New York 1997). r. mckitterick, The Frankish Church and the Carolingian Reforms 789895 (London 1977). e. palazzo, A History of Liturgical Books from the Beginning to the Thirteenth Century, tr. m. beaumont (Collegeville, Minn. 1998). r. w. pfaff, Medieval Latin Liturgy: A Select Bibliography (Toronto 1982). c. vogel, Medieval Liturgy: An Introduction to the Sources, tr. and rev. w. storey and n. rasmussen (Washington,D.C. 1986).

[p. a. jacobson]

From Reformation to Vatican II

The period from the Reformation to the beginning of the Second Vatican Council consisted of times of comparative peace and tranquility interspersed with political and religious upheaval, and industrial and economic turmoil. For the Catholic Church, reform took place in the liturgy at the beginning of the period and was followed by several centuries in which little changed. Toward the end of the period it was clear that growing dissatisfaction indicated the need for a rethink and for reforms in the ways that the Church's prayer was celebrated. This entry breaks the period into four reasonably distinct historical sections: the 16th century; the 17th to 19th centuries; and the 19th and 20th centuries, and also considers developments in the Reform Churches.


Liturgical Reforms of Luther and Calvin. It is important to take account of the significance of the Lutheran Reform for the history of liturgy during this time. In his ecclesiology, Martin luther (14831546) identified the church as a communion of saints in both spiritual and institutional form. For him, the Spirit was not restricted by the institution but remained free to act. Of particular importance for Luther was his sense of the church as a local community, and so the assembly played a much greater role than had been usual before. Naturally, these elements were reflected in their communal prayer and worship, and we find this particularly in the emphasis upon the clarity of the spoken word in the vernacular, the encouragement of the participation of the congregation in all aspects of worship, including the music, and the involvement of the assembly in all other areas of church life. The focus on the word of God in scripture, both proclaimed and preached, is particularly noteworthy. For Luther, good preaching makes the church, and the liturgical ministry of greatest merit is that of the preacher, who inspires all Christians to preach the good news through the power of baptism. Turning away from the kind of individual piety that Luther identified as one of the signs of the failure of Christian liturgy up to his time, Luther encouraged fuller participation. His Formula Missae et Communionis of 1523 was followed by a much more radical service in the vernacular in 1526, including Communion under both species, hymns, texts and prayers in German, the abandonment of all language referring to sacrifice and the turning of the presiding minister to face the people over the altar table.

Among those who followed Luther in the history of the reform churches, the key figure for liturgical reform was John calvin (150964) of Geneva, Switzerland. His most influential liturgical work was his Form of Church Prayers according to the Custom of the Ancient Church, published in 1542. In this, and in his more formally theological work, the Institutes of 1559, Calvin places a great deal of emphasis on the holiness of God and on the primacy of God's will. He emphasizes the importance of discipline, and on the ordered activity of the church community as it moves toward holiness. Calvin's views on liturgy are an important continuation of Luther's ideas, but show the influence of his own theology: baptism is our initiation into saving faith and the Lord's Supper is the symbol of unity of the community; the ministry of the Word of God governs all things; the promotion of good order should govern all liturgical practices, as all other aspects of the life of the faith community: peace and good order are the signs of the presence of a "true" Church; the sacraments and public worship are to be overseen by elected pastors, whose ordination, including the ceremony of the laying on of hands, is given considerable importance; liturgical variation is encouraged, with love as the guide for what is best.

Anglican Liturgical Reforms. Alongside the reform of the liturgy in Lutheran and Reformed Churches, there were important developments in the Anglican liturgy in England, led by the work and inspiration of Thomas cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1532. During the short reign of Edward VI, Cranmer saw worship become strongly Protestant, and was responsible for two key texts before his execution in 1556: the book of common prayer of 1549, and its second edition of 1552. Both these texts display important principles of theology for liturgy: the people's offering of themselves is a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; the sacrament of the Eucharist is a memorial of the passion and death of Christ; Christ's death on Calvary was to be regarded as unique, perfect, and all-sufficient; we are called to receive the Eucharist in a worthy manner. This second edition suffered under a ban from 1645 and reappeared in revised form in 1662. Another area of influence of Cranmer's liturgical reform was in music. Because of the requirements of the new rite, liturgical music underwent a revolution: paramount in the requirements of the music was to be the transmission of the text, clearly and with no doubt as to its intention; music thus now performed a key role in the proclamation of the word of God. Yes, the music in cathedrals still tended to be sophisticated and more elaborate than that found in most parishes, but the fundamental aim remained in force throughout. From this moment onward, then, we see the clear musical break between the churches of the Reform and Roman Catholicism: the Reform Churches recognized that the primary reason for singing hymns and psalms in the vernacular was as a tool for evangelization and the teaching of theology. This development was to find even greater encouragement through the inspiration of John wesley (170391) and his Methodist Church.

The Catholic Response: Council of Trent. A careful study of documents of the Council of trent reveals some level of pastoral concern on the part of the bishops who participated. Preference was given to "conventual" or communal Masses over private Masses lacking in music and other liturgical ministries; indeed, the solemn sung Mass was to be normative over the ferial "low Mass." Communion received by the lay faithful during the Mass that they had attended was recognized as important, and we even find discussion on the possibility of the assembly's drinking from chalice at Communion.

The seventh session of the council (1547) treated the sacraments, particularly baptism and confirmation, and the canons appear to be primarily directed against Luther and Melanchton. Seven sacraments were affirmed as having been instituted by Christ and containing "the grace which they signify," as opposed to Luther who would eventually affirm only baptism and confirmation as sacraments "instituted by Christ."

The thirteenth session (1551) affirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation, i.e., that at the moment of consecration the bread and wine is converted into the body and blood of Christ, "truly, really, and substantially," and that with the body and blood of Christ are His soul and divinity where the "whole Christ" is contained in its entirety in each species and in every part of each species. The sacrament was also to be reserved in churches for adoration and also for pastoral care of the infirmed.

In 1562 the twenty-first session treated the topic of Communion under both species for the laity, stating that laity and clerics who do not celebrate Mass are not obliged to drink from the chalice. As for the communing of little children, while the ancient practice of small children was not to condemned, it was neither required for salvation "before the age of reason."

The twenty-second session of the council (Sept. 17, 1562) addressed liturgical abuses in its disciplinary decree De observandis et evitandis in celebratione missae: the magical treatment of the host was to cease; Mass was to be celebrated only in consecrated oratories or churches; bishops were to better control their clergy regarding the number of Masses celebrated so that they did not profit inappropriately from an excessive number of Mass stipends; superstition around the fixed number of Masses was to stop as was the use of inappropriate liturgical music. Music had been used inappropriately in the liturgy prior to the council (e.g., as background to the priest's silent praying of the canon).

There was, indeed, widespread corruption within the Catholic Church of the 16th century, and much of that corruption centered around the liturgy and sacraments. The priest's Communion had come to be seen as sufficiently symbolic of the whole Church, and Eucharistic adoration became more important than the Eucharistic celebration itself. Some of those abuses might be attributed to ignorance on the part of clergy, since there was a tremendous lack of priestly formation; indeed, it was only at the Council of Trent that each diocese was required to have its own seminary. Whatever the reasons, abuses were rampant. There were problems with the exaggerated cult of the saints, along with an abuse of Mass stipends where some clergy celebrated as many as 30 Masses per day to receive the stipend; in some cases up to 1,000 Masses would be celebrated for a deceased person. Some clergy accepted two or three stipends for the same Mass while repeating the first part of the Mass two or three times up to the preface, but praying the canon only once. The abuse of indulgences and the large numbers of clergy living in concubinage only contributed to a decline in the Church's credibility.

The council's twenty-second session also affirmed the propitiatory nature of sacrifice of the Mass as a response to Protestant reformers who could only affirm that the Mass was a "sacrifice of praise," or a "testament" of God's forgiveness. Rather, Christ offered himself in bread and wine to reveal himself as a priest in the order of Melchizedek. Indeed, the third canon of that session stated that if one holds that the Mass is nothing more than a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving or a mere commemoration of the sacrifice on the cross and not a proprietary sacrifice, "let him be anathema." Moreover, against the reformers, priests were reminded that water was to be mixed with wine in offering the chalice, as already decreed in the Council of florence.

The use of the vernacular was another item on the agenda also discussed at length in the twenty-second session. Council records show that some bishops spoke out in favor of the vernacular, at least for some parts of the Mass. They did so out of concern for large numbers of their congregations who were unable to grasp the richness of what was taking place since they were unable to understand Latin. These participants did not deny the centrality of Latin as the official language of the Church, nor did they deny its beauty as a language of mystery, but argued, rather, out of pastoral sensitivity for their constituencies. Thus, in the twenty-second session, it was decided that the liturgical readings and the mystery of the Eucharist should be explained to the people in the local language, at least on Sundays and feast days.

It was in the twenty-fifth session of the council when the reform of the missal and breviary were discussed, but the complexity of such a task and lack of time prompted the council fathers to delegate the task to the reigning pontiff, pius iv. He, in turn, delegated the project to a commission whose proceedings are no longer extant. Although the Council of Trent limited its liturgical mandate only to the reform of the missal and breviary, it is appropriate to refer to the subsequent revision of other liturgical books as part of the Tridentine reform, since those revisions were very much influenced by the council's spirit. In both the breviary and missal reforms, a primary goal was liturgical uniformity. Thus, for the first time, these liturgical books contained carefully prescribed rubrics printed at the beginning of each text, despite requests for regional differences to be respected with variations in the Roman rite to be determined by the local bishops involved. The source for these rubrics was the 1502 Ritus servandus in celebratione missae of Johannes Burckard, papal master of ceremonies.

The postconciliar liturgical commission was led by Cardinal Guglielmo Sirleto. In a relatively brief period, revision of the breviary and missal was completed; the breviary the first to be promulgated. Following the publication of a new postconciliar Index (1564) and a new Roman Catechism (1566), the Roman Breviary followed two years later in 1568: the Breviarium romanum ex decreto sacrosancti Concilii Tridentini restitutum Pii V. Pont. Max iussu editum.

Prior to the council, Pope clement vii (152334) had commissioned the Spanish Cardinal Francisco de quiÑones to undertake a revision of the breviary, which he published in 1535. Quiñones intended his edition of the breviary for private use and divided the psalter into weekly segments, eliminating repetitions; saints' legends; votive offices; hymns; and other elements more appropriate to the choral office. Scripture readings were lengthened and read sequentially. The simplicity of the Quiñones text held great appeal and was reprinted 11 times in the first year alone, and more than 100 times in its 30-year history. It was ultimately supressed by the conciliar breviary of 1568. The sanctoral calendar was restructured in the new breviary, bringing about greater balance between ferial days and feasts and a more ordered praying of the psalter. Localized customs that could not demonstrate an ancient tradition of at least two centuries or more were eliminated.

Some of the concerns evidenced in the breviary reform were seen yet again in the reform of the missal. The Roman Missal (Missale Romanum ex decreto ss. Concilii Tridentini restitutum, Pii V. Pont. Max iussu editum ) was promulgated on July 14, 1570. This was not a new rite of the Mass, but rather a lightly revised edition of the 1474 missal used by the Roman Curia. In the Tridentine revision, the liturgical calendar was restructured. Saints' days were diminished as Sirleto's commission gave priority to the principal liturgical seasons and feasts of the Church year and to those saints' days celebrated in Rome prior to the 11th century; numerous minor (often local) feasts and memorials were excised, resulting in 157 free days on the liturgical calendar with the exception of octaves. Some votive masses and sequences were also removed. Private prayers and gestures of the priestcelebrant that found their way into the Roman Rite through Gallican influence were also reordered.

As the new breviary was to be the primary tool for the centralization of the Divine Office for the Church, so the Missale Romanum of 1570 was to be the definitive text for the celebration of the Roman Rite. Like the criteria used for the breviary reform, the new missal was to suppress all other local rites less than 200 years old. Thus, such religious orders as the Dominicans, and certain dioceses (e.g., Milan and Lyon) were given permission to continue using their own missals, each with its own distinctive rites.

Twelve years later, in 1582, the liturgical calendar was revised under Pope Gregory XIII, followed by the revision of the Roman martyrology in 1584. Using the 9th-century martyrology of Usuard as the source, hagiographical accretions that were either historically inaccurate or undocumented were removed. The work was completed by a commission of ten, including the noted historian Cardinal Cesare Baronius whose further revisions of the text were published in 1586 and 1589. The martyrology was meant to be read in religious communities during the daily office of Prime. The making of new saints and ongoing research made the martyrology the most revised liturgical book of all, with frequent new editions.

The Congregation of rites was established by Pope Sixtus V in 1588 along with 14 other congregations. This new congregation was to oversee the celebration of the rites themselves; the restoration and reform of ceremonies; the reform of liturgical books; the canonization of saints and regulation of the office of patron saints; the celebration of feasts; and the reception of dignitaries to Rome. It was also responsible for dealing with liturgical problems raised by local circumstances. While the Congregation of Rites had varied responsibilities, the primary focus of that office was clearly to promote liturgical unification throughout the world and to assure that the newly included liturgical rubrics were carefully followed.

The reform of other liturgical books begun at Trent was continued with the Congregation of Rites. Based on the 13th-century pontifical of French bishop William Durandus, a new Roman Pontifical (for the use of bishops) was published in 1956 and made universally mandatory by Pope clement viii. The first Caeremoniale Episcoporum (a book of rubrics for bishops and Episcopal masters of ceremonies) followed in 1600. The Roman Ritual (a pastoral manual for deacons, priests, and bishops) was published in 1614, containing texts for the administration of baptism, penance, marriage, extreme unction, processions, and for the blessings of persons, places, and things. The source for the 1614 text was largely the 1523 manual for priests by Dominican Alberto Castellani, as well as Cardinal Guilio Antonio Santori's 1601 ritual. The Roman Ritual was not obligatory, although its use was encouraged by Pope paul v. The fact that the text never received a universal mandate meant that it was hardly known outside of Italy until the middle of the 19th century, and even then, many dioceses had their own appendixes included until Vatican II.


Revision, Development, and Stagnation. The revision of the Catholic rites after the Council of Trent shows the effects of the theological debates between Catholicism and the Reform Churches. Of particular importance is the emphasis on the nature of Christ's presence in the Eucharist, the significance of the verba Iesu during the Eucharistic prayer, and the ecclesial centrality of Rome. Certain texts were removed altogether (for example, all but four sequences were removed) and the list of feast days and saints' days was simplified. Alongside this simplification and regularization came inevitable rubricism, indicating the desire to maintain the rituals and to apply them uniformly across the realm of Catholicism through the use of instructions of great detail. Thus, for the first time, the Missal was printed with an introduction composed by the papal master of ceremonies, providing a detailed list of rules to be followed in the celebration of Mass. There is little doubt that the printing of these texts greatly enhanced the possibility of uniformity in ritual. Only churches with ritual whose provenance could be proved to be more than 200 years old were exempt.

The reforms of the Missal and the Breviary were successful and effective, and these were soon followed by revision of the other books of worship: the Ritual, the Martyrology, the Ceremonial, the Pontifical. This process of reform and development seems to have come to a standstill, and the effectiveness of the reform lasted only about 50 years. As the decades went by, the original aim of simplification of rites and especially of liturgical music, as encountered in the compositions of Palestrina and Victoria for example, was ignored in some places as cathedrals vied with one another for the splendor of their ritual and music. Along with the leap in artistic and musical sophistication, we also see a rise in the number of liturgical feasts. It is during this period (about 1580 to 1903) that we find the introduction of major religious feasts such as Sacred Heart and Corpus Christi, the enhancement of the role of Mary with the construction of new rites for the celebration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Immaculate Conception, and the addition of over 100 other feast days. As the rites continued to grow and proliferate, it was clear that further reform was required, but in fact it was only in France that anything significant was achieved. During the 18th century as many as 50 dioceses adopted the reformed Parisian liturgy for Mass and the Divine Office of c. 1736. these too, however, came under attack from several influential church figures, including Prosper guÉranger, and the attack was ultimately successful.

Synod of Pistoia (1786). A significant attempt at liturgical reform in the 18th century came with the initiative made by Scipione de' ricci (d.1810), bishop of pistoia. In that Jansenist-influenced synod, the call was made for a return to the pristine liturgy of the early church, encouraging active liturgical participation by the laity and in the vernacular, gathered around only one common altar in every church. There was emphasis on only one principal Sunday Mass where the priest proclaimed the presidential prayers in loud, clear voice. Communion given to the faithful should be consecrated at that Mass and not given from the tabernacle. Baptismal preparation for parents and godparents was insisted upon, and it was preferable that baptisms took place during the Easter Vigil. Marriage preparation was also decreed. The synod was ahead of its time and lacked the movements and years of preparation that preceded Vatican II. De' Ricci was deposed as bishop in 1790 and the synod was condemned four years later by Pope pius vi in the bull auctorem fidei.


From Solesmes to the Liturgical Movement. More recent centuries saw important development in liturgy throughout Christianity. The reform of the liturgy within the Anglican Church was given much impetus by the Parish and People movement (194968) and its most popular cause, the Parish Communion movement. Most prominent among its members was A. G. Hebert, author of Liturgy and Society in 1935. The work and inspiration of these groups fostered and ultimately led to the production of the continued adaptations of the Book of Common Prayer, the Alternative Service Book (1980), and Common Worship (2000). (see oxford movement.)

The four key figures during this period in the Catholic Church were Prosper guÉranger (180575), founder of the Abbey of solesmes, Lambert beauduin (18731960), one of the founding figures of the modern liturgical movement, Pope pius x (pope 190314) and Pope pius xii (pope 193958). Guéranger's influence on the liturgy in France and across Europe was immense, fostered by the fame of the liturgy at his abbey, continued on through the liturgical prayer in monasteries in Germany (beuron) and Belgium (maredsous and Mont César) and through his publications, principally his Année Liturgique, (184166). Perhaps Solesmes's greatest influence was its restoration of plainchant to the celebration of the liturgy, mainly thanks to the efforts of André mocquereau, fostered through the benefits of printing and greatly indebted to the Vatican for its official approval.

pius x's motu proprio Tra le sollecitudini of 1903 has commonly been credited with starting off the reform of the liturgy toward the possibility of a fuller participation by the assembly, which reached its zenith at the Second Vatican Council. While he limited his aim to the education of the laity in singing Gregorian Chant, it was the statement of the philosophy behind this intention that was so importantthey should learn the chants in order to take part in the celebration more fully, and thus to be drawn toward sharing in the Eucharist. Above all, Pius reformed the liturgical laws to enable more frequent Communion (Sacra Tridentina, 1905), and recommended the reception of Communion for children. In addition to these important reforms, Pius also regularized the primacy of the celebration of the Lord's Day over other feasts, as well as the order of the recitation of psalms in the Daily Office.

Among those who responded to these reforms by Pius X, the most significant was Dom Lambert Beauduin, of the monastery of Mont César. Beginning with liturgical conferences and courses, Beauduin founded the Centre du Pastoral Liturgique in Paris, published the influential journal Questions Liturgiques and founded an ecumenical (Roman Catholic and Orthodox) monastery.

It is important to note the theological atmosphere prevalent at this time. Grave measures were taken to ensure that theological developments were in line with the prevaling notion that theological questions were to be dealt with according to the classic scholastic method. Any theological speculation based on contemporary values or philosophical techniques or discoveries came to be seen as a dangerous threat to the traditional teaching of the Church. The same Pius X who had promoted active participation in the liturgy also issued the decree lamentabili and the encyclical pascendi in 1907, condemning the errors of "modernism" and establishing an oath to be taken by all priests and theologians in the Catholic Church, one not rescinded until 1967. Thus speculative or experimental theology became difficult if not impossible, and this may have helped to spur theologians to turn to the tradition and the historical sources. Yet this too was dangerous, if the discoveries made seemed to threaten the status quo: the power of the neo-Thomistic method and the authority of the established tradition. We should therefore admire Beauduin's dogged determination to base his studies of the liturgy on as many historical texts as he could find. Beauduin gradually built up a collection of texts that was to be an important archive of materials concerning the liturgy and many other theological subjects. An important part of Beauduin's approach was that the study of historical texts demanded that one try to understand the intellectual and social milieu of the writer of the original text. Although he did not publish more than a single book, Beauduin's many talks, lectures, and articles in Questions Liturgiques, as well as his influence on the many priests he trained about the liturgy, represent an abiding source for the movement toward the reform of the liturgy that came after him. Elements typical to the reforming work and influence of Beauduin were mirrored in Germany through the efforts of Romano guardini (18851968), Odo casel (18861948) and Pius parsch (18841954), who have left to posterity a much more extensive range and depth of liturgical writing.

For some time during this first half of the 20th century, there was considerable support for the fostering of good liturgy from the Vatican. pius xi (pope 192239) sought to promote effective liturgy through his Apostolic constitution of 1928, Divini cults sanctitatem. pius xii was regarded as the primary patron of pastoral liturgy during his pontificate, and paid particular attention to increased participation by the laity in liturgy, the fostering of good liturgical music, congregational singing, and the like. His most important liturgical statement, the encyclical mediator dei (1947), sought to encourage the fostering of worthy liturgical rites and more frequent Communion. Pius XII's commitment to the process is shown by his creating a special commission to oversee the reform of the liturgy, his acceptance of the need for the use of the vernacular, even if under carefully controlled conditions, and his request for the rubrics to be simplified. Of particular importance was the revision of the rites of Holy Week from 1956 onward. Taking their cue from the Vatican, many dioceses around the world supported the continuing reform, and there was a growing sense that the liturgy would have to be examined in greater detail, fostering another, albeit this time more thorough, "return to the sources." (For a further discussion on the incipient trends in liturgical renewal that formed the basis of Vatican II's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, e.g., dialogue masses; see liturgical movement, i: catholic.)

The Second Vatican Council and Sacrosanctum Concilium. john xxiii's calling of the Second Vatican Council gave the foremost liturgical scholars and historians of the day a powerful forum in which to provide the bishops and other delegates with the fruits of their research and experience, and to ensure that the reforms that were put in place would be far-reaching and effective. The work of the preparatory commission was long and arduous, but resulted in the constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, issued on Dec. 4, 1963.

Bibliography: b. botte, From Silence to Participation (Washington, D.C. 1988). a. bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy: 19481975 (Collegeville, Minn. 1990). j. d. crichton, Lights in the Darkness (Collegeville, Minn. 1996). h. davies, Worship and Theology in England, Combined Edition, Book I, "From Cranmer to Hooker" (Grand Rapids, Mich. 1996). g. dix, The Shape of the Liturgy (London 1945, 1993). e. foley, From Age to Age: How Christians Celebrated the Eucharist (Chicago 1992). r. jasper, The Development of the Anglican Liturgy, 16621980 (London 1989). j. a. jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite: Its Origins and Development, 2 v. (Blackrock/Dublin 1950). e. kilmartin, The Eucharist in the West: History and Theology, ed. r. j. daly (Collegeville, Minn. 1998). d. macculloch, Thomas Cranmer (New Haven, Conn. 1996). a. g. martimort et al., ed., The Church at Prayer, v. 12, (Collegeville, Minn. 1986). m. metzger, History of the Liturgy: The Major Stages (Collegeville, Minn. 1997). k. f. pecklers, "History of the Roman Liturgy from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Centuries," Handbook for Liturgical Studies I, ed. a. j. chupungco (Collegeville, Minn. 1997) 153178. d. n. power, The Sacrifice We Offer: The Tridentine Dogma and Its Reinterpretation (Edinburgh 1987). s. a. quitslund, Beauduin, a Prophet Vindicated (New York 1973). f. c. senn, Christian Liturgy: Catholic and Evangelical (Minneapolis 1997). g. s wakefield, An Outline of Christian Worship (Edinburgh 1998). j. f. white, Roman Catholic Worship, Trent to Today (New York 1995). j. f. white, Protestant Worship: Traditions in Transition (Louisville, Ky.1989). s. j. white, "Christian Worship since the Reformation," The Making of Jewish and Christian Worship ed. p. bradshaw and l. hoffmann (Notre Dame 1991). m. t. winter, Why Sing?: Toward a Theology of Catholic Church Music (Washington, D.C.1984).

[a. cameron-mowat/

k. f. pecklers]

Vatican II's Program of Liturgical Reform

The program of liturgical reform initiated by the Second Vatican Council was delineated in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, promulgated Dec. 4, 1963.

Principles of Liturgical Reform. The paramount purpose of this reform was to restore to the faithful "that full, intelligent, active part in liturgical celebrations which the nature of the liturgy itself requires, and which, in virtue of their Baptism, is their right and duty" (Sacrosanctum Concilium 14). This essentially pastoral concern as the supreme norm for liturgical reform is repeated over and over throughout the Constitution, and is given solid doctrinal support in the rich theological introduction on the nature of the liturgy and its importance in the life of the Church (ibid. 513). This theological and pastoral foundation for reform, likewise prefaced to each of the seven remaining chapters of the Constitution, was to become one of the insistent and increasingly profound characteristics of the major documents of liturgical reform. Posited on the assumption that the liturgy consists of "a part that is unchangeable because it is divinely instituted and of parts that can be changed," the reform clearly involved volved giving to "texts and rites a form that will express clearly the sacred content they are meant to signify, a form such that the Christian people will be able to grasp this content as easily as possible and share in it in a full, active, congregational celebration" (ibid. 21).

Three areas were explicitly singled out for a revision based on an understanding that liturgical services were "not private activities, but celebrations of the Church" (ibid. 26): (1) the hierarchical and communal nature of the liturgy, by which the diverse ministerial roles of the entire liturgical assembly were to be fostered (ibid. 2632); (2) the pastoral and didactic nature of the liturgy, by which, through the clear, concise, and simple conjuncture of word and rite, the faith of the participants is nourished (ibid. 3336); (3) the cultural diversity of various groups, regions and peoples, which, while still preserving the "substantial unity of the Roman rite," would profit by "legitimate variations and adaptations" (ibid. 3740). In light of the pastoral and theological objectives of the Constitution, these were the three fundamental directional principles that were to govern the reform of the Eucharistic Liturgy, rites for the other Sacraments and sacramentals, the Liturgy of the Hours, the calendar, church music, and sacred art.

Vehicles of Reform. To carry out this reform, Paul VI established, Jan. 25, 1965, a commission known as the Consilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy, under the direction of Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro. This body of highly-qualified experts retained its quasi-autonomous identity until late in 1969, when it was reconstituted as the Special Commission for the Completion of the Liturgical Reform within the newly created Congregation for Divine Worship, with Cardinal Benno Gut as first prefect. From July 11, 1975, competency for liturgical reform passed to the newly constituted Congregation of Sacraments and Divine Worship, which Pope John Paul II renamed as the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 1982. Whereas the overall revision of the Roman liturgy was centralized under the direction of the Holy See, legitimate adaptation was to be channelled through the competent regional and national episcopal conferences. In the United States the liturgical reform has been under the guidance of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy, which, since 1970, has been in consultation with the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. The English translations of the Latin editio typica of the various reformed liturgies have been provided by a separate entity under the English-speaking episcopate, the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.

Major Achievements of Vatican II's Liturgical Reform. The reform of the liturgical books mandated by the Constitution (Sacrosanctum Concilium 25) is now substantially complete, with the publication of the editio typica for the rite of exorcism in 2000. A general assessment of the reform process reveals the following elements.

(1) The Liturgy, Locus of Encounter. Fundamental throughout the entire liturgical reform has been the conviction that the Church celebrates in her liturgy, through ritual transposition, the Trinitarian economy of salvation, celebrating, that is, the mysteries "in which are set forth the victory and triumph of Christ's death, and also giving thanks to God for his inexpressible gift in Christ Jesus, in praise of his glory through the power of the Holy Spirit" (ibid. 6). The dialogic perception of the liturgy as being the locus par excellence where God speaks to his people through Christ and where they, in return, respond to the Father by actualizing the priestly mission of the same Christ is expressed not only in the Constitution (ibid. 7), but also in the theological statements introducing the reformed rites. In this regard, the General Instruction on the Roman Missal, the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours, the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, for example, marked an extraordinary advance over the juridical, rubrical directives of the analogous sections of the unreformed books. This theological understanding of the liturgy as being "the very exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ" and therefore "preeminently a sacred action, the efficacy of which no other act of the Church can equal on the same basis and to the same degree" (ibid. 7) became the raison d'être of the Church's repeated emphasis on liturgical reform.

(2) Other Theological Aspects. The ressourcement (return to sources) of the reform also brought with it a rediscovery or restoration of certain theological aspects of the Christian tradition which through the centuries had fallen into the background: the totality of the paschal mystery in every liturgical celebration; the multimodal presence of Christ in all of the liturgy and not only in the Eucharistic elements; the Trinitarian economy of prayer to the Father, through the Son, in the power of the Spirit; the role of the Holy Spirit in the formation and sanctification of the Church as People of God set apart to sing praises to God within their liturgical assembly; the eschatological hope of the pilgrim Church awaiting the day of the Lord; liturgical remembrance of the deeds of the Lord of history and their recovery in the Kingdom; the relationship of faith, repentance, conversion, reconciliation and their sacramental realization; the incarnational and worldly dimension of Christian life; and many more areas which have hardly begun to be explored. In no small measure is this theological recovery due to the Constitution's stipulation (ibid. 92) that the Scriptures be made readily accessible in greater fullness, and that patristic and other ecclesiastical writers be represented more authentically.

(3) The Liturgy, Prayer of the Whole People. The hierarchical and ecclesial aspect of the liturgy described in the Constitution (ibid. 2632) has restored the precious value that liturgy is not the private province of the clergy, but is indeed the prayer of the whole people who, while under the leadership of the ordained minister, all exercise the shared priesthood of Christ. In this context, the multiple functions of readers, cantors, acolytes, choir and other ministers, as well as the active participation of the congregation are to be regarded as a true liturgical ministry.

(4) A Pastoral Liturgy. Regarding the pastoral and didactic nature of the liturgy (ibid. 3336), three reformed areas have produced incalculable benefits: introduction of the vernacular far beyond the expectations of the conciliar Fathers; restoration of the Liturgy of the Word almost to the point of surfeit; and transparency of rite. More than any other change, perhaps, the use of the vernacular has made the liturgy into an active and conscious part of Christian spirituality. In place of the spare rites of the Tridentine liturgy there is now accessible to the people in their own language a copious, amplified liturgy with God's Word poured forth in abundance. The use of the mother tongue consequently makes immediately available the astonishing increase of Scripture reading, not only in the Lectionary at Mass with its three cycles of judiciously selected pericopes and responsorial psalms, but also in the cycle of readings prepared for the Liturgy of the Hours and the sacramental celebrations, so that every liturgy allows God to speak to his people and Christ to proclaim the good news (ibid. 33). Drawing upon this source, the homily, regarded as an integral part of the liturgy, becomes "like a proclamation of God's mighty deeds in redemptive history" (ibid. 35), with the mystery of Christ always present and at work in the Church. In addition, cathechetical insights, brief commentaries, and instructions are encouraged to make of the prescribed liturgy a more cohesive and effective celebration. Finally, the ritual symbolic actions and gestures have been pared down so that the dominant liturgical symbol becomes more immediately understandable, pruned of its former repetitive and allegorical overlayering.

(5) Adaptation and Inculturation. The most revolutionary liturgical reform, in comparison with the previous 400-year static uniformity, has been, without doubt, the acceptance of the principle of liturgical adaptation required by the needs and cultural differences of various groups, regions, and peoples (ibid. 38), with an even more radical adaptation proposed for mission lands (ibid.,40). Regarding cultural adaptation, the Praenotanda of the reformed liturgical books make special provision for regional adjustments to be determined by episcopal conferences working together with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments. The question of adaptation and inculturation is perhaps the most difficult question to deal with is how to resolve, or keep in creative tension.

Bibliography: d. bondioli et al., "Situazione della liturgia riformata e futuro della pastorale liturgica," Rivista di Pastorale Liturgica 13 (1976) 336. p. m. gy, "La reforme liturgique de Trente et celle de Vatican II," Maison-Dieu 128 (1976) 6175. h. schmidt, "Liturgy and Modern SocietyAnalysis of the Current Situation," h. schmidt, ed., Liturgy in Transition: Concilium 62 (New York 1971) 1429. h. schmidt and d. power, eds., Politics and Liturgy: Concilium 92 (New York 1974). r. g. weakland, "The 'Sacred' and Liturgical Renewal," Worship 49 (1975) 51229. p. c. finn and j. m. schellman, eds., Shaping English Liturgy: Studies in Honor of Archbishop Denis Hurley (Washington,D.C. 1990). w. j. grisbrooke, "Liturgical Reform and Liturgical Renewal," Studia Liturgica 21:2 (1991) 13654. a. a. hÄussling, The Meaning of the Liturgy (Collegeville, Minn. 1994). d. n. power, "Liturgy and Culture Revisited," Worship 69 (1995) 22543. n. mitchell, "The Renewal That Awaits Us," Worship 70 (1996) 16372.

[g. m. coless/eds.]