C. The Mass from the Fifth to the Seventh Century. — By about the fifth century we begin to see more clearly. Two documents of this time give us fairly large fragments of the Roman Mass. Innocent I (401-17), in his letter to Decentius of Eugubium (about 416; P.L., XX, 553), alludes to many features of the Mass. We notice that these important changes have already been made: the kiss of peace has been moved from the beginning of the Mass of the Faithful to after the Consecration, the Commemoration of the Living and Dead is made in the Canon, and there are no longer prayers of the faithful before the Offertory (see CANON OF THE MASS). Rietschel (Lehrbuch der Liturgik, I, 340-1) thinks that the Invocation of the Holy Ghost has already disappeared from the Mass. Innocent does not mention it, but we have evidence of it at a later date under Gelasius I (492-6: see CANON OF THE MASS, s.v. Supplices te rogamus, and EPIKLESIS). Rietschel (loc. cit.) also thinks that there was a dogmatic reason for these changes, to emphasize the sacrificial idea. We notice especially that in Innocent's time the prayer of lntercession follows the Consecration (see CANON OF THE MASS). The author of the treatise "De Sacramentis" (wrongly attributed to St. Ambrose, in P.L., XVI, 418 sq.) says that he will explain the Roman Use, and proceeds to quote a great part of the Canon (the text is given in CANON OF THE MASS, II). From this document we can reconstruct the following scheme: The Mass of the Catechumens is still distinct from that of the faithful, at least in theory. The people sing "Introibo ad altare Dei" as the celebrant and his ministers approach the alter (the Introit). Then follow lessons from Scripture, chants (Graduals), and a sermon (the Catechumens Mass). The people still make the Offertory of bread and wine. The Preface and Sanctus follow (laus Deo defertur), then the prayer of Intercession (oratione petitur pro populo, pro regibus, pro ceteris) and the Consecration by the words of Institution (ut conficitur ven. sacramentum . . . utitur sermonibus Christi). From this point (Fac nobis hanc oblationem ascriptam, ratam, rationabilem . . .) the text of the Canon is quoted. Then come the Anamnesis (Ergo memores . . .), joined to it the prayer of oblation (offerimus tibi hanc immaculatam hostiam . . .), i.e. practically our "Supra quæ" prayer, and the Communion with the form: "Corpus Christi, R. Amen", during which Ps. xxii is sung. At the end the Lord's Prayer is said.
In the "De Sacramentis" then, the Intercession comes before the Consecration, whereas in Innocent's letter it came after. This transposition should be noted as one of the most important features in the development of the Mass. The "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, Paris, 1886-92) contains a number of statements about changes in and additions to the Mass made by various popes, as for instance that Leo I (440-61) added the words "sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam" to the prayer "Supra quæ", that Sergius I (687-701) introduced the Agnus Dei, and so on. These must be received with caution; the whole book still needs critical examination. In the case of the Agnus Dei the statement is made doubtful by the fact that it is found in the Gregorian Sacramentary (whose date, however, is again doubtful). A constant tradition ascribes some great influence on the Mass to Gelasius I(492-6). Gennadius (De vir. illustr. xciv) says he composed a sacramentary; the Liber Pontificalis speaks of his liturgical work, and there must be some basis for the way in which his name is attached to the famous Gelasian Sacramentay. What exactly Gelasius did is less easy to determine.
We come now to the end of a period at the reign of St. Gregory I (590-604). Gregory knew the Mass practically as we still have it. There have been additions and changes since his time, but none to compare with the complete recasting of the Canon that took place before him. At least as far as the Canon is concerned, Gregory may be considered as having put the last touches to it. His biographer, John the Deacon, says that he "collected the Sacramentary of Gelasius in one book, leaving out much, changing little, adding something for the exposition of the Gospels" (Vita S. Greg., II, xvii). He moved the Our Father from the end of the Mass to before the Communion, as he says in his letter to John of Syracuse: "We say the Lord's Prayer immediately after the Canon [max post precem] . . . It seems to me very unsuitable that we should say the Canon [prex] which an unknown scholar composed [quam scholasticus composuerat] over the oblation and that we should not say the prayer handed down by our Redeemer himself over His body and blood" (P.L., LXXVII, 956). He is also credited with the addition: "diesque nostros etc." to the "Hanc igitur" (ibid.; see CANON OF THE MASS). Benedict XIV says that "no pope has added to, or changed the Canon since St. Gregory" (De SS. Missæ sacrificio, p. 162). There has been an important change since, the partial amalgamation of the old Roman Rite with Gallican features; but this hardly affects the Canon. We may say safely that a modern Latin Catholic who could be carried back to Rome in the early seventh century would -- while missing some features to which he is accustomed -- find himself on the whole quite at home with the service he saw there.
This brings us back to the most difficult question: Why and when was the Roman Liturgy changed from what we see in Justin Martyr to that of Gregory I? The change is radical, especially as regards the most important element of the Mass, the Canon. The modifications in the earlier part, the smaller number of lessons, the omission of the prayers for and expulsion of the catechumens, of the prayers of the faithful before the Offertory and so on, may be accounted for easily as a result of the characteristic Roman tendency to shorten the service and leave out what had become superfluous. The influence of the calendar has already been noticed. But there remains the great question of the arrangement of the Canon. That the order of the prayers that make up the Canon is a cardinal difficulty is admitted by every one. The old attempts to justify their present order by symbolic or mystic reasons have now been given up. The Roman Canon as it stands is recognized as a problem of great difficulty. It differs fundamentally from the Anaphora of any Eastern rite and from the Gallican Canon. Whereas in the Antiochene family of liturgies (including that of Gaul) the great Intercession follows the Consecration, which comes at once after the Sanctus, and in the Alexandrine class the Intercession is said during what we should call the Preface before the Sanctus, in the Roman Rite the Intercession is scattered throughout the Canon, partly before and partly after the Consecration. We may add to this the other difficulty, the omission at Rome of any kind of clear Invocation of the Holy Ghost (Epiklesis). Paul Drews has tried to solve this question. His theory is that the Roman Mass, starting from the primitive vaguer rite (practically that of the Apostolic Constitutions), at first followed the development of Jerusalem-Antioch, and was for a time very similar to the Liturgy of St. James. Then it was recast to bring if nearer to Alexandria. This change was made probably by Gelasius I under the influence of his guest, John Talaia of Alexandria. The theory is explained at length in the article CANON OF THE MASS. Here we need only add that if has received in the main the support of F.X. Funk (who at first opposed it; see "Histor. Jahrbuch der Görresgesellschaft", 1903, pp. 62, 283; but see also his "Kirchengesch. Abhandlungen", III, Paderborn, 1907, pp. 85-134, in which he will not admit that he has altogether changed his mind), A. Baumstark ("Liturgia romana e Liturgla dell' Esarcato", Rome, 1904), and G. Rauschen ("Eucharistie und Bussakrament", Freiburg, 1908, p. 86). But other theories have been suggested. Baumstark does not follow Drews in the details. He conceives (op. cit.) the original Canon as consisting of a Preface in which God is thanked for the benefits of creation; the Sanctus interrupts the prayers, which then continue (Vere Sanctus) with a prayer (now disappeared) thanking God for Redemption and so coming to the Institution (Pridie autem quam pateretur . . .). Then follow the Anamnesis (Unde et memores), the "Supra quæ", the "Te igitur", joined to an Epiklesis after the words "hæc sancta sacrificia illibata". Then the Intercession (In primis quæ tibi offerimus . . .), "Memento vivorum", "Communicantes", "Memento defunctorum" (Nos quoque peccatores . . . intra sanctorum tuorum consortium non æstimator meriti sed veniæ quæsumus largitor admitte, per Christum Dominum nostrum).
This order then (according to Baumstark) was dislocated by the insertion of new elements, the "Hanc Igitur", "Quam oblationem", "Supra quæ" and "Supplices", the list of saints in the "Nobis quoque", all of which prayers were in some sort reduplications of what was already contained in the Canon. They represent a mixed influence of Antioch and Alexandrla, which last reached Rome through Aquilea and Ravenna, where there was once a rite of the Alexandrine type. St. Leo I began to make these changes; Gregory I finished the process and finally recast the Canon in the form if still has. It will be seen that Baumstark's theory agrees with that of Drews in the main issue -- that at Rome originally the whole Intercession followed the Canon. Dom Cagin (Paléographie musicale, V, 80 sq.) and Dom Cabrol (Origines liturgiques, 354 sq.) propose an entirely different theory. So far it has been admitted on all sides that the Roman and Gallican rites belong to different classes; the Gallican Rite approaches that of Antioch very closely, the origin of the Roman one being the great problem. Cagin's idea is that all that must be reversed, the Gallican Rite has no connection at all with Antioch or any Eastern Liturgy; it is in its origin the same rite as the Roman. Rome changed this earlier form about the sixth or seventh century. Before that the order at Rome was: Secrets, Preface, Sanctus, "Te igitur"; then "Hanc igitur", "Quam oblationem", "Qui pridie" (these three prayers correspond to the Gallican Post-Sanctus). Then followed a group like the Gallican Post Pridie, namely "Unde et memores", "Offerimus praeclaræ", "Supra guæ", "Supplices", "Per eundem Christum etc.", "Per quem hæc omnia", and the Fraction. Then came the Lord's Prayer with its embolism, of which the "Nobis quoque" was a part. The two Mementos were originally before the Preface. Dom Cagin has certainly pointed out a number of points in which Rome and Gaul (that is all the Western rites) stand together as opposed to the East. Such points are the changes caused by the calendar, the introduction of the Institution by the words "Qui pridie", whereas all Eastern Liturgies have the form "In the night in which he was betrayed". Moreover the place of the kiss of peace (in Gaul before the Preface) cannot be quoted as a difference between Rome and Gaul, since, as we have seen it stood originally in that place at Rome too. The Gallican diptychs come before the Preface; but no one knows for certain where they were said originally at Rome. Cagin puts them in the same place in the earlier Roman Mass. His theory may be studied further in Dom Cabrol's "Origines liturgiques", where if is very clearly set out (pp. 353-64). Mgr Duchesne has attacked it vigorously and not without effect in the "Revue d'histoire et de litérature ecclésiastiques" (1900), pp. 31 sq. Mr. Edmund Bishop criticizes the German theories (Drews, Baumstark etc.), and implies in general terms that the whole question of the grouping of liturgies will have to be reconsidered on a new basis, that of the form of the words of Institution (Appendix to Dom R. Connolly's "Liturgical Homilies of Narsai" in "Cambridge Texts and Studies", VIII, I, 1909). If is to be regretted that he has not told us plainly what position he means to defend, and that he is here again content with merely negative criticism. The other great question, that of the disappearance of the Roman Epiklesis, cannot be examined here (see CANON OF THE MASS and EPIKLESIS). We will only add to what has been said in those articles that the view is growing that there was an Invocation of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, an Epiklesis of the Logos, before there was one of the Holy Ghost. The Anaphora of Serapion (fourth century in Egypt) contains such an Epiklesis of the Logos only (in Funk, "Didascalia", II, Paderborn, 1905, pp. 174-6). Mr. Bishop (in the above-named Appendix) thinks that the Invocation of the Holy Ghost did not arise till later (Cyril of Jerusalem, about 350, being the first witness for it), that Rome never had it, that her only Epiklesis was the "Quam oblationem" before the words of Institution. Against this we must set what seems to be the convincing evidence of Gelasius I's letter (quoted in CANON OF THE MASS, s. v. Supplices te rogamus).
We have then as the conclusion of this paragraph that at Rome the Eucharistic prayer was fundamentally changed and recast at some uncertain period between the fourth and the sixth and seventh centuries. During the same time the prayers of the faithful before the Offertory disappeared, the kiss of peace was transferred to after the Consecration, and the Epiklesis was omitted or mutilated into our "Supplices" prayer. Of the various theories suggested to account for this it seems reasonable to say with Rauschen: "Although the question is by no means decided, nevertheless there is so much in favour of Drews's theory that for the present it must be considered the right one. We must then admit that between the years 400 and 500 a great transformation was made in the Roman Canon" (Euch. u. Busssakr., 86).
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX, pp. 794-796
Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor
Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York