HISTORY OF THE LITURGY Carmelo P. Arada, Jr. Readings G. Dix: The Shape of the Liturgy (London 1965). J. Jungmann: The Early Liturgy to the Time of Gregory the Great (London 1966). T. Klauser: A Short History of the Western Liturgy (Oxford 1969). C. Vogel: Medieval Liturgy. An Introduction to the Sources (Washington, D. C. 1986) P. M. Gy: “History of the Liturgy in the West to the Council of Trent,” Church at Prayer, Vol. 1 (Collegeville 1987) pp. 45-61. P. Jounel: “From the Council of Trent to Vatican Council II,” ibid. , pp. 3-84. P. Bradshaw: The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship (London 1992). A. Adam: Foundations of Liturgy: An Introduction to Its History and Practice (Collegeville 1992). A. Chupungco: “History of the Liturgy Until the Fourth Century,” Handbook for Liturgical Studies, Vol. 1 (Collegeville 1997) pp. 95-113. Idem. : “History of the Roman Liturgy Until the Fifteenth Century,” ibid. , pp. 131-152. K. Pecklers: “History of the Roman Liturgy from the Sixteenth until the Twentieth Centuries,” ibid. , pp. 153-178. Introduction
Interpretation of historical facts: liturgy and cultural expressions; relative value of liturgical practices; role of local churches and church authorities in the development of liturgical forms; historical models and contemporary situation; liturgia semper reformanda. The New Testament Period: “Fidelity and Autonomy” 1. The attitude of Jesus and the disciples: fidelity to the law, temple, and synagogue (Mt 5:17); freedom to reinterpret Jewish forms of worship: baptism, eucharist, anointing of the sick, laying on of hands, sacred scripture, fasting (Lk 24:44). . Jewish influence on the Christian forms of worship in apostolic time: liturgy of the word, baptismal rite, domestic celebration of the Eucharist, liturgical calendar; the new Christological meaning of these rites: “in the name of Jesus Christ” (Ac 2:38). 3. Places of worship: the Jerusalem temple, the synagogue, and home. Domestic celebration of the forms of worship that are distinctive of Christians: the word and the breaking of the bread (Ac 20: 70-12; 2:46). The Greco-Roman Period (second to fourth century): “Liturgy for a Missionary Church”
Coming out of the Jewish environment, the Church in the West had to face the challenges of evngelization presented by the culture and religions of Greeks and Romans. How did the missionary Church cope with the new situation and what effect did such an encounter have on its worship? In many ways this question continues to 1. Characteristics of the period: a. Tension between fidelity and autonomy: the Easter date controversy; Saturday and Sunday; days of fasting. b. Disdain of pagan forms of worship. c.
Assimilation of cultural forms not tied to pagan worship: liturgical terms and rites in Tertullian and Hippolytus (eiuratio, signaculum fidei, baptismal anointing, and milk and honey); the domus ecclesiae. d. Spontaneity in the liturgy according to Didache, Justin Martyr, Hippolytus; conditions for spontaneity. The Era of Constantine (fourth to seventh century): “Liturgy and Imperial Culture” 1. Effects of the peace of Constantine (313 AD) a. The Constantinian edifices for worship: basilica, baptistery, martyria, cemeteries. b. Imperial and senatorial insignia (mitre or crown, pallium, aniple, ring, cappa magna, candles and incense for procession); socio-political terms (ordo, gradus, honor for ordination rites); elaborate and solemn liturgical celebrations of the Eucharist (Roman Ordo I) and initiation rites (St. Ambrose’s on the Mysteries; St. Cyril of Jerusalem’s Mystagogical Catechesis); Sunday rest. 2. “From freedom to formula”: factors that led to fixed and canonical formularies. 3. Contact with Greco-Roman culture: a. Influence of Greco-Roman language on liturgical formularies: in the East (rhetorical, hieratic, philosophical); in Rome (sober, direct, juridical). . Influence or assimilation of pagan rites: ad orientem; initiatory vocabulary (mystagogy, initiation); pagan feasts (Christmas in Rome and earlier Epiphany in the East, Rogation, Chair of St. Peter in Rome). The Classical Roman Period (fifth to eighth century Rome): “A Liturgy for a Local Church” 1. The “pure” or classical shape of the Roman liturgy; the classical traits (sobriety, brevity, directness, simplicity, practicality); the authors of classical liturgy (the homo classicus of Rome). 2. Elements of classical Roman liturgy a. Form elements: ritual and euchological aspects (e. g. he sobriety and practicality of the rites of the Roman mass in Ordo I; prayer formularies in Leonine or Veronese and Gregorian sacramentaries (simplicity of structure, sober and direct language). b. Theological elements: theological restraint of prayer formularies (e. g. communion prayers: food and drink, sacrament, heavenly gifts) and liturgical ceremonial (absence of signs of eucharistic veneration at mass); ecclesiological dimension (stations, eucharistic fermentum). The Roman Liturgy in the Franco-Germanic World (eighth to tenth century): “Inculturation based on the Roman Liturgy” 1.
The migration of the Roman liturgical books to the empire of Pepin the Short and Charlegmane: “chaotic” state of liturgy among the Franco-Germanic churches and the solution offered by a uniform liturgical rite for the entire empire. 2. Examples of inculturation: elaboration of Roman prayer formularies; supplementing the Roman lacunae (votive masses, blessings and exorcisms of places and things including instruments of ordeal, prayers for various occasions); introduction of apologies; contributions to the classical shape of the Roman liturgy (romanesque churches, miniatures, hymns and sequences [Veni Creator, Victimae paschali laudes]). . Notes: In the tenth century the Franco-Germanic shape of the Roman liturgy was introduced in Rome; in the eleventh century Pope Gregory VII tried to eliminate these elements invoking the need to return to the original shape of the Roman liturgy; Pope Pius V tried to do the same, and so did Paul VI with more success than his predecessors. However, many of these elements remained in the Roman liturgy even after the reform of Vatican II (votive masses, apologies, hymns, and blessings). Liturgy on the Eve of the Protestant Reformation (fourteenth to fifteenth century): “Autumn of Liturgical Life” . Liturgical and cultural life of the period: the supernatural order, guilds, devotionalism, the invention of the printing press, religious art and renaissance architecture. 2. Why “autumn” of liturgical life? Principal causes: clerical liturgy, exaggerated stress on transubstantiation, liturgical allegorism, exaggerated desire to obtain fruits of the mass, the devotio moderna. Protestant Reform and the Council of Trent (sixteenth century): “Uniformity in the Liturgy” 1. Martin Luther’s (+1546) liturgical reform: against Catholic abuses in the liturgy (e. . indulgences, private masses, exaggerated veneration of saints, ritualism, refusal of the chalice to lay people, use of Latin, sacrificial character of the mass). 2. The Tridentine Reform (1545-1563) against medieval abuses and Protestant exaggerations: centralization of liturgical authority, stress on rubrics for the sake of uniformity, and pastoral considerations (neither archeologism nor novelty). Liturgy in the Age of the Baroque (seventeenth century): “Liturgy and the Culture of Festivity” 1.
Tridentine liturgy and the culture of the baroque (exuberance, triumphalism, dramatic and colorful forms): contact between them is an example of liturgical acculturation. 2. The principal devotions during the baroque: real presence and the Blessed Virgin Mary; principal feast: Corpus Christi; principal liturgical traits: processions with the Blessed Sacrament, the tabernacle on the altar, stress on the consecration at mass, allegorical dramatization of the mass and liturgical feasts; institution of Marian feasts; Sunday evening benediction and Marian devotion.
Enlightenment and Restoration (eighteenth and nineteenth century): “The Liturgy between Rationalism and Conservatism” 1. Catholic Enlightenment as a reaction to the excesses of the baroque devotionalism and liturgical ritualism; an example of liturgical reform: Synod of Pistoia in 1766 under Bishop Scipione de Ricci (+1809) against exaggerated devotions to the Sacred Heart and Marian images; the use of the vernacular in the liturgy, one altar, stress on Sunday parish liturgy, communion from the altar, proclamation of the entire Scripture in the iturgy within the cycle of one year; preparation of parents and sponsors for infant baptism and of persons contracting marriage); Pope Pius VI condemned the Synod in 1794. 2. Catholic Restoration as a reaction to the excesses of the period of enlightenment, especially the disregard of papal authority and Tridentine form of worship; an example of this kind of reform was Dom Prosper Gueranger (+1875): respect for the Roman liturgy against the French movement to reinstate Gallican liturgies; continued use of Latin; the need to base liturgical theology on liturgical texts and rites. . Era of Liturgical Science: publication of early manuscripts (Sacramentaries, Ordines, Pontificals, etc. ) by J. Mabillon, G. Tomasi, and E. Martene. These published manuscripts became the sources of scholarly studies on the content and form of the Roman liturgy and the basis of the reform of Vatican II. The Liturgical Movement and Vatican II (twentieth century): “Return to the Sources of Christian Life” A. Liturgical Movement 1.
People and places: Dom Lambert Beauduin of Mont-Cesar, father of the liturgical movement (Congress of Malines in 1909: “liturgy is the source of spiritual life of the Church”; the cause of religious ignorance is ignorance of liturgy); Benedictine monks of Beuron and Maria Laach in Germany, especially Odo Casel; R. Guardini of Germany; Pius Parsch of Austria; monks of Solesmes in France; monks of Finalpia, Praglia, and Param in Italy; M. Righetti of Italy; monks of Montserrat in Sapin; monks of St. John’s Collegeville in the United States, especially Virgil Michel. . Characteristics of the movement: a. Pastoral: stress on communal celebration and active participation; hence liturgical catechesis and liturgy weeks and congresses, moderate use of the vernacular, use of missalettes, running commentaries of liturgical celebrations. b. Classical: in order to foster conscious and active participation a return to the simplicity of the classical period is needed; hence masses facing the people, simplification of rites, reform of holy week. B. Liturgy of Vatican II 1.
Constitution on Sacred Liturgy, promulgated by Pope Paul VI on December 4, 1963, is the Church’s official recognition of the principles of the Classical Liturgical Movement, namely active participation and return to classical form. 2. Features of the Constitution: a. Return to classical form with its cultural traits of simplicity, brevity, and practicality, with exclusion, whenever feasible, of later forms like Franco-Germanic. b. A more theological and spiritual approach to the liturgy in place of the purely rubristic and legalistic: the liturgy as exercise of Christ’s priestly office to which he associates the Church (SC 6, 7, and 10). . Application of fundamental principles: active participation (SC 14) which should govern liturgical reform (hence catechesis, formation od seminarians, active ministry of the laity, intelligible texts and rites, use of the vernacular); importance of the Word of God in liturgy (SC 24); need for reform of existing rites ( mass, other sacraments, sacramentals, divine office); need to adapt the liturgy to the culture and traditions of various peoples. . Although the Constitution is a work of compromise between two extreme camps of progress and conservatism (cf. question of vernacular, concelebration, communion under both kinds, music), many of its unresolved issues were overcome during the papacy of Pope Paul VI (use of vernacular, more eucharistic prayers, oil for the sick, adaptations in the order of the mass, etc. )
To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below: