« السابقةمتابعة »
saints were customary in the ninth century, for they are mentioned by Walafridus Strabo and Amalarius. The former remarks, that “litanies mean not “only that recitation of names in which the saints “are invoked for the assistance of human infirmity, “but all things which are done in supplications are “to be called rogations".” From this we may infer, that these invocations must then have been for some time in use, since it was necessary to remark that the name of litany was not to be applied to them alone. Accordingly manuscript litanies, containing invocations, have been discovered by learned men, which appear from internal evidence to be as old as the eighth century". Beyond this point there appears to be no tangible evidence for the use of invocations in litanies. It is true that innumerable passages have been cited from more ancient writers, to show that the invocation of Saints is more ancient than the eighth century". But independently of the fact, that most of those passages do not refer to the invocation of saints, but to prayers made to God for the intercession of saints; it is to be observed, that these quotations do not affect the question, which is not concerning the invocation of saints in general, but their invocation in the litany. It appears then that there is no evidence for the use of such invocations in the western churches before the eighth century, even on the most liberal allowance. In this case we must conclude that the invocations of saints were only introduced into the litany about the seventh or eighth century. This conclusion is rendered stronger by the fact, that authors who mention the psalmody and prayers, and lessons of the litany, do not allude to the invocations. Even the form of Kyrie eleēson is mentioned, but the invocations are not. If the invocation of Saints had been practised in the litany during the fifth and sixth centuries, we should assuredly have found some allusion to it in the writings of Gregory of Tours, of Avitus, or Sidonius, or Gregory the Great, who all speak repeatedly of litanies. But this silence of the Fathers of those ages is well accounted for by the actual production of several most ancient western litanies, in which there is no invocation of saints. Such a one is that used in the church of Milan during Lent, at the beginning of the Liturgy, and immediately before the collect of the day'.
P “ Notandum autem, litanias non tantum dici illam recitationem hominum, qua sancti in adjutorium vocantur infirmitatis humanae : sed etiam cuncta quae supplicationibus fiunt, rogationes appellari.” Walafrid. Strabo, de Reb. Eccles. c. 28, de Litaniis agendis. “Litaniae quae fiunt circa baptisterii consecrationem, intercessiones sanctorum designant pro renascentibus.” Amalarius de Eccl. Officiis, lib. i. c. 28.
* It seems that one of the most ancient litanies containing the invocation of saints is that printed by Mabillon, in the
third volume of his Analecta. This litany does not contain the names of any saints who flourished after the end of the seventh, or beginning of the eighth, century. From whence Mabillon conjectures that it may have been used about that time. See Analecta, tom. iii. p. 669, &c. The Irish litanies alluded to by O'Conor, “Appendix to vol. i. of Catalogue of MSS. in Stowe Library,” p. 41. 49, seem to be equally ancient.
* For instance, by Serarius, in his “Litaneuticiseu de Litaniis,” &c.
and Bona, Rer. Lit. b. ii. c. 4, n. 3.; and it is therefore need
* Missale Ambrosian. Do
minica prima quadragesimae. “Finita ingressa sacerdos dicat Dominus vobiscum, et Diaconus dicat sequentes preces choro respondente.” The prayers are cited by Bingham, Antiquities, b. xv. ch. i. § 2;
less to copy them here. After these prayers comes the collect of the day. See Miss. Ambros. fol. 63, 64. In the same missal, on the second Sunday of Lent, another litany prayer,
According to cardinal Bona, the same sort of prayers used to follow Kyrie eleéson at the beginning of the Romam liturgy, until the ninth century '. Now Gregory the Great, in his sacramentary, gives the prayers used at that place the name of litany; and therefore we may infer, that in his time the prayers of the litany resembled those of the Ambrosian liturgy". Another ancient litany, from a MS. of the monastery of Fulda, contains no invocations of saints ". And a third occurs in a book of offices ascribed to Alcuin ". It is there entitled “ A Deprecation which pope “ Gelasius appointed to be sung for the universal “ Church :* and though there is no reasonable ground for denying that Alcuin compiled this book, yet if any person should choose to do so, it will hardly be denied that the Deprecation is a most ancient document, and that it is not improbable that it is as old as the time of Gelasius. In this formulary there is no invocation of saints, and yet we cannot consider it to be any thing else than the prayer used in a litany or supplication, which, in fact, is the meaning of the title prefixed to it. Whether the knowledge of such facts as these had any influence on the mind of Walafridus Strabo, who wrote in the ninth century, or not; it is certain that he virtually affirms, that in his time the invocations of Saints were believed not to have been originally in the litany. For he says, “the litany of “the holy names is believed to have come into use “after Jerome composed the martyrology*.” With the correctness of this chronology we have nothing to do; but the passage shews, that the opinion in the time of Walafridus was, that the invocations did not originally form part of the litany. The form in which the prayers of the litany are conveyed, according to which the minister precents or repeats the beginning of each prayer, which the people conclude or respond to, is plainly derived from oriental models. From the earliest period such forms appear to have prevailed in the east, and we find them not merely in the litanies, but in the liturgies and all the other offices of the oriental churches. In the western churches such forms do not seem to have prevailed till a much later period; and we may therefore very fairly conclude, that, when the word
still more like the Greek litanies, occurs in exactly the same part of the liturgy. See fol. 70.
t ** Post Kyrie eleison sequitur hymnus Gloria in eaecelsis Deo, si dicendus sit, alioquin præmissa populi salutatione Dominus vobiscum dicitur oratio sive collecta; de quibus sigillatim agendum erit, si prius notavero olim diebus, quibus omittitur Gloria in eaccelsis, immediate post Kyrie, prolixas preces pro omni statu hominum recitari consuevisse, iis prorsus similes, quas Irenicas sive diaconicas Græci vocant, et initio liturgiæ diacono præ
cinente, choro respondente de
cantant. Permansit hic ritus in ecclesia Latina usque ad sæculum ix. ut observat Goar in notis ad missam Chrysostomi, n. 62, et nunc etiam permanet in ecclesia Mediolanensi diebus Dominicis qua
dragesimæ.” Bona, Rer. Lit. lib. ii. c. 4, No. 2, p. 337.
“ “ Quando vero litania agitur, neque Gloria in eaecelsis Deo, neque Alleluia canitur.” Sacr. Gregorii a Menard. p. 1.
" Tom. iii. Antiq. Liturgicarum, p. 307. “ Cujusmodi sunt illa, quæ ex litania vetustissima bibliothecæ Fuldensis transcripsit Wicelius... atque hæc Wicelius transcribit, ut partem litaniarum in quibus explicandis nunc versamur, quamvis mihi magis probetur hanc litaniam esse litaniam missalem ; cujusmodi sunt nonnullæ in quadragesima in officio Ambrosiano, et plurimæ in omnibus missis Græcorum.” This litany is also transcribed by Bingham and Bona as above.
" Alcuini Abbatis Officia per Ferias, p. 241, oper. Paris, 1617.
* “Litania autem sanctorum Eusebium Caesareensem, comnominum, postea creditur in posuit.” Walafrid. Strabo, de usum assumpta, quam Hiero- Reb. Eccl. c. 28. nymus martyrologium, secutus
litany was imported from the east to the west, and when the Kyrie eleēson, which formed the commencement of the eastern litanies, was likewise conveyed to the west, the form of the oriental prayers and great part of their substance accompanied them.
It appears probable, that, at first, the place at the beginning of the litany, afterwards occupied by the long invocations of saints, was filled up by a frequent repetition of the form Kyrie eleēson. We learn from Gregory of Tours, that on occasion of a litany at Rome in the time of Gregory the Great, the choirs of singers came to the church, crying through the streets of the city, Kyrie eleēson’. From this it appears, that in the time of Gregory this form was continually repeated in the procession. And the council of Vaison in Gaul, A. D. 529, appears to recognise this custom: “Because, as well in the “Apostolical see, as in all the provinces of the east “and of Italy, an agreeable and very salutary cus“tom has been introduced, namely, to use a frequent “repetition of Kyrie eleēson, with great earnestness “and contrition; therefore,” &c.” It must have been this continual repetition of Kyrie eleēson in the litany, that gave this form itself the name of litany, which
y “Haec eo dicente, congregatis clericorum catervis, psallere jussit per triduum, ac deprecari Domini misericordiam. De hora quoque tertia veniebant utrique chori psallentium ad ecclesiam clamantes per plateas urbis, Kyrie eleison.” Gregor. Turon. Hist. lib. x. c. i. p. 483.
* “Et quia tam in sede Apostolica, quam etiam per totas orientales atque Italiae provin
cias, dulcis et nimium salutaris consuetudo est intromissa, ut Kyrie eleison frequentius cum grandi affectu et compunctione dicatur, placuit etiam nobis, ut in omnibus ecclesiis nostris ista tam sancta consuetudo et ad matutinum, et ad missas, et ad vesperum Deo propitio intromittatur.” Concil. Vasens. 2, can. 3. p. 1680, tom. iv. concil. Labbe.