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the Lord's Prayer, two collects, and a benediction. The ancient manuals of the English church appointed a similar order to succeed the burial; but the collects which we use in this place are not of great antiquity, though the preface of the first is found in the manual of Salisbury, and in some very ancient monuments of the western church. Lord, have mercy upon us.

Kyrie eleison. Christ, have mercy upon us.

Christe eleison. Lord, have mercy upon us.

Kyrie eleison. Our Father, which art in Pater noster qui es in cælis, heaven, Hallowed be thy name, sanctificetur nomen tuum,

&c.s &c.

Almighty God, with whom Deus, apud quem spiritus do live the spirits of them that mortuorum vivunt, et in quo depart hence in the Lord, and electorum animæ deposito carwith whom the souls of the nis onere plena felicitate læfaithful, after they are deli tuntur, præsta supplicantibus vered from the burden of the nobis ut anima famuli tui, &c. t flesh, are in joy and felicity, &c.

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238

Thanksgiving of Women after Child-birth. chap. X.

CHAPTER X.

THE THANKSGIVING OF WOMEN

AFTER CHILD-BIRTH.

How long a particular office has been used in the Christian church, for the thanksgiving and benediction of women after child-birth, it would be difficult to say ; but it is probably most ancient, since we find that all the western rituals, and those of the patriarchate of Constantinople, contain such an officea. That which we use in the English ritual occurs in the ancient Manual of the church of Salisbury, with little variation. It begins with a short address to the woman, followed by two psalms. The address seems peculiar to the English ritual; but two psalms were repeated at the beginning of the office, according to the Salisbury manualb, though they were different from those used at present. The remainder of the office will speak for itself, on comparison.

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Our Father, which art in Pater noster qui es in cælis, heaven, &c.

sanctificetur, &c. Min. O Lord, save this wo Domine salvum fac ancillam man thy servant ;

tuam ; Answ. Who putteth her trust Deus meus, sperantem in te. in thee.

Min. Be thou to her a strong Esto ei, Domine, turris fortitower;

tudinis, Answ. From the face of her A facie inimici. enemy. Min. Lord, hear our prayer. Domine exaudi orationem

meam. Answ. And let our cry come Et clamor meus ad te veunto thee.

niat. Min. Let us pray.

Oremus. O Almighty God, we give Deus, qui hanc famulam tuthee humble thanks for that am de pariendi periculo libethou hast vouchsafed to deli rasti, et eam in servitio tuo ver this woman from the great devotam esse fecisti : concede pain and peril of child-birth; ut temporali cursu fideliter Grant, we beseech thee, most peracto, sub alis misericordiæ merciful Father, that she, tuæ vitam perpetuam et quithrough thy help, may both

etem consequatur. Per Chrisfaithfully live, and walk ac tum Dominum nostrum. A. cording to thy will, in this life menc present; and also

may

be

partaker of everlasting glory in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

c Man. Sarisb. fol. 46.

CHAPTER XI.

A COMMINATION,

AND

PRAYERS FOR THE FIRST DAY OF LENT,

This office is one of the last memorials we retain of that solemn public penitence which, during the primitive ages, occupied so conspicuous a place in the discipline of the Christian church. In the earliest ages, those who were guilty of grievous sins were solemnly reduced to the order of penitents; they came fasting, and clad in sackcloth and ashes, on the occasion, and after the bishop had prayed over them, they were dismissed from the church. They then were admitted gradually to the classes of hearers, substrati, and consistentes ; until at length, after long trial and exemplary conduct, they were again deemed worthy of full communion". This penitential discipline at length, from various causes, became extinct, both in the eastern and western churches; and, from the twelfth or thirteenth century, the solemn office for the first day of Lent was the only memorial of this ancient discipline in the west. It seems that at least from about the eighth century there was a solemn office for public penitents on the

a See Bingham's Antiquities, book xviii. ch. 1. and 2.

first day of Lentb; but in after-ages this office was applied indiscriminately to all the people, who received ashes, and were prayed for by the bishop or presbyter. Thus the office lost its ancient character. The English churches have long used this office nearly as we do at present, as we find almost exactly the same appointed for the first day of Lent in the missals of Salisbury and York, and in the MS. sacramentary of Leofric, which was written for the English church about the ninth or tenth century.

The peculiar office which the church of England has appointed for the first day of Lent, commences after the morning prayer and litany are concluded. In the ancient offices of Salisbury also we find that this office began after the prayers which were said at the sixth hour, or twelve o'clock in the day"; and many of the western offices appointed the litany at the beginning of this serviced. The English office then proceeds with an address or sermon full of exhortations to penitence and conversion from sins, which is called a commination; and in the course of it the priest recites the curses of God against sin, to each of which the people, according to the custom of the old law, are invited to testify their assent. It has long been customary in the western churches for the bishop or presbyter to make a discourse or sermon on the subject of penitence at this part of the office, as we may see in the missals of Salisbury,

86, 95

b Martene de Antiq. Eccl. populum si placuerit. Rit. lib. i. c. 6. p. 3. See Bing à Martene de Antiq. Eccl. ham, book xviii. ch. 2. §. 2. Rit. lib. i. c. 6.

p.

De c Fer iv in capite Jejunii post Antiqua Eccl. Discipl. in Div. sextam imprimis fiat sermo ad Officiis, c. 7. p. 140, &c. VOL. II.

R

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