Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

fror COL fice

whe

Ch

pro

DOT

may brea

Som

one common language, whereby the members professing it might communicate with one another, and with their ecclesiastical superiors, whether in council, or in any other form of intercourse. And they saw, that though some inconvenience would arise to the people, from their inability to comprehend the words of the Liturgy, this inconvenience would be greatly alleviated, if not almost entirely removed, should all instruction, in sermons and catechism, be delivered to them in their own tongue; all parts of the service be constantly expounded; and not a shade of darkness be permitted to remain. If, with all this caution, ignorance should still be found -as it will be found in many every ingenuous mind would ascribe it to the usual causes of ignorance, and not to any want of knowledge in the Greek or Latin tongues.

“ It is certainly gratifying, and highly profitable, from this uniformity of language, when a Catholic travels into distant countries, that he should every where find a service celebrated, to the language and ceremonies of which his ears and eyes

had always been habituated. He can join in it; and though removed, perhaps a thousand miles, from home, the moment he enters a Church, in the principal offices of religion he ceases to be a stranger. The Western Church has been particularly attentive that her people might not suffer

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

from this concealment of her mysteries; and the Council of Trent thus ordains: “Though the Sacrifice of the Mass contains great instruction for the faithful, the Fathers judged it should be every where celebrated in the vulgar tongue. Each Church, therefore, will retain its ancient and approved rites. But that the sheep of Christ may not hunger for want of food, and that little ones may not ask for bread, and there be no one to break it to them, the holy synod orders all pastors and them that have the cure of souls, frequently, and especially on Sundays and feasts, to expound some portion of what is read, and some mystery of the holy Sacrifice.'——(Sess. xxii. c. viii. p. 194.) Beside this, and the other instructions which have been mentioned, the whole of the Church service is translated into the language of each country, and, together with a variety of prayers for all occasions and all states of life, placed in the hands

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

of the people.

[ocr errors]

“ Thus is our Western Church one in faith and one in language, united in the same bond of communion, with all the faithful of modern and of ancient times."(*)-(Faith of Catholics, pp. 404406.)

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

(a) It is remarkable that, under the Old law, after the return from the Babylonian captivity, the service of the Temple was continued in Hebrew, which was then become almost a dead language, the people generally only speaking

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

On Communion under one kind, I shall also extract the evidence and observations of the same learned writer. “ The above doctrine (that Christ is whole under each species] having at all times been professed in the Catholic Church, the introduction of lay-communion in one kind is easily accounted for, and seems not liable to any serious objection. It is admitted that, from the earliest time, down to the twelfth century, the faithful of both sexes, laity as well as clergy, when they assisted at the public and solemn celebration of the Christian service, and were admitted to Communion, generally received under both kinds. But, during the same period, there seems never to have been any positive ecclesiastical precept so to do: for we often read that the Communion was given to infants sometimes under one kind, sometimes under another:-in times of persecution, or under difficulties, or when long journeys were undertaken, the consecrated bread was permitted to be carried away; the same was taken to the sick, and where there was a repugnance to the taste of wine, the bread also was alone given. It may then, it seems, be said, that, unless on public and solemn occasions, the faithful, in the times of which we are and understanding Chaldaic: and so it was, in a still more decided manner, during the mission of Christ, who, though he frequently assisted in the Temple, was never known, in any way, to have condemned the practice.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

speaking, communicated under one kind alone; while the priesthood, to whom the command of Christ-Do this in remembrance of me, (Luke, xxii.)we believe, solely applies, and when employed in the duty of their sacred function, received under both. The completion of the mysterious institution demanded this.

“But many abuses and accidents, through carelessness and incaution, happening in the distribution of the consecrated wine; and the use of bread alone, on so many occasions, being permitted ; and the belief that Christ was wholly present under each species, authorising the practice; the primitive rite gradually subsided, and Communion in one kind very generally prevailed. The rulers of the Church, meanwhile, promoted rather than obstructed the change. And so things continued ;no ecclesiastical law intervening, till the followers of John Huss, in Bohemia, tumultuously contending that the use of the cup was absolutely necessary, the Council of Constance, which opened in 1414, finally decreed that, “ As the body and blood of Christ were wholly contained under each species, the custom, introduced on rational grounds, and long observed in the Church, of communicating in one kind, should be received as a law, which no one without the authority of the Church, might reject or alter.' -- (Sess. xiii. Conc. Gen. T. xii. p. 100.)--So just is the observation that, as circum

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

stances and the manners of men change—where change, under due authority, as in discipline, may be permitted-practices, once good and laudable, should change with them.

“ In the Greek Church, the ancient practice of receiving in both kinds has been retained, unless in such circumstances, or under such impediments as I have mentioned; which, among the Latins, allowed a departure from the established rite. But what is peculiar among the modern Greeks is, that they distribute the sacred bread, not separately, but dipped in the wine, and placed in a spoon. From its being allowed by them, that the bread, unless at the times principally of solemn Communion, may be given separately, it is plain, if any proof were wanted, that their belief of the real presence of the whole Christ under each species, is the same as that of the Western Church. And another proof of the same is, that neither at the time of the schism in the ninth century, when minds were most exasperated, nor since, has it been made a subject of complaint against the Latins, that, in the administration of the Eucharist, they had departed from the precept of Christ, or violated any established rule of general discipline. Some of their charges against us were sufficiently frivolous; and as, among these, one was that we celebrated the Eucharist in unleavened bread, contrary to the practice of their Church; they, certainly, could

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
« PredošláPokračovať »