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The Celtic Rite

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This subject will be treated under the following seven heads:

I. History and Origin;
II. Manuscript Sources;
III. The Divine Office;
IV. The Mass;
V. The Baptismal Service;
VI. The Visitation, Unction, and Communion of the Sick;
VII. The Consecration of Churches;
VIII. Hymns.

History and origin

The term "Celtic Rite" is generally, but rather indefinitely, applied to the various rites in use in Great Britain, Ireland, perhaps in Brittany, and sporadically in Northern Spain, and in the monasteries which resulted from the Irish missions of St. Columbanus in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, at a time when rites other than the then existing rite of Rome were used, wholly or partially, in those places. The term must not be taken to imply any necessary homogeneity, for the evidence such as it is, is in favour of considerable diversity. This evidence is very scanty and fragmentary, and much of what has been written about it has been largely the result of conjectures based upon very insecure foundations, and has been influenced by controversial motives.

The beginning of the period is vague. There is no evidence before the fifth century and very little even then. The extreme end of it may be taken as 1172, when the Synod of Cashel finally adopted the Anglo-Roman Rite. The existence of a different rite in Britain and Ireland has been used to prove that the Christianity of these islands had an origin independent of Rome, though, even if it were true, it is not easy to see how that should prove anything more than the fact itself. In reality the existence of a Celtic Rite has no bearings, one way or the other, on the Anglo-Roman controversy. In the period before the eighth century diversity of rites was the rule rather than the exception. Rome, though when its advice was asked it might naturally recommend its own way of doing things, did not then make the smallest attempt to force uniformity on any local church. With a very complete unity of faith, and at times a considerable amount of intercourse between different parts of the Western Church, there existed great diversity of practice in things in which diversity, as St. Gregory's answer to St. Augustine seems to imply, was not considered to matter very much. Gradually, no doubt, the influence of important centres, such as Rome itself on one side, and Toledo on another, tended to lessen the diversity and to draw divergent Churches together into larger liturgical districts, so that by the time of the final fusion, which happened in the Charlemagne period, the Roman Rite with its Ambrosian variant, the Romanized Celtic Rite, and the Hispano-Gallican Rite, now represented by the Mozarabic survival, were practically all that were left, but we must beware of antedating this classification. The essential unity of the Roman Empire was such that whether Christianity came to Britain from Rome, from Gaul, or from the East in the first instance, the fact would have no bearings on the origin and spread of the liturgical customs, which certainly developed at a later period than its first introduction. In the fourth century we find an apparently organized British Church, with bishops who represent it at the Council of Arles in 314, and certainly at Rimini in 359. This Church was evidently in close communication with the Church in Gaul, as may be inferred from the dedication to St. Martin of the two churches at Withern and at Canterbury, and from the mission of Victridius of Rouen in 396, and those of Sts. Germanus and Lupus in 429, and Sts. Germanus and Severus in 447, directed against that heresy of Pelagius which had its origin in Britain. It is not unreasonable to suppose that at the period when liturgies were beginning to be differentiated more or less by districts and provinces the liturgy of the Church of Britain should resemble that of the neighbouring Church of Gaul, and it is possible to infer from St. Augustine's question to St. Gregory, concerning the different customs of Masses observed in Rome and in Gaul, that he found Gallican customs prevailing in Britain. But St. Augustine may only be referring to the use of Queen Bertha's Frankish chaplain, Bishop Luidhard, at Canterbury, and there is no evidence one way or the other as to what liturgy was in use among the Romanized Britons themselves.

The passage attributed to Gidas (Haddan and Stubbs, I, 112), "Britones toti mundo contrarii, moribus Romanis inimici, non solum in misa sed in tonsura etiam", is probably of the seventh century. Yet upon this frail foundation of conjecture an elaborate theory has been built and still remains almost an article of faith with so large and important a school of Anglican controversialists that it is impossible to ignore its existence, though it has been given up by all serious liturgiologists. This theory (for which see also AMBROSIAN LITURGY AND RITE) is to the effect that St. Irenæus, the disciple of St. Polycarp, who was the disciple of St. John the Divine, brought the Rite of Ephesus to Provence, whence it spread through Gaul and to Britain. This so-called "Ephesine" Rite (a term often used as synonymous with "Hispano-Gallican"), say the supporters of the theory, was the foundation of the Sarum Rite, and from this it derived a belief that the Church of England had an origin independent of Rome. It is hardly necessary to assert here that the Sarum Rite is merely a local variety of the Roman, and that the influence of the Gallican Rite upon it is no greater than upon any other Roman variety, so that the deductions, which have recently been reasserted with great certainty by the Bishop of Chichester in his "Story of the English Prayerbook", are quite unwarranted by the facts. But on examination it will be seen that the Ephesine origin of the Gallican Rite rests only upon the assertion of an eighth-century Irish writer (in Cott. manuscript Nero A. II in the British Museum), who, by the way, derives the Celtic Rite, as far as the Divine Office is concerned, from Alexandria, and on a statement by Colman at the Synod of Whitby, in 664, respecting the origin of the Celtic Easter, which, as St. Wilfrid pointed out at the time, was certainly incorrect. The theory seems to have been first put forward in modern times by Sir William Palmer in his "Origines Liturgicae", on the authority of the said Irish writer, and has found its way into many Anglican textbooks. Yet the only points of difference between the British Church of St. Augustine's time and the Roman of which we can be certain are: (1) The rule of keeping Easter; (2) the tonsure; (3) some differences in the manner of baptizing.

The Easter Question

The Britons adhered to the old Roman cycle of 84 years instead of the newer cycle of 19 years. They counted the third week of the moon, on the Sunday of which Easter must fall, from the 14th to the 20th instead of from the 15th to the 21st as the vernal equinox. Until 457, when the 532-year cycle of Victorius of Aquitaine was adopted at Rome, Britain agreed with Rome in its differing from Alexandria and the East. In 525 Rome altered its rule again to the 19-years cycle of Dionysius Exiguus, to conform to the Eastern usage, and from that time until the change of style in 1582 Rome and the East agreed in their rule of Easter, and even now calculate by the same rule, though the fact that the Greek 21st of March is only an imaginary vernal equinox, thirteen days later than the real one, makes the actual Greek Easter generally fall on a different day from the Roman. Yet it is still argued (e.g. in Archbishop Nuttall's Catechism; s.p.c.k., 1907) that the Easter difference proves the Eastern origin of the British Church. If it proves anything it is the exact opposite. Colman at the Synod of Whitby evidently had some vague memory of the long extinct Quartodeciman controversy in his mind when he claimed an Ephesian origin for his Easter, and St. Wilfrid rightly pointed out that the essence of the Quartodeciman rule was that Easter might be kept on any day of the week, whereas the Celts kept theirs on Sunday only. St. Aldhelm, in his letter to King Geruntius of Cornwall, seems to charge the Cornish with Quartodecimanism, but he also mistook the point of that controversy. The Easter question was eventually settled at various times in different parts of the Celtic Church. The following dates are derived from Haddan and Stubbs: South Ireland, 626-8; North Ireland, 692; Northumbria (converted by Celtic missions), 664; East Devon and Somerset, the Celts under Wessex, 705; the Picts, 710; Iona, 716-8; Straathclyde, 721; North Wales, 768; South Wales, 777. Cornwall held out the longest of any, perhaps even, in parts, to the time of Bishop Aedwulf of Crediton (909).

The form of the tonsure

The Britons were accustomed to shave the whole head in front of a line drawn from ear to ear, instead of using the coronal tonsure of the Romans. This, though there is no real evidence that it was the practice of the Druids, was nicknamed tonsura magorum. (Magus was accepted as equivalent to druid, and to this day the Magoi of Matthew 2, are druidhean in the Scottish Gaelic Bible.) Later, the Roman party jeered at it as the tonsura Simonis Magi, in contradistinction to their "tonsure of St. Peter". This is mentioned in the passage attributed wrongly, to Gildas (Haddan and Stubbs, I, 113).

Some unspecified difference in the manner of baptizing

It has been conjectured, on no real evidence, that the British Church resembled the Spanish in baptizing with a single immersion. But this form had been allowed by Rome in the case of Spain. It would seem however, from a letter from Pope Zacharias to St. Boniface (1 May, 748, Haddan and Stubbs, III, 51), that an unnamed English synod had forbidden any baptism except in the name of the Trinity, and had declared that whoever omits the Name of any Person of the Trinity does not truly baptize. Spelman and Wilkins put this synod at London in the time of St. Augustine, 603. Mansi makes its date the first year of Theodore of Tarsus, 668. It would seem by this that it was the formula that was at fault, and certainly in the time of Theodore the possibility of priests, presumably Celtic, having been invalidly baptized was considered. "Si quis presbiter ordinatus deprehendit se non esse baptizatus, baptizetur et ordinetur iterum et omnes quos prius baptizavit baptizentur", says the "Poenitentiale Theodori" (Lib. II, cap. iii, 13), and in cap ix of the same book, after ordering the reordination of those ordained by Scottish and British bishops, "qui in Pascha et tonsua catholici non sunt", and the asperging of churches consecrated by them, Theodore adds: "Et qui ex horum similiter gente vel quicunque de baptismo suo dubitaverit, baptizetur".

Thus it may be seen that, with these exceptions, and excepting also one statement by Gildas (to the effect that certain lessons, differing from those of any known rite, were read at ordinations), and a possible allusion by him to the anointing of hands at ordination, we have no information about the rites of the British Church. They may have been Gallican but they may just as well have been Roman in type, or if the Christianity of Britain preceded the construction of definite liturgies, they may have been indigenous, with or without foreign influences. The Britons were quite capable of composing their own liturgy on that nucleus which was common to all Christendom; but we do not know whether they did so or not.

One part of Britain, indeed, derived a great part of its Christianity from post-Patrician Irish missions. St. Ia and her companions, and St. Piran, St. Sennen, St. Petrock, and the rest of the Irish saints who came to Cornwall in the late fifth and early sixth centuries found there, at any rate in the West, a population which had perhaps relapsed into Paganism under the Pagan King Teudar. When these saints introduced, or reintroduced, Christianity, they probably brought with them whatever rites they were accustomed to, and Cornwall certainly had its own separate ecclesiastical quarrel with Wessex in the days of St. Aldhelm, which, as appears by a statement in Leofric's Missal, was still going on in the early tenth century, though the details of it are not specified.

The rites of the Irish Church stand on firmer ground, though even there the information is scanty. There were Christians in Ireland before St. Patrick, but we have no information as to how they worshipped, and their existence is ignored by the "Catalogus Sanctorum Hiberniae", attributed to the seventy-century Tirechan. This interesting document, which, though its dates need not be accepted too exactly, is worthy of general credit, divides the saints of Ireland into three orders, each of which orders is stated to have lasted during the reigns of four kings, the three orders covering, between them, a period of about 225 years, from the coming of St. Patrick in 440, in the reign of Laoghaire MacNeil, to the reign of Blathmac and Diarmait, sons of Aodh Slane, in 665. Symmetry is attained by omitting about six intervening reigns, but the outside dates of each period are clear enough, and the liturgiological value of the document consists in the statements, very probably true in the main, respecting the customs of the saints of these orders as to the Masses and celebrationes, i.e. the Divine Office, and the Easter and tonsure questions. (Celebratio — "Divine Office"; Irish, Celebrad. Dr. MacCarthy in his edition of the Stowe Missal gives several instances of this use of the word.) the first order was in the time of St. Patrick. They were all bishops, 350 in number, founders of churches. They had one Head, Christ; one leader, Patrick; one Mass, and one tonsure from ear to ear, and they celebrated one Easter "quarta decima luna post aequinoctium vernale". All these bishops were sprung from the Romans, the French (i.e. the Gauls), the Britons, and the Scots. Their period is given from the reign of Laoghaire to that of Tuathal Moelgarbh (c. 440-544). The second order were a few bishops and many priests, 300 in number. They had one head, Christ, they celebrated different Masses and "diversas regulas", they had one Easter, the fourteenth of the moon after the equinox, and one tonsure from ear to ear. The received a Mass from the Britons, David, Gilla (Gildas), and Docus (Cadoc). It may be noted that the "Vita Gildae" tells how King Ainmerech sent for Gildas to restore ecclesiastical order in his kingdom "quia paene catholicam fidem in ipsa insula omnes reliquerant". The second order lasted from the end of the reign of Tuathal to that of Aodh MacAinmerech (c. 544-99). The third order were priests and a few bishops, 100 in number, "qui in locis desertis habitabant et oleribus et aqua et eleemosynis vivebant, propria devitabant", evidently hermits and monks. They had different Masses, different rules, and different tonsures, "alii enim habebant coronam, alii caesariem", and celebrated different Easters, some on the fourteenth, some on the sixteenth, of the moon, "cum duris intentionibus" — which perhaps means "obstinately". These lasted from the reign of Aeda Allain (Aodh Slaine) to that of his two sons (Blathmac and Diarmait, c. 599-665). The meaning seems to be that the first order celebrated a form of Mass introduced by St. Patrick, the second and third orders used partly that Mass and partly one of British origin, and in the case of the third order Roman modifications were also introduced. Though we have no direct evidence one way or the other, it would seem probable that St. Patrick, who was the pupil of St. Germanus of Auxerre and St. Honoratus of Lérins, brought with him a Mass of the Gallican type, and it is clear that the British Mass introduced by Sts. David, Gildas, and Cadoc differed from it, though to what extent we have no means of knowing. The "unam celebrationem" of the first order and the "diversas regulas" of the second and third probably both refer to the Divine Office, and we may take the authority of the eighth-century tract in Cott. manuscript Nero A. II for what it is worth in its not improbable statement that St. Germanus taught the "Cursus Scottorum" to St. Patrick, who certainly was under his instruction for some time. The working of the "Catalogus" seems to imply that the first and second orders were Quartodecimans, but this is clearly not the meaning, or on the same argument the third order must have been partly Sextodecimans — if there were such things — and moreover we have the already mentioned statement of St. Wilfred, the opponent of the Celtic Easter, at the Synod of Whitby, that such was not the case. Tirechan can only mean what we know from other sources: that the fourteenth day of the moon was the earliest day on which Easter could fall, not that it was kept on that day, Sunday or weekday. It was the same ambiguity of expression which misled Colman in 664 and St. Aldhelm in 704. The first and second orders used the Celtic tonsure, and it seems that the Roman coronal tonsure came partly into use during the period of the third order. After that we have an obscure period, during which the Roman Easter which had been accepted in South Ireland in 626-28, became universal, being accepted by North Ireland in 692, and it seems probable that a Mass on the model of the Carlsruhe and Piacenza fragments and the Stowe and Bobbio Missals, that is to say a Roman Canon with some features of a non-Roman type came into general use. But it was not until the twelfth century that the separate Irish Rite, which, according to Gilbert, Bishop of Limerick (1106-390), was in use in nearly all Ireland, was abolished. St. Malachy, bishop of Armagh (1134-48), began the campaign against it, and at the Synod of Cashel, in 1127, a Roman Rite "juxta quod Anglicana observat Ecclesia" was finally substituted.

In Scotland there is very little information. The intercourse with Ireland was considerable, and the few details that can be gathered from such sources as Adamnan's Life of St. Columba and the various relics of the Scoto-Northumbrian Church point to a general similarity with Ireland in the earlier period. Of the rite of the monastic order of the Culdees (Céli Dé or Goillidhe-Dé, servants of God, or possibly Cultores Dei) very little is known, but they certainly had a rite of their own, which may have been similar to the Irish. The Roman Easter and tonsure were adopted by the Picts in 710, and at Iona in 716-18, and much later, in about 1080, St. Margaret of Scotland, wife of King Malcolm III, wishing to reform the Scottish church in a Roman direction, discovered and abolished certain peculiar customs of which Theodoric, her chaplain and biographer, tells us less than we could wish. It seems that the Scots did not begin Lent on Ash Wednesday, but on the Monday following. This is still the Ambrosian practice. They refused to communicate on Easter Day, and the arguments on the subject make it seem as if the laity never communicated at all. In some places they celebrated Mass "contra totius Ecclesiae consuetudinem, nescio quo ritu barbaro". The last statement may be read in connection with that in the Register of St. Andrew's (drawn up 1144-53), "Keledei in angulo quodam ecclesiae, quae modica nimis est, suum officum more suo celebrant". How much difference there may have been cannot be judged from these expressions. Scotland may have retained a primitive Celtic Rite, or it may have used the greatly Romanized Stowe or Bobbio Mass. The one fragment of a Scottish Rite, the Office of the Communion of the Sick, in the Book of Deer, probably eleventh century, is certainly non-Roman in type, and agrees with those in the extant Irish books.

In 590 St. Columbanus and his companions invaded the Continent and established monasteries throughout France, South Germany, Switzerland, and North Italy, of which the best known were Luxeuil, Bobbio, St. Galen, and Ratisbon. It is from the Rule of St. Columbanus that we know something of a Celtic Divine Office. These Irish missionaries, with their very strict rule, were not altogether popular among the lax Gallican clergy, who tried to get them discouraged. At a council at Mâcon, in 623, certain charges brought by one Agrestius were considered. Among them is the following: "In summâ quod a caeterorum ritu ac norma desciscerent et sacra mysteria sollemnia orationum et collectarum multiplici varietate celebrarent". There has been more than one interpretation of this phrase, some holding, with Pope Benedict XIV, that it refers to the use of many collects before the Epistle, instead of the one collect of the then Roman Missal, others that it implies a multiplicity of variables in the whole Mass, analogous to that existing in the Hispano-Gallican Rite. The Columbanian monasteries gradually drifted into the Benedictine Order.

The ultimate origin of the various prayers, etc., found in the fragments of the Celtic Rite in the books of private devotion, such as the Book of Cerne, Harl. manuscript 7635, and manuscript Reg. 2. A. xx, which are either Irish or have been composed under Irish influence, is still under discussion. The Turin Fragment and the Bangor Antiphoner (See ANTIPHONARY OF BANGOR) contain for the most part pieces that are either not found elsewhere or are only found in other Irish books. The Book of Cerne is very eclectic, and pieces therein can also be traced the Gelasian, Gregorian, Gallican, and Spanish origins, and the Stowe Missal has pieces which are found not only in the Bobbio Missal, but also in the Gelasian, Gregorian, Gallican, Spanish, and even Ambrosian books. The general conclusion seems to be that, while the Irish were not above borrowing from other Western nations, they originated a good deal themselves, much of which eventually passed into that composite rite which is now known as Roman. This seems to be a rough statement of the opinion of Mr. Edmund Bishop, who is the soundest English authority on the subject, which involves the much larger question of the origin and development of all the Western rites.

Manuscript sources

The following manuscripts contain fragments of the Celtic Rite:

British (i.e. Welsh, Cornish, or Breton)

None. There is a Mass in Bodl. manuscript 572 (at Oxford), in honour of St. Germanus, which appears to be Cornish and relates to "Ecclesia Lanaledensis", which has been considered to be the monastery of St. Germanus, in Cornwall, a few miles on the western side of the Tamar. There is no other evidence of the name, which was also the Breton name of Aleth, now part of Saint-Malo. The manuscript, which contains also certain glosses, possibly Cornish or Breton — it would be impossible to distinguish between them at that date-but held by Professor Loth to be Welsh, is probably of the ninth century, and the Mass is quite Roman in type, being probably written after that part of Cornwall had come under Saxon influence. There is a very interesting Proper Preface.

Irish (whether insular or continental)

(1) The Turin Fragment. A manuscript Of the seventh century in the Turin Library. It was published by W. Mayer, with a dissertation comparing it with the Bangor Antiphoner, in the Gottingen "Nachrichen" of 1903. Mayer considers the fragment to have been written at Bobbio. It consists of six leaves and contains the canticles, "Cantemus Domino", "Benedicite", and "Te Deum", with collects to follow those and the Laudate psalms (cxlvii-cl) and the "Benedictus", the text of which is not given, two hymns with collects to follow them, and two other prayers. There is a facsimile of one page and a description in "Collezione paleografica Bobbiese", Vol. I.

(2) The Bangor Antiphoner. A manuscript from the monastery of Bangor, in Down, written or copied from a manuscript written during the time of Abbot Cronan (680-91). It is now in the Ambrosian Library at Milan. It has been edited, in facsimile, for the Henry Bradshaw Society (1895-96) by F.E. Warren, having been already printed in Muratori's "Anecdota Bibl. Ambros.", IV, pp. 121-59, in Migne's "Patrologia Lat.", LXXII, 579, and in the "Ulster Journal of Archaeology", 1853. It contains a large collection of canticles, hymns, collects, and antiphons, all, with very few exceptions, relating to the Divine Office. All but two of the twenty-one pieces in the Turin fragment are found in this manuscript also. (See ANTIPHONARY OF BANGOR.)

(3) The Bobbio Missal. A manuscript Of the seventh century found by Mabillon at Bobbio in North Italy now in the Biblotheque Nationale at Paris (Lat. 13,246). Published by Mabillon (Lit. Rom. Vet., II) and by Neale and Forbes (Ancient Liturgies of the Gallican Church). There is an analysis of it by Dom Cagin in "Paeographie musicale", V. By Neale and Forbes it is entitled "Missale Vesontionense seu Sacramentarium Gallicanum", its attribution to Besançon being due to the presence of a Mass in honour of St. Sigismund. Monseigneur Duchesne appears to consider it to be more or less Ambrosian, but Mr. Edmund Bishop (liturgical note to Kuypers' "Book of Cerne") considers it to be "an example of the kind of book in vogue in the second age of the Irish Saints", and connects it with the undoubtedly Irish Stowe Missal. It contains a "Missa Romensis cottidiana" and Masses for various days and intentions, with the Order of Baptism and the "Benedictio Cerei".

(4) The Stowe Missal. A manuscript of the late eighth or early ninth century, with alterations in later hands, most of them written by one Moelcaich, who signs his name at the end of the Canon, and whom Dr. MacCarthy identifies, not very convincingly, with Moelcaich MacFlann, c. 750. It was discovered abroad, in the eighteenth century, by John Grace of Nenah, from whom it passed to the Duke of Buckingham's library at Stowe. It was bought by the late Earl of Ashburnham in 1849, and from his collection it went to the Royal Irish Academy. It contains part of the Gospel of St. John, probably quite unconnected with what follows, bound up with the Ordinary and Canon of the Mass, three Masses, the Order of Baptism and of the Visitation, Unction, and Communion of the Sick, and a treatise in Irish on the Mass, of which a variant is found in the "Leabhar Breac". The liturgical parts are in Warren's "Celtic Church". It was edited for the Royal Irish Academy in 1885 by Dr. B. MacCarthy, and is now being re-edited (a facsimile having been already issued) for the Henry Bradshaw Society, by Mr. G.F. Warner, to whose work the present writer is indebted for much help. A translation, by J. Charleston, of the Ordinary and Canon of the Mass appeared in the "Transactions" of the Glasgow Ecclesiological Society, in 1898.

(5) The Carlsruhe Fragment A.--Four pages in an Irish hand of the late eighth or early ninth century in the Library of Carlsruhe. It contains parts of three Masses, one of which is "pro captivis". The arrangement resembles that of the Bobbio Missal, in that the Epistles and Gospels seem to have preceded the other variables under the title of "lectiones ad misam".

(6) The Carlsruhe Fragment. B.--Four pages in an Irish hand probably of the ninth century. It contains fragments of Masses, and includes a variant of the intercessions inserted in the Intercession for the Living in the Stowe Missal and in Witzel's extracts from the Fulda Manuscript. There are also some fragments of Irish in it.

(7) The Piacenza Fragment. Four pages (of which the two outer are illegible) in an Irish hand, possibly of the tenth century. The two inner pages contain parts of three Masses, one of which is headed "ordo missae sanctae mariae". In the others are contained the Prefaces of two of the Sunday Masses in the Bobbio Missal, one of which is used on the eighth Sunday after the Epiphany in the Mozarabic. [The text of these three fragments (5-7), with a dissertation on them by the Rev. H. M. Bannister, is given in the "Journal of Theological Studies", October, 1903.]

(8) The Book of Dimma. A manuscript probably of the eighth century now at Trinity College, Dublin. It contains the Four Gospels and has an order for the Unction and Communion of the Sick written between the Gospels of St. Luke and St. John. This last is printed in Warren's "Celtic Church".

(9) The Book of Mulling. A manuscript, probably of the eighth century, in Trinity College, Dublin. It contains the Four Gospels, an Office for the Unction and Communion of the Sick, and a fragmentary directory or plan of a service. These have been printed, with a dissertation, in Lawlor's "Chapters on the Book of Mulling", and the Unction and Communion Office in Warren's "Celtic Church".

(10) The St. Gall Fragments. These are eighth- and ninth-century fragments in Manuscripts 1394 and 1395 in the Library of St. Gallen. The first book (1394) contains part of an ordinary of the Mass, which as far as it goes resembles that in the Stowe Missal. The second (1395) contains the confession and litany, which also begin the Stowe Missal, a fragment of a Mass of the Dead, a prayer at the Visitation of the Sick, and three forms for the blessing of salt and water. All these are given in Warren's "Celtic Church".

(11) The Basle Fragment. (A. vii. 3 in the Basle Library). This is a ninth-century Greek Psalter with a Latin interlinear translation. On a fly-leaf at the beginning are two hymns in honour of Our Lady and of St. Bridget, a prayer to Our Lady and to the Angels and Saints, and a long prayer "De conscientiae reatu ante altare". The last is printed in Warren's "The Celtic Church".

(12) The Zurich Fragment (Public Library, Zurich). This is a tenth-century leaf containing part of an office for the profession of a nun. It is printed in Warren's "The Celtic Church".

(13) The Liber Hymnorum. This is not exactly a liturgical book, but a collection of forty hymns in Latin and Irish, almost all of Irish origin, with canticles and "ccclxv orationes quas beatus Gregorius de toto psalterio congregavit". There are explanatory prefaces in Irish or Latin to each hymn. Some of the hymns are found in the Bangor Antiphoner, the "Leabhar Breac", and the Book of Cerne. There are two manuscripts of this collection, not agreeing exactly, one in trinity College, Dublin, of the eleventh century, an done in the Franciscan Convent at Dublin, of somewhat later date. A combination of both manuscripts has been edited for the Henry Bradshaw Society (1897-98) by Dr. J. H. Bernard and Dr. R. Atkinson.


The Book of Deer. A Book of the Gospels of the tenth century formerly belonging to the Monastery of Deer in Buchan, and now in the Cambridge University Library. It contains part of an order for the communion of the Sick, with a Gaelic rubric, written in a hand of perhaps the end of the eleventh century. This is printed in Warren's "The Celtic Church". The whole manuscript was edited by Dr. Stuart for the Spalding Club in 1869.

Other manuscripts

Besides these manuscripts there are certain others bearing on the subject which are not liturgical, and some of which are not Celtic, though they show signs of Celtic influences. Among these are:

(1) The Book of Cerne. A large collection of prayers, etc., for private use, associated with the name of Aethelwald the Bishop, possibly a Bishop of Lindisfarne (712-40), but perhaps a later Bishop of Lichfield (818-30). This late eighth- or early ninth-century manuscript, which once belonged to the Abbey of Cerne in Dorset, but is now in the University Library at Cambridge, though actually Northumbrian or Mercian in origin, is full of Irish, Gelasian, and Hispano-Gallican matter. It has been edited (with a most valuable "Liturgical Note" by Mr. E. Bishop) by Dom A.B. Kuypers (Cambridge, 1902).

(2) Harl. manuscript 7653, British Museum. A fragment of seven leaves of an Irish manuscript of the ninth century, containing a litany, the Te Deum, and a number of private devotions. It has been edited by Mr. W. de G. Birch, with The Book of Nunnaminster, for the Hampshire Record Society (1889), and by Mr. Warren in his monograph on the Bangor Antiphoner (Vol. II, p 83).

(3) Reg. 2. A. xx, British Museum. An eighth-century manuscript of probably Northumbrian origin, containing selections from the Gospels, collects, hymns, canticles, private devotions, etc. It has been fully described in Mr. Warren's "Bangor Antiphoner" (Vol. II, p. 97).

(4) The Leabhar Breac, or Speckled Book. An Irish manuscript of the fourteenth century, belonging to the Royal Irish Academy, and containing a very large collection of ecclesiastical and religious pieces in Irish. The contents are not as a rule of a liturgical character, but the book contains a variant of the Irish tract of the Mass which is also in the Stowe Missal. This has been printed, with a translation, in Dr. MacCarthy's edition of the Stowe Missal, and in "Transactions of the Aberdeen Ecclesiological Society", with translation and notes by Mr. D. Macgregor (1898). The whole book has been published in facsimile, but without transliteration or translation, though with a detailed table of contents, by the Royal Irish Academy (1876), and the Passions and Homilies contained in it have been edited with a translation and glossary by Dr. R. Atkinson in the Todd Lecture series of the same Academy (1887).

The divine office

The chief evidences as to the nature and origin of the Celtic Divine Office are found in the Rule of St. Columbanus, in the Turin fragment and the Bangor Antiphoner, in the eighth-century tract in Cott. manuscript Nero A. II., and in allusions in the "Catalogus Sanctorum Hiberniae". The Rule of St. Columbanus give directions as to the number of psalms to be recited at each hour, the Turin fragment, and the Bangor Antiphoner give the text of canticles, hymns, collects, and antiphons, and the Cottonian tract gives what was held in the eighth century to be the origin of the "Cursus Scottorum". (Cursus psalmorum and Synaxis are terms used for the Divine Office in the Rule of St. Colmubanus.) the last differentiates between the "Cursus Gallorum", which it derives imaginatively from Ephesus and St. John, through St. Polycarp and St. Irenæus, and this "Cursus Scottorum", which, according to this writer, probably an Irish monk in France, originated with St. Mark at Alexandria. With St. Mark it came to Italy. St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. Basil, and the hermits St. Anthony, St. Paul, St. Macarius, St. John, and St. Malchus used it. St. Cassian, St. Honoratus, and St. Porcarius of Lérins, St. Caesarius of Arles, St. Germanus, and St. Lupus also used it, and St. Germanus taught it to St. Patrick, who brought it to Ireland. There "Wandilochus Senex" and "Gomorillus" (Comgall) used it, and St. Wandilochus and Columbanus brought it to Luxeuil. The part of the story from St. Germanus onwards may possibly be founded in fact. The other part is not so probable. The statements of the "Catalogus" concerning "unam celebrationem" in the first, and "diversas regulas" during the second and third, ages of the saints probably refer to the original cursus of St. Patrick and to the introduction of other cursus, partly (perhaps with the Mass of Sts. David, Gildas and Cadoc) from Britain; and it does not quite follow that what St. Columbanus carried to Gaul was the same as that which St. Patrick had brought from Gaul in an earlier age. The Rule of St. Columbanus and the Bangor book distinguish eight Hours, "ad duodecimam" [Vespers, called "ad Vespertinam" and "ad Vesperam" in the Bangor book] Adamnan's Life of St. Columba calls it once (iii,23) "Vespertinalis missa"], "ad initium noctis (answering to Complin), "ad nocturnam", or "ad medium noctis", "ad matutinam" (Lauds), "ad secundam" (answering to Prime), "ad tertiam", "ad sextam", and "ad nonam". At the four lesser Hours St. Columanus orders three psalms each; at Vespers, "ad initium noctis", and "ad medium noctis" twelve each, and "ad matutinam", a very curious and intricate arrangement of psalmody varying in length with the longer and shorter nights. On Saturdays and Sundays from 1 November to 25 March, seventy-five psalms were recited on each day, under one antiphon for every three psalms. From 25 March to 24 June these were diminished by three psalms weekly to a minimum of thirty-six psalms. It would seem, though it does not say so, that the minimum was used for about five weeks, for a gradual increase of the same amount arrives at the maximum by 1 November. On other days of the week there was a maximum of thirty-six and a minimum of twenty-four. The Rule does not say how the Psalter was distributed, but from the Bangor book it seems that the "Laudate" psalms (cxlvii-cl) were said together, doubtless, as in all other rites, Eastern or Western, except certain eighteenth-century French uses, at Lauds and that "Domine, Refugium" (Ps. lxxxix) was said "ad secundam". Adamnan mentions that St. Columba sang Psalm 44, "Eructavit cor meum", at Vespers on one occasion. The psalms at the lesser Hours were to be accompanied by a number of intercessory versicles. In the Bangor book these, somewhat expanded from the list in the Rule, but certainly to be identified with them, are given in the form of one, two, or three antiphons and a collect for each intercession. There are six canticles given in the Bangor Antiphoner:

  1. "Audite, coeli", headed "Canticum Moysi". This has no antiphons, but a repetition of the first verse at intervals, after the manner of the Invitatory to the "Venite" in the Roman Rite.
  2. "Cantemus Domino", also headed "Canticum Moysi".
  3. "Benedictus, also called "Benedictio trium Puerorum".
  4. "Te Deum, preceded by Psalm 112:1, "Laudate, pueri".
  5. "Benedicitus", also called "Evangelium".
  6. "Gloria in excelsis", followed by psalm and other verses similar to those which, with it, make up the Doxologia megale of the Greek Rite. It is ordered to be used "ad vesperum et matutinam", resembling the Greek Rite use of it at Complin (Apodeipnon) and Lauds (Orthros). When the Stowe Missal was written the Irish used this canticle at Mass also, in its Roman position.

The Bangor Antiphoner gives sets of collects to be used at each hour. One set is in verse (cf. the Mass in hexameters in the Reichenau Gallican fragment). It also gives several sets of collects, not always complete, but always in the same order. It may be conjectured that these sets show some sort of skeleton of the Bangor Lauds. The order always is: (1) "Post canticum" (evidently from the subjects, which, like those of the first ode of a Greek canon, refer to the Crossing of the Red Sea, Cantemus Domino"); (2) "Post Benedictionem trium Puerorum"; (3) "Post tres Psalmos", or "Post Laudate Dominum de coelis" (Ps. cxlvii-cl); (4) "Post Evangelium" (clearly meaning "benedictus", which is the only gospel canticle in the book and the only one not otherwise provided for. The same term is often applied — e.g. in the York Breviary — to "Benedictus", "Magnificat", and "Nunc Dimittis"); (5) "Super hymnum"; (6) "De Martyribus".-The last may perhaps be compared with the commemorations which come at the end of Lauds in, for instance, the present Roman Divine Office. There are also sets of antiphons, "super Cantemus Domino et Benedicite", "super Laudate Dominum de coelis", and "De Martyribus". In the Bangor book there are collects to go with the "Te Deum", given apart from the preceding, as though they formed part of another Hour; but in the Turin fragment they, with the text of the "Te Deum", follow the "Benedicite" and its collects, and precede the "Laudate Dominum de coelis". In the Book of Mulling there is a fragment of a directory, or plan, of some service. Dr. Lawlor seems to think it to be a plan of a daily Office used morning and evening, but the editors of the "Liber Hymnorum" take it to be a special penitential service and compare it with the penitential office sketched out in the "Second Vision of Adamnan" in the Leabhar Breac, which, as interpreted by them, it certainly resembles. The plan in the Book of Mulling is: (1) illegible; (2) "Magnificat"; (3) stanzas 4, 5, 6 of St. Columba's hymn "Noli pater"; (4) a lesson from Matthew 5; (5) the last three stanzas of the hymn of St. Secundus, "Audite omnes"; (6) two supplementary stanzas; (7) the last three stanzas of the hymn of Cumma in Fota, "Celebra Juda"; (8) antiphon "Exaudi nos Deus", appended to this hymn; (9) last three stanzas of St. Hillary's hymn, Hymnum dicat"; (10) either the antiphon "Unitas in Trinitate" or (as sketch of Adamnan seems to show) the hymn of St. Colman MacMurchon in honour of St. Michael, "In Trinitate spes mea"; (11) the Creed; (12) the Paternoster; (13) illegible, but possibly the collect "Ascendat oratio".

The Mass

Two books, the Bobbio and the Stowe Missals, contain the Irish Ordinary of a daily Mass in its late Romanized form. Many of the variables are in the Bobbio book, and portions of some Masses are in the Carlsruhe and Piacenza fragments. A little, also, may be gleaned from the St. Gall fragments, the Bangor Antiphoner, and the order for the Communion of the Sick in the Books of Dimma, Mulling, and Deer. The tract in Irish at the end of the Stowe Missal and its variant in the Leabhar Breac add something more to our knowledge. The Stowe Missal gives us three somewhat differing forms, the original of the ninth century, in so far as it has not been erased, the correction by Moelcaich, and, as far as it goes, the Mass described in the Irish tract. From its size and contents it would seem to be a sort of Missale Itinerantium, with an Ordinary that might serve for most any occasion, a general Common of Saints and two Masses for special intentions (for penitents and for the dead). The addition of the Order of Baptism, not, as in the Bobbio book or in the "Missale Gothicum" ad "Missale Gallicanum", as part of the Easter Eve services, but as a separate thing, and the Visitation of the Sick, points to its being intended to be a convenient portable minimum for a priest. The pieces said by the people are in several cases only indicated by beginnings and endings. The Bobbio book, on the other hand, is a complete Missal, also for a priest only, of larger size with Masses for the Holy Days through the year

The original Stowe Mass approaches nearer to that of Bobbio than the revised form does. The result of Moelcaich's version is to produce something more than a Gelasian Canon inserted into a non-Roman Mass. It has become a mixed Mass, Gelasian, Roman, or Romano-Ambrosian for the most part, with much of a Hispano-Gallican type underlying it, and perhaps with some indigenous details. It may be taken to represent the latest type of Irish Mass of which we have any information. The title of the Bobbio daily Mass is "Missa Romensis cottidiana", and the same title occurs before the Collect "Deus qui culpa offenderis" at the very end of the "Missale Gothicum". This collect, which is in the Gregorian Sacramentary, occurs in both the Bobbio and the Stowe, and in the latter has before it the title, "Orationes et preces missae aecclesiae romane", so that it is evident that the Roman additions or substitutions were recognized as such.

The Order of the daily Mass, founded on that in the Stowe Missal is:

Praeparatio Sacerdotis.

  1. Confession of sins, beginning "Peccavimus, Domine, peccavimus". This and the Litany which follows are found also in the St. Gall fragments, but not in the Bobbio book.
  2. Litany of the Saints. In the original hand there are only thirteen invocations (Our Lady, ten Apostles, St. Mark, and St. Luke). Moelcaich added thirty-one more, of which twenty-four are Irish. The manuscript is wrongly bound, so that these additions look as if they were associated with the dyptychs in the Canon.
  3. "Oratio Augustini": "Rogo te Deus Sabaoth". This is found in various ninth- and tenth-century French books (see Warren's "Celtic Church").
  4. "Oratio Ambrosi": "Ante conspectum divinae majestatis". Inserted by Moelcaich. Found in several French books.
  5. Collect: "Ascendat oratio nostra". This occurs after the Creed and Paternoster in the "Liber Hymnorum".

The Mass itself

  1. From the Irish tracts it seems that the chalice was prepared before the Introit, a very usual practice in both East and West in early times. It is still the Eastern practice, and is retained to this day by the Dominicans at low Mass, and in the Mozarabic Rite (see Dr. Legg's Ecclesiological Essays, pp. 91-178). Water was poured in first with the words "Peto (Leabhar Breac, Quaeso) te, Pater, deprecor te, Fili, obsecro te, Spiritus Sancte". The Leabhar Breac directs that a drop shall be poured at naming each Person. The wine was similarly poured on the water, with the words, "Redittit pater, indulget Filius, miseretur Spiritus Sanctus.".
  2. The Introit. Mentioned in the Irish tracts, but not given in the Ordinary or elsewhere in either Missal. Probably it was sung from a Psalter.
  3. Collect. That in the Stowe and Bobbio Ordinaries is "Deus qui de beato Petro", the collect for St. Peter's Day, "iii Kal Julias" in the Gelasian Sacramentary. In the Stowe a corrector, not Moelcaich, has prefixed "in solemnitatibus Petri et Christi [sic]".
  4. "Imnus angelicus", i.e. "Gloria in excelsis". Begun in the original hand, continued by Moelcaich on an inserted slip. This comes after the conclusion of the "Missa Romensis cottidiana" in the Bobbio book and is preceded by a prayer "post Alos", which probably means the Trisagion (Hagios o Theos, k.t.l.), or the Greek of the Sanctus, as used elsewhere in the Mozarabic, one or other of which may have come at this point, as it did (according to St. Germanus of Paris) in the Gallican Rite. This in the last was followed by Kyrie eleison and "Benedictus", the latter being called "Prophetia". There are collects styled "post Prophetiam" in the Bobbio Missal at the beginnings of several Masses. After the Gloria in the Bobbio there is a collect "post Benedictionem", which means after the "Benedicite". This was said in the Gallican, as part is still said in the Mozarabic, after the Epistle. The collects "post Precem", according to Mabillon, mean the same, but that seems improbable, and this name may possibly refer to the prayers after the Bidding Prayer Litany, which has been known as "Prex".
  5. Collect, "Deus qui diligentibus te", given as a Sunday collect in the Gelasian. It is written by Moelcaich over erased matter (probably the original continuation of "Gloria in excelsis"), and another hand has prefixed a direction for its use. "in cotidianis diebus", instead of that which follows.
  6. Collect "Deus qui culpa offenderis". In the original hand with inserted heading already mentioned, and "haec oratio prima Petri". It follows the St. Peter collect in the Bobbio Ordinary.
  7. "Hic augmentum". Inserted by Moelcaich. This, whatever it may mean, is mentioned in the Irish tract as "tormach" (increase, expansion) coming before the "Lesson of the Apostle". Later, at the Offertory, one finds "secudna pars augmenti hic super oblata". Probably it means additional proper collects. St. Columbanus uses the word, in the sense of "addition", with reference to the petitions added to the psalms at the day hours, "cum versiculorum augmento intervenientium".
  8. The Epistle. In the Stowe daily Mass, 1 Corinthians 11:26-52. On certain days the Bobbio had a lesson from the Old Testament or Apocalypse before the Epistle.
  9. The Gradual. The tract calls it "salm digrad". If everything between the Epistle and Gospel may be included under that name, the construction is (a) Prayer, "Deus qui nos regendo conservas", added, but not by Moelcaich. Found in the later Gelasian manuscripts. (b) Prayer, "Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui populum tuum". An Easter collect in the Bobbio Missal, given also by Gerbert as Ambrosian. (c) Psalm 104:4, 1-3, 4. (d) Prayer, "Grata sint tibi Domine". The secreta of an Advent Mass in the Gelasian. (e) Alleluia. Psalm 117:14. (f) Prayer, "Sacrificiis praesentibus, Domine". The "secreta of another Advent Mass in the Gelasian. (g) "Deprecatio Sancti Martini pro populo", (The title added by Moelcaich.) This is a Bidding Prayer Litany or Prex resembling very closely the Great Synapte of the Greek Rite and the litany used on the first four Sundays of Lent instead of "Gloria in excelsis" in the Ambrosian. (h) Prayer, "Sacrificium tibi, Domine". The secreta of an other Advent Mass in the Gelasian. Perhaps it is here an "Oratio post Precem" of the Gallican type. (i) Prayer, "Ante oculos tuos, Domine". It occurs in the same place in the Mass published by M. Flaccus Illyricus (Martène, I, 182). (k) Lethdirech sund [a half uncovering (of the chalice and paten) here]. This is referred to in the tract as indinochtad corrici leth inna oblae agus incailich (the uncovering as far as half the oblation and chalice), and is associated there with the singing of the Gospel and Allóir. Earlier it is mentioned as following the Gradual. (l) Psalm 140:2, sung thrice. (m) "Hic elivatur lintiamen calicis". Dr. Legg (Ecclesiological Essays, p. 133) mentions that this lifting of the veil was the practice in England just before the Reformation, and in the Dioceses of Coutances and St.-Pol-de-Leon much later. (n) Prayer, "Veni Domine sanctificator". Nearly the "Veni sanctificator" of the present Roman Offertory.
    [Of these (a) to (h) are in the original hand, part of (i) is inserted by Moelcaich, possibly over erasures, the rest of (i) and (k) to (n) are written by Moelcaich on added leaves. The psalm verses are only indicated by their beginnings and endings. It may be that the prayers were said, and the ceremonies with the chalice veil were gone through by the priest while the congregation sang the psalms and Alleluia. Nothing of all this is in the Bobbio. Possibly, judging from the collect "Post Benedictionem", which is the collect which follows the "Benedictus es" (Daniel 3) on ember Saturdays in the Roman Missal, either the "Benedicite" or this "Benedictus" came between the Epistle and Gospel, as in the Gallican of St. Germain's description.]
  10. The Gospel. In the Stowe Mass, St. John 6:51-57. This begins in Moelcaich's hand on an inserted sheet and ends in the original hand. The tracts say that the Gospel was followed by the "Alloir", which Dr. Stokes translates "Alleluia", but Mr. Macgregor takes to mean "Blessing" and compares with the "Per evangelica dicta", etc., of the Roman Rite.
  11. "Oratio Gregorii super evangelium". On an inserted slip in Moelcaich's hand. In the Gregorian Sacramentary on the second Saturday and third Sunday of Lent, but not in connection with the Gospel.
  12. The Creed. In the original hand, with the "Filioque" inserted between the lines, possibly by Moelcaich.
  13. The Offertory. The order in the Stowe Missal is (a) Landirech sund (a full uncovering here). In Moelcaich's hand. (b) "Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam", etc. thrice. (c) "Oblata, Domine, munera sanctifica, nosque a peccatorum nostrorum maculis emunda." This is in the Bobbio Missal (where it is called "post nomina") and in the Gelasian and Gregorian. It is the secreta of the third Mass of Christmas Day in the present Roman Missal. According to the tract, the chalice was elevated while this was sung, after the full uncovering. The Leabhar Breac says that it was elevated "quando cantitur Imola Deo sacrificum laudis". (d) Prayer, "Hostias quaesumus, Dominie". This occurs in one set of "Orationes et preces divinae" in the Leonine Sacramentary. It is written here by Moelcaich over an erasure which begins with "G", probably, as Mr. Warner conjectures, the prayer "Grata sit tibi", which follows "Oblata, Domine" in the Bobbio Missal. In Moelcaich's correction this in an amplified form occurs later. (e) Prayer, "Has oblationes et sincera labamina". In Moelcaich's hand. This prayer, which includes an intercession "pro animabus carorum nostrorum N. et cararum nostrarum quorum nomina recitamus", is evidently a relic of the former reading of the dyptychs at this point, as in the Hispano-Gallican liturgies. It and the next prayer in its Stowe form, as Mr. Warren points out, resemble Gallican or Mozarabic "Orationes post nomina". (f) "Secunda pars augmenti hic super oblata". Probably refers to additional proper prayers, analogous to the Roman secreta (see 7, supra). (g) Prayer, "Grata sit tibi haec oblatio". An expanded form of the prayer which followed "Oblata" in the original writing. A long passage referring to the diptychs is inserted. Most of this prayer is on the first page of an inserted quire of four leaves in Moelcaich's hand. In the Bobbio, only "Oblata" and "Grata sit tibi" are given at the Offertory, one being called "Post nomina", the other "Ad Pacem". Perhaps the Pax came here in the seventh century, as in the Gallican and Mozarabic.
  14. The "Sursum Corda", not preceded by "Dominus vobiscum".
  15. The Preface. Unlike the Bobbio daily Preface, which, like that of the Roman Missal, goes straight from "per Christum Dominum nostrum" to "Per quem", this inserts a long passage, reminding one, at the beginning and near the end, of the Trinity and Sunday Preface of the Roman Missal, but otherwise being peculiar to itself. At the end of this passage is a direction in Irish to the effect that here the dignum of the addition (dignum in tormaig), i.e. the Proper Preface, comes in, if it ends with "Per quem". After the "Per quem" clause there is a similar direction if the "addition ends with "Sanctus".
  16. The Sanctus, with a Post-Sanctus, resembling somewhat that in the Mozarabic Missal for Christmas Day, and that for Christmas Eve in the "Missale Gothicum". There is a Post-Sanctus also in the first of the three Masses given in the Stowe. It is followed by "Qui pridie", as though the Gelasian Canon were not used in that case.
  17. "Canon dominicus papae Gilasi". This is the Gelasian Canon (as given in Mr. H.A. Wilson's edition) with certain variations, the most noticeable of which are: (a) "Te igitur" adds, after "papa nostro", "episcopo sedis apostolicae", and after "fidei cultoribus", "et abbate nostro n. episcopl". Sedis apostolicae" is added also in the Bobbio. (b) A direction follows, "Hic recitantur nomina vivorum". (c) "Mement etiam domine", contains a long list of intercessions for various classes of persons. This is also found in Carlsruhe Fragment B, but not in the Bobbio. (d) "Communicantes". Variants for Christmas, Circumcision (called Kalendis), "Stellae" (i.e. Epiphany-cf. Welsh, Dydd Gwyl Ystwyll; Cornish, Degl Stul; and "in stilla domini" in the St Cuthbert Gospels. The actual variant here is natalis calicis, i.e. Maundy Thursday, the end of one and the beginning of the other have been dropped out in copying), Easter, Clausula pasca (i.e. Low Sunday), Ascension, and Pentecost. The inserted quire ends with the second of these, and the others are on a whole palimpsest page and part of another. The original hand, now partly erased, begins with part of the first clause of the Canon, "tuum dominum nostrum supplices te rogamus", and contained all but the first line of the "Te igitur" and "Memento" clauses, without the long intercessory passage, the "nomina vivorum" direction, or the variants. (e) the original hand begins, "Et memoriam venerantes", continuing as in the present Roman Canon without variation until the next clause. The Bobbio Canon includes Sts Hilary, Martin, Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory, Jerome, and Benedict. (f) "Hanc igitur oblationem" contains an interpolation referring to a church "quam famulus tuus. . .aedificavit", and praying that the founder may be converted from idols. There are many variables of the 'Hanc igitur" in the Gelasian. In the daily Mass the Bobbio inserts "quam tibi offerimus in honorem nominis tui Deus" after "cunctae familiae tuae", but otherwise is the ordinary Gelasian and Gregorian. (g) In "Quam oblationem" and "Qui pridie" there are only a few variations, egit for agens, acepit [calicem] for accipiens (as also in the Bobbio book), and "calix sancti sanguinis mei" (sancti is erased in the Bobbio), until the end, when Moelaich has added the Ambrosian phrase "passionem meam predicabitis, resurrectionem meam adnuntiabitis, adventum meum sperabitis, donec iterum veniam ad vos de coelis". Similar endings occur also in the Liturgies of St. Mark and St. James and in several Syrian liturgies. The tracts direct the priest to bow thrice at "accipit Jesus panem" and after offering the chalice to God to chant "Miserere mei Deus" (Leabhar Breac) and the people to kneel in silence during this, the "perilous prayer". Then the priest takes three steps backwards and forwards. (h) "Unde et memores" has a few evident mistakes, and is Gelasianin adding sumus after memores. (i) "Supplices te rogamus" adds et petimus and omits caelesti. (k) "Memento etiam Domine et eorum nomina qui nos praecessereunt com signo fidei et dormiunt in somno pacis." This clause, omitted in the Gelasian, agrees with the Bobbio. In the latter the words "commemoratio defunctorum" follow. In the Stowe there is an intercessory interpolation with a long list of names of Old Testament saints, Apostles, and others, many of whom are Irish. The list concludes with the phrase, used also in the Mozarabic, "et omnium pausantium". Moelcaich's addition to the "Praeparatio" Litany is wrongly inserted before these names. (l) "Nobis quoque" differs from the Gelasian in the order of the names of the female saints, agreeing with the Bobbio, except that it does not add Eugenia. (m) After "Per quem haec omnia" Moelcaich has added "ter canitur" and an Irish direction to elevate the principal Host over the chalice and to dip half of It therein. Then follows in the original hand., "Fiat Domine misericordia tua", etc. (Ps. xxxii, 22), to which "ter cantitur" probably refers.
  18. The Fraction. Moelcaich adds an Irish direction, "It is here that the Bread is broken". The original hand has "Cogno[v]erunt Dominum in fractione panis. Panis quem frangimus corpus est D. N. J. C. Calix quem benedicimus sanguis est D. N. J. C. in remissionem peccatorum nostrorum", interspersed with six Alleluias. Then over an erasure, Moelcaich inserts "Fiat Domine misericordia, etc. Cognoverunt Dominum Alleluia", and a prayer or confession of faith, "Credimus, Domine, credimus in hac confractione". This responsory answers to the Ambrosian Confractorium and the Mozarabic Antiphona ad Confractionem panis. "Fiat misericordia", etc., is the actual Lenten Mozarabic antiphon. The prayer "Credimus", etc., has a slight likeness to the recitation of the Creed at this point in the Mozarabic. The tract directs an elaborate fraction, varying according to the day, and resembling that of the Mozarabic Rite and the arrangement (before Consecration) in the Eastern Office of the Prothesis, and like these having mystical meanings. The common division is into five, for ordinary days; for saints and virgins, seven; for martyrs, eight; for "the oblation of Sunday as a figure of the nine households of heaven and nine grades of the Church", nine; for the Apostles, eleven; on the circumcision and Maundy Thursday twelve; on Low Sunday (minchasc) and Ascension, thirteen; and on Easter, Christmas, and Whitsunday, the sum of all the preceding, sixty-five. Directions are given to arrange the particles in the form of a cross within a circle, and different parts are apportioned to different classes of people. The Leabhar Breac omits all this and only speaks (as does the Stowe tract earlier) of a fraction in two halves, a reuniting and a commixture, the last of which in the Stowe Canon comes after the Pater Noster. There is nothing about any fraction or commixture in the Bobbio, which, like the Gelasian, goes on from the "Per quem haec omnia" clause to the introduction of the Pater Noster. In the Ambrosian Rite both the fraction and Commixture occur at this point, instead of after the Pater Noster, as in the Roman. [In the St. Gall fragment there are three collects (found in the Gelasian, Leonine, and Gregorian books), and a "Collectio ante Orationem Dominicam", which ends with the same introduction to the Pater Noster as in Stowe and Bobbio. These are all that come between the Preface and Pater Noster.] the rest onward to the end of the Communion is in Moelcaich's hand.
  19. The Pater Noster, preceded by the introduction: "Divino magisterio edocti [instead of the Roman "Praecptis salutaribus moniti"] et divina institutione formati audemus dicere". This is the same in the Bobbio and the St. Gall fragment. There is nothing to show that this and the Embolism which follows were variable, as in the Gallican (cf. Missale Gothicum and others) and the present Mozarabic. The Embolism in the Stowe is nearly exactly the Gelasian, except that it omits the name of Our Lady and has "Patricio" for "Andrea". The Bobbio Embolism does not omit Our Lady, but has neither St. Andrew nor St. Patrick. The Pater Noster in the Books of Deer, Dimma, and Mulling has a different introduction and Embolism and in the Communion of the Sick in the Stowe there is yet another.
  20. The Pax. "Pax et caritas D.N.J.C. et communicatio sanctorum omnium sit semper nobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo." This is in the St. Gall fragment, in the same place. Prayer, "Pacem mandasti, pacem dedisti, etc.
  21. The Commixture. "Commixtio corporis et sanguinis D.N.J.C. sit nobis salus in vitam perpetuam." These words are not in the Bobbio or the St. Gall fragment, but in the latter the commixture is ordered to be made here (mittit sacerdos sancta in calicem), and then the Pax to be given. In St. Germanus's description a form very like the Pax formula of the Stowe was said here by a priest, instead of a longer (and variable) benediction by a bishop. These were not in any way associated with the Pax, which in the Gallican, as now in the Mozarabic, came just before "Sursum corda". The two ideas are mixed up here, as in the Roman and Ambrosian.
  22. The Communion. "Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollis [sic] pecata mundi." These words are not in the Bobbio or the St. Gall. They are nearly the words said before the communion of the people in the Roman Rite of today. In the St. Gall the rubric directs the Communion of the people after the Pax. Probably these words had the same association in the Stowe as at present. Then follows in the Stowe, "Pacem meam do vobis, Pacem relinquo vobis [John 14:27]. Pax multa diligentibus legem tuam Domine, Et non est in illis scandalum. Regem coeli cum pace, Plenum odorem vitae, Novum carmen cantate, Omnes sancti venite. Venite comedite panem meorum, Et bibite vinum quod miscui vobis. Dominus regit me" [Psalm 22:1], with Alleluia after each clause. (The St. Gall has only the quotation from John 14:27, before Psalm 22; but "Venite comedite" comes later. In the Bangor Antiphoner is a hymn of eleven four-lined stanzas, "Sancti venite, Christi corpus sumite", entitled "Ymnus quando comonicarent sacerdotes".) Then follow in the Stowe, the St. Gall, and in the Communion of the Sick in the Stowe, and in the Books of Deer, Dimma, and Mulling, a number of communion antiphons. The Bangor Antiphoner also gives a set. No two sets are alike, but some antiphons are common to nearly all. There is a resemblance to the Communion responsory, called "Ad accedentes", of the Mozarabic Rite, and similar forms are found in Eastern liturgies, sometimes with the same words. Possibly the Tricanum of St. Germanus was something of the same sort. At the end of these in the Stowe is the colophon "Moelcaich scripsit", with which Moelcaich's corrections and additions to the Mass end.
  23. The Post Communion, "Quos coelisti dono stasti". This is a Sunday post-communion in the Gelasian, for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost in the Gregorian and for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity in the Sarum. It is given in the daily Mass in the Bobbio, with the title "Post communionem", and in the St. Gall. There are post-communions to the three Masses which follow later. Two are Gelasian, and the third is a form of a Gallican "Praefatio" or Bidding Prayer.
  24. "Consummatio missae". This is the title in the Bobbio to the prayer, "Gratias tibi agimus. . . . . . . . .qui nos corporis et sanguinis Christi filii tui communione satiasti", which ends the Mass there, in the Stowe and in the St. Gall. It seems to be compounded of two prayers in the Leonine (Jul. xxiv, and Sept. iii.) In the Gallican books it is a variable prayer. The dismissal formula in the Stowe is "Missa acta est in pace".

The non-Roman elements in the Stowe Missal are: (1) The Bidding Litany between the Epistle and Gospel, which, however, came after the Gospel in the Gallican. (2) The Post-Sanctus. (3) The Responsory of the Fraction. (4) The position of the Fraction before the Pater Noster. (5) The elaborate Fraction. (6) The Communion Antiphons, and Responsory. In the "missa apostolorum et martirum et sanctorum et sanctarum virginum", in the Stowe, the Preface and Sanctus are followed by a Post-Sanctus of regular Hispano-Gallican form, "Vere sanctus, vere benedictus" etc., which modulates directly into the "Qui pridie" with no place for the intervention of "Te igitur" and the rest of the first part of the Gelasian Canon. This may represent an Irish Mass as it was before the Gelasian interpolation. In the other two Masses this is not shown.

In the Bobbio the Masses throughout the year seem to be Gallican in arrangement up to the Preface, and Gelasian Roman afterwards. They contain at their fullest, besides Epistle, Gospel, and sometimes a lesson from the Old Testament or the Apocalypse (the Prophetia of the Ambrosian Rite), the following variables: (1) Collects, sometimes called "Post Prophetiam", sometimes not named. (2) bidding Prayer, sometimes called by its Gallican name, "Praefatio". This is followed by one or more collects. (3) Collect "post nomina". (4) Collect "Ad Pacem". (5) Sometimes "secreta", but whenever this title is used the Mass is wholly Roman and has no "Praefatio", "Post nomina", nor "Ad Pacem", but only one collect preceding it. (6) "Contestatio", in one case called "immolatio missae". This is the Praefatio in the Roman sense. Here the Mass ends, with apparently no variable post-communion, though these are given in the three Masses in the Stowe. The Masses are: three for Advent; Christmas Eve and Day; St. Stephen; Holy Innocents; Sts. James and John; Circumcision; Epiphany; St. Peter's Chair; St. Mary; the Assumption (this and St. Peter's Chair are given in the Martyrology of Oengus on 18 Jan., evidently its place here); five for Lent; "In symboli traditione"; Maundy Thursday; Easter Eve and Day; two Paschal Masses; Invention of the Cross; Litany days; Ascension; Pentecost (called "in Quinquaginsimo"); St. John Baptist; "in S. Johannis passione"; Sts. Peter and Paul; St. Sigismund; Martyrs; one Martyr; one Confessor; St. Martin; one Virgin; for the Sick; Dedication; St. Michael; for travellers; for the priest himself; "Missa omnimoda"; four votive masses; for the Living and the Dead; "in domo cujuslibet"; seven Sunday Masses; for the king; two daily Masses; for a dead priest; for the Dead — sixty-one in all. The Mass "in symboli traditione" includes the traditio and expositio symboli, that for Maundy Thursday is followed by the Good Friday Lectio Passionis, and the Easter Eve Mass is preceded by preces and intercessory orationes similar to those now used on Good Friday, by the "benedictio cerei" (for which a hymn and a prayer occur in the Bangor Antiphoner), here only represented by "Exultet", and by the order of Baptism.

The baptismal service

There are two Celtic orders of baptism extant: one in the seventh-century Bobbio Missal and one in the ninth-century part of the Stowe Missal. They differ considerably from one another in the order of the ceremonies, though they have a good deal of their actual wording in common. The Stowe is the longest of any early form, and on the whole has most in common with the Gelasian and Gregorian. In some of its details it has the appearance of a rather unskilful combination of two orders, for the Exorcism, the Renunciation, and the Confession of Faith come twice over, and the long Blessing of the Font and Baptismal Water is a combination of the Gelasian and Gregorian forms. The actual formula of baptism is not given in the Stowe, but in the Bobbio it reads: "Baptizo te in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti unam habentem [sic] substantiam ut habeas vitam aeternam partem cum sanctis." This form resembles those in the "Missale Gothicum", the "Vetus Gallicanum", and the eleventh-century Mozarabic "Liber Ordinum", in adding "ut habeas vitam aeternam", though all differ in other additions. Both the Stowe and the Bobbio have the Gallican washing of the feet after Baptism, with words very similar to those in the "Gothicum" and "Vetus Gallicanum".

Bobbio form:

  1. "Ad Christianum faciendum". (a) First Exorcism. (b) Signum Crucis. (c) Insufflation.
  2. Blessing of Font. (a) Exorcism of water. (b) Two collects. (c) "Sursum Corda" and Preface. (d) Chrismation at Font.
  3. Second Exorcism: "Exorcidio te spiritus imunde".
  4. "Ephpheta". The form is "Effeta, effecta est hostia in odorem suavitatis". Cf., later, the Stowe form.
  5. Unction with oil of catechumens on nose, ears, and breast. The form is "Ungo te oleo sanctificato sicut unxit Samuel David in regem et prophetam".
  6. Renunciation. The three renunciations of the Stowe (and general Roman) form, combined under one answer.
  7. Confession of Faith, with full Creed.
  8. Baptism.
  9. Chrismation, with which is said the form "Deus D. N. J. C. qui te regeneravit", etc.
  10. Vesting with white robe.
  11. Washing the Feet.
  12. "Post Baptism", two collects.

Stowe form:

  1. Exorcism and Signum Crucis. Three prayers. The first is in Moelcaich's hand and includes the signing, the second occurs also in the Bangor Antiphoner as "Collectio super hominem qui habet diabolum", and the third "Deus qui ad salutem" is repeated before the Blessing of the Font.
  2. Consecratio salis, with an exorcism from the Gelasian.
  3. Renunciation. Three separate answers.
  4. Confession of Faith. The Creed in its shortest possible form, a simple profession of faith in each Person of the Trinity.
  5. Insufflation, without words.
  6. First Unction on breast and back with oil and chrism, saying, "Ungo te oleo sanctificatio in nomine", etc.
  7. Second Renunciation, in the same words as before.
  8. Four prayers of exorcism, two of which are Gelasian and two Gregorian.
  9. Irish Rubric. "It is here that salt is put into the mouth of the child."
  10. "Ephpheta". The form is: "Effeta quot est apertio effeta est hostia in honorem [sic] suavitatis in nomine" etc. The Gelasian and Gregorian (like the modern Roman" have, "Effeta quod est adaperire in odorem suavitatis, tu autem effugare Diabole, appropinquabit enim judicium Dei". The play upon the words effeta and effecta is peculiar to the Bobbio and Stowe. In other books "Ephpheta" is not associated with the giving of the salt, as it appears to be here, but with the touching of the nose and ears with spittle.
  11. Prayer, "Domine sancte Pater omnipotens aeterne Deus, qui es et qui eras et qui venturus es". This occurs in the Gelasian as "Ad catechumenum ex Pagano faciendum", and is said in the present Roman Baptism of Adults before the giving of the salt in the case of converts from Paganism.
  12. Prayer, "Deus qui ad salutem humani generis". This, which forms part of the "Benedictio Aquae" in the Gelasian, Gregorian, and modern Roman, is repeated here for the second time, having been said already with the first exorcism.
  13. Prayer, "Exaudi nos Domine. . . . . .et mittere dignare". The prayer used at the "Asperges" in the modern Roman Rite.
  14. The Second Unction. "Huc usque catechumenus. Incipit oleari oleo et crismate in pectus et item scapulas antequam baptizaretur."
  15. The Litany. "Circa fontem canitur." The text is not given. In the Ambrosian rite the Litany is said after the Baptism, and in the modern Roman on Easter Eve after the Blessing of the Font.
  16. Two psalms (or rather verses of two psalms): "Sitvit anima mea usque vivum, quemadmodum. Vox Domini super aquas multas. Adferte." This is an inverted way of expressing Psalm 41:2 and Psalm 28:3. The whole of Psalm 41 is said in the Ambrosian, and Psalm 28 in the Roman (Baptism of Adults).
  17. The Blessing of the Font. The first part consists of exorcisms which, though they occur in various parts of the existing Gelasian books, are always connected with the Blessings of the Font, or of water therein. The last part consists, with a few verbal variations, of the prayer "Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, adesto magnae pietatis tuae mysteriis", and the Preface and prayers that follow in the Gelasian, Gregorian, and modern Roman Easter Eve ceremonies, down to the pouring of chrism into the Font. The direction which follows orders the chrism to be poured "in modum crucis"-"et quique voluerit implet vasculum aqua benedictionis ad domos consecrandas et populus praesens aspergitur aqua benedicta".
  18. The Confession of Faith repeated, but with a slightly amplified form.
  19. The Baptism. A triple immersion or aspersion is ordered, but no formula is given.
  20. The Chrismation. The anointing is in cerebrum in fronte. The prayer is "Deus omnipotens Pater D.N.J.C. qui te regeneravit", etc. This is found in the Gelasian, Gregorian, modern Roman and Ambrosian, and in the Bobbio and "Vetus Gallicanum". The formula is "Ungo te de oleo et de Chrismate salutis et sanctificationis in nomine. . . .nunc et per omnia in saecula saeculorum", and "operare creatura olei operare in nomine", etc.
  21. The Vesting with the White Robe by the deacon, with the usual words (said by the priest), "Accipe vestem candidam", etc.
  22. The Signing of the Hands. The priest says, "Aperiatur manus pueri", and "Signum crucis Christi accipe in manum tuam dexteram et conservet te in vitam aeternam." Mr. Warren finds an instance of this ceremony in the eleventh-century Jumièges Ritual, but otherwise it does not seem to be known.
  23. The Washing of the Feet. This ceremony is peculiarly Gallican and Celtic, and is not found in Roman books. An order was made in Spain by the Council of Elvira, in 305, that it should be performed by clerks, not by priests. The Stowe form begins with verses from the Psalms, "Lucerna pedibus" and others, with Alleluias. Then follow a formula and a prayer, both referring to Christ washing the feet of His Disciples.
  24. The Communion. "Corpus et sanguinis [sic] D.N.J.C. sit tibi in vitam aeternam, followed by thanksgivings for both Communion and Baptism. At the end are a Blessing of Water (found also in the Gregorian) and an Exorcism (found also in Gallican and Ambrosian books, and in a slightly varied form, in the eleventh-century Mozarabic "Liber Ordinum"). These, if they belong to the Baptism, are clearly out of place, rendered unnecessary, as Mr. Warren suggests, by the introduction of the larger Roman "Benedictio Fontis". It is possible, however, that they belong to the Visitation of the Sick, which follows immediately without any break in the manuscript. That service in the Book of Mulling has a "benedictio Aquae" at the beginning.

The visitation, unction, and communion of the sick

There are four extant specimens of these services: in the Stowe Missal and the Books of Dimma, Mulling and Deer. The Stowe and Dimma are the longest and most complete, and agree very closely. The Mulling differs in the preliminary bidding prayers and in adding at the beginning a "Benedictio aquae" and "Benedictio hominis", the latter of which comes, in the Stowe and Dimma, at the end, though in a different form, and it agrees with the Dimma in inserting a recitation of the Creed, which is not in the Stowe. The Deer form has only the communion, which agrees substantially with the other three. The order in the Stowe is:

  1. "Benedictio Aquae." "Benedic, Domine, hanc creaturam aquae" (Gregorian) and "Exorcizo te spiritus immunde" (found in the Bobbio Baptismal Order before the "Ephpheta" and in an Ambrosian Order quoted by Martène, but in both as an "exorcismus hominis"). These two are considered by Warren to belong to the Baptismal Order, but cf. the position of the "Benedictio super aquam" and "Benedictio hominis" in the Book of Mulling.
  2. Praefatio, in the Gallican sense, "Oremus fratres, Dominum Deum nostrum pro fratre nostro", followed by six collects, all but one of which, as well as the Praefatio are in the Dimma.
  3. Two Gospels. Matthew 22:23, 29-33, and 24:29-31. The first is in the Dimma, where there is also an Epistle, 1 Corinthians 15:19-22.
  4. The Unction. In the Dimma this is preceded by a declaration of faith in the Trinity, in eternal life, and in the Resurrection. In the Mulling the Credo follows the Unction. The form of the Unction here is "ungo te de oleo sanctificato ut salveris in nomine. . . . . .in saecula", etc. The Dimma is "Ungo te de oleo sanctificato in nomine Trinitatis ut salveris in saecula saeculorum", and the Mulling "Ungo te de oleo sanctificationis in nomine Dei Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti ut salveris in nomine Sancti Trinitatis". The forms in the old Ambrosian Rituals and in the pre-Tridentine Rite of the Venetian Patriarchate began with "Ungo te oleo sanctificato". A very similar form is given by Martene from a twelfth-century Monte Cassino Breviary (Vol. IV, 241), and another is in the tenth-century Asti Ritual described by Gastoue (Rassegna Gregoriana, 1903). The Roman and modern Ambrosian forms begin with "Per istam unctionem". Nothing is said in the Celtic books about the parts of the body to be anointed.
  5. The "Pater Noster", with introduction, "Concede Domine nobis famulis tuis", and Embolism "Libera nos Domine". The Dimma has the same introduction, but after the Pater Noster the Infirmus is directed to recite "Agnosce, Domine, verba quae precepisti". As another (or it may be as an alternative) introduction to a Pater Noster. The Mulling and Deer have an introduction, "Creator naturarum omnium". In each case the Pater Noster and its accompaniments are preliminary to the Communion.
  6. Three prayers for the sick man, referring to his Communion. These are not in the Dimma, Mulling, or Deer. One, "Domine sancte Pater te fideliter", is in the present Roman Ritual.
  7. The Pax. "Pax et caritas D.N.J.C.", etc. as in the Mass.
  8. The Communion. The words of administration as given in the Stowe are "Corpus et sanguis D.N.J.C. fili Dei vivi altissimi, et reliqua". The Dimma omits altissimi and gives the ending in full, "conservat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. The Mulling has "Corpus cum sanguine D. N. J. C. sanitas sit tibi in vitam aeternam". The Deer has the same, except that it ends "in vitam perpetuam et salutem". Then follow Communion anthems similar to those in the Mass. These differ in order and selection in the Stowe Mass, the Stowe, Dimma, Mulling, and Deer Communions of the Sick, and in the Bangor Antiphoner, though several are common to them all.
  9. The Thanksgiving. "Deus tibi gratias agimus". This is found in the Dimma, Mulling, and Deer forms, where it ends the service. In the Dimma it is preceded by the Blessing.
  10. The Blessing, "Benedicat tibi Dominus et custodiat te", followed by the signing of the Cross and "Pax tibi in vitam aeternam".

The consecration of churches

In the Leabhar Breac there is a tract describing the consecration of a church. The ceremony is divided into five parts, the consecration of the floor, and of the altar with its furniture, the consecration out of doors, the aspersion inside, and the aspersion outside. The consecration of the floor includes the writing of two alphabets thereon. There are directed to be seven crosses cut on the altar, and nothing is said about relics. On the whole the service appears to be of the same type as the Roman, though differing in details, and if the order of the component parts as given in the tract may be taken as correct, in order also. The tract, edited with a translation by the Rev. T. Olden, D.D., has been printed by the St. Paul's Ecclesiological Society (Vol. IV., 1900).


There are many native Irish hymns both in Latin and Irish. Of these, most no doubt were not intended for liturgical use, but rather for private reading, but a certain number were undoubtedly used in the services of the Celtic Church. In the "Liber Hymnorum" there are hymns by Patrick, Columba, Gildas, Sechnall, Ultan, Cummaim of Clonfert, Muging, Coleman mac UiClussaigh, Colman Mac Murchan, Cuchuimne, Oengus, Fiach, Broccan, Sanctam, Scandalan Mor, Mael-Isu ua Brolchain, and Ninine, besides a few by non-Irish poets. The Bangor Antiphoner adds the names of Comgall and Camelac to the list. Of the twelve hymns given in the latter, eight are not found elsewhere, and ten are certainly intended for liturgical use.


MARTENE, De Antiquis Ecclesiae ritibus" (Bassano, 1788); MURATORI, "Liturgia Romana vetus" (Venice, 1748); MABILLON, "Musaeum Italicum" (Paris, 1637); ID., "De Liturgia Gallicana" (Paris, 1685); GERBERT, "Monumenta veteris Liturgiae Allemaniae" (St. Blaise, 1777); NEALE AND FORBES, "Ancient Liturgies of the Gallican Church" (Burntisland, 1855-67); FELTOE (ed.), "Sacramentarium Leonanum" (Cambridge, 1896); WILSON (ed.), "The Gelasian Sacramentary" (Oxford, 1894); Id., "Classified Index to the Leonine, Gelasian and Gregorian Sacramentaries" (Cambridge, 1892); DELISLE, "Mémoires sur d'anciens sacramentaires" (Paris, 1886); HADDAN AND STUBBS, "Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents relating to Great Britain and Ireland" (Oxford, 1869-78); PROBST, "Die abendlandische Messe vom funften bis zum achten Jahrhundert" (Munster, 1896); DUCHESNE, "Les origines du culte chretien" (Paris, 1902; tr. London, 1904); WORDSWORTH, "The Ministry of Grace" (London, 1901); FRERE, "New History of the Book of Common Prayer" (London, 1878); G. Stokes, "Ireland and the Celtic Church (London, 1907); WARREN (ed.), "Bangor Antiphoner (1893-95); BERNARD AND ATKINSON (eds.), "Liber Hymnorum" (1898); WHITLEY STOKES (ed.), "Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee; WARNER, (ed.), "Stowe Missal", pt. I-the last four works issued by Henry Bradshaw Society;--MACCARTHY, "On the Stowe Missal in Royal Irish Acad." (Dublin, 1877-86); KUYPERS, "The Prayer Book of Aethelwald the Bishop [Book of Cerne]" (Cambridge, 1902); LAWLOR, "Chapters on the Book of Mulling (Edinburgh, 1897); MEYER, "Das Turiner Bruchstuck der ältesten irischen Liturgie", in "Nachrichten von der Konigl. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Gottingen" (Gottingen, 1904); BANNISTER, "Some recently discovered fragments of Irish Sacramentaries", in "Jour. Of Theol Stud." For Oct., 1903; CAGIN, "Description of the Bobbio Missal", in "Paleographic musicale" (Solesmes, 1896), V; BAUMER, "Das Stowe-Missale" in "Zeitschrift fur kathol. Theologie (July and Jan., 1893-94); "Leabhar Breac, The Speckled Book"-facsimile with introduction, etc., in R. I. Acad. (Dublin, 1876); MACGREGOR, "An Ancient Gaelic treatise on the Symbolism of the Eucharist", in "Transactions of Aberdeen Ecclesiological Soc., No. XI, 1898); WARREN, "The Irish Missal belonging to Corpus Christi College, Oxford" (London, 1879); Id., "The Leofric Missal" (Oxford, 1883); FORBES, "Missale Drummondiense" (Burntisland, 1882); E. BISHOP, "Liturgical note in Kuypers' Prayerbook of Aethelwald [Book of Cerne) (Cambridge, 1902); Id., "The Earliest Roman Mass Book" in "Dub. Rev." for Oct., 1894; Id., "The Litany of Saints in the Stowe Missal"L, in "Journal of Theol. Studies" for Oct., 1905; Id., "Spanish Symptoms (in Gallican, Irish and Roman Service Books)", in same Journal for Jan., 1907); MERCATI, "More Spanish Symptoms" in same "Journal" for April, 1907; LEJAY, "Articles in Rev. d'hist. et de litt. rel." (1897), II, 91, 189; (1903), VIII, 556; (1904), IX, 556; FEROTIN, "Le Liber Ordinum en usage dans l'église wisigothique et mozarabe", in CABROL, "Mon. Eccl. Lit." (Paris, 1904), V; LEGG, "Ecclesiological Essays" (London, 1905); "Sti Columbani Regula", in FLEMINGIUS, "Collectanea Sacra" (Louvain, 1667); REEVES, "On the Celi-De, commonly called Culdees", in "R.I. Acad." (Dublin), 18740; xxiv; BURY, "Life of St. Patrick", (London, 1905); DOTTIN, "Notes bibliographiques sur l'ancienne litterature d'Irlande", in 'Rev. d'hist. et de lit. rel." (Paris, 1900), V, 161,--It should be added that there is also a considerable mass of quasi-historical literature on both sides, Anglican and Roman, from which a certain amount of information may be gleaned, but it requires to be used with great discrimination, owing to its controversial character.

About this page

APA citation. Jenner, H. (1908). The Celtic Rite. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Jenner, Henry. "The Celtic Rite." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by John Looby.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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