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LITURGY (Low Lat. liturgic; Gr. X€Ztos, public, and gpyov, work; XEcrovpyos, a public servant), in the technical language of the Christian Church, the order for the celebration and administration of the Eucharist. In Eastern Christendom the Greek word Xetrovpyia is used in this sense exclusively. But in Englishspeaking countries the word " liturgy " has come to be used in a more popular sense to denote any or all of the various services of the Church, whether contained in separate volumes or bound up together in the form of a Book of Common Prayer. In this article the liturgy is treated in the former and stricter sense. (For the ancient Athenian Xetrovpyiat, as forms of taxation, see Finance.) In order to understand terms and references it will be convenient to give the tabular form the chief component parts of a liturgy, selecting the Liturgy of Rome as characteristic of Western, and that of Constantinople as characteristic of Eastern, Christendom; at the same time appending an explanation of some of the technical words which must be employed in enumerating those parts.
Order Of The Roman Liturgy Ordinary of the Mass. 1. Introit, or as it is always called in the Sarum rite, " Office," a Psalm or part of a Psalm sung at the entry of the priest, or clergy and choir.
2. Kyrie eleison, ninefold, and sometimes lengthily farsed representing an older, now obsolete, litany.
3. Collect, i.e. the collect for the day.
4. Prophetic lection, now obsolete, except on the Wednesday and Saturday Ember Days, Good Friday and Easter Even, and Wednesday after fourth and sixth Sundays in Lent.
6. Gradual. A few verses from the Psalms, the shrunken remainder of a whole Psalm.
7. Sequence. A hymn now obsolete except on Feast of the Seven Dolours, Easter, Pentecost, Corpus Christi and at Masses for the dead.
10. Collect, now obsolete, though the unanswered invitation, " Let us pray," still survives.
I 1. Offertory. A verse or verses from the Psalms sung at the offering of the elements.
12. Secret. A prayer or prayers said at the conclusion of the Offertory.
13. Sursum Corda. " Lift up your hearts," with following versicles.
14. Preface. There are now ten proper or special prefaces and one common preface. In older missals they were extremely numerous, almost every Sunday and Holy-day having one assigned to it. Many of them were very beautiful. In older missals, Nos. 13, 14 and 15 were sometimes arranged not as the concluding part of the Ordinary, but as the opening part of the Canon of the mass. 15. Sanctus, or Tersanctus, or Triumphal Hymn, " Holy, Holy, Holy," &c., ending with the Benedictus, Blessed is he that cometh," &c.
Canon of the Mass. 1. Introductory prayer for acceptance. Te igitur, &c.
2. Intercession for the living. Memento, Domine famulorum, &c.
3. Commemoration of apostles and martyrs. Communicantes et memoriam, &c.
4. Prayer for acceptance and consecration of offering. Hanc igitur oblationem, &c.
5. Recital of words of institution. Qui pride quam pateretur, &c.
6. Oblation. Unde et memores, &c.
7. Invocation. A passage difficult of interpretation, but apparently meant to be equivalent to the Eastern Epiklesis or invocation of the Holy Ghost. Supplices to rogamus, &c.
8. Intercession for the dead. Memento etiam, Domine, famulorum, &c.
9. Lord's Prayer, with a short introduction and the expansion of the last petition into a prayer known as the " Embolismus." 10. Fraction, i.e. breaking of the host into three parts, to symbolize the death and passion of Christ.
11. Commixture, i.e. placing a small portion of the consecrated bread into the chalice symbolizing the reunion of Christ's body and soul at the resurrection.
12. Agnus Dei, i.e. a three-fold petition to the Lamb of God.
13. Pax, i.e. the kiss of peace. The ancient ritual of the Pax has become almost obsolete.
14. Three prayers, accompanying the Pax and preliminary to communion.
15. Communion of priest and people (if any), a short anthem called " Communio " being sung meanwhile.
16. Ablution of paten and chalice.
17. Post-communion, i.e. a concluding prayer.
The Canon of the Mass strictly ends with No. 9; Nos. to-18 being an appendix to it.
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