The liturgy and
Rite of the Church of Milan, which derives its name from St.
Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (374-397).
is no direct evidence that the Rite was in any way the composition
of St. Ambrose, but his name has been associated with it since the
eighth century at least, and it is not improbable that in his day it
took not indeed a final form, for it has been subject to various
revisions from time to time, but a form which included the principal
characteristics which distinguish it from other rites. It is to be
remembered that St. Ambrose succeeded the Arian Auxentius, during
whose long episcopate, 355 to 374, it would seem probable that Arian
modifications may have been introduced, though on that point we have
no information, into a rite the period of whose original composition
is unknown. If, as would necessarily happen, St. Ambrose expunged
these hypothetical unorthodoxies and issued corrected service books,
this alone would suffice to attach his name to it. We know from St.
Augustine (Confess., IX, vii) and Paulinus the Deacon (Vita S.
Ambros., § 13) that St. Ambrose introduced innovations, not
indeed into the Mass, but into what would seem to be the Divine
Office, at the time of his contest with the Empress Justina for the
Portian Basilica (on the site of San Vittore al Corpo), which she
claimed for the Arians. St. Ambrose filled the church with Catholics
and kept them there night and day until the peril was past. And he
arranged Psalms and hymns for them to sing, as St. Augustine says,
"secundum morem orientalium partium ne populus mæroris
tædio contabesceret" (after the manner of the Orientals,
lest the people should languish in cheerless monotony); and of this
Paulinus the Deacon says: "Hoc in tempore primum antiphonæ,
hymni. et vigiliæ in ecclesiâ Mediolanensi celebrari
cœperunt, Cujus celebritatis devotio usque in hodiernum diem
non solum in eadem ecclesia verum per omnes pæne Occidentis
provincias manet" (Now for the first time antiphons, hymns, and
vigils began to be part of the observance of the Church in Milan,
which devout observance lasts to our day not only in that church but
in nearly every province of the West). From the time of St. Ambrose,
whose hymns are well-known and whose liturgical allusions may
certainly be explained as referring to a rite which possessed the
characteristics of that which is called by his name, until the
period of Charlemagne, there is something of a gap in the history of
the Milanese Rite, though it is said (Cantù, Milano e il suo
territorio, I, 116) that St. Simplician, the successor of St.
Ambrose, added much to the Rite and that St. Lazarus (438-451)
introduced the three days of the Litanies. The Church of Milan
underwent various vicissitudes and for a period of some eighty years
(570-649), during the Lombard conquests, the see was actually
removed to Genoa. Mgr. Duchesne and M. Lejay suggest that it was
during that time that the greatest Roman influence was felt, and
they would trace to it the adoption of the Roman Canon of the Mass.
In the eighth-century manuscript evidence begins. In a short
treatise on the various cursus or forms of the Divine Office used in
the Church, entitled "Ratio de Cursus qui fuerunt ex auctores"
(sic in Cott. Manuscripts, Nero A. II, in the British Museum),
written about the middle of the eighth century, probably by an Irish
monk in France, is found what is perhaps the earliest attribution of
the Milan use to St. Ambrose, though it quotes the authority of St.
Augustine, probably alluding to the passage already mentioned: "Est
et alius cursus quem refert beatus augustinus episcopus quod beatus
ambrosius propter hereticorum ordinem dissimilem composuit quem in
italia antea de cantabatur" (There is yet another Cursus which
the blessed Bishop Augustine says that the blessed Ambrose composed
because of the existence of a different use of the heretics, which
previously used to be sung in Italy). The passage is quite
ungrammatical but so is the whole treatise, though its meaning is
not obscure. According to a not very convincing narrative of
Landulphus Senior, the eleventh-century chronicler of Milan,
Charlemagne attempted to abolish the Ambrosian Rite, as he or his
father, Pepin the Short, had abolished the Gallican Rite in France,
in favour of a Gallicanized Roman Rite. He sent to Milan and caused
to be destroyed or sent beyond the mountain, quasi in exilium (as if
into exile), all the Ambrosian books which could be found. Eugenius
the Bishop, transmontanus episcopus (transmontane bishop), as
Landulf calls him, begged him to reconsider his decision. After the
manner of the time, an ordeal, which reminds one of the celebrated
trials by fire and by battle in the case of Alfonso VI and the
Mozarabic Rite, was determined on. Two books, Ambrosian and Roman,
were laid closed upon the altar of St. Peter's Church in Rome and
left for three days, and the one which was found open was to win.
They were both found open, and it was resolved that as God had shown
that one was as acceptable as the other, the Ambrosian Rite should
continue. But the destruction had been so far effective that no
Ambrosian books could be found, save one missal which a faithful
priest had hidden for six weeks in a cave in the mountains.
Therefore the Manuale was written out from memory by certain priests
and clerks (Landulph, Chron., 10-13). Walafridus Strabo, who died
Abbot of Reichenau in 849, and must therefore have been nearly, if
not quite, contemporary with this incident, says nothing about it,
but (De Rebus Ecclesiasticis, xxii), speaking of various forms of
the Mass, says: "Ambrosius quoque Mediolanensis episcopus tam
missæ quam cæterorum dispositionem officiorum suæ
ecclesiæ et aliis Liguribus ordinavit, quæ et usque
hodie in Mediolanensi tenentur ecclesia" (Ambrose, Bishop of
Milan, also arranged a ceremonial for the Mass and other offices for
his own church and for other parts of Liguria, which is still
observed in the Milanese Church).
eleventh century Pope Nicholas II, who in 1060 had tried to abolish
the Mozarabic Rite, wished also to attack the Ambrosian, and was
aided by St. Peter Damain, but he was unsuccessful, and Alexander
II, his successor, himself a Milanese, reversed his policy in this
respect. St. Gregory VII made another attempt, and Le Brun
(Explication de la Messe, III, art. I, § 8) conjectures that
Landulf's miraculous narrative was written with a purpose about that
time. Having weathered these storms, the Ambrosian Rite had peace
for some three centuries and a half. In the first half of the
fifteenth century Cardinal Branda da Castiglione, who died in 1448,
was legate in Milan. As part of his plan for reconciling Philip Mary
Visconti, Duke of Milan, and the Holy See, he endeavoured to
substitute the Roman Rite for the Ambrosian. The result was a
serious riot, and the Cardinal's legateship came to an abrupt end.
After that the Ambrosian Rite was safe until the Council of Trent.
The Rule of that Council, that local uses which could show a
prescription of two centuries might be retained, saved Milan, not
without a struggle, from the toss of its Rite, and St. Charles
Borromeo, though he made some alterations in a Roman direction, was
most careful not to destroy its characteristics. A small attempt
made against it by a Governor of Milan who had obtained a permission
from the Pope to have the Roman Mass said in any church which he
might happen to attend, was defeated by St. Charles, and his own
revisions were intended to do little more than was inevitable in a
living rite. Since his time the temper of the Milan Church has been
most conservative, and the only alterations in subsequent editions
seem to have been slight improvements in the wording of rubrics and
in the arrangement of the books. The district in which the Ambrosian
Rite is used is nominally the old archiepiscopal province of Milan
before the changes of 1515 and 1819, but in actual fact it is not
exclusively used even in the city of Milan itself. In parts of the
Swiss Canton of Ticino it is used; in other parts the Roman Rite is
so much preferred that it is said that when Cardinal Gaisruck tried
to force the Ambrosian upon them the inhabitants declared that they
would be either Roman or Lutheran. There are traces also of the use
of the Ambrosian Rite beyond the limits of the Province of Milan. In
1132-34, two Augustinian canons of Ratisbon, Paul, said by Bäumer
to be Paul of Bernried, and Gebehard, held a correspondence (printed
by Mabillon in his "Musæum Italicum" from the
originals in the Cathedral Library at Milan) with Anselm, Archbishop
of Milan, and Martin, treasurer of St. Ambrose, with a view of
obtaining copies of the books of the Ambrosian Rite, so that they
might introduce it into their church. In the fourteenth century the
Emperor Charles IV introduced the Rite into the Church of St.
Ambrose at Prague. Traces of it, mixed with the Roman, are said by
Hoeyinck (Geschichte der kirchl. Liturgie des Bisthums Augsburg) to
have remained in the diocese of Augsburg down to its last breviary
of 1584, and according to Catena (Cantù, Milano e il suo
territorio, 118) the use of Capua in the time of St. Charles
Borromeo had some resemblance to that of Milan.
origin of the Ambrosian Rite is still under discussion, and at least
two conflicting theories are held by Leading liturgiologists. The
decision is not made any the easier by the absence of any direct
evidence as to the nature of the Rite before about the ninth
century. There are, it is true, allusions to various services of the
Milanese Church in the writings of St. Augustine and St. Ambrose,
and in the anonymous treatise "De Sacramentis", which used
to be attributed to the latter, but is now definitely decided not to
be his; but these allusions are naturally enough insufficient for
more than vague conjecture, and have been used with perhaps equal
justification in support of either side of the controversy. Even if
the rather improbable story of Landulf is not to be believed, the
existing manuscripts, which only take us back at the earliest to the
period of Charlemagne, leave the question of his influence open.
This much we may confidently affirm, that though both the Missal and
the Breviary have been subjected from time to time to various
modifications, often, as might be expected, in a Roman direction,
the changes are singularly few and unimportant, and the Ambrosian
Rite of to-day is substantially the same as that represented in the
early Manuscripts. Indeed, since some of these documents come from
places in the Alpine valleys, such as Biasca, Lodrino, Venegono. and
elsewhere, while the modern rite is that of the metropolitan
cathedral and the churches of the city of Milan, some proportion of
the differences may well turn out to be local rather than
chronological developments. The arguments of the two principal
theories are necessarily derived in a great measure from the
internal evidence of the books themselves, and at present the end of
the controversy is not in sight. The question resolves itself into
this: Is the Ambrosian Rite archaic Roman? Or is it a much Romanized
form of the Gallican Rite? And this question is mixed with that of
the provenance of the Gallican Rite itself. Some liturgiologists of
a past generation, notably Dr. J. M. Neale and others of the
Anglican School, referred the Hispano-Gallican and Celtic family of
liturgies to an original imported into Provence from Ephesus by St.
Irenæus, who had received it through St. Polycarp from St.
John the Divine. The name Ephesine was applied to this liturgy, and
it was sometimes called the Liturgy of St. John. The idea was not
modern. Colman, at the Synod of Whitby in 664, attributed the Celtic
rule of Easter to St. John, and in the curious little eighth-century
treatise already mentioned (in Cott. Manuscript Nero A. II) one
finds: "Johannes Evangelista primum cursus gallorum decantavit.
Inde postea beatus policarpus discipulus sci iohannis. Inde postea
hiereneus qui fuit eps Lugdunensis Gallei. Tertius ipse ipsum cursum
decantauerunt [sic] in galleis." The author is not speaking of
the Liturgy, but of the Divine Office, but that does not affect the
question, and the theory, which had its obvious controversial value,
was at one time very popular with Anglicans. Neale considered that
the Ambrosian Rite was a Romanized form of this Hispano-Gallican, or
Ephesine, Rite, He never brought much evidence for this view, being
generally contented with stating it and giving a certain number of
not very convincing comparisons with the Mozarabic Rite (Essays on
Liturgiology, ed. 1867, 171-197). But Neale greatly exaggerated the
Romanizing effected by St. Charles Borromeo, and his essay on the
Ambrosian Liturgy is now somewhat out of date, though much of it is
of great value as an analysis of the existing Rite. W. C. Bishop, in
his article on the Ambrosian Breviary (Church Q., Oct., 1886), takes
up the same line as Neale in claiming a Gallican origin for the
Ambrosian Divine Office. But Duchesne in his "Origines du culte
chrétien" has put forward a theory of origin which works
out very clearly, though at present it is almost all founded on
conjecture and a priori reasoning. He rejects entirely the Ephesine
supposition, and considers that the Orientalisms which he recognizes
in the Hispano-Gallican Rite are of much later origin than the
period of St. Irenæus, and that it was from Milan as a centre
that a rite, imported or modified from the East, perhaps by the
Cappadocian Arian Bishop Auxentius (355-374), the predecessor of St.
Ambrose, gradually spread to Gaul, Spain, and Britain. He lays great
stress on the important position of Milan as a northern metropolis,
and on the intercourse with the East by way of Aquileia and Illyria,
as well as on the eastern nationality of many of the Bishops of
Milan. In his analysis of the Gallican Mass, Duchesne assumes that
the seventh-century Bobbia Sacramentary (Bibl. Nat., 13,246), though
not actually Milanese, is to be counted as a guide to early
Ambrosian usages, and makes use of it in the reconstruction of the
primitive Rite before, according to his theory, it was so
extensively Romanized as it appears in the earliest undeniably
Ambrosian documents. He also appears to assume that the usages
mentioned in the Letter of St. Innocent I to Decentius of Eugubium
as differing from those of Rome were necessarily common to Milan and
Gubbio. Paul Lejay has adopted this theory in his article in the
"Revue d'histoire et littérature religeuses" (II,
173) and in Dom Cabrol's "Dictionnaire d'archéologie
chrétienne et de liturgie" [s. v. Ambrosien (Rit)].
other theory, of which Ceriani and Magistretti are the most
distinguished exponents, maintains that the Ambrosian Rite has
preserved the pre-Gelasian and pre-Gregorian form of the Roman Rite.
I)r. Ceriani (Notitia Liturgiæ Ambrosianæ) supports his
contention by many references to early writers and by comparisons of
early forms of the Roman Ordinary with the Ambrosian. Both sides
admit, of course, the self-evident fact that the Canon in the
present Ambrosian Mass is a variety of the Roman Canon. Neither has
explained satisfactorily how and when it got there. The borrowings
from the Greek service books have been ably discussed by Cagin
(Paléographie musicale, V), but there are Greek loans in the
Roman books also, though, if Duchesne's theory of origin is correct,
some of them may have travelled by way of the Milanese-Gallican Rite
at the time of the Charlemagne revision. There are evident
Gallicanisms in the Ambrosian Rite, but so there are in the present
Roman, and the main outlines of the process by which they arrived in
the latter are sufficiently certain, though the dates are not. The
presence of a very definite Post-Sanctus of undoubted
Hispano-Gallican form in the Ambrosian Mass of Easter Eve requires
more explanation than it has received, and the whole question of
provenance is further complicated by a theory, into which Ceriani
does not enter, of a Roman origin of all the Latin liturgies,
Gallican, Celtic, Mozarabic, and Ambrosian alike. There are
indications in his liturgical note to the "Book of Cerne"
and in "The Genius of the Roman Rite" that Mr. Edmund
Bishop, who, as far as he has spoken at all, prefers the
conclusions, though not so much the arguments, of Ceriani to either
the arguments or conclusions of Duchesne, may eventually have
something to say which will put the subject on a more solid basis.
Manuscripts of the Ambrosian Rite are generally found in the
The "Sacramentary" contains the Orationes super Populum,
Prophecies, Epistles, Gospels, Orationes super Sindonem, and super
Oblata, the Prefaces and Post-Communions throughout the year, with
the variable forms of the Communicantes and Hanc igitur, when they
occur, and the solitary Post Sanctus of Easter Eve, besides the
ceremonies of Holy Week, etc., and the Ordinary and Canon of the
Mass. There are often also occasional offices usually found in a
modern ritual, such as Baptism, the Visitation and Unction of the
Sick, the Burial of the Dead, and various benedictions. It is
essentially a priest's book, like the Euchologion of the Greeks.
"Psalter" contains the Psalms and Canticles. It is
sometimes included with the "Manual".
The "Manual" is nearly the complement of the
"Sacramentary" and the "Psalter" as regards
both the Mass and the Divine Office. It contains: For the Divine
Office; the Lucernaria, Antiphons, Responsoria, Psallenda,
Completoria, Capitula, Hymns, and other changeable parts, except
the Lessons, which are found separately. For the Mass: the
Ingressœ, Psalmellœ, Versus, Cantus, Antiphonœ
ante and post Evangelium, Offertoria, Confractoria, and
Transitoria. The "Manual" often also contains occasional
services such as are now usually found in a Ritual.
The "Antiphoner" is a Manual noted.
"Pontifical" have contents similar to those of Roman
books of the same name, though of course the early Manuscripts are
are some of the most noted Manuscripts of the rite.
Sacramentaries and Missals:
"Biasca Sacramentary"; Bibl. Ambros., A. 24, bis inf.,
late ninth or early tenth century. Described by Delisle, "Anc.
Sacr.", LXXI, edited by Ceriani in his "Monumenta Sacra
et Profana", VIII, the Ordinary is analyzed and the Canon
given in full in Ceriani's "Notitia Lit. Ambr".
"Lodrino Sacramentary"; Bibl. Ambr., A. 24, inf.,
eleventh century. Delisle, "Anc. Sacr.", LXXII.
"Sacramentary of San Satiro", Milan; treasury of Milan
Cathedral; eleventh century. Delisle, "Anc. Sacr.",
Sacramentary; treasury of Milan Cathedral; eleventh century.
Delisle, "Anc. Sacr.", LXXIV.
"Sacramentary of Armio", near the Lago Maggiore;
treasury of Milan Cathedral; eleventh century. Delisle, 'Anc.
Sacramentary belonging to the Marchese Trotti; eleventh century.
Delisle, "Anc. Sacr.", LXXVI.
Sacramentary; Bibl. Ambros., CXX, sup., eleventh century. Delisle,
"Anc. Sacr.", LXXVII.
"Bergamo Sacramentary"; library of Sant' Alessandro in
Colonna, Bergamo; tenth or eleventh century. Published by the
Benedictines of Solesmes, "Auctarium Solesmense" (to
Migne's Patrologia), "Series Liturgica", I.
Sacramentary; treasury of Monza Cathedral; tenth century. Delisle,
"Anc. Sacr.", LXV.
"Sacramentary of San Michele di Venegono inferiore"
(near Varese); treasury of Monza Cathedral; eleventh century.
Delisle, "Anc. Sacr.", LXVIII. These two of Monza
Cathedral are more fully described in Frisi's "Memorie
storiche di Monza", III,75-77, 82-84.
"Missale Ambrosianum", of Bedero (near Luino); Bibl.
Ambr., D., 87 inf.; twelfth century. Noted by Magistretti in
"Della nuova edizione tipica del messale Ambrosiano".
Antiphoner: "Antiphonarium Ambrosianum"; British Museum,
Add. Manuscripts, 34,209; twelfth century; published by the
Benedictines of Solesmes, with a complete facsimile and 200 pages
of introduction by Dom Paul Cagin, in "Paléographie
musicale", V ,VI.
of Lodrino;" Bibl. Ambr., SH. IV, 44; tenth or eleventh
century. Imperfect. Described by Magistretti, "Mon. Vet. Lit.
Amb.", II, 18.
"Manuale Ambrosianum" belonging to the Marchese Trotti;
tenth or eleventh century. Imperfect. Magistretti, "Mon. Vet.
Lit. Amb.", II, 19.
"Manuale Ambrosianum"; Bibl. Ambr., CIII, sup.; tenth or
eleventh century. Imperfect. Magistretti, "Mon. Vet. Lit.
Amb.", II, 20.
"Manuale Ambrosianum"; from the Church of Cernusco
(between Monza and Lecco); Bibl. Ambr., I, 55, sup.; eleventh
century. Magistretti, "Mon. Vet. Lit. Amb.", II, 28.
"Manuale Ambrosianum"; from the Church of San Vittore al
Teatro, Milan; Bibl. Ambr., A, 1, inf.; twelfth century.
Magistretti, "Mon. Vet. Lit. Amb.", II, 22.
"Manuale Ambrosianum"; from the Church of Brivio (near
the Lecco end of the Lake of Como); Bibl. Ambr., I, 27, sup.;
twelfth century. Magistretti, "Mon. Vet. Lit. Amb.", II,
Monachorum S. Ambrosii"; Bibl. Ambr., XCVI, sup.; eleventh
century. Magistretti, "Mon. Vet. Lit. Amb.", II, 33,
"Rituale Ambrosianum", from the Church of S.
Laurentiolus in Porta Vercellina, Milan; Sacrar. Metrop., H. 62;
thirteenth century. Magistretti, "Mon. Vet. Lit. Amb.",
II, 37, 143-171.
Beroldus Novus; Chapter Library, Milan; thirteenth century.
Magistretti, "Mon. Vet. Lit. Amb.", 17, 94-142.
Ritual"; Bibl, Mazarine, 525; tenth century. Described by
Gastoué in "Rassegna Gregoriana", 1903. This,
though from the old province of Milan, is not Ambrosian, but has
bearings on the subject.
Ceremonial: "Calendarium et Ordines Ecclesiæ
Ambrosianæ"; Beroldus; Bibl, Ambr., I, 158, inf. twelfth
century. Published by Magistretti, 1894.
"Pontificale Mediolanensis Ecclesiæ"; Chapter
Library, Milan; ninth century. Printed by Magistretti, "Mon.
Vet. Lit. Amb.", I
"Pontificale Mediolanensis Ecclesiæ"; Chapter
Library, Milan; eleventh century. Magistretti, "Mon. Vet.
Lit. Amb.", 1, 27.
Ambrosianus ad Consecrandam Ecclesiam et Altare;" Chapter
Library, Lucca; eleventh century. Printed by Mercati, "Studi
e testi" (of the Vatican Library), 7.
of the printed Ambrosian service-books: Missals: (Pre-Borromean)
1475, 1482, 1486, 1488, 1494, 1499, 1505, 1515, 1522, 1548, 1560;
(St. Charles Borromeo) 1594; (F. Borromeo) 1609-18; (Monti) 1640;
(Litta) 1669; (Fed. Visconti) 1692; (Archinti) 1712; (Pozzobonelli)
1751, 1768; (Fil. Visconti) 1795; (Gaisruck) 1831; (Ferrari) 1902.
Breviaries: (Pre-Borromean) 1475, 1487, 1490, 1492, 1507, 1513,
1522, and many others; (St. Charles Borromeo), 1582, 1588;
(Pozzobonelli) 1760; (Galsruck) 1841; (Romilli) 1857; (Ferrari)
1896, 1902. Rituals: n. d. circ., 1475 (a copy in Bodlwian), 1645,
1736, 1885. Psalters: 1486, 1555. Ceremonials: 1619, 1831.
Lectionary: 1660? Litanies: 1494, 1546, 1667. The editions of the
Missals, 1475, 1751, and 1902; of the Breviaries, 1582 and 1902; of
the Ritual, 1645; both the Psalters, both the Ceremonials, the
Lectionary, and Litanies are in the British Museum.
THE LITURGICAL YEAR
Liturgical Year of the Ambrosian Rite begins, as elsewhere in the
West, with the First Sunday of Advent, but that Sunday, as in the
Mozarabic Rite, is a fortnight earlier than in the Roman, so that
there are six Sundays in Advent, and the key-day of the beginning of
Advent is not St. Andrew's (30 November) but St. Martin's Day (11
November), which begins the Sanctorale. The rule of this key also
differs. The Roman is: "Adventus Domini celebratur semper die
Dominico, qui propinquior est festo S. Andreæ Apostoli",
which gives a range from 27 November to 3 December. The Ambrosian
is: "Adventus Domini inchoatur Dominica proxima post Festum S.
Martini", that is to say, from 12 November to 18 November. If,
as in 1906, St. Martin's Day falls on a Sunday, the Octave is the
first Sunday of Advent; whereas in the Roman Rite if St. Andrew's
Day falls on a Sunday, that day itself is Advent Sunday. The Feriœ
of Advent continue until the Feriœ de Exceptato begin. These
days, which some say must have been originally de Expectato, a quite
unnecessary supposition, and on which the ordinary sequence of the
Psalter is interrupted and certain proper psalms and antiphons are
said, occur according to the following rule: "Officium in
Adventu proprium quod de Exceptato dicitur semper celebratur in hac
hebd. VI Adv. nisi dies Nativitatis Domini inciderit in fer. III,
vel IV; tunc de Exceptato fit in hebd. V Adv. "So that there
must be two and there may be seven of these days. Christmas Eve is
not exactly counted as one of them, though, if it falls on a
weekday, it has the proper psalms and antiphons of that Feria de
Exceptato. If it falls on a Sunday, as in 1905, that is not one of
the six Sundays of Advent, the last of which is the Sunday before,
but the antiphons of the sixth Sunday are used. On the sixth Sunday
of Advent the Annunciation (de Incarnatione D. N. J. C.) is
celebrated, for, since no fixed festivals are kept during Lent or
Easter Week, it cannot be properly celebrated on 25 March, though it
is found there in the Calendar and has an Office in the Breviary. On
this Sunday there are two Masses, una de Adventu et altera de
Incarnatione. This day may be compared with the Mozarabic feast of
the Annunciation on 18 December, which is the Roman Expectatio
Partus B. M. V. Christmas Day has three Masses, in Nocte Sanctâ,
in Aurorâ, and in Die, as in the Roman Rite, and the festivals
which follow Christmas are included in the De Tempore, though there
is a slight discrepancy between the Missal and Breviary, the former
putting the lesser feasts of January which come before the Epiphany
in the Sanctorale, and the latter including all days up to the
Octave of the Epiphany in the Temporale, except 9 January (The Forty
Martyrs). The day after the Epiphany is the Christophoria, the
Return from Egypt. The Sundays after the Epiphany vary, of course,
in number, six being, as in the Roman Rite, the maximum. The second
is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Then follow Septuagesima,
Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima Sundays, on which, though Gloria in
Excelsis and Hallelujah are used, the vestments are violet. There is
no Ash Wednesday, and Lent begins liturgically on the first Sunday,
the fast beginning on the Monday. Until the time of St. Charles
Borromeo the liturgical Lent, with its use of litanies on Sundays
instead of Gloria in Excelsis and the disuse of Hallelujah, began on
the Monday. The title of the Sunday, both then and now, was and is
Dominica in capite Quadragesimœ. The other Sundays of Lent are
styled De Samaritanâ, De Abraham, De Cœco, De Lazaro,
and of course, in Ramis Palmarum (or Dominica Olivarum). The names
of the second to the fifth Sundays are in allusion to the subject of
the Gospel of the day, not, as in the Roman Rite, to the Introit.
(Cf. nomenclature of Greek Rite.) Passiontide does not begin until
Holy Week. The day before Palm Sunday is Sabbatum in Traditione
Symboli. This, the Blessing of the Font, the extra Masses pro
Baptizatis in Ecclesiâ Hyemali on Easter Eve and every day of
Easter Week, and the name of the first Sunday after Easter in albis
depositis show even more of a lingering memory of the old Easter
Baptisms than the similar survivals in the Roman Rite. Holy Week is
Hebdomada Anthentica. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Eve, and
Easter Day are named as in the Roman Rite. The five Sundays after
Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, and Corpus Christi
follow, as in the Roman Rite, but the Triduum Litaniarum (Rogations)
comes on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after, instead of
before, Ascension Day. The Sundays after Pentecost continue eo
nomine until the Decollation of St. John (29 August). There may be
as many as fifteen of them. Then follow either four or five Sundays
post Decollationem S. Joannis Baptistœ, then three Sundays of
October, the third of which is Dedicatio Ecclesiœ Majoris. The
rest of the Sundays until Advent are post Dedicationem.
of the Saints calls for little notice. There are many local saints,
and several feasts which are given in the Roman Calendar in late
February, March, and early April are given on other days, because of
the rule against feasts in Lent. Only St. Joseph and the
Annunciation come in the Lenten part of the Calendar, but the Masses
of these are given on 12 December and the sixth Sunday of Advent
respectively. The days are classified as follows:
Class: the Annunciation, Christmas Day, Epiphany, Easter Day with
its Monday and Tuesday, Ascension Day, Pentecost, with its Monday
and Tuesday, Corpus Domini, the Dedication of the Cathedral or of
the local church, Solemnitas Domini titularis propriœ
Ecclesiœ. First class, secondary: the Feast of the Sacred
Heart. Second class: the Visitation, Circumcision, Purification,
Transfiguration, Invention of the Cross, Trinity Sunday. Second
class, secondary: the Name of Jesus, the Holy Family, the Exaltation
of the Cross. The Octaves of Christmas, Epiphany, Easter Day,
Pentecost and Corpus Domini also count as Solemnitates Domini.
Solemnia B. M. V. et Sanctorum
the Immaculate Conception, Assumption, Nativity of St. John Baptist,
St. Joseph, Sts. Peter and Paul, All Saints, the Ordination of St.
Ambrose, and the Patron of the local church. Second class: other
feasts of Our Lady, St. Michael and the Archangels, and the Guardian
Angels, Decollation of St. John, Feasts of Apostles and Evangelists,
St. Anne, St. Charles Borromeo, the Holy Innocents, St. Joachim, St.
Laurence, St. Martin, Sts. Nazarius and Celsus, Sts. Protasius and
Gervasius, St. Stephen, St. Thomas of Canterbury. Second class,
secondary: the two Chairs of St. Peter, the Conversion of St. Paul.
St. Agnes, St. Anthony, St. Apollinaris, St. Benedict, St. Dominic,
the Translations of Sts. Ambrose, Protasius, and Gervasius, St.
Francis, St. Mary Magdalene, Sts. Nabor and Felix, St. Sebastian,
St. Victor, St. Vincent.
Solemnia are days noted as such in the Calendar, and the days of
saints whose bodies or important relics are preserved in any
particular church become Solemnia for that church.
are also grouped into four classes: First class of Solemnitates
Domini and Solemnia; second class of the same; greater and ordinary
Solemnia; non-Solemnia, divided into privilegiata and simplicia.
Solemnia have two vespers, non-Solemnia only one, the first. The
privilegiata have certain propria and the simplicia only the
communia. The general principle of occurrences is that common to the
whole Western Church. If two festivals fall on the same day, the
lesser is either transferred, merely commemorated, or omitted. But
the Ambrosian Rite differs materially from the Roman in the rank
given to Sunday, which is only superseded by a Solemnitas Domini,
and not always then, for if the Name of Jesus or the Purification
falls on Septuagesima, Sexagesima, or Quinquagesima Sunday, it is
transferred, though the distribution and procession of candles takes
place on the Sunday on which the Purification actually falls. If a
Solemne Sanctorum or a privileged non-Solemne falls on a Sunday, a
Solemnitas Domini, the Friday or Saturday of the fourth or fifth
week of Advent, a Feria de Exceptato, within an Octave of a great
Feast, a Feria Litaniarum, or a Feria of Lent, the whole office is
of the Sunday, Solemnitas Domini, etc., and the Solemne or
non-Solemne privilegiatum is transferred, in most cases to the next
clear day, but in the case of Solemnia of the first or second class
to the next Feria, quocumque festo etiam solemni impedita. A simple
non-Solemne is never transferred, but it is omitted altogether if a
Solemne of the first class falls on the same day, and in other cases
of occurrences it is commemorated, though of course it supersedes an
ordinary Feria. The concurrences of the first Vespers of one feast
with the second of another are arranged on much the same principle,
the chief peculiarity being that if a Solemne Sanctorum falls on a
Monday its first Vespers is kept not on the Sunday, but on the
preceding Saturday, except in Advent, when this rule applies only to
Solemnia of the first and second class, and other Solemnia are only
commemorated at Sunday Vespers. The liturgical colours of the
Ambrosian Rite are very similar to those of the Roman, the most
important differences being that (except when some greater day
occurs) red is used on the Sundays and Feriœ after Pentecost
and the Decollation of St. John until the Eve of the Dedication
(third Sunday in October), on Corpus Christi and its Octave, and
during Holy Week, except on Good Friday, as well as on the days on
which it is used in the Roman Rite, and that (with similar
exceptions) green is only used from the Octave of the Epiphany to
the eve of Septuagesima, from Low Sunday to the Friday before
Pentecost, after the Dedication to Advent, and on feasts of abbots.
THE DIVINE OFFICE
The Distribution of the Psalter
Ambrosian distribution of the Psalter is partly fortnightly and
partly weekly. Psalms i to cviii are divided into ten decuriœ,
one of which, in its numerical order, divided into three Nocturns,
is recited at Matins on the Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays,
Thursdays, and Fridays of each fortnight, each Nocturn being said
under one antiphon. At the Matins of Sunday and Solemnitates Domini
and on Feriœ in Easter and Whitsun weeks and the octave of
Corpus Christi, there are no psalms, but three Old Testament
canticles, Isaias xxvi, De nocte vigilatâ; the Canticle of
Anna (I K. ii), Confirmatum est; and the Canticle of Jonas (ii),
Clamavi ad Dominum, or of Habacuc (iii), Domine audivi. And on
Saturdays the Canticle of Moses (Exod. xv), Cantemus Domino, and
half of Psalm cxviii take the place of Decuriœ at the three
Nocturns. At Vespers, Psalms cix to cxlvii, except cxvii, cxviii,
and cxxxiii, which are used elsewhere, and cxlii, which is only used
in the Office of the Dead and as Psalmus Directus at Lauds on
Fridays, aro divided between the whole seven days of each week in
their numerical sequence, and in the same manner as in the Roman
Rite. Psalm cxviii, besides being used on Saturdays, is distributed
among the four lesser Hours exactly as in the Roman Rite; Psalm l is
said at Lauds every day except Sunday, when the Benedicite, and
Saturday, when Psalm cxvii, takes its place, and with the Preces
(when these are used) at Prime and Terce throughout the year and at
None during Lent, while at the Preces of Sext Psalm liii is said,
and at those of None Psalm lxxxv, except during Lent. Psalm liii
precedes Beati immaculati at Prime, and Psalms iv, xxx, 1-6, xc and
cxxxiii are said daily, as in the Roman Rite, at Compline. At Lauds
a single Psalm, known as Psalmus Directus, differing with the day of
the week, is also said.
Dec. 1 \ Pss
1st Wk., Mon.
" 2 \ Pss
" 3 \ Pss
" 4 \ Pss
" 5 \ Pss
" 6 \ Pss
2d Wk., Mon.
" 7 \ Pss
" 8 \ Pss
" 9 \ Pss
" 10 \
VESPER PSALMS, PSALMI DIRECTI, AND PSALMI IV VERSUS
Ps. Di. Lauds
Ps. IV, Vers.
Ps. IV, Vers.
1st wk. v 2d
Lent Psalm 90 is said as Psalmus Directus at Vespers, except on
Sundays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and the "Four Verses of a
Psalm" at Lauds on Saturdays are alternately from the twelfth
and first parts of Psalm 98, and on the six Sundays the "Four
Verses" are from 69, 62, 101, 62, 62, 58. During Lent also the
Vesper "Four Verses" are different for every day, except
that there are none on Friday, and those on the first four Saturdays
are from Psalm 91. In Holy Week the Psalms at the Nocturns and at
Vespers are all proper, and there are also proper Psalms during the
period from the first Feria de Exceptato until the Circumcision; and
on the Annunciation (sixth Sunday of Advent), Epiphany,
Christophoria, Name of Jesus, Ascension, Corpus Christi, the
Dedication and many Solemnia Sanctorum, and on many other saints'
days the Decuriœ are superseded by Psalms of the Common of
Other Details of the Divine Office
similar in construction to those in the Roman Rite are: in Psalmis
et canticis, used as in the Roman Rite; in Choro, said after the
Lucernarium on Sundays, at the second Vespers of Solemnia, or on
other saints' days, at first Vespers, but not on Feriœ, except
Saturdays in Advent; ad Crucem, said on Solemnitates Domini, on
Sundays, except in Lent, and on Solemnia. Responsoria are
constructed as in the Roman Rite, and are: Post hymnum, said after
the hymn at Matins; Inter lectiones at Matins; cum Infantibus or cum
Pueris after the hymn at the first Vespers of Solemnia; in Choro,
said at Vespers on Sundays, at the second Vespers of Solemnia, and
at the first of Non-Solemnia, after the hymn; in Baptisterio, at
Lauds and Vespers of some Solemnitates after the first Psallenda, on
Feriœ after the twelve Kyries, at Vespers after the prayer
which follows Magnificat; Diaconalia or Quadragesimalia, on
Wednesdays in Lent and on Good Friday; ad Cornu Altaris, at Lauds
before the Psalmus Directus on Christmas Day, the Epiphany, and
Easter Eve; Gradualia, said after the hymn at Lauds on Feriœ
in Lent. Lucernaria are Responsoria which begin Vespers. Psallendœ
are single verses, often from the Psalms, said after the twelve
Kyries and the second prayer at Lauds, and after the prayers at
Vespers. They are variable according to the day, and are followed by
either one or two fixed Complenda or Completoria, which are also
single verses. Psalmi Directi are said at Lauds and sometimes at
Vespers. They are sung together by both choirs, not antiphonally.
Psalmi Quatuor Versus is the name given to four verses of a psalm
said at Vespers and Lauds on weekdays, after one of the Collects.
Among the Hymns, besides those by St. Ambrose, or commonly
attributed to him, many are included by other authors, such as
Prudentius, Venantius Fortunatus, St. Gregory, St. Thomas Aquinas,
and many whose authorship is unknown. A considerable number of
well-known hymns (e.g. "Ave Mark Stella'", "A Solis
Ortus Cardine", "Jesu Redemptor Omnium", "Iste
Confessor") are not in the Ambrosian Hymnal, but there are many
there which are not in the Roman, and those that are common to both
generally appear as they were before the revisions of Urban VIII,
though some have variants of their own. Capitula' are short lessons
of Scripture used as in the Roman Rite. At the Lesser Hours and
Compline Capitula taken from the Epistles are called Epistolellœ.
Construction of the Divine Office
constantly occurring Dominus vobiscum, etc., has been omitted in
this analysis.) MATINS: Pater noster; Ave Maria; Deus in adjutorium;
Gloria Patri; Hallelujah or Laus tibi. (The Ambrosians transliterate
Hallelujah from Hebrew, not from Greek. They also write caelum not
coelum and seculum not saeculum.) Hymn; Responsorium; canticle,
Benedictus es (Dan. iii); Kyrie eleison, thrice Psalms or Canticles
of the three Nocturns; Lessons, with Responsoria and Benedictions —
usually three Lessons, Sundays, homilies; weekdays from the Bible;
saints' days, Bible and life of saint. On Christmas Day and Epiphany
nine lessons; on Good Friday, six; on Easter Eve, none. On Sundays
and festivals, except in Lent and Advent, Te Deum follows. —
LAUDS: Introduction as at Matins; canticle, Benedictus, Attende
cœlum or Clamavi; Kyrie, thrice; Antiphona ad Crucem, repeated
five or seven times, not said on Feriœ Oratio secreta i;
canticle, Cantemus Domino (Ex. xv); Kyrie, thrice; Oratio secreta
ii; canticle, Benedicite, Confitemini Domino (Ps. cxvii), or
Miserere (Ps. l); Kyrie, thrice; Oratio i; psalms, Laudate (Pss.
cxlviii-cl, cxvi); Capitulum; Kyrie, thrice. Psalmus Directus; hymn
(on weekdays in Lent, Graduale); Kyrie, twelve times. On Sundays and
festivals, Psallenda and Completorium; on Feriœ, Responsorium
in Baptisterio; Kyrie, thrice; Oratio ii. On Sundays and
Solemnitates Domini, Psallenda ii and Completorium ii; on weekdays
Psalmi iv, versus and Completorium; Kyrie, thrice; Oratio iii;
commemorations, if any; concluding versicles and responses. —
THE LESSER HOURS (Prime, Terce, Sext, None): Introduction as at
Matins. Hymn; psalms; Epistolella; Responsorium Breve (at Prime,
Quicunque vult); Capitulum; Preces (when said); at Prime, three
Orationes, at other Hours, one; Kyrie, thrice; Benedicamus Domino,
etc. (at Prime in choir the Martyrology, followed by Exultabunt
Sancti etc., and a prayer); Fidelium animœ etc. VESPERS:
Introduction as at Matins. On Sundays and Feriœ: Lucernarium;
(on Sundays, Antiphona in choro); hymn; Responsorium in choro; five
psalms; Kyrie, thrice; Oratio i; Magnificat; Oratio ii; on Sundays,
Psallenda i, and two Completoria; on Feriœ, Responsorium in
Baptisterio; Kyrie, thrice; Oratio iii; on Sundays, Psallenda ii,
and two Completoria; on Feriœ, Psalmi iv versus; Kyrie,
thrice; Oratio iv; commemorations, if any. On saints' days;
Lucernarium; at second vespers Antiphona in choro; hymn;
Responsorium in choro or cum infantibus; psalm; Kyrie, thrice;
Oratio i; Psalm; Oratio ii; Magnificat; Kyrie, thrice; Oratio iii;
Psallenda and two Completoria; Kyrie, thrice; Oratio iv;
commemorations. Concluding versicles and responses. —
COMPLINE: Introduction, with addition of Converte nos, etc.; hymn
(Te Lucis); Psalms iv, xxx, 1-7, xc, cxxxii, cxxxiii, cxvi;
Epistolella; Responsorium; Nunc Dimittis; Capitulum; Kyrie, thrice;
Preces (when said); Oratio i, Oratio ii; concluding versicles and
responses; Antiphon of Our Lady; Confiteor. There are antiphons to
all psalms, except those of Compline, and to all canticles. During
Lent, except on Saturdays and Sundays, there are two lessons (from
Genesis and Proverbs) after Terce; and on Wednesdays and Fridays of
Lent and on Feriœ de Exceptato litanies are said then.
Mass in its present form is best shown by an analysis pointing out
the differences from the Roman. As a great part of it agrees word
for word with the Roman, it will only be necessary to indicate the
agreements, without giving the passages in full. There are a certain
number of ceremonial differences, the most noticeable of which are:
deacon and sub-deacon are not occupied, they take up positions at
the north and south ends of the altar facing each other.
Prophecy, Epistle, and Gospel are said, in Milan Cathedral, from
the great ambon on the north side of the choir, and the procession
thereto is accompanied with some state.
offering of bread and wine by the men and women of the Scuola di S.
past and kissing the north corner of the altar at the Offertory.
silent Lavabo just before the Consecration.
of bell-ringing at the Elevation.
the rubrics of the Missal there are certain survivals of ancient
usage which could only have applied to the city of Milan itself, and
may be compared with the "stations" affixed to certain
Masses in the Roman Missal of today. The Ambrosian Rite supposes the
existence of two cathedrals, the Basilica Major or Ecclesia Æstiva,
and the Basilica Minor or Ecclesia Hiemalis. Lejay, following
Giulini, calls the Ecclesia Major (St. Mary's) the winter church,
and St. Thecla the summer church (Cabrol, Dictionnaire d'archéologie
chrétienne, col. 1382 sqq.), but Ecclesia Hiematis and
Ecclesia Major in the "Bergamo Missal", and Ecclesia
Hiemalis and Ad Sanctam Mariam, in all missals, are evidently
contrasted with one another. Also the will of Berengarius I,
founding St. Rafaele (quoted by Giulini, I, 416) speaks of the
latter being near the summer church, which it is, if the summer
church is St. Mary's. There is also assumed to be a detached
baptistery and a Chapel of the Cross, though mentions of these are
found chiefly in the Breviary, and in earlier times the church of
St. Laurence was the starting point of the Palm Sunday ceremonies.
The greater, or summer, church, under the patronage of Our Lady, is
now the Cathedral; the lesser, or winter, church, which stood at the
opposite end of the Piazza del Duomo, and was destroyed in 1543, was
under the patronage of St. Thecla. As late as the time of Beroldus
(twelfth century) the changes from one to the other were made at
Easter and at the Dedication of the Great Church (third Sunday in
October), and even now the rubric continues to order two Masses on
certain great days, one in each church, and on Easter Eve and
through Easter week one Mass is ordered daily pro baptizatis in
Ecclesia Hiemali, and another, according to the Bergamo book, in
Ecclesia Majori. The modern books say, in omni ecclesiâ. There
were two baptisteries, both near the greater church.
OF THE AMBROSIAN MASS
V. In nomine Patris, etc. R. Amen.
Introibo ad Altare Dei. R. Ad Deum qui etc.
Domino quoniam bonus.
R. Quoniam in sæculum
misericordia ejus. Confiteor, etc., Misereatur, etc., Indulgentiam
etc., as in the Roman Rite, differing only in adding the name of St.
Ambrose to the Confiteor.
V. Adjutorium nostrum etc. R. Qui
V. Sit nomen Domini benedictum.
R. Ex hoc
nunc et usque in seculum. (Secreto) Rogo to, altissime Deus Sabaoth,
Pater sancte, ut pro peccatis meis possim intercedere et astantibus
veniam peccatorum promereri ac pacificas singulorum hostias
Oramus te, Domine etc., as in the Roman Rite. The
"Ingressa", which answers to the Roman Introit. Except in
the Mass for the Departed, when, even in the 1475 Missal, it is
exactly the Roman Introit, it consists of a single passage,
generally of Scripture, without Psalm, "Gloria Patri", or
V. Dominus vobiscum etc.
Excelsis — On the Sundays in Lent two litanies are said
alternately instead. These litanies strongly resemble the Great
Synapte of the Greek Rite and, like that, are said by the deacon.
One has the response "Domine Miserere", and the other
"Kyrie eleison". A very similar Litany in the Stowe Missal
(f 16, b) is called "Deprecatio Sancti Martini pro
Kyrie eleison (thrice).
Oratio super Populum, "vel plures
Orationes". The Collect or Collects for the day.
Dominus vobiscum etc.
The Prophetical Lesson, when there is
one, which is generally on Sundays, "Solemnitates Domini"
and "Solemnia", preceded by a benediction; "Prophetica
(or Apostolica) Lectio sit nobis salutis eruditio". According
to the letters of Paul and Gebehard of Ratisbon, "Gesta
Sanctorum" sometimes took the place of the Old Testament
Lesson. Passages from the Act and the Apocalypse are still
Psalmellus and Versus.
The Epistle, preceded by
the Benediction, "Apostolica doctrina repleat nos gratiâ
Hallelujah. Versus. Hallelujah. On
"solemnitates Domini" the first Hallelujah is doubled. In
Lent, on the Litany days, the "Feriæ de Exceptato"
and Vigils, the Cantus, answering to the Roman Tractus, takes the
place of the Hallelujahs and Versus. On some "Solemnitates
Domini" there is an "Antiphona ante Evangelium" also.
There are no Sequences in the Ambrosian Rite. The Psalmellus and
Versus of the Epistle and the Versus between Hallelujahs of the
Gospel together make up exactly the form of a Roman Gradual, and
they often agree with those of the Roman Missal.
preceded by "Munda cor meum", etc., as in the Roman Rite,
with the addition of "In nomine Patris, etc." at the end
of "Dominus sit in corde meo", before, instead of after
which the Gospel is given out. The Gospel is followed by "Laus
tibi Christe", and "Per evangelica dicta deleantur nostra
V. Dominus vobiscum, etc.
Antiphona post Evangelium.
habete". R. "Ad te Domine" (cf. the response Soi
Kyrie in the Little Synapte and elsewhere in the Constantinopolitan
Rite. In early Manuscripts the form here is: "Pacem habete. V.
Corrigite vos ad orationem". R. "Ad te Domine". Lejay
considers that the kiss of peace once came at this point.
Dominus vobiscum, etc.
Oratio super sindonem. (This prayer
may have dropped out of the Roman Rite and may account for the
"Oremus" with no prayer to follow at this point.)
After the prayer, the Priest receives the paten
with the Host and offers it, saying, "Suscipe, clementissime
Pater hunc Panem sanctum ut fiat Unigeniti tui Corpus, in nomine
Patris, etc." Laying the Host on the corporal he pours into the
chalice wine, saying: "De latere Christi exivit sanguis",
and water, saying: "Et aqua pariter, in nomine, &c."
Then he offers the chalice, saying: "Suscipe clementissime
Pater, hunc Calicem, vinum aqua mistum ut fiat Unigeniti tui
Sanguis, in nomine, etc." At this point, in Milan Cathedral,
the Chapter clergy all file past the north corner of the altar, each
kissing the corner as he passes. Then follow two prayers of
offering, addressed respectively to the Father and to the Trinity,
agreeing in meaning with the "Suscipe Sancte Pater" and
"Suscipe Sancta Trinitas" of the Roman Rite, but differing
altogether in language. On Sundays and feasts of Our Lord and their
vigils, there is a third prayer, nearly agreeing in wording with
"Suscipe, Sancta Trinitas". Then extending his hands over
the oblation, he says: "Et suscipe Sancta Trinitas hanc
oblationem pro emundatione mea; ut mundes et purges me ab universis
peccatorum maculis, quatenus tibi digne ministrare merear, Deus et
He blesses the Oblata,
continuing: "Benedictio Dei Omnipotentis Pa+tris et Fi+lii et
Spiritus+Saneti copiosa de cælis descendat super hanc nostram
oblationem et accepta tibi sit haec oblatio, Domino sancte, Pater
omnipotens, æterne Deus, misericordissime rerum
[In the eleventh-century Manuscript in the
Chapter Library at Milan (No. 1. d in the list of Sacramentaries
given above), the "Dominus vobiscum after the Creed is followed
by a prayer: "Adesto Domine supplicationibus nostris et his
muneribus præsentiam tuæ majestatis intersere ut quod
nostro servitio geritur te potius operante firmetur per omnia,
etc.", and there are no other Offertory prayers.] At a solemn
Mass the blessing of the Incense, and censing of the altar follow.
The words are exactly those of the Roman Rite until the delivery of
the thurible to the deacon, when instead of "Ascendat in nobis"
the priest says: "Ecce odor Sanctorum Dei: tanquam odor agri
pleni, quem Deus benedixit".
Then follows the
"Offertorium". In the cathedral of Milan there is an
interesting ceremony at the Offertory, probably a survival of the
early practice of offerings "in kind" by the congregation.
Ten old men (known as the Vecchioni) and ten old women, who are
supported by the Chapter, wear a special costume and belong to what
is called the "Scuola di S. Ambrogio", bring offerings of
bread and wine to the choir steps and deliver them to the clergy.
There is a detailed account of this ceremony in Beroldus (Ed.
Magistretti, 1894, 52). The institution is mentioned in a charter of
Bishop Anspert in the ninth century. Wickham Legg (Ecclesiological
Essays, 53) says that these offerings are not now used at the Mass
then being said, but at some later one. He gives photographs of the
old men and women and a full description of the ceremony.
Creed, preceded by "Dominus vobiscum", etc. It is here
entitled "Symbolum Constantinopolitanum", and differs not
at all from that in the Roman Mass.
V. Dominus vobiscum,
Oratio super oblata.
The Preface. The "Sursum
corda" etc. is exactly as in the Roman Rite, though the plain
chant is altogether different. The Preface itself has the word
"quia" after "vere", but otherwise begins as in
the Roman Rite, as far as "Æterne Deus". After that
comes a marked difference, for instead of only ten variations, there
are proper Prefaces for all days that have proper offices, as well
as commons of all classes, and in the final clauses, which vary, as
in the Roman, according to the ending of the inserted Proper, there
are verbal differences.
The Sanctus, exactly as in the Roman
"To igitur" exactly as in
the Roman Canon. In the printed Missals, even before the Borromean
revision, there is a variation which comes after "hæc
sancta sacrificia illibata", in the Mass of Easter Eve. In the
Bergamo Missal it follows immediately after the "Sanctus",
without the "To igitur" clause. It is: "Vere Sanctus,
vere benedictus D. N. J. C. Filius tuus qui cum Dominus esset
Majestatis, descendens de cælo formam servi, qui prius
perierat, suscepit, et sponte pati dignatus est; ut eum quem ipse
fecerat de morte liberaret. Unde et hoc paschale sacrificium tibi
offerimus pro his quos ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto regenerare dignatus
es dans eis remissionem omnium peccatorum, ut invenires eos in
Christo Jesu Domino nostro. Pro quibus tibi, Domine supplices
fundimus preces ut nomina eorum pariterque famuli tui Papæ
nostri N. et Pontificis nostri N. scripta habeas in Libro Viventium.
Per eundem, etc." This is in the form of a Post Sanctus of the
Mozarabic Rite, though it does not agree exactly with any particular
"Memento Domine" is the same as in
"Communicantes" and "Hanc igitur"
are variable on certain days, as in the Roman Rite, but the list of
saints differs, Linus and Cletus being omitted and Hippolytus,
Vincent, Apollinaris, Vitalis, Nazarius and Celsus, Protasius and
Gervasius, Victor, Nabor, Felix, and Calimerius being added. In the
earlier editions there were the following additional names:
Maternus, Eustorgius, Dionysius, Ambrose, Simplitian, Martin,
Eusebius, Hilary, Julius, and Benedict.
quam pietati tuæ offerimus tu Deus in omnibus quæsumus,
etc.", the rest as in the Roman Canon. At this point the Priest
washes his hand, "nihil dicens".
The next clauses,
reciting the Institution, differ verbally.
quam pro nostra omniumque salute pateretur (cf. the Maundy Thursday
Mass of the Roman Rite) accipiens Panem, elevavit oculis ad cælos
ad te Deum Patrem suum omnipotentem, tibi gratias agens benedixit,
fregit, deditque Discipulis suis, dicens ad eos: Accipite et
manducate ex hoc omnes: Hoc est enim Corpus meum. Simili modo,
postquam cœnatum est, accipiens Calicem, elevavit oculos ad
cælos, ad te Deum Patrem suum omnipotentem: item tibi gratias
agens, benedixit, tradiditque Discipulis suis, dicens ad eos:
Accipite et bibite ex eo omnes: Hic est enim Calix, &c. (as in
the Roman Canon). Mandans quoque et dicens ad eos: Hæc
quotiescunque feceritis in meam commemorationem facietis: Mortem
meam prædicabitis, Resurrectionem meam annuntiabitis, Adventum
meum sperabitis donec iterum de cælis veniam ad vos." It
may be noted that this long ending, commemorating the Death,
Resurrection and Second Coming, is nearly identical with that in the
"Canon Dominicus Sancti Gilasi" in the Stowe Missal and
has resemblances to the forms in several of the West Syrian
(Jacobite) anaphoræ. "Unde et memores" differs only
in reading "gloriosissimæ" instead of "gloriosæ
"Supra quæ propitio"
inserts "tuo" after "vultu" and reads "justi
pueri tui Abel".
"Supplices te rogamus" reads
"tremendæ" instead of "divinæ
"Memento etiam Domine" exactly
agrees with the Roman Rite.
"Nobis quoque, minimis, et
peccatoribus famulis tuis de multitudine misericordiæ tuæ,"
continuing as in the Roman Rite, except for the list of saints,
which adds a second Joannes, substitutes Andreas for Matthias, omits
Ignatius and Alexander, and adds Euphemia, Justina, Sabina, Thecla,
Pelagia, and Catharine (the Manuscripts and 1475 lists omit
Catharine), varying the order a little. The ending also differs,
"benedicis et nobis famulis tuis largiter præstas ad
augmentum fidei et remissionem peccatorum nostrorum: Et est tibi Deo
Patri omnipotenti ex+ipso et per+ipsum et in+ipso omnis honor virtus
laus et gloria, impe+rium, perpe+tuitas et po+testas in unitate
spiritus sancti per infinita secula seculorum. Amen." The
Fraction and Commixture occur at this point, instead of after the
"Pater Noster" as in the Roman Rite since St. Gregory the
Great. The priest breaks the Host over the chalice, saying: Corpus
tuum frangitur, Christe, Calix benedicitur"; then laying one
part on the paten, he breaks a particle from the other, saying:
"Sanguis tuus sit nobis semper ad vitam et ad salvandas animas,
Deus noster". Then he puts the particle into the chalice,
saying: "Commixtio consecrati Corporis et Sanguinis D. N. J. C.
nobis edentibus et sumentibus proficiat ad vitam et gaudium
sempiternum". Then follows the "Confractorium", an
anthem varying according to the day.
The Pater Noster,
introduced by the same clause as in the Roman Rite, except on Maundy
Thursday and Easter Day, when different forms are used. The Embolism
differs somewhat: "Libera nos . . . et intercedente pro nobis
Beata Maria Genitrice Dei ac Domini nostri Jesu Christi et Sanctis
Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo atque Andrea et Beato Ambrosio
Confessore tuo atque Pontifice una cum omnibus Sanctis tuis . . . ab
omni perturbatione securi. Præsta per eum, cum quo beatus
vivis et regnas Deus in unitate Spiritus Sancti per omnia secula
The "Pax". The priest says:
"Pax et communicatio D. N. J. C. sit semper vobiscum. R. Et cum
spiritu tuo". The deacon: "Offerte vobis pacem. R. Deo
gratias". The prayer, "Domine Jesu Christe qui dixisti,
etc.", which differs from the Roman in reading "pacificare,
custodire et regere digneris propitius". Then the "Pax"
is given: "V. Pax tecum. R. Et cum spiritu tuo," as in the
Roman Rite. In Masses for the Dead the "Offerte vobis pacem",
the prayer, and the giving of the "Pax" are omitted, and
the "Agnus Dei", differing from the Roman form "pro
defunctis" only in adding "et locum indulgentiæ cum
Sanctis tuis in gloria" at the end, is said. The "Agnus
Dei" does not occur in other Masses.
The Communion. The
preliminary prayers are: "Domine Sancte Pater omnipotens,
æterne Deus da mihi hoc Corpus Jesu Christi Filii tui Domini
mei ita sumere: ut non sit mihi ad judicium sed ad remissionem
omnium peccatorum meorum. Qui tecum vivit, etc.," and "Domine
Jesu Christe Fili Dei vivi", which only differs from the Roman
in reading "obedire" for "inhærere". Then
follows "Domine non sum dignus", as in the Roman Rite,
after which comes "Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quæ
retribuit mihi? Panem cælestem accipiam et nomen Domini
invocabo. Corpus D. N. J. C. custodiat animam meam ad vitam æternam.
Amen. Quid retribuam, etc.," exactly as in the Roman Rite.
Then, at receiving the Chalice, "Præsta, quæso,
Domine, ut perceptio Corporis et Sanguinis D. N. J. C. ad vitam nos
perducat æternam", after which "Quod ore sumpsimus,
Domine, pura mente Capiamus ut de Corpore et Sanguine D. N. J. C.
fiat nobis remedium sempiternum". At the Ablution: "Confirma
hoc, Deus, quod operatus es in nobis et dona Ecclesiæ tuæ
perpetuam tranquillitatem et pacem".
(the Ambrosian equivalent of the Roman "Communio") and the
"Oratio Post Communionem" follow.
Kyrie eleison (thrice).
V. Benedicat et
exaudiat nos Deus. R. Amen.
V. Procedamus cum pace. R. In
V. Benedicamus Domino. R. Deo Gratias.
follow "Placeat tibi" (slightly varied), the Blessing and
the Last Gospel as in the Roman Rite.
The present form from
the "Pax" onward dated from the revision of St. Charles
Borromeo, and appears for the first time in print in 1594. In 1475,
1560, etc., the form was as follows:
V. Pax et communicatio
D. N. J. C. sit semper vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Offerte nobis pacem. R. Deo gratias. Pax in cælo, pax in
terra, pax in omni populo pax sacerdotibus ecclesiarum Dei. Pax
Christi et Ecclesiæ maneat semper vobiscum.
Priest gives the "Pax" to the server, saying "Habete
vinculum pacis et caritatis ut apti sitis sacrosanctis mysteriis
Dei. R. Amen. Domine Sancte Pater etc.", as at present. The
second prayer, "Domine Jesu Christe, etc.", was not used.
(In the early Manuscripts the giving of the "Pax" ends
with "Offerte nobis pacem, etc.")
etc. Panem cælestem, etc.
Domine, non sum dignus,
Corpus D. N. J. C. profitiat mihi sumenti et omnibus pro
quibus illud obtuli ad vitam et gaudium sempiternum. Amen. (This
form is found also in the Chur Missal of 1589.)
quæeso, Domine, ut perceptio corporis et sanguinis D. N. J. C.
quem pro nobis dignatus est fundere ab omni nos peccati maculâ
purget et ad vitam perducat æternam. Per eundem, etc.
retribuam, etc. Calicem salutaris, etc.
Domine non sum
Corpus et Sanguis D. N. J. C. propitius sit mihi
sumenti et omnibus pro quibus illud obtuli ad vitam et gaudiam
sempiternam. Per eundem, etc.
Deo gratias. Deo
Accepta Christi munera sumamus Dei gratia, non ad
judicium sed ad salvandas animas, Deus noster. Agnus Dei, qui tollis
peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Gloria Patri, etc. Sicut erat, etc.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram.
Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.
ore sumpsimus, etc., as at present.
Confirma hoc, Deus, etc.,
as at present.
Placeat tibi, etc.
Manuscript (No. 1-d in list above), quoted in the Solesmes edition
of the Bergamo book, does not contain any more at the "Pax"
and "Communion" than "Pax et Communicatio, etc."
"Offerte vobis pacem." "Oratio post communionem."
"Dominus vobiscum, etc." "Quad ore sumpsimus, etc."
THE OCCASIONAL SERVICES
the services in the Ritual and Pontifical there is not much to say.
The ceremonies of Baptism differ in their order from those of the
Roman Rite. The Ambrosian order is: renunciation; ephphatha;
sufflation; unction; exorcism and second sufflation; signing with
the Cross; delivery of the salt; introduction into the church; Creed
and Lord's Prayer; declaration of faith; Baptism, for which the
rubric is: Ter occiput mergit in aqua in crucis formam (and, as Legg
points out, the Ambrosians boast that their baptism is always by
immersion); litany; anointing with chrism; delivery of white robe
and candle; dismissal. A great part of the wording is exactly the
same as the Roman. The order of the Unction of the Sick shows the
progress of Roman influence in modern times. The service at present
used differs very little except at one point from that given by
Magistretti (Mon. Vet., II, 79, 94, 147) from early Manuscripts, and
from the form in the undated printed Ritual of the late fifteenth
century, but the difference at that point is no less than the
introduction of the Roman manner and words of anointing. The old
Ambrosian Rite was to anoint the sick person on the breast, the
hands, and the feet, with the words: "Ungo te oleo
sanctificato, more militis unctus et preparatus ad luctam aerias
possis catervas. Operare creatura olei, in nomine+Dei Patris
omnipotentis+et Filii+et Spiritus Sancti, ut non lateat spiritus
immundus nec in membris nec in medullis nec in ulla compagine
membrorum hujus hominis [vel mulieris] sed operetur in eo virtus
Christi Filii Altissimi qui cum æterno Patri. . . . Amen."
Then, "Quidquid peccasti per cogitationem cordis [per
operationem manuum vel per ingressum pedum] parcat tibi Deus. Amen."
The fifteenth-century printed Ritual varies the first anointing.
Instead of "Quidquid peccasti", it reads, "Per istam
unctionem et cristi sacratissimam passionem si quid peccasti, etc.",
the other two being as in the older books. The Ungo te, etc., is
repeated with each. A somewhat similar form, but shorter, with the
anointing of the five senses and reading Ungimus for Ungo, is given
in Harl. Manuscript 2990, an early fifteenth-century North Italian
fragment, and in the Venetian printed pre-Tridontine Rituals, a form
very like the last (but reading Ungo) with the same anointings as in
the Roman Rite, is given as the rite of the Patriarchate of Venice.
This form, or something very like it, with the seven anointings is
found in the Asti Ritual described by Gastoué. In the modern
Ambrosian Ritual the Roman seven anointings and the form, Per istam
unctionem', etc., are taken over bodily and the Ungo te has
disappeared. The differences in the Order of Matrimony are very
slight, and the other contents of the Ritual call for no special
remark. In the ninth-century Pontifical published by Magistretti the
consecration of a church includes the solemn entry, the writing of
the ABCturium, with the cambutta (that Gaelic word, cam bata,
crooked staff, which is commonly used in Gallican books), the
blessing and mixture of salt, water, ashes, and wine, the sprinkling
and anointing of the church and the altar, the blessing of various
utensils, and at the end the deposition of the relics. The order
given by Mercati from an eleventh-century Manuscript at Lucca
differs from the ninth-century form in that there is a
circumambulation and sprinkling, with the signing of the cross on
the door, the writing of an alphabet per parietem and the making of
three crosses on each wall with chrism, before the entry, and there
is no deposition of relics. There are also considerable differences
of wording. The ordinations in the ninth-century Manuscript are of
the same mixed Roman and Gallican type, but are less developed than
those of the modern Roman Pontifical.
Notitia Liturgiœ Ambrosianœ ante sæculum XI medium
(Milan, 1895); Preface to MAGISTRETTI'S Monumenta Veteris Liturgiœ
Ambrosianœ, (Milan, 1897); Pt. I; Edition of the Biasca
Sacramentary in Vol. VIII of Monumenta Sacra et Profana ex Codicibus
prœsertim Bibliothecœ Ambrosianœ; MAGISTRETTI, La
liturgia della chiesa di Milono nel secolo IV (Milan, 1899);
Monumenta Veteris Liturgia Ambrosianœ, Pt. III (Milan,
1897-1905); Della nuova Edizione tipica del Messale Ambrosiano
(Milan, 1902); Beroldus, sive ecclesiœ Ambrosianœ
kalendarium et ordines, sœc. XII (Milan, 1894); CAGIN,
Antiphonarium Ambrosianum du musée Britannique, XIIe siècle,
in Vol. V, VI, of Paléographie musicale, par les Bénédictins
de Solesmes (Solesmes, 1896, 1900); MERCATI, Ordo Ambrosianus ad
Consecrandum Ecclesiam et Altare, in Studi e Testi (of the Vatican
Library), (Rome, 1902); Pt VII COLOMBO, Gli inni del breviario
Ambrosiano (Milan, 1897); LEJAY, articles Ambrosien (Rit), LEJAY in
Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne (Paris, 1904),
and in Dict. de théol. chrét. (Paris, 1900); articles
in Revue d'histoire et de littérature religeuses (1897), II;
Rit romain et rit gallican; origin et date du rit gallican (1902),
VII; Rit ambrosien; PROBST, Die abendländische Messe vom
fünften bis zum achten Jahrhundert (Münster in W., 1896);
DUCHESNE, Origines du culte chrétien (Paris, 1902), tr. (S.
P. C. K., London, 1904); BÄUMER, Geschichte des Breviers
(Freiburg, 1895); NEALE, The Ambrosian Liturgy, in Essays on
Liturgiology (London, 1867); W. C. BISHOP, The Ambrosian Breviary,
in Church Q., Oct., 1886: LEGG, Ecclesiological Essays (London,
1905); GIULINI, Memorie spettante alla storia di Milano (Milan
1854-57); CATENA, Chiese e riti (di Milano), in CANTÙ, Milano
e il suo territorio (Milan, 1844); GRANCOLAS, Les anciennes
liturgies (Paris, 1697); LE BRUN, Explication de la Messe (Paris
1715); GERBERT, edition of the St. Gallen triple sacramentary,
Gelasian, Gregorian, and Ambrosian (now lost), in Monumenta Veteris
Liturgiœ Allemannicœ (St. Blaise, 1777): MAZZUCHELLI,
Osservazione intorno al Saggio storica critico sopra il rito
ambrosiano (Milan, 1828): MARTÈNE, Ex antiquis Ecclesiœ
ritibus (Bassani, 1788); MURATORI, Antiquitates Italiœ medii
œvi, diss. lvii (Milan, 1738-42); Liturgia Romana vetus
(Venice, 1748); MABILLON, Musœum Italicum (Paris, 1687);
DELISLE, Mémoire sur d'anciens Sacrementaires, in Mémoires
de l'Instit. Nat. de France, Acad. des inscript., etc., Vol. XXXII
(Paris, 1886); FRISI, Memorie storiche di Monza (Milan, 1794); E.
BISHOP, The Genius of the Roman Rite (London); Liturgical Note, in
KUYPERS, Book of Cerne (Cambridge, 1902); On the early Texts of the
Roman Canon, in Journal of Theological Studies. July, 1903; HÖYNCK,
Geschichte der kirchlichen Liturgie des Bisthums Augsburg (Augsburg,
1889); NEALE AND FORBES, The Ancient Liturgies of the Gallican
Church (Burntisland, 1855); GASTOUÉ, Un rituel noté de
la province de Milan du Xe siècle, in Rassegna Gregoriana,