New Liturgical Movement: The Most Ancient Roman Prayers of Episcopal Ordination

At the recent Summorum Pontificum Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, sponsored by the FSSP and Una Voce Mexico, I gave a talk about some historical aspects of the rites of ordination for deacons, priests and bishops. Within the format of an hour-long talk, it was of course necessary to be very succinct, so I have decided to do a series of posts on the topic here on NLM, in which I can go into the matter in greater depth. To begin with, we will have three posts with the oldest forms of the ordination prayers from the so-called Leonine Sacramentary, followed by some explanations of how their use in the liturgy evolved in the Middle Ages, and finally the changes made to them in the post-Conciliar reform. The so-called Leonine Sacramentary In very ancient times, individual churches within the city of Rome (and elsewhere) were free to compose their own Masses for specific occasions, and there was not, as far as we know, originally any standard collection of Masses used by all and sundry. The proper prayers of the celebrant (the Collect, Secret, Preface and Post-Communion, plus, where applicable, the variable Communicantes, which was rare, the variable Hanc igitur, which was very common, and the final prayer “over the people”) were written down on a pamphlet called a “libellus Missae – Mass booklet.” Each church had its own collection of these, but they were, of course, also often borrowed and copied by the clergy of one church from the collection of another.

New Liturgical Movement: The Most Ancient Roman Prayers of Episcopal Ordination

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