Early Church Fathers
41 Quoe lucescit inm die dominicum. The phrase is borrowed by Cassian from the Latin of S. Matt. xxviii. i.
42 Totis Quinquagesimoe diebus. See above on c. vi.
43 That this was the rule of the primitive Church is shown by Tertullian, De Corona Militis, c. iii. "We count fasting or kneeling in worship on the Lord's day to be unlawful. We rejoice in the same privilege, also, from Easter to Whitsunday." And even earlier, in a fragment of Irenaeus, there is a mention of the fact that Christians abstained from kneeling on Sunday in token of the resurrection. For later testimonies see Ambrose, Ep. 119, ad Januarium. Epiphanius, on Heresies, Book III. (Vol. III. p. 583, ed. Dindorf). Jerome, Dial. Adv. Lucif. c. iv., and the Twentieth Canon of the Council of Nicaea, with Canon Bright's notes (Notes on the Canons of the First Four General Councils, p. 72).
44 Cf. the Conferences XXI. xi.
1 According to S. Jerome, Hilarion was the first to introduce the monastic life into Palestine (Vita Hilar.). His work was carried on bv his companion and pupil Hesycas and Epiphanius, afterwards Bishop of Salamis in Cyprus. In Asia Minor S. Basil was the greater organizer of monasticism, though, as he tells us, there were already many monks, not only in Egypt but also in Palestine, Coelosyria, and Mesopotamia (Ep. ccxxiii.). See also on the early monks of Palestine and the East, Sozomen, H. E., Book VI.,cc. xxxii.-xxxv.
2 The Saturday Communion (in addition to that of Wednesday and Friday, as well as Sunday) is also mentioned by S. Basil (Ep. xciii.), and cf. the Forty-ninth Canon of the Council of Laodicaea (circa 360 a.d..): "During Lent the bread shall not be offered except on Saturday and Sunday." In the West there is no trace of a special Saturday celebration of the Holy Communion.The third hour was the ordinary time for Holy Communion, as may be seen from the decree (falsely) ascribed to Pope Telesphorus (a.d.. 127-138), in the Liber Pontificalis; "Ut nullus ante horam tertiam sacrificium offere praesumeret," and many other testimonies.
3 Ps. liii. (liv.) 8; cxviii. (cxix.) 108.
4 Cf. Daniel vi. 10.
5 Acts ii. 14-18.
6 The whole passage is alluding to Col. ii. 14, 15, which runs as follows in the Vulgate: "Delens quad adversum nos erat chirograffum decretis, quad erat contrarium nobis, et ipse tulit de medio, affigens illud cruci, expolians principatus et potestates traduxit confidenter, palam triumphans illos in semet ipso."
7 Acts x. 11 sq.
8 Ps. xv. (xvi.) 10.
9 S. John x. 18.
10 The belief that by the descent into hell our Lord released some who were there detained was almost, if not quite, universal in the early ages, and is recognized by a large number of the Fathers. It is alluded to by so early a writer as Ignatius (Ad Magn. ix.), and appears in Irenaeus (IV. c. xiii.) as a tradition of those who had seen the Apostles. See also Tertullian, De Anima, c. lv., and a host of later writers.
11 Sacramentum. This word is used by Cassian, as by other Latin writers, as the regular equivalent of the Greek, musth/rion, and as such is applied to sacred truths equally with sacred rites. See Book V. xxxiv.: "Sacramenta scriptorum:" Conferences IX. xxxiv.: "Sacramentum resurrectionis Dominicae." And again and again the word is used of the mystery of the Incarnation in the books against Nestorius.
12 Acts iii. 1.
13 Ps. cxl. (cxli.) 2.
14 S. John xii. 32.
15 Pss. lxii. (lxiii.) 2,7; cxviii. (cxix.) 147, 8. In both East and West Ps. lxii. (lxiii.) has from very early times been used as a morning hymn. See the Apost. Constitutions II. lix., VIII. xxxvii. In the East it is still one of the fixed Psalms at Lauds, as it is also in the West, according to the Roman use. But in Cassian's time it had apparently been transferred from Lauds to Prime. See below, c. vi.
16 S Matt. xx. 1-6.
17 Lucernaris hora; i e., the hour for Vespers, which is sometimes called lucernarium or lucernalis. S. Jerome in Ps. cxix. S. Augustine, Sermo i ad fratres in er.
18 It will be noticed that in this chapter Cassian alludes to five offices: (1) A morning office; (2) the third hour; (3) the sixth; (4) the ninth; and (5) Vespers; and gives the grounds for their observance. Similar grounds are given by Cyprian, De Orat. Dominica sub fine: "For upon the disciples, at the third hour, the Holy Spirit descended, who fulfilled the grace of the Lord's promise. Moreover at the sixth hour, Peter, going up to the housetop, was instructed as well by the sign as by the word of God, admonishing him to receive all to the grace of salvation, whereas he was previously doubtful of the receiving of the Gentiles to baptism. And from the sixth hour to the ninth the Lord, being crucified, washed away our sins by His blood; and that He might redeem and quicken us, He then accomplished His victory by His passion. But for us, beloved brethren besides the hours of prayer observed of old, both the times and the sacraments have now increased in number. For we must also pray in the morning, that the Lord's resurrection may be celebrated by morning prayer.... Also at the sun-setting and decline of day we must pray again. For since Christ is the true Sun and the true Day, as the world a sun and day depart, when we pray and ask that light may return to us again, we pray for the advent of Christ, which shall give us the grace of everlasting light." Cf. also S. Basil, The Greater Monastic rules, Q. xxxvii., where the same subject is discussed, and Apost. Const. BookVIII.c. xxxiv. In later times the Seven Canonical Hours were all connected with the events of our Lord's Passion, and supposed to commemorate His sufferings, as the following stanzas show:-
At Mattins bound, at Prime reviled,Condemned to death at TierceNailed to the Cross atsext, at Nones His blessed side they pierce.They take Him down at Vesper- tide, In grave at Compline lay; Who thenceforth bids His Church observe Her sevenfold hours alway.
19 The allusion is to the monastery at Bethlehem, where Cassian had himself been educated. See the introduction.
20 Trinoe confessionis exemplo. The words appear to mean that the three Psalms used at these offices are significant of the Persons of the Holy Trinity. So somewhat similarly Cyprian (on the Lord's Prayer) speaks of the third, sixth, and ninth hours being observed as a sacrament of the Trinity.
21 Ps. cxviii. (cxix.) 164.
22 This second "Mattins" of which Cassian has been speaking is the service which the later Church called Prime, Cassian's first Mattins corresponding to Lauds, and his Nocturns, or "Vigiliae," to Mattins. Thus the "seven hours" are made up as follows: (1) Nocturns or Mattins, (2) Lauds, (3) Prime, (4) Tierce, (5) Sext, (6 None, (7) Vespers. Compline, it will be noticed, had not yet bee introduced. This appears for the first time in the Rule of S. Benedict (c. xvi.), a century later. By its introduction the "day hours" were made up to seven Nocturns belonging strictly to the night, and answering to the Psalmist's words, "At midnight will I rise to give thanks to Thee." Ps. cxix. 62.
23 The introduction of Prime appears to have been very gradual even in the West, for, though an office for it is prescribed in S. Benedict (c. xix.), yet there is no mention of it in the Rule of Caesarius of Arles for monks nor in that of Isidore of Seville, and it is omitted by Cassiodorus in his enumeration of the seven hours observed by the monks. After Benedict the next to mention it appears to be Aurelius, a successor of Caesarius at Arles, and by degrees it made its way to universal adoption in the West. In the Greek Church the office for it is said continuously with Lauds (to\ o!rqron).
24 Book II. c. xiii.
26 I.e., Prime. Some confusion is likely to be caused by the fact that Cassian speaks of both "Lauds" and "Prime" by the Same title of Mattins. Immediately below, where he Speaks of the "Mattin service at the close of the nocturnal vigils" he is referring to Lauds, which always followed immediately (or after a very short interval) after Nocturns, or Mattins. At this service Pss. cxlviii.-cl. have always been sung, indeed, they form the characteristic feature which gives the service its name of "Lauds" (oi\ a\inoi). Of the other three Psalms, 1. (li.). lxii. (lxiii.), and lxxxix. (xc.), which Cassian says had been transferred from Lauds to the newly instituted service of Prime, lxii. has been already spoken of as a morning hymn of the early Church (see the notes on c. iii.), and we learn from S. Basil that in his day Ps. l. (o9 th0j e0comologh/sewj yalmo/j) was regularly sung after Mattins when the day began to break (Ep. ccvii. ad clericos Neo- Coes.), and it is still a Laauds Psalm in both East and West. lxxxix. (xc.) is now one of the fixed Psalms at Prime in the East, but in the West it is, according to the Roman rule, sung at Lauds on Thursdays only. Thus it would appear that the transfer of these three Psalms from Lauds to Prime, of which Cassian speaks, never obtained widely, but that the older arrangement, whereby, at any rate, 1. and lxii. were assigned to Lauds, has generally been adhered to both in the East and West. Cf. the Rule of S. Benedict, according to which Ps l. is sung daily at Lauds, and ixii. as well on Sundays (c. xii., xiii.).
28 Congregationis missam.
29 The Rule of S. Benedict has similar provisions, allowing a late arrival at Mattins till the Gloria after the Venite (the second Psalm as it is preceded by Ps. iii.), and at the other services till the Gloria after the first Psalm. "If any come later than this he is not to take his usual place in the choir, but stand last of all, or take whatever place the Abbot may have appointed for those who are guilty of a similar neglect, so that he may be seen of all; and in this place he is to remain until he shall have made public satisfaction, at the end of the office. We deem it necessary," the Rule proceeds, "to place such offenders thus apart, that, being thus exposed to the view of all their brethren, they may be shamed into a sense of duty. Moreover, if such were allowed to remain outside the church, they might either sit down at their ease, or while away their time in chatting, or perhaps return to the dormitory and compose themselves to sleep and thus expose themselves to the temptations of the enemy." Rule of S. Benedict c. xliii.
30 Vigilioe is here used as the equivalent of Nocturns.
31 I.e., the office of Lauds.
32 Tria Antiphona. The word is here used (as above, II. c. ii.) not in the modern sense of antiphon but to denote a Psalm or Psalms sung antiphonally.
33 In this chapter Cassian describes two of the different methods of Psalmody employed in the ancient Church: (1) Antiphonal singing where the congregation was divided into two parts, or choirs, which sang alternate verses; (2) the method according to which one voice alone sang the first part of the verse, and the rest of the congregation joined in at the close. Both methods are described in a well-known passage in an Epistle of S. Basil (Ep. ccvii. ad clericos Neocoes), where he tells us that in the morning service, at one time the people divide themselves into two parties and sing antiphonally to each other (a0ntiya/llousin a/llh/loij), while at another time they entrust to one person the duty of beginning the strain, and the rest respond (u0phxou=si). This latter method seems to have been a very favourite one, the Psalms which were thus sung being called Responsoria. See Isidore, De offic., i. 8; and compare the Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, Vol. II. p. 1745; and Bingham, Antiquities, Book XIV. c. 1. A third method has been already described by Cassian in Book II. c. xi. ; viz., that called Tractus, where the Psalm was executed by a single voice, while all the rest of the congregation listened.
34 The observance of a vigil for the whole or greater part of the night was a regular part of the preparation for the greater festivals and as such was usual in the East before the Sabbath (Saturday) and Lord's Day, as well as Pentecost and Easter. See Socrates, H. E. VI. viii., where there is an allusion to this.
35 Saturday, as well as Sunday, was long regarded as a festival in the East, and, indeed, originally in most churches of the West as well. See the Apost. Const. II. lix. 1; VIII. xxxiii. 1. Apost. Canons lxvi.; Council of Laodicaea, Canons xvi., xlix., li.
36 Eccl. xi. 2.
37 Viz., Rome.
38 The Saturday fast was observed at Rome in very early days, being noticed by Tertullian, who seems to suggest that it originated in the prolongation of the Friday fast (on Fasting, c. xiv). But it seems to have been almost peculiar to Rome, and Milan, in the time of S. Ambrose, the Eastern custom prevailed. See the important letter of Augustine to Casulanus (Ep. xxxvi.), where the whole subject of the difference of usage on this matter is fully discussed. The reason here given by Cassian for the origin of the local Roman custom (viz., that S. Peter's traditional encounter with Simon Magus took place on Sunday, and was prepared for by the apostle with a Saturday fast) is also there alluded to by Augustine as being the opinion of very many, though he tells us candidly that most of the Romans thought it false. "Est quidem et haec opinio plurimorum, quamvis eam perhibeant esse falsam plerique Romani, quod Apostolus Petrus cum Simone Mago die dominico certaturo, propter ipsum magnae tentationis periculum, pridie cum ejusdem urbis ecclesia jejunaverit, et consecuto tam prospero gloriosoque successu, eundem morem tenuerit, eumque imitatae sunt nonnullae Occidentis ecclesiae." Cf. also Augustine, Ep. ad Januarium, liv.
40 Collecta. This word, from which our word "Collect" is possibly derived is used for an assembly for worship in the Vulgate in Lev. xxiii. 36; Deut. xvi. 8; 2 Chron. vii. 9; Neh. viii. 18: and compare the phrase, "Ad Collectam," in the Sacramentary of Gregory for the Feast of the Purification.