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Medieval Mass allegory - loggats - 04-01-2014

Hi guys, do any of you remember what medieval saints or theologians wrote allegories or commentaries, linking ritual actions during liturgy to the Passion? When did that start to happen?


Re: Medieval Mass allegory - VoxClamantis - 04-01-2014

(04-01-2014, 07:44 PM)loggats Wrote: Hi guys, do any of you remember what medieval saints or theologians wrote allegories or commentaries, linking ritual actions during liturgy to the Passion? When did that start to happen?


VERY interesting question. I'd love to have answers to this and to be able to include on the FE site what I find out.

Re: Medieval Mass allegory - Fontevrault - 04-01-2014

St Basil might be a place to start. . .

Aquinas probably had something to say (when does he not?). 

The start of this should predate 1400 based on art I've seen.  Hmmm . . . Good question!  I go research now.  :grin:

Re: Medieval Mass allegory - Heorot - 04-01-2014

Obviously, the sacramental theology linking bread, wine, and water to body, blood, and the Spirit goes right back to Ambrose and before; for example, from his "De Mysteriis", chapter 9:

Linking actual ritual movements in the liturgy to the Passion (or Resurrection) is much more difficult, because we do not often have sacramentaries or missals prescribing exact liturgical actions, pre-AD 1000. The Fathers are scanty on it.

One very good Father to search for examples is Cyril of Jerusalem, who gave 5 lectures on the Mass to newly-baptized in AD 347.

Speaking of the initial entrance into the Church, he says in "Catechetical Lecture 19":

Quote:... if God wills, when in the succeeding lectures on the Mysteries we have entered into the Holy of Holies, we shall there know the symbolic meaning of the things which are there performed. Now to God the Father, with the Son and the Holy Ghost, be glory, and power, and majesty, forever and ever. Amen.

On the rite of Baptism, Catechetical Lecture 20: put off your tunic; and this was an image of putting off the old man with his deeds. Having stripped yourselves, you were naked; in this also imitating Christ, who was stripped naked on the Cross, and by His nakedness put off from Himself the principalities and powers, and openly triumphed over them on the tree. For since the adverse powers made their lair in your members, you may no longer wear that old garment; I do not at all mean this visible one, but the old man, which waxes corrupt in the lusts of deceit. [...] After these things, you were led to the holy pool of Divine Baptism, as Christ was carried from the Cross to the Sepulchre which is before our eyes.

The primary allegory begins in Lectures 22 & 23, but in the end he's mostly just explaining the theology, not the ritual acts.

Re: Medieval Mass allegory - loggats - 04-02-2014

Interesting stuff! The period I had in mind is from 1000 - 1400.

Re: Medieval Mass allegory - Gidge - 04-02-2014

This book may (or may not) be what you're looking for :

The Angelic Doctor says:


[i][i]The signs of the Cross in the Canon symbolize the Passion of Christ, which was consummated on the Cross, therefore each stage of the Passion is expressed by signs of the Cross.

Summa: 1 st Stage of the Passion : TE IGITUR - CHRIST WAS HANDED OVER: symbolized by the 3 +'s: given over by 1) God (cf. John 3:16), 2) Judas, and 3) the Jews (Haec + dona, haec + munera, haec + sancta sacrificia...)

Summa: 2 nd Stage of the Passion : QUAM OBLATIONEM - CHRIST SOLD: signified by the 3 +'s: sold to the priests, Scribes, and Pharisees (benedictam, adscriptam, ratam...)

Summa: 3 rd Stage of the Passion : CONSECRATION - the Last Supper: The CROSSES signify his prefigured passion at the Last Supper (IIIa q. 83 a. 5, ad 3)
Summa: 4 th Stage of the Passion : UNDE ET MEMORES - the Passion Itself: 5 +s = 5 WOUNDS: hostiam puram, sanctam, etc.

Summa: 5 th Stage of the Passion : SUPPLICES TE ROGAMUS - Extension of the Body and Pouring out of the Blood: 3 +'s = stretching of His Body (corpus), pouring out of His Blood (et sanguinem sumpserimus), and the fruit of His Passion (omni benedictione…) (IIIa q. 83 a. 5 ad 3)

Summa: 6 th Stage of the Passion : PER QUEM HAEC - Triple Prayer on the Cross: 3 +'s during Per quem haec = 3 PRAYERS of Christ on the Cross:
sanctificas: for persecutors; Father forgive them...

vivificas: freedom from death; My God, my God...

benedicis: pertains to the attaining of glory; In manus tuas...

Summa: 7 th Stage of the Passion : PER IPSUM - Three Hours on the Cross: 3 +'s with Host suspended over the chalice = 3 HOURS that Christ was suspended on the Cross. (IIIa q. 83 a. 5 ad 3)

Summa: 8 th Stage of the Passion : EST TIBI DEO PATRI - Death of Christ: 2 +'s made with the Host separated from the chalice symbolize the SEPARATION of the Soul from the Body. (IIIa q. 83 a. 5 ad 3)

Summa: 9 th Stage of the Passion : PAX DOMINI - Resurrection after 3 Days: 3 +'s with the Particle over the chalice = the RESURRECTION on the 3rd day. (IIIa q. 83 a. 5 ad 3)