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INTRODUCTION TO THE CONSECRATION OF THE
This recension of the consecration of the Anglo-Saxon King is taken from a pontifical belonging to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, the number of which is 44. It appears to have been written in the eleventh century. Mr. Warner assigns the writing to the later half of this century, probably after the Conquest. A collotype of the script appears as Plate III, reduced considerably in size, for the portion of the page of the manuscript covered by writing is large, nine inches by six, while the leaves themselves are 134 by sił.
This pontifical has been attributed to Canterbury by more than one writer. It cannot be doubted that it is an English pontifical. It would also seem to have been written for some church in the province of Canterbury: for in the examination of the bishop elect he is asked if he will be obedient to the Church of Canterbury.
Vis subiectus esse et oboédiens in diuinis negotiis sanctae dorobernénsi aecclesię. (p. 4.)
But it is not so plain that the pontifical was written for the Church of Canterbury itself. Christ Church is mentioned more than once as the church in which the pall is to be received, but in one place an alternative is given of St. Peter's. (p. 260.) This may be St. Peter's minster at York; or perhaps at Westminster. But for present purposes there is no great need to determine more nearly the relations of the book to any particular church, if the English character of the pontifical be allowed.
At the top of the first page is written in red : Matthaeus Cantuar.
This coronation order has been ascribed to Æthelred II. mainly on the ground that a seventeenth century hand has written at the top of the first leaf of this order in Claudius A. iii. the words Coronatio Athelredi Regis Anglosaxonum. Further evidence is wanting; and the number of times that this coronation order is found in pontificals seems to be against the idea that it was written for use at one coronation only.
This coronation order belongs to the group which I have called the second recension of the English coronation service, and of which some six or eight manuscripts exist. So far as I can make out they are as follows :
British Museum, Cotton MS. Claudius A. iii. (Printed in A. Taylor, Glory of Regality, Lond. 1820. Appendix, pp. 393-405.)
Rouen, Public Library, Y. 7. (This pontifical of Robert of Jumièges is about to be edited for the Society.)
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS. 146.
Douai, Public Library, MS. 67, formerly 94. (Pontifical attributed to St. Thomas of Canterbury.)
Paris, National Library, MS. 943. latin. (Pontifical called after St. Dunstan.)
Manuscript of Abbot Rartold, edited by Dom Hugh Ménard, in Divi Gregorii papae. .. Liber Sacramentorum, Parisiis 1642. p. 278.
British Museum, Cotton, Vitellius A. vii. fo. 1. (One of the burnt Cotton manuscripts, and imperfect.)
For the knowledge of the existence of this last manuscript I am indebted to Sir Edward Maunde Thompson, K.C.B., Principal Librarian of the British Museum. He attributes it to the eleventh century. It contains little more than a fragment of the coronation service, beginning at a place which corresponds with the prayer Deus electorum on p. 56 of this edition, and it ends in the middle of Accipe sceptrum on p. 58. The remaining leaf of the queen's coronation begins at da huic famule of Deus cuius est on p. 62, and continues to the bottom of this page where the service ends. The manuscript is in an exceedingly bad state, and I owe all that I am able to say about it to my son, who by taking great pains has been able to make out its main features.
My son also points out to me a manuscript pontifical in the National Library at Paris (MS. 953. latin, fo. 107.) said to be of the xivth century and to come from the abbey of St. Amandus at St. Ouen, which contains a coronation order greatly resembling that printed by Ménard. Some two or three of its readings have been given in the notes. It retains the invocation of St. Gregory in the episcopal benediction, but in the Consecratio Regis the words Francorum and Albionis are left out.
The manuscripts of these orders follow a certain type, and they all agree in their arrangement and general plan. Some of the forms show verbal variations, not however beyond the bounds of the variations often seen in manuscripts of the same texts. But the manuscript of the order now printed shows changes which cannot be explained by attributing them to the mere alterations of a scribe. A correcting hand has passed over nearly all the forms, preserving the first few words, or the first sentence or two, and then changing the central part of the form considerably. These changes have as yet been met with only in the manuscript now printed; they do not seem to have been adopted in later recensions. For example, the changes in Te invocamus do not appear in the third recension of the coronation order, or in Liber regalis. Sometimes the change seems really for the better, as that at the end of the prayer Deus electorum on p. 56. The most complete change has taken place in the benediction Accide virgam on p. 58, where hardly
anything remains of the old benediction except the words at the beginning and end of the form. It has already been noticed that the same kind of change was made by Dr. Sancroft at the time of the coronation of James II.' the old forms being eviscerated, and nothing left but the beginnings and ends. It is thus to be observed that after all the liturgical methods of the eleventh and seventeenth centuries have a good deal in common..
Another variation from the usual text of this recension is the introduction of anthems in greater abundance than before, and this feature is also shown in another manuscript, Vitellius A. vii. which, however, preserves the usual forms of the recension in the prayers. There are traces of the writing of an anthem in this latter manuscript after Deus cuius omnis on p. 56, where there is no anthem in the present edition : but the state of the manuscript is such that it has resisted the attempts made to read it.
In the coronation of the queen there is a curious adaptation of the anthem Tota pulchra es, inserted again in a place where the present edition has no anthem, at the moment of the coronation, after Deus cuius est on p. 62. Where, too, the ordinary text of this anthem has amica mea, Vitellius A. vii. has regina nostra, which in one place immediately precedes Veni coronaberis. Mr. Micklethwaite has said that the established religion at Westminster is Basiliolatry. This seems another instance of it; and the changing of an anthem addressed to St. Mary into an anthem addressed to the queen is as striking as the change of the text of Te Deum into the Bonaventuran Te Deum, or of Victimae paschali into a hymn in honour of Martin Luther.
Amongst the anthems one peculiarity is well worth noticing : the absence on p. 55 of this edition of the anthem Unxerunt Salamonen, which is found as early as Egbert's Pontifical, and remains in all our coronation orders down to the present time. In its place is an anthem, which appears to be rare; over the writing of its first word the scribe has stumbled, and the author does not seem to have exhibited an exact knowledge of Latin, using the deponent verb obliviscor as if it had the force of the passive.
Another addition which this printed edition of the second recension shows is the giving of a pallium to the King when he has been crowned, and the prayers, anthem, and benediction connected with this are all peculiar to the edition now printed.
In the prayer Omnium Domine on p. 58, amongst other changes the text, together with two other manuscripts, reads regibus Britanniae. instead of regibus terrae. This may point out that at the time at which this prayer was written there were other kings in Britain before
.' See above, p. xvii.
2 See below in the notes, p. 172. for references to the text of this anthem. 3 Sacristy, 1872. vol. ii. p. 1o. n.
4 See Transactions of the Saint Paul's Ecclesiological Society, 1895. Vol. iii. p. 34. 1. 2.
whom the new crowned king might be honoured. Or it may be merely a prayer that he may be honoured more than his ancestors.
The usual text of the second recension acknowledges very fully the righıs of the King of England over the Church of England, which our Anglo-Saxon fathers were wont to uphold. In the prayer for the consecration of the King Omnipotens sempiterne Deus on p. 54 appear the words : “hic Domine quaesumus totius regni anglo-saxonum ecclesiam deinceps cum plebibus sibi commissis ita enutriat ac doceat, muniat et instruat contraque omnes visibiles et invisibiles hostes idem potenter regaliterque tuae virtutis regimine regat et defendat,” which continued in our coronation orders until with the whole prayer they were removed by Dr. Compton from the coronation of William and Mary. In this edition of the second recension there is also an allusion to the teaching that the King rules the Church, which is contained in the new benediction on the delivery of the rod, on p. 58, with which the King is bidden to rule peaceably the church of God, per quam .. . Ecclesiam Dei pacifice regere. And the anthems added to this edition show a further development of the idea that the office of a king is of affinity to the office of a bishop. For besides the prayer Deus qui populis, which is taken from the service of the consecration of a bishop, or the anniversary of the consecration of a pope, one of the anthems added to the present edition has a similar source. Redemptor mundi on p. 54 is taken from the service for the reception of a bishop. Its first words appears in the Corpus pontifical (44) a little before the coronation order, on p. 273 as part of the service for the reception of an archbishop.
Another point in which the consecration of a King in this recension touches the consecration of a bishop is the direction, if I read the rubric on p. 53 aright, that three bishops at least shall assist in the coronation of the King, thus resembling the rule made in the first Council of Nicaea that three bishops shall assist in the consecration of a bishop. But there is no direction for any imposition of hands in any English order, although there is evidence which leads up to the thought that at one time there may have been some such ceremony at the coronation of an English King.
For in the first account that we have of the benediction of a King in these islands, it is said that St. Columba laid his hand upon the head of King Aidan, consecrating him and blessing him. Also during the quarrel between Henry II. and St. Thomas of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York crowned the King's son at Westminster, thereby, it was said, doing a wrong to the Church of Canterbury, because the
1 See Dr. R. W. Church, late Dean of St. Paul's, On the Relations between Church and State, Macmillan, 1899. Reprinted from the Christian Remembrancer of April, 1850.
* See above, p. xxii. and below, p. 138.
5 William Reeves, Life of St. Columba written by Adamnan, Book III. Chap. vi. Edinburgh, 1874. p. 81,
Archbishop of York had laid his hands upon the King's son within the province of Canterbury." There is also positive evidence that abroad a laying oh of hands was, at one coronation at least, a part of the ceremony. It appears that when William, Count of Holland, was crowned King of the Romans on November ist, 1248, immediately after the anointing by the Archbishop of Mentz, the Archbishop of Triers laid his hands upon the King saying: “May the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of knowledge and true godliness, the spirit of counsel and strength come down upon thee; and mayest thou be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord." The form is allied to that of confirmation, rather than to the Accipe Spiritum Sanctum of orders. Our Treasurer, Mr. Dewick, has pointed out as remarkable the expression quae per manus nostrae impositionem hodie regina constituitur in the coronation of the Queen, which in this edition is on p. 62; and he considers it “possible that laying on of hands was once the general practice at coronations."
In this second recension, however, there is none of that resemblance in structure to the order for an episcopal consecration which we see in the fourth recension, or Liber regalis ; nor is it more marked in the third recension, although this has many points of contact with the fourth. In the fourth recension, with the delivery of the sacerdotal ornaments, the use of cream at the anointing, and the alteration of the structure of the coronation order, the mediaeval idea of the analogy between the office of a bishop and the office of a king seems to have reached its fullest developement.
In the Secret of the mass on p. 63, a considerable change in the meaning of the prayer has been brought about by the interpolation into the text of the word salutare, and the change of fiant into fiat, changes which are not found elsewhere. Proficiant later on has also been changed into proficiat. In the ordinary text the prayer is that the gifts may become to us the body and blood of the Son of God. In the text of this edition the prayer is that the body and blood of the Son of God may give health to us. Such a change if made in a later age would certainly be pointed out as indicating a modification of doctrine, which at this period is not likely.
1 J. C. Robertson, Materials for the history of Thomas Becket, Rolls Series, 1875. Vol. i. p. 81. “Asseverabant alii quia Cantuariensis ecclesiae derogaret dignitati. Imposuit autem ei manum archiepiscopus Eboracensis in Cantuariensi provincia [or: dioecesi, in ecclesia videlicet beati Petri apud Westmonasterium] contra dignitatem ecclesiae Cantuariensis et antiquam consuetudinem.
2 Iohannes de Beca, Historia veterum episcoporum Ultraiectinae sedis et comitum Hollandiae, Franequerae, R. Doyema, 1612. p. 67.
“ Archiepiscopus autem Treverensis Cancellarius Galliae manus illi superimposuit, ita dicens :
“Descendat in te Spiritus sapientiae intelligentiae, scientiae, pietatis, fortitudinis, et consilii, replearisque spiritu timoris Domini."
3 E. S. Dewick, Coronation Book of Charles V. of France, H.B.S. 1899. notes, p.
4 See my paper on the "Sacring of the English Kings," in Archeological Journal, 1894. vol. li. p. 28.