ere beginneth the noble History of the Exposition of the Mass.
For heart devout to understand what it is to say mass, also to consecrate the body of our Lord, the precious sacrament of the altar, it is to know that the mass may be comprised in four parts principal. The first part dureth from the beginning of the mass unto the offering, the second dureth from the offering to the Pater Noster said, the third part dureth from the Pater Noster unto the perception, and the fourth part dureth from the perception unto the end of the mass. As touching the first part, that is, the beginning of the mass unto the offering, it is to understand that the priest, which is as he that showeth the way of God to the people, ere he revesteth him with the chasuble, he beginneth and saith a psalm that is in the third nocturn of the psalter, the which psalm beginneth: Judica me deus et diseerne, and in the same psalm he asketh four things. The first is that he may be parted from all evil company, the second is that he may be delivered from all evil temptation, the third is that he may be of the Holy Ghost enlumined, and the fourth is that Jesu Christ give himself to be consecrated by him. And to the entent he may the more surely and devoutly consecrate the said sacrament, he confesseth himself generally of all his sins, saying his confiteor, by the which confiteor he showeth four things. First, he showeth himself worthy of redargution or rebuke, secondly, he showeth himself plein of contrition, thirdly, he requireth aid of them that are about him, that he may have remission of his sins, and fourthly, he demandeth of our Lord very absolution.
The priest, after, kisseth the altar, the which kissing signifieth unity and direction in showing how our Lord would unite or join our humanity to his divinity by great love, and take the church for his own spouse, wherefore the holy church may say thus: Quasi sponsam decoravit me corona, et quasi sponsam ornavit me monilibus. That is to say, that our Lord as his proper spouse, hath adorned or clad me with things precious.
The priest, after that, draweth him to the right part or side of the altar, signifying how God when he had taken our humanity, after his passion, by the virtue of his resurrection he translated him on the right hand of the Father, and there the priest beginneth the introit of the mass, the which signifieth the coming of our Lord Jesu Christ, how he would come into the world, the which coming the ancient fathers, prophets, and patriarchs, and the faithful people of our Lord desired much ardently, and for that they cried with a high voice and said: Emitte agnum domine dominatorem terrae; saying thus to God the Father: Sir, we pray thee that thou wilt send the sweet lamb, having domination in all the earth. And to God the Son they said thus: Veni domine et noli tardere, that is for to say: We pray thee that thou wilt come hastily and tarry not. Secondly, the said introit signifieth how the priest oweth to enter the service of God. And for this followeth a verse of the psalter after the said introit, such as appertaineth to the day, the which verse signifieth how we ought to put our hands jointly, praying to him devoutly, for he is made as our proper brother in taking our humanity for to show us the way of truth. After, followeth: Gloria Patri, the which signifieth praising and laud to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for after good works ought to follow lauding and praising. After that the priest repeateth the introit of the mass, to the end that the desires of the ancient fathers, prophets, and patriarchs may the better be showed.
After, the priest beginneth and saith three times: Kyrie eleison, that is to understand to the Father, and three times Christe eleison, to the Son, and three times Kyrie eleison to the Holy Ghost, calling upon the mercy of God to the end that holy church be accompanied with nine orders of angels reigning in the company of God, and this showeth the signification of these words before said. For when men say Kyrie eleison, that is: Lord, have thou mercy on us, and that is to understand the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are called by these words only, Kyrie eleison, for cause that they be of one nature, and the misericorde of God the Son is called by this other word here, Christe eleison. For howbeit that the Son, as touching the divinity be of one nature with the Father and the Holy Ghost, and not that withstanding he would take with this nature another nature, that is our human, for us to give the life perdurable.
After that, the priest beginneth: Gloria in excelsis, the which giveth witness of the nativity of our Lord. For when the angels of God had knowledge that God was born, then they all together enjoyed thereof, crying with a high voice: Glory and laud is in heaven to the Trinity, and also peace is in earth to all creatures that are of goodwill. For before that, all creatures were in no peace, for this, that then war was betwixt God and creatures, betwixt the angels and creatures, betwixt creature and creature. The inobedience of Adam caused the first war, of that he had offended God, whereof followed the two other wars. Therefore he that is very peace would be born in the earth for to show and set among us very peace, and therefore all the company of the angels of paradise sang with a high voice, Gloria in excelsis sit inter angelos, that is to say, Glory and lauding be among the angels in heaven, peace and concord be in earth betwixt creatures and God. For therefore he would take nature of God and man, for to render us peace and to him be reconciled. Therefore creature may, and oweth, to say of good heart to the ensample of angels of paradise these words following: Laudamus te, benedicimus te, glorificamus te, that is to say: We laud thee, we bless thee, we glorify thee, and for thy great glory we yield to thee graces and thanks. Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of God the Father, thou that takest away the sins of the world have mercy on us, thou that takest away the sins from the world wilt receive our prayers, thou that sittest on the right hand of the Father have mercy upon us, thou that art holy thou alone art Lord, thou only art highest, Jesu Christ, in the glory of God the Father with the Holy Ghost. And all these laudings doth the priest with his prayers in saying: Gloria in excelsis, etc., for all holy church.
After, when the priest hath said: Gloria in excelsis, he turneth him toward the people and saluteth them saying: Dominus vobiscum, and that signifieth salut which our Lord gave to his apostles after his blessed resurrection, when he appeared to them and said: Pax vobiscum, that is to say: Peace be with you, and for this, in that representing, he salueth the people, saying: Dommus vobiscum, to the end that the creature have his thought towards God; and the people answer: Et cum spiritu tuo, signifying that we ought for to pray for him that hath to say the orison, and that prayeth for us, to the end that his orison may be heard of God and enhanced.
Then returneth the priest towards the altar and sayeth: Oremus, that signifieth how yet again he inciteth us to pray, for in such manner did our Lord to his disciples, saying: Orate ne intritis in tentationem, that is to say: Honour and pray to God the Father to the end that ye enter not in evil temptation; and after, the priest goeth and prayeth, saying the orison for all creatures for the which he entendeth and hath in memory to pray for, and for this that our Lord hath said in the holy Evangel, all that ye shall ask of my Father in my name ye shall have. And after, the priest saith at the end of his orison: Per dominum nostrum Jesu Christum, as he would say: This that we pray thee of, we pray in the name of our Lord Jesu Christ, reigning with the Father and the Holy Ghost. And it is to wit that sometimes the priest also saith an orison the which signifieth unity of faith or unity of sacrament. Sometimes the priest saith three orisons to signify the Holy Trinity, or else for this, that our Lord in his passion honoured and prayed to God the Father three times. Sometimes he saith five orisons, in signifying the five wounds of our Lord.
Sometimes he saith seven, in signifying the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost. And oweth every one to wit and know that as many as the priest saith of orisons at the beginning of the mass, as many he saith in his secret, and as many at the end of the mass, and for this same cause, as it shall appear more plainly at the second part.
After these orisons the epistle followeth, the which is as much worth as a message sent to some other by letter, and it signifieth the doctrine of the apostles of our Lord, the which were sent to our Lord for to teach and endoctrine the people unto the way of truth. It may be said also that this epistle signifieth the predication of Saint John Baptist, the which was sent of God for to announce the coming and doctrine of him. In which lore he saith thus: Penitentiam agite, appropinquabit enim regnum celorum. That is to say: Do you penitence for the realm of heaven shall come nigh to you. And of his sweet coming saith yet Saint John: Ecce agnus Dei, etc., that is to say: Here is the Lamb of God, here is he that taketh away the sins from the world. This same epistle may also give us testimony that our Lord will descend unto the precious sacrament of the altar for to sacrifice, as it shall appear in the second part of the mass, for after this that Saint John had taught in his predication that we should do penitence for to acquire and have the realm of heaven, followeth the grail that may signify lamentation and embracement of penance. And after that the creature devout hath heard the predication of God, he oweth to put the hand to the works and to do after his power. For this grail here came out of Greek tongue, and signifieth how a creature oweth to mount or go up before God from degree to degree, by virtue of humility. And it is to wit that betwixt the octaves of Easter and Pentecost the grail is not said, for this that the grail signifieth, penance and lamentation or mourning. And in this time of Pasque our mother holy church ne doth but joy and maketh solation for the resurrection of Jesu Christ, and therefore is then said: Alleluia, which signifieth joy and consolation, for after that creature hath done penance by virtue of humility in weepings and lamentations he must lead after, joy and very consolation. For our Lord saith thus: Beati qui lugent, quoniam ipsi consolabuntur, that is to say: Blessed be those that weep by contrition, for they shall have very consolation. And it is to wit that this word alleluia is expounded in four manners after four doctors, the first is Saint Austin, which exposeth it thus: Alleluia, id est, salvum me fac domine, Sir, save thou me. Saint Jerome exposeth it thus: Alle, id est cantate, lu, id est laudem, ye, id est deum vel dominum, that is to say: Sing you lauding to our Lord Jesu Christ. Saint Gregory exposeth it thus: Alle, id est aeter, lu, id est filius, ye, id est spiritus sanctus. That is to say: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Or thus he himself exposeth it: Alle, id est lux, lu, id est vita, ya, id est salus. Alleluya then, by the same exposition, is as much for to say as light, life, and health. Fourthly, Master Peter Antissidorensis expoundeth it much well, and saith thus: Alle, id est, altissimus levatus est in cruce, lu, id est, lugebant apostoli, ya, id est, jam surrexit. lt is as much for to say: The right high is lift on the cross, for the which thing the apostles have wept, and soon after he is risen. In the which exposition three things are showed to us. The first is the cruel passion of our Lord Jesu Christ. The second is the sorrow and anguish of the apostles, and the third is the mirth and joy of us, for he saith that our Lord is risen, and in tokening of that men sing, Alleluia. After this Alleluia, he saith the verse which signifieth all sweetness, and virtuous work, by the which men return to very jubilation, and therefore he repeateth the Alleluia after that the verse is said: for by good work men return again to very consolation, and it is to wit that from the Septuagesima unto Easter day, men owe not to say Alleluia, and instead of it they say the tract, the which tract signifieth weeping and lamentation, for the passion of our Lord Jesu Christ, that cometh nigh that time, that is to wit the holy time of Lent, and therefore a creature devout with all his heart, oweth to draw to think on that same holy passion; and during that time men say no sequence, for the sequence signifieth joy and consolation. And that time of Lent ne signifieth but mournings, and it is to wit that the sequence is said after Alleluia, and it is said specially on holy days and solemn, in signifying the plenty and the multitude of mirths and consolations that is signified by the said Alleluia and sequence. For inasmuch that the day is more solemn than other days, the more oweth creature to lead and make greater joy in lauding the holy Trinity.
After all these things, the priest translateth his book to the sinister part of the altar, for to say the evangel, in signifying how our Lord when he came down in earth for to expose the holy Evangel to all creatures, he drew him to the sinister part, that was toward the Jews, for to announce to them the holy Evangel, for at that time the Jews had drawn themselves to the left side, and for this the priest in that place may represent our Lord preaching and announcing the law. And to the end that he may exercise or do that office more perfectly, at the beginning of it he saith softly an orison that beginneth thus: Munda cor meum, etc., in the which orison he prayeth our Lord that he will make clean his heart, for to announce his predication. After that he demandeth the blessing of our Lord, saying: Jube domine benedicere, that is as much to say: Lord command thou that I may have thy blessing, and anon he, as lieutenant of our Lord, answereth and saith thus: Our Lord be in my heart and in my lips so that I may worthily and competently announce the holy Evangel of God in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
And after, the priest saluteth the people saying: Dominus vobiscum, for two causes. The first cause is to the intent that the people be the more incited to hear the word of God, and therefore the peop]e draweth toward the Evangel and standeth on their feet after the ordinance of Anastasius, then pope, and signifieth that the people ought to be ready and apparelled to sustain the faith of God and very love.
After, for this, that yet the people be more incited to hear the Evangel of God the priest representeth the place of God and saith: Sequentia sancti evangelii, et cetera, in making the sign of the cross to the end that the enemy may not empesh him. Then the clerks and the people answer: Gloria tibi domine, in glorifying God that hath sent to them the word of salute, saying: To the Lord be lauding given by thy word to us showed.
Then the priest saith the Evangel, the which signifieth, as said is, the predication of our Lord God, the which finished and said, the priest warneth himself with the sign of the cross, to the intent that the enemy may not take away from the creatures hearts the word of God.
After followeth the creed, that is as the testimony and confirmation of the foresaid Evangel, the which was made and composed by the apostles of our Lord Jesu Christ, in signifying that this that the apostles said, firmly they believed, and believing announced it. And it is to wit that, the creed is said on the holy days of them that composed it, that is the apostles of our Lord Jesu Christ, and on the holy days of which mention is made within the same creed, that is to wit, all Sundays of the year, Christmas-day, Epiphany or twelfth day, Shere-thursday, Easter-day, Whitsunday, Trinity Sunday, and also in all holy days of our Lady, and of many others of which men make mention. And this may suffice as to the first part of the mass.
Here followeth the Second Part of the Mass.
As for the second part of the mass, that is from the offering unto the Paternoster, every one oweth to understand that after the creature hath heard the word of God, that is the holy Evangel, and he adjousteth to it firm or steadfast faith, which is figured by the creed, he oweth then to offer or give his heart to God, for therefore followeth the offering. And to the end that the people be the more incited, the priest returneth him toward the folk, and saith: Dominus vobiscum, that is to say: Our Lord be with you, even so as he would say: If our Lord be not with you, ye can do no good work ne good offering toward him, and after the priest saith; Oremus, inciting us to honour and to pray God, then he saith the offertory.
After, the priest taketh the lid of the chalice on which is the host, which oweth to be converted to the body of our Lord, and offereth it to God the Father, saying: Suscipe sancte Pater, etc., Father wilt thou receive this hostie without tache or spot, the which I, thy servant unworthy, offer to thee as to my God, very and certain, for all the sins that I have done without number, and also for all them that are here about me, and for all the fiables of God that are alive, and for all them that are passed out of this world to the intent that this oblation may be profitable to me and to them, to the salvation of our souls in the life permanable or everlasting.
After, the priest maketh commixtion of wine and water together, and here it is to wit that, by the said water is understood the people, and the wine representeth our Lord, in signifying that the said water and wine show to us humility, and also the commixtion that the people oweth to have with God. It may be said also that this water is meddled with the said wine for this, that both blood and water issued out of the side of our Lord, and for this he saith: Deus qui humanæ substantiæ, etc., in the which orison he prayeth for all, to the end that by the virtue of the same mixion the people may be united to God by very love and direction.
After, the priest offereth the chalice to God, saying: Offerimus tibi, in signifying how our Lord Jesu Christ offered himself to God the Father crucified on the altar of the cross for our health.
After, the priest covereth the chalice, for this, that none ordure should touch to that holy sacrifice, and after maketh a cross over the hostie, and over the chalice, saying: Veni sanctificator, etc., that is at much to say as: King Almighty, I pray thee that thou wilt bless or hallow this sacrifice in thy sweet name, for heart devout to have pardon.
After, the priest draweth himself to the right side of the altar, in representing our Lord, and there he receiveth the offerings of the creatures. Then the people by devotion come and offereth to the ensample of the people of God, which people offered within the temple of Solomon to God. One offered gold, the other silver, others offered bread, and others offered wine, and others divers manners of offerings. After, the priest washeth his hands, for it appertaineth that so precious a sacrament be worthily and cleanly made.
After, he draweth himself even, in the midst of the altar, and there he maketh a deep inclination, saying: Suscipe sancta Trinitas, etc. And the same inclination may signify the inclination of God, which inclined him after the sacrament to the feet or the apostles, and prayed to God the Father. After, he kisseth the altar, in signifying that the virtue of the passion peaceth the creatures to him. After, the priest returneth himself toward the folk and saith: Orate pro me fratres, etc., and in this he prayeth the people that they will pray God for him. For that is none other thing to say but: Right dear brethren, pray you God that I may make this sacrifice worthily, so that I may see God joyously.
After, the priest returneth him towards the altar and beginneth his orisons secret, the which are said for the same cause for which the first orisons be said, and as many in number, and it is to wit that these orisons are said softly and secretly, for this that the priest is nigh the sacrament, and therefore he will have none other empeshment or letting, neither by voice ne by manner, for our Lord, to the intent he might more secretly honour and pray, he went from his disciples as far as a stone might be thrown. These orisons here be also said low or secretly for this, that when our
Lord had raised Lazarus, the Jews would have slain him, wherefore he drew himself into the city of Ephraim, in a place all alone, and from that time he ceased his predication, unto Palm Sunday even. Then he came to the house of Simon and openly began to preach, and for this the priest at the end of his orisons in dressing his hands upon high saith: Per omnia secula seculorum, and for this, that he is as messenger to God for the people. The people hearing this message, answereth: Amen. And there the priest beginneth the Preface, the which is so called, for that it is the preparation or first apparel that goeth before the sacrifice principal, and therefore he saluteth in saying: Dommus vobiscum, in saying that we prepare or make us ready so that our Lord may be and dwell with us, and the people answereth: Et cum spiritu tuo. And thus the people and the priest both pray each for other.
After, the priest inciting us saith: Sursum corda, that is to say that the people heave their hearts upon high toward God. Then answereth the people: Habemus ad dominum, that is to say: We heave them to God, and therefore the people, that there in such hour or in that time hath not set their hearts to God may of light lie.
After, the priest saith: Gratias agamus domino deo nostro, that is to say: Yield we graces and thankings to God! For if the people in that time hath some devotion, they ought to laud and thank God therefor, and for this, the clerk, for all the people, answereth: Dignum et justum est, right even so as we would say: Worthy and lawful thing is to laud God, just thing is to honour him, and there the priest maketh mention how the angels and archangels and all the court of heaven praise and laud God. And for this at the end he prayeth, that with that foresaid company we all may praise and laud God, saying with firm devotion: Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, the which words follow after the preface, for right even there the priest representing our mother holy church, having hope to be accompanied with both angels and archangels, confirmeth himself to them and saith: Sanctus, etc. And it is to wit that this sanctus is divided in two parts, the first part containeth the lauding of the angels, and the second containeth the lauding of the people. The priest then, as to the first part he may represent the angels of heaven, of the which it is read in the book of Isaiah the prophet that the seraphim cried with a high voice one to another: Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, etc., in praying to the Trinity, saying: Holy Father, Holy Son, and Holy Spirit, all earth is replenished with thy glory. As to the second part, he may represent the people of Israel, of the which we read that, when our Lord descended from the mountain of Olivet, and he came to the city of Jerusalem, they cried with a high voice: Benedictus qui venit in nomine domini, etc., that is as much to say: Blessed be he that cometh in the name of God, of him we require pardon, and for this benediction or blessing, which is so sweet, the priest maketh a cross, the which representeth to us that it is our Lord that cometh to be sacrificed on the holy cross, and there he descendeth and will be consecrate, to the end that men may see him presently, and therefore verily of the devout people that heareth the mass right there, oweth to draw themselves within the chamber of their conscience to the end that they may cherish thereon that sweet Lamb by devout orison, praying that his goodly coming be consolation and joy unto every creature. And there also they owe to think and consider on their evil deeds and offences, to the end that they may show and declare them by firm and steadfast contrition to him that presently cometh there, and thus the creature shall mowe thank and regracie God by devout contemplation. After all these things followeth the canon, which is so named canon for the mystery of the precious sacrament that is made and consecrated, and this same canon is said low or secretly for the virtue of the words, to the end that they be not held in filth. For anciently they were preferred and said high, wherefore it was known of the most part of the folk, and they sang it through the streets. Wherefore we find that sometimes shepherds took some bread and put it on a stone, and on it they said the words that are written in the canon, and that same bread was turned and converted into a piece of flesh, and soon after, by the will of God, fire descended from heaven upon them, and they were all combusted and burnt. And therefore the holy fathers stablished these words to be said low, also that none should say them without he were a priest.
That same canon containeth nine parts. As to the first part, the priest inclineth himself before the altar, the which inclination signifieth or betokeneth the humility of our he inclined himself at the cross, and there thepriest speaking to our Lord saith thus: Te igitur clementissime, etc., that is to say: Father, right debonair, we thee pray thou wilt Lord. which he showed when accept and bless these sweet oblations and these holy sacrifices without corruption. And there the priest kisseth the altar, signifying the compassion that he hath of the passion of our Lord Jesu Christ, and after, he maketh three times the sign of the cross, both over the bread and over the wine, and these three crosses signifieth how our Lord was given and offered in three manners: First of God the Father for our redemption, secondly of Judas to the Jews by great treason, thirdly of the Jews to Pilate by great detraction.
After, in the second part, the priest prayeth for all holy church universally, saying: Offerimus, etc., that is to say: We offer, and therefore the priest speaketh not in his own person but in the person of holy church. There nis none so wicked and evil, after that he is priest, but he may consecrate the precious body of our Lord Jesu Christ.
After, in the third part, the priest hath in a special mind all the subjects of holy church, and specially in that passage he saith joining his hands: Memento etiam domine famulorum, etc. That is to say: Sir, have thou mind on thy servants. And there the priest resteth, and hath special memory of all the creatures for whom he entendeth for to pray, and he hath also mind particular on the persons whom he is bound to pray for, and it is to wit that this memory is for the persons that be on live. After, he prayeth for all them that hear his mass with faith and devotion.
After, in the fourth part, to the end that he himself, and they also which he hath had memory of, may have participation in the glory of paradise with the angels, holy apostles, and martyrs, he saith a devout orison that beginneth thus: Communicantes, etc. In the which orison the priest maketh special commemoration of the Virgin Mary, of the twelve apostles of Jesu Christ, and of many martyrs.
After, in the fifth part, the priest inclineth him and saith an orison that beginneth thus: Hanc igitur oblationem, etc. In which orison he doth four things: first he prayeth to God that he will receive our service, the second is that we may have very peace in God, the third is that he from damnation will keep us. The fourth is that with his chosen he will lead us.
And after, the priest coming nigh to the principal consecration, he saith: Quam oblationem, and there the priest maketh five times the sign of the cross over the bread and over the wine, in the remembrance and tokening of the five wounds of our Lord, and of his prayer the sentence may be such: Sire, with heart we pray that of the same this oblation be made and consecrate, approved and confirmed in a hostie right reasonable, and in sacrifice acceptable, so that this bread be transferred into thy body, and this wine translated into the blood of thy right dear Son that for us suffered great torment.
And therefore he saith after in the sixth part of the canon of the mass as hereafter followeth. And here it is to wit that all that the priest doth as to the consecration, representeth or betokeneth all that our Lord did to his disciples the day of the Cene, that is on Sherethursday, where he took bread, and yielding graces to God the Father, broke and gave to his disciples, saying: Take and eat, here is mine own proper body. And in the same manner doth the priest in the sixth part, except that right there he bruiseth not the bread, but to that signification or tokening the priest inclineth it both to one side and the other. Then the priest wipeth first these three fingers on the corporal, to the intent that the more cleanly he may take the precious hostie. And after, he taketh it, looking upward on high for to render graces to God, in teaching and tokening that when we enterprise a good work for to do, we ought to lift upward to God the eyes of our heart as to him that is beginning and principal of all good works. After, he blesseth the bread, making the sign of the cross, which signifieth the blessed passion of our Lord on the holy cross.
And after, the priest saith the words that our Lord said: Take you and eat, this is mine own body, saying five words sacramental, and soon therewith is the bread converted into the proper and own body of Jesu Christ, that upon the cross died for us. After, our Lord in his supper took the wine before his disciples and yielding graces to God the Father, he blessed and gave it to his disciples saying: Take you and drink, for this is the chalice of my proper and own blood that is the confirmation both of the new and old testament and mystery of faith, which shall be spilt for you and for my people in remission of your sins. And as many times ye shall do this that I show you here, ye shall do it in the memory of me.
And therefore, in the seventh part of the canon of the mass, the priest, when he hath laid down the body of our Lord, he taketh the chalice, and after looking upward, he blesseth it, and saith: Take you and drink, for here is the chalice of mine own proper blood, and right soon after the priest hath said these foresaid words in Latin, in mind of our Lord, the wine is converted into the proper and own blood of Jesu Christ, that same ass which he spilt for us on the rood tree. And here it is to wit that in this precious sacrament we may consider nine miracles much marvellous, the which may be approved by some semblance or likeness of nature.
The first is that the substance of the bread and of the wine is changed into the substance of the body and precious blood of Christ, and this is showed to us by such a similitude or likeness naturally, that is, that of food of bread and wine, both flesh and blood are engendered in creature, much more stronger our Lord that is sovereign nature, may do by virtue of his words that the bread and the wine is converted into his own body and into his precious blood. The second miracle is, that every day, oft and many times, the bread is converted into the proper and own body of our Lord, and notwithstanding none augmentation or increase is done in God. Ensample of nature. For if I wot a thing secret, I may utter and rehearse in it many and divers places, and notwithstanding I ne wot it the more ne better than I did tofore. The third is that, every day our Lord is parted and eaten, and hath no diminishing. That is to say that God nor the sacrament is not less therefore. Reason natural. For if I have a candlelight, every one may take of the light of it without it be lessed or diminished therefore. Also, every one may take that holy sacrament without diminishing of it, but who that taketh it unworthily, he diminisheth himself. The fourth miracle is that, when the hostie is parted, God is in each part entirely. Ensample of the glass. For when the glass is parted or broken into pieces, in every part of it appeareth the figure of the thing that is presented before in it. The fifth miracle is that, if this precious sacrament be taken of an evil and sinful creature, the sacrament of itself is not fouled therefor. For we see that the beams of the sun pass through and over ordure or filth, and the sun is nothing foul therefor, but rather the ordure or filth is made clean thereof. Thus it is that, sometimes when the creature hath received the body of our Lord unworthily, considering that he hath misdone to have received his Saviour into so great ordure or filth of sin, he conceiveth by bitterness or smarting so great a coutrition that he therefore returneth to grace, and thus he is purged or made clean of his sin. The sixth miracle is, that the body of our Lord Jesu Christ is food of death to the sinners. For Saint Paul the Apostle saith that, he that eateth it unworthily, he eateth it to his damnable judgment, for right even so as strong wines or strong meats are unprofitable or letting to sick people, right so is the body of our Lord Jesu Christ nuisable and letting to the sinners. The seventh miracle is, that so great a thing which all the world may not comprehend is contained in so little a hostie, for we see that a great hill may be comprised and perceived with an eye, much more stranger it is that the virtue divine may be by his puissance comprised and contained in a little hostie. The eighth miracle is, that our Lord all entirely in divers places at once is perceived of divers persons. In such manner we see and perceive that the word of a creature is known and perceived in divers places at once of many and divers creatures. The ninth miracle is, when the bread is converted into the precious body of our Lord, the accidents abide, that is to wit, whiteness, roundness, and savour, and not therefore it is no bread, but it is the body of Jesu Christ, the which is given under the likeness of bread, for this, that that might be great horror, a priest to eat raw flesh, and also to drink blood.
After this consecration these miracles are contained, and saith the priest in the eighth part of the canon an orison that beginneth thus: Unde ut memores, etc. In the which orison the priest inciteth us to have mind of the passion of our Lord Jesu Christ, of his resurrection, and of his glorious ascension, to the end that, by his passion we be incited to charity, by his holy resurrection we be incited to faith, and by his glorious ascension to hope of our health; for his passion showeth to us charity, for this, that by his charity he would suffer death for us. And therefore the priest, in that orison, he maketh five times the sign of the cross, in the memory and mind of the five wounds that our Lord received on the cross, and there that time every creature ought to set his heart to think on the passion of Christ. And thus doing, the creature shall acquire very faith by the knowledge of the holy resurrection, and very hope by his glorious ascension. After, in this same part the priest prayeth that our Lord will accept the sacrifice in such manner as he did of Abel, of Abraham, and of Melchisedech. For especially these three were accepted of God as special frrends.
After, in the ninth part of the canon of the mass, the priest inclineth him, which inclination representeth or betokeneth this, that our Lord after his supper went to the mountain of Olivet, and there he inclined himself praying to God the Father, saying: Sire, I thee pray, if it may be, that thou transfer from me this bitter chalice. And therefore he saith an orison that thus beginneth: Supplices te rogamus, in the which the priest remembereth and maketh mention of thee for the foresaid prayer, and when he cometh to say a word that is: Ex hac altaris participatione, etc., he kisseth the altar, the which kissing betokeneth this that Judas made when he betrayed his master our Lord Jesu Christ and caused him to be taken. After, in this same orison the priest maketh three times the sign of the cross, for this, that our Lord prayed in the said mountain of Olivet and sweat blood along his body, and therefore he maketh the first cross over the body of our Lord Jesu Christ, and the second cross over the blood, for the sweating of blood, and the third before his own face, for this, that our Lord praying had his face inclined, and therefore the priest maketh it before his face. This is then the end of the orison, where he prayeth that we be blessed of all blessings, and that we be replenished of all grace.
After, in the tenth part, the priest with joined hands saith: Memento etiam domine, famulorum,etc., the which memento is principally ordained for them that are passed out of this world, and for that, even there the priest resteth and hath a general memory for dead folk, and in especial for the creatures for whom he is bound or entendeth to pray for, to the end that by the misericorde of God they may have very light and very peace in the glory of paradise. After, in the eleventh part of the canon of the mass the priest beateth his breast saying: Nobis quoque peccatoribus, etc., and that signifieth the contrition and repentance that the thief that hung on the cross at the right hand of God had, when he said: Memento mei domine cum veneris in regnum tuum, that is to say: Lord I pray thee that thou be remembered of me when thou comest into thy realm. Then answered God to him: Amen dico tibi: hodie mecum eris in paradiso, that is to say: I tell thee that thou shalt this day be with me in paradise. And therefore the priest in this orison speaking for all sinners, having hope on the misericorde and mercy of God, he prayeth that we may have the perdurable or everlasting life with the company of the apostles, of martyrs, and with all the holy saints in heaven. And in this orison the priest maketh three crosses over the bread and over the wine, the which crosses betoken this, that the Jews cried three times to Pilate, speaking of the blessed Son of God: Crucify, crucify, crucify him, for he is deathworthy. And therefore maketh the priest these three first crosses, and after, he taketh the precious body of our Lord and maketh five times the sign of the cross, the three on the chalice over the blood, and the other twain betwixt the chalice and himself. The three crosses made over the chalice may signify the three principal torments or despisings that our Lord suffered in his passion. The first is, that before he was put on the cross he had much pain and suffered many spittings and many other grievous martyrdoms and torments that the proud and fell Jews did to him. The second is the despite and the torment that he for us suffered on the cross for to buy us from the pains and torments of hell, and the third is that, when he was dead on the cross Longinus thrust the spear-head into his precious side, and therefore the priest maketh the three other crosses over the precious blood. Or else it may be said that these three crosses betoken the Holy Trinity, saying: by the Father, by the Son, and by the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory. The priest maketh two crosses, and these two crosses, made betwixt the chalice and the priest may betoken the two liquors that issued out of the side of our Lord, that was blood and water, that is to wit, blood of redemption and water of regeneration.
After, the priest saith: Per omnia saecula saeculorum, and that saith he on high. That may represent or signify to us this, that our Lord crying with a high voice, rendered his soul to God the Father. Or it may be said, that the priest saith that on high to the end that the folk know the end of the canon and answer: Amen, lamenting and sorrowing the death of our Lord, to the ensample of the women that nigh the cross lamentably and piteously sorrowed and wept sore for Jesu Christ that they loved so much.
After, the priest saith: Oremus. Praecepti salutaribus moniti, etc., and here he inciteth us to honour and prayer, after the ensample of our Lord that taught his apostles, and therefore he saith: Praecepti, that is to say: we incite or admonish the commandments of salute, and in form of divine instruction, worship we and heartily pray we: saying: Pater noster, etc. And so ensueth the Pater noster, which was made and instituted by our Lord Jesu Christ, for that same he commanded his apostles to say, and therefore it is called Oratio dominica, that is to say: Orison of our Lord. And therefore veritably here oweth the creature to say devoutly this same orison: Pater noster, and howbeit that our Lord knoweth well what is best for us, and what we will have, notwithstanding he will that both with heart and mouth we pray him for many reasons. First for to incite us to devotion and for all even so as the blowing embraseth or fryeth the coal, right so the orison said with heart and mouth enflameth the devotion. Secondly, for to give good ensample to others, for our Lord saith: Luceat lux vestra coram hominibus ut videant, etc., that is to say: Let your light be shining tofore the men, so that they may perceive and see your good works, not by hypocrisy ne simuling, but by right jealousy of devotion. Thirdly for this, that all even so as we by the tongue sin, right so the devout orison ought to be made and said with tongue, to the end we may make satisfaction to the king of heaven, for the scripture saith: Sicut enim exhibuistis membra vestra servire immunditiae, et iniquitati ad iniquitatem, ita nunc exhibete membra vestra servire justitiae in sanctificationem, that is to say: As ye have given your members to felony and wickedness or corruption, ye must so obey both to justice and sanctification. Fourthly, that thing which is demanded with good heart is of light granted. Of this petition or asking here, speaketh our sweet Saviour Jesu Christ in the holy Evangile, that saith thus: Petite et dabitur vobis, etc., that is to say: My friends, ask you and ye shall have. And for this veritably every creature ought well to pray devoutly with good heart saying this devout orison: Pater noster, for the great mystery that it containeth. The mystery of this devout orison, Pater noster, is that it containeth seven petitions or askings. The first is of the eternal goods, that we may have them; and therefore saith he: Pater noster qui es in coelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum, that is as much for to say: Father that art reigning in heaven thy sweet name be blessed. The second petition is of the goods spiritual that we may receive them and therefore saith he: Adveniat regnum tuum: That is to say, May thy realm come to us, whereas we may see thee. The third petition is: Fiat voluntas tua sicut in coelo et in terra, that is to say: Over all be thy will fulfilled and done so that into heaven my soul be led. The fourth petition is: Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, and this petition here is demanded of the name of fortune, which is a gift of the Holy Ghost. And the asking is this: Lord give us this day food, so that of thine we may have cure, that is to say that our Lord God will give us our living, so that for lack of it we leave not the service of God, whereof also we may part and deal to the poor folk, members of God. The fifth petition is: Et dimitte nobis debita rostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostril; that is to say; Pardon to us our misdeeds and faults, as we forgive others the misdeeds by them done to us. The sixth petition is: Et ne nos inducas in tentationem. That is to say, And lead us not into temptation. And here is to be known that we be tempted principally of three things, the first is God, for to approve our power, secondly our flesh, for to have our appetite and lust, thirdly is the enemy for to deceive us. Of the first saith our Lord: Beatus vir qui suffest tentationem, etc., Blessed is he that suffereth temptation in the tribulation that God sendeth, for if he be approved, in heaven he shall be crowned. Of the second temptation speaketh Saint James and saith: Unusquisque vero tentatur a concupiscentia sua, etc.: Every one is oft tempted for to pursue his desires. Of the third saith the Scripture: Sathanas temptavit cor tuum, etc., Satan hath made thee to fall in villainy. The seventh petition is: Sed libera nos a malo, that is as much for to say: Deliver us from all evil that letteth us for to love thee. After followeth: Amen, hoc est fiat, that is to say: The petitions before demanded be confirmed and granted. And here saith the priest: Amen, along, for this, that they that pray know not that they be heard and enhanced, whereby they leave not to pray to God. For creatures devout ought ever to to persevere in their prayers and orisons, to the end that they may have their petitions and askings, which are contained in the Pater noster as before is said.
And here followeth the Third part of the Mass.
After followeth the third part principal of the mass. After that the priest hath said the Pater noster, whereas these petitions before said are contained, he saith an orison that thus beginneth: Libera nos quaesumus Domine ab omnibus malis, praeteritris, praesentibus, et futuris, etc., and this orison the priest saith alow, for this signifieth that our Lord was buried in the sepulchre at compline time, and howbeit that the body rested in the sepulchre, notwithstanding he descended into hell, whereout he had his friends, and delivered them of all evils, past, present, and to come. And therefore in this signification or betokening, the priest saith this orison: Libera nos quaesumus, etc. The which orison is as the exposition of his last petition of the Pater noster, that is, Libera nos a malo, that is as much for to say: Lord, deliver thou us from all evil, and in this orison the priest showeth from what evil he will be delivered, that is, of the evil past, now being, and to come. And therefore he saith: Libera nos quaesumus Domine, ab omnibus malis, praeteritis, praesentibus et futurist. That is to say: Lord, we pray that thou wilt deliver us from all evil, past, present, and to come, and by the means of thy blessed mother the Virgin Mary, and of all apostles, Saint Peter, Saint Paul, and Saint Andrew, and of all saints in heaven, give us peace to the end that we may be holpen of thy misericorde and mercy from all sins delivered, and of all torments ensured from. The priest taketh then the chalice lid and kisseth it, and that signifieth to the intent he may receive that precious sacrament in peace and in charity. And after, the priest taketh the precious body of our Lord Jesu Christ and parteth it over the chalice, and this may to us be signified that our
Lord parted himself to his disciples upon Sherethursday as before is said, and is that holy hostie parted in three, which three parts may betoken three manners of folk. The first part may signify the creatures that are in paradise. And this first part the priest layeth on the chalice lid in betokening that these be those that are set in peace with God. The second part may signify the creatures that are in purgatory, the which are ensured and certain that once they shall have paradise, therefore is this other part set with the first. The third part may signify the creatures that be in this life mortal, and this third part the priest holdeth over the chalice and saith on high: Per omnia saecula saeculorum, and that he saith with a high voice for this, that the people hearing the priest, who as vicar of God oweth to announce peace, and the people answereth: Amen. And there the priest enhancing his voice saith: Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum, that is to say: The peace of God be ever with you, for so said our Lord after his holy resurrection to his apostles: Pax vobis, peace be with you. And there the priest maketh three times the sign of the cross, saying: Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum. And these three crosses may betoken the three days that our Lord lay in the sepulchre. Or these crosses may signify the three Marys seeking our Lord. And when the priest hath said: Pax domini sit, etc., the people answereth: Et cum spiritu tuo, praying that in such manner wise as the people desireth peace, the priest may have it. And anon the priest saith: Haec commixtio, etc. And that commixtion betokeneth two things, that one is that, the body of Jesu Christ was not without blood, ne the blood was not without the body. The second is that the sacrament is consecrated under the likeness of bread and of wine. The third thing may be that the third part of the hostie signifieth the creatures that are in this world, as said is. And therefore it is lawful to them ere they come to God that they have mind and be remembered of the blessed passion and of the precious body of our Lord Jesu Christ, to the end that they be meddled and Joined unto his precious sufferance, and of his precious blood aroused by virtue and unity of soul. And thus creature devout shall mowe arouse his heart with that precious blood, keeping himself from evil thoughts, and his five wits natural for to keep him from all evil beholding, from light hearing, from foolish and vain speaking, from pleasant smelling, his hands from evil work, and his feet from evil place. And thus doing creature devout shall mowe feel the sweet dawning of this precious blood and blessed body meddled together. And it appeareth by these verses following that the three parts of the hostie signify the three manners of creatures before said, Tres partes signant de Christi corpore sancto. Prima suam carnem. Sanctosque secunda sepultos. Tertia viventes, haec est in sanguine tincta. Martirii calicem gustant in carne fideles.
After, followeth Agnus Dei, and here it is to wit that the pnest saith three times Agnus Dei, and at the third time at the end of it he saith: Dona nobis pacem, and it nis none other thing to say than: Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, and this is said two times, to the intent that our Lord be understood going on earth for to have us from our sins, and resting in the sepulchre for to deliver us from the pains of hell. And therefore in these two first Agnus Dei the priest saith: Miserere nobis, and the third Agnus Dei betokeneth this, that our Lord be understood being in heaven for to give perfect peace, and thereforth saith the priest at the end of the Agnus: Dona nobis pacem. Lord, give us peace. Saying Agnus Dei, the priest inclineth himself, beating his breast at every time, signifying that with humility and compassion he saith that same orison.
After, it is to know that at a mass of requiem the priest saith not at the two first Agnus Dei, Miserere nobis, ne at the third Agnus Dei he saith not: Dona nobis pacem, but the priest saith instead of that: Dona eis requiem, for this, that three manners of rest be worthy for the fiables of God, dead. First, that all pain be had away from them. Secondly, that glory with God be given to them. Thirdly, that the soul with the body together be crowned. And therefore saith the priest at the last Agnus Dona eis requiem sempiternam.
After this the priest devoutly inclineth him and saith a devout orison that beginneth thus: Domine Jesu Christe, etc., and that is as much for to say: Lord Jesu Christ that said to thine apostles: I give you my peace, I leave you my peace, therefore I thee pray instantly that thou wilt not consider my misdeeds and sins, but consider thou the faith of the holy church, and wilt it unite and peace after thy will, thou that reignest with the Father in the realm of heaven. And after, the priest taketh peace, kissing the corporal, or the lid of the chalice, or the body of our Lord Jesu Christ, and that is to teach and show to us that through the holy passion of our Lord very peace is given to us of God, and also to all human ligneage.
And the priest giveth the pax to the minister or clerk that helpeth to say the mass, and that same minister or clerk beareth it through the church to the folk, and there the creatures kiss it, each after other, in token of love and concord, to the end that even so as flesh joineth itself to flesh, and spirit to spirit, right so we be allied together by virtue of love. And here it is to wit that for this that our Lord said to his disciples: Take ye all of this bread and eat it, it is mine own body, therefore in this manner every one was wont in time past to be houseled every day. And for this that many one took it indiscreetly, and few reverently, for that, it seemed to them that it was not well for to do so, therefore it was ordained to be taken but one time in a week, that is to wit on the Sunday, or to take it three times in the year, or at the least one time in the year and in that place where this should be done, should be the pax given every day in token of love and of very steadfast alliance.
And it is to wit that, when men say mass for the dead, men bear not the pax for this that the fiables of God be out from all the tribulations of this world.
Hereafter followeth the fourth part of the Mass.
After followeth the fourth part of the mass principal, and first the perceptions. And here is to wit that after the priest hath taken the pax, and sent the pax to the people, to the intent that he may receive the more devoutly the body of our Lord, he saith, bowing his knees, two orisons instituted by the ancient fathers. The first orison beginneth: Domine Jesu Criste, qui ex voluntate patris, etc. And is as much for to say: Jesu Christ that by the will of God the Father and wit of the Holy Ghost wouldst redeem the world by thine own death, and them to have again in joy and bliss with thee, wilt my body deliver from all evil, have away all my sins from me, and that I may so keep thy commandments that I may be and dwell with thee in heaven where thou mayst reign as God with the Father and Holy Ghost. Amen. The second orison that the priest saith in his perception is this, Perceptio corporis tui, etc., and may be the understanding of this orison such: Jesu Christ that perfect life hast in heaven, with heart I thee pray that the sweet perception of thy precious body which by jealousy of love I do take, be to me eschewing of damnation, and that by thy compassion it may be compunction to my soul, that in such place he may come where he may be accepted and granted. Amen.
After, the priest meditating and thinking on the passion of our Lord Jesu Christ, saith: Panem coelestem accipiam, et nomen domini invocabo, etc. That is to say: I shall take the heavenly bread and I shall call the name of our Lord. After all these foresaid things, the priest holding the precious body of our Lord, saith three times: Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum: sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea. It is as much for to say: Lord, I am not worthy that thou enterest my house, but say thou the word and my soul shall be healed. And there the priest beateth at every time his breast, betokening that with right very contrition and in steadfast devotion he will receive his salvation. After, the priest making the sign of the cross of the body of our Lord, saith: Corpus domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam meam in vitam aeternam, etc. It is none other thing to say than: The precious body of our Lord Jesu Christ will keep my soul in life perdurable or everlasting, that is to wit, in the company of our Lord. And sith, the priest with joined hands taketh the body of our Lord and useth it the most devoutly he can.
After, the priest inclineth himself and taketh the chalice wherein is the precious blood of our Lord and saith: Quid retribuam domino pro omnibus quae retribuit mihi? Calicem salutaris accipiam et nomen domini invocabo, and all nis other thing to say but: What shall I retribue or yield to our Lord of all his benefits and goods by him done and given to me? After, he taketh the chalice saying: Calicem. etc. I shall take the chalice of my health and shall call the name of God. Lauding him and calling our Lord I shall be delivered and kept from all mine enemies, that is to wit from all my sins and evil temptations of the devil. After, the priest making the sign of the the cross, saith over the chalice: Sanguis domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam meam in vitam aeternam. Amen. That is to say: The precious body and blood of our Lord will keep my soul in everlasting life. Amen. And sithe, devoutly and reverently the priest taketh the blood of Jesu Christ, and after, he draweth himself to the corner of the altar where he taketh wine, wetting his fingers over the chalice, to the intent that nothing ne may remain of that precious sacrament, and that doing, the priest saith two orisons, the first beginneth thus: Quod ore sumpsimus, domine, etc., that is to say: Lord, this that we have taken with mouth, wit that we feel it with heart, to the end it may be remedy to us against all temporal and wicked thoughts. The second orison is: Corpus tuum quod ego indignus, etc., that is as much for to say: Lord, I pray thee that the precious body and precious blood that I have taken as unworthy, me will in such manner clarify, that none ordure or filth, ne no fault may remain or abide within me.
After these two orisons finished that are before said, the priest inclineth him and rendereth graces to God saying: Agimus tibi gracias, etc., that is to say thus: Lord that art reigning in heaven, we render and yield to thee graces and laudings of all thy benefits received of us.
After, he washeth his hands at the piscine or laver, for this, that nothing of the sacrament ne may abide at his hands, and therefore that water there ought to be cast in the piscine, or into some clean place where men may not tread on it. And it is to wit that the priest washeth his hands three times at mass, that is to wit at the beginning of it, the second, at midst of the mass that is to wit at offering, and the last is after the perception of the mass. And this purgement or washing may signify the purity and cleanness that the priest ought to have; in heart by good thoughts, in mouth by good and honest speaking, and in his needs or businees to work truly and well.
And after, the priest saith the post communion, which is so named post communion for this, that it is said after the priest hath received the precious sacrament of the altar; and that signifieth the joy that our Lord gave to his disciples. For the apostles and disciples of God had great joy of the holy resurrection, whereof is said in the holy Evangile, Gavisi sunt ergo discipuli, viso domino, etc., that is as much to say: The disciples of God be fain and glad because they have seen our Lord.
After the perception the priest kisseth the altar, in betokening that in very love he assenteth and consenteth to believe firmly all the mystery of that precious sacrament, and right there he returneth himself and saluteth the people saying: Dominus vobiscum, to the end that the people be incited to make devout orison, and therefore he saith: Oremus, and there the priest saith as many orisons as he said at the beginning of the mass, and for that same cause, betokening that in all good work orison ought to be the beginning, middle, and end of it.
And at the end of these orisons the priest concludeth, saying: Per dominum nostrum, etc., and in betokening that this that we ask is in the sweet name of our Lord, reigning with the Father and with the Holy Ghost, and there the people answereth: Amen. After, the priest kisseth yet again the altar, and sithen returneth him and saluteth the people, saying: Dominus vobiscum, and these two last salutes may represent and signify this, that our Lord after his resurrection saluted his apostles two times, saying thus: Pax vobis et iterum, Pax vobis; Peace be with you by unity of great love, and yet again, Peace be with you, sweet and good, in the glory and bliss of paradise.
After all these orisons beforesaid ensueth, Ite missa est. And here is to wit that the mass finisheth in three manners. First, the mass finisheth by, Ite missa est, and that is at all times that Gloria in excelsis is said. And the understanding may be such, saying: Creature, go after our Lord, and ensue him by good works. It may be said also that Ite missa est betokeneth this, that when the angel had announced the shepherds the joy and mirth of the holy nativity of our Lord Jesu Christ, they went to the place where our Lord Jesu Christ was, right even so as they had understood: Ite, missa est, Go ye for our Lord is sent for your redemption, and therefore the shepherds regracied and lauded God with all their virtue and force; and therefore the people answereth and saith: Deo gracias, that is to say: God be lauded and regracied of it. Secondly, the mass finisheth by: Benedicamus domino, right so the priest would say: Bless we God of all his goods, and with heart laud and praise we him. And upon this the people answereth: Deo gracias, God be graced and thanked. Thirdly, the mass finisheth with: Requiescant in pace, and that is at a mass said for the dead, to the end that the souls for whom the priest hath said the mass may have rest in life perdurable, and therefore the people answereth Amen, that is to say: Thy prayer be heard and enhanced. After that, the priest blesseth the people, the which blessing may signify this, that the Holy Ghost was sent to the Apostles for the promise of God that he had done to them, saying: Accipietis virtutem spiritus sancti venientis in vos, etc. That is to say: Ye shall take the virtue of the Holy Ghost coming in you, and because that the Holy Ghost was sent by the Trinity, therefore maketh the priest that same blessing in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Secondly, that the blessing whereof our Lord speaketh to his apostles, and saith: Venite benedicti patris mei, percipite regnum, etc., that is to say: Come after me, the blessed of God my Father, and take the possession of my realm. Thirdly, the said blessing may signify that blessing that our Lord made when he would ascend unto heaven, to the end that by devout orison he may ascend after him into the bliss of paradise, and therefore he soon inclineth himself, and saith an orison that thus beginneth: Placeat tibi sanctaTrinitas. That is as much for to say Holy Trinity, I pray you that ye vouchsafe to take this holy sacrifice acceptable for me, and also for them for whom I have consecrated the body of our Lord: Per Christum dominum nostrum. Amen. And here is the end of the mass, but some priests while they take from them the vestments, they say Saint John’s gospel, and some say the office of our Lady. Saint John’s gospel is said for the mystery in it containing, for in the tenour of it Saint John maketh mention how our humanity was joined and united to the divinity, and how he was sent for to be testimony or witness of the divine light, of the which light all creatures were illumined. After, the priest saith his graces, lauding and thanking God of all his benefit. Whosoever will know and understand well and perfectly the noble virtue and noble mystery that in the exposition of the mass is, let him well consider and imprint right perfectly within his heart all those things that herebefore are contained, and the creature thus doing shall mowe have certain knowledge of God, and shall mowe ordain and dress his conscience after that before is said. And so we pray God that he give to us grace to do such service and so good prayers that we therewith may acquire and get the holy bliss of paradise. Amen.