The Pope made this revision of the Roman Missal at the request of the Council of Trent (1545-1563) at its final session. The changes he made, such as introducing the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, and adding all that in his Missal follows the Ite missa est, were, as this article will show, decidedly minor in comparison to those made in earlier centuries since the earliest accounts of the liturgy of the Mass as celebrated in Rome.
Outside of Rome in the period before 1570, many other liturgical rites were in use, not only in Eastern Christianity, but also in the West. Some of the Western rites, such as the Mozarabic Rite, were unrelated to the Roman Rite that Pope Pius V revised and ordered to be adopted generally. But even the areas that at one time or another had accepted the Roman rite (see, below, "Middle Ages") had soon introduced changes and additions. As a result, every ecclesiastical province and almost every diocese had its local use, such as the Use of Sarum, the Use of York and the Use of Hereford in England. In France there were strong traces of the Gallican Rite. With the exception of the relatively few places where no form of the Roman Rite had ever been adopted, the Canon of the Mass remained generally uniform, but the prayers in the "Ordo Missae", and still more the "Proprium Sanctorum" and the "Proprium de Tempore", varied widely. For that reason, this article considers only the liturgy of the Mass as celebrated in Rome.
In chapter 65, Justin Martyr says that the kiss of peace was given before the bread and the wine mixed with water were brought to "the president of the brethren." The language used was doubtless Greek, except in particular for the Hebrew word "Amen", whose meaning Justin explains in Greek (γένοιτο), saying that by it "all the people present express their assent" when the president of the brethren "has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings."
Also, in Chapter 66 of Justin Martyr's First Apology, he describes the transubstantiation which occurs on the altar: "For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Saviour was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus" (First Apology 66:1-20 [A.D. 148]).
Before the pontificate of Pope Gregory I (590–604), the Roman Mass rite underwent many changes, including a "complete recasting of the Canon" (a term that in this context means the Anaphora or Eucharistic Prayer), "... the Eucharistic prayer was fundamentally changed and recast" (Catholic Encyclopedia, "Liturgy of the Mass"), the number of Scripture readings was reduced, the prayers of the faithful were omitted (leaving, however, the "Oremus" that once introduced them), the kiss of peace was moved to after the Consecration, and there was a growing tendency to vary, in reference to the feast or season, the prayers, the Preface, and even the Canon.
With regard to the Roman Canon of the Mass, the prayers beginning Te igitur, Memento Domine and Quam oblationem were already in use, even if not with quite the same wording as now, by the year 400; the Communicantes, the Hanc igitur, and the post-consecration Memento etiam and Nobis quoque were added in the fifth century.
Pope Gregory I made a general revision of the liturgy of the Mass, "removing many things, changing a few, adding some," as his biographer, John the Deacon, writes. He is credited with adding a phrase to the Eucharistic Prayer, and he placed the Lord's Prayer immediately after the Canon, as he himself wrote.
The recitation of the Credo (Nicene Creed) after the Gospel is attributed to the influence of Emperor Henry II (1002–1024). Gallican influence explains the practice of incensing persons, introduced in the eleventh or twelfth century; "before that time incense was burned only during processions (the entrance and Gospel procession)." Private prayers for the priest to say before Communion were another novelty. About the thirteenth century, an elaborate ritual and additional prayers of French origin were added to the Offertory, at which the only prayer that the priest in earlier times said was the Secret; these prayers varied considerably until fixed by Pope Pius V in 1570. Pope Pius V also introduced the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, previously said mostly in the sacristy or during the procession to the altar as part of the priest's preparation, and also for the first time formally admitted into the Mass all that follows the Ite missa est in his edition of the Roman Missal. Later editions of the Roman Missal abbreviated this part by omitting the Canticle of the Three Young Men and Psalm 150, followed by other prayers, that in Pius V's edition the priest was to say while leaving the altar.
From 1474 until Pope Pius V's 1570 text, there were at least 14 different printings that purported to present the text of the Mass as celebrated in Rome, rather than elsewhere, and which therefore were published under the title of "Roman Missal". These were produced in Milan, Venice, Paris and Lyon. Even these show variations. Local Missals, such as the Parisian Missal, of which at least 16 printed editions appeared between 1481 and 1738, showed more important differences.
The Roman Missal that Pope Pius V issued at the request of the Council of Trent, gradually established uniformity within the Latin Rite after a period that had witnessed regional variations in the choice of Epistles, Gospels, and prayers at the Offertory, the Communion, and the beginning and end of Mass. With the exception of a few dioceses and religious orders, the use of this Missal was made obligatory, giving rise to the 400-year period when the Roman-Rite Mass took the form now known as the Tridentine Mass.
|c. 400||c. 1000|
|Mass of the Catechumens||Fore-Mass|
|Introductory greeting|| Entrance ceremonies|
Lesson 1: the Prophets
Lesson 2: Epistle
Lesson 3: Gospel
| Service of readings|
Dismissal of the catechumens
|Communion of the Faithful||Sacrifice-Mass|
| Offering of gifts|
Prayer over the offerings
| Offertory rites|
| Eucharistic prayers|| Eucharistic prayers|
| Communion rites|
Psalm accompanying communion
| Communion cycle|
|Dismissal of the faithful||Ite, missa est or Benedicamus Domino|
Source: Hoppin, Richard. Medieval Music. New York: Norton, 1977. Page 119 and 122.