On Saturday afternoon you may go to the Armenian mass at S. Biagio or S. Gregorio Illuminatore: it begins towards 4 o clock. On Easter-Sunday the Pope sings solemn mass at S. Peter’s, at about 9 o’clock. He afterwards venerates the relics, and gives His solemn benediction. In the afternoon, besides Vespers there is a procession at S. Peter’s called that of the 3 Maries. (At S. John Lateran’s the Cardinals assist at Vespers, and afterwards venerate the relics preserved there) At night the cupola is illuminated, and on the following night there are fireworks or girandola at Castle S. Angelo. On Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday there is cappella papale at the Vatican, but it differs little from the ordinary cappelle.
ON THE CEREMONIES OF THE MASS
Origin of the word ceremony—object of ceremonies—institution of the mass—its earliest ceremonies—discipline of secrecy—liturgy of the Roman church—general review of the principal ceremonies of the mass—mass of the catechumens, ambones—mass of the faithful, blessed water, secrecy, prayers for the dead—Latin the language of the Roman liturgy, and why—usual ceremonies of high-mass in the papal chapel—sentiments of S. John Chrysostom.
“It was chiefly, if not only, in the mystical liturgy of the eucharist, that the primitive church spoke without reserve of all the sublimities of Christian faith.” Palmer, Origines Liturg. vol. I, p. 13.
[Sidenote: Origin of the word ceremony.]
From Rome our Saxon forefathers received Christianity; and from the same source we have derived several words denoting Christian rites. Thus the words religion, sacrament, sacrifice, communion, and others are Latin, with the exception of the termination. The word ceremony also is Latin, and owes its origin to an interesting fact in ancient Roman history. When the Capitol was besieged by the Gauls (A.U. 365) most of the inhabitants of Rome provided for their own safety by flight: but the Flamen Quirinalis or priest of Romulus, and the Vestal virgins loaded themselves with the sacred things, that they might secure those hallowed treasures from profanation. “They were proceeding” (says Livy lib. V, c. XXII) “along the way which passes over the Sublician bridge, when they were met on the declivity by L. Albinus a plebeian, who was fleeing with his wife and children in a plaustrum or cart: he and his family immediately alighted: then placing in the cart the virgins and sacred things he accompanied them to Caere where they were received with hospitality and respect”. Hence (says Valerius Maximus lib. I, c. 1.) “sacred things were called ceremonies, because the inhabitants of Caere revered them when the republic was broken, as readily as when it flourished”.