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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, S. Peter, S. Paul, and S. 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.
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