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4th-6th C CE Christian Initiation: Italy

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Title: 4th-6th C CE Christian Initiation: Italy


1
4th-6th C CE Christian Initiation Italy
2
Rome
3
Jerome (c. 342-420 CE) Altercation of a
Luciferian with an Orthodox
  • 6. Orthodox So, I ask you, allow their ability
    to sacrifice, since you accept their baptism, or
    reject their baptism, if you do not believe they
    have the priesthood. For it is impossible to be
    holy at baptism and a sinner at the altar.

4
  • Luciferian But I receive a lay person as a
    penitent by the laying on of hands and the
    invocation of the Holy Spirit, since I now that
    heretics cannot confer the Holy Spirit.

5
  • Orthodox Therefore if the Arian cannot give the
    Holy Spirit, he cannot baptize at all, because
    the Churchs baptism is void without the Holy
    Spirit. But when you receive a baptized person
    from Arianism, and then invoke the Holy Spirit,
    either you must baptize him, because without the
    Holy Spirit he cannot have been baptized or, if
    he is baptized in the Spirit, do not invoke the
    Spirit on him, since he received it when he was
    baptized.

6
  • 8. Luciferian Do you not know that this is a
    custom of the churches, to lay hands on people
    after their baptism, and thus to invoke the Holy
    Spirit? Do you ask where it is written in
    scripture? In the Acts of the Apostles. Even if
    the authority of scripture were not to hand, the
    universal consensus would provide an effective
    precept in this regard. And many other things
    which are observed by tradition in the churches
    have taken for themselves the authority of a law
    of scripture for example to immerse the head
    three times in the laver of for those who have
    come out to taste the mixture of milk and honey
    to symbolize their being newly born not to
    worship kneeling or to practice fasting on the
    Lords Day and the whole of Pentecost and many
    other things not written which have been
    justified by reason and custom.

7
  • Hence you can see that we follow the custom of
    the Church, though it is clear that someone is
    baptized before the Spirit is invoked.
  • 9. Orthodox I agree that it is the Churchs
    custom that when people are baptized by
    presbyters and deacons far from the major cities
    the bishop hurries round to lay his hand on them
    for the invocation of the Holy Spirit. But to
    transfer the laws of the Church to heretics is
    like exposing the integrity of your virgin in the
    whores brothel.

8
  • If at this point you ask why anyone baptized in
    the church only receives the Holy Spirit by the
    hands of the bishop, while we assert that it is
    given in true baptism, learn that the source of
    this custom is that the Holy Spirit descended on
    the apostles after our Lords ascension. We
    learn the same practice in many places, more to
    the honor of the ministry than for the principle
    of necessity. Otherwise, if the Holy Spirit only
    came down in answer to the bishops prayers, one
    may single out those who were baptized by
    presbyters and deacons in farms and villages or
    in remote places and have fallen asleep before
    they were discovered by the bishop.

9
  • The well-being of the church depends on the
    supremacy of the bishop, and if he does not
    possess an extraordinary and distinct power then
    there would result in the Church as many schisms
    as there are ministers. Hence it comes about
    that neither priest nor deacon has the right of
    baptizing without chrism and the bishops order.
    Though often, in case of necessity, we know that
    even lay people may baptize. For what anyone
    receives he can give.

10
Mai Fragment 7 (late 300s early 400s CE)
  • in their layings on of the hand
    (manupositionibus) they set the Father over the
    Son when they say God most great founder and
    maker of the world, God and Father of our Lord
    Jesus Christ.
  • And again,
  • God more glorious than the glorious, greater
    than the great, most powerful beyond the might of
    powers, God pre-eminent among the pre-eminent,
    highest among the most high, matchless among the
    unique.

11
  • Again they refuse to place the Father over the
    Son in their writings indeed they damn those who
    place the Father over the Son and yet they place
    the Father over the Son in the creed, when they
    say
  • Do you believe in God the Father almighty,
    creator of heaven and earth? Do you believe also
    in Jesus Christ his Son?
  • Again they refuse to place the Father over the
    Son in their writings indeed they damn those who
    place the Father over the son, and yet they
    themselves in their blessings place the Father
    over the Son when they say

12
  • The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
    granted you regeneration by water, himself
    anoints you with the Holy Spirit and the rest.

13
Siricius of Rome (384-399) Letter to Himerius of
Tarragona
  • 2. On the first page of your letter you
    indicated that very many people who were baptized
    by the godless Arians are hastening to the
    Catholic faith, and that some of our brethren
    want to baptize them again. This is not allowed,
    since the Apostle himself forbids it, and the
    canons condemn it, and it is prohibited by a
    general decree sent to the provinces by Liberius
    my predecessor of venerable memory after the
    annulled council of Rimini.

14
  • We bring them into the Catholic fold along with
    Novatianists and other heretics, as agreed in
    synod, simply by the invocation of the sevenfold
    Spirit and the laying on of a bishops hand.
    This is the custom observed throughout East and
    West.
  • 3. There follows the matter of people performing
    baptisms each according to his whim, a disorder
    which lacks any justification and needs to be
    rectified. I am troubled to say that it is not
    by reason of anyones authority but simply by the
    presumption of our fellow bishops that, as you
    claim, innumerable crowds are receiving the
    mystery of baptism indiscriminately at Christmas
    or Epiphany and even the feasts of Apostles and
    martyrs.

15
  • Here and in all the churches, the Pasch of the
    Lord retains the privilege for itself and the
    Pentecost following that on those days alone in
    the year it is right to administer the sacraments
    of baptism to all who flock to the faith, at any
    rate to those elect who gave in their names forty
    days or more previously, and who have been
    expiated by exorcism and daily prayer and
    fasting, so that the Apostolic precept is
    fulfilled, that the old leaven be removed, and
    there begins to be a new dough. Since we declare
    that the reverence for the sacred feast of Easter
    should not be diminished in any way, infants who
    cannot yet speak because of their age and those
    who because of some distress need the water of
    sacred baptism should come with all haste, lest
    it should be for the ruin of our souls that the
    saving font is denied to any who desire it, and
    that anyone who departs from this world should
    lose the kingdom and life.

16
Canones ad Gallos (c. 400 CE)
  • 8. Concerning the exorcized oil, whether it
    should be administered on a few days or many
    matters less than its meaning. For who shall be
    cleansed by the sufficiency of his faith? For if
    the chrism poured upon the head imparts its grace
    to the whole body, in the same way also if he who
    is scrutinized at the third scrutiny is touched
    with the oil only once and not many time, God
    acts upon his whole life.

17
Innocent I of Rome Letter to Decentius of Gubbio
(19 March 416)
  • If the sacred ministers of the Lord wished to
    preserve the institutions of the Church in their
    integrity as they have been handed down by the
    blessed Apostles, there would be no diversity or
    variation in the forms of rites (ordines) and the
    liturgical prayers (consecrationes). But when
    each person reckons to observe not what was
    handed down but what seems good to himself, then
    different observances and liturgies appear in
    different places and churches. This becomes a
    scandal for the people.

18
  • They do not know that the ancient traditions have
    been corrupted by human presumption, and imagine
    either that the churches do not agree with one
    another, or that contradictions were introduced
    by the Apostles themselves and their disciples.
  • Who does not know or will not acknowledge that
    what was handed down to the Church of Rome by
    Peter the first of the Apostles, and is kept to
    the present day, must be observed by all, and
    that nothing can be added or introduced which
    either lacks authority or apparently receives its
    model from elsewhere?

19
  • It is clear, after all, that no one founded any
    churches in all of Italy, Gaul, Spain, Africa and
    Sicily and the islands in between, except those
    people whom the venerable Apostle Peter or his
    successors appointed as sacred ministers. Let
    anyone who doubts this read to see whether any
    other of the Apostles is to be found in these
    provinces or if there is any record of their
    teaching. If they find nothing, because it never
    has been found, they must follow what is kept by
    the Roman church from which there is no doubt
    that they take their origin, lest, in their
    interest in claims from elsewhere, they may
    appear to neglect the source of their
    institutions.

20
  • No doubt Your Grace has often come to the City
    and attended services with us, and that you have
    known the customs one observes in the
    consecration of the mysteries (consecranda
    mysteria) and other sacred rites (arcana). I
    would have thought that would be sufficient for
    informing your church or reforming it if your
    predecessors were in any way remiss or deviant in
    their observances quite enough, I would have
    reckoned, if you had not thought good to consult
    us on various points. And so we reply to those
    questions, not because we believe that you lack
    knowledge of them, but so that you can instruct
    your people with greater authority or, if there
    are any who stray from the institutions of the
    Roman Church, so that you would warn them or
    notify us without delay so that we may know who
    they are who are introducing novelties or who
    believe they should observe the custom of some
    other church than Rome.

21
  • About the signing of the newly baptized it is
    quite clear than no one may perform it except the
    bishop. For although presbyters are priests
    (sacerdotes), they do not have the highest degree
    of the priesthood (pontificatus). It is not only
    the custom of the church which demonstrated that
    the signing and the gift of the Holy Spirit is
    restricted to bishops (pontifices), but the
    passage in the Acts of the Apostles which
    declares the Peter and John were sent to give the
    Holy Spirit to those already baptized. For when
    presbyters baptize, whether in the absence of a
    bishop or in his presence, they may anoint the
    baptized with chrism (provided that it is
    consecrated by the bishop), but they do not sign
    the forehead with this same oil. That is
    reserved to the bishops when they give the
    Spirit, the Paraclete.

22
  • As to the words, I cannot give them, lest I
    should seem to be betraying the secrecy rather
    than responding to a consultation.
  • So dearest brother, we have taken care to reply
    as far as we were able to everything Your Grace
    wished us to explain, so that your church may be
    able to observe and keep the custom of Rome from
    which it takes its origin. The remainder which
    it was not lawful to put in writing, we will be
    able to explain if you ask me when you are here.
    It will be in the Lords power to grant that you
    instruct well both your church and our clergy who
    are under your episcopal charge, so that they may
    serve at the divine services, and you will
    provide for others a pattern to be imitated.

23
Leo I Letter 16 to the Sicilian Bishops 21
October 447
  • Hence it is apparent from the spirit of this
    teaching Romans 63-5 that, for baptizing the
    sons of men and adopting them as sons of God,
    that day and that season were chosen on which the
    actions performed on the members might be,
    through symbolism and mystical rite, in harmony
    with what was done in the Head itself. For in
    the rite of baptism death comes from the slaying
    of sin, and the triple immersion imitates the
    three days of burial, and the rising out of the
    water is like his rising from the tomb.

24
  • Hence the very nature of the rite shows that
    ordinarily the right day for the reception of
    this grace is the one on which both the power of
    the gift and the form of the rite had their
    origin.
  • Actually, the feast of Pentecost, which is
    hallowed by the coming of the Holy Spirit and is
    attached to the feast of Easter as an appendage,
    is also used for this rite of baptism. Although
    other feasts are celebrated on different days,
    this feast of Pentecost always occurs on that day
    of the week made famous by the Lords
    resurrection. It somehow extends the hand of
    helping grace and invites those who were excluded
    from the Easter day by a troublesome sickness or
    a long journey or difficulties in sailing, so
    that those hindered by any necessities whatever
    may gain the effect they desire as a gift of the
    Holy Spirit.

25
  • Therefore, since it is obviously quite clear that
    these two times about which we spoke are the
    right ones for baptizing the elect in the church,
    we warn Your Charities not to add any other days
    for this observance. For, although there are
    also other feast days on which great reverence is
    due to the honor of God, for the principal and
    greatest sacrament we must hold to an exception,
    for which there are reasons and mystical
    significance.
  • We are, however, at liberty to assist those in
    danger by administering baptism at any time.
    Thus we put off the free vows of those who are
    well and live in peaceful security to those two
    connected and related fasts, but not so as to
    deny at any time to anyone this single source of
    salvation when there is danger of death, critical
    times of siege, trials from persecution or fear
    of shipwreck.

26
  • Someone, however, may possibly feel that the
    feast of the Epiphany, which must be celebrated
    with the honor due to its rank, also possesses
    the privilege of baptism, since certain men think
    that on that same day the Lord approached St.
    John to be baptized. The man who thinks this
    should realize that the grace of that baptism by
    John and the reason for it were of a different
    order and did not share in that same power
    whereby regeneration is brought through the Holy
    Spirit.

27
  • Consequently, dearest brothers, because of these
    real proofs, so many and weighty, which remove
    all doubt, you see clearly that only two periods,
    namely Easter and Pentecost, are to be used for
    baptizing the elect. And according to apostolic
    regulation, they are to be investigated with
    exorcism, made holy by fasting, and instructed by
    frequent discourses. We lay it to Your
    Charities charge not to deviate at all in future
    from customs initiated by the apostles. For
    hereafter, no one can be excused if he believes
    that apostolic regulations can be neglected in
    any way.

28
John the Deacon Letter to Senarius (c. 500 CE)
  • 2. You ask me to tell you why before a man is
    baptized he must first become a catechumen or
    what the meaning is of the word or of the word
    catechizing in what rule of the Old Testament
    it is set out or whether the rule is a new one,
    deriving rather from the New Testament. Also you
    ask what a scrutiny is, and why infants are
    scrutinized three times before the Pacha and
    what purpose is served by this care and
    preoccupation with these examinations.

29
  • 3. Here is my reply. I am confident that you are
    sufficiently versed in such matters as to know
    that the whole human race, while still so to
    speak in its cradle, should properly have fallen
    in death through the waywardness of the first
    man and no rescue was possible except by the
    grace of the Savior who although he had been
    begotten of the Father before the worlds yet for
    our salvation did not disdain to be born in time,
    man of a virgin mother alone. There cannot
    therefore be any doubt that before a man is
    reborn in Christ he is held close by the power of
    the devil and unless he is extricated from the
    devils toils, renouncing him among the first
    beginnings of faith with a true confession, he
    cannot approach the grace of the saving laver.

30
  • And therefore he must enter the classroom of the
    catechumens. Catechesis is the Greek word for
    instruction. He is instructed through the
    Churchs ministry, by the blessing of one laying
    his hand, that he may know who he is and who he
    shall be in other words, that from being one of
    the damned he becomes holy, from unrighteousness
    he appears as righteous, and finally, from being
    a servant he becomes a son so that a man whose
    first parentage brought him perdition is restored
    by the gift of a second parentage and becomes the
    possessor of a fathers inheritance.

31
  • He receives therefore exsufflation and exorcism,
    in order that the devil may be put to flight and
    an entrance prepared for Christ our God so that
    being delivered from the power of darkness he may
    be translated to the kingdom of the glory of the
    love of God so that a man who until recently had
    been a vessel of Satan now becomes a dwelling of
    the Savior.
  • And so he receives exsufflation because the old
    deceiver merits such ignominy.
  • He is exorcised, however, that is to say he is
    adjured to go out and depart and acknowledge the
    approach of him whose upright image he had cast
    down in the bliss of Paradise by his wicked
    counsel.

32
  • The catechumen receives blessed salt also, to
    signify that just as all flesh is kept healthy by
    salt, so the mind which is drenched and weakened
    by the waves of this world is held steady by the
    salt of wisdom and by the preaching of the word
    of God so that it may come to stability and
    permanence, after the distemper of corruption is
    thoroughly settled by the gentle action of the
    divine salt.
  • This then is achieved by frequent laying on of
    the hand, and by the blessing of his Creator
    called over his head three times in honor of the
    Trinity.

33
  • 4. And so by the efforts of himself and others
    the man who recently had received exsufflation
    and had renounced the toils and the pomps of the
    devil is next permitted to receive the words of
    the Creed symbolum which was handed down by the
    apostles so that he who a short time before was
    called simply a catechumen may now be called a
    seeker competens or elect. For he was
    conceived in the womb of Mother Church and now he
    begins to live, even though the time of the
    sacred birth is not yet fulfilled.

34
  • Then follow those occasions which according to
    the churchs custom are commonly called
    scrutinies. For we scrutinize their hearts
    through faith, to ascertain whether since the
    renunciation of the devil the sacred words have
    fastened themselves on his mind whether they
    acknowledge the future grace of the Redeemer
    whether they confess that they believe in God the
    Father almighty.
  • And when by their replies it becomes clear that
    it is so, according as it is written Romans
    1010 their ears are touched with the oil of
    sanctification, and their nostrils also are
    touched the ears because through them faith
    enters the mind, according as the apostle says
    Romans 1017 so that, the ears being as it
    were fortified by a kind of wall of
    sanctification, may permit entrance to nothing
    harmful, nothing which might entice them back.

35
  • 5. When their nostrils are touched, they are thus
    without doubt admonished that for as long as they
    draw the breath of life through their nostrils
    they must abide in the service and the
    commandments of God. For that holy man says
    Job 272-4. The unction of the nostrils
    signifies this also, that since the oil is
    blessed in the Name of the Savior, they may be
    led unto his spiritual odor by the inner
    perception of a certain ineffable sweetness, so
    that in delight they may sing Canticle of
    Canticles 13. And so the nostrils, being
    fortified by this mystery, can give no admittance
    to the pleasures of this world, nor anything
    which might weaken their minds.

36
  • 6. Next the old of consecration is used to anoint
    their breast, in which is the seat and dwelling
    place of the heart so that they may understand
    that they promise with a firm mind and a pure
    heart eagerly to follow after the commandments of
    Christ, now that the devil has been driven out.
  • They are commanded to go in naked even down to
    their feet, so that having put aside the carnal
    garments of mortality they may acknowledge that
    they make their journey upon a road upon which
    nothing harsh and nothing harmful can be found.
    The Church has ordained these things with
    watchful care over many years, although the old
    books may not show traces of them.

37
  • And then when the elect or catechumen has
    advanced in faith by these spiritual conveyances,
    so to speak, it is necessary to be consecrated in
    the baptism of the one laver, in which sacrament
    his baptism is effected by a threefold immersion,
    and must acknowledge his debt to the bounty of
    him who upon the third day rose from the dead.
  • He is next arrayed in white vesture,
  • and his head is anointed with the unction of the
    sacred chrism that the baptized person may
    understand that in his person a kingdom and a
    priestly ministry have met. For priests and
    princes used to be anointed with the oil of
    chrism, priests that they might offer sacrifices
    to God, princes that they might rule their people.

38
  • For a fuller expression of the idea of
    priesthood, the head of the neophyte is dressed
    in a linen array for priests of that time used
    always to deck the head with a certain mystic
    covering.
  • All the neophytes are arrayed in white vesture to
    symbolize the resurgent Church, just as out Lord
    and Savior himself in the sight of certain
    disciples and prophets was thus transfigured on
    the mount, so that it was said Matthew 172.
    This prefigured for the future the splendor of
    the resurgent Church, of which it is written
    Who is this who rises up Canticle of Canticles
    36 85 all in white? And so they wear white
    raiment so that though the ragged dress of
    ancient error has darkened the infancy of their
    first birth, the costume of their second birth
    should display the raiment of glory, so that clad
    in a wedding garment he may approach the table of
    the heavenly bridegroom as a new man.

39
  • 7. I must say plainly and at once, in case I
    seem to have overlooked the point, that all these
    things are done even to infants, who by reason of
    their youth understand nothing. And by this you
    may know that when they are presented by their
    parents or others, it is necessary that their
    salvation should come through other peoples
    profession, since their damnation came by
    anothers fault.

40
  • You ask why milk and honey are placed in a most
    sacred cup and offered with the sacrifice at the
    Pascal Sabbath. The reason is that it is written
    in the Old Testament and in a figure promised to
    the New People Leviticus 2024. The land of
    promise, then, is the land of resurrection to
    everlasting bliss, it is nothing else than the
    land of our body, which in the resurrection of
    the dead shall attain to the glory of
    incorruption and peace. This kind of sacrament,
    then, is offered to the newly-baptized so that
    they may realize that no others but they, who
    partake of the body and blood of the Lord, shall
    receive the land of promise and as they start
    upon the journey thither, they are nourished like
    little children with milk and honey, so that they
    may sing Psalm 119103 1911.

41
  • As new men, therefore, abandoning the bitterness
    of sin, they drink milk and honey so that they
    who in their first birth were nourished with the
    milk of corruption and first shed tears of
    bitterness, in their second birth may taste the
    sweetness of milk and honey in the lap of the
    Church, so that being nourished upon such
    sacraments they may be dedicated to the mysteries
    of perpetual incorruption.

42
Gregory I of Rome (pre-594) Letter 9 to
Januarius of Cagliari
  • Bishops must not presume to sign the newly
    baptized on the forehead twice with chrism, but
    let the presbyter anoint the candidates on the
    breast, so that afterwards the bishop should
    anoint them on the forehead.

43
Gregory I of Rome (594 CE) Letter 26 to
Januarius of Cagliari
  • It has also reached us that certain people have
    been scandalized because we prohibited presbyters
    from anointing the baptismal candidates. And
    indeed we acted according to the ancient custom
    of our church. But if they are completely
    saddened by this thing, we concede that, when
    bishops are lacking, the presbyters ought to
    anoint the candidates with chrism even on the
    forehead.

44
Milan and Its Neighbors
45
Zeno of Verona d. 379/380 CE Invitations to
the Font
  • 1. Brethren,exult with joy in Christ. Borne on
    the wings of your every yearning, receive the
    gifts of heaven. For now the saving warmth of
    the eternal font invites you. Now your Mother
    adopts you to make you her child. You are to be
    born not by the ordinary rules of childbirth
    mothers groaning in the pains of labor and
    bringing you into the miseries of this world,
    weeping, sullied, and wrapped in sullied
    swaddling clothes but exulting in joy, children
    of heaven, children free from sin, to be
    bountifully nourished, nor in the foul-smelling
    cradles, but at the altar rails in the midst of
    sweet perfumes.

46
  • 2. Brethren, without delay and with more speed
    than words, enter the heavenly gates. Do not
    believe that in immersing yourselves in the pool
    of regeneration, the source of eternal life, that
    a grace is conferred on you that is an acceptor
    of persons. Your regeneration is brought about
    by your judgment alone, in the knowledge that you
    have that nobility of soul which is measured by
    the greatness of your faith. Therefore, with
    faith and fortitude, put off that old man with
    his foul-smelling rags, all you who presently are
    to take part in the procession, regenerated and
    clothed in white garments, having been enriched
    with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

47
  • 3. Brethren, why do you hesitate? Thanks to your
    faith, the wave of rebirth has already begotten
    you. It is bringing you forth through the
    sacraments. Hasten with all speed to the center
    of your desire. Lo, a solemn hymn is being
    chanted. Lo, the sweet wail of the new-born is
    heard. Lo, the most illustrious brood of the
    begotten proceeds from the one womb. A new
    thing, that each one is born spiritually! Run,
    then, forward to the Mother who experiences no
    pains of labor though she cannot count the number
    of those to whom she gives birth. Enter, then!
    Enter! Happily you are going to drink the new
    milk together.

48
  • 4. Why do you delay? Though differing in age,
    sex, and state in life, you are soon going to be
    joined in unity. Fly to the fountain, to the
    sweet womb of your virgin Mother. It is where
    you belong, thanks to your divine nobility and
    your faith. Realize that your future happiness
    will be proportioned to your faith. O admirable
    and most holy benevolence of God, that birth
    takes place without maternal labor, that our
    spiritual birth is free from tears! This
    regeneration, this resurrection, this eternal
    life, our Mother has given to all. She
    incorporates us in one body after assembling us
    from every race and from every nation.

49
  • 5. Brethren, exult. Your own faith has given
    you birth. You have fled the snares of this
    world, its sin, its wounds, its death. You have
    invoked the assistance of your Father in majesty.
    Fly, then, not with swiftness of foot, but on
    wings of thought, to the water of the saving
    font. Immerse yourselves with confidence.
    Fortunately, by the death of your old man, you
    are destined to be victorious.

50
  • 6. Hasten, brethren, hasten to the bath that
    will purify you thoroughly. The living water,
    tempered by the Holy Spirit and fire, most sweet,
    now invites you with its tender murmur. Already
    the attendant of the bath is girded, expecting
    your arrival, ready to give the necessary
    anointing an drying, and a golden denarius sealed
    with triple effigy. Therefore, rejoice. For you
    will plunge naked into the font but you will soon
    emerge clothed with a heavenly garment, dressed
    in white. And he who does not soil his baptismal
    robe will possess the kingdom of heaven.

51
  • 7. Brethren, you burn with thirst deep and
    ardent. The sweet murmur of the flowing nectar
    invites you. Fly without delay to the milk of
    this genital font. Drink with confidence while
    you may. Be bathed in the waves of the river
    flowing over you. Fill your vessels with all
    urgency and much devotion, so that you will
    always have enough water, remembering this before
    all else that you can never spill a drop or come
    to fetch it again.

52
Ambrose of Milan 339-397 CE
  • Explanation of the Creed 385 CE
  • On the Sacraments stenographic record of
    Easter-week homilies in 387 CE
  • On the Mysteries Easter-week homilies c. 380-390
    CE edited for publication

53
Pseudo-Maximus of Turin / Anonymous of Verona c.
450 CE
  • Sermon V Concerning the Anointing by the
    Priests of the Neophytes Ears and Nostrils with
    Holy Oil
  • Every godly address, dearly beloved brethren,
    ought to be heard with all attention and
    diligence of the mind, but especially this one
    which we will today address to Your Charity. And
    so, now that the catechumens have been dismissed,
    we have kept you back in order to hear this,
    since in addition to those things which it is
    right for all Christians to observe in common, we
    shall be speaking specifically about the heavenly
    mysteries which only they who receive them by our
    Lords grace can hear.

54
  • First of all, we anointed your ears with the oil
    of blessing, but hear the reason why it is done
    by all the catholic priests of Christ according
    to the tradition of the Church. Faith and all
    heavenly teaching gains its entry to the spirit
    through the ears, and from hearing comes
    understanding.
  • But do not think that the performance of the
    mystery, that we anointed your nostrils with the
    oil of blessing, was pointless or lacking in
    purpose. It can be understood to have been done
    so that those who come to baptism are admonished
    to keep the sacrament of such a great mystery
    inviolate and whole even to death, so that they
    must not desert the worship and service of Christ
    our Lord God for as long as they draw the breath
    of this life through their nostrils.

55
  • Sermon VI On the Mystery and Holiness of
    Baptism
  • In the first sermon we promised that we would
    speak about everything that you received through
    our ministry and the grace of Christ, lest any
    negligence should arise in you out of ignorance.
    So in the first and second sermons second is
    missing we only spoke to you about those things
    which we conferred on your in accordance with the
    tradition of the Catholic rule before you came to
    the holy baptistery we explained what the
    anointing signified and what the various meanings
    are of the anointing of the various parts of your
    body as our Lord deigned to grant, and we showed
    how you were prepared through the oil of
    sanctification to hear the full faith and you
    were called to the sweet fragrance of Christ.

56
  • You gave a most solemn guarantee in which you
    promised to renounce all his pomps and works and
    all devilish fornication,
  • And you went down into the font the holy font,
    the font of life, the font of redemption, the
    font sanctified with heavenly power, and
    sanctified so as to sanctify people by washing
    them after many sins.
  • So before we baptized your whole body in this
    font, we asked, Do you believe in God the Father
    almighty? You replied, I believe.

57
  • And again we asked, Do you believe in Christ
    Jesus his Son, who was born of the Holy Spirit
    and the Virgin Mary? Each of you replied, I
    believe.
  • Again we asked, And in the Holy Spirit?
    Likewise you replied, I believe.
  • But when we asked, Do you believe in the holy
    Church and the forgiveness of sins and the
    resurrection of the flesh? we did not ask so as
    to mean, that one believes in the Church of God
    in the same way as one believes in God.

58
  • So after you had promised to believe those things
    which we have explained so far, we immersed your
    head three times in the sacred font. The rite of
    baptism which we celebrate signifies a twofold
    mystery. You were rightly immersed three times,
    since you received baptism in the name of the
    Trinity you were rightly immersed three times,
    since you received baptism in the name of Jesus
    Christ who rose from the dead on the third day.

59
  • Sermon VII On the Anointing of the Head and the
    Foot Washing
  • So far we have spoken about the mysteries which
    are celebrated either before the sacrament of
    baptism or at the baptism itself. Now we shall
    deal with those which by holy tradition are
    performed on the newly baptized.
  • When the baptism has been completed, we pour
    chrism, that is the oil of sanctification, on
    your head. By this oil it is shown that the Lord
    confers on the newly baptized the dignity of
    royalty and priesthood.

60
  • Now with the completion of all the sacraments, we
    also gave a command to you by example and word,
    for we washed the feet of each one of you, to
    stir you to imitate us, or rather our Lord and
    Savior himself. Just as we wash your feet, so
    you must wash the feet of your brethren and
    strangers, so that we may teach you not only to
    be hospitable, but also hospitable with humility,
    and so to honor those whom you receive in your
    hospitality that you may not blush to fulfill the
    task of slaves toward them.
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