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All the group of rituals that depend on the "Apostolic Constitutions" contain the rite of ordaining readers. Const.", vii, xxii, tells the bishop to ordain a reader by laying on his hand and saying a prayer, which is given.

The reason of this confusion of names is, perhaps, that originally Matins and Lauds formed but a single office, the Night Office terminating only at dawn. The author calls it hymni matutinales ; it is considered the principal office of the day. "De Virginitate", xx, in P G., XXVIII, 275.) Lastly, we again find the first traces of Lauds in the third, and even in the second, century in the Canons of Hippolytus, in St. It is easy to conclude from the preceding what were the motives which gave rise to this office, and what its signification is.

In the liturgy, the word Lauds has two other meanings: It sometimes signifies the alleluia of the Mass; thus a Council of Toledo (IV Council, c. There the liturgy displays all its pomps; the bishop used to be present with all his clergy, the office being celebrated around the Grotto of the Holy Sepulchre itself; after the psalms and canticles had been sung, the litanies were chanted, and the bishop then blessed the people. Dom Cabrol, "Etude sur la Peregrinatio Silviae, les Eglises de Jerusalem, la discipline et la liturgie au IVX siecle", Paris, 1895, pp. Cyprian, and even in the Apostolic Fathers, so much so that Bäumer does not hesitate to assert that Lauds together with Vespers are the most ancient office, and owe their origin to the Apostles (Bäumer-Biron, op. For a Christian the first thought which should present itself to the mind in the morning, is the thought of God ; the first act of his day should be a prayer.

xii) formally pronounced: "Lauds are sung after the Epistle and before the Gospel" (for this interpretation compare Mabillon, "De Liturgia gall.", I, iv). Isidore says: "Laudes, hoc est, Alleluia, canere" (De div. The word Lauds also designates the public acclamations which were sung or shouted at the accession of princes, a custom which was for a long time observed in the Christian Church on certain occasions. The first gleam of dawn recalls to our minds that Christ is the true Light, that He comes to dispel spiritual darkness, and to reign over the world.

As the idea obtained that a special blessing and dedication should be given to everyone who performs an office for the Church, the reader too was instituted by prayers and some ceremony.

Readers were blessed and set apart, as were the fossores who dug graves, the notarii who kept registers, and widows.

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