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The deacon pours wine into the chalice, the subdeacon water, which is first blessed by the celebrant with the form: "Deus qui humanæ substantiæ".
The deacon hands the chalice to the celebrant, who, holding it up, says the prayer : "Offerimus tibi Domine".
In the earliest period we have no evidence of anything but the bringing up of the bread and wine as they are wanted, before the Consecration prayer. This silent prayer is undoubtedly an Offertory prayer.
Justin Martyr says: "Then bread and a cup of water and wine are brought to the president of the brethren" (I Apol., lxv, cf, lxvii). But a later modification in the East brought about one of the characteristic differences between Eastern and Roman liturgies.
Originally at this moment the people brought up bread and wine which were received by the deacons and placed by them on the altar.
Traces of the custom remain at a papal Mass and at Milan.
While the Offertory is made the people (choir) sing a verse (the Offertorium in the sense of a text to be sung) that forms part of the Proper of the Mass. Const."; VIII, but it may no doubt be supposed as the reason why the celebrant there too prays silently. Durandus notes with disapproval that in his time the verses of the psalm are left out (Rationale, IV, 26). It is taken from the psalter, or other book of the Bible , or is often not a Biblical text.
It refers in some way to the feast or occasion of the Mass, never to the offering of bread and wine.
The use of incense at this point is medieval and not originally Roman (remnant of the incense at the Gallican procession of the oblata ? Micrologus notes that the Roman order uses incense at the Gospel, not at the Offertory; but he admits that in his time (eleventh century) the oblata are incensed by nearly everyone (De Exxl. Finally, after the Lavabo the celebrant at the middle of the altar, looking up and then bowing down, says the prayer "Suscipe sancta Trinitas" which sums up the Offertory idea. At low Mass, the parts of the deacon and subdeacon are taken partly by the server and partly by the celebrant himself. At requiems the water is not blessed, and the subdeacon does not hold the paten.
The Gregorian Sacramentary contains only the rubric : "deinde offertorium, et dicitur oratio super oblata" (P. This corresponds to the oldest custom mentioned in the "Apost.
Const."; its reason is that meanwhile the people sang a psalm (the Offertory chant ). For a long time these prayers were considered a private devotion of the priest, like the preparation at the foot of the altar. The present Roman prayers were compiled from various sources, Gallican or Mozarabic. Before Pius V's Missal these prayers were often preceded by the title "Canon minor " or "Secretella" (as amplifications of the Secret ).
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This office, as it now exists in the Roman Liturgy, is composed of First Vespers, Mass, Matins, and Lauds.
Only the requiem has preserved a longer offertory with one verse and the repetition of the last part of the antiphon (the text is not Biblical).