Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Libera Nos

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The first words of the Embolism of the Lord's Prayer in the Roman Rite. Most liturgies contain a prayer developing the idea of the last clause of the Our Father (But deliver us from evil), and specifying various evils from which we pray to be delivered. This prayer, which always follows the Our Father immediately, is called its Embolism (embolismos, insertion). In many rites (Antiochene, Alexandrine, Nestorian) it is rather of the nature of an insertion into the Our Father, repeating again and enlarging on its last clauses (e.g. the Antiochene Embolism: "And lead us not into temptation, O Lord, Lord of Hosts Who knowest our weakness, but deliver us from the evil one, and from his works and all his might and art, for the sake of Thy Holy Name invoked upon our lowliness"). The Roman Embolism is said secretly by the celebrant as soon as he has added Amen to the last clause of the "Pater noster" sung by the choir (or said by the server). In the middle (after omnibus sanctis) he makes the sign of the cross with the paten and kisses it. During the last clause (Per eundem Dominum nostrum . . .) he puts the paten under the Host, he (at high Mass the deacon) uncovers the chalice, genuflects, breaks the Host over the chalice, puts a small fraction into the chalice and the rest on the paten. This rite is the Fraction common to all liturgies. The last words (Per omnia sæcula sæculorum) are sung (or said) aloud, forming the Ecphonesis before the Pax). Only on Good Friday does he sing it aloud, to the tone of a ferial Collect, and the choir answers Amen. In this case the Fraction does not take place till the Embolism is finished. In the Milanese and Mozarabic Rites he sings it, and the choir answers Amen. For the Gallican Embolism (of Germanus of Paris, d. 576) see Duchesne, "Origines du Culte chretien (Paris, 1898), 211. The present Milanese form is very similar to that of Rome. It will be found with its chant in any edition of the Ambrosian Missal. The Mozarabic Embolism with its chant is in the "Missale Mistum" (P.L. LXXXV, 559-60). In both rites the Fraction has preceded the Lord's Prayer. The Embolisms of the Eastern rites are given in Brightman, "Eastern Liturgies", (Oxford, 1896), namely: Antiochene, 60, 100; Alexandrian, 136, 182; Nestorian, 296; Armenian, 446. In all these the Embolism is said secretly, with the last words aloud (Ecphonesis); the people answer Amen. The Byzantine Rite has no Embolism of the Lord's Prayer, but only the final clause: "For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, now and for ever and for ages of ages. R. Amen" (ibid., 392 and 410). That it once had this prayer, like the parent Rite of Antioch, seems certain from the fact that there is an Embolism in the Nestorian and Armenian Liturgies, both derived at an early date from Constantinople.

ADRIAN FORTESCUE