Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/116

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tion, obsequies, etc., etc. At a wedding the ceremony was as follows: On the conclusion of High Mass and after the Agnus Dei had been chanted, the bridegroom went up to the altar and received the kiss of peace from the priest. After this he returned to his wife, and gave her the priest's kiss of peace at the foot of the crucifix. Reminiscences of this rite still survive in several churches in England.

The holy kiss played an important part even at the Mass; in the Greek Church it was imparted before, in the Roman Catholic Church after, the consecration of the elements. The priest kissed the penitent, and through this kiss gave him peace; this was the true kiss of peace (osculum pacis). We have a peculiar memorial of this in Old Irish, where the word pōc, which is derived from the Latin pax, means "kiss,"—not "peace." This change of meaning must, I suppose, be attributed partly to a misunderstanding of the priest's words when he kissed the penitent: Pacem do tibi (Peace I give unto thee), i.e., people understood the kiss as the chief thing, and thought pacem referred to that. The same peculiarity is again to be