emperor's throne. The result was that fewer from the congregation received communion.13

Rome and the West

Our evidence for worship in the Western churches is rather sparser than that for the East. We have the writings of Ambrose of Milan, which are comparable to the works of Cyril, John Chrysostom and Theodore in the East; we have catechetical homilies from Zeno of Verona, and Augustine for North Africa; we have the letter of Innocent I (sed. 402-17) to Decentius of Gubbio, and the writings of Leo I. The Verona sacramentary (worship service book), formerly called the Leonine sacramentary, preserves some liturgical materials dated from 440-560. The Later Gelasian sacramentary may include elements from the latter part of the seventh century. Hardly anything survives as witness to the North African tradition - even though liturgical Latin apparently had its origin there. The Gallican and Visigothic churches also had their own usage, but it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to differentiate earlier material from that of the eighth and ninth centuries.

Ambrose wrote towards the end of the fourth century, and claimed to follow Roman custom in most, but not all, traditions. In De sacramentis and De mysteriis, he outlined and explained both the baptismal and something of the eucharistic worship in Milan.

According to him, on Saturday night the candidates for baptism assembled, and the bishop touched their ears and nostrils, ritualising the effeta ('bringing forth') miracle of the Gospel (Mark 7.3iff.). He explains that the nostrils are substituted forthe mouthbecause women are present amongthe candidates. In the baptistery the candidates were anointed as athletes, to give them protection for the forthcoming spiritual struggle. There was a renunciation, and then the bishop exorcised the water. He then 'utters invocation and prayer that the water may be sanctified and that the eternal Trinity may dwell there'. It seems that during the blessing a wooden cross was thrown or placed in the water. Ambrose attests a threefold immersion, and a post-baptismal anointing with chrism. At Milan there was also a ceremony of foot washing, as Ambrose says, a difference from Roman practice.14 He also mentions a 'sealing', but it

13 Edmund Bishop, 'Fear and awe attaching to the eucharistic elements', in R. H. Connolly, ed., The liturgical homilies ofNarsai.

14 Ambrose, De sacramentis 3.4; trans. in Edward Yarnold, The awe-inspiringrites ofinitiation,

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