Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Amalarius Of Metz.

Italic Text is taken from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

English: Flower garden in city of Thionville, France.
The Synod of Thionville (German: Diedenhofen) was held in 835 A.D.,
and Amalarius replaced Agobard at this Synod.
Lëtzebuergesch: Zu Diddenuewen.
Date: 10 October 2005 (original upload date).
Source: Own work. Transferred from lb.wikipedia
(Wikimedia Commons)

Amalarius of Metz (circa 780 A.D. - 850 A.D.), also known as Amalarius Symphosius or Amalarius Fortunatus, was a Liturgist and a partisan of Louis the Pious throughout his tumultuous reign.

In 831 A.D., Amalarius travelled to Rome to meet Pope Gregory IV and arrange a new Frankish Liturgy. In 835 A.D., he replaced Agobard at the Synod of Diedenhofen (Thionville). During Agobard's exile (circa 834 A.D.) he was responsible for administering the Diocese of Lyon. He implemented Liturgical reforms.

He wrote extensively on the Mass, including the Liber Officialis, and was involved in the great Mediaeval debates regarding Predestination.

We must rely on his enemy, Florus of Lyon, for an account of Amalarius' condemnation on the accusation of Heresy, at Quierzy, 838 A.D., which banned some of his works. Nevertheless, his writings form a good portion of our current documentation of the 9th-Century Liturgies of the Western Church.

While the exact date of his death is not known, it is believed that it happened around 850 A.D. in Metz.

English: Printed Antiphonary (circa 1700).
Open at Vespers of Easter Sunday.
Amalarius of Metz, a great Liturgist, tried to introduce his new Antiphonary
when he governed the Diocese of Lyons, but met with strong
opposition from the Deacon, Florus.
Français: F. Montacier / Antiphonaire de la Charité / Musée de l'Assistance
de Paris / Hôtel de Miramion (Paris, France).
Recueil de chants liturgiques,
18e siècle (env. 1700), parchemin.
Date: 9 September 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: ignis.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following Text is taken from THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA
(dated 1907).

A Liturgical writer, born at Metz, in the last quarter of the 8th-Century; died about 850 A.D. He was formerly considered a different personage from Amalarius of Trèves (Trier), but, of late, owing to the researches of Dom Morin, the opinion seems to prevail that, about 811 A.D., Amalarius of Metz became Bishop of Trèves, which Diocese he relinquished after two years to act as Envoy to Constantinople. Hence, he is regarded as author of the works once attributed to Amalarius of Trèves.

He was for some time a disciple of Alcuin. After returning to France from Constantinople, he would appear to have assisted at important Synods at Aix-la-Chapelle and Paris. Later, he was sent by Louis le Débonnaire as Ambassador to Pope Gregory IV, at Rome, this being probably his second visit to the Eternal City. Later, he governed the Diocese of Lyons during the exile of Agobard, and there tried to introduce his new Antiphonary, but met with strong opposition from the Deacon, Florus.

When Agobard was restored to his See, both he and Florus attacked the writings of Amalarius and succeeded in having him censured at a Synod, held at Kiersy in 838 A.D., for his opinion concerning the signification of the parts of the divided Hostat Mass. Finally, Amalarius was involved in the Theological controversies on Predestination, raised by Gottschalk.

The date of his death has not been determined with certainty, but it must have been shortly after the year 850 A.D. The works of Amalarius treat chiefly of Liturgical subjects. His most important, and also his long treatises, are entitled "De ecclesiasticis officiis" and "De ordine antiphonarii." The former is divided into four books, in which, without observing a strict, logical order, he treats of the Mass, the Office, different Benedictions, Ordinations, Vestments, etc., giving an explanation of the various Formularies and Ceremonies, rather than a scientific exposition of the Liturgy.

The first book explains the Liturgical Seasons and Feasts, from Septuagesima to Pentecost, and especially the Ceremonies of Holy Week. The second book treats of the times for conferring Holy Orders, of the different Orders in the Church and of the Liturgical Vestments. The third book contains a few Preliminary Chapters on Bells, the Choir, etc., a Treatise on the different parts of the Mass, Celebrated Pontifically, according to the Roman Rite, and some Chapters on special subjects, e.g. Advent, the Mass for the Dead, etc.

The fourth book deals principally with The Divine Office, explaining its integral parts and the Offices peculiar to certain Liturgical Seasons or Feast Days, but it contains a few supplementary Chapters on Obsequies for the Dead and subjects already treated.

In the "De ordine antiphonarii", he explains the arrangement of The Divine Office and the variations for the different Feasts, and considers, in particular, the origin and meaning of the Antiphons and Responses; indeed, in this world, he would seem a commentator on his own Antiphonary compiled from the Antiphonaries of Rome and Metz, and a defender of his method of composition.

His "Eclogae de officio missae" contains a description of the Pontifical Mass, according to the Roman Rite, and a mystical explanation of the different parts of the Mass. Several letters of Amalarius, dealing with Liturgical subjects, have also been preserved. Dom Morin denies the authenticity of the Letter of Amalarius in response to certain questions of Charlemagne concerning Baptism, as well as the "Forma institutionis canonicorum et sanctimonialium," which is a collection of rules taken from the Decrees of Councils and works of the Fathers, for Clerics and Nuns living in Community. Unfortunately, his Antiphonary, and also his "Embolis", have not been preserved.

Amalarius seems to have had a strong liking for Liturgical studies, a liking which was stimulated and fostered by his master, Alcuin. His travels to the East gave him considerable information concerning the Oriental Rites, but his stay in Rome appears to have imbued him with a deep love for the Roman Liturgy and to have greatly influenced his Liturgical work. There, he made a special study of Rubrics and Roman customs; he inquired diligently of Theodore, the Arch-Priest of the Basilica of Saint Peter, concerning the Formularies and Ceremonies in use in Rome, and even sought to obtain copies of the Liturgical books to bring to France.

Living at this time when the Liturgy was changing, when the fusion of the Roman and Gallican uses was taking place, he exercised a remarkable influence in introducing the present composite Liturgy, which has finally supplanted the ancient Roman Rite. He sought to carry out the desire of the Emperor to introduce the Roman Liturgy in order to obtain uniformity, but, at the same time, like Alcuin and other Liturgists of his age, he combined with the Roman Rite whatever he deemed worth preserving in the Gallican Rite, as may be easily seen in his commentary on his own Antiphonary.

The chief merit of his works consists of the fact that they have preserved much accurate and valuable information on the state of the Liturgy at the beginning of the 9th-Century, so that a comparison may easily be made between it and the present Liturgy, to determine what changes have occurred and to trace the development that has taken place.

The most serious defect in his writings is an excessive mysticism, which led him to seek far-fetched, and even absurd, symbolical origins and meanings for Liturgical Formulas and Ceremonies, but the fault may be in a measure excused, since it was common to all Liturgical writers of that time. He may also have used more liberty in composing, changing, and transposing Liturgical Texts than Ecclesiastical authority in later ages would permit, when the necessity of unity in the Liturgy was more imperatively felt. In spite of these faults, he exercised great influence on the development of the present Roman Liturgy, and his works are very useful for the study of the history of the Latin Liturgies.

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