Additional help is given by a kind of Catholic Churchman's Almanack, called the Ordo Recitandi Divini Officii, published in different countries and dioceses, and giving, under every day, minute directions for proper reading.
The oldest Ordo Romanus, which perhaps takes us back to within a century of Gregory the Great, enjoins that in pontifical masses a subdeacon, with a golden censer, shall go before the bishop as he leaves the secretarium for the choir, and two, with censers, before the deacon gospeller as he proceeds with the gospel to the ambo.
His most important extant works are: in prose, Gratiarum Actio, an address of thanks to Gratian for his elevation to the consulship; Periochae, summaries of the books of the Iliad and Odyssey; and one or two epistolae; in verse, Epigrammata, including several free translations from the Greek Anthology; Ephemeris, the occupations of a day; Parentalia and Commemoratio Professorum Burdigalensium, on deceased relatives and literary friends; Epitaphia, chiefly on the Trojan heroes; Caesares, memorial verses on the Roman emperors from Julius Caesar to Elagabalus; Ordo Nobilium Urbium, short poems on famous cities; Ludus Septem Sapientum, speeches delivered by the Seven Sages of Greece; Idyllia, of which the best-known are the Mosella, a descriptive poem on the Moselle, and the infamous Cento Nuptialis.
In the 4th century it is named by the poet Ausonius in his Ordo nobilium erbium, chiefly, perhaps, on the strength of its historic memories.
The procession was followed, inside the church, by a curious combination of ritual office and mystery play, the text of which, according to the Ordo processionis asinorum secundum Rothomagensem usum, is given in Du Cange.
So far as Spain is concerned there is evidence for it in the decrees of the 4th council of Toledo (633),(633), and for Rome that of the 8th century Ordo of Mabillon.
These were originally the candles carried by the deacons, according to the Ordo Romanus (i.
Their duties became merged in the ordinary work of the bishops and counts, and under the emperor Charles the Bald they took control of associations 1 The history of the practice of elevating the host seems to have arisen out of the custom of holding up the oblations, as mentioned in the Ordo Romanus (see above).
In the Roman Catholic Church the Good Friday ritual at present observed is marked by many special features, most of which can be traced back to a date at least prior to the close of the 8th century (see the Ordo Romanus in Muratori's Liturg.
Estque haec particula velut filius emancipatus seorsumque collocatus, et principium per se vivens; unde postea membrorum ordo describitur; et quaecunque ad absolvendum animal pertinent, disponuntur.