In the later series of Western rituals, beginning with that which is known as the Leonine Sacramentary, this practice is almost universal.
The Roman books are silent, and there is no mention of it in the collection known as the Leonine Sacramentary; while in the so-called Gelasian Massbook, which, as we have it, is full of Gallican additions made to St Gregory's reform, there is the same silence, though in one MS. of the 10th century given by Muratori we find a form for the ordination of an acolyte.
Wilson, The Gelasian Sacramentary (Oxford, 1894); F.
The phrase dies cinerum appears in the earliest extant copies of the Gregorian Sacramentary, and it is probable that the custom was already established by the 8th century.
If we are to credit a 9th century biographer, Gregory abbreviated and otherwise simplified the Sacramentary of Gelasius, producing a revised edition with which his own name has become associated, and which represents the groundwork of the modern Roman Missal.
The addition of some words in the prayer Hanc igitur, the recitation of the Pater Noster at the end of the Canon immediately before the fraction of the bread, and the chanting of the Allelulia after the Gradual at other times besides the season of Easter) and two others in the ceremonial connected therewith (forbidding deacons to perform any musical portion of the service except the chanting of the gospel, and subdeacons to wear chasubles), neither the external nor the internal evidence appears to warrant belief that the Gregorian Sacramentary is his work.
The holy oil, chrism, or µvpov, as the Easterns call it, was prepared and consecrated on Maundy Thursday, and in the Gelasian sacramentary the formula used runs thus: "Send forth, 0 Lord, we beseech thee, thy Holy Spirit the Paraclete from heaven into this fatness of oil, which thou hast deigned to bring forth out of the green wood for the refreshing of mind and body; and through thy holy benediction may it be for all who anoint with it, taste it, touch it, a safeguard of mind and body, of soul and spirit, for the expulsion of all pains, of every infirmity, of every sickness of mind and body.
The sacramentary of Serapion, c. 350, provides a prayer asking that the divine Word may descend into the water and hallow it, as of old it hallowed the Jordan.
The 8 th-century Gelasian Sacramentary, which embodies a much older tradition, mentions it under the title of Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which has led some to suppose that it was ordained by Pope Gelasius I.
The Sacramentary of Serapion (c. 350), The Pilgrimage of Etheria (Silvia) (c. 385), and The Catechetical Lectures of Cyril of Jerusalem (348) are also of value in this connexion.
40; Gregory Nyss., Oratio in eos qui differunt baptismum; Sacramentary of Serapion of Thmuis; Augustine, De Baptismo contra Donatistas; Jac. Goar, Rituale Graecorum (gives the current Greek rites); F.
The epistles of Pope Siricius (who wished to stand well with the people) are full of scorn for these ascetics, and the Leonine sacramentary contains prayers which severely denounce them.