The following Introduction to the earliest Ordo Romanus makes no claim to origanility, having no pretensions to be anything more than a compilation from the works of the numerous liturgical writers who have expounded either the whole or parts of this venerable monument of the ceremonial of the early medieval Church in Rome.
The objective which the general Editor has kept before me is the intelligent Churchman who is interested in the rites and ceremonies of the Catholic Church, but has little leisure or opportunity of examining the numerous works that deal with the whole or parts of the matters that belong to the ceremonial of solemn mass. With Lindewode I may say, presens opus non precipue nec principaliter viris scribo scientia preditis, sed potius simpliciter litteratis et pauca intelligentibus : but I fear that I cannot go on to claim for this Introduction even the modest estimate at which Lindewode appraises his Provinciale as a book for students, for it is unlikely that such as they will find anything therein of which they are not already fully aware. It is in consequence of the above-mentioned objective that the use of Latin has benn almost entirely restricted to the notes, and English used practically throughout. It is hoped that the average Churchman will hereby be enabled to bring before his mind a picture of a Roman church, and the ceremonies that were used at a public mass therein, as they were in the eighth century of the Christian era.