It should be noted, first off, that my consideration here is presently in view of the Mozarabic liturgy of recent centuries; namely from the 16th until the 20th century, and not, per se, the earlier historical forms of the Mozarabic liturgy in the middle ages and before. Those interested in the earlier forms may wish to consult the work of the aforemention Dom Marius Ferotin; namely, his editions of the Liber Mozarabicus Sacramentorum and the Liber Ordinum.
One of the interesting features of the Mozarabic liturgy was that it employed two missals; the Missale Omnium Offerentium, which equates to what we would speak of as the Ordo Missae in the Roman and other Western rites and uses -- or in other words the Ordinary parts of the Mozarabic liturgy (as well as a specimen Mass; that of St. James the Greater) -- and the complete missal itself which contained all of the other liturgical texts for all the other Masses.
Archdale King. in the Liturgies of the Primatial Sees, notes that these two missals are properly required for the celebration of the Mozarabic rite of Mass.
The Catholic Encyclopedia further comments upon the nature of these two missals accordingly:
The Missale Omnium Offerentium contains what in the Roman Rite would be called the Ordinary and Canon. As nearly the whole Mass varies with the day, this book contains a specimen Mass (that of the Feast of St. James the Great) set out in full with all its component parts, variable or fixed, in their proper order. On all other days the variables are read from the complete Missal.
-- Catholic Encyclopedia, "Mozarabic rite"
The question of the intended meaning of "Omnium Offerentium" is debated. Some suggest that it references the Mass of the Catechumens, "of all who offer", while others surmise it refers to the "Missal of all Masses" -- that is to say, those parts which would be applicable to all Masses; the ordinary. As to why St. James the Greater was the particular "specimen Mass" to be found in this particular Missale, King surmises that "It is possible that... by the time of Cardinal Cisneros the old liturgy was celebrated, hardly more often than on this one day of the year" (p. 566) though clearly this is speculative. This statement does however point to another fact; namely, that by the time of the Renaissance, the Mozarabic liturgy was relatively obscure in use:
...when Francisco Ximenes de Cisneros became Archbishop of Toledo in 1495, he found the Mozarabic Rite in a fair way to become extinct. He employed the learned Alfonso Ortiz and three Mozarabic priests, Alfonso Martinez, parish priest of St. Eulalia, Antonio Rodrigues of Sts. Justa and Ruffina, and Jeronymo Guttierez of St. Luke, to prepare an edition of the Mozarabic Missal, which appeared in 1500, and of the Breviary, which appeared in 1502. He founded the Mozarabic Chapel in Toledo cathedral, with an endowment for thirteen chaplains, a sacristan and two mazos sirvientes, and with provision for a sung Mass and the Divine Office daily. Soon afterwards, in 1517, Rodrigo Arias Maldonado de Talavera founded the Capilla de San Salvador, or de Talavera, in the Old Cathedral of Salamanca, where fifty-five Mozarabic Masses were to be said yearly. They were later reduced to six, and now the rite is used there only once or twice a year.
- Catholic Encyclopedia, "Mozarabic rite"
As mentioned above, in 1500 the complete version of the Missal (not to be confused with the smaller Missale Omnium Offerentium) was published as the Missale Mixtum, containing elements formerly found in the old Mozarabic Sacramentary, Lectionary and Antiphoner. This was reprinted in 1755 and again in 1804 (this time under the title of Missale Gothicum) -- it is also republished in Migne's Patrologia Latina, LXXXV. However, these editions also added in a number of mediaeval Toledean features which were not a part of the historical Mozarabic rite. (King, p. 528.)
(The 1804 Edition of the "complete" Mozarabic Missal)
Of these various "modern" editions of the Mozarabic missal, J.M. Neale so comments:
Even in the middle of the slxteenth century, the price of a [Mozarabic] Missal had amounted to thirty doubloons ; and Paul III. actually sent an envoy to Toledo, in order that he might procure a copy for the Vatican Library. In the time of Florez, a copy was unattainable ; and it so remained till Alexander Leslie published at Rome, in 1755, his valuable and laborious edition. The manner in which he speaks of the Mozarabic Office shows how little it was then known even to the learned of that day. In 1775, the great and good Cardinal Lorenzana reprinted the Breviary at Madrid. In 1804, the Missal appeared at Rome, after the death of that prelate, but at his [own] expense ; Faustinus Arevalus was the editor.
- "The Mozarabic Liturgy," Essays on Liturgiology and Church History
While we have been speaking of two different missals, it is worth making note of the fact that in the complete version of the Mozarabic missal, "the 'Omnium Offerentium' appears twice... [on the] First Sunday in Advent, which presents a model Mass, and again between Easter Saturday and Low Sunday." (King, Primatial Sees)
To clarify, what King is noting here is distinct from the Missale Omnium Offerentium heretofore mentioned, and published as a smaller missal.
(Click to enlarge)
Of interest with regard to these instances is that "certain inconsistencies exist between them, as, for example, the use of the Benedicite, which in one place seems to infer that it was the exclusive feature of Lent, whereas in the other it would appear to have been recited throughout the year. Further than this, we find differences in the two texts of the canticle. There are also differences in the prayers following the Gloria in excelsis and the position of the sacrificium." (King)
(The next in this series will consider some of the texts of the Omnium Offerentium in comparison with the Roman texts.)