It is easy to recognize in our ordinary Benediction service, the traces of two distinct elements. There is of course in the first place the direct veneration of the Blessed Sacrament, which appears in the exposition, blessing, "Tantum ergo", etc. But besides this we note the almost invariable presence of what at first sight seems an incongruous element, that of the litany of Loreto, or of popular hymns in honor of Our Lady. Tracing our present service back to its origin we find that these two features are derived from different sources. The idea of exposing the Blessed Sacrament for veneration in a monstrance appears to have been first evolved at the end of the thirteenth or the beginning of the fourteenth century. When the elevation of the Host at Mass was introduced in the early years of the thirteenth century, probably as a form of protest against the theological views of Peter the Chanter, the idea by degrees took firm hold of the popular mind that special virtue and merit were attached to the act of looking at the Blessed Sacrament. To such extremes did this prepossession go, that the seeing of the Host at the moment of the elevation was judged to be the most vital part of attendance at Mass. On certain churches in Spain a screen of black velvet was held up behind the altar in order that the priest's hands and the Host might be more easily seen from afar; in others strict injunctions were given to the thurifer that he should on no account allow the smoke of the thurible to obstruct the view of the Host. Furthermore, we read that when men were dying and were unable on account of vomiting or any other cause to receive Holy Viaticum, the Blessed Sacrament was brought to them and held up before them to look at. Indeed, a virtual prohibition of this practice stands to this day amongst the rubrics of the "Rituale Romanum."