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and the people may frely come into the church, ring the bells for ioye, &c.""
The same writer presently continues: "The manner and order of consecrating or halowing altars, is this. First the byshop muste beginne, Deus in adjutorium. Secondly, he shall make holy water. Thyrdely at ye foure corners of y altare he shal make foure crosses with holy water. Fourthly, the bishop shall goe seven tymes about the altare: and seuen tymes he shall washe the table of the altare, or altare stone with holy water, having the holy water sprynckle made of ysope. The churche also shall be sprinkled agayne with holy water and whatsoever holy water doth afterwarde remaine, shall bee poured out beneath at the altare. Fiftlye at the foure corners of the sepulchre, wherein ye reliques are laide, the byshop shall make foure crosses with ye creame: and the reliques shall be layde up in a bagge with three graines of franckencense, and put agayne in the sepulchre. Then shall there be made in the middes of the sepulchre, a table with the signe of the crosse. Sixtly, the stone, which is called the table, shall be made mete, and laide upon the altare and beyng so made mete, the byshop shal annoynt it with oyle in five places: and lykewise shal he afterward doe with the creame, as it is said of the oyle. The byshop also shal confyrme the altare in the forehead or forefronte with a crosse of creame : and shall burn franckensence upon the altare in five places. After al these thinges be done, the altare shal be covered with fayre clothes: and the priest may now lawfully sing masse upon it, when he will." Becon
24 Fol. 256. Edit. 1563. 12mo.
refers to Durand as his authority also: and the reader will do well to compare his account with the order below. The "confirming of an altar" seems to be an improvement upon the vulgar notion of the "baptizing a bell."
Before however I leave this part of the subject, I am bound to add, that in inscribing the alphabets within a S. Andrew's cross, the later plan, as regards it, adopted in the printed pontificals of the church of Rome, has been followed, instead of the exact order as the alphabets are written in the MS. There is no doubt that such was the rule of performing this part of the office, and the reader will be enabled to form a better idea than he otherwise might of the mode in which they were inscribed. In the manuscript the two alphabets are written in large characters. The Latin is sufficiently correct, but the Greek consists of certain mysterious signs, most of which have but a distant resemblance to the letters; and moreover are in number twenty-eight, instead of twenty-four: in fact, the scribe instead of copying the twenty-four letters of the Greek alphabet, appears to have taken by mistake the numerical signs, under each of which he has inscribed its arithmetical power, with the supposed names above. These last however present some singular deviations from common usage. Thus we have othomega for omega; ennacis for sanpi; and the Latin M for the a.
XI. We come now to the "Ordo ad Synodum,” which I have thought an important part of the old pontifical, and I have placed it after the office of the consecration of a church. Councils may be divided into four classes, viz. Ecumenical, in which are represented the various churches of the whole Christian
world; and whose decrees, being accepted afterwards by the church Catholic, we believe to be infallible : National, which includes the churches of one country, but of more provinces than one: Provincial, of a single province: and Diocesan, which is the council called by the Bishop, of the priests of his own diocese. This last, is that with which we have now to do.
There is abundance of evidence, if it was necessary to enter into it, that the practice of holding synods is coeval with the first ages of the Church. We must not pass by the two most ancient canons which are extant to this effect. One, among the Apostolical canons : the 37th. "Let there be a meeting of the Bishops twice a year, and let them examine among themselves the decrees concerning religion, and settle the ecclesiastical controversies which may have occurred. One meeting to be held in the fourth week of the Pentecost (ie: the fourth week after Easter) and the other on the twelfth day of the month Hyperberetæus, (i: e: October.)" The other is part of the 5th canon of the council of Nice. "It is decreed to be proper, that synods should be assembled twice every year in every province and of these synods, one is to be held before Lent, the other in the season of Autumn." And in like manner as the Bishops met in the provincial synod, so in the diocesan did each Prelate collect his clergy, to deliberate upon matters within their capability, to examine complaints, to enforce discipline, and to correct abuses.
In the canons enacted under king Edgar, we find two, which relate to this subject. "We enjoin that they (the clergy) at every synod, have, every year, books and garments for divine ministry, and ink and vellum for their ordinances: and provision for three
days. We enjoin, that every priest at the synod have his clerk, and an orderly man for servant, and no ignorant person who loves folly: but let all go with decorum, and with fear of God Almighty."" "25 And three hundred years before this, in the same century with the establishment of the Church among the Anglo-saxons, at a council at Hertford under Archbishop Theodore, it was decreed: "ut bis in anno synodus congregetur." 26
I shall not delay to quote any of the frequent orders made from time to time, in after ages, to the same effect; and make but one observation that it was held to be a remarkable fact connected with the reign of William Rufus, that "there was no ecclesiastical synod, and nothing went right."27 When as Malmsbury says, for long want of synods, christian zeal had grown cold. I shall pass on therefore to a brief extract from Lyndwood. He tells us that in his day, synod was understood to mean, the Diocesan Council. Synodus enim solet dici concilium factum sive congregátum per episcopum in sua diœcesi." 28 And in another place: "Synodis. Hæ dicuntur conventus sive congregationes senum et presbyterorum: et de
bent fieri per episcopos annuatim. Et ad eas tenentur venire omnes illi, qui sub illo episcopo habent curam animarum." Here, the canonist, in speaking only of 66 once a year," seems to oppose the rubric of the Winchester pontifical, as well as various canons which appointed, as we have seen, synods to be celebrated twice a year. Possibly in his time, such might have been a lax and degenerate custom; or it might have been allowed in consequence of accidental difficulties which prevented more frequent meetings, or, again, from the great size of some dioceses, once at least was to be sufficient. "Ad minus semel in anno," was the allowance made by the council of Basil: and in the council of Cologne, A.D. 1549, cited by Catalani,30 we have an express case of the diocese of Louvain considered, and decided on that on account of its large extent, one synod a year was to be sufficient.
The place where the diocesan synod was to be held, is simply declared in the following order, to be “in ecclesia;" that is, in the chancel: but there are not a few examples of synods which assembled in other parts of the church, as well as, upon some occasions, without it. Thus the council of Chalcedon, and one of Constantinople, are said to have met and sat in the baptisteries of churches. It seems agreed upon that those who were present were vested in some proper manner, which should shew also the difference of degrees. Catalani cites, amongst others, an early English synod, a. D. 793, at which it happens to be recorded that the priests were vested in chasubles; "sacerdotalibus in
29 Lib. 1. Tit. 14. Item statuimus. verb. Synodis.