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THE principal part of the present volume has been translated from the "Esposizione delle Sacre Cerimonie" of Joseph Baldeschi, the work on Ceremonies now universally used at Rome. As, however, Baldeschi does not give the Ceremonies of a Bishop in his own Diocese-since he wrote for Rome, where the Bishop is the Pope-it became necessary to add them from other sources. This has been done without curtailing or interfering with those of a Bishop not in his own Diocese, which remain as Baldeschi gives them. Those which are added on this subject are Chapters II. IV. V. VII. VIII. and IX. in Part III.; and the whole of the Supplementary Articles at the end of each chapter in Part IV. The Episcopal Visitation of Parishes, the Administration of Confirmation, and the second, third, and seventh chapters in the Appendix, are also compilations.
It has been thought advisable not to give the first volume of Baldeschi, that, namely, on the Private Mass, which would have considerably increased the size and price of the work, without any material advantage; for the manner of offering
the Holy Sacrifice is acquired from the Latin, and the "Quesiti sulla Messa" come rather within the scope of Theology. The manner of serving a Low Mass, and of giving Holy Communion out of Mass, are, however, introduced into the Appendix.
The offices of a Bishop in his own Diocese have been compiled from the Ceremoniale Episcoporum, rather than from any of the few Italian treatises on the subject. This has been done on the ground that these modern authors include very many customs contrary to the text of the Cæremoniale, but which they retain on the authority of the Congregation of Rites, which has declared: "Librum Cæremonialem immemorabiles et laudabiles consuetudines non tollere" (die 11 Jun. 1605). It is a question with us, whether we can lay claim to any custom, especially in matters of Episcopal functions. Our churches, in the colonies, for instance, have not existed long enough to acquire custom. This question of custom will account for several differences between Baldeschi and the Cæremoniale, which are from time to time observed in notes at the foot of the page.
It will be remarked, that the Episcopal offices given in the Ceremoniale are always supposed to take place in the cathedral church, in presence of the Chapter; some of the Ceremonies will therefore be inapplicable to the case of the Bishop celebrating or presiding at other churches; —such, for instance, as the Canons assisting in
sacred vestments, forming the "circles" round the Bishop, &c. The Master of Ceremonies will also, in matters of a similar kind, prudently consider the nature of the privileges enjoyed by Canons beyond the precincts of their cathedral church.
Respecting the technical terms, scarce any have been used but what are either generally well understood, or in some place explained.
It need scarcely be observed, that nothing so materially stands in the way of carrying out the sacred Ceremonies of the Church in their true and legitimate manner, as a badly-disposed and ill-furnished Sanctuary. It is intended here merely to touch upon this subject, and to give but a few instances in which several arrangements of the Sanctuary may be carried out, according to rules laid down by approved authorities.
As regards the steps to the Altar, the Rubrics and Liturgical writers suppose that there are a predella for the Priest, one step for the Deacon, another for the Subdeacon, and that the remainder of the choir or Sanctuary is a plane. By no means should the plane of the choir or Sanctuary be divided into so many smaller ones, or into so many flights of steps, which will always, more or less, interfere with placing the seat of the sacred Ministers, the Credence-table, and the Throne, as occasion may require, in convenient situations. The simplicity of this arrangement need not prevent the
raising of the choir above the ordinary level of the church, which may be done by any desirable number of steps, and which, indeed, Rubricists generally suppose to be done.
The Tabernacle on the Altar should be so constructed, that it may be covered with its proper veil. The Throne for the exposition of the Most Holy Sacrament need not be connected with or attached to the Tabernacle, and should be so placed as not to prevent the Cross standing between the candlesticks, or the seventh candle being placed behind the Cross, when the Bishop celebrates." The Cross should appear above the candles, which latter may gradually rise in height towards the Cross.s
The front of the Altar should be fitted with veils, or antependia, of the various colours appropriated to the Festivals of the Church. Should the Altar be ornamented with gold or precious stone, the antependium is not required.5
The Tabernacle should also be veiled with the proper colour of the Feast,'-but only at those
1 S. R. C. 16 Junii, 1663; 17 Sept. 1822; Cærem. Epis. lib. i. cap. xii. n. 16; Gavant. pars i. tit. xx. litt. U.
2 Carem. Epis. ibid. n. 12.
3 Carem. Epis. ibid. n. 11.
4 Carem. Epis. lib. i. cap. xii. n. 11; Gavant. in Rubr. Miss. pars. i. tit. xx. litt. T.
5 Gavant. ibid.
6 Gavant. ibid. ; et pars iii. tit. viii.; Cavalieri, tom, iv. fol. 93; Catalani, in Rit. Rom. tom. i. fol. 251.