« PreviousContinue »
I would give the following early example in the English church, of the reception of a bishop: the Historia Eliensis, speaking of S. Wulstan, says: "qualis denique vir iste apud Deum semper extiterit, circa vitæ finem evidenter apparuit, quodam enim tempore contigit eum hanc ecclesiam orationis causa visitare, cui fratres loci processionaliter cum magna ut decuit reverentia occurrerunt, cumque jam in ecclesiam fuisset deductus, et in capite processionis episcopali more baculo pastorali staret innixus; subito, etc." Nor does the reader probably forget the account given us by Bede, of Ethelbert's reception of S. Augustine in the open air, for fear of some magical influence: "at illi non dæmonica, sed divina virtute, præditi veniebant, crucem pro vexillo ferentes argenteam, et imaginem Domini Salvatoris in tabula depictam.'
From about the twelfth century it was usual to receive all bishops, on their visitations and progresses through their dioceses, with ringing of bells: and there are frequent entries in ancient parish records of payments on that account. A foreign canon gives a just reason for this observance. "Mandamus, et statuimus, quod quotiescunque episcopi per civitates suas, et diœceses transierint, rectores, seu clerici ecclesiarum, qui sciverint, eos per suas parochias transire,
qui mittuntur ad aliquam provinciam, sed non sunt cardinales: et hujus generis esse solent hodierni nuntii, et internuntii, apud reges et principes, tanquam legati pontificis residentes.-Legati nati vocantur, qui dignitati suæ ecclesiasticæ officium et munus legati apostolici annexum habent." Jus.
Eccles. Pars 1. tit. xxi. The whole title should be consulted: and Thomassin, de Benef. II. lib. 1. 52.
21 Script. XV. tom. 3. p. 506.
22 Hist. Eccles. lib. 1. cap. 25. Compare the end of the same chapter.
campanas pulsent, seu pulsari faciant, ita quod populus audire possit et exire, et genua flectere ad benedictionem suscipiendam."23 I must refer the reader to the appendix to Dugdale's history of S. Paul's cathedral, for an "Ordo ad recipiendum episcopum,” according to the use of that church, but he does not state at what date.
There are several notices in the chronicles of royal receptions: I extract one only; the place was S. Alban's, in the time of Richard II. "Finitis vesperis cum processione solemni obviam regi processum est ab abbate et conventu ad occidentale ostium monasterii, acceptusque est honorifice cum pulsationibus campanorum, cantuque tam debito quam devoto." 25 These royal visits were not always so acceptable, it would seem, as they ought to have been: the same author tells us soon after; "Dum hæc aguntur, rex Angliæ et regina cum suis Boemiis abbathias regni circuunt visitando, quibus tanto tristior fuerit eorum adventus, quanto gravior, quia et accesserunt in excessivo numero, et non offerre sed auferre venerunt." 26
But I must not omit one of the latest examples which we have, before the reformation, after which
23 Concil. Raven. Can. 6. A.D. 1314.
24 P. 238. edit. 1658. compare for a reception of an abbot of S. Albans, "processionaliter," Matt. Paris. Vitæ abbatum. p. 1051.
25 Walsingham. Hist. Angl. p. 274. A curious circumstance regarding queen Philippa at Durham
is related by R. de Graystanes; Anglia Sacra, tom. 1. p. 760.
26 Ibid. p. 302. In this "ruinous" progress, the abbey of Bury is especially mentioned as having suffered the severe infliction of a ten days' visit; at an expense, besides other losses, of 800 marks. The historian does not tell us what processions took place, on the occasion of the royal departure.
period the ancient religious ceremonies on such occasions were, of course, no longer observed. In the summer of 1541, Henry VIII. kept his progress, and a contemporary account has been preserved of his entry into Lincoln. We are concerned only with one part of the ceremony, at his approach to the cathedral. "Item, the bushoppe of lyncolne wth all thole Queere and crosse were readye, and stodde in the mynster alonge on bothe sydes the bodye of the churche, gyvinge attend'unce, and when his grace was alyghtid at the weste ende of the mynster, where were ordenyd and spred as well carpett as stooles wth quyssheons of clothe of golde, for the kyng's hyghnes, wheron was a crucyfyx laid, and one other on the queenes grace's stoole. Item, aftre his grace was kneelid downe the busshoppe came forthe of the churche and gaue the crucyfyx to the kinge to kysse, and then to the queene, and then censyd them, hys myter beinge on hys heade, and thus proceaded they into the churche, the kinge and queenes grace goinge vndre the Canape to the Sacrement, where they made theyre prayers, thole queere synginge melodyouslye Te Deum, and aftre this don, his grace went strayght to his lodginge.'
RECONCILIATION OF A CHURCH.
WE come now to the Form which was used at the Reconciliation of a Church or Churchyard: which was
27 Archæologia, vol. 23. p. 338. Communicated by Sir F. Madden: who observes, as giving a further interest to this instance; queen's guilt (Catharine Howard) it will be remembered, with Thomas Culpeper, was established by
evidence of the fatal night she passed at Lincoln." Compare also the very interesting account of a reception of Henry VI. at Bury S. Edmund's, from a register of that abbey also printed in the Archæol. vol. 15. p. 66.
considered to be necessary when unhappily the sacred building had been polluted by bloodshed, or the commission of some impurity or profanation, or, by the burial of an excommunicated person; or again, when a great portion of the church might happen to have been destroyed by fire or other accident." Durand says, and with more than his usual judgment; "Fit reconciliatio ad exemplum et terrorem, ut videlicet, videntes ecclesiam, quæ in nullo peccavit, propter peccatum alterius lavari et purificari, existiment quantum propter suorum delictorum expiationem sit laborandum." 29
Reconsecration, in these cases, never was permitted; and this rule was based upon the mystical resemblance which consecration was supposed to have to Holy Baptism as it is plainly stated in the Decretum, Dist. 68. Can. 3. under the authority of a pseudo-Nicene canon: "Quia sicut infans a qualicunque sacerdote in nomine Patris, etc. semel baptizatus, non debet iterum baptizari, ita nec locus Deo dicatus iterum consecrandus est." This canon is quoted, after Gratian, by almost every writer on this subject, wherefore I have introduced it; and although not genuine, as attributed to so high a source, yet the principle of it was universally acknowledged from a very remote antiquity. For S. Gregory in one of his epistles places together cases of doubtful baptism, confirmation, and consecration of a church; deciding that each is to be performed,
28 These were the chief reasons, as given in the Pupilla Oculi : pars. ix. cap. 1. and each admitted of a variety of modifications, which the student may find fully dis
cussed in the various canonists: he should especially consult Hostiensis, in Summa. Lib. 3. Rubr. xl.
29 Rationale. lib. 1. cap. vj. 44.
"quoniam non monstratur iteratum quod non certis indiciis ostenditur rite peractum." And long before his time, in the year 398, the 6th canon of the 5th council of Carthage, after speaking of doubtful baptism, continues: "Similiter et de ecclesiis, quoties super earum consecratione hæsitatur, agendum est, id est, ut sine ulla trepidatione consecrentur."31
I quote from Matthew Paris, (ad an. 1173) the account of the suspension of the celebration of Divine Service in the cathedral of Canterbury, after the murder of archbishop Becket. "Post mortem beati Thomæ martyris fere anno integro, ecclesia Cantuariensis a divinis cessans obsequiis, continuis perstitit in lamentis, subversum est ecclesiæ pavimentum, sonus est campanarum suspensus, nudati sunt parietes ornamentis, et sic quasi in cinere et cilicio exequias in tristitia et mærore persolvit. Sed tandem ad matris suæ Dorobernensis ecclesiæ vocationem, in festo sancti Thomæ apostoli, suffraganei convenerunt episcopi, ut ecclesiam, longa suspensione consternatam, juxta mandatum domini papæ, in statum pristinum reformarent. Bartholomæus igitur Exoniensis episcopus, ad petitionem conventus, missam celebraturus solennem, et sermonem ad populum habiturus, sic exorsus est: 'Secundum multitudinem dolorum meorum in corde meo, consolationes tuæ lætificant animam meam.'
Upon the question how far a church and its churchyard were mutually influenced in regard of a desecration, I quote Van Espen. “Polluta ecclesia, cœmeterium si ei fuerit contiguum, censebitur quoque pollu
30 Lib. 12. Epist. xxxj.
31 Mansi. Concil. tom. 3. p. 969. It must, however, be added,
that in some copies of this council, this final clause is omitted.