Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

dicuntur." This rule is of much importance, in its bearing upon the Anglo-saxon doctrine of the celebration of the holy Eucharist.

Before we pass on to other details, I would here make an observation on the rite, practised in the English church from the most remote antiquity, of anointing the hands of persons, to be ordained priests. The reader will see in the notes below, frequent remarks upon certain parts of the ordinal, which appear to have been originally introduced into the Anglo-saxon pontificals, from the more ancient Forms of the British church. There is no manuscript extant, of any foreign church, with the exception of the sacramentary of S. Gregory, older than the pontificals of archbishops Egbert and Dunstan, in which this rite is prescribed : in both of those it is ordered, together with unction of the head, which last is not noticed in the sacramentary just named. In some pontificals of the Gallican church, of the 10th century, examined by Martene, it also occurs, and probably was adopted from the already established Anglo-saxon practice. And it is further a very remarkable circumstance, that between the time of S. Gregory and the tenth century, the unction even of the hands was discontinued according to the use of the church of Rome. For in the ninth century, pope Nicolas I. says in an epistle; "Præterea sciscitaris utrum solis presbyteris, an et diaconibus debeant cum ordinantur manus chrismatis liquore perungi. Quod in sancta hac Romana, cui Deo autore deservimus, ecclesia, neutris agitur."9

9

Epist. 39. Concil. Gall. tom. 3. The student should consult upon this point, one of some im

portance, the arguments of Morinus, de sacris ordin. Exerc. vi. Cap. 2. of Menard, in his notes

There are many canons of English councils, directed to the prevention of an abuse, not unlikely to spread; namely the holding of rectories by persons not in priest's orders. Hence it was enjoined, that all rectors, and vicars, having cure of souls, should be ordained priests, within a certain time after presentation to the benefice, or the presentation would be void. But it seems, that some, although they so far obeyed these canons, as to escape deprivation, yet neglected their duties, and refused to celebrate the holy Communion. I shall quote a statute of the diocese of Exeter, in the year 1287, which fully states this practice, and corrects it. “Quoniam audivimus, quod quanquam rectores ecclesiarum metu pœnæ statuti infra annum, a tempore suscepti regiminis, se fecerint in presbyteros ordinari; missarum tamen solennia differunt celebrare per tempora diuturna; per hoc excusare volentes, quod in prædicto statuto nihil cautum de missarum solenniis reperitur: hanc excusationem, qua se accusant, quam potius excusant, frivolam reputantes, statuimus, ut saltem infra dimidium annum post ordinum susceptionem (nisi canonicum habuerint impedimentum) missas celebrare non omittant. Alioquin beneficiorum suorum fructus decrevimus, sibi subtrahendos, donec quod dictum est devote comple

to the sacramentary of S. Gre-
gory, tom. 3. p. 503. and of Ca-
talani, in Pontif. tom. 1.
p. 122.
The sacramentary of S. Gelasius
omits the unction of the hands:
and there is a place in the homi-
lies of S. Leo, which, curiously
enough, is appealed to by both
parties: by the one, to prove that

in his time unction was not observed; by the other, to prove The passage is

the contrary.

"Nunc enim et ordo clarior levitarum, et dignitas amplior seniorum, et sacratior est unctio sacerdotum, quia crux tua omnium fons benedictionum." Serm. 8. de passione Domini.

verint; nec postquam semel celebraverint, incipiant tunc cessare; sed sub pœna prædicta frequenter studeant celebrare." 10

But except in the cases of persons thus presented to benefices, a very wise rule, if it was fully carried out, (which I should doubt could have been at any time) prohibited priests from undertaking the sole cure of a parish, for one year after their ordination. I again quote the same synod of Exeter. "Cum sit ars artium regimen animarum, illud juvenibus et inexpertis committere valde reputamus absurdum, donec per merita virtutum et experientiam diutinam digni efficiantur ad tanti oneris sarcinam supportandam. Quapropter statuimus, ne quisquam presbyterorum primo ordinationis suæ anno ad curam parochialem ullatenus admittatur; illis tamen duntaxat exceptis, qui tenentur propriis ecclesiis deservire." And, once more upon this point, in the year 1308, a synodical constitution of Henry Woodloke, bishop of Winchester: "Inhibemus etiam, ne quis sacerdos, exceptis rectoribus aut vicariis ecclesiarum, qui propriis tenentur ecclesiis deservire, primo ordinationis suæ anno, curam parochialem admittat.""1

Very early in the ecclesiastical history of the church of England, we find steps taken to prevent priests, wandering about from place to place, and celebrating wheresoever they would. The Dialogue of archbishop Egbert has the following passage.

"In

terrogatio. Si permittendum est presbyteris sive peregrinis, sive nostri generis, passim ministrare absque conscientia episcopi loci, in cujus diœcesi interim demorantur, maxime sub laicis, nusquam sta

10 Ibid. tom. 2. p. 145. VOL. III.

11 Ibid. tom. 2.

149. 297.

p.

i

biles, nec loco nec auctoritate pontificali primitus fundati? Responsio. Presbyteros peregrinos, vel absolute ordinatos sine literis commendatitiis circumeuntes provincias, nusquam eos ministrare patimur, vel sacramenta tradere absque conscientia episcopi loci." Passing over six hundred years, the same precautions are laid down by a synod of the diocese of Sodor, in the fourteenth century. "Firmiter præcipiendo inhibemus sub interminatione anathematis, ut nullus sacerdos ex aliena diœcesi ad nostram veniens, inibi residentiam præsumat facere, nisi prius nobis honeste et rite pervenerit, ostendens nobis instrumenta publica vel testes idoneos de veritate suæ ordinationis et conversationis.'

"12

Generally, with respect to all persons in orders, the same care was taken: Lyndwood has a title "de clericis peregrinis:" and I quote the constitution of archbishop Walter Reynold, in 1322, which he cites,

12 Ibid. tom. 1. p. 83. Tom. 3. p. 11. These are to be traced doubtless to the 21st. canon of the council of Arles, in the year 314 at which several of the British bishops, as it is well known, were present.

I would place here in a note two passages from the Anglosaxon records. First, from the canons under K. Edgar. "We enjoin, that it never happen that a priest celebrate mass, and not taste the housel himself." Thorpe, Ancient Laws. Vol. 2. p. 253. I understand this to mean, after consecration: as "hurl" is not a term applied to the unhallowed

bread, and the preceding canon is directed to a proper care in providing all things necessary for the sacrament. Secondly, from the penitential of Egbert: "Quisque presbyter debet esse, sicut vocatus est, sacerdos." ibid. p. 203. Upon which a remark of Lyndwood is apposite: where speaking of a certain canon, he says: "Et nota, quod illum quem infra vocat presbyterum, hic vocat sacerdotem. Et dicitur sacerdos quasi sacra dans. Et sic hæ dictiones, presbyter et sacerdos, synonima sunt." Lib. 1. tit. 6. Sacerdotis. verb. sacerdotem loci.

and portions of his gloss. "Ordinati in Hibernia, Wallia, 13 seu Scotia, vel alibi, sine literis ordinariorum suorum commendatitiis vel dimissoriis non admittantur a quocunque infra provinciam nostram ad ordinis sic suscepti executionem, nisi magna necessitas inducat: et tunc quod cum eis auctoritate sufficienti fuerit dispensatum super executione ordinis memorati, vel alias a suis ordinariis ordo sic susceptus ratificetur. Proviso nihilominus quod nullo modo admittantur, nisi prius constiterit de eorum legitima ordinatione, vitæ munditia, pariter et literatura." "Ordinariorum suorum. sc. episcoporum quorum sunt subditi. Commendatitiis. Sic dictis quia continent testimonium sive commendationem de vita, honestate, et moribus ordinandorum. Et tales literæ si essent perditæ, possunt probari per testes. Et has non possunt concedere inferiores episcopis, nisi hoc habeant de consuetudine sive privilegio. Vel dimissoriis. Hæ dicuntur, per quas aliquis dimittitur a jurisdictione sive potestate sui prælati, et dicuntur quandoque licentiales, quando viz. licentia datur ad aliquid faciendum, utputa ordines ab alieno episcopo suscipiendos. Et has possunt episcopi suis subditis concedere, sc. ut ipsarum vigore ipsas obtinentes valeant ab aliis episcopis ordinari. Vitæ munditia. Quæ consistit in pluribus. Primo, viz. quod eorum vita et conversatio sit casta: secundo, quod sit in cibo et potu temperata: tertio, quod non sit tabulis et commessationibus dedita : quarto, quod

13 Johnson observes "Sure the archbishop had forgot that Wales was part of his province." But the object of the constitution is general; to prevent any clerk

officiating in a diocese, by the bishop of which he was not originally ordained, without license, and examination.

« AnteriorContinua »