صور الصفحة

A facie inimici.

Redde ei lætitiam salutaris tui,

Et Spiritu principali confirma eum.

Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam,

Et salutare tuum da nobis.


Omnipotens Deus, cujus providentia N. hujus ecclesiæ collegiatæ Decanus constituitur, da illi eam mensuram gratiæ, ut quæ hic coram promisit, quæque officium ejus postulat, summâ fide perficiat, ad laudem et gloriam tui nominis, et ecclesiæ tuæ amplificationem, per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Then follows a prayer for the king contained in the Book of Common Prayer.



IT is needless, in this place, to enter on any questions as to the constitution or rights of English Synods and Convocations. All that is here proposed, is to examine the antiquity of the forms which are still in use, or which are at least recognized in our ecclesiastical constitution. The mode of celebrating an English Convocation is prescribed in a paper, entitled, “Forma sive Descriptio Convocationis celebrandae prout ab antiquo observari consuevit",” which was drawn up by Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, previously to the assembling of the Convocation in 1562. The prayers used at the commencement of each session of the Convocation have been printed, and are said to have been also compiled by Archbishop Parker". The whole formulary, however, is in its essential features based on ancient precedents.

* It has been printed in Bp. White Kennett's “History of the Convocation of 1700 ;” and at the end of Atterbury's “Rights, Powers, and Privileges of an English Convocation,” Appendix, art. xvii.

* See “Forma precum in

utrāque Domo Convocationis sive Synodi praelatorum et caeteri cleri, seu provincialis seu nationalis, in ipso statim cujuslibet sessionis initio, solenniter recitanda.” Londini, 1700.

The existing records of the most ancient synods generally comprise nothing more than the definitions and canons agreed on by the assembled bishops, and throw no light on the mode of proceeding. It does not appear that councils always opened with prayer, or the celebration of the Eucharist; and this, perhaps, may not have been thought necessary, because there is no trace of it in the Apostolical council. (Acts xv.) But the antiquity of such rites may be most conveniently considered, by examining in detail the form prescribed by Archbishop Parker.

The prelates, and other members of the Synod, are cited by authority of the archbishop of Canterbury, as metropolitan, to appear before him in the Chapter-house of St. Paul's on a certain day". This power of assembling Synods is given by all the ancient canons to the metropolitan of each province ".

On the appointed day, the archbishop arrives at “Paul's Wharf,” and thence goes in solemn procession to St. Paul's church, where the prelates and others await his arrival; and the metropolitan and all the bishops being placed in the choir, the Litany is repeated". According to the fourth council of Toledo, A.D. 633, the metropolitan and bishops entered the Church at the same time; and the presbyters, deacons, and laity, were introduced severally afterwards'; and this custom appears to have been generally received in the west. It appears in the ancient

* “Forma sive Descriptio,” chap. xvi. § 17. &c. Atterbury, p. 505. * Atterbury, p. 505, 506.

* Bingham, Antiquities of Harduini Concilia, tom. iii. the Christian Church, book ii. p. 580.

“ Ordo Romanus *,* and in several of the Pontificals, from which Martene has copied the forms of celebrating synods ". The council of Toledo prescribed silent prayer at the commencement of the proceedings, to be followed by public prayer, offered by one of the senior bishops'. In the * Ordo Romanus,” however, which is of somewhat later date than this council, the Litany is prescribed at the opening of a synod* ; andit also occurs in some ancient Pontificals printed by Martene'. In the Litany a special petition for the synod is inserted, as it is in that of the Pontifical of Sens in France.

Ut præsenti huic convocationi (vel synodo) Spiritu tuo Sancto aspirare et præesse digmeris ; qui nos ducat in omnem veritatem, quæ est secundum pietatem ;

Te rogamus, audi nos, Domine ".

Ut huic sacro præsenti concilio adesse digneris: Te rogamus audi nos ”.

After the Litany a special collect is read for the Convocation then assembled. The administration

8 Vide Melchior Hittorp. de Divinis Ecclesiæ Catholicæ Officiis, p. 168.

h Martene, de Antiquis Ecclesiæ Ritibus, lib. iii. cap. i.

1 “ Sedentibusque in diuturno silentio sacerdotibus [scil. episcopis],etcor totum ad Deum habentibus, dicat Archidiaconus Orate, statimque omnes in terram prostrabuntur ; et orantibus diutius tacite cum fletibus atque gemitibus, unus ex coepiscopis senioribus surgens orationem palam fundat ad Dominum, cunctis adhuc in

terra jacentibus. Finitâ autem
oratione et responso ab omni-
bus Amen, rursus dicat Archi-
diaconus, Erigite." Concil.
Toletan. IV. can. iv. Harduin,
iii. 580.
* Hittorp. p. 168. See also
the Ordines, printed by Cata-
lanus in his Commentary on
the Pontifical.
1 Martene, ubi suprà.
m Forma precum, &c.
“ Ordo Provincialis Concilii
Senonensis. Martene, lib. iii.
c. i. Ordo ix.

of the holy communion succeeds. “Ac tempore offertorii tam dictus reverendissimus, quam caeteri suffraganei episcopi rem divinam celebranti ordine progredientes oblationem offerre ex more debent.” Of this part of the rites we do not find traces in the more ancient records of synodical proceedings. The Liturgy was, doubtless, celebrated before the opening of Synods; but it was not reckoned apparently amongst their formularies. Divine service being thus completed, a member of the upper or lower house of Convocation preaches a Latin discourse to the clergy present. Of this custom we find instances in the thirteenth century, when the fourth council of Lateran, A D. 1215, was opened with a sermon by Pope Innocent III." In the synod of London, A.D. 1237, the Papal Legate also made a sermon at the beginning of the proceedings”. According to the Pontifical of Sens, after the bishops are seated in synod, “sequitur Sermo ex praecepto D. archiepiscopi faciendus ".” This privilege is also possessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who nominates the preacher before Convocation. The synodical proceedings properly so called now commence. The archbishop with the bishops and clergy retire to the Chapter-house; when, all strangers being excluded, the prelates take their seats, the remainder of the clergy standing round'. According to the council of Toledo the presbyters

° Fleury, Histoire Ecclésias- * “Reverendissimo, et caetique, lib. lxxvii. § 44. teris suis coepiscopis in suis P Wilkins, Concilia, t. i. sedibus ordine considentibus, p. 649. ac reliquo clero circumstante.”

* Martene, ubi suprā. Atterbury, p. 506.

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