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and the curate was to deliver an exhortation, for which a form exists in the second book of Homilies entitled, “An exhortation, to be spoken to such parishes where they use their perambulations in Rogation-week; for the oversight of the bounds and limits of their town.” On their return to church, the common prayers are to be said; and a homily is provided for each of the three Rogation days". The objects of the whole office, as stated in the homilies, are principally, to thank God for his benefits, and to pray for seasonable weather for the harvest; and secondarily, to observe the bounds and
limits of parishes'.
* See Injunctions of Elizabeth, Wilkins, Concilia, tom. iv. p. 184; and the bishop of London's Directions, in 1560, to the archdeacon of Essex, concerning the perambulations, forbidding surplices, lights, and banners, Wilkins, iv. p. 219.
* It begins thus: “Although we be now assembled together, good Christian people, most principally to laud and thank Almighty God for his great benefits, by beholding the fields replenished with all manner of fruit, to the maintenance of our corporal necessities, for our food
and sustenance; and partly also to make our humble suits in prayers to his Fatherly Providence, to conserve the same fruits in sending us seasonable weather, whereby we may gather in the said fruits, to that end for which his fatherly goodness hath provided them: yet have we occasion, secondarily given us in our walks on those days, to consider the old ancient bounds and limits belonging to our own" township, &c.” An Exhortation, &c. Sermon for Rogation Week, part iv.
CONSECRATION OF CHURCHES AND CEMETERIES.
AT what period Christian churches were first dedicated with special prayers, we are unable to determine; but the custom is certainly as ancient as the beginning of the fourth century. It is mentioned by Eusebius" and Athanasius". It is also mentioned by Ambrose ‘, and was doubtless customary in all parts of the Church from that time". The forms of dedication used in various churches have varied exceedingly in different ages. At the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, at Jerusalem, in the reign of Constantine, it appears
* Eusebii Vita Constantini, l. iv. c. 41–46; Hist. Eccl. 1. x. c. 3. " Athanasii Apologia, ii. ad Constantium. * Ambros. Epistola liv. It appears, from what Ambrose says in this place, that it was customary at Rome not to dedicate churches without placing in them relics of saints; but that at Milan a different custom prevailed. * For the history of the Consecration of Churches, see
Martene, De Antiquis Ecclesiae Ritibus, tom. iii.; Bingham, Antiquities, b. viii.; Van Espen, Jus Canon. Univers. pars ii. tit. 16; Harington, On the Consecration of Churches (London, 1844). This latter work, though very useful, from the facts and documents which it comprises, cannot always be depended on, as it refers to many works, the genuineness and antiquity of which are generally denied by learned In en.
that the rites consisted in the celebration of the holy eucharist, and sermons delivered by many of the bishops assembled for that occasion". The forms used in the Eastern Church in later ages have been only partially published . In the west, we have ancient forms in the Sacramentary of Gregory by Menard, in the Ordo Romanus, and in Martene. These rites exhibit very great differences. The office of consecration of churches generally used by our bishops, is that which was prepared by the convocation of the clergy in 1712; but each bishop is at liberty to introduce alterations and improvements. Other offices had been employed by different bishops from the period of the Reformation. Thus Andrewes, bishop of Winchester, and Laud, archbishop of Canterbury, used one form *; while different rites were prepared by Barlow, bishop of Lincoln", Patrick, bishop of Ely, and King, bishop of London'. The present formulary seems preferable to these. I proceed to trace some resemblances between this rite and more ancient forms of consecration. At the commencement of the office, the bishop and clergy enter the west door, and go in procession to the altar, repeating alternately the twentyfourth psalm. “The earth is the Lord's,” &c. This psalm is prescribed in the Ordo Romanus", and by
e Eusebii Vita Constantini, ubi supra.
f Wide Haberti Pontificale Graec. p. 642, &c.
g See Harington, On the Consecration of Churches, Appendix. This form is also printed at the end of Bishop
Sparrow's Collection of Arti-
the Pontifical of Egbert, archbishop of York, 1000 years old', to be sung in procession before entering the church. The bishop, having received the instrument of donation or endowment, makes an address or preface to the congregation, inviting them to pray. Of such prefaces we have many instances in the ancient offices (from MSS. 1000 years old) for consecrating altars, chalices, &c."; and in the Ordo Romanus the bishop made an address to the people nearly at the beginning of the office". The prayers which succeed shall be compared with those of the Ordo Romanus.
O eternal God, mighty in power, and of majesty incomprehensible, whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, much less the walls of temples made with hands. . . . Wouchsafe, O Lord, to be present with us who are here gathered together . . . to consecrate this place to the honour of thy great name, . . . dedicating it to thy service, for reading thy holy word, for celebrating thy holy sacraments. . . . Accept,
Tu Domine universorum, qui nullam habes indigentiam, voluisti templum tuum fieri in nobis. Conserva domum istam immaculatam in aeternum, Domine. . . Deus, qui loca nomini tuo dicanda sanctificas, effunde super hanc orationis domum, gratiam tuam, ut ab omnibus hic invocantibus nomen tuum, auxilium tua misericordiae sentiatur. Per 9.
per circuitum ejus, stante Episcopo una cum caetero clero pro foribus ecclesiae, et imponente psallendo antiphonam hanc: Tollite portas principes vestras, et elevamini portae aeternales. Psal. Domini est terra et plenitudo ejus. Et circumeant ecclesiam, eandem antiphonam per singulos versus repetentes.” Ordo Romanus, apud Hittorp. p. 122.
* Martene, De Antiq. Eccl. Rit. tom. iii. p. 251. See another Pontifical of equal antiquity, p. 244.
* Martene, tom. iii. p. 246, 247; Ordo Romanus, ap. Hittorp. p. 127, 128. 131.
* Ordo Romanus, ubi supra, p. 137.
° Ordo Romanus, apud Hittorp. p. 125.
O Lord, this service at our hands, &c.
Regard, O Lord, the supplications of thy servants; and grant that whoever shall be dedicated to thee in this house by baptism may be sanctified by the Holy Ghost. . . and may ever remain in the number of thy faithful and elect children. Amen.
Grant, O Lord, that they who in this place shall . . . be confirmed by the bishop, may receive such a measure of thy Holy Spirit, that they may . . . grow in grace unto their lives' end. Amen.
Grant, O Lord, that whosoever shall receive in this place the blessed sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, may come to that holy ordinance with faith, charity, and true repentance, . . . and may obtain remission of their sins, and all other benefits of his passion. Amen. . . .
Grant, we beseech thee, blessed Lord, that whosoever shall draw near unto thee in this place, to give thee thanks, . . . to set forth thy most worthy praise, to confess their sins unto thee, and to ask
P Ordo Romanus, p. 137; Oratio in Dedicat. Baptisterii.
Propitiare, Domine, familiae tuate, et benignus humilitatis nostrae vota sanctifica, et omnes in hoc fonte regenerandos universali adoptione custodi. Per P.
Descendat quoque in hanc ecclesiam tuam . . . . Sanctus Spiritus tuus septiformis gratiae ubertate redundans, ut quotiescunque in hac domo tua sanctum nomen tuum fuerit invocatum, eorum quite invocaverint, a te pio Domino preces exaudiantur".
Tu ergo, Domine, proprio ore tuo hostias super eam (mensam) impositas benedicito, et benedictas suscipito, atque nobis omnibus tribue, ut participatione earum, vitam acquiramus aeternam. Per ".
Respice, quaesumus, de coelo, et vide et visita domum istam, ut si quis in ea nomini tuo supplicaverit, libenter exaudias, et satisfacientibus clementer ignoscas. Hic tibi sacerdotes tui sacrificium laudis
* Ordo Romanus, p. 126. * Ordo Romanus, p. 127.