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In fact, the forms of excommunication have varied exceedingly in different ages and Churches, There are several forms in the work of Regino Abbot of Prum on ecclesiastical discipline"; and Martene has supplied many others from ancient MSS *. It appears that excommunications were anciently denounced after the gospel ", as is still enjoined in our ritual. In MSS. of 700 years old, it is directed that letters should be sent to the parish priests of the diocese after the sentence, directing them to publish it to the people *. A form for this latter purpose was prepared by the English convoation in 1571, and is appended to the canons made
at that time'.
b Reginonis Prum. De Eccl. Discipl. edit. Baluzii. e Martene, De Antiq. Eccl. Rit. lib. iii. c. iv. Forms of general excommunication are also found in the manuals of Sarum and of York. d Martene, ibid. ° Martene, ibid. The form used in the ecclesiastical courts is to be found in Oughton, Ordo Judiciorum, tom. ii. p. 376. f This form is as follows : “ Fratres, quoniam quicunque profitemur nomen Christi Jesu, sumus omnes membra ejusdem corporis, et par est, ut unum membrum alterius membri sensu et dolore afficiatur ; pro officii mei ratione, significo vobis, A. B. publice accusatum esse de adulterio, in quo, fama est, eum vixisse nequiter et turpiter, cum ipsius dedecore, et infamia, et gravi offensione ecclesiæ Dei ; et ea causa, ut insignis illa turpitudo supplicio aliquo afficeretur, ad episcopi
The forms of reconciling excom
tribunal vocatum esse. Et quoniam prædictus A. B. conscientia nequitiæ suæ, ad diem legitime dictum comparere , contempsit, et se justitiæ contumaciter subduxit, et alios exemplo suo ad similem contumaciam animavit ; idcirco hoc etiam vos insuper admonitos volo, episcopum nostrum nomine atque auctoritate Dei optimi maximi, excommunicasse illum ab omni societate ecclesiæ Dei, et tanquam membrum emortuum amputasse a Christi corpore. Hoc ille in statu versatur hoc tempore, et in tanto discrimine animæ suæ. Divus Paulus admonitus instinctu Divini Spiritus, jubet ut talium hominum societatem et contubernia fugiamus, ne participes simus ejusdem sceleris. Tamen ut Christiana caritas nos monet, quoniam ipse pro se orari non vult, nec periculum suum intelligit, oremus Deum omnes ejus nomine, ut
municated persons are found in Martene". An absolution of persons who had contracted marriage without bans or license is found in Collier's Ecclesiastical History". The absolution is notified to the whole diocese by the bishop in a circular letter, of which the following is an example of modern date:
“John, by Divine Providence, Bishop of London, to all and - singular Rectors, Vicars, Curates, and Clerks, whatsoever and wheresoever in and throughout our whole diocese of London, greeting: “Whereas . . . our Vicar General . . . hath thought fit to absolve and restore to the communion of the faithful N. from a certain sentence of excommunication heretofore pronounced against him . . , We do therefore strictly enjoin and require you, the said rectors, vicars, chaplains, curates and clerks, jointly and severally, upon pain of the law and contempt thereof, on the next Lord's day or festival day, after receipt hereof, in your respective parish churches, or one of them, during Divine service, and while the greater part of the congregation are there assembled together for holy worship, publicly and openly denounce and declare, or cause to be denounced or declared, that the said N. was and is, by our authority as ordinary, absolved from the said sentence of excommunication, formerly read and published against him as aforesaid, and restored to the communion of the faithful in Christ, and that he is so accordingly absolved and effectually restored".
aliquando agnoscat miseriam * Martene, ubi supra. et foeditatem vitae suae, et agat * Collier, vol. ii. Records, poenitentiam, et convertaturad No. 96. Deum : Deus noster est mise- * Report of Cause (A.D. 1810) ricors, et potest lapsos etiam a between William Beaurain and morte revocare.” Wilkins, Sir W. Scott.
Concilia, tom. iv. p. 268.
RECONCILIATION OF HERETICS, SCHISMATICS, AND APOSTATES.
HERETICs, schismatics, and apostates were originally admitted to the Church by imposition of hands; after the Arian heresy, by anointing with chrism; and sometimes, after the heresies of Nestorius and Eutyches, on simple profession of the faith and anathematizing of heresies". Martene has published such forms". The Greek rites are to be seen in Goar *.
An English form exists for the penance and reconciliation of an apostate to Mahommedanism, which was apparently composed A. D. 1635. According to this form, the penitent on three successive Sundays appeared at the entrance of the Church in a sheet, and besought the prayers of the people, confessing his sins. On the third Sunday the priest was to address the people, exhorting them to forgive and receive the penitent, who thereupon was to kneel down, and beseech absolution. The priest then absolved him with imposition of hands in the form
* Martene, De Antiq. Eccl. Romanum cum Notis Catalani, Ritibus, l. iii. c. vi. tom. iii. tit. xviii.
b Ibid. For the Roman * Goar, Rituale Graec. p. rites of reconciling apostates, 876, &c. heretics, &c., see Pontificale
prescribed in the Visitation of the Sick; after which the penitent was raised, and divested of his sheet, and on the next communion day he was admitted to the Eucharist". There is also a form for receiving converts from the Romish or dissenting communions, which was prepared in convocation A. D. 1714: but has no binding authority. In this form, the convert professes his faith in the creed, and rejects the errors which he has received; and then the bishop or priest pronounces absolution, and taking the penitent by the right hand, receives him into communion". This rite resembles in its principal features the forms which were used anciently in the west'. It appears that, in the reception of heretics, and schismatics, as well as in excommunication and absolution, bishops have always exercised their own discretion as to the forms used.
* Wilkins, Concilia, tom. iv.
and rejection of errors, the bishop lays his hand on him with prayer for the holy Spirit. Wide Pont. Rom. a Catalano, tom. iii. tit. xviii.
* See Martene, De Antiquis Ecclesiae Ritibus, l. iii. c. vi. ; Pontificale Romanum cum Notis Catalani, tom. iii. p. 199, &c.
FORMS OF INSTITUTION, DEPRIVATION, SUSPENSION, AND DEGRADATION.
INSTITUTION to parochial benefices appears to be about 800 years old ". According to the more ancient discipline, ordination was not separated from appointment to a benefice, but inferred it; inasmuch as the clergy were always ordained to particular churches, and were supported by their revenues. Institution, or the investiture of benefices, comprised two parts; first, Collation, which appertained to the bishop, as having the ordinary right to appoint to all ecclesiastical offices in his diocese; and secondly, Induction, or corporal institution, or putting in possession, which also belonged to the bishop, but was by him delegated to the archdeacon". It has been long customary to require at institution an oath of canonical obedience to the bishop, which we find to have been customary at ordination to benefices in the eleventh century and before ". After this oath has been taken, institution is given * Van Espen, Jus Canoni- xxvi. c. 2. cum Universum, pars ii. tit. * Thomassinus, De Wet. et
xviii. c. 1; tit. xxvi. c. 2. Nov. Eccl. Disciplina, pars ii. * Van Espen, pars ii. tit. l. ii. c. 44, 45.