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the grass of the field, contained in the latter psalm, may have suggested to the Jews their custom of plucking a handful of grass, as they accompany the body to the grave1.

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earth on

xxviii.

The custom of casting earth upon the body Casting commonly repeated three times at the words the body. 'earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust,' reminds us of the ancient custom alluded to by Horace Injecto ter pulvere curras.' But Od. 1. it does not appear that the modern practice is derived from the ancient, or that the resemblance is otherwise than accidental. In the Greek Church the earth was sprinkled over the body by the priest. The manual of Sarum has the following form, from which ours is partly taken :

Commendo animam tuam Deo, Patri omnipotenti; terram terræ, cinerem cineri, pulverem pulveri in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.

Familiar as we are with the phrases contained in this beautiful commendation, it may not be out of place to shew that they are all authorized by Holy Scripture. Eccles. xii. 7: The spirit shall return to God who gave it.' Luke ii. 29: 'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace' (ávaλveis, used also Phil. i. 23). Gen. iii. 19: Dust thou art, and unto dust

1 Gregory's Sermon on the Resurrection, ap. Wheatly.

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shalt thou return.' Acts iv. 2: They preached through Jesus the resurrection of the dead.'

Mr Wheatly observes, 'The phrase commit his body to the ground, implies, that we deliver it into safe custody, and into such hands as will faithfully restore it again. We do not cast it away as a lost and perished carcase, but carefully lay it in the ground, as having in it a seed of eternity, and in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life; not that we believe that every one we bury shall rise again to joy and felicity, or profess this "sure and certain hope" of the person that is now interred. It is not his resurrection, but the resurrection that is here expressed; nor do we go on to mention the change of his body, in the singular number, but of our vile body, which comprehends the bodies of Christians in general.' That this is the sense and meaning of the words, may be shewn from the other parallel form which the Church has appointed to be used at the burial of the dead at sea:

'We therefore commit his body to the deep, to be turned into corruption, looking for the resurrection of the body (when the sea shall give up her dead), and the life of the world to come, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who at his coming shall change our vile body, &c.' 'I heard a voice, &c.' Rev. xiv. 13.

'Almighty God, with whom do live, &c.' This prayer comprises portions of three prayers which were retained from the Sarum manual in the first Prayer Book of Edward VI.

'O merciful God,' &c. This in the first Prayer Book of Edward VI. was the collect in the Communion Service, appointed to be used at the burial of the dead; and is therefore still entitled 'the Collect.' The forty-second psalm, 'Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks, &c.' was the Introit: the Epistle 1 Thess. iv. 13 to the end: the Gospel John vi. 37-48.

...who is the resurrection and the life.' John xi. 25.

"...who also hath taught us by his holy apostle St Paul.' 1 Thess. iv. 13.

The following is from Dean Comber: 'The Apostle, as St Augustine notes, says not, be not sorry at all, but, be not sorry as infidels without hope. Jesus himself wept at Lazarus' Joh. xi. 35. grave; and the primitive saints made great lamentation at St Stephen's burial. Christi- Acts viii. 2. anity will allow us to express our love to our departed friends, so it be within the bounds of moderation, and provided it make us not forget those divine comforts wherewith religion refreshes us again.'

....Come ye blessed, &c.' Matt. xxv. 34.

Lev. xii.

SECTION VI.

THE CHURCHING OF WOMEN.

THIS

HIS office is probably derived from the Jewish rite of purification enjoined by Moses, and complied with by the blessed Virgin, as we read in Luke ii. It is however regarded by our Church not as the means of removing a ceremonial defilement, (for which purpose it was instituted by Moses) but simply as an act of thanksgiving to God for deliverance from a great pain and peril. And therefore the title of purification, which was prefixed to the office in the unreformed Service-book, and in the Prayer Book of 1549, has very properly given place, since 1552, to that of 'Thanksgiving.' The office is of great antiquity in the Church, being found in all the Western rituals, and in that of the patriarchate of Constantinople. The form which we have in the Prayer Book is taken with little variation from the manual of Sarum.

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Rubric at the commencement, at the usual time.' In the Greek Church the fortieth day is appointed as the time for performing this office. In the West the time has never been

strictly determined, and with us it is left to custom.

...decently apparelled.' These words were inserted at the last review. It was formerly the custom for the woman on this occasion to wear a white covering, or veil; and in the reign of James I. a woman was excommunicated for refusing to comply with it1. The addition made to the rubric in 1662 would seem to imply that the white veil was then becoming obsolete.

"...in some convenient place,' i. e. near the communion-table, according to Bishop Gibson.

The rubric at the end directs that the woman must offer accustomed offerings.' By the Prayer Book of 1549 the woman was required to offer her chrisome.' (See Office of Baptism, supra, p. 280). The alteration was made in 1552.

1

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Gibson's Codex, tit. 18. cap. 12, p. 451.

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B. C. P.

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