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The
Calendar.

tended, perhaps, to give the congregation time for meditating on what had been read, but more likely to divert their minds from it, and to take off from its force.

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The verses' were the versicles which in the Breviary follow a respond.

'Commemorations' mean the collects and anthems of a festival continued for some days afterwards1.

The term 'synodals' is said to mean the recital during service of the canons of provincial synods.

The 'pie' was the table in the old Roman offices, shewing the services appointed to be read on each day. It is thought to have taken the name pie, in Latin pica, from the party-coloured letters of which it consisted. By the Greeks it was called πίναξ.

'Invitatories' were verses or psalms, used for the purpose of calling the congregation to acts of praise or prayer. The Venite exultemus was used in this way, and still occupies nearly the same place in the daily service which it had in the Breviary.

The word 'calendar' is derived from calendæ, the first day of the Roman month.

1 See Clay's Elizabethan Liturgies, p. 304.

Calendarium in Latin originally signified an account-book, for registering debts, the interest on which fell due on the calends of each month.

The most ancient Christian Calendar, or menology, is said to have been composed at Rome in the middle of the fourth century. It contained the pagan as well as the Christian festivals, which were at that time few in number. The table of lessons appointed to be read each day was called lectionarium, and appears to have been in use in the fifth century; but when or by whom it was originally drawn up, we are not informed. In our Prayer Book the table of daily lessons has been combined with the table of festivals, and the whole is called by the name of the latter, the Calendar.

The first column contains the days of the month in their numerical order. The second contains the letters affixed to each day of the week, which letters become in successive years the Dominical or Sunday letters, according to the rule explained in the table for finding Easter-day. The third column, now only printed in the larger editions of the Prayer Book, has the Calends, Nones, and Ides, dividing the month according to the Roman mode of computation. The fourth contains the fasts and

festivals of the Church, and the names of some of the Saints who were held in honour, and worshipped, at the time of the Reformation. These names do not appear to have been continued in the Calendar with any intention of doing public honour to them in the Church. They are the names of persons who in their generation were faithful servants of God, and gave testimony by their life or death, to the truth of the Gospel. But in the accounts which we have of them the fabulous element so greatly prevails, that little credit is now given even to those statements which may be true; and the history of the Saints, or hagiology as it is called, though not unworthy of our private meditations, is rarely employed for any purpose of public and popular instruction. The names which have been retained in the Calendar, owe their place there to various reasons, some of which are thus enumerated by Mr Wheatly', writing in the middle of the last century: 'Some of them were retained upon account of our Courts of Justice, which usually make their returns on these days, or else upon the days before, or after them, which are called in the writs Vigil., Fest., or Crast., as Vigil. Martin, Fest. Martin, Crast. Martin, or the like. Others are

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probably kept in the Calendar for the sake of such tradesmen, handicraftsmen, and others, as are wont to celebrate the memory of their tutelar Saints; as the Welchmen do of St David, the shoemakers of St Crispin, &c. And again, churches being in several places dedicated to some or other of these saints, it has been the usual custom in such places to have wakes or fairs kept upon those days; so that the people would probably be displeased, if either in this or the former case their favourite Saint's name had been left out of the Calendar. Besides, the histories which were writ before the Reformation do frequently speak of transactions happening upon such a holiday, or about such a time, without mentioning the month; relating one thing to be done at Lammas-tide, and another about Martinmas, &c.: so that were these names quite left out of the Calendar, we might be at a loss to know when several of these transactions happened. For this and the foregoing reasons our second reformers under Queen Elizabeth (though all those days had been omitted in both books of king Edward VI., excepting St George's day, Lammas day, St Laurence and St Clement, which two last were in his second book), thought convenient to restore the names of them to the Calendar,

though not with any regard of being kept holy by the Church.' No day was put down in the first Prayer Book of Edward VI., except such as had an altar service attached to it; nor was S. then prefixed to the name of any one but Peter. S. George, Lammas, S. Laurence and S. Clement were added in 1552; and S. rather arbitrarily to five of the names which had before existed in the Calendar. Magdalen was at the same time intentionally omitted, the festival having been abolished; and Barnabas Apostle, evidently by a typographical error. In 1559 Barnabas was restored. In 1561 the evens or fasts were first noticed, and nearly all the Romish holidays now occurring were replaced; though Enurchus Bishop did not reappear before 1604, nor Ven. Bede Pres. with S. Alban Martyr, before 1662. It was also in 1662 that the large majority of the titles and designations which now accompany and explain the names were first printed1. The venerable Bede and St Alban doubtless owed their reappearance in the Calendar to the high esteem in which they were held, the one as the earliest historian, the other as the protomartyr of the British Church?.

1 From Clay's Prayer Book illustrated, p. 12.

2 It may be worthy of remark that the letter S. used in

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