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ECCLESIASTICAL TERMS AND DEFINITIONS.
AGATHON. The mass as the only continuing good bestowed on mortals.
AGNUS DEI. "The Lamb of God."
name given to a cake of wax stamped
AISE. A linen napkin used for covering the
ALTAR. Lat. Altus and Ara. The sacred table on which the Mass is offered. It should be by rule, three and a half feet high, six and a half feet long and three feet wide. Properly it should be made of stone but variations are allowed.
ALTAR CLOTH. A covering for the table provided for the celebration of the Holy Communion. It is usually of silk, but at the time of ministration is of linen. ALTAR PIECE. A picture placed over the altar. ALTAR RAILS. By the order of Archbishop
Laud the position of the holy table was changed from the middle to the east end of the chancel and was there protected by rails.
ALTAR SCREEN. A screen placed back of the altar bounding the presbytery on the east. In larger churches it separates it from the parts left free for processions between the presbytery and the Lady chapel when the latter is at the east end.
AMBO, THE. An elevated lectern or pulpit used in the early church for chanting the Epistle. Many churches possessed two, one for chanting the Epistle and one for chanting the Gospel; still one served for both purposes in most cases. AMICE. Lat. Amicire. A rectangular piece of linen about three feet long and two fect wide, having a string at each of its two upper corners by which it is fastened on the shoulders of the wearer. There is a cross in the centre of the upper edge. which the priest kisses when vesting. It was used as a covering for the neck and head until about the tenth century when the ecclesiastical cap or berretta supplied its place.
ANABATA. The garment covering the back and shoulders of the priest.
ANAPHORA. The mass, so-called in ancient times because it raises the thoughts to Heaven, anaphora meaning a mounting or rising up.
ANNATES. Called "First Fruits." These were the profits of one year of every unoccupied bishopric in England. They were first claimed by the pope for defending Christians from infidels, and were paid by each bishop on his accession, and till that was done he could not receive his investiture from Rome. Now it is payable by the clergy in general.
ANTHEM. A hymn sung in parts, alternately. It is often applied to a short sentence sung before and after one of the Psalms of the day.
ANTIDORON. The name given to a large quantity of bread which is blessed before the Mass and placed on one of the side altars for distribution to those who for some valid reason, cannot approach the reguular communion.
ANTIMENS. Also written ANTIMINS. Pieces
of stuff, generally silk, about sixteen inches square and having a figure of the burial of our Lord by Joseph of Arimathea stamped upon them. They are held in great veneration and are consecrated with much ceremony, also having the Office of the Holy Eucharist celebrated on them for seven consecutive days.
ANTIPENDIUM. An appendage to be hung before the altar when it is made of any material but stone.
ANTIPHON. Alternate singing of a choir and congregation, the most ancient form of church music.
ANTIPHONAR. The book containing all that is
sung by the choir, except the hymns devoted to the Communion service, which are contained in the Gradual or Grail.
ANTIPHONARY. A book composed of the Introit, Graduals, Offertories, Communions, etc.
APSE. Also called APIs. A semi-circular termination of the choir or any other part of the church.
ARCADE. A series of arches, supported by pillars either belonging to the building or used in relieving large surfaces of masonry.
ARCHBISHOP. The chief of the clergy in a whole province, and having the care of
the bishops and inferior officers of that province and also the right to deprive them for flagrant offences.
ARCHDEACON. A priest who presides over an archdeaconry or a division of a diocese. ARCHES, COUrt of. An ancient court of appeal belonging to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the judge of which was called the Dean of Arches, as the court was held in the church of St. Mary de Arcubus.
An implement resembling a brush used for sprinkling holy water over objects to be blessed.
AUDIENCE, COURT OF. A court belonging to
the Archbishop of Canterbury where he disposed of those matters which he reserved for his own hearing.
AUMBRIE, A small closet.
BAND. A linen ornament worn about the neck by clergymen. It is also worn by the scholars at Winchester, etc., and was formerly worn with the surplice by singing men, lay vicars and occasionally by parish clerks.
BELLS. The use of bells in religious services is very ancient, dating back to the time of the writing of the book of Exodus. They were used by the Jews to summon the priests to the service, the Levites to sing, and the men to bring the unclean to the gate called Micanor. Before bells came into general use in the church, sounding boards struck with a mallet of hard wood and called semantrous supplied their place, and these are still in use in some of the Oriental churches. Bells are not rung during the last days of Holy Week, and hence it is sometimes called Still Week. During this time small wooden clappers are used.
BENEDICITE. A canticle so named because it so commences in the Latin version. It is also called the Song of the Three Children as Hananiah, Mishæl and Abednego are said to have sung it in the fiery furnace. It is used at Morning Prayer, after the first lesson.
BERRETTA. A square cap with three corners
rising from the crown and having a tassel hanging. It was worn as early as tho ninth century, when it had no corners, but resembled an ordinary cap; but its pliability making it difficult to place properly on the head, the shape was changed to the present one, the three
corners being symbolical of the Blessed Trinity. It is of two colors, red and· black: red being worn by cardinals and without a tassel, and black by all inferior officers, a bishop's having a green lining. The berretta beside daily use, can be worn in the sanctuary during the less solemn portions of the mass. As worn by the Greeks it is round and close fitting and is generally of a violet color. Fastened to the back is a triangular piece called Epiórɛpx or the dove, from its resemblance to the tail of that bird. The Greek bishops never wear a mitre, but use a low hat without a peak, over which is thrown a large veil.
BREVIARY. A compilation in an abbreviated form of the different books anciently used in the service of the Roman Catholic church.
BURSE. The receptacle for the Corporal and Pall when not in use, corresponding in color and material with the vestments and having a cross worked in the centre. CANDLES. On every altar for the celebration of Mass there are placed near the crucifix two candle-sticks containing candles of pure wax, which are kept burning during the service. At Solemn High Mass, six are required, at Low Mass, four. An ordinary priest uses only two. CANON. A law of the church. The derivation of the word, which is Greek, signifies a rule or measure.
CARDS, ALTAR. Three cards placed on the altar to assist the memory of the priest. The first contains the Gloria in Excelsis and Credo, the prayers said at the offertory, the Qui Pridie, the form of consecration and the Placeat. The others contain minor prayers used in the service.
CASSOCK. Lat. Vestis talaris. A long outer
garment, the ordinary dress of priests, the color of which varies. Cardinals wear red, except in times of penance and mourning, when they wear violet. The bishop's Cassock is violet, except on the occasions mentioned, when it is black, but priests of no particular order wear black. The pope's cassock is always white silk.
CATHEDRAL. Lat. Cathedra, a chair. The principal church in a diocese, and so called because there the bishop has his seat or throne.
The modern designation of the Thurible.
CHALICE. The Eucharistic cup in which is placed the wine for consecration, and generally in shape resembling a lily. It is usually made of silver or gold; wood, brass and glass being forbidden, except
where the need is very great. The or namentation is generally some scen taken from our Lord's life.
CHANCEL. Lat. Cancelli. That part of the church which contains the holy table and stalls for the clergy.
CHANT. Ecclesiastical music. The most solemn chants in the Catholic church are attributed to St. Ambrose and St. Gregory.
CHASUBLE. This garment is the last in the catalogue of sacred vestments. It is open at both sides, reaching to the knees in front of the priest and extending a few inches longer at the back. It is composed of precious cloth, and the colors are the five mentioned in the rubrics, viz: white, red, violet, green and black.
CHIMERE. The outer garment worn by a
bishop, to which the lawn sleeves are generally fastened.
CHRISTE ELEISON. Christ have mercy on us.
CIBORIUM. A cup resembling the chalice,
only more shallow and wide, and used when the number of communicants is great.
CINCTURE. A linen girdle sufficiently long to encircle, when doubled, the body of the priest, and worn to keep the Alb in place. Formerly it was made of costly ma terials, studded with gems and was broad like a sash. That worn by the Oriental priest is much broader and fastened around the waist by a gilt hook, shaped like an S.
COENOBITES. Gr. Koivo Biov. Monks having
COLLAR. A strip of thin linen two inches in
COLLECTS. Short prayers found in all litur-
CONCLAVE. The cardinals' place of meeting for the choosing of a new pope. For some time the Vatican has been the place selected.
CONFESSIONAL. An enclosed recess where
penitents make confession to the priest. CONFITEOR. The confession which the priest
recites with great humility, saying, “I
COPE. A cloak worn during service by Catholic priests. It reaches from the shoulders nearly to the feet and is open only in front, where it is fastened at the neck by a clasp.
CORPORAL. A square of linen the size of a handkerchief, folded in four parts, with a small black cross worked in the centre of its anterior edge. It is spread on the altar at the commencement of mass, the Chalice being placed upon it.
CREED. A summary of Christian belief. The Apostles' Creed is so called because each one is said to have contributed one of its twelve articles.
CROSS, SIGN OF THE. The Greek priest first crosses his thumb on the fourth finger, and bends his little finger so that it resembles the curve of a crescent; the index finger stands erect, and having bent the middle one in the same way as the little, lifts his hand and traces the sign of the Cross. The meaning of this is as follows: The outstretched finger stands for the Greek letter I, the bending of the middle finger for the letter C--an old way of writing Sigma or the English Sthe letters I and Cor S thus standing for Jesus. The thumb crossed upon the fourth finger is the Greek X, equivalent to our ch, and this with the little finger representing Sor C, stands for Christ; so that the interpretation is Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic sign of the cross is made by touching the forehead, breast, left and right shoulder, the priest saying: In nomine Patris, et Fili, et Spiritus Sancte, Amen "in the name of the Father, anl of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, amen; the last invocation being uttered as the hand passes from the left to the right shoulder.
CROSS, DOUBLE. A cross having at the head
signifying that He died only for the good.
A cross having three trans
CRUETS. The glasses in which the wine and water for the Holy sacrifice are kept. They are generally of glass, but are sometimes gold or silver.
DALMATIC. The garment worn by the deacon in administering the Holy Eucharist, and also worn at stated times by the bishops. It reaches below the knees,
and is open at each side for a distance varying at different periods.
DATOR. An officer in the pope's court commissioned by him to receive petitions respecting the provision of benefices. He is empowered, without conferring with the pope, to grant to all benefices that do not produce more than twentyfour ducats yearly, but for the others, he must have the signature of the pope. He can also, where there are several condidates for a benefice, decide on whom it shall be bestowed.
DEDICATION, FEAST OF.
The wake or festival for the dedication of churches. DEIPNON. The mass as being the means of giving to our souls the Bread of Life. DEO GRATIÆ. "Thanks be to God." exclamation used at the conclusion of the Epistle, or an expression of gratitude for the sacred words.
DIAPER. In church architecture a decoration of large surfaces with a constant recurring pattern either carved or painted. Hook's Church Dictionary.
DRIPSTONE The projecting moulding which crowns doors, windows and other arches in the exterior of a building.
Hook's Church Dictionary. This is an anEAST, PRAYING TOWARDS THE. cient custom, and in early times most of the churches were built with a view to this practice. A number of reasons are given, of which the most important is this: At the Saviour's crucifixion His face was towards the west, hence by praying turned to the East, is signified looking in His face.
EMBER DAYS. The Wednesday, Friday anl Saturday after the first Sunday in Lent,
the feast of Whitsunday, the fourteenth of September, and the thirteenth of December, all being fast days. The week in which these days fall is called Ember Week, and the Sunday in December which begins it is always the third Sunday in Advent.
ENTHRONISATION. The placing of a bishop in his stall or on the throne in his cathedral. Hook's Church Dictionary.
A lozenge-shaped appendage hung from the girdle and worn on the right side. It represents the napkin with which our Lord girded himself at the last supper and has either His head or a cross embroidered on it. In the Catholic church, none but the pope is allowed to use it, but in the Greek church permission is granted to all the bishops.
EXARCH. An officer in the Greek church whose business it is to visit the provinces in his charge to acquaint himself with lives and manners of the clergy, the manner of celebrating Divine service, and administering the sacraments, confession in particular; also monastic discipline, affairs of marriage, divorces,
FALDISTORY. Lat. Faldistorium. The bishop's chair near the altar, which he occupies when addressing the candidates for orders. This name is also given to the episcopal chair within the chancel.
FLAGON. A vessel for holding the wine be
fore and at the consecration in the Holy Eucharist. It differs from the chalice in being the vessel in which some of the wine is placed for consecration, if more than one vessel is used.
FONT. The baptismal vase or basin. It
supplies the place of rivers, etc., where the rite of Baptism was formerly administered.
FORMULARY. A book containing the ceremonies, rites and forms of the Church. In the Church of England it is the Book of Common Prayer.
FRIDAY, GOOD. The Friday in Passion Week, and so called from the good effects on us of our Lord's sufferings. It was called Long Friday by the Saxons.
GIRDLE. A cincture fastening the alb around
the waist. It was formerly broad and flat, but is now a cord with tassels at the ends.
GLORIA IN EXCELSIS. "Glory to God in the highest." As this is a hymn of joy it is not sung during seasons of penance and mourning, consequently is never heard during Lent or Masses for the Dead. It is recited while the Dominicans and
Carthusians stand at the centre of the
GLORIA PATRI. "Glory be to the Father."
HOST. The altar bread, which is circular in
HYMN, ANGELIC. The Doxology beginning, "Glory be to God on high." It is so named from having been sung by the angels when they appeared to the Bethlehem shepherds.
I. H. S. Formerly written 1. H. C. The first three letters of the Lord's name in the Greek language ΙΗΣΟΥΣ which were often used, during the age of persecution, on the tombs of Christians. The interpre tation, Jesus, the Saviour of men, origi nated with St. Bernardine in 443. He disapproved of devices on some cards which were being sold by a peddler and induced him to change them, substitating the letters I. H. S., which he said stood for Jesus Hominum Salvator.
INQUISITION. A court of justice in Roman Catholic countries for the trial and pun ishment of heretics.
INTERDICT. An ecclesiastical censure by which the Church of Rome forbids the performance of Divine service and the administration of the sacraments to a kingdom, town, etc.
INTROIT. The beginning of the Mass for the day, principally passages taken from the Psalms, followed by the minor doxology.
INVESTITURE. The act of conferring a bish
opric by giving a pastoral staff or ring. JUBILATE DEO. "O be joyful in God." One of the Psalms used after the second les son in the morning service.