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Title: Churches and Church Ornaments - Rationale Divinorum Officiorum
Author: Durandus, William
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Transcriber's notes:]

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_Churches and Church Ornaments_


_Rationale Divinorum Officiorum_










_New York_










The interest which has lately been displayed, as on all subjects
connected with Ecclesiology, so more especially on the symbolical
bearing of Church Architecture, has led us to imagine that a
translation of the most valuable work on Symbolism which the middle
ages can furnish, might not, at the present time, be unacceptable to

Written, however, at a period when Christian Architecture had not
attained its full glory, it necessarily leaves untouched many
arrangements of similar tendency, subsequently adopted; addressed to
those who had not yet learnt to doubt everything not formally proved,
it assumes many points which may now seem to require confirmation: and
composed for the use of a clergy habituated to a most figurative
ritual, it passes over much as well known, which is now forgotten or
neglected. On these accounts we have considered it necessary to prefix
an Essay on the subject; in which we have endeavoured to prove that
Catholic Architecture must necessarily be symbolical; to answer the
more common objections to the system; and to elucidate it by reference
to actual examples, and notices of the figurative arrangements of our
own churches. We have also added notes, where any obscurity seemed
{viii} to require explanation; and we have, both in them and in the
Appendix, thrown together such passages from Martene, Beleth, S.
Isidore of Seville, Hugo de S. Victore, and other writers, as tended
to explain and to enforce the remarks of Durandus.

With reference to the author himself, but little is known; and that
little has been told before.

William Durandus was born at Puy-moisson, in Provence, about the year
1220. A legend of his native country is told in the present work.
[Footnote 1] He became the pupil of Henry de Luza, afterwards Cardinal
of Ostia; and taught canon law at Modena. On this subject he composed
a most learned work, the _Speculum Juris_; from which he obtained the
title of _Speculator_: as also another treatise called _Repertorium
Juris_: and a _Breviarium Glossarum in Textum Juris Canonici_. His
high attainments marked him [Footnote 2] out for the office of
Chaplain to Pope Clement IV.

  [Footnote 1: See p. 126]

  [Footnote 2:  _Mutata fortuna_, says Doard: to what this refers, we
  know not.]

He was afterwards Auditor of the Sacred Palace; and Legate to Pope
Gregory X at the Council of Lyons. He was then made Captain of the
Papal forces; in which post he assisted at the reduction of several
rebellious cities, and behaved with great courage. He finally became
Bishop of Mende in 1286. While in this post, and resident at Rome (for
he did not personally visit his diocese till 1291, the administration
of the diocese being perhaps left to a nephew of the same name, who
succeeded him), he finished the work, of the first book of which a
translation is presented to the reader. But it probably {ix} was
commenced before; for we find from a passage in its latter half, that
so far had been written during the course of this same year 1286. And
there is no difficulty in the title, _Episcopus Miniatensis_, which he
gives himself in the Proeme, as this could easily have been added
afterwards. But it was certainly published, as Martene observes,
before 1295; because Durandus speaks of the Feasts of the Holy
Apostles as _semi-doubles_, whereas in that year, by a constitution of
Pope Urban, they were commanded to be observed as doubles. The time at
which the treatise was written more especially demands our attention;
because, did we imagine it only a few years later than it really was,
we might well be astonished at finding no reference to the Symbolism
of the Decorated Style. The interruptions amidst which the _Rationale_
was written are feelingly alluded to by its author, in the Epilogue
(p. 161). He also wrote a treatise _De Modo Concilii Generalis
habendi,_ probably either suggested by, or preparatory to, that of
Lyons. He afterwards went on an embassy from the Pope to the Sultan;
and is by some said to have ended this life at Nicosia in Cyprus. But
the fact is not so: for having governed his diocese ten years, and
having refused the proffered Archbishopric of Ravenna, he departed at
Rome on the Feast of All Saints, 1296, being buried in the Church of
Sancta Maria super Minervam, where his monument is yet to be seen,
with the following inscription:--


  Hic jacet egregius doctor proesul Mimatensis,
  Nomine Duranti Guillelmus regula morum:
  Splendor honestatis et casti candor amoris
  Altum consiliis spatiosum mente serenum
  Hunc insignibat immotum turbine mentis.
  Mente pius, sermone gravis, gressuque modestus,
  Extitit infestus super hostes more leonis:
  Indomitos domuit populos, ferroque rebelles,
  Impulit, Ecclesiae victor servire coëgit.
  Comprobat officiis, paruit Romania sceptro
  Belligeri comitis Martini tempore quarti:
  Edidit in Jure librum, quo jus reperitur:
  Et Speculum Juris, et patrum Pontificale:
  Et Rationale Divinorum patefecit:
  Instruxit clerum scriptis, monuitque statutis:
  Gregorii deni, Nicolai scita perenni
  Glossa diffudit populis, sensusque profundos:
  Jure dedit mentes et corpus luce studentum:
  Quem memori laude genuit Provincia dignum:
  Et dedit a Podio Missone diaecesis ilium:
  Inde Biterrensis, praesignis curia Papae:
  Dum foret ecclesiae Mimatensis sede quietus,
  Hunc vocat octavus Bonifacius; altius ilium
  Promovet; hic renuit Ravennae praesul haberi.
  Fit comes invictus simul hinc et marchio tandem,
  Et Romam rediit: Domini sub mille trecentis
  (Quatuor amotis) annis: tumulante Minerva.
  Surripit hunc festiva dies, & prima Novembris.
  Guadia cum Sanctis tenet Omnibus inde sacerdos:
  Pro quo perpetuo datur haec celebrare capella.

The _Rationale_ was the first work, from the pen of an uninspired
writer, ever printed. The _editio princeps_ appeared at the press of
Fust in 1459; being preceded only by the Psalters of 1457 and 1459. It
is, of course, of the most extreme rarity: the beauty of the
typography has seldom been exceeded. Chalmers mentions, besides this,
thirteen editions in the fifteenth, and thirteen in the sixteenth
century: all of them are very rare.


The editions with which we are acquainted, are those of Rome 1473;
Lyons 1503, 1512, 1534, 1584; Antwerp 1570; Venice 1599, 1609. The
translation has been made from the editions of 1473 and 1599. The
former is a magnificent specimen of typography: the words are
excessively contracted; and there are double columns to each page. Our
copy is partially illuminated; and the binding is ornamented with a
border of the Evangelistic Symbols. The latter contains also the first
edition of the work of Beleth, and is a reprint of Doard's Lyons
edition of 1565. Doard dedicated it to his brother, Bishop of
Marseilles; and prefixed a Preface, in which he bestows a well-merited
eulogium on Durandus, and mentions the care taken in correcting and
revising the work. He also added some notes, of little worth. The
Venice reprint is so vicious a specimen of typography, that from it
alone the sense could in many places hardly be explained. Our copy
belonged to Bishop White Kennett, who appears to have studied it

We must now say a few words as on our own share in the work. With
respect to the Introduction, fully convinced as we are of the truth
and importance of the general principle maintained in it, we do not
wish to press, as matter of certainty, all or any of the minor details
into which that theory is carried. We believe, indeed, that the more
the subject has been studied, the more truthful our views will appear
to be: but we wish the reader to bear in mind, that the weakness of
any portion of them is no argument against their reception, as a
whole. At the same time, none can be more aware than ourselves how
much more ably such views might have been advocated: we have not,
however, spared {xii} time or pains in the study of the subject; 'and
if we have done meanly, it is that we could attain unto.'

In the Translation, we have endeavoured, too often unsuccessfully, to
retain the beautiful simplicity of the original. In the obscure
passages, of which there are not a few, we have mentioned the
difficulty in the notes, lest the reader, by our mistake, should be
led into error himself.

The quotations from Holy Scripture are given in the authorised
version, except where, to bring out the author's full meaning, it was
necessary to have recourse to the Vulgate; and we have then translated
literally from that.

We have felt no small pleasure in thus enabling this excellent
prelate, though at so far distant a land from his own, and after a
silence of nearly six hundred years, being dead, yet to speak: and if
the following pages are at all useful in pointing out the sacramental
character of Catholic art, we shall be abundantly rewarded, as being
fellow-workers with him in the setting forth of one, now too much
forgotten, Church principle.

  J. M. N.
  B. W.

_Michaelmas_, 1842.






  1. Spread of the study of Church Architecture.

  2. Obvious, but indefinable, difference between old and new churches.
     Wherein this consists.
     Not in association,
     Nor in correctness of details,
     Nor in the Picturesque,
     Nor in the Mechanical advantages,
     But in Reality considered, in an enlarged view, as Sacramentality.

  3. This probable,
     from examples, and
        promises in Holy Scripture.
        Catholic consent,
        examples to the contrary,
        philosophical reasons.

  4. Enunciation of the subject.

  5. Writers on the subject,
     Pugin, Poole, Lewis, Coddington, the writers of the
       Cambridge Camden Society.



      Symbolising spirit of Catholic Antiquity, in
        (a) Interpretation of Holy Scriptures.
        (b) Analogy of the Jewish Ceremonies.
        (c) Private manners.
        (d) Emblems in Catacombs, etc.
        (e) Symbolical interpretation of Heathen writers.

      i. Examples of other nations.
          (a) Jews.
              (1) Temple rites.
              (2) Legal observances.
              (3) Sacred books.

      (b) Turks.

      (c) Infidels.
          (1) Hindu and Egyptian Mythology
          (2) Persian Poetry.

      (d) Heretics.


      ii. From Nature.
          (a) Trinity.
          (b) Resurrection.
          (c) Self-sacrifice,

      iii. From Art.
          (a) Sculpture,
          (b) Painting.
          (c) Music.
          (d) Language of Flowers.

      iv. Parabolical teaching.


    Objective answering to Subjective.
    All effect sacramental of the efficient.
    Sacramentality of all Religion.
    Ritualism peculiarly and necessarily sacramental.
    Church Architecture, a condition of Ritualism.
    Necessities induce accidents: and these material expressions.
       Necessities of Ritualism, and their expressions in earlier
       and later ages.
    Hence Symbolism.
        Conventional, which again becomes intended.

      1. Cruciformity.
      2. Ascent to Altar.
      3. Orientation.
      4. Verticality.

      Express and continuous testimony.
          (a) Apostolical Constitutions.
          (b) Eusebius.
          (c) Symbolical writers.
      Actual examples.


          (a) The Holy Trinity, set forth in
              i. Nave and Two Aisles.
              ii. Chancel, Nave and Apse,
              iii. Clerestory, Triforium, and Pier Arches,
              iv. Triple windows.
              v. Altar steps.
              vi. Triplicity of mouldings,
              vii. Minor details.

          (b) Regeneration.
              i. The octagonal form of Fonts,
              ii. The octagonal form of Piers,
              iii. Fishes.
          (c) Atonement.
              i. Cruciformity.
              ii. Deviation of Orientation.
              iii. Double Cross,
              iv. The threat Rood.
              v. Details.

          (d) Communion of Saints.

      II. DETAILS.
         (a) Windows: a series of examples.
         (b) Doors.
             i. Norman tympana.
             ii. Double doors in Early English.
                (a) These explained in two ways,
                    (1) Christ's entrance into the world.
                   (2) Our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
                (b) Difference between mouldings of Chancel arches and doors.
         (c) Porches.
         (d) Chancel Arch and Rood Screen.
         (e) Monuments.
             (a) Difference of ancient and modern symbolism in these,
                 (1) Sceptical character of the present age.
                 (2) Paganism of modern design.
                 (3) Reality of ancient design.
             (b) Historical details of Monuments.
         (f) Gurgoyles and Poppyheads.
         (g) Flowers used in architecture.

      1. Inequality of type and antitype.
      2. Difference of Symbolism in the same arrangement.
      3. Mechanical origin.

      1. Norman; as symbolising facts.
      2. Early English; as symbolising doctrines.
      3. Decorated; as symbolising the connection of doctrines.
      4. Perpendicular; as symbolising the progress of Erastianism.
      5. Flamboyant, etc.
      6. Post Reformation Symbolism.

      Contrast between a modern and ancient Church.

_Laus Deo_





The study of Church Architecture has within the last few years become
so general, and a love for it so widely diffused, that whereas, in a
former generation it was a task to excite either, in the present it is
rather an object to direct both. An age of church-building, such as
this, ought to produce good architects, not only from the great
encouragement given to their professional efforts, but from the
increasing appreciation of the principles and powers of their art. And
yet it cannot be denied, however we may account for the fact, that (at
least among those for whom we write, the members of our own
communion), no architect has as yet arisen, who appears destined to be
the reviver of Christian art. It is not that the rules of the science
have not been studied, that the examples bequeathed to us have not
been imitated, that the details are not understood. We have (though
they are but few) modern buildings of the most perfect proportions, of
the most faultless details, and reared with lavish expense. It is that
there is an undefined--perhaps almost undefinable--difference between
a true 'old church,' and the most perfect of modern temples. In the
former, at least till late in the Perpendicular era, we feel that,
however {xx} strange the proportions, or extraordinary the details,
the effect is church-like. In the latter, we may not be able to blame;
but from a certain feeling of unsatisfactoriness, we cannot praise.

The solution of the problem,--What is it that causes this difference?
has been often attempted, sometimes with partial, but never with
complete, success. That most commonly given is the following:--The
effect of association in old buildings,--the mellowing power of
time,--the evident antiquity of surrounding objects,--the natural
beauties of foliage, moss, and ivy, that require centuries to reach
perfection;--as on the other hand, the bareness, the newness, nay even
the sharpness and vigour of new work; these, it is said, are
sufficient to stamp a different character on each. There is doubtless
something in this; but that it is not the whole cause is evident from
the fact, that give a modern church all the above mentioned advantages
on paper, and an experienced eye will soon detect it to be modern.

Those writers who, as Grose, Milner, and Carter, lived before the
details of Christian art were understood, seem to have placed its
perfection in a thorough knowledge of these: experience has proved
them wrong. Others, as Mr. Petit,  [Footnote 3] have made a kind of
ideal picturesque; and, having exalted the phantasm into an idol, have
fallen down and worshipped it. Others, again, have sought for an
explanation of the difficulty in mathematical contrivance and
mechanical ingenuity; and the result has been little more than the
discovery of curious eave-drains, and wonderful cast-iron roof-work.
Lastly, Mr. Pugin (_cum talis sis, utinain noster esses!_) has placed
the thing required in _Reality_. {xxi} That is, to quote his own
words, in making these the two great rules of design:--
1. That there should be no features about a building which are not
necessary for convenience, construction, or propriety:
2. That all ornament should consist of enrichment of the essential
construction of a building.'  [Footnote 4] And we may add, as a
corollary, still quoting the same writer:--'The smallest detail should
have a meaning or serve a purpose: the construction itself should vary
with the material employed: and the designs should be adapted to the
material in which they are to be executed.' Still, most true and most
important as are these remarks, we must insist on one more axiom,
otherwise Christian art will but mock us, and not show us wherein its
great strength lieth.

  [Footnote 3: See the review of his work in the _Ecclesiologist_,
  vol. i, pp. 91-105.]

  [Footnote 4: Pugin's 'True Principles,' p. 1.]

A Catholic architect must be a Catholic in heart. Simple knowledge
will no more enable a man to build up God's material, than His
spiritual temples. In ancient times, the finest buildings were
designed by the holiest bishops. Wykeham and Poore will occur to every
churchman. And we have every reason to believe, from God's Word, from
Catholic consent, and even from philosophical principles, that such
must always be the case.

Holy Scripture, in mentioning the selection of Bezaleel and Aholiab,
as architects of the Tabernacle, expressly asserts them to have been
filled 'with the Spirit of God in wisdom, and in understanding, and in
knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works,
to work in gold, and in silver and in brass, and in cutting of stones
to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of
workmanship.' And this indeed is only a part of the blessing of the
pure in heart: they see God, the Fountain of Beauty, even in this
life; as they shall see Him, the Fountain of Holiness, in the {xxii}
next. From Catholic consent we may learn the same truth. Why else was
Ecclesiastical Architecture made a part of the profession of Clerks,
than because it was considered that the purity and holiness of that
profession fitted them best for so great a work?   [Footnote 5]

  [Footnote 5: Compare the general drift of the Address to Paulinus.
  _Eusebius_. H. E. X. 4.]

Nay, we have remarkable proofs that feeling without knowledge will do
more than knowledge without feeling. There are instances of
buildings--Lisbon cathedral and S. Peter's College chapel, Cambridge,
are cases in point--which, with Debased or Italian details, have
nevertheless Christian effect. And we have several similar cases, more
particularly in the way of towers.

Now, allowing the respectability, which attaches itself to the
profession of a modern architect, and the high character of many in
that profession, none would assert that they, as a body, make it a
matter of devotion and prayer; that they work for the Church alone
regardless of themselves; that they build in faith, and to the glory
of God.

In truth, architecture has become too much a profession: it is made
the means of gaining a livelihood, and is viewed as a path to
honourable distinction, instead of being the study of the devout
ecclesiastic, who matures his noble conceptions with the advantage of
that profound meditation only attainable in the contemplative life,
who, without thought of recompense or fame, has no end in view but the
raising a temple, worthy of its high end, and emblematical of the
faith which is to be maintained within its walls. It is clear that
modern architects are in a very different position from their
predecessors, with respect to these advantages. We are not prepared to
say that none but monks ought to design churches, or that it is
impossible for a professional {xxiii} architect to build with the
devotion and faith of an earlier time. But we do protest against the
merely business-like spirit of the modern profession, and demand from
them a more elevated and directly religious habit of mind. We surely
ought to look at least for church-membership from one who ventures to
design a church. There cannot be a more painful idea than that a
separatist should be allowed to build a House of God, when he himself
knows nothing of the ritual and worship of the Church from which he
has strayed; to prepare both font and altar, when perchance he knows
nothing of either Sacrament but that he has always despised them. Or,
again, to think that any churchman should allow himself to build a
conventicle, and even sometimes to prostitute the speaking
architecture of the Church to the service of Her bitterest enemies!
What idea can such a person have formed of the reality of church
architecture? Conceive a churchman designing a triple window, admitted
emblem of the Most Holy Trinity, for a congregation of Socinians! We
wish to vindicate the dignity of this noble science against the
treason of its own professors. If architecture is anything more than a
mere trade; if it is indeed a liberal, intellectual art, a true branch
of poesy, let us prize its reality and meaning and truthfulness, and
at least not expose ourselves by giving to two contraries one and the
same material expression.

It is objected that architects have a right to the same professional
conscience that is claimed, for instance, by a barrister. To which we
can only reply, that it must be a strange morality which will justify
a pleader in violating truth; and how much worse for an architect to
violate truth in things immediately connected with the House and
worship of God? It may be asked, Do we mean to imply then that a
church architect ought never {xxiv} to undertake any secular building?
Perhaps, as things are, we cannot expect so much as this now: but we
can never believe that the man who engages to design union-houses, or
prisons, or assembly-rooms, and gives the dregs of his time to
church-building, is likely to produce a good church, or, in short, can
expect to be filled from above with the Spirit of Wisdom. The church
architect must, we are persuaded, make very great sacrifices: he must
forego all lucrative undertakings, if they may not be carried through
upon those principles which he believes necessary for every good
building; and particularly if the end to be answered, or the wants to
be provided for, are in themselves unjustifiable or mischievous. Even
in church-building itself, he must see many an unworthy rival
preferred to him, who will condescend to pander to the whims and
comfort of a church-committee, will suit his design to any standard of
ritualism which may be suggested by his own ignorance, or others'
private judgment, who will consent to defile a building meant for
God's worship with pews and galleries and prayer-pulpits and
commodious vestries. But hard as the trial may be, a church architect
must submit to it, rather than recede from the principles which he
knows to be the very foundation of his art. We would go further even,
and deny the possibility of any architect's success in all the
different styles of Pointed architecture, not to mention the orders of
Greece and Rome, Vitruvian, Palladian, Cinque Cento, Wrennian, nay
even Chinese, Swiss, Hindoo, and Egyptian at once. We have not even
now exhausted the list of styles in which a modern architect is
supposed to be able to design. It is even more absurd than if every
modern painter were expected, and should profess, to paint equally
well in the styles of Perugino, Francia, Raphael, Holbein, Claude, the
Poussins, Salvator Rosa, Correggio, Van Eyck, {xxv} Teniers, Rubens,
Murillo, Reynolds, West, Gainsborough, Overbeck, and Copley Fielding
all at once! An architect ought indeed to be acquainted, and the more
the better, with all styles of building: but if architecture, as we
said before, is a branch of poesy, if the poet's mind is to have any
individuality, he must design in one style, and one style only. For
the Anglican architect, it will be necessary to know enough of the
earlier styles to be able to restore the deeply interesting churches,
which they have left us as precious heirlooms; enough of the Debased
styles, to take warning from their decline: but for his own style, he
should choose the glorious architecture of the fourteenth century;
and, just as no man has more than one hand-writing, so in this one
language alone will he express his architectural ideas.

We cannot leave this topic without referring to what the Cambridge
Camden Society has said with respect to architectural competition.
[Footnote 6] _It is a fact_ that at this time many competing designs
are manufactured in an architect's office, by some of his clerks, as
if by machinery: if a given plan is chosen, the architect is summoned,
and sees _his_ (!) design for the first time, when he is introduced to
the smiling committee-men. It is another fact that there is at this
time in London a small body of persons, with no other qualification
than that of having been draughtsmen in an architect's office, who
_get up_ a set of competing designs for any aspirant who chooses to
give them a few instructions, and to pay them for their trouble. How
much it is to be wished that there were some examination of an
architect's qualifications, before he should be allowed to assume the
name! It seems strange that the more able members of the profession do
not themselves feel some _esprit de corps_, and do not at {xxvi} least
endeavour to claim for their art its full dignity and importance. We
fear however that very few, as yet, take that _religions_ view of
their profession, which we have shown to be seemly, even if not
essential. If, however, we succeed in proving that religion enters
very largely into the principles of church architecture, a religious
_ethos_, we repeat, is _essential_ to a church architect. At all
events, in an investigation into the differences between ancient and
modern church architecture, the contrast between the ancient and
modern builders could not be overlooked: and it is not too much to
hope that some, at least, may be struck by the fact, that the deeply
religious habits of the builders of old, the hours, the cloister, the
discipline, the obedience, resulted in their matchless works; while
the worldliness, vanity, dissipation, and patronage of our own
architects issue in unvarying and hopeless failure.

  [Footnote 6: See _Ecclesiologist_, vol. i, pp. 69, 85.]

We said that there were philosophical reasons for the belief that we
must have architects--before we can have buildings--like those of old.
If it be true that an esoteric signification, or, as we shall call it,
_Sacramentality_,  [Footnote 7] ran through all the arrangements and
details of Christian architecture, emblematical of Christian
discipline, and suggested by Christian devotion; then must the
discipline have been practised, and the devotion felt, before a
Christian temple can be reared. That this esoteric meaning, or
symbolism, does exist, we are now to endeavour to prove.

  [Footnote 7: It may be proper to distinguish between five terms, too
  generally vaguely employed in common, and which we shall often have
  occasion to use: we mean, _allegorical, symbolical, typical,
  figurative_, and _sacramental_.

  'Allegory employs fictitious things and personages to shadow out the
  truth: Symbolism uses real personages and real actions (and real
  things) as symbols of the truth:' _British Critic_, No. lxv. p. 121.
  Sacramentality is symbolism applied to the truth [Greek text], the
  teaching of the Church, by the hands of the teacher: a Type is a
  symbol intended from the first: a Figure is a symbol not discovered
  till after the thing figurative has had a being.]


We assert, then, that _Sacramentality_ is that characteristic which so
strikingly distinguishes ancient ecclesiastical architecture from our
own. By this word we mean to convey the idea that, by the outward and
visible form, is signified something inward and spiritual: that the
material fabric symbolises, embodies, figures, represents, expresses,
answers to, some abstract meaning. Consequently, unless this ideal be
itself true, or be rightly understood, he who seeks to build a
Christian church may embody a false or incomplete or mistaken ideal,
but will not develope the true one. Hence, while the Parthenon, or a
conventicle, or a modern church, may be conceived to have, on the one
hand, so much _truthfulness_, as to symbolise respectively the
graceful, but pagan, worship of Athene--the private judgment of the
dissenter--and the warped or ill-understood or puritanised religious
ethos of the modern churchman; and, on the other hand, to have so much
_reality_ as to carry out most satisfactorily Mr. Pugin's canons; yet,
inasmuch as in neither case was the builder's ideal the true one, so
in neither case is his architecture in any way adapted to, or an
embodiment of, the ideal of the Church. Reality, then, is not of
itself sufficient. What can be more _real_ than a pyramid, yet what
less Christian? It must be Christian reality, the true expression of a
true ideal, which makes Catholic architecture what it is. This
Christian reality, we would call _Sacramentality_; investing that
symbolical truthfulness, which it has in common with _every_ true
expression, with a greater force and holiness, both from the greater
purity of the perfect truth which it embodies, and from the
association which this name will give it with those adorable and
consummate examples of the same {xxviii} principle, infinitely more
developed, and infinitely more holy in the spiritual grace which they
signify and convey,--the Blessed Sacraments of the Church.

The modern writers who have treated on Symbolism seem to have taken
respectively very partial views of the subject. Mr. Pugin does not
seem in his books to recognise the particular principle which we have
enunciated. We have shown that his law about Reality is true so far as
it goes, but that it does not go far enough. He himself, for example,
is now contemplating a work on the reality of domestic, as before of
ecclesiastical, architecture. Now, nothing can be more true, nothing
more useful, than this. Yet even he does not seem to have discerned
that as contact with the Church endues with a new sanctity, and
elevates every form and every principle of art: so in a peculiar sense
the sacred end to which church architecture is subservient, elevates
and sanctifies that reality which must be a condition of its goodness
in common with _all_ good architecture; in short, raises this
principle of Reality into one of Sacramentality. We should be sorry to
assert that Mr. Pugin does not feel this, though we are not aware that
he has expressed it in his writings: but in his most lasting writings,
his churches namely, it is clear that the principle, if not
intentionally even, and if only incompletely, has not been without a
great influence on that master mind. Yet even in these we could point
to details, and in some of his earlier works to something more than
details, which shew that there is something wanting; that in the bold
expedients and fearless licence which his genius has led him to
employ, he has occasionally gone wrong; not from the fact of his
departure from strict precedent, and his vindication of a certain
architectural freedom, but because in these escapements from
authority, he has not invariably kept in view the { xxix} principle
now advocated. However the author of the 'True Principles' might point
to his churches, to prove that a reverent and religious mind, employed
in administering to the material wants of the Church, (even though
that reverence be misapplied, and that Church in a schismatical
position), cannot fail to succeed, at least in some degree, in
stamping upon his work the impress of his own faith and zeal, and in
making it, at least to some extent, a living development and
expression of the true ideal.

Mr. Poole, the author of the 'Appropriate Character of Church
Architecture,' would appear to believe the symbolism of details rather
than any general principle. He was the first, we think, to reassert
that the octagonal form of fonts was figurative of Regeneration. In
the latter edition of his Book he has adopted several of the
symbolical interpretations advanced by the writers of the Cambridge
Camden Society.

Mr. Lewis, in his illustrations of Kilpeck church (in an appendix to
which he has printed a translation of some part of the 'Rationale' of
our author), has given a treatise on symbolism generally, and has
applied his principles to the explanation of the plan and details of
that particular church. His book excited some attention at the time of
publication, and was met by considerable ridicule in many quarters. To
this we think it was fairly open, since the author did not seem to
have grasped the true view of the subject. He appears to believe that,
from the very first, _all_ church architecture was _intentionally_
symbolical. Now this is an unlikely supposition, inasmuch as till
church architecture was fully developed, we do not think that its real
significancy was understood to its full extent by those who used it.
That it was, in its imperfect state, symbolical, we should be the last
to deny; but it seems more in accordance {xxx} with probability, and
more in analogy with the progress of other arts, to believe that at
first certain given wants induced and compelled certain adaptations to
those wants: which then _did_ symbolise the wants themselves; and
which afterwards became intentionally symbolical. Now such a view as
this will explain satisfactorily how a Christian church might be
progressively developed from a Basilican model. Mr. Hope, in his essay
on Architecture, carries us back to the very earliest expedient likely
to be adopted by a savage to protect him from weather, and from this
derives every subsequent expansion of the art. Which may be true, and
probably is true, so far at least as this: that, however first
acquired, the elementary knowledge of any method of building would be,
like all other knowledge, continually receiving additions and
improvements, till from the first bower of branches sprang the
Parthenon, and from that again Cologne or Westminster. But then it is
clearly necessary to show some moral reason for so strange a
development, so complete a change of form and style. Now the theory
that the ethos of Catholic architects working upon the materials made
to hand, namely, the ancient orders of pagan architecture and (say)
the Basilican plan, gradually impressed itself upon these unpromising
elements, and progressively developed from them a transcript of that
ethos in Christian architecture, is intelligible at least, and
presents no such difficulty as Mr. Lewis's supposition that ancient
architects (he does not say when, or how long--but take Kilpeck church
and say _Norman_ architects) designed intentionally on symbolical
principles. We want in this case to be informed when the change took
place, from what period architects began to symbolise intentionally,
at what time they forgot the traditions of church-building, which they
must have had, and commenced to carry new principles into practice.
{xxxi} Nor, on this supposition, do we see why there should have been
any progressive development, why the Basilican and Debased-Pagan
trammels were not cast away at once; nor why, if the _ideal_ of the
Norman architect was true and perfect (that is if he were a true
Catholic), its expression should not have been so too: nor why any
Norman symbolism, thus originated, should ever have been discarded (as
it has been in later styles), instead of remaining an integral and
essential part of the material expression of the Church's mind. Now
our view appears to be open to no such objection. On the one hand
there are given materials to work upon, and on the other a given
spirit which is to mould and inform the mass. The contest goes on:
mind gradually subdues matter, until in the complete development of
Christian architecture we see the projection of the mind of the
Church. It is quite in analogy with the history and nature of the
Church, and with the workings of God's providence with respect to it,
that there should be this gradual expansion and development of truth.
We foresee the objection that will be raised against fixing on any
period as that of the full ripeness of Christian art, and are prepared
for many sneers at our advocacy of the perfection of the Edwardian
architecture. But we are assured that, if there is any truth (not to
say in what is advanced in this essay, but) in what has ever been
proposed by any who have appreciated the genius of Pointed
Architecture--to confine ourselves to our own subject--no other period
can be chosen at which all conditions of beauty, of detail, of general
effect, of truthfulness, of reality are so fully answered as in this.
And from this spring two important considerations. Firstly, the
decline of Christian art--which may be traced from this very period,
if architecture be tried by any of the conditions which have been laid
down--was confessedly {xxxii} coincident with, and (if what we have
said is true) was really symbolical of, those corruptions, which ended
in the great rending of the Latin Church; the effects of, and
penalties for, which remain to this day in full operation in the whole
of Western Christendom. Secondly, the Decorated style may be indeed
the finest development of Christian architecture which the world has
yet seen; but it does not follow that it is the greatest perfection
which shall ever be arrived at. No: we too look forward, if it may be,
to the time when even a new style of church architecture shall be
given us, so glorious and beautiful and true, that Cologne will sink
into a fine example of a transitional period, when the zeal and faith
and love of the reunited Church shall find their just expression in
the sacramental forms of Catholic art.

But besides the above objection to Mr. Lewis's theory we may mention
the arbitrary way in which he determines on things which are to be
symbolised, and then violently endeavours to find their expected
types. This is quite at variance with the practice of any sober
symbolist; and more especially (as we shall hereafter have occasion to
point out) with that of Durandus. This forced sort of symbolism
naturally leads to a disregard of precedent and authority: and
accordingly we remember to have heard of a design by this gentleman
for the arrangement of a chancel which professed to symbolise certain
facts and doctrines; but which, whatever might be the ingenuity of the
symbolism, was no less opposed to the constant rule of arrangement in
ancient churches, than it was practically absurd and inconvenient for
the purpose which it was meant to answer. Indeed, while Mr. Lewis
insists strongly on the symbolising of facts, he does not succeed in
grasping any general principle, any more than he sees the {xxxiii}
difficulty there is in the way of our receiving his supposition of an
intention to symbolise from the first. No architect ever sat down with
an analysed scheme of doctrines which he resolved to embody in his
future building: in this, as in any other department of poesy, the
result is harmonious, significant, and complete, and may be resolved
into its elements, though these elements might never have been laid by
the poet as the foundation upon which to raise his superstructure.
That were like De La Harpe's theory that an epic poet should first
determine on his moral, and then draw out such a plan for his poem as
may enable him to illustrate that moral.  [Footnote 8]

  [Footnote 8: It is with pain that we have spoken of Mr. Lewis at
  all, because every Ecclesiologist owes him a debt for his great
  boldness in turning the public attention to the subject of
  symbolism. Yet we believe that a prejudice has been excited by him
  against that subject which it will be hard to get over; for we are
  constrained to say, that greater absurdities were never printed than
  some which have appeared in his book. His explanations of the west
  end of Kilpeck church--his cool assumption when any bracket appears
  more puzzling than usual that it is of later work, and therefore not
  explainable--his random perversions of Scripture--his puerile
  conceits about the door--deserve this criticism. This same south
  door he extols as a perfect mine of ecclesiastical information,
  while he confesses himself unable to explain the symbols wrought on
  the two orders of the arch--that is about two-thirds of the whole!
  It is strange, too, that in his restoration of the church, he should
  have forgotten all about the bells--and have violated a fundamental
  canon of symbolism, by terminating his western gable in a plain

The writers of the Cambridge Camden Society have carried out the
system more fully and consistently than any others. It has evidently
grown upon them, during the process of their inquiries: yet in their
earliest publications, we trace, though more obscurely, the same
thing. Their 'Few Words to Church-Builders' acknowledged the principle
to a far greater length; and the _Ecclesiologist_ has always acted
upon it, even when not expressly referring to it. As a necessary
consequence, they were the first who dwelt on the absolute necessity
of a distinct and spacious chancel; the first who recommended, and
{xxxiv} where they could, insisted on, the re-introduction of the
rood-screen; and the first to condemn the use of western triplets. The
position and shape of the font, the necessity of orientation, and some
few details, they have, but only in common with others, urged.

The Oxford Architectural Society have never recognised any given
principles: and in consequence Littlemore is proposed by them as a
model--a church either without, or else all, chancel; and either way a

As might have been expected from a separatist, Rickman, in his
treatise, gives not a single line to the principle for which we
contend. Mr. Bloxam, in his excellent little work, though often
referring to it--more especially in the later editions which have
appeared since the labours of the Cambridge Camden Society--yet
hardly gives it that prominence which we might have expected from one
who possesses so just an idea of mediaeval arrangements and art.

Among the chief opposers of the system we may mention Mr. Coddington
of Ware, who sees perfection in the clumsiness of Basilican
arrangements, and schism in the developed art of the middle ages. This
writer, as it has been observed in the _Ecclesiologist_, contends for
two things:--1. That one great object of Romanism was to abolish the
distinction between the clergy and laity: 2. That another great object
of the same Church, acting by its monks, (or, as he calls them,
schismatical communities) was to exalt the clergy unduly above the
laity. The former assertion he does not attempt to prove: the latter
he supports by pointing to the arrangement of the rood-screen, which,
therefore, like the French Ambonoclasts, he wishes to pull down both
in cathedrals and churches.


This brief review of the principal writers who have treated on the
Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments, concludes our first
chapter. In it we have endeavoured to point out an acknowledged
desideratum; to shew what suppositions have been advanced on the
subject; to set forth wherein, and for what reason, they fail of being
satisfactory; to enunciate the principle of _Sacramentality_ as
essential for the full appreciation and successful imitation of
ancient church architecture; and finally, in referring to the works of
some later symbolists, to shew why their hypotheses are incomplete or
untenable. We have also brought under review the glaring contrasts
between the methods of life of an ancient and modern architect; and,
if we may so say, between the machinery of designing and the habit of
mind in the two cases. We shall now proceed to examine those arguments
which may lead us to suspect that some such principle as
Sacramentality really exists.




It will first be proper to consider whether, regarding the subject _à
priori_, that is, looking at the habits and manners of those among
whom the symbolical system originated, if it originated anywhere, we
have reason to think them at all likely to induce that system. Now, as
matter of fact, we know that the train of thought, the every-day
observances, above all, the religious rites of the early Christians,
were in the highest degree figurative. The rite of Baptism gave the
most forcible of all sanctions to such a system; and while it
sanctioned, it also suggested, some of the earliest specimens of
Christian symbolism. Hence, when that rite was found to be, so to
speak, connected with the word formed by the initial letters of our
Blessed Saviour's name and titles, arose the Mystic Fish: hence, as we
shall see, the octagonal baptistery and font. Indeed, almost every
great doctrine had been symbolised at a very early period of
Christianity. The Resurrection was set forth in the Phoenix, rising
immortal from its ashes: the meritorious Passion of our Saviour, by
the Pelican, feeding its young with its own blood: the Sacrament of
the Holy Eucharist, by grapes and wheatears, or again by the blood
flowing from the heart and feet of the Wounded Lamb into a chalice
beneath: the Christian's renewal of strength {xxxvii} thereby in the
Eagle, which descending grey and aged into the ocean, rises thence
with renewed strength and vigour: the Church, by the Ark, and the
vessel  [Footnote 9] in which our Lord slept: the Christian's purity
and innocence by the Dove:   [Footnote 10] again, by the same symbol
the souls   [Footnote 11] of those who suffered for the Truth: again,
though perhaps not so early, the Holy Spirit: the Apostles were also
set forth as twelve Doves:   [Footnote 12] the Ascension of our
Saviour by the Flying Bird; concerning which S. Gregory   [Footnote
13] teaches, 'rightly is our Redeemer called a Bird, Whose Body
ascended freely into heaven': Martyrs also by birds let loose; for so
Tertullian,  [Footnote 14] 'There is one kind of flesh of fishes, that
is of those who be regenerate by Holy Baptism; but another of birds,
that is of martyrs.'

  [Footnote 9: Naviculum quippe ecclesiam cogitate,--turbulentum mare
  hoc seculum.----_S. Aug. de Verb Dom_.]

  [Footnote 10:
    Quaeque super signum resident coeleste Columbae,
    Simplicibus produnt regna patere Dei.
  _S. Paulin. ep. 12, ad Sever_.]

  [Footnote 11: Cum nollet idolis sacrificare (sc. S. Reparata) ecce,
  gladio percutitur: cujus anima in Columbae specie de corpore egredi,
  coelumque conscendere visa est.--_Martyrol. Rom. viii. Id. Oct._
    Emicat inde Columba repens,
    Martyris os nive candidior
    Visa relinquere, et astra sequi:
    Spiritus hic erat Eulaliae
    Lacteolus, celer, innocuus.
            _Pruden. Perist. Hymn. 9._

  Compare also the Passion of S. Potitus,--Act. SS. Bollandi, 13 Jan.
  So, in the cemetery of S. Calistus, a piece of glass was found by
  Boldetti, on which S. Agnes was represented between two doves, the
  symbols of her Virginity and Martyrdom.]

  [Footnote 12:
    Crucem corona lucido cingit globo
    Cui coronas sunt corona Apostoli,
    Quorum figura est in columbarum choro.
  (S. Paulin. Epp.)]

  [Footnote 13: In Evang. 29.]

  [Footnote 14: De Resurrect. 52.]


The caged bird is symbolical of the contrary; this has been found upon
the phial containing the blood of a martyr. Of this, Boldetti says,
'It is represented on the mosaic of the ancient Tribune of S. Mary
beyond Tiber; one being seen at the side of Isaiah the Prophet, the
other at that of the Prophet Jeremiah.' In the same way, partridges
and peacocks, each with its own meaning are represented. So, again,
lions, tigers, horses, oxen, strange fishes, and marine monsters,
represent the fearful martyrdoms to which God's servants were exposed:
a point which the reader will do well to bear in mind, because in
treating of Norman mouldings we shall have occasion again to refer to
this matter. So, again, the extended hand symbolised Providence. We
have also the seven stars, the moon, and many other symbols of a
similar kind. Nor must we forget the _Agnus Dei_, by which our Blessed
Lord Himself was represented; nor the _Pastor Bonus_, in which His own
parable was still further parabolised. The Christian gems found in the
Catacombs are all charged with some symbolical device. Upon these is
the ship for the Church, the palm for the martyr, and the instrument
of torture: as well as the sacred monogram expressing our Saviour's
name. The same symbol blazed on the _labarum_ of the first Christian
Emperor; and the very coins symbolically showed that the Church had
subdued the kingdoms of this world. That fearful heresy, Gnosticism,
which arose from an over-symbolising, shows, nevertheless how deeply
the principle, within due limits, belonged to the Church. The Gnostic
gems exhibit the most monstrous perversions of symbolical
representations: the medals of Dioclesian bear a lying symbol of a
crushed and expiring Christianity. Later still, new symbols were
adopted: mosaics, illuminations, ornaments, all bore some holy
emblems. The monogram _ihs_ found in every church in Western
Christendom: the corresponding symbol stamps the Eucharistic wafers of
the East.  [Footnote 15]

  [Footnote 15: See on this subject the Cambridge Camden Society's
  'Argument for the Greek Origin of the Monogram IHS.']


The symbols of the Evangelists were also of very early date, though
not, in all cases, appropriated as now: for the angel and the lion
fluctuated between S. Matthew and S. Mark. Numbers, too, were fruitful
of allegorical meaning; and the most ingenious combinations were used
to elicit an esoteric meaning from them. By _one_, the Unity of the
Deity was understood: by _two_, the divine and human Natures of the
Saviour: by _three_, of course, the doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity:
by _four_, the doctrine of the Four Evangelists: by _six_, the
Attributes of the Deity: _seven_ represented the sevenfold graces of
the Holy Spirit: _eight_ (for a reason hereafter to be noticed),
Regeneration: _twelve_, the glorious company, the Apostles, and,
tropologically, the whole Church. And when a straightforward reference
to any of these failed, they were added or combined, till the required
meaning was obtained. A single instance may suffice:--S. Augustine,
writing on that passage of S. Paul's, 'What? know ye not that the
saints shall judge the world?' after explaining (_Expos. super Psalm_.
lxxxvi) the twelve thrones, which our Saviour mentions, of the whole
Church, as founded by and represented in the Apostles, finds a further
meaning. 'The parts of the world be four; the east, the west, the
north, and the south:' and (adds the Father) 'they are constantly
named in Holy Writ. From these four winds, saith the Lord in the
Gospel, shall the elect be gathered together: whence the Church is
called from these four parts. Called, and how? By the Trinity. It is
not called, except by Baptism, in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost. So four, multiplied by three, make
twelve.' In accidental numbers, too, a meaning was often found. No
wonder that some beheld, in the three hundred and eighteen trained
servants wherewith Abraham, the Father of the Faithful, routed the
combined kings, a type of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers of
Nicaea, by whom the Faithful rose triumphant over the Arian heresy.


Again, types and emblems without number were seen in the language of
the Psalmist, occurring so continuously in the services of the Church.
'His faithfulness shall be thy buckler,' gives rise to a fine allegory
of S. Bernard's, drawn from the triangular shape of the buckler used
at the time when that Father wrote; even as we still see it, in the
effigies of early knights. It protects the upper part of the body
completely: the feet are less completely shielded. And so, remarks the
saint, does God's providence guard His people from spiritual dangers,
imaged by those weapons which attack the upper, or more vital parts of
the body: but from temporal adversities He hath neither promised, nor
will give so complete protection.

To mention the symbolism which attached itself to the worship of the
early Church, would be to go through all its rites. Confirmation and
Matrimony, and, above all, Baptism, were attended by ceremonies in the
highest degree symbolical. But it is needless to dwell on them; enough
has been said to prove the attachment which the Catholic Church has
ever evinced to symbolism.

But the Sign of the Cross is that which gave the greatest scope to
symbolism.--Our readers will probably remember the passage of
Tertullian in which he says, 'we cross ourselves when we go out, and
when we come in; when we lie down, and when we rise up,' etc. Indeed,
as in everything they used, so in everything they saw, the Sign of the
Cross. The following lines from Donne are much to the purpose:


  Since Christ embraced the Cross itself, dare I
  His Image, th' Image of His Cross, deny?
  Would I have profit by the Sacrifice,
  And dare the chosen Altar to despise?
  It bore all other sins, but is it fit
  That it should bear the sin of scorning it?
  Who from the picture would avert his eye,
  How should he fly His pains, Who there did die?
  From me no pulpit, nor misgrounded law.
  Nor scandal taken, shall this Cross withdraw:
  It shall not--nor it cannot--for the loss
  Of this Cross were to me another Cross:
  Better were worse: for no affliction.
  No cross were so extreme, as to have none.
  Who can blot out the Cross, which th' instrument
  Of God dewed on him in the Sacrament?
  Who can deny me power and liberty
  'To stretch mine arms, and mine own Cross to be?
  Swim--and at every stroke thou art thy Cross:
  The mast and yard are theirs whom seas do toss.
  Look down, thou seest our crosses in small things,
  Look up, thou seest birds fly on crossed wings.

We will mention but one symbolical feature more in the trains of
thought which were common among the early Christians. We refer to the
esoteric meaning which was supposed to exist in the writings of
heathen authors: as for example, when the Pollio of Virgil was
imagined to point to the Saviour, and the Fortunate Isles of Pindar to
Paradise. It were easy but needless to dwell on this subject. The few
instances we have given are already amply sufficient to prove to some,
to remind others, how symbolical was the religion of the early Church,
and (we think) to establish our case _à priori_.




Having dealt with the argument _à priori_, we now proceed to show
that, from analogy, it is highly probable that the teaching of the
Church, as in other things, so in her material buildings, would be

Firstly, let us look at other nations, and other religions. It need
not be said that the symbolism of the Jews was one of the most
striking features of their religion. It would be unnecessary to go
through their tabernacle and temple rites, their sacrificial
observances, and their legal ceremonies. The Passover, the cleansing
of the leper, the scape goat, the feast of tabernacles, the morning
and evening sacrifice, the Sabbatical year, the Jubilee, were all in
the highest degree figurative. The very stones in the breastplate have
each, according to the Rabbis, their mystical signification. And, as
if still further to teach them the sacramentality, not only of things,
but of events, it pleased God to make all their most famous ancestors,
chiefs, and leaders, _e.g._ Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses,
Joshua, David, most remarkable types of the Messiah: nay, from the
beginning the principal doctrines of Christianity were, in some form
or other, set forth. Regeneration and the Church, in the Flood and the
Ark: the Bread and Wine in the Manna and the Stricken Rock: the two
dispensations in Sarah and {xliii} Hagar. Indeed the immense extent of
symbolism in the Old Testament was the mine of the Fathers. Every day
they brought to light some new wealth; and, if we press the symbolism
of the Church further than it was actually intended, we are only
treading in the steps of her bishops and doctors. For while, of
course, in commenting on and explaining the sacrifice of Isaac, the
covenant of circumcision, the captivity and exaltation of Joseph, they
were only developing the real meaning which God seems to have intended
should be set forth by those events, there are,--as we have already
hinted,--many instances where their piety found an interpretation
which was perhaps never intended. Thus, because Job, while all else
that belonged to him was restored double, had only the same number of
children which he had lost--they have argued, that thus the separate
existence of souls was represented, as the Patriarch could not be said
to have lost those who were in another state of existence.

And if in the Old Testament we find authority for the principle of
symbolism, much more do we in the New. We shall presently have
occasion to allude to the rise and progress of the sacramentality of
Baptism: we may now refer more particularly to the frequency with
which S. Paul symbolises the enactments of the law; as in the case of
the ox forbidden, while treading out the corn, to be muzzled. So
again, the Revelation is nothing but one continued symbolical poem.
The parabolic teaching of our Lord we shall presently notice.

To this we may add, the exoteric and esoteric signification of certain
books, _e.g._, the Song of Solomon: the double interpretation of many
of the prophecies, primarily of the earthly, principally of the
heavenly Jerusalem: we may refer to the symbolical meaning attached,
under the Christian dispensation, to certain previously {xliv}
established rites, as, for instance. Holy Matrimony. With symbolical
writings, enactments, events, personages, observances, buildings,
vestments, for her guides and models, how could the Church Catholic
fail of following symbolism, as a principle and a passion?

But not only is Christianity symbolical: every development of religion
is, and must necessarily be so. On the Grecian mythology, we shall
have occasion to say something more presently. The symbolism of Plato,
and still further development by Proclus and the later philosophers of
his school, will occur to every one. If it be asserted that the more
it was touched and acted on by Christianity, the more symbolical did
it become,--we only reply, So much the more to the purpose of our
argument. But not only in Roman and Grecian Paganism is this the case.
The Hindoo religion has much of symbolism; and some of its most
striking fables, derived from whatever source--whether from unwritten
tradition, or from contact with the Jews--possess this character
wonderfully. Take, for instance, the example of Krishna suffering, and
Krishna triumphant; represented, in the one case, by the figure of a
man enveloped in the coils of a serpent, which fastens its teeth in
his heel; in the other, by the same man setting his foot on, and
crushing the head of the monster. Now here, it is true, the doctrine
symbolised has long been forgotten among those with whom the legend is
sacred: we, on the contrary, have a very plain reference to the
promise concerning the Seed of the Woman and the serpent's head. This
is an instance of the fact, that Truth will live in a symbolical, long
after it has perished in every other form: and doubtless, when the
time for the conversion of India shall have arrived, thousands will
receive the truth the more willingly, in that they have had a
representation of it, distorted it is true, but not destroyed, set,
for so many centuries, before their eyes. {xlv} Some truths,
accidentally impressed on a symbolical observance, may still live,
that otherwise must have perished: just as the only memory of some of
the beings that existed before the flood, is to be found in the
petrified clay on which they accidentally happened to set their feet.

The Mahometan religion has also, though in an inferior degree, its
symbolism; and the reason of its inferiority in this respect is
plain--because, namely, it is a religion of sense. Now Catholicity,
which teaches men constantly to live above their senses, to mortify
their passions, and to deny themselves;--nay even Hindooism, which, so
far as it approximates to the truth, preaches the same doctrine, must
constantly lead men by the seen to look on to the unseen. If
everything material were not made sacramental of that which is
immaterial, so, as it were, bearing its own corrective with its own
temptation, man could hardly fail of walking by sight, rather than by
faith. But now, the Church, not content with warning us that we are in
an enemy's country, boldly seizes on the enemy's goods, converting
them to her own use. Symbolism is thus the true Sign of the Cross,
hallowing the unholy, and making safe the dangerous: the true salt
which, being cast in, purified the unhealthy spring: the true meal
which removed death from the Prophet's provision. Others may amuse
themselves by asserting that the Church in all that she does and
enacts, is not symbolical:--we bless God for the knowledge that she

We need not dwell on the symbolism of heretics, insomuch as we shall
have occasion to refer to it in other parts of this essay. We will
rather notice, that those to whom we have been but now referring,
heathens and Mahomedans, have a way of discovering a subtle {xlvi}
symbolism in things which in themselves were not intended to have any
deeper meaning. We may mention the odes of Hafiz--the Anacreon, or
rather perhaps, the Stesichorus, of Persia. These poems, speaking to
the casual reader of nothing but love, and wine, and garlands, and
rosebuds, are seriously affirmed, by Persian critics, to contain a
deep esoteric reference to the communion of the soul with God; just as
it has been wildly supposed, that under the name of Laura, Petrarch in
fact only expressed that Immortal Beauty after which the soul of the
Christian is constantly striving, and to which it is constantly
advancing. So in Dante, Beatrice is not only the poet's earthly love,
but, as it has been well shown by M. Ozanam, the representative of
Catholic theology.

To dwell on the symbolism of Nature would lead us too far from our
point. But we must constantly bear in mind that Nature and the Church
answer to each other as implicit and explicit revelations of God.
Therefore, whatever system is seen to run through the one, in all
probability runs through the other. Now, that the teaching of Nature
is symbolical, none, we think, can deny. Shall we then wonder that the
Catholic Church is in all her art and splendour sacramental of the
Blessed Trinity, when Nature herself is so? Shall God have denied this
symbolism to the latter, while He has bestowed it on the former? Shall
there be a trinity of effect in every picture, a trinity of tone in
every note, a trinity of power in every mind, a trinity of essence in
every substance,--and shall not there be a trinity in the arrangements
and details of church art? It were strange if the servant could teach
what the mistress must be silent upon: that Natural Religion should be
endued with capabilities not granted to Revealed Truth.


Is not, again, the doctrine of the Resurrection wonderfully set forth
by Nature? This symbolism is the more remarkable, in that to the
ancients the rising of the sun and the bursting forth of the leaf must
have appeared false symbolism, although they knew too well that of
which autumn and evening were typical. So, to quote only one other
example, the law of self-sacrifice is beautifully shadowed out by the
grain that 'unless it die, abideth alone; but if it die, bringeth
forth much fruit.' We may argue next from the analogy of all art.
Sculpture, perhaps, has least to offer in our support. But in painting
we may refer to the conventional colours appropriated to various
personages; and the mechanical symbolism of poetry is known to all.
Nor must we forget the conventional use of language. Archaisms,
studied inversions, quaint phrases, and the like, have always been
affected by those who were treating of high and holy subjects. None
has employed these with happier effect than Spenser, whose language,
it need not be said, never was and never could have been really used.
The solemnising effect of a judicious employment of this artifice is
nowhere more strongly felt than in works of Divinity. Compare for
example the English language, where the conventional Thou is always
addressed to the Deity, and where a stern simplicity runs through the
whole of our Divine Offices, with the French which can only employ
_Vous_ in prayer, and with the Portuguese, where, in the authorised
translation of the Holy Scriptures, Apostles, and Prophets--nay, our
Blessed Lord Himself, speak in the polite phrases of conversational
elegance.  [Footnote 16]

  [Footnote 16:  It is on grounds similar to these, that, in our
  translation of Durandus, we have adopted that conventional style
  which has been objected to by some recent critics:--not that anyone
  ever naturally conversed or wrote in it, but for the sake of
  producing the effect which the subject seems to require. The
  brilliancy of a summer's day is beautiful in its place: admitted
  into a cathedral, it would be totally out of character.]


Music, however, has the strongest claims to our notice. We know, for
example, that each instrument symbolises some particular colour. So,
according to Haydn, the trombone is deep red--the trumpet,
scarlet--the clarionet, orange--the oboe, yellow--the bassoon, deep
yellow--the flute, sky blue--the diapason, deep blue--the double
diapason, purple--the horn, violet:--while the violin is pink--the
viola, rose--the violoncello, red--and the double-bass, crimson. This
by many would be called fanciful:--therefore let us turn to a passage
of Haydn's works, and see if it will hold. Let us examine the sun-rise
in the 'Creation.' At the commencement, as it has been well observed,
our attention is attracted by a soft-streaming sound from the violins,
scarcely audible, till the pink rays of the second violin diverge into
the chord of the second, to which is gradually imparted a greater
fulness of colour, as the rose violas and red violoncellos steal in
with expanding beauty, while the azure of the flute tempers the
mounting rays of the violin: as the notes continue ascending to the
highest point of brightness, the orange of the clarionet, the scarlet
of the trumpet, the purple of the double diapason, unite in increasing
splendour--till the sun appears at length in all the refulgence of

This may serve as a specimen of the manner in which the expressions of
one art may be translated into that of another, because they each and
all symbolise the same abstraction.

Again, the language of flowers is a case much in point. This is a
species of symbolism which has prevailed among all nations, and which
our devout ancestors were not slow in stamping with the impress of
religion. Witness, for example, the _Herb Trinity_, now generally
called _Heartsease_, the _Passion Flower_, and the _Lacrima Christi_.
And in the present day, who knows not that {xlix} the rose is for
beauty--the violet for modesty--the sunflower for faithfulness--the
forget-me-not for remembrance--the pansy for thought--the cypress for
woe--the yew for trueheartedness--the everlasting for immortality?
The flowers introduced into the ornament of churches we shall consider

Furthermore, whatever was the character of our Lord's teaching--such
is likely to be that of His Church. If the former were plain,
unadorned, setting forth naked truths in the fewest and simplest
words; then we allow that there is a _primâ facie_ argument against
the system which we are endeavouring to support. But if it were
parabolic, figurative, descriptive, allegorical--why should not the
Church imitate her Master? His parables are at once the surest
defence, and the most probable originators, of her symbolism.

We shall have occasion in another place to draw from a consideration
of the nature of our Lord's parables an argument in behalf of
symbolism against one of the most formidable objections that has been
raised against the system. It would here be sufficient for our purpose
to notice the figurative character of our Lord's general teaching. But
we have His own authority for much more than a general adoption of
such a principle. Tradition hands down that He was within sight of the
Temple when he pointed towards it, and uttered those gracious words,
_I am the Door_. Be this as it may, we have from it a sufficient
precedent to justify us in seeking for an emblematical meaning in the
external world, and more particularly in the material sanctuary. S.
Paul, on the same principle, allegorises the Jewish Temple, detail by
detail:--the Holy of Holies was heaven; the High Priest, Christ; the
veil, even his flesh. It is inconceivable that the Temple should be so
symbolical, and so holy that our Lord Himself cleansed it from its
defiling {l} money-changers: and yet that a Christian church, wherein
the Great Sacrifice is commemorated and our Lord is peculiarly
present, should be less symbolical--particularly when its arrangement
is in exact conformity to that of the temple,  [Footnote 17] --or
should be less holy. At any rate the _Door_ must be significant: at
any rate the Altar, which S. Paul claims for the Christian Church, in
opposition to those who 'serve the tabernacle.'

  [Footnote 17: See Appendix A. ]

Again, the holy Sacraments of the Church are examples, in the highest
degree, of this principle of figurative or symbolical teaching. They,
indeed, are not only signs of unseen things, but the channels and
instruments of grace. The latter quality we do not claim for the
speaking symbolism of a material church: but architecture is an emblem
of the invisible abstract, no less than Holy Baptism and the Lord's
Supper. Besides the two Sacraments [Greek text] our Church recognises
other offices, such as Marriage, Confirmation, and the like, as
Sacramentals. In short the whole Church system is figurative from
first to last: not indeed therefore the less real, actual, visible,
and practical; but rather the more real and practical, because its
teaching and discipline are not merely material and temporary, but
anticipative of the heavenly and eternal. This quality then of
symbolism cannot be denied to one, and a most important, expression of
the teaching of the Church, namely its architecture. The cathedral (to
repeat the general in the particular) is not the less material, the
less solid, the less real, because we see in it the figurative
exhibition of the peculiarities of our religion and the articles of
our creed.




We now propose to offer a few remarks on the philosophical reasons
there seem to be for concluding that Ecclesiastical Architecture has
some esoteric meaning, some figurative adaptation, more than can be
appreciated, or even discerned, by the casual observer, to the uses
which produced it, and which have always regulated it. We venture to
approach this consideration, however, rather from a feeling that our
Essay would be incomplete without some reference to this kind of
argument, than from any idea of our own ability to treat on subjects
so abstract and infinite; and fearing that we may not be able clearly
to express or dissect those thoughts which, nevertheless, appear to
our own minds both true and very important.

It is little better than a truism to assert that there is an intimate
correspondence and relation between cause and effect: yet this thought
opens the way to a very wide field of speculation. Mind cannot act
upon matter without the material result being closely related to the
mental intention which originated it: the fact that anything exists
adapted to a certain end or use is alone enough to presuppose the end
or use, who can see a [Greek text], without distinguishing its
relation to the {lii} want or necessity which brought about [Greek
text]? In short, the [Greek text], whatever it may be, not only
answers to that which called it forth, but, in some sort, represents
materially, or symbolises, the abstract volition or operation of the
mind which originated it. Show us a pitcher, a skewer, or any of the
simplest utensils designed for the most obvious purposes: do not the
cavity of the one, and the piercing point of the other, at once set
forth and symbolise the [Greek text] which was answered in their
production? Now, from this thought, we might proceed to trace out the
truthfulness and reality of every [Greek text] considered in relation
to the [Greek text]; for even a deceptive thing is true and real in
its relation to the mental intention of deceiving: but we intend
merely to consider the way in which the abstract movements or [Greek
text] of mind are _symbolised_ by the material operations or results
which they have produced. In other words, we would allege that
everything material is symbolical of some mental process, of which it
is Indeed only the development: that we may see in everything outward
and visible some inward and spiritual meaning. It is this which makes
'books in everything': finding in everything objective the material
exhibition of the subjective and unseen; not claiming for the abstract
mind an independence of matter, but acknowledging its union with it;
and thus learning from the speculations of reason, to perceive the
fitness for our nature of that system of sacramentality in which God
has placed us, and to bless Him more and more for the Church, a
sacramental institution, and for _the_ Sacraments [Greek text], which
it conveys. This method of viewing the subject will be our excuse for
attempting on the one hand to learn by analysis from a material church
itself, considered objectively, the symbolism which may be supposed to
have directed its design; and on the other {liii} hand to show from
the abstract necessities of the case that a material church might have
been expected to be symbolically designed. But if this theory of
symbolism gives light and meaning and connection to the acknowledged
facts, whether abstract or material, with which we have to do; while
no other view will explain _all_ the phenomena;--it certainly
recommends itself by its simplicity and harmony to a general
reception. Considered in this light, the whole group of separate facts
become linked together and adjusted, and so resolve themselves into a
great fabric of truth, which (like the Pyramid of Cheops) is
consistent and real and intelligible, when seen from any point, under
any circumstances, or in any light.

But if it be granted that there is this mutual connection between the
abstract and its material exhibition in every case, it will be readily
admitted that a principle of sacramentality must be especially a
condition of all religious acts. If we were merely spirits, without
bodies or any necessary connection with matter, it would be possible
perhaps for us to worship the Great Spirit in an abstract way by a
sort of volition of devotion; but not being so, our souls cannot
engage in adoration without the company of their material home. Hence
every effort of devotion is attended by some bodily act. Whether we
lift our eyes or hands to heaven, or kneel in prayer, we show forth
this necessity of our being: our body has sinned, has been redeemed,
will be punished or glorified, no less than the soul: it must
therefore worship with the soul. Now the symbolism of the bodily acts
of devotion is understood by all. We have even personated Prayer by a
prostrate figure with uplifted hands.  [Footnote 18]

  [Footnote 18: The necessity which the body seems to feel for this
  symbolism may be seen in the constantly occurring fact, that in
  making signs, whether of inquiry or adieu, to a person at a
  distance, we naturally speak the words, though inaudible to him,
  which the gestures we use express.]


It has been felt not only right but necessary, in all ages and places,
to accompany the inward feeling of devotion with some outward
manifestation of it. In other words, all religious actions are from
their nature symbolical and figurative. But if the most obvious
corporeal accompaniments to spiritual worship show this clearly, how
much more evidently must all ritual systems appear to be symbolical? A
system of worship, whether heathen, Christian, or heretical, is only
the development and methodising of the simplest figurative acts of
devotion; the whole affected by the peculiar relation between the
object of adoration and the worshippers which in each particular
system may have been pre-supposed. Why does the Mussulman take off his
shoes, kneel on his carpet towards Mecca, and perform his stated
ablutions? Is not each act in itself figurative and full of meaning?
How could such a system, or any other system, have been originated,
but with some intended typification of certain given facts or
doctrines or feelings? Why does the heartless Quaker go with covered
head into his bare conventicle, and sit in enforced silence? He will
answer, to express his independence of idle forms, the spirituality of
his worship, his repudiation of any media in his intercourse with the
Divine Being. We thank him for his admission of a symbolical purpose,
but we read the symbolism differently. We perceive it to express
clearly enough the presumptuous pride and vanity of his sect, his
rejection of all Sacraments, and his practical disbelief in the
Communion of Saints. Again, is the pulpit of the Brownist symbolical;
and shall not our font and altar be so at least as much? The Catholic
ritual is indeed symbolical from first to last. Without the clue to
its figurative meaning, we should never have understood its pregnant
truthfulness and force. {lv} No one, in short, ever ventured to regard
the ancient ritual as anything but highly figurative: this was claimed
as its highest excellence by its observers and commentators, this was
ridiculed and despised by the enemies of the Church; but was confessed
by all. The more anyone meditates on the ancient ritual of the Church,
the more this will be found not only the most prominent
characteristic, but the only satisfactory explanation of many
otherwise unintelligible requirements. This is not the place to go at
any length into the consideration of the whole symbolism of the ritual
system: it will be enough if it is granted that some prescribed
ritual, however meagre, must be a necessary part of all religion; and
that every such system is in some degree figurative or symbolical. Now
to apply this to church architecture. No one will deny that, in a
general point of view, the form of our churches is adapted to certain
wants, and was chosen for this very adaptation. Indeed this is allowed
by modern writers and builders: who defend a church which has no more
than an altar-recess, on this very ground, that there is no longer any
want of a deep chancel. 'I object to aisles,' says a modern architect,
'because the great end of a church is to be an auditorium.' 'The cross
form,' says another, 'I always adopt, because then everyone can see
the preacher if I place the pulpit in the middle.' But why not take a
circle or octagon at once, or the form which is always adopted for the
lecture-rooms at Mechanics' Institutes? For these plans are obviously
_most_ convenient for hearing and seeing. But then, everyone knows
that these are not _church_ forms. The modern builder then,
trammelled, at least in this respect, by rule and precedent, chooses
the cruciform plan, not (perhaps) for its true symbolism; but, by a
wrong arrangement of this plan, still further symbolises (for example)
his own undue estimation of the ordinance {lvi} of preaching. So true
it is that those who would most object to symbolism, as a rule of
design, are themselves (did they but know it) symbolising, in every
church they build, their own arbitrary and presumptuous ideas on the
subject. It is not our intention to prove here, (what has been pointed
out, however, many times), the duty incumbent upon us of following in
our modern churches the ancient principles of design: we are not
writing with the immediate practical end of improving modern church
architecture; but are endeavouring to illustrate the symbolical
principles of ancient design. We shall, however, before finishing this
chapter, choose an example, which will apply to us, as well as to any
other branch of the Church, to show how essentially church
architecture in that respect at least is a part of the Ritual system.
And if Catholic worship is expressed and represented by Catholic
ritual, and if church architecture is a part of this ritual, then is
church architecture itself an expression and exponent of Catholic
worship. A conclusion this which will well warrant the very strong
language in which the Cambridge Camden Society have always asserted
the great importance of this art, and have exacted from its professors
such qualifications of personal holiness and liturgical knowledge as
are no less above the attainment than the aspirations of the modern

It may not be clear to some how in any sense architecture can be
called symbolical, or the outward sign of something invisible: or
rather what the process is by which a given arrangement, suggested
perhaps by some necessity, becomes in turn suggestive and figurative
of the very purpose for which it was planned. But let us take the case
of a theatre. Here it is clearly necessary that there shall be a stage
or orchestra, accommodation for spectators, and means of easy exit.
{lvii} Accordingly every theatre displays all these requisites. And
does not the building then in turn emblem the purpose for which it was
planned? The ruins of Roman theatres are not uncommon: do we fail to
be recalled by them to the idea of the Roman stage? are not the
several parts of the material building highly figurative and
suggestive of the rules and orders of the abstract drama?

With respect to churches: let us suppose the institution and ritual of
the Church to be what we know it was; and that we have to adapt some
architectural arrangement to the performance of this ritual. Is there
anything which will dictate any general form rather than another?
Surely there is. We will not speak now of the propriety of setting
aside a place for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, or of the
propriety of retaining the plan of the typical Temple; but we are
considering simply what is required by practical necessity. The
worshippers who are to assemble in our church are not all on an
equality. There are some who are endowed with high privileges as being
those consecrated to the immediate service of the sanctuary. In early
times so real a thing was the distinction between the clergy and the
laity, that the Church being divided into these two classes, the
material edifice displayed a like division: and the nave and chancel
preach to posterity the sacredness of Holy Orders, and the mutual
duties arising from the relation in which the flock stand to their
shepherds. But in early ages the laity were not all classed _en masse_
as with us now. Among them were the Faithful, the Catechumens, who had
not yet been admitted to Holy Baptism, and the Penitents or those who
had lapsed. True to itself, church architecture provided then a
separate place for each of these divisions. Does not the ground plan
of such a church symbolise minutely the then state of church
discipline and the {lviii} conditions of church worship? The reality
and meaning of such an arrangement may be shown thus also. After the
Reformation the great distinction between clergy and laity became lost
or undervalued: accordingly the chancel-screens in many places
disappeared, as symbolical in their absence as in their existence. But
still there was a necessity for some material arrangement to protect
the Altar from insult: and so altar rails came in, manifest symbols of
that spirit which made their introduction allowable, if indeed not
necessary:  [Footnote 19] still these very rails, and the penned up
reading-pew, teach that the clergy, at least when performing a
function, are divided from the laity.

  [Footnote 19: In the correspondence of the Rev. W. Humphrey, whose
  atrocious treatment by the Church Missionary Society has so lately
  excited the indignation of all true churchmen, it appears that one
  of the noble designs of this zealous priest was to restore for the
  peculiar congregation over which he was appointed, consisting of
  Faithful, Catechumens, and Unbelievers, the distinct arrangement of
  the ancient Church: the modern plan of having but one area for the
  lay worshippers being found inconvenient and injurious. That is to
  say, our modern church arrangement may suit and does symbolise the
  present state of the Church with us, but does not suit and does not
  symbolise the state of the missionary Church of India.]

Now it is of no consequence whatever, whether the early builders of
churches intended this particular arrangement to be symbolical. The
arrangement being adopted becomes necessarily, even if
unintentionally, symbolical, by the process we have endeavoured to
trace, and so things essentially symbolical give rise to intended
symbolism: for it is a simple historical fact that the weathercock,
whatever practical utility may have first suggested its use and
peculiar form, has been for many centuries placed on the church spire
for its _intentional symbolism_.   [Footnote 20]And the process is
repeated: for suppose one only of the conventional symbolical meanings
of the weathercock had been discovered: the thoughtful mind {lix} goes
on to find out other figurative senses in which its use is
appropriate, and these conventional meanings become in their turn
intentionally symbolised by future church builders. This may be
illustrated also in the following way: The Jews, in the rite of
Baptism, had probably no other idea than a reference to 'the mystical
washing away of sins.' But when S. Paul had once given to that rite
the new idea of a burial with Christ in the Baptismal water, and a
rising again with Him, this typical meaning became an example of
intended symbolism to all those who should hereafter use it.

  [Footnote 20: See Rationale, p. 27.]

As we began this part of our subject with hesitation, so we finish it
with some degree of apprehension. To some what has been said may seem
more than ordinarily visionary and ridiculous: yet others, we hope,
will feel that, however feebly and inadequately expressed, there is
some truth in what has been advanced concerning the relation between
the material and immaterial: that the latter welding and moulding the
former into an expression of itself, makes it in turn a type of that
which it expresses. So that if on the one hand, to take our particular
branch of the subject, the theoretical ritual and ordinances of
religion imply and require certain peculiar adaptations of the
material building in which they are to be celebrated; then in turn the
circumstances of the material fabric suggest and symbolise the
peculiar conditions of ritual which induced them. In short we have
endeavoured to prove that from our very nature every outward thing is
symbolical of something inward and spiritual: but, above all things,
outward religious actions are sacramental; and particularly _any_
prescribed ritual, of which the first characteristic is that it is
figurative: that the Catholic ritual is eminently symbolical, and from
its nature very strikingly influences all its material appliances:
that church architecture is the {lx} eldest daughter of Ritual: that
the process, according to which architecture was influenced by the
requirements of Ritualism was at first as simple as that by which the
form of a theatre sprang from the conditions which were to be
fulfilled by its builder: that thus a church (built in the fully
developed style of Christian architecture) even if not built with any
intention of symbolising, (though it is an historical fact that the
symbolism of each part was known and received _before_ the erection of
any church of this style,) became nevertheless essentially a
'petrifaction of our religion': a fact which, once admitted and
realised, becomes to succeeding church builders, whether they will or
not, a rule and precedent for intentional symbolical design.




We must arrive at the same conclusion, if we consider the subject in
an analytical way. For example: suppose a person, hitherto
unacquainted not only with the general peculiarities of Christian
churches, but also with Christianity itself, were to enter a
cathedral; or (which will be a fairer case) were to visit a Catholic
country, and examine its churches as a whole, would he not, if
possessed of only ordinary intelligence, observe that the cross form,
for example, was of most common occurrence, and, in the case of the
larger buildings, was perhaps the only plan adopted? And would he not
then naturally inquire why there should be this marked preference for
a form, in itself inconvenient for purposes of hearing or seeing,
[Footnote 21] and open to great mechanical objections, such as the
almost resistless pressure of the four arms on the piers which stand
at the angles of intersection?

  [Footnote 21: That is, a Catholic _arrangement_ of the church being

But if he learnt that the religion for which these temples were
designed was that of the Cross, he would at once see the propriety of
this ground plan, and would confidently and truly conclude that this
form was chosen in order to bring the Cross, by this symbolism,
vividly and constantly before the eyes of the worshippers. To deny
intended symbolism, in the case of such a person, would {lxii} clearly
be absurd: shall it be less obvious to us? Our traveller would
probably, being satisfied on this point, examine these buildings more
closely. He would find an altar raised conspicuously above the
surrounding level; and for this he might discover a practical reason;
but why in so many cases (so many as well nigh to make a rule) are the
steps either _three_ or some multiple of three? Surely the fundamental
doctrine of the Holy Trinity would, if explained to him, sufficiently
account for this all but universal arrangement. Why, again, in every
case does a screen separate one part of the church from the other?
When our inquirer learns the principle of the separation of laity and
clergy, this arrangement also will be at once intelligible and
figurative. How unreasonable would the position of the font by the
door appear to him, till he learnt the symbolical reason for its being
placed there! And we may here remark that the practice of the last
generation in removing old fonts, or using basins for substitutes, or
in placing new fonts, near the altar, shows clearly enough that
convenience and utility would have pointed out a very different place
for the font from what is assigned by the canon, on symbolical
grounds; grounds adduced in this case, as it would seem, to give
weight to a decision so clearly opposed to all merely practical and
obvious reasons. Again, the marked deviation of the orientation of the
chancel from that of the nave, would be quite inexplicable till the
beautiful and affecting symbolism of the arrangement were pointed out.

Again, it has not been left merely to the meditative ecclesiologist to
observe that Christian architecture has as decided a characteristic of
verticality, as Pagan architecture had of horizontalism. A mere artist
could not fail of marking the contrast between Beauvais and the
temples of Paestum. {lxiii } The contrast must then be admitted: but
how must we explain it? Surely no accident could have developed the
grovelling Pagan into the aspiring Gothic. What mechanical reasons
could produce Westminster from even the Parthenon? But is not the
phenomenon explained when we see in towering pier, spire, and
pinnacle, the symbolical exhibition of that religion which alone
aspires to things above, nay more, the figurative commemoration of
that Resurrection itself, which alone originates, and only justifies,
the same heavenward tendency. But if this be true; if these
acknowledged peculiarities in Christian architecture be utterly
unintelligible on any other supposition than this of a symbolical
meaning, surely it is not unreasonable to receive so ready a solution
of the difficulty: and, the principle admitted, why may not reasons of
the same figurative nature be assigned for other arrangements, in
themselves on any other interpretation not only meaningless but
obviously useless or absurd?




We have next to show, by a process of induction, that some principles
of symbolism have always been observed in designing churches: that is
to say, that without any actual acquaintance with the plan, details or
arrangement of existing churches, we might gather from other sources,
not only the probability, but the fact, that there was some reason
(not merely mechanical or accidental) for the selection and universal
observation of particular forms and ornaments, and peculiar rules of

First, we shall refer to the celebrated passage of S. Clement of Rome,
[Footnote 22] about performing the Divine Offices decently and in
order, as to time, and place, and circumstance. 'Where and by whom God
willeth these to be performed He hath Himself defined by His most
supreme will.' 'But where,' says Mede,  [Footnote 23] (discussing the
passage with the view of establishing a particular point, namely,
bowing towards the altar) 'hath the Lord defined these things, unless
He hath left us to the analogy of the Old Testament?'

  [Footnote 22: S. Clem. Rom., ad Corinth. I, 40.]

  [Footnote 23: Mede, in Epist. lviii Folio, Lib. iv.]


This indeed is obviously S. Clement's meaning: and not to go at any
length into the consideration of all the particular forms or
ceremonies of the Old dispensation which were perpetuated in the
New--as the threefold Ministry deduced by S. Jerome, from the High
Priest, Priests, and Levites; the Canonical Hours; the Gospel
anciently laid on the altar, answering to the Two Tables, and the
like--it will be sufficient to refer once more to the remarkable
parallel between a Christian church and the Jewish Temple.  [Footnote
24] There can be little doubt that Mede proved his point of the
propriety of genuflexion towards the altar. We are contending for a
much simpler thing: for no more indeed than the concession of a
probability that in the earliest Christian churches there was at least
this resemblance to the Temple; that there should be in both a Holy of
Holies and an outer-court. Supposing this distinction to have been
only made by a curtain, our point is nevertheless gained; and we would
rest here on this one particular of resemblance only (though others
might be insisted on); because, any one designed parallel being
granted, the inference for others is easy. And here it will be enough
to observe that the almost constant practice in ancient writers of
applying to some one part of a Christian church a name or names
derived directly from the _Holy of Holies_ is a strong argument in our
favour: though the passages are often too incidental to be adduced as
evidence of an intended symbolism.  [Footnote 25] But, we repeat, the
fact that a particular part of a church--(if we were now arguing for
rood screens, we {lxvi} should show that any such distinction of parts
made a _screen of some sort_ necessary, even if we did not know what
sort of screens really existed)--the fact that a particular part of a
church was distinguished by names directly carrying us back to the
exactly corresponding particular part in the Temple, shows that in the
arrangement at least, if not in the building, of the earliest churches
there was, at least in this one point, an intention to produce an
antitype to the typical Tabernacle. It is observed in a note to
Neander's history   [Footnote 26] that if the interpretation of
Michaelis be received there is evidence of a Christian church being
built at Edessa, A.D. 202, with three parts, expressly after the model
of the Temple.

  [Footnote 24: See this carried out by Durandus. Appendix A.]

  [Footnote 25: Compare, amongst others, S. Cyprian, Ep. 55; Euseb. x,
  4. [Greek text]; Id. vii, 18. [Greek text] (the word used in the lxx
  for the _Sanctuary_)'. S. Dionys. Areop., Ep. 8, ad Demoph.; S.
  Athanas., _Edit, Commel._ Tom. ii, p. 255; Theod. H. E. iv, 17, v,
  18; Concil. Tours. (A. D. 557). can. 4; S. Germ. Constant. _In
  Theor. rer. Eccles._; Card. Bona. _Rer Liturg._i, xxv, II; Dionys.
  _Hierarch._ cap. 2; S. Chrysost. Lib vi, _De Sacerdotio._]

  [Footnote 26: Rose's Neander, i, 246.]

Whatever may be the authority allowed to the Apostolical
Constitutions, the fact that they touch at some length upon the form
of churches is enough for our purpose. 'The church,'  [Footnote 27]
they say, 'must be oblong in form, and pointing to the East' The
oblong form was meant to symbolise a ship,  [Footnote 28] the ark
which was to save us from the stormy world. It would be perfectly
unnecessary to support this obvious piece of symbolism by citations.
The orientation is an equally valuable example of intended symbolism.
We gain an additional testimony to this from the well-known passage of
Tertullian,  [Footnote 29] (a.d. 200,) about 'The house of our Dove.'
Whether this corrupt extract be interpreted with Mede or Bingham,
there can be no doubt that its {lxvii} _in lucem_ means that the
church should face the East or dayspring. The praying towards the East
was the almost invariable custom in the Early Churches, and as
symbolical as their standing in prayer upon the Festivals of the
Resurrection.  [Footnote 30] So common was orientation in the most
ancient churches, that Socrates  [Footnote 31] mentions particularly
the church at Antioch as having its 'position reversed; for the altar
does not look to the east but to the west.' This rule appears to have
been more scrupulously followed in the East than in the West; though
even in Europe examples to the contrary are exceptions.

  [Footnote 27: Apost. Const, 2,  57, (61.)]

  [Footnote 28: See also what is said on this point by Buscemi, in his
  Notizie della Basilica di San Pietro, ch. iii, p. 7. The church of
  SS. Vincenzo and Anastatio at Rome, near S. Paolo alle Tre Fontane,
  built by Honorius I, (A.D. 630) has its wall _curved_ like the ribs
  of a ship. The constitution itself refers to the resemblance of this
  oblong form to a ship. See also S. Clem. Alex., _Paedag_, iii, 246.]

  [Footnote 29: Tertull. advers. Valent., cap. 2.]

  [Footnote 30: See Origen, _Hom_. 5, in _Numer_. cap, 4. Tertull.
  _Apol_. cap. 16, and _Ad Nation_, i, 13. S. Clem. Alex. _Strom_,
  vii, _ante med._ quoted by Mede.]

  [Footnote 31: Hist. Eccles. Lib. v, cap. [Greek text].]

The Apostolical Constitution in its other directions about the
position of the bishop, priests, and deacons, and the separate
stations for the sexes, shows (as Father Thiers   [Footnote 32] has
remarked) that there was even then a marked distinction between the
clergy and laity though the method of division is not described. At
any rate, what has been here adduced--compiled from notes taken some
time since for another object, and without access (from accidental
circumstances) to a library--seems enough to show that in the
earliest notices of Christian churches there is distinct intimation of
at least three particulars of intended symbolism.

  [Footnote 32: Thiers, _Dissert, de la Clôture du Choeur des
  Eglises._cap. 2.]

The circular form given to the church of the Holy Sepulchre was of
course appropriate enough in that particular case, where the sepulchre
would naturally become the centre. The circular churches of Europe
were again imitated from this. The Cross form would appear to have
made its first appearance in Constantinople: that is, in the city
which was the first to take a completely Christian character. {lxviii}
For example, the church of the Apostles built by Constantine was
cruciform: and the symbolism of this is pointed out by S. Gregory
Nazianzen in his poem, 'the Dream of Anastasia,' quoted by Bingham.
[Footnote 33] So Evagrius describes the church of S. Simon Stylites,
as cited by Buscemi,  [Footnote 34] who also mentions a Cross church
founded by King Childebert, about the year 550. The cathedral of
Clermont, mentioned by S. Gregory of Tours, and the church of SS.
Nazarius and Celsus at Ravenna, both founded about 450, were
cruciform. More than this, we have examples of an oblong church being
_intentionally_ made cruciform by the addition of _apsides_, as at
Blachernoe by Justin Junior, instanced by Bingham out of Cedrenus and
Zonaras. This has been remarked also in the case of some Italian
churches: though the early churches of the West seemed to have
retained the oblong form, even when the details and general
arrangement were Byzantine, as in the _Capella Regia_ at Messina; the
more remarkable from the peculiar influence of Constantinople in the
island of Sicily. But in either case there was a symbolising intention
on the part of the founders of churches.

  [Footnote 33: Carm. ix, tom ii, p. 79. [Greek text]]

  [Footnote 34: Notizie etc. Note al Lib. 1, capo terzo. Nota 10 p. 15.]

There is mention also of octagonal churches, as at Antioch and
Nazianzum: but these seem to have been mere exceptions; and perhaps
from being coupled with fonts in the inscription quoted by Mr. Poole
from Gruter, may have been intended to symbolise Regeneration. The
first two lines are as follows:--

  Octachorum sanctos templum surrexit in usus:
  Octagonus fons est munere dignus eo.


Bingham mentions that the oblong form was sometimes called [Greek
text] which he explains as intimating that they had void spaces for
deambulation.  [Footnote 35] It seems however more likely that the
name was derived from the resemblance between this form of church and
a stadium; the apsidal end answering to the curve round the goal.

  [Footnote 35: Book viii, 3, following Leo Allatius and Suicer.]

Some objection may be raised to our theory because Bingham, from whom
of course almost all the existing passages in ancient writers about
the form of churches might be gathered, does not recognise any such
principles, and rather seems on the other hand to believe that there
was at first no rule or law on these points. But it is not detracting
from his fame for almost consummate learning to question whether his
practical knowledge of church architecture, ancient or modern, was
very deep. It might be shown indeed to be far otherwise. But at any
rate the principle now contended for never entered his mind, or he
would have seen that some of the very passages he adduces to show that
the form of ancient churches was accidental, because (for example)
they were often made out of Basilicae or even heathen temples, really
tell against such a supposition. He quotes from Socrates   [Footnote
36] a description of the conversion of a Pagan island to Christianity,
about 380, and the turning the heathen temple into a church. But the
words of the original, given in our note, are very remarkable: 'The
guise of the temple they transformed unto the type (or pattern) of a
church.' We want to prove nothing more than that there was _some_ type
of a church. It was not a mere ejection of idols that was required to
make a temple into a church: but some change of form and arrangement.
So also in a passage from Sozomen (vii, 15), 'The temple of Dionysus
which {lxx} they had, was changed in fittings ([Greek text]) into a
church.' Again, a very interesting passage about the conversion of
Iberia by means of a female captive in the time of Constantine is
cited from Theodoret,  [Footnote 37] to show that churches _did exist_
at that date. But we find a particular form of building clearly
alluded to in the original: and, more than this, 'He Who filled
Bezaleel with a wise spirit for building, judged this captive also
worthy of grace, so as to design the divine temple. And so she
designed, and they built.' And this passage brings us at once to the
famous panegyric on Paulinus, Bishop of Tyre, and builder of the
church there preserved by Eusebius. In this speech the prelate is
throughout supposed to have been inspired for his work, and is
compared to Bezaleel, Solomon and Zerubbabel, the builders of the
Tabernacle, and the First and Second Temples. And not only is the
general spirit assumed to be a directly religious one: but the details
are described as having a symbolical meaning.

  [Footnote 36: Socrates iv, 24, [Greek text].]

  [Footnote 37: Theodoret I. xxiv. [Greek text]]

In the comparison between the material temple and the 'living temple'
the Spiritual Church, there are several points worthy of observation.
The symbolical explanation of the corner stone as our Lord, of the
foundation as the Apostles and Prophets, of the stones as the members
of the Church, are of course taken directly from Holy Scripture. It is
scarcely necessary to remark the great authority for considering the
fabric of the church as symbolical which these passages convey. Many
of our readers will remember how S. Hermas carries out into
considerable detail the same idea. But the Panegyrist in Eusebius
distinctly refers to 'the most {lxxi} inward recesses [of that
spiritual temple] which are unseen of the many, and are essentially
holy and holy of holies';  [Footnote 38] that is, of course, to a
Sanctuary; which he goes on to describe as having 'sacred inclosures,'
and as being accessible to the priest alone; with a distinct reference
to S. Paul's   [Footnote 39] illustration taken from the Jewish
Temple. Again he proceeds to compare the Bishop Paulinus with the
'great High Priest,' not only in being permitted to enter the holy of
holies, but in doing what Christ has done, just as the Son did what He
saw the Father do. 'Thus he, looking with the pure eyes of his mind
unto the Great Teacher, whatsoever he seeth Him doing, as if making
use of archetypal patterns, has, by building ([Greek text]) as much
like them as possible, wrought out images of them as closely as can
be; having in no respect fallen short of Bezaleel, whom God Himself,
having filled him with the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge and other
skilful and scientific lore, called to be the builder of the material
expression of the heavenly types in the symbols of the temple. In this
way then Paulinus also, carrying wholly like a graven image in his
soul Christ Himself, the Word, the Wisdom the Light . . . has
constructed this magnificial temple of the most High God, resembling
in its nature the pattern of the better (temple) as a visible (emblem)
of that which is invisible.'  [Footnote 40]

  [Footnote 38: Euseb. H. E., x, 4, 21.]

  [Footnote 39: Hebrews, ix, 6, 7.]

  [Footnote 40: Euseb. X, iv, 24, 25.]

This remarkable passage appears to assert (i) the inspiration of the
architect, (ii) the fact of this heavenly type, which (iii) material
churches ought to follow; and (iv) the general symbolism of the
Spiritual Church by the visible fabric. We must pass over a great deal
of this oration, with a general request that such as are interested in
this discussion will read the whole in the original for the sake of
seeing its general spirit and bearing. {lxxii } The description of the
details is of great interest. The arrangement of the porticoes, etc.,
is of course quite adapted to the wants of the Church in that age: it
is fair to own that the chief entrance appears to have faced the East
in this church. Mention is made also of seats in order for the bishops
and presbyters, and of the altar in the midst: the whole being
encompassed with wooden network, exquisitely worked, in order to be
made inaccessible to the multitude. [Footnote 41] Further on
[Footnote 42] we read that Paulinus rebuilt his church, 'such as he
had been taught from the delineation of the holy oracles.' And again,
'More wonderful than wonders are the _archetypes_, and the intelligent
and godlike _prototypes_ and _patterns_ (of earthly church building):
namely, I say, the renewing of the divine and reasonable building in
the soul';   [Footnote 43] assuming that material churches are but
copies from some heavenly type. Again, a passage, in which the ruined
fabric and the persecuted Church are mixed up, speaks of the Church as
'having been made after the image of God,' [Footnote 44] and more to
the same effect. The symbolical prophecy of the 'fair edification' of
the Gentile Church   [Footnote 45] is quoted as being almost literally
fulfilled in the Tyrian church, and is still further symbolised by the
Panegyrist. [Footnote 46] The four-square atrium is said to set forth
the four Gospels of the scripture.  [Footnote 47]

  [Footnote 41: Euseb. H. E., x, 43]

  [Footnote 42: Ibid 53.]

  [Footnote 43: Ibid 54.]

  [Footnote 44: Ibid 57.]

  [Footnote 45: Isaiah liv, 11.]

  [Footnote 46: Euseb. X. iv, 60.]

  [Footnote 47: Ibid 61.]

The whole arrangement of the church is symbolised at much length, as
setting forth the different divisions of the laity and the states of
the faithful with respect to advance in holiness. The great portico
symbolised God the Father: the side porticoes the other Two Persons of
the Most Holy Trinity. The seats represented the souls of the
faithful, upon which, {lxxiii} as on the Day of Pentecost, the cloven
tongues would descend and _sit_ upon each of them. 'The revered and
great and only altar, what could this be but the spotlessness of soul
and holiness of holies of the common Priest of us all?'  [Footnote 48]
Once more, the parallel between the spiritual and the material
Churches being continued, the Word, the Great Demiurgus of all things,
is said to have Himself made upon earth a copy of the heavenly pattern
which is the Church of the Firstborn written in heaven, Jerusalem that
is above, Sion the Mount of God, and the city of the living God.

  [Footnote 48: Euseb. H. E., x, 65.]

It appears then that throughout this description a symbolical meaning
is found attached to the material church: and this not far-fetched or
now first fancifully imagined; but appealing, as it seems, to what the
auditors would be prepared to grant, and admitted by the historian
without a comment, as one specimen of a class.

We have before remarked that every notice of the particular
distribution of a church for the reception of the different classes of
Christians, may be taken as an argument on our side: for if it can be
shown that the form of churches was not arbitrary, but was adapted to
certain peculiar wants, it must be granted that there was some
particular law of design, and that law connected with Ritual: and
then, as before pointed out, this arrangement becomes itself
symbolical, and that _intentionally_. We shall only refer here to a
passage quoted by Bingham,  [Footnote 49] in which S. Gregory
Thaumaturgus describes the places in church assigned respectively to
the five degrees of Penitents. Mede   [Footnote 50] argues for the
_existence_ of churches in the first three centuries, from the
universal custom of praying towards the East, the necessity of {lxxiv}
providing distinct places for the Penitents, Hearers, Catechumens, and
Faithful, and from the patterns of the Jewish _proseuchae_ and
synagogues. But all these arguments seem to tell as much for some
particular form of churches as for their existence: that is they prove
that the earliest churches were designed on rules which, even if not
intentionally symbolical (though we have shown that many were so),
became by a natural process intentional among later church-builders.

  [Footnote 49: Greg. Nyssen, iii, 567.]

  [Footnote 50: Discourse of Churches, Folio Edn., p. 333.]

So also with respect to the great division into nave and sanctuary by
a screen of some sort: concerning which the passages that might be
cited from ancient writers would be innumerable. We shall only give
one quoted by Father Thiers from a Poem of S. Gregory of Nazianzum, in
which the _balustrade_ or rood-screen is said to be 'between two
worlds, the one immovable, the other changeful; the one of gods (or
heaven) the other of mortals (or earth); that is to say between the
choir and the nave, between the clergy and the laity.'

We have attempted to prove then that the earliest Christian churches
were designed, or described, symbolically: by showing that there was a
reason for their shape, whether oblong, cruciform, or circular; for
their main division into choir and nave, and their subdivision for the
penitents: for their orientation; and even to some extent for their
minor internal arrangements: and that some type or pattern of a church
was universally recognised.  [Footnote 51]

  [Footnote 51: Much stress is laid by some on the acknowledged
  Bascilican origin of churches as an argument against the principle
  here contended for. But we find a great authority on the Antiquities
  of Christian Rome deciding differently: 'There seems to be in the
  building of churches, as in the mosaics, and other works of art of
  the old Christian times in Rome one constant type in which the art
  of building could show little freedom or variety.-- _Beschreibung
  der Stadt Rom. Basiliken._vol, i, p. 430.]


It would require more reading than we can boast of to give a catena of
writers who have asserted the symbolism of churches. But if the point
has been in any way proved for the first four centuries, enough will
have been done: since from that period we can trace from existing
edifices the gradual relinquishment of the peculiar Basilican plan,
and general adoption of the Latin Cross, or oblong, in the West, while
the East consistently retained the Greek Cross. We observe it stated
[Footnote 52] that Mr. E. Sharpe, in a paper read before the Cambridge
Camden Society, described the gradual  _typical_ additions' to the
Basilican ground plan. Indeed symbolism, to any extent, once made
known, must have become a rule and precedent to later church

  [Footnote 52: Ecclesiologist, vol. i, p. 120.]

S. Isidore, of Seville, incidentally mentions many symbolical
arrangements: they will be found in the notes to the text of the
Rationale. Many pieces of symbolism are to be found incidentally in
the Decretum of Gratian.

In mentioning Durandus himself, it seems proper to anticipate an
objection which may occur to some readers. The authority, it may be
said, of that writer must be very small who can give such absurd
derivations as _cemeterium_ from _cime, altare_ from _alta res,
allegory_ from _allon_ and _gore_. But it must be remembered, firstly,
that in the thirteenth century, Greek was a language almost unknown in
Europe: next, that our author nowhere professes an acquaintance with
it: further, that the science of derivation was hardly understood till
within the last few years: and lastly, that Cicero's authority led
Durandus into some errors; for instance, his derivation of _templum_
from _tectum amplum_.

One proof of the _reality_ of Durandus's principles we must not fail
to notice. It is the express allusion which he makes to, and the
graphical description which he {lxxvi} gives of, that which we know to
have been the style of architecture employed in his time. The tie
beams, the deeply splayed windows, the interior shafts, all prove that
we are engaged with a writer of Early English date.

It is very remarkable, that Durandus, S. Isidore, Beleth, and the
rest, seem to quote from some canons of church symbolism now unknown
to us. Their words are often, even where they are not very connected
nor intelligible, the same. One example may suffice. 'In that this
rod,' says Hugh of S. Victor, 'is placed above the Cross, it is shown
that the words of Scripture be consummated and confirmed by the Cross:
whence our Lord said in His Passion, "It is Finished." _And His Title
was indelibly written over Him_' (p. 200). 'In that the iron rod,'
says Durandus, 'is placed above the Cross, on the summit of the
church, it signifieth that Holy Scripture is now consummated and
confirmed. Whence saith our Lord in his Passion, "It is Finished,"
_and that Title is written indelibly over Him_(p. 28). The following,
by way of another instance, is the symbolical   [Footnote 53]
description of a church, written on a fly-leaf, at the beginning of a
MS. 'Psalterium Glossatum,' in the public library at Boulogne, though
formerly in that of S. Bertin's Abbey, at S. Omer.

  [Footnote 53: _British Magazine_, 1843, p. 393.]

The text is either of the tenth or eleventh century; but it will be
seen that the words of Durandus, writing at so great a distance of
time and place, are nearly the same in some passages.

  Fundamentum ipsius Camerae est Fides.
  Altitudo ejus est Spes.
  Latitudo ejus est Caritas.
  Longitudo ejus est Perseverantia.
  Latera ejus sunt Concordia et Pax.
  Frontes ipsius sunt Justicia & Veritas.
  Pulchritudo ejus est exemplum bonorum operum.
  Fenestrae ejus sunt dicta sanctorum.
  Pavimentum ejus est humilitas cordis.
  Camera est conversatio coelestis.
  Pilastri ejus sunt spiritales virtues.
  Columnae ejus sunt boni pontifices & sacerdotes.
  Interlegatio ejus est vinculum pacis.
  Tectum ejus est fidelis dispensator.
  * isces ejus sunt mediatio celestis.
  Mensa Christi est in camera bona conversatio.
  Ministerium Christi in camera sua est bona memoria.
  Facinus Christi est bona voluntas.
  Canterellus Christi est nitor conscientiae.
  Cathedra Christi est serenitas mentis.
  Sponsa Christi est sancta anima.
  Camerariae Christi spiritales virtutes sunt:
  Prima Sancta Caritas dicta est; illa Christi regit cameram.
  Secunda est Sancta Humilitas; illa est thesauraria in camera Christi
  Tertia est Sancta Patientia; illa facit luminaria in camera Christi.
  Quarta Sancta Puritas; illa scopat cameram Christi.

But besides, and in our opinion stronger than this express and
continuous testimony to the fact that Catholic architecture is
symbolical, we have the testimony of all other branches of Catholic
art, which none ever did, or could deny to be figurative and
sacramental. Let us take merely the rites which accompany the close of
Easter week. We enter a darkened church, illuminated only by the
lighted 'Sepulchre': we hear the history of the Passion chaunted by
three voices in three recitatives: we have the most mournfully
pathetic strain for the 'Reproaches' which perhaps the human mind ever
imagined:--we pray for Pagans--and we kneel; we pray for Turks--and we
kneel; we pray for the Jews, and we kneel not; in abhorrence of the
mockery that bowed the knee to the King of the Jews. We enter that
church again, now perfectly darkened, except for the one lamp that
renders the lectern and the books {lxxviii} thereon just visible: the
solemn litanies seem in that obscurity, and amidst the silent crowd of
worshippers, more solemn than usual. There is a short pause: then in
one second, priests and people, voices and instruments, burst forth
with the Easter Alleluia: light pours in from every window of the
cathedral: showers of rose leaves fall from the roof: bells--silent
for three long days, peal from every church tower: guns fire and
banners wave: _Dominus resurrexit vere, Alleluia, et apparuit Sinioni

Now, without being concerned to defend, or the contrary, any or all of
these ceremonies, we ask:--Is it possible to conceive that the Church
which invented so deeply symbolical a system of worship--should have
rested content with an unsymbolical building for its practice? This
consideration, perhaps, belongs to the analogical branch of our essay:
yet it may also find a place here, as one of the strongest parts of
the inductive argument.

Seeing then that there are strong reasons _à priori_ for believing
that the ritual and architecture of the Church would partake of a
decidedly symbolical character: that by the analogy of the practice
amongst all religionists, of the operations of God in nature, of the
conditions of Art, and especially of the whole sacramental system of
the Church, it is likely that church architecture itself would be
sacramental: that from the nature of things everything material is in
some sort sacramental, and a material fabric essentially figurative of
the purpose for which it was designed: that an actual Christian church
(taken as we find it) has such accidents as can be explained on no
other than a symbolical supposition, and might be analysed into just
those elements from which, by induction, we first constructed an
hypothetical Christian church: and lastly, that from express and
{lxxix} continuous historical testimony without any actual
acquaintance with existing fabrics we might have deduced that the
material church would be itself, to some extent, a figurative
expression of the religion for the celebration of which it was
constructed: it does not seem too much to assert that Christian
architecture owes its distinctive peculiarities to its sacramental
character, and that consequently we can neither appreciate ancient
examples nor hope to rival them, at least in their perfection, without
taking into account this principle of their design. In other words,
the cause of that indefinable difference between an ancient and modern
church which we were led to discover at the beginning of this
treatise, is neither association of ideas nor correctness of detail,
nor picturesqueness, nor of a mechanical nature, but (in the most
general point of view) is the sacramentality, the religious symbolism,
which distinguished and sanctified this as every other branch of
mediaeval art.




In endeavouring shortly to develop the practice of symbolism,
according to our view of the subject, we are fully aware that to those
who have never yet bestowed a thought upon it, we shall appear mere
visionaries or enthusiasts. It has been the fashion of late to smile
at the whole theory, as amusing and perhaps beautiful: but quite
unpractical and indeed impracticable. We cannot hope to convince by
aesthetics those who are deaf to more direct arguments, and who refuse
to view everything, as churchmen ought to do, through the medium of
the Church. But those who agree with us in the latter duty, will
perhaps suffer themselves to think twice on what will be advanced
before they condemn it.

We shall consider the practice of symbolism as connected with, 1. The
Holy Trinity; 2. Regeneration; 3. The Atonement; 4. The Communion of
Saints; and then we shall notice several parts of a church, such as
windows, doors, etc., with their specific symbolical meaning.

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity has left, as might be expected,
deeper traces in the structure of our churches than any other
principles of our faith. We have already noticed that possibly the
Basilican arrangement might be providentially ordered with reference
to this. {Ixxxi} In Saxon times we find the idea carried out, not only
by the Nave and two Aisles, but also by the triple division in length,
into Nave, Chancel, and Sanctum Sanctorum. This triple division is
most frequently given in Norman buildings, by a central tower; with
chancel and nave: we also find in this style a triple chancel arch, an
arrangement never occurring at a later epoch. Thus length and breadth
were made significant of this Mystery; nor was height less so. The
clerestory, the triforium, and the piers cannot fail to suggest it.
Indeed, where a triforium was not needed, there is often, as at Exeter
and Wells, an arrangement of arcading in niches to resemble it, made
that the triplicity might be retained. It is only in late
Perpendicular, such as the nave of Canterbury cathedral, that the
arrangement is omitted: there the eye is at once dissatisfied. Again,
the triple orders of moulding, which are so much more frequent than
any other number, may be supposed to refer to the same thing. The
altar steps, three, or some multiple of three, certainly do. So do the
three fingers with which Episcopal Benediction is given. And this is a
very early symbolism. It occurs in illuminated MS. We may mention one
(Harl. 5540) of the thirteenth century, where it forms a part of the
first letter of S. John's gospel. So, as we shall presently see, are
Eastern triplets. And reference is constantly made to the same
doctrine in bosses: we may mention as a remarkable instance one that
occurs in Stamford, S. Mary's, a figure with an equilateral triangle
in its mouth: thereby setting forth the duty of the preacher to
proclaim the doctrine of the Trinity. In large churches, the three
towers undoubtedly proclaim the same doctrine. We shall hereafter show
that neither in nave and aisles, in triplets, or any thing else, is
the _inequality_ any thing else than what might have been expected.


II. The Doctrine of Regeneration

We know, as a fact, that from the earliest times, baptisteries and
fonts were octagonal. We know also that the reason assigned, if not by
S. Ambrose himself at least by one of his contemporaries, for this
form was, that the number eight was symbolical of Regeneration. For as
the old Creation was complete in seven days, so the number next
ensuing may well be significative of the new.

Now none can deny that very much the greater number of fonts are in
this shape. To prove this we will refer to those selected by the
Cambridge Camden Society in the appendix to the second edition of
their 'Few Words to Church-Builders.' There we find.

               Octagonal.    Of all other shapes

  In Norman    15     43
  Early English  19    30
  Decorated      24     1
  Perpendicular   57    2
  Total              115      76

Now, it is to be remembered, that the superior convenience of a
cylindrical or circular form, together with the wont of Norman
architects rather to symbolise facts than doctrine, accounts for the
comparatively small number of octagonal fonts in that style: in later
ages their preponderance is overwhelming.

The symbolism sculptured on the sides of the font hardly falls under
our consideration in this place. And besides, it has been fully
detailed in the publications of the Cambridge Camden Society, and of
Mr. Poole. Whether the general octagonal uses of piers may not arise
from a similar design, we do not pretend to decide.


One of the most apposite illustrations in _corbels_, consists in three
fishes intertwined in an equilateral triangle; and thus typifying our
regeneration in the Three Persons of the Ever-Blessed Trinity. For it
need not be said, that the fish is the emblem of the Christian, as
being born again of water. The mystical vesica piscis of this form ()
wherein the Divinity, and (more rarely) the Blessed Virgin are
represented has no reference, except in its name to a fish; but
represents the almond, the symbol of virginity, and self-production.

III. The Atonement

We will notice in the third place, the symbolical representation of
the great doctrine of the Atonement, in the ground lines and general
arrangement of our churches.

As soon as ever Christianity possessed temples of her own, the
cruciform shape was, we have seen, sometimes adopted. And so, as we
all know, has it continued down to the present day. England, perhaps,
has fewer examples of cross churches than any other country: the
proportion of those which bear this shape being not so much as one in
ten. In France, on the contrary, the ratio would probably be inverted.
Into the reason of this remarkable difference we shall not now
inquire: but will merely remark, that many churches which do not, in
an exterior view, appear cruciform, are nevertheless, from their
internal arrangements, really so. The transepts do not project beyond
the aisles: but have distinct transept arches, and a window of much
larger dimensions than those in the aisles. This principally occurs in
city churches, or where the founders were confined for want of room.
And this is the case as well in churches which have aisles to the
chancel, as in Godalming, Surrey, as where the nave alone has them,
{lxxxiv} as in Holy Rood, Southampton. They will be distinguished
readily on the outside by the northern and southern gable. In some
cathedral churches, there is a double cross: in York, this perhaps
signifies the metro-political dignity of that church; in other cases,
it was probably merely a method of imparting greater dignity to the
building. Some churches--though they are not frequent--are in the form
of a Greek Cross: that is, the four arms are all of equal length.
Darlington, Durham, is an example: in this case there is a central
tower. In some, as at Westminster, Gloucester, and S. Albans, the
choir runs westward of the transept; in Seville, almost the whole of
the choir is locally in the nave; in others, as Ely, it does not
extend westward so far. These peculiarities, curious in themselves, do
not affect the symbolism: and probably no modification of meaning is
to be attached to them.

Mr. Lewis has asserted, that in early churches, a cross was marked on
the pavement, the upper part running into the chancel, the arms
extending into the transepts, and the body occupying the nave. And
some such arrangement, or rather the traces of it, we have ourselves
perhaps noticed. The reason it was given up, was probably the anathema
pronounced by the second OEcumenical Council, on those who should
tread on that holy symbol.

Thus, in the ground plan, the Cross of Christ was preached. It is
often said, that the adjacent chapels, more especially the Lady
Chapel, obscured the symbolism. But it must be remembered that a
ground plan can only be judged of in two methods: either from a height
above, for example, the tower of the church; or when marked out on
paper. It is surprising, in either of these cases, how easily the most
complex cathedral resolves itself to the spectator's eyes into a


In looking at the details of churches, the Cross is marked on the
Dos-d'ânes and plain coffin lids of the earliest times: it commences
the later inscriptions on brass: it surmounts pinnacle, and gable, and
porch; it is often imprinted on the jambs of the principal entrance,
showing the exact spot touched in the consecration with chrism,
[Footnote 54] and possibly having reference to the blood sprinkled at
the Passover on the Door Post: and finally, in a more august form, is
erected in the churchyard. And here we may notice another curious and
beautiful expression of Catholic feeling.  [Footnote 55]

  [Footnote 54: It is proper to distinguish between Dedication
  Crosses, which are generally of considerable size,
  examples of which may be seen in Moorlinch, Somersetshire,
  and those small crosses in door jambs, as in Preston,
  Sussex, the use of which is not very clear, but which
  were perhaps intended to remind the entering worshipper to
  cross himself. At Yatton, Somersetshire, inside the
  northern door, and towards the east, is a large
  quatrefoil-fashioned cross: this perhaps pointed out a
  now destroyed benatura.]

  [Footnote 55: That there are some plain crosses, cannot be
  denied--more especially that on which the weathercock is placed. A
  little consideration will, perhaps, clear up this difficulty. The
  cross may be viewed in two distinct lights. It may either set forth
  that on which our Redeemer suffered--in which case it is the symbol
  of glory: or it may image that Cross which every true Christian is
  to take up--in which case it may still be called the Symbol of
  Shame. In the latter signification, it may well be quite plain. But,
  inasmuch as our ancestors looked more to the Passion of Christ than
  to their own unworthiness, the former symbol is that which generally
  occurs. Yet not always on the church spire, perhaps for this
  reason:--the spire urges us, by its upward tendency, to press on
  towards our heavenly home--a home which can only be reached by the
  cheerful bearing of that cross by means of which (as it were) it
  points. The cross therefore is here, with propriety, plain.]

It is very uncommon to find a plain cross surmounting a church: the
whole force of Christian art has sometimes been expended in wreathing
and embellishing the instrument of redemption: flowers, and figures,
and foliage are lavished upon it. And why? Because that which was once
the by-word of Pagans, the instrument of scorn and of suffering, has
become the symbol of Hope and of Glory, of Joy, and of Eternal
Felicity; and its material expression has altered proportionately.
{xxxvi} In that the arms frequently end in leaves and flowers, they
signify the flourishing and continual increase of that Church which
was planted on Mount Calvary. The Crown of Thorns is sometimes
wreathed around them: but so, that it should rather resemble a Crown
of Glory. The instruments of the Passion are, as every one knows, of
the most ordinary occurrence. The commonest of these are--the Cross,
the Crown of Thorns, the Spear, the Scourge, the Nails, and the Sponge
on the pole. But in the Suffolk and Somersetshire churches many others
are added. Their position is various: sometimes, as in Stogumber,
Somersetshire, they appear amidst the foliage of a perpendicular
capital: sometimes, as in the Suffolk churches, they are found in the
open seats: often in bosses, often in brasses, often in stained glass;
and sometimes the angel that supports a bracket holds them portrayed
on a shield. The Five Wounds are also often found. These are
represented by a heart, between two hands and two feet, each pierced;
or by a heart pierced with five wounds, as in a brass at King's
College chapel, Cambridge. The instruments of the Passion may
sometimes be seen amongst the volutes of the stem of the churchyard
cross: examples occur at Belleville, near Havre, in Normandy, and
Santa Cruz, in Madeira.

Again, the very position of our blessed Saviour on the Cross as
represented in the great rood and in stained glass, is not without a
meaning. In modern paintings, the arms are high above the head, the
whole weight of the body seeming to rest upon them. And this, besides
its literal truth, gives occasion to that miserable display of
anatomical knowledge in which such pictures so much abound. The
Catholic representation pictures the arms as extended horizontally:
thereby signifying how the Saviour, when extended on the Cross,
embraced the {lxxxvii} whole world.  [Footnote 56] Thus, as it ever
ought to be, is physical sacrificed to moral truth. Perhaps for a
similar reason S. Longinus is represented as piercing the Right Side,
instead of the Left: and in a representation of the Five Wounds, it is
the right side of the breast that is pierced (as in a brass at
Southfleet, Kent); that being the side of the greatest strength, and
thereby typifying the strength of that love wherewith our Redeemer
loved us. [But this may be doubted. For it appears pretty clear that
the ancient Church considered the Right Side to have been that which
was really pierced. According to modern ideas, the effusion of the
water was not a miracle. S. John undoubtedly considered it not only a
miracle, but one of the most extraordinary which he had to relate,
seeming to stop the mouth of the objector by insisting on the fact,
that he himself was an eye-witness.] In some old roods, a still
further departure was made from literal truth: the Saviour was
represented on the Cross, as a crowned king, arrayed in royal apparel.
[Footnote 57] And his figure was constantly represented as larger than
that of His attendants, His Blessed Mother, and S. John, thereby
signifying his immeasurable superiority over the highest of human

  [Footnote 56: However, in late stained glass, the modern position is
  sometimes found  as in a Crucifixion represented in the east window
  of the north aisle, in Wiscombe church, Somersetshire. ]

  [Footnote 57: To this we may add the conventional representation of
  Royal Saints, such as S. Edmund, wearing their kingly crowns during
  their passion. That such conventional symbolism is _natural_ to us
  may be shown by alluding (without irreverence in this connection) to
  the way in which kings are always figured with crown and orb in
  popular prints: and even, as in a sign-post at Leighterton,
  Gloucestershire, King Charles II, hiding himself in the Royal Oak,
  is arrayed in all the insignia of majesty.]

Another reference to the Atonement will be found in the deviation
which the line of the chancel often presents from that of the nave. It
is sometimes to the north, but more frequently to the south.
{lxxxviii} There are many more churches in which it occurs than those
who have not examined the subject would believe: perhaps it is not too
much to say that it may be noticed in a quarter of those in England.
Of our cathedrals, it is most strongly marked in York and Lichfield:
among the parish churches in which we have observed it, none have it
so strongly as Eastbourne and Bosham, in Sussex, and S. Michael's at
Coventry: in all of which the most casual glance could not but detect
the peculiarity of appearance it occasions. This arrangement
represents the inclination of our Saviour's Head on the Cross. In
roods the Head generally inclines to the left.

Mr. Poole, after noticing the fact in York minster, seems inclined to
attribute it to a desire of evading the old foundation lines of that
church, which induced the builders to deviate a little from the
straight line, rather than encounter the difficulty of removing this
obstacle. But in the first place, however much modern church builders
might bethink themselves of such an expedient, it is not at all in the
character of the church architects of other days: and in the second,
the explanation is applicable to York alone, one only out of many
hundred churches so distinguished.

IV. The Communion of Saints

Next, we will notice the effect which the Doctrine of the Communion of
Saints has exercised in the designs of churches.

In the ground plan of small churches there is little which seems to
bear on this subject. The principal references to departed saints
occur in the stained glass, in the rood screen, in niches, in the
canopies of monuments, and in brasses. Monuments, in particular, often
afford some beautiful ideas, among which we may notice {lxxxix} the
angels which often are seated at the head of the effigy, supporting
the helmet or pillow, and seeming to point out the care of angels for
the saints. In cathedrals, however, the chapels have a very
considerable effect upon the ground plan: though we cannot agree with
Mr. Poole that such a modification of the principal lines of the
building for the reception of these shrines and oratories, is
necessarily uncatholic. He principally objects to the position of the
Lady Chapel at the east end, above, as he expresses it, the High
Altar. Now we believe the Lady Chapel to have occupied that place
merely on grounds of convenience: not from any design--which it is
shocking to imagine--of exalting the Blessed Virgin to any
participation in the honours of the Deity. Sometimes, as at Durham,
this chapel is at the west end: in country churches, it generally
occupied the east end of the north or south aisle: and sometimes is
placed over the chancel, as in Compton, Surrey, Compton Martin,
Somerset, and Darenth, Kent; or over the porch, as at Fordham,
Cambridgeshire. At Bristol cathedral it is on the north side of the
choir. That the position of the Lady Chapel at the east end adds
greatly to the beauty of the building wall hardly be denied on a
comparison of York, or Lincoln, or Peterborough with Lichfield, _as it
now is_.




We come now, according to the plan we laid down, to speak of the
symbolism of some particular features of a church, which do not fall
so well under any of the four heads which we have been considering.
And firstly, of windows.

The primary idea shadowed forth in every one of the styles, is the
saying of our Lord to His disciples, _ye are the light of the world_.
More simply set forth at first, this notion acquired, in the course of
time, various methods of expression, and was subjected to different
modifications; but we must retain it as the ground work or we shall be
in danger of mistaking the true meaning of ancient church architects.

In Norman, then, and early English, the single lights north and south,
set forth the Apostles and Doctors who have shined forth in their time
as the lights of the Church: and the rich pattern of flowerwork
wherewith the stained glass in them was decked, represented the
variety of graces in each. But to have symbolised the servants without
the Master, the members without the Head, had been at variance with
all the Catholic Church has ever practised. Looking therefore to the
east end, we behold that well-known feature, the Triplet: setting
{xci} forth the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.  [Footnote 58] Nor is
this all: to denote that all the Church has, and all She is, is from
above, the string course, springing from the eastern triplet, runs
round the whole church (often both within and without,) binding it, as
it were, in and connecting every other light, with those at the east.
Again, the Western Door, as we shall see, symbolised Christ: and two
lights, typical of His two natures, are therefore generally placed
over it. There are, undoubtedly, instances of western triplets: though
we think that the Camden Society has well explained these.

  [Footnote 58: We read, in the legend of S. Barbara, that, being
  confined by her father in a room where were two windows only, she
  added a third, by way of setting forth this Mystery.]

In some cases, there is a series of couplets on each side of the
church: and, taking the hint from Durandus, we may interpret this
arrangement of the mission of the Apostles two and two.

A series of triplets as in Salisbury cathedral, and the Lady Chapel of
Bristol, is very rare: and, of course, not objectionable on any other
grounds than that of the too cheap use of a most beautiful feature.

So far all is simple: but as we approach the decorated style, the
symbolism becomes excessively complicated. The principal doctrines of
the Catholic Church are set forth in each window: and to unravel the
whole of these is often a task of no small difficulty. We shall
proceed to give a few examples, with the explanation which appears to
us probable: entreating the reader to remember, that if in any
instance our conjectures should appear unfounded, the failure of
probability in one case throws no discredit on the others, and still
less does it invalidate the system. Durandus's silence on the language
of tracery is easily explained by the consideration, that assign as
late a date as we will to the {xcii} publication of his work, it came
forth while the Early English style was yet in existence: and his
silence on triplets only proves, what is well known to
ecclesiologists, that they are far less common in foreign than in our
own architecture.

In Norman windows the wheel window is conspicuous. This, whether
formed with the _radii_ like those of Barfreston, or of the Temple
church, represent (as we shall presently observe that Norman symbolism
usually _does_ represent) an historical fact: namely, the martyrdom of
S. Catherine. The celebrity of this Virgin Martyr may tend to explain
why she should be so far honoured: a celebrity which has descended to
our own day in the common sign of the Cat and Wheel: as well as the
firework so denominated.

Of Norman triplets there are not many to which we can refer. The tower
of Winchester, however, presenting one on each face, is a noble
example. The southeastern transept of Rochester, though later, is
equally in point: it contains two triplets, far apart, and one
disposed above the other. The west front of S. Etienne at Caen is a
well-known instance.

The earliest symbolism of Early English triplets represented the
Trinity alone; the Trinity in Unity was reserved for a somewhat later
period. And this was typified by the hood moulding thrown across the
three lights. At other times a quatre-foiled, or cinque-foiled, circle
was placed at some little distance above the triplet: thus typifying
the Crown which befits the Majesty of the King of Kings. And the same
Crown is often exhibited above the western couplet. But, for as much
as we are 'compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every
person by Himself to be God and Lord,' a crown is sometimes
represented over each light of the triplet, as in Wimborne minster.


Another method of representing the same doctrine was by a simple
equilateral triangle for a window: whether plain, of which there are
many examples, or with the toothed ornament, as in the famous example
at York minster.

S. Giles's at Oxford has windows, the tracery of which will serve as
an example of many: it has _three tre_-foiled lights, with _three_
quatre-foiled circles, arranged triangle-wise in the head.

This type is a little varied in S. Mary Magdalene's church, in the
same city, by the introduction of the ogee form.

Berkeley church has a wheel window containing _three_ quatre-foils:
the three spaces left between them and the line being _tre_-foiled.

The east windows of Dunchurch and Fen Stanton have been explained in
the publications of the Cambridge Camden Society: the former in their
'Few Words to Church-Builders,' the latter in their illustrations of
monumental brasses. Part iv.

The south transept of Chichester cathedral is a glorious specimen of
decorated symbolism. In the gable is a Marygold, containing two
intersecting equilateral _tri_-angles: the _six_ apices of these are
_sex_-foiled; the interior _hex_-agon is beautifully worked in _six_
leaves. The lower window seven lights: in the head is an equilateral
spherical _tri_-angle, containing a large _tre_foil, intersected by a
smaller _tre_-foil. Here we have the Holy Trinity, the Divine
Attributes, the perfection of the Deity.

A window in Merton College chapel has _three_ lights: with a circle in
the head containing _six sex_-foils.

Broughton, Oxon, has in the head of one of its windows a circle,
containing two intersecting equilateral triangles, the _six_ apices,
and _six_ spaces around, being _tre_-foiled.


The east end of Lincoln, though far inferior to the south transept of
Chichester, is nevertheless highly symbolical. The east window of each
of the aisles has _three_ lights, with _three_ foliated circles,
disposed _triangle_-wise in the head. The great east window has eight
lights in two divisions, each whereof has _three_ foliated circles in
the head: and in the apex of the window is a circle containing seven
foliations. The upper window has a circle of eight foliations in the
head: and in the apex of the gable is an equilateral trefoil.

The next element introduced was the consideration of the Six
Attributes of the Deity. One of the simplest examples was to be found
in the west window of the north aisle of S. Nicholas, at Guildford: a
plain circle, containing six _tre_-foils: these are arranged in two
_tri_-angles, each containing _three tre_-foils, and the two sets are

The clerestory of Lichfield cathedral (circ. 1300), is a series of
spherical _tri_-angles, each containing _three tre_-foils.

A similar clerestory occurs in the north-west transept of Hereford
cathedral, and the same idea is repeated in its triforium: a series of
_three tre_-foiled lights, with _three_ circles in the head.

The east end of Lichfield symbolises most strikingly the same glorious
doctrine. The apse is _tri_-gonal: the windows of each side are the
same: each is of _three_ lights, with six _tre_-foils (emblematical of
the six attributes) disposed above in the form of an equilateral

The east end of Chichester is rather earlier, but introduces yet
another element. Here we have a triplet: and at some height above it,
a wheel-window of seven circles: symbolising therefore eternity and


The triforium and clerestory of Carlisle are singular symbols of the
doctrine of the Trinity. The former has in each bay three adjacent
equal lancets. The latter is a series of triplets; the central window
in each being composed of three lights. We may observe, by the way,
that three _adjacent_ equal lancets are hardly ever found, whatever
the reason may be. We know but of three examples: in the churches of
Bosham, Sussex, Godalming, Surrey, and S. Mary-le-Crypt, Gloucester:
and in all these cases they occupy the same position, the south east
end of the chancel, or chancel aisle.

Dorchester church, Oxfordshire, has for one of its windows an
equilateral spherical triangle with three heads, or knops, one at each

We are now in a purely decorated age. And as one of its earliest
windows we may mention that in the Bishop of Winchester's Palace at
Southwark. It was a wheel, and contained two intersecting equilateral
_tri_-angles: around them were _six sex_-foiled triangles the hexagon
in the centre containing a star of _six_ greater and _six_ smaller
rays. Here, of course, the Blessed Trinity and the divine and human
natures were set forth.  [Footnote 59]

  [Footnote 59: We may perhaps be allowed to say a few words here on
  the subject of those singular windows which the Cambridge Camden
  Society has called _Lychnoscopes_.

  It appears, that in Early English churches, the westernmost window
  on the south side of the chancel is both lower than, and in other
  ways (particularly by a transom) distinguished from the rest. It is
  sometimes merely a square aperture, as in some churches in the Weald
  of Sussex: sometimes a small ogee-headed light, as in old Shoreham:
  sometimes, where the south side of the chancel is lighted by a
  series of lancets, the westernmost, as in Chiddingfold, Sussex, is
  transomed, where the others end, and carried down lower; sometimes
  the lower part appears to have been _originally_ blocked, as in
  Kemerton, Gloucestershire, and Kingstone next Lewes, Sussex:
  sometimes there are remains of clamps, as at Buckland, Kent,
  sometimes of shutters. Again, sometimes there are two, one north,
  the other south of the chancel: sometimes the same arrangement is
  found S.E. of the nave. On the other hand, it is never found in any
  but a parish church: never in late work: seldom is it ornamented. We
  will give a few remarkable instances. I. _Dinder_, Somersetshire.
  Here there is a double lychnoscope, north and south: the date is
  late Early English, and the specimen is unique from there being a
  rude moulding in the window arch. 2. _Othery_, Somersetshire. The
  lychnoscope itself is here blocked: it is square-headed, and of two
  lights: date probably Early Decorated. The church is cruciform, and
  a central perpendicular tower was subsequently erected. One of the
  diagonal buttresses is thrown out at a distance of some three feet
  from the window, so as to hide it: and an oblique square hole has
  been cut through the masonry of the buttress. This is the more
  remarkable, because there are stalls in the chancel, of
  perpendicular work, which would seem to render any window in that
  position useless. 3. _Christon_, Somersetshire. Here, _almost close
  to the ground_, is a horizontal slit which appears never to have
  been glazed. This is an early Norman church. So at Albury, Surrey,
  at the S.E. end of the south aisle. 4. _S. Appolline_, Guernsey.
  This church is of the same date as, or may be earlier than, the
  last. The windows are rude and square-headed slits: the lychnoscope
  is transomed. 5. _Preston_, Sussex. There are three windows in the
  south of the chancel, which rise one above the other, like sedilia,
  to the east. 6. _Loxton_, Somersetshire. This is an Early English
  church with a south western tower serving as porch. From the eastern
  side of this a long slit is carried through the nave wall, a
  distance of some twenty feet, and exactly commanding a view of the
  altar. It is _grated_ at the west end, not glazed: the eastern end
  has long been blocked up. Way is made for it by a bulge of the wall
  in the angle formed towards the east by the tower and nave. This
  seems to form a kind of connecting link between the hagioscope and
  the lychnoscope.

  With these windows we will venture to connect those extremely rare
  ones, three adjacent, unconnected, equal, lancets, as occurring of
  the same date at the same position. There is again another kind of
  lychnoscope only found where the chancel has aisles. A panel of the
  parclose, or wooden screen, behind the longitudinal stalls, is
  sometimes found pierced with a small quatrefoil, at the S.W. part of
  the chancel. This is vulgarly called a confessional. It seems,
  however, clearly connected with the lychnoscope. Examples are found
  at Erith, Kent, and Sundridge in the same county. Perhaps also the
  curious slit in the south wall of the chancel of S. Michael's
  church, Cambridge, communicating with a south chantry chapel is
  another variety.

  From the above facts we deduce the following remarks: 1. That the
  necessity for a lychnoscope must in some cases have been very
  urgent: as may be proved by the example, at Othery, where a buttress
  is much injured to form one. 2. But yet this need was not universal,
  because there are many churches in which the arrangement does not
  occur. 3. That it appears, strictly speaking, a parochial
  arrangement, not being found in cathedral or collegiate churches. 4.
  That smaller buildings rather than larger are marked with it: it
  seldom occurs where there are aisles to the chancel. 5. That, where
  employed, lychnoscopes were only used occasionally; else the
  shutters which have evidently sometimes existed, would have been
  useless. 6. That they are very seldom ornamented, and never have
  stained glass. 7. That in the Perpendicular era they generally,
  though not universally, ceased to be used. 8. That, a large sill
  seems to have been a requisite to them. 9. That, where the upper
  part is glazed, the lower part often was not, as in the Decorated
  lychnoscope at Beckford, Gloucestershire. The principal hypotheses
  to explain the use of this arrangement are: 1. Dr. Rock's. That it
  was a contrivance by which lepers might see the Elevation of the
  Host. But the structure of the greater part of these windows forbids
  this idea: many instances occur in which it is splayed away from the
  Altar, none (except that at Loxton, and a doubtful case at
  Winscombe, Somersetshire, where a perpendicular addition has been
  made) in which it is splayed towards it. 2. That of the Cambridge
  Camden Society, that it was for watching the Paschal light. But
  this, besides being _à priori_ improbable is refuted by that at
  Othery. Here the eye has to look through two apertures at some
  distance from each other, and therefore can command only a very
  small field on exactly the opposite side of the chancel. 3. It has
  been imagined by some that it was for confession. The idea of
  confession near an altar sufficiently refutes itself; but
  furthermore, some of these openings are so very low down that the
  thing would be impossible. Two solitary facts more, though they
  throw no light on the subject, may yet be mentioned. 1. In the
  church of S. Amaro, near Funchal, in Madeira, is a grating at the
  west-end like that at Loxton. Its use is _now_ said to be to cool
  the church, though in that case one should have expected to meet it
  elsewhere. 2. In Sennen church by the Land's End, there is said to
  have been a lychnoscope (now no longer existing) used to take in the
  tithe-milk. We may gather on the whole, 1. that lychnoscopes could
  not have been used to look into a church 2. Nor to hand anything in
  or out. Both these are sufficiently disproved by Othery, 3. Nor to
  speak through. But one can hardly imagine any other use, except it
  were to look _out_ of the church. We are inclined to think that it
  was in some way connected with the ringing of the bells, or of the
  sancte bell. Where the tower is central, we very often find it: as
  at Old Shoreham and Alfriston, Sussex: at Loxton it is evidently for
  some purpose connected with the tower. So in Beckford, which has a
  central tower; and Uffington, Berks, a cross church. And the place
  where the sancte bell was rung is exactly between a double
  lychnoscope. But what the particular use might have been we will not
  pretend to guess. We will conclude this long note by a question as
  to the authority for calling the small chancel door, the _Priest's
  Door_. It is never (originally) furnished with a lock, but always
  with an interior bar, thus showing that it could only have been used
  from the inside. So the priest could never have _entered_ the church
  by this way, unless the door were previously opened for him.]
  [End footnote]


The symbolism of the more complicated decorated windows it is next to
impossible to explain. Carlisle and York have doubtless their
appropriate meaning; but who will now pretend to expound it?


One exception we may make:--the east window of Bristol cathedral. It
is of seven lights, but so much prominence is given to the three
central ones, as strongly to set forth the Most Holy Trinity: over
them is a crown of six leaves and by the numerous winged foliations
around them, the Heavenly Hierarchy may, very probably, be understood.


II. Doors

Durandus has given us a clue to the symbolical meaning which these
generally present, by directing our attention to that saying of our
Lord's, _I am the door_. And this, uttered as tradition reports it to
have been, in reference to the Gate of the Temple, on which the
Saviour's eyes were then fixed, gives additional force to the

In small churches, doors are seldom the subject of much symbolical
ornament, except in the Norman style; but in cathedrals, some of the
most strikingly figurative arrangements are often thrown into them.
The Person, the Miracles, or the Doctrines of our Lord are here
frequently set forth. He is sometimes, especially in the tympanum of
Norman doors, as at Egleton in Rutland, represented as described in
the Apocalyptic vision; with a sword in His mouth. More frequently,
however, with His Blessed Mother; in order, perhaps, to connect His
_entrance_ into the world with ours into the Church, which He thereby
gathered together. This in the south entrance of Lincoln minster, is
enclosed in a quatre-foil: because the birth of Christ is announced by
the four evangelists; and angels are represented around it in
attitudes of adoration. A singular, and indeed irreverent symbol, is
to be seen in a door of Lisieux church: the Holy Ghost descending on
the Blessed Virgin, and the infant Saviour following Him. In the
entrance to the cloisters of Norwich cathedral, the door arch is
filled by nine niches, the central one being occupied by the Saviour,
the others by saints. But this arrangement is much more common in
French churches: where two, or even three rows of saints in the
architrave are not uncommon: witness the south and west doors of S.
Germain, at Amiens, and a west door of S. Etienne, at Beauvais. {xcix}
This is sometimes, in late Flamboyant work, carried to an absurd
extent: in a south door of Gisors, two niches actually hang down out
of the soffit. Early English doors are generally double, thereby
representing the Two Natures of our Saviour: but embraced by one arch,
to set forth His One Person. So the celebrated door in Southwell
minster: the west door in the Galilee of Ely cathedral: the entrance
to the chapter House, at Salisbury; the west door of the same: so the
decorated west door of York; so the door to the Chapter House there,
of which the inscription truly says: _Ut Rosa Phlos phlorum, sic est
domus ista Domorum:_so the west door and entrance to the Chapter House
of Wells. The west door of Higham Ferrars has the Saviour's triumphal
entrance into Jerusalem, over the double western doors. And this is
the case in one of the doors of Seville cathedral. Both these connect
the ideas of His entrance into the temporal, with that of ours into
the spiritual, Jerusalem. In these symbolical doorways, we have one
proof of the immeasurable superiority of English over French
architecture: compare any of the above named with the celebrated west
door of Amiens, with its twenty-two sovereigns in its soffit. Again,
by way of contrast to the second Adam, by whom we enter into Heaven,
we sometimes, especially in Norman churches, have the Forbidden Tree,
with Adam and Eve in the tympanum: setting forth the one man by whom
sin entered into the world.

The Crucifixion seldom occurs over doors: while over porches a
crucifix is very common. The cause of the difference is explained by a
consideration that the former are shut, the latter open: and 'when
Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of Death, Thou didst _open_ the
kingdom of heaven to all believers.' Indeed it may almost be asserted
that a crucifix is never seen over a {c} closed door, except where it
forms a part of the usual representation of the Trinity. For the
Trinity is also, in Norman churches, there represented: and that not
inappropriately: inasmuch as the Trinity is the beginning of all
things. A Holy Lamb is sometimes found in Norman tympana: as saith the
Saviour, _I am the door of the sheep_. A hasty glance at Durandus
[Footnote 60] might lead us to imagine that we should find the
Apostles set forth under the similitude of doors: but he there
probably refers to the well-known passage in the Apocalypse. Apoc.
xxi, 14.

  [Footnote 60: Durand. i, 26.]

This however leads us to another, and that a totally different,
meaning attached to doors. We have already noticed the fact, that many
Norman and Early English mouldings refer to various kinds of
martyrdom: those which do so occur more frequently on doors than
anywhere else; for it is written, 'We must through much tribulation
enter into the kingdom of God.' And here we may observe a very curious
and beautiful progression in symbolism. In the early ages of
Christianity, it was a matter requiring no small courage to make an
open profession of Christianity, to join one's self to the Church
Militant:--and this fact has left its impress in the various
representations of martyrdom surrounding the nave-doors of Norman and
the first stage of Early English churches: as well as in the frightful
forms which seem to deter those who would enter. But in process of
time, as the world became evangelised, to be a member of the visible
Church was an easy matter: the difficulty was transferred from an
entrance into _that_, to the so living, as to have part in the
Communion of Saints:--in other words, to an entrance into the Church
Triumphant. And therefore in late Early English, and Decorated, the
symbols which had occupied the nave-doors in the former period, are
now transferred to the chancel arch.


The different agricultural operations, the signs of the zodiac, and
occupations of various kinds, sometimes found on the _outside_ of
Norman doors, signify that we must turn our backs on, and leave behind
us, all worldly cares and employments, if we would enter into the
Kingdom of God. In later porches, true love knots are sometimes found
on the bosses: because part of the service of Holy Matrimony was
performed there. The serpent, in which the handle is so universally
fashioned, has probably reference to that text, 'They shall lay their
hands upon serpents,' to signify that God's arm will protect us, when
engaging, or about to engage in, His service. For the serpent with his
tail in his mouth is not a Christian, and indeed by no means a
desirable, emblem of eternity, and therefore the door handle cannot be
so interpreted.

The doors are of course placed near the west end: for it is only by
way of the Church Militant that we can hope to enter the Church
Triumphant. One door, indeed, the priest's door, conducts at once into
the chancel. Durandus is probably right in interpreting this of
Christ's coming into the world; though it involves a little confusion
of symbolism, inasmuch as the chancel, properly speaking, denotes the
blessed place which He left: not the abode to which he came. It is to
be noted as an instance of the decline of symbolism in the
Perpendicular age, that in churches which have aisles to the chancel
of that date, we sometimes, as at Bitton, Gloucestershire, Godalming,
Surrey, and Wivelsfield and Isfield, Sussex, find an entrance at the
east end of the south aisle. Though used as a priest's door, this is
entirely to be blamed: what shall we say then of modern churches,
which have two doors at the east end, one on {cii} each side of the
altar, as Christchurch, Brighton? In Seville cathedral, a late,
although fine flamboyant building, there are large doors at the east
end of each choir aisle.

Porches are usually on the south side. For as the east was considered
in an especial manner connected with the Kingdom of Heaven, so was the
north imagined to be under the Prince of the Power of the Air. It is
curious how diametrically opposed in both these ideas were
Christianity and Paganism. For as by the latter the west was known as
'the better country, where lay the Isles of the Blest in their
abundant peace,' so in the north dwelt the deathless and ageless
Hyperboreans: whose state was the model of good government and secure
happiness. That the belief of our ancestors is not yet extinct, a very
slight knowledge of our country churchyards will prove: the north side
of the churchyard has generally not more than one or two graves. To be
buried there is, in the language of our eastern counties, to be buried
_out of Sanctuary_: and the spot is appropriated to suicides,
unbaptised persons, and excommunicates. A particular portion is, in
some churchyards of Devonshire, separated for the second class and
called the _chrisomer_. Where the contrary is the case, it may be
worth inquiring how far it does not arise from the accidental position
of the Churchyard Cross on the north side. There the spell seems
broken: and the villagers' graves cluster around it, as if the
presence of that sacred symbol were a sufficient protection to the
sleeping dust. A remarkable instance of this occurs at Belleville,
between Dieppe and Abbeville, in Normandy.

The doors in the transepts are, in small churches, almost invariably
east or west: much more frequently the latter. This, however, is
probably not symbolical: but an arrangement adopted to prevent any
resemblance in the porches and transepts:--and it is a rule which
needs to be much impressed on modern church builders.


The rule as to the western position of the doors, seems to apply
generally to the churchyard.

It is worthy of remark that in the matter of doors, Protestantism
presents us, as is so frequently the case, with a very unintended
piece of symbolism. When we see, as in the beautiful church of Bisley,
Gloucestershire, _thirteen_ different openings, with external
staircases, made into the church, through windows and elsewhere, can
we forbear thinking of him who cometh not by the doors into the
sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way?

III. Chancel Arch and Rood Screen

We come now to speak of the chancel arch and the rood screen, two of
the most important features in a church. These, as separating the
choir from the nave, denote literally the separation of the clergy
from the laity: but symbolically the division between the Militant and
Triumphant Churches: that is to say, the Death of the Faithful. The
first great symbol which sets this forth, is the Triumphal Cross: the
Image of Him  [Footnote 61] who by His Death had overcome Death, and
has gone before His people through the valley of its shadow.

  [Footnote 61: 'Let us consider Him,' says Bishop Hall, 'now, after a
  weary conflict with the Devil, looking down from the Triumphal
  Chariot of the Cross on His Church.']

The images of Saints and Martyrs appear in the lower panelling, as
examples of faith and patience to us. The colours of the rood screen
itself represent their passion and victory: the crimson sets forth the
one, the gold the other. The curious tracery of net-work typifies the
obscure manner in which heavenly things are set forth, while we look
at them from the Church Militant. And for as much as the Blessed
Martyrs passed from this {civ} world to the next through sore
torments, the mouldings of the chancel arch represent the various
kinds of sufferings through which they went. Faith was their support,
and must be ours: and Faith is set forth either in the abstract, by
the limpet moulding on the chancel arch; or on the screen, as in
Bishop's Hull, Somersetshire, by the Creed in raised gilt letters: or
is represented by some notable action of which it was the source: so
in Cleeve, Somersetshire, the destruction of a dragon runs along, not
only the rood screen, but the north parclose also. But in that the
power of evil spirits may be exercised against us till we have left
this world, but not after, horrible forms are sometimes sculptured in
the west side of the chancel arch. The foregoing remarks may perhaps
explain what has been felt by some ecclesiologists as a difficulty:
how it happens, since the chancel is more highly ornamented than the
nave, that it is the western, or nave side, not the eastern or chancel
side, of the chancel arch which invariably receives the greatest share
of ornament. The straitness of the entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven
is set forth by the excessive narrowness of Norman chancel arches. And
the final separation of the Church Triumphant from everything that
defileth was almost invariably represented by the Great Doom painted
in fresco over the rood screen: of which there are still several
examples, as the celebrated one in Trinity church, Coventry: and many
more might be found, if the whitewash in that place were scraped off.
And not only is the judgment of the world, but that of individuals
here set forth: on the south side of the chancel wall of Preston
church, Sussex, is a fresco of S. Michael weighing the souls: the
Devil stands by, eager to secure his prize, but by the intervention of
the Blessed Virgin, the scale preponderates in favour of the sinner.
{cv} There might probably be an altar to the Blessed Virgin under this
picture. Also deeds of faith are represented in similar positions:
--so in the same church on the north chancel wall, is the fresco of
the Martyrdom of S. Thomas of Canterbury. We have already noticed the
triplicity, in some instances, of Norman chancel arches. A very
curious triple chancel arch is to be seen at Capel-le-Ferne, Kent. We
may also refer to those singular double ones, Wells and Finedon, and
in another manner, Darlington, in Durham, and Barton, in Cumberland.
It may be well, finally, to note the entire absence in the ground
plans of our churches of any reference to Purgatory. The only instance
in which chancel and nave are separated by any intervening object, is
the chantry of Bishop Arundell in Chichester cathedral. Of the triple
division of the church by two (so to speak) chancel arches, we have
already spoken.

IV. Monuments

We now proceed to _Monumental Symbolism_. But it will be proper first
to consider a very curious subject: namely the reason of the
difference between the personages with which the effigies of the
departed were of old time, and are now, surrounded. In the former case
they were always real: Our Lady, S. John, S. Pancras, S. Agatha, and
so on. In the latter, they are always allegorical: Faith, Virtue,
Courage, Eloquence and the like. Nay, in the very ground which is
common to the two--the representations of angels--we may observe a
great difference: in modern monuments any angel is represented: in
those of ancient date the particular one is often named: S. Gabriel,
S. Raphael, etc. Now there are, we think, three good reasons to be
assigned for this.


I. The _enlightened_, or in plainer terms, the sceptical character of
the present age. Unaccustomed to view any great examples of heroic
devotion and self-sacrifice now, we naturally, though scarcely
allowing it to ourselves, begin to doubt whether there ever were any
such. In thinking of Patience, our forefathers would naturally have
had S. Vincent presented to their mind: but we, who, some of us have
scarcely heard of his name, and some, are totally ignorant of his
character, have of course no such ideas suggested. So again, where our
ancestors would have represented S. Lawrence, we content ourselves
with a representation of Fidelity. And it is in accordance with this
easy and self-indulgent age, rather to personify a thing, which as
having never had real existence, cannot be brought into comparison
with ourselves, than by representing a really existing person, to run
the risk of a contrast between his virtues and our own.

2. This allegorising spirit is more in accordance with the general
paganism of our architectural designs: though, be it observed, a
feature of the very worst and most corrupt state of Paganism. It is
worth noting that in heathen countries, evil qualities have always
been personified before good. Paganism like every other false system,
became worst at its close. In the early times of Grecian mythology the
attributes of purity, and truth, and mercy, were so strongly felt to
reside in the gods, that a separate personification of them was
needless: whereas strife, and violence and fury, qualities which had
no place in heaven, demanded, and obtained a separate existence. But
in process of time, when the divinities themselves became invested
with the attributes of sinful humanity, the qualities of goodness
which were no longer supposed theirs, found separate embodiments and


3. We may assign as a reason for the difference we have noticed the
far greater reality with which our ancestors looked on the connections
subsisting between ourselves and the other world. Thus, tempests and
hurricanes, which we coldly explain on philosophical principles, they
considered as directly proceeding from the violence of evil spirits:
[Footnote 62] --earthquakes and volcanoes they regarded as outbreaks,
so to speak, of that place of punishment, which they believed locally
situated within the earth:--diseases and pestilences they held to be
the immediate work of the devil: madness and lunacy were, in their
view, synonymous with possession. Whether theirs, as it certainly was
the most pious, were not also the most philosophical view, has been so
ably discussed in the 'Church of the Fathers' under the chapter _S.
Anthony in Conflict_, that we need here only allude to it. But the
same spirit led them to adopt the effigies of those saints who had
been members of the same Church Militant with themselves, and who now
were members of that Triumphant Church which they hoped hereafter to
join: and its contrary leads us to adopt the cold, vague, dreamy
unsubstantialities of allegorism.

  [Footnote 62: A Master of Philosophy travelling with others on the
  way, when a fearful thunderstorm arose, checked the fear of his
  fellows, and discoursed to them of the natural reasons of that
  uproar in the clouds, and those sudden flashes wherewith they seemed
  (out of the ignorance of causes) to be too much affrighted; in the
  midst of his philosophical discourse, he was struck dead with that
  dreadful eruption which he slighted. What could this be but the
  finger of that God Who will have His works rather entertained with
  wonder and trembling than with curious scanning? Neither is it to be
  otherwise in those violent hurricanes, devouring earthquakes, and
  more than ordinary tempests, and fiery apparitions which we have
  seen and heard of; for however there be natural causes given of the
  usual events of this kind, yet nothing hinders but the Almighty, for
  the manifestations of His power and justice, may set spirits,
  whether good or evil, on work, to do the same things sometimes in
  more state and magnificence of horror.--Bishop Hall, 'The Invisible
  World,' sect. vi.]

The earliest kind of monumental symbolism is that which represents the
trade or profession of the person commemorated. And these principally
occur on Lombardic slabs and Dos d'Anes. The distaff represents
{cviii} the mother of a family:   [Footnote 63] a pair of gloves a
glover:   [Footnote 64] so we have a pair of shears: and the like. But
the Cross constantly appears; and in a highly floriated form:
sometimes at its foot are three steps representing the Mount:
sometimes a Holy Lamb.  [Footnote 65] And so ecclesiastical personages
have their appropriate symbols: so the chalice or the ring  [Footnote
66] represents a priest:--another type is the hand raised in
benediction  [Footnote 67] over a chalice: brasses abound in
symbolical imagery. The animal at the feet varies with the varying
circumstances of the deceased: a married lady has the dog, the emblem
of fidelity: with which we may compare the speech of Clytemnestra, of
her absent Lord,   [Footnote 68]

  [Greek text]

There are, doubtless, instances (there is one in Bristol, S. Peter's)
where the unmarried are so represented: but they are very rare, and
quite in the decline of the art. The knight again has, generally, a
terrier at his feet, as the emblem of courage: sometimes the
greyhound,  [Footnote 69 ] the symbol of speed. Lord Beaumont
[Footnote 70] has an elephant: it is a bearing in his coat-armour.

  [Footnote 63: See on this subject an interesting article in the
  _Church of England Quarterly_, for September, 1841. ]

  [Footnote 64: As in Fletching, Sussex.]

  [Footnote 65: As in Lolworth, Cambridgeshire.]

  [Footnote 66: As in S. Mary, Castlegate, York.]

  [Footnote 67: As in Hedon, Yorkshire.]

  [Footnote 68: Agamemnon, 606. (Ed. Dindorf.)]

  [Footnote 69: As in Sir Grey de Groby, S. Alban's.]

  [Footnote 70: Engraved in the 5th number of the Cambridge Camden
  Society's _Illustrations of Monumental Brasses_.]

Early priests have a lion   [Footnote 71] also at their feet; but this
typified their trampling on the devil: as servants of Him concerning
whom it is written, 'And the Devil shall go forth before   [Footnote
72] His feet' They have also a dragon for the same reason. And this
position doubtless also has reference to the verse, 'Thou shalt tread
upon the lion   [Footnote 73] and adder: the young lion and the dragon
shalt thou trample under feet.' In the decline of the art, effigies
have the crest of the departed at their feet.

  [Footnote 71: As in Watton, Herts, and Cottingham, Yorkshire.]

  [Footnote 72: Habaccuc III. v, _Et egredietur diabolus ante pedes

  [Footnote 73: Psalm xc. _Qui habitat_.]


Whether those knights who are represented with crossed legs are to be
considered as crusaders, or at least as having taken the vow, is a
question which has been much discussed. The general belief seems now
to be in the negative:--and Mr. Bloxam in his work on Monumental
Architecture gives it as his opinion that this posture was chosen by
the artist, for the more graceful arrangement of the _surcoat_. And it
is to be remarked that some illuminations, as in the Life of S. Edward
the Confessor, in the Cambridge University Library, represent the
knights as sitting cross legged. For our own part we must confess that
we incline to the old belief:--as better supported by tradition, and
more in accordance with the general principles of Catholic artists.
The knight's hand is sometimes represented as resting on the hilt of
his sword:--or as it is called _drawing it_. We are astonished that a
writer in the _Quarterly Review_ should fall into this popular error:
especially when the idea was completely opposed to the whole course of
his argument. There can be no doubt that this typifies the
accomplishment of the vow, the taking which was set forth by the
crossed legs. The contrary--an act of war in the House of Peace--is
not for a moment to be thought of. As emblematical of deep humility,
some effigies are represented naked: some in shrouds: some, as
emaciated corpse: and sometimes, still more strikingly, the tomb will
be divided into two partitions: and while the departed appears in rich
vests, and with a gorgeous canopy above--below there is a skeleton, or
a worm eaten figure. There is a remarkable instance at Tewkesbury, in
the cenotaph of the last Lord Abbot: and we may refer to the monument
of William Ashton, in S. John's College chapel, Cambridge.


The symbolism of ecclesiastics, lying principally in their vestments,
does not so much fall within the scope of this essay. The same may be
said of the allusion to the Holy Trinity in the benedictory attitude
of the bishop: and the distinction between the mitred abbot and the
bishop in the former holding his pastoral staff with the crook
inwards, as signifying his dominion to be _internal_, _i.e._ within
his own house;--the latter outwards, to set forth his external
dominion over his diocese.

The reception of the soul of the departed into Abraham's bosom is
often represented. Sometimes angels are bearing it, in the likeness of
a newborn child, (a figure symbolical of its having now returned into
its baptismal state of purity) and presenting it before the throne.
The founders or rebuilders of churches are known by the building which
they hold in their hands.

The carving of the _open seats_ is one of those parts of
ecclesiastical symbolism, which it is very hard to explain. The
monsters which constantly occur on them may be perhaps regarded as
typical of the evil thoughts and bad passions which a life of ease and
rest encourages, and it will be observed, that in the choir, a gentler
class of ideas often is suggested: we have here flowers and fruit, and
birds making their nests, and flocks feeding. There, are however,
certain other types to be found here, and also in string courses, and
corbel heads, of which we shall presently speak in terms of

Nothing, with this exception, shows the exuberance and beauty of ideas
which distinguished the architects of the ages of Faith--and the depth
and variety of the scriptural knowledge we are pleased to deny
them--than their wood carvings.  [Footnote 74]

  [Footnote 74: The astonishing scriptural knowledge of Durandus may
  be judged of from the Index at the end of the volume of texts quoted
  by him. ]


There is perhaps hardly a scriptural subject which they have not
handled: and it requires no small degree of ecclesiastical knowledge
to be able at all to comprehend many of their allusions: while
probably many more are lost to us. The Annunciation is one of the most
favourite topics. The almond tree blossoming in the flower pot--the
bud terminating in a cross or crucifix--the prayer desk at which the
Blessed Virgin kneels--the temple seen in the distance--the Holy Dove
descending on a ray of light--these are its general accompaniments.
The descent of our Saviour into hell--the delivery of souls--

  'Magnaque; de magna praeda petita domo:'

the visions of the Apocalypse: the final doom: the passions and
triumphs of martyrs--all here find their expression.

V. Corbels, Gurgoyles, Poppy Heads, etc.

The corbels which occur in the interior of churches generally
represent the Heavenly Host--often with various instruments of music,
as if taking a share in the devotions of the worshippers. This idea is
most fully and beautifully carried out in late perpendicular roofs:
where the various orders of the heavenly hierarchy hover, with
outstretched wings, over the sacred building--an idea evidently
derived from the cherubim that spread their wings over the ark, and
the apostle's explanation, 'which things the angels desire to look
into.' Often, however, benefactors to the Church are here portrayed.
The gurgoyles, on the contrary, represent evil spirits as flying from
the holy walls: the hideousness of the figures, so often, by modern
connoisseurs, ridiculed or blamed, is therefore not without its
appropriate meaning.


We must now say a few words on the least pleasing part of the study of
symbolism: we mean the satirical representations which record the
feuds between the secular and the regular clergy. Thus, in the
churches of the former, we have, principally as stallwork, figures of
a fox preaching to geese: in those of the latter an ass's head under a
cowl: or, which is very frequent, both in woodwork and as a gurgoyle,
the cowled double face. As a specimen of these designs, we may mention
the stalls   [Footnote 75] in East Brent, Somersetshire. A fox hung by
a goose, with two cubs yelping at the foot of the gallows, a monkey at
prayers, with an owl perched over his head: another monkey holding a
halbert: a fox with mitre and staff, a young fox in chains, a bag of
money in his right paw, and geese and cranes on each side. To these
objectionable devices we may add those which to us appear simply
profane or indecent:  [Footnote 76]such as the baptism of a dog in one
of the Stamford churches, and others in Northampton, S. Peter's, of
Norman date. One of the grossest which we have ever seen is to be
found on the north side of the chancel arch of Nailsea, Somersetshire.

  [Footnote 75: Rutter's _Delineations_, p. 89. ]

  [Footnote 76: It is fair to observe that our designating them so
  _may_ be the effect of our own ignorance.]

On the towers of some Norman churches, the evangelistic symbols are
represented. So in Stow church, Lincolnshire. Tiles ought not to have
the cross on them: for though Christ is indeed the foundation of the
Church, yet these holy symbols should not be exposed to be trodden
under foot. Heraldic devices are here more proper, to signify the
worthlessness of worldly honours in the sight of God.




Several objections to the symbolical system have been noticed and
answered in the course of this treatise. We shall, however, devote a
greater space to the consideration of one difficulty which has often
been raised by opponents, and has often been felt even by such as have
adopted the theory. It is said, for example, that to assert the nave
and two aisles, or a triplet of lancets, to be symbolical of the Most
Holy Trinity, is both false and profane, when, as is almost always the
case, the aisles are much less broad than the nave, and the three
lancets are unequal both in height and breadth: whereas in the Trinity
none is afore or after other, none is greater or less than another.
But the difficulty seems only to arise from carrying the similitude
too far: the point of resemblance is in these cases a single one: the
mere trinity of the arrangement is the only particular which gives
rise to the symbol. 'Three mystic lines approach the shrine,' sings
the poet of the Christian year for Trinity Sunday. The number alone is
answerable for the emblem. We do not deny that an equilateral triangle
is a more perfect symbol of the Blessed Trinity: but even here a
captious man might object to the emblem, because the angles gain
greater or less prominence according to the position in which the
triangle is placed. {cxiv} The Catholic monogram of the Trinity, for
example, assigns to the Father and the Son the upper angles of a
triangle standing on the third point. On the other hand the modern
triangle, generally charged with the Hebrew word Jehovah, has the
third angle uppermost. We can quite conceive these differences being
thought objectionable. The case is not so strong indeed as when the
three members are unequal, but still it is the same in kind and in

It is a condition of emblems that the points of similitude must not be
pressed too far. The material Sun indeed typifies the Sun of
Righteousness: but in what particulars? in its being _created_, in its
rising on the dark world _every_ day, in its being matter? Surely not:
but in this one point, that it brings light and heat to the earth. _I
am the Door_, said our Lord. In what particulars, we may again ask? It
would be profane to show by examples that it is only in this point:
that a door is for entrance into a material house just as we enter
into the Church through Christ. The ark, our Church teaches us, was an
emblem of the Church: not in its human building, nor in its final
perishing; but in that it saved souls by water. Did the Paschal Lamb
typify the Immaculate Victim in any thing more than its comparative
purity and its bloody death? We need not multiply such examples.

But there is another consideration to be adduced. Our Lord's own
parables must not be pressed too far. The history of the five wise and
five foolish virgins, must not be adduced to prove that the number of
the lost will equal that of the saved. This may be dangerous ground,
but the assertion is true. Every parable is figurative to a certain
point, and no further. Not that there is much danger of persons not
knowing where the line is to be drawn: any more than there would be in
the case of { cxv} one of a reverent mind, who was told that the
triplicity of aisles and windows typified a great doctrine. The
_British Critic_ made a very just observation on this point, that it
argued a great blindness of spiritual vision to deny such an emblem,
because the similitude was not complete in all points. Indeed if all
points answered so closely and exactly to each other, it is not clear
how a similitude would differ from a fac-simile. The very notion of a
thing being like another involves the fact that the two are not
identical. Nothing more is found or expected, than a similarity, an
analogy, in certain qualities. For in all symbolism it is quality and
not essence in which resemblance is sought.

Which leads us to consider another objection sometimes urged to the
effect that if a thing mean one thing it cannot mean another. For
example, if the nave and aisles represent the Holy Trinity, they
cannot also represent the Church Militant here on earth, or in another
point of view the true fold. Again, if the piers and arches set forth
the foundation of the apostles and prophets, they must not bear a part
in the representation of the Trinity together with the cleristory and
triforium. But this difficulty vanishes if we remember that the
resemblance, for the most part, is derived from grouping independent
things together and viewing them in a particular light. We do not deny
the _real_ essential symbolism of a material result: but this its
particular significancy need not obtrude itself at all times: the
thing itself in other combinations, and viewed under other aspects,
may acquire an additional and occasional meaning. For example, it is
the union of the rose, thistle, and shamrock, which is the emblem of
our United Empire: they have each their own figurative sense; in
combination they acquire a new meaning. The harp is not less the
emblem of Ireland, because it must primarily represent music. {cxvi}
Leaven was of old the symbol of wickedness: our Lord spake of the
leaven of the Scribes and Pharisees: yet we hear from His own lips,
The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven.  [Footnote 77]

  [Footnote 77: We have the highest authority for believing that one
  type can symbolise two things quite independent of each other, in
  that the Jewish Sabbath, commanded from Sinai to be observed in
  commemoration of the Rest after the Creation, is enforced in
  Deuteronomy as the representation of the rest of the children of
  Israel from Egyptian bondage. 'Remember,' says Moses, 'that thou
  wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God
  brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out
  arm: _therefore_ the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath
  day.'--Deut. v, 15.]

Another objection is as follows: If this theory be true, how will you
account for churches with nothing but a nave, or with only one aisle;
how for churches with neither cleristory nor triforio; or, on the
other hand, for those with double triforia, or with four or five
aisles? Now we never asserted that it was necessary that all, or
indeed any, given things should be intentionally symbolised. We have
pointed out that some things are essentially symbolical; others
accidentally and occasionally. We might attempt to classify what
_must_ be symbolised in church building, and what _may_ be. But we
decline to do so because we do not think that the principles of
symbolism are yet sufficiently investigated or apprehended. However,
in a general way, _every_ building must, from the nature of things,
have some accidents, as of material, of parts, of plan; every
particular building must have particular accidents, as of use and
purpose. These accidents _must_ be symbolical, from their nature, in a
general way: they may derive, from purpose added to their nature, a
further or modified symbolism in a particular way. With the first sort
it is that Durandus chiefly concerns himself A building must have
walls, must have roof, piers, windows, corners, and floor. For each
then he finds a meaning. {cxvii} He does not quite neglect the second
sort. Early English windows must have a splay: the spire may have a
weathercock: for these then there is an appropriate signification. So
we do not mean to insist that certain things _shall_ be symbolised, we
say they _may_ be symbolised. Perhaps when more is known, we shall be
able to criticise ancient buildings, to show their faults or their
shortcomings in this particular. As it is, we have framed a sort of
_beau ideal_ of a church, fully formed and developed, which we should
propose as a perfect model. We are not qualified as yet to blame the
ancient churches which do not come up to this ideal, but we cannot be
wrong in praising such as do.

In discussing Mr. Lewis's illustrations of Kilpeck church, we touched
upon the Basilican origin of churches considered as an argument
against the reception of the symbolical theory. Our last remarks will
apply to the same question. It has been thought quite sufficient
ground for turning into ridicule the whole principle, that the Roman
justice halls had three or more aisles, or that a barn or banquetting
room may have three longitudinal divisions. But what if mechanical
convenience suggested the arrangement? (though we do not grant this).
It is clear that many churches, many barns, and many refectories have
never had a triple arrangement. It has never been asserted that every
church shall have nave and aisles: but if a church has nave and aisles
it will be symbolical of a great doctrine; and for this reason it is
better for a church to have nave and aisles. Why do not such writers
argue that the cross form is not symbolical, because many barns are
cruciform? Now it is instructive to observe that there is a great and
obvious utilitarian advantage in this shape for a barn: but not in the
case of churches as _anciently arranged_; in which the transepts were
utterly useless for the {cxviii} accommodation of worshippers; and in
which there is a mechanical evil (as before mentioned) from the
lateral pressure on the lantern piers. Yet it is undeniable that the
cross form was chosen for its symbolical meaning: and this in spite of
mechanical disadvantages. A mechanical reason fails here, as in the
former case, in accounting for the fact. How will they account for the
cross form? Their own argument tells against them. We may still
further remark that in modern times we have had some curious practical
lessons upon this cross form. Messrs Britton and Hosking, in their
atrocious plan for rearranging S. Mary Redcliffe church, unwittingly
testified to the inconvenience, and want of any utilitarian end, of
this plan by placing the pulpit under the lantern, and ranging the
congregation in the four arms so as to face it. On the other hand,
some modern architects confessedly employ the cross form because it
allows of people arranged as in the last case, all seeing the
preacher. But why do they not look deeper into things? Why have the
cross at all? Why not have an amphitheatre, an octagon, an
accoustically designed Mechanic's Institute Lecture Room? Then all
could hear, all could see much better, and the building would not cost
half so much. They may think that they are designing on utilitarian
principles. In truth they are unknowingly, unwillingly, symbolising
the Cross.




It is now our intention to attempt a brief sketch of the history of
symbolism, confining ourselves to its rise, progress, and decline in
England. For of its earlier development we have already had occasion
to speak, both in the first and in the eighth chapter, when we
referred to its use among the primitive Christians, and to such
particulars of information as could be gained concerning it from the
later fathers, and from mediaeval authors.

Among all nations the facts of Christianity have been received before
its doctrines. The inhabitants of a heathen country are first called
on to believe, as matter of history, that our Blessed Lord was
conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under
Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried, before any attempt is
made to set before them the doctrine of the Atonement, the mystery of
the Trinity, or the compatibility of God's foreknowledge with man's
free action. And it is in the infancy of individuals, as in that of
nations. We may therefore, from all analogy, conclude, that the things
set forth in the earlier development of church art would be facts
rather than doctrines.


Now, if we look to Norman buildings, we shall find this to be the
case. Excepting the doctrine of the Holy Trinity (which, after all,
perhaps rather ranks, through all the stages of Christian art, under
the head of essential, than under that of intended symbolism), we
shall find an almost exclusive reference to history, in arrangements
and details. That God was the Creator of heaven and earth, is set
forth in door mouldings, and capitals, sometimes by the heavenly
constellations or signs of the zodiac, sometimes by the animals
brought to Adam to be named, sometimes by the references to
agriculture, which, as we have before seen, often occur. The
Incarnation of our Saviour is set forth, as it has been already
hinted, by representations so physical and earthly, as to be to our
eyes almost profane. The Fall of Man, which appears on the sides of
fonts, well reminds us of that stain which must be washed away in Holy
Baptism. A great many of the events of our Lord's life are sculptured
in various positions: above all, of course, His Passion. Again, duties
are symbolically represented, so in the chancel arch of Egleton,
Rutland, we have the figure of a deacon ringing a bell; doubtless to
remind the worshippers of the duty of attending God's house. And a
still more practical method of representing the evil consequences
attending the breach of duty, and one which speaks much of the
rudeness of the age, is where some local event well-known at the time
of the erection of the church, finds a commemoration in it. Thus
(though at a later epoch) among the capitals of the south transept of
Wells cathedral, the architect has represented a theft, which
doubtless, at the time, had made a considerable noise in that place.
In the first group, a man is seen stealing apples; then follows the
struggle and apprehension: finally, his trial and condemnation. And
such practical admonitions might not have been without their use.
Sometimes they are refined and exalted into such an one as may be seen
in the northern apse of S. Mary's, at Guildford, where heavenly and
earthly judgment are portrayed. {cxxi} Victory over the devil is
singularly enough symbolised in Oxford, S. Peter's, by the piers which
rest on, and crush, a monster. We have before noticed that Norman
architecture, true to its love of facts, delighted in the
representation of instruments of martyrdom, or the deeds of faith, as
the victory of S. George. The final doom was also a favourite subject;
so was the descent of Christ into hell. In fact, its whole character,
whether in string courses, tympana, capitals, or chancel arches, was
graphicalness, and that obtained sometimes at the expense of grace,
sometimes almost at that of decorum, but probably well adapted to the
particular development which the minds of the people had then reached.
One point we must remark, to the eternal honour of the Anglo-Norman,
and indeed also of the Saxon Church, deadly as was the hatred existing
between the two peoples, for at least a hundred and fifty years after
the conquest, it has left no symbolical trace, either in the churches
of the vanquishers, or of the vanquished. Much as the one had
suffered, and much as the other despised the conquered nation, this
feeling vanished in the house of God.

In advancing to Early English, we still find strong traces of the
historicalism of ornaments, both in some of the mouldings, as in the
toothed, and in the capitals, though the latter begin now to assume a
more allegorical form. Indeed, the observation seems worth making,
that this style is the only one which appears to have dealt much in
allegory, we mean in that sense which we have already attached to the
word. That is, it employs fictitious representations to set forth real
truths; as in Wells cathedral, the fall of the barren tree forms a
beautiful corbel. We do, however, find some traces of this in Norman
work, as the fable of the crow and the fox may occasionally be
discovered in it. {cxxii} The works of the creation were often set
forth, rather with reference to their beauty than from any other
reasons. Such as the birds making their nests in the thick foliage,
flowers, and fruit. Yet, on the whole, facts such as those which
principally occupied the attention of Norman architects, began rather
to find expression among the details, than to usurp any important part
in church arrangement. We are in possession of too little wood work of
this date--and in that many references of this kind were probably to
be found--to be able to speak with so much certainty as we can in the
later styles: but that this was the tendency of the progress of
architecture, it requires but little knowledge to discover. Impressed,
but evidently, now, not only essentially but intentionally, on every
building, was the doctrine of the Ever Blessed Trinity: for triplets
were so common at the east end as to form the rule of Early English
design. Fonts, instead of bearing a representation of the Fall of Man,
and thereby implying our need of regeneration, began to be octagonal,
thereby setting forth the doctrine itself, a strong confirmation of
our previous observation respecting facts and doctrines. The shape of
piers is also to be noticed. For there appears to have been almost a
rule, either that the octagonal and circular shape should alternate;
or that one aisle should present the one kind, the other the other.
This we can hardly, in our present state of knowledge, profess to
explain. Durandus's observations about windows, their splay and
shafts, are very curious: and again, he evidently recognises in the
tiebeams, the knitting together of the elect in one communion and
fellowship: a strong argument, this, that we are justified in
regarding arrangements, which arise from mechanical necessity, as
nevertheless truly and really symbolical. In the bases of piers we now
often find flowers, which indeed, sometimes, as in Rochester
cathedral, occur in transition work; principally the fleur de lys,
which we may interpret to signify that humility is the foundation of
all Christian graces.


On the whole, however, we conclude that in this style, while churches
taken as a whole became more symbolical, their details, as details,
became less so.

In proceeding to the next development of Catholic art, we are almost
afraid of expressing a belief, that Decorated, in its early dawn, gave
promise of a brighter day than it ever reached. It had not shown its
wonderful resources and capabilities in windows and flying buttresses,
before the boldness of its capitals and bases began to decline. We can
imagine that, had it so been ordered, Christian architecture might,
about the year 1300, have taken a different direction, and attained to
a glory, inconceivable to us--perhaps attainable only when the whole
Catholic Church shall be at unity. As it is, we cannot but consider,
that about that period, or a few years later, it took a wrong turn,
and being hurried in a short space through the hectic of a rare flush
of beauty, declined thenceforward slowly but surely. Now, if we ask,
why was this? it will lead us to look at Church history as connected
with the development of church architecture. Contemporary with the
change from Saxon to Norman (for we are none of those who hold that
the former extended till Oct. 14, 1065, and the latter began the next
day), was finally the victory of the Anglican Church over Paganism in
the conversion and civilisation of the Danes. Contemporary with the
appearance of Early English, was the great victory of the Church over
Erastianism, by the martyrdom of S. Thomas of Canterbury, and the
abrogation of the constitutions of Clarendon. But, hardly had Early
English finished its course of splendour, when while traces of rare
glory were developing daily, the statute of Mortmain began to tell
upon the Church: {cxxiv} and though the impulse already given yet
continued for some time to act, the end was near. No magnificent
cathedral was built after the full effects--not so much of that act,
as of the Erastianism which contrived and allowed it--were felt. The
nave of Winchester can hardly be called a solitary exception; because,
in truth, it may be doubted whether the pious exertions of William of
Wykeham were not, so far as concerns the actual beauty of his
cathedral, misplaced. Thenceforward, the State interfered more and
more with the Church; and not allowed to carry out her own designs, it
is no wonder if the latter quickly began to forget her own symbolical
language. After, for the first few years of the fourteenth century,
using it with precision and elegance before unattainable, she
thenceforward began to disuse it. We need not give examples of
decorated symbolism, because all that was new in it lay in its
windows: and these we have already discussed at considerable length.
And having sufficiently explained why there should be a decline, we
have only now to examine why that decline should have been so
different in England, France, and Italy. In England, from the time
that Edward IV directed the execution of Archbishop Scrope, when the
State interfered, it was with a strong arm, cramping and confining,
obliging the Church to confine herself to ritual observances, and
forbidding her to expatiate in the grand objects for which she was
ordained. Now could there be a more fitting expression of this than
the Perpendicular style? Does not its stiffness, its failure in
harmony, its want of power and adaptation, its continual introduction
of heraldry, its monotony, its breaking up by hard continued lines,
its shallowness, its meretriciousness, its display--set forth what we
know to have been the character of the contemporary Church? {cxxv }
Above all, do not the reintroduction of Horizontality, the Tudor arch,
the depressed pier, speak of her want of spirituality? Everything
teaches us that there was no want of power in her architects;
considered merely as specimens of art, King's College, and Henry the
Seventh's chapels, are matchless. And here and there we may trace some
tokens of vastness and holiness of conception worthy of a better age;
such as the Suffolk roofs, which, as it has been well said, never
attained their full development. It must be borne in mind, that
Perpendicular   [Footnote 78] was the first style, which in its full
development was used first for a secular building. Far be it from us,
however, to depreciate the excessive magnificence it assumes in
shrines and chapels: indeed, this is one of the features which
Decorated has not, and the absence of which in that style renders it
possible to believe that a still more magnificent may be in store for
us. Perpendicular introduced no new element of symbolism.

  [Footnote 78: We deeply regret that the Oxford Architectural Society
  should ever have allowed itself to put on paper the opinions
  expressed by one of its members, that Perpendicular windows are
  those best suited to the spirit of Christian architecture.]

But if this were the state of the Anglican Church, the Gallican,
though not better off, was acted on in a very different manner. The
State gradually interfered with it, embraced it with its dangerous
friendship, made its observances meaningless, while sustaining their
splendour; secularised its abbeys, by appropriating them to political
ends; made statesmen of its bishops, gave it outside show, while
eating out its heart. Does not Flamboyant express this? A vast
collection of elegant forms, meaninglessly strung together: richness
of ornament, actually weakening construction: vagaries of tracery, as
if the hand possessed of church art were suddenly deprived of church
feelings: nothing plain, simple, intelligible, holy: parts neglected,
parts ostentatious: the west front of Abbeville to a choir that would
disgrace a hamlet.


In Spain, again, where Christianity unfolded itself later, so also was
church art later in its development. San Miguel, at Seville, which was
actually built in 1305, would, in England, be set down to the date of
about 1180.

In Italy, where there was no State to interfere with the Church,
Paganism, which had always been more or less at work, sprang up at
once, at the time of the Great Schism, and has ever since prevailed.

But to return to England. Perpendicular, unable to express any idea by
its ornaments, soon began to imitate those of earlier styles: first
Early English, in the wretched banded capitals of the western
counties, and then Decorated in its windows. While, however, the
Church was yet united with the rest of Christendom, Paganism
interfered but in a very slight degree: the Italian example of Henry
the Seventh's tomb was not followed. Even after the Dissolution, there
were some good churches built: the symbolism which lingered longest
was that of the chancel and nave. Nor was this destroyed summarily:
the importance of the chancel had been gradually, all through the
Perpendicular era, weakened by chancel aisles, and the omission of the
chancel arch: it was but to omit the rood screen and parclose, and (as
at Hawkshead, Lancashire, circ. 1564) the mystical division vanished.

The symbolisms which Protestantism introduced were few and easily

The removal, and material, of the altar, the change of vestments, the
gradual introduction of close pews, the innovation of a reading pew,
were all figurative enough. Something like a return to church art was
made just before the great Rebellion: chancels became elongated,
{cxxvii} altars resumed their old position, copes reappeared, and the
like. Details began to improve: and (which we could hardly have
expected) intentional symbolism is sometimes to be discovered in them.
So, in Baltonsburgh, Somersetshire, a stone pulpit of the date of
1621, has among other devices, an equilateral triangle, containing,
and surrounded by, a _tre_-foil: and evidently setting forth the Holy
Trinity. After the Rebellion, but still more after the Revolution,
those faint traces of symbolism died away into that _ne plus ultra_ of
wretchedness, the Georgian style.




It is very remarkable, as has been already observed, that the
buildings of those who most strongly object to the principle of
symbolism, do in effect contain as striking an exemplification of it
as it would be possible to find.

Let us look at a Protestant place of worship. It is choked up and
concealed by surrounding shops and houses, for religion, nowadays,
must give way to business and pleasure: it stands north and south, for
all idea of fellow-feeling with the Church Catholic is looked on as
mere trifling, or worse: the front which faces the High Street is of
stone, because the uniformity of the street so required it: or (which
is more likely) of stucco, which answers as well, and is cheaper: the
sides, however, are of brick, because no one can see them: there is at
the entrance a large vestibule, to allow people to stand while their
carriages are being called up, and to enter into conversation on the
news of the day, or the merits of the preacher: it also serves the
purpose of making the church warmer, and contains the doors and
staircases to the galleries. On entering, the pulpit occupies the
central position, and towards it every seat is directed: for preaching
is the great object of the Christian ministry: galleries run all round
the building, because hearing is the great object of a Christian
congregation: {cxxix} the altar stands under the organ gallery, as
being of no use, except once a month: there are a few free seats in
out-of-the-way places, where no one could hear, and no pews would be
hired, and therefore no money is lost by making the places free: and
whether the few poor people who occupy them can hear or not, what
matters it? The font, a cast-iron vase on a marble pillar, stands
within the altar rails; because it there takes up no room: the reading
pew is under the pulpit, and faces the congregation; because the
prayers are to be read to them and not addressed to God. Look at this
place on Sunday or Thursday evening. Carriages crash up through the
cast-iron gates, and, amidst the wrangling and oaths of rival
coachmen, deposit their loads at the portico: people come, dressed out
in the full fashion of the day, to occupy their luxurious pew, to lay
their smelling-bottles and prayer-books on its desk, and reclining on
its soft cushions, to confess themselves--if they are in
time--miserable sinners: to see the poor and infirm standing in the
narrow passages, and close their pew doors against them, lest
themselves should be contaminated, or their cushions spoilt, at the
same time beseeching God to give their fellow-creatures the comfort
which they refuse to bestow: the Royal Arms occupy a conspicuous
position; for it is a chapel of the Establishment: there are neat
cast-iron pillars to hold up the galleries, and still neater pillars
in the galleries to hold up the roof; thereby typifying that the whole
existence of the building depends on the good-will of the
congregation: the roof is flat, with an elegant cornice, and serves
principally to support a gas-lighted chandelier: and the
administration of this chapel is carried on by clerk, organist,
beadle, and certain bonnetless pew-openers.


We need not point out how strongly all this symbolises the spiritual
pride, the luxury, the self-sufficiency, the bigotry of the
congregations of too many a pew-rented Episcopal chapel.

In contrast to this, let us close with a general view of the symbolism
of a Catholic church.

Far away, and long ere we catch our first view of the city itself, the
three spires of its cathedral, rising high above its din and turmoil,
preach to us of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity. As we approach,
the transepts, striking out cross-wise, tell of the Atonement: the
Communion of Saints is set forth by the chapels clustering round choir
and nave: the mystical weathercock bids us to watch and pray and
endure hardness: the hideous forms that seem hurrying from the eaves
speak the misery of those who are cast out of the Church: spire,
pinnacle, and finial, the upward curl of the sculptured foliage, the
upward spring of the flying buttress, the sharp rise of the window
arch, the high-thrown pitch of the roof, all these, overpowering the
horizontal tendency of string course and parapet, teach us, that
vanquishing earthly desires, we also should ascend in heart and mind.
Lessons of holy wisdom are written in the delicate tracery of the
windows: the unity of many members is shadowed forth by the multiplex
arcade: the duty of letting our light shine before men, by the pierced
and flowered parapet that crowns the whole.

We enter. The triple breadth of nave and aisles, the triple height of
pier arch, triforium, and clerestory, the triple length of choir,
transepts, and nave, again set forth the Holy Trinity. And what
besides is there that does not tell of our Blessed Saviour? that does
not point out 'Him first' in the two-fold western door: 'Him last' in
the distant altar: 'Him midst' in the great rood: 'Him without end' in
the monogram carved on boss and corbal, in the Holy Lamb, in the Lion
of the tribe of Judah, in the Mystic Fish? Close by us is the font;
{cxxxi} for by regeneration we enter the Church: it is deep and
capacious; for we are buried in baptism with Christ: it is of stone;
for He is the Rock: and its spiry cover teaches us, if we be indeed
risen from its waters with Him, to seek those things that are above.
Before us, in long drawn vista, are the massy piers, which are the
Apostles and Prophets: they are each of many members, for many are the
graces in every saint: there is delicate foliage round the head of
all; for all were plentiful in good works. Beneath our feet are the
badges of worldly pomp and glory, the charges of kings and nobles and
knights: all in the presence of God as dross and worthlessness. Over
us swells the vast 'valley' of the high-pitched roof: from the
crossing and interlacing of its curious rafters hang fadeless flowers
and fruits which are not of earth: from its hammer-beams project
wreaths and stars, such as adorn heavenly beings: in its centre stands
the Lamb as it had been slain: from around Him the Celestial Host,
cherubim and seraphim, thrones, principalities, and powers, look down
peacefully on the worshippers below. Harpers there are among them
harping with their harps: for one is the song of the Church in earth
and in heaven. Through the walls wind the narrow cloister galleries:
emblems of the path by which holy hermits and anchorites, whose
conflicts were known only to their God, have reached their home. And
we are compassed about with a mighty cloud of witnesses: the rich deep
glass of the windows teems with saintly forms, each in its own fair
niche, all invested with the same holy repose: there is the glorious
company of the apostles: the goodly fellowship of the prophets: the
noble army of martyrs: the shining band of the confessors: the
jubilant chorus of the virgins: there are kings who have long since
changed an earthly for an heavenly crown: and bishops who have given
in a glad account to the Shepherd and Bishop of souls. {cxxxii} But on
none of these things do we rest; piers, arch behind arch, windows,
light behind light, arcades, shaft behind shaft, the roof, bay behind
bay, the saints around us, the heavenly hierarchy above with dignity
of pre-eminence still increasing eastward, each and all, lead on eye
and soul and thought to the image of the crucified Saviour as
displayed in the great east window. Gazing steadfastly on that, we
pass up the nave, that is through the Church Militant, till we reach
the rood screen, the barrier between it and the Church Triumphant, and
therein shadowing forth the death of the faithful. High above it
hangs, on His triumphal cross, the image of Him Who by His death hath
overcome death; on it are portrayed saints and martyrs, His warriors,
who fighting under their Lord have entered into rest and inherit a
tearless eternity. They are to be our examples, and the seven lamps
above them typify those graces of the Spirit, by Whom alone we can
tread in their steps. The screen itself glows with gold and crimson:
with gold, for they have on their heads golden crowns: with crimson,
for they passed the Red Sea of martyrdom to obtain them. And through
the delicate net-work, and the unfolding holy doors, we catch faint
glimpses of the chancel beyond. There are the massy stalls; for in
heaven is everlasting rest: there are the sedilia, emblems of the
seats of the elders round the throne: there is the piscina; for they
have washed their robes and made them white: and there, heart and soul
and life of all, the altar with its unquenched lights, and golden
carvings, and mystic steps, and sparkling jewels: even Christ Himself,
by Whose only merits we find admission to our heavenly inheritance.
Verily, as we think on the oneness of its design, we may say:
_Jerusalem edificatur ut civitas cujus participatio ejus in idipsum_.



On concluding their work, which from circumstances that need not be
specified has been a year in the press, the writers must apologise for
the numerous typographical errors which have been allowed to remain.
Their separation from each other, and distance from the printer, must
plead in excuse.

They take this opportunity of expressing their thanks to the Reverend
Dr. Mill, Christian Advocate of the University of Cambridge, and to F.
A. Paley, Esq., M.A., of S. John's College, Cambridge, Honorary
Secretary of the Cambridge Camden Society, for their advice and

It remains to say that some doubt has been felt by persons who have
read the Introductory Essay in proofs, whether the writers have given
Mr. Pugin sufficient credit for several passages in his works which
seem to _involve_ the principle now contended for. We had thought that
no misapprehension could be feared on this head. It was enough to know
that the principle in question, even though _felt_ (as we indeed
allowed) by this architect, had not been _expressed in terms_. In
short, we took this fact for our ground: that whereas Mr. Pugin's book
professed to assert the _true principles_ of Christian architecture,
yet reality, according to his definition, was not at least so
accurately a 'true principle' as sacramentality. The principles
themselves, as enunciated by Mr. Pugin, apply as well to any secular
building as to a church: they are true for _construction_, but not
adequate in themselves to form a rule for ecclesiastical design.

Kemerton, _August_ 16, 1843.


The following very curious passage ought to have come in at page
lxxvii of the Introductory Essay, but was not accessible at the time.
It is an extract from the 'Fardle of Facions' printed A.D. 1555.


Oratories, temples, or places of praier (whiche we calle churches)
might not to be built without the good will of the bishoppe of the
diocese. And when the timbre was redy to be framed, and the foundacion
digged, it behoved them to sende for the bishoppe, to hallowe the
firste corner stone of the foundacion, and to make the signe of the
Crosse thereupon, and to laie it, and directe it juste easte and west.
And then might the masons sette upon the stone, but not afore. This
churche did they use to builde after the facion of a crosse, and not
unlike the shape of a manne. The channcelle (in the whiche is
conteined the highe altare and the quiere) directe fulle in the easte,
representeth the heade, and therefore ought to be somewhat rounde, and
muche shorter than the body of the churche. And yet upon respect that
the heade is the place for the eyes, it ought to be of more lighte,
and to bee seperate with a particion, in the steade of a necke, from
the bodye of the churche. This particion the Latine calleth cancelli,
and out of that cometh our terme channcelle. On eche side of this
channcelle peradventure (for so fitteth it beste) should stand a
turret; as it were for two ears, and in these the belles to be hanged,
to calle the people to service, by daie and by night. Undre one of
these turretts is there commonly a vaulte, whose doore openeth into
the quiere, and in this are laid up the hallowed vesselles and
ornamentes, and other utensils of the churche. We call it a vestrie.
{cxxxv} The other parte oughte to be fitted, that having as it were on
eche side an arme, the reste maye resemble the bodye with the fete
stretched in breadthe, and in lengthe. On eche side of the bodye the
pillers to stande, upon whose coronettes or heades the vaulte or rophe
of the churche maye reste. And to the foote beneth aulters to be
joyned. Those aulters to be orderly alway covered with two aulter
clothes, and garnished with the crosse of Christe, or some little
cofre of reliques. At eche ende a candelsticke, and a booke towarde
the middes. The walls to be painted without and within, and diversely
paineted. That they also should have in every parishe a faire round
stone, made hollowe and fitte to holde water, in the whiche the water
consecrate for baptisme maye be kept for the christening of children.
Upon the right hand of the highe aulter that ther should be an
almorie, either cutte into the walle, or framed upon it, in the whiche
they woulde have the sacrament of the Lorde's bodye, the holy oyle for
the sicke, and chrismatorie, alwaie to be locked. Furthermore they
would that ther should be a pullpite in the middes of the churche,
wherein the prieste maye stonde upon Sondaies and holidays to teache
the people those things that it behoveth them to knowe. The channcelle
to serve only for the priests and clerks; the rest of the temporalle
multitude to be in the bodye of the churche, seperate notwithstanding,
the men on the righte side, and the women on the left.



_Here beginneth the First Book of_ GULIELMUS


Importance and Difficulty of the Study of Symbolism--Necessity of its
Cultivation by Priests--Consideration of Unlearned Priests--Mystical
and Moral Meaning of the Law--Four-fold Sense of Scripture: the
Historical, the Allegoric, the Tropologic, the Anagogic--Different
Ceremonies used by Different Churches--Name of Rationale, whence
derived--Division of the Work.

1. All things, as many as pertain to offices and matters
ecclesiastical, be full of divine significations and mysteries, and
overflow with a celestial sweetness; if so be that a man be diligent
in his study of them, and know how to draw 'honey from the rock, and
oil from the hardest stone.'   [Footnote 79] But who 'knoweth the
ordinances of heaven, or can fix the reasons thereof upon the earth?'
[Footnote 80] For he that prieth into their majesty, is overwhelmed by
the glory of them. Of a truth 'the well is deep, and I have nothing to
draw with':   [Footnote 81] unless He giveth it unto me Who 'giveth to
all men liberally, and upbraideth not':  [Footnote 82] so that 'while
I journey through the mountains'  [Footnote 83] I may 'draw water with
joy out of the wells of salvation.'  [Footnote 84] {2} Wherefore,
albeit of the things handed down from our forefathers, capable we are
not to explain all, yet if among them there be anything which is done
without reason, it should forthwith be put away. 'Wherefore I,
William, by the alone tender mercy of God, Bishop of the Holy Church
which is in Mende,'  [Footnote 85] will knock diligently at the door,
if so be that 'the key of David'  [Footnote 86] will open unto me:
that the King may 'bring me in to His treasury,'   [Footnote 87] and
show unto me the heavenly pattern which was showed unto Moses in the
Mount: so that I may learn those things which pertain to rites
ecclesiastical, whereof they teach and what they signify: and that I
may be able plainly to reveal and make manifest the reasons of them,
by His help, 'Who hath ordained strength out of the mouth of babes and
sucklings':   [Footnote 88] 'Whose spirit bloweth where it listeth,'
[Footnote 89 ] dividing to 'each severally as it will'  [Footnote 90]
to the praise and glory of the Trinity.

  [Footnote 79: Deut. xxxii, 13.]

  [Footnote 80: Job xxxviii, 33]

  [Footnote 81: S. John iv, 11.]

  [Footnote 82: S. James i, 5.]

  [Footnote 83: Psalm ciii. Vulgate.]

  [Footnote 84: Isaiah xii, 3. ]

  [Footnote 85:  A city of France, and capital of the department of
  Lozére, situated on an eminence near the Lot: before the Revolution,
  the See of a Bishop. The number of inhabitants is about
  5000.'--Cruttwell's _Gazetteer_,  s.v.]

  [Footnote 86:  Apocalypse iii, 7.]

  [Footnote 87: Cant, ii, 4.]

  [Footnote 88: Psalm viii, 2. See also Wisdom x, 21.]

  [Footnote 89: S. John iii, 8. ]

  [Footnote 90: I Cor. xii, II.]

2. Sacraments we have received to be signs or figures, not in
themselves virtues, but the significations of virtues, by which men
are taught as by letters. Now of signs there be that are natural, and
there be that are positive: concerning which, and also of the nature
of a Sacrament, we shall speak hereafter.


3. Therefore the priests and the bishops to whom 'it is given to know
the mysteries of the kingdom of God,'   [Footnote 91] as He saith in
Luke, and who be the stewards and dispensers of sacred things, ought
both to understand the sacred mysteries, and to shine in the virtues
which they signify: so that by their light others may be illuminated:
otherwise 'they be blind leaders of the blind.'   [Footnote 92] As
saith the Prophet, 'Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not.'
[Footnote 93] But, woe therefore is me! in these days they apprehend
but little of those things which day by day they handle and perform,
what they signify, and wherefore they were instituted: so that the
saying of the Prophet seemeth to be fulfilled, 'As is the people, so
is the priest.'   [Footnote 94] For when they bear the bread of
Prothesis   [Footnote 95] to the Lord's Table and the Mysteries, they
understand not its signification more than brute beasts which carry
bread for the use of others. Of which ignorance they shall give
account in the day of vengeance and wrath. 'When the cedars of
Paradise shall tremble, what shall the bush of the desert do?'
[Footnote 96] For to them is that saying of the Prophet, 'They have
not known My ways: so I swear in my wrath, if they shall enter into My
rest.'   [Footnote 97]

  [Footnote 91: S. Luke viii, 10.]

  [Footnote 92: S. Matthew xv, 14.]

  [Footnote 93:  Psalm lxix, 23.]

  [Footnote 94: Isaiah xxiv, 2.]

  [Footnote 95: Here is a distinct reference to the Prothesis: the
  more valuable because in writers of the Middle Ages it does not hold
  so prominent a place as we might have expected: and the table of
  Prothesis appears not to have occupied a certainly defined situation
  in Catholic churches. There is also a reference to Lev. xxi, 8, and
  the showbread.]

  [Footnote 96: S. Luke xxii, 3.]

  [Footnote 97: Psalm xcv, 11.]

4. Now the professors of the arts liberal, and of all other arts, seek
how they may clothe, support, and adorn with causes and hidden reasons
those things which be nakedly and without ornament therein set forth;
painters moreover, and mechanics and handicraftsmen of what {4} sort
soever, study in every variety of their works to render and to have at
hand probable reasons thereof. So, also, unseemly is it to the
magistrate to be ignorant of this world's laws; and to the pleader to
know nothing of the law, wherein he is exercised.

5. But although learning be necessary unto priests for the sake of
doctrine: yet must not scholastics think slightingly of unlettered
priests; according to that saying in Exodus, 'Thou shalt not revile
the gods.'  [Footnote 98] Whence, saith S. Augustine, they shall not
deride if they hear the priests and ministers of the Church, either
invoking God with barbarisms and solecisms, or not understanding and
misdividing the words which they pronounce. Not but that such things
are to be corrected; but they must firstly be tolerated of the more
learned. But that which priests ought to learn, shall be said below.

  [Footnote 98: Exodus xxii, 28.]

6. Furthermore, the symbolism which existeth in things and offices
ecclesiastical, is often not seen, both because figures have departed,
and now it is the time of truth; and also because we ought not to
judaise. But, albeit those types of which the truth is made manifest
have departed, yet even to this time manifold truth is concealed,
which we see not; wherefore the Church useth figures. For so by white
vestments we understand the beauty in which our souls shall be
arrayed, or the glory of our immortality, which we cannot manifestly
behold: and in the Mass, by the oblation on the altar,  [Footnote 99]
the Passion of Christ is represented, that it be held in the memory
more faithfully and more firmly.

  [Footnote 99: The prayer of oblation is as follows--'Suscipe,
  Sancta Trinitas, hanc oblationem quam Tibi offerimus _ob memoriam
  Passionis_, resurrectionis et ascensionis Jesu Christi Domini
  nostri,' etc.]


7. Furthermore, of the things which be commanded in the law, some be
moral, and others mystical. They be moral which inform the morals, and
are to be understood in the simple tenour of the words: 'Love God:
honour thy father: thou shalt do no murder,' and such like. Mystical
be such as are typical: where something is set forth beyond the
literal meaning. Of these, some be sacramental, and some ceremonial.
Sacramental be such as may be accounted for, why thus they were
ordered: such as circumcision, and the observance of the Sabbath, and
the like. Ceremonial be they for which no reason can be given. Such
be, 'Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together:'  [Footnote
100] Thou shalt not wear a garment of linen and woollen mixed.'
[Footnote 101]

  [Footnote 100: Deut. xxii, 10.]

  [Footnote 101: Deut. xxii, 11.]

8. Now in things that are moral commands, the law hath received no
change: but in things sacramental and ceremonial its outward form is
altered: yet not one of the mystical significations is done away: for
the law is not done away. Though the 'priesthood being changed, there
is made of necessity a change likewise of the law.'  [Footnote 102]

  [Footnote 102: Hebrews vii, 12.]

9. Now, in Holy Scriptures there be divers senses: as historic,
allegoric, tropologic, and anagogic. Whence, according to Boethius,
all divine authority ariseth from a sense either historical or
allegorical or from both. And according to S. Hierom, we ought to
study Holy Scriptures in three ways:--firstly, according to the
letter; secondly, after the allegory, that is, the spiritual meaning;
thirdly, according to the blessedness of the future.


History is _things signified by words:_ as when a plain relation is
made how certain events took place: as when the children of Israel,
after their deliverance from Egypt, made a tabernacle to the Lord. And
history is derived from [Greek text], which is to gesticulate:
[Footnote 103] whence gesticulators (that is, players) are called

  [Footnote 103: Here is a notable instance of Durandus's
  misderivations, of which we have spoken in the Introduction.]

10. Allegory is when one thing is said and another meant: as when by
one deed another is intended: which other thing, if it be visible, the
whole is simply an allegory, if invisible and heavenly, an _anagoge_.
Also an allegory is when one state of things is described by another:
as when the patience of Christ, and the sacraments of the Church are
set forth by mystical words or deeds. As in that place: 'There shall
come forth a rod of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of
his roots:'   [Footnote 104] which is in plain language. The Virgin
Mary shall be born of the family of David, who was the son of Jesse.
[This is an example of mysticism in words.] Truth is also set forth by
mystic deeds: as the children of Israel's freedom from Egyptian
slavery, wrought by the blood of a lamb, signifieth that the Church is
freed by the Passion of Christ from demoniacal servitude.  [Footnote
105] The word allegory is derived from the Greek _allon_, which means
_foreign_, and _gore_, which is _sense_; that is, a _foreign sense_.

  [Footnote 104: Isaiah xi, 1.]

  [Footnote 105: See Appendix I.]


11. _Tropology_ is an injunction unto morality: or a moral speech,
either with a symbolical or an obvious bearing, devised to evince and
instruct our behaviour. _Symbolical_; as where he saith, 'Let thy
garments be always white: and let the oil of thy head never fail.'
[Footnote 106] That is, let all thy works be pure, and charity never
fail from thy mind. And again, It is fit that David should slay the
Goliath within us: that is, that humbleness may subdue our pride.
_Obvious_ as in that saying, 'Deal thy bread to the hungry.'
[Footnote 107] And in that text: 'Let us not love in word, neither in
tongue: but in deed and truth.'   [Footnote 108] Now tropology hath
his name from _tropos_, a turning, and _logos_, which is a discourse.

  [Footnote 106: Ecclesiastes ix, 8. ]

  [Footnote 107: Isaiah lviii, 7.]

  [Footnote 108: 1 S. John iii, 18.]

12. Anagoge is so called from _ana_, which is upwards, and _goge_, a
leading: as it were an upward leading. Whence the anagogic sense is
that which leadeth from the visible to the invisible: as light, made
the first day, signifieth a thing invisible, namely the angelic nature
which was made in the beginning. _Anagoge_, therefore, is that sense
which leadeth the mind upwards to heavenly things: that is to the
Trinity and the orders of angels, and speaketh concerning future
rewards, and the future life which is in the heaven: and it useth both
obvious and mystical expressions; obvious, as in that saying, 'Blessed
are the pure in heart: for they shall see God:'   [Footnote 109]
mystical, as that, 'Blessed are they that have made white their robes:
that they may have right unto the tree of life, and enter in through
the gate into the city.'   [Footnote 110] Which signifieth, Blessed
are they who make pure their thoughts, that they may have a right to
see 'God, who is the way, the truth, and the life:'   [Footnote 111]
and after the example of the fathers, enter into the kingdom of

  [Footnote 109: S. Matthew v, 8.]

  [Footnote 110: Apocalypse vii, 14.]

  [Footnote 111: S. John xiv, 6.]


In like manner, Jerusalem is understood historically of that earthly
city whither pilgrims journey; allegorically, of the Church Militant;
tropologically, of every faithful soul; anagogically, of the celestial
Jerusalem, which is our country.  [Footnote 112] Of these things, more
examples may be seen in the lessons for Holy Saturday.  [Footnote 113]
But in this work many senses are applied: and speedy changes are made
from one to another, as the diligent reader will perceive.

  [Footnote 112: How beautifully, observes a writer in the _British
  Critic_, do old ecclesiastical writers use _patria_ and _domus_ of
  our celestial country, and our everlasting home!]

  [Footnote 113: Reference is here apparently made to the fifth
  chapter of the book, of Lamentations, which appears as the 3rd
  lesson at Matins.]

13. For as none is prohibited from using divers grounds of exception
and manners of defence, so neither are they forbidden to employ divers
expositions in the praise of God, so that faith be not injured.

14. Notice must also be taken of the variety of rites used in the
divine worship. For nearly every Church hath her own observances, and
attacheth to them a full meaning of her own: neither is it thought
blameworthy or absurd to worship with various chants, or modulations
of the voice, nor yet with different observances: when the Church
Triumphant herself is surrounded,  [Footnote 114] according to the
Prophet, with the like diversity, and in the administration of the
sacraments themselves a variety of customs is tolerated, and that

  [Footnote 114: The author appears to refer here to the XLV Psalm,
  'Eructavit cor meum.']


15. Whence, according to Austin of ecclesiastical institutions in the
divine office, some we have received from Holy Scriptures: some from
the traditions or writings of the apostles, being confirmed by their
successors: some, moreover, of which, however, the institution is
unknown, are confirmed by custom and approved by use: and to them
equal observance is due as to the others.

16. Let not, then, the reader be angry if he perchance read in this
work of observances which he never saw in his own church: or does not
read of some that are there in use. For we endeavour not to go through
the particular rites of particular places, but those which be more
common and usual: because we labour to set forth that doctrine which
is of universal, and not that which is of particular bearing, nor
would it be possible for us to examine the particular rites of every
church. Therefore we have determined, for the health of our soul and
the benefit of the readers, to set forth and to arrange the secret
mysteries of divine offices in a clear state, to the best of our power
and to inculcate and thoroughly to explain that which appears
necessary for ecclesiastics, towards the understanding of the daily
service: even as it is well known that, when in a different condition
of life, we did faithfully in our _Mirror of Magistrates_ do the like
for the use of those who were employed in secular courts.


17. But it must diligently be noted that in the divine offices
themselves  [Footnote 115] many ceremonies there be of usual
employment which have, from their institution, respect neither to a
moral nor mystical signification. Of these, some are known to have
arisen of necessity: some of congruity: some of the difference of the
Old and New Testament; some of convenience; and some for the mere
honour and reverence of the offices themselves: whence saith blessed
Austin, so many things are varied by the different customs of divers
place, that seldom or never can those causes be discovered which men
followed in constituting them.

  [Footnote 115: This passage is worth noting, as showing that our
  Author does not proceed with the determination of making a meaning
  where he could not find one: but that he is willing to leave much,
  explained only in the principles of necessity, or convenience, or

18. This work is described as a Rationale. For as in the 'breastplate
of judgment'  [Footnote 116] which the Jewish high priest wore was
written manifestation and truth, so here the reasons of the variations
in divine offices and their truths are set forth and manifested: which
the prelates and priests of churches ought faithfully to preserve in
the shrine of their breasts: and as in the breastplate there was a
stone by the splendour of which the children of Israel knew that God
was well pleased with them: so also the pious reader who hath been
taught the mysteries of the divine offices from the clearness of this
work will know that God is favourably disposed towards us, unless we
rashly incur His indignation by our offence and fault. The breastplate
was woven of four colours and of gold: and here, as we said before,
the principles on which are founded the variations in ecclesiastical
offices, take the hues of four senses, the historic, the allegoric,
the tropologic, and the anagogic, with faith as the  [Footnote 117]

  [Footnote 116: Vulg. In Rationali Judicii. Exodus xxviii, 3.]

  [Footnote 117: Such appears the meaning of this beautiful
  comparison. The words are rather obscure, _quatuor sensibus fide
  media colorantur_.]


19. It is divided into eight parts: which we shall go through, by the
Lord's favour, in order. The first treateth of churches, and
ecclesiastical places and ornaments: and of consecrations and
sacraments. The second of the members of the Church, and their duties:
the third of sacerdotal and other vestments: the fourth of the Mass,
and of the things therein performed: the fifth of the other divine
offices: the sixth of the Sundays and holydays, and feasts specially
pertaining to our Lord: the seventh of Saints' days, and the feast of
the dedication of a church, and the office of the dead; the eighth of
the method of computing time, and the calendar.


_Tradatus Gulielmi Durandi de ecclesia et ecclesiasticis locis et
sacramentis et ornamentis et de consecrationibus incipit feliciter._



Two-fold Meaning of the Word--Different Synonyms for the Term--Form of
a Church--Of the Tabernacle--The Foundation, how to be laid--To Point
East, and Why--The Spiritual Church, how Built up--Of Cement--What
Arms the Spiritual Church Employeth--Of the Materials of the
Tabernacle--Of Shittim Wood--Analogy of a Church with the Human
Body--Of what the Spiritual Church consisteth--Of its Foundations--Of
the Walls--Of the Choir--Of Apses--Of the Cloister Court--Of the
Towers--Of the Cock--Of the Pinnacles--Of the Windows--Of the Lattice
Work--Of the Doors--Of the Piers--Of the Beams--Of the Roof--Of the
Stalls--Of the Pulpit--Of the Rood Loft--Of the Hours--Of the
Sanctuary--Of the Sacristy--Of the Roof Tiles--Of the Lights--Of the
Crosses--Of the Cloister--Of the Bishop's Throne--Why we go together
to Church--Of the Separation of the Women from the Men--Of the
Covering of Women's Heads--Of Speech in Church--Of Immunity for
Malefactors--Why Churches may be rebuilt in other Places.

1. First of all, let us consider a church  [Footnote 118] and its
parts. The word church hath two meanings: the one, a material
building, wherein the divine offices are celebrated: the other, a
spiritual fabric, which is the collection of the faithful. The Church,
_that_ is the people forming it, is assembled by its ministers, and
collected together into {13} one place by 'Him who maketh men to be of
one mind in an house.'  [Footnote 119]For as the material church is
constructed from the joining together of various stones, so is the
spiritual Church by that of various men.

  [Footnote 118: It has been found advisable to print the word church
  in the following pages with a great or a small initial letter,
  according as 'The Blessed Company of all Faithful People,' or the
  material building, were intended.]

  [Footnote 119: Psalm lxviii (_Exsurgat Deus_), 6.]

2. The Greek _ecclesia_ is in Latin translated by convocation because
it calleth men to itself: the which title doth better befit the
spiritual than the material church.

The material typifieth the spiritual Church: as shall be explained
when we treat of its consecration.  [Footnote 120] Again, the Church
is called Catholic, that is universal, because it hath been set up in,
or spread over, all the world, because the whole multitude of the
faithful ought to be in one congregation, or because in the Church is
laid up the doctrine necessary for the instruction of all.

  [Footnote 120: See below, chapter vi.]

3. It is also called in Greek _synagoga_, in Latin _congregatio_,
which was the name chosen by the Jews for their places of worship: for
to them the term synagogue more appropriately belongeth, though it be
also applied to a church. But the Apostles never call a church by this
title, perhaps for the sake of distinction.

4. The Church Militant is also called _Sion_: because, amidst its
wanderings, it expecteth the promise of a heavenly rest: for Sion
signifieth _expectation_. But the Church Triumphant, our future home,
the land of peace, is called Jerusalem: for Jerusalem signifieth _the
vision of peace_.  [Footnote 121]

  [Footnote 121: So the hymn in the Parisian Breviary, for the
  dedication of a church:
      Urbs beata, vera pacis
      Visio, Jerusalem.]

Also, the church is called the _House of God_: also, sometimes, [Greek
text], that is, the _Lord's House_. At others _basilica_ (in Latin, a
royal palace), for the abodes of earthly kings are thus termed: and
how much more fittingly our houses of prayer, the dwelling-places of
the King of Kings! Again, it is called _temple_, from _tectum amplum,_
{14} where sacrifices are offered to God: and sometimes the
_tabernacle of God_, because this present life is a journey, and a
progress to a lasting country: and a tabernacle is an hostelrie:
[Footnote 122] as will be explained when we speak of the dedication
[Footnote 123] of a church. And why it is called the _Ark of the
Testimony_, we shall say in the ensuing chapter, under the title
Altars. Sometimes it is called _Martyrium_, when raised in honour of
any martyr; sometimes _capella_  [Footnote 124] (chapel), (see under
the head Priest in the second part); sometimes _coenobium_, at others
_sacrificium_; sometimes _sacellum_; sometimes _the house of prayer_:
sometimes _monastery_: sometimes _oratory_. Generally, however, any
place set apart for prayers is called an oratory. Again, the church is
called the _Body of Christ_ sometimes a _virgin_, as the Apostle
saith, 'that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ':
[Footnote 125] sometimes a _bride_, because Christ hath betrothed her
to Himself, as saith the Gospel: 'he that hath the bride is the
bridegroom':   [Footnote 126] sometimes a _mother_, for daily in
baptism she beareth sons to God: sometimes a _daughter_, according to
that saying of the Prophet, 'Instead of thy fathers thou shalt have
children':   [Footnote 127] sometimes a _widow_, because 'she sitteth
solitary through her afflictions, and, like Rachel, will not be
comforted.' Sometimes she is set forth under the emblem of an
_harlot_, because she is called out of many nations, and because she
closeth not her bosom against any that return to her.

  [Footnote 122: Compare Cicero de Senect. xxiii. Et ex vita ita
  discedo tanquam ex hospitio, non tanquam ex domo: commorandi enim
  Natura diversorium nobis, non habitandi dedit.]

  [Footnote 123: Chapter vi, sect. 5, ad fin.]

  [Footnote 124: Durandus, II. 10. 8. 'In many places, priests be
  called chaplains. For of old the Kings of France, when they went
  forth to war, carried with them the Cope of Blessed Martin, which
  was kept in a certain tent (where Mass was said), and from the cope
  (cappa) the tent was called chapel (capella).'

  We may observe that chapel was used in former times with much
  greater latitude than now. An additional aisle or chantry was so
  called. So in Haddenham, Cambridgeshire, on a brass in the north
  aisle, _Orate pro Aniniabus fundatorum hujus Capellae_: that is, the
  aisle itself.]

  [Footnote 125: 2 Cor. xi, 2.]

  [Footnote 126: S. John iii, 29.]

  [Footnote 127: Psalm xlv (_Eructavit cor meum_), 16.]


Sometimes she is called a city, because of the communion of her holy
citizens, being defended by the munitions of the Scriptures, whereby
heretics are kept off: having stones and beams of divers kinds,
because the merits of the saints are of divers kinds also, as shall be
said below. Whatever the Jewish Church received by the law, that doth
the Christian Church receive, and with large increase by grace, from
Christ whose bride she is. The setting up of an oratory, or church, is
not new. For the Lord commanded Moses in Mount Sinai, that he should
make a tabernacle of curiously wrought materials. This was divided by
a veil into two parts: the outer, called the holy place, where the
people attended the sacrifices: the inner, the holy of holies, where
the priests and Levites ministered before the Lord (see the Preface to
the Fourth Book and also Appendix A).

5. This tabernacle having decayed through age, the Lord commanded that
a temple should be built, which Solomon accomplished with wonderful
skill: this also had two parts, like the tabernacle. From both of
these, namely, from the tabernacle and the temple, doth our material
church take its form. In its outer portion, the laity offer their
prayers, and hear the Word. In the sanctuary, the clergy pray, preach,
offer praises and prayers.

6. The tabernacle, built as it was amidst the journeyings of the
Israelites, is sometimes taken as a type of the world which 'passeth
away, and the lust thereof'   [Footnote 128] Whence it was formed with
curtains of four colours, as the world is composed of four elements.
'God,' said the Prophet, 'is in His tabernacle':   [Footnote 129] God
is in this world, as in a temple dyed scarlet by the blood of Christ.

  [Footnote 128: S. John ii, 17.]

  [Footnote 129: Psalm xi (_In Domino confido_), 4.]


The tabernacle is, however, more especially symbolical of the Church
Militant, which hath 'here no continuing city, but seeketh one to
come.'   [Footnote 130] Therefore is it called a tabernacle, for
tabernacles or tents belong to soldiers: and this saying, God is in
his tabernacle, meaneth, God is among the faithful collected together
in His name. The outer part of the tabernacle, where the people
sacrificed, is the active life, wherein men give themselves up to the
love of their neighbour: the interior, wherein the Levites ministered,
is the contemplative life, where a band of religious men devote
themselves to the love and contemplation of God. The tabernacle gave
place to the temple: because after the warfare cometh the triumph.

  [Footnote 130: Hebrews xiii, 14.]

7. Now a church is to be built on this fashion: The foundation being
prepared, according to that saying, 'It fell not, for it was founded
upon a rock,'  [Footnote 131] the bishop, or a priest  [Footnote 132]
as the bishop's deputy, must sprinkle it with holy water, to banish
the foul forms of evil spirits, and lay the first stone, whereon a
cross must be engraved.  [Footnote 133]

  [Footnote 131: S. Matthew vii, 25. In general illustration of the
  foregoing sections the reader is referred to the first chapter of
  the eighth book of Bingham's 'Antiquities.']

  [Footnote 132: In the account of the dedication of S. Michael the
  Archangel, in the Isle of Guernsey, preserved in the 'Black Book of
  the Bishop of Coutances,' it appears that the ceremony was performed
  by a priest though it is believed that such has seldom been the case
  in the Anglican Church. But see chapter vi, section 2. ]

  [Footnote 133: A cross was not only inscribed on the foundation
  stone, but a cross was placed where the church was to be: and this
  in the Eastern Church; where the _Stauropegia_ was a ceremony of
  much importance.]

8. The foundation must be so contrived, as that the head of the church
may point due east (see Appendix B); that is, to that point of the
heavens, wherein the sun ariseth at the equinoxes; to signify, that
the Church Militant must   [Footnote 134] behave herself with
moderation, both in prosperity and adversity: and not towards that
point where the sun ariseth at the solstices, which is the practice of

  [Footnote 134:  This passage is valuable as proving that in the
  country of our Bishop nothing was known of a practice undoubtedly
  prevalent in England; the direction of a church to that part of the
  sky in which the sun arose on the Feast of the Patron Saint.]


But if the walls of Jerusalem, 'which is built as a city that is at
unity with itself,'   [Footnote 135] were, by the Prophet's command,
raised by the Jews, with how much greater zeal should we raise the
walls of our churches! For the material church, wherein the people
assemble to set forth God's holy praise, symboliseth that Holy Church
which is built in heaven of living stones.

  [Footnote 135: Psalm cxxii (_Laetatus sum_), 3. ]

9. This is that House of the Lord, built with all strength, 'upon the
foundations of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being
the chief cornerstone.  [Footnote 136] Her   [Footnote 137]
foundations are in the holy mountains.' The walls built upon these are
the Jews and Gentiles; who come from the four parts of the world unto
Christ, and who have believed, believe, or shall believe on Him.

  [Footnote 136: Eph. ii, 20.]

  [Footnote 137: Psalm lxxxvii (_Fundamenta ejus_), I. ]

The faithful predestinated to eternal life, are the stones in the
structure of this wall which shall continually be built up unto the
world's end. And one stone is added to another, when masters in the
Church teach and confirm and strengthen those who are put under them:
and whosoever in Holy Church undertaketh painful labours from
brotherly love, he as it were beareth up the weight of stones which
have been placed above him. Those stones which are of larger size, and
polished, or squared, and placed on the outside and at the angles of
the building, are men of holier life than others, who by their merits
and prayers retain weaker brethren in Holy Church.

10. The cement, without which there can be no stability of the walls,
is made of lime, sand, and water. The lime is fervent charity, which
joineth to itself the sand, that is, undertakings for the temporal
welfare of our brethren: {18} because true charity taketh care of the
widow and the aged, and the infant, and the infirm: and they who have
it study to work with their hands, that they may possess wherewith to
benefit them. Now the lime and the sand are bound together in the wall
by an admixture of water. But water is an emblem of the Spirit. And as
without cement the stones cannot cohere, so neither can men be built
up in the heavenly Jerusalem without charity, which the Holy Ghost
worketh in them. All the stones are polished and squared--that is,
holy and pure, and are built by the hands of the Great Workman into an
abiding place in the Church: whereof some are borne, and bear nothing,
as the weaker members: some are both borne and bear, as those of
moderate strength: and some bear, and are borne of none save Christ,
the corner-stone, as they that are perfect. All are bound together by
one spirit of charity, as though fastened with cement; and those
living stones are knit together in the bond of peace. Christ was our
wall in His conversation: and our outer wall in His Passion.

11. When the Jews were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, their
enemies strove hard to let the works: so that 'they built with one
hand, and held their weapons of war in the other.' And round us too do
enemies gather, while we are building the walls of our Church: our own
sins, or ungodly men, willing to hinder our success. Whence, while we
build our walls, that is, while we add virtue to virtue, we must fight
with the enemy, and grasp our weapons firmly: we must 'take the helmet
of salvation, the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness:
and for our sword the word of God,'  [Footnote 138] that we may defend
ourselves against them: and God's priest shall be unto us in Christ's
stead, to teach us by his lessons, and defend us by his prayers.

  [Footnote 138: Eph. vi, 16, 17.]


12. Furthermore, of what the tabernacle was made the Lord hath told
us, saying unto Moses, 'Take the first fruits,'--that is, the most
precious gifts--'of the children of Israel: but from him alone who
willingly offereth gold, and silver, and brass, and precious stones,
and purple and linen twice dyed'; namely cloth of the colours of blue,
purple, and scarlet: and of biss, which is a kind of Egyptian linen
white and soft: 'and goat's hair, and rams' skins dyed red,' which we
call Parthian, because the Parthians first dyed them thus, 'and purple
skins and shittim wood' (shittim is the name of a mountain, and also
of a tree: its leaves are like the white thorn, and to be injured
neither by fire nor by decay): 'and oil for the lights, frankincense,
and ointment of a sweet savour, onyx stones, and sard-onyxes, and
jewels: and let them make Me a house, that I may dwell in the midst of
them: and that they may not weary themselves in returning to this
mountain.'   [Footnote 139]

  [Footnote 139: Exodus xxv, 2.]

14. The arrangement of a material church resembleth that of the human
body: the chancel, or place where the altar is, representeth the head:
the transepts, the hands and arms, and the remainder--towards the
west--the rest of the body. The sacrifice of the altar denoteth the
vows of the heart. Furthermore, according to Richard de Sancto
Victore, the arrangement of a church typifieth the three states in the
Church: of virgins, of the continent, of the married. {20} The
sanctuary  [Footnote 140] is smaller than the chancel, and this than
the nave: because the virgins are fewer in number  [Footnote 141] than
the continent, and these than the married. And the sanctuary is more
holy than the chancel: and the chancel than the nave: because the
order of virgins is more worthy than that of the continent, and the
continent more worthy than the married.

  [Footnote 140: The sanctuary of course means that eastermost
  division in churches consisting of three parts, which still remains
  in many Norman buildings, and of which Kilpeck, in Herefordshire,
  may be taken as a type. These churches are generally apsidal: but
  there are instances to the contrary, as Bishopstone, in Sussex. A
  view of the sanctum sanctorum and chancel arches in this church is
  given in the Cambridge Camden Society's 'Illustrations of Monumental
  Brasses,' part iv.]

  [Footnote 141: This passage is somewhat obscure; but the difference
  between the virgins and the continent appears to be this: by the
  former are meant those who have taken vows of celibacy; by the
  latter, those who practise it, without, however, having bound
  themselves to it by vow.]

15. Furthermore, the church consisteth of four walls, that is, is
built on the doctrine of the Four Evangelists; and hath length,
breadth, and height: the height representeth courage, the length
fortitude, which patiently endureth till it attaineth its heavenly
home; the breadth is charity, which, with long suffering, loveth its
friends in God, and its foes for God; and again, its height is the
hope of future retribution, which despiseth prosperity and adversity,
hoping 'to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.'
[Footnote 142]

  [Footnote 142: Psalm xxvii (_Dominus illuminatio_), 13.]

16. Again, in the temple of God, the foundation is faith, which is
conversant with unseen things: the roof, charity, 'which covereth a
multitude of sins.'   [Footnote 143] The door, obedience, of which the
Lord saith, 'If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.'
[Footnote 144] The pavement, humility, of which the Psalmist saith,
'My soul cleaveth to the pavement.'   [Footnote 145]

  [Footnote 143:  I S. Peter iv, 8.]

  [Footnote 144:  S. Matthew xix, 17.]

  [Footnote 145: Psalm cxix (_Adhaesit pavimento_), 25.]

17. The four side-walls, the four cardinal virtues, justice,
fortitude, temperance, prudence. Hence the Apocalypse saith, 'The city
lieth four-square.'  [Footnote 146] The windows are hospitality with
cheerfulness, and tenderness with charity.

  [Footnote 146: Rev. xxi, 16.]


Concerning this house saith the Lord, 'We will come unto him, and make
our abode with him.'   [Footnote 147] But some churches are built in
the shape of a cross, to signify, that we are crucified to the world,
and should tread in the steps of the Crucified, according to that
saying, 'If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take
up his cross, and follow Me.'   [Footnote 148] Some also are built in
the form of a circle:   [Footnote 149] to signify that the Church hath
been extended throughout the circle of the world, as saith the
Psalmist: 'And their words unto the end of the world.'   [Footnote
150] Or because from the circle of this world, we reach forth to that
crown of eternity which shall encircle our brows.

  [Footnote 147: S. John xiv, 23.]

  [Footnote 148: S. Matthew xvi, 18.]

  [Footnote 149: This of course refers to the Church of the Holy
  Sepulchre, the prototype of these buildings. There are four, as it
  is well known, in England yet standing, and two in ruins--namely,
  Temple Aslackby, in Lincolnshire, and the church in Ludlow Castle.]

  [Footnote 150: Psalm xix (_Caeli enarrant_), 4.]

18. The choir is so called from the harmony of the clergy in their
chanting, or from the multitude collected at the divine offices. The
word _chorus_ is derived from _chorea_, or from _corona_. For in early
times they stood like a crown round the altar, and thus sung the
Psalms in one body: but Flavianus and Theodorus taught the antiphonal
method of chanting, having received it from S. Ignatius, who himself
learnt it by inspiration. The two choirs then typify the angels, and
the spirits of just men, while they cheerfully and mutually excite
each other in this holy exercise. Others derive _chorus_ from
_concord_, which consisteth of charity; because he who hath not
charity, cannot sing with the spirit. But what this choir signifieth,
and why the greatest in it sit last, shall be explained in the fourth
book.  [Footnote 151] And observe, that when one sings, it is called
in Greek a _monody_, in Latin _tycinium_. When two sing, it is called
_bicinium_; when many, a _chorus_.

  [Footnote 151: We may observe that Prynne perverts the fact, that
  the westernmost seats in the choir are the most honourable, to a
  depreciation of the Catholic custom of the position of the altar.
  See his 'Pacific Examination,' s.v.]


19. The exedra is an apsis, separated a little from a temple or
palace; so called because it projecteth a little from the wall (in
Greek [Greek text]), and signifieth the lay portion of the faithful
joined to Christ and the Church. The crypts, or subterranean caves,
which we find in some churches, are hermits who are devoted to a
solitary life.

20. The open court signifieth Christ, by Whom an entrance is
administered into the heavenly Jerusalem: this is also called porch,
from _porta_, a gate, or because it is _aperta_, open.

21. The towers are the preachers and prelates of the Church, which are
her bulwark and defence. Whence the bridegroom in the Canticles saith
to the bride, 'Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an
armoury.'   [Footnote 152] The pinnacles of the towers signify the
life or the mind of a prelate which aspireth heavenwards.

  [Footnote 152: Canticles iv, 4.]

22. The cock at the summit of the church is a type of preachers. For
the cock, ever watchful even in the depth of night, giveth notice how
the hours pass, wakeneth the sleepers, predicteth the approach of day,
but first exciteth himself to crow by striking his sides with his
wings. There is a mystery conveyed in each of these particulars. The
night is this world: the sleepers are the children of this world who
are asleep in their sins. The cock is the preacher, who preacheth
boldly, and exciteth the sleepers to cast away the works of darkness,
exclaiming, 'Woe to them that sleep! Awake thou that sleepest!
[Footnote 153] And these foretell the approach of day when they speak
of the Day of Judgment, and the glory that shall be revealed: and like
prudent {23} messengers, before they teach others, arouse themselves
from the sleep of sin by mortifying their bodies. Whence the Apostle,
'I keep under my body.'   [Footnote 154] And as the weathercock faceth
the wind, they turn themselves boldly to meet the rebellious by
threats and arguments: lest they should be guilty, 'when the wolf
cometh, of leaving the sheep and fleeing.'   [Footnote 155] The iron
rod, whereon the cock sitteth, representeth the discourse of the
preacher, that he speaketh not of man but of God: according to that
saying, 'If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.'
[Footnote 156] But in that the iron rod is placed above the cross, on
the summit of the church, it signifieth that Holy Scripture is now
consummated and confirmed. Whence saith our Lord in His Passion, 'It
is finished': and that title is written indelibly over Him.

  [Footnote 153: Eph. v, 14.]

  [Footnote 154: 1 Cor. ix, 27.]

  [Footnote 155:  S. John x, 12.]

  [Footnote 156:  I S. Peter iv, 11.]

23. The cone, that is the summit of the church, of great height, and
of round shape, signifieth how perfectly and inviolably the Catholic
faith must be held: which faith except a man do keep whole and
undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

24. The glass windows in a church are Holy Scriptures, which expel the
wind and the rain, that is all things hurtful, but transmit the light
of the true Sun, that is, God, into the hearts of the faithful. These
are wider   [Footnote 157] within than without, because the mystical
sense is the more ample, and precedeth the literal meaning. Also, by
the windows the senses of the body are signified: which ought to be
shut to the vanities of this world, and open to receive with all
freedom spiritual gifts.

  [Footnote 157: This passage is particularly to be observed, for the
  reason given in the Introduction.]

25. By the lattice work  [Footnote 158] of the windows, we understand
the prophets or other obscure teachers of the Church Militant: in
which windows there are often two shafts, signifying the two precepts
of charity, or because the apostles were sent out to preach two and

  [Footnote 158: See Appendix I.]


26. The door of the church is Christ: according to that saying in the
Gospel, 'I am the door.'   [Footnote 159] The apostles are also called

  [Footnote 159: S. John x, 9.]

27. The piers of the church are bishops and doctors: who specially
sustain the Church of God by their doctrine. These, from the majesty
and clearness of their divine message, are called silver, according to
that in the Song of Songs, 'He made silver columns.'   [Footnote 160]
Whence also Moses at the entering in of the tabernacle, placed five
columns, and four before the oracle, that is, the holy of holies.
Although the piers are more in number than seven, yet they are called
seven, according to that saying, 'Wisdom hath builded her house, she
hath hewn out her seven pillars':   [Footnote 161] because bishops
ought to be filled with the sevenfold influences of the Holy Ghost:
[Footnote 162] and SS. James and John, as the Apostle testifieth,
'seemed to be pillars.'   [Footnote 163] The bases of the columns are
the apostolic bishops,  [Footnote 164] who support the frame of the
whole church. The capitals of the piers are the opinions of the
bishops and doctors. For as the members are directed and moved by the
head, so are our words and works governed by their mind. The ornaments
of the capitals are the words of Sacred Scripture, to the meditation
and observance of which we are bound.

 [Footnote 160: Canticles viii, 9.]

  [Footnote 161: Prov. viii, I.]

  [Footnote 162: Compare the _Veni Creator_:
      Thou the anointing Spirit art,
      Who dost Thy sevenfold gifts impart.]

  [Footnote 163: Gal ii, 9.]

  [Footnote 164: That is, it may be supposed, bishops of those sees
  which were founded by the apostles themselves, e.g. Rome, Crete,

28. The pavement of the church is the foundation of our faith. But in
the spiritual Church, the pavement is the poor, of Christ: the poor in
spirit, who humble themselves in all thing: wherefore on account of
their {25} humility they are likened to the pavement. Again, the
pavement, which is trodden under foot, representeth the multitude, by
whose labours the Church is sustained.

29. The beams  [Footnote 165] which join together the church are the
princes of this world or the preachers who defend the unity of the
Church, the one by deed, the other by argument.

  [Footnote 165: _Beams_. That is, probably, tie-beams: here is
  another reference to the architectural arrangements of Early English

30. The stalls in the church signify the contemplative, in whom God
dwelleth without hindrance, who, from their high dignity and the glory
of eternal life, are compared to gold. Whence He saith in the
Canticles, 'He made a golden seat.'   [Footnote 166]

  [Footnote 166: See Appendix I.]

31. The beams in the church are preachers, who spiritually sustain it.
The vaulting also, or ceiling, representeth preachers, who adorn and
strengthen it, concerning whom, seeing that they are not corruptible
through vice, the bridegroom glorieth in the same Canticles, saying
'the beams of our house are cedar, and its ceiling, fir.' For God hath
built His Church of living stones, and imperishable wood, according to
that saying, 'Solomon made himself a litter of cedar wood;' [Footnote
167] that is, Christ, of His saints who wear the white robe of

  [Footnote 167: It is very difficult to find the right meaning of the
  word ferculum here. The English version gives the passage from the
  Canticles, 'King Solomon made himself a _chariot_ (marg. reading,
  _bed_) of the wood of Lebanon. In the extremely beautiful treatise
  of Hugo de S. Victore, _De Nuptiis Spiritualibus_(cap. iii), the
  _fercula nuptialia_ appear to mean the _marriage feast_, which is to
  perform its part in the general _Sensuum refectio_, by its sweet
  savours; as the bed or chariot of Solomon is noted for the odour of
  its cedar wood. However, the same writer devotes five Tituli of his
  _Erudit. Theolog. Ex Miscellan._ namely, lix--lxii of the first
  book, and cxxi of the second, to the consideration of this Ferculum
  Solomonis: which he decides to be a _lectica sen vehiculum_, a
  litter or sedan (such as is now used in Sicily under the name of
  _lettiga_), differing from the _lectulus_ or _bed_ (Cant, i, 16),
  inasmuch as this denotes the repose of the contemplative life, while
  the ferculum typifies the laborious exercise of the active life; and
  differing again from the _currus_ or chariot (the only other vehicle
  mentioned in Holy Scripture), since the latter is drawn on the earth
  with a grating noise, and represents a depraved heart clinging to
  earthly things, but the former is borne smoothly and quietly above
  the ground, an image of the righteous soul despising earthly and
  seeking heavenly things. Lastly, the _ferculum_, or litter, typifies
  the Church, from carrying, _a ferendo_, as doth the Church her
  children unto Heavenly Rest.]


The chancel, that is, the head of the church, being lower  [Footnote
168] than its body, signifieth how great humility there should be in
the clergy, or in prelates, according to that saying, 'And the more
thou art exalted, humble thyself in all things.' The rail, by which
the altar   [Footnote 169] is divided from the choir, teacheth the
separation of things celestial from things terrestrial.

  [Footnote 168: The fact that in many unaltered and unmutilated
  churches the chancel is lower than the nave, appears to have been
  unnoticed by ecclesiologists. Wherever it occurs, William Dowsing,
  or some of his puritanical coadjutors, have been supposed agents in
  the matter. But there exist chancels, which, whether from the height
  of the piscina and sedilia, or on other accounts, cannot have been
  lowered, to which nevertheless there is a descent from the nave.
  Such an one is that of S. Giles's at Cambridge: and the arrangement
  is very common in the little churches of the south-west part of

  [Footnote 169: This is another very remarkable passage: and one
  which proves that the injunction of Abp. Laud for the erection of
  altar rails was not a novelty. And though their abolition is much to
  be wished, as well from the ugliness of all existing specimens, as
  from the irreverence which they seem to pre-suppose, the Church in
  England can scarcely be charged with the adoption of an innovation
  in giving her sanction to them.]

32. The seats in the choir admonish us that the body must sometimes be
refreshed: because that which hath not alternate rest wanteth

33. The pulpit in the church is the life of the perfect: and is so
called from being public, or placed in a public place. For we read,
'Solomon made a brazen scaffold, and set it in the midst of the
temple, and stood upon it, and stretching forth his hands spake to the
people of God.' Esdras also made a wooden scaffold for speaking: in
which when he stood, he was higher than the rest of the people.
[Footnote 170]

  [Footnote 170: 3 Kings vi, 13.]

34. The analogium (rood-loft) is so called because in it the Word of
God is read and delivered. Which also is called ambo, from _ambire_,
[Footnote 171] to surround, because it surroundeth him that entereth

  [Footnote 171: This is, of course, a false derivation. The important
  subject of Rood-lofts has been treated with admirable learning by
  Father Thiers, in his treatise 'Sur les jubés,' to which the reader
  is referred. See also Appendix C.]


35. The horologium, by means of which the hours are read, teacheth the
diligence that should be in priests to observe at the proper times the
canonical hours: as he saith, 'Seven times a day do I praise thee.'
[Footnote 172]

  [Footnote 172: Psalm (cxix), _Beati immaculati_, 164.]

36. The tiles   [Footnote 173] of the roof which keep off the rain are
the soldiers, who preserve the Church from paynim, and from enemies.

  [Footnote 173: This passage deserves to be noticed, as proving that
  lead was not the only roofing employed in the Norman churches.]

37. The circular staircases, which are imitated from Solomon's temple,
are passages which wind among the walls, and point out the hidden
knowledge which they only have who ascend to celestial things.
Concerning the steps, by which ascent is made to the altar, hereafter.

38. The sacristy, or place where the holy vessels are deposited, or
where the priest putteth on his robes, is the womb of the Blessed
Mary, where Christ put on his robes of humanity. The priest, having
robed himself, cometh forth into the public view, because Christ,
having come from the womb of the Virgin, proceeded forth into the

The bishop's throne in the church is higher than the rest.

39. Near to the altar, which signifieth Christ, is placed the piscina,
or lavacrum, that is, the pity of Christ, in which the priest washeth
his hands, thereby denoting that by baptism and penitence we are
purged from the filth of sin: which is drawn from the Old Testament.
For he saith in Exodus, 'And Moses made a laver of brass, with his
basin, in the which Aaron the priest and his sons should wash, before
they went up to the altar, that they might offer an offering.
[Footnote 174]

  [Footnote 174: Exodus xxxviii, 8.]


40. The lamp in the church is Christ: as He saith, 'I am the light of
the world';  [Footnote 175] and again, 'That was the true light.'
[Footnote 176] 'Or the light in a church may denote the apostles and
other doctors, by whose doctrine the Church is enlightened, as the sun
and moon: concerning whom saith the Lord, 'Ye are the light of the
world:   [Footnote 177] that is, an example of good works. Wherefore
He saith to them in His admonitions, 'Let your light shine before
men.'   [Footnote 178] But the Church is enlightened by the precepts
of the Lord; wherefore it saith in the before-quoted place, 'Speak
unto the sons of Aaron that they offer oil-olive most pure, that the
lamp may burn continually in the tabernacle of the testimony.'
[Footnote 179] Moses made also seven lights, which are the seven gifts
of the Holy Ghost: for they in the darkness of this world shine forth
with brightness: and they rest in candlesticks, because in Christ
rested 'the spirit of wisdom and knowledge, the spirit of counsel and
might, the spirit of learning and piety, the spirit of the fear of the
Lord, by which He preached wisdom to the captives.'   [Footnote 180]
The number of lights showeth the number of graces in the faithful.

  [Footnote 175: S. John viii, 12.]

  [Footnote 176: S. John i, 6.]

  [Footnote 177: S. Matthew v, 14.]

  [Footnote 178: S. Matthew v, 16.]

  [Footnote 179: Lev. xxiv, 2.]

  [Footnote 180: Isaiah lxi, i.]

41. In many places a triumphal cross is placed in the midst of the
church; to teach us, that from the midst of our hearts we must love
the Redeemer: who, after Solomon's pattern, 'paved the midst of his
litter (_ferculum_) with love for the daughters of Jerusalem:'
[Footnote 181] and that all, seeing the sign of victory, might
exclaim. Hail, thou Salvation of the whole world, Tree of our
Redemption: and that we should never forget the love of God, who, to
redeem His servants, gave His only son, that we might imitate Him
crucified. But the cross is exalted on high, to signify the victory of
Christ. Why a church is ornamented within and not without, shall be
said hereafter.

  [Footnote 181: Cantic. iii, 10.]


42. The cloisters, as Richard, Bishop of Cremona, testifieth, had
their rise either in the watchings of the Levites around the
tabernacle, or from the chambers of the priests, or from the porch of
Solomon's temple. 'For the Lord commanded Moses, that he should not
number the Levites with the rest of the children of Israel; but should
set them over the tabernacle of the testimony to carry it and to keep
it.'   [Footnote 182] On account of which divine commandment, while
the Holy Mysteries are in celebration, the clergy should in the church
stand apart from the laity. Whence the Council of Mayence ordained
that the part which is separated with rails from the altar should be
appropriated altogether to the priests choral. Furthermore, as the
church signifieth the Church Triumphant, so the cloister signifieth
the celestial Paradise, where there will be one and the same heart in
fulfilling the commands of God and loving Him: where all things will
be possessed in common, because that of which one hath less, he will
rejoice to see more abounding in another, for 'God shall be all in
all.'   [Footnote 183] Therefore the regular clergy who live in the
cloisters, and are of one mind, rising to the service of God and
leaving worldly things, lead their lives in common. The various
offices in the cloister signify the different mansions, and the
difference of rewards in the Kingdom: for 'In My Father's House are
many mansions,'   [Footnote 184] saith our Lord. But in a moral sense
the cloister is the contemplative state, into which the soul betaking
itself, is separated from the crowd of carnal thoughts, and meditateth
on celestial things only. In this cloister there are four sides:
denoting, namely, contempt of self, contempt of the world, love of
God, love of our neighbour. Each side hath his own row of Columns.
Contempt of self hath humiliation of soul, mortification of the flesh,
humility of speech, and the like. The base of all the columns is

  [Footnote 182: Numbers i, 47; xviii, 6.]

  [Footnote 183: I Corinth, xv, 28.]

  [Footnote 184: S. John xv, 2.]


43. In this cloister the diversity of office-chambers is the diversity
of virtues. The chapter-house is the secret of the heart: concerning
this, however, we shall speak differently hereafter. The refectory is
the love of holy meditation. The cellar, Holy Scripture. The
dormitory, a clean conscience. The oratory, a spotless life. The
garden of trees and herbs, the collection of virtues. The well, the
dew of God's heavenly gifts; which in this world mitigateth our
thirst, and hereafter will quench it.

44. The Episcopal throne, which according to the injunctions of Saint
Peter has been of old consecrated in each city (as shall be said
below), the piety of our forefathers dedicated, not in memory of
confessors, but to the honour of apostles and martyrs, and especially
of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

45. But we therefore go to church, that we may there ask for the
pardon of our sins, and assist in the divine praises: as shall be said
in the proeme of the fifth book, and that there we may hear God's
proceedings   [Footnote 185] with the good and the ill, and learn and
receive the knowledge of God, and that we may there feed on the Lord's

  [Footnote 185: Such is probably the meaning of the passage. The
  original is _ut iti bona sive mala judicia audiamus_.]

46. In church, men and women sit apart: which, according to Bede, we
have received from the custom of the ancients: and thence it was that
Joseph and Mary lost the Child Jesus; since the one who did not behold
Him in his own company, thought Him to be with the other. . . . But
the men remain on the southern, the {31} women on the northern side:
[Footnote 186] to signify that the saints who be most advanced in
holiness should stand against the greater temptations of this world:
and they who be less advanced, against the less; or that the bolder
and the stronger sex should take their place in the position fittest
for action: because the Apostle saith, 'God is faithful, Who will not
suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.'   [Footnote 187] To
this also pertaineth the vision of S. John, who 'beheld a mighty angel
placing his right foot in the sea.'   [Footnote 188] For the stronger
members are opposed to the greater dangers. But, according to others,
the men are to be in the fore part [_i.e._ eastward], the women
behind: because 'the husband is the head of the wife,'   [Footnote
189] and therefore should go before her.

  [Footnote 186: This is the practice in some parts of England even to
  this day: more especially in Somersetshire. Bp. Montague in his
  'Visitation Articles' (reprinted Camb. 1841) asks (p. 17), 'Do men
  and women sit together in those seats indifferently and
  promiscuously? or (as the fashion was of old), do men sit together
  upon one side of the church, and women upon the other?' And, indeed,
  of old there was a still further separation on each side, into the
  married and unmarried. The restoration of the practice recommended
  by Bp. Montague is much to be wished.]

  [Footnote 187:  1 Corinth, x, 13.]

  [Footnote 188: Apocalypse x, 7.]

  [Footnote 189: Eph. v, 23.]

47. A woman must cover her head in the church, because she is not the
image of God, and because by woman sin began. And therefore in the
church, out of respect for the priest, who is the vicar of Christ, in
his presence, as before a judge, she hath her head covered, and not at
liberty: and on account of the same reverence she hath not the power
of speaking in the church before him. Of old time, men and women
wearing long hair stood in church with uncovered heads glorying in
their locks: which was a disgrace unto them.

48. But what should be our conversation in church the Apostle
teacheth, saying, 'Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and
spiritual songs.'  [Footnote 190] Whence we must, when we be there,
abstain from superfluous words: {32} according to that saying of S.
Chrysostome, When thou goest into a king's palace, set in order thy
conversation and thy habit. For the angels of the Lord are there: and
the House of God is full of incorporeal virtues.  [Footnote 191] And
the Lord saith to Moses, and so doth the angel to Joshua, 'Put off thy
shoes from off thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy
ground.'   [Footnote 192]

  [Footnote 190: Coloss. iii, 16.]

  [Footnote 191: The passage referred to is as follows:--' Regiam
  quidem ingrediens, et habitu et aspectu et incessu et omnibus aliis
  te ornas et componis: Hic autem vera est Regia et plane hic talia
  qualia caelestia:--et rides? Atque scio quidem quod tu non vides.
  Audi autem quod ubique adsunt angeli, et maxima in Domo Dei
  adsistunt Regis, et omnia sunt impleta incorporeis illus

  [Footnote 192: Exod. iii, 5.  Josh, v, 15.]

49. In the last place, a consecrated church defendeth murderers who
take sanctuary in it from losing life or limb, provided that they have
not offended in it, or against it. Whence it is written that 'Joab
fled to the tabernacle, and laid hold on the horns of the altar.'
[Footnote 193] The same privilege is possessed also by an
unconsecrated church, if the divine offices be therein celebrated.

  [Footnote 193: 2 Kings i, 28.]

50. But the body of Christ received by such persons, doth not defend
them nor those who fly to it: partly because the privilege is granted
to a church as a church: and therefore not to be misbestowed on other
things: partly because that food is the support of the soul, and not
of the body: whence it freeth the soul and not the body.

51. Churches are moved from one place to another on three accounts.
First, on account of the necessity arising from persecutors: secondly,
on account of the difficulty of access or habitation, such as the
unwholesomeness of air: thirdly, when they are oppressed with the
society of evil men: and then with the consent of the Pope or the
bishop. Wherefore he that entereth into a church fortifieth himself
with the sign of the cross, shall be said in the proeme of the fifth
book.'  [Footnote 194]

  [Footnote 194:  See Appendix.]




The First Builders of Altars--The Difference between Altare and
Ara--Various Significations of Various Kinds of Altars--The Ark of the
Testimony--It is preserved in the Lateran Church--What a Man needeth
that he may be the Temple of God--What the Table Signifieth--Of the
Candlestick--Of the Ark--Of the Altar--Of the Altar Cloths--Of Steps
to the Altar.

I. The altar hath a place in the church on three accounts, as shall be
said in speaking of its dedication. We are to know that Noe
[Footnote 195] first, then Isaac  [Footnote 196] and Abraham [Footnote
197] and Jacob made, as we read, altars: which is only to be
understood of stones set upright, on which they offered and slew the
victims and burnt them with fire laid beneath them. Also Moses made an
altar  [Footnote 198] of shittim wood: and the same was made as an
altar of incense, and covered with pure gold: as we read in the xxvth
chapter of Exodus, where also the form of the altar is described. From
these of the ancient fathers, the altars of the moderns have their
origin, being erected with four horns at the corners. Of which some
are of one stone, and some are put together of many.

  [Footnote 195: Gen. viii, 20.]

  [Footnote 196: Gen. xxvi, 25. xxxiii, 20.]

  [Footnote 197: Gen. xiii, 18.]

  [Footnote 198: Exodus xxvii, i.]

2. And sometimes the words altare and ara are used in the same sense.
Yet is there a difference. For _altare_, derived from _alta res_, or
_alta ara_, is that on which {34} the priests burnt incense. But
_ara_, which is derived from _area_, or from _ardeo_, is that on which
sacrifices were burnt.  [Footnote 199]

  [Footnote 199: The true ecclesiastical distinction between _altare_
  and _ara_ is that the former means the altar of the true God, and is
  therefore alone used in the Vulgate, answering to the Greek [Greek
  text], as opposed to ara ([Greek text]), an altar with an image
  above it. See _Mede_. Folio 386. ]

3. And note, that many kinds of altars are found in Scripture: as a
higher, a lower, an inner, an outer; of which each hath both a plain
and a symbolical signification. The higher altar is God the Trinity:
of which it is written, 'Thou shalt not go up by steps to my altar.'
[Footnote 200] And it also signifieth the Church Triumphant: of which
it is said, 'Then shall they offer bullocks upon mine altar.'
[Footnote 201] But the lower altar is the Church Militant, of which it
is said, 'If thou wilt make an altar of stone, thou shalt not make it
of hewn stone.'   [Footnote 202] Also it is the table of the temple.
Of which he saith, 'Appoint a solemn day for your assembly even unto
the horns of the altar.'   [Footnote 203] And in the Third of Kings,
it is said that Solomon made a golden altar.  [Footnote 204 ] But the
interior altar is a clean heart, as shall be said below. It is also a
type of faith in the incarnation, of which in Exodus, 'An altar of
earth ye shall make Me.'  [Footnote 205] And an interior altar is the
altar of the cross. This is the altar on which they offered the
evening sacrifice. Whence in the Canon of the Mass it is said, _Jube
hoc in sublime Altare Tuum perferri_.  [Footnote 206] Moreover the
external altar representeth the sacraments of the Church: of which it
is said, 'Even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.'
[Footnote 207] Again, the altar is our mortification in our heart, in
which carnal motions are consumed by the fervour of the Holy Spirit.

  [Footnote 200: Exodus XX, 26.]

  [Footnote 201: Psalm li (_Miserere mei_), 19.]

  [Footnote 202: Exodus XX, 25.]

  [Footnote 203: Psalm cxviii (_Confitemini_), 27.]

  [Footnote 204: III Kings vi. 22.]

  [Footnote 205: Exodus xx 26.]

  [Footnote 206: This prayer, which immediately precedes the
  Commemoration of the Dead, runs thus: Supplices Te rogamus,
  omnipotens Deus, jube hoc perferri per manus Sancti Angeli Tui, in
  conspectu Divinae Majestatis Tuae: ut quotquot ex hac Altaris
  participatione sacrosanctum Filii Tui Corpus et Sanguinem
  sumpserimus, omni benedictione caelesti et gratia repleamur. Per.]

  [Footnote 207: Psalm lxxxiv (_Quam dilecta_), 4.]


4. Secondly, it also signifieth the Spiritual Church: and its four
horns teach how she hath been extended into the four quarters of the
world. Thirdly, it signifieth Christ, without whom no gift is offered
acceptable to the Father. Whence also the Church addresseth her
prayers to the Father through Christ alone. Fourthly, it signifieth
the body of Christ, as shall be explained in the fifth book. Fifthly,
it signifieth the table at which Christ did feast with His disciples.

5. It is written in Exodus, that in the Ark of the Testament or of the
Testimony the witness was laid up:  [Footnote 208] that is, the tables
on which the law was written: and it is said that the _Testimony_ was
there laid up, because it was a bearing witness that the law imprinted
on our hearts by nature God had reimprinted by writing. Also, there
was laid up the golden pot full of manna, for a testimony that He had
given the children of Israel bread from heaven. And the rod of Aaron,
for a testimony that all power is from God. And the second tables of
the law, in testimony of the covenant in which they had said, 'All
that the Lord hath spoken we will do.'   [Footnote 209] And on these
accounts it is called the Ark of the Testimony or Testament; and also
the tabernacle of the testimony thence deriveth its title. But over
the ark was made a mercy seat: of which we shall speak in the proeme
of the fourth book. In imitation whereof some churches have over the
altar an ark or tabernacle, in which the body of the Lord and relics
are preserved. The Lord also commanded that a candlestick should be
made of beaten pure gold. It is written in the third book of Kings,
that in the Ark of the Covenant was nothing else than the two tables
of stone which Moses put therein in Horeb: when the Lord made a
covenant with the children of Israel in the day that they came out of
the land of Egypt.

  [Footnote 208: Exodus xxv, 16.]

  [Footnote 209: Exodus xix, 8.]


6. And note that in the time of S. Silvester, Pope,  [Footnote 210]
Constantine the Emperor built the Lateran church, in which he placed
the Ark of the Testament, which the Emperor Titus had brought from
Jerusalem, and the golden candlestick with his seven branches. In
which ark are these things: the rings and the staves of gold: the
tables of the testimony: the rod of Aaron: manna: barley loaves: the
golden pot: the seamless garment: the reed: a garment of S. John
Baptist, and the scissors with which the hair of S. John the
Evangelist was shorn.

  [Footnote 210: It is very remarkable that no notice whatever is
  taken of these relics by Ciampini in his very minute description of
  the Lateran Basilica: although in his account both of this, and of
  all the other Basilican churches built by Constantine, he copies
  _verbatim_ the list of the donations of the Emperor which is given
  in the life of Pope S. Sylvester, compiled by an unknown librarian
  of the Vatican. It is clear that either Durandus was misinformed, or
  that the present passage is corrupt. Again, it is not likely that
  the vest of S. John Baptist, or the scissors of S. John Evangelist
  would have been kept in the ark besides its proper contents. Yet
  Durandus had obviously some facts to go upon, since the Lateran
  Church, having been originally dedicated to the Saviour, was now
  under the Invocation of the two SS. John; and the sufferings of both
  these saints were depicted in a very ancient mosaic, those of the
  Evangelist having over them the following inscription, which we give
  as describing a Confession of this _Martyr in will_, now little

  Martyrii calicem bibit hic Athleta Johannes
      Principium Verbi cernere qui meruit.
  Verberat hunc fuste Proconsul, _forfice tondet_,
      Quem fervens oleum laedere non valuit.
  Conditus hic oleum, dolium, cruor, atque capilli,
      Quae consecrantur libera Roma tibi.

  To return, we may be satisfied that these Jewish memorials did not
  exist, since Ciampini, while composing his account, consulted the
  former writers upon the Lateran Basilica; viz. the poet Prudentius,
  an unedited MS. of Panvinius, Severanus De Septem Urbis Ecclesiis,
  and the work of Caesar Cardinal Rasponus.]

7. Man, if he hath an altar, a table, a candlestick, and an ark, he is
the temple of God. He must have an altar, whereon rightly to offer and
rightly to distribute. The altar is our heart, on which we ought to
offer. {37} Whence the Lord commandeth in Exodus: 'Thou shalt offer
burnt offerings on mine altar.'  [Footnote 211] Since from the heart
words, set on fire of charity, ought to proceed. _Holocaust_ is
derived from _holos, whole_, and _cauma, a burning:_ therein
signifying a thing wholly burnt. On this altar we must rightly offer,
and we must rightly divide. We offer rightly when we bring any good
thought to perfection. But we do not rightly divide if we do it not
discreetly. For a man often thinketh to do good, and doeth ill: and
sometimes with one hand he doeth good and with the other ill; and thus
himself buildeth, and himself knocketh down. But we then rightly
divide when the good which we do we attribute, not to ourselves, but
to God alone.

  [Footnote 211: Exodus ix, 2.]

8. It behoveth also man to have a table, whence he may take the bread
of the Word of God. By the table we understand Holy Scripture,
concerning which the Psalm, 'Thou preparest a table before me in the
presence of mine enemies.'  [Footnote 212] That is, Thou hast given me
Scripture against the temptations of the devil. This table then we
must have, that is, must lay up in our minds, that thence we may take
the Word of God. Of the deficiency of this bread saith Jeremiah: 'The
little ones sought bread, and there was none to break it unto them.
[Footnote 213] It behoveth man likewise to have a candlestick, that he
may shine with good works.

  [Footnote 212:  Psalm xxiii (_Dominus regit me_), 5.]

  [Footnote 213: Jeremiah xvi, 7.]

9. A candlestick that giveth light without is a good work, which by
its good example inflameth others. Of which it is said, 'No man
lighteth a candle and putteth it under a bushel, but in a
candlestick.'   [Footnote 214] This candle, according to the Word of
the Lord, is a good intention: of which He saith Himself: 'Thine eye
is a light.'   [Footnote 215] But the eye is the intention. {38}
Therefore we ought not to put the candle under a bushel, but in a
candlestick. Because, if we have a good intention, we ought not to
hide it: but to manifest our good deeds to others, for a light and an

  [Footnote 214: S. Matthew v, 15.]

  [Footnote 215: S. Matthew vi, 22.]

10. Man must also have an ark. Now _area_ is derived from _arcendo_:
discipline, therefore, and regular life may be called the ark; by
which crimes are driven away (_arcentur_) from us. Now in the ark were
the rod, the tables, and the manna: because in the regular life there
must be the rod of correction, that the flesh may be chastised; and
the table of love, that God may be loved. For in the tables of the law
were written the commands which pertain to the love of God. Therein
must also be the manna of divine sweetness: that we may 'taste and see
how gracious the Lord is: for it is good to have to do with Him.'
[Footnote 216] According to that proverb of the prudent woman, 'She
tasted and saw that it was good.'  [Footnote 217] Therefore, that we
may be the temple of God, let us have in ourselves an altar of
oblation, lest we appear empty in His presence, according to that
saying, 'Thou shalt not appear empty before the presence of thy God':
[Footnote 218] let us have a table for refection lest we faint,
through hunger, in the way: as saith the Evangelist, 'If I send them
away empty, they will faint in the way,'   [Footnote 219] a
candlestick by good works that we be not idle, as he saith in
Ecclesiasticus, 'Idleness hath taught much mischief,'  [Footnote 220]
let us have an ark, that we be not as sons of Belial, that is,
undisciplined, and without the yoke: for discipline is necessary, as
the Psalmist teacheth, saying, 'Be instructed, lest He be angry.'
[Footnote 221] Concerning which, and other ornaments, we shall speak
in the following chapter.

  [Footnote 216: Psalm xxxiv (_Benedicam Dominum_), 8.]

  [Footnote 217: Prov. xxxi, 18. Marg. reading.]

  [Footnote 218:  Exodus xxiii, 15.]

  [Footnote 219: S. Mark viii, 3.]

  [Footnote 220:  Ecclesiasticus xxii, 2.]

  [Footnote 221: Psalm ii (_Quare fremuerunt_), 12.]


11. He buildeth this altar who adorneth his heart with true humility
and other virtues. Whence Gregory: He who gathereth together virtues
without humility, is as he who scattereth dust to the wind. For by the
altar he understandeth our heart, as it shall be said when we treat of
the dedication of the altar: it is in the middle of the body, as the
altar is in the middle of the church.  [Footnote 222]

  [Footnote 222: Lev. vi, 9.]

12. Concerning which altar the Lord commandeth in Leviticus: 'The fire
shall always be burning upon Mine altar.'   [Footnote 223] The fire is
charity. The altar is a clean heart. The fire shall always burn on the
altar, because charity should always burn in our hearts. Whence
Solomon in the Canticles: 'Many waters cannot extinguish charity,'
[Footnote 224] for that which ever burneth cannot be extinguished. Do
thou, therefore, as the prophet commandeth, keep holy day and a solemn
assembly, even to the horns of the altar: because the rest of thy
thoughts will keep holy day. Concerning this the Apostle showeth 'unto
us a more excellent way.'   [Footnote 225] He calleth charity a more
excellent way, because she is above all virtues: and whoever
possesseth her possesseth all virtues. This is the short word that the
Lord speaketh over the earth: which is so short that it only saith,
'Have charity, and do whatsoever thou wilt. For from these two
commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'   [Footnote 226]

  [Footnote 223: Canticles viii, 7.]

  [Footnote 224: I Corinth xii, 31.]

  [Footnote 225: S. Matthew xxii, 40.]

  [Footnote 226: See Appendix I.]

13. Or by the altar we understand the soul of every man, which is by
the Lord built up of various living stones, which are various and
different virtues.

14. Furthermore, the white cloths wherewith the altar is covered
signify the flesh of the Saviour, that is, His humanity: because it
was made white with many toils, as also the flesh of Christ born of
earth, that is, of Mary, {40} which attained through many tribulations
to the glory of the Resurrection, and the purity and joy of
immortality. [Concerning which the Son exulteth, saying to the Father,
'Thou hast girded me with gladness, and exalted Me on every side.'
[Footnote 227] When, therefore, the altar is covered, it signifieth
the joining of the soul to an immortal and incorruptible body.]
[Footnote 228]  Again, the altar is covered with white and clean
cloths, because the pure heart is adorned with good works. Whence the
Apocalypse: 'And put on white garments, that the shame of thy
nakedness do not appear.'  [Footnote 229] And Solomon: 'Let thy
garments be always white,'   [Footnote 230] that is, let thy works be
clean. [But it little profiteth him that approacheth to the altar to
have high dignity, and a life sunk low in sins. Whence Benedict: It is
a monstrous thing, exalted faith, and abandoned life. The highest step
and the lowest state, is mighty authority joined with instability of
soul.  [Footnote 231]] The silken coverings placed over the altar are
the ornaments of divers virtues wherewith the soul is adorned. The
hanging wherewith the altar is beautified setteth forth the saints, as
below shall be said. [The beginning and the end of the Mass take place
at the right side of the altar: the middle portion at the left: as
shall be said when we treat of the changes of the priest. The ancients
made their altars concave; as it is written in Ezekiel, that in the
altar of God was a trench. And this, according to Gregory, lest the
wind should scatter the sacrifices laid upon it. Also he saith in
Ezekiel that the inner part of the altar was bent downwards in all its
circumference.  [Footnote 232]

  [Footnote 227: Psalm lxxi (_Juste, Domine_), 21. ]

  [Footnote 228:  This passage does not appear in the edition of
  Durandus published at Venice, in 1609.]

  [Footnote 229: Apocalypse iii, 18.]

  [Footnote 230: Ecclesiastes ix, 8.]

  [Footnote 231: This passage also is not found in the Venetian edition.]

  [Footnote 232: This passage also is not found in the Venetian edition.]


15. But the steps to the altar [spiritually set forth the apostles and
martyrs of Christ, who for His love poured out their blood. The bride
in the Canticles of Love calleth it a purple ascent. Also, the fifteen
virtues are set forth by them: which were also typified by the fifteen
steps by which they went up to the temple of Solomon:]   [Footnote
233] and by the prophet in fifteen Psalms of degrees, therein setting
forth that he is blest who maketh ascents in his heart. This was the
ladder that Jacob beheld: 'And his top reached to the heavens.' By
these steps the ascent of virtues is sufficiently made manifest, by
which we go up to the altar, that is, to Christ: according to that
saying of the Psalmist, 'They go from virtue to virtue.'   [Footnote
234] And Job, 'I will seek him through all my steps.' Yet it is said
in Exodus, 'Neither shalt thou go up by steps to my altar, that thy
nakedness be not discovered thereon.'  [Footnote 235] For perhaps the
ancients did not as yet use trousers. In the Council of Toledo, it is
decreed that the priest, who for the sake of grief at the misfortune
of another, strippeth the altar or any image of its garments, [or
girdeth himself with a mourning vest, or with thorns,  [Footnote 236]]
or extinguisheth the lights of the church, shall be deposed. But if
his church be undeservedly spoiled, he is allowed to do this for
grief: or, according to some, he may on the day of the Passion of our
Lord make bare the altars as a sign of grief. Which is, however,
reprobated by the Council of Lyons. Lastly, altars which have been
built at the instigation of dreams, or the empty revelations of men,
are altogether reprobated.

  [Footnote 233: This passage also is not found in the Venetian

  [Footnote 234: Psalm lxxxiv (_Quam dilecta_), 7]

  [Footnote 235: Exodus xx, 26.]

  [Footnote 236: This passage also is not found in the Venetian edition.]




Use of Pictures and Curtains--Objections against the Use, answered--
Place of Pictures--The Saviour, how Represented--The Angels--The
Evangelists--The Apostles--The Patriarchs--S. John Baptist--
Martyrs--Confessors--Institution of Pictures--Of Crowns--Of
Paradise--Of the General Ornament of Churches--Of Pyxes--Of
Relicaries--Of Candlesticks--Of Cups--Of the Cross--Of Altar Cloths
and Veils--The Treasures of the Church, when Displayed, and why--Of
Ostrich Eggs--Of Vessels for the Holy Mysteries--Of Chalices--General
Observations on the Respect due to Church Ornaments.

1. Pictures and ornaments in churches are the lessons and the
Scriptures of the laity. Whence Gregory: It is one thing to adore a
picture, and another by means of a picture historically to learn what
should be adored. For what writing supplieth to him which can read,
that doth a picture supply to him which is unlearned, and can only
look. Because they who are uninstructed thus see what they ought to
follow: and _things_ are read, though letters be unknown. True is it
that the Chaldeans, which worship fire, compel others to do the same,
and burn other idols. But Paynim adore images, as icons, and idols;
which Saracens do not, who neither will possess nor look on images,
grounding themselves on that saying, 'Thou shalt not make to thyself
any graven image, nor the likeness of anything that is in heaven
above, nor in the earth beneath, nor in the waters {43} under the
earth,'  [Footnote 237] and on other the like authorities: these they
follow incontinently, casting the same in our teeth. But we worship
not images, nor account them to be gods, nor put any hope of salvation
in them: for that were idolatry. Yet we adore them for the memory and
remembrance of things done long agone.  [Footnote 238 ] Whence the
verse,  [Footnote 239]

  What time thou passest by the rood, bow humbly evermore;
  Yet not the rood, but Him which there was crucified, adore.

And again:  [Footnote 240]

  That thing, which hath his being given, 'tis fond for God to own:
  A form material, carved out by cunning hands, in stone.

And again:  [Footnote 241]

  The form is neither God nor man, which here thou dost behold:
  He very God and Man, of whom thou by that form art told.

  [Footnote 237: Exodus xx, 4.]

  [Footnote 238: _Veneramur_.--We here use the word _adore_ in the
  sense given to it by the great and good Bishop Montague, in his
  'Just Treatise of Invocation': where he says, speaking of the
  Saints, 'I do admire, reverence, _adore_ them in their kind.']

  [Footnote 239:
    Effigiem Christi, quum transis, pronus honora:
    Non tamen effigiem, sed quem designat, adora.]

  [Footnote 240:
    Esse Deum, ratione caret, cui consulit esse:
    Materiale lapis, effigale manus.]

  [Footnote 241:
    Nec Deus est, nec homo, quam praesens cernis imago;
    Sed Deus est et Homo, quem sacra figurat imago.

 The later editions add--
   Nam Deus est, quod imago docet, sed non Deus ipse;
  Hunc videas, sed mente colas, quod noscis in ipsa.]

2. The Greeks, moreover, employ painted representations, painting, it
is said, only from the navel upwards, that all occasion of vain
thoughts may be removed. But they make no carved image, as it is
written, 'Thou shalt not make a graven image.'   [Footnote 242] And
again: 'Thou shalt not make an idol, nor a graven image.'   [Footnote
243] And again, 'Lest ye be deceived, and make a graven image.'
[Footnote 244] And again: 'Ye shall not make unto you gods of silver:
[Footnote 245] {44} neither shall ye make with Me gods of gold.' So
also the Prophet, 'Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man's
hand. They that make them are like unto them: and so are all they that
put their trust in them.'   [Footnote 246] And again: 'Confounded be
all they that worship graven images: and that put their glory in their
idols.'   [Footnote 247]

  [Footnote 242: Deut. v, 8.]

  [Footnote 243:  Lev. xxvi. 1.]

  [Footnote 244: Deut. iv, 16.]

  [Footnote 245: Exodus xx, 20.]

  [Footnote 246: Psalm cxv, 4.]

  [Footnote 247: Psalm xcvii, 7.]

3. Also, Moses saith to the children of Israel, 'Lest perchance thou
shouldest be deceived, and shouldest worship that which the Lord thy
God hath created.'   [Footnote 248] Hence also was it that Hezekiah
King of Judah brake in pieces the brazen serpent which Moses set up:
because the people, contrary to the precepts of the law, burnt incense
to it.

  [Footnote 248: Deut. iv, 19.]

4. From these forementioned and other authorities, the excessive use
of images is forbidden. The Apostle saith also to the Corinthians, 'We
know that an idol is nothing in the world: and there is no god but
One.'   [Footnote 249] For they who are simple and infirm may easily
by an excessive and indiscreet use of images, be perverted to
idolatry. Whence he saith in Wisdom, 'There shall be no respect of the
idols of the nations, which have made the creatures of God hateful,
and temptations for the souls of men, and snares for the feet of the
unwise.'   [Footnote 250]  [Footnote 251] But blame there is none in a
moderate use of pictures, to teach how ill is to be avoided, and good

  [Footnote 249: I Corinth, viii, 4.]

  [Footnote 250: Wisdom xiv, 11.]

  [Footnote 251: A more solemn protest against the sin of idolatry can
  hardly be found than the above passage: and they who brand every
  return to, and every wish for the restoration of, Catholic
  practices, by so hateful a name, would do well to bear it in mind.]


Whence saith the Lord to Ezekiel, 'Go in, and behold the abominations
which these men do. And he went in, and saw the likeness of reptiles
and beasts, and the abominations, and all the idols of the house of
Israel portrayed on the wall.'  [Footnote 252] Whence saith Pope
Gregory in his Pastorale, When the forms of external objects are drawn
into the heart, they are as it were painted there, because the
thoughts of them are their images. Again, He saith to the same
Ezekiel, 'Take a tile, and lay it before thee, and describe in it the
city Jerusalem.'   [Footnote 253] But that which is said above, that
pictures are the letters of the laity explaineth that saying in the
Gospel, 'He saith. They have Moses and the prophets: let them hear
them.'   [Footnote 254] Of this, more hereafter. The Agathensian
[Footnote 255] Council forbids pictures in churches: and also that
that which is worshipped and adored should be painted on the walls.
But Gregory saith, that pictures are not to be put away because they
are not to be worshipped: for paintings appear to move the mind more
than descriptions; for deeds are placed before the eyes in paintings,
and so appear to be actually carrying on. But in description, the deed
is done as it were by hearsay: which affecteth the mind less when
recalled to memory. Hence, also, is it that in churches we pay less
reverence to books than to images and pictures.

  [Footnote 252: Ezekiel viii, 10.]

  [Footnote 253: Ezekiel iv, 1.]

  [Footnote 254: S. Luke xvi, 29.]

  [Footnote 255: A.D. 605]

5. Of pictures and images some are above the church, as the cock and
the eagle: some without the church, namely, in the air in front of the
church, as the ox and the cow: others within, as images, and statues,
and various kinds of painting and sculpture: and these be represented
either in garments, or on walls, or in stained glass. Concerning some
of which we have spoken in treating of the church: and how they are
taken from the tabernacle of Moses and the temple of Solomon. For
Moses made carved work, and Solomon made carved work, and pictures,
and adorned the walls with paintings and frescoes.


6. The image of the Saviour is more commonly represented in churches
three ways: as sitting on  [Footnote 256] His throne, or hanging on
His cross, or lying on the bosom of His Mother.

  [Footnote 256: Durandus had doubtless in his mind the ancient mosaic
  over the apsides of the earliest churches in Rome. The extremely
  beautiful one in San Clemente represents our Lord as crucified. The
  frescoes with which the walls of our own churches were anciently
  adorned, seem usually to have represented the Saviour as seated on
  the Throne of His Majesty. In the chancel of Widford, Herts, is, or
  was till lately, a fresco of the Saviour seated on a rainbow, a
  sword proceeding from His mouth, His feet and His hands pierced. In
  Alfriston, Sussex, there was, we believe, before it was whitewashed
  over by Bishop Buckner's order, a painting of a similar kind. There
  is a singular, and, we believe, undescribed painting over the altar
  in Llandanwg church, Merion. The Saviour is seated in judgment, as
  before: at His side is His Blessed Mother in a kneeling posture:
  around Him are angels blowing trumpets, and S. Peter in
  eucharistical vestments. There is a representation of the souls
  under the altar. Below are devils torturing souls in cauldrons of
  brimstone. The evangelistic symbols are also represented.

  In a fresco at Beverstone, Gloucestershire, our Saviour is
  represented on the Cross, with blood flowing from His side into a
  chalice. (See App. I.) There are remains also of a crucifixion in
  fresco, in the exquisite, but desecrated chapel of Prior Crauden, in
  the Deanery, Ely. On the Iconostasis of the Greco-Russian Church,
  all the three positions are to be found.

  In stained glass, the Crucifixion generally supplies the place of
  any other representation of the Saviour. Brasses occasionally, as a
  very curious one in Cobham, Surrey, represent His nativity or
  epiphany: but most commonly the Crucifixion, or a Trinity.

  There can be no doubt, that many of the most graphic pictures in our
  old poets owed their origin to the then undestroyed fresco paintings
  of churches. Some painting, like that above described, of hell, very
  probably suggested the noble lines of Spenser (i. ix. 50. 6):

    He showed him painted in a table plaine.
    The damned ghosts that doe in torments waile.
    And thousand feends that doe them endless paine
    With fire and brimstone, which for ever shall remaine.

  Who can estimate the effect of such pictorial representations on the
  minds of our ancestors? or the good which might be the result, if
  our churches were again frescoed with similar subjects, wrought with
  the genius and Catholic feeling of an Overbeck or Cornelius?]
  [End footnote]

And because John Baptist pointed to Him, saying, 'Behold the Lamb of
God,'  [Footnote 257] therefore some represented Christ under the form
of a lamb.

  [Footnote 257: S. John i, 29.]


But because the light passeth away, and because Christ is very man,
therefore, saith Adrian, Pope, He must be represented in the form of a
man. A holy lamb must not be depicted on the cross, as a principal
object: but there is no let when Christ hath been represented as a
man, to paint a lamb in a lower or less prominent part of the picture:
since He is the true Lamb which 'taketh away the sins of the world.'
In these and divers other manners is the image of the Saviour painted,
on account of diversity of significations.

7. Represented in the cradle, the artist commemorateth His nativity:
on the bosom of His Mother, His childhood: the painting or carving His
cross signifieth His Passion (and sometimes the sun and moon are
represented on the cross itself, as suffering an eclipse): when
depicted on a flight of steps, His ascension is signified: when on a
state or lofty throne, we be taught His present power: as if He said,
'All things are given to Me in heaven and in earth:'   [Footnote 258]
according to that saying, 'I saw the Lord sitting upon His throne:'
[Footnote 259] that is, reigning over the angels: as the text, 'Which
sitteth upon the cherubim.'   [Footnote 260] Sometimes He is
represented as He was seen of Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, on the
mountain: when 'under His feet was as it were a paved work of sapphire
stones, and as the body of heaven in His clearness:'  [Footnote 261]
and as 'they shall see,' as saith S. Luke, 'the Son of Man coming in
the clouds with power and great glory.   [Footnote 262] Wherefore
sometimes He is represented surrounded by the seven angels that serve
Him, and stand by His throne, each being portrayed with six wings,
according to the vision of Isaiah, 'And by it stood the seraphim: each
one had six wings: with twain he covered his face, and with twain he
covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.'   [Footnote 263]

  [Footnote 258: S. Matt, xxviii, 18.]

  [Footnote 259: Isaiah vi, 1.]

  [Footnote 260: Psalm lxxx, 1.]

  [Footnote 261: Exodus xxiv, 10.]

  [Footnote 262: S. Matthew xxiv, 30.]

  [Footnote 263: Isaiah vi, 2.]


8. The angels are also represented as in the flower of youthful age:
for they never grow old.  [Footnote 264] Sometimes S. Michael is
represented trampling the dragon, according to that of John, 'There
was war in heaven: Michael fought with the dragon.' Which was to
represent the dissensions of the angels: the confirmation of them that
were good, and the ruin of them that were bad: or the persecution of
the faithful in the Church Militant. Sometimes the twenty-four elders
are painted around the Saviour, according to the vision of the said
John, with 'white garments, and they have on their heads crowns of
gold.'  [Footnote 265]By which are signified the doctors of the Old
and New Testament; which are twelve, on account of faith in the Holy
Trinity preached through the _four_ quarters of the world: or
twenty-four, on account of good works, and the keeping of the gospels.
[Footnote 266] If the seven lamps be added, the gifts of the Holy
Spirit are represented: if the sea of glass, baptism.  [Footnote 267]

  [Footnote 264: Many of our readers will call to mind the peculiar
  expression always given to the countenances of angels in Catholic
  illuminations or paintings, a conventional propriety uniformly
  neglected by modern artists. The same character was beautifully
  given in the relieved figures of angels upon the shrine of S. Henry
  lately exhibiting in London.]

  [Footnote 265: Apocalypse xii, 7.]

  [Footnote 266:  Apocalypse iv, 4.]

  [Footnote 267: This very obscure passage is an instance of the
  symbolism in the combination of numbers. It seems to mean that faith
  in the Holy Trinity preached through the four quarters of the world,
  may be represented by three multiplied into four or twelve: and
  again, this symbolical fact multiplied by general good works and
  keeping of the Gospels, may be set forth in twenty-four. It is to be
  remarked that the princeps edition alone gives _Evangeliorum_: the
  later have _Evangelistarum_, which with _observantia_ is scarcely
  intelligible. Compare S. August, Expos. in Psalm lxxxvi. Non solum
  ergo illi duodecim (sc. Apostoli) et Apostolus Paulus, sed quotquot
  judicaturi sunt, propter significationem universitatis ad sedes
  duodenas pertinent . . . partes enim mundi quatuor sunt, Oriens,
  Occidens, Aquilo, et Meridies. Istae quatuor partes assidue
  inveniuntur in Scripturis. Ab istis quatuor ventus, sicut dixit
  Dominus in Evangelio vocatur Ecclesia. Quomodo vocatur? Undique in
  Trinitate vocatur. Quatuor ergo ter ducta duodecim inveniuntur. See
  also S. Isidore, Alleg. in S. S. folio 353, C. D.]

9. Sometimes also representation is made of the four living creatures
spoken of in the visions of Ezekiel and the aforesaid John: the face
of a man and the face of a {49} lion on the right,--the face of an ox
on the left, and the face of an eagle above the four. These be the
Four Evangelists. Whence they be painted with books by their feet,
because by their words and writings they have instructed the minds of
the faithful, and accomplished their own works. Matthew hath the
figure of a man, Mark of a lion. These be painted on the right hand:
because the nativity and the resurrection of Christ were the general
joy of all: whence in the Psalms: 'And gladness at the morning.'
[Footnote 268] But Luke is the ox: because he beginneth from Zachary
the priest, and treateth more specially of the Passion and Sacrifice
of Christ: now the ox is an animal fitted for sacrifice. He is also
compared to the ox, because of the two horns,--as containing the two
testaments; and the four hoofs, as having the sentences of the four
Evangelists.  [Footnote 269]By this also Christ is figured, who was
the sacrifice for us: and therefore the ox is painted on the left
side, because the death of Christ was the trouble of the apostles.
Concerning this, and how blessed Mark  [Footnote 270] is depicted, in
the seventh part. But John hath the figure of the eagle: because,
soaring to the utmost height, he saith, 'In the beginning was the
word.'  [Footnote 271]

  [Footnote 268: Psalm xxx (_Exaltabo Te_), 5. These symbols, however,
  were not at first definitely settled, and as we are informed by S.
  Austin, the lion was sometimes given to S. Matthew and the angel and
  or man, to S. Mark. The reasons of the appropriation of the various
  symbols are beautifully expressed in a hymn quoted in the Camden's
  Society's 'Illustrations of Monumental Brasses,' Part I, p. 30.]

  [Footnote 269: This passage is very obscure. Durandus's words are,
  _quasi quatuor evangelistorum sententias_. We cannot but think that
  the two sentences have been misplaced. The sense is then plain.
  Christ is also signified by the ox--as containing in Himself the Law
  and the Gospel--and accomplishing that which is written of Him by
  the four Evangelists, e.g. His promises of the descent of the Holy
  Ghost, of being always with His Church, etc. S. Peter Chrysologus,
  Sermo v. de Christo, Hic est _Vitulus_, qui in Epulam nostram
  quotidie, et jugiter immolatur.]

  [Footnote 270: S. Mark is painted with a contracted brow, a large
  nose, fair eyes, bald, a long beard, fair complexion, of middle age,
  with a few grey hairs. Durand. vii, 44, 4.]

  [Footnote 271: S. John i, 1.]


This also representeth Christ, 'Whose youth is renewed like the
eagle's':   [Footnote 272] because, rising from the dead, He ascendeth
into heaven. Here, however, it is not portrayed as by the side, but as
above, since it denoteth the ascension, and the word pronounced of
God. But how, since each of the living creatures hath four faces and
four wings, they can be depicted, shall be said hereafter.  [Footnote

  [Footnote 272: Psalm ciii (_Benedic, anima mea_), 5.]

  [Footnote 273: Durandus, book vii, 44, 'S. Matthew is signified by a
  man, because his Gospel is principally occupied concerning the
  humanity of Christ: whence his history beginneth from his human
  pedigree. S. Mark by a lion, which roareth in the desert: for he
  chiefly describeth the Resurrection: whence his Gospel is read on
  Easter day. But the lion is said to rouse his whelps on the third
  day after their birth. His Gospel beginneth, 'The voice of one
  crying in the wilderness.' S. Luke by the ox, an animal fit for
  sacrifice: because he dwelleth on the Passion of Christ. S. John by
  the eagle, because he soareth to the Divinity of Christ, while the
  others walk with their Lord on earth. The Evangelists be likewise
  set forth by the four rivers of Paradise: John by Pison; Matthew by
  Gihon; Luke by Euphrates; Mark by Tigris:--as is clearly proved by
  Innocent III, in a certain sermon on the Evangelists.'--We may add,
  that the finest representation of the evangelistic symbols with
  which we are acquainted in this country', occurs in the chancel of
  Oxted church, Surrey.]

10. Sometimes there are painted around, or rather beneath, the
Apostles; who were His witnesses by deed and word to the ends of the
earth: and they are portrayed with long hair, as Nazarenes, that is,
holy persons. For the law of the Nazarenes was this: from the time of
their separation from the ordinary life of man, no razor passed upon
their heads. They are also sometimes painted under the form of twelve
sheep: because they were slain like sheep for the Lord's sake: and
sometimes the twelve tribes of Israel are so represented. When,
however, more or less sheep than twelve are painted, then another
thing is signified, according to that saying of Matthew, 'When the Son
of Man shall come in His glory--then shall He sit on the throne of His
glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations, and He shall
separate them one from the other, as a {51} shepherd divideth the
sheep from the goats.'  [Footnote 274] How the Apostles Bartholomew
and Andrew are to be painted, shall be said hereafter.  [Footnote 275]

  [Footnote 274: S. Matthew xxv, 1.]

  [Footnote 275:  S. Bartholomew is represented with black and
  grizzled hair, fair complexion, large eyes, straight nose, long
  beard, few grey hairs, moderate height, with a high white neck,
  clothed in purple, with a white pall, having purple gems at each
  angle. Durand. vii, 25, 2.

  S. Andrew had a dark complexion, long beard, moderate height. This
  is therefore said, that ye may know how he ought to be painted:
  which should be known of the other apostles and saints. Durand. vii,
  38, i.]

11. And note that the patriarchs and prophets are painted with wheels
in their hands. Some of the apostles with books and some with wheels:
namely, because before the advent of Christ the faith was set forth
under figures, and many things were not yet made clear; to represent
this, the patriarchs and prophets are painted with wheels, to signify
that imperfect knowledge. But because the apostles were perfectly
taught of Christ, therefore the books, which are the emblems of this
perfect knowledge, are open. But because some of them reduced their
knowledge in writing, to the instruction of others, therefore
fittingly they are represented with books in their hands like doctors.
So Paul, and the Evangelists, Peter, James, and Jude. But others, who
wrote nothing which has lasted, or been received into the canon by the
Church, are not portrayed with books but with wheels, as a type of
their preaching. Whence the Apostle to the Ephesians, 'And he gave
some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some
pastors and teachers for the work of the ministry.'   [Footnote 276]

  [Footnote 276: Ephes. iv, 11.]

12. But the Divine Majesty is also portrayed with a closed book in the
hands: 'which no man was found worthy to open but the Lion of the
tribe of Juda.'   [Footnote 277] And sometimes with an open book: that
in it every one may read that 'He is the Light of the world':
[Footnote 278] and the Way, the Truth, and the Life':  [Footnote 279]
and the Book of Life [is also portrayed]. But why Paul is represented
at the right, and Peter at the left of the Saviour, we shall show

  [Footnote 277: Apocalypse v, 2.]

  [Footnote 278: S. John viii, 12.]

  [Footnote 279:  S. John xiv, 6.]


13. John Baptist is painted as a hermit.

14. Martyrs with the instruments of their torture: as S. Laurence with
the gridiron: S. Stephen with stones: and sometimes with palms, which
signify victory, according to that saying, 'The righteous shall
flourish like a palm-tree:  [Footnote 280] as a palm-tree   [Footnote
281] flourishes, so his memory is preserved. Hence is it that palmers,
they who come from Jerusalem, bear palms in their hands in token that
they have been the soldiers of that King Who was gloriously received
in the earthly Jerusalem with palms: and Who afterwards, having in the
same city subdued the devil in battle, entered the palace of heaven in
triumph with His angels, where the just shall flourish like a
palm-tree, and shall shine like stars.

  [Footnote 280: Psalm xcii, 12.]

  [Footnote 281: This explanation differs from that usually received:
  namely, that the righteous flourishes best in adversity: as the
  palm-tree grows fasteth when loaded with weights.]

15. Confessors are painted with their insignia, as bishops with their
mitres, abbots with their hoods: and some with lilies,  [Footnote 282]
which denote chastity. Doctors with books in their hands: virgins,
according to the Gospel,  [Footnote 283] with lamps.

  [Footnote 282: So in the beautiful hymn at Lauds in the
  commemoration of a virgin martyr, of the Parisian Breviary:

    Liliis Sponsus recubat, rosisque;
    Tu, tuo semper bene fida Sponso
    Et rosas Martyr, simul et dedisti
        _Lilia Virgo_.]

  [Footnote 283: S. Matthew xxv, 1.]

16. Paul with a book and a sword: with a book, as a doctor, or with
reference to his conversion: with a sword as [Footnote 284] a soldier.
Whence the verse:

  The sword denotes the ire of Saul,
  The book, the power converting Paul.

    [Footnote 284: This is undoubtedly a mistake: the sword represents
    in this case, as in others, the instrument of martyrdom.]


17. Generally the effigies of the holy fathers are portrayed on the
walls of the church, or on the back panels of the altar, or on
vestments, or in other various places, so that we may meditate
perpetually, not indiscreetly or uselessly, on their holiness. Whence
in Exodus it is commanded by the divine law, that in the breast of
Aaron, the breastplate of judgment should be bound  [Footnote 285]
with strings: because fleeting thoughts should not occupy the mind of
a priest, which should be girt by reason alone. In this breastplate
also, according to Gregory, the names of the twelve patriarchs are
commanded to be carefully inscribed.

  [Footnote 285: Exodus xxviii, 22.]

18. To bear the fathers thus imprinted on the breast, is to meditate
on the lives of ancient saints without intermission. But then doth the
priest walk blamelessly when he gazeth continually on the example of
the fathers which have gone before, when he considereth without
ceasing the footsteps of the saints, and represseth unholy thoughts,
lest he wander beyond the limits of right reason.

19. It is to be noted that the Saviour is always represented as
crowned, as if he said, 'Come forth, children of Jerusalem, and behold
King Solomon in the diadem with which his mother crowned him.'
[Footnote 286] But Christ was triply crowned. First by His Mother on
the day of His conception, with crown of pity: which was a double
crown: on account of what He had by nature, and what was given Him:
therefore also it is called a diadem, which is a double crown.
Secondly, by His step-mother in the day of His Passion, with the crown
of misery. Thirdly, by His Father in the day of His Resurrection, with
the crown of glory: whence it is written, 'O Lord, {54} Thou hast
crowned Him with glory and honour.' [Footnote 287] Lastly, He shall be
crowned by His whole family, in the last day of Revelation, with the
crown of power. For He shall come with the judges of the earth to
judge the world in righteousness. So also all saints are portrayed as
crowned, as if they said: Ye children of Jerusalem, behold the martyrs
with the golden crowns wherewith the Lord hath crowned them. And in
the book of Wisdom: 'The just shall receive a kingdom of glory, and a
beautiful diadem from the hand of their God.'   [Footnote 288]

  [Footnote 286: Canticles iii, 11.]

  [Footnote 287: Psalm viii (_Domine Dominus_), 5.]

  [Footnote 288: Wisdom v, 16.]

20. But their crown is made in the fashion of a round shield: because
the saints enjoy the divine protection. Whence they sing with joy:
'Lord, Thou hast crowned us with the shield of Thy favour.'  [Footnote
289] But the crown of Christ is represented under the figure of a
cross: [Footnote 290] and is thereby distinguished from that of the
saints: because by the banner of His cross He gained for Himself the
glorification of His humanity, and for us freedom from our captivity,
and the enjoyment of everlasting life. But when any living  [Footnote
291]prelate or saint is portrayed, the glory is not fashioned in the
shape of a shield, but four-square: that he may be shown to flourish
in the four cardinal virtues: as it is contained in  [Footnote 292]
the legend of blessed Gregory.

  [Footnote 289:  Psalm v (_Verba mea_), 12.]

  [Footnote 290:  See Appendix I.]

  [Footnote 291: This does not appear to have prevailed in England.
  The nearest contemporary effigy of a saint which we have observed in
  stained glass, is that of S. Thomas, of Hereford, in the church of
  Cothelstone, Somersetshire. Here the glory is, as usual, of the
  circular form. As also in the fresco of the martyrdom of S. Thomas
  of Canterbury, in Preston church. Sussex, which is nearly
  contemporary. (See Appendix 1.)]

  [Footnote 292: This refers to the account given by Paulus Diaconus
  of the visible effulgence which surrounded the head of this great
  doctor when he was dictating his works.]


21. Again, sometimes Paradise is painted in churches, that it may
attract the beholders to a following after its rewards: sometimes
hell, that it may terrify them by the fear of punishment.'  [Footnote
293] Sometimes flowers  [Footnote 294] are portrayed, and trees: to
represent the fruits of good works springing from the roots of

  [Footnote 293: A monk named Constantine set before the prince those
  judgments of God which are in all the world, and the retribution of
  the life to come: his discourse powerfully affected the heathen
  monarch (Vladimir, afterwards S. Vladimir); and this was
  particularly the case when the monk pointed out to him on an icon,
  which represented the Last Judgment, the different lot of the good
  and the wicked. "Good to those on the right hand--woe to those on
  the left," exclaimed Vladimir, deeply affected.'--Mouravieff's
  'Hist, of the Russian Church,' p. 11, On which his translator, the
  Rev. R. W. Blackmore, sensibly remarks, 'Whatever may be the right
  view of the abstract question respecting icons, and the showing
  outward respect to them, the Russians at least cannot reasonably be
  blamed for revering a usage which was made the means, in part at
  least, of so blessed a result as the conversion of the great Prince
  Vladimir, the Constantine of their church and nation.']

  [Footnote 294:  This flower work is excessively common in Norman
  churches: that of S. Sepulchre's, at Cambridge, was a notable
  example of it. ]

22. Now the variety of pictures denoteth the diversity of virtues. For
'to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom: to another the word
of knowledge,' etc.  [Footnote 295] But virtues are represented under
the forms of women: because they soothe and nourish. Again, by the
ceilings or vaultings, which are for the beauty of the house, the more
unlearned servants of Christ are set forth, who adorn the Church, not
by their learning, but by their virtues alone.

  [Footnote 295: I Corinth, xii, 8. ]

The carved images which project from the walls, appear as it were to
be coming out of it: because when by reiterated custom virtues so
pertain to the faithful, that they seem naturally implanted in them,
they are exercised in all their various operations. How a synagogue is
depicted, shall be said hereafter: as also how the pall of the Roman
Pontiff: and the year  [Footnote 296]and the zodiacal signs and its
months. But the diverse histories of the Old and New  Testaments may
be represented after the fancy of the painter. For

      Pictoribus atque poetis
  Quod libet  [Footnote 297] addendi semper fuit seque potestas.

  [Footnote 296: These are often to be found round Norman doors: as in
  that of S. Laurence, at York, and Egleton, Rutland.]

  [Footnote 297: A false reading, of course; yet not without its
  appropriate sense--the power of _adding_ any ornamental circumstance
  to the main subject.]


23. Furthermore, the ornaments of the church consist of three
things:--the ornaments of the nave,  [Footnote 298]the choir, and the
altar. The ornaments of the nave consist in dorsals, tapestry,
mattings, and cushions of silk, purple, and the like. The ornaments of
the choir consist in dorsals, tapestry, carpets, and cushions. Dorsals
are hangings of cloth at the back of the clergy. Mattings, for their
feet. Tapestry is likewise strewed under the feet, particularly under
the feet of bishops, who ought to trample worldly things under their
feet. Cushions are placed on the seats or benches of the choir.

  [Footnote 298: _Ecclesiae:_ here undoubtedly the nave: as often
  _church_ is so used in our prayer-book.]

24. But the ornament of the altar consists in portfolios, altar
cloths, relicaries, candlesticks, crosses, an orfray, banners,
missals, coverings, and curtains.

25. And notice, that the portfolio in which the consecrated host is
kept, signifieth the frame of the blessed Virgin, concerning which it
is said in the Psalms, 'Arise, O Lord into Thy resting place.'
[Footnote 299] Which sometimes is of wood: sometimes of white ivory:
sometimes of silver: sometimes of gold: sometimes of crystal: and
according to the different substances of which it is made, designateth
the various dignities of the body of Christ. Again, the pyx which
containeth the host, whether consecrated or not consecrated, typifieth
the human memory. For a man ought to hold in remembrance continually
the benefits of God, as well temporal, which are represented by the
unconsecrated, as spiritual, which are set forth by the consecrated
host. {57} Which was also set forth by the urn in which God commanded
that the manna should be deposited: which, albeit it was temporal,
prefigured nevertheless this our spiritual sacrifice, when the Lord
commanded that it should be laid up for an everlasting memorial unto
future generations. But the pyx, being placed on the altar, which is
Christ, signifieth apostles and martyrs. And the altar cloths and
coverings are confessors and virgins, or all saints: of whom saith the
Prophet to the Lord, 'Thou shalt be clothed with them as with a
garment.' And of these we have spoken above.

  [Footnote 299:  Psalm cxxxii (_Domine, memento_), 8.]

26. Now there is a difference between _phylacterium_ and
_phylacteria_. _Phylacterium_ is a scroll on which the ten
commandments were written: and this kind of scroll the Pharisees used
to wear on the front part of their garments, as a sign of devotion.
Whence in the Gospel, 'They make broad their phylacteries.'
[Footnote 300] And the word is derived from _philare_, which is _to
keep_, and _teras_, which is _law_. But _phylacteria_ (a relicary) is
a vessel of silver or gold, or crystal, or ivory, or some substance of
the same kind, in which the ashes and relics of the saints are kept.
For when Vigilantius called the faithful _Cinericii_,  [Footnote 301]
because they preserved the ashes themselves, to testify contempt of
his decision, it was ordered by the Church that they should be
honourably preserved in precious vessels. And the name is derived from
_philare_, which is to _preserve_, and _teron_, which is an extremity,
because in them some {58} portion of the extremities of the bodies of
saints is preserved: such as a tooth or a finger, or somewhat of the
like kind. Over the altar in some churches also is placed a shrine: of
which we have spoken in our section on the Altar.

  [Footnote 300: S. Matthew xxiii, 5.]

  [Footnote 301: Ais, Vigilantium, qui [Greek text] hoc vocatur nomine
  (nam Dormitantius rectius diceretur), os foetidum rursum aperire, et
  putorem spurcissimum contra sanctorum martyrum proferre relliquias,
  et nos, qui eas suscepimus, appellare _cinerarios_.--S. Hieron, in
  Epp. See also the 'Church of the Fathers,' 2nd ed. chapter xv.]

27. At the horns of the altar  [Footnote 302] two candlesticks are
placed to signify the joy of Jews and Gentiles at the nativity of
Christ: which candlesticks, by means of a flint, have their wicks
lighted. For the angel saith to the shepherds, 'I bring you good
tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people: for to you is born
this day the Saviour of the world.  [Footnote 303] He is the true
_Isaac_,  [Footnote 304] which being interpreted, is laughter. Now the
light of the candlestick is the faith of the people. For to the Jewish
people, saith the Prophet, 'Arise, shine, for thy light is come: and
the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.'  [Footnote 305] But to the
Gentiles the Apostle saith, 'Ye were sometimes darkness, but are now
light in the Lord.'   [Footnote 306] For before the birth of Christ a
new star appeared to the wise men, according to the prophecy of
Balaam. 'There shall rise,' saith he, 'a star out of Jacob, and a
sceptre out of Israel.'   [Footnote 307] Concerning this we have also
spoken in our section of the Altar.

  [Footnote 302: This use of _two_ candlesticks is very remarkable: as
  giving fresh authority to the custom of the English Church. ]

  [Footnote 303: S. Luke ii, 10.]

  [Footnote 304:  Genesis xvii, 17, 19.]

  [Footnote 305:  Isaiah lx, 1. ]

  [Footnote 306: Ephes. V, 8. ]

  [Footnote 307: Numbers xxiv, 7.]

28. The snuffers or scissors for trimming the lamps are the divine
words by which men amputate the legal titles of the law, and reveal
the shining spirit, according to that saying, 'Ye shall eat old store,
and bring forth the old because of the new.'  [Footnote 308] The
vessels in the which the wicks, when snuffed, are extinguished, are
the hearts of the faithful, which admit the legal observance to the

  [Footnote 308:  Leviticus xxvi, 10.]


29. Again, the tongs, by the double tooth of which the fire is
arranged, are preachers; who instruct us by the accordant pages of
both Testaments, and by their behaviour setting us right, inflame us
to the practice of charity.

30. But the scuta, that is cups, of equal size at top and bottom, made
for warming water, are those doctors who do not conceal the treasure
of their hearts: but 'bring forth out of it things new and old':
[Footnote 309] as a 'candle which is not put under a bushel, but in a
candlestick,'  [Footnote 310]that they who are in the house of the
Lord may receive the light and the heat of the Holy Ghost.

  [Footnote 309: S. Matthew xiii, 52.]

  [Footnote 310:  S. Matthew v, 15.]

31. The cross also is to be placed on the altar that the cross-bearers
may thence raise it: in which action we commemorate how Simon the
Cyrenian took the cross from the shoulders of Christ and bore it.
Between the two candlesticks the cross is placed on the altar: because
Christ standeth in the church, the Mediator between two peoples. For
He is the Corner-stone, 'Who hath made both one':   [Footnote 311] to
Whom the shepherds came from Judaea, and the wise men from the East.
Concerning this we shall hereafter speak in another sense, when
treating of the priest's approach to the altar.

  [Footnote 311: Ephesians ii, 14.]

32. Again, the front of the altar is ornamented with an orfray. As it
is written: 'Thou shalt make Me an altar, and shalt make a crown in a
circle about it of four fingers' breadth.'   [Footnote 312] The altar,
ye know, sometimes signifieth the heart: in which the sacrifice of
true faith must be offered by contrition: and then the orfray
signifieth the taking in hand of a good occupation: wherewith we ought
to adorn our foreheads, that we may give light to others. Sometimes
the altar signifieth Christ: and then by the orfray the ornament of
charity {60} is fitly represented. For as gold hath the superiority
over all metals, so hath charity over other virtues. Whence the
Apostle, in the first to the Corinthians: 'But the greatest of these
is charity.'  [Footnote 313] For our faith ought to be adorned with
the orfray of charity, that we may be ready to lay down our lives for
Christ's sake. Banners are also suspended above the altars: that in
the church that triumph of Christ may evermore be held in mind, by
which we also hope to triumph over our enemy.

  [Footnote 312: Exodus xxvii, 4.]

  [Footnote 313: I Corinth, xiii, 13.]

33. The book of the Gospel is fixed on the altar, because the Gospel
hath Christ for its author, and beareth witness, to Him. Which book is
therefore adorned on his outside, for the cause that we shall make
mention of hereafter. Next, the vessels and utensils in the house of
the Lord had their origin from Moses and Solomon: which in the Old
Testament were many and diverse, as it is written in Exodus, and
having divers significations, concerning which, for the sake of
brevity, we will not in this place treat.

34. Now all things which pertain to the ornament of a church, must be
removed or covered over in the season of Lent: which according to some
taketh place on Passion Sunday, because after that time the Divinity
of Christ was hidden and concealed in Him. For He gave Himself up to
be betrayed and scourged, as if He were only man, and had not in Him
the virtue of divinity: whence in the Gospel of this day it is
written, 'But Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.'
[Footnote 314]

  [Footnote 314: S. John viii, 59.]

Then therefore the crosses are covered, that is, the virtue of His
divinity is hidden. Others do this from the first Sunday of Lent:
because after that time the Church beginneth to treat of His Passion.
Whence in that time the cross must not be borne in procession {61}
from the church, except it be covered; and, according to the use of
some places, two coverings or curtains are then only retained: of
which the one is hung all round the choir, the other is suspended
between the altar and the choir: that those things which be within the
Holy of Holies may not appear. In that the Sanctuary and Cross are
then veiled, we be taught the letter of the Law, that is, its carnal
observance, or that the understanding of Holy Scriptures before the
Passion of Christ was veiled, hidden, and obscure: and that in that
time there was a veil: that is, men had an obscurity before their
eyes. It signifieth also the sword which was set before the gate of
Paradise: because the carnal observance we have spoken of, and this
obscurity, and the sword at the gate of Paradise, were removed by the
Passion of Christ. Therefore the curtains and veils of this kind are
removed on Good Friday. But in that in the Old Testament, there were
beasts that chewed the cud, and cleft the hoof, as oxen used in
ploughing, that is discerning and spiritually perceiving the mysteries
of Scripture: therefore in Lent only a few priests, to whom 'it is
given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God'   [Footnote 315] go
behind the veil.

  [Footnote 315: St. Matthew xiii, 11.]

35. Concerning this it is to be noted that there be three kinds of
veils which be hung in churches: that which concealeth the mysteries:
that which divideth the sanctuary from the clergy: that which divideth
the clergy from the laity. The first denoteth the law: the second
denoteth our unworthiness, in that we are unworthy, nay unable to
behold things celestial. The third is the coercion of our carnal
pleasures. The first, namely, the curtain that is hung from each side
of the altar, when the priest goeth into the holy place, is typified
by that which is written in Exodus. {62} 'Moses put a veil over his
face, for the children of Israel could not sustain the brightness of
His countenance.'   [Footnote 316] And as the Apostle saith, 'Even to
this day is this veil over the hearts of the Jews.  [Footnote 317] The
second, namely the curtain that in the office of the Mass during Lent
is suspended before the altar, was set forth by the veil which was
hung up in the tabernacle, and divided the Holy of Holies from the
holy place, as shall be declared in the proeme to the fourth part: by
which the ark was concealed from the people: and it was wrought
cunningly, and adorned with a fair variety of devices. This was it
that was rent in the Passion of the Lord: and after its pattern, the
curtains at this day are cunningly wrought with divers patterns.
Concerning the aforesaid veil, and of what sort the curtains ought to
be, it is written in Exodus. The third kind of veil deriveth its
origin from thence, that the _peribolus_ in the primitive Church, or
wall which encompasseth the choir, was only raised as far as the
elevation of the choir;   [Footnote 318] which even to this day is
observed in some churches: which was done that the people {63} seeing
the clergy singing psalms, might follow their good example. But at
this time as it were a veil or wall is suspended or interposed between
the clergy and the laity, that they may not be able to behold each
other: as if to say, in very deed, 'turn away mine eyes, lest they
behold vanity.'  [Footnote 319]

  [Footnote 316: Exodus xxxiv, 33.]

  [Footnote 317: 2 Corinth, iii, 15.]

  [Footnote 318: There is much difficulty in this passage. We conceive
  that Durandus while writing it had in his mind's eye the arrangement
  of many of the Basilican churches, in which the choir was raised
  over the crypt (called Confessio, or Martyrium), in which the ashes
  of the saints were laid, and was detached from the nave by two
  flights of steps, one on each side of the descent to this
  undercroft. In this case the _appodiation_ would mean the elevation
  of the choir, itself considered as a sufficient distinction from the
  nave. The usual representations of Basilican churches, however,
  always show some rails, or cancelli, besides this _appodiation_. The
  learned Father Thiers devotes the third section of his 'Dissertation
  sur la Clôture du Choeur des Eglises' to the consideration of this
  passage. 'Guillaume Durand, Evêque de Mande, assure que dans la
  Primitive Eglise, le choeur etait séparé de la Nef par une _muraille
  d'appui_, afin que le peuple voiant la Clergé chanter les louanges
  de Dieu en fût édifié. Mais comme il parle d'un fait beaucoup
  éloigné de son tems, et qui n'est attache par aucun ancien auteur,
  je ne pense pas que l'on doive faire grande fonds sur son
  temoignage.' We suspect that Thiers is wrong in construing
  _appodiatio_ by _muraille d'appui:_ the latter would well express
  the real Basilican arrangement, with which the translator was
  probably acquainted. Durandus, therefore, is wrong in his fact; and
  Thiers wrong in his understanding of Durandus, as well as in the
  theory stated in the next section, that 'Depuis Constantin le choeur
  de quelques Eglises etoit distingue de la Nef par des tapisseries ou
  des voiles.' For he grounds this chiefly on the next assertion of
  Durandus about the use curtains, 'hoc tempore, vers la fin du 13
  siecle.' If we did not know from facts that before this time
  roodscreens were in ordinary use, the words of Durandus _velum aut
  murus_ would show us that he means the _wall_ to be taken
  metaphorically for a _veil_. And so Thiers may have seen, since he
  concludes his section thus--'  Mais peut être que Theodoret parle
  des tapisseries et Durand des voiles qui convroient la Clôture du
  Choeur par le dedans, et que sous ces tapisseries et ces voiles il y
  avoit une veritable clôture de balustres, ou de muraillcs pleines.']

   [Footnote 319: Psalm cxix (_Beati immaculati_), 37.]

36. But on Holy Saturday all the curtains are taken away, because on
the Passion of the Lord the veil of the temple was rent: and by that
thing the spiritual intelligence of the Law was revealed unto us,
which till that time lay hid, as is said afore: and the door of the
kingdom of heaven is opened, and power was given unto us, that we
cannot be overcome of our carnal concupiscence, unless we ourselves do
yield. But the veil which separateth the sanctuary from the choir, is
drawn or lifted up at vespers on every Saturday of Lent: when the
office of the Sunday is begun, that the clergy may be able to look
into the sanctuary: because the Sunday commemorateth the Resurrection.

37. This therefore is done on the six Sundays of Lent: because there
was no age in which joy, and that joy eternal, was not made in some
sort manifest, that joy which is concealed in heaven, as is signified
by that veil. Thence is it that we fast not on the Sundays, and this
on account of the glory of the Resurrection. For the first Sunday
signifieth the joy which our parents enjoyed in the Paradise before
the fall. {64} The second Sunday signifieth the joy of the few who
were preserved in the ark of Noah, when all else were drowned in the
deluge. The third, the gladness of the children of Israel, when in the
time of Joseph others were afflicted with famine. The fourth, their
joy when they lived with all peace under Solomon.   [Footnote 320] The
fifth, their gladness when returning from the Babylonian captivity.
The sixth, that of the disciples from the Resurrection to the
Ascension: when the bridegroom was with them in presence.

  [Footnote 320: 3 Kings iv, 20.]

38. In feasts likewise of nine lessons,  [Footnote 321] when they
occur in Lent, the before-mentioned veil is raised and lifted up. But
this is not of the institution of the earliest times, because then no
feast was celebrated in Lent. But then on whatever day a feast
occurred, commemoration was made of it on the Saturday and Sunday
following, according to the canon of Pope Martin; and so in the xiiith
book of Burchardus.  [Footnote 322] And all this on account of the
sadness of that time. Afterwards the contrary use prevailed: that
feasts of nine lessons occurring in Lent should be solemnly observed,
and a fast nevertheless kept.

  [Footnote 321: For an explanation of the whole Catholic system of
  feasts, double, semi-double, and simple, the reader is referred to
  the _Tracts for the Times_, vol. iii.]

  [Footnote 322:  S. Burchardus of Worms flourished in 1025: and is
  not to be confounded with John Burchardus, who wrote an explanation
  of the Mass for the use of the Venetian Church, which was published
  in 1559.]

39. Again, on festivals curtains are hung up in churches, for the sake
of the ornament they give; and that by visible, we may be led to
invisible beauty. These curtains are sometimes tinctured with various
hues, as is said afore: so that by the diversity of the colours
themselves we may be taught that man, who is the temple of God, should
be ordained by the variety and diversity of virtues. {65} A white
curtain signifieth pureness of living: a red, charity: a green,
contemplation: a black, mortification of the flesh: a livid-coloured,
tribulation. Besides this, over white curtains are sometimes suspended
hangings of various colours: to signify that our hearts ought to be
purged from vices: and that in them should be the curtains of virtues,
and the hangings of good works.

40. Moreover, on the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord some churches
exhibit no hangings: some poor, and some good. Those which have none,
signify our shame; for even if we are filled with the greatest joy at
the birth of a Saviour,  [Footnote 323] we ought not, however, to be
without shame that such was our sin that the 'Son of God emptied
Himself on our account, and took upon Him the form of a servant.'
[Footnote 324] And on that account also we solemnise His Passion not
with joy, but with a severe fast; whereas when we celebrate the
passion of other saints we do it with gladness, and indulge ourselves
somewhat in meat and drink, as shall be said in the sixth book. But
our Lord's Passion is a source of shame to us on account of our sins.
The saints, on the other hand, died not for our sins, but suffered for
Christ. Those churches which on the Nativity suspend curtains of poor
texture thereby typify that Christ did then 'take upon Himself the
form of a servant,  [Footnote 325 ] and was clothed in miserable rags.
Those which employ richer hangings, set forth by them the gladness
arising from the Birth of a King: and teach what manner of persons we
ought to be in our reception of so great a Guest.

  [Footnote 323: In accordance with this feeling, the first Psalm at
  the second vespers of the nativity in the Benedictine Breviary is
  the _De profundis_.]

  [Footnote 324: Philip, ii, 7.]

  [Footnote 325: Philip, ii, 7.]


41. In some churches the altar at Easter-tide is decked with precious
hangings, and veils of three colours are placed over it: red, pale,
and black, which denote three seasons. When the first lesson and its
response are finished, the black veil is removed; which signifieth the
time before the Law. When the second lesson and its response are
finished, the pale veil is removed: which signifieth the time of the
Law. The third being finished, the red is removed, which setteth forth
the time of Grace: that is, that by the Passion of Christ an entrance
is administered unto us to the Holy of Holies and to eternal glory.
But concerning the coverings and cloths of the altars we have spoken
in our sections on the same.

42. On high feasts, the treasures of the church are brought forth on
three accounts. Firstly, by way of safeguard: that it may be made
manifest that he who hath them in charge hath been careful in his care
of them. Secondly, for the more reverence of the solemnity. Thirdly,
for the memory of their oblation; namely, for the commemoration of
them that bestowed them on the church.

But in that the church is gloriously adorned within and not without,
it is thereby signified that 'all its glory is from within.' [Footnote
326] For although its outward appearance be despicable, the soul which
is the seat of God is illuminated from within: according to that
saying, 'I am black but comely.'  [Footnote 327] And the Lord saith to
the Prophet: 'I have a goodly heritage.'  [Footnote 328] Which the
Prophet considering in his mind, saith, 'Lord, I have loved the beauty
of Thine house':  [Footnote 329] which is spiritually adorned by
Faith, Hope, and Charity. Sometimes the church, both material and
spiritual, hath need to be cleansed: concerning which in the seventh

  [Footnote 326: Psalm xlv (_Eructavit_), 6.]

  [Footnote 327: Cantic. i, 5.]

  [Footnote 328: The bishop probably refers to Psalm xvi (_Conserva
  me_), 6. The words in reality spoken by David are understood by him
  as if spoken by the Almighty.]

  [Footnote 329: Psalm xxvi (_Judica me_), 8.]


In some churches two eggs of ostriches and other things which cause
admiration, and which are rarely seen, are accustomed to be suspended:
that by their means the people may be drawn to church, and have their
minds the more affected.

43. Again, some say that the ostrich, as being a forgetful bird,
'leaveth her eggs in the dust':   [Footnote 330] and at length, when
she beholdeth a certain star, returneth unto them, and cheereth them
by her presence. Therefore the eggs [Footnote 331] of ostriches are
hung in churches to signify that man, being left of God on account of
his sins, if at length he be illuminated by the Divine Light,
remembereth his faults and returneth to Him, Who by looking on him
with His Mercy cherisheth him. As it is written in Luke that after
Peter had denied Christ, the 'Lord turned and looked upon Peter.'
[Footnote 332] Therefore be the aforesaid eggs suspended in churches,
this signifying, that man easily forgetteth God, unless being
illuminated by a star, that is, by the Influence of the Holy Spirit,
he is reminded to return to Him by good works.

  [Footnote 330: Job xxxix, 14.]

  [Footnote 331: Perhaps this custom was introduced by the Crusaders.
  'As the ostrich is good for food, so, it seems, are its eggs: to say
  nothing of their being objects of attention, as being used much in
  the East by way of ornament; for they are hung up in their places of
  public worship, along with many lamps.' Harmer's 'Observations,'
  vol. iv, p. 336, who refers to Pococke's 'Travels,' vol. i, p. 31,
  and imagines that Dr. Chandler, in his travels in Asia Minor, was
  mistaken when he supposed that the Turkish Mosque of Magnesia was
  ornamented with lamps pendent from the ceiling intermixed with balls
  of polished ivory, p. 267. Ostrich eggs might easily be mistaken for
  ivory balls. The following passage from De Moleon is curious: 'At
  the conclusion of matins,' he says, speaking of the rites of S.
  Maurice at Angers on Easter Day, 'two chaplains take their place
  behind the altar curtains. Two corbeliers (_Cubiculares_) in
  dalmatics, amices, and _mitellae_, with gloves on their hands,
  present themselves before the altar. The chaplains chant. _Quem
  quaeritis_? The corbeliers representing the Maries, reply, Jesum
  _Nazarenum Crucifixum._ The others answer, _Resurrexit, non est
  hic_. The corbeliers take from the altar _two_ ostrich eggs wrapped
  in silk, and go forth, chanting, _Alleluia resurrexit_ Dominus,
  _resurrexit Leo Fortis_, Christus, _Filius_ Dei.'--_Voyag. Lit._ p.
  98. ]

  [Footnote 332: S. Luke xxii, 61.]


44. Now in the Primitive Church, the sacrifice was offered in vessels
of wood, and common vests: for then were 'chalices of wood, and
priests of gold': whereof the contrary is now. But Severinus, Pope,
decreed that it should be offered in glass:  [Footnote 333] but
because such vessels were easily broken, therefore, Urban, Pope, and
the Council   [Footnote 334] of Rheims decreed that gold or silver
vessels should be used: or on account of poverty, tin, which rusteth
not: but not in wood nor in brass. Therefore it might not be in glass
on account of the danger of effusion: nor of wood since being porous
and spongy, it absorbeth the blood: nor of brass nor of bronze, the
rust of which is unseemly.

  [Footnote 333: See Martene, Tom. IV, ii, 9; the _Ducretum_, fol.

  [Footnote 334: 'A.D. 874, Vid. Concil. Coll. Reg. Tom. I. p. 288.'
  See also P. Tunoc. iv, Ep. ad Otton. Carel. xiii _Hardouin_ vii,

45. And note that the name of chalice is derived from the Old
Testament: whence Jeremiah, 'Babylon is a golden chalice that maketh
drunk the nations.'   [Footnote 335] And David: 'In the hand of the
Lord is a chalice, and the wine thereof is red':   [Footnote 336] and
in another place, 'I will receive the chalice of salvation, and will
call on the name of the Lord.'   [Footnote 337] Again, in the Gospel:
'Are ye able to drink the chalice that I shall drink?'   [Footnote
338] And again, 'When He had taken the chalice He gave thanks.'
[Footnote 339] A golden chalice signifieth the 'treasures of wisdom
that be hid in Christ.'   [Footnote 340] A silver chalice denoteth
purity from sin. A chalice of tin denoteth the similitude of sin and
punishment. For tin is as it were halfway between silver and lead: and
the Humanity of Christ, albeit it were not lead, that is, sinful, yet
was it like to sinful flesh. And therefore not silver: and although
impassible for His own sin, passible He was for ours: since 'He thus
took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.'   [Footnote 341]
Concerning the Chalice and the Paten we shall speak hereafter.

  [Footnote 335: Jeremiah li, 7.]

  [Footnote 336: Psalm lxxv (_Confitebimur_), 8.]

  [Footnote 337: Psalm cxvi (_Dilexi_), 13.]

  [Footnote 338: S. Matthew x, 22.]

  [Footnote 339:  S. Matthew xxvi, 27. ]

  [Footnote 340: Coloss. ii, 3.]

  [Footnote 341: S. Matthew viii, 17.]


46. But if anyone, through cause of his little religion, should say
that the Lord commanded Moses to make all the vessels of the
Tabernacle for every use and ceremony whatever, of brass, as it is
written in the eight and twentieth chapter of Exodus, and that
precious vessels of this sort, 'could be sold for much, and given to
the poor,'  [Footnote 342] he is like Judas, and acteth contrarywise
to the woman which brought the alabaster box of ointment. This we
reply to him: not that God is better pleased with gold than brazen
ornaments: but that when men offer to God that which they value, by
the worship of the Almighty they vanquish their own avarice. Moreover,
these offices of divine piety be moral, and significative of future
glory. Whence also under the old law the priest's garments were to be
made of gold, and jacinth, and purple, and scarlet twice dyed, and
woven linen, and other precious things: that thereby might be made
manifest with how great diversity of virtues the priest ought to
shine: and it was also commanded that the altar, and the mercy-seat,
and the candlestick, and the other vessels and ornaments of the altar
should be made of gold and silver. The Tabernacle also was to be made
of divers precious materials, as is said in our section concerning the
Church. Also the high priest under the Law used divers precious
ornaments, as we have both noted, and shall hereafter note.

  [Footnote 342: S. Matthew xxvi, 9.]

47. Moreover, it was forbidden in the Council of Orleans,  [Footnote
343] that the divine ornaments should be used for the adorning of
nuptials, lest they should be polluted by the touch of the wicked, or
by the pomp of secular luxury. By this doubtless it is shown that a
chasuble, or any other ornament intended for the divine mysteries,
must not be made out of a common person's vest.

  [Footnote 343: A.D. 535. Decret. viii. See also the Council of
  Tribur. A. D. 1036.]


48. Stephen, Pope, moreover, forbade that anyone should have the use
of the vests of a church, or of those things which be touched by
religious men alone, for other purposes: lest that vengeance come upon
these transgressors which befel Belshazzar the King.  [Footnote 344 ]

  [Footnote 344: Daniel v, i.]

49. Also Clement, Pope, forbade that the dead should be buried or
wrapped or covered, they or their bones, with the altar cloth, or
covering for the chalice, or napkin wherewith the priest washeth his
hands before consecrating.

50. But when the palls, that is the corporals, and the veils, that is
the ornaments of the altar, or the curtains hanging over it shall have
become unclean, the deacons with their ministers shall wash them
within the sanctuary, and not without. But when the veils, used in the
service of the altar, be washed, let there be a new basin. And let the
palls, that is the corporals, be washed in another basin. And let the
veils for doors, that is, the curtains which are hung up in churches
at high feasts, and in Lent, be washed in another. This is it that was
decreed of the Council of Lerida:   [Footnote 345] that for washing
the corporal, and the altar palls certain vessels be appropriated and
kept within the church: in which nothing else ought to be washed. But
according to the afore-mentioned Clement, if the altar pall or
covering, or the covering of the seat where the priest sitteth, in his
holy vests, or of the candlestick, or the veil, that is the cloth or
curtains hanging over the altar be consumed by old age, let them be
burnt; and their ashes cast in the baptistery, or on the wall, or in
the drains, where there is no treading of passers by. And note that
ecclesiastical ornaments be consecrated: as shall be said under the
section of Consecrations and Unctions.

  [Footnote 345: 'A.D. 524, Concil. Coll. Reg. Tom XI, p. 24.']




Bells, what and where first used--Why Blessed--Analogy between Bells
and Trumpets--Mystical Signification--Of the Bell-Frame--Of the
Bell-Ropes--Use of Bells at the Canonical Hours--Six kinds of
Bells--Bells when Silent--Of the Passing Bell--Of the Prayer Bell--Of
the Storm Bell.

1. Bells are brazen vessels, and were first invented in Nola, a city
of Campania: wherefore the larger bells are called _Campanae_, from
Campania the district, and the smaller _Nolae_, from Nola the town.

2. The reason for consecrating and ringing bells is this: that by
their sound the faithful may be mutually cheered on towards their
reward; that the devotion of faith may be increased in them; that
their fruits of the field, their minds and their bodies may be
defended; that the hostile legions and all the snares of the Enemy may
be repulsed; that the rattling hail, the whirlwinds, and the violence
of tempests and lightning may be restrained; the deadly thunder and
blasts of wind held off; the spirits of the storm and the powers of
the air overthrown; and that such as hear them may flee for refuge to
the bosom of our holy Mother the Church, bending every knee before the
standard of the sacred rood. These several reasons are given in the
office for the blessing of bells.   [Footnote 346]

  [Footnote 346: See the account of the consecration of several
  churches in the island of Guernsey, taken from the Black Book of the
  Diocese of Contances, in a paper by the Rev. W. C. Lukis, B.A.,
  Trinity College, published in the First Part of the Transactions of
  the Cambridge Camden Society.]


3. You must know that bells, by the sound of which the people
assembleth together to the church to hear, and the clergy to preach,
'in the morning the mercy of God and His power by night,  [Footnote
347] do signify the silver trumpets, by which under the Old Law the
people were called together unto sacrifice. (Of these trumpets we
shall speak in our sixth book.) For just as the watchmen in a camp
rouse one another by trumpets, so do the ministers of the Church
excite each other by the sound of bells to watch the livelong night
against the plots of the devil. Wherefore our brazen bells are more
sonorous than the trumpets of the Old Law, because then God was known
in Judea only, but now in the whole earth. They be also more durable:
for they signify that the preaching of the New Testament will be more
lasting than the trumpets and sacrifices of the Old Law, namely, even
unto the end of the world.

  [Footnote 347: Psalm xcii (_Bonum est confiteri_), 2]

4. Again bells do signify preachers, who ought after the likeness of a
bell to exhort the faithful unto faith: the which was typified in that
the Lord commanded Moses to make a vestment for the high priest,
having seventy-two bells to sound when the high priest entered into
the Holy of Holies.  [Footnote 348] Also the cavity of the bell
denoteth the mouth of the preacher, according to the saying of the
Apostle, 'I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.'
[Footnote 349]

  [Footnote 348: Exodus xxviii, 35.]

  [Footnote 349: I Cor. xiii, 1.]

5. The hardness of the metal signifieth fortitude in the mind of the
preacher: whence saith the Lord, 'Behold I have made thy face strong
against their faces.'   [Footnote 350] The clapper or iron, which by
striking on either side maketh the sound, doth denote the tongue of
the teacher, the which with the adornment of learning doth cause both
Testaments to resound.

  [Footnote 350:  Ezekiel iii, 8.]


6. Wherefore a prelate which hath not the skill of preaching will be
like unto a bell without a clapper: according to that saying of
Gregory, 'A priest, if he knoweth not how to preach nor what voice of
exhortation he can deliver, is a dumb preacher, and also as a dumb dog
which cannot bark.' The striking the bell denoteth that a preacher
ought first of all to strike at the vices in himself for correction,
and then advance to blame those of others: lest indeed, contrary to
the teaching of the Apostle, 'when he hath preached to others, he
himself should be a castaway.'  [Footnote 351] Which also the Psalm
doth testify, 'But unto the ungodly, saith God: why dost thou preach
my laws, and takest my covenant in thy mouth?'  [Footnote 352] Because
truly by the example of his own suffering he often gaineth access to
those whom by the learning of his discourse he cannot move. The link
by which the clapper is joined or bound unto the bell is moderation:
by which, namely, by the authority of Scripture, the tongue of the
preacher who wisheth to draw men's hearts is ruled.  [Footnote 353]

  [Footnote 351: I Corinthians ix, 27.]

  [Footnote 352:  Psalm I (_Deus deorum_), 16. ]

  [Footnote 353: The passage is very unintelligible in the original,
  and is probably corrupted or transposed.]

7. The wood of the frame upon which the bell hangeth, doth signify the
wood of our Lord's Cross: which is on this account suspended on high,
because the Cross is preached by the ancient Fathers. The pegs by
which the wooden frame is joined together or fastened, are the Oracles
of the Prophets. The iron cramps by which the bell is joined with the
frame, denote charity, by which the preacher being joined indissolubly
unto the Cross, doth boast and say, 'God forbid that I should glory
save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.'  [Footnote 354] The
hammer affixed to the frame by which the bell is struck, signifieth
the right mind of the preacher, by which he himself, holding fast to
the Divine commands, doth by frequent striking inculcate the same on
the ears of the faithful.

  [Footnote 354: Gal. vi, 14. _Cavilla_ is thus explained by Belethus.
  Expl. Divin. Off. xxiv. Cavilla, sic enim ferrum illud pensile
  vocat, quod Graeci rectius [Greek text] nominant, cujus pulsu
  campana sonum reddit.]


8. The rope hanging from this, by which the bell is struck, is
humility, or the life of the preacher: the same rope also showeth the
measure of our own life. Besides these, since the rope hath its
beginning from the wood upon which the bell hangeth, by which is
understood our Lord's Cross, it doth thus rightly typify Holy
Scripture which doth flow down from the wood of the Holy Cross. As
also the rope is composed of three strands, so doth the Scripture
consist of a Trinity: namely, of history, allegory, and morality.
Whence, the rope coming down from the wooden frame into the hand of
the priest is Scripture descending from the mystery of the Cross into
the mouth of the preacher. Again, the rope reacheth unto the hands by
which it is grasped, because Scripture ought to proceed unto good
works. Also the raising and the lowering of the rope in ringing doth
denote that Holy Scripture speaketh sometimes of high matters,
sometimes of low: or that the preacher speaketh sometimes lofty things
for the sake of some, and sometimes condescendeth for the sake of
others: according to that saying of the Apostle: 'Whether we exalt
ourselves it is for God, or whether we humble ourselves it is for
you.'  [Footnote 355] Again, the priest draweth the rope downwards,
when he descendeth from contemplation unto active life: but is himself
drawn upward when under the teaching of Scripture he is raised in
contemplation. Also he draweth it downwards when he understandeth the
Scripture according to the 'letter which killeth'; he is drawn upwards
{75} when he expoundeth the same according to the Spirit. Again,
according to Gregory, he is drawn downwards and upwards when he
measureth himself in Scripture, namely, how much he still lieth in the
depths and how much he advanceth in doing good.

  [Footnote 355: This appeals to be a reference to 2 Cor. v, 13.]

Furthermore, when the bell doth sound from the pulling of its rope,
the people are gathered in one for the exposition of Holy Scripture,
the preacher is heard, and the people are united in the bond of faith
and charity. Therefore when a priest acknowledgeth unto himself that
he is a debtor unto preaching, he must not withdraw himself from
calling men together by his bells, just as also the sons of Aaron did
sound their silver trumpets. He therefore moveth the ropes who doth of
his office call his brethren or the people together.

The ring (or pully) in the length of the rope, through which in many
places the rope is drawn, is the crown of reward, or perseverance unto
the end, or else is Holy Scripture itself. Moreover, Savinianus, Pope,
hath commanded that the hours of the day should be struck in churches.


9. And note that bells are commonly rung for the Divine Offices
[Footnote 356] twelve times during the twelve hours of the day:
namely, once at prime, and in like manner once at the last hour,
because all things come from one God, and God is One, All in All. At
tierce they are rung three times, for the second, third, and fourth
hours which are then chanted. In like manner three times at sexts, for
the fifth, sixth, and seventh hours. Also three times at nones for the
three hours. But at vespers, which is the twelfth hour, not one only
but many times are they rung, because in the time of grace the
preaching of the Apostles was multiplied. Also in the night for matins
they are rung often, because we ought often to call out, 'Wake, thou
that sleepest, and arise from the dead.'  [Footnote 357]

 [Footnote 356: The reader will scarcely need reminding that the day
 is canonically divided into two parts of twelve hours each,
 beginning' at six o'clock respectively. Prime therefore is at our six
 a.m., tierce at nine, sexts at twelve, nones at three p.m., vespers
 at six p.m., and compline at bedtime.

    Haec sunt septenis propter quae psallimus horis.
    _Matutina_ ligat Christum, qui crimina purgat:
    _Prima_ replet sputis; causam dat _Tertia_ Mortis:
    _Sexta_ Cruci nectit: latus Ejus _Nona_ bipertit:
    _Vespera_ deponit: tumulo _Completa_ reponit.

  Which may thus be translated;

    At _matins_ bound: at _prime_ revil'd: condemn'd to death at _tierce_:
    Nail'd to the cross at _sexts_: at _nones_ His blessed side they pierce:
    They take him down at _vesper_-tide; in grave at _compline_ lay
    Who thenceforth bids His Church to keep her sevenfold hours alway.

  The twelve hours of the night are divided into three nocturns, which
  may be supposed to be said at twelve, two, and four, and are
  immediately followed by lauds at five. Nocturns and lauds (together
  called matins), with the six hours above-mentioned, make the seven
  canonical hours. On this subject we can but refer our readers to the
  extremely beautiful fifth book of Durandus, and particularly his
  first chapter, in which all the pregnant symbolism of the canonical
  hours is set forth. Hugo de Sancto Victore has briefly touched upon
  the same in the third chapter of the _In Speculum Ecclesiae_, but
  nearly the whole of his account is contained in Durandus. See also
  S. Isidore 'De Eccles. Offic.' lib, I, cap. xix--xxiii; and Belethus
  whose account is valuable for its conciseness. 'Explic. Divin.
  Offic.' Caps, xxi--xxix.

  The twelve ringings mentioned in the text as being in 'the twelve
  hours of the _day_' are thus to be made out. At prime, one; at
  tierce, three; at sexts, three; at nones, three; at vespers, one
  (the ringing 'many times' being only thus accounted); and at the
  last hour, one; in whole twelve, Hugo de S. Victor has a passage
  almost identical with this. 'The bells be also rung twelve times. At
  prime, once, and again at the last hour once; because all things be
  from One God, and the Same will be All in All. But at tierce, three
  times for the second, third, and fourth hours; and so at sexts, for
  three hours, namely, the seventh, eighth, and ninth; but at vespers
  many times, because in the time of grace the preaching of the
  Apostles was multiplied. Also at matins oftentimes, because we
  should often exclaim, 'Arise, thou that sleepest.' It will be
  observed that this passage is corrupt, nones being omitted, and its
  three hours given to sexts. Matins also, as in the text, are
  belonging to the twelve hours of the _night_.]
  [End Footnote]

  [Footnote 357: Eph, v, 14.]


10. Commonly also they be rung three times at nocturns. First with a
_squilla_  [Footnote 358] or hand-bell, which by its sharp sound
signifieth Paul preaching acutely. The second ringing signifieth
Barnabus joined to his company. The third intimateth that, when the
'Jews put from them the word of God, the Apostles turned themselves to
the Gentiles,' whom also they instructed in the faith of the Trinity
by the doctrine of the four Evangelists. Whence also some do use,
_four_ peals.

  [Footnote 358: _Squilla_ is properly a _sea onion_. We conceive that
  the sort of a bell here meant is a kind of hand-bell, formed out of
  a hollow ball of metal, furnished with a slit for the sound, and
  with a loose pellet inside. This answers to the squilla in shape and
  utters a very shrill sound. We find below that it was used chiefly
  in the refectory. So in a note to Martener vol iv, p. 32, we read
  'ad gratiarum actionem Sacrista sciliam (the other form of squillam)
  pulsabat. Cons. S. Benigni, cap. 9. Fratribus exeuntibus de prandio
  sive de coena sciliam pulsare non negligat Hebdomadarius Sacrista.']

11. And note that there be six kinds of bells which be used in the
church; namely, the _squilla_, the _cymbalum_, the _nola_, the
_nolula_ (or double _campana_), the _signum_ [and the _campana_]. The
squilla is rung in the _triclinium_, that is, in the refectory; the
cymbalum in the cloister; the nola in the choir; the nolula or double
campana in the clock, the campana in the campanile, the signum in the
tower. Either of these, however, may be called generally a bell. And
these be known by diverse names, because the preachers signified
thereby be necessary for diverse ends.

12. During the whole Septuagesima, in the which Quadragesima [or Lent]
is contained, on common days the bells be not chanted, nor chimed, but
tolled, that is rung singly, at the hours of the day, or at matins.
[Footnote 359] In well-ordered churches, they be struck twice at
prime; first to call unto prayer, secondly to begin: three times at
tierce, according to the number of hours then struck, {78} as was said
above; once to call to prayer, twice to assemble them together, thrice
to begin. In like manner it is done at sexts and nones. But for matins
the same bells are rung and in the same order. For a mass or for
vespers only two bells be rung. But in smaller churches they simply
ring the bells as aforesaid, and this on the common days. But on
Sundays and holy days, they chime them, as at other times. For because
preachers who be figured by bells, do the more abound in a season of
grace, and 'are instant in season,' therefore on festivals which
pertain to grace, the bells do sound more pressingly and are rung for
a longer time, to arouse those 'that sleep and be drunken,' lest they
sleep beyond measure. But what is signified by the ringing of bells
when the Te Deum is chanted we shall speak hereafter.  [Footnote 360]

  [Footnote 359: It is to be remarked that throughout this chapter
  there is no allusion to ringing the bells by raising them and
  causing them to revolve on axes as practised in England. This and
  the beautiful science of bell-ringing consequent on it are peculiar
  to ourselves. The method of sounding the bells here understood is by
  a hammer acting on the rim, or by pulling the clapper, as is used
  with us for chimes, and where the bell frame is weak. This accounts
  for the much larger bells which are found abroad, and which were
  never meant to be poised and swung. Owing to the above difference
  between the Continental and English methods of bell-ringing, it is
  not easy to express the difference between _simpulsare, compulsare_,
  and _depulsare_.

  _Depulsare_ is to ring by tying a rope to the _clapper_ of a bell,
  and pulling the rope to and fro: we have accordingly translated it,
  to chant a _bell_.

   _Simpulsare_ is to ring by tying a rope to the hammer, and pulling
   it back; this we have translated _to toll_. Tolling is of course
   performed by swinging the bell round: but as there is no English
   word which expresses _simpulsare_, we thought it better to use an
   old term in a new sense, than to coin a new one.

  _Compulsare_ is to do to several bells what _depulsare_ is to do to
  one: and we have translated it to _chime_.

  _Pulsare_ we have translated _to ring_.

  It may be worthy of remark, how completely the ringing of the bells
  is here considered a part of the priest's office.]
  [End footnote]

  [Footnote 360: In Book V, chapter iii, '_of Nocturns_,' Durandus
  says, 'When the nocturns be finished, the bells be rung and the _Te
  Deum laudamus_ is chanted with uplift voice, to denote that the
  Church doth openly and wonderfully laud God in the time of grace,
  and to show that if by good works we answer rightly to holy
  doctrine, we shall attain to singing heavenly praises in concert
  with the angels. The chant also is then made with a loud voice, to
  signify the joy of the woman at finding the lost 'piece of silver.'
  And the versicle _Day by day we magnify Thee_, and the following, be
  chanted still more loudly to set forth the gratulations of the
  neighbours over the finding of the piece of silver: and the ringing
  of the bells representeth the calling together of the neighbours. In
  some churches also the candles be lighted, because the woman also
  'lighted a candle and sought diligently till she found it.' This
  also signifieth that the Church Catholic is drawn by Christ out of
  hell. And the hymn itself representeth the future joy and gladness,
  which the Church resting from her labours shall attain in the day of
  judgment.' Hugo de S. Victore, and Belethus agree as to this ringing
  of the bells at matins: a practice of which perhaps we may find the
  shadow in our own use in many places of ringing the bells at eight
  o'clock on Sunday mornings, to which day our services are now
  chiefly confined.]


13. Moreover, the bells ought to be rung when anyone is dying, that
the people hearing this may pray for him.  [Footnote 361] For a woman
indeed they ring twice, because she first caused the bitterness of
death: for she first alienated mankind from God; wherefore the second
day had no benediction.  [Footnote 362] But for a man they ring three
times, because the Trinity was first shown in man. For Adam was first
formed from the earth, then the woman from Adam, afterwards was man
created from both, and so there is therein a trinity. But if the dying
man be an ecclesiastic, they toll so many times as he hath received
orders. And at the last time they ought to chime, that so the {80}
people may know for whom they have to pray. The bells ought also to be
chimed when the corpse is brought to the church, and when carried out
from the church to the grave.

  [Footnote 361: For an account of the 'passing-bell,' and the
  authority for its right use among ourselves, the reader is referred
  to Bp. Montague's 'Articles of Inquiry.' Camb. 1841, pp. 76, 116. It
  is to be observed that the bells are here said to be rung, not
  _tolled_, as is generally the case now. Many will remember a
  beautiful passage upon this custom in one of the Rev. F. E. Paget's
  'Tales of the Village.' The practice of their distinguishing the sex
  of the dying person is still in most places retained.]

  [Footnote 362: '_Wherefore the second day had no benediction_.' It
  will be observed that of this day only it is not said expressly that
  'God saw that it was good.' We give a chapter of Hugo S. Victore
  upon this question.

  'But it is admirable wherefore God did not see the works of the
  second day that they were good: since in each other day He is said
  to have seen them, and that they were good. For either it was not
  His work, and so not good; or if it were His work, it was good. But
  if it was good, it was also His work: and then He saw it was good,
  Who could not be ignorant what it was, whether good or bad.
  Wherefore then is it not said here as elsewhere "God saw that it was
  good?" For if this be said elsewhere only because the work was made,
  why ought it not also to be said here since it was made? Perhaps
  because _dual_ is the sign of division; since it first recedeth from
  _unity_: and so here we perceive some sacrament. Thus the works of
  the second day be not praised, not because they were not good, but
  because they were signs of evil. For God made His first works "and
  behold they were all very good:" in the which neither was corruption
  present, nor perfection absent. But afterwards cometh the devil and
  man, and they also made their works: and these second works came
  after the first; the evil after the good: and God was unwilling to
  behold these works because they were evil; but beholding them by His
  wisdom, He disapproved them by his judgment.' 'De Sacramentis,' Lib.
  i, Pars I, cap. xx. S. Isodore (Sentent. I, xx de Mundo) does not
  allude to this, nor S. Augustin upon Genesis.]

14. Also bells be rung at processions, that the evil spirits may hear
them and flee, as shall be said hereafter.  [Footnote 363] For they do
fear when the trumpets of the Church Militant, that is the bells, be
heard, like as a tyrant doth fear when he heareth on his own land the
trumpets of any potent king his foe.

  [Footnote 363: 'The bells be rung in processions. For as an earthly
  monarch hath in his army royal insignia, namely trumpets and
  banners; so Christ the Eternal King hath in His Church Militant
  bells for trumpets, and crosses for banners. Thus the ringing of the
  bells doth signify the prophets, who foretold the advent of Christ.'
  Durandus, book iv, chapter 6, 'Of the priest's approach to the
  altars,' sec. 19. The same idea is applied by Belethus to the matin
  bells in his 24th chapter.]

15. And this is the reason also why the Church, when she seeth a
tempest to arise, doth ring the bells; namely, that the devils hearing
the trumpets of the Eternal King, which be the bells, may flee away
through fear and cease from raising the storm; and that the faithful
also may be admonished at the ringing of the bells and be provoked to
be urgent in prayer for the instant danger.  [Footnote 364]

  [Footnote 364: See note I to this chapter.]

But for three days before Easter the bells be silent, as shall be said
hereafter.  [Footnote 365] Also the bells be silent in time of an
interdict, because often for the fault of those put under them the
tongue of the preachers is hindered; according to that of the Prophet,
'I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, for they are
a rebellious house';   [Footnote 366] that is, for the people are

  [Footnote 365: See Appendix.]

  [Footnote 366: Ezekiel iii, 26.]

The Church also hath organs, of which we shall speak hereafter.
[Footnote 367]

  [Footnote 367: Durandus, in his fourth book, chapter xxxiv, '_Of the
  Sanctus_,' says, 'Moreover in this conceit of angels and men, the
  organs do from time to time add their harmony: the which was
  introduced by David and Solomon, who did cause hymns to be sung at
  the sacrifice of the Lord, with the concert of organs and other
  instruments of music, and the people also to join in chorus.']




Holiness of Places; its Origin--Difference between Sacred, Holy, and
Religious--Different Names for Cemetery--First use of Cemeteries--Who
are not to be Buried in the Church--Ancient Method of Burial--Who are
to be Buried in a Cemetery.

1. Now we will Speak of cemeteries and other sacred and religious
places. Of consecrated places, some be appropriated to human
necessity, others to prayers. Those of the first sort be a
_xenodochium_ or _xenostorium_, which is the same: a _vasochonium_, a
_gerontocomium_, an _orphanotrophium_, a _brephotrophiuin_. For holy
fathers and religious princes have founded places of this kind, where
the poor, the pilgrims, old men, orphans, infants, men past work, the
halt, the weak, and the wounded should be received and attended. And
note that _geronta_ in Greek is the same as _senex_ in Latin.

But of places appropriated to prayer, there be that are _sacred_,
there be that are _holy_, and there be that are _religious_.


2. _Sacred_ be they which by the hands of the bishop have duly been
sanctified and set apart to the Lord, and which be called by various
names, as hath been said in the section on Churches. _Holy_ be they
which have immunity or privilege: and be set apart for the servitors
or ministers of the Church, concerning which, under threat of condign
punishment, either by the canon law or by special privilege, it is
ordained that no man shall presume to violate them. Such be the courts
of churches, and in some places the cloisters, within which be the
houses of the canons. To which when criminals of whatever kind betake
themselves they have safety. And so according to the statutes of the
civil law be the gates and theatres of cities.

3. _Religious_ places be they where the entire body of a man, or at
least the head is buried: because no man can have two sepulchres. But
the body or any member without the head doth not make the place
wherein it is buried religious. But according to the civil law the
corpse of a Jew, or paynim, or unbaptised infant maketh the place of
its sepulchre religious: yet by the Christian religion and the
canonical doctrine the body of a Christian alone maketh it so. And
note that whatever is _sacred_ is _religious_; but the contrary
holdeth not. But the afore-named religious place hath divers
appellations: such be _cemetery, polyandrum_, or _andropolis_ (which
is the same thing), _sepulchrum, mausoleum_ (which is also the same),
_dormitorium, tumulus, monumentum, ergastulum, pyramid, sarcophagus,
bustum, urna, spelunca_.

4. _Cemetery_ hath its name from _cimen_ which is _sweet_, and
_sterion_, which is a _station_: for there the bones of the departed
rest sweetly, and expect the advent of their Saviour. Or because there
be therein _cimices_, that is reptiles of intolerable odour.

5. _Poliantrum_, from _pollutum antrum_, on account of the carcases of
men therein buried. Or _poliantrum_ signifieth a multitude of men,
from _polus_, which is a _plurality_, and _andros_, which is a man;
and therefore a cemetery is so called on account of the number of men
therein buried.'   [Footnote 368]

  [Footnote 368: It has been thought right to give a few of the
  bishop's derivations, lest his translators should be accused of
  concealing a circumstance which may weaken, with some, his testimony
  on other points (though, as we have before shown, most unjustly): it
  has not, however, been thought necessary to follow him through all
  his names of a cemetery: since to do so would be a mere waste of the
  reader's time.]


[Sections 6 to 10 elided.]

11. Cemeteries are said to have their beginning from Abraham, who
bought a field from Hebron: in which was a double cave,  [Footnote
369] where he and Sarah were buried: there also Isaac and Jacob were
buried: there also Adam and Eve.  [Footnote 370] Therefore there was a
double cave there: since they who buried therein were placed side by
side, every man and his wife; or the men in the one, and their wives
in the other: or because everyone there interred had a double cave,
after the fashion of a chair. Whence saith Hierome, Three patriarchs
are buried in the city Hebron, with their three wives. But they were
buried as it were in a sitting posture: the upper part of the cave
held the trunk from the loins: the lower the thighs and legs.

  [Footnote 369: Genesis xxiii, 9: 'We take this word Machpelah for a
  proper name, as many others do: but the Talmudists generally think
  it to have been a double cave, as the lxx also, with the vulgar
  Latin, understand it. Yet they cannot agree in what sense it was so:
  whether they went through one cave into another, or there was one
  above the other.'--Bishop Patrick, s.l.]

  [Footnote 370: One might almost have thought that this is a false
  reading for _Leah and Rebecca_. For the common tradition was that
  Adam and Eve were buried in Mount Calvary: so that where the first
  Adam fell before death, the second Adam triumphed over death. And
  the bishop speaks below of _three_ patriarchs, and their _three_
  wives buried in Machpelah: which is at variance with the text as it
  stands: but would agree with the proposed emendation.

  Yet S. Isidore says, 'De morte Abrahae,' fol. 295: 'Sepultusque est
  in spelunca duplici; in cujus interiore parte Adam esse positum
  traditio Hebraeorum testatur.' S. Victor upon Spelunca duplex:
  'Domus quaedam fuit subterranea, in qua erat solarium, et multi
  fuerant sepulti, in ea et diversis foveis et subter et supra;' and
  in another place, 'Spelunca in qua est sepulta spiritualem designat
  vitam, quae est occulta: quae recte duplex vocatur; propter bonam
  actionem et contemplationem.']


12. But all men ought not to be buried promiscuously in the church:
for it seemeth that that place of sepulchre profiteth not. Lucifer was
thrown down from Heaven, and Adam cast out of Paradise; and what
places be better than these? Also Joab was slain in the Tabernacle,
and Job triumphed in the dunghill. Nay rather, it is to his hurt if a
man unworthy or a sinner be buried in a church. We read in the
'Dialogues' of Blessed Gregory, book the fourth, chapter the
fifty-sixth, that when a certain man of notorious wickedness
[Footnote 371] had been buried in the church of S. Faustinus at
Brescia, in the same night Blessed Faustinus appeared to the warden of
the church, saying, Speak unto the bishop that he cast out the body;
otherwise he shall die in thirty days. Now the warden feared to tell
the thing to the bishop: and the bishop on the thirtieth day suddenly
departed out of this life. It is also written in the same book,
chapter the fifty-seventh, that another wicked man was buried in a
church, and that afterwards his body was found outside the church, the
cerecloths remaining in their own place. And Austin says, they who are
guilty of notorious sins, if they be buried in the church by their own
desire, shall be judged for their presumption; for the sacredness of
the place doth not free those whom the accusation of temerity

  [Footnote 371: A similar story has been parodied in the 'Ingoldsby
  Legends': a work which for irreverence and profanity has hardly an
  equal. Disgraceful as it would be to any author, it is trebly so, if
  (as it is said) that author is a clergyman.]

No body, therefore, ought to be buried in a church, or near an altar,
where the Body and Blood of our Lord are made, except the bodies of
holy fathers, who be called patrons, that is defenders, who defend the
whole country with their merits, and bishops, and abbots, and worthy
presbyters, and laymen of eminent sanctity. But all ought to be buried
about the church, or in the court of the cloisters, or in the porch:
or in the exedroe and apses which are joined to the church, or in the
cemetery. {85} Some also say that a space of thirty feet round the
church ought to be set apart for that purpose. But others say that the
space enclosed by the circuit which the bishop makes around the church
must suffice for this. S. Augustine saith in his book 'On the Care of
the Dead,' towards the end, that to be buried near the tombs of
martyrs advantageth the dead in this, that by commending him to the
guardianship of the martyrs, the earnestness of our supplication for
him may be increased.

13. Of old time men were buried in their own houses: but on account of
the stench thereby engendered, it was decreed that they should be
buried without the city, and certain places should be set apart by
sanctification for that purpose. But noblemen were buried in
mountains, both in the middle of them and at the foot: and also under
mounds raised of their own expense.  [Footnote 372] But if anyone be
slain in besieging a town, where there is no cemetery, let him be
buried where he can. But if a merchantman or pilgrim die by sea, and
any inhabited land be near, let him be buried in it: but if no port be
near, let him be buried in some island. If, however, land cannot be
seen, let a little house of timbers (if they can be had) be made for
him, and let him be cast into the sea.

  [Footnote 372: _Sub propriis podiis_. For some account of the
  curious word _podium_, whence _pew_ or _pue_ is derived, see the
  Cambridge Camden Society's 'History of Pews' (or the 'Supplement,'
  pp. 6, 7).]

14. In a Christian cemetery none may be buried but a baptised
Christian: nor yet every such an one neither: one, namely, slain in
the act of sin, if it be mortal sin, as if he were slain in adultery,
or theft, or some forbidden amusement. And also where a man is found
dead, there let him be buried, on account of the doubtful cause of his
death. {86} But if anyone dieth suddenly in games accustomably used,
as the game of ball, he may be buried in the cemetery, because it was
not his desire to injure anyone: but because he was occupied in
worldly matters, some say that he ought to be buried without psalms
and the other obsequies of the dead. But if anyone attacking another
in a strife or tumult dieth impenitent, and hath not sought the
priest, he ought not, as some say, to be buried in the cemetery: nor
yet he who hath committed suicide. But if anyone dieth, not from any
manifest cause, but from the visitation of God alone, he can be buried
in a cemetery. For the just man, in what hour soever he dieth, is
saved. The rather if he were following some lawful occupation. To
defenders of justice and those who are engaged in a pious fight, the
cemetery and the office of burial are freely conceded: yet they who
come to a violent death are not borne into the church, lest the
pavement be polluted with blood. But if anyone returning from any
place of fornication be slain in the way, or be slain anywhere, where
by unforeseen case, he hath tarried, he is not to be buried in the
common cemetery; and this if it can be proved, by evidence sufficient
for a court of law, that he had not confessed after the act of
fornication nor was contrite: otherwise he ought to be buried.

15. Again, a woman who dieth in child-birth ought not to be carried
into the church, as some say, but her obsequies must be said without
the church, to which I agree not: otherwise it would be as if she died
in fault. Whence she may allowably be borne into the church.

16. But stillborn and unbaptised children are to be buried without the
cemetery. Some say, however, that they should be buried with the
mother as being a part of her body.

17. A man and wife are to be buried in the same sepulchre, after the
example of Abraham and Sarah (unless a wish be specially expressed to
the contrary). {87} Whence also Tobias commanded his son, that when
his mother had accomplished her days, he should bury her in the same
grave with himself.  [Footnote 373] Also everyone is to be buried in
the sepulchre of his fathers, unless from a principle of devotion he
hath chosen another sepulchre. But it was decreed in the Moguntine
Council, that they who have paid the extreme penalty for their crimes,
if they have confessed, or have desired to confess and have
communicated, may be buried in the cemetery, and the Mass and
oblations may be offered for them. How the human body is to be buried,
shall be said under the section of the Office for the Dead.

  [Footnote 373: Tobit xiv, 10]




Rise of the Dedication of Churches--By whom Performed--Particulars of
Consecration--The Twelve Crosses--Banners--Dedication--Re-consecration
Considered--Reconciliation--In what Cases--Of Scandals
--Reconciliation of Cemeteries.

1. Twice in the former part of this treatise we have described the
material church and the altar; it followeth that we must add something
about their dedication: stating,

  I. Whence the consecration of churches hath its origin.
  II. At whose hands a church is consecrated.
  III. For what reason.
  IV. In what form; and what is signified, as well by the dedication
  itself, as by each of the ceremonies observed therein.

  Of the offices for the festival of the dedication of a church we
  shall speak in the seventh book.  [Footnote 374]

  [Footnote 374: Appendix H.]

2. We have first to state whence the dedication of churches hath had
its rise. Upon which, note that under the teaching of the Lord, Moses
made the tabernacle, and consecrated it together with its table of
show-bread, and altar, and brazen vessels, and utensils for performing
the divine worship. {89} And these he not only consecrated with
prayers to God, but also anointed, at the command of the Lord, with
sacred oil. For  [Footnote 375] we read that the Lord taught Moses to
prepare a chrism, with which to anoint the tabernacle and the ark of
the testimony at the time of their dedication. Solomon also the son of
David, at the command of the Lord, completed the temple and its altar,
and consecrated what was still necessary for the performance of the
divine worship; as it is written in the third book of Kings.
[Footnote 376] Nebuchadnezzar the king also summoned all his satraps,
chief men, and governors to the dedication of the golden image which
he had made.  [Footnote 377] The Jews therefore, as we read in
Burchardus,  [Footnote 378] used to have the places in which they
sacrificed to the Lord consecrated by divine petitions, nor used they
to offer gifts to God in any places but such as were dedicated unto
Him. If then they who were in bondage to the shadow of the Law used to
do this, how much the more ought we, to whom the truth hath been made
manifest--'grace and truth came by Jesus Christ'   [Footnote 379]--to
build temples to the Lord, and adorn them as best we may, and devoutly
and solemnly consecrate (according to the institution of Pope Felix
III)  [Footnote 380] by divine prayers and holy unctions both them and
their altars and vessels, and vestments also, and other utensils for
fulfilling the divine service?

  [Footnote 375: Exodus xxx, 23-34.]

  [Footnote 376: I Kings iii, 6.]

  [Footnote 377:  Daniel iii, 2.]

  [Footnote 378: Book iii, ch. I. ]

  [Footnote 379: S. John i, 17.]

  [Footnote 380: 'The solemnities of the consecration of churches and
  of priests ought to be celebrated year by year, after the example of
  our Lord Himself, Who at the feast of the Dedication of the Temple
  did set us a pattern of this in that He celebrated this festival
  with the rest of the people; as it is written in S. John, "And it
  was at Jerusalem the feast of the Dedication, and it was winter, and
  Jesus walked in the Temple in Solomon's porch." Felix Papa in
  'Epist. ad Episc. per divers, provincias,' cap. i.]


Again, when once in Syria, in the city of Baruth, the Jews had
trampled underfoot an image of the Crucified, and had pierced its
side, there soon came forth therefrom blood and water. But the Jews
marvelled at this spectacle, and their sick when anointed with this
blood were freed from all their infirmities: by reason of which all,
having received the faith of Christ, were baptised, and proceeded to
consecrate their synagogues into churches. And hence hath grown the
custom that churches should be consecrated, whereas before this altars
alone used to be consecrated. On account of this miracle also the
Church ordained that a memorial of the Lord's Passion should be made
on the fifth day before the Calends of December: and for the same
reason the church was consecrated to the honour of the Saviour, in
which a vessel containing some of the blood is preserved, and a solemn
festival is celebrated on that day.  [Footnote 381]

  [Footnote 381: The editors have not been able to find any other
  account of this legend.]

3. Secondly, it is to be noted that a bishop alone can dedicate
churches and altars: since he beareth the image and figure of the
Chief Bishop, Christ, dedicating spiritually, without Whom we can do
nothing stable in the Church: whence He hath Himself said, 'Without Me
ye can do nothing';   [Footnote 382] and the Psalm saith, 'Unless the
Lord build the house their labour is but lost that build it:
[Footnote 383] hence the Council of Carthage prohibiteth a priest from
doing this, nor can this office be deputed to anyone of an inferior

  [Footnote 382: S. John xvii, 5.]

  [Footnote 383:  Psalm cxxvii (_Nisi Dominus_), I.]

4. Further, as the Sacred Canons instruct us, a church must not be
dedicated, unless it be first endowed, and that from goods lawfully
acquired. For we read how when a certain bishop was consecrating a
church built out of the fruits of usury and pillage, he saw behind the
altar the devil in a pontifical vestment, standing in the bishop's
throne: who said unto the bishop, Cease from {91} consecrating the
church: for it pertaineth to my jurisdiction, since it is built from
the fruits of usuries and robberies. Then the bishop and the clergy
having fled thence in fear, immediately the devil destroyed that
church, with a great noise.

5. Again, a church which hath been erected from the profit of avarice
must not be consecrated; nor one for which a sufficient endowment hath
not been assigned; nor one in which a paynim or an infidel hath been
buried, until he shall have been cast forth thence, and the church
reconciled, the walls and timbers having been first scraped. The case
is the same also with respect to an excommunicate person. But if a
woman with child be buried there, though she be not removed, the
church may be consecrated, even if the child hath not been baptised.

Although certain learned authors have written otherwise the church may
also be consecrated on ordinary days as well as on Sundays: and more
bishops than one and more altars than one may be consecrated at the
same time by the same person in one church.

6. Thirdly, we have to say for what reason a church is dedicated: and
indeed there be five reasons. First, that the devil and his power may
be entirely expelled from it. Gregory relateth in a dialogue, in his
third book, that when a certain church of the Arians having been
restored to the Orthodox was being consecrated, and relics of S.
Sebastian and the Blessed Agatha had been conveyed thither, the people
there assembled of a sudden perceived a swine to be running to and fro
among their feet; the which regaining the doors of the church could be
seen of none, and moved all to marvel. Which sign the Lord showed for
this cause, that it might be manifest to all that the unclean
inhabitant had gone forth from that place. {92} But in the following
night a great noise was made on the roof of the same church, as if
someone were running confusedly about upon it. The second night the
uproar was much greater. On the third night also so vast a noise was
heard as if the whole church had been overthrown from its foundations:
but it immediately ceased and no further inquietude of the old enemy
hath appeared in it. Secondly, that those who fly for refuge to it may
be saved, as we read in the Canons of Gregory. And with this view Joab
fled into the tabernacle and laid hold of the horns of the altar.
Thirdly, that prayers may be heard there. Whence in the prayer of the
Mass of Dedication it is said, 'Grant that all who shall meet together
here to pray may obtain, whatsoever be their trials, the benefits of
the consolation.' Thus also Solomon prayed at the dedication of the
Temple, as we read in the eighth chapter of the third book of Kings.
[Footnote 384] Fourthly, that praises may there be offered to God, as
has been already mentioned under the head of the Church. Fifthly, that
there the sacraments of the Church may be administered. From which the
church itself is called a tabernacle, as it were the hostelrie of God,
in which the divine sacraments be contained and adminstered.
[Footnote 385]

  [Footnote 384: I Kings viii, 30.]

  [Footnote 385: See chapter i, 4.]

7. Fourthly, we have to speak of the manner in which a church is
consecrated. All being excluded from the church, a single deacon
remaining shut up within, the bishop with his clergy before the doors
of the church proceedeth to bless water mixed with salt. In the
meanwhile within the building twelve lamps be burning before twelve
crosses which be depicted on the walls of the church. Next, the
bishop, the clergy and people following him and performing the circuit
of the church, sprinkleth from a rod of hyssop the external walls with
{93} holy water; and as he arriveth each time at the door of the
church he striketh the threshold with his pastoral staff, saying,
'Lift up your heads, O ye gates,' etc. The deacon from within
answereth, 'Who is the King of Glory?' To whom the Pontiff, 'The Lord
of Hosts,' etc. But the third time, the door being thrown open, the
bishop entereth the church with a few of his attendants, the clergy
and people remaining without, and saith, 'Peace be to this house'; and
then the Litanies. Next on the pavement of the church, let a cross be
made of ashes and sand; upon which the whole alphabet is described in
Greek and Latin characters.  [Footnote 386] And then he sanctifieth
more water with salt and ashes and wine, and consecrateth the altar.
Lastly, he anointeth with chrism the twelve crosses depicted on the

  [Footnote 386: See the Appendix on the 'Dedication of a Church']

8. In good truth whatsoever things be here done visibly, God by His
invisible power worketh the same in the soul which is the temple of
the true God: in which Faith layeth the foundation, Hope buildeth up,
and Charity perfecteth. For the Catholic Church herself, made one out
of many living stones, is the Temple of God, because many temples make
one temple, of which the true God is one, and the Faith one. The
house, therefore, must be dedicated; the soul sanctified.

9. And it is to be observed that consecration effecteth two things;
for it appropriateth the material church itself to God, and doth
insinuate our own betrothal, as well namely of the church as of the
faithful soul. For a house not consecrated is as a damsel designed for
some man, but not furnished with dowry or united in the commerce of
wedlock. But in consecration it is endowed, and passeth into the
proper spouse of Jesus Christ, which further to violate is sacrilege.
For it ceaseth to be the resort of demons, as is evident in the
consecration of that temple, which used formerly to be called the
Pantheon, or place of all demons.  [Footnote 387]

  [Footnote 387: 'Pope Boniface the Fourth did consecrate to the most
  Blessed Virgin and All Saints the famous monument of Agrippa, the
  _Pantheon_, having purified it from the base herd of vain gods.'
  _Ciampini_ IV, vi, 55. This is now called Santa Maria Rotonda.


10. First, however, we have to speak of the benediction of water,
concerning which the Lord saith, 'Unless a man be born again of water
and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.'  [Footnote
388] For water which is designed for washing the body, hath merited to
receive from God so great a virtue, that as it washeth the body from
impurities, so also it should cleanse the soul from sins. It is
manifest indeed that this water, by the aspersion of which a church is
consecrated, signifieth baptism, because in some sort the church
itself is baptised; and the church itself assuredly denoteth that
Church which is contained in it, namely, the multitude of the
faithful. Whence also it is called a church because it contains the
Church; the thing containing, namely, for the thing contained.

  [Footnote 388: S. John iii, 5.]

11. But we must inquire wherefore salt is to be mixed with this water,
since our Saviour, speaking of baptism, made no mention of salt. For
He saith not 'unless a man be born again of salt water or water mixed
with salt,' or anything of this sort: but He said 'unless a man be
born again of water and of the Holy Spirit,' etc. And the very same
inquiry may be made concerning oil and chrism. But we must note that
salt in the divine language is often put for wisdom; according to that
saying, 'Let your speech be savoured with salt' And the Lord saith to
His disciples, 'Have salt in yourselves and have peace one with
another.'  [Footnote 389] And again, 'Ye are the salt of the earth;
but if the salt have lost its savour wherewithal shall it be salted?'
[Footnote 390] Hence also it is that {95} according to the law no
victim was offered without salt, but salt was a part of every
sacrifice. From all which passages it is clearly shown that salt is
put for wisdom. And wisdom indeed is the seasoning of all virtues, as
salt is of all meats. Hence therefore it is that no one is baptised
before he hath tasted salt; and in order that even infants may have by
the symbolical meaning of the sacrament that which they cannot have in
fact, the water is not blessed without a mixture of salt. Of the
second benediction of water we shall speak in the following treatise.

  [Footnote 389: S. Mark ix, 50.]

  [Footnote 390: S. Mark v, 13.]

12. Again, the trine aspersion within and without with hyssop and holy
water signifieth the threefold immersion in baptism. And it is done
for three reasons. First, to drive away evil spirits. For holy water
availeth from its own proper virtue to drive away demons. Whence in
the Office for Exorcising the Water we say--'that this water may
become exorcised in order to put to flight all the power of the enemy,
and may avail to eradicate the enemy himself,' etc. Secondly, for the
cleansing and expiation of the church itself. For all earthly things
be corrupted and defiled by reason of sin. Hence it is also that in
the Law almost everything was cleansed by water. Thirdly, to remove
all malediction, and to bring in a blessing instead. For the earth
from the beginning received the curse with all its fruits, because
that the great deceit was made out of its fruit. But water hath not
been under any curse. Hence it is that our Lord ate fish, but we do
not read expressly that he ate flesh, unless of the Paschal Lamb; and
this on account of the precept of the Law, as an example, namely,
sometimes to abstain from lawful things, sometimes to eat the same.
Again, the aspersion in going the circuit signifieth that the Lord
having a care of His own, sendeth His angel round about them that fear


13. But the three responses which be chanted in the meantime testify
the joy of the three ages of men receiving the faith, namely, Noah,
Daniel, and Job. And since at this invocation the grace of Faith,
Hope, and Charity, is poured out as the sprinkling is directed to the
foot and middle part, as well as to the upper part of the walls. We
will now also speak of the interior aspersion. (Of the virtue of the
hyssop, we will speak under the next head.)

14. But the trine circuit, which the bishop maketh while sprinkling,
denoteth the thrice-repeated circuit which Christ made for the
sanctification of the Church. The first was that by which He came down
from heaven to the world: the second in which He descended into hell
from the world: the third in which returning from hell and rising
again He ascended into heaven. The trine circuit also showeth that
that church is dedicated to the honour of the Trinity. It showeth also
the three states of such as shall be saved in the Church, which be the
virgins, the continent, the married: which also the arrangement of the
material church itself showeth, as hath been said under the head of
the Church.

15. Moreover, the trine striking on the lintel of the door signifieth
the threefold right which Christ hath in His Church why it ought to be
opened unto Him. For it hath from Him Creation, Redemption, and
promise of Glorification. For the bishop representeth Christ, and the
rod His power. Again, by the triple striking of the door with the
pastoral staff, the preaching of the Gospel is understood. For what
else is the pastoral rod than the divine Word? According to that of
Esaias, 'He shall smite the earth with the rod,' _i.e._ the word, 'of
His mouth,' etc.  [Footnote 391] Wherefore to strike the door with the
rod is to strike the ears of the hearers by the word of preaching.
{97} For the ears are the gates by which we bring in the words of holy
preachings to the hearts of the hearers. Whence in the Psalm, 'Who
liftest me up from the gates of death that I may show all Thy praises
within the ports of the daughter of Sion.'   [Footnote 392] For what
are the gates of the daughter of Sion but the ears and hearing of the
faithful? Thirdly, the trine striking with the staff, and the opening
of the gates, signifieth that by the preaching of the pastors the
unbelieving shall come to the agreement of the Faith. For by it the
gates of justice be opened, and they that enter therein do confess the
faith. Whence the Psalm, 'Open unto me the gates of righteousness: I
will go into them and I will praise the Lord: this is the gate of the
Lord, the righteous shall enter into it.'  [Footnote 393] Wherefore
the bishop striketh the lintel, namely, of reason, saying, 'Lift up
your heads, ye princes,' that is, ye evil spirits: or rather, 'Lift
up, ye men,' that is, remove the gates, that is, your ignorances,
namely, from your hearts.  [Footnote 394]

  [Footnote 391: Isaiah xi, 4.]

  [Footnote 392: Ps. ix (_Confitebor tibi_), 13, 14.]

  [Footnote 393: Ps. cxviii (_Confitemini Domino_), 19, 20.]

  [Footnote 394: Ps. xxiv (_Domini est terra_), 'Attollite portas
  principes vestras.']

16. Again, the question of the deacon shut up within answering in the
character of the people, 'Who is the King of glory?' is the ignorance
of the people which knoweth not Who He is Who ought to enter.

17. The opening of the doors is the ejection of sin. Rightly,
therefore, doth the bishop strike three times, because that number is
most known and most sacred; and in any consecration the bishop ought
to smite the doors three times, because without the invocation of the
Trinity, there can be no sacrament in the Church.

18. The threefold proclamation, 'Lift up your heads,' etc., signifieth
the threefold power of Christ, that, namely, which He hath in heaven,
and in the earth, and in hell. Whence it is said in the hymn for the
Ascension, 'That the threefold frame of things, whether heavenly,
earthly, or infernal, may bow the head, having been subdued.
[Footnote 395]

  [Footnote 395: This hymn, by S. Gregory, is used in the office of
  matins in the Roman Breviary.]


19. Next the bishop entereth by the open door to denote that if he
duly exercise his office, nothing can resist him; according to that
saying, 'Lord, who shall resist Thy power?' And he entereth,
accompanied by two or three, that in the mouth of two or three
witnesses every word of the consecration may stand sure. Or else
because the Lord in His Transfiguration, in the presence of a few,
prayed for the Church. And the bishop as he entereth saith, 'Peace be
to this house and to all them that dwell therein'; because Christ
entering the world made peace between God and man; for He came that He
might reconcile us to God the Father.

20. After this while the Litany is being said the bishop prostrateth
himself and prayeth for the sanctification of the house. For Christ
also humbling Himself before His Passion prayed for His disciples and
'them that should believe through His word,' saying, 'Father, sanctify
them in Thy name.'   [Footnote 396] But after he hath risen up he
prayeth without benediction, since he saith not 'The Lord be with
you'; because the Church is not yet as it were baptised, and because
Catechumens only are not worthy that this mark of approval should be
given to them, since they are not yet sanctified: but nevertheless
prayer is to be made for them.

  [Footnote 396: S. John xvii.]

21. The clergy praying and chanting the Litany representeth the
Apostles who intercede with God for the sanctification of the Church
and of souls.


The alphabet is written on the pavement of the church in this manner.
A cross made with ashes and sand is described athwart the church, upon
which cross of dust the alphabet is written in the shape of a cross in
letters of Greek and Latin, but not of Hebrew, because the Jews have
departed from the faith; and it is written with the pastoral staff.

22. This alphabet written upon the cross representeth three things.
First, the writing made in Greek and Latin characters in the shape of
a cross representeth the conjunction or union in faith of both people,
namely, the Jews and the Greeks, which is made through the Cross of
Christ: according to the saying that Jacob blessed his sons with his
hands crossed. But the cross itself or the legend that is described in
a direction athwart the church, namely, the one arm from the left
corner of the east to the right of the west, and the other from the
right of the east to the left of the west,  [Footnote 397] signifieth
that that people, which was before on the right is now made on the
left, and that which was first is now made last, and the converse: and
this owing to the power of the Cross. For Christ passing from the
east, left the Jews on His left hand, because they were unbelieving,
and came to the Gentiles, to whom, though they had been in the west,
He grants to be on the right hand: and at length returning from the
Gentiles, who are situated at the right hand of the east, He visited
the Jews in the left corner of the west; who it is evident are worse
than He before found the Gentiles. But on this account the characters
are written obliquely and in the shape of a cross, and not in a
straight line, because such an one as doth not receive the mystery of
the Cross and doth not believe that he must be saved by the Passion of
Christ, is not able to attain to this holy wisdom. Wisdom will not
enter into the evil-disposed mind, and where Christ is not the
foundation, no edifice can be built upon it.

  [Footnote 397: We understand this to mean that the cross described
  in the church is a saltire, or S. Andrew's Cross, and not a plain
  one. Upon this again consult the Appendix.]


23. Secondly, the writing of the alphabet representeth the page of
both Testaments, because they be fulfilled by the Cross of Christ. For
the veil of the temple was rent asunder at His Passion, because then
the Scriptures were opened, and the Holy of Holies revealed. Whence He
Himself said when dying, 'It IS FINISHED.' In these few letters also
all knowledge is contained; and the alphabet is written crosswise,
because one Testament is contained in the other. For there was a wheel
within a wheel.

24. Thirdly, it representeth the articles of faith; for the pavement
of the church is the foundation of our faith. The elements written
thereon, are the articles of faith, in which ignorant men and
neophytes from both peoples be instructed in the Church; who indeed
ought to esteem themselves dust and ashes. Just as Abraham saith in
the xviii chapter of Genesis, 'Shall I speak to my Lord, who am but
dust and ashes?' Wherefore the writing of the alphabet on the pavement
is the simple teaching of faith in the human heart.

25. The _sambuca_ or staff, with which the alphabet is written,
showeth the doctrine of the apostles, or the mystery of the teachers,
by which the conversion of the Gentiles hath been effected, and the
perfidy of the Jews. Afterwards approaching the altar the bishop
standeth, and beginneth by saying, 'O God, make speed to save us;'
because he is then beginning the principal part of office. And the
versicle, 'Glory be to the Father,' etc., is then said.

26. Because this benediction is used to set forth the glory of the
Trinity, Alleluia is not then uttered, as will be set forth in the
next chapter. Then the bishop consecrateth the altar, for which he
blesseth other water, as {101} shall also be declared in the next
chapter. With which water also, after that the altar hath been
sprinkled seven times, the whole interior of the church is sprinkled
three times, as at first without any distinction between greater and
smaller stones, since 'there is no respect of persons with God.' For
this reason is the interior sprinkled, to signify that an external
ablution profiteth nothing without an internal charity. And for this
reason three times, because, as hath been premised, that aspersion
signifieth the aspersion and cleansing of baptism, which is conferred
through the invocation of the Trinity, according to the saying, 'Go ye
and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:'   [Footnote 398] for since a
church cannot be immersed in water as a man in baptism is immersed, it
is on this account sprinkled three times with water, as if in the
place of a threefold immersion.

  [Footnote 398: S. Matt, xxviii, 19.]

27. Again, the bishop performeth the aspersion proceeding from the
east to the west and once through the middle in the form of the cross;
because Christ gave instructions to baptise the whole of Judea and all
nations in the name of the Trinity, to which baptism He gave efficacy
in the ministry of His Passion, beginning from the Jews, from whom He
had His birth. And what remains of the water is poured away at the
foot of the altar, as shall be mentioned in the next chapter. Some,
however, do not bless any fresh water, but perform the whole office
with that which was blessed at first. In the meanwhile, however, the
choir is chanting the Psalm _Exsurgat Deus_ ('let God arise and let
His enemies be scattered,' etc.), and the _Qui habitat_ ('whoso
dwelleth,' etc.), in which mention is made of the church and its
consecration, as is plain in that verse, 'He is the God {102} that
maketh 'men to be of one mind in an house.'  [Footnote 399] But the
bishop saith, 'My house shall be called an house of prayer,' because
it is his duty to cause that the church should be a house of God, not
of merchandise.

  [Footnote 399: Psalm lxviii (_Exsurgat Deus_), v, 5.]

28. Next, when the altar hath been anointed with chrism, the twelve
crosses painted on the walls of the church are also anointed. But the
crosses themselves be painted; first, as a terror to evil spirits,
that they, having been driven forth thence, may be terrified when they
see the sign of the cross, and may not presume to enter therein again;
secondly, as a mark of triumph. For crosses be the banners of Christ,
and the signs of his triumph.  [Footnote 400] Crosses therefore are
with reason painted there that it may be made manifest that that place
hath been subdued to the dominion of Christ.

  [Footnote 400: Compare the hymn, _Vexilla Regis prodeunt_.]

29. For even in the pomp of an earthly sovereign it is customary when
any city hath been yielded, for the imperial standard to be set up
within it. And to represent the same thing, Jacob is said to have set
up the stone, which he had placed under his head, as a historical,
traditional, and triumphal monument.  [Footnote 401]

  [Footnote 401:  Genesis xxviii.]

30. Thirdly, that such as look on them may call to mind the Passion of
Christ, by which he hath consecrated His Church, and their belief in
His Passion. Whence it is said in the Canticles, 'place me as a signet
upon thy arm,' etc.  [Footnote 402] The twelve lights placed before
these crosses signify the twelve Apostles who have illumined the whole
world by the faith of the Crucified, and whose teaching hath dispersed
the darkness: whence Bernard saith, 'All prophecy is verified in the
faith of the crucified One;' and the Apostle, 'I determined not to
know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.'
[Footnote 403] {103} Wherefore the crosses on the four walls of the
church are lighted up and anointed with chrism, because the apostles
preaching the mystery of the cross have by the faith of Christ
illumined the four quarters of the earth unto knowledge, have lighted
them up unto love, have anointed them unto purity of conscience--which
is signified by the oil; and unto the savour of a good
reputation--which is signified by the balsam. In addition to this,
after the anointing of the altar, the altar itself and the church are
ornamented; the lamps lighted up; a Mass is said, in which the priest
useth different vestments from those which he hath used in the
aspersion, as shall be explained in the sequel.

  [Footnote 402: Cant, viii, 6.]

  [Footnote 403: I Cor, ii, 2.]

31. Lastly, it is to be noted that a church is said to be consecrated
in the blood of someone; whence, according to Pelagius and Pope
Nicholas, the Roman Church was consecrated in the martyrdom of the
Apostles, Peter and Paul.  [Footnote 404] A church therefore is
consecrated in the way just described; and an altar, as will be set
forth in the next chapter; and a cemetery and other things, as is
declared under the head of its consecration. And although we read in
the Old Testament that the Temple was consecrated three times: first,
in the month of September; secondly, in March under Darius; thirdly,
in December by Judas Maccabaeus.

  [Footnote 404:  This passage is obscure. A confession or martyrium
  was built over the place of S. Peter's martyrdom in the earliest
  times, and is now covered by the Vatican. See Ciampini de Vaticana
  Basilica. The expression probably means, in honour of the

32. Yet a church once consecrated, is not to be consecrated again
unless it shall have been profaned, which happeneth in three ways.
First, if it hath been burnt so as that all the walls or the greater
part of them be destroyed. But if only the roof or some part of it
hath been burnt, the walls remaining entire, or at least only {104}
partially destroyed, it need not be reconsecrated. Secondly, if the
whole church or the greater part of it hath fallen to the ground at
the same time, and hath been repaired entirely or not with the
original stones. For the consecration of a church consisteth mainly in
the exterior anointings, and in the conjunction and arrangement of the
stones. If, however, all the walls shall have fallen in, not at the
same time, but in succession, and shall have been repaired, the church
is to be considered the same. And so it need not be reconsecrated, but
only exorcised with water and reconciled by the solemnisation of a
Mass: however, some learned authors have said that it ought to be
reconsecrated. Thirdly, a church must be reconsecrated, if it be
doubtful whether it ever hath been consecrated, should there remain no
writing or painting or inscription to that effect, nor even a single
eye-witness, nor yet an ear-witness, who (as some say) would be

33. An altar also which hath been once consecrated must not be
consecrated again unless it should happen that it become profaned.
Which taketh place first if the table, that is the upper surface on
which the principal part of the consecration is bestowed, be moved or
changed in its form, or broken beyond measure, for instance above a
half. However, a disproportion of this sort may rightly be referred to
the decision of the bishop. The same also is especially the case, if
the whole structure of the altar hath been moved and repaired.
Nevertheless, the church is not to be reconsecrated on account of
either the movement or the breaking of the structure of the altar:
because the consecration of an altar and of a church be two different
things. So conversely if when the church is entirely destroyed the
altar be not injured, the church only is to be repaired, and the altar
not reconsecrated although in such case it is fitting that it be
washed with exorcised water.


34. Further, when the chief altar hath been consecrated the inferior
altars are not the less to be consecrated: although some have said
that it is sufficient for the rest to be pointed out with the finger
while the former is under consecration.

35. If, however, the altar hath suffered a trifling injury, it is not
on this account to be reconsecrated.

Secondly, an altar is reconsecrated, if the _seal_ of the altar--that
is the little stone by which the sepulchre or cavity in which the
relics be deposited is closed or sealed--be moved or broken. And the
cavity itself is made sometimes on the top part of the block, and
sometimes no other seal is put over it, but the _table_, being placed
over it, is considered as the seal. But sometimes it is placed in the
hinder part, and sometimes in the front: and in the same cavity the
bishop's letters of consecration be generally carefully deposited in
testimony of the consecration: containing his own name and that of the
other bishops present at the consecration: and declaring in honour of
what saint the altar is consecrated, and also the church itself, when
both be consecrated at the same time, and the year also and day of

Thirdly, an altar is reconsecrated, if the junction of the seal to the
cavity, or of the _table_ to the block, where there is no other seal
than this slab, be disturbed; or if any of the stones of the junction
or the block, which toucheth either the table or the seal, be either
disturbed or broken. For in the conjunction of the seal and cavity,
and of the table and block or inferior structure, the consecration is
most especially perceived.


Fourthly, an altar is reconsecrated, if to it or to the conjunction of
the table with the under structure so great an enlargement be made as
that it loseth its original form, since the form giveth the existence
to the thing. Yet it doth not become profaned on account of a trifling
enlargement: but in that case the sacred part draweth over to itself
the part not sanctified: so long as the conjunction of the top slab
and under structure be not greatly changed.

Fifthly, an altar, just as a church, is reconsecrated in cases of

Sixthly, a travelling altar, if the stone be removed from the wood in
which it is inserted, which in some sort representeth its _seal_, and
be replaced again in the same or in other wood, some think should be
reconsecrated, but others only reconciled. But although it be often by
the command of the bishop transferred from place to place, and carried
on a journey (on which account it is called a portable or a travelling
altar) yet it is not reconsecrated in consequence of this, nor yet

36. But if a consecrated chalice be regilt, is it therefore to be
reconsecrated? It seemeth so, since it appeareth to become a new
chalice. For he who doth renew the old fashion of a work seemeth to
make a new work: and he doth remake, who doth mend a thing already
made. And assuredly consecration doth pertain to the outer surface.
And hence it is that I have said above that a church, if its walls be
stripped of their outer coat, must be reconsecrated.

37. The converse is nevertheless true, that neither on account of
whitewashing or painting the walls, nor of any small addition to them,
is a church to be reconsecrated; as I have already said. Wherefore, if
the shape of the chalice be not changed, it remaineth the same
chalice, and is not to be reconsecrated; just as also a church being
repaired, since it remaineth the same church, is not to be
reconsecrated, as aforesaid. {107} But if the former shape be changed,
the case were otherwise, since, as I have said, the shape giveth
existence to the thing. Nevertheless, it is decent, as well by reason
of its contact with unclean hands as also of the increment of
unconsecrated matter, that a chalice, being regilded, should be washed
with exorcised water before that the most Holy Body and Blood of the
Lord be sacrificed therein. Let us now say something about

38. Upon this head it is to be noted that the spiritual temple, which
is man, is ofttimes polluted. Whence we do read in the twentieth of
Leviticus what men be polluted, and how they may not enter the church
until they be washed with water and cleansed: as also in the
nineteenth of Numbers, 'He that toucheth the dead body of a man shall
be unclean .... wherefore he shall purify himself and wash his clothes
and bathe himself in water and shall be clean.' And the Prophet saith,
'Thou shalt purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean.   [Footnote

  [Footnote 405: Psalm li (_Miserere mei_), 7.]

39. The material temple also, which as Pope Gregory doth testify, is
the church, is sometimes polluted, as we do read in Leviticus.
[Footnote 406] Whence saith the Prophet, 'Thy holy temple have they
defiled and made Jerusalem an heap of stones.'  [Footnote 407] And the
material temple is also washed with water in order to be reconciled.
[Footnote 408] Reconciliation is also effected by the celebration of a
Mass, and the aspersion of water duly consecrated with salt, wine, and
ashes. For by the salt, is signified discretion; by the water, the
people; by the wine, the Divinity; by the ashes, the remembrance of
the Passion of Christ; by the wine mixed with water, the union of
Godhead and Manhood.

  [Footnote 406: Levit. xv, 31.]

  [Footnote 407: Psalm lxxix (_Deus, venerunt_), I. ]

  [Footnote 408: Some of our readers may not know that reconciliation
  is the technical term for the restoring a desecrated church to a
  state fit for the performance of the divine offices.]


These things, therefore, be put together to denote that the people,
being cleansed by a discerning remembrance of the Passion of Christ,
are made one with Him. Also if the church hath once been consecrated,
the reconciliation can be made by a bishop only. And albeit he might
devolve upon a fellow-bishop the whole office, namely, both the
blessing of the water and the reconciliation; or the benediction of
the water only; or even the reconciliation alone with water blessed
beforehand by himself; yet can neither be devolved upon a mere priest,
unless perchance this be competent to him by a special privilege. But
if the church hath not been consecrated, it ought, according to the
Constitution of Gregory, to be washed forthwith with exorcised water:
the which washing some do affirm may be done by a mere priest, though
at the bidding of the bishop: since it hath to be done by exorcised
water, which every priest may use. Yet some skilful men of the highest
authority have written that it is safer for this also to be done by
none but a bishop, and that this may not be devolved by him to a
priest; for certain canons do call exorcised water that which is
solemnly blessed with wine and ashes:--and this is true indeed in
regard of a church which although not consecrated hath been dedicated
unto God. For it is otherwise with a mere oratory, which is neither a
holy nor a religious place, inasmuch as any man doth order it at his
will--at least for prayers, albeit perchance not for celebration
without the license of the diocesan--and at his will assigneth the
same place to another use.

40. A church then is to be reconsecrated in the aforesaid case: and
also if any uncleanness be committed therein, whether by clerk,
layman, heretic, or paynim. But albeit some wise men have thought
otherwise, we opine that the case is different in regard of
unintentional pollution.  [Footnote 409]

  [Footnote 409: The editors have ventured to make a few omissions in
  this and some of the following sections.]


41. A church also must be reconciled on account of any homicide, in
any way intentionally committed therein, whether with or without the
shedding of blood: and also, besides homicide, for any violence or
injurious shedding of human blood, whether from a wound or not, or
from the nose or the mouth. For we read in the Old Testament, in the
fourteenth and fifteenth of Leviticus, how that any man shedding
blood, or polluted in divers ways, may not enter the temple. If,
however, without violence or injury blood should flow in any natural
way whatsoever within the church; or if any animal should be slain
therein, or if anyone should die suddenly, or be killed by a falling
stone or timber, or by lightning; for these and the like occasions the
church is not reconciled. Nor again, if anyone, having been wounded
elsewhere, should flee to a church and die there even with great
effusion of blood: since then the homicide is not committed in the
church. But conversely, if anyone having been wounded in a church
dieth without, or even if blood flow from the wound away from the
church, the case is otherwise, even if the blood did not flow at all
within the church: since the law regardeth the blow which causeth the
wound. But and if blood be shed or other pollutions be caused on the
roof of a church, no reconciliation is made, because the deed is
committed without the church.

42. But if theft and rapine be committed in a church, it is reconciled
by the custom which usually obtaineth in such matters. And some do
affirm that the same ought to be done in any case of violence
committed therein without the shedding of blood; for example, if
anyone having taken refuge therein should be drawn forth with
violence. Also if anyone should break into the church or any quarrel
should be tumultuously carried on, though without shedding of blood:
or if anyone should be grievously beaten therein, so as his bones
should be broken, or he be covered with weals and bruises, though
without blood; {110} or again, if anyone, being condemned while
present in a church either to death or mutilation, be led forth to go
to the place of execution. But since these cases be not expressed in
the law, it is not necessary for the church to be solemnly reconciled
by the bishop. Yet we think it is decent for it to be washed by the
priest with exorcised water at the command of the bishop: and the same
is to be said, if the church being a long-time without roof or doors,
should have been open to all impurities, to animals and the natural
use of men, as if a common inn: nor perchance would it be amiss for it
in such case to be solemnly reconciled by the bishop. Again, if
anyone, slain without the church, be shortly borne into the church,
and there the murderer or anyone else thinking he will not die should
inflict on his yet warm body a blow causing blood to flow, then the
church must be reconciled, as well by reason of the horror and
abomination, as of the violence and intention of sinning: for though a
dead man be not a man, yet is his human blood shed there by violence;
and to the corpse itself is violence, horror, and injury offered. But
the case is otherwise if anyone, having died a natural death, be,
through respect of, and honour to his body, dismembered in the church
or disembowelled, that perhaps one part may be buried in one place,
and another in another.

43. A church must also be reconciled, in which an infidel, or one
publicly excommunicated be buried; and then the walls are to be

In the aforesaid cases, however, in which a church is to be
reconciled, it is requisite that the fact causing the reconciliation
should be known at least by report.


44. For this is a scandal to the church, the horror and abomination of
baseness and sin and violence committed in a sacred place, or in a
church: wherein the pardon for offences is besought, wherein there
ought to be a refuge of defence, wherein is offered the saving
sacrifice for sins, wherein also those that flee for refuge be saved,
and praises be rendered unto God. Furthermore, the intention and
design of sinning mortally therein do cause a church to be reconciled.
But if this design be hidden, reconciliation is not necessary, since
the church itself, being holy, cannot be polluted; nay, the holiness
of the place itself doth do away with the infamy: albeit some do think
the contrary of this, as that it ought to be reconciled at least
privately, so that the delinquents be not exposed.

45. For reconciliation is performed for an example and warning, that
all who behold the church, which hath in no wise sinned, washed and
purified for the delict of another, may reflect how they themselves
must work out the expiation of their own sins.

46. Also a cemetery, in which a paynim, or an infidel or one
excommunicate be buried, is to be reconciled; the bones, however, of
the paynim, if they can be distinguished from those of the faithful,
being interred elsewhere. A cemetery also is reconciled in the
above-mentioned cases, in which a church is to be reconciled: for a
cemetery enjoyeth the same privileges as doth a church, as we shall
say in the chapter of Sacred Unctions; for it is a holy place from the
time of its benediction; and it is reconciled by the bishop, just as a
church, by the aspersion of water, blessed with wine and ashes.

47. But this is to be noted, that in whatsoever part of the church or
the cemetery the violence or pollution be committed, both the church
and the cemetery, and also the several parts of either, by reason of
their contiguity, are understood to be violated. This first hath of
late been set straight by Pope Boniface. For albeit the consecrations
of the church, the altar, and the cemetery be diverse, yet is the
immunity of them one and the same and is not to be restricted to any
one of them separately, nor to any individual part of either. {112}
This indeed is true if the church and cemetery be adjacent: but if the
one be at a distance from the other, one may well be violated without
the other. If therefore when one is violated or polluted, the other be
also violated and polluted; by the like reason, if one only be
reconciled the other is also taken to be reconciled: since nothing is
more natural than that everything should be loosed in the same method
as it is bound, and that the relation of binding and loosing should be
the same. Wherefore when the cemetery is violated or polluted, it
sufficeth that the church be reconciled. There be nevertheless some
who do affirm simply that by the pollution of the one, the other is in
no wise polluted, and by consequence that each should be reconciled
separately. Yet these doth the authority of the Pontifical oppose, in
which is found a special form for the reconciliation of a cemetery.
Lastly, if a church or a cemetery, or any such thing, be consecrated
or blessed by a bishop under excommunication, these, some affirm, do
not require reconciliation, since sacraments administered by such in
the form of the Church be valid. But since (as aforesaid) one or more
excommunicate persons do profane a cemetery or church, much more
indeed do the external sacraments and benedictions, which proceed from
the hands and mouth of an excommunicate person, appear so far as
pertaineth to their own merits to be contaminated and to stink before
God. Wherefore it is decent that we should reconcile them before the
faithful use these sacraments; as in truth the reading of the sacred
canons doth evidently teach. For the Lord saith by the Prophet, 'I
will curse your blessings.'   [Footnote 410]

  [Footnote 410: Malachi ii. 2.]




Rise of the Consecration of Altars--Manner of the Same--The
Benediction of Water--The Aspersions--The Hyssop--Consideration of
Relics--The Altar must be of Stone--The Incense--The Benediction of
Church Ornaments.

1. Not only is a church consecrated, but also the altar: and this for
three reasons. First, with regard to the sacrament thereon to be
offered to God. Noah   [Footnote 411] built an altar to the Lord, and
offered a sacrifice upon it, taking some of all clean birds and
beasts. But this sacrament is the Body and Blood of Christ which is
sacrificed in remembrance of the Lord's Passion, according to the
command, 'This do in commemoration of Me.'   [Footnote 412]

  [Footnote 411: Genesis viii.]

  [Footnote 412:  S. Luke xxii, 19.]

2. Secondly, with regard to the invocation in that place of the name
of God: whence [Footnote 413] Abraham built an altar to God who
appeared unto him, and called there upon the name of the Lord. But
this invocation, which takes place over the altar, is properly called
the Mass.

  [Footnote 413: Genesis xii.]

3. Thirdly, with regard to chanting: 'He gave him patience against his
enemies, and caused singers also to stand before the altar, that by
their voices they might make sweet melody.'   [Footnote 414]

  [Footnote 414: Eccles. xlvii, 9.]


4. The consecration of an altar is performed in this method and order.
The bishop beginneth, 'O God, make speed to save us.' Afterwards he
blesseth the water, and then at the four horns   [Footnote 415] of the
altar he describeth four crosses with the consecrated water. Next, he
goeth round the altar seven times, and sprinkleth the _table_
[Footnote 416] of the altar seven times with holy water, by means of
an aspersory of hyssop. The church also is again sprinkled, and the
remainder of the water is poured at the foot of the altar: and then
four crosses be made with chrism at the four corners of the sepulchre
in which the relics are to be deposited; and the relics themselves be
placed in a case, together with three grains of frankincense, and so
be buried in the sepulchre. Then is placed upon the sepulchre its
cover,  [Footnote 417] strengthened in the middle by the sign of the
cross: afterwards the stone, which is called the table, is fitted to
the top of the altar, and when fitted is anointed with oil in five
places, and in the same way is further anointed afterwards with
chrism, as hath been said when speaking about oil. The altar also is
confirmed in front by the chrism applied in the form of the cross, and
incense is burnt upon it in the five places. After this the altar is
covered up, and is spread with clean cloths, and then at length the
sacrifice is celebrated upon it. Now let us follow out each of the
above-mentioned ceremonies in succession.

  [Footnote 415: The word _horn_ appears to be used simply for
  _corner_, evidently with reference to the altar of the temple, which
  had raised projections, or horns at its angles.]

  [Footnote 416: We shall use the word _table_ to denote the _mensa_
  or upper surface of the altar, on which the chief part of the
  ceremonies of consecration were performed.]

  [Footnote 417: This passage is obscure, and receives no light from
  other ritualists who have not spoken much on the consecration of
  altars. From the 25 of the chapter we apprehend that this slab, or
  cover of the sepulchre, was marked with a cross of chrism before it
  was fitted on to the cavity.]


5. First, then, it is to be noted, that an altar is consecrated by the
unction of chrism and act of blessing intervening, and that it is only
and entirely of stone. The bishop standing up beginneth, 'O God, make
speed to save us,' because the Lord Himself saith, 'Without Me ye can
do nothing.'   [Footnote 418]

  [Footnote 418:  S. John xv, 5.]

6. And because this dedication signifieth that those must be baptised,
who, after receiving the faith, are preparing themselves to fight, and
who are still situated amongst the sighs and struggles of this world;
on this account the Alleluia is omitted, since those who be not
baptised be not worthy to join in the praises of angels: whence it is
written in Tobit, 'And all her streets shall say Alleluia.'
[Footnote 419] But after that the consecration of the church or of the
altar is completed, the Alleluia is chanted, because the delusions of
devils having been expelled, God shall be praised thereupon. For
Christ even when approaching to the altar of the cross in order to
manifest the glory of His Eternity, paid the penalty of death: not
until after His resurrection sang He Alleluia.

  [Footnote 419: Tobit xiii, 18.]

7. Secondly, with respect to the blessing of water, it is to be noted
that this kind of exorcising water is performed in order to expel the
enemy from it. In which blessing four things be necessary; namely,
water, wine, salt, and ashes. And this for three reasons.

8. (i) Because there be four things which expel the enemy. The first
is the outpouring of tears, which is denoted by the water: the second
is the exultation of the soul, which is denoted by the wine: the third
is natural discretion, which by the salt; the fourth, a profound
humility, which is signified by the ashes. Wherefore the water is
penitence, the wine exaltation of mind, the salt wisdom (as was shown
in the preceding chapter), the ashes the humility of penitence. Whence
it is said of the Ninevites that their 'king rose up from his throne,
and clothed himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.'  [Footnote 420]
{116} Hence also David saith, 'For I have eaten ashes as it were
bread.'   [Footnote 421] Hence also Abraham saith, 'Shall I speak to
my Lord, who am but dust and ashes?'   [Footnote 422]

  [Footnote 420: Jonah iii, 6.]

  [Footnote 421: Psalm cii (_Domine exaudi_), 9.]

  [Footnote 422: Genesis xviii, 27.]

9. (ii) In a second sense water is the people or mankind, because many
waters are many peoples; wine is the Deity; salt, the teaching of the
divine law which is the salt of the covenant; ashes, that which
preserveth the remembrance of the Lord's Passion. Wine mixed with
water, is Christ, God and Man. For by means of faith in the Lord's
Passion (_ashes_), which is had through the teaching of the Divine Law
(_salt_), the people, denoted by the water, is joined through the
union of faith, to its Head, God and Man.

10. (iii) In a third method we may say also that this consecrated
water signifieth the Holy Spirit, without Whose influence nothing ever
is sanctified, and without Whose grace there is no remission of sins.
That the Holy Spirit is called water, truth itself showeth when He
saith, 'Whosoever believeth in Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers
of living water':   [Footnote 423] which the Evangelist explaining
saith, 'This He spake of the Holy Ghost which they should receive who
believed upon Him.'

  [Footnote 423: S. John vii, 38, 39.]

11. And note the order of the sacrament; the church is consecrated
outwardly by water, inwardly by the Spirit. For this is what the Lord
saith, 'Unless a man shall be born again of water and of the Holy
Ghost,' etc.  [Footnote 424] Here is the water: here the Holy Spirit.
For in the sacrament of baptism, neither is the water without the
Spirit, nor the Spirit without the water: which element indeed the
Spirit Himself did sanctify, when in the first creation of the world
'He moved upon the face {117} of the waters.'  [Footnote 425] With
this water therefore, both the altar itself and the whole interior of
the church is sprinkled, when both it and the altar are dedicated on
the same occasion.

  [Footnote 424: S. John iii, 5.]

  [Footnote 425: Genesis i, 2.]

12. Although therefore the Spirit and water would suffice for the
perfect operation of baptism and the consecration of a church, yet the
holy fathers who have made this constitution, wished to satisfy us not
only in those particulars which pertain to the efficacy of the
sacraments, but in those also which relate to its greater
sanctification: and on this account they have added salt, wine, oil,
ashes, and chrism. (For Philip, when he baptised the eunuch, had
neither oil nor chrism.) Therefore not one of these ingredients ought
to be wanting; and they ought all to be mixed together, because the
people of God, which is the Church, is neither sanctified nor released
from sins without the union of these qualities. On this I shall treat
also in the chapter upon consecrations. With respect to water indeed
the case is evident, because 'unless a man be born again,' etc.

13. With respect to the salt also; because without the seasoning of
faith, which is typified by the salt, no one shall ever be saved,
albeit he be sprinkled by the water of baptism. Also with respect to
wine, by means of which the spiritual intelligence of the divine law
is denoted. Whence the Lord at the marriage in Cana turned the water
into wine. But if anyone shall not have been sprinkled with this, that
is, shall not have drunk of this or have believed those who offered it
to him to drink, he shall not attain to the blessedness of eternal
life. The aspersion of ashes also, by which the humility of penitence
is understood, is so necessary, that without it there is no remission
of sins in adults; for through it they come to baptism, and it is the
sole refuge for such as have sinned {118} after baptism. Whence not
without reason is baptism called from it: the Lord speaking in the
gospel concerning John Baptist 'that he came into the whole region of
Galilee, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of
sins.' [Footnote 426] Note also that there be four kinds of
consecrated water, of which we shall speak in the fourth book, and at
the head of 'The aspersion of holy water.'  [Footnote 427]

  [Footnote 426: S. Mark i, 4.]

  [Footnote 427: There be four kinds of holy water, one, by the which
  is made the judgment of expurgation, which is no longer used; a
  second, which doth sanctify in the consecration of a church or an
  altar; a third, with which aspersions be made in the church; and a
  fourth, the water of baptism.'--Durandus, Lib. IV, iv, 10.]

14. When all these ingredients have been mixed, the bishop maketh four
crosses with this water at the four horns of the altar, and one in the
middle;  [Footnote 428] the four crosses represent the fourfold
charity which they ought to have who approach the altar, viz., love
for God, themselves, their friends, and their enemies. Of which four
corners of charity it is said in Genesis, 'Thou shalt spread into the
east, and the west, and the north, and the south': and for this reason
be the four crosses made at the four corners to show that Christ, by
His Cross, hath saved the four quarters of the world. Secondly, they
be made to point out that we ought to bear the cross of the Lord in
four ways; namely, in our heart by meditation, in our mouth by
confession, in our body by mortification of the flesh, in our face by
constant impression. The cross in the middle of the altar signifieth
the Passion which Christ underwent in the middle of the earth, by
which He worked out salvation in the middle of the earth; that is, in

  [Footnote 428: The _tables_, or upper slabs of the altar, were
  inscribed with five crosses, one at each corner and one in the
  middle: as are also the altar stones which are found in the middle
  of the frightful wooden altars abroad at this day. See an
  interesting list of altar slabs in the 'Few Hints' of the Cambridge
  Camden Society.]


15. Next, the bishop goeth seven times round the altar, (i) Firstly,
to signify that he ought to exercise care for all, and to keep himself
vigilant, which is denoted by the act of going round. Whence at that
time they chant, 'The watchmen that went about the city found me.'
[Footnote 429] For a bishop ought to watch anxiously over the flocks
committed to him: for as Gilbert saith, 'A ridiculous thing it is, a
blind watchman, a lame leader, a negligent prelate, an untaught
teacher, and a dumb preacher.'

  [Footnote 429: Cant. v, 7.]

16. (ii) Secondly, the seven circuits of the altar do signify the
seven meditations which we ought to entertain respecting the sevenfold
virtue of the humility of Christ, and of which we ought to make
frequent circuits in our minds. The first virtue is, that from being
rich He became poor; the second, that He was laid in a manger: the
third, that he was subject to His parents; the fourth, that He bowed
His Head under the hand of a slave; the fifth, that He bore with a
thief and a betrayer as a disciple; the sixth, that He stood gentle
before an unrighteous judge; the seventh, that He mercifully prayed
for them that crucified Him.

17. (iii) Thirdly, by the seven circuits be indicated the seven
journeys of Christ. The first was from heaven to the Virgin's womb;
the second, thence into the manger; the third, from the manger into
the world; the fourth, from the world to the cross; the fifth, from
the cross to the sepulchre; the sixth, from the sepulchre to the place
of spirits; the seventh, from the place of spirits to heaven.

18. After this, the bishop sprinkleth the altar. But what the altar
signifieth in a temple, the Apostle telleth us: 'For the Temple of God
is holy, which temple ye are.'  [Footnote 430] Wherefore, if we be the
Temple of God, 'we {120} have an altar.'  [Footnote 431] Our altar is
our heart: for the heart is in a man what the altar is in a temple. On
this altar is made the sacrifice of praise and joy, according to the
saying of the Psalmist: 'The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,'
etc.  [Footnote 432] On this altar is made the commemoration of the
Body and Blood of Christ. From it do prayers rise to heaven, because
God looketh to the heart. This altar, therefore, is sprinkled with
water when the hearts of men, by means of the preaching of the gospel,
are cleansed from sin. For preaching is water, according to that
saying: 'All ye that thirst, come to the waters.'   [Footnote 433] By
this water, therefore, that is, by the preaching of the gospel and the
sanctification of the Holy Ghost, both the altar of the heart and the
whole man are cleansed and sanctified. For the altar of the heart is
consecrated by the conception of fear, inviting to good, and by the
affection of love, confirming to the better. 'For the fear of the Lord
is the beginning of wisdom.'  [Footnote 434]

  [Footnote 430:  2 Cor. vi, 16.]

  [Footnote 431: Heb. xiii, 10.]

  [Footnote 432: Ps. li (_Miserere mei Deus_), 17.]

  [Footnote 433: Isaiah lv, 1.]

  [Footnote 434: Ps. cxi (_Confitebor tibi_), 10.]

19. But the altar is sprinkled seven times with water to notify that
in baptism the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit be conferred. By this
also it is set forth that we ought to have a remembrance of the Lord's
Passion. For the seven aspersions of water be the seven outpourings of
the Blood of Christ. The first whereof was at circumcision; the second
in prayer, when His sweat was as drops of blood; the third, at the
scourging; the fourth, from the crown of thorns; the fifth, from His
pierced hands; the sixth, when His feet were nailed to the cross; the
seventh, when His side was opened. Some, however, sprinkle three
times, because we baptise in the name of the Holy Trinity; or because
the church is cleansed from sins of thought, word, and deed; whence
also at that time the _Miserere mei_ is said.


20. Moreover, these aspersions be made with an aspersory made of
hyssop, by which herb, because it is lowly, the lowliness of Christ is
conveniently represented: since the above-mentioned effusions of blood
were accompanied by the hyssop, of the humility and inextinguishable
love of Christ by which the Catholic Church being sprinkled is
purified. This herb also groweth naturally upon rock: and lowliness of
disposition hath grown upon Christ the rock. For according to the
Apostle, 'That rock was Christ.'   [Footnote 435] It is also of a warm
nature; and the humility of Christ inflameth cold hearts to the
practice of works of love. Its roots also penetrate the rocks; and
humility breaketh through the hardest of obstinacy. It availeth for
diseases of the breast and against swelling: so doth humility heal the
swelling of pride. The former also is born from, and rooted in, the
earth: whence by it the whole multitude of the faithful may be
understood; and those especially be figured by the hyssop, who, rooted
and grounded in Christ, cannot be plucked up or separated from His
love. By whom what can we understand better than the bishops and
presbyters, because the more dignity they obtain in the Church, the
more firmly ought they to cleave to the faith of Christ. By these
assuredly is the water aspersed; by and through these be the faithful
of Christ baptised; to these is it given to perfect the sacrament of

  [Footnote 435: I Corinthians x, 4.]

21. But whilst the altar is being sprinkled with water the bishop
chanteth, 'My house shall be called an house of Prayer,' etc.,
[Footnote 436] and again, 'I will tell out thy name to my brethren.'
[Footnote 437] And because without God no work is perfectly
consummated, he prayeth that those who enter therein to seek for
blessings may be heard.

  [Footnote 436:  S. Matthew xxi, 13.]

  [Footnote 437: Psalm xxii (_Deus Deus meus_), 22.]


Afterwards, when the church and altar are consecrated at the same
time, the whole church is sprinkled with that water, as was discussed
in the preceding chapter, which being done, the bishop approacheth the
altar repeating Psalms, and what remains of the water is poured away
at the foot of the altar, as in the old Testament  [Footnote 438] what
remained of the blood was poured away at the bottom of the altar; by
which it is signified that the remainder in so great a sacrament,
which is beyond human power, is given over unto God, Who is the Chief
High Priest, Whose part it is to supply the defect of other priests.
But the sepulchre or cavity in which relics ought to be deposited,
signifieth the golden pot full of manna, which was placed in the ark
of the testimony, as hath been explained under the head of the Altar.

  [Footnote 438: Exodus xxix, 12.]

22. A sepulchre of this sort, which by some is termed a _confession_,
is our heart; and it is consecrated by four crosses made with chrism,
because there be four virtues described in the book of wisdom--namely,
Prudence, Fortitude, Temperance, and Justice--with which our heart is,
as it were, anointed, when it is prepared by the gift of the Holy
Spirit to receive the mysteries of the heavenly secrets. But this
sepulchre is made sometimes at the upper part of the altar, sometimes
in the front side of it.

23. Without the relics of saints, or, where they cannot be had,
without the body of Christ,  [Footnote 439] there is no consecration
of a fixed altar: but there may be of a travelling or portable one.
Relics in truth are, after the example of both Testaments, evidences
of the suffering of martyrs and lives of confessors; which things be
left to us as examples. These we enclose in a case, because we retain
them, in order to imitate them in our heart: but if we hear and
understand and do no works, {123} it tendeth rather to damnation than
to salvation; because 'not the hearers of the law are just before God,
but the doers only';  [Footnote 440] whence the Apostle saith, 'Be ye
imitators of me as I am also of Christ.'  [Footnote 441]

  [Footnote 439: See chapter ii.]

  [Footnote 440: Romans ii, 13.]

  [Footnote 441: I Corinthians xi, 1.]

24. But the solemn carrying of relics is in imitation of what is read
in the xxv chapter of Exodus. In the ark of the testament there were
two golden rings, going through the whole thickness of the wood, and
through these were put the staves of shittim wood overlaid with gold,
by which the ark was borne. And before the bishop entereth the church
he goeth round it with the relics in order that they may be protectors
of that church. We read also in the viii chapter of the third book of
Kings that at the dedication of the temple 'there were assembled
together all the elders of Israel, with the chiefs of the tribes, and
the heads of families to King Solomon in Jerusalem, to carry the ark
of the covenant of the Lord; and there came all the elders of Israel,
and the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord into
his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even
under the wings of the cherubims. For the cherubims spread forth their
two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark
and the staves thereof above. And King Solomon, and all the
congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him, marched with him
before the ark.'   [Footnote 442] In remembrance of this event, the
prelates, great men, and people   [Footnote 443] of the province meet
together, even at this day, for the dedication of churches, and follow
in procession him that consecrateth: and relics are solemnly carried
by priests under a pavilion or canopy. Afterwards the bishop, before
he entereth the church with these, addresseth the people. For Solomon
also, after the ark had been {124} carried, 'turned his face about,
and blessed all the congregation of Israel,' and prayed for such as
should pray in the church. 'For all the congregation of Israel stood,
and Solomon said, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,' etc., as is read
in the same place.  [Footnote 444 ]

  [Footnote 442:  I Kings viii, 2, 6, 7.]

  [Footnote 443: The Venice edition of 1609 reads _Apostoli_ here.]

  [Footnote 444: I Kings, viii.]

25. But the relics of saints are enclosed in a case together with
three grains of frankincense, because we ought to retain in our
recollection the examples of the saints, together with faith in the
Trinity, that is, in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. For we ought to
believe one God, one faith, one baptism, because 'the just liveth by
faith,'   [Footnote 445] without which, as the Apostle hath said, 'It
is impossible to please God.'   [Footnote 446] There is placed upon
and fitted to the sepulchre itself a certain board fortified by the
sign of the cross made with chrism.  [Footnote 447] For by chrism is
understood the gift of the Holy Spirit, with which this board, that is
charity, is anointed; because our heart is fortified by the grace of
the Holy Spirit to observance of the heavenly mysteries. The board
therefore fortified by this sign is placed over the relics, because by
the example of the saints is inflamed charity, 'which covereth a
multitude of sins,'   [Footnote 448] just as also the board covereth
the relics. Whence saith the Apostle, 'The love of God is spread
abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.'
[Footnote 449] But this slab or stone containeth, or is called, the
_seal_ of the sepulchre; as saith Pope Alexander III.

  [Footnote 445: Romans i, 17.]

  [Footnote 446: Hebrews xi 6.]

  [Footnote 447: See above, section 4, note 7.]

  [Footnote 448: I S. Peter iv, 8.]

  [Footnote 449: Romans v, 5.]

After this, however, the stone, which is called the _table_ of the
altar, is fitted to the top of the altar; by which we may understand
the perfection and solidity of the knowledge of God; and it ought to
be of stone, not because of the hardness, but the solidity of faith.
Just as the Lord said unto Peter, 'Thou art Peter, and upon this
rock'--that is, upon this firmness of faith--'I will build My Church.'
[Footnote 450]

  [Footnote 450: S Matthew xvi, 18.]


26. For as this _table_ is the completion and finishing of the altar,
so is the knowledge of God the confirmation and perfection of all good
gifts. Whence in the book of Wisdom it is said unto the Lord, 'For to
know Thee is perfect wisdom, and to know Thy justice and Thy virtue is
the root of immortality.'  [Footnote 451] The Lord saith by Jeremiah,
'Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and
knoweth Me.'  [Footnote 452]

  [Footnote 451: Wisdom xv, 3.]

  [Footnote 452: Jeremiah ix, 24.]

27. Or, again, by this stone itself is understood Christ, of Whom the
Apostle saith, 'Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone.'
[Footnote 453] By the stone indeed the humanity of Christ is denoted.
Concerning which we read in Daniel that a stone was cut out of the
rock without hands--because Christ was born of the Blessed Virgin (who
for the excellency of her virtues is called a Mountain), without human
agency--and, becoming a huge mountain, filled the whole earth.
Concerning which it is said also by the Psalmist, 'The stone which the
builders refused hath become the head stone of the corner:'
[Footnote 454] since Christ--Whom the builders, that is the Jews,
refused, saying, 'We will not have this man to reign over us'
[Footnote 455] --hath been made the head of the corner. Because as
saith the Apostle, 'God hath exalted Him, and given Him,' [Footnote
456] etc. Or else by this stone, which ought to be great and wide,
charity is understood, as was stated before; since the command of
charity is wide, extending even unto our enemies; according to that
precept of our Lord, 'Love your enemies.'   [Footnote 457]

  [Footnote 453: Ephesians ii, 20.]

  [Footnote 454:  Psalm cxviii (_Confitemini Domino_), 22.]

  [Footnote 455: S. Luke xix, 14.]

  [Footnote 456: Philippians ii. 10.]

  [Footnote 457: S. Matthew v, 44.]


28. Altars therefore, unless they be of stone, are not anointed,
because Christ signified by the altar is the Stone growing into a
mountain: as it is said, The mountain itself is fat, 'being anointed
with the oil of gladness, above his fellows.'   [Footnote 458]
Nevertheless we read in Exodus that the Lord ordered the altars to be
made of shittim wood, which does not decay;  [Footnote 459] and the
Latern altar is of wood. Solomon also made an altar of gold, as we
read in the eighth chapter of the third book of Kings: but these
things were done for a type.  [Footnote 460] And in the county of
Province, in the castle of S. Mary by the Sea, there is also an altar
of earth, which Mary Magdalene, and Martha and Mary the mother of
James, and Mary the mother of Salome, made there.  [Footnote 461]
After this, the altar having been sprinkled and baptised with water,
it remaineth for it to be anointed with oil and chrism. The bishop
then poureth over it oil and chrism, and chanteth, 'Jacob set up the
stone for a memorial, and poured oil upon it.'  [Footnote 462] For
that church hath been the memorial of other churches; 'For the law
hath gone out from Sion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.'
[Footnote 463]

  [Footnote 458:  Psalm xlv (_Eructavit cor meum_), 8.]

  [Footnote 459:  Exodus xxvii, I, etc.]

  [Footnote 460: The same examples are briefly adduced in the notes to
  the Decretal. Ciampini describes the wooden altar of the Lateran,
  and mentions its numerous escapes from fire. It was made of
  firewood, because 'abies non cedit vermibus unquam, nec putret
  facile.' See also Stephen Durantus, _De Rit. Ecc. Cathol._Lib. I,
  xxv, 3, quoting from De Turrecremata, about the Lateran altar, and
  generally about the subject of this chapter.]

  [Footnote 461: According to the Golden Legend, S. Mary Magdalene,
  with other saints, amongst whom was S. Lazarus, were placed by the
  Jews in a ship which was borne by the sea to Marseilles. The country
  was converted, and S. Lazarus became the first bishop. The people of
  Vezelay, in Burgundy, also claimed the honour of possessing the
  relics of S. Mary Magdalene. Durandus, a native of Provence, gives
  it to the latter country. This curious passage of our author seems
  to have been overlooked by some who have attempted to adjust the

  [Footnote 462: Genesis xxviii, 18.]

  [Footnote 463: Isaiah ii, 3.]

29. But first he maketh upon it the five crosses, with the oil of the
sick, according to the Roman order; but according to the use of some
other Churches, with both sorts of oil; one cross in the middle, and
four at the corners: afterwards, he maketh the same number of crosses
in the same way with chrism. {127} By the oil assuredly is understood
the grace of the Holy Ghost, of which saith Esaias the Prophet, 'The
yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.'  [Footnote 464] For
as the bishop poureth oil upon the altar, so Christ, who is the Chief
High Priest, poureth His grace upon our altar, which is our heart: for
He is the distributor of all graces through the Holy Ghost, as saith
the Apostle, 'To one is given the word of wisdom, to another the word
of knowledge, to another faith, to another the gift of healing,' etc.
[Footnote 465] And just as the bishop, by means of oil, cleanseth the
_table_ of the altar, so also cloth the Holy Ghost purify our heart
from all vices and sins.

  [Footnote 464: Isaiah x, 27.]

  [Footnote 465:  I Corinthians xii, 8.]

30. Christ also was anointed with oil, not with visible oil indeed,
but with invisible; that is with the grace of the Holy Ghost. Whence
David, 'The Lord thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness
above thy fellows';   [Footnote 466] that is above all the saints who
have been partakers of His Grace, that is, Christ. Whence unction more
expressedly agreeth with Christ (the Anointed One) than with others,
because God hath anointed Him above all others to have the fulness of
good things, and therefore his name is interpreted 'The Anointed.'
Unction also with oil signifieth mercy, according to that saying of
the Evangelist, 'Anoint thy head with oil, and wash thy face':
[Footnote 467] because as oil is among fluids, so is mercy superior
among good works. For whatever liquid you pour upon oil, yet it always
swimmeth at the top. Of mercy it is written, 'The Lord is loving unto
every man, and His mercy is over all His works,'  [Footnote 468] and
'Mercy rejoiceth against judgment.'  [Footnote 469] With this oil,
therefore, is the {128} altar of our 'heart anointed, that being
always mindful of mercy, we may never lose the effect of the aspersion
of water, and of regeneration and of baptism.

  [Footnote 466:  Psalm xlv (_Eructavit cor meum_), 8.]

  [Footnote 467:  S. Matthew vi, 17.]

  [Footnote 468: Psalm cxlv (_Exaltabo te Deus_), 9.]

  [Footnote 469: S. James ii, 13.]

31. The five crosses made with the oil signify that we ought always to
have a remembrance of the five wounds of Christ, which He suffered for
our sakes upon the Cross. For He suffered five wounds; namely, in His
hands, His feet, and in His side.

32. They denote further the five feelings of pity which be necessary
for us. For it is necessary for a man to pity Christ, by sympathising
in His Passion: whence Job, in the person of Christ, saith, 'Pity me,
pity me,' etc.   [Footnote 470] A man must also pity his neighbours
whose calamities he seeth; whence in Ecclesiasticus, 'The pity of a
man towards his neighbour.'   [Footnote 471] And a man must pity
himself: and this in three ways; namely, for the sins of commission,
by bewailing them; whence Jeremiah, 'There is no one who hath
penitence for his sin, saying, What have I done?'   [Footnote 472]
--for his sins of omission: whence Isaiah, 'Woe is me, for I have held
my peace,'   [Footnote 473] that is, for I have not spoken; as if he
should say, For I have omitted the good that I might have done:--and
for good deeds done for less pure motives; whence S. Luke saith, 'When
we have done all good deeds, we must say that we are unprofitable
servants,' etc.;   [Footnote 474] as if we should say, We have done
good, but not well, not purely, and therefore we have done it
unprofitably; just as anyone giving alms for vain glory doth good
indeed, but not well and not purely. Of this threefold compassion it
is said in Ecclesiasticus, 'Have pity on thy soul and please God;'
[Footnote 475] because true compassion of mind ought to coexist with
the exhibition of good works. {129} Wherefore the crosses be twice
made; the first time of oil, the second of chrism: whence the Psalm,
'A good man is merciful and lendeth';  [Footnote 476] that is, pitieth
in mind, and lendeth in deed. And since it sufficeth not to have
compassion in mind together with the exhibition of good deeds, without
the savour of a good report, according to that saying of the gospel,
'Let your light so shine before men that they may glorify God';
[Footnote 477] therefore the crosses be made with chrism, which
consisteth of balsam and oil.

  [Footnote 470: Job xix, 21.]

  [Footnote 471: Eccles. xviii, 12--_Vulgate_.]

  [Footnote 472: Jeremiah viii, 6.]

  [Footnote 473: Isaiah vi, 5--_Vulgate_.]

  [Footnote 474: S. Luke xvii, 10.]

  [Footnote 475: Eccles. xxx, 24--_Vulgate_.]

  [Footnote 476: Psalm cxii (_Beatus vir_), 5.]

  [Footnote 477: S. Matthew v. 16.]

33. Balsam indeed, on account of its good odour, signifieth good
report; oil, on account of its brightness, signifieth the clearness of
conscience which we ought to have: according to the saying of the
Apostle, 'Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience.'
[Footnote 478] Again, balsam is properly conjoined with oil, because
good report is added to mercifulness.

  [Footnote 478: 2 Corinthians i, 12.]

34. Again, by the five crosses made of oil and of chrism the five
senses of our body be understood, which are doubled and made into ten,
because by properly using the senses of our body, we both keep
ourselves, and confirm others by our example and teaching in
well-doing. Whence that good trader boasted, saying, 'Behold I have
gained five more talents.'   [Footnote 479] But whilst these
anointings are going on, they chant, 'The Lord thy God hath anointed
thee,'   [Footnote 480] which was said of Christ.

  [Footnote 479:  S. Matthew xxv, 20.]

  [Footnote 480: Hebrews i, 9.]

The altar therefore is anointed three times; twice with oil, and once
with chrism; because the Church is marked by Faith, Hope, and Charity,
which last is greater than the others. And while the chrism is used
they chant, 'See the smell of my son is as the smell of a field.'
[Footnote 481] This field is the Church, which is verdant with
flowers, which shineth in virtues, which is fragrant with good works;
{130} and wherein be the roses of martyrs, the lilies of virgins, the
violets of confessors, and the verdure of beginners in the faith.
After the unction there is incense burnt, which signifieth the
devotion of prayer. For he that hath the seven gifts of the Holy
Ghost, and is made like unto God, is able to offer unto Him devout
prayer, of which he hath this similitude.

  [Footnote 481:  Genesis xxvii, 27.]

35. It is burnt in five places, namely, at the four corners and in the
middle, because we ought so to exercise the five senses of the body
that the report of our good works may extend to our neighbours. Of
which saith the Apostle, 'We are the sweet savour of Christ in every
place.'   [Footnote 482 ] And in the Gospel, 'Let your light so shine
before men,' etc. Besides this, the frequent use of incense is the
continual mediation of Christ the Priest, and our High Priest, for us
unto God the Father.

  [Footnote 482: 2 Corinthians, ii, 15.]

36. To describe a cross with the incense, is to exhibit His Passion to
the Father and Him interceding for us. The burning incense plenteously
in the middle and at the corners is to multiply prayers through
Jerusalem and in the Catholic Church.

37. Next to this the bishop confirmeth the altar with the sign of the
cross, saying, 'Confirm this altar, O Lord,' etc. And this
confirmation performed by the bishop with chrism on the front of the
stone, signifieth the confirmation which is performed daily by the
Holy Spirit, through charity, upon the altar of the heart, so that no
tribulation should avail to separate our heart from the love of God:
whence saith the Apostle, 'Who shall separate us from the love of
Christ? shall tribulation?' etc.'  [Footnote 483] Then there is added
the _Gloria Patri_ in praise of the Trinity.

  [Footnote 483: Romans viii, 35.]


38. The last benediction of the altar signifieth that final
benediction when it shall be said, 'Come, ye blessed of my Father,'
etc.   [Footnote 484] Afterwards the altar is wiped over with a white
linen cloth, to notify that we ought to cleanse our heart by chastity
of life. Then the vessels, vestments, and linen cloths, devoted to the
divine worship are blessed. For Moses also during the forty days was
instructed by the Lord to provide linen cloths and the ornaments
necessary for the Temple.

  [Footnote 484: S. Matthew xx, 34.]

39. Assuredly, thus to bless the utensils is to refer all our works
unto the Lord. After this, the altar is covered with white and clean
cloths: concerning which ceremony we have spoken under the head of the
Altar. Lastly, the church is ornamented and the lamps are lighted: for
then shall the works of the just shine forth, 'Then shall the just
shine, as sparks run swiftly among the stubble.'   [Footnote 485] And
then upon the altar, consecrated after this order, the Mass is
celebrated and the sacrifice offered unto the Most Highest: that
sacrifice, namely, of which the Prophet speaketh, 'The sacrifices of
God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou
wilt not despise':   [Footnote 486] as shall be declared in the
introduction to the fourth book.  [Footnote 487] For consecration
ought not to be performed without a Mass, according to Pope Gelasius,
[Footnote 488] because then there is revealed a sacrament, which hath
been hidden from the angels even from the beginning.

  [Footnote 485: Wisdom iii, 7.]

  [Footnote 486: Psalm li (_Miserere mei Deus_). 17.]

  [Footnote 487: The blessed Bernard saith, My brethren, let us in
  sacrificing add the sacrifice of praise unto our words, let us add
  sense to sense, affection unto affection, exaltation unto
  exaltation, maturity unto maturity, and humility unto humility.
  Wherefore, he that is about to celebrate must offer unto the Highest
  that sacrifice of which the Psalmist speaketh, 'The sacrifices of
  God are a troubled spirit.' And again, 'Offer unto God the sacrifice
  of thanksgiving.' And the Apostle, 'Present your bodies a living
  sacrifice holy acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service,
  mortifying upon the altar of your heart your members which are upon
  the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil
  concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry'; in order to
  sacrifice yourselves with a pure heart and chaste body unto
  God.--Proem, lib. iv, 17.]

  [Footnote 488: Quoted also in the Decretal _De Consecrat. Distinct._


And observe, that in the aspersion of the church the bishop useth only
the linen and inferior vestments: but at the Mass he is adorned with
pontifical and precious vestments, because the high priest in the law
used to expiate the sanctuary in a linen ephod, and afterwards used to
offer the ram for the burnt offering being washed and arrayed in the
high priest's vestments. But because he used to send forth the
scapegoat after the expiation being clothed in the same linen ephod,
on this account some, in the consecration of fonts and immersion of
the catechumens where their sins are transferred, do use the simple
linen vestments.




Of Chrism--Of the name Christ, and of Christians--The Heresy of the
Arnaldistae--The Anointing of Priests--Of Bishops--Of Kings--Of the
Consecration of Chalices and Patens--Of Extreme Unction--Of the
Benediction of Church Ornaments.

1. We read that the Lord commanded Moses  [Footnote 489] to make a
chrism, with which unguent to anoint the tabernacle at the time of the
dedication, and the ark of the testimony, and the table, together with
the vessels; and with which also the priests and kings should be
anointed. Yet Moses himself is not said to have been anointed, except
with a spiritual unction, as also was Christ.

  [Footnote 489: Exodus xxx, 22.]

2. Christ hath willed that we should be anointed with a material
unction in order that we may by it obtain the spiritual unction: and
on this account our loving Mother, the Church, provideth different
sorts of unction. Upon which let us here touch lightly, Saying--

  I. What unctions of this sort signify.
  II. Of what they be made.
  III. Of the unction before baptism.
  IV. Of the unction after baptism, which is performed
    by the bishop on the forehead.
  V. Of the unction in ordination.


  VI. Of the unction in consecrating bishops and princes.
  VII. Of the unction of a church, altar, chalice, and
    other ecclesiastical instruments.
  VIII. Of extreme unction.
  IX. Of the consecration and benediction of a cemetery,
    vestments, and other ecclesiastical ornaments.
  X. Of the consecration and benediction of virgins.

3. Firstly; with respect to the first, then, it is to be noted that
there be two kinds of unction: an _external_, which is material or
corporeal, and visible; and an _internal_, which is spiritual and
invisible. The body is anointed visibly with the external unction; the
heart invisibly by the internal. Of the first, the Apostle S. James
saith, 'Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the
Church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name
of the Lord; and the prayer of faith shall save the sick.'   [Footnote
490] Of the second the Apostle S. John saith, 'But the anointing which
ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man
teach you: but the same anointing teacheth you of all things.'
[Footnote 491] The external unction is a sign of the internal. But the
internal is not only a sign, that is a thing signified, but a
sacrament also; because if it be worthily received, it either
effecteth, or without doubt increaseth, that which it doth
signify--for instance, healing: according to the saying, 'They shall
lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall be healed.'   [Footnote

  [Footnote 490: S. James v, 14.]

  [Footnote 491:  I S. John ii, 27.]

  [Footnote 492:  See Acts xxviii, 8.]

Secondly; with respect to the second point, you must know that in
making use of the external and visible unction, two sorts of oil are
consecrated: namely, holy oil, or the oil of the catechumens, with
which catechumens are anointed; and the oil of the sick, with which
the sick are anointed. Of which kind of unction the authority of S.
James quoted above doth speak, 'Is any sick among you,' etc.


But in what way the benediction of these two sorts of oil and of
chrism is performed will be declared in the sixth book in the chapter
upon the Fifth Day of the Holy Week.  [Footnote 493]

  [Footnote 493: It has not been thought necessary to translate the
  passages referred to.]

4. But is it asked why the sick and the catechumens are anointed with
oil? I answer, in order that the invisible benefits may be more easily
received through the visible signs: for as oil by expelling weakness
refresheth the wearied limbs, and as it from its own natural qualities
affordeth light, so it is to be believed that unction with consecrated
oil, the which is a type of faith expelling sin, doth impart health to
the soul and doth afford it light. Herein the visible oil is in the
outward sign, the invisible oil in the inward sacrament; and the
spiritual oil is within. For the oil of the sick we have received
authority from the apostles; for the oil of the catechumens from
apostolical men.

5. And although God can grant the spiritual oil without the material,
yet because the apostles have used this rite in the case of the sick,
and apostolical men in the case of catechumens, this practice which
their authority hath consecrated cannot be omitted without sin (as
hath been said in the chapter upon the Altar): just as anciently the
just pleased God without circumcision; but after it had been enjoined
them to be circumcised, such as omitted this rite were subjected to

Thirdly; we have to speak of the unction before baptism. And indeed in
the New Testament not only kings and priests be anointed, as hath been
already said, but also--(because Christ by His Blood hath made us
kings and priests, that is, royal priests, unto our God, as the {136}
Apostle S. Peter saith,  [Footnote 494] 'Ye are a chosen generation,'
that is, chosen out from the tribes of men, 'a royal priesthood,' that
is, governing yourselves well)--also, I say, all Christians be
anointed twice before their baptism with consecrated oil--first, on
the breast: secondly, between the shoulders: and twice after their
baptism, with holy chrism--first, on the crown of the head; and
secondly, by the bishop on the forehead.

  [Footnote 494: I S. Peter ii, 9.]

6. And, according to Augustine, the first three unctions have been
introduced rather by use than by any written authority. The candidate
for baptism is anointed with oil--first, on the breast, in which is
the locality of the heart; first, in order that by the gift of the
Holy Ghost he may cast away error and ignorance and embrace a right
faith; because 'the just liveth by faith,'   [Footnote 495] and 'with
the heart we believe unto justification.'   [Footnote 496] But he is
anointed between the shoulders, in order that he may, by the grace of
the Holy Ghost, shake off indifference and sloth, and practise good
works (because 'faith without works is dead'),'  [Footnote 497] so
that by means of sacraments of faith there may result a purity of
thoughts. On the breast, again, that by the practising of good works
there may arise a boldness of labour: between the shoulders, to the
end that 'faith (according to the Apostle) may work by love.'
[Footnote 498] The oil therefore is carried over from the heart to the
shoulders, since faith, which is conceived in the mind, is perfected
in works (because, that is, faith consisteth in making our _deeds_
like our _words_).  [Footnote 499] But the person after baptism is
anointed by the priest on the head with chrism, that 'he may be ready
always to give an answer to every man that asketh him a reason for the
faith that is in him,'   [Footnote 500] because by {137} the head is
understood the mind: as it is written, 'The eyes,' that is the
understanding, 'of the wise are in his head,'  [Footnote 501] that is,
his mind; of which mind, the superior part is reason and the inferior
sensuality. Hence, by the crown, which is the upper part of the head,
is well represented reason, which is the superior part of the mind. Of
this we shall speak in the sixth book also, under the head of Easter
Eve, in which confirmation is treated of.  [Footnote 502] But this is
the reason that before baptism one is anointed with consecrated oil,
and after baptism with holy chrism; because chrism is competent to a
Christian alone.

  [Footnote 495: Habakkuk ii, 4.]

  [Footnote 496: Romans x, 10.]

  [Footnote 497: S. James ii, 26.]

  [Footnote 498: Gal. v, 6.]

  [Footnote 499: This clause does not occur in the _Princeps_

  [Footnote 500:  S. Peter iii, 15.]

  [Footnote 501: Ecclesiasticus ii, 14.]

  [Footnote 502: The passage referred to speaks of the diverse graces
  conferred by the several unctions, and does not illustrate our more
  particular object.]

7. For Christ is so named from _chrism_, or rather _chrism_ is so
called from Christ, not according to the form of the name only, but
according to the rational order of faith. For _Christians_ are called
from Christ, as _the anointed_ would be derived from the Anointed One,
namely, Christ; so that all may unite in the odour of that unguent,
namely, Christ, Whose name is as oil poured out: but according to the
power of the word, _Christians_ are called so from _chrism_, according
to Isidorus.  [Footnote 503] This subject is treated in the
introduction to the second book.  [Footnote 504]

  [Footnote 503:  'For Christ is named of _chrism_, and meaneth the
  Anointed One. For it was commanded the Jews to make a holy unguent
  for such as were called unto the priesthood or the kingdom: and as
  now the vestment of purple is unto kings the mark of kingly power,
  so upon these did the unction with sacred unguent bestow the name
  and kingly power: and hence were they called _Christi_, from
  _chrism_, which is unction. For _chrisma_ in Greek is _unctio_ in
  Latin. And this unction did aptly give this name unto our Lord,
  because He was anointed of the Father by the Spirit, as is said in
  the Acts of the Apostles, "Against Thy Holy Child Jesus, Whom Thou
  hast anointed, were they gathered together": not, that is, with
  visible oil, but with the gift of grace, which is denoted by the
  visible oil.' S. Isidore of Seville, _Orig_. vii, 2. See also
  _Orig_. vii, 4, and _De Off. Ecc._ i, 1.]

  [Footnote 504: 'Christians be named from Christ, and Christ from
  _chrism_, being _anointed_. For He was anointed by God from the
  beginning "with the oil of gladness above His fellows." In the Old
  Testament priests and kings be called _Christs_ (or Anointed),
  because they were anointed with a temporal unction. As it is
  written, "Touch not my Christs" (_i.e._ mine anointed). Wherefore,
  Christ is not a peculiar name of our Saviour, but is a common
  appellation of dignity. But the name Jesus is peculiar to the person
  of our Saviour alone, and was given Him, as the Evangelist doth
  testify by the angel, Gabriel, at the Conception, and by men at His
  Circumcision.'--Durand. _loco cit._ This will explain the reason,
  to many persons so puzzling, why it is only to the name of Jesus
  that our Church, after the Apostle, commands due obeisance to be
  made: and will reprove the erroneous, though pious, zeal which makes
  so many of the poor even now bow at the other names of our Blessed


8. Again, according to Augustine, the first unction with oil showeth
us to be prepared fully to hear the faith, and called to the sweet
odour of Christ, and warned to renounce the devil. The second unction,
according to Rabanus, is upon the breast and between the shoulders,
that we may be fortified on both sides by faith, and confirmed by the
grace of God for the performance of good works. For by the breast is
rightly understood the virtue of faith: but by the shoulders--upon
which any burden is borne--the strength and working of a man:
according to that saying, 'They bind heavy burdens and lay them on the
shoulders of men,' etc.  [Footnote 505] A man is anointed therefore on
the breast and between the shoulders, that both in thought and deed he
may relinquish the works of the devil, and become capable of
understanding the Word of God, and strong enough to bear its yoke and
the burden of the law.

  [Footnote 505: S. Matthew xxiii, 4.]

9. But the unction upon the crown, that is the top part of the head
over the brain, is performed according to the same authority in order
that he who is so anointed may become a partaker of the heavenly
kingdom: and because the soul of the baptised person is espoused unto
the Head, that is Christ, therefore this unction is made with chrism,
compounded of oil and balsam, in order that we may know that the Holy
Ghost, Who worketh invisibly, is given unto him: for oil, as we said
above, cherisheth the wearied limbs and affordeth light. {139} But
balsam giveth it a sweet odour. If so be the limbs of the soul be
wearied, when it repenteth of having acted in opposition to God, the
Holy Ghost cometh to it, giving light to its understanding and showing
it that its sins are, or may be, forgiven, and bestowing on it good
works which breathe out a sweet odour amongst others: all which is
denoted by the fragrant balsam. Also because the seat of
high-mindedness, which according to the name is always seeking higher
things, appears to exist in the head, therefore the unction on this
part is rightly performed in the form of the cross and in token of

10. Pope Sylvester appointed that this unction might be administered
by priests upon occasion of death: whence it is likely that before his
time  [Footnote 506] the anointing both of the crown of the head and
of the forehead was reserved for the bishop. For when the bosom of the
Church was extended, and bishops could no longer be at hand for each
individual in confirmation, he then ordered, lest any should perish
without the unction of chrism, that all should be anointed on the
crown of the head over the brain, which is the seat of wisdom, at the
hands of a priest, for the increasing of strength and grace. Whence if
afterwards they should have died, saith Richard (of Cremona), they
shall receive an increase of grace and glory.

  [Footnote 506: S. Sylvester was the contemporary of Constantine.
  _Circa_ A.D. 325.]

11. Yet nevertheless we believe that a man may be saved by baptism
alone even without the unction, and that the Holy Ghost is given
without the laying on of hands to such as God may will, as we read in
the Acts of the Apostles.


12. Yet the faithless heretics, the Arnaldistae,  [Footnote 507]
assert that men never receive the Holy Ghost through the baptism of
water; and that Samaritans who were baptised did not receive Him until
they received the laying on of hands. Both these unctions are
administered, according to Rabanus, in the form of the cross, that the
devil, whose vessel the person is, recognising the sign of his own
discomfiture, the sign of the Holy Cross, may know that from that
moment the vessel is Another's, being alienated from him.

  [Footnote 507: Our author mentions another heresy of the Arnaldistae
  in the 19th section of the proem of book iv. These heretics were the
  followers of Arnaldus de Brixio (of Bresse), a disciple of Abelard.
  His opinions were condemned in the second General Lateran Council,
  1139.--_Baron. Sub. Anno._ tom. xviii. See also S. Bernard, _Epist_.

13. According to the same writer the unction on the breast is
afterwards administered with invocation of the Trinity, in order that
no remains of the hidden enemy may abide therein, but the mind be
comforted in the faith of the Holy Trinity, and receive and understand
the commandments of God. Therefore each of the faithful is anointed
first twice with oil, next in like manner twice with chrism. First in
baptism on the crown of the head: secondly after baptism, namely at
confirmation, on his forehead: because to the apostles also was the
Holy Ghost twice given, as will be set forth in the sixth book on Holy
Saturday.  [Footnote 508]

  [Footnote 508: It has not been judged necessary to translate the
  passages referred to, for the same reason as stated above in note

Fourthly; in the fourth place we were to speak of the unction which is
administered by the bishop on the forehead of such as have been
baptised: but of this we shall speak in the same place.  [Footnote

  [Footnote 509: It has not been judged necessary to translate the
  passages referred to, for the same reason as stated above in note

14. Fifthly; in the fifth place, with respect to the unction of
ordination, it is to be noted that the hands of the priest are
anointed by the bishop, that he may know that he in this sacrament
doth receive by the Holy Ghost the power and grace of consecrating.
Whence the bishop, whilst anointing them, saith: 'Deign, O Lord, by
means of this unction and our benediction to consecrate and sanctify
these hands, that whatsoever they consecrate may be consecrated, and
whatsoever they bless may be blessed in the name of the Lord.' {141}
And for this cause devout men kiss the hands of priests immediately
after their ordination, believing by this to become partakers of their
prayers and blessings. And the anointing is with holy oil, because
they ought to work with their hands the works of mercy with all their
might towards all men: for the works are denoted by the hands; mercy
by the oil. Whence the good Samaritan coming near to the wounded man
poured wine and oil into his wounds. The hands are anointed with oil
also that they may be supple for offering the host unto God for the
sins of men, and that they may be open to all acts of piety and not be
kept dry and clenched. For both these things, namely the grace of
healing and the charity of loving, are denoted by the oil. Wherefore
further the laying on of hands, together with oil upon the heads of
such as be ordained, is done because by the hands the operation, by
the fingers the gifts, of the Holy Ghost, and by the head the mind, be
understood. The hand then is laid on because it is sent forth imbued
with the gifts of the Holy Ghost to perform the works of Christ.

15. Sixthly, with respect to the unction of bishops and of temporal
princes, it is to be known that the former hath derived its origin
from the Old Testament. For in the 21st chapter of Leviticus the high
priest is said to be he 'upon whose head the anointing oil is poured,'
[Footnote 510] and whose hands were consecrated in priesthood. A
bishop, however, is anointed with chrism, which (as we said before) is
composed of oil and balsam; and he is anointed therewith both
outwardly, and inwardly in his heart, in order that by the inward oil
he have a clear conscience towards God, and by the outward oil may
have the odour of good report towards his neighbour: which is {142}
denoted by the balsam. The Apostle saith of a clear conscience, 'For
our rejoicing is this the testimony of our conscience.'   [Footnote
511] 'For the king's daughter is all glorious within,'   [Footnote
512] that is, her glory proceedeth from within. Concerning the odour
of a good report the same Apostle saith, 'For in every place we are
unto God a sweet savour of Christ,' that is, an example and imitation,
and, 'to some we are the savour of life unto life,' etc.,  [Footnote
513] as if he had said, we are an example of love and a good opinion
leading unto eternal life, 'and to others a savour of death unto
death,' that is, of hatred and evil opinion leading unto eternal

  [Footnote 510: Leviticus xxi, 10.]

  [Footnote 511: 2 Corinthians i, 12.]

  [Footnote 512:  Psalm xlv (_Eructavit cor meum_), 14.]

  [Footnote 513: 2 Corinthians ii, 15.]

16. For a bishop ought to have in himself 'a good report' both of them
which are within and 'them which are without';   [Footnote 514] so
that one curtain, that is, the faithful, may draw on the other
curtain, that is, the unbeliever, namely, unto belief;   [Footnote
515] and 'he that heareth,' namely, by learning and believing, 'say,
come,'   [Footnote 516] namely, by preaching and teaching. With this
unguent be the head and hands of a bishop consecrated: for by the head
is understood the mind, as the gospel saith, 'anoint,'   [Footnote
517] that is, humble, 'thy head, and wash thy face,' that is, thy
conscience, namely, with tears: by the hands be denoted good works, as
is said in the Canticles, 'my hands,' that is, my good works, 'dropped
with myrrh,' that is, gave to others a good example.   [Footnote 518]

  [Footnote 514:  I Timothy iii, 7.]

  [Footnote 515: There appears to be here some mystical reference to
  the coupling of the curtains of the tabernacle. See Exod. xxvi.]

  [Footnote 516: Apocalypse xxii, 17.]

  [Footnote 517: S. Matthew vi, 17.]

  [Footnote 518: Canticles v, 5.]

17. The head, therefore, is anointed with the balsam of charity, (i)
That the bishop may love God with his whole heart and with his whole
mind and whole soul, and also, after the example of Christ, 'love his
neighbours as,' that is, as much as, 'himself.' For according to {143}
Gregory, oil on the head is charity in the soul, (ii) Secondly, the
head is anointed by reason of authority and dignity; since not only
bishops but also kings are consecrated. (iii) Thirdly, to show that a
bishop representeth the person of Christ, as being his vicar, of whom
it is said by the Prophet, 'it is like the precious ointment upon the
head.'   [Footnote 519] For the head of man is Christ, the head of
Christ is God: Who saith of Himself, 'the Spirit of the Lord is upon
Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.'
[Footnote 520] For Christ, our Head, was anointed with the invisible
oil He intercedeth for the Church Universal, a bishop for that Church
committed unto him.

  [Footnote 519: Psalm cxxxiii (_Ecce quani bonum_), 2.]

  [Footnote 520:  Isaiah lxi, 1.]

18. But his _hands_ also are anointed, on account of his mystery and
office; and for the anointing of these, which do signify works, is
employed _oil_, that is, the chrism of piety and mercy, (i) First, in
order that the bishop may 'do good unto all men, and especially unto
them that are of the household of faith,'   [Footnote 521] his hands
should be closed to none, but be open to all; according to the saying,
'He hath opened his hands to the poor, and extended his arm to the
destitute.'   [Footnote 522] A hand that is dried up, that is
avaricious, that is tenaciously held clenched, cannot be opened:
therefore his hands are anointed, in order that they may be healed and
opened, and may bestow alms on the indigent.  (ii) Secondly, to show
that he hath received the power of blessing and consecrating. Whence
the consecrating bishop, when he anointeth them, saith, 'Deign, O
Lord, to consecrate and sanctify these hands,' and so forth, as we
quoted above. (iii) That they may be clean for offering sacrifices for
sins. And note, that although a bishop's hands were anointed with oil
beforehand when he was ordained a priest, yet {144} they be again
anointed with chrism when he is consecrated a bishop. Herein by the
hands are typified good works; by the oil, the abundance of the Holy
Ghost of grace; by the balsam, which is mixed with the oil in making
the chrism, the savour of good report; as in Ecclesiasticus, 'My sweet
odour is as myrrh unmixed.'   [Footnote 523] Wherefore because in the
works of bishops and other superiors there ought to appear more than
in their inferiors the gifts of the Holy Ghost and the savour of good
report; according to that saying, 'For we are unto God a sweet savour
of Christ';  [Footnote 524] for even in the heavenly hierarchy the
superior angels excel the inferior in blessings and grace; hence,
therefore, at their consecration as bishops their hands, already
anointed with oil, are with reason again anointed with chrism.

  [Footnote 521: Galatians vi, 10.]

  [Footnote 522: Proverbs xxxi, 20.]

  [Footnote 523: Ecclesiasticus xxiv, 15.]

  [Footnote 524: 2 Corinthians ii, 15.]

19. The thumb also is fortified with chrism, that the laying on of the
thumb may profit all men for salvation.

20. Further, in the Old Testament, not only was a priest anointed, but
also a king and prophet: as we find in the books of Kings. Whence the
Lord enjoined Elias, 'Go return on thy way to the wilderness of
Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria;
and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel;
and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-Meholah shalt thou anoint to be
prophet in thy room.'   [Footnote 525] Samuel also anointed David to
be king. But after that Jesus of Nazareth, 'Whom (as we read in the
Acts of the Apostles) God anointed with the Holy Ghost, was anointed
with oil above his fellows,  [Footnote 526] Who is (according to the
Apostle) 'the Head of the Church, which is also His body';   [Footnote
527] after this the anointing of a sovereign was transferred from the
head to the arm: whence princes since the time of Christ are not {145}
anointed on the head but on the arm, or on the shoulder; by which
parts of the body kingly power is aptly represented, as we read, 'and
the government was laid upon his shoulder':   [Footnote 528 ] to
signify the same, Samuel caused the shoulder to be laid before Saul,
when he placed him at the head of the table before those who had been
bidden.   [Footnote 529] But in the case of a bishop the sacramental
anointing is applied to the _head_, because in his episcopal office he
representeth the Head of the Church, that is, Christ.

  [Footnote 525: I Kings xix, 15.]

  [Footnote 526: See Acts iv, 27, and Hebrews i, 9.]

  [Footnote 527: Ephesians v, 23.]

  [Footnote 528: Isaiah ix, 6.]

  [Footnote 529: I Samuel x, 24.]

21. There is this difference, then, between the anointing of a bishop
and a prince, that the head of the bishop is consecrated with chrism,
while the arm of the prince is anointed with oil: to show, namely, how
great a difference there is between the authority of a bishop and the
power of a prince. And observe that, as we read in the gospel,
[Footnote 530] a certain man called his servants and gave unto them
ten talents. Herein the calling of a servant is the canonical election
of a bishop, which taketh place according to the calling of the Lord
Who called Aaron. A talent is given to him, when he who hath laid his
hands upon him giveth him the text of the gospel, saying, 'Go and
preach.' And the bishop himself, according to the use of some
churches, when first he entereth his see, carrieth the gospels in his
bosom, showing his talent as if to trade with it. In some churches
also when the archbishop giveth the bishop his pastoral staff, he
saith, 'Go and preach,' and he immediately blesseth the people: by
which is represented that Moses was sent into Egypt with a rod.

  [Footnote 530:  S. Matthew xxv.]


22. Furthermore, bishops on the day of their consecration have been
wont to ride on horses covered with white robes; to represent that
which we read in the Apocalypse, 'The armies which are in heaven
follow him riding on white horses.'   [Footnote 531] The armies which
are in heaven are good and just men and prelates, who as these
heavenly riders do daily follow God in all good works: who for this
reason are said to be in heaven, because they love and seek after
heavenly things alone; whence the Apostle saith, 'Our conversation is
in heaven.'  [Footnote 532] These armies, that is good and just men
and prelates, follow Jesus, whensoever they vanquish vices in
themselves by discipline, in their neighbours by admonition. Whence S.
James saith, 'He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way
shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.'
[Footnote 533] These armies have white horses and chaste bodies.

  [Footnote 531: Apocalypse xix, 14.]

  [Footnote 532: Philippians iii, 20.]

  [Footnote 533: S. James v, 20.]

23. The bodies of good men are also called horses, because, just as
horses are governed by the will of the rider, so are the bodies of the
just ruled according to the will of Christ. These horses ought to be
white, or covered with white trappings: that is, the bodies of just
men and prelates ought to be chaste and pure. For if they be not pure
they cannot follow Christ. And S. Peter saith, 'Christ also suffered
for us, leaving us an example that we should follow His steps, who did
not sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.'   [Footnote 534]
Further, the clergy of the holy Roman Church, by the grant of the
Emperor Constantine, do ride upon horses adorned with trappings of the
most snowy white. On what day a bishop ought to be consecrated, and
why a copy of the gospels is put upon his shoulders in consecration,
shall be declared in the second book, under the chapter upon Bishops.
[Footnote 535]

  [Footnote 534:  I S. Peter ii, 21.]

  [Footnote 535: The consecration of a bishop, in the which the Holy
  Ghost is present unto such as receive it worthily, is administered
  always on the Lord's day, and at the third hour. For bishops do
  obtain the office of apostles, unto whom the Holy Ghost was given on
  the Day of Pentecost and at the third hour. When a bishop is to be
  ordained, the suffragans of the province should assemble with their
  metropolitan, and two bishops place and hold a volume of the gospels
  above his head and neck, or upon his shoulders, one shedding the
  benediction over him, and the rest, such as are present, touching
  his head with their hands. This book is held above his head; first,
  that the Lord may confirm the gospel in his heart; secondly, that he
  may understand by this, unto what burthen and labour he is
  subjected: because everyone that is pre-eminent, that is, a prelate,
  is more troubled with griefs than rejoiced with honours; thirdly, to
  denote that he ought not to be backward to carry with him everywhere
  the burthen of the preaching of the gospel; fourthly, to admonish
  him to submit himself more than ever to the yoke, and to obey the
  gospel.--_Rationale_, Book II, c. xi, 6.]


Seventhly, we have to speak of the unction of altars, chalices, and
other instruments of the church; which according to the rule are
anointed at their dedication; and this not only from the command of
the divine law, but also because Moses 'sprinkled with blood the
tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry, and almost all things
are by the law cleansed with blood;'   [Footnote 536] and also again
after the example of S. Sylvester, who when he consecrated an altar
used to anoint it with chrism. For the Lord commanded Moses to make
oil of unction with which to anoint the tabernacle of the testimony,
the table, the ark of the covenant, the candlestick, and other
furniture as aforesaid. Which unctions are performed on things that
have not been anointed, to show greater reverence to them and to
bestow more grace upon them. And of these unctions we have spoken and
shall again speak in their right places. But the sacrament of unction
hath indeed some further effect and meaning both in the Old and New
Testament: whence the Church doth not Judaize, when she observeth the
unctions in her sacraments, as some old writers, who know neither the
Scripture nor the power of God, do falsely say. Of the unctions of the
church and altar we have spoken under their own heads.

  [Footnote 536: Hebrews ix, 2.]


24. Further the paten is consecrated and anointed for the
administration of the body of Christ, who willed to be sacrificed upon
the altar of the cross for the salvation of all men. 'Almighty God
also did order the flour to be brought to His Altar scattered on
golden and silver patens. The chalice also is consecrated and
anointed, that by the grace of the Holy Ghost it may be made a new
sepulchre of the body and blood of Christ, and then He, Himself, may
deign to make it overflow with his virtue, as He made the cup of
Melchizedech, His servant, to flow over.

25. Eighthly; in the eighth place we have to speak of extreme unction,
which from the institution of Pope Felix the Fourth, and from the
command of the Apostle S. James, is administered unto such as are at
the point to die. Concerning which some say that it is not so properly
a sacrament as the anointing of the forehead or any other part with
chrism, because (as they assert) it may be repeated and since there is
offered a prayer over the man; a circumstance which is not a condition
of a sacrament. This unction also may be administered by a single
priest if more cannot be present: and by it venial sins are remitted,
according to S. James, 'If any rich among you,' etc., as before, 'and
if he have committed sins they shall be forgiven him.'   [Footnote
537] And this unction is applied to divers parts of the body or the
limbs, for reasons which may be gathered from the prayers then used;
and especially on those parts in which the five senses chiefly reside,
that whatever sins the rich man may have committed by means of these
may be abolished by virtue of this unction. Concerning some other
rules we ordinarily read, that the party to be anointed must be at the
least eighteen years of age, and that he ought to be anointed in
sickness once only during a year, though he may be sick many times,
and that no one must be anointed, unless, being in his senses, he
shall have first demanded it either by words or signs:-- {149} and
besides this, that the shoulders ought not to be anointed, because
they were anointed in baptism, and that a confirmed person ought not
to be anointed on his forehead but on his temples, and a priest's
hands ought to be anointed on the backs and not inside, because they
were anointed on the inside at his ordination:--and that one who hath
been once anointed by a bishop ought not in respect to him to be
further anointed by a priest:--and that if a sick man who hath been
anointed should recover, the anointed places should be washed, and the
water used be thrown into the fire; but should he depart, his body
ought not to be washed because of the recent unction. But if the sick
man be at the point of death, he should be immediately anointed lest
he die without the unction. Besides this, some penitents, and dying
men, put on sackcloth and lay themselves down on ashes as we shall
explain in the sixth book, when we speak of Ash Wednesday.  [Footnote

  [Footnote 537: S. James v, 24.]

  [Footnote 538: 'On this day also ashes are blessed, and scattered
  over the head in token of humiliation. "Dust thou art, and unto dust
  thou shalt return," was said unto Adam (Gen. iv). And Job "repented
  in dust and ashes" (Job xlii, 6). And the Lord saith, "In the house
  of Aphrah (marg. read dust) roll thyself in the dust" (Mic. i 10).
  Also in Judith we read, "The children of Israel humbled themselves
  in fasting, and dust on their heads" (Chronicles iv). And Abraham
  saith, "Shall I speak unto the Lord, who am but dust and ashes?"
  (Gen. 18). And "Mordecai put on sackcloth with ashes" (Esther iv,
  i). And "the daughters of Zion have cast ashes on their heads"
  (Samuel iii). Hence, we read in the Pontifical, penitents and the
  dying, in token of repentance and humility and that they are dust
  and ashes, do prostrate themselves in ashes and put on sackcloth--an
  use drawn from the Old Testament. For we read in Isaiah the
  fifty-eighth, that penitents do lie in sackcloth and ashes. And
  Hieremiah saith the same in the twenty-fifth chapter, "Wallow
  yourselves in the ashes, for the days are accomplished." Also in the
  third of Jonah, "The king of Ninevah put on sackcloth and sat in
  ashes." Also in the Lamentations, "The virgins of Jerusalem are
  clothed in sackcloth."'--_Rationale_ vi, 28, 18.]


26. Ninthly, a cemetery, which enjoyeth the same privileges as a
church, is also consecrated and blessed; just as the Lord blessed by
the hands of his servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the land bought
for a burial ground from the sons of Ephron. It is blessed also in
order that it may cease from that time forward to be the abode of
unclean spirits, and that the bodies of the faithful may therein rest
in peace until the day of judgment; unless the bodies of paynims or
infidels, or even of excommunicate persons should be buried there,
until they shall be cast out thence.

27. This also is to be noted, that the palls of the altar, the
priestly vestments, and ecclesiastical ornaments of this kind are to
be blessed. For we have already read that Moses, by command of the
Lord, consecrated the tabernacle with divine prayers, together with
the table and altar, and vessels and utensils for performing the
divine worship. If therefore the Jews, who served the 'shadow of the
Law and of good things to come,'  [Footnote 539] did this, how much
the more ought we to do it to whom the truth hath been made known by
Christ! Whence we read in the last chapter but one of Exodus, 'Moses
blessed all the vessels of the ministry.'   [Footnote 540] And should
an additional piece or a fringe be attached to it, it is proved by the
testimony of right that the blessing need not on this account be
repeated. But the reason why these things and other like things are
consecrated is evidently gathered from the forms of blessing them. Of
the sacred vestments we shall speak in the introduction to the third
book.  [Footnote 541] And observe: That the blessing or consecration
of a church, and of vestments, and of ecclesiastical ornaments is not
performed as if they were capable of receiving grace, for they are
inanimate: but this practice is introduced, because as men are, so
also are these things, by the act of blessing and consecration
rendered suitable and fit for divine worship, and are {151} made of
greater holiness. Whereas on _persons_ greater grace is bestowed by
unction and benediction. But some in the benediction of ornaments, let
fall their hands, of which we shall speak in the second book under the
head of the Deacon.   [Footnote 542]

  [Footnote 539: Hebrews x, 1.]

  [Footnote 540:  Exodus xxxix.]

  [Footnote 541:  The history, use, and symbolism of the sacred
  vestments would themselves require a volume to be fully

  [Footnote 542:  Observe that when a person in confirmation is
  blessed on the forehead, and when salt, and water, and palls, and
  vestments, and the like be consecrated, the hands are held over
  them, because there is a certain virtue in consecrated hands, which
  is as it were stirred up when benediction is poured out over
  anything with the hands suspended in this way. Whence the Apostle
  admonishing his disciple Timothy, saith, "I put thee in remembrance
  that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee, by the laying
  on of my hands." So that devotion may be stirred up in the body by
  the suspension of hands, just as in the heart by the effect. For
  virtue existeth not only in animate things, but also in inanimate.
  Whence some do affirm that by the virtue of a church, if anyone
  entereth therein from devotion, his venial sins be forgiven. Again,
  the hands are thus held in cases of exorcism especially, as if the
  priest by the bodily act would put to flight and threaten the devil
  by the virtue of the consecration of his hands.'--Durandus ii, 9,

Tenthly, we were to speak of the consecration of Virgins, but of this
we shall treat in the preface to the second book.  [Footnote 543]

  [Footnote 543: This point is not sufficiently connected with our
  subject to need illustration.]




Difference between a Sacrament and a Mystery--Distinction of Sacraments
--Of Matrimony--Of the Ring--Of Second Marriages--Why Sacraments
were Instituted.

1. With respect to the sacraments of the Church, it is to be noted
that, according to Gregory, there is a _sacrament_ in any celebration
when an outward act is so performed as that we receive inwardly some
degree of the thing signified; the which is to be received holily and
worthily. Also a _mystery_ is that which the Holy Ghost worketh
secretly, and invisibly, so as to sanctify by His operation, and bless
by His sanctification. A mystery is said to exist in sacraments; a
ministry only in ornaments.

2. But, according to Augustine, a sacrament is a visible sign of an
invisible grace. Again, a sacrifice is visible; a sacrament invisible.
Again, the same sign is a thing which bringeth under cognisance some
thing different from itself over and above the outward appearance
which it presenteth to the senses.

3. A sacrament is said also to be a sign of a sacred thing, or a
sacred concealment of a thing. Of this we shall further speak in the
fourth book, under the seventh part of the Canon of the Mass, upon the
word 'the mystery of faith,' and under the head of the Oblation.
[Footnote 544]

  [Footnote 544: The seventh part of the Canon of the Mass is,
  'Likewise after supper He took the cup into His holy and venerated
  hands; and when He had given thanks, He blessed it and gave it to
  His disciples, saying, Take and drink ye all of this; for this is
  the chalice of My blood, of the New and Everlasting Testament, the
  _mystery of faith_, which is shed for you and for many for the
  remission of sins: Do this as oft as ye shall drink it in
  remembrance of me.'--See _Rationale_ iv. 42, 20.]


4. Some of the sacraments be of necessity only; some of dignity and
necessity; some of order and necessity; some of dignity and choice;
and some of choice only. The sacrament of necessity only is baptism,
which when administered by anyone, so it be in the form of the Church,
in the greatest extremity profiteth unto salvation. And it is said to
be 'of necessity,' because without it no one can be saved, if it be
neglected through contempt. Of this sacrament we shall speak in the
sixth book, under the head of Holy Saturday.  [Footnote 545] The
sacrament of dignity and necessity is confirmation: of dignity,
because it is conferred by the bishop alone; of necessity, because he
who neglecteth it through contempt of it, cannot be saved. Of this
also we shall speak under the head just specified.

  [Footnote 545: The chapter referred to treats of holy baptism
  doctrinally, and does not therefore fall within the province of this

5. The sacraments of order and dignity are Penance, the Eucharist, and
Extreme Unction. Of order; because they ought only to be administered
by such as are rightly ordained according to the Church's power of the
keys; except in necessity, in which one may _confess_ even unto a
layman: of necessity; since such as neglect them through contempt of
them cannot be saved. About penance, see the sixth book, upon the
fifth day of Holy Week, the _Caena Domini_:  [Footnote 546] about the
Eucharist, we shall speak in the fourth book, upon the Canon;
[Footnote 547] about Extreme Unction we have spoken in the preceding

  [Footnote 546: What we call _Maunday Thursday_, from _Mandatum
  novum_ ('A new commandment I give unto you,' etc.), which the Church
  of England retains as a Lesson for the day, is more properly called
  _The Caena Domini_, or _Lord's Supper_, in remembrance (as Bishop
  Andrewes says) _of the mighty mystery of Thy holy body and precious
  blood, instituted on the evening of this day_.--See S. Isidore, _De
  Offic. Eccles._ i, 28. The chapter referred to (73 of the sixth
  book), shows that penitents were restored to communion on this day,
  and with what ceremonies.]

  [Footnote 547:  These, besides their great length, are not required
  for the explication of our more immediate subject.]


6. But the sacrament of dignity and choice is Orders: of dignity;
because conferred by bishops alone, and because no one is admitted
thereunto save a worthy person and in a worthy way: of choice; because
anyone may be saved without it. Of this we shall speak in the preface
to the second book.  [Footnote 548]

  [Footnote 548:  These, besides their great length, are not required
  for the explication of our more immediate subject.]

7. The sacrament of choice only is matrimony; and it is said to be of
choice, because anyone may be saved without it. Indeed a man seeking
to marry is not inclined to tend towards the kingdom of heaven.

With respect to this it is to be remarked that, according to the
canons, the solemnity of marriage ought not to be celebrated from
Septuagesima Sunday, because it is a season of sorrow, until the
octave of Easter, nor in the three weeks before the Feast of S. John.
[Footnote 549] But according to the custom of the Catholic Church,
marriages may be solemnised in the church from the morrow of Low
Sunday, namely, from the octave of Easter, until the first Rogation
Day. And from the morning of the first Rogation Day this rite is
prohibited until the octave of Whitsuntide inclusively: and so saith
Pope Clement in his Decretal. Again, marriages ought not to be
celebrated {155} from the First Sunday in Advent until the Epiphany:
nor would they have been allowed until the octave of the Epiphany had
not the Lord honoured a marriage with His presence, and even with a
miracle.  [Footnote 550] Whence they then chant, 'To-day the Church is
united to her Heavenly Spouse.' Some, however, say that it is more
holy to extend this prohibition unto the octave of the Epiphany.

  [Footnote 549: Bp. Cosins says that marriages are not to be
  solemnised from Advent Sunday, until eight days after (or the octave
  of) the Epiphany; from Septuagesima Sunday until eight days after
  Easter; and from Rogation Sunday until Trinity Sunday. Some of these
  being times of solemn fasting and abstinence, some of holy festivity
  and joy, both fit to be spent in such holy exercises, without other
  avocations. See his 'Devotions,' republished by Messrs Rivington.]

  [Footnote 550: We are accustomed to celebrate only the manifestation
  of Christ to the Gentiles, on the Epiphany. But S. Isidore (_De Off.
  Ecc._ i, 26) gives two other objects of commemoration upon this day:
  viz. the baptism of our Lord, and his first miracle at the marriage
  in Cana. And so the hymn in the Breviary:

    Ibant Magi, quam viderant,
    Lumen requirunt lumine,
    Lavacra puri gurgitis
    Peccata quae non detulit,
    Novum genus potentiae!
    Vinumque jussa fundere
    Stellam sequentes praeviam;
    Deum fatentur munere.
    Caelestis Agnus attigit;
    Nos abluendo sustulit.
   Aquae rubescunt hydriae,
   Nutavit unda originem.

  Our own Church, however, retains the old Gospel for the second
  Sunday after the Epiphany.]

In the aforesaid times, therefore, marriages are not to be contracted;
because these seasons are set apart for prayer.

8.  [Footnote 551] But although the solemnising of marriages is
prohibited in these intervals, yet a contract of marriage holds good
at whatever time it may have been duly made. But in that it is ordered
by the canons that weddings should not be celebrated in the three
weeks before the Festival of S. John Baptist, the rule was made that
men might be more at leisure for prayer. For the Church had formerly
appointed two periods of forty days, besides the great one of
Lent:--the one preceding the nativity, usually called S. Martin's, and
lasting from his day to the nativity;   [Footnote 552] the other,
forty days before the Feast of S. John Baptist:--in which men should
give especial heed unto prayers, alms, and fastings. But in regard of
the frailty of man, these two seasons have been reduced to one, and
that one again divided into the three weeks of advent, and three
before the nativity of S. John: at which times men ought to fast and
abstain from marriage.

  [Footnote 551: A few passages have been omitted in the course of
  this chapter.]

  [Footnote 552: Martinmas is the 11th November. The forty days are
  not exactly made out between this and the Nativity. ]


9. According to S. Isidore (of Seville), women wear veils, when they
are married, so that they may know that they must always be subject to
their husbands: and because Rebecca, when she saw Isaac, veiled
herself. The same saith also that married persons after the
benediction are coupled by a fillet, to show that they must not break
the tie, that is the fidelity, of conjugal unity. And the same fillet
is both white and purple mixed; because the white signifieth purity of
life, and purple their lawful raising of offspring: so that by this
symbol, their continuance and mutual 'defrauding one another for a
time is signified, as well as their coming together again'  [Footnote
553] and return afterwards to conjugal duties.

  [Footnote 553: See S. Paul I Corinthians vii, 5. The whole of this
  passage is quoted from S. Isidore, who is, however, more
  circumstantial than Durandus, and much more elegant and intelligible
  in his language. The extreme corruption of the printed copies of our
  author may be exemplified by referring the reader to the original in
  S. Isidore.--_De Off. Eccles._ ii, 19. See also Hugo de S. Victore,
  _Exercit. Theol. Summ. Sent._, Tract vii.]

10. Also in that at the beginning of the ceremony the husband giveth a
ring to the bride, this is done as a sign of mutual love, or rather in
order that their hearts may be united by the same pledge. And the same
ring is put on the fourth finger, because (as some say) a certain vein
runneth through it which reacheth to the heart. Also one Protheus is
said to have first made a ring of iron as a pledge of love, and to
have enclosed an adamant therein: and from this he founded the custom
of betrothing brides, because as iron subdueth all things, so doth
love conquer all things, since nothing is more violent than its


11. And as an adamant cannot be broken, so love cannot be overcome:
for love is as strong as death. Therefore also he founded the custom
of putting the ring on the ring-finger through which a vein passeth to
the heart. Afterwards, however, golden rings were substituted for
iron, and were set with gems, instead of adamant, because as gold
excelleth other metals, so doth love excel all other blessings. And as
gold is set off by the gems, so is conjugal love by other virtues. But
the word _nuptials_ (marriage) is so called according to Ambrose, a
_nubendo_ (from covering the head). For brides are wont to veil the
head and abstain from speaking. Whence also Rebecca, when she saw
Isaac to whom she was about to be espoused, began to veil her face.
For bashfulness ought to precede marriage, inasmuch as bashfulness
more highly commendeth wedlock itself: and the bride should appear
rather to be sought by the husband, than herself to have sought after
him. . . .

12. We have further to note that a threefold spiritual sacrament is
signified by the consummation of marriage. The first sacrament is the
spiritual union of the soul to God, through faith, love, and charity;
or the union of will, namely charity which consisteth in the spirit,
between God and a just soul. Whence saith the Apostle, 'but he that is
joined unto the Lord is one spirit.'   [Footnote 554] This sacrament
is signified by the union of soul which takes place at the first
betrothal in carnal matrimony. The second is the union of the human
nature with the divine, which took place in the incarnation of the
Word of God; or the conformity of nature, which existeth in the flesh,
between Christ and His Holy Church. To which that saying referreth,
'The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.'   [Footnote 555] The
third sacrament is the unity of the Church, gathered out of all
nations and subjected to one spouse, namely Christ. This sacrament is
typified in the case of such as, having had one wife and her a virgin,
have afterwards been admitted into holy orders.

  [Footnote 554: I Corinthians vi, 17.]

  [Footnote 555: S. John i, 14.]


13. But when anyone yieldeth to a second marriage, he giveth up this
unity, and the signification of this third sacrament does not hold in
his case: wherefore marriage should not advance beyond _one_, because
such advance cannot signify unity. Besides, by a second marriage he
departeth from the union of his former marriage: but the Church ever
since she hath united herself to Christ, hath never departed from Him,
neither hath Christ ever departed from her. Wherefore one who hath
twice married cannot signify such an unity. Whence also deservedly
from the defect of this sacramental signification marriage cannot be

14. Note also this, that according to the statute of the Council of
Carthage the bridegroom and bride are to be presented by the parents
or bridesmen unto the priest in order to be blessed. And having
received the blessing, out of reverence to it, they do not consummate
the marriage till the next day.

15. Again by the appointment of Pope Evaristus marriages are to be
blessed by the priest not without prayers and offerings. However, a
man and woman who contract a second marriage must not be blessed by
the priest, since, they having been already blessed, the ceremony may
not be repeated. Nor ought marriages to be blessed unless both parties
are still unmarried, for the reason given in the preface to the second
book.  [Footnote 556]

  [Footnote 556: It is laid down that a _widow_ on taking the vows is
  not veiled by the bishop, as is the case with a virgin. 'A priest,'
  Durandus continues, 'is prohibited from taking a part in second
  marriages and from giving the benediction to such as are twice
  married. But a widow taking the vows is married as it were twice,
  first to her late husband, and secondly unto Christ in her
  profession, wherefore the veil of consecration, or even of
  profession, is not given unto her, but she herself takes it from the
  altar. . . . Yet in the Pontifical, according to the Roman Order, we
  find the benediction of a widow professing continence, and also of
  her veil. For the Lord also comforted the widow of Serepta by the
  hand of Elias the prophet. And I have myself seen in the city (Rome,
  of course) the [Cardinal] Bishop of Ostia bless two widows among the
  virgins who took the vows' (Proem. II, c. 47).]


And any priest who shall have given the blessing in such a second
marriage is to be suspended from his office and benefice and to be
sent to the apostolical see; a custom this, introduced as an
incitement to continence. According to the custom of some places, if
anyone contracts a second marriage with an unmarried woman the
benediction is repeated: but this does not avail unless our Lord the
Pope know of it and approve it. Some also say that if any unmarried
persons were not blessed when they contracted marriages, they may when
marrying a second time receive the benediction; but if they were
blessed at first, it cannot be repeated at a second marriage even
though the first were never consummated. Of the benediction of virgins
we shall speak in the preface and the second book.  [Footnote 557]

  [Footnote 557: See chap. viii, note 57.]

16. But it is to be noted that one sacrament may be more worthy than
another in four ways: namely, in efficacy, as baptism; in sanctity, as
the eucharist; in significancy, as marriage (though some do not admit
this way); in the dignity of the administrator, as confirmation and

17. But is it asked why sacraments are appointed, when without them
God could have given eternal life and His Grace unto mankind? I
answer, for three reasons. First, for our humiliation; in order that
when man reverently humbleth himself by the command of God unto
insensible and inferior things, he may from this obedience become more
acceptable unto Him. Secondly, for our instruction; that by that which
is seen objectively in a visible form, our mind may be instructed in
that invisible virtue, which is to be perceived within. {160} Thirdly,
for our exercising: in order that, since man ought not to be idle,
there may be set before him a useful and healthy exercise in the
sacraments; so that he may avoid vain and hurtful occupation.
According to that saying, 'Always be doing some good work, that the
devil may find you occupied.' Wherefore, as we said in the foregoing
chapter, they must never be neglected.




  [Footnote 558: Job xxxviii, 31. See the Proeme towards the

Let none imagine that in the foregoing work the divine offices be
sufficiently set forth, lest by extolling that which is human, he
rashly depreciate that which is divine. For in the divine offices of
the Mass, so many and so great be the mysteries involved, that none,
unless he be taught of the spirit, is sufficient to explain them. 'For
who knoweth the ordinances of heaven, or can explain the reasons of
them upon earth?   [Footnote 559] For he that prieth into their
Majesty is overwhelmed by their glory. But I, who cannot from the
weakness of mine eyes behold the sun in his brightness, have looked on
these mysteries, as through a glass, darkly: and, not penetrating into
the interior of the palace, but sitting at the door, have done
diligently, as I could, not sufficiently, as I would. For on account
of the innumerable and inevitable business of the Apostolic See,
[Footnote 560] pressing on me daily, like a flood, and holding down
the mind of him that would diligently rise to a contemplation of
heavenly things: I, perplexed as it were, and entangled in the knots
of various employments, could not have the leisure that I wished for,
and could scarcely either dictate what I had composed, or compose what
I had conceived. {162} For the mind that is divided in several trains
of thought hath less power in each. Wherefore I not only ask pardon of
the courteous reader, but implore the assistance of a friendly
corrector. For I cannot deny that many things are inserted in this
book which may be blamed, and that justly and without temerity. But if
anything worthy be found in it, let the praise thereof be ascribed
entirely to Divine Grace: for 'every good gift, and every perfect gift
is from above, and cometh down from the Father of Light.'   [Footnote
561] But let that which is unworthy, be set down to human
insufficiency, 'for the corruptible body presseth down the soul, and
the earthly tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many
things.'  [Footnote 562] That which is worthy hath been taken from the
sayings of others, whose words I have introduced, rather by way of
recital  [Footnote 563] after than of approval. I have collected from
diverse books, the manner of the honey making bee, not without profit,
of those things which divine grace hath held forth to me: and this
doctrine, flowing with sweetness like the honeycomb, I offer, trusting
in God's help, to those who desire to meditate on the divine offices:
expecting this reward alone of my great toil among men, that they will
pray earnestly to the merciful Judge for the pardon of my

    GULIELMI DURANDI, _Epi Mimatensis Liber de ecclesiis et ornamentis
    ecclesiasticis explicit feliciter_.

  [Footnote 559: See the Preface.]

  [Footnote 560: Book viii, chap. 14.]

  [Footnote 561: S. James i, 17.]

  [Footnote 562: Wisdom ix, 17.]

  [Footnote 563: The passage seems corrupt: but the sense appears to
  be, 'reciting them, as testimonies in my favour, and not presuming
  to add my testimony to their worth.]



[For the avoiding continual reference, for the extreme beauty of the
treatise itself, for its value as an older document than the
'Rationale,' and for the advantage of comparison with the latter in
subject, sentiment, style, and often language, the Editors have
subjoined a translation of the first and second chapters of the
'Mystical Mirror of the Church' of Hugo de Sancto Victore.]

  (_Folio Edition_, 237 E)

A Prologue to the 'Mystical Mirror of the Church,' made by Master Hugh
of S. Victor.

Your love hath asked of me to treat of the sacraments of the Church,
and to set forth unto you their mystical sweetness. But since with the
more willingness, because with the more ease and boldness I do evolve
(after my custom) points of logic rather than of theology; I began to
doubt whether to withstand your admonition or the rather to write. But
when I presently remembered how that every good thing when shared with
others becometh more bright and beautiful when it is shared, I
incontinently betook myself to my pen, having invoked the aid of 'Him
Who openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth.'
[Footnote 564] Wherefore I have put into the lips of your
understanding the tractate which you did desire, flowing within with
nectar like the honeycomb: and the same, because therein ye may see as
in a mirror what every thing in the church doth mystically denote, I
have called 'The Mystical Mirror of a Church.'

  [Footnote 564: Apocalypse iii, 7.]




The material church in which the people cometh together to praise God,
signifieth the Holy Catholic Church, which is builded in the heavens
of living stones. This is the Lord's house which is firmly builded.
The 'chief corner-stone is Christ.' _Upon_ this, not _besides_ this,
is the 'foundation of the apostles and prophets'; as it is written,
'Her foundations are upon the holy hills.'  [Footnote 565] The walls
builded thereon, be the Jews and Gentiles coming from the four
quarters of the world unto Christ. All the stones be polished and
squared; that is, all the saints be pure and firm: the which also be
placed so as to last for ever by the hands of the Chief Workman. Of
these some be borne and do not bear, as the more simple folk in the
Church; some be borne and do also bear, as the middling sort; others
do only bear, and be not borne, save by Christ alone. Who is the
single Cornerstone. And in this house by how much anyone doth differ
from and excel others, by so much being the more humble doth he hold
up more of the building. One charity doth join all together after the
fashion of cement: and the living stones be bound together by the bond
of peace. The towers be the preachers and the prelates of the Church:
who are her wards and defence.

  [Footnote 565: Psalm lxxx (_Fundamenta ejus_), I.]


Whence saith the bridegroom unto his spouse in the Song of Songs: 'Thy
neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury.'   [Footnote
566] The cock which is placed thereon representeth preachers. For the
cock in the deep watches of the night divideth the hours thereof with
his song: he arouseth the sleepers; he foretelleth the approach of
day; but first he stirreth up himself to crow by the striking of his
wings. Behold ye these things mystically: for not one is there without
meaning. The sleepers be the children of this world, lying in sins.
The cock is the company of preachers, which do preach sharply, do stir
up the sleepers to cast away the works of darkness, crying, 'Woe to
the sleepers: awake thou that sleepest'; which also do foretell the
coming of the light, when they preach of the day of judgment and
future glory. But wisely before they preach unto others do they rouse
themselves by virtues from the sleep of sin, and do chasten their
bodies. Whence saith the Apostle, 'I keep under my body and bring it
into subjection.  [Footnote 567] The same also do turn themselves to
meet the wind when they bravely do contend against and resist the
rebellious by admonition and argument, lest they should seem to flee
when the wolf cometh. The iron rod upon which the cock sitteth,
showeth the straightforward speech of the preacher; that he doth not
speak from the spirit of man, but according to the scriptures of God:
as it is said, 'If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of
God.'  [Footnote 568] In that this rod is placed above the cross, it
is shown that the words of Scripture be consummated and confirmed by
the cross: whence our Lord said in His Passion, 'It is finished.'
[Footnote 569] And His title was indelibly written over Him.

  [Footnote 566: Cant. iv, 4. ]

  [Footnote 567: I Corinthians ix, 27.]

  [Footnote 568: I S. Peter iv, 2.]

  [Footnote 569: S. John xix.]


The ball (_tholus_) upon which the cross is placed doth signify
perfection by its roundness: since the Catholic faith is to be
preached and held perfectly and inviolably: 'Which faith, except a man
do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish
everlastingly.' Or else the ball doth signify the world redeemed by
the price of the Cross: on which account the cross is placed over it.
The cock being set over the cross signifieth that the preacher ought
to make sure this point, that Christ redeemed the world by His Cross.
The pinnacle and turret show the mind or life of a prelate who tendeth
unto things above. The bells, by the voice of which the people are
called together unto the church, typify also preachers: the which
being necessary for many uses, are called by many names. The clapper,
which causeth the sound from the two sides of the bell, is the tongue
of the preacher which causeth both Testaments to resound. The wooden
frame, whence the bell hangeth, signifieth the Cross; the cramps,
charity; by which charity the preacher, being fast bound to the Cross,
boasteth, saying, 'God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of
our Lord Jesus Christ'   [Footnote 570] The rope is the life and
humility of the preacher. Whence the Apostle saith, 'He condescendeth
towards others. Whether we exalt ourselves it is for God; whether we
abase ourselves it is for you.'   [Footnote 571] The rings on the rope
are perseverance and the crown of reward. The glazed windows of the
church be the Holy Scriptures, which do ward off the wind and the
rain, that is, do repel all hurtful things; and when they do transmit
the brightness of the True Sun by day into the church, they do give
light to them that be therein. These be wider within than without,
because the sense mystical is more ample and more pre-eminent than the
sense literal. These be frequented of preachers, 'who do fly as a
cloud and as the doves to the windows.'   [Footnote 572]

  [Footnote 570: Galatians vi, 14.]

  [Footnote 571: 2 Corinthians v, 13. Vulgate.]

  [Footnote 572: Isaiah lx, 8.]


Also by the windows the five senses of the body be signified: which
ought to be narrow without, lest they should take in vanities, but
should be wide within to receive spiritual good. The door is Christ:
whence the Lord saith in the Evangele, 'I am the door.'  [Footnote
573] The pillars be doctors; who do hold up spiritually the temple of
God by their doctrine, as do the evangelists also the throne of God.
These, for the harmony of divine eloquence, be called silver columns:
according to that of the Song of Songs, 'He made the pillars thereof
of silver.'   [Footnote 574] The stalls do denote the contemplative:
in whom God doth rest without offence. These, for that they do
contemplate the highest divinity and glory of the eternal life, be
compared unto gold: whence in the aforesaid Song of Songs it is said,
'He made a golden bed.'  [Footnote 575] The beams be such as
spiritually sustain the Church: the ceilings such as adorn it and
strengthen it; of the which (because they be not corrupted by vices)
the bride glorieth in the same Canticles, saying, 'The beams of our
house are cedar and our rafters of fir.'   [Footnote 576] For God hath
built His Church of living stones and imperishable wood: according to
that, 'Solomon made himself a litter of the wood of Lebanon;
[Footnote 577] that is Christ of His saints made white by chastity.
The chancel, when lower than the body of the church, showeth
mystically how great humility ought to be in the clergy: according to
the saying, 'The greater thou art the more humble thyself.'  [Footnote
578] The altar signifieth Christ, without Whom no acceptable gift is
offered unto the Father. Whence the Church uttereth her prayers unto
the Father _through_ Christ. The vestments with which the altar is
adorned be the saints of whom the Prophet speaketh unto God, saying,
'Thou shalt surely clothe Thee with them all as with an ornament.'
[Footnote 579]

  [Footnote 573: S. John x.]

  [Footnote 574: Cant, iii, 10.]

  [Footnote 575: Cant, iii, 10.]

  [Footnote 576: Cant, i, 17.]

  [Footnote 577: Cant, iii, 9.]

  [Footnote 578: Eccles. iii, 18.]

  [Footnote 579: Isaiah xlix, 18.]


The steps by which we ascend unto the altar do spiritually denote the
apostles and martyrs of Christ who have shed their blood for the love
of Him. The bride in the Canticles saith, 'The ascent unto it is
purple, the midst thereof being paved with love.'   [Footnote 580]
Furthermore, the fifteen virtues be expressed by the fifteen steps
with which they went up unto the temple of Solomon: and the same be
shown by the prophet in the fifteen continuous Psalms, which the
righteous man hath disposed as steps or degrees in his heart.
[Footnote 581] This is the ladder which Jacob saw, the top of which
touched the heavens. The lights of the church be they by whose
doctrine the Church shineth as the sun and the moon; unto whom it is
said by our Lord's voice,  [Footnote 582] 'Ye are the light of the
world.' They be also the examples of good works: whence He saith in
His admonitions, 'Let your light so shine before men.'   [Footnote
583] In that the church is adorned joyfully within but not without, is
shown morally that its 'Glory is all from within.'   [Footnote 584]
For although it be contemptible externally, yet doth it shine within
in the soul, which is the abode of God: whence the Church saith, 'I am
black but comely.'   [Footnote 585] And again, 'Yea, I have a goodly
heritage.'   [Footnote 586] Which the Prophet considering, saith,
'Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house: and the place where
Thine honour dwelleth,'   [Footnote 587] which place also Faith, Hope,
and Charity do spiritually adorn.

  [Footnote 580: Cant, iii, 10. Vulgate.]

  [Footnote 581: The fifteen Psalms, cxx-cxxxiv of our version, are
  called Songs of Degrees.]

  [Footnote 582: S. Matthew v.]

  [Footnote 583:  Ibid.]

  [Footnote 584: Here is an allusion to Psalm xlv (_Eructavit cor
  meum_), 14. ]

  [Footnote 585: Cant, i, 5.]

  [Footnote 586: Psalm xvi (_Conserva me Domine_), 7.]

  [Footnote 587: Psalm xxvi (_Judica me Domine_), 8. ]


The cross of triumph is placed in the middle of the church, because
the Church loveth her Redeemer in the middle of her heart, and 'the
midst thereof is paved with love for the daughters of Jerusalem.'
[Footnote 588] The which as a sign of victory, let all who see say one
and all, 'Hail, salvation of the whole world: hail, life-giving Tree!'
Wherefore, lest we should ever forget the love of God for us, 'Who
gave his only-begotten Son' to redeem us His servants, the Church
armeth herself in her bosom and forehead with this sign, signifying
that the mystery of the cross must always be believed by us in our
heart, and confessed openly with our mouth. The figure of which went
before her in Egypt. But when we cross ourselves from the forehead
downwards, and then from the left to the right, we do set forth this
mystery, that God 'bowed the heavens and came down,' to teach us to
prefer things eternal unto things temporal. But by this sign the army
of the devil is overthrown; the Church triumpheth, 'terrible as an
army with banners.' [Footnote 589] 'How dreadful is this place: this
is none other but the house of God.'  [Footnote 590] And the Hymn
saith, 'The banners of the King come forth: the Cross unfolds its
mystery.'  [Footnote 591] Round this do the heavenly legions rally. Of
this it is written, 'I saw the holy city. New Jerusalem, coming down
from God out of heaven.'   [Footnote 592]

  [Footnote 588: Cant. iii, 10.]

  [Footnote 589: Cant, vi, 10.]

  [Footnote 590: Genesis xxviii, 17.]

  [Footnote 591: The hymn, _Vexilla Regis_, occurs in the office for
  Passion Sunday.]

  [Footnote 592: Apoc. xxi, 2.]

For the Church is militant here; in her home she doth reign: a part is
in pilgrimage, a part in glory. That which is in pilgrimage coming up
from her exile through the desert, doth sigh for her home, from the
'waters of Babylon for the heavenly Jerusalem;' while the other part,
continually seeing peace, doth hold perpetual festival. Thus the
heavenly city of Jerusalem is called the 'vision of peace.'
[Footnote 593]

  [Footnote 593: See note 4 on the _Rationale_, I. i, p. 13.]


How glorious is her kingdom, 'glorious things are spoken of thee, thou
city of God.'   [Footnote 594] Her guardians be the citizens of
heaven, the legions of angels with the glorious company of the
apostles, the prophets, and the patriarchs, the armies of martyrs
robed in purple, the flowers of virgins, the verdant choir of
confessors, compassed about with the universal assembly of all the
saints, chaste and glorified! And this wondrous court of heaven is yet
more wondrously adorned by that one incomparable jewel, the Virgin
Mother, 'whose like there ne'er hath been, whose like there ne'er
shall be.' But how great is the admiration of all in beholding the
King Himself, and how harmonious be the songs in praise of Him; this
is known to those alone, who have deserved to stand amongst the happy
throng, and to behold the mystery of the Trinity and the glory of
Christ: Who is encircled by the angelic choirs; upon Whom the angels
desire continually to gaze. To behold this the Immortal King face to
face, the Church below is preparing herself: and while she keepeth
here her feasts of time, she is remembering the festivals of her home
and of eternity; in which the bridegroom is hymned by angelical
instruments. And all the saints continually celebrating the day of
great festivity 'which the Lord hath made,' cease not in their nuptial
songs to laud the eternal bridegroom, the beautiful in form above the
sons of men; Him who hath chosen the Church for Himself of His free
mercy. Of whom, as He had seen her from eternity, He saith, 'I will
get Me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense and
will speak unto my spouse.'   [Footnote 595] For whom 'He came forth
as a bridegroom out of His chamber, and rejoiced as a giant to run his
course';   [Footnote 596] when He went forth from His Father, and
returned unto His Father--went forth indeed even unto Hades, returned
unto the Throne of God--to make all His elect, from the beginning even
unto the end of the world, one kingdom in the vision of the Supreme
Trinity: in which is glorified 'one God world without end.'

  [Footnote 594: Psalm lxxxvii (_Fundamenta ejus_), 2.]

  [Footnote 595: Cant, iv, 6.]

  [Footnote 596: Psalm xix (_Caeli enarrant_), 5.]




With what carefulness and love Christ doth adorn the bride for Himself
and prepare her for her heavenly dedication, is in part signified by
the consecration of the material church. The bishop compasseth the
church to be dedicated three times, sprinkling it with holy water, the
clergy and people following him.

239 A. In the meanwhile without and within there be burning twelve
lamps. So often as he cometh to the door (which for a mystical reason
is shut), the bishop smiteth the lintel with his pastoral staff,
saying 'Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye
everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in.'   [Footnote

  [Footnote 597: Psalm xxiv (_Domini est terra_).]

The deacon answereth, 'Who is the King of Glory?' To whom the bishop,
'The Lord of Hosts: He is the King of Glory.' At the third time, the
door being thrown open, he entereth with the clergy and people,
saying, 'Peace be to this house.' Then he performeth the other
ceremonies which pertain to dedication. But whatever things be here
done visibly, the same doth God work by His invisible power in the
soul, which is the true Temple of God: wherein Faith layeth the
foundation, Hope raiseth the buildings, and Charity finisheth it. Also
the Church Catholic herself, being made one out {172} of many stones,
is the temple of God; because many temples make one temple, of which
there is one Lord and one Faith. Wherefore the house must be
dedicated; the soul sanctified. Water is penitence: salt, wisdom; the
threefold aspersion, the threefold immersion in baptism; the twelve
lights, the twelve apostles, preaching the mystery of the Cross; the
bishop, Christ; his staff, Christ's power; the three strokes on the
door, Christ's dominion over all things in heaven, earth, and hell:
'that all the threefold frame of things may bow the knee to Him, their
Lord.' Again, the question of the deacon within is the ignorance of
the people; the opening of the door, the ejection of sin. The bishop
entering, prayeth for peace on the house, and Christ entering the
world maketh peace between God and men. Then prostrate he prayeth unto
the Lord for its sanctification: and so Christ, humbled in His
Passion, prayed for His disciples and them that should believe,
saying, 'Father, sanctify them in Thy truth.'   [Footnote 598]

  [Footnote 598: S. John xvii.]

Arising he does not give the salutation but only prayeth: because they
who be not yet sanctified must not be blessed but only prayed for. The
writing the alphabet upon the pavement is the simple teaching of faith
in the heart of man. The line drawn from the left corner of the east
unto the right corner of the west, and the other line from the right
of the east unto the left of the west, do express the Cross, and also
the gathering in of both peoples: according as Jacob blessed the
children of Joseph with his hands crossed.  [Footnote 599]

  [Footnote 599:  Genesis xxviii]

For although Christ passing from the east did leave the Jews, because
they would not believe, on His left hand, and did come unto the
Gentiles; to whom, though they had been in the west. He granteth to be
on the right hand: yet will he again, passing from the Gentiles who be
placed in the {173} right of the east, visit the Jews in the left hand
corner: who, it is evident, be worse than He first found the Gentiles.
The staff with which the alphabet is described typifieth the ministry
of teachers, by which the conversion of the Gentiles is effected and
that of Jews perfected. In that afterwards the bishop standing before
the altar saith, 'O God, make speed to save us'; he doth signify those
who having received the faith are preparing themselves to fight. And
because they be still in conflict, and as it were amongst sighs, the
Alleluia is not yet added. After this the water is blessed with salt
and ashes; wine mixed with water being also added. The water is the
people; the salt, doctrine; the ashes, the remembrance of the Passion
of Christ. The wine mixed with water is Christ, God and Man; the wine
His Godhead, the water His Manhood. Thus the people is sanctified by
the doctrines of faith and remembrance of the Passion, being united
with its Head both God and Man. Whence the altar and the church be
sprinkled within; to show that within, as without, the spiritual
Church must be sanctified. The aspersory, made of hyssop, denoteth
humility; with which grace the Catholic Church being sprinkled is
purified. The bishop compasseth the church in lustration and as if
bestowing his care upon all. In the meanwhile is chanted the Psalm,
'Let God arise and his enemies be scattered,' with its proper response
and antiphon, which is followed by another, 'Whoso dwelleth under the
defence of the most high.' Then the bishop chanteth, 'My House shall
be called an House of Prayer,' and also, 'I will tell out thy name
among my brethren.' And because no work can prosper without God, he
prayeth in conclusion that they may be heard who shall enter therein
to pray for blessings. After this he approacheth unto the altar,
saying, 'I will go up unto the altar of the Lord,' with the whole
Psalm: and what remains of the water {174} he poureth away at the base
of the altar, committing unto God that which surpasseth human
abilities in so great a sacrament. After this the altar is wiped with
a linen cloth. The altar is Christ, the cloth is his flesh, brought by
the beating of His Passion unto the whiteness and glory of
immortality. Next the bishop offereth upon the altar frankincense,
which is burnt in the shape of a cross in the middle thereof; and at
its four corners he maketh crosses with sanctified oil. Then upon each
of the four walls of the church there be made three crosses with the
same oil: and the consecration being thus finished, the altar is
covered with a white veil. Incense, prayers, and oil do denote the
grace of the Holy Ghost. Whose fulness--'like the precious ointment
upon the head that ran down unto the beard: even unto Aaron's beard,'
[Footnote 600] --came down upon the apostles and their disciples: who
preached the mystery of the Cross through the four quarters of the
world, the Lord working with them. The white covering doth typify the
joy of immortality: concerning which the Son exulteth, saying unto the
Father, 'Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.'
[Footnote 601]

  [Footnote 600: Psalm cxxxiii (_Ecce quam bonum_), 2.]

  [Footnote 601: Psalm xxx (_Exaltabo te Domine_), 12.]




'The temple of old was divided into two parts by a veil hung in the
middle thereof. The first part was called the Holy Place, but the
inner part the Holy of Holies. Whatever part then of the office of the
Mass cometh before the secret   [Footnote 602] is performed as it were
in the outer place: but the secret itself within the Holy of Holies.
There were in the Holy of Holies the altar of incense, the ark of the
testimony, the mercy-seat above the ark, and over this two cherubims
of glory with their faces looking towards each other. Herein the high
priest entered alone once in the year, having the names of the
patriarchs written upon the breastplate of judgment and the
shoulderplates, and bearing a censer of burning coals and blood, and
incense, which with prayer he placed in the thurible until the cloud
of incense covered him.  [Footnote 603]

  [Footnote 602: After the _Sanctus_, which, as we shall find, was
  performed with the full choir and the accompaniment of organs, came
  the _secret_, which embraced the whole _Canon of the Mass_,
  performed by the celebrant alone, and the celebration of the Holy
  Eucharist. 'It is called the secret because these things be hidden
  from us, since the nature of man can in no wise fully comprehend so
  great a mystery: for the denoting of which it is rightly performed
  secretly. To signify the same also, the priest when entering upon
  the secret is veiled as it were with the side curtains.' See other
  mystical reasons adduced in the remainder of this passage, Book IV,
  Chapter 35, and in Chapter 39 an account of the side curtains. Upon
  the use of these see also the _Dublin Review_, vol. x, p. 339. ]

  [Footnote 603: See Leviticus xvi; Exodus xxviii, xxxix, and xl.]


Afterwards he sprinkled the mercy-seat and the altar with blood, and
then he went out to the people, and washed his vestments in the
evening. These were types of old, but they have ceased since the
things signified thereby have come. But thus the former temple doth
denote the present church; the Holy of Holies, heaven; the high
priest, Christ; the blood, His Passion; the coals, His love; the
thurible. His flesh; the burning incense, prayers of sweet savour; the
altar, the hosts of heaven; the ark, Christ in His humanity; the
mercy-seat, God the Father; the two cherubims, the twain Testaments,
the which do look towards each other because the two do agree; the
vestments which be washed, mankind. Wherefore consider what things
were done of old, and what things Christ hath done, and then see how
the minister of the Church doth represent the same in the office of
the Mass. By the ark also is signified the humility of Christ, from
which through his mercy all good hath come unto us' (Durandus, Book
IV, Preface 13, 14).

In the next section the same subject is further illustrated, though
without reference to the immediate subject of this appendix, the
necessity of the division of every church into a chancel and nave.

The reader may consult a most interesting series of chapters in Hugo
de Sancto Victore (Tituli ii-viii, Ex. Misc. II, Lib. IV) upon this
subject: the passages are far too long for insertion here.

The _absolute necessity_ of this twofold division is a point which it
is more than painful at this time to have to prove. It is only within
the last two centuries that our own or any branch of the Church
Catholic has dared to depart from an usage which, if any, has
universality, antiquity, and consent on its side, and of whose
authority was never any doubt in the Church. {177} For some of the
arguments which have been adduced in the present controversy we must
refer to the publications of the Cambridge Camden Society, and
particularly the _Ecclesiologist_. There is nothing more wanted than a
careful treatise on the subject which shall in a compendious form put
this and several points depending upon it, such as orientation itself,
and praying towards the east, in a clear light.



'Furthermore albeit God is everywhere, yet ought the priest at the
altar and in the offices to pray towards the east: according to the
constitutions of Vigilius, Pope. Whence in churches which have the
doors at the west, he that celebrateth turneth in the salutations to
the people: but in churches which have the entrance at the east,
[Footnote 604] as at Rome, there is no need in the salutations for
turning round, because the priest always turneth to the people. The
temple also of Solomon, and the tabernacle of Moses had their entrance
from the east. Pray we therefore towards the east, being mindful,
firstly, that He, Who is the splendour of eternal light, hath
illuminated 'them   [Footnote 605] that sit in darkness and the shadow
of death, rising with healing in his wings':   [Footnote 606] of whom
it is said, 'Behold the man, whose name is the East.'   [Footnote 607]
For the which cause he saith in the book of Wisdom,  [Footnote 608]
{178} 'We ought to pray eastward, where the light ariseth.' Not
because the Divine Majesty is locally in the east: which is
potentially and essentially in all places; as it is written, 'Do not I
fill  [Footnote 609] heaven and earth'; and in like manner speaketh
the Prophet,  [Footnote 610] 'If I ascend into heaven. Thou art there:
if I go down to hell, Thou art there also': but because to those 'who
fear His name shall   [Footnote 611] the sun of righteousness arise,'
'which lighteth every man that Cometh into the world.'   [Footnote

  [Footnote 604:  S. John Lateran is an instance. We may observe that
  the reasons for the orientation of churches must have been very
  strong to have caused an universal disregard of an example thus set
  at the centre of Western Christendom.]

  [Footnote 605: S. Luke i, 79.]

  [Footnote 606: Malachi iv, 2.]

  [Footnote 607: Zechariah vi, 12. ]

  [Footnote 608: Wisdom xvi, 28.]

  [Footnote 609: Jeremiah xxiii, 24.]

  [Footnote 610:  Psalm cxxxix (_Domine probasti_), 7.]

  [Footnote 611: Malachi iv, 2.]

  [Footnote 612: S. John i, 9.]

Secondly, that our souls be thereby taught to turn themselves to the
things that are more desirable.

Thirdly, because they who praise God ought not to turn their backs on

Fourthly, according to Joannes Damascenus (who giveth also the three
following reasons),  [Footnote 613] to show that we seek our country.

  [Footnote 613:  _Quatuor orationes._ We should probably read,

Fifthly, that we may look upon Christ crucified, who is the True East.

Sixthly, that we may prove that we expect Him to come to be our Judge.
For Damascenus saith in that place, 'God planted a garden eastward';
[Footnote 614] whence man's sin made him an exile, and instead of
Paradise made him to dwell in the west: therefore, looking to our
ancient home, we pray towards the east.

  [Footnote 614: Genesis ii, 8.]

Seventhly, because our Lord, at His Crucifixion, looked towards the
east: and also when he ascended into heaven. He ascended towards the
east: and thus the apostles adored Him: and thus 'He shall come again
in like manner as they saw Him go into heaven.'   [Footnote 615]

  [Footnote 615:  Acts i, 11.]

Eighthly, Daniel likewise in the Jewish captivity prayed towards the


Yet Augustine saith that 'no Scripture hath taught us to pray towards
the east' [He, however, says also, 'Though I find not a thing on
record in Scripture, yet I receive it as proceeding from the apostles
if the Universal Church embrace it']   [Footnote 616] (Durandus V, ii,

  [Footnote 616: This section is in several places corrupt: for
  example--from Damascenus the quotation in the sixth head belongs
  properly to the seventh.

  Our readers may perhaps be reminded of the anecdote of the good Earl
  of Derby (who, if the Reformed Church in England should ever have a
  calendar of her own, will assuredly be one of its martyrs), when on
  the scaffold. The church of Bolton was in sight: and the Earl
  requested that he might be allowed to kneel on the western side of
  the block, so that the last object on which his eyes were fixed
  might be God's house. His executioners showed their poor malice to
  the last, by denying him this wish.]

S. Isidore has a curious passage about orientation. A place, he says,
designed so as to face the east was called _templum_, from
_contemplating_. Of which there were four parts; the front facing the
east, the back the west, the right hand the south, and the left hand
the north: whence also when they builded temples, they took their east
at the equinox, so that lines drawn from east to west would make the
sections of the sky on the right and left hands equal, in order that
he who prayed might look at the direct east (Orig. XV, iv).



1. We have noted afore, that the priest, in the celebration of Mass,
when it is not High Mass, himself readeth the gospel. But when a
bishop or priest celebrateth High Mass with the highest solemnity,
then, in some churches, as at Rome, the deacon having kissed the {180}
right hand of the bishop, taketh the book of the gospel from the
altar, and giveth it to the sub-deacon to bear, and asketh and
receiveth the bishop's or priest's blessing. But in other churches, he
first asketh for the blessing before he taketh the book. The
benediction having been bestowed, the deacon proceedeth along the
south side  [Footnote 617] of the choir to the rood loft, and before
him goeth the sub-deacon with the volume of the gospel, and before him
the incense-bearer with incense; and before him the torch-bearer with
lighted tapers, and before him in some churches the banner of the
cross: and thus they ascend the rood loft. And the deacon readeth the
gospel: the which being finished, they return to the priest or bishop
together. Which things we will more particularly go through. It is
also to be noted, that in some churches, the deacon, when about to go
to the rood loft, beginneth the antiphon which followeth benedictus in
the nocturns, and while he is going thither, it is taken up, and
finished by the chorus, to set forth charity: and it is sung without
instruments, to denote that God commandeth us to have love alone. And
now is the figure changed: for the deacon, who before represented S.
John Baptist, now setteth forth S. John Evangelist: because 'the law
and the prophets were until John:   [Footnote 618] and after him the
kingdom of heaven is preached.'

  [Footnote 617: As is well known, double staircases to rood lofts
  appear to have been almost as common in England as single ones: and
  there are sometimes, especially in Norfolk churches, two
  corresponding rood turrets.]

  [Footnote 618: 2 S. Luke xvi, 16.]

2. And the word _evangelium_ meaneth good tidings; from [Greek text],
well, and [Greek text], a messenger. For the preaching of Christ and
His apostles is indeed a gospel, as proclaiming Life after death, Rest
after labour, a Kingdom after slavery.


3. And ye are to wit, that as the head hath pre-eminence over the
other members of the body, and as the other members obey it: so the
gospel is the principal thing of all that are said in the office of
the Mass, and hath the pre-eminence, and whatever things be there
read, or sung, they consent to it, as may well be perceived.

4. The deacon therefore first kisseth the hand of the bishop in
silence, because the preacher must proclaim the gospel for the sake of
eternal glory, as saith the spouse in the Canticles, 'His right hand
shall embrace me.'   [Footnote 619] Also because the angel which came
to announce the glory of Christ's Resurrection did sit on the right
hand, clothed in white.  [Footnote 620] In other churches, however, he
doth not kiss, but only bowing asketh for a blessing. But the
sub-deacon or deacon doth not kiss the hands, but the feet, of the
Roman Pontiff, that he may exhibit the greatest reverence to the
greatest bishop, and show that he is His Vicar, Whose feet the woman
that was a sinner kissed.  [Footnote 621] For his footstool is to be
adored because it is holy. Whose feet also, when He had risen from the
dead, the woman held and adored. Generally, none ought to kiss the
hand of the Roman Pontiff, unless when he receiveth something from his
hands, or giveth something to them: to show that we ought on both
accounts to give thanks unto Him, Who giveth to all of His own, and
receiveth from none.

  [Footnote 619: Canticles ii, 6.]

  [Footnote 620: S. Mark xvi, 5.]

  [Footnote 621: S. Luke vii, 37.]

5. The deacon incontinently thereafter taketh the book of the gospel
from the altar, because the 'Law shall go forth out of Sion, and the
Word of the Lord from Jerusalem':   [Footnote 622] not the Mosaic Law
which went forth of Sinai, but the Gospel Law, of which the Prophet
saith, 'Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new
covenant with the house of Jacob and with the house of Israel.'
[Footnote 623]

  [Footnote 622: Micah iv, 2.]

  [Footnote 623: Jeremiah xxxi, 31.]


The book is also taken from the altar, because the apostles received
the gospel from the altar, when they went about preaching the Passion
of Christ. Or the altar in this place signifieth the Jews, from whom
the kingdom of God is taken, and given unto a nation that will do its
fruits: and from this, that the gospel is taken from the altar, we
learn, that it is the Word of God, which is signified by the altar,
according to that saying, 'An altar of earth shall ye make unto me.'
[Footnote 624]

  [Footnote 624: Exodus xx, 24.]

6. But he taketh it, according to some, from the right side of the
altar: because the Church of the Jews, whence our Church springeth,
was situate in the east: and placeth it on the left, as it is written,
'His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me':
[Footnote 625] and that for a threefold cause. Firstly, the gospel
teacheth that things celestial, which be signified by the right, be
preferred to things terrestrial, which the left hand setteth forth.
Secondly, the book is inclined on the left shoulder, to signify that
the preaching of Christ shall pass from the Gentiles, as it is
written: 'In those days Israel shall be saved.'   [Footnote 626]
Thirdly, because in temporal life, which is set forth by that side,
needful is it that Christ should be preached: and the book of the
gospel is in some churches adorned on the outside with gold and gems.
But the book remaineth on the altar, from the time that the priest
goeth there, till the gospel be read, because it, in this respect,
signifieth Jerusalem: since the gospel was first preached in
Jerusalem, and remained there from the advent of the Lord till it was
published to the Gentiles. As he saith, 'From Sion shall go forth the
laws.'  [Footnote 627] For Jerusalem was the place of the Passion,
which is also set forth by the altar.

  [Footnote 625: Canticles ii, 6.]

  [Footnote 626: Romans xi, 26.]

  [Footnote 627: Micah iv, 2.]


7. Thereafter he seeketh the benediction: because none must preach
unless he be sent. According to that saying, 'How shall they preach,
except they be sent?'   [Footnote 628] And the Lord saith to His
disciples, 'Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He may send
forth labourers into His harvest.'   [Footnote 629] But Esaias, when
he had heard the voice of the Lord, saying, 'Whom shall I send, and
who will go for us?'   [Footnote 630] made answer and said, 'Here am
I, send me.' And the Lord said, 'Go and tell this people,' etc.

  [Footnote 628: Romans x, 15.]

  [Footnote 629: S. Matt, ix, 38.]

  [Footnote 630: Isaiah vi, 8, 9.]

8. Again, Moses prefigured this kind of blessing: who, when he had
ascended unto the mountain, received the tables of the law and the
blessing, and gave the commandment to the people. And the Lord also
Himself blessed the order of deacons, and gave it the Holy Spirit and
sent it to preach through the whole world. The bishop therefore, or
the priest, visibly blesseth the deacon who is about to read the
gospel, which he did not do to the sub-deacon when about to read the
epistle, because Christ sent the law and the prophets, which be
signified by the epistle, while he remained hidden from the world: but
after that he had visited it, and conversed with men He sent forth His
apostles and evangelists, and taught them, saying, 'Go and teach,
saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'   [Footnote 631] 'And they
went through the villages, evangelising, and doing cures everywhere.'
And he sendeth him to read the gospel, to note that Christ sent the
apostles to preach the kingdom of God.

  [Footnote 631: S. Matthew x, 7.]

9. But the deacon, laying up in his heart the things which were said
in the benediction, must study to show himself pure in heart, clean in
words, chaste in deed, that he may be able to set forth the gospel
worthily, because the fountain of living waters, that is, the gospel,
doth not flow freely, except from Libanus, that is, from a chaste
heart, and a pure mouth. {184} For praise is not seemly in the mouth
of a sinner; nay rather of the sinner saith God, 'What hast thou to do
to set forth My ordinances, and take My covenant into thy mouth.'
[Footnote 632] And therefore he is fortified by the sign of the cross,
and then having received license and benediction, as is aforesaid, and
having made the sign of the cross, that he may walk in safety,
proceedeth to the rood loft in silence, with his eyes fixed on the
ground: bearing, according to the custom of some churches, nothing in
his hand, as the Lord commanded the apostles whom He sent to preach
the kingdom of God. 'Take,' saith He, 'nothing for the journey, and
salute no one.'   [Footnote 633] But in other churches the deacon
beareth a book, as shall be said hereafter. But when he cometh to the
rood loft, he saluteth it, as entering into a house to which he
offereth peace, and passeth from the right side of the choir to the
left, as he had before transferred the book from the right to the left
side. For when the Jews had refused the Word of God, it was preached
to the Gentiles, who are understood by the left side.

  [Footnote 632: Psalm 1 (_Deus Deorum_) 16.]

  [Footnote 633:  S. Matthew x, 10.]

10. In the Roman Church, and in certain others, the sub-deacon
ascendeth the rood loft one way,  [Footnote 634] and the deacon
another: because the one proceedeth to an increase of knowledge by
teaching, the other by learning: and because the minister by the merit
of his works, and the preacher by the merit of his words, proceedeth
to an increase of righteousness. Whence the Psalmist: 'Thy
righteousness standeth like the mountains of God':  [Footnote 635] but
they both return to the bishop by the same way, because by final
perseverance they attain their reward, {185} as the Lord testifieth,
saying: 'He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.'
[Footnote 636] And that preaching sufficeth not without good deeds.
For 'Jesus began both to do and to teach.'   [Footnote 637] Therefore
the preacher returneth by the same way by the which the minister had
gone up. Moreover, he that is about to read the gospel goeth and
ascendeth by one way, and returneth by another, according to that
saying, 'They returned into their own country another way':
[Footnote 638] because the apostles did first preach to the Jews and
then to the Gentiles: as it is written, 'Since ye have cast from you
the Word of God,'  [Footnote 639] and the rest.

  [Footnote 634: _Per dextram partem._ We are to imagine, in the whole
  of this description, the spectators supposed to face the altar. So
  in the fifteenth chapter of this book, the epistle is said to be
  read _in dextera parte_.]

  [Footnote 635: Psalm xxxvi (_dixit injustus_), 6. ]

  [Footnote 636: S. Matthew x, 22.]

  [Footnote 637: Acts i, 1]

  [Footnote 638: S. Matthew ii, 12.]

  [Footnote 639: Acts xiii, 46.]

11. The sub-deacon precedeth the deacon (because John and his
preaching preceded Christ and His preaching), carrying in some
churches a cushion; which he may place under the book. By the cushion,
on which the book resteth, be set forth the temporal things of life,
as it is written: 'If we have sown spiritual things, is it a great
matter if we reap your temporal things?'   [Footnote 640] For
according to the Apostle, 'They which serve the altar, eat of the
altar.'   [Footnote 641] For 'the labourer is worthy of his hire.'
[Footnote 642] And the Lord taught us the law, 'Thou shalt not muzzle
the ox when it treadeth out the corn.'   [Footnote 643] Again, a
cushion is placed under the book to denote that which the Lord saith,
'My yoke is easy, and My burden light.'   [Footnote 644] Austin saith,
'To this yoke whosoever is subject, hath all things subject to him.'

  [Footnote 640: I Corinth, ix, 11.]

  [Footnote 641: I Corinth, ix, 13. ]

  [Footnote 642: S. Luke x, 7.]

  [Footnote 643: Deuteron. xxv, 4.]

  [Footnote 644: S. Matthew xi, 30.]

The cushion therefore denoteth the sweetness and pleasure that ariseth
from the commands of God. Whence the Prophet, 'Thou, O God, hast of
Thy goodness prepared for the poor.'  [Footnote 645]

  [Footnote 645: Psalm lxviii (_Exurgat Deus_), 10.]


And again, 'O how sweet are Thy words unto my taste.'  [Footnote 646]
Yet in the Roman Church, the deacon goeth first, as the teacher:
sub-deacon followeth as the learner: the one precedeth, that he may
preach, the other followeth, that he may minister. But after the
reading of the Gospel, the sub-deacon, as being now sufficiently
instructed, returneth first, having in his hand the gospel, as
bringing back the gospel as the fruit of his ministrations: according
to that which the Lord promised: 'He that receiveth a prophet in the
name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward.'  [Footnote 647]
Whom therefore the deacon sendeth aforehand to the bishop, to show
that he is bringing back the fruit of his preaching: concerning which
the Lord commanded, 'I have called you that ye should go and bring
forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.'  [Footnote 648]
Moreover, the deacon, bearing back the cushion and gospel, signifieth
that the preacher ought, by his good works, to offer his life to God.
Whence the Apostle, 'Whatsoever ye do in word and deed, do all in the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ.'  [Footnote 649]

  [Footnote 646: Psalm cxix (_Beati immaculati_), 103.]

  [Footnote 647:  S. Matthew x. 41.]

  [Footnote 648: S. John xv, 16.]

  [Footnote 649:  Colos. iii 17.]

12. The deacon also sendeth aforehand the thurible with incense,
because the works of Christ preceded His doctrine. As it is written,
'Jesus began to do, and to teach.' But the thurible with incense
signifieth prayer with devotion, which the faithful then chiefly ought
to employ when they hear the word of God. Again, he doth it, because
the preacher must send forth the sweet odour of good works: according
to that saying of the Apostle: 'We are a sweet savour of Christ in
every place.'  [Footnote 650] He whose life is despised needs is it
that His preaching also is contemned.

  [Footnote 650: 2 Corinth, ii, 15.]

. . . . . .


The cross precedeth the gospel in token that the preacher must follow
the Crucified. Whence the Lord saith to Peter, 'Follow Me.' After
this, the deacon ascendeth the _ambo_ [the rood loft].

17. Now _ambo_ meaneth the pulpit, whence the gospel is read, so
called from _ambio_ [to surround] because that place is surrounded
with steps. In some churches also there be two ascents, one left,
namely towards the east, where the deacon ascendeth; one to the right,
namely towards the west, where he descendeth.

. . . . .

18. He ascendeth that he may read the gospel with a loud and clear
voice: as that which is to be heard of all, according to that saying
of the Prophet, 'O thou that evangelisest to Sion, get thee up into
the high mountain.'   [Footnote 651]

  [Footnote 651: Isaiah xi, 9.]

. . . . . .

Also that we may imitate our Lord, Who went up into a mountain,
[Footnote 652] that He might preach the gospel. The gospel is also
read in a lofty and eminent place, because it hath been preached
throughout all the world: as it is written: 'Their sound is gone out
unto all lands.'   [Footnote 653] But the epistle is read in a lower
place, as typifying the law, which was confined to Judea alone, as it
is written: 'In Jewry is God known.'   [Footnote 654]

  [Footnote 652: S. Matthew v, i.]

  [Footnote 653: Psalm xix (_Coeli enarrant_), 4.]

  [Footnote 654: Psalm lxxv (_Notus in Judea_), I.]

. . . . .

19. But in a Mass of requiem the gospel is not read in that exalted
place, but at the altar, to signify that preaching profiteth not the

. . . . .

20. Also the gospel is read from an eagle, according to that saying,
'He came flying upon the wings of the winds.'   [Footnote 655] And the
eagle itself is covered with a covering of cloth or silk, on certain
feasts, to signify the softness of the heart: as he saith, 'I will
take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart
of flesh.'   [Footnote 656]

  [Footnote 655: Psalm xviii (_Diligam Te_), 10]

  [Footnote 656: Ezekiel xi, 19. ]

. . . . .


21. But he that readeth the gospel passeth to the left side: and
setteth his face to the north, that the saying may be fulfilled, which
is written, 'I will say to the north give up, and to the south keep
not back'   [Footnote 657] (Durandus, Book IV, chap. xxiv).

  [Footnote 657: Isaiah xliii, 6.]



In the second chapter of his fifth book Durandus enters at great
length into this subject. The reason for making the sign is to drive
away evil spirits, who, as S. Chrysostome says, 'always flee when they
see the sign of the cross, as fearing that staff by which they have
been wounded.' The pole on which the brazen serpent was raised, the
crossing of Jacob's hands when blessing Joseph's children, the mark
_tau_ (Ezekiel ix, 4) on the forehead, and the seal on the forehead in
the Apocalypse, are some of the representations of the cross here
alleged. The cross is to be made with three fingers, that is, the
thumb and two fingers, in honour of the Trinity. The Jacobites and
Eutychians use only one finger. Next the different methods of crossing
are discussed. The sign ought to be made at the end of the gospel, the
creeds, the Lord's Prayer, the _Gloria in excelsis_, the _Sanctus_,
the _Agnus Dei_, the _Benedictus_, _Magnificat_, _Nunc dimittis_, at
the beginning of the hours, the end of the Mass, when the priest gives
the benediction, and whenever mention is made of the Cross of the
Crucified. See also our author in his sixth book _De die Parasceu_.




1. There be four principal colours, by which, according to the
diversity of days, the Church distinguisheth her vestments: to wit,
white, red, black, and green. For we read that in the garments of the
law there were four colours, fine linen, purple, jacinth, scarlet. The
Roman Church also useth violet and saffron, as shall be said below.

2. White vestments be used in the festivals of holy confessors, and
virgins which be not martyrs, on account of their integrity and
innocence. For it is written, 'Her Nazarites were whiter than snow.'
[Footnote 658] And again: 'They shall walk with Me in white:
[Footnote 659] for they are virgins: and follow the Lamb whithersoever
He goeth.' On account of the same thing white is used on the festivals
of angels; concerning whom the Lord saith to Lucifer:   [Footnote 660]

  [Footnote 658: Lamentations iv, 7.]

  [Footnote 659: The bishop here confuses two passages, Apocal. iii,
  4, and xiv, 4. Of the same subject Laevinus Torrentius says
  beautifully in his hymn on the Holy Innocents:

    Ergo supremi parte coeli, lactea qua lucidum fulget via,
    Qua picta dulci stillat uva nectare, et nectar exhalant rosae,
    Loeti coronis luditis, et insignium mixti puellarum choris
    Sacrum canentes itis agnum candido quacunque praecedat pede.]

  [Footnote 660: A misquotation of the bishop's. The words are
  addressed to Job. Job xxxviii, 7.]


'Where wast thou .... when the morning stars sang together?' Also in
all the festivals of the Holy Mother of God. In the feast of All
Saints: yet some then use red. In the principal festival of S. John
Evangelist.  [Footnote 661] In the conversion of S. Paul. In the
cathedra of S. Peter.  [Footnote 662] Also from the vigil of the
nativity of our Lord to the octave of the Epiphany: both inclusive;
excepting the festivals of the martyrs included in that period.
[Footnote 663] In the nativity of our Lord, and also of His
Forerunner, because each was born pure. 'For the Lord rode upon a
light cloud,'  [Footnote 664] that is, took unto Himself sinless
humanity, 'and entered Egypt,' that is, came into the world: as saith
the angel to the virgin, 'The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the
power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.'   [Footnote 665] But
John, although he were born in sin, was sanctified from the womb:
according to that saying, 'Before thou camest forth from the womb I
sanctified thee.'   [Footnote 666] And the angel saith to Zecharias,
'He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb.'
[Footnote 667] Also white is used in the Epiphany, on account of the
splendour of that star which led the wise men, as saith the Prophet,
'and the Gentiles shall come to thy light,  [Footnote 668] and kings
to the brightness of thy rising.' In the purification also, on account
of the purity of the Virgin Mary: which, according to Simeon, gave
birth to 'a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people
Israel.'   [Footnote 669]

  [Footnote 661: That is, on the 27th of December, the day of his
  'deposition': the other feast, kept in memory of his deliverance
  from the boiling oil, before the Latin gate, and therefore called
  _S. Joannes ante Portam Latinam_, is the 5th of May.]

  [Footnote 662: The 22nd of February.]

  [Footnote 663: Which are S. Stephen, the Holy Innocents, S. Thomas
  of Canterbury.]

  [Footnote 664: Isaiah xix, 3.]

  [Footnote 665: S. Luke i; 35.]

  [Footnote 666: Jeremiah i, 3.]

  [Footnote 667: S. Luke i, 15.]

  [Footnote 668: Isaiah Ix, 3.]

  [Footnote 669: A very harsh construction: but surely preferable to
  that by which the Blessed Virgin herself is spoken of as the
  promised light.]


On Maundy Thursday, to set forth the anointing, which is consecrated
to the purification of the soul. For the gospel on that day
principally setteth forth purity; 'He that is washed needeth not save
to wash his feet, but is clean every whit': and again, 'If I wash thee
not, thou hast no part with me.'   [Footnote 670] It is also used with
the office of the Mass from Easter Eve until the octave of the
Ascension inclusive: except on the rogation days and intervening
festivals of martyrs. On Easter Day, on account of the angel who
brought the tidings of the Resurrection, who appeared in white
garments: concerning whom Matthew testifieth, saying, 'His countenance
was as lightning, and his garment white as snow':   [Footnote 671] and
also because children, when baptised, are clothed in white. So also on
the Ascension, because of the bright cloud in which Christ ascended.
'For two men stood by them in white garments, which also said. Ye men
of Galilee,'   [Footnote 672] etc.

  [Footnote 670: S. John xiii, 10.]

  [Footnote 671: S. Matthew xxviii, 3.]

  [Footnote 672: Acts i, 11.]

3. And this is to be noted, that albeit in the consecration of
bishops, the vestments be of the colour suitable for the day, at the
dedication of a church they be ever white, on what day soever the
ceremony be celebrated: since in the consecration of a bishop the Mass
of the day is sung, but in the dedication of a church, the Mass of
dedication is sung. For the Church is called by the title of a virgin:
according to that saying of the Apostle, 'For I have betrothed you to
one man, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.'
[Footnote 673] Concerning which saith the bridegroom in the Canticles:
'Thou art altogether fair, my love, and there is no spot in thee.'
[Footnote 674] But this vestment ought to be white, to signify that
her garments must at all times be pure, that is, her life must be
spotless. Also in the octaves of those of the aforesaid feasts which
have octaves, the white colour is used.

  [Footnote 673: 2 Corinthians ii, 11.]

  [Footnote 674: Canticles i, 15.]


4. Scarlet vestments are used on the festivals of the apostles,
evangelists, and martyrs, on account of the blood of their passion,
which they poured out for Christ. For 'these be they which came out of
great tribulation.'  [Footnote 675] Except on the feast of the
innocents, as shall be said below. Also on the feast of the Cross,
because Christ on the cross poured out His blood for us. Whence the
Prophet, 'Wherefore is thine apparel red, as one that treadeth out the
wine vat?'   [Footnote 676] But according to others, we then use white
vestments: because it is not the feast of the passion, but of the
invention, or exaltations.  [Footnote 677] Also from the vigil of
Pentecost to Trinity Sunday inclusively: and this on account of the
fervour of the Holy Ghost, which appeared in fiery tongues on the
apostles. 'For there appeared unto them divers tongues as of fire.'
[Footnote 678] Whence the Prophet: 'He sent a fire in their bones.'
Although in the martyrdom of SS. Peter and Paul both red and white be
used: and in the nativity of S. John Baptist, white: but in his
decollation, red.

  [Footnote 675: Apocalypse vii, 14.]

  [Footnote 676: Isaiah lxiii, 2.]

  [Footnote 677: Both retained by our Church. The former (May 3)
  instituted in commemoration of the discovery of the True Cross, by
  S. Helena: the other (Sept. 14), which regulates the ember days in
  that month, in honour of its recapture from Chosroes by the Emperor
  Heraclius. ]

  [Footnote 678: Acts i, 1.]

5. But when her festivity is celebrated, who was both a virgin and
martyr, the martyrdom taketh precedence of the virginity; because it
is a sign of the most perfect love: according as the Truth saith,
'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for
his friends.'   [Footnote 679] Wherefore on the commemoration of All
Saints, some use scarlet: but others, and among them the Roman Church,
white: at which time the Church saith, 'They shall walk in the sight
of the Lamb with white garments: and palms in their hands.'
[Footnote 680]

  [Footnote 679: S. John xv, 13.]

  [Footnote 680: Apocalypse vii, 9.]


Whence the spouse saith in the Canticles: 'My beloved is white and
ruddy: white in His confessors and virgins, ruddy in His apostles and
martyrs.' For these are the flowers of roses, and the lilies of the
valley. Again they who use scarlet on the feast of All Saints, do it
with that intent because that feast was first instituted in honour of
All Martyrs.  [Footnote 681] But answer may be made that it was also
in honour of the blessed Virgin: and that at the present time, after
the decree of S. Gregory VII, the Church keepeth that day holy to the
memory of confessors and virgins. Also, the octaves of these days
follow the colour of the feasts themselves.

  [Footnote 681: This alludes to the history of the feast of All
  Saints. Pope Boneface obtained a grant of the Pantheon from the
  Emperor Phocas: and dedicated it in honour of S. Mary and All
  Martyrs. This was on the 11th of May: and the feast of All Martyrs
  was kept on that day under the title of _S. Maria ad Martyres_. S.
  John, having confessed before the Latin gate on the 6th, the feast
  was subsequently kept on that day. But Gregory IV transferred it to
  Nov. 1st, because the harvest was then gathered in: and because the
  feast of All Apostles being kept on May 1st, the other would answer
  to it half-yearly. _All Martyrs_ occurs, in a solitary instance, as
  an English dedication: _All Apostles_ not to be found in this
  country, has been adopted in Germany.  ]

6. Black is used on Good Friday: and on days of abstinence and
affliction: and also in rogations. Moreover, in those processions
which the Roman Pontiff maketh with bare feet: and in Masses of
requiem, and Septuagesima to Easter Eve. For the spouse saith in the
Canticles, 'I am black but comely,'   [Footnote 682] etc. But on the
feast of the Innocents, some use black on account of sadness, some
scarlet. The former allege the text, 'In Rama was a voice heard,'
[Footnote 683] etc. And for the same cause canticles of joy are
omitted: and the mitre is brought without the orfrey, on account of
the martyrdoms to which the Church hath principally an eye, when she
saith, 'I saw beneath the throne the souls,'   [Footnote 684] etc.

  [Footnote 682: Canticles i, 5.]

  [Footnote 683: Jeremiah xxxi, 15; S. Matthew ii, 18.]

  [Footnote 684: Apocalypse vi, 9.]


(So also on Sunday, Laetare   [Footnote 685] Jerusalem, the Roman
Pontiff beareth a mitre, beautified with the orfrey, on account of the
joy which the golden   [Footnote 686] rose signifieth, but on account
of the time being one of sadness, he weareth black vestments.) But the
Roman Church, when the festival falleth on a week-day, useth violet,
but on the octave, red.

  [Footnote 685: Palm Sunday.]

  [Footnote 686: This refers to the celebrated golden rose blessed by
  the Roman Pontiff on that day: and sent in token of approval to some
  Catholic prince. Some of our readers may remember that which was
  lately exhibited along with the golden altars of Basle.]

7. In fine, on common days green vestments be employed: because green
is the middle colour between black, white, and red; and specially
between the octave of Epiphany and Septuagesima: and between Pentecost
and Advent, in the Sunday office, this colour is used.

8. As he saith, 'Cypress with nard, nard and crocus.'   [Footnote 687]
To these four colours be the others referred; to wit, the scarlet to
the red,  [Footnote 688] the violet to the black, the fine linen to
the white, the saffron to the green. But some refer the roses to
martyrs, the saffron to confessors, the lilies to virgins.

  [Footnote 687: Canticles iii, 6. But the quotation is not exact.]

  [Footnote 688: This passage seems very corrupt.]

9. It is not unmeet to use the violet on those days for which black is
appointed. Whence the Roman Church useth it from the first Sunday in
Advent, to the Mass of the vigil of the nativity, inclusive: and from
Septuagesima to Easter Eve exclusive. But on the feasts of Saints on
Septuagesima and Advent, violet or black is not to be used. And note
that on Easter Eve in the whole office before Mass violet is used,
except that the deacon who blesseth the taper, and the sub-deacon who
ministereth, wear a white dalmatic and tunic, respectively: because
that benediction pertaineth to the Resurrection, as doth also the
Mass. But the benediction being finished, the deacon putteth off the
dalmatic, and putteth on a violet chesible: the sub-deacon, however,
changeth not his vestments. {195} Some also use white in the
procession on Palm Sunday: and in the blessing of the boughs, and
while the hymn _Gloria, laus, et honor_, is sung, on account of the
joy of that festivity. But the Roman Church useth violet: as it doth
also in the procession on Candlemas Day; because that office treateth
of the anxious expectation of Simeon, and savoureth of the Old

10. It also useth that colour in the September ember days, and on the
vigils of saints, when the Mass is of the vigil: and on the rogation
days, and in Mass on S. Mark's Day.  [Footnote 689] For when we fast,
then we bring under our flesh, that it may be conformed to that of
Christ, 'By the lividness of whose stripes we be healed.'   [Footnote

  [Footnote 689: Whether there be any superstitious fasting on S.
  Mark's Day?' is a question which sometimes occurs in the Visitation
  Articles of Archbp. Parker and his contemporaries.]

  [Footnote 690: Isaiah liii, 5.]

The which to express we use violet, which is a pale, and as it were, a
livid colour (Durandus, Book III, 18).



'On these three days the bells be silent, because the apostles and
preachers and others who be understood by bells were then silenced.
For the sound of bells doth signify the sound of preaching: of which
it is said, "Their sound hath gone out into all lands." For at that
time they no longer went round the towns and villages preaching the
gospel, but "after they had sung an hymn they went out with Jesus to
the Mount of Olives." To whom when the Lord had said, "Behold he is at
hand {196} that doth betray Me," they slumbered for sadness, and
ceased from praises. Whence also from compline, or vespers, when our
Lord was betrayed beginneth the silence of the bells. Others, however,
do not sound their bells beyond prime of this fifth day of passion
week.' (Durandus, Book VI, 72, 73).


The authority for the dedication festival is our Lord's observing the
feast of the dedication of the Temple. This festival has an octave: as
also had the Jewish feast, though the Passover and feast of
Tabernacles had not.

'But this festival specially denoteth that eternal dedication, in
which that other church, the holy soul, shall be so dedicated and
united to God that it shall never be transferred to other uses: which
will take place in the octave of the Resurrection.' The Psalms for the
office of the festival are the _Domini est terra, Judica me Domine,
Deus noster refugium, Magnus Dominus, Quam dilecta, Fundamenta ejus_,
and _Domine Deus_ (Durandus, Book VII, 48).



The following particulars are extracted and condensed from Martene's
invaluable work: and as his account is not easily accessible, and
somewhat long, it has been thought well to subjoin them here.


Churches were often, in the primitive ages, dedicated by more than one
bishop. Constantine having completed a magnificent church at
Jerusalem, invited the prelates, then assembled in council at Tyre, to
assist in its consecration (Euseb. _Vit. Const._ iv, 43; Sozomen. i,

Constantius his son, having finished a church erected by his father at
Antioch, Eusebius of Nicomedia, the intruding patriarch of
Constantinople, summoned a council under pretence of consecrating the
church, however much in reality to decide against the Catholic
doctrine of Consubstantiality. Ninety-seven bishops were present
(Sozomen. iii, 5).

So it was also in the Western Church. This is proved by the Preface to
the Fourth Council of Aries, holden in 524: which begins, 'When the
priests of the Lord had assembled in the will of God to the dedication
of the church of S. Mary at Aries.'

In the time of S. Louis, Pope Pascal I consecrated the church of S.
Vincent, with the Sacred College of Bishops and Cardinals. About the
year 1015, the crypt of the monastery of S. Michael was consecrated by
S. Bernard of Hildersheilm and two other bishops; and three years
afterwards, the church being finished, it was consecrated by the same
S. Bernard with three other bishops (_Vita S. Bernardi._ cap. xxxix,

All these bishops took an actual part in the service. In the
consecration of the church of Mans, in 1120, the high altar was
consecrated by Gilbert, Archbishop of Mans: S. Julians by Galfred of
Rouen: Hildebert of Mans consecrated S. Mary's; Reginald of Anglers
that of the Holy Cross. There is a fine passage to the same point in
Sugerius's book on the dedication of the church of S. Denis: 'Right
early in the morning,' saith he, 'archbishops and bishops, archdeacons
and abbots, and other venerable persons, who had lived of their proper
{198} expense, bore themselves right bishopfully; and took their
places on the platform raised for the consecration of the water, and
placed between the sepulchres of the holy martyrs and S. Saviour's
altar. Then might ye have seen, and they who stood by saw, and that
with great devotion, such a band of so venerable bishops, arrayed in
their white robes, sparkling in their pontifical robes and precious
orfreys, grasp their pastoral staves, call on God in holy exorcism,
pace around the consecrated enclosure, and perform the nuptials of the
Great King with such care, that it seemed as though the ceremony were
performed by a chorus of angels, not a band of men. The crowd, in
overwhelming magnitude, rolled around to the door; and while the
aforesaid episcopal band were sprinkling the walls with hyssop, the
king and his nobles drive them back, repress them, guard the portals.'

Yet the principal actor on the occasion was the bishop of the diocese.
The thirty-sixth canon of the second Council of Aries decrees, 'If a
bishop be minded to build a church in another diocese, let its
dedication be reserved for the diocesan.' S. Columbanus, being only a
priest, dedicated the church of S. Aurelia (Walfrid. Strabo. _Vita S.
Gallo_, cap. vi).

The preceding night was spent either in the church or in neighbouring
churches in a solemn vigil. S. Ambrose testifies that this was done on
occasions of the dedication of the Ambrosian church (_Epist_. 22, _ad
Marcellina_). So S. Gregory of Mans, in his dedication of the church
of S. Julian, removed the relics of that saint into the church of S.
Martin, and there kept vigil (_De Glor. Mart_, ii, 34).

Relics were considered indispensably necessary: so S. Paulinus
(_Epist_, xxxii, _ad Sever_.) This church was dedicated in the name of
Christ, the Saint of saints, the Martyr of martyrs, the Lord of lords,
and was honoured {199} with the relics of the blessed apostles. See
also the beautiful epistle of S. Ambrose, translated in 'The Church of
the Fathers.' The phrase was, _Consecrare ecclesiam de reliquiis Beati

Yet some churches were consecrated without relics. The second Nicene
Council decreed that in this case they should be supplied. Those
portions of the consecrated elements were placed with these: to which
perhaps that expression of S. Chrysostom is to be referred--'What is
the altar by nature but a stone? But it is made holy, when it hath
once received the body of Christ.'

These relics occupied different positions. In the church of S.
Benedict, consecrated by Pope Alexander II, there were relics in the
chapel-apse of S. John, in the bases of the piers, in the four angles
of the bell tower, in the cross on the western gable, in the cross of
the tower (_Chron. Cass_, iii, 30).

Ashes were sprinkled on the floor, and the bishop with his pastoral
staff wrote on them the alphabet, sometimes in Latin alone, sometimes
in Greek also.

The whole ceremony concluded with the endowment of the church: or, as
it was termed, presenting its dowry.

By way of setting before our readers as clearly as possible the
ancient form of dedication, we have chosen, among ten forms preserved
by Martene, that of S. Dunstan.

_Here beginneth the order of the dedication of a church. The bishops
and other ministers of the church advance singing the antiphon_,
'Zaccheus, make haste and come down,' etc.

Prevent us, O Lord, in all our, etc.


_Then twelve candles are to be lighted, and placed round the church,
with the antiphon_, three from the east, three from the west, three
from the north, three from the south.

God, which by the preaching of Thine apostles, didst open to Thy
Church the Kingdom of Heaven, and didst call them the Lights of the
world, grant, we beseech Thee, that being assisted by their prayers,
by whose teaching we are guided, and splendour illuminated, we may
make these our actions pleasing to Thy Divine Majesty.

_Here followeth the Litany: the priests going thrice round the church,
and beginning from that door at which they be after to enter, namely,
the south door._

O Christ, hear us, etc.

Prevent us, O Lord, with Thy tender mercy, and by the intercession of
Thy saints, receive our prayers graciously.

Let our prayers, O Lord, come up before Thee, and expel all wickedness
from Thy Church.

God, which rulest heaven and earth, graciously give us the aid of Thy

_Then one of the deacons entering the church, and shutting the door
standeth before it, the others remaining without: and the bishop
striking it with his staff, saith:_

Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting
doors, and the King of Glory shall come in.

_The deacon within answereth_, and saith: Who is the King of Glory?

_The Bishop._ Lift up, etc.

_The Deacon._ Who is, etc.

_The Bishop._ Lift up, etc.

_The Deacon._ Who is, etc.

_Chorus._ The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.


_The bishop again striking the door it is opened: and he entereth: the
chorus singing after him_, Lift up your heads, etc., _to the end of
the Psalm_.

_The Bishop_. The Lord be with you.

_Response_. And with thy spirit.

_The Bishop_. Let us pray:

We beseech Thee, O Lord, of Thy mercy, to enter Thy house, and to make
for Thyself an habitation in the hearts of the faithful. Through, etc.

_Then the bishop entereth the choir, saying:_

Peace be to this house, and to all that are in it; peace to them that
come in, and to them that go out.

Bless, O Lord, this house, which the sons of men have built for Thee:
hear those which shall come up to this place: hear their prayers in
the lofty throne of Thy glory.

_The clerks begin the Litany; the bishop, with certain priests and
deacons, remaining prostrate at the altar._

Lord have mercy upon us, etc.

_As soon as_ Agnus Dei _is said, the bishop, rising, saith:_

Let us pray.

Be Thou exalted. Lord, in Thine own strength, etc.

_Then the bishop shall write the alphabet along the pavement,_
[Footnote 691] _first from east to west, then from north to south, the
chorus saying the Psalm_, Fundamenta ejus.

  [Footnote 691: In the treatise of the Mart. Remigius, _De
  Dedicatione Ecciesiae_, we have the following explanation of this
  singular custom: 'A thing which might appear puerile, unless it had
  been instituted by men, great in dignity, spiritual in life,
  apostolical in discipline. In all things of this kind, the Lord by
  His example hath gone before us: and what He hath done, remaineth
  unchangeable in his successors. What is understood by the alphabet
  save the beginnings and rudiments of sacred doctrine? Whence S.
  Paul, "Ye have need that one teach you again, which be the first
  principles of the oracles of God." Therefore the bishop writeth the
  alphabet, to signify that he teacheth the pure doctrine of the
  gospel. He writeth the alphabet twice, and that in the figure of a
  cross, to signify that the Passion of Christ is set forth by the
  gospel in its purity. He writeth it in the angles of the church,
  because by them be set forth the four corners of the world. He
  beginneth from the east, because the gospel began from the Jews.'

  There is probably some reference to the Saviour's stooping down, and
  writing in the sand. We may also compare those singular and rare
  bells, in which the only inscription round the crown consists of the
  letters of the alphabet.]


_The Bishop_. O God, make speed, etc.

_Response_. O Lord, make haste, etc.

_The Bishop_. Glory be, etc.

_Response_. As it, etc.

_Then followeth the exorcism of the salt, and the water, and the

_Then the bishop maketh the sign of the cross at the four corners of
the altar, with hyssop, going round it seven times. The chorus sing
the Psalm_, Miserere mei Deus. _Then the bishop sprinkleth the water
three times round the church: the chorus singing_ Deus noster
refugium. _Then the bishop sprinkleth the water over the altar: the
chorus singing_ Qui habitat. _Then the bishop sprinkleth the whole
church inside with the water thrice: to signify the Church's inward
faith in the Trinity: and once outside, to signify the one baptism.
The chorus sing_ Fundamenta ejus; _and while the priests are ascending
the turrets,_ Jacob beheld a ladder, etc., _and the Psalm_ Deus noster

_Then the bishop entereth the church: and sprinkleth water on the
pavement in the form of a cross: the chorus singing_ Benedicite, omnia

_The Bishop._ Lift up your hearts.

_Response._ We lift, etc.

_The Bishop._ Let us give thanks, etc.

_Response._ It is meet, etc.

_Then the bishop goeth to the altar, and poureth the remainder of the
water at its base._

_Then he blesseth the altar-stone, the altar clothes, the sacerdotal
vestments, the corporal, the paten, the chalice, the thurible._

_Here followeth the Mass of Dedication._

_The post communion ended, the Bishop saith:_


Incline, O Lord, Thine ears unto me, and hear me: Look down, O Christ,
from heaven, on thy flock and thy sheep: stretch Thine hand over them:
bless their bodies and their souls: that in the communion of the
saints they may receive celestial benediction, light angelical, the
Holy Ghost, the Paraclete. Amen.

They who be regenerate of water and the Holy Ghost who be redeemed on
earth by Thy precious blood, who have received Thy sign on their
foreheads, grant them to be Thine on the day of judgment. Amen.

And as Thou didst bless patriarchs and prophets and apostles, martyrs
and confessors, virgins and priests, so bless this flock, who are
assembled to-day in Thy name in this church. Amen.

And as by Thine angel Thou didst free the three children from the
burning fiery furnace, so free this flock from everlasting death and
the power of the devil, and from earthly lusts and all manner of
weaknesses. Amen.

Spare their faults, remit their sins, and present them pure and
undefiled in the day of judgment: as Thou didst receive Enoch and
Elias into the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

God Almighty bless and keep you, and make this house to shine with the
glory of His presence, and open the eyes of His pity upon it day and
night. Amen.

And grant of His mercy, that all, who have assembled together at this
dedication, by the intercession of Blessed N., and all other saints
whose relics rest here, may obtain the remission of their sins. Amen.

That ye may be made a holy temple in the spirit, where the Holy
Trinity may ever deign to dwell; and after this short life ye may
attain to everlasting felicity. Amen.

Which He grant. Who liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.




Page 6.--It shows how little Durandus can rightly be charged with
fancifulness, when we find him classing among ceremonial precepts,
rites for which the Rabbis and many modern expositors have given a
symbolical reason.

Page 23.--'The lattice work of the windows.' Wrongly translated in
Lewis, 'the screens before the windows.'

Page 25.--This passage proves that in the time and country of Durandus
seats or chairs except in the choir were unknown. Though in England
Early English or Early Decorated open seats do occur, as in
Clapton-in-Gordan, Somersetshire, they are very rare, and take up much
less of the church than is the case in later examples. See 'Hist, of
Pews,' 3rd ed., pp. 19, 20, 79.

Page 39.--The reader is aware that the words _in medio_ of the early
Christian altars gave rise to the warmest disputes between the
Puritans and the Catholics of the 17th century. The Puritans insisted
that they meant in the _body_ of the church: the Catholics generally,
and more particularly that most able defender of altars, Dr. Laurence,
insisted that when the fathers spoke of an alter _in medio_, they only
meant one so placed as to be where all might see it. The words
undoubtedly may bear this meaning: yet perhaps it is better to
understand them, as they must be understood in this passage of
Durandus, of an altar placed in the chord of the segment of a circle
formed by the apse. See _Ecclesiologist_, vol. ii, p. 13.

Page 46, note 20.--This is a mistake. The fresco alluded to represents
a priest repeating the Pater Noster (which is written in his open
book) at the N. W. angle of an altar. Upon the altar are two
candlesticks and a ciborium: rising out of the latter is the figure of
our Blessed Lord. There can be no doubt of the objectionable nature of
such a representation.

Page 54--The nimbus of the Saviour, it is perhaps needless to observe
in explanation, is always inlaid, as it were, with a cross: at least
the exceptions are excessively rare.

Page 54--These 'carved figures' probably signify the corbels.

Page 54, note 54.--There is a valuable article on the nimbus by M.
Didron from the _Revue Générale de l'Architecture_ in the _Literary
Gazette_ for Dec. 1842. An example is there given of the square nimbus
in the case of Pope Nicholas, as represented in a contemporary MS. The
whole is well worth reading.

Page 102.--Dedication crosses. We have seen a valuable example of
these in the church of Moorlinch, Somersetshire. There are four
circles containing crosses pattées on the north and south sides of the
chancel; and two at the east end, in all ten: the other two have

Page 146.--The bodies of good men called horses. The same idea is
worked out at great length in S. Chrysostom's earlier homilies on the


Page 170.--But how great is the admiration, etc. Compare S.
Hildebert's hymn, _Exrta portam_, towards the conclusion:

  Qauntum tui gratulentur,
  Quam festive conviventur
  Quis affectus eos stringat,
  Et quae gemma muros pingat,
  Quis chalcedon, quis jacintus,
  _Norunt isti, quis sunt intus!_

The last line has the same beautiful turn with the expression of Hugh
of S. Victor.

Page 180.--Most of the following practices are observed to this day in
the Metropolitical Church of Seville. There are two ambones, but no
rood loft: the sub-deacon chants the epistle by himself, in the
southern ambo; the deacon, preceded by a taper, chants the gospel from
the northern.

Page 182.--So S. Bernard in his commentary on that verse of the 90th
Psalm, 'A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy
right hand.'




Abbots, how represented, 52
Agathensian, the Council, 45
Agnus Dei, The, 47
Alexander, Pope, 124
Alphabet, inscription of, 98
Allegory, 6
Altar candlesticks, 58
Altar rails, 26
Altars, stripped on Good Friday, 61
Altars, their consecration, 113
Altars, why encircled seven times at consecration, 119
Altare distinguished from ara, 34
Anagoge, 7
Analogium, _see_ Rood Loft
Angels, how represented, 47
Antioch, Council of, 197
Antiphonal chanting, 21
Apostles, the, how represented, 50
Appodiatio, explained, 62
Ark of Testimony 35
  its contents, 36
Aries, Fourth Council of, 197
Arnaldistae, 139
Augustine, S., 49, 84, 85, 136, 152

Basilica, 13
Baruth, legend of, 89
Bell rope, 74
Bells, when first used, 71
  what they signify, 72
  silent, when, 196
Bernard, S., 131, 139
Beverstone church, 46
Bishop, the consecration of a, 145
Bishopstone, 19
Black, when used, 194
Boneface IV', Pope, 94
Breastplate, how made, 10
Burchardus, S., 64
Burial of heretics in cemeteries, 111

Cambridge Camden Society, 85
Cambridge, S. Sepulchre, 55
Cambridge, S. Giles, 26
Capella, whence derived, 14
Carthage, Council of, 158
Cavilla, 74
Cellar, 30
Cement, its symbolism, 17
Cemetery, 82
Coenobium, 14
Chalices, their materials, 68
Chancels, lower than nave, 26
Chancels, 175
Chancel, more holy than nave, 20
Chrism, 137
Christmas, how churches are to be adorned at, 65
Chrysologus, S. Peter, 49
Church, its meanings, 12
Churches, when to be moved, 32
Clement, S., of Rome, 46
Cloister, 29
Cobham church, 46
Cothelstone church, 54
Cock, the, 165
Commands, moral, 5
Cone, 23
Confessors, how represented, 52
Consecration of a church, 88
Constantine builds a church at Jerusalem. 197
Cosins, Bishop, 154


Ciampini, 103, 126
Cross, the sign of the, 188
Cross triumphal, 28
Cross churches, 21
Crosses, the five, that mark an altar, 114
Crypts, 22
Curtains, of the tabernacle, 15
Cymbalum, 77

Dedication crosses, 98
Degrees, songs of, 43
Depulsare distinguished from compulsare, 78
Derby, the Earl of, 179
Divine Majesty, the, how represented, 53
Division, of the whole work, 11
Door, 24
Dormitory, 30
Dorsals, 56
Dowsing, William, 26
Dunstan, S., his form of dedication, 199
Durandus, his many occupations, 161
Dying, the, lay in sackcloth and ashes, 149

Egleton church, 55
Epiphany, what events celebrated thereon, 155
Evangelistic symbols, 48
Evaristus, Pope, 158
Exeter cathedral, 21
Extreme unction, 139, 148

Faustinus, S., his legend, 84
Felix III, Pope, 89
Ferculum, 28, 167
Frescoes, 45

Glass, 23
Gospel, the, fixed on the altar, 60
  why not read from the rood loft in a Mass of requiem, 187
Green, when used, 194
Gregory, S., 54, 73, 75, 91, 152
Greeks, the, how they paint saints, 43

Haddenham, 14
Henry, S., his shrine, 48
Holy, distinguished from _sacred_, 81
Horologium, 27
Horses, the bodies of good men, why so called, 146
Hours, the, explained, 75
Hugh of S. Victor, his 'Mystical Mirror' 163
Human body, its resemblance to a church, 19
Hyssop, its virtues, 95

Idolatry, a protest against, 44
Ingoldsby Legends, their profanity, 84
Isidore, S., 83, 137, 155, 156

Jerusalem, its variety of significations, 8
  rebuilt, 18
John, S., Evangelist, his confessions, 38
Journeys, the Saviour's seven, 119

Kilpeck church, 19
Kyriake, 13

Lateran, S. John, its altar to the west, 177
Lattice-work, 23
Litter, 34, 167
Llandanwg church, 46
Ludlow church, 21
Lyons, Council of, 41

Machpelah, 83
Mans, dedication of a church there, 198
Marriages, when forbidden, 154
  second, 159
Martyrs, how represented, 52
Martyrium, 14
Mary, S., Magdalene, 126
Maundy Thursday, 153
Mende, 2
Mirror of Magistrates, 9
Moleon, De, his 'Voyage Liturgique,' 67
Montague, Bishop, 31
Murderers, limits of right of sanctuary. 32
Mystical, its meaning, 5

Nola, 77
Nolula, 77
Nimbus, the, 54

Orientation, 19, 177, seq.
Orfrey, the, 59
Ornaments of churches not to be profaned, 69
Ostrich eggs, why hung in churches, 67
Oxted church, 50

Palmers, 52
Paradise, how represented, 54


Parthian skins, 19
Patriarchs, how represented, 51
Pavement, 24
Phylacterium, difference between it and phylacteria, 57
Pictures, their use, 45
Piers, 24
Piscina, 27
Pity, how five-fold, 130
Podium, 85
Portfolio, the, what it represents, 56
Priests, unlettered, 4
  allowed to consecrate churches, 16
Prophets, how represented, 51
Preston church, 54
Prothesis, table of, 3
Prynne, 21
Pyx, the, 56
Pulpit, 26

Rationale, reason of the name, 10
Reconciliation of a church, 107
Reconsecration, when to be practised, 105
Remigius Monk, 201
Relics required for the consecration of a church, 198
Richard of Cremona, 139
Ring, the wedding, 156
Ringing, various kinds of, 77
Rod of weathercock, 23
Rood loft, 26
  turrets, two, common in Norfolk, 180
Round churches, 21

Sacraments defined, 152
  their nature, 2
Sacramental, distinguished from ceremonial, 5
Sugerius, 197
Sambuca, the, 100
Sanctuary, the, 20
Saviour, our, various representations of, 46
Savinianus, Pope, 75
Scarlet, when used, 189
Scuta, the, 59
Seal, the, of an altar, 105
Second Day, why it had no blessing. 79
Senses of Holy Scripture, 5
Separation of men and women, 30
Signum, 77
Sion, distinguished from Jerusalem, 13
Snuffers, the, 58
Sacristy, 27
Stalls, 25
Squilla, 76
Stephen, Pope, 70
Stones of a church, their symbolism, 17
Sylvester, S., 139
Synagogue never applied to a church, 13

Te Deum, method of chanting, 78
Temple, Aslackby church, 21
Thiers, Father, 26
Tie-beams, 25
Tiles, 27
Toledo, Council of, 41
Tongs, the, 59
Torrentius, Laevinus, 189
Towers, 22
Treasures of the church, why exhibited, 66

Unctions, 134

Variety of rites, 8
Veils, their various kinds, 61
Vigilantius, 57
Vigil, of the dedication of a church, 198
Violet, when used, 193
Virgins, difference between and continent, 20
  how represented, 52
Vladimir, S., his conversion, 55

Walls, why four, 20
Water, Holy, 115, 171
Weathercock, 22
White cloths cover the altar, why, 40
White, when used, 189
Widford church, 46
Women, their heads to be uncovered, 31

York, S. Lawrence, 55

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