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next on each side of him who bears the cross. All the clergy follow them. The sub-deacon, who is to sing the epistle, car ries before his breast the New Testament shut, with the bishop's maniple in it. A deacon and priest march just before the bishop ; his lordsbip carrying his shepherd's crook in his left hand, to dispense his blessings on those good Christians he passes in his way.
The bishop being advanced to the altar, bows himself once to the clergy and then advances on the first step of the altar ; delivers his crook to the sub-deacon, the deacon taking off the mitre. Then the prelate and clergy all bow before the cross on the altar ; after which the clergy withdraw, except two priest's assistants, one on his right hand and the other on his left, with the incense-bearer, the sub-deacon, the two deacon's assistants ; and thus the ceremony of the mass-service begins, the choir singing the Introit.
Want of room prevents a further description of the ceremonies attending mass in the various forms in which that great service, or sacrifice, is performed; or an amusing account of the solemn mass, as celebrated by the Pope himself, might he given ; a ceremony abounding with unusual pomp and magnificence.
It would be equally amusing to describe the peculiar cere. monies attending high-mass at Christmas, when bis boliness officiales ; but this cannot be done : space is only left to notice some other topics of interest and importance connected with this venerable and singular community of Christians.
The procession of the host on Good Friday in Catholic countries is peculiarly solemn; though not so grand and imposing as on some occasions.
At Courtray, a town in the Austrian Netherlands, it was, and it is believed still is, the practice on Good Fridays, to have a grand procession to what they call Mount Calvary, when a poor man is hired to represent the suffering Saviour, and in that capacity receives no small portion of thumps and blows. It was also, once the custom at Brussels to have a public representation of the crucifixion ; but I am inclined to believe, that the advancement of knowledge has taught the agents to lay aside that absurd custom. And it should be observed, once for all, that these, and such like practices, have nothing to do with the ceremonies of the church properly speaking. In all Catholic countries, however, to this day, the practice of processionwalking, on numerous occasions, particular on what is called corpus christi, is very prevalent.
The prone, or hoinily, ought not to be overlooked. Under this word prone, we are to include the instruction which is given to the people relative to what is necessary to salvation ; the prayers of the church in a peculiar manner for the faithful ; the publication of festivals, fasts, banns of matrimony, holy orders, and other things concerning the discipline of the church. The
prone follows the gospel in the performance of divine service. It is performed with great ceremony and pomp.
It will be expected that some notice should be taken of the use of beads, the rosary, &c.
The Roman Catholics tell us that the beads, (which are a number of small beads strung loosely on a piece of thread or silk) is a devotion, consisting of a certain number of Paternosters and Ave Marias, directed for the obtaining of the blessings of God through the prayers and intercession of our Lady, that is, the Virgin Mary. Tbose persons who use beads in their devotions are generally found amongst the more ignorant and poor of the congregation : they shift or move a bead every time they have said a hail Mary, or a Lord's Prayer; and in the service of the beads, they usually say ten hail Maries for one Lord's Prayer.
By the rosary is meant a method of saying or telling the beads, so as to meditate on the incarnation, passion, and resurrection of Christ ; and it is divided into three parts ; each part consisting of five mysteries, to be contemplated during the repetition of five decades, or tens, upon the heads. The five first are called the joyful mysteries ; namely, the annunciation, the visitation, the nativity of Christ, and his representation in the temple ; the purification of the blessed Virgin ; and Christ's being found in the temple in the midst of the doctors, &c. The next five are called the dolorous and sorrowful mysteries, hay. ing a relation to the passion of Christ ; as his agony in the garden ; his being crowned with thorns; his carrying his cross ; his being scourged at the pillar; his crucifixion and death. Then come five glorious mysteries, namely, the resurrection of Christ ; his escension ; coming of the Holy Ghost; Assumption of the blessed Virgin, &c. and the eternal glory of the saints in heaven. This is, altogether, called the service of the rosary.
It is the opinion of the Roman Catholics, that miracles have pot ceased in the church ; and some very recent instances have been solemnly stated, by the present learned Dr. Milner, an English Catholic prelate of great antiquarian and theological repute ; but as those miracles are not admitted by all Catholics, they will not here be described. There are many very enlightened and truly liberal priests, who do not give credence to every thing that is related of this kind ; although their general orthodoxy cannot be reasonably disputed.
The consecration of crosses, bells, vestments, vessels, &c. must all be passed over, with barely mentioning that such are the practices of this ancient church; as that of churches, church-yards, bells, and regimeatal colours, is prevalent among the reforined.
The same observation will apply to the sign of the cross ; though that ceremony is much more frequently used by Catholics than by Protestants.
The feasts and fasts of the Catholic Church are numerous ; and are observed by them with great veneration and punctuality. Catholics do really fast. Easter is kept with peculiar zeal and solennity by the Catholics ; so is Christmas and other holidays of that kind. Lent is also very rigidly observed by them.
Exorcisms, or the casting out of evil spirits, are now but seldom practised by the Roman Catholics ; but they constantly exorcise salt, candles, water, &c. but all they mean therehy is blessing those articles, by way of begging of God, that such as religiously use them may obtain blessings, &c.
An Agnus Dei is a piece of wax, stamped with the Lamb of God, blessed by the Pope with solemn prayer, and anointed with the holy chrism. These were formerly articles of sale ; and the traffic in them was very productive.
Every good Catholic on entering his place of worship first dips his finger in the holy water, placed near the door; then crossing himself, gently bends the knee-looking towards the altar. From this has arisen the practice among Protestants, in the church of England, of putting their hats, or hands, before their faces, and uttering a short prayer, before they take their seat at church.
We have also borrowed the practice of bowing at the name of Jesus from the Roman Catholics, though, as will be shown in another part, we do not use that ceremony so frequently as they do.
The practice of burning candles, or wax-tapers, before the image of saints, the crucifix, and in the churches is of very ancient origin. In the continental churches, the lamps are frequently numerous, brilliant, and costly.
In describing the various forms and usages of the Catholic Church, it is lamentable to notice the eagerness with which many writers have quoted distorted representations professedly at enmity with the church and people they attempt to delineate. Prejudice and bigotry and imperfections are not confined to any one sect of Christians. It is easier to sneer and to laugh than to reason; and much easier to profess than to practice the Christian duties. Let such as gratify themselves in seeking out the errors and imperfections of any denomination of Christians with a view of disputation only, and thus pass judgment upon them, reflect upon the following Scripture texts. “Judge not that ye be not judged." "He that is without sin among you let him cast the first stone.” “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, and considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye." “Let all bitterness and wrath and clamour and evil speaking be put away from you." "If it be possible as much as lieth in you live peaceable with all men." 11 is idle to suppose any body of Christians are entirely void of error or imperfection. “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.". These reflections pave been called forth from the considerations of the hasty
opinions which have been formed on the usages of the Catholic church ; and particularly of Holy Water, the Canonization of Saints, &c.
The Canonization of Saints takes place in the Catholic church, on the proof, real or supposed, of miracles having been wrought at or by their relics : this is a harmless opinion, and does not abstract from the rationality of the Catholic in his conception and practice of more weighty opinions, and is often ill-understood by the unthinking reformist.
The kissing of the Pope's toe originated in a desire to exhibit profound bumility and veneration for the successor and the cause of Christ; from the notion, probably, that the more lowly the appearance of attachment, the more holy the object of it, and more devout the suppliant.
It remains only to describe the existing orders and societies of priests in the Catholic church. At one time the religious orders were extremely numerous ; but the improvements of modern times have greatly reduced them. The march of reason and commerce has done much for posterity ; and monastaries and convents are now growing into disrepute, and out of fashion, all over the Christian world.
Several Orders, as they are called, however still exist : it will be sufficient to notice the most prevalent and numerous.
* The BENEDICTINES were formerly the great preservers and propagators of learning in the Christian world'; but they are now greatly diminished in number and influence. Some houses, however, still remain on the continent; and, were it only for the service they have rendered to the republic of letters, they merit the gratitude and respect of the whole Christian and philosophic world. They follow what is called the rule of St. Benedict, and were founded about the year 529. They have somewhat relaxed their former austerity ; they were once obliged to perform their devotions seven times in twenty-four hours, and always walk two together ;--they fasted every day in Lent, till six o'clock in the evening, and abated of their usual time in eating, sleeping, &c. Every monk of this Order has two coats, two cowls, a table-book, a knife, a needle, and a handkerchief ; and the furniture of his bed formerly consisted of only a mat, a blanket, a rug, and a pillow
To this Order the English owe their conversion to the Christian faith from the darkness and superstition of idolatry. They founded the metropolitan church of Canterbury, and all the cathedrals afterwards erected. One of this Order, Alcuisius, founded the University of Paris ; Guido, a Benedictine, invented the scale of music ; and Sylvester, the organ. Many pious and learned men, however, of this Order, still remain in various parts of Christendom.
The Dominicans, also called Jacobins, and, in this country, Black Friars, were at one time, the most powerful supporteve of the papal authoriry in the world. They were founded by St. Dominic, a celebrated Spaniard, in the early part of the 13th
century, and still exist in France and other countries. The principal object of this Order was the extirpation of error, and the destruction of heretics. They came to England about the year 1221 ; and, in the year 1276, the lord. mayor and aldermen gave them two streets near the Thames ; where they had a most magnificent monastary ; no part of which now remains, but the place is still called Black Friars.
In contradistinction to the Franciscans, the order of St. Dominic maintain that the Virgin Mary was born without original sin.
The modern term Jacobins was derived from this Order; and some of the first and most active promoters of the French rev. olution belonged to it.
The Flagellants can hardly be now said to have any existence as a body :--they never were a recognised Order. In all ages of the world, a strange notion has existed that the Deity must necessarily be pleased with the self-inflicted punishment of bis creatures; instances of this unaccountable infatuation exist even at the present day.* These fanatics at one time maintain
* The practice of inflicting self-punishment, in some instances, has degenerated, or rather risen, into an occasion of rejoicing, or some mere form. I know not precisely whence arose the Irish custom of passing between the two fires of Beal.
In the old Irish glossaries, noticed by Mr. Lhuwyd, mention is made that the Irish druids used to light the solemn fires every year, through which all four-footed beasts were driven as a preservative against contagious diseases.
The Irish still preserve the ancient custom, and light the fires in the milking yards; the men, women, and children, pass through, or leap over these sacred fires ; and the cattle are driven through the flames on the first of May.
St. John's eve is another of those festivals, at which time the sacred fires are lighted in every district throughout the kingdom, to the amount of many thousands; in the remote part of the country, all families extinguish their domestic fires, which must be re-lighted from the bonfire.
In Ireland is an ancient cave and chapel, dedicated to St. Patrick. The cave appears to have been cut out of the solid rock. Within it is a very small rill of water, issuing from the rock at the side of the chapel, and passing through it
To this chapel and cave, on a certain day in each year, and on Patrick's day in particular, the natives pay their devotions in pilgrimages, which, for certain stages, they undertake barefoot; but when they come to a certain spot in the way, they go on their bare knees, and continue their devotions all the way to the cave, on stone and gravel, intermixed with heath and grass.
During their devotions at the cave, there is great struggling to get a drop of the water, with which the cripples, and those who have bad ulcers, are sure to wash themselves, in hopes of being made well. They then put on shoes and stockings, and being now merry, are no longer concerned for the sins that were the cause of this severe