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a general imputation of raritie and reverence, it seeming almost impossible to everie one, that either a Bishop could bee so small in person, or a childe so great in clothes." Finding that he could obtain no solution of this mystery from the learned, Gregory obtained a sight of the Old Statutes of the cathedral, and was fortunate enough to find one amongst them with the title DE EPISCOPO CHORISTARUM-of the Choirister Bishop. This referred him to the Sarum Processionale,* in which he found the following minute and curious description of the ceremony-"The Episcopus Choristarum was a Chorister Bishop chosen by his fellow ehildren upon St. Nicholas daie.... From this daie 'till Innocents' Daie at night, (it lasted longer at the first) the Episcopus Puerorum" (Boy Bishop) 66 was to bear the name, and hold up the state of a bishop, answerably habited with a crosier, or pastoral staff in his hand, and a miter upon his head; and such an one too som had, as was multis episcoporum mitris sumtuosior, saith one— verie much richer then those of bishops indeed. The rest of his fellows from the same time beeing were to take upon them the style and counterfaict of prebends, yielding to their bishop (or els as if it were) no less then canonical obedience. And look what service the verie bishop himself with his dean and prebends (had they been to officiate) was to have performed, the mass excepted, the verie same was don by the Chorister-bishop and his canons upon this Eve and the Holiedaie. By the use of Sarum, -for 'tis almost the onely place where I can hear anie thing of this; that of York in their Processional seemeth to
*The Processionale, or Processional, was a book describing the processions to be used on various occasions in the Romish church.
This is somewhat surprising, for, as we shall presently see, the custom was tolerably universal; and yet Gregory, in defiance of Brand's • impertinent sneer, was a man of extensive research.
take no notice of it-upon the Eve to Innocents' Daie the chorister-bishop was to go in solemn procession with his fellows ad altare Sanctæ Trinitatis et omnium Sanctorum (as the PROCESSIONAL-or ad altare Innocentium sive Sanctæ Trinitatis, as the PIE*) in capis, et cereis ardentibus in manibus, in their copes, and burning tapers in their hands, the bishop beginning and the other boies following, centum quadraginta quatuor &c. Then the vers, hi empti sunt ex omnibus &c. And this is sang by three of the boies. Then all the boies sing the PROSA† sedentem in supernæ majestatis arce, &c. The chorister bishop in the meantime fumeth the altar first, and then the image of the Holie Trinitie. Then the bishop saith modesta voce the vers lætamini; and
*The PIE was the old Romish service book, and in a more lax sense was sometimes used to express the rules contained in it. Wheatley in his RATIONAL ILLUSTRATION OF THE BOOK OF COMMON Prayer (p. 142, chap. iii. sec. 9,) says, "the number and hardness of the rules called the PIE, and the manifold changing of the service, was the cause that to turn the book only was so hard and intricate a matter, that many a times there was more business to find out what should be read, than to read it when it was found out." Upon this text he observes in a note, "the word PIE, some suppose, derives its name from Tiva, which the Greeks sometimes use for table or index; though others think these tables or indexes were called the PIE, from the parti-coloured letters whereof they consisted, the initial and some other remarkable letters and words being done in red, and the rest in black. And upon this account when they translate it into Latin, they call it pica. From whence it is supposed that when printing came in use, those letters, which were of a moderate size (i. e. about the bigness of those in the comments and tables) were called pica letters."
+ PROSA, or PROSE, is a name for certain songs of rejoicing in the Romish church, which are chaunted before the gospel or the greater festivals, and are so called because the regular laws of metre are not observed in them. These chaunts have also the appellation of SE QUENTIA, OF SEQUENTS, because they are sequent to, or follow, the HALLELUJAH in the place of the PNEUMA, which is also a song of jubilation, but one of a peculiar kind, in which not the voice, but the tones are drawn out in singing, and as that is done with some difficulty of respiration it is called pneuma.
the respond is Et gloriamini &c. Then the praier which wee yet retain—Deus cujus hodierna die &c. But the rubrick to the pie saith, sacerdos dicat both the praier and the lætamini-that is, som rubricks do; otherwise I take the benediction to bee of more priestlie consequence then the oremus &c., which yet was solemnly performed by the chorister-bishop, as will follow. In their return from the altar, præcentor puerorum incipiat, &c.—the chanter-chorister is to begin-De Sancta Maria &c. The respond is felix namque &c., sic processio &c. The procession was made into the quire by the west door, and in such order (as it should seem by Molanus) that the dean and canons went foremost, the chaplains next, the bishop with his little prebends in the last and highest place. The bishop taketh his seat, and the rest of the children dispose of themselves upon each side of the quire upon the uppermost asscent, the canons resident bearing the incens and the book and the petit canons, the tapers, according to the rubrick. And from this hour to the full end of the
A respond is a short anthem, interrupting the middle of a chapter which is not to proceed 'till the anthem is done. The long responses are used at the close of the lessons. (Wheatley's Rat. Illustr. p. 142.) I may as well take this opportunity of explaining from the same authority two or three similar words that occur constantly in the writers of the Romish Church. VERSES-either the versicle that follows the respond in the breviary, or else those hymns, which are proper to every Sunday and holyday, composed in the most illiterate ages of Christianity. CoмMEMORATIONS-are the mixing the service of some holyday of lesser note with the service of a Sunday or holyday of greater eminency, on which the less holyday happens to fall. In which case it is appointed by the ninth general rule in the breviary that only the hymns, verses, &c., and some other part of the service of the lesser holyday be annexed to that of the greater. SYNODALS-were the publication or recital of the Provincial Constitutions in the parish churches; for after the conclusion of every provincial synod, the canons thereof were to be read in the churches, and the tenor of them to be declared and made known to the people; and some of them to be annually repeated on certain Sundays in the year.
next daies procession, none of the clergy, whatever may be their rank, ascend to the upper seats.
Then the Bishop from his seat says the vers, speciosus formá &c. Diffusa est gratia labiis tuis. Then the praier, Deus qui salutis æternæ &c. Pax vobis. Then after the Benedicamus Domino, the Bishop of the Children sitting in his seat is to give the benediction, or bless the people in this manner. Princeps Ecclesiæ, pastor ovilis, cunctam plebem tuam benedicere digneris &c. Then turning towards the people hee singeth or saith (for all this was in plano cantu ; that age was so far from skilling discants or the fuges that they were not come up to counterpoint) Cum mansuetudine humilitate vos ad benedictionem, the chorus answering Deo gratias. Then the cross-bearer delivereth up the crosier to the bishop again, and then the bishop, having first crossed his forehead says, Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini, the chorus answering qui fecit cælum et terram. Then, after some other like ceremonies performed, the Episcopus Puerorum, or Chorister Bishop, begineth the Completorium or Complyn, and that don hee turneth towards the quire and saith Adjutorium &c. then last of all hee saith, Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus Pater, et filius, et spiritus sanctus.
On INNOCENT'S DAY at the second vespers let the crossbearer receive the crosier of the boy-bishop, and let them sing the antiphon as at the first vespers. Likewise let the boybishop bless the people in the way above mentioned, and the service of this day be thus fulfilled.* RUBRIC PROCESSIONAL. And all this was don with that solemnitie of celebration and appetite of seeing that the statute of Sarum was forced to provide that no man whatsoever under the pain of anathema should interrupt or press upon these children at the procession spoken of before, or in anie other part of their service in anie waies, but to suffer them quietly to
* I have taken the liberty in this and some other places of putting the rubric itself into English, but have left the chaunts, antiphons, &c. undisturbed.
perform and exsecute what it concerned them to do. And the part was acted yet more earnestly, for Molanus* saith that this bishop in some places did receiv rents, capons, &c. during his year &c.† And it seemeth by the statute of Sarum, that hee held a kind of visitation, and had a full corespondencie of all other state and prerogative. More then all this, Molanus tells us of a chorister-bishop in the church of Cambraie, who disposeth of a prebend, which fell void in his moneth (or year, for I know not which it was) to his master. In case the chorister-bishop died within the moneth, his exsequies were solemnized with an answerable glorious pomp and sadness. He was buried, as all other bishops, in all his ornaments, as by the monument of stone, spoken of before, it plainly appeareth."‡
To this description Gregorie has added the monumental figure of the boy-bishop in Sarum Cathedral, with an animal lying at his feet, which has to all appearance the head and body of a dog though much defaced, while the tail would seem to indicate a dragon. If the little monster, as Gregorie calls him, be intended for the latter, the allusion is plainly enough to the old story of bruising the head of the serpent. This would indeed seem to be the
* The works of Molanus are numerous, and Gregorie has forgotten to tell us to which one he alludes. His disquisition on the Pictures and Images of Saints I have already had occasion to quote from, and it is really well worth the attention of the curious reader.
The boy-bishop, being once elected, was not to feast abroad, but to confine himself to the society of his companions, perform his sacred functions in the church, and in all respects act up to his assumed dignity, Gregorie quotes the Statute of Sarum to this effect-" Electus autem puer Chorista in episcopum modo solito puerile officium in ecclesia (prout fieri consuevit) licenter exsequatur, convivium aliquod de cætero vel visitationem, exterius vel interius, nullatenus; sed in domo communi cum sociis conversetur &c. ecclesiam et scholas cum cæteris choristis statim post festum Innocentium frequentando &c."
GREGORII POSTHUMA, or CERTAIN LEARNED TRACTS, written by John Gregorie, p. 114. 4to. London, 1649.