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VI. Form and manner of ordaining deacons.
X. General office of deacons.
his province, in relation to orders.
I. Of the order of priests and deacons in the church. [ 25 ] 1. THE word priest is nearly the same in all christian lan- Origin of
guages; the Saxon is preost, the German prister, the the words Belgic priester, the Swedish prest, the Gallic prestre, the Italian priest and prete, the Spanish preste ; all evidently enough taken from the Greek ageo Bulegos. Jun. Etym.
In like manner, the word deacon, with little variation, runneth through all the same languages; deduced from the Greek διακονος. Ιd.
2. Art. 35. Orders are not to be accounted for a sacrament of Orders not the gospel; as not having the like nature of sacraments with baptism and the Lord's supper; for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God.
3. It is evident unto all men diligently reading the holy scrip- Antiquity ture and ancient authors, that from the apostles time there have of priests been these orders of ministers in Christ's church; bishops, priests, in the and deacons. Which offices were evermore had in such reverend church. estimation, that no man might presume to execute any of them, except he were first called, tried, and examined, and known to have such qualities as are requisite for the same; and also by public prayer with imposition of hands, were approved and admitted thereunto by lawful authority. Preface to the forms of consecration and ordination.
Bishops, priests, and deacons] Besides these, the church of Rome hath five others; viz. subdeacons, acolyths, exorcists, readers, and ostiares. 1. The subdeacon, is he who delivereth the vessels to the deacon, and assisteth him in the administration of the sacrament of the Lord's supper. 2. The acolyth, is he who bears the lighted candle whilst the gospel is in reading, or whilst the priest consecrateth the host. 3. The exorcist, is he who abjureth evil spirits in the name of Almighty God to go out of persons troubled therewith. 4. The reader, is he who readeth in the church of God, being also ordained to this, that he may preach
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the word of God to the people. 5. The ostiary, is he who keepeth the doors of the church, and tolleth the bell. These, though some of them ancient, were human institutions, and such as come not under the limitation which immediately precedes, [from the apostles time ;] for which reason, and because they were evidently instituted for convenience only, and were not immediately concerned in the sacred offices of the church, they were laid aside by our first reformers. Gibs. 99.
That no man might presume to execute any of them] And to this purpose, the rule laid down in the canon law is, that if
any person, not being ordained, shall baptize, or exercise any divine office, he shall for his rashness be cast out of the church, and never be ordained. Gibs. 138.
Except he were first called] Accordingly in the several offices, the person to be admitted is first examined by the archbishop or bishop, whether he thinks or is persuaded that he is truly called thereunto, according to the will of Christ, and the due order of this realm.
Tried, examined, and known] By the office of ordination, when the archdeacon or his deputy presenteth unto the bishop the persons to be ordained, the bishop says, “ Take heed that “ the persons whom you present unto us, be apt and meet for “ their learning and godly conversation, to exercise their ministry " duly to the honour of God and the edifying of his church.” To which he answereth, “I have enquired of them, and also 66 examined them, and think them so to be.”
Imposition of hands] This was always a distinction between the three superior, and the five forementioned inferior orders; that the first
were given by imposition of hands, and the second Gibs. 99.
II. Of the form of ordaining priests and deacons annexed
to the book of common prayer.
Form established in the 2 Ed.6.
1. In the liturgy established in the second year of king Edward the sixth, there was also a form of consecrating and ordaining of bishops, priests, and deacons; not much differing from the present form.
2. Afterwards, by the 3 & 4 Ed. 6. c. 10. it was enacted, that forms abo all books heretofore used for service of the church, other than such
as shall be set forth by the king's majesty, shall be clearly abolished.
$1. Form an. 3. And by the 58 6 Ed. 6. c. 1. it is thus enacted: The king, nexed 10 the with the assent of the lords and commons in parliament, hath an
nexed the book of common prayer to this present statute ; adding prayer.
also a form and manner of making and consecrating of archbishops,
book of common
bishops, priests, and deacons, to be of like force and authority as the book of common prayer.
5 & 6 Ed. 6. c. 1. 85. 8 El. c. 1. 4. And by Art. 36. The book of consecration of archbishops Established and bishops, and ordering of priests and deacons, lately set forth by the 99 in the time of Edward the sixth, and confirmed at the same time by authority of parliament, doth contain all things necessary to [ 27 ] such consecration and ordering ; neither hath it any thing, that of itself is superstitious and ungodly. And therefore whosoever are consecrated or ordered according to the rites of that book, since the second year of the forenamed king Edward unto this time, or hereafter shall be consecrated or ordered according to the same rites; we declare all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered.
5. And by Can. 8. Whosoever shall affirm or teach, that the By canon. form and manner of making and consecrating bishops, priests, and deacons, containeth any thing that is repugnant to the word of God; or that they who are made bishops, priests, or deacons in that form, are not lawfully made, nor ought to be accounted either by themselves or others to be truly either bishops, priests, or deacons, until they have some other calling to those divine offices; let him be excommunicated ipso facto, not to be restored, until he repent, and publicly revoke such his wicked errors.
6. And by the act of uniformity of the 13 & 14 C. 2. c. 4. it is By act of enacted as followeth: All ministers in every place of public worship parliament. shall be bound to use the morning and evening prayer, administration of the sacraments, and all other the public and common prayer, in such order and form as is mentioned in the book annexed to this present act, and intituled, The book of common prayer and administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church of England, together with the psalter or psalms of David, pointed as they are to be sung or said in churches; and the form or manner of making, ordaining, and consecrating of bishops, priests, and deacons. $ 2.
And all subscriptions to be made to the thirty-nine articles shall be construed to extend (touching the said thirty-sixth article above recited) to the book containing the form and manner of making, ordaining, and consecrating of bishops, priests, and deacons in this act mentioned, as the same did heretofore extend unto the book set forth in the time of king Edward the sixth. Ø 30, 31.
III. Of the time and place for ordination. 1. By Can. 31. Forasmuch as the ancient fathers of the church, Time. led by example of the apostles, appointed prayers and fasts to be used at the solemn ordering of ministers; and to that purpose allotted certain times, in which only sacred orders might be given
or conferred : we, following their holy and religious example, do constitute and decree, that no deacons or ministers be made and ordained, but only upon sundays immediately following jejunia quatuor temporum, commonly called ember weeks, appointed in ancient time for prayer and fasting (purposely for this cause at the first institution), and so continued at this day in the church of England.
And by the preface to the forms of consecration and ordination, it is prescribed, that the bishop may at the times appointed in the canon, or else upon urgent occasion on some other sunday or holiday in the face of the church, admit deacons and priests.
But this might not be done, at other times than is directed by the canon, at the sole discretion of the bishop ; but he was to have the archbishop's dispensation or licence, as the practice was: and this was understood to be a special prerogative of the see of Rome in the times of popery. But as the rubrick made in the time of king Edward the sixth, and continued in the last revisal of the common prayer, seems to leave it to the judgment of the bishop, without any direction to have recourse to the archbishop; it may be a question, whether such dispensation be now necessary. Gibs. 139.
2. And this to be done in the cathedral, or parish church where the bishop resideth. Can. 31.
So that the bishop's jurisdiction as to conferring of orders is not confined to one certain place, but he may ordain at the parish church where he shall reside; and the Irish bishops do sometimes ordain in England; but, regularly, leave ought to be obtained of the bishop, within whose diocese the ordination is performed. Johns. 34.
And this is agreeable to the rule of the ancient canon law; which directeth, that a bishop shall not ordain within the diocese of another, without the licence of such other bishop. Gibs. 139. (h)
IV. Of the qualification and examination of persons to be
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1. By Can. 34. No bishop shall admit any person into sacred orders, except he, desiring to be a deacon, is three and twenty years old; and to be a priest, four and twenty years complete.
And by the preface to the form of ordination: None shall be admitted a deacon, except he be twenty-three years of
of age, unless he have a faculty; and every man which is to be admitted a priest, shall be full four and twenty years old.
Unless he have a faculty] So that a faculty or dispensation is
(g) 6.* 3, 4. 37.
allowed, for persons of extraordinary abilities, to be admitted deacons sooner.
Gibs. 145. Which faculty (as it seemeth) must be obtained from the archbishop of Canterbury.
And by the statute of the 13 El. c. 12. None shall be made minister, being under the age of four and twenty years.
And in this case there is no dispensation. Gibs. 146.
Note, here it may be proper to observe once for all, the equivocal signification of the word minister, both in our statutes, canons, and rubrick in the book of common prayer. Oftentimes it is made to express the person officiating in general, whether priest or deacon; at other times it denoteth the priest alone, as contra-distinguished from the deacon, as particularly here in this statute, and in Can. 31. aforegoing. And in such cases, the determination thereof can only be ascertained from the connexion and circumstances.
E. 1 Jac. 2. Roberts and Pain. A person being presented to the parish-church of Christ-church in Bristol, was libelled against, because he was not twenty-three years of age when made deacon, nor twenty-four when made priest. A prohibition was prayed, upon this suggestion, that if the matter was true, a temporal loss, to wit, deprivation, would follow; and that therefore it was triable in the temporal court: But it was denied, because so it is also in the case of drunkenness and other vices, which are usually punished in the ecclesiastical courts, though temporal loss may ensue.
3 Mod. 67. By the 44 Geo. 3. c. 43. it is enacted, that no person shall be admitted a deacon before he shall have attained the age of three and twenty years complete, and that no person shall be admitted a priest before he shall have attained the age of four and twenty years complete: and in case any person shall, from and after the passing of this act, be admitted a deacon before he shall have attained the age of three and twenty years complete, or be admitted a priest before he shall have attained the age of four and twenty years complete, that then and in every such case the admission of every such person as deacon or priest respectively, shall be merely void in law as if such admission had not been made, and the person so admitted shall be wholly incapable of having, holding, or enjoying, or being admitted to any parsonage, vicarage, benefice, or other ecclesiastical promotion or dignity whatsoever, in virtue of such his admission as deacon or priest respectively, or of any qualification derived or supposed to be derived therefrom: Provided always, that no title to confer or present by lapse shall accrue by any avoidance or deprivation, ipso facto, by virtue of this statute, but after six months notice of such avoidance or deprivation given by the ordinary to the patron, s.'1.