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And there shall none be admitted to the holy communion, until such time as he be confirmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed.

Item nullus debet admitti ad sacramentum corporis et sanguinis Christi Jesu, extra mortis articulum, nisi fuerit confir. matus, vel a receptione sacramenti confirmationis fuerit rationabiliter impeditust.

t Man. Sarisb. fol. 46. Man. Ebor. ad finem Baptismi.

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THERE can be no reasonable doubt that the office of matrimony has from the earliest period been performed by the ministers of the Christian church. Tertullian asks, “How shall I sufficiently declare the happiness of that marriage which the church makes, the oblation confirms, and the benediction seals a?” We find frequent mention made of the benediction of marriage, and of the rites which attended it, by Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory Nazianzen, Chrysostom, and other Fathers, and early councilsb. It is unnecessary to enter into a detail of the particular times when it has been held most proper to administer this holy rite, and of the restrictions as to seasons and persons, which in various ages have been made, altered, or abrogated, in the Christian church. We may therefore proceed, without further preface, to consider the office of matrimony according to the English ritual. The greater portion of this office has been used for a lengthened period in the English church, as will appear by the following extracts from the ancient manuals of Salisbury and York.



a « Unde sufficiam ad enarrandam tantam felicitatem matrimonii, quod ecclesia conciliat, et confirmat oblatio, et obsignat benedictio.” Tertull.

ad Uxorem, lib. ii. c. 8. p. 171.
ed. Rigalt.

b See Bingham, Antiquities,
book xxii. ch. 4. sect. I.

c Ibid. ch. 2. sect. 14.

Ut a

At the day and time appointed Statuantur vir et mulier ante for solemnization of matri- ostium ecclesiæ coram Deo mony, the persons to be mar- et sacerdote et populo, vir á ried shall come into the body dextris mulieris, et mulier a of the church with their sinistris viri ... Tunc interfriends and neighbours : and roget sacerdos banna dicens in there standing together, the lingua materna sub hac forma. man on the right hand, and the woman on the left, the priest shall say, Dearly beloved, we are ga

Ecce convenimus huc fratres thered together here in the coram Deo, angelis, et omnisight of God, and in the face of bus sanctis ejus, in facie ecthis congregation, to join to- clesiæ, ad conjungendum duo gether this man and this wo- corpora scilicet hujus viri, et man in holy matrimony; which hujus mulieris, (hic respiciet is an honourable estate, insti- sacerdos personas.) tuted of God, in the time of modo sint una caro, et duæ man's innocency, &c. .. animæ, in fide et in lege Dei, It was ordained for the mutual ad promerendam simul vitam society, help, and comfort, æternam, quicquid ante hoc that the one ought to have of fecerint. Admoneo igitur vos the other, both in prosperity omnes, ut si quis ex vobis aliand adversity. Into which quid dicere sciat, quare isti holy estate these two persons adolescentes legitime contrapresent come now to be join- here non possunt, modo coned. Therefore if any man can

fiteatur d. shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.

And also speaking unto the Idem in lingua materna ad persons that shall be married, virum et ad mulierem hoc

modo. I require and charge you Also I charge you both and both, as ye will answer at eyther be yourselfe, as ye wyll the dreadful day of judgment, answer before God at the day

he shall say,

d Manuale Sarisb. de Sponsalibus, fol. 47. VOL. II.




We learn from Tertullian that the Christians were accustomed to sign their foreheads with the sign of the cross in all the actions of their lives "; and it may well be supposed that such a custom would be also employed in religious offices and prayers. Accordingly we find that this sign was made in some part of almost every Christian office. Omitting, however, all consideration of the use of this sign in the liturgy, and other parts of divine service, let us notice briefly the accounts which we have of the sign of the cross, as used in the rites of baptism. The sign of the cross was made on those persons who in primitive times were admitted to the class of catechumens, and it was often repeated during the course of their instruction. The candidates for baptism in the eastern church about the fourth century were three times signed in the forehead, before the water was consecrated, and baptism administered w. In many churches also the water was consecrated with the sign of the cross, and prayer*. It is manifest from this, that in primitive times the sign of the cross was not only made on the forehead of the elect at the time of baptism, but was used very often in other ways. It does not

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# “Ad omnem progressum See Bingham's Antiqui. atque promotum, ad omnem ties, book x. c. 1. $. 3. and c. 2. aditum et exitum, ad vestitum, ad calceatum, ad lavaçra, ad * Dionys. Hierarch. Eccl. mensas, ad lumina, ad cubi

C. 2. lia, ad sedilia, quæcumque nos x See Dionysius Areop. Au. conversatio exercet, frontem gustin, and Chrysostom, cited crucis signaculo terimus." Ter. by Bingham, book ii. e. tull. de Corona Militis, c. 3.


$. 3.

seem that any of the most ancient rituals appointed the sign of the cross to be made on the forehead of the person exactly at the time which the English ritual directs. The position of this consignation may therefore be regarded as originally peculiar to the churches of the British empire, though the act itself is probably not more recent than the apostolical age. The form of words with which the priest is directed to administer this rite in the English ritual is not devoid of resemblance to forms used in several ancient rituals on similar occasions.

ENGLAND. We receive this Bobio. Accipe signum cruchild into the congregation of cis tam in fronte quam in corde. Christ's flock, and do sign him Semper esto fidelis. Templum with the sign of the cross, in Dei ingredere—Cole Deum Patoken that hereafter he shall trem omnipotentem, et Jesum not be ashamed to confess the Christum filium ejus, qui venfaith of Christ crucified, and turus est judicare vivos et mormanfully to fight under his tuos, et sæculum per ignem, banner against sin, the world, cum Spiritu Sancto in sæcula and the Devil; and to continue sæculorum. Christ's faithful soldier and ser- CONSTANTINOPLE. Σημειωθήτω vant unto his life's end. Amen.

ο σταυρός του μονογενούς σου υιού SARUM. Trado tibi signacu- εν τη καρδία και τους διαλογισμούς lum Domini nostri Jesu Christi αυτού, εις το φεύγειν την ματαιό-ut in fide catholica perma- τητα του κόσμου, και πάσαν την neas, et habeas vitam æternam, πονηράν επιβουλήν του εχθρού, et vivas in sæcula sæculorum. ακολουθείν δε τους προστάγμασί Ameny.

σου a.


y Manuale Sarisb. fol. 37. See also Martene, tom. i. p. 194. who quotes it from a MŠ. of Jumiege in France, written A. D. 1032.

years old, Muratori Lit. Rom. Vet. tom. ii. p. 848. Martene de Antiq. Eccl. Rit. tom. i. P: 37

2 Missale Bobiense,

a Goar, Rituale Græc. p. 321.


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