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The general rule is that when a churchyard is disused, it cannot be desecrated, and this is declared by the Act for enabling parishes to be united. London, however, under a special Act, there has been desecration of the sites of churches and of churchyards, for railway and other purposes, in several instances. The right of a rector to compensation in such case is considered in Phill. Eccl. Law, p. 1784. A faculty was lately granted in London for converting a disused churchyard (under due control) into a public garden or recreation ground. (In re St. George's in the East, I P. Div. 311.)
(1.) For priest's orders the full age of twenty-four years is requisite; and without priest's orders a benefice or perpetual curacy cannot be held.
(2.) The lecturer or preacher's office was regulated by stat. 14 Car. 2, cap. 4, sec. 15, which may now be regarded as obsolete. Lecturers are still appointed in some places, usually with the duty of preaching in the evening, or on certain week days. The Bishop's approval is necessary for a lecturer, and the reasons for disapproval cannot be required to be stated. (Case of Mr. Povah, Q. B. 15 East, 134.)
(3.) Although the age of twenty-three is fixed as that at which deacon's orders may be obtained, such orders may, in a special case on a dispensation, be obtained at an earlier age. (Stat. 44 Geo. 3, cap. 43.) Deacons, under sec. 10 of the above-cited stat. of Charles II., may not consecrate; nor can they be admitted to any benefice, under a penalty.
(4.) The disabilities imposed on the clergy may here be touched on. The Canon Law held it wrong for any clerk to be a magistrate; but this never was the law of England. (Cripps, bk. 1, cap. 6.) While holding any benefice or preferment a clergyman cannot farm more than eighty acres of land; nor can he
engage in trade, traffic, or merchandize. But these enactments are not to affect those engaged in giving instruction or education. (1 & 2 Vict. cap. 106, ss. 28-30.) It was formerly doubtful whether holy orders were a disqualification for sitting in Parliament. This was settled in 1801 by an Act which prohibits the clergy from sitting, under a heavy penalty.
(5.) The Clerical Disabilities Act, 1870, may be noted here. Stat. 33 & 34 Vict. cap. 91, enables a clergyman to execute a deed of relinquishment and to enroll and give notice of the same. After an interval of six months the person executing such deed shall be incapable of officiating or of taking or holding any benefice or preferment, and shall be free from all disabilities and restraints which affect the clergy, and from all ecclesiastical censure and jurisdiction. During the six months he is free to alter his mind and cancel the deed. (L. Rep. 15 Eq. 154.)
(6.) Amongst the few privileges of the clergy is freedom from arrest on ordinary civil process. (2 Steph. Comm. 662.) This does not extend to criminal matters, or to the final process on disobedience to the order of a Court. The old maxim of law being clerici non ponentur in officiis, the clergy are exempt from serving in parochial and civic offices.
Vide BENEFICE: DISCIPLINE: ORDINATION : RESIGNATION: SERVICE.
Several Acts relating to the colonial clergy were lately repealed by the Colonial Clergy Act, 1874, by which clergymen who have been ordained elsewhere than in England are enabled to take duty in England, with permission of the Archbishop, and on subscribing the
*This Act also disqualifies ministers of the Scottish Presbyterian Kirk, while it leaves their English and Irish Presbyterian brethren free; and one of the latter (Professor R. Smyth) was elected in 1874 for the county of Derry.
declaration of assent to the Articles and Prayer Book therein set forth. The Act will be found in the Appendix to this volume.
(1) of inquiry by the Bishop where a clergyman is charged with any offence or scandal, is regulated by 3 & 4 Vict. cap. 86 (Church Discipline Act.)
(2) of inquiry to ascertain whether the duties of the benefice are adequately performed, may be issued by the Bishop to four beneficed clergymen. (Stat. 1 & 2 Vict. cap. 106, sec. 77.)
(3.) of inquiry where an incumbent is incapacitated and desirous of retiring from his benefice, is regulated by Incumbents Resignation Act, 1871, which is set forth in the Appendix.
Vide DISCIPLINE: RESIGNATION.
Eucharistia: Mysterium: Sacra mensa: known in the Roman Catholic communion as the Mass-Missaformerly Missio fidelium. The word "Mass" disappeared from the English service books in the reign of Edwd. VI., "Communion" being substituted for it.
Can. 26 and 27 prohibit the minister from administering the Sacrament to such as live in notorious sin, or are notorious depravers of the Book of C. P. or the Articles, unless there be repentance and promise of amendment. The ante-communion rubric in the same way authorizes the minister to repel "open and notorious evil livers." These directions were lately considered in the case of Jenkins v. Cook,* on appeal from the Arches Court, which had approved of the course taken by the Rev. F. S. Cook in withholding communion from the appellant, on the ground
* Phill. Judgm. 394. On appeal, L. Rep. 1 P. D. 80.
of certain heterodox opinions held and avowed by the latter, on whose moral character there was no imputation whatever. The Judicial Committee P. C. held, reversing the judgment of the Court below, that the appellant, not being a notorious evil liver, was entitled to present himself as a communicant. The result is that the minister cannot be advised to reject any person from Holy Communion merely on the ground of his theological opinions.
Can. 28 is directed against the practice of strangers from other parishes presenting themselves as communicants; but this has never been supposed to apply to the case of a traveller, or a temporary resident in the parish; and Can. 28, however suitable to an age when it was possible to carry out the "parochial system," may now be regarded as obsolete.
Although the rubric directs that intending communicants shall signify their names beforehand to the minister, this seems to be directory only, and will not, it is believed, justify the minister in repelling any from Holy Communion solely on the ground of no such notice having been given.
The rubric that four (or three at the least) shall "communicate with the priest," has been lately considered in more than one case, and it has been literally construed; so that a clergyman cannot be advised to administer unless three persons beside himself actually present themselves at the Holy Table.
Can. 20 directs the churchwardens to provide “fine white bread" and good wine, for Holy Communion, the wine to be brought in a vessel [flagon] of metal. It is noted under the heading CHALICE that the minister is not at liberty to mix water with the wine, although that appears to be an ancient custom in the Church Catholic. This was so decided on the principle that no ceremonies can be admitted but those which have been prescribed.
The rubric which says that "it shall suffice that the bread be such as is usual to be eaten" has been lately
considered in the cases of Mr. Purchas and Mr. Ridsdale.* In the latter case the Court laid much stress on the wording of the allegation, which was that the appellant had "used in the Communion Service and administration, wafer-bread or wafers, to wit, bread or flour made in the form of circular wafers instead of bread such as is usual to be eaten." This charge was directed, as the Final Court considered, "to the shape and not to the composition of the substance,” that is to say, the charge was not inconsistent with the supposition that Mr. Ridsdale had used the proper substance, though having it made up in the form of wafers. The Court intimated that if it had been averred and proved that wafers proper, i.e., wafers not made of fine white bread of the kind usual to be eaten, had been used by him, they should have decided against him on this point. But framed as the pleadings were, the Court advised the alteration of the decree in this respect. In the arguments it was contended that the words "it shall suffice" gave an option of using other material than that described; but the Final Court rejected the interpretation, holding that what was substantially different from that which was described would not "suffice." The result is, that whether the bread to be used in the celebration be made into thin circular shape or otherwise the shape being immaterial-the words of the rubric as to the substance, or kind of bread used in the Holy Communion, must be literally complied with.
No rubric has been debated at greater length or with deeper research than that which directs that "such ornaments of the Church, and of the ministers thereof, at all times of their ministration, shall be retained, and be in use, as were in this Church of England by the authority of Parliament in the second year of the reign of King Edwd. VI." The rubric of the Prayer Book of that year directed that at Holy Communion.
* Vide judgment in Mr. Ridsdale's Case, printed in the Appendix.