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It will be seen, by an examination of these comparative Tables of Ornaments, that very few indeed of those which are mentioned in the Inventories, the old English Canons, and the Sarum and other books, are not distinctly and by name shown to be legally usable now if the combined authority of the Prayer Books of 1549 and 1662, together with that of the Canons of 1603 and 1640, is, as it must be, taken into account. Moreover, of those excepted, there is not one of which it can be fairly alleged, that it is wholly incongruous with the letter and the spirit of those Services which, in the present Prayer Book, occupy the place of the older Services in connexion with which these Ornaments were employed.
If it were necessary here to resort to a further mode of proving what Ornaments are now lawful in the Church of England, it would be desirable to adopt the test indicated by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as noticed at p. lxx. The Judges referred to a List of Church Ornaments, extracted from Lyndwood, in Burn's Ecclesiastical Law: they all occur in one or other of three series of those old English Canons, already summarized in the foregoing tables, viz.  Archbishop Grey's Constitutions, A.D. 1250;  Archbishop Peckham's Constitutions at Lambeth, A.D. 1281; and  Archbishop Winchelsy's Constitutions at Merton, A.D. 1305. These laws define what Ornaments the Parishioners were required to provide at those periods, and are really the basis of those Rules which professedly guide the Ecclesiastical Courts now in deciding the similar liability of Parishioners in the present day. These Constitutions are contained in Johnson's English Canons (Ang. Cath. Library) : a comparison of them would show what was considered to be generally necessary for Divine Service under the Old English Rituals, and so would materially aid in determining what is legally requisite now, so far as the present Services are in unison with the ancient ones.
In considering the legal requirements of the general Rubric on the Ornaments of the Church and of the Ministers, it is very important to recollect that its retention in the present Book of Common Prayer was not the mere tacit permission for an existing direction to remain ; for not only (as has been already shown at p. lxvi) were certain verbal changes made in the Rubric, as it had been printed in the Books of 1559 and 1604, but the question of its retention or rejection was pointedly raised by the Presbyterian party at the Savoy Conference, and was then deliberately answered by the Bishops. The Presbyterians said, “ Forasmuch as this Rubric seemeth to bring back the Cope, Albe, &c., and other Vestments forbidden by the Common Prayer Book, 5 & 6 Edw. VI., and so our reasons alleged against ceremonies under our eighteenth general exception, we desire that it may be wholly left out.” (Cardw., Conf. p. 314.) The Bishops replied, “$ 2. rub. 2. For the reasons given in our answer to the eighteenth general, whither you refer us, we think it fit that the Rubric continue as it is." (Ibid. p. 351.) The “reasons" here referred to are as follows :-“Prop. 18, § 1. We are now come to the main and principal demand as is pretended, viz. the abolishing the laws which impose any ceremonies, especially three,
the surplice, the sign of the cross, and kneeling. These are the yoke which, if removed, there might be peace. It is to be suspected, and there is reason for it from their own words, that somewhat else pinches, and that if these ceremonies were laid aside, and these or any other prayers strictly enjoined without them, it would be deemed a burden intolerable: it seems so by No. 7, where they desire that when the Liturgy is altered, according to the rest of their proposals, the minister may have liberty to add and leave out what he pleases.” (Ibid. p. 345.) In what light the excepting Ministers viewed this answer of the Bishops may be gathered from their “Rejoinder” (London, 1661), where, in noticing it, they reply, “We have given you reason enough against the imposition of the usual ceremonies; and would you draw forth those absolute ones to increase the burden ?” [Documents relating to the Act of Uniformity, 1862. Grand Debate, &c., p. 118.]
It is plain, therefore, that, in the judgment of the Episcopal authorities at that time, it was considered desirable to legalize a provision for Ornaments which, if acted upon, would conform the appearance of the Churches and Services to those general features which they presented in the second year of the reign of Edward VI., i. e., as the Judicial Committee has decided, to that condition in which the first Prayer Book of Edward VI. designed to leave them. Indeed it seems highly probable that had Bishop Cosin, the chief reviser in 1661, been allowed entirely to guide his Episcopal brethren on this matter, he would have made the Rubric so detailed and explicit as to place it beyond the reach of controversy ; for, as already noticed at p. lxvi', in his “ Particulars to be considered, explained, and corrected in the Book of Common Prayer," he says, with almost a prophetic instinct of subsequent and present controversies, “But what these Ornaments of the Church and of the Minister were, is not here specified, and they are so unknown to many, that by most they are neglected. Wherefore it were requisite that those Ornaments, used in the second year of King Edward, should be here particularly named and set forth, that there might be no difference about them.” (Works, v. p. 507.) Moreover, as is also mentioned in the same note (p. Ixvi), he had begun to write a List of the Ornaments, but got no further than the word “ Surplice.”
There does not appear to be any explanation on record to show why this suggestion, apparently so valuable, was not acted upon. Probably the ground which had to be recovered after fifteen years' banishment of the Prayer Book from Churches which had also been more or less despoiled of their Ornaments, combined with the extensively adverse temper of the time and its special manifestation in the Savoy Conference, warned the Bishops that an authorized catalogue (whether in the Prayer Book or elsewhere) of all the Legal Ornaments of King Edward's Second Year, might raise a too formidable barrier against endeavours to restore the use of any of them at that time. And so it may have been regarded as the more prudent course only to re-establish the general rule as to the Ornaments, trusting to an improved Ecclesiastical tone to develope in time its actual details.
The thirty years which have elapsed since the termination of the first quarter of this Nineteenth Century have been gradually realizing this probable expectation of a future development, in a way and to an extent with which no previous period since 1662 can be at all compared : for, indeed, through a variety of causes, there had been a more or less continuous declension from even that standard of Ritual and Ceremonial which the Restoration practically raised, though in fact it was considerably lower than the one legally prescribed. The renewed understanding and appreciation of doctrine-especially of Sacramental Doctrine-as embodied in the Formularies and taught by old and great Divines of the Church of England; the improved taste for Ecclesiastical Art; the deeper sense of the reverential proprieties with which the acts of Public Worship should be surrounded : these and other favourable circumstances have combined, notwithstanding much indifference and opposition, to produce a re-action in favour of Ceremonial and its corresponding Accessories more extensive probably than that which arose in the time of King Charles I., and, as it may reasonably be believed, of a far more stable character.
The present time, then, would seem to be a not unfavourable one for endeavouring to act upon Bishop Cosin's suggestion by specifying in this Annotated Prayer Book (though of course in a wholly unauthoritative way, except so far as the Law itself is therein correctly represented), “what these Ornaments of the Church and of the Ministers were” at the period referred to in the Rubric which orders
i Where it will be seen also that in his Durham Prayer Book he has written the exact words of Elizabeth's Act of Uniformity, except in the slight variation “at all times of their Ministration,” thus putting the Rubric into its present form.
that they “shall be retained, and be in use." The account already given in this Section will, it is believed, have described them with sufficient clearness and exactness : the three following Tables are designed to show more explicitly the prescribed use or the inherent fitness of the several Ornaments in connexion with those “all times of their Ministration” at which the Rubric directs the Clergy to employ them. Those which may be said to be Rubrically essential are distinguished from those which may be accounted as Rubrically supplemental by the latter being printed in Italics.
.* The Episcopal Ornaments are the same for Confirmation, Ordination, Consecration of Churches and Burial Grounds: perhaps the Rubric at the end of the First Prayer Book, in directing “a Surplice or Albe, and a Cope or Vestment,” may have intended the use of the Albe and Vestment when the whole Communion Service was used.
In any consideration of the Ornaments to be used in Divine Service, it is not only unavoidable but important to consider such points as [a] their material, [b] their colour, [c] their form, particularly in
reference to such of them as, by reason of long disuse, are but little known to the greater part of English Church people. The fact—that those Ornaments which have been retained in use among us do exhibit mostly their ancient material, colour, and form, except as altered, for the better or the worse, by any subsequent fashions—may fairly be taken to indicate what would have been the case with those Ornaments which have fallen into disuse : and this view is strongly confirmed by the very general preservation of these ancient characteristics in the Royal, Noble, Civic, Legislative, Judicial, Military, and Naval Ornaments which (unlike so many of the Ecclesiastical) have never ceased to be employed among us. Furthermore it is noteworthy that, in the very extensive modern restorations which have been accomplished, the permanent Decorations of Churches, the Altar-plate, and Altar-coverings have decidedly followed, for the most part, the ancient patterns and models which were familiar at the period selected as the Standard in the Rubric on Ornaments.
The English Church, while presenting in her Ornaments the same ordinary features which were common to the rest of Christendom, always had her own special usages, and those, too, somewhat diversified in details by several local varieties; as, indeed, was and is also the case in Kingdoms or Dioceses connected with other Branches of the Catholic Church. Though most has perished, enough remains in England of actual ancient specimens (besides the more abundant illustrations in old Illuminations) of Windows, Carvings, Monuments, Brasses, Seals, and the like, to furnish authoritative guidance, especially in regard to the form of ancient Ornaments.
Moreover, in the Inventories of Church Goods, the descriptions of Material and Colour are so numerous and detailed as to supply what is, to a great extent, unavoidably lacking in these respects in the illustrations just named, owing either to the nature of them, e. g., Carvings which rarely exhibit Colours, or to errors which may be due, for instance, to the glass-painter or the illuminator who, perhaps, was at times less careful to give the actual colour of a Vestment in an Ecclesiastical Function than to furnish a picture in accordance with his own taste. The following Tables contain a summarized analysis of such contents of five Inventories as relate to the Vestments of the Ministers and the Choir, and also to the various Hangings or Articles employed in furnishing and decorating the Altars and Chancels : they are all of the date of 1552 and 1553, and so they exhibit accurately Ornaments which were preserved in the Churches at the very period to which the Rubric on Ornaments directs attention, when prescribing the general Rule as to the things which “shall be retained, and be in use" now in the Church of England. Three of these Inventories, viz., Holy Trinity Cathedral, Winchester, 1552 ; St. Martin, Outwich, London, 1552-3; and Stanford-in-the-Vale, Berks, 1553, have been used already to illustrate other points : the two additional ones now cited are St. Paul's Cathedral, 1552, and St. Nicolas, Cole Abbey, London, 1552.
MATERIAL OF VESTMENTS AND THE NUMBER IN EACH KIND.
Bawdkyn . . . .
Dornyx . . .
Tissue . ..
Serge . . .
Total . . . 853 Ą cursory inspection of these Lists of Ornaments shows at once that, as respects [a] Material, the choice, while amply varied, ran very much upon the richer fabrics, whether of Home or Foreign Manufacture; Cloth of Gold, and Satin of Bruges, being the more costly, were, as might be expected, the most rare; but Velvet, Satin, Silk, Bawdkyn, and the like, were not uncommonly used; though such inferior stuffs as Taffeta, Chamlett, and Fustian often occur. The nature or quality of what was to be employed seems not to have been prescribed; indeed, had there been a desire to do so (which is very improbable) the varying pecuniary abilities of Parishes would have made it needful to avoid any rule on the subject, except requiring them to provide according to their means the essential (and if they could any supplementary) things appertaining to the Services of the Church.
The same principle is acted upon now in the Holy Eastern Church. A Priest of that Communion informs the writer that “there are no strict rules for the Material: when possible, silken and brocaded Vestments are to be preferred. Where the means are circumscribed, plain linen ones are worn, or of whatever material, so long as it is clean, and made in the proper shape.” With them doubtless it is, as the foregoing catalogue proves it to have been with us, that the instinct of natural piety,—viz. the
devotion of the best to God's service is not relied upon in vain. Nor was the care and cost bestowed upon the Material limited to the foundation of the Vestments or Hangings; embroidery of all kinds was abundantly displayed in pattern or powdering, whether in Silk or Gold (not seldom in the much valued Gold of Venice), so that the Sacred Name, the Crucifix, the Cross, Crowns, Angels, Imagery, Eagles, Herons, Lions, Dolphins, Swans, the Sun and Moon, Stars, Wheat-sheaves, Grapes, Flowers, and the like, adorned the Fabrics of which the Vestures were made; or composed the rich Orphreys, which were rendered all the more beautiful and costly by Pearls and Precious Stones; as though the donors desired to attain in the adornments of the Sanctuary to somewhat of the fulness of meaning contained in the Psalmist's words, “The king's daughter is all glorious within : her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework.” [Ps. xlv. 13, 14.]
So, again, as to [b] Colour : the Inventories now under examination show it to have been chiefly of six kinds, viz., White, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, and Black; besides various combinations of all these. The proportions in which they existed are shown in the following Table of Vestments which were in the five churches at the date of the Inventories :
COLOURS AND NAMES OF THE VESTMENTS.
White. Red. Blue. Green. Yellow. Black. Various.
Green occurs much less frequently than other colours: it was an Exeter colour, and is also found in Lists of Vestments belonging to the Northern Province; but there seems very little to indicate with any certainty when it was used, though perhaps it served for ordinary week-days, especially in Trinity-tide.
So, again, with regard to Blue : while it appears to have been a much more usual colour, it is often very uncertain what kind of Blue is meant, whether Cerulean or some darker shade; frequently indeed the latter is indicated by the words “blodium” and “indicus,” which mean a sort of hyacinthine and darker blue; but these must not be confounded with purple, which is also found in the same or other Lists. The occasions, however, on which Blue or Purple was employed are somewhat conjectural, though there is more to guide: light Blue seems sometimes to have been used in Commemorations of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and a somewhat darker shade is to be seen in Illuminations of about the fifteenth Century, in Copes used at Funerals.
A similar variety is found, both as to material and colour, in the Coverings and Hangings used for the Altars and Chancels: the annexed list exhibits their Colours :
Gold. Blue. Green. White. Red. Black. Various.
Altar Coverings . . . . . .
16 | 20 | 20 | 32 | 15 81 41 Besides the colours already enumerated, others are sometimes mentioned, such as Brown, Tawney, Murrey, Pink, and Cheyney; also combinations of colours, viz., Red and Green, Paly of White and Green, Red and White, Blue and White, Blue and Yellow, White and Red chequered. These different colours, or mixtures of colours, are to be found alike in Vestments of the Ministers, or of the Altars, no less than in the Hangings of the Churches.
It is worth noticing that the more usual Ecclesiastical colours are those which may be especially accounted the Colours of England-Red, White, and Blue-being combined in the National Flag, and designating the Admirals of this country's Fleets : possibly the close, though curious and apparently untraceable, relations which have for several centuries subsisted between the Church and the Navy', in the Admiralty and Ecclesiastical Courts, may have tended to perpetuate this correspondence.
1 Dyer (Modern Europe, p. 189) mentions that in Spain | Don Pedro, Archbishop of Toledo, was High Admiral of Castile Philip II. brought naval matters before the Inquisition, and that I “by a then not uncommon union of offices."