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despised, and their prayers are unavailing. All terms of compromise with the world, or conformity to it, on the part of Christians, are a surrender of high and important privileges. In so far as we come short of entire sanctification to God, we make such a surrender to the spirit of the world. Herein lies the weakness of the Church -and this is the ground of the exhortation, “Awake! awake! put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee."
May God gloriously and universally revive his work, for his mercy's sake. Amen.
PROMINENT CEREMONIES OF THE ROMAN CHURCH AT ROME.
. Continued from p. 185.
MA UNDY THURSDAY. Messrs. EDITORS :- I concluded my last communication with an account of the washing of the feet of the Apostoli, as they are called. The next ceremony in order was the
Dinner. This was in a part of the great Vatican palace, up two or three flights of stairs from the portico of St. Peter's, and at some distance round a balcony. Desirous to see the whole, we left our ladies to the care of some friends, and threw ourselves into the current of the moving thousands who were pressing upward and onward to the place of feeding. Here was a scene of crowding and pushing which exceeded all that I had before experienced. Several times my courage, well nigh failed me; and, indeed, I believe I should have given up the enterprise at last, but that, when the severest part of the pressure came, I found it too late to repent, and I had no other alternative but to give myself up to the moving current, and be carried onward by volitions and muscular energies other than my own. To give the English credit for all they do, I must say they played the principal part in this drama. On the whole they are the most famous performers in a jamb I ever met with; and what surprised me the more was to see many English ladies in the crowd, some with their shawls and vandykes torn off, others with their bonnets crushed, and all with their fashionable shoulder balloons well flattened. For myself, being naturally weak at the chest, I began to fear dangerous consequences from the compression, as I found my breath nearly suspended, and my breast wedged up as in a vice, the screws of which were gradually turned closer and closer. I found, however, by a little management, I could turn myself 60 as to take the pressure laterally, and thus relieve my chest. With this precaution I succeeded in gradually working my way up very near the table, where for two very tedious hours, so long at least the time seemed to me, I had the gratification of seeing-what? Why, of seeing those symbolical apostles eat their sweetmeats and drink their wine, while the pope served them in person. His holiness, however, did not see the end of the meal; he only moved round the table a few times, being himself waited upon by prelates, who took the dishes, and, kneeling, handed them
to the pope, and he passed them to the guests. After giving them something to eat, he gave them drink, blessed them, and retired. They seemed, however, determined, whether served by popes, prelates, or servants, to finish their meal, which they did at good length, and apparently with a good zest. At the close they took the remainder of the refreshments in sacks, and their serviettes, all of which, it seems, were their perquisites, and retired-not, however, without having first distributed some of their consecrated flowers to their friends and others, a few of which, as a stranger, I solicited and obtained. They were given with that usual courtesy, which the Italians, to their credit be it spoken, generally show to strangers.
The remaining exercises of the day were the repetition of the “Tenebrae” and “ Miserere,” the latter by Bai, and a ceremony called “the washing of the altar,” which is done by pouring wine and water upon it, and rubbing it with brushes, and wiping it with sponges and towels—all of which is to represent the blood and water which flowed from the Saviour's side, and the bloody sweat with which he was bathed in the garden. Of this ceremony, however, I cannot speak from personal observation, as I was too much fatigued with the preceding ceremonies to be able to attend the concluding observances of the day.
GOOD FRIDAY. Some of our friends attended on the functions of the pope on this day, but, as I was informed nothing very different was to be transacted from the ceremonies of the preceding day, I did not attend at the Sistine chapel. I learn, however, from their report, -and this also agrees with Bishop England's account of the day—that the principal ceremony consisted in the pope's going with all his eccle. siastical court and prelates to bring back from the Pauline chapel the body of Christ, that had been deposited there the day before. A procession was formed as before, the host was taken from the tomb, and given to the pope, who carried it covered with a veil, himself walking under a canopy, back again to the Capella Sistina. Now is performed what is called the mass of the pre-sanctified, so called because the wafer was consecrated before. It might have been remarked, however, that previous to this procession, his holi. ness goes through the ceremony of worshipping the cross. This ceremony is in the Sistine chapel. The cross is presented, before which the pope kneels repeatedly; he then has his shoes and his mitre taken off. He then goes to the cross, bows before it with the profoundest reverence, kisses it, &c., after which the attendant knight threw into a silver basin a red purse of damask silk trimmed with gold, which contained the pope's offering for the occasion; for on Good Friday all the devotees throw in their offering; more or less, into a basin placed to receive it. It seems, indeed, to be a general collecting day. We visited numerous churches, and found in each a crucifix, generally with the image of the Saviour upon it, and placed in such a position as to be accessible by all. To this cross a crowd of worshippers of men, women, and children were constantly pressing, bowing before it, and kissing the image. The more common course was to kiss the five wounds on the feet, hands, and side, and sometimes the temples, and as they withdrew,
for they were continually coming and going, they threw into the basin, which was always placed under the cross, a piece of money. The most solemn ceremony, however, which we witnessed on this day, was at the Jesuits' church. It was called the “ Three hours of Agony.” Here a great multitude were assembled, and attending alternately to reading and extempore addressing. The reading was a kind of service which seemed to be specially prepared for the occasion, descriptive of the Saviour's sufferings. As the officiating priest read, he was occasionally interrupted, perhaps in the middle of a paragraph, by the extempore orator or preacher, who rose up, as it would seem, at some thought which struck him at the time, and gave an impassioned address on some point connected with the service and with the solemn reminiscences of the day. The audience appeared solemn—some of them affected ; and the whole ceremony was impressive.
SATURDAY BEFORE EASTER. On this day, at the Basilisk of St. Peter, were a number of unimportant functions, the principal of which were the extinguishing of all the old lights, and the striking of new fire from a flint to rekindle them, to represent the resurrection.* Then followed the blessing of the paschal candle. The paschal candle is very large; sometimes, I should judge, three inches in diameter, and has somewhere about the centre certain knobs or protuberances so arranged as to be an imperfect representation of the cross. One of these candles, of greater or less dimensions, according to the character of the church, was found in almost every church and chapel we visited.
But the most interesting ceremonies of the day were at the church of St. John of Lateran. The first was a baptism of such Jews as had been converted to Christianity. We arrived just at the conclusion of this ordinance, which, however, was of less interest on the account of the fewness of the converts--only two or three, I believe, presented themselves for this Christian ordinance. The disciples of Moses at Rome seem very obstinate in their rejection both of the Messiah and of his assumed successor and vicegerent, judging, perhaps, that the Messiah has no more claim upon their faith than his supposed representative. Few, however, as was the number of converts, we found, on going into the church, that the agents of conversion were being multiplied abundantly. The ordination service was a splendid function, on account of the splendor and variety and changes of the vestments, the pomp of the cere. monies, and the number of the candidates.
After some delay on the part of one of the sacristans, who promised to admit us into a temporary gallery which had been erected for spectators, and which delay seemed to be for the purpose of getting a higher fee, we at length obtained a position which gave us a near and a distinct view of all the performances. The service was led by a bishop of middle age and fine personal appearance, with a countenance that expressed more of heaven than of earth. His mitre was splendid, his robes rich and gorgeous, and his whole manner devout. The candidates, nearly if not quite one hundred
* The flints used for this purpose at Florence are said to have been brought from the Holy Land, which gives, of course, a greater sacredness to the fire.
in number, all clad in their peculiar vestments, according to their standing and destination, on entering the choir threw themselves upon their faces in solemn and devout prostration. All of them had their heads shaved, for they had a vow. Some only had a small spot shaved upon the crown; but the greater part had both the top and the lower part shaven, leaving only a ring, or belt of hair, passing round the centre of the head. They were ordained in four or five classes, according to their different grades. The ceremony consisted in prayers and music, in a multitude of incensings, genuflections, prostrations, manipulations, and benedictions. The bishop's vestments were changed, his mitre was taken off and put on; so also were his gloves and his ring. He clipped a lock of hair from the candidates, bound their hands with a napkin, caused them to be divested and in-vested in a variety of changes, and by a variety of garments, and performed upon them and to them many other rites too numerous to mention, in all which he was assisted by numerous bishops and other ecclesiastical functionaries who took their part in the service.
Like most other Catholic observances, however, the thing was quite overdone, both as to the number of the rites and also the length of the entire service. All parties, both spectators and actors, seemed heartily weary of the scene, and a great portion of the former had withdrawn long before the ceremonies closed. The bishop himself, who appeared to be a feeble man, seemed quite exhausted; and yawning and snuff-taking round the ecclesiastical benches showed that much form and ceremony was a weariness to the flesh. After the conclusion of the service we recreated our minds a little by taking another view of this splendid Basilisk church, and then returned to our lodgings.
EASTER SUNDAY. This is the great day of the feast, being one of three days during the year in which his holiness himself celebrates high mass. The other two instances are Christmas and the festival of St. Peter and St. Paul. We were at our places before the hour, in order to obtain good positions to witness the ceremony; for, in general, a Catholic church is of all places the worst for seeing and hearing. The functions are generally performed but a little above the dead level of the floor of the church, and there are for the most part neither galleries nor seats. Some temporary galleries, however, had on this occasion been thrown up, into which our ladies had the good fortune to find access; and I took a position directly at the side of the gate into the altar; where, not without some difficulty, I was permitted to stand, and sometimes to sit in a free and close view of the ceremony, and directly in the way where all the vestments and sacred elements and vessels were carried past by the sacristan, who was constantly passing and repassing in the performance of his part of the service.
The procession formed in the Sala Regia, or Royal Saloon, passed down the royal staircase, and through the porch of the church into the front door, where the chapter, ranged in two lines, and the military guards awaited its entrance. The pope came in state, borne in his pontifical chair upon the shoulders of his twelve “supporters," and canopied, as on Palm Sunday, by a splendid screen, elevated upon long poles, and carried over his head by eight referendaries. As he entered the church the choir chanted, “ Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram' ædificabo ecclesiam meam,”— “ Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church," &c. As he passed up he stopped at the chapel of the Holy Sacrament, to descend and worship the sacred host. The stool where he knelt, like the chair from which he had descended, was covered with crimson velvet and gold. He reascended the chair, and was borne to his throne, where he was seated to receive the homage of the car. dinals and prelates, before the worship of the great God above was allowed to commence ;-but, as this man-worship was similar to that explained already, I need not repeat it here. The pontifical prince wore upon his head the tiara or triple crown. This is a crown with three cinctures or coronets, to represent the pontifical, imperial, and kingly offices united. This crown, it is said, had at first a single cincture, and it was thus worn in the time of Constantine. In about 1300, Boniface VIII. added another, and in about 1360, Urban V.completed this triune emblem of all civil and eccle. siastical power, by giving it the form of the present tiara. The large splendid fabelli of peacock's feathers waved before him, together with a large golden cross called the verillum.
The pontiff had to pass through the operation of robing preparatory to the celebration of mass; and, in addition to the robes worn by other bishops already alluded to, he had a striped silk scarf-like cincture over his shoulders, called a fanon, a sort of maniple hang. ing on the left side, and called a succinctorium, and a band round the neck, hanging down in pendants before and behind. This is made of wool shorn of lambs blessed on St. Agnes' day, and after it is fabricated, it is again blessed by the pope at the festival of St. Peter and St. Paul. With this double blessing it becomes a badge of great sanctity and honor.
Having been vested, the pope entered upon the solemnities of his official function for the day. He was attended by the thurifer, or incense-bearer, the cross-bearer, four accalyths or light-bearers, deacons, patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, priests, &c. Three cardinal priests approached him, and, after bowing profoundly, embraced him, to represent the homage of the three wise men to the Saviour. The mass was then celebrated. The form being essentially the same as already described, I will not repeat it. His holiness certainly performed the service with a great deal of solemnity, and just at the moment when the transmutation was about to take place, when the inert wafer was to become a god, before which, or whom, the whole multitude were to fall prostrate, he gazed at it with an intensity which seemed to indicate his full belief in the fable of transubstantiation. The language of every feature was
" A god, a god, appears ”
and as he elevated the host at the given signal-I was very near him, and think I could not be mistaken-as he elevated it for the adoration of the multitude, tears gushed into his eyes, and he seemed to be melted down before the imaginary god of his own creation.