THE Synodal Constitutions of the Church of Sodor, ordained, appointed, and decreed in Synod, in the church of Saint Bradanus in Mann, on the tenth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand two hundred and ninety-one, in which presided the venerable father Mark, Lord Bishop of Sodor.
We ordain that all chaplains be prompt in visiting of sick persons when they be summoned, lest, through their negligence, death should happen to any without the sacraments of the Church. And when they shall come to them clad in the surplice, let them reverently carry the body of the Lord, in the pyx appointed for the purpose, covered with a white cloth of linen or of silk, and preceded by the bell, in the village of the church, or in places near to the church. But when the place is remote, the body of our Lord is not to be borne, save by the chaplain of the church, wearing his closed cloak. And when in this manner they have come to the sick, let them wholesomely admonish them, and lead them to a true confession and repentance, and to the right making of their wills; nor let the communion be given to any without a wax candle being lighted. And let them diligently admonish them that they leave something, according to their means, to the building (or repairing) of the parish church; to the collection and reservation of which let two trustworthy parishioners be deputed, according to the providence of the rectors of the churches.
We ordain that every chaplain use the closed cloak and other Gesture suitable to his order; but to chaplains we altogether interdict the mantle; and we enjoin to all chaplains that, on Lord's days and festivals especially, they use the closed cloak. So also when they come into chapters or to synod. But should they do otherwise, let that other inhibited vestment which they may have worn be applied, without any release, to the repairing of the church of Saint Germanus.
We give order that all chaplains be careful that they go not near, in any sort, taverns, nor keep in their own houses places of entertainment, so that they be not drunken, (nor) free livers, (nor) quarrelsome, but prepared, may present to those placed under then, in word and deed, examples of a good life and of a laudable conversation. And that every one, according to his own knowledge, out of the Gospel and the Holy Scripture, expound also the articles of the faith to his people; and, moreover, diligently admonish his parishioners that they teach their children the Apostles' Creed and the Lord's Prayer, together with the Salutation of the blessed Virgin Mary.
Let chaplains beware lest, through neglect, any infant die without baptism (which God forbid !); and we also, under pain of excommunication, inhibit any chaplain from exacting fee or reward for the baptising of infants, or the visiting of the sick, or burial of the dead; and (we ordain) that no chaplain convert to other uses than the uses of the church the robes or chrismale of the baptised, nor, by changing the robe or chrismale of one child with another, should finally take it, under pain of excommunication.
We ordain that no chaplain allow the leman and concubine of another priest, or adultress with any man whatsoever, within his parish, unless, after having received three warnings, she go forth of that parish, or he must excommunicate her by name; which should he not do, let him know that he lies under the ban of excommunication.
More strictly do we inhibit the rectors of churches, vicars,' priests, or clergy ordained to holy orders, from keeping publicly or privately female servants, from whence unfavourable suspicions might arise; which, if they presume to do, the benefices of clergy living in such manner are to be taken into our hands, and they forbidden ingress to the church, until they repent of what they have done, and come to us willing to receive the canonical penance. We ordain, moreover, that this inhibition be unavoidably observed, not only in the case of chaplains having parochial rule, but also towards all others whatsoever. But parish priests who have dared use such temerity, or chaplains, who do retain ministering or to minister in their churches persons notoriously keepers of concubines, or tolerate. them in their parishes, shall be punished according to our own judgment.
We also ordain that all chaplains, deacons, and other ministers of the altar, decently and devoutly, without whispering, nor with hoods over their heads, nor bonnets-carrez, nor caps, nor with gloves on their hands, nor spurs on their feet, but with tonsure and crown becoming the dignity of their grade, approach to the holy office.
Likewise we give order that every chaplain in his parish, the fasts of the four seasons and the rogations, the eves of the apostles, and the customary festivals of saints, rightly do give forth (or proclaim) on the Lord's days preceding.
We ordain by statute (or we institute and ordain) that all vicars be held answerable, according to the proportion of their shares, for the safe keeping of vestments and ornaments, as well as for all other things (appertaining to) the church.
We give order that every chaplain admonish his parishioners (women), that they prevail with them to come to the churches after child-bearing, with candles and oblations, in the time appointed for purification, so that they be purified at least within the fifteenth day.
We pronounce a law, that the church should have the choice of all save one of the effects of any dead person, in conformity with the customary usage of the neighbouring provinces, together with all his apparel, and a bedstead or feather bed. But should he not possess a tressel or a feather bed, let seven pence be paid. And with each dead person, according to his means, let offerings be made, as well in pence as in tapers, in his proper parish church. And we do inhibit, under the penalty of excommunication, any dead person from being borne for interment to another parish until a mass shall have been celebrated for him in his parish church.
Also, we ordain, that when any one shall have died intestate, all his effects be held sequestered in the hand of the bishops by the rector or the vicar of the locality, until it be settled by the bishop what should be done. And that none of the executors take possession of the property of the deceased, until they shall have been informed of the final decision before the rector, or apparitor, or archdeacon.
We decree, that in the churches of the religious (orders), appropriated to them for their maintenance, there be appointed vicars, according to the decree of the Council of Lateran.
We prohibit, under the penalty of excommunication, any women, or wives, from allowing their little ones to be laid with them, in their own beds, before they have completed their third year. Which ordinance we desire should be published by every priest, at least once a year.
Under pain of excommunication, we ordain that all persons in our diocese pay tithes of all their goods, which year by year are renewed to them, wholly, fully, without deduction, or diminishment at all, as is enjoined in the Old and New Testament, namely, of every kind of blade, of pulse, of swine, and of fruits, whether growing in gardens or in fields. But the tithes of all (that groweth in) the blade, (and) of pulse, let them be carried by the parishioners to their own houses or granges, and let them guard them with equal diligence as their own part, until the church rectors, or their procurators, receive the tenth in full (or of the whole). Also of their untithed crop (growing in) the blade, let them prepare none without first apprising the church rectors or their procurators. Also, we order that from every house during the summer eighteen cheeses be given, and in the autumn eighteen, made clean, salted, and well prepared. Also in those houses in which butter is made, let the tenth part of the butter be given without any fraud, or stint of milk. But if the milk be diminished, or wasted in or devoted to other uses, let recompense be made out of the cheese or the butter. But if, in other seasons of the year, cheese or butter should happen to be made, let the tenth of this be paid, entire, without any defrauding. Also we decree that of wool, lambs, kids, calves, young pigs, foals, geese, of hens' eggs, of flax, hemp, (and) hay, the tenths entire to be paid. And when the animals arm to be tithed, let the owner have the choice of two, but the church of the rest; and where there are but nine, let the ninth animal be given in the same manner as the former. And if there be eleven, let no more be given than one. But if there be one, or two, or three, or four, for each head of calves and chickens let a penny be paid; but for lambs and kids a farthing, for young pigs a halfpenny. But if there be five or six, or any number short of nine, then let the fifth animal be valued, and divided between the rector and the owner; and (let it be) in the rector's election whether he be willing to redeem it, or to receive half the value. Also for one lamb, or for two, let a halfpenny be given; for three or four let one penny be paid; if there should be five or less than nine, let an estimate be made, as has been said. But for six, seven, or eight, let it be done as has been said in the case of one, or two, or three, or four. But if eleven or nine, let a living thing be given in discharge from among the young pigs. If there be ten or five, let a tithing be made as has been fixed in the case of calves. But if fewer than five, or less than nine, let one halfpenny be paid for each.
Also of grain that is ground and of fish that is taken, as well of fresh as of salt water, let tenths be paid in full. Also, if any happens to sheer his sheep twice within the year, let him pay the tenths twice. Also of lambs that have been tithed and clipped in the ensuing year let tithe be paid, without any contradiction. Also, where animals of any sort are pastured, and rest at night, let the whole tithes be paid to the church of that locality. But if places be set apart for common pasturage, then let the tithes be paid to the parish church But if they (the cattle) pasture in one and sleep in another, let the tenths of cheese and butter be divided. But if they be foddered in one and sleep in another, then if they be shorn in a different parish, and bring forth their lambs (or yearn), in that case let the tithes be divided between that other parish and their own proper parish, as well of wool as of lambs.
We forbid, under pain of excommunication, any from selling lambs, young pigs, chickens, kids, calves, or any other animals liable to tithing, or transfer the tenth of them, in any way, to other purposes (or to the use of other persons) before their lawful tithing. But if they shall have dared such an audacious attempt, we order that all thus alienating (the Church's goods) be held to their tithing, and placed, by name, under the ban of excommunication.
We enact that if fishermen should come to land with their fish in another parish, or if they should use in fishing a boat belonging to another parish, the tithes are to be divided. But if two or three shall have gone into another parish for the purpose of fishing, the tenths should be divided according to their rated shares.
We also decree that men and women workers at the loom, who do not pay tithes of other things, pay four pence, and others five pence, but if they earn more, let it be left to their own conscience (what to pay).
We ordain that merchants, traders, and otherwise labouring, pay the tenth of all their profits. In like manner also, persons in service, who are hired by others, are to pay the tenth of their wages.
We order that those persons who, from the small number of their live stock, can neither make cheese nor butter, pay two pence halfpenny as the tithe for a calved cow. For a cow that has not calved, and yet is giving milk, one penny and a halfpenny. Yea, and the same reckoning is to be made for eight sheep as for a cow.
Moreover, workers in gold, smiths, masons, blacksmiths, mowers, carpenters, and handicraftsmen, are to pay the tenth of their earnings, the liquidation of which may be left to their individual oaths.
We ordain and decree that all persons residing within a parish are to give three times a year a halfpenny a piece each time; to wit, at the feast of the Nativity of our Lord, at Easter, at Pentecost, and at the feast of the Dedication of the Church. And that every person having a domicile and certain effects, pay, in Lent, two pence and one halfpenny towards the fund for the lighting of the church. But if they stay in other houses, provided they have, notwithstanding, in effects, to the value of six pounds, let them pay two pence, according to the usage of the neighbouring provinces.
Moreover, in all churches, whether regular or secular, we direct that four times a year, that is to say on the Lord's day next following after the celebration of the four seasons, and also in synod, all sorcerers, magicians, incendiaries of churches, forgers, notorious usurers, hinderers of the obtaining legal evidence, be excommunicated in genere: (Also) all persons of the laity seizing, detaining, defrauding, and carrying away the possessions or any other property of the church, or her privileges. And all those who have intruded themselves into any benefice of the church, and witnesses knowingly perjured by whose means his inheritance be lost by any man, either bequest in money or in land: Also all publicly and notoriously guilty of abduction (of women); and all thieves and robbers, or those who support them, or become securities for them when the hearing of the charge against them has been opened: Also all persons who bear false witness in matrimonial causes, or of malice oppose or cause to be opposed false exceptions, or in a matrimonial cause suborn witnesses: Also all persons hindering the Ordinaries from settling, according to the use and wont of the Church of England and our own, the goods of persons dying intestate, we ordain to be under the ban of excommunication: Also we do excommunicate all persons conspiring against their own proper bishop, or any other bishops of the realm, or any prelates of the kingdom; and all persons consenting with conspirators, let them be reputed schismatics and infamous: Also, by the authority of this our sacred synod we excommunicate all persons disturbing the king's peace and that of the realm; and all those who, by reason of hate, or for the sake of gain, prefer false accusations against others,-for the which death, banishment, mutilation of members, disinheritance, or deprivation of goods, or the loss of reputation, ought justly to follow, if they were judicially convicted.
We forbid any member of a religious order to hear the confessions of those who may come to him within or without his district without our special licence, (or) to baptize infants, (or) to give holy communion to the sick. We also forbid any parishioner to presume to go into another parish, or to resort to any other secular place or regular, away from his proper parish church, for the purpose of confession, or the performing of any sacred church office whatsoever. And if he shall have been three times admonished, let him be excommunicate, and let no chaplain of another parish receive his confession, or administer the sacrament, or afford him any other rite of the Church, except (he be) in articulo mortis, or by authority of his proper chaplain.
We inhibit any vicar or chaplain, to the Defrauding of the church, or any legates, from exacting or receiving any bequest until the amount of the dues to the church have been first declared and discharged, but if they do otherwise let them incur the penalty of excommunication. Also we do make injunction that if any one, being yet in life, should desire to make a transfer of any portion of his 'effects, by way of gift, or from any other cause whatsoever, to his sons, aliens of kin, or any other persons, he should do so'publicly in the church, or at least before the rector of the church or his attorney, or before good and credible witnesses.
We inhibit any priest from presuming to celebrate marriage between any persons whatsoever from Septuagesima Sunday till the Octave of Easter, unless with our permission, or that of our officials, and any lay person or clergyman from offering or accepting within that time any judicial oath, either on fast days or holy days. Also any chaplain to presume to be present at clandestine marriages, or on any alleged excuse to permit any persons to be contracted together, otherwise than by the blessing of the ring; but he is to make the contract aforesaid after three public proclamations shall have been made according to custom in the church, publicly and solemnly at the performance of mass, with proper intervals. Also any parish clergyman to presume to solemnise marriage or espousals between any persons, without the bans having been first three times called in the church, asking as well where the man resides as the woman, where they do not both reside in the same parish. And if any should afterwards desire to make objection at all against any in regard of a marriage thus contracted, who at the time of that contract were in the same parish, so that it appear probable that such announcements must have come to their knowledge, let them on no account receive a hearing.
Moreover, we ordain that every chaplain should put to their oath, not only the parties to the contract (of marriage) themselves, but also three, or four, or five of the elder and more worthy of faith of the families of the contracting persons on both sides, whose names should be recorded in writing, that they know of no impediment between them why they should not be lawfully joined together. Likewise also let them diligently enquire of all the bystanders upon the peril of their souls. And this we do enjoin to be observed by all chaplains of our diocese, in the contracting of marriages, under pain of three years' suspension. And let no one not thoroughly acquainted with the law have cognizance in matrimonial causes, or in cases of marriage, set forth the decision in writing. We also ordain that, in conformity with the canon law, all matrimonial causes, and causes testamentary of widows, orphans, crusaders, and unfortunate persons, are subject to the decision of the church.
We forbid any layman or person in orders henceforward, in the churches of our diocese, to dare to carry any arms, or to excite in them any tumult or disturbance, especially at the time of the celebration of mass. But if any be found after a third warning incorrigible in offending in this manner, let him be punished by ecclesiastical censure as shall seem fit to us.
We ordain that, for the future, courts for lay pleadings be by no means held in the churches on the Lord's day, or on solemn festivals, in the graveyards, or in other places dedicated to God, and especially blood or criminal causes, by any secular magistrates whomsoever, in the places and at the times aforesaid. But if it shall be necessary to proclaim to the people royal edicts, or perchance something on the part of the prince, we enjoin and allow the salne, not during the solemnisation of the mass, but either before or after, when it can be most conveniently done, yet outside the church, lest the celebration of divine service be interfered with.
. We ordain and decree that when any person sick unto death desires to make a will, he call to him the chaplain and clerk of his church, and in their presence, two or three trustworthy men, and of good repute, being associated with them, dictate his will of his own mouth, and the priest is himself to examine diligently into his substance, and whether in any respect he be obnoxious to creditors or burthened with debt. Which, if it be not done, let him be held as having died intestate. Which ordinance we desire all chaplains to publish in their several churches. Also, we do ordain that whosoever shall henceforth declare himself a creditor of any deceased person, or say that he had entered into any engagement with him, and, dwelling in the same parish, or so near that he could be apprised of his illness, did not move the question of this matter either in his lifetime, or at the time of his testamentary arrangements, or at the time of his illness, or mention the same before trustworthy persons, shall by no means receive a hearing after the death of the deceased.
We inhibit all persons, and especially chaplains, from holding communication with the publicly excomnnunicate, of which offence if chaplains be found charged, they shall be subject to the gravest punishment.
We order that all bell-ringers of churches ring their bells when the bishop comes to the church or passes by, which, should they not do, let the clergy be punished at the discretion of the bishop.
We ordain that every chaplain receive once a year the holy oil of unction, and oil for the sick, in vessels most carefully cleansed, and well closed with wax. At the time of reception each of them shall pay four pence.
Moreover, we ordain that the Archdeacon, after the example of the Apostle, seek not his own, but in his visitation take order for the things of Jesus Christ; let him see that the canon of the mass be kept in repair, and that priests have knowledge to set forth rightly the words of the canon and the baptismal service, and teach the laity in what manner they ought to administer baptism in cases of urgent need, or at least that they know how to do this in the vulgar tongue. Moreover, the Archdeacon is to have all the ornaments of the churches and their vessels set forth in writing; their vestments and books; and should cause them to be shown for his own inspection every year, that (so) he may see what have been added by the diligence of the parishioners, or what have in the intervening time been wasted by negligence or culpable act on the part of the vicars, or any way diminished through their wrongful act, either by clerks or laymen.
We do most strictly forbid any priest to celebrate the solemn service of the mass twice in one day, the days of Easter excepted, and of Christmas, and in cases of the obsequies of the dead, to wit, on the day when the corpse of any deceased shall be interred in the church. And if this should happen on Lord's days or festivals, then let the priest be careful, until he have himself washed his hands, and the chalice with water and wine after communion, not to drink the ablution, but let him keep it in a pure vessel until the conclusion of the second mass, and then let him receive both ablutions, because none, unless he be fasting, ought, out of a due reverence to the sacrament, to celebrate it, and if he took the ablution, which is pure wine and water, then he would not be fasting. Also we do forbid most strictly any priest from presuming to officiate in two mother churches; and the priest is to take care that, from the commencement of the mass until the end, a wax taper be kept burning.
THE SYNODAL STATUTES ARE ENDED.