I might have to edit the format a bit (as copy/pasting from Word always seems to be an issue).
Likewise, in this installment, I have limited my own comments to the bare minimum so as to let the authors speak for themselves.
3. Specific Practices
3.1 Bowing at the Name of Jesus
One of the core goals of the Laudian movement was the enforcement of the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer and the canons of the Church of England. One such canon which they felt was in desuetude was Canon 18, part of which dictates that:
“in time of Divine Service the Lord Jesus shall be mentioned, due and lowly reverence shall be done by all persons present, as it hath been accustomed; testifying by these outward ceremonies and gestures, their inward humility, Christian resolution, and due acknowledgment that the Lord Jesus Christ, the true and eternal Son of God, is the only Saviour of the world, in whom alone all the mercies, graces, and promises of God to mankind, for this life, and the life to come, are fully and wholly comprised.”
The dedication to this gesture characterized the Laudians, “When JESUS is named, then off goeth the cap, and down goeth the knees” (H.A., 109); “And; with their versicles, one to be said by the priest, the other by the parish clerk or people; with their times when to kneel, when to sit, when to stand, when to curtsey at the Name of JESUS, when to glory their LORD at the beginning of their Gospel, or at the end of their Psalms; with their collects and anthems..." (96).
Coupled with this gesture towards the holy name of Jesus, the Laudians also seem to encourage bowing towards the altar, which, predictably, was not something the Puritans appreciated. There is ample evidence of the Laudians bowing at the name of Jesus and towards the altar. “At Winton… [Archbishop Laud] required them … to rail the Communion-tables, place it altarwise, to bow towards it…” (H.A., 159), likewise at Winchester there were, “adorations towards the Communion-table,” and at Hereford, the communicants were required to, “bow so often as the Name of JESUS was mentioned,” and, it was required that, “every one should bow toward the altar” (H.A., 160). One man writes, “He does not say the mass indeed in Latin: but his hood, his cope, his surplice, his rochet, his altar railed in, his candles, and cushions and book therein, his bowing to it, his bowing, or rather nodding at the Name of JESUS, his organs, his violins, his singing-men, his singing-boys, with t heir alternate jabbering and mouthings (as unintelligible as Latin service), so very like popery” (H.A., 167). This gesture (and others) were often compared to the practices of the Roman Church, “The great conformity and likeness, both continued and increased, in our Church to the Church of Rome… praying towards the east; the bowing at the name of JESUS; the bowing to the altar, towards the east” (H.A., 194). The list of complaints continues, “Upon these and other reasons it was, that many ceremonies introduced into the mass-books and other popish breviaries, such as ducking and bowing to the East” (H.A., 328). Likewise, an interesting work titled Points of Popery in the Elizabethan Church lists this practice at number forty-one, “Putting off the caps at the Name of JESUS.” A comparison of difference of practice in the English Church lists the following differences among churchmen:
“Some bow at the name of JESUS, while others of the same Communion pay no more reverence to that than to the Name of CHRIST.
“Some bow to the east or altar (which you will), while others that would be thought as good churchmen condemn that practice as superstitious.”
As we can see the gesture of bowing at the name of Jesus was one which the Laudians emphasized but which the Puritans disagreed with seriously. The Laudians really had not stepped beyond the limits of the Prayer Book and were, in fact, encouraging the practice of a gesture that was required by canon law. Perhaps, it is better to note that the Puritans disagreed with the canon itself and not with the Laudians’ practice of it.
3.2 Copes and Vestments
In matters of vesture, the Laudians were not innovative; they solely enforced the canonical requirements on their clergy. The Canons of 1604 specify that,
“24. IN all Cathedral and Collegiate Churches, the holy Communion shall be administered
upon principal feast-days, sometimes by the Bishop, if he be present, and sometimes by the
Dean, and at sometimes by a Canon or Prebendary, the principal Minister using a decent
Cope, and being assisted with the Gospeller and Epistler agreeably, according to the
Advertisements published Anno 7 Eliz”
“25. IN the time of Divine Service and Prayers in all Cathedral and Collegiate Churches,
when there is no Communion, it shall be sufficient to wear Surplices; saving that all Deans,
Masters, and Heads of Collegiate Churches, Canons, and Prebendaries, being Graduates,
shall daily, at the times both of Prayer and Preaching, wear with their Surplices such Hoods
as are agreeable to their degrees”
These canons represent the official interpretation of the Ornaments Rubric by the Elizabethan, Jacobean, and consequently, the Caroline Church. In summation, in divine service, where there was a Communion, the principal minister, as well as the gospeller and epistler, were to vest in cassock, surplice, hood, tippet, and cope. In times of service when the Communion was not administered, the cope was not to be worn. The Laudians did not deviate from this standard but it seems that the Puritans were not fans of the official policy.
3.3 Facing East
Another feature of the Laudian program was the orientation of the priest towards the east in the parts of the liturgy which were directed to God in prayer. Sometimes this is simplified to mean that the Laudians encouraged facing east during the prayer of consecration but it is more accurate to say that they encouraged facing east for all prayer. As one would expect, this was not popular with the Puritans who complained of, “their Epistles, their Gospels, the one to be read with the priest's face towards the west, the other with his face towards the east” (H.A., 96).
“He hath caused a bell to be hung up in his chancel, called a sacring-bell, which the clerk always rings at the going up to the second service, which he performs with variety of postures, sometimes turning his face towards the south, sometimes towards the east, and sometimes towards the west.” 262, against Dr. Pocklington
“That he commanded the Deans of the said College to severely punish according to the expressed infliction, who would not likewise convert their faces towards the east at ‘Glory be to the FATHER,’ &c. and many times in the Divine Service, so that he did luxuriously introduce Popish innovations.”
One man complains of Dr. Cosin’s posture at Communion and at Morning Prayer, “They offended likewise in turning their faces to the east, and forcing the people so to do… In this Dr. Cosins offended, not only in turning the reader’s desk at morning prayer, and the Dean’s pue [sic], that they could not sit with their backs to the east; but also when he administered the Communion he stood on the west side of the Table with his face towards the east, and back towards the people; which is a ceremony the Pope’s priests are enjoined to use at Mass.” The ad orientam position was closely identified with the Roman Church (as it was mandated then), “They constantly observe that unlawful ceremony of turning faces to the east, not allowed by the Church; and some, when they officiate at the Communion Table, look toward the east, turning their backs to the people, after the manner of Mass priests.”
Besides the specific Laudian postures and those contained in the 1604 canons, there was also considerable resistance to the enforcement of Prayer Book ceremonial postures, particularly of the standing at the Gospel. It seems that the complaint was against an unequal reaction to Scripture, i.e. why not stand at all readings? Here are some examples of this type of complaint,
“When the Old Testament is read, or the lessons, they make no reverence; but when the Gospel cometh, then they all stand up...... “ (109)
"The statutes of Hereford being imperfect, he caused to be cast in a new mould... In which it was required... Secondly, that they should officiate on Sundays and holydays in their copes. Thirdly, that they should stand up at the Creeds and Gospel, and Doxologies. Fifthly, that the prayer afore their sermons should be made according to the 55th canon..." (160)
“That the said Matthew Wren, being Bishop of Norwich the said year, 1636, in the Tower church in Ipswich, and other places, did in his own person use superstitious and idolatrous actions and gestures in the administration of the LORD’s Supper, consecrating the bread and wine, standing at the west side of the Table with his face to the east, and his back towards the people: elevating the bread and wine so high as to be seen over his shoulders, bowing low either to or before them when he, after the elevation and consecration, had set them down on the Table.”
There is considerable evidence that incense was used in churches during this period. The difficulty is establishing how the incense was used. There are two ways of using incense, first is in a purely perfumatory function, or to make the church smell better. This is also used to symbolize the prayers of the saints in calling the passage from Revelation to mind. The other use is to use incense to cense things or to bless them. There is ample evidence for the former practice but for the latter it is more difficult to establish. As we saw earlier, Bishop Andrewes’ chapel was equipped for the use of incense in public worship with, “"A triquertral censer, wherein the clerk putteth frankincense at the reading of the first lesson. The naricula, like the keel of a boat, with a half cover and foot, out of which frankincense is poured." Bishop Andrewe's Chapel 181). Likewise, and not surprisingly, Bishop Cosin also used incense, “"In Peter House there was on the altar a pot, which they usually called the incense pot... A little boat, out which the frankincense is poured, which Dr. Cosin had made use of in Peter House, here he burned incense" (182). I add my own reflection here, it does not seem that incense was used as it is in the Roman Rite or in modern Anglican churches by the Laudians, except perhaps by Bishop Andrewes. It seems to have been used in more of a perfumatory sense, or to fragrance the church in other words. It appears that the use of incense in worship was a later development, at least according to some sources, I point to David Brattson’s “Incense in Ante-Nicene Christianity,” although its association with the Church Society does question its bias.
3.7 Altars, candles, and linens
As with the adornment of the priest, the adornment of the altar, as it was called, was met with much opposition from the part of the puritans. Besides placing the altar against the east end of the church and railing it off, as it had been in times past, the Laudians also adorned the altar with linens, candlesticks, basins, corporals, and other cloths, and with the cross or crucifix. The Puritans viewed this as a return to the Papacy or a desire so to do by the part of the Laudian bishops. They also saw it as introducing an un-reformed theology of the Sacrament into the worship of the Church of England. While the theology of the Caroline Divines was more open to moderate realism than some of the other theologies of the Eucharist at the time, it was well within Reformed orthodoxy. It is also important to remember that the Prayer Book requires a “white linen cloth” to cover the altar and another to cover the elements after the Communion. Likewise, the Prayer Book requires the paten and chalice for the distribution of the elements as well. However, their fascination with the patristic altar was beyond the tolerance of the Puritans as we can see in the following examples.
In Bishop Cosin’s church, we see many adornments to the altar, which are recorded by people who went to these services and complained of the ceremonial complexity contained in them. "First of all it is enjoined, that the table or altar should be spread over with a clean linen cloth, or other decent covering, upon which the Holy Bible, the Common Prayer-book, the paten and chalice are to be placed: two wax candles are to be set on" (Bishop Cosin, 188). The “decent covering” was probably the “Laudian frontal” as we know them, although the text does not say this in itself. An interesting curiosity that is explored elsewhere in further detail is that although there were often two candlesticks with candles in them on the altar, they remained unlit unless they were needed to provide light, in most places, such as we see in the Defence of Laud for his practices, he says, “there were candlesticks with tapers, but not burning” (162). However, Bishop Cosin seems to have lit candles during the day, when they weren’t “necessary” in their natural purposes. The following offers a similar observation of an English church with unlit candles on the altar, “that I profess, when I came from beyond sea, about the year 1660 to Paul's and Whitehall, I almost thougt at first blush that I was still in Spain or Portugal; only the candles on our altars, most nonsensically, stand unlighted, to signify, what? The darkness of our noddles, or to tempt the chandlers to turn down-right papists, as the more suitable religion for their trade; for ours mocks them with hopes only. He gapes, and stares to see the lucky minute when the candles should be lighted; but he is chated, for they do not burn out in an age." 167
The following offers another description,
"When the deacon hath lifted the text of the Gospel from the altar, he gives it to the sub-deacon to carry at his back; two wax candles are lifted from the altar by two acolytes, to be carried burning before him so long as the Gospel is in reading; the cross or crucifix is also on the festival days carried before the Gospel, and also a censer with fire and incense; the book is crossed and perfumed, and when the lesson is ended the book by the deacon is kissed... From none of these superstitions we can be long secured: our deacons are begun already to be consecrate; the chief part of their office is their service at the Sacrament and their reading of Scripture; the orders of sub-deacons and acolytes are proclaimed to be convenient, if the church had maintenance for them, by Andrewes: the wax candles are standing on the altar already; the silver crucifix is avowed by Pocklington to have a mete standing upon the same altar; the crossings, and perfumings, and lights are maintained by Andrewes, as Canterbury sets him forth; the kissing of the book is now daily practiced" 192,193
Likewise, with Bishop Wren, we see similar adornments in his church. "Now what an Arminian and popish innovator this prelate [Wren] was in all particulars, the popish furniture of whose chapel, with basins, candlesticks, corporals, altar-cloth, a chalice with a cross upon it, and other popish trinkets" (189-191). It is interesting to note the equation of an adorned table or altar with Popery by this man writing against the Bishop. It also interesting to note that the chalice “with a cross upon it,” which perhaps could be the basis of his complaint against the chalice for not being “decent” to use the terminology. For instance, in Durham Cathedral, there were complaints against the “indecent” cope of Bishop Cosin which had an image on it.
In the Cathedral at Peterborough, there were many “additions” to the altar besides those required by the Prayer Book.
"The Table itself was thrown down, the table-cloth taken away, with two fair books in velvet covers, the one a Bible, the other a Common Prayer-Book, with a silver basin gilt, and a pair of silver candlesticks.
"Now behind the Communion-table there stood a curious piece of stone-work, admired much by strangers and travellers; a stately screen it was, well wrought, painted and gilt, which rose up as high almost as the roof of the church in a row of three lofty spires, with other lesser spires growing out of each of them, as it is represented in the annexed draft. This now had no imagery-work upon it, or anything else that might justly give offence; and yet, because it bore the name of the High Altar, was pulled all down with ropes, laid low and level with the ground" (194).
We see at Peterborough the adornment of the Prayer Book and Bible used in divine worship as well. And a concern with the “silver” maybe a bit too much adorned for the Puritans.
We come now to Archbishop Laud himself, who did not escape criticism for his practices either. In addition to the usual complaints against candlesticks, etc. Laud seems to have had several adornments with images on them, as is seen below in the quote.
“Upon this new altar he had much superstitious Romish furniture, never used in his predecessor’s days, as namely, two great silver candlesticks with tapers in them, besides basons and other silver vessels (with a costly Common Prayer-Book standing on the altar, which, as some say, had a crucifix on the bosses), with the picture of CHRIST receiving His last supper with His disciples in a piece of arras, hanging just behind the midst of the altar, and a crucifix in the window directly over it… This new altar furniture of his was proved and attested upon oath by Sir Nathaniel Brent, Dr. Featly, Dr. Haywood (his own popish chaplain), who justified his lord that he did it in imitation of the king’s chapel at Whitehall, where he had seen not only tapers and candlesticks standing, but likewise burning in the day-time, on the altar.” ( 338, 339).
Laud defends several of his practices, in this instance the setting up of a credence table,
"The third sort of innovations in my chapel charged against me, is the setting up of a Credentia, or side-table, my own and my chaplains' bowing towards the table or altar at our approaches to it, our going in and out from the chapel; my chaplains' with my own using of copes therein, at the celebration of the LORD'S Supper, and solemn consecration of Bishops... that the bread, when the Sacrament was administered, was first laid upon the Credentia, from whence he took it in his hand, and then carried it to, and kneeling down upon his kneel presented it, laid it on the LORD'S Table, on which there were candlesticks with tapers, but not burning, as he had seen them at Whitehall..." Archbishop's Laud Defense 162
Most of the examples given are of cathedral churches or episcopal chapels but parish churches also adopted the adornment of the altar such as the example given here of St. Mary’s, Bruton, “A correspondent has obligingly furnished us with the following examples of village churches, in which the rubrick that requires two lights to be placed upon the high altar, is at this day observed: S. Mary’s, Bruton, Somersetshire, where the candlesticks are silver, and bear the legend ‘The gift of Mr. John Gilbert to Bruton church, 1744’” (339).
It appears that a few over-enthusiastic clergy attached themselves to the Laudian program and consequently “overdid” the ceremonial program as envisioned by Charles I and Archbishop Laud. These clergy appear to have been either ignorant (meaning uneducated) or recusants, or both. Among the practices we find them doing that are beyond the standard Laudian program include the elevation of the Host, the inclusion of Ps. 43 at the beginning of the service, prayers to the saints, a belief in purgatory, the belief that auricular confession is necessary for salvation, and a veneration to the Virgin Mary. It is important to note that these practices do not represent the locus of the ceremonial program envisioned by Charles and Laud but were aberrations from it. It is beyond the scope of this piece to determine whether or not these men knowingly strayed from the Laudian vision.
We learn of these abnormalities from charges brought against certain vicars in the period. I have found three examples in reading the material for this piece. First, Nicholas Andrewes, Rector of Guilford was accused of, “delivering the bread in the Sacrament, he elevateth it, looks upon it, and bows low unto it, and useth other frequent bowing in administering the Sacrament,” his error was the elevation of the Sacrament. Another rector, John Mountford was accused of adding to the service when, “in his going up to the Table to read the second service, usually caused that part of the 43rd Psalm to be sung, viz. ‘Then shall I to the altar go, of GOD, &c.’” (265), which was not part of the authorized liturgy, although certain divines, such as Lancelot Andrewes, would probably not have regarded this addition as an error. Edward Marten was charged as praying, “for the saints and people departed this life, and that they may be eased and freed of their pains in purgatory’” (265). James Buck, vicat of Stradbroke, Suffolk, was charged with stating that, “’auricular confession to the priest is absolutely necessary to salvation, once a year, or at least once in man’s life.’” He also venerated the Virgin Mary in the same way that the name of Jesus was venerated, “He used to make as low obeisance at the mentioning of the Virgin Mary’s name as he doth at the name of JESUS,” and he also encouraged adoration to the altar in the same manner, “and doth not only bow thrice at his going [to] and thrice at his return from, the Communion-table set altarwise; but teacheth ‘that adoration is due to it, when the holy Mysteries are absent,’ &c. and hath denied the cup to divers to whom he gave the bread” (265, 266).
5. General Complaints against Liturgical Worship
While the purpose of this article was to discuss the practice of the Laudians, I found several interesting accounts against liturgical worship in general which I thought would be good to put in an “appendix” of sorts to this post.
The first comes from a work titled “A Short View of the Prelatical Church of England,” which voices a general complaint against the Church of England and more particularly of her “wearisome Liturgy”:
"The prelatical service is the cathedral service, consisting in these things. (1.) In a long wearisome Liturgy, read after a singing manner, syllables and words drawn out into a tedious length; which Liturgy is framed out of three Romish books, the Breviary, Purtuis [sic], and the Mass Book, so as King James said of it, 'that it's an ill said mass from which it needeth purging, and from some vain repetitions, and from a corrupt translation of Holy Scriptures, and other abuses thereof.' (2.) In an unedifying singing and piping on organs. (3). In superstitious cringing to the Name of JESUS, towards the altar, towards the east. (4). In a form observations of habits, surplices, hoods, copes, variety of gestures, and ceremonious devotions devised by men" (161).
They disliked the whole of the catholic heritage of the Church of England, both in the authorized ceremonial and the amplification sponsored by the Laudians:
"It remains that we should parallel with our Book the accidental parts of the Mass, so to call them. The most of these we have actually -- their vestments, hoods, surplices, rochets, mitres, copes of all colours filled with numbers of images, palls, corporals, chalices, patens, offertory basins, wax candles, veils, rails, stalls, lavatories, repositories, reclinatories (for confessions within the chancel), bowings, duckings, crosses, kissings, coursings, perfumings. These we have already; and what of the ceremonies we want, it were easy to fetch testimonies from our party's writs for their lawfulness, or at least to shew the necessity of taking them, whenever they shall be imposed by our Bishops" 193
Puritans, who wished to further “reform” the Church of England thought that at its current state, the Church was not adequately reformed and was encouraging English peasants to superstition and Romanism,
"The great conformity and likeness, both continued and increased, in our Church to the Church of Rome, in vestures, postures, ceremonies, and administrations, namely, as the Bishops' rochets and in the lawn sleeves, the four-cornered cap, the cope and surplice, the tippet, the hood, and the canonical coat; the pulpits clothed, especially now of late, with the Jesuits' badge [IHS] upon them every way; the standing up at Gloria PATRI and at the reading of the Gospel; praying towards the east; the bowing at the name of JESUS; the bowing to the altar, towards the east; cross in baptism; the kneeling at the Communion; the turning of the Communion-tables altarwise; setting images, crucifixes, and conceits over them, and tapers and books upon them, and bowing and adoring to or before them; the reading of the second service at the altar, and forcing people to come up thither to receive, or else denying the Sacrament to them; terming the altar to be the Mercy-seat, or the place of GOD ALMIGHTY in the church, which is a plain device to usher in the Mass" 194
“They [the Caroline Divines] tell us… that the Church of England (they take that Church commonly, by a huge mistake, for their own prevalent faction therein) doth not only keep innumerable images of CHRIST and the Saints in the most eminent and conspicuous places of their Sanctuaries, but also daily erect a number of long and large ones, very curiously dressed; and that herein they have reason to rejoice and glory above all other reformed Churches.”
Perhaps this piece is the best demonstration of anti-liturgical spirit against the Church of England. Ironic that it is a litany of sorts against liturgical worship.
“Do they kneel at confession and absolution? So we.
“Do they repeat the Pater noster, kneeling, after the priest? So we.
“Do they stand up and repeat the Apostle’s Creed? So we.
“Do they, upon the reading or singing Quicunque vult, or Athansius’ Creed, stand? So we.
“Do they, upon saying or singing litanies, make responses by the people? So we.
“Do they, upon the rehearsal of the Ten Commandments, kneel asking mercy and grace after every command? So we.
“Do the priest and people read the psalms alternately, verse by verse? So we.
“Do they sit at reading the lessons? So we.
“Do they uncover themselves in churches? So we.
“Do they sing their anthems, and canticles, and psalms, and prayers with music, vocal and instrumental, as organs, flutes, viols, &c.? So we in our cathedrals.
“Do they bow to the east, and Name of JESUS? So we.
“Of all wwhich not one word in all the New Testament.
“Is there not a symbolizing with popery in the places of worship?
“The places of our worship are either such as were built and consecrated by papists, which we took from them, retaining the saints’ names they were dedicated to, as SS. Mary, Peter, Paul, All-Saints, or such places as we have built by their example, posited east and west: consecrated, and dedicated to some saint and angel, and which we take to be more holy than any other place, as they did, and give great reverence by uncovering the head, and bending the kneel and upon entrance into it, bowing to the east and altar placed therein: and keep the annual feast of dedication, wake or paganalia, as the papists, and the heathen before them, did. Of all which, not one word in all the New Testament.
“Do we not also symbolize with them in the priesthood, who are principally to minister in those places of worship?
“Have they superior priests, viz. bishops and archbishops, in the room of the heathen flamens and archflamens, for sacerdotal service in provinces and dioceses? So have we.
“Have they inferior priests, distinguished by dignities, names, and services, as deans, chapters, prebends, archdeacons, to minister in cathedrals; and parsons, vicars, and curates to officiate in parishes? So we.
“Have they proper distinguishing habits for the clergy, and particular vestments for their holy ministrations, as albs, surplices, chasubles, amicts, gowns, copes, maniples, zones, &c.? So we.
“Of all which not one word in all the New Testament.”
“Some bow at the name of JESUS, while others of the same Communion pay no more reverence to that than to the Name of CHRIST.
“Some bow to the east or altar (which you will), while others that would be thought as good churchmen condemn that practice as superstitious.
“Some use the LORD’s Prayer kneeling, others pay no more respect to that than to any other prayer.
“Some are very clamourous in their responses, others there are more modest, and a less noisy sort still, content themselves with an Amen only at the end.
“Some only say over their prayers, while a more merry sort sing them out; nay there are not wanting some jovial sparks that cant into their very Creed.
“Some preach in the surplice, while most pull it over their own ears before they go into the pulpit.
“Some make prayers in the pulpit after the Litany’s over; some are only pray wees that bid prayer.
“Some read the service in the desk, while others go with a part of it to the Communion Table.
“The Communion Table in some places is railed about; in many ‘tis e’en left as open as any other part of the church.
“In some topping churches you shall see huge unlighted candles (for what use nobody alive can tell); but the meaner churches are forced to shift without them.
“Some are for a consort of musick, others only for organs; some dislike both, and others can get neither.”
Adrian, James M. ‘George Herbert, parish ‘dexterity’, and the local modifications of Laudiansm.’
Dorman, Mariane. 1999. “Andrewes and English Catholics’ Response to Cranmer’s Prayer Books of 1549 and 1552”. Reformation Studies Conference, 1999. Westminster College, Cambridge.