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placed upon a wooden ass, which went upon wheels, accompanied by troops of priests, and a concourse of people, bearing palms; these they threw upon the two images as they passed, and afterwards gathered them up again.

For falsely they believe that these have force and vertue great
Against the rage of winter storms and thunder's flashing heate.

There seems, however, to be some reason for supposing that the ceremony in question, though the Roman Catholics have explained it as symbolising Christ's entry into Jerusalem, may, after all, be nothing more than the old Pagan custom of carrying Silenus this day in triumph. Dr. Clark tells us that it is still usual to carry Silenus in procession at Easter, and we have already seen on more than one occasion how fond the old Church was of giving a Christian signification to heathen ceremonies, when they were unable to put them down.

As palms were not always, or even often to be procured in this country, the box, the willow, and occasionally the yew, were substituted. As regards the first, Newton in his “ Herball for the Bible," after mentioning that the box-tree and the palm were often confounded together, goes on to

“this error grew, as I thinke, at the first for that the common people in some countries used to decke their church with the boughs and branches thereof on the Sunday next before Easter, commonly called Palme Sunday; for at that time of the yeare all other trees, for the most part, are not blowen or bloomed.” While, however, palms retained their sanctity in connection with the day, it was usual to preserve pieces of the hallowed wood formed into small crosses, which the devout carried about them in their purses. In Cornwall, these crosses had a peculiar application; Carew says,

“ Little Colan bath less worth the observation ; unless you will deride or pity their simplicity, who sought at our Lady Nant’s Well there to fore-know what fortune should betide them, which was in this manner- Upon Palm Sunday these idle-headed seekers resorted thither, with a palm-cross in one hand, and an offering in the other; the offering fell to the priest's share; the cross they threw into the well, which if it swam, the party should outlive that year; if it sunk, a short-ensuing death was boded; and perhaps not


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altogether untruly, while a foolish conceit of this halsening, might the sooner help it onwards. A contrary practice to the Goddess Juno's lake in Laconia ; for there if the wheaten cakes, cast in upon her festival day, were by the water received, it betokened good luck; if rejected, evil. The like is written by Pausanias, of Inus in Greece; and by others, touching the offerings thrown into the furnace of Mount Ætna in Sicily.”

Passion Week; Tenebræ. The week succeeding Palm Sunday, or that which immediately precedes Easter, is called Passion Week, from the obsolete, but proper meaning of the word Passion, i.e. suffering, in reference to the suffering of Christ upon the Cross.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturdary of this week, are the days on which the offices, called Tenebre, are celebrated," but as a rehearsal of the singing usually took place on the Wednesday immediately previous, that day also came to be considered as belonging to them. The word is derived from the Latin, tenebra, i. e. darkness, and, the office is one of the most striking in the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. The appellation of darkness or dark days has been given, “ because," says an old writer, “ thereby they represent the darkness that attended and accompanied our Lord's Crucifixion; and then also that Church extinguishes all her lights; and after some silence, when the whole office is concluded, they make a sudden great noise to represent the rending of the veil of the Temple and the disorder the whole frame of nature was in at the death of her Maker."

On this occasion, the principal characters and events of the day were thus symbolised." In a triangular candlestick were fourteen yellow wax tapers, seven on each side, and a white one at the top. The fourteen yellow candles represented the eleven apostles, the Virgin Mary, and the women that were with her at the Crucifixion, while the white taper above was the emblem of Christ. Fourteen psalms were sung, and at the end of each a light was put out, till the whole fourteen were thus extinguished, and the white candle alone was left burning, which was then taken down and hid under the altar. The extinction of the fourteen lights

• It is scarcely necessary to remark, that such are still the observances of the Passion Week in Catholic countries.—ED.

symbolised the flight or mourning of the apostles and the women, and the hiding of the white taper denoted that Christ was in the sepulchre. At this moment of total darkness a noise was made by beating the desks and books, and stamping upon the floor, which, as already said, was intended to represent the earthquake, and the splitting of rocks at the Crucifixion.

Holy Thursday, Shere Thursday, or Maundy Thursday, is the Thursday before Easter. Many etymologies have been given for the word Shere. In an old homily, quoted in the Weekly Packet of Advice from Rome, we read that the day was so called," for that in old fathers' days the people would that day shere theyr hedes and clypp theyr berdes, and pool theyr heedes, and so make them honest ayent Easter Day.” In Junius the word sheer is explained to signify purus, and a writer in the “Gentleman's Magazine,” who signs himself T. Row, has concluded that it has a reference “to the washing of the disciples' feet, and is tantamount to clean.” But to sheere is also the AngloSaxon word for “ to divide,” and it is even more likely to allude to the breaking of the bread by Christ, and the division of it amongst his disciples. There is the greater reason for this supposition in that the custom, still retained among us, of a royal dole of alms on that day, is clearly a commemoration of the Last Supper.* The only difference is, that in the early ages kings themselves washed the feet of the poor, and that when the first part of the custom became obsolete, they yet condescended to distribute the alms. James the Second was the last who performed this duty, and since his time the doles have been portioned out by an almoner, the number of mendicants being regulated by the years of the monarch, so that the poor at least have good reason to pray that the king may live long.

There has been scarcely less dispute as to the meaning of the word Maunday, or Maundy. Wheatley, who calls it also Mandate Thursday, or Dies Mandati, tells us that it was so “called from the commandment (Mandatum) which our Saviour gave his apostles to commemorate the sacrament of his

supper, which he this day instituted after the celebration

* This is still literally performed by various Roman Catholic monarchs.

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of the Passover; and which was for that reason generally received in the evening of the day; or as others think from that new commandment, which he gave them to love one another, after he had washed their feet, in token of the love he bore to them, as is recorded in the second lesson at morning prayer." Others, again, will have nothing to do with mandate, or mandatum, but derive it from the French maundier, “to beg,” while some maintain with Junius and Spelman, that the word is derived from the mande, or basket, from which the alms were distributed. But notwithstanding such high authorities, I am inclined to believe with those, who derive the word from mandatum ; for on inquiring into its etymology, we must look at the custom, in which it is supposed to have originated, not as the custom is, but as it was. In olden times, when kings used to wash the feet of beggars, the words uttered by Christ and his apostles were sung for an antiphon, “ mandatum novum do vobis,” &c.; a new commandment I give unto you—and what is more probable than that the whole ceremony should take its name from so prominent a feature ? Indeed charity may be said to be the peculiar feature of the day, no doubt because it was now that Christ more particularly enjoined the practice of it to his disciples. Hence it was the custom in all Roman Catholic countries, for the people, dressed in their best, to visit several churches at this season, saying a short prayer in each, and giving alms to the numerous beggars in waiting.

Good Friday.The Friday before Easter Sunday. It was also called by the Saxons Long Friday, perhaps from the long fasts and offices used by them at that time, for there appears no other reason. The epithet of good it is said to have obtained because the good work of man's redemption was then consummated, and on account of the benefits thence derived to us.

The hot cross-buns, that are in such common use amongst all classes, have by some been derived from the eulogia, or consecrated loaves of the Greek Church, though one would suppose that this was the very last quarter to which the Latins would have gone for any custom. The buns, marked

that were tells us,

* St. Jobu, chap. xiii. ver. 34.

with the cross, were, I should imagine, but a sort of larsacrament, and eaten as much in commemoration of our Saviour as the consecrated bread itself, being manifestly no more than another form of the bread that was at one time given in alms to people at the churches. Bishop Bonner

“that the gevyng of holy bread is to put us in remembrance of unitie, and that all Christen people be one mysticall body of Christ, like as the bread is made of many grains and yet but one loafe, and that the sayd holy bread is to put us also in remembrance of the housell (sacrament), and the receyvyng

of the moste blessed body and blood of our Saviour Jesu Christ."

As to the word bun, it is likely enough to be a corruption of boun, the original name for sacrificial cakes.

Cecrops, one of the kings of Greece, about sixteen centuries before the Christian era, is said to have first offered up to the Divinity the sacred cross-bread, called a bun (Greek Bovv), from the representation upon it of the two horns of an ox, which was made of fine flour and honey. The prophet Jeremiah, who flourished about 600 years B.C., notices this kind of offering, when he speaks of the Jewish women at Pathros in Egypt, and of their base idolatry,the cakes, which they offered up to the moon, the queen of heaven.

This cake, or bun, is therefore a species of bread, which originally used to be offered to the gods; and it was usually purchased by the worshippers at the entrance of the temple, and taken in by them, and eaten at the feast of the remaining parts of the sacrifice; to which St. Paul alludes in 1 Cor. x. 28.

It is a remarkable fact, that at Herculaneum were found two small loaves of about five inches in diameter, marked with a cross, within which were four other lines ; and the bread of the Greeks we are told, was marked in this manner from the earliest periods. Sometimes it had only four lines altogether, and then it was called quadra. This bread had rarely any other mark than a cross, which was on purpose to divide and break it more easily. Similar loaves were discovered in a bake-house at Pompeii

. These towns were overwhelmed and destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius, A. D. 79.

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