Parish Priests and Their People in the Middle Ages in England

By Edward L. Cutts | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVII.
DOMESTIC CHAPELS.

THE Byzantine emperors first set up a private chapel in their houses; kings followed their example, and the nobles followed the example of their kings; and there was a danger of the clergy of these chapels, supported by their lords, making themselves independent of the oversight of the bishops, and of the worship of the rich being separated from the worship of the poor.* In 692, the second Trullan Council decreed that no clergyman should perform the rite of baptism or celebrate the Eucharist in such a chapel without the bishop's permission. Gregory the Great gives licence for the consecration of an oratory which Firmilian, a notary, has built on his farm outside the city of Fermo, on condition that there shall not be a baptistery or cardinalem presbyterum, a titled parish

____________________
*
Agobarth, Archbishop of Lyons, c. 8 33), complains that there is scarcely one to be found who aspires to any degree of honour and temporal distinction who has not his domestic priests; and that these chaplains are constantly to be found serving tables, mixing the strained wine, leading out the dogs, managing ladies' horses, or looking after the lands.

-408-

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