THE Church on earth is composed of two great parts, viz., those who teach, and those whoare taught. The former consists of—
l. The Pope,
who is the visible head of the Church, the successor of St. Peter and Bishop of Rome. His chief advisers are the
Princes of the Church
. Their number varies,and many reside in the neighbourhood of the Holy See. The Pope is elected by the sacredCollege of Cardinals.
2. The Bishops,
who are the successors of the Apostles. Each bishop rules a district called a
Several dioceses form a
and the Bishop who governs the chief diocese inthe province is called an Archbishop. A diocese is divided into
in whichlive one, or two, or more priests.
3. The Priests
men who have received Holy Order.
(A woman cannot be a priest.)
Apriest chosen to be Bishop is raised to this high office by
The faithful in eachparish or mission are under their priests, who have to preach the Word, administer theSacraments,
and direct in the way of salvation those committed to theircharge. The priests are under their Bishops, and all the Bishops are under the Pope. Not manyPopes have occupied the pontifical throne over twenty-three years individually. Theexceptions are Pius IX, who reigned for 31 years 7 months 23 days and John Paul II whoreigned for 26 years 5 months 18 days.
VESTMENTS, &c.1. The Amice
is a white linen veil which the Priest first passes over his head and then covershis shoulders with. It represents the veil with which the Jews covered the face of Christ whenthey buffeted Him in the house of Caiphas and bade Him prophesy who it was that struck Him. (S. Luke xxii: 64.)
2. The Alb
is a large white tunic which descends to the feet. It represents the white garmentthat Herod put on our Lord.
3. The Cinture (Girdle)
is a cord tied round the waist to hold up the Alb.
4. The Maniple
is a vestment which the priest carries upon his left arm.
5. The Stole
is a vestment which the priest passes around his neck and crosses over hisbreast. The
represent the cords and bands with which our Lord wasbound during His Passion. The
denotes the authority of the Priest It is his chain orbadge. It symbolizes immortality, and also the yoke of obedience under which the priestexercises his office.
6. The Chasuble,
or outward vestment, represents the purple garment with which Jesus wasclothed in derision as a mock king in the house of Pilate. Upon this garment is a large cross toremind us of that which Christ bore to Calvary.In these vestments the Church makes use of five colours viz.
on the feasts of ourLord, the Blessed Virgin, of the angels, and of saints that were not martyrs.
on thefeasts of Pentecost, of the finding and Exaltation of the Cross, and of the apostles andmartyrs.
which is the penitential colour, is used in the penitential times of Adventand Lent, and upon Vigils and Emberdays.
on most other Sundays and ordinarydays throughout the year.
on Good Friday and in Masses for the Dead.
coloured vestments are used on the third Sunday in Advent and fourth in Lent.
vestments may be used as a substitute for White, Red or Green vestments.)
7. The Corporal
is a square piece of linen upon which the Host rests from the Offertory tothe priest’s Communion.Page 2 of 5