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with a beat of the foot, and, then, play gently on these drums; after which, they lay them aside in order to clap hands, jump, dance, and bawl as loud as their power will permit them. These acclamations are intended as an act of devotion, the merit of which is grounded on a passage in the Psalms of David, in which he invites all nations to cry aloud, and clap their hands for joy!

To conclude, the Abyssinians commemorate their deceased friends, and have proper prayers for them. The collection of canons which they make use of, enjoins them to offer the sacrifice of the mass, and to pray for the dead, on the third and seventh day, at the month's end, and at the conclusion of the year. They have prayers, likewise, for the invocation of the saints, as well as legends, relics, and miracles, without number.

Sec. 7.-Religious Tenets and Customs of the Armenians. The Armenians, from Armenia ; a province of Asia, consisting of the modern Turcomania and part of Persia, were formerly a branch of the

Greek Church. They professed the same faith, and acknowGeneral

ledged the same subjection to the see of Constantinople, till

nearly the middle of the sixth century, when the supposed heresy of the Monophysites spread through Africa and Asia, and comprehended the Armenians among its votaries. But, though the members of this church still agree with the other Monophysites in the principal doctrine of that sect, respecting the unity of the divine and human nature in Christ, they differ from them in so many points of faith, worship, and discipline, that they hold no communion with that branch of the Monophysites who are Jacobites in the more limited sense of that terin, nor with the Copts or the Abyssinians.

The Armenians allow and accept the articles of faith according to the council of Nice, and use the Apostles' Creed. With respect to the TriTenets.

nity, they agree with the Greeks in acknowledging three

persons in one divine nature, and that the Holy Ghost proceeds only from the Father. They believe that Christ descended into hell, and liberated thence all the souls of the damned, by the grace and favour of his glorious presence; that this liberation was not for ever, nor by a plenary pardon or remission, but only till the end of the world, when the souls of the damned shall again be returned into eternal flames.

The Armenians believe, that neither the souls nor the bodies of any saints or prophets, departed this life, are in heaven, except the blessed Virgin and the prophet Elias. Yet, notwithstanding their opinion, that the saints shall not be admitted into heaven till the day of judgment, by a certain imitation of the Greek and Latin churches, they invoke those saints with prayers, reverence and adore their pictures and images, and burn to them lamps and candles. The saints commonly invoked by them are all the prophets and apostles, and also St. Silvester, St. Savorich, &c.

They worship after the Eastern manner, by prostrating their bodies, and kissing the ground three times. When they first enter the church,

they uncover their heads, and cross themselves three times; Worship. but afterwards they cover their heads, and sit cross-legged on carpets. The greatest part of their public divine service is performed in the morning, before it is light. They are very devout on vigils to feasts, rigour

and on Saturday evenings, when they all go to church, and, after their return home, perfume their houses with incense, and adorn their little pictures with lamps. In their monasteries, the whole Psalter of David is read over every twenty-four hours; but in the cities and parochial churches, the Psalter is divided into eight portions, and each portion into eight parts, at the end of each of which is said the Gloria Patri, &c.

The rites and ceremonies of the Armenian church greatly resemble those of the Greeks. Their liturgies also are essentially the same, or at least

ascribed to the same authors. The fasts, which they observe Rites and Ceremonies. annually, are not only more numerous, but kept with greater

and mortification than is usual in any other Christian community. They mingle the whole course of the year with fasting; and there is not a single day which is not appointed either for a fast or a festival. They commemorate our Lord's nativity on the 6th of January, and thus celebrate in one festival his birth, epiphany, and baptism.

The Armenians practise the trine immersion, which they consider as essential to baptism. After baptism, they apply the enyrop or chrism, and anoint the forehead, eyes, ears, breast, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet, with consecrated oil, in the form of a cross. Then they administer to the child the eucharist, with which they only rub its lips. The eucharist is celebrated only on Sundays and festivals. They do not mix the wine with water, nor put leaven into their bread, as do the Greeks. They steep the bread in the wine, and thus the communicant receives both kinds together, a form different from that of the Latin, Greek, and Reformed churches. They differ from the Greeks in administering bread unleavened, made like a wafer; and from the Romans, in giving both kinds to the laity.

Before any persons, whether men or women, presume to enter their churches, they pull their shoes off at the church-door, where there are chests to lock them up in, during the time of divine service. On entering, they cross themselves three times, but after the same form, according to Father le Brun, as is observed in the Latin Church. The men are all uncovered. The clergy themselves are without shoes in the choir ; but those who officiate in the sanctuary put on black slippers. During the celebration of the mass and other parts of divine service, all the communicants either stand, or sit upon the ground, the men cross-legged, and the women upon their heels. Many of the people stay a long time in the church, and are often there by break of day. Father Monier relates, that he was very much affected with the modest deportment observed in the exercise of their devotion ; and Ricaut says, his heart was melted with the warmth and ardency of their piety, which is considerably augmented at certain seasons, particularly in the Holy Week.

In their fasts they are much more rigorous than the Greeks, and no dispensation is allowed on any account. During the forty days of their

Lent, which precedes their Easter, they must eat nothing but herbs, Fasts.

roots, beans, peas, and the like, and no greater quantity of them than is just sufficient to support nature. The Armenians, however, according to Tournefort, are allowed to eat fish on Sundays. To these acts of self-denial, we must add another, which is the natural result of an habitual practice of such long and severe fasts, viz.—their abstinence from

women. Their most rigid devotees look upon a breach of this mode of mortification as a crime of the most enormous nature. They have an established custom of having no mass on fast-days, and during their Lent; but on Sundays only, there is a kind of spiritual humiliation. This mass is celebrated at noon, and is called low-mass ; because there is a curtain drawn before the altar, and the priest, who is unseen, pronounces nothing with an audible voice, but the gospel and the creed. All their fasts in general are observed with the same strictness and austerity as their grand Lent.

Their churches have the front towards the east, in order that the priest, who celebrates mass, and the whole congregation, may stand with their Churches.

faces directly to that quarter. The church is divided generally

into four parts—that is to say, the sanctuary, the choir, the space peculiarly allotted for the laymen, and that appropriated to the service of the women, which is always the nearest to the door. The choir is divided from the place allotted for the men by rails about six feet high. The sanctuary is five or six steps higher than the choir. In the centre of the sanctuary stands the altar, which is small and insulated, in order that the priest may thurify and go round it. The majority of the churches have a dome, with several windows in it, to give light to the sanctuary. There are no seats in that part of the church, because both the celebrant and his assistants are obliged to stand all the time of divine service in that holy place. According to the directions, however, in their liturgy, the priest is ordered to sit down during the lesson out of the prophets and the epistle, and then, in case the celebrant should be a bishop, or a priest well stricken in years, he is indulged with a chair. Generally there are small rails between the two staircases leading from the sanctuary to the choir; and those who serve at the altar are allowed to lean against or rest themselves upon them. The vestry stands on the left side of the sanctuary on entering the church; and on the right side opposite to it there is, in all great churches, another vestry, which is made use of as a treasury. There is but one altar generally in each church. The choir is the place peculiarly appropriated to the service of the clergy; and the laity are never admitted into that division. There is no seat but the bishop's, which is erected on the left-hand side of the door; but when there are several bishops present, there are stools brought for them, and set on each side of the episcopal chair :-the others either stand all the time of divine service, or sit

cross-legged on the ground, according to the custom of the country, The choristers have neither stool nor desk, but when the lessons are to be read, there is a folding-desk brought out, and set in the centre, which is covered with an embroidered veil. Neither is there any fixed pulpit erected for the preacher ; but when there is a sermon a moveable pulpit is generally placed at the door of the choir: the patriarch, however, preaches in the sanctuary. As to the third and fourth divisions of the church, there is nothing worthy of notice in either of them. Such churches as are poor have their pavements covered with matting, but those which are rich, with fine carpets ; and to prevent the people from soiling them, a sufficient number of spitting-pots are provided. A similar reason may be assigned for pulling off their shoes at the church-door.

In those cities where the Armenian merchants carry on a great trade, the churches are embellished with beautiful pictures and rich tapestry;



particularly the sanctuary, which, at all times, when there is no celebration of the mass, is concealed by a fine curtain. The sacred vessels and vestments are equally grand and magnificent; and whilst the Greeks have only two insignificant lights, scarcely sufficient to enable the priest to read mass, the Armenian churches are surrounded with illuminations in great abundance.

The altar is uncovered at all times, when there is no divine service; but always covered during the celebration of their mass. The altars are but small, and without relics : formerly the cross, and the book of the gospels only, were placed upon them. The Armenians, in imitation of the Latins, have for many years past placed their candlesticks there, and very frequently a great number of them; and fill up the steps with crosses. A number of lamps are always burning during the celebration of mass ; and one particularly in the centre of the sanctuary, which is never extinguished. The faithful offer wax-tapers to be burnt in mass-time. According to Father Monier, two masses are very seldom said in one day at the same church, or if there should, there is but one at each altar. Nothing but high mass is celebrated amongst them, and that at break of day, except on the vigil of the Epiphany and Easter-eve, when it is celebrated in the evening.

Children generally leave the choice of the person whom they are to marry, as well as the settlement of the marriage articles, to their parents

or nearest relations. Their marriages, according to Tournefort, Nuptial Ceremonies.

are the result of the mother's choice, who very seldom advises

with any persons upon the subject except her husband; and even that deference is paid with no small reluctance. After the terms of accommodation are settled and adjusted, the mother of the young man pays a visit to the young lady, accompanied by a priest and two venerable matrons, and presents her with a ring, as the first tacit promise of her intended husband. He generally makes his appearance at the same time, with all the seriousness he is able to assume, or perhaps with all the perplexity of one who has not the liberty to make his own choice. Tournefort assures us, that this serious deportment is carried to such a pitch, that at the first interview even a smile would be looked upon as indecent, and even the young virgin at that time conceals either her charms or defects under an impenetrable veil. The priest who attends on this occasion is always treated with a glass of good liquor. The Armenians never publish the banns of matrimony, as is customary with other Christian churches. The evening before the wedding, the bridegroom and the bride send each other some presents. On the weddingday, there is a procession on horseback, and the bridegroom rides in the front, from his mistress's house, having on his head a gold or silver network, or a flesh-coloured gauze veil, according to his quality. This network hangs down to his waist. In his right hand he holds one end of a girdle, whilst the bride, who follows him on horseback, covered with a white veil, which reaches down to her horse's legs, has hold of the other. Two attendants walk on each side of her horse, and hold the reins. The bride is sometimes conducted to church between two matrons, and the bridegroom walks on foot accompanied by a friend, who carries his sabre.

The relations and friends, (generally young men and maids,) either on horseback or on foot, accompany them to church with great order and decorum in the procession, having wax-tapers in their hands, and a band of music marching before them. They alight at the church-door, and the bridegroom and bride walk up to the very steps of the sanctuary, still holding the ends of the girdle in their hands. They there stand side by side, and the priest having put the Bible upon their heads, pronounces the sacramental form; he then performs the ceremony of the ring, and says mass. The nuptial benediction is expressed in the following terms. Bless, O Lord! this marriage with thy everlasting benediction ; grant that this man and this woman may live in the constant practice of faith, hope, and charity ; endow them with sobriety; inspire them with holy thoughts, and secure their bed from all manner of pollution, &c.

When an infant dies under nine years of age, the father, or his nearest relation, provides prayers to Almighty God, eight days successively, for

the soul of the deceased ; and during all that time pays the Funeral Ceremonies.

expenses of the priest to whose care that act of devotion is

entrusted. On the ninth day the solemn service for the soul is performed. Those who are pious and in good circumstances have a particular day set apart for the commemoration of their relations, and for the due celebration of all the requisite offices. Father Monier assures us also, that it is a received custom amongst them to visit the monuments of the dead

upon Easter Monday; at which time the men sigh and groan, but the women actually howl ; and this they call the visible testimonies of their sorrow and concern. These sighs and groans of the men, and these howlings of the women, however, are soon over; and a more agreeable scene immediately succeeds; they all withdraw under the refreshing shade of some luxuriant tree, where an elegant entertainment erases the idea of affliction : sorrow is now drowned in liquors, and the diversions of the afternoon are altogether as extravagant and excessive as their morning lamentations.




SEC. I.-TENETS, CUSTOMS, &c. The Roman Catholics hold all the fundamental tenets of the Christian religion. They worship one God in three persons ; viz., the Father, Son,

and Holy Ghost: and they maintain that they are to put Roman Catholics.

their confidence in God alone, through the merits of his incar

nate Son, who was crucified and rose from the dead for our justification. They receive with the same certainty, all the other articles of the Apostles' creed. The Protestants do not differ with them in relation to the fundamentals of this belief; but object that the Catholics have made a great number of additions, some of which are repugnant to the Apostles' creed, and tend very much to weaken the fundamental tenets.

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