Ornaments of the church

ORNAMENTS OF THE CHURCH, and MINISTERS THEREOF. This Rubric is well known as the "Ornaments Rubric." It will be considered under two heads, (1) the Vestments of the Minister, (2) the Ornaments of the Church.

(1.) This Rubric had no existence in 1549; but a direction in the Communion Service says that the Priest is to wear "a white albe plain, with a Vestment or Cope," and the assisting Priests or Deacons, "Albes with tunicles," or Dalmatics. At other Services in Parish Churches the ministers were to use a surplice and, in Cathedrals and Colleges, the hood of their degree. At a celebration a Bishop was to wear a Surplice or Albe, and a Cope or Vestment. In 1552 the Ornaments Rubric ran thus:—"The Minister, at the time of the Communion, and at all other times of his ministration, shall use neither Albe, Vestment, nor Cope; but, being Archbishop or Bishop, he shall have and wear a Rochet, and being Priest or Deacon, a Surplice only." In 1559 this Rubric was altered thus:—"The Minister….shall use such ornaments in the Church as were in use by authority of Parliament in the second year of Edward VI., according to the Act of Parliament set forth in the beginning of this book." This Act spoke of authorizing the Queen to ordain other ceremonies; but whether she did so or not, according to this Act, has been a matter of controversy. But in the "advertisements" of Archbishop Parker (1566), no other vestment than the Cope and Surplice is named. In 1662 the Rubric was altered into its present form.

As a matter of history, it seems unquestionable that, with a few exceptions, all vestments except the Surplice and Hood in Parish Churches, and Copes in some Cathedrals, were disused after 1564. Within the last 25 years, the use of the old vestments ordered in the first Prayer Book, and authorized by Parliament, has been revived on the authority of the Rubric of 1662. The Privy Council, however, has, rightly or wrongly, pronounced against the legality of the revival of the vestments named in the Rubric. (See Vestments.) (2.) The ornaments of the Church are discussed under the headings of AltarAltar Lights, &c. In Canons 80 to 84 among the things pertaining to the Church are enumerated (1) a great Bible and Prayer Book, (2) a Font of stone, (3) a "decent Communion Table covered in time of Divine Service with a carpet of silk or other decent stuff," (4) the "Ten Commandments to be set up" and "other chosen sentences written," (5) a Pulpit, (6) an Alms Chest.