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*Whilst other Husbands strawed Violets, and Roses, and Lillies, and purple Flowers, upon the Graves of their Wives, and comforted themselves with such like Offices, Pammachius bedew'd her Ashes and venerable Bones with the Balsam of Alms. Now these Instances, tho' they justly commend these other Actions, and wisely prefer them to the Ceremonies of adorning Graves with Flowers, yet they no Way decry these ancient Customs. These lower Marks of Esteem and Honour, which the Vulgar paid to the Remains of their Friends, were in themSelves harmless and innocent, and had no Censure; and as they were so, so should the present Customs be without any, being full as harmless and innocent as the other.
* Caeteri mariti super tumulos conjugum spargunt violas, rosas, lilia, floresque purpureos, & dolorem pectoris his officiis consolantur; Pammachius moster sanctam favillam ossaque Veneranda eleemosynae balsamis rigat. Hieron. Epist. ad Pammachium de obitu Uroris.
here speaks of, in Village Churches in the South of England: The Custom seems to be entirely laid aside in the North". It is undoubtedly of very high Antiquity.—In the earlier Ages of the Church,
Virginity (out of Deference, it should seem to
the Virgin Mother) was honoured with almost divine Adoration. There is little Doubt but that Nunneries and this Garland claim one common Origin. Durant f tells us, the ancient Christians, after the Funeral, used to scatter Flowers on the Tomb.— . There is a great Deal of Learning in Moresin # above cited, on this Subject. It appears from Pliny's Natural History, from Cicero in his Oration for Lucius Plancius, and from Virgil's sixth AEneid, * Not entirely:-I saw lately, in the Churches of Walsingham
and Stanhope, in the County of Durham, Specimens of these Garlands. The form of a Woman's Glove, cut in white Paper, hangs
in each of them.
f Condito et curato funeresolebant Nonnulli antiquitus tumulum floribus adspergere. Durant. p. 237.
# Sepulchra funeralibus expletis quandoque floribus, odoramentisque fuisse sparsa legimus. Idemque mos cum in plerisque Regionibus Italiae, tum maximè in subjectis Appennino Collibus, Romandiolae alicubi aetate nostra servatur. Adhibita sunt post fune
ralia in Templis Ornamenta, Clypei, Corona, et hujusmodi Donaria,
quod nostra quoque Ætas in nobilibus et honoratis viris servat. Moresini Deprav. Rel. Orig. p. 156. Hence our Custom of hanging up over the Tombs of Knights, &c. Banners, Spurs, and other Insignia of their Order.
that this was a Funeral Rite smong the Heathens". They used also to scatter them on the unburied
Corpse.–Gay describes the strewing on the Grave,
“Upon her Grave the Rosemary they threw,
Thus also the Garland:
The Custom too, still used in the South of Eng
land, of fencing the Grave with Osiers, &c. is
added: The Poet glances in the two last Lines at
* Flores et serta, educto cadavere certatim injicebant Athenienses. Guichard, lib. 2. cap. 3. Funeral.-Retinent Papani morem. Moresini Deprav. Rel. Orig. p. 62.
f Thus also our Shakespear:
Our bridal Flow’rs serve for a buried Coarse.
# Mr. Strutt cites the Bishop of London in his Additions to Camden, telling us, that of old it was usual to adorn the Graves of the Deceased with Roses and other Flowers (but more especially those of Lovers, round whose Tombs they have often planted Rose Trees): Some traces (he observes) of this ancient Custom are yet remaining in the Church-yard of Oakley, in Surry, which is full of Rose Trees, planted round the Graves.
- Anglo Saxon AEra, Vol. I. p. 69.
Mr. Pennant, in his Tour in Scotland, remarks a singular Custom in many Parts of North Britain, of painting on the Doors and Window-shutters, white Tadpole-like Figures on a black Ground; designed to express the Tears of the Country for the loss of any Person of Distinction. -
Nothing seems to be wanting to render this Mode of expressing Sorrow completely ridiculous, but the subjoining of a N. B. “These,
“are Tears,” CHAP.
Qf Bowing towards the Altar at the first coming into the Church; a Custom generally observed ðy ignorant People; its Meaning and Antiquity.
WE may observe the Generality of old People among the Commonalty, as they enter into the Church, to turn their Faces towards the Altar, and bow or kneel that Way. This, no Doubt, is the Remains of that ancient Custom of the Church, of worshipping towards the East: For in the ancient Church they worshipped that Way upon several Accounts. First, That by so worshipping, they might lift up their Minds to GoD, who is called the Light and the Creator of Light. And therefore St. Austin says, * When we pray standing, we turn our Faces to the East, from whence the Day springs, that we might be reminded of turning to a more excellent Na
"Cum ad orationem stamus, ad orientem covertimur, unde celum surgit, &c. Ut admoneatur animus ad naturam excel
lentiorem se convertere, id est, ad Dominum. Aug. de Serm. Domini. in Mont. Lib. 2. Cap. 5.
ture, namely, The LORD. Secondly, That for as much as Man was driven out of Paradise, which is towards the East, he ought to look that Way, which is an Emblem of his Desire to return thither. St. Damascen therefore tells us, That * because the Scripture says, That GoD planted Paradise in Eden towards the East, where he placed the Man which he had formed, whom he punish'd with Banishment upon his Transgression, and made him dwell over against Paradise, in the western Part; we therefore pray, (says he) being in Quest of our ancient Country; and as it were panting after it, do worship GoD that Way. Thirdly, It was used when any were baptized. They first turn'd their Faces to the West, and S0 renounc'd the Devil; and then to the East, and made their Covenant with CHRIST. Lastly, They prayed that Way, believing that our SAVIOUR would come to Judgment from that Quarter of the Heavens. For as the Lightning cometh out of the East, and shineth unto the West, so shall the Coming of the Son of Man be; and he is to come in like Manner as he ascended. And that he ascended up Eastward from Mount Olives, St. + Damascen assures us. For (says he) when he ascended into * St. Damasc. Lib. 4, C. 13. Orthod. Fid. + Ibid. E. Heaven,