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which was painted over in the above manner with very large ones.”
[Among the superstitions of the Senecca Indians is the following: When a maiden dies, they imprison a young bird until it first begins to try its power of song; and then, loading it with kisses and caresses, they loose its bonds over her grave, in the belief that it will not fold its wings nor close its eyes until it has flown to the spirit land, and delivered its precious burden of affection to the loved and lost. It is not unfrequent to see twenty or thirty loosed at once over one grave.]
MINNING DAYS, OR MONTH'S MIND.
MYNDE DAYS, Minnyng Days, says Blount, from the Saxon Iremynde, 1 days which our ancestors called their Montli's Mind, their Year's Mind, and the like, being the days whereon their souls (after their deaths) were had in special remembrance, and some office or obsequies said for them ; as obits, dirges, &c. This word is still retained in Lancashire; but elsewhere they are more commonly called Anniversary Days. The common expression of “having a month's mind,” implying a longing desire, is evidently derived from hence.?
The following is an extract from the will of Thomas Windsor, esq., 1479 : “ Item, I will that I have brennyng at my burying and funeral service four tapers and twenty-two torches of wax, every taper to conteyn the weight of ten pounds, and every torch sixteen pounds, which I will that twenty-four very poor men, and well disposed, shall hold as well at the tyme of my burying as at my moneth's minde. Item, I will that, after my moneth's minde be done, the said
1 That is, the Mind, q. Myndyng Days, Bede, Hist. Eccl. lib. iv. ca. 30. Commemorationis Dies.
? The following is in Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, i. 230: “ By saying they have a month's mind to it, they anciently must undoubtedly mean that, if they had what they so much longed for, it would (hyperbolically speaking) do them as much good (they thought) as they believed a month's mind, or service said once a month (could they afford to have it), would benefit their souls after their decease."
four tapers he delivered to the church wardens, &c. And that there be a hundred children within the age of sixteen years to be at my moneth's minde, to say for my soul. That against my moneth's minde the candles bren before the roode in the parish church. Also that at my moneth's minde my executors provide twenty priests to singe placebo, dirige, &c." See Gent. Mag. for 1793, lxiii. 1191.
Fabyan the historian, himself, also, in his will, gives directions for his month's mind: “At whiche tyme of burying, and also the monethis mynde, I will that myne executrice doo cause to be carried from London xii. newe torches, there beyng redy made, to burn in the tymes of the said burying and monethes minde: and also that they do purvay for iiii. tapers of .lb. evry pece, to brenne about the corps and herse for the foresaid .ii. seasons, whiche torches and tapers to be bestowed as hereafter shalbe devised; which iiij. tapers I will be holden at every tyme by foure poore men, to the whiche I will that to everyche of theym be geven for their labours at either of the saide ij. tymes iiij.d. to as many as been weddid men: and if any of them happen to be unmarried, than they to have but iij.d. a pece, and in lyke manner I will that the torche berers be orderid.” In another part of his will he says: “Also I will, that if I decesse at my tenemente of Halstedis, that myn executrice doo purvay ayenst my burying competent brede, ale, and chese, for all comers to the parishe churche, and ayenst the moneths mynde I will be ordeyned, at the said churche, competent brede, ale, pieces of beffe and moton, and rost rybbys of beffe, and shalbe thought nedeful by the discretion of myn executrice, for all comers to the said obsequy, over and above brede, ale, and chese, for the comers unto the dirige over night. And furthermore I will that my said executrice doo purvay ayenst the said moneths mynde xxiiij. peces of beffe and moton, and xxiiij. treen platers and xxiiij. treen sponys; the whiche peces of fleshe with the said platers and spoonys, with xxiiij.d. of silver, I will be geven unto xxiiij. poore persones of the said parisshe of Theydon Garnon, if w'in that parishe so many may be founde: for lake whereof I will the xxiiij. peces of flesh and ij.s. in money, wi the foresaid platers and sponys be geven unto suche poore persones as may be found in the parisshes of Theydon at Mount, and Theydon Boys, after the discrecion of myn executors; and if my said monethes mynde fall in Lent, or upon a fysshe day, then I will that the said xxiiij. peces of fleshe be altered unto saltfyche or stokfyshe, unwatered and unsodeyn, and that every piece of beef or moton, saltfyshe or stokfysh, be well in value of a peny or a peny at the leest; and that noo dyner be purveyed for at hom but for my household and kynnysfolks : and I will that my knyll be rongyn at my monethes mynde after the guyse of London. Also I will that myn executrice doo assemble upon the said day of moneths mynde xij. of the porest menys children of the foresaid parisshe, and after the masse is ended and other observances, the said childern to be ordered about my grave, and there knelyng, to say for my soule and all Christen soules, ‘De profundis," as many of them as can, and the residue to say a Pater noster, and an Ave oonly; to the which xij. childern I will be geven xiij.d., that is to meane, to that childe that beginneth De profundis' and saith the preces, ij.d. and to everyche of the other j.d.” See his Chron. new edit., Pref. pp. 4, 6.1
In the Churchwardens Accounts of St. Mary-at-Hill, in the city of London, 17 and 19 Edw. IV. (Palmer and Clerk), are the following articles : “Pd to Sir I. Philips for keepyng the morrow mass at 6 o'clock upon feryall days, each quarter,
To the par. priest to remember in the pulpit the soul of R. Bliet, who gave vj.s. viij.d. to the church works, ij.d.”
In Nichols's Collection of Churchwardens' Accounts, 1797, Accounts of St. Margaret, Westminster, p. 10, we read: “ Item, at the monyth mynde of Lady Elizabeth Countess of Oxford, for four tapers, viij.d.” Under the year 1531 is,
Item, for mette for the theff that stalle the pyx, iij.d." And, in 1532, "Item, received for iiij. torches of the black guard, viij.d.” On these occasions the word “mind” signified remembrance ; and the expression a "month's mind,” a ‘year's mind,” &c., meant that on that day, month, or year after the party's decease, some solemn service for the good of his soul should be celebrated. In Ireland, according to Sir H. Piers, 1682, “after the day
“I shulde speake nothing, in the mean season, of the costly feastes and bankettes that are commonly made unto the priestes (whiche come to suche doinges from all partes, as ravens do to a deade carcase) in their buryinges, moneths mindes and yeares myndes.” Veron's Huntyng of Purgatory, 1561, f. 36.
of interment of a great personage, they count four weeks ; and that day four weeks, all priests and friars, and all gentry far and near, are invited to a great feast (usually termed the Month's Mind); the preparation to this feast are masses, said in all parts of the house at once, for the soul of the departed : if the room be large, you shall have three or four priests together celebrating in the several corners thereof; the masses done, they proceed to their feastings ; and, after all, every priest and friar is discharged with his largess."
We read in Fabyan's Chronicle that “in 1439 died Sir Roberde Chichely, grocer, and twice mayor of London, the which wylled in his testament that upon his Mynde Day a good and competent dyner should be ordayned to xxiiij.c. pore men, and that of housholders of the citee, yf they myght be founde. And over that was xx. pounde destributed among them, which was to every man two-pence.”
ON BOWING TOWARDS THE ALTAR
OR COMMUNION TABLE, ON ENTERING THE CHURCH.
This custom, which was prevalent when Bourne wrote, he deduces from the ancient practice of the Church of worshipping towards the east.' This, says he, they did, that by so worshipping they might lift up their minds to God, who is called the Light, and the Creator of Light, therefore turning, says St. Austin,? our faces to the east, from whence the day springs, that we might be reminded of turning to a more excellent nature, namely, the Lord. As also, that 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.! Again it was used when they were baptised: they first turned their faces to the west, and so renounced the devil; and then to the east, and made their covenant with Christ. Lastly, those of the ancient Church prayed that was, believing that our Saviour would come to judgment from that quarter of the heavens, St. Damascen asserting that when he ascended into heaven, he was taken up eastward, and that his disciples worshipped him that way; and therefore chiefly it was that in the ancient Church they prayed with their faces to the east. Hence it is that at this day many persons turn their faces to that quarter of the world at the repetition of the Creed. But what speaks it to have been the universal opinion of the Church is the ancient custom of burying corpses with the feet to the east and head to the west, continued to this day by the Church of England. Dr. Comber says,
I The following is from Langley's Abridgement of Polidore Vergil, f. 109: “ The manner of turnyng our faces into the easte when wee praie, is taken of the old Ethnikes, whiche, as Apuleius remembereth, used to loke eastwarde and salute the sonne: we take it in a custom to put us in remembraunce that Christe is the sonne of righteousnes, that discloseth all secretes."
2 De Sermone Domini in monte, ü. 5.
“ Some ancient authors tell us that the old inhabitants of Attica buried thus before the days of Solon, who, as they report, convinced the Athenians that the island of Salamis did of right belong to them by showing them dead bodies looking that way, and sepulchres turned towards the east, as they used to bury.” Diog. Laert. Vit. Solon, &c. And the Scholiast upon Thucydides says, it was the manner of all the Greeks to bury their dead in that manner.
Our learned countryman, Gregory, tells us that the Holy Men of Jerusalem held a tradition, generally received from the ancients, that our Saviour himself was buried with his face and feet towards the east.2
I find the following in a curious tract, entitled a Light shining out of Darkness, or Occasional Queries, 1659, p. 20:
i St. Damascen (lib. iv. c. 14, Orthod. Fid.) therefore tells us that be. cause the Scriptures say that God planted Paradise in Eden towards the cast, where he placed the man which he had formed, whom he punished 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.
2 “ Bede. (in Die Sanct. Paschæ, tom. vii.) says, that as the holy women entered at the eastern part into the circular house hewn out in the rock, they saw the angel sitting at the south part of the place where the body of Jesus had lain, i. e. at his right hand; for undoubtedly his body, having its face upwards, and the head to the west, must have its right hand to the south." Bourne, chap. v.