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remonies, which they call the Ring of Solomon; - all which being Devilish, Superstitious, and Hea
thenish Ceremonies, condemned by Holy Mother Church: Wherefore the Synod doth command and exhort all Faithful Christians, neither to practise any such Ceremonies themselves, nor to suffer others to use them in their Houses; and that all who shall presume to practise them themselves, or permit others to do it in their Houses, shall be denied the Sacrament for a whole Year, and be rigorously punished at the pleasure of the. Prelate: and the same shall be done to those that go to Heathens, to learn what Days are Fortunate.
Decree XV. THe Synod having been informed, that when
1 Contracts de futuro are celebrated among the Christians of this Diocess, or Marriages are concerted, that it is performed with some Hea
many times when the Parties contracted are not of Age, or have not Judgment enough to give their consent, doth command, that no such Contracts be made, but when the Parties contracting are of sufficient Age to understand what they do, and are capable of giving their consent de futuro; and, if the Parents will make such Matches, they shall do it by 'a simple Writing, or by shaking Hands, or by any other way that has nothing of Superstition in it; neither shall they
use any Superstitious Ceremonies, upon pain of being severely chastised at the pleasure of the Prelate; commanding the Priests, in virtue of Holy Obedience, not to be present at Contracts, where any such damnable Superstitions are performed, that so they may not seem to Authorize them by their Person and Dignity.
THe Synod doth condemn the Custom, or
I abuse that has obtained in this Diocess of the new-married couple's not going to Church till after the fourth day after their Marriage; when they use to Wash themselves, which is according to the Judaical Ceremonies condemned by the Law of Christ, but on the contrary, doth exhort all new-married People, without respect of Days, to go to Church and say their Prayers, knowing for certain, that if any of the Days that they stay from Church, should happen either to be a Saint's-day or a Sunday, upon which all People are obliged to hear Mass, that they sin mortally in not hearing it, if hindred by no other cause: Neither are they to imagine, that
Spiritual Health of their Souls, the Worship of God, or the Reyerence of the Church.
ST 7 Hereas the Universal Catholick Church is
W Ruled, Inspired, and Taught by the Holy Spirit, by whose direction, for the betterGovern· ment of Christians, and the more commodious
administration of the Sacraments to the Faithful, it has divided the Provinces of the whole World into Diocesles, which are all subject to their several Bishopsand the Diocesses into Parishes, which are all subject to their Parish-Priests, so that as the Diocesses and all the faithful Inhabia tants of the same are subject to their several Bishops, and through them to the Bishop of Rome, the Universal Pastor and Head of the Church, and Christ's Vicar upon Earth; so all the faithful Inhabitants in every Parish are subject to their Rector or Vicar, that administer the Sacraments to them, and are the particular Pastors and Curates of their Souls, through whom they are subject to their Bishop, and through the Bishop to the Pope, and through the Pope to Christ; which Order has been at all times preserved in the Church all over the World, and for want whereof, this Church is fo Confused and Diforderly as it is; every one doing what seems
good in his own eyes, without ever being called to an Account for what they do, having none that are under any obligation to take care of their Souls, nor no particular Paftor to assist them in their Necessities, nor distinct Parishes, unto which every one is bound to refort; therefore this Synod conforming it self to the Government of the whole Catholick Church, doth ordain, that this Diocess be also divided into Parishes, allotting such a number of People to each Parish as fhall be found most convenient, and furnishing them with particular Vicars and Curates, to watch over the Souls of the Faithful ; and as for other Priests and Curates that shall be in any Church, they shall be therein as Beneficed Persons, and Co-adjutors to the Vicars in the administration of the Sacraments to the Peo. ple, as also in the Divine Service and Worship of the Church, as they have hitherto been, having the same Profits and Dividend they had formerly, save that the Synod intends to deprive them of those Fees which formerly they Simonaically received for administration of the Sacraments as to which they shall observe what is before decreed, as the Vicars and Parish-Priests are to have what is allotted for their maintenance in the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Decrees; and the faid Vicars shall make a Roll of all the Inhabitants of their several Parishes, that so they may be acquainted with their Customs and way of living, and may administer the Sacraments unto them, and comfort them in their Troubles Z 2
and and Necessities ; neither shall the Faithful receive the Sacrament from any but their own Vicar, without his Licence in Form.
THe Synod doth declare, That the Division
I of Parishes, and the laying of People to them, has at all times belonged to the Prelate ; so that he may at any time Divide or Unite Parishes at his pleasure, and as he shall find to be most convenient for the administration of the Sacraments to the Faithful, to whom it also belongs to provide Vicars and Curates for Churches, whom he may Institute or Depose as often as he shall judge it to be necessary, to the better feed. ing of the Flock of Christ, which he is charged
present the most Reverend Metropolitan shall make such a reparition of Parishes and People in this bis Visitation, Uniting or Dividing them as shall seem to him to be most commodious for the administration of the Sacraments to the Faithful, who at the end of the Synod will name Vicars for every Parish : And the Synod, for the just Respects and the better. Government of the Church, will not have any Vicars fo Established, as not to be removable at the pleasure of the Prelate.