Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/37

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
xxix
THE LIFE OF BEDE.

morning and evening prayers of the monastery. The following extracts from Anglo-Saxon writers, quoted by Sharon Turner, will well describe the responsible functions which were supposed to belong to the priest's office.

"Priests! you ought to be well provided with books and apparel as suits your condition. The mass-priest should at least have his missal, his singing-book, his reading-book, his psalter, his hand-book, his penitential, and his numeral one. He ought to have his officiating garments, and to sing from sun-rise, with the nine intervals and nine readings. His sacramental cup should be of gold or silver, glass or tin, and not of earth, at least not of wood. The altar should be always clean, well clothed, and not defiled with dirt. There should be no mass without wine.

"Take care that you be better and wiser in your spiritual craft than worldly men are in theirs, that you may be fit teachers of true wisdom. The priest should preach rightly the true belief; read fit discourses; visit the sick; and baptize infants, and give the unction when desired. No one should be a covetous trader, nor a plunderer, nor drunk often in wine-houses, nor be proud or boastful, nor wear ostentatious girdles, nor be adorned with gold, but to do honour to himself by his good morals.

"They should not be litigious nor quarrelsome,