Friday, 5 December 2014

Fr Bede Rowe - Chantry Priest

Fr Bede Rowe - Chantry Priest
From the Catholic Encyclopedia

The endowment of one or more priests to say or sing Mass for the soul of the endower, or for the souls of persons named by him, and also, in the greater number of cases, to perform certain other offices, such as those of choir member in a collegiate church or cathedral, or of curate in outlying districts, or of chaplain in hospitals and jails, or of schoolmaster or librarian.

It was thus essentially, though not solely, a liturgical institution requiring as a sine qua non of its existence a place where the incumbent might say Mass. As a rule this was provided for by screening off a space between the great pillars of the nave or transept of some parish church or cathedral, and erecting an altar there. but frequently an addition was made to and opening into the choir, or a detached building was erected for the purpose.

Wakefield Chantry Chapel, see link here
These detached chantry chapels, built in a churchyard, or in an outlying district, or at the entrance to bridges, often consisted of two stories, the lower one being devoted to the strictly religious uses of the foundation, while the incumbent used the upper one as his home or as a schoolroom.

To erect a chantry the consent of the ordinary, which was given only when it was found that a fund sufficiently large for its building and maintenance had been set aside, had to be obtained; then the permission of the Crown to alienate lands in mortmain had to be secured; and then, to provide against the violation of the rights of the mother-church, the priest in whose parish the chantry was to be erected had to be consulted; finally, to give it a legal character, it had to be instituted by the civil authorities of the locality.

The Vaughan Chantry Chapel in Westminster Cathedral, see here
In the erection of some chantries, beyond giving his permission, the bishop played no part. The donor or his trustees, retained the funds as well as the right of appointing and removing the incumbent. Chantries of this kind were called "mercenary", and were erected usually only for a definite period of time. Two other forms, called "collative" and "in private patronage", were ecclesiastical; the only difference between them being that in the latter the donor or his trustees named the incumbent, whereas in the former the bishop alone had the right.

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