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action in the Queen's Bench Division, and is in the nature of a quare impedit (2. v.).
EASTER (from the name of a Teutonic goddess; usually called pascha, from the passover; Fr. pâques). Easter Day is the Feast of the Resurrection, and is kept on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the 21st March, and all the other movable feasts are reckoned from it (s).
EASTER OFFERINGS are oblations due to the clergy. Some authorities say that they are due by the common law at the rate of 2d. per head for all persons inhabiting within a parish of the age of sixteen and upwards. Others say that Easter Offerings are due by custom only, and not of common right. It has been decided that where there is sufficient evidence of a custom, the common law claim (supposing it to exist) will be excluded. Thus in a case where the customary Easter Offerings were proved by the production of terriers to be “Every communicant, 2d.; every cow, 2d.; every plough, 2d.; every foal, 18.; every hive of bees, ld.; every house, 31d.” It was held (1) that the common-law right was excluded; (2) that the word communicant did not override the whole clause, but that each item was an independent charge, and payable by every parishioner, whether he came within the denomination of communicant or not; (3) that in the absence of evidence to the contrary, “communicant” meant only those who actually communed; (4) that the custom attached to any house as soon as built and occupied, and was not confined to ancient houses (t).
EASTWARD POSITION. The proper position of the priest during the Prayer of Consecration at the Lord's Supper is always facing south, i.e., he should stand on the north side or north end of the Holy Table, and not at that part of the
Communion Service, and 2 & 3 Edw. 6, c. 13.
(8) See Calendar in Prayer Book.
(0) Queen v. Hall (1866), L. R. 1 Q. B. 632. See Rubric at end of
west side which is nearest the north, the object being that the people may see him break the bread and take the cup into his hands, which they cannot very well do if he stand with his back to the people. This rule was approved of both in the Purchas and Ridsdale cases, but in the latter case it was laid down that all the minister is bound to do is to stand that he may in good faith enable the communicants present, or the bulk of them, being properly placed, to see, if they wish, the breaking of the bread and the performance of the other manual acts mentioned.” This view was followed in the recent Lincoln case. The minister may, therefore, it would seem, stand either on the north, south or west side of the table during the prayer of consecration; but if he stands anywhere except on the north side, it is at his own risk as to penal consequences if it can be proved that the people could not see (u).
The present Archbishop of Canterbury is distinctly of opinion that the eastward position does not convey any “sacrificial doctrine of the Eucharist against the doctrine of the English Church.” He says, "a place at the west side of the Holy Table has not in the past been invested with sacrificial character. Many divines who have taught what is called the highest' doctrine of sacrifice in connection with the Eucharist tenable in the Church of England have habitually celebrated at the north end, and many who have used the eastward position have done so with no thought that they were teaching any doctrine by it, or that any doctrine could be either deduced from or expressed by the place they took" (c).
ECCLESIASTICAL COMMISSIONERS for England, established by Act of Parliament in 1836, are a corporate body holding a large amount of Church property, and having power to make schemes with reference thereto, which schemes,
(u) Ridsdale v. Clifton (1877), 2 P. D. 344; Read v. Bishop of Lincoln, L. R. 1891, p. 63.
(2) Read v. Bishop of Lincoln, ubi sup., p. 56.
when duly confirmed by Order in Council and gazetted, have the same force as Acts of Parliament (y). The Commissioners are about fifty in number, and include the archbishops, bishops, some of the deans, judges, officers of state, and eminent laymen (3). The Act greatly broke in upon the principle that the Church, as a corporation, possesses no property. Various alterations in the constitution and powers of the Commission have been made by subsequent Acts (a). The lands and emoluments of the archbishoprics and bishoprics (except patronage and lands attached to residences) are now in some cases vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (6). The emoluments of certain deaneries and canonries which have been abolished go to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (c); also sinecure rectories, together with the remedies of the former owners (d).
The Commissioners expend their funds on church buildings, augmentation of poor livings, the endowment of new churches, &c., and in so doing, though the fund is a common one, they are bound to consider the wants of the places whence the income is derived (e). In the augmentation of poor livings they often contribute a certain sum, on condition that the persons interested raise as much.
The Commissioners have power to borrow money of the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty (f); but they may not apply the capital of such loan except under the authority of a scheme confirmed by an Order in Council (9).
They may receive contributions towards the endowment funds of new benefices. They have to make annual reports 116 ECCLESIASTICAL COMMISSIONERS-ECCLESIASTICAL COURTS.
(y) 6 & 7 Will. 4, c. 77, ss. 12, 13, 14; and for Orders in Council, see Pulling's Index to London Gazette.
(2) For list, see London Directory:
(a) See, in addition to Acts cited in this article, Church Seats Acts; Places of Worship Sites Acts, 1873 and 1882 ; 47 & 48 Vict. c. 67; and for Orders in Council and Statutory Rules, see Index thereto published by authority, 1891. Also Pulling's
Index to London Gazette.
(6) See BISHOP.
(c) 3 & 4 Vict. c. 113, ss. 49, 50, 61; 4 & 5 Vict. c. 39, s. 6; 31 & 32 Vict. c. 114; 36 & 37 Vict. c. 64.
(d) See SINECURE; and 3 & 4 Vict. c. 113, s. 57.
(e) Ibid. s. 67; 23 & 24 Vict. c. 124, s. 12.
(f) 6 & 7 Vict. c. 37, ss. 1-7. (9) Ibid. s. 8.
to one of the Secretaries of State, and such reports must be laid before Parliament (k).
A Committee of the Commission entitled the Church Estates Commissioners, regulate the sale (1) and letting of land.
ECCLESIASTICAL COURTS or Courts Christian, are “eccentrical tribunals” which subsist in England,“ not by any right of their own but upon bare sufferance and toleration from the municipal law” (m). In 1857, the greater part of their ancient jurisdiction was taken away, and is now vested in the Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice, but they have still to deal with questions of Church Government and Discipline. If they exceed the limits of their jurisdiction, they are prohibited” by the High Court of Justice.
The Ecclesiastical Courts are the Archdeacons, Consistory, Peculiars, Arches Court, and Chancery Court of York (Lord Penzance), Archbishop's Court (n), and in cases of Appeal only, the Queen in Council (o). The procedure in these Courts is laid down in the Church Discipline and Public Worship Regulation Acts (9.v.), and in various rules and orders (n). Except where otherwise directed by statute a suit in the Ecclesiastical Courts is commenced by service of a document analogous to a writ, which is called a citation in the Consistory Courts and a decree in the Arches Court. Pleadings have then to be delivered on either side and by the interveners (9. r.), if any. The name of the first plea which is analogous to a “statement of claim," varies according to the description of the cause. In criminal proceedings it is called articles, because it runs in the name of the judge who articles and objects. In plenary causes which are not criminal it is termed the libel and runs in the name of the party or his proctor, who alleges and propounds the facts
(k) 13 & 14 Vict. c. 94, 8. 26.
(1) As to re-sale, see Ecc. Com, and King (1890), 38 W. R. 473; W. N. 1890, 73.
(m) See 3 Bla. Com. ch. 3-5.
founding the demand. Every subsequent plea, in all causes, whether responsive or rejoining (i. e., in the nature of statement of defence, reply, or rejoinder), or by whatever party given in, is termed an allegation (p). The decrees of the Ecclesiastical Courts are enforced by suspension (q. v.), deprivation (2. v.), degradation (q. v.), and by imprisonment under the writ of de contumace capiendo (9.c.), which supersedes the de excommunicato capiendo (2).
Where an offender is in prison for contempt of Court the contempt must be purged before he can be released, and as imprisonment for contempt is not incident to the Ecclesiastical Courts but only conferred on them by statute, the release can only be in conformity with the statutes. Thus, in an ordinary case, the judge can only order a release on the “obedience" of the offender (r), or with the consent of the parties to the suit (s); but it has been held that “involuntary obedience” followed by deprivation is sufficient, as when the offender ceased to be rector of the parish the necessity for his imprisonment ceased also (t).
The procedure in Ecclesiastical Courts is very expensive. The case of Keet v. Smith, which involved a very small point, is said to have cost the successful litigants 1,5001. (u), and a bishop has recently stated that it cost him a similar sum to eject a drunken clergyman from his diocese.
In the Isle of Man the Ecclesiastical Courts still have, as they formerly had in England, jurisdiction in probate and matrimonial causes.
The power of the Ecclesiastical Courts over the laity is now practically obsolete.
ECCLESIASTICAL LAW. The ecclesiastical law of England is not a foreign law. It is a part of the general law of England of the common law-in that wider sense which
(p) See Phill. E. L. 1254.
(t) Dean v. Green (1882), 8 P. D. 91. But see DE CONTUMACE CAPIENDO.
(u) Urlin's Legal Guide, p. 76. And see REVEREND.