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ROMAN CATHOLIC FESTIVALS. Or all the absurd-feasts by which thl Romish church/was debased, there was none niore ridi- culous than the Feast of Asses," which, as if to render it a complete burlesque on Christianity, was Celebrated bn the bii th-day of our Saviour. The following account of it is abstracted from the Missal of an Archbishop of Sens, who died in |t>22:—" On the eve of the day appointed to ce- lebrate it, before the of vespers, the clergy, went in procession to the door of the ca- thedral, where were two choristers singing in a minor key, or rather with squeaking voices, Liix hoôie; 1tix htiliæ, mejudice, tristis, &c. Light to-day, t'e light of joy-l baish every sorrow; Wherever found, be it eYipelled from our solem- nities t0-m0!T0\v> Away be strife, and grief and care, from every anxious breast, And all the joy and glee in those who Jceep the As*. i:s Feast. ( After this anthem, two canons weie deputed to fetch the ass, and' to conduct him to the table, which was the place where the great chanter sat, to read the order of the ceremonies-; alld thenallws of those who were to take any part in them. The animni was clad with precious priestly ornaments, and.in this array was solemnly conducted to the middle of the choir, during which procession the following hymn was sung in a major key. The first and last stanzas of it were, Oiietitis partlbus, &e. From the country of the east, Came this strong and haudsome beast, This able Ass—beyond compare, Heavy loads and packs to bear. liuzza, Seignoi- Ass, Huzza I Amen bray, most honoured Ass, Sated now with grain and grass, Amen repeat, Amen reply, And disregard antiquity., HujExa, Seignor Ass, Huzza After this, the office began by an anthem in the same style, sung purposely in the most discordant manner possible;-The office Itself lasted the whole of the night, and part of the next day: it was a rhapsody of whatsoever wis sung in the course of the year at the appropriated festivltls,) forming altogether the strangest and most ridi- culous medley that can he conceived. As it was natural to suppose that the choristers and con- gregation should feel thirsty, in so long a perform- ance. wine was distributed in no sparing manner. The signal for that part of the ceremony was an anthem, commencing Conductus ad poculum, &c. Brought to the glass, &c. The first evening, after vespers the grand clianter of Sens headed tin joily hand in the streets, pre- ceded by an enormous lantern. A vust theatre was prepared for their reception before the church, where they performed not the most decent inter- j ludes. The singing and dancing were concluded by throwing a pail of water onlhe head of-the grand chanter. They then returned to the chui ch, to begin the morning óffiee; afldton that oeca- sion several recei ved on their naked bodies a rmin- rier of pails of water. Attbe divisions of the service, great-care was taken to supply the ass with drink and provehder. In the middle of it, a signal was given by an anthem, Condtiettis ad ludos, &e. Brought to play, &c. and the ass was conducted into the nave of the church, where the people, mixed with the clergy, danced round him, and strove to imitate his bra- ing. When the dancing was over, the ass was brought hack again into the choir, where the clergy terminated the festival. The vespers of the second day concluded with an invitation to dinner, in tbu form of an an them like the rest, Conductus ad prandium, &c. Brought to dinner, &e. And the festival ended by a repetition of similar theatricals to those which had taken place the day before."




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