Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jesuit On The Advent Tradition Of "Boy Bishops"

One of the more novel traditions associated with the Feast of St. Nicholas of Myra is the enthronement of boy bishops, cathedral choristers whose honorary episcopacy lasted until the Feast of the Holy Innocents on December 28th. In the pages of William Hone's Every-day Book, an English almanac of the nineteenth-century, we find the following description of the tradition of the boy bishop:
Anciently on the 6th of December, it being St. Nicholas's Day, the choir boys in cathedral churches, chose one of their number to maintain the state and authority of a bishop, for which purpose the boy was habited in rich episcopal robes, wore a mitre on his head, and bore a crosier in his hand; and his fellows, for the time being, assumed the character and dress of priests, yielded him canonical obedience, took possession of the church, and except mass, performed all the ecclesiastical ceremonies and offices.
Link (here) to the full and fascinating post by Jesuit Joe at his blog entitled City and the World

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