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the compact into which he had entered, and caring little “ Father,” observed Purcell, “I was anxious to for the prisoner's fate, violated his solemn oath, learn something concerning Tyrone's conduct in that and refused to return to Tyronc, who, at the ex- extraordinary marriage with Mabel Bagnal, the Marpiration of the fourteenth day, caused Gaveloc to be shal's sister.” executed, in presence of his brother Cormac, Art "Some other time," replied the Provincial, “I will O'Hagan, and more than a hundred others, whereof satisfy your curiosity on that head; but let us dow savo part were of the most distinguished men in the country.
from oblivion the little that I have to relate concerning The executioners were Loughlin Mac Murtagh and his our monastery of Adare.” brother, who came from the borders of Meath and Father Purcell took a pen, and wrote from the dicCavan. Camden therefore ventilates a foul calumny, tation of his superior the following history of the mowhen he insinuates that Tyrone lowered himself to the nastery of Adare, or as the Celtic word signifies, of the level of a brutal hangman. The termination of this Ford of Oaks, affair was very curious, for when the Deputy affected to “Of all our Munster monasteries * there was none more be wroth with Tyrone for hanging Gaveloc, he replied, celebrated than that of Adare, whose ruins look down that he had done no injury to the latter, but that if any on the silvery Mague. This venerable edifice stands injury was done him, it was by Con O'Neill, who fell twelve miles S.W. of Limerick, and within eight of the from a reasonable composition, in whose default execu- Shannon, where the Mague pours its tributary waters tion followed. Gaveloc's death took place in January, into that mighty river. The Franciscans are mainly 1590, and in the March following, Tyrone obtained the indebted for this monastery to Thomas, seventh Earl of Deputy's licence to proceed to London, where, taking Kildare, and Joanna his wife, daughter of James, Earl up his abode in the house of Sir Henry Wallop, of Desmond, who laid its first stone in 1464, and erected he remained three weeks restrained from her majesty's the church and a fourth part of the cloister within the curt and presence, till he convinced the Lords of the same year. Kildare and his conntess were munificent privy council that he had only acted according to the benefactors to our brotherhood; for, not satisfied with ancient laws of his country by ridding society of a notable furnishing the church with glass windows, they also bemurderer, whose father had slain bis father and brother, stowed upon it a bell of great value, and two silver and whose many crimes justified him in cutting off of so
chalices. The church was consecrated in honor of vile a miscreant. Elizabeth was finally placated by
Michael the Archangel, on the saint's festival. in 1466, his artful pleading, and Hatton, the far-famed dancing precisely one year before the decease of James, t Earl of chancellor and Lord Ormond, offered themselves as se- Desmond, who was executed in Drogheda for having curities that he would be forthcoming in Ireland when- counselled King Edward IV. to dismiss his wife Elizaever it might suit depnty Fitzwilliam to arraign him fur
beth Woodville, widow of Sir John Grey. having taken the law into his own hands. Tyrone “ The places consecrated as cemeteries outside the soon afterwards returned to Ulster, but he had not been church, were the cloister, within and without, and both long there when Fitzwilliam summoned him to appear sacristies, together with a field which was destined for before the privy-council. Having signified his readiness public sepulture; south of this a small patch of grouod to obey the mandate, he despatched his secretary to was left unconsecrated, in order that it might be reserved Dublin with orders to provide a splendid banquet, at for those who were deprived of Christian burial. The which he was to entertain the chiefest of the English
remaining portions of the building were completed by nobility, on the night of his arrival.
The guests were
different persons, whose names are inscribed in an anall assembled when Tyrone entered the city after sun- cient Register which I saw in the hands of Father James set, but instead of going at once to preside at the feasting, Hickey, formerly guardian of the convent, and wbich lie rode to the castle, and presented bimself to the Deputy, was read in the chapter-room on all Fridays of the who received him with great show of friendship, and told year, when it was customary to pray for the health of 1.im to return on the morrow. Tyrone was well aware that our benefactors' souls. Cornelius O'Sullivan erected Fitzwilliam had received private instructions to arrest the belfry, and made an offering of a silver chalice bim ; but as he had no wish to join O'Donnell and the washed with gold. Margaret Fitzgibbon, wife of Corother pobles, then prisoners in the castle, he remonnted
nelius O'Dea, built the great chapel ; and John, son of his horse and spurred hard all night, till daybreak saw
the Earl of Desmond, already mentioned, erected a second him beyond the northern boundary of the Pale.
one of minor dimensions, to which Margaret, wife of guests imagined that he had been detained by the Thomas Fitz Maurice, added another, small, indeed, but Deputy on matters of state; but Tyrone was fully satis- exquisitely beautiful. O'Brien of Ara and his wife tied that he had acted as became an honourable man by built the dormitory, while Rory O'Dea completed a presenting himself when summoned, and thus exonerat- portion of the cloister, and presented a silver chalice, ing his bailsmen from all responsibility. These,” con
Morianus O'Hickey, who subsequently took our habit tinued the Provincial, “ are some of the incidents which and died in Adare convent, built the refectory, and it I said did not come within the scope of
volume; but let us now return to our subject, and as I forgot to
* It is now the parish church of Adare. give you my gleanings anent the monastery of Adare,
+ He was attainted in a Parliament held at Drogheda,
and put to death for “ fosterage, alliance and alterage with take your pen and write while I clictate.”
was he who furnished the northern side of the choir with tirely differ from the Mohammedans in having a careits beautiful pannellings and stalls. Donald O'Dea fully-concealed doctrine, and in maintaining the mission and Sabina, his wife, finished another portion of the of a later and greater prophet than the Arabian. They cloister, and Edmond Thomas, Knight of the Glens, and are said to receive the Four Gospels, but they assert bis wife, Honora Fitzgibbon, built the infirmary. The them to have been inspired by Solomon the Persian, latter died May, 1503. Another lady, the wife of Fitz- who is the Messiah of the Druses. They maintain that gibbon, added ten feet to thelength of the chancel, in order there has been a succession at various intervals of seven that the priests might have ampler space about the great great prophets, each superseding his predecessors, and altar, and she likewise caused a vault to be constructed all being incarnations of the same divine spirit. They for herself under the choir. O'Sullivan, who erected the place them in this order : Adam, Noah, Abraham, belfry, died in 1492; and Margaret Fitzgibbon, who Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, and Hamza. It was therebuilt the chapel under the invocation of the Blessed fore no poetical exaggeration to introduce the false Virgin, deceased January, 1483. Donough, son of prophet of this sanguinary delusion as saying : Bernard O'Brien, who built the dormitory, died on the
“Beings, the most divine vigil of the feast of St. Francis, 1502 ; and our founder, Thus deign through dark mortality to shine. Thomas, Earl of Kildare, departed March 25, 1478.
Such was the essence that in Adam dwelt, Johanna, his wife, died on the feast of St. Antony of
To which all Heaven, except the Proud One, knelt;
Such the refined intelligence that glowed Padua, 1486, and was interred in the sacred edifice
In Moussa’s frame; and, thence descending, flowed that owed so much to her munificence. Among the Through many a prophet's breast ; in Isa shone; other illustrious personages buried in our convent of
And in Mohammed burned, till hastening on, Adare was Raymond de Burgh, a friar of our order, and
That holy spirit, settling calm and free Bishop of Emly, who died July 29, 1562. He is said
From lapse or shadow, centres all in me." to have been the last bishop of Emly, for the see was
The Four Evangelists they term their " preachers," united to that of Cashel in the time of his successor.
but assert that their souls have reappeared, animating “When I was in Cork I saw a considerable portion of
other bodies among the Druses. The meaning and orithe sacred furniture of this convent in possessiou of
gin of the name Druse have perplexed enquirers, while Father Thomas Fitzgerald, who shewed me a very
the investigation of their religious system is impeded by beautiful silver-gilt ciborium for the Most Holy Sacra
the existence of a secret which is made known to none ment, a silver cross used in processions, and six or seven
but the initiated. Hence some have conjectured that chalices, nearly all of which were washed with gold.
they worshipped fire, others that the sun was the object He also had the Register of the couvent, and various
of their veneration, while another and better-founded suits of sumptuous vestments which were seriously in
supposition is, that they retain, among other heathen jured by time.
rites, the ancient and widely-diffused idolatry of the ox, " During the wars of the great Earl of Desmond, our
or of the golden calf. It is remarked, that among them, friars were ejected from the convent of Adare ; and when
as well as among the Sikhs, the initiated are styled Queen Elizabeth bestowed the desecrated edifice on one Wallop, a soldier of fortune, he allowed it to go to ruin.
Akals ; a name closely agreeing with the Hebrew eghel,
as that idol is designated in Exodus. The learned When I visited it the roof had fallen in, but the walls
Silvester de Sacy is of opinion, however, that the calf were still standing. Withal it may one day revert to
image, though found in the Druise places of Worship, the Franciscays, for whom it was built; and even if it
is only regarded as an emblem of other religions, or of should not, these few particulars of its bistory cannot be
the evil principle. This is a subject for curious enquiry, wholly useless. Enough for the present ; so let us
for which many particulars have been already gleaned postpone the uarrative of Tyrone's marriage with Mabel
by the industry of Adler, Niebuhr, and Burckhardt. Bagnal till we have more leisure for gossip.”
The history of the Templars in their degeneracy and de
cline, may be connected with that of the Druses, and it THE DRUSES.
has even been alleged that these martial Syrians are de
scendants from De Dreux, and others of the Crusaders Tue recent atrocities committed in Syria have re- whom Godfrey de Bouillon led to the reconquest of the newed the public curiosity as to the singular race that Holy Land from the infidels. Nor was this all, for it has has now suddenly shown such a deadly, though unac- been confidently stated, that the most noble among customed animosity, to its Christian neighbours. The them, such as the Emir Fakreddin, claimed to be ancesDruses have frequently been the subject of learned tors of the house of Lorraine, which by a marriage with enquiry and conjecture, yet their history and doctrines
the heiress of the Hapsburgs, has come to inherit the are still involved in much obscurity, although some cir- Austrian dominions. This etymology cannot bear comcumstances of great interest have been satisfactorily parison with others from Oriental sources. The Druso ascertained. By more than one author they have been catechism mentions Durees as one of the names by which regarded as a Mohammedan, by others, but with less their Lord has been known. The same document exreason, as a Christian sect. Like the Mohammedans, pressly derives the name in a somewhat cabalistic manthey observe Friday as a religious festival, and they ner from the Arabic, implying complete isolation from profess to believe in the unity of God. But they en- all other sects, and formation into a distinct body. One of the early leaders of the sect, Mohammed Ben-Ismael, objects of their worship. The antiquarian Spon has was surnamed El Darazi, or El Druzi. Was it that he published an inscription found at Palmyra, which atwas styled “the Druse,” or did the sect receive its name tests that the Romans under the Empire had a body of from him? The name has been variously traced to a soldiers formed of these Kalbians, or as a profoundly root which signifies true, and to a derivative meaning
learned orientalist says, “ of the Calbians, inhabitants licentiousness, the propriety of which appears confirmed of Mount Lebanon, a nation of the greatest bravery in by much of what is known of the Druse mysteries.
Among the earliest authentic notices of the Perhaps, we may also connect the Druses with the Has- Druse tribes is the characteristic description given by chischen or Assassins who became so well known during the the Jewish traveller, Benjamin of Tudela, about the whole period of the Crusades, whose prince, the Sheikh al middle of the twelfth century, in which their military Gebal, is the Old Man of the Mountain, described by Join- qualities and impatience of restraint are conspicuous. ville in his history of St. Louis, and frequently mentioned The German physician, Doctor Leonhart Rauwolff, who in the middle age chronicles. The assassination of Rai- visited Mount Lebanon between 1573 and 1576, demond Count of Tripoli, and of Conrade, Marquis of scribes them under the name of Trusci, and speaks of Montferratt, in the midst of their own retainers, fear- their being in alliance with the Christian inhabitants of fully exemplified the dauntless resolution of those oriental their country, “so that they need not to fear any harm fanatics. Much that is related of the assassins appears to from them." He estimates their number as being then agree sufficiently with whatis known of the manners, prac- about sixty thousand, and describes the fierce resistance tices, and doctrine of the Druses. The description which which they off-red to the attempts made for their subjuJacobus de Vitriaco gives of certain wretches occupying the gation by the Turks. “ They are,” says he, “warlike valleys and defiles of Mount Lebanon, observing great part people; for the generality, good gunners, that make of the Mohammedan law, but having a secret religion their own guns and any other sort of arms, &c. They which it is not lawful to reveal except to their sons have plenty of corn, oyl, wine, good meat and good when grown up, or at the point of death, coincides with fruit, so that they need not any assistance of strangers. what is known of the Druses. The origin of this very They chiefly deal in silk, whereof they wind (from silkpeculiar sect is ordinarily referred to the end of the worms) about a hundred Rotulas in a year, which is tenth, or beginning of the eleventh century, under the about four hundred and fifty hundred weight, to send Fatimite Caliph, Hakem Bemrillah, whom it elevated from thence into other countries.” He distinctly reinto an object of worship. We believe, although it may counts their belief of having a Christian original, au then have assumed a definite form, that much of its con- opinion which may perhaps be referred to some early stituents has a far greater antiquity ; that it combines association with the Templars in the period of their detogether old heathen idolatry with some Mohammedan generacy, when they became infected with the vices and observances, and many of the worst parts of ancient false doctrines of their Syrian neighbours.
“ The Gnosticism and various early heresies, the entire result Trusci," says Rauwolf, "preten I to be Christians, and being a monstrous compound, of which the existence the posterity of those that some years ago, by might would be intolerable but for its peculiarity of vot at- and strength, recovered the Holy Lind; so that still to tempting to make, or even to accept, proselytes. Dur- this day they have a great affection for Christiansing the war against Mohammed Ali, about twenty years which those that travel among them to buy silks can ago, the Emir Bashir, who then ruled over the Druses, testific—whom they treat and entertain very civilly with became a Christian, but he had to abandon his country, good meat and good wine, yet refuse to take any money unless he preferred to suffer martyrd »m for ether for- for it; and say, that what God hath given them, they saking or divulging the mysterious secrets of his former are bound to distribute among us Christians. But they worship. The Druges are rendered more formidable by hate Mahometans and Jews, and keep very good inte!their organisation and secret bonds of union than by ligence with the Christians of this conntry. Yet they their actual numbers, which, if we are to credit recent themselves are neither Christians, Turks, Moors, nor accounts, are inferior to those of the Christian tribes with Jews; for they do not go to Mass, nor any other public whom they are intermingled Early in the present cen- worship of God. They cry out sometimes to heaven, tury the Druses were regarded as superior in numbers that God would be pleased to protect them. They also to both the Christians and Mohammedans in the moun- believe that the souls of the deceased transmigrate from t.inous region of Syria. But, however the fact may
be one body into another : that the soul of a pious man is to comparative numbers, it is certain that the strength goeth into a new-born child, and that of an ill man into of the Druses is enormously enhanced by their internal the body of a dog, or other beast, chiefly if he hath arrangements as a ferocious secret association,
lived very ill. As they believe, so they live also." He The Derusiaeans (Asgovoraños) are mentioned by He- then gives some particulars of their licentiousness, in which rodotus as a Persian tribe, and it is no very unreason- he is corroborated by Benjamin and other wri'ers. “ Else," able supposition that they might have migrated into the says he, “they are not given to stealing, killing, or any region of Mount Lebanon. The Kelbiah, a kindred such like crimes, because they want for nothing ; but if tribe, may perhaps be traced to the Chalybes of the any be taken that hath thus transgressed, he is executed ancients, and are believed to have their name from the immediately. So they live in peace together, and care Hebrew and Arabic Keleb, a dog, which is one of the not for any other monarch.” At that time they were divided into five tribes, each governed immediately by De La Valette, would not have waited for the tedious its own Emir, with only a nominal subjection to the and perplexing discussions of mere politicians and diploTurkish Sultan; but about ten years after Rauwolff's matic agencies, but at once, with whatever force they visit, it was determined to reduce them, and their had available, would have proceeded to the rescue. A Christian allies, the Maronites. With this purpose, the small but resolute body of auxiliaries, could, in the early Saltan Amurath III., sent bis sou-in-law, Ibrahim, at period of the disturbance, have done much, and the the head of a large army, into Syria. The war lasted Syrian Christians, who at first stood bravely to their through two years, 1585 and 1586, with various for- defence, would not have had to abandon their efforts in tune, but ended in depriving both Maronites and Druses despair. If the Druses were themselves converted to of much of their previous liberty, besides increasing Christianity, the whole of Syria might ere long be restheir annual tribute. In the first encounters, the cued from Turkish thraldom. Besides the valour which, Turks were defeated with great slaughter ; but, partly in common with their Christian countrymen, they had by treachery, partly by taking alvantage of the been accustomed to display in their encounters with the separate interests and divisions of their oppon- common enemy, they are to be commended for the resents, they succeeded in subduing them. Soon after pect which they have always shown to female chastity, the conclusion of this war, the Jesuit Father Hierony- a feature in their conduct to which neither Turks nor mo Dandini was sen into Syria by Pope Clement VIII., Christians can readily show a parallel. On the conwith very extensive faculties, on a mission to the Ma- trary, the horror of the recent massacres appears to have ronites. In the account of this mission, it is remark- been everywhere aggravated by the licentious violence able that Fa:her Dandini does not mention any deadly of the Turkish soldiery and people. . feud as subsisting between the Maronites and the Druses. Tbe Fathers Btsson, Chinon, and others, are
Tue MARONITES. equally silent as to any such state of animosity between Tue Maronites are the original Christian people of those intermingled people. But there are many credi- Syria, who have preserved their faith and communion ble testimonies of the goodwill entertained by the war- with the Catholic Church, from the time of the Apostles like Druses for their Christian neighbours, and for the to the present day. Various opinions have been given French people. The Sieur Michel Febure, in the mid- as to the meaning and origin of their name, which some dle of the seventeenth century, speaking of the Druses, would derive from a place, others from a person, others says—“They have a particular love and affecrion for again from a Syriac word signifying Lord, to express their fellow-countrymen, the Maronites, with whom their constant devotion to our Lord and Saviour, Fathey have often planned to deliver the entire country ther Faustus Nairon, who was himself a Maronite and into the hands of the king of France, whom they esteem, professor of the Syriac language in Rome, after discuslove, and bonour of all the Christian princes, considering sing all these opinions, decides, that the true derivation themselves as old subjects and offspring of his kingdom.” is from the name of the holy Abbot Maron, who, in the He adds, “ They promise that they will become Chris. beginning of the fifth century, when many false doctrines tians, and to return to the religion of their ancestors, if were industriously propagated through Syria and other the French were ever to come into the Holy Land for countries of the Eist, successfully resisted the prevalent the conquest of their country.” In like manner the Re- corruptions, and in his monastery, and among all within collet Father Eugene Roger (Descr. Topogr. des Saints its influence, maintained a strict adherence to the AposLieux, Paris, 1654) attests their kind disposition to. tolic faith. The ancient and nearly contemporary wards the Christians, and their hatred of the Moham- ecclesiastical historian Theodoret, bears testimony to his medans and Jews.
zealous labours, and such was his deserved reputation We have yet to learn how the temper of this people for holiness, that St. Chrysostom addressed a letter to could have been instigated to perpetrate the horrible him, still extant, in which he commended himself to the slaughter of the Christians, at which Europe is now abbot's prayers. From these facts it appears that this horrified and indignant. What secret intrigues, what Maron flourished about A.D. 400, so that he was coæval artful machinations have led this semi-barbarous people with our apostle St. Patrick. From the name of this to exercise the most intense enmity on those with whom Abbot Maron, says the learned Maronite Abraham they had previously been living as friends and neigh- Ecchellensis, were designated, first, all the monks of th bours? European intervention, slow as it has been, may second Syrian province, and afterwards, that is, fron yet reach the guilty, but will it trace out and lay bare the time of the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451,) al the causes of the calamity ? Will it be noticed, that those Syrians who, accepting its decrees against heretica only for one of the great crimes of the French Revo- opinions, remained constant in the Catholic faith lution, there would have been prompt and effectual as- There is extant a letter from the Syrian Archimandrite sistance ready at no great distance, when the first cry (or Albots), to Pope Hormisdas early in the sixt. of distress was heard from Syria ? Who can doubt century, the first signature to which is that of th that if Malta still belonged to the order of St. John, it Archimandrite of St. Maron's monastery. At a lata would at once have dispatched a naval force to the ports period, that is, between the sixth and seventh century which had received the first Crusaders proceeding to the lived John the Maronite, Patriarch of Antioch, an Holy Land? The successors of De L'Isle Adam, and author of Commentaries on the Liturgy of St. Jame
He has been supposed by some to have given name to his nation, but Abraham Ecchellensis disproves this by citing the following title of one of that patriarch's works: The profession of the faith of the Apostolic Church, which S. John Patriarch of Antioch wrote in the monastery of Maron, situate on the River Orontes, of the province of Apamaea and Hems, and which he sent to Mount Libanus, from which the inhabitants of that mountain are called Maronites, from the name of the monastery of Maron, and John himself is surnamed Maro, from the name of the monastery, Ecchellensis cites from another ancient Syrian author the following testimony: “The Syrians answered, we return to the judgment of the Monastery of Maron, which is interpreted the House of the Lord,” and after stating that there were eight hundred monks of that house, the account proceeds thus: “Then the inhabitants of Mount Libanus, and Hems, Hemat and Aleppo, remained steadfast in the decrees of the holy councils, and were all referred to the monastery of Maron, and they were called Maronites from the name of the monastery." The Syrian author is here relating how the Monothelite heresy had been rejected by the people of Libanus and the neighbouring country. It did however happen in the progress of time that Nestorians, and other schismatical and in various degrees heretical Christians, became intermingled with the faithful Maronites, and from them an imputation was cast upon the entire people. Hence William of Tyre, and some other good authors were led into the belief that the Maronites had separated from the Catholic Church, and had become reconciled to it at the time of the Crusades for recovering the Holy Land. The Cardinal Jacobus de Vitriaco, from the submission of those schismatics, and the general consent of the Maronite people, was induced to view the formal act of abjuring errors as being alike applicable to all, and he speaks of the Maronites as having been for five hundred years previous separated from the Church, and at last having professed the Catholic faith, and renounced their error in the presence of Emeric the Latin Patriarch of Antioch, A.D. 1182. They followed the traditions of the Holy Roman Church. Whence,” says the Cardinal, "when a!l the other Oriental prelates, except only the Latins, do not use episcopal rings and initres, nor bear the pastoral staff in their hands, nor have the use of bells, but are accustomed to gather the people to the church by striking large wooden tablets with a stick or a mallet, the Maronites in sign of their obedience observe the customs and rites of the Latins. And hence their Patriarch was present in the general Council of Lateran, solemnly celebrated in the city of Rome under the venerable Pope Innocent III.,' November A.D. 1215.
The Catholic Church has always been indulgent to national and local peculiarities of customs, ceremonial, and discipline, when not inconsistent with the faith. The Maronites, as well as the other Oriental Christians that acknowledge the supremacy of St. Peter's successors, partake of this benefit in many particulars. Their Patriarch of Antioch is always styled Peter, at least
from the time of Pope Honorius I., who died in A.D. 638. Their sacred books are in the old Syriac language, and include a Missal, a Breviary, and a Martyrology. Gabriel Sionita, informs us that the Missal is called the Book of the Oblation; or, the Book of the Consecration. He describes it as containing the liturgies of several saints, but the contents of all being almost the same as those of the Latin Mass. A manuscript in his possession contained sixteen liturgies, the first of which was attributed to S. Xystus, who was Bishop of Rome about the beginning of the second century. All these Syriac Liturgies contain an Introit, the Gloria in excelsis, a Prose, Epistle, Gospel, the Apostles' Creed, the washing of the hands, the Offertory, Preface, Consecration, Commemoration of the Saints, Collects for the Clergy, the Princes, and for the faithful living and dead, the Lord's prayer, the returning of thanks, the blessing of the people, but with some differences of arrangement and ceremonial. Gabriel Sionita concludes that the Missal and other sacred books of the Syrians must be older than the fourth century. The Breviary is divided into the Ferial office, that for Lent, and for the festivals fixed and moveable. Each office is distributed into seven hours of prayer: Vespers ; Complin, which is termed Protection ; Matins and Lauds which are called the night prayers; Prime, the matin or morning prayer; Tierce, Sext, and None. Each of these hours consists of a commencement, and two, three or more prayers, with as many hymns interposed; and before the last hymn there is always incense burned. The night prayers corresponding to the Latin Matins, consist of four Stations, which the Latins called Noctuins. The first station is addressed to the Blessed Virgin; the second to the Martyrs; the third is for the Dead; the fourth is general to God and the Saints. Each Station is composed of a commencement, two prayers and as many hymns alternately, and with incensing. Eight complete psalms, and four portions, together with the Magnificat, are used daily in this office, but with less variety than in the Western Church, the psalms being the same every day. Sionita remarks that many of the hymns and prayers in this Breviary were composed by the Syrian saints, James of Nisibis, and Ephrem, which he reckons among the evidences of its great antiquity.
The Maronite churches are so disposed, that the entrance is always from the west, and the altar at the other extremity, so that the celebrant looks eastward. The churches generally consist of a nave, with aisles, and three altars screened by chancels, within which none may enter unless the clergy, and they only when fasting. The laity, and especially the female sex, are prohibited to touch the altar, or even to enter the sanctuary; and while the most solemn part of the mass is celebrating, the chancel is secluded from view by a veil, so that even the sight of the divine mysteries is secluded from the laity. In these churches the north aisle is assigned to the women, and they both enter and depart by the door of that aisle. But in churches that have no aisles, the women are placed at the west end at each side of the