Monk and Penitent
Medieval Illum.MS.


ca. 350-700


The Death of Basil,  Byz. Illum. MS.


(ca. 330-379)


To Amphilochius, concerning the Canons (Canons 51-84)

ΠΕΡΙ ΚΑΝΟΝΩΝ based on : A Select Library Of The Nicene And Post-Nicene Fathers Of The Christian Church. second series. Vol. 8  Basil:  Letters and Select Works tr. Rev. Blomfield Jackson (T&T Clark, Edinburgh) GREEK:  Saint Basile. Lettres, vol. 2 , ed,  Y. Courtonne, ser. Les Belles Lettres (Paris, 1961)

54.  I KNOW that I have already written to your reverence, so far as I can, on the distinctions to be observed in cases of involuntary homicide, and on this point I can say no more.  It rests with your intelligence to increase or lessen the severity of the punishment as each individual case may require.

217.54 Τὰς τῶν ἀκουσίων φόνων διαφορὰς πρὸ χρόνου οἶδα ἐπιστείλας τῇ θεοσεβείᾳ σου κατὰ τὸ ἐμοὶ δυνατὸν καὶ πλέον.. ἐκείνων οὐδὲν εἰπεῖν δύναμαι͵ τῆς δὲ σῆς συνέσεώς ἐστι κατὰ τὸ ἰδίωμα τῆς περιστάσεως ἐπιτείνειν τὰ ἐπι τίμια ἢ καὶ ὑφεῖναι.


55.  Assailants of robbers, if they are outside, are prohibited from the communion of the good thing.  If they are clerics they are degraded from their orders.  For, it is said, “All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”(Matt. 26. 52)

217.55 Οἱ τοῖς λῃσταῖς ἀντεπεξιόντες͵ ἔξω μὲν ὄντες͵ τῆς κοινωνίας εἴργονται τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ· κληρικοὶ δὲ ὄντες͵ τοῦ βαθμοῦ καθαιροῦνται. Πᾶς γάρ͵ φησίν͵ ὁ λαβὼν μάχαιραν ἐν μαχαίρᾳ ἀποθανεῖται.


Different Stages of Public Penance


56.  THE intentional homicide, who has afterwards repented, will be excommunicated from the sacrament for twenty years.  The twenty years will be appointed for him as follows:   

217.56 Ὁ ἑκουσίως φονεύσας͵ μετὰ δὲ τοῦτο μεταμεληθείς͵ εἴκοσιν ἔτεσιν ἀκοινώνητος ἔσται τοῖς ἁγιάσμασι. Τὰ δὲ εἴκοσιν ἔτη οὕτως οἰκονομηθήσεται ἐπ΄ αὐτῷ.

[1] for four he ought to weep, standing outside the door of the house of prayer, beseeching the faithful as they enter in to offer prayer in his behalf, and confessing his own sin.

[2] After four years he will be admitted among the hearers, and during five years will go out with them.

[3] During seven years he will go out with the kneelers, praying.

[4] During four years he will only stand with the faithful, and will not take part in the oblation.

Ἐν τέσσαρσιν ἔτεσι προσκλαίειν ὀφείλει ἔξω τῆς θύρας ἑστὼς τοῦ εὐκτηρίου οἴκου καὶ τῶν εἰσιόντων πιστῶν δεόμενος εὐχὴν ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ ποιεῖσθαι ἐξαγορεύων τὴν ἰδίαν παρανομίαν.

Μετὰ δὲ τὰ τέσσαρα ἔτη εἰς τοὺς ἀκροωμένους δεχθήσεται καὶ ἐν πέντε ἔτεσι μετ΄ αὐτῶν ἐξελεύσεται.

 Ἐν ἑπτὰ ἔτεσι μετὰ τῶν ἐν ὑποπτώσει προσευχόμενος ἐξελεύσεται.

 Ἐν τέσσαρσι συστήσεται μόνον τοῖς πιστοῖς͵ προσφορᾶς δὲ οὐ μεταλήψεται.

On the completion of this period he will be admitted to participation of the sacrament. Πληρωθέντων δὲ τούτων μεθέξει τῶν ἁγιασμάτων.

Examples of these Penalties


57.  THE unintentional homicide will be excluded for ten years from the sacrament.  The ten years will be arranged as follows:  For two years he will weep, for three years he will continue among the hearers; for four he will be a kneeler; and for one he will only stand.  Then he will be admitted to the holy rites.

217.57 Ὁ ἀκουσίως φονεύσας ἐν δέκα ἔτεσιν ἀκοινώνητος ἔσται τῶν ἁγιασμάτων. Οἰκονομηθήσεται δὲ τὰ δέκα ἔτη ἐπ΄ αὐτῷ οὕτω. Δύο μὲν ἔτη προσκλαύσει͵ τρία δὲ ἔτη ἐν ἀκροωμένοις διατελέσει͵ τέσσαρσιν ὑποπίπτων͵ καὶ ἐνιαυτῷ συσταθήσεται μόνον͵ καὶ τῷ ἑξῆς εἰς τὰ ἅγια δεχθήσεται.


58.  The adulterer will be excluded from the sacrament for fifteen years.  During four he will be a weeper, and during five a hearer, during four a kneeler, and for two a slander without communion.

217.58 Ὁ μοιχεύσας ἐν δέκα καὶ πέντε ἔτεσιν ἀκοινώνητος ἔσται τῶν ἁγιασμάτων· ἐν τέσσαρσι μὲν προσκλαίων ἔτεσιν͵ ἐν πέντε δὲ ἀκροώμενος͵ ἐν τέσσαρσιν ὑποπίπτων͵ ἐν δυσὶ συνεστὼς ἄνευ κοινωνίας.


59.  The fornicator will not be admitted to participation in the sacrament for seven years; weeping two, hearing two, kneeling two, and standing one:  in the eighth he will be received into communion.

217.59 Ὁ πόρνος ἐν ἑπτὰ ἔτεσιν ἀκοινώνητος ἔσται τῶν ἁγιασμάτων· δύο προσκλαίων͵ καὶ δύο ἀκροώμενος͵ καὶ δύο ὑποπίπτων͵ καὶ ἑνὶ συνεστὼς μόνον· τῷ ὀγδόῳ δεχθήσεται εἰς τὴν κοινωνίαν.


61.  The thief, if he have repented of his own accord and charged himself, shall only be prohibited from partaking of the sacrament for a year; if he be convicted, for two years.  The period shall be divided between kneeling and standing.  Then let him be held worthy of communion.

217.61 Ὁ κλέψας͵ εἰ μὲν ἀφ΄ ἑαυτοῦ μεταμεληθεὶς κατη γορήσειεν ἑαυτοῦ͵ ἐνιαυτὸν κωλυθήσεται μόνον τῆς κοι νωνίας τῶν ἁγιασμάτων· εἰ δὲ ἐλεγχθείη͵ ἐν δυσὶν ἔτεσι. Μερισθήσεται δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ χρόνος εἰς ὑπόπτωσιν καὶ σύστασιν͵ καὶ τότε ἀξιούσθω τῆς κοινωνίας.


64.  Perjurers shall be excommunicated for ten years; weeping for two, hearing for three, kneeling for four, and standing only during one year; then they shall be held worthy of communion.

217.64 Ὁ ἐπίορκος ἐν δέκα ἔτεσιν ἀκοινώνητος ἔσται· δυσὶν ἔτεσι προσκλαίων͵ τρισὶν ἀκροώμενος͵ τέσσαρσιν ὑπο πίπτων͵ ἐνιαυτὸν συνεστὼς μόνον͵ καὶ τότε τῆς κοινωνίας ἀξιούμενος.


65.  He who confesses magic or sorcery shall do penance for the time of murder, and shall be treated in the same manner as he who convicts himself of this sin.

217.65 Ὁ γοητείαν ἢ φαρμακείαν ἐξαγορεύων τὸν τοῦ φονέως χρόνον ἐξομολογήσεται͵ οὕτως οἰκονομούμενος ὡς ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ ἁμαρτήματι ἑαυτὸν ἐλέγξας.


71.  Whoever is aware of the commission of any one of the aforementioned sins, and is convicted without having confessed, shall be under punishment for the same space of time as the actual perpetrator.

217.71 Ὁ συνεγνωκὼς ἑκάστῳ τῶν προειρημένων ἁμαρτη μάτων καὶ μὴ ὁμολογήσας͵ ἀλλ΄ ἐλεγχθείς͵ τοῦ τοσούτου χρόνου εἰς ὃν ὁ ἐργάτης τῶν κακῶν ἐπιτετίμηται͵ καὶ αὐτὸς ἔσται ἐν ἐπιτιμίῳ.


72.  He who has entrusted himself to soothsayers, or any such persons, shall be under discipline for the same time as the homicide.

217.72 Ὁ μάντεσιν ἑαυτὸν ἐπιδοὺς ἤ τισι τοιούτοις τὸν χρόνον τῶν φονέων καὶ αὐτὸς οἰκονομηθήσεται.


73.  He who has denied Christ, and sinned against the mystery of salvation, ought to weep all his life long, and is bound to remain in penitence, being deemed worthy of the sacrament in the hour of death, through faith in the mercy of God.

217.73 Ὁ τὸν Χριστὸν ἀρνησάμενος καὶ παραβὰς τὸ τῆς σωτηρίας μυστήριον ἐν παντὶ τῷ χρόνῳ τῆς ζωῆς αὐτοῦ προσκλαίειν ὀφείλει͵ καὶ ἐξομολογεῖσθαι χρεωστεῖ͵ ἐν τῷ καιρῷ ᾧ ἐκβαίνει τοῦ βίου τοῦ ἁγιάσματος ἀξιούμενος πίστει τῆς παρὰ Θεοῦ φιλανθρωπίας.


77.  He who abandons the wife, lawfully united to him, is subject by the sentence of the Lord to the penalty of adultery.  But it has been laid down as a canon by our Fathers that such sinners should weep for a year, be hearers for two years, in kneeling for three years, stand with the faithful in the seventh; and thus be deemed worthy of the oblation, if they have repented with tears.

217.77 Ὁ μέντοι καταλιμπάνων τὴν νομίμως αὐτῷ συναφ θεῖσαν γυναῖκα καὶ ἑτέραν ἀγόμενος κατὰ τὴν τοῦ Κυρίου ἀπόφασιν τῷ τῆς μοιχείας ὑπόκειται κρίματι. Κεκανό νισται δὲ παρὰ τῶν Πατέρων ἡμῶν τοὺς τοιούτους ἐνιαυτὸν προσκλαίειν͵ διετίαν ἐπακροᾶσθαι͵ τριετίαν ὑποπίπτειν͵ τῷ δὲ ἑβδόμῳ συνίστασθαι τοῖς πιστοῖς͵ καὶ οὕτω τῆς προσφορᾶς καταξιοῦσθαι͵ ἐὰν μετὰ δακρύων μετανοήσωσιν.


83.  Consulters of soothsayers and they who follow heathen customs, or bring persons into their houses to discover remedies and to effect purification, should fall under the canon of six years.  After weeping a year, hearing a year, kneeling for three years and standing with the faithful for a year so let them be received.

217.83 Οἱ καταμαντευόμενοι καὶ ταῖς συνηθείαις τῶν ἐθνῶν ἐξακολουθοῦντες ἢ εἰσάγοντές τινας εἰς τοὺς ἑαυτῶν οἴκους ἐπὶ ἀνευρέσει φαρμακειῶν καὶ καθάρσει ὑπὸ τὸν κανόνα πιπτέτωσαν τῆς ἑξαετίας. Ἐνιαυτὸν προσκλαύσαντες͵ καὶ ἐνιαυτὸν ἀκροασάμενοι͵ καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἔτεσιν ὑποπίπτοντες͵ καὶ ἐνιαυτὸν συστάντες τοῖς πιστοῖς͵ οὕτω δεχθήτωσαν.


Medicinal Reasons for Canonical Penances


84.  I write all this with a view to testing the fruits of repentance.  I do not decide such matters absolutely by time, but I give heed to the manner of penance.  If men are in a state in which they find it hard to be weaned from their own ways and choose rather to serve the pleasures of the flesh than to serve the Lord, and refuse to accept the Gospel life, there is no common ground between me and them. [...]

217.84 Πάντα δὲ ταῦτα γράφομεν͵ ὥστε τοὺς καρποὺς δοκιμάζεσθαι τῆς μετανοίας. Οὐ γὰρ πάντως τῷ χρόνῳ κρίνομεν τὰ τοιαῦτα͵ ἀλλὰ τῷ τρόπῳ τῆς μετανοίας προσ έχομεν. Ἐὰν δὲ δυσαποσπάστως ἔχωσι τῶν ἰδίων ἐθῶν καὶ ταῖς ἡδοναῖς τῆς σαρκὸς μᾶλλον δουλεύειν θέλωσιν ἢ τῷ Κυρίῳ͵ καὶ τὴν κατὰ τὸ Εὐαγγέλιον ζωὴν μὴ κατα δέχωνται͵ οὐδεὶς ἡμῖν πρὸς αὐτοὺς κοινὸς λόγος.

But we ought to testify to them day and night, alike in public and in private.  Let us not consent to be drawn away with them in their wickedness.  Let us above all pray that we may do them good, and rescue them from the snare of the evil one.  If we cannot do this, let us at all events do our best to save our own souls from everlasting damnation.

Ἀλλὰ διαμαρτύρεσθαι αὐτοῖς καὶ νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας καὶ δημοσίᾳ καὶ ἰδίᾳ ὀφείλομεν͵ συναπάγεσθαι δὲ αὐτῶν ταῖς πονηρίαις μὴ καταδεχώμεθα͵ προσευχόμενοι μάλιστα μὲν κερδῆσαι αὐτοὺς καὶ ἐξελέσθαι τῆς παγίδος τοῦ Πονηροῦ· ἐὰν δὲ τοῦτο μὴ δυνηθῶμεν͵ σπουδάσωμεν τὰς γοῦν ἑαυτῶν ψυχὰς τῆς αἰωνίου κατακρίσεως περισώσασθαι.



Leo  I and Attila, Raphael (Vatican) 1514

the Great

(pope 440-461)


Neuner-Dupuis 1606/323, (2001),  p. 660



Priest Prays/Pleads (Supplicates) for Penitent


GOD'S manifold mercy comes to the aid of human beings  who have fallen so that the hope of eternal life may be restored not only through the grace of baptism but also through the remedy of penance. Thus, those who have violated the gifts of their new birth can come to the forgiveness of their crimes by a judgment in which they condemn themselves. CAP. II.
Multiplex misericordia Dei ita lapsibus subvenit humanis, ut non solum per baptismi gratiam, sed etiam per poenitentiae medicinam spes vitae reparetur aeternae, ut qui regenerationis dona violassent, proprio se judicio condemnantes, ad remissionem criminum pervenirent:
These remedies of the divine goodness have been so ordained that God's forgiveness cannot be obtained except through the supplication of the priests. sic divinae bonitatis praesidiis ordinatis, ut indulgentia Dei nisi supplicationibus sacerdotum nequeat obtineri.
For the one mediator between God and humankind, the man Jesus Christ (1 Tim 2:5) gave to those who hold authority in the Church the power to grant the discipline of penance to those who confess and, after they have been purified through salutary satisfaction, to admit them to the communion of the sacraments through the door of reconciliation. Mediator enim [1011C] Dei et hominum homo Christus Jesus hanc praepositis [1012A] Ecclesiae tradidit potestatem, ut et confitentibus actionem poenitentiae darent, et eosdem salubri satisfactione purgatos, ad communionem sacramentorum per januam reconciliationis admitterent.


Neuner-Dupuis 1606/323, (2001),  p. 660



Confessional Secrecy
(guarding reputation of penitent) as apostolic practice


I ORDER  that all measures be taken to eradicate the presumptuous deviation from the apostolic rule through an illicit abuse of which I have learned of late. In the procedure of penance, for which the faithful ask, there should be no public confession of sins in kind and number read from a written list, since it is enough that the guilt of conscience be revealed to the priests alone in secret confession.

 Illam etiam contra apostolicam regulam praesumptionem, quam nuper agnovi a quibusdam [1211A] illicita usurpatione committi, modis omnibus constituo submoveri. De 1431 poenitentia scilicet quae a fidelibus postulatur, ne de singulorum peccatorum genere, libello scripta professio publice recitetur, cum reatus conscientiarum sufficiat solis sacerdotibus indicari confessione secreta.

Though such fullness of faith seems praiseworthy which out of the fear of God is not afraid of shame before human beings, yet not all sins are such that those who ask for penance would not fear them to become publicly known. Quamvis enim plenitudo fidei videatur esse laudabilis, quae propter Dei timorem apud homines erubescere non veretur, tamen quia non omnium hujusmodi sunt peccata, ut ea, qui poenitentiam poscunt, non timeant publicare,
Hence this objectionable practice must be removed lest many be kept away from the remedies of penance, either out of shame or for fear that their enemies may come to know of facts which could bring harm to them through legal procedures.  removeatur tam improbabilis consuetudo, ne multi a poenitentiae remediis arceantur, dum aut erubescunt aut metuunt inimicis suis sua facta reserari, quibus possint legum constitutione percelli.

For that confession is sufficient which is first offered to God, then also to the priest whose role is that of an intercessor for the sins of the penitents. Finally a greater number will be induced to penance only if the conscience of the penitent is not made public for all to hear.

Sufficit enim illa confessio quae primum Deo offertur, [1211B] tum etiam sacerdoti, qui pro delictis poenitentium precator accedit. Tunc enim demum plures ad poenitentiam poterunt provocari, si populi auribus non publicetur conscientia confitentis.


Ecclesiastical Council MS. Harley 4379, f. 34.



Neuner-Dupuis 1607, (2001), p.661

Mansi, IX, 995

 Suspicion of the New Practice of Private Penance
wants period of [public] excommunication and gradual reconcilliation


11. It came to our knowledge that in some Churches in Spain people go through the discipline of penance for their sins, not according to the canons but in a most shameful manner, viz., as often as they happen to fall into sin they ask for reconciliation from the priest.

XI Quoniam comperimus per quasdam Hispaniarum ecclesias, non secundum canonem, sed ffoedissime pro suis peccatis homines agere poenitentiam, ut quotienseumque peccare libuerit, totiens a presbytero reconciliari expostulent;

To eradicate this execrable presumption this holy Council commands that penance be granted according to the old canons, which means that  

et  ideo pro coercenda tam execrabili praesumptione, id a sancto concilio jubetur, ut secundum formam canonum antiquorum dentur poenitentiae, hoc est,

[1] [the priest] first suspends from the communion the person who repents of one’s deed,

ut prius eum, quem sui poenitet facti, a communione suspendum,

[2] that he lets the person come frequently to the imposition of hands along with the other penitents,

faciat inter reliquos poenitentes ad manus impositionem crebro recurrere;

[3] that after he or she has completed the time of satisfaction with the approval of the priest, the priest restores the person to communion.

expleto autem satisfactionis tempore, sicuti sacerdotalis contemplatio probaverit, eum communionirestituat.

But those who fall back into their former vices, either during the time of penance or after reconciliation, should be condemned in accordance with the severity of the earlier canons.  Hi vero qui ad priora vitia, vel infra poenitentiae tempus, vel post reconciliationem relabuntur, secundum priorum canonum feveritatem damnentur.





selections from:


The Lindisfarne Gospels: St. Matthew
BM Cotton Nero D IV fol. 93v,  ca. 715



Pl 53.823-826

HERE begins the Synod of the Bishops, that is, of Patrick, Auxilius, and Iserninus. We give thanks to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. To the presbyters, the deacons, and the whole clergy, Patrick, Auxilius, Iserninus, bishops, send greeting:

Gratias agimus Deo Patri et Filio et Spiritui sancto. presbyteris et diaconibus et omni clero, Patricius, Auxilius et Isserninus episcopi, salutem.

It behoves us rather to admonish those who are negligent than to condemn the things that have been done, as Solomon says: “It is better to reprove than to be angry.” (Ecclus. 20:2. Cf. Coll. can. Hib., lxvi, 18) Copies of our decision are written below, and begin thus:

Satius nobis negligentes praemonere (quam) cuipare quae facta sunt, Salomone dicente: Melius est [0823D] arguere quam irasci (Eccli. XX, 1)  Exempla definitionis nostrae inferius conscripta sunt, et sic inchoant.


1.  IF anyone for the redemption of a captive collects in the parish on his own authority, without permission, he deserves to be excommunicated. 

I. Si quis in quaestionem captivis quaesierit in plebe, suo jure, sine permissione, meruit excommunicari.

2.  Every reader shall become acquainted with the church in which he sings. 

II. Lectores denique cognoscant unusquisque ecclesiam in qua psallat.

3.  There shall be no wandering cleric in a parish. 

III. Clericus vagus non sit in plebe.

4.  If anyone receives permission, and the money has been collected, he shall not demand more than that which necessity requires. 

IV. Si quis permissionem acceperit, et collectum sit pretium, non plus exigat quam quod necessitas poscit.

5.  If anything is left over, he shall place it on the altar of the priest that it may be given to some needy person.

V. Si quid supra manserit, ponat super altare pontificis, ut detur alii indigenti.

6.  If any cleric, from sexton to priest, is seen without a tunic, and does not cover the shame and nakedness of his body; and if his hair is not shaven according to the Roman custom, and if his wife goes about with her head unveiled, he shall be alike despised by laymen and separated from the Church

VI. Quicunque clericus ab ostiario usque ad sacerdotem sine tunica visus fuerit, aut turpitudinem ventris et nuditatem non tegat; et si non more Romano capilli ejus tonsi sint, et uxor ejus si non velato capite ambulaverit, pariter a laicis contemnentur, et ab Ecclesia separentur.[0824D]

7.  Any cleric, who, having been commanded, on account of negligence does not come to the assemblies of matins or vespers, shall be deemed a stranger, unless perchance he was detained in the yoke of servitude. 

VII. Quicunque clericus jussus negligentiae causa ad collectas mane vel vespere non occurrerit, alienus habeatur, nisi forte jugo servitutis sit detentus.

10.  If anyone has shown the beginning of a good work in psalm singing and has now ceased, and lets his hair grow, he is to be excluded from the Church unless he restores himself to his former condition. 

X. Si inceptum boni operis ostenderit in psallendo, et comam habeat, ab Ecclesia excludendus, nisi statui priori se restituerit.

11.  If any cleric has been excommunicated by someone, and another receives him, both shall alike exercise penance. 

XI. Quicunque clericus ab aliquo excommunicatus fuerit et alius eum susceperit, ambo coaequali poenitentia utantur.

12.  Alms shall not be accepted from any Christian who has been excommunicated. 

XII. Quicunque Christianus excommunicatus fuerit, nec ejus eleemosyna recipiatur.

13.  It is not permitted to the Church to accept alms from pagans. 

XIII. Eleemosynam a gentibus offerendam in ecclesiam recipi non licet.

15.  He who commits theft shall do penance for half a year, twenty days on bread [and water], and if it can be done, he shall restore the stolen goods; so shall he be denied [admission] into the Church

XV. Et qui furtum fecerit, dimidium poeniteat, viginti diebus cum pane; et si fieri potest, rapta repraesentet: sic in Ecclesiam renuetur.

18.  If anyone is excommunicate he shall not enter a church, not even on the eve of Easter, until he accepts a penance. 

XVIII. Si quis excommunionis fuerit, nec nocte [0825C] pascharum in ecclesiam (non) introeat, donec poenitentiam recipiat.

19.  A Christian woman who takes a man in honorable marriage and afterwards forsakes her first husband and is joined to an adulterer --she who does this shall be excommunicate

XIX. Mulier Christiana quae acceperit virum honestis nuptiis, et postmodum discesserit a primo, et junxerit se adulterio, quae haec fecit, excommunionis sit.

20.  A Christian who defrauds anyone with respect to a debt in the manner of the pagans, shall be excommunicated until he pays the debt.

XX. Christianus qui fraudat debitum cujuslibet ritu gentilium, excommunionis sit donec solvat debitum.

21.  A Christian to whom someone has defaulted and who brings  him to judgment, not to the church so that the case may there be investigated--whoever does this shall be an alien. 

XXI. Christianus cui dereliquerit aliquis, et provocat eum in ductum et non in ecclesiam, ut ibi examinetur causa, qui sic fecerit alienus sit.

22.  If anyone gives his daughter in honorable marriage, and she loves another, and he yields to his daughter and receives the marriage payment, [lit “bride-price”] both shall be shut out of the Church. 

XXII. Si quis tradiderit filiam suam viro honestis nuptiis, et amaverit alium et consentit filiae suae, et acceperit dotem, ambo ab Ecclesia excludantur.[0825D]

25.  If any things have been given by religious men on those days in which the bishop sojourns in the several churches, the disposition of the pontifical gifts, as is the ancient custom, shall appertain to the bishop, whether for necessary use or for distribution to the poor, as the bishop himself may determine. 

XXV. Si quae a religiosis hominibus donata fuerint, diebus illis quibus pontifex in singulis habitaverit ecclesiis, pontificialia dona, sicut mos antiquus, ordinare, ad episcopum pertinebunt, sive ad usum necessarium, sive egentibus distribuendum, prout ipse episcopus moderabit.

27.  Any cleric who has recently entered the parish of a bishop is not permitted to baptize and offer, nor to do anything: if he does not act accordingly he shall be excommunicate

XXVII. Clericus episcopi in plebe quislibet novus ingressor, baptizare et offerre illum non licet, nec [0826B] aliquid agere: qui si sic non faciat, excommunionis sit.

28.  If one of the clerics is excommunicate, he shall make his prayer alone, not in the same house with his brethren, and he may not offer or consecrate until he has corrected himself. If he does not act accordingly he shall be doubly punished. 

XXVIII. Si quis clericorum excommunionis fuerit solus, non in eadem domo cum aliis orationem faciat; nec offerre nec conservare licet, donec se faciat emendatum; qui si sic non fecerit, dupliciter vindicetur.

29.  If anyone of the brothers [i.e unbaptized members of community] wishes to receive the grace of God, he shall not be baptized until he has done [penance for] a period of forty days.

XXIX. Si quis fratrum accipere gratiam Dei voluerit, non ante baptizetur quam quadragesimum agat.

33.  A cleric who comes to us from the Britons without a certificate, even if he dwells in the parish, is not permitted to minister. 

XXXIII. Clericus qui de Britannis ad nos venit sine epistola, etsi habitet in plebe, non licitum ministrare.




selections from:

CANONS of an IRISH SYNOD: On Commutations [Substitutions] (ca. 650) 

The Lindisfarne Gospels
BM Cotton Nero D IV fol. 93v,  ca. 715


Canons of an Irish Synod Concerning Commutations (substitutions= arreis)

Canones Hibernenses: Canones Synodi Hiberniae De arreis incipit

2. The equivalent (arreum) of a three-day period [of penance]: a night and a day without sitting or sleeping (except a little); or the 150 psalms, standing at every hour to pray 10 canticles, with twelve genuflections each hour while praying, with hands lifted up in prayer. 

Arreum anni tridui dies et noctes sine sede et somno, nisi paulisper; vel CL psalmis cum X canticis stando et orando in omni hora, XII quoque flectiones genuum flectuntur in omni hora orandi, et palmae supernae ad orationem.


3.  The equivalent of a year[’s  penance]: three days with a dead saint in a single tomb without food or drink and without sleep, but clothed in a garment and chanting psalms, [reciting the liturgy] of the hours; [this] after confession of sins to a priest and after the [monastic] vow. 

Arreum anni triduum cum mortuo sancto in uno sepulcro, sine cibo potuque ac sine dormitatione praecinctus vestimento suo et cum cantico psalmorum, et cum adoratione horarum post confessionem [Col.1326C] sacerdoti et post votum.


4.  The equivalent of a year: three days in a church without food, drink, sleep, or a garment and without a seat; and the continuous chanting of psalms with the canticles and [mass? The Divine office?] every hour with 12 genuflections every hour; [this] after  confession of sins in the presence of a priest and the people, after the monastic vow.

Arreum anni triduum in ecclesia sine dormitatione cum vestimento circa se sine sede, et canticum psalmorum cum canticis sine intermissione, et missa uniuscujusque horae, et XII inflexiones uniuscujusque horae per confessionem peccatorum coram sacerdote et plebe et post votum.


5.  The equivalent of a year, twelve days and nights on twelve biscuits 44 amounting to the size of three loaves.

Arreum anni XII triduanas. Arreum anni XII dies et noctes super XII buccellas mensurae de tribus panibus.


7.  The equivalent of a year: a month in great pain, having been sent by the judgment of a priest into a state of exile.

Arreum anni mensis in dolore magno, sed de quo non moritur quis iterata postmodum vita ad judicium sacerdotis.


8.  The equivalent of a year, forty days and nights on bread and water with two special [fasts] each week and forty psalms and sixty genuflexions and the praying of the hours. 

Arreum anni XL dies et noctes in pane et aqua, et duae superpositiones unicuique hebdomadae XL [Col.1326D] psalmi, et XL inflectiones in unaquaque hora orandi.


9.  The equivalent of a year, fifty days in a long special fast 48 and sixty psalms and genuflexions [and] the praying of the hours. 

Arreum anni L dies et noctes in pane et aqua in mensura LX psalmi et LX inflectiones in unaquaque hora orandi.


11.  The equivalent of a year, a hundred days on bread and water and prayer at every hour. 

Arreum anni dies C in pane et aqua missa in omni hora orandi.


11.  The equivalent of a year, a hundred days on bread and water and prayer at every hour. 

Arreum anni dies C in pane et aqua missa in omni hora orandi.


12.  The penance of those years of which the equivalent is stated at length is to be performed without flesh, wine, butter, or sweet milk.  

poenitentia illorum per longum quorum arreum in his praedictis emittitur, sine carne et vino et butyro et lacte dulci agatur


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