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23 November 2012


An excerpt from the third book of the Rationale Divinorum Officiorum of William Durandus of Mende, Englished by T.H. Passmore:
1. As touching the Undergirdle, I will add nought further to such as I have already said in the treating of the Zone or Girdle, in the Proeme of this Book.

The Bishop of Rome after the Albe and Girdle putteth on the Orale, a Vestment of fine stuff, which after the manner of a veil he placeth upon his head, and foldeth it over his shoulders and before his breast; following the use of the Priest of the Law, who after the broidered coat and girdle did put on the ephod or superhumeral, whose place the Amice doth now take.

The aforesaid Bishop putteth on also a certain Cross, fastened to a fine chain, which he hangeth around his neck, disposing the Cross before his breast. For the High priest of the Law did wear a golden plate upon his forehead, in the stead of which this High Priest, the Bishop, doth wear the Cross upon his breast; and so the golden plate yieldeth place unto the Sign of the Cross. For the mystery which the golden plate enshrined in its Four Letters, hath been set forth in four arms by the Sign of the Cross; as saith the Apostle, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO COMPREHEND WITH ALL SAINTS WHAT IS THE BREADTH, AND LENGTH, AND DEPTH, AND HEIGHT. Wherefore that holy thing which he then did bear in the plate upon his brow, his successor doth now hide within his heart; for WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND WITH THE MOUTH CONFESSION IS MADE UNTO SALVATION. And according to Hierome, 'the Blood of the Gospel is more precious than the gold of the Law.' He placeth the Cross before his breast, again, for the shewing forth of that which the Apostle saith, GLORIFY GOD AND BEAR HIM IN YOUR BODY. And when he putteth the Cross on himself, and when he taketh it off, he kisseth it, for that he doth believe and confess Christ's Passion, whereof it is the sign, and unto whose representation in the Office of the Mass he maketh him ready.

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