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8.-GOOD FRIDAY. This day commemorates the sufferings of Christ, as a propitiation for our sins. Holy Friday, or the Friday in Holy Week, was its more antient and general appellation; the name Good Friday is peculiar. to the English church. It was observed as a day of extraordinary devotion. A remnant of 'popery is still retained in the cross buns which are eaten on this day.
9.-EASTER EVE. Particular mortifications were enjoined to the earliest Christians on this day. From the third century, the fast was indispensable and rigid, being protracted always to midnight, sometimes to the cock-crowing, and sometimes to the dawn of Easter day; and the whole of the day and night was employed in religious affairs.
10.-EASTER DAY, OR EASTER SUNDAY. Much difference of : opinion prevailed in the Eastern and Western churches respecting the precise time of observing Easter; till, in 325, the Council of Nice declared, that the feast should be kept by all churches on the same day. Easter is styled by the fathers the highest of all 'festivals, the feast of feasts, the queen of festivals, and Dominica gaudii, the joyous Sunday. Masters granted freedom to their slaves at this season; and valuable presents were made to the poor. Many of the vulgar in the country rise early on Easter day, and walk into the fields to see the sun dance, as they term it; --this re-markable sight, however, may be observed at any other time, by setting a vessel full of water in the open air, and, if the sun shine, the reflection of that Juminary will appear to dance, from the tremulous motion of the water. Eggs, stained with various colours in boiling, and sometimes covered with leaf. gold, are, at Easter, presented to children, at Newcastle, and other places in the north. They ask for
their Pasche, or Paste Eggs, as for a fairing at this - season... .. 11, 12:-BASTER MONDAY and TUESDAY. · Every day in this week was formerly observed as a religious festival, sermons being preached and the sacrament administered. In many places, servants were permitted to rest from their usual employ-ments, that they might constantly attend public worship. : During fifteen days, of which the paschal solemnity consisted, the courts of justice were shut, . and all public games, shows and amusements, were prohibited: it is unnecessary to observe, that this practice has long ceased, and that the Easter week is usually devoted to relaxation and amusement. Fitzstephen's description of an Easter holiday, in the time of Henry II, is somewhat curious :
They fight battles,' says he, on the water; a shield is hanged upon a pole, fixed in the midst of the stream: a boat is prepared without oars, to be carried by violence of the water, and in the forepart thereof standeth a young man, ready to give charge upon the shield with his launce. If so be he break his laụnce against the shield, and do not fall, he is thought to have performed a worthy deed ; if so be, without breaking his launce, he runneth strongly against the shield, down he falleth into the water, for the boat is violently forced with the tide; but on each side of the shield ride two boats, furnished with young men, which recover him that falleth as soon as they may. Upon the bridge, wharfs, and houses by the river's side, stand great numbers to see and laugh thereat,' How different from these amusements are the sports of Greenwich Hill; and the humours of an Epping hunt, in which our ap. prentices now take so much delight! . .
According to Durand, on Easter Tuesday, wives used to beat their husbands; on the day following the husbands their wives. There is a strange custom still retained in the city of Durham on these holio days. On one day, the men take off the women's shoes, which are only to be redeemed by a present : on another day, the women take off the men's in like manner. The practice of lifting is pursued in some of the northern counties on Easter Monday and Tuesday. On the first of these days, the men lift the women, by taking hold of their arms and legs; and on the Tuesday, the women use the like ceremony with the men, which is repeated three times by each party. In the counties of Shropshire, Cheshire, and Lancashire, a ceremony, similar to this, is called heaving. On Easter Monday, a party of men go with a chair, decorated with ribbons and favours, into every house into which they can get admission, force every female to be seated in their vehicle, and lift her up three times with loud huzzas. On the Tuesday, the women claim the same privilege.
17.-LOW SUNDAY. It was a custom among the primitive Christians, on the first Sunday after Easter-Day,' to repeat some part of the solemnity of that grand festival ; whence this Sunday took the name of Low-Sunday, being celebrated as a feast, though in a lower degree. In Latin, this day is called Dominica in Albis, or rather post Albás, (i. e. depositas) that is, the Sunday of taking off the Chrysoms, or white robes; because those who were baptized on Easter Eve now laid aside these garments, and deposited them in the churches, to be used as evidence against them, if they should at any time violate or deny that faith which they had professed at their baptism.
19.-SAINT ALPHEGE. A native of England, Alphege was first abbot of Bath, then Bishop of Winchester, in the year 984, and, twelve years afterwards, Archbishop of Canterbury. In the year 1012, the Danes being disap
pointed of some tribute money which they claimed · as due to them, they entered Canterbury, and burnt
both the city and church, and the greater part of the inhabitants were put to the sword. After seven months' miserable imprisonment, the good Archbishop was stoned to death at Greenwich.
.: 23,-SAINT GEORGE. This illustrious saint, termed by the Greeks the great martyr,' was born in Cappadocia, of noble christian parents. He was strong and robust in body, and, having embraced the profession of a soldier, was made a tribune or colonei in the army under Dioclesian: his courage and constancy soon induced the emperor to promote him. But that prince having declared war against the christian religion, St. George laid aside the marks of his dignity, threw up his commission and posts, and complained to the emperor himself of his severities and bloody edicts. He was immediately cast into prison, and tried first by promises ; and afterwards put to the question, and tortured with great cruelty ; but nothing could shake his constancy. The next day he was led through the city, and beheaded, in the year 290.
Saint George is the patron saint of England; for this the following reason is assigned. When Robert, Duke of Normandy, the son of William the Conqueror, was fighting against the Turks, and laying siege to the famous city of Antioch, which was expected to be relieved by the Saracens, St. George appeared with an innumerable army coming down from the hills all clad in white, with a red cross on his banner, to reinforce the christians; this so terrified the infidels, that they fled and left the christians in possession of the towny. Under the name and ensign of St. George, our victorious Edward III, in 1330, instituted the most noble order of knighthood in Europe, consisting of twenty-five knights besides the sovereign. Its establishment is dated fifty years before the knights of St. Michael were instituted in France by Lewis XI, eighty years. before the order of the Golden Fleece, established by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy; and one hundred and ninety before the order of St. Andrew was set up in Scotland by James V. The Emperor Frederic IV instituted, in 1470, an order of knights in honour of St. George; and an honourable military order in Venice bears his name. St. George is usually painted on horseback, and tilting at a dragon under his feet: but this representation is no more than an emblematical figure, purporting, that by his faith and christian fortitude he conquered the devil, called the dragon in the Apocalypse. --(Butler.) .
25._SAINT MARK. Mark, according to Eusebius, was sent into Egypt by the Apostle Peter, where he converted an immense number of people. He did not confine his preaching to Alexandria, but, according to Nicephorus, travelled through the countries of Marmorica, Pentapolis, and others, in which places the people were barbarous in their manners, and idolatrous in their worship. Here Mark continued till he had established them in the profession of the Gospel. Returning to Alexandria, he, preached there, arranged the affairs of the church, and constituted governors and pastors; but about Easter, when some of the heatheus kept the solemnities of their idol Serapis, St. Mark fell a victim to their fury; for, being seized while officiating in the church, a rope was tied round his neck, and he was dragged over the rocks by the sea-shore, till he died. His Gospel was written in the year 63. The order of Knighis of St. Mark at Venice, under the protection of this evangelist,, was instituted in the year 737, the reigning doge being always grand master :-their motto was, “Pax tibi, Marce, Evan. gelista Meus.'
he weed. His Knights of evangelige being a