The Country Parson hath a special care of his church that all things there be decent and befitting his Name by which it is called. Therefore first he takes order that all things be in good repair; as walls plastered, windows glazed, floor paved, seats whole, firm and uniform, especially that the pulpit, and desk, and communion table and font be as they ought, for those great duties that are performed in them.
Secondly, that the church be swept and kept clean without dust of cobwebs, and at great festivals strawed and stuck with boughs and perfumed with incense.
Thirdly, that there be fit and proper texts of Scripture everywhere painted, and that all the painting be grave and reverend, not with light colours or foolish antics.
Fourthly, that all the books appointed by authority be there, and those not torn or fouled, but whole and clean and well bound; and that there be a fitting and sightly communion cloth of fine linen, with an handsome and seemly carpet of good and costly stuff or cloth, and all kept sweet and clean in a strong and decent chest with a chalice and cover, and a stoop or flagon; and a basin for alms and offerings, besides which he hath a poor-man’s box conveniently sited to receive the charity of well-minded people, and to lay up treasure for the sick and needy.
And all this he doth, not as out of necessity, but as desiring to keep the middle way between superstition and slovenliness.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
For Country Parsons everywhere ...
I read this the other day, an extract from A Country Parson by George Herbert. I thought it might be an amusing reminder to the incumbent of our own country charge. Plus ça change .. and all that.