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São Paulo Cathedral, a representative modern cathedral built in Neo-Gothic style.

A cathedral (French cathédrale from Lat. cathedra, "seat" from the Greek kathedra (καθέδρα), seat, bench, from kata "down" + hedra seat, base, chair) is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop.[1] It is a religious building for worship, specifically of a denomination with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, and some Lutheran and Methodist churches, which serves as a bishop's seat, and thus as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate.[2]

In the Greek Orthodox Church, the terms "kathedrikos naos" (literally: "cathedral shrine") is sometimes used for the church at which an archbishop or "metropolitan" presides. The term "metropolis" (literally "mother city") is used more commonly than "diocese" to signify an area of governance within the church.

There are certain variations on the use of the term "cathedral"; for example, some pre-Reformation cathedrals in Scotland now within the Church of Scotland still retain the term cathedral, despite the Church's Presbyterian polity that does not have bishops. The same occurs in Germany, where Protestant churches (many with a presbyterian or congregational polity) co-operate under an umbrella organisation, the Evangelical Church in Germany, with some retaining cathedrals or using the term as a merely honorary title and function, void of any hierarchical supremacy. As cathedrals are often particularly impressive edifices, the term is often used incorrectly as a designation for any large, important church.

Several cathedrals in Europe, such as that of Strasbourg, Essen, Freiburg i.B., and in England at York, Lincoln and Southwell, are referred to as Minster (German: Münster) churches, from Latin monasterium, because the establishments were served by canons living in community or may have been an abbey, prior to the Reformation. The other kind of great church in Western Europe is the abbey.

Contents

Definition

The cathedra of the Pope as Bishop of Rome, Cathedral of St. John Lateran
The Patriarchal Cathedral of St. John Lateran, Rome.

The word cathedral is derived from the Latin word cathedra ("seat" or "chair"), and refers to the presence of the bishop's or archbishop's chair or throne. In the ancient world, the chair was the symbol of a teacher and thus of the bishop's role as teacher, and also of an official presiding as a magistrate and thus of the bishop's role in governing a diocese.

Though now grammatically used as a noun, the term cathedral was originally the adjective in the phrase "cathedral church", from the Latin ecclesia cathedralis. The seat marks the place set aside in the prominent church of the diocese for the head of that diocese and is therefore a major symbol of authority.[3]

History and organization

Designation

In the Canon law of the Catholic Church the relationship of the bishop to his cathedral is often compared to the relationship of a pastor to the parochial church. Both are pastors over an area (the diocese for the bishop and the parish for the pastor) and both are rectors over a building (the cathedral for the bishop and the parish church for the pastor). In view of this, canon lawyers often extend the metaphor and speak of the cathedral church as the one church of the diocese, and all others are deemed chapels in their relation to it.

Cathedral churches may have different degrees of dignity:

  1. A parish church which was formerly a cathedral is known as a "proto-cathedral"*.
  2. A parish church temporarily serving as the cathedral or co-cathedral of a diocese is known as a "pro-cathedral".
  3. Two churches jointly serving cathedrals of a diocese are each known as "co-cathedrals".
  4. The church of a diocesan bishop is known as a "cathedral".
  5. A church to which other diocesan cathedral churches of a province are suffragan is a "metropolitan cathedral".
  6. A church under which are ranged metropolitical churches and their provinces is a "primatial cathedral".
  7. A church to which primatial, metropolitical, and cathedral churches alike owe allegiance is a "patriarchal cathedral".

The removal of a bishop's cathedra from a church deprives that church of its cathedral dignity, although often the name is retained in popular use, as for example at Antwerp, which was deprived of its bishop at the French Revolution as well as former cathedrals acquired by the Presbyterian Church of Scotland (which lacks episcopal structure). Technically, such churches are proto-cathedrals.

The title of "primate" was occasionally conferred on metropolitan bishops of sees of great dignity or importance, such as Canterbury, York and Rouen, whose cathedral churches remained simply metropolitical.

Lyon, where the cathedral church is still known as La Primatiale, and Lund in Sweden, may be cited as instances of churches which were really primatial. Lyon had the archbishops of Sens and Paris and their provincial dioceses subject to it until the French Revolution, and Lund had the archbishop of Uppsala and his province subject to it.

As with the title of primate, so also that of "patriarch" has been conferred on sees such as Venice and Lisbon, the cathedral churches of which are patriarchal in name alone. The Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, the cathedral church of Rome, is the only one in Western Europe which possesses a patriarchal character among Roman Catholics, since the Pope is the Patriarch of the Latin Rite church. However, in February 2006, Pope Benedict XVI ceased the use of the title "Patriarch of the West".

Rule of the clergy

Aachen Cathedral, Germany, founded by Charlemagne in 800 AD, coronation place of the Holy Roman Emperor.

Early Middle Ages: religious communities

The history of the body of clergy attached to the cathedral church is obscure, and in each case local considerations affected its development, however the main features were more or less common to all.

Originally the bishop and cathedral clergy formed a kind of religious community, which, while not in the true sense a monastery, was nevertheless often called a monasterium, the word not having the restricted meaning which it afterwards acquired. In this lies the reason for the apparent anomaly that churches like York Minster and Lincoln Cathedral, which never had any monks attached to them, have inherited the name of minster or monastery. In these early communities the clergy often lived apart in their own dwellings, and were not infrequently married.

In the 8th century Chrodegang, bishop of Metz (743-766), compiled a code of rules for the clergy of the cathedral churches, which, though widely accepted in Germany and other parts of the continent, gained little acceptance in England.

According to Chrodegang's rule, the cathedral clergy were to live under a common roof, occupy a common dormitory and submit to the authority of a special officer. The rule of Chrodegang was, in fact, a modification of the Benedictine rule. Gisa, a native of Lorraine, who was bishop of Wells from 1061 to 1088, introduced it into England, and imposed its observance on the clergy of his cathedral church, but it was not followed for long there, or elsewhere in England.

In Medieval western Europe, many people could not read and the only way to learn the teachings of Christ was through images. Stained glass windows in the cathedral had pictures of Jesus and the stations of the cross. The windows also taught of the disciples.

The cloister of Canterbury Cathedral with monastic buildings beyond

Late Middle Ages: monastic and secular cathedrals

During the 10th and 11th centuries, the cathedral clergy became more definitely organized, and were divided into two classes. One was that of a monastic establishment of some recognized order of monks, often the Benedictines, while the other class was that of a college of clergy, bound by no vows except those of their ordination, but governed by a code of statutes or canons. Hence the name of canon. In this way arose the distinction between the monastic and secular cathedral churches. Outside of Great Britain, monastic cathedrals are known only at Monreale in Sicily and Downpatrick in Ireland..[4]

In the case of monastic cathedral churches, the internal government was that of the religious order to which the chapter belonged, and all the members kept perpetual residence.

The alternative of this was the cathedral ruled by a secular chapter; the dignities of provost, dean, precentor, chancellor, treasurer, etc., came into being for the regulation and good order of the church and its services, while the non-residence of the canons, rather than their perpetual residence, became the rule, and led to their duties being performed by a body of "vicars", who officiated for them at the services of the church.

Reformation

Nidaros Cathedral, Norway, became Lutheran at the Reformation

Prior to the Reformation all cathedrals of Western Europe were of the Roman Catholic Church. In England, the entire structure of the monastic and cathedral system was reconstituted during the Reformation. Cathedrals which were once Roman Catholic came under the governance of the Church of England. All the English monastic cathedral chapters were dissolved by Henry VIII and, with two exceptions, were refounded by him as churches of secular chapters of canons, with a dean as the head and with subordinate officers as minor canons.

In Germany and other parts of Europe, with the spread of the Lutheran Church, some ancient churches, like Nidaros Cathedral, Norway, and Lübeck Cathedral, Germany, became the seats of Protestant Bishops, as in England. Many new churches were built which serve the regional administrative function of a cathedral. However, not all churches that function as the seat of a bishop are known as "cathedral", the custom varying from place to place, according to local tradition. Some, like Budolfi Church which functions as the Lutheran cathedral of Aalborg in Denmark, are simply designated "church". Others, like Lübeck Cathedral, retain their ancient designation.

Roles within the cathedral

Provost

In most of Europe, the earliest head of a secular church seems to have been the provost (praepositus, Probst, etc.), who was charged not only with the internal regulation of the church, and oversight of the members of the chapter and control of the services, but was also the steward or seneschal of the lands and possessions of the church. The latter often mainly engaged his attention, to the neglect of his domestic and ecclesiastical duties, and complaints were soon raised that the provost was too much mixed in worldly affairs, and was too frequently absent from his spiritual duties.

Metz Cathedral, France, was governed by a provost.

This led, in many cases, to the institution of a new officer called the "dean", who had charge of that portion of the provost's duties which related to the internal discipline of the chapter and the services of the church.

In some cases, the office of provost was abolished, but in others it was continued: the provost, who was occasionally archdeacon as well, remaining head of the chapter. This arrangement was most commonly followed in Germany. In England the provost was almost unknown. Bishop Gisa introduced a provost as head of the chapter of Wells, but the office was afterwards subordinated to the other dignities, and the provost became simply the steward of certain of the prebendal lands. The provost of the collegiate church of Beverley was the most notable instance of such an officer in England, but at Beverley he was an external officer with authority in the government of the church, no stall in the choir and no vote in chapter.

In Germany and in Scandinavia, and in a few of the cathedral churches in the south of France, the provost was the ordinary head of the cathedral chapter, but the office was not common elsewhere. As regards France, of one hundred and thirty six cathedral churches existing at the Revolution, thirty-eight only, and those either on the borders of Germany or in the extreme south, had a provost as the head of the chapter. In others the provost existed as a subordinate officer. There were two provosts at Autun, and Lyon and Chartres had four each, all as subordinate officers.

The Secular Chapter

Chapter House of Oulu Cathedral, Finland

The normal constitution of the chapter of a secular cathedral church comprised four dignitaries (there might be more), in addition to the canons. These are the Dean, the Precentor, the Chancellor and the Treasurer. These four dignitaries, occupying the four corner stalls in the choir, are called in many of the statutes the quatuor majores personae of the church.

Dean

The dean (decanus) seems to have derived his designation from the Benedictine "dean" who had ten monks under his charge. The dean came into existence to supply the place of the provost in the internal management of the church and chapter. In England every secular cathedral church was headed by a dean who was originally elected by the chapter and confirmed in office by the bishop. The dean is president of the chapter, and within the cathedral has charge of the performance of the services, taking specified portions of them by statute on the principal festivals. He sits in the chief stall in the choir, which is usually the first on the right hand on entering the choir at the west.

The stalls of St. Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny, Ireland, showing the bishop's throne and precentor's stall.

Precentor

Next to the dean (as a rule) is the precentor (primicerius, cantor, etc.), whose special duty is that of regulating the musical portion of the services. He presides in the dean's absence, and occupies the corresponding stall on the left side, although there are exceptions to this rule, where, as at St Paul's, the archdeacon of the cathedral city ranks second and occupies what is usually the precentor's stall.

Chancellor

The third dignitary is the chancellor (scholasticus, écoldtre, capiscol, magistral, etc.), who must not be confounded with the chancellor of the diocese. The chancellor of the cathedral church is charged with the oversight of its schools, ought to read divinity lectures, and superintend the lections in the choir and correct slovenly readers. He is often the secretary and librarian of the chapter. In the absence of the dean and precentor he is president of the chapter. The easternmost stall, on the dean's side of the choir, is usually assigned to him.

Treasurer

The fourth dignitary is the treasurer (custos, sacrisla, cheficier). He is guardian of the fabric, and of all the furniture and ornaments of the church, and his duty was to provide bread and wine for the Eucharist, and candles and incense, and he regulated such matters as the ringing of the bells. The treasurer's stall is opposite to that of the chancellor.

Additional clergy

Interior of the Chapter House at Southwell Cathedral, England.

In many cathedral churches are additional dignitaries, as the praelector, subdean, vice-chancellor, succentor-canonicorum, and others, whose roles came into existence to supply the places of the other absent dignitaries, for non-residence was the fatal blot of the secular churches, and in this they contrasted very badly with the monastic churches, where all the members were in continuous residence. Besides the dignitaries there were the ordinary canons, each of whom, as a rule, held a separate prebend or endowment, besides receiving his share of the common funds of the church.

For the most part the canons also speedily became non-resident, and this led to the distinction of residentiary and non-residentiary canons, till in most churches the number of resident canons became definitely limited in number, and the non-residentiary canons, who no longer shared in the common funds, became generally known as prebendaries only, although by their non-residence they did not forfeit their position as canons, and retained their votes in chapter like the others.

This system of non-residence led also to the institution of vicars choral, each canon having his own vicar, who sat in his stall in his absence, and when the canon was present, in the stall immediately below, on the second form. The vicars had no place or vote in chapter, and, though irremovable except for offences, were the servants of their absent canons whose stalls they occupied, and whose duties they performed. Outside Britain they were often called demi-prebendaries, and they formed the bachcrur of the French churches. As time went on the vicars were themselves often incorporated as a kind of lesser chapter, or college, under the supervision of the dean and chapter.

The Palace of the Bishops of Havelberg in Wittstock, Germany.

Relationship of chapter and bishop

There was no distinction between the monastic cathedral chapters and those of the secular canons, in their relation to the bishop or diocese. In both cases the chapter was the bishop's consilium which he was bound to consult on all important matters and without doing so he could not act. Thus, a judicial decision of a bishop needed the confirmation of the chapter before it could be enforced. He could not change the service books, or "use" of the church or diocese, without capitular consent, and there are episcopal acts, such as the appointment of a diocesan chancellor, or vicar general, which still need confirmation by the chapter, but the older theory of the chapter as the bishop's council in ruling the diocese has become a thing of the past, in Europe.

In its corporate capacity the chapter takes charge sede vacante of a diocese. In England, however (except as regards Salisbury and Durham), this custom has never obtained, the two archbishops having, from time immemorial, taken charge of the vacant dioceses in their respective provinces. When, however, either of the sees of Canterbury or York is vacant the chapters of those churches take charge, not only of the diocese, but of the province as well, and incidentally, therefore, of any of the dioceses of the province which may be vacant at the same time.

Functions of cathedral

Many cathedrals are important landmarks. Cobh Cathedral, Ireland, rises up above the town.

The role of the cathedral is chiefly to serve God in the community, through its hierarchical and organisational position in the church structure. The building itself, by its physical presence, symbolises both the glory of God and of the church. A cathedral, its bishop and dignitaries have traditional functions which are mostly religious in nature, but may also be closely associated with the civil and communal life of the city and region.

Symbolic functions of the cathedral building

The cathedral is frequently the most imposing building, and one of the most ancient buildings in its town. The great size and splendour of the cathedral may be out of all proportion to the town itself. The money and talents expended on the building are seen as honouring God, and may also demonstrate both the devotion and the status of the patrons.

Cathedrals are very often orientated east/west, so that the worshippers look towards the rising sun, symbolising the Risen Christ. The architectural form of the building most frequently has the groundplan of a cross. This form is both functional and symbolic, its symbolism referring to the cross on which Jesus was crucified. The form is liturgically functional as it allows the building to be divided into sections where different activities take place, or that are occupied by different people, such as the clergy, the choir and the laity.

St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney has a typical cruciform plan.

The main body of the building, making the longer arm of the cross, is called the nave, and is where worshippers congregate, The term is from the Latin word for ship. The cathedral is symbolically a ship bearing the people of God through the storms of life.[5] The nave is also used for major processions, which gather or enter at the furthest door (liturgically generally called the West Door). The aisles on each side of the nave facilitate the movement of people within the building, without disrupting worshippers in the central space.

The arms of the cross are called the transepts and often contain a number of chapels. Furthest from the main entry is the sanctuary where the Blessed Sacrament is laid on the altar or communion table for the consecration. "Sanctuary" means "Holy Place". The word has passed into modern English with an altered meaning because traditionally a criminal who could gain access to this area without capture was thereby given the sanctuary of the church.

Cathedral buildings of the Western European tradition symbolise the progression of the Christian soul towards Salvation. Many cathedrals of Eastern European tradition are centrally planned. These churches are almost always domed. The symbolism in these cathedral structures is of the hierarchy of Earth and Heaven, and often reveals its meaning through the internal decoration of the building with frescos or mosaics.

Religious functions

Music is an important part of the cathedral services. Choir practice at York Minster, England.

Apart from its organisational function as the seat of the bishop, and the meeting place for the chapter of the diocese, the cathedral has a liturgical function in offering daily church services. Most cathedrals have at least three services of worship every day, often taking the form of matins, Holy Communion and an evening service which is often sung by the precentor and choir. There are often additional services on Sunday. Cathedrals generally have an area dedicated to the performance of choral services and with seating specifically for the choir and dignitories of the church and town. This part of the building is called the Choir or Quire, and is generally located between the sanctuary and the nave. Because music often plays an important part in the performance of the liturgy, cathedrals generally have a pipe organ to accompany the choir.

Cathedrals always have a font or water basin at which the rite of Baptism is performed, in which a person is formally accepted into the Christian church. The font is often placed towards the door because the Baptism signifies entry into the community of the church. In some cathedrals, most particularly in Italy, the rite of Baptism is performed in a separate building.

Many cathedrals are pilgrimage destinations. Santiago de Compostela, is one of the most famous.

One of the functions of the cathedral is the reading and expounding upon the Holy Scripture. The cathedral generally has a lectern from which the scripture is read. This often takes the form of an eagle of brass or carved wood which supports the book on its outstretched wings and is the symbol of John the Evangelist. However, some cathedrals retain elaborate medieval structures on either side of the church, one for the reading of the Gospel and the other for the reading of the Epistle.

The function of expounding on the scriptures is traditionally performed from the pulpit which is generally constructed in such a way that the voice of the preacher is projected out to the congregation. The pulpit is often decorated with the winged figures of a man, a lion, a bull and an eagle, representing the Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.[6]

The services that are held within the cathedral follow an annual cycle. The designated scriptural readings for each day of the church's year establish a pattern which alternates periods of introspection and penitence with periods of celebration, and is punctuated by the two great celebrations of Christmas and Easter.

Many cathedrals are places of pilgrimage to which people travel in order to worship or venerate a holy object or the reliquary of a saint. Many cathedrals are regarded as places that have provided rewarding religious experiences, where prayers have been answered or miracles have taken place. Pilgrimage was particularly popular in the late medieval period. Some cathedrals such as Santiago de Compostela continue to attract pilgrims.

Cathedrals are often at the centre of a town. Cathedral of St. Christopher of Havana, Cuba is on a busy square.

Civic and social functions

The formal cathedral services are linked to the cycle of the year and respond to the seasons of the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas falling in the winter and Easter in the spring. Cathedrals often hold a service of thanksgiving called Harvest Festival in the autumn.

Births, marriages and deaths are often celebrated by services at cathedrals and the cathedral often acts as a repository of local history by recording these events. The cathedral marks times of national and local civic celebration and sadness with special services. The funerals of those famous within the community are invariably held at cathedrals. People who have served the community or the church are often buried within the cathedral with which they are associated. Alternately, they may be commemorated by a memorial. Some cathedrals, such as Aachen and Rheims are the traditional coronation places of monarchs.

Cathedrals are important meeting places. After a service at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral, Sri Lanka

Another civic function of the cathedral is the imparting of significant civil information. Announcements may be to the populace from the steps of the cathedral, or within the cathedral itself.

Most cathedrals have a bell or bells. These are used to announce that a service is soon to take place. They are also used to convey information and celebration. The ringing of peals signifies a time of rejoicing, such as a wedding. An extended ringing of peals or "changes" conveys a time of great civic celebration. The slow tolling of the deepest bell signifies a death or disaster. Many cathedrals have a clock with associated chimes which announce the time. The bells of a cathedral are traditionally used to signal the outbreak and the ending of war.

Cathedrals are often associated with significant secular organisations such as the office of the local mayor and council, the local court, the local regiment, schools, sporting organisations and service clubs. The cathedral often has its own school, primarily for the education of choristers, but often including other children as well.

The cathedral, often being a large building, serves as a meeting place for many people. The cathedral often forms a centre of different activities related to community service, youth activities, study, music and decorative arts.

The Cathedral building

Some cathedrals are major tourist destinations and World Heritage Sites. Pisa is one of the best known.

Cathedral buildings are frequently the grandest of churches in the diocese (and country), especially those dating from Medieval and Renaissance times. The ancient cathedrals of England, of Northern France, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Sicily, as well as many other individual cathedrals from Italy and other parts of Europe are among the largest and finest buildings of the Medieval period. Many are renowned for their architecture or their decorative features such as sculpture, stained glass and frescos.

While in some countries, particularly in England where medieval cathedrals are comparatively few in number, the buildings tend to be large, size and grandeur have rarely been essential requirements. Early Celtic and Saxon cathedrals tended to be of diminutive size, as is the Byzantine so-called Little Metropole Cathedral of Athens. In Italy, with a few notable exceptions such as Florence Cathedral and Milan Cathedral, cathedrals are numerous and are often similar in form and size to monastic or large parish churches. In modern times, where functionality is the foremost consideration, a cathedral church may be a modest structure.

Cathedrals of monastic foundation, and some of secular clergy have cloisters which traditionally provided an open area where secular activities took place protected from wind and rain. Some cathedrals also have a chapter house where the chapter could meet. In England, where these buildings have survived, they are often octagonal. A cathedral may front onto the main square of a town, as in Florence, or it may be set in a walled close as at Canterbury. There may be a number of associated monastic or clergy buildings, a bishop's palace and often a school to educate the choristers.

Cathedrals often contain a wealth of artworks. Tourists visiting the interior of St. Stephen's, Vienna.

Artworks, treasures and tourism

Many cathedral buildings are very famous for their architecture and have local and national significance, both artistically and historically. Many are listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Many cathedrals, because of their large size and the fact that they often have towers, spires or domes, have until the 20th century, been the major landmarks in cities or in views across the countryside. With highrise building, civil action has been taken in some cases, such as the Cologne Cathedral to prevent the vista of the cathedral from being spoiled.

Because many cathedrals took centuries to build and decorate, they constitute a major artistic investment for the city in which they stand. Not only may the building itself be architecturally significant, but the church often houses treasures such as stained glass, stone and wood statues, historic tombs, richly carved furniture and objects of both artistic and religious significance such as reliquaries. Moreover, the cathedral often plays a major role in telling the story of the town, through its plaques, inscriptions, tombs, stained glass and paintings.

For these reasons, tourists have travelled to cathedrals for hundred of years. Many cathedrals cater for tourists by charging a fee to any visitors outside service times or requesting a donation or making a charge to take photos. Cathedrals that are particularly popular tourist venues sometimes provide guides, leaflets, souvenirs and cafes.

See also

Chartres Cathedral, France, a famous landmark which draws both pilgrims and art lovers.

References

Notes
  1. ^ Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, IBSN 0198605757
  2. ^ New Standard Encyclopedia, 1992 by Standard Educational Corporation, Chicago, Illinois; page B-262c
  3. ^ New Standard Encyclopedia, 1992 by Standard Educational Corporation, Chicago, Illinois; page C-172/3
  4. ^ Edwards, Kathleen (1967). The English Secular Cathedrals of the Middle Ages (2nd ed.). Manchester University Press. p. 10. 
  5. ^ W. H. Auden, "Cathedrals, Luxury liners laden with souls, Holding to the East their hulls of stone"
  6. ^ T. Francis Bumpus, The Cathedrals and Churches of Belgium.

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CATHEDRAL, more correctly "cathedral church" (ecclesia cathedralis), the church which contains the official "seat" or throne of a bishop - cathedra, one of the Latin names for this, giving us the adjective "cathedral." The adjective has gradually, for briefness of speech, assumed the character of a substantive, but though an instance of this (strictly incorrect) use of the word as a substantive has been found as far back as 1587, it became common only at the end of the 18th, or first half of the 19th, century. One of the earliest instances of the term ecclesia cathedralis is said to occur in the acts of the council of Tarragona in 516. Another name for a cathedral church is ecclesia mater, indicating that it is the mother church. As being the one important church, it was also known as ecclesia major. This is the formal expression used by Archbishop Walter Gray of York (1216-1255), and it is preserved in modern times by the name of "La Majeure," by which the old cathedral church of Marseilles is popularly known. Again, as the chief house of God, the cathedral church was the Domus Dei, and from this name the German Domkirche, or Dom, is derived, as also the Swedish Domkyrka, and the Italian Duomo. History and Organization. - It was early decreed that the cathedra of a bishop was not to be placed in the church of a village, but only in that of a city. There was no difficulty as to this on the continent of Europe, where towns were numerous, and where the cities were the natural centres from which Christianity was diffused among the people who inhabited the surrounding districts. In the British islands, however, the case was different; towns were few, and owing to other causes, instead of exercising jurisdiction over definite areas or districts, many of the bishops were bishops of tribes or peoples, as the bishops of the south Saxons, the west Saxons, the Somersaetas and others. The cathedra of such a bishop was often migratory, and was at times placed in one church, and then another, and sometimes in the church of a village. In 1075 a council was held in London, under the presidency of Archbishop Lanfranc, which, reciting the decrees of the council of Sardica held in 347 and that of Laodicea held in 360 on this matter, ordered the bishop of the south Saxons to remove his see from Selsey to Chichester; the Wilts and Dorset bishop to remove his cathedra from Sherborne to Old Sarum, and the Mercian bishop, whose cathedra was then at Lichfield, to transfer it to Chester. Traces of the tribal and migratory system may still be noted in the designations of the Irish see of Meath (where the result has been that there is now no cathedral church) and Ossory, the cathedral church of which is at Kilkenny. Some of the Scottish sees were also migratory.

By the canon law the bishop is regarded as the pastor of the cathedral church, the parochia of which is his diocese. In view of this, canonists speak of the cathedral church as the one church of the diocese, and all others are deemed chapels in their relation to it.

Occasionally two churches jointly share the distinction of containing the bishop's cathedra. In such case they are said to be con-cathedral in relation to each other. Instances of this occurred in England before the Reformation in the dioceses of Bath and Wells, and of_Coventry and Lichfield. Hence the double titles of those dioceses. In Ireland an example occurs at Dublin, where Christ Church and St Patrick's are jointly the cathedral churches of that diocese. In France the bishop of Couserans (a see suppressed at the Revolution) had two con-cathedral churches at St Lizier, and the bishop of Sisteron (a see also suppressed) had a second throne in the church of Forcalquier which is still called "La Con-cathedrale." Other instances might be named. In the case of York the collegiate churches of Beverley, Ripon and Southwell were almost in the same position, but although the archbishop had a stall in each he had no diocesan cathedra in them, and the chapters were not united with that of the metropolitical church in the direct government of the diocese, or the election of the archbishop, nor had they those other rights which were held to denote the cathedral character of a church.

Cathedral churches are reckoned as of different degrees of dignity: (I) the simple cathedral church of a diocesan bishop, (. 2) the metropolitical church to which the other diocesan cathedral churches of a province are suffragan, (3) the primatial church under which are ranged metropolitical churches and their provinces, (4) patriarchal churches to which primatial, metropolitical, and simple cathedral churches alike owe allegiance. The title of "primate" was occasionally conferred on metropolitans of sees of great dignity or importance, such as Canterbury, York, Rouen, &c., whose cathedral churches remained simply metropolitical. Lyons, where the cathedral church is still known as "La Primatiale," and Lund in Sweden, may be cited as instances of churches which were really primatial. Lyons had the archbishops of Sens and Paris and their provincial dioceses subject to it till the Revolution, and Lund had the archbishop of Upsala and his province subject to it. As with the title of primate, so also that of "patriarch" has been conferred on sees such as Venice and Lisbon, the cathedral churches of which are patriarchal in name alone. The cathedral church of St John Lateran, the cathedral church of the pope as bishop of Rome and patriarch of the West, alone in western Europe possesses potentially a patriarchal character. Its formal designation is "Patriarchalis Basilica, Sacrosancta Romana Cathcdralis Ecclesia Lateranensis." The removal of a bishop's cathedra from a church deprives that church of its cathedral dignity, although often the name clings in common speech, as for example at Antwerp, which was deprived of its bishop at the French Revolution.

The history of the body of clergy attached to the cathedral church is obscure, and as in each case local considerations affected its development, all that can be attempted is to give a general outline of the main features which were more or less common to all. Originally the bishop and cathedral clergy formed a kind of religious community, which, in no true sense a monastery, was nevertheless often called a monasterium. The word had not the restricted meaning which it afterwards acquired. Hence the apparent anomaly that churches like York and Lincoln, which never had any monks attached to them, have inherited the name of minster or monastery. In these early communities the clergy often lived apart in their own dwellings, and were not infrequently married. In the 8th century, however, Chrodegang, bishop of Metz (743-766), compiled a code of rules for the clergy of the cathedral churches, which, though widely accepted in Germany and other parts of the continent, gained little acceptance in England. According to Chrodegang's rule the cathedral clergy were to live under a common roof, occupy a common dormitory and submit to the authority of a special officer. The rule of Chrodegang was, in fact, a modification of the Benedictine rule. Gisa, a native of Lorraine, who was bishop of Wells from 1061 to 1088, introduced it into England, and imposed its observance on the clergy of his cathedral church, but it was not followed for long there, or elsewhere in England.

During the two centuries, roughly bounded by the years goo and iioo, the cathedral clergy became more definitely organized, and were also divided into two classes. One was that of a monastic establishment of some recognized order of monks, very often that of the Benedictines, while the other class was that of a college of clergy, living in the world, and bound by no vows, except those of their ordination, but governed by a code of statutes or canons. Hence the name of "canon" given to them. In this way arose the distinction between the monastic and secular cathedral churches. In England the monastic cathedral churches were Bath, Canterbury, Carlisle, Coventry, Durham, Ely, Norwich, Rochester, Winchester and Worcester, all of them Benedictine except Carlisle, which was a church of Augustinians. The secular churches were Chichester, Exeter, Hereford, Lichfield, Lincoln, St Paul's (London), Salisbury, Wells, York, and the four Welsh cathedral churches. In Ireland all were secular except Christ Church, Dublin (Augustinian), and Down (Benedictine), and none, even in their earliest days, were ever, it is believed, churches of recognized orders of monks, except the two named. In Scotland St Andrew's was Augustinian, Elgin (or Moray), Glasgow and Aberdeen were always secular, and ordered on the models of Lincoln and Salisbury. Brechin had a community of Culdees till 1372, when a secular chapter was constituted. The cathedral church of Galloway, at Whithorn, of English foundation, was a church of Praemonstratensians. In Germany, as in England, many of the cathedral churches were monastic. In Denmark all seem to have been Benedictine at first, except Borglum, which was Praemonstratensian till the Reformation. The others were changed to churches of secular canons. In Sweden, Upsala was originally Benedictine, but was secularized about 1250, and it was ordered that each of the cathedral churches of Sweden should have a chapter of at least fifteen secular canons. In France monastic chapters were very common, but nearly all the monastic cathedral churches there had been changed to churches of secular canons before the 17th century. One of the latest to be so changed was that of Seez, in Normandy, which was Augustinian till 1547, when Pope Paul III. dispensed the members from their vows, and constituted them a chapter of secular canons. The chapter of Senez was monastic till 1647, and others perhaps even later, but the majority were secularized about the time of the Reformation.

In the case of monastic cathedral churches there were no dignitaries, the internal government was that of the order to which the chapter belonged, and all the members kept perpetual residence. The reverse of this was the case with the secular chapters; the dignities of provost, dean, precentor, chancellor, treasurer, &c., soon came into being, for the regulation and good order of the church and its services, while the non-residence of the canons, rather than their perpetual residence, became the rule, and led to their duties being performed by a body of "vicars," who officiated for them at the services of the church. Abroad, the earliest head of a secular church seems to have been the provost (praepositus, Probst, &c.), who was charged, not only with the internal regulation of the church, and oversight of the members of the chapter and control of the services, but was also the steward or seneschal of the lands and possessions of the church. The latter often mainly engaged his attention,; to the neglect of his domestic and ecclesiastical duties, and complaints were soon raised that the provost was too much mixed in worldly affairs, and was too frequently absent from his spiritual duties. This led, in many cases, to the institution of a new officer called the "dean," who had charge of that portion of the provost's duties which related to the internal discipline of the chapter and the services of the church. In some cases the office of provost was abolished, but in others it was continued, the provost, who was also occasionally archdeacon as well, remaining head of the chapter. This arrangement was most commonly followed in Germany. In England the provost was almost unknown. Bishop Gisa introduced a provost as head of the chapter of Wells, but the office was afterwards subordinated to the other dignities, and the provost became simply the steward of certain of the prebendal lands. The provost of the collegiate church of Beverley was the most notable instance of such an officer in England, but at Beverley he was an external officer with no authority in the government of the church, no stall in the choir and no vote in chapter. The provost of Eton, introduced by Henry VI., occupied a position most nearly approaching that of a foreign cathedral provost. In Germany and in Scandinavia, and in a few of the cathedral churches in the south of France, the provost was the ordinary head of the cathedral chapter, but the office was not common elsewhere. As regards France, of one hundred and thirty-six cathedral churches existing at the Revolution, thirty-eight only, and those either on the borders of Germany or in the extreme south, had a provost as the head of the chapter. In others the provost existed as a subordinate officer. There were two provosts at Autun, and Lyons and Chartres had four each, all as subordinate officers.

The normal constitution of the chapter of a secular cathedral church comprised four dignitaries (there might be more), in addition to the canons. The dean (decanus)seems to have derived his designation from the Benedictine dean who had ten monks under his charge. The dean, as already noted, came into existence to supply the place of the provost in the internal management of the church and chapter. In England the dean was the head of all the secular cathedral churches, and was originally elected by the chapter and confirmed in office by the bishop. He is president of the chapter, and in church has charge of the due performance of the services, taking specified portions of them by statute on the principal festivals. He sits in the chief stall in the choir, which is usually the first on the right hand on entering the choir at the west. Next to the dean (as a rule) is the precentor (primicerius, cantor, &c.), whose special duty is that of regulating the musical portion of the services He presides in the dean's absence, and occupies the corresponding stall on the left side, although there are exceptions to this rule, where, as at St Paul's, the archdeacon of the cathedral city ranks second and occupies what is usually the precentor's stall. The third dignitary is the chancellor (scholasticus, ecoldtre, capiscol, magistral, &c.), who must not be confounded with the chancellor of the diocese. The chancellor of the cathedral church is charged with the oversight of its schools, ought to read divinity lectures, and superintend the lections in the choir and correct slovenly readers. He is often the secretary and librarian of the chapter. In the absence of the dean and precentor he is president of the chapter. The easternmost stall, on the dean's side of the choir, is usually assigned to him. The fourth dignitary is the treasurer (custos, sacrista, cheficier). He is guardian of the fabric, and of all the furniture and ornaments of the church, and his duty was to provide bread and wine for the eucharist, and candles and incense, and he regulated such matters as the ringing of the bells. The treasurer's stall is opposite to that of the chancellor. These four dignitaries, occupying the four corner stalls in the choir, are called in many of the statutes the "quatuor majores personae" of the church. In many cathedral churches there were additional dignitaries, as the praelector, subdean, vice-chancellor, succentor-canonicorum, and others, who came into existence to supply the places of the other absent dignitaries, for non-residence was the fatal blot of the secular churches, and in this they contrasted very badly with the monastic churches, where all the members were in continuous residence. Besides the dignitaries there were the ordinary canons, each of whom, as a rule, held a separate prebend or endowment, besides receiving his share of the common funds of the church. For the most part the canons also speedily became non-resident, and this led to the distinction of residentiary and non-residentiary canons, till in most churches the number of resident canons became definitely limited in number, and the non-residentiary canons, who no longer shared in the common funds, became generally known as prebendaries only, although by their non-residence they did not forfeit their position as canons, and retained their votes in chapter like the others. This system of non-residence led also to the institution of vicars choral, each canon having his own vicar, who sat in his stall in his absence, and when the canon was present, in the stall immediately below, on the second form. The vicars had no place or vote in chapter, and, though irremovable except for offences, were the servants of their absent canons whose stalls they occupied, and whose duties they performed. Abroad they were often called demi-prebendaries, and they formed the bas chceur of the French churches. As time went on the vicars were themselves often incorporated as a kind of lesser chapter, or college, under the supervision of the dean and chapter.

There was no distinction between the monastic cathedral chapters and those of the secular canons, in their relation to the bishop or diocese. In both cases the chapter was the bishop's consilium which he was bound to consult on all important matters and without doing so he could not act. Thus, a judicial decision of a bishop needed the confirmation of the chapter before it could be enforced. He could not change the service books, or "use" of the church or diocese, without capitular consent, and there are many episcopal acts, such as the appointment of a diocesan chancellor, or vicar general, which still need confirmation by the chapter, but the older theory of the chapter as the bishop's council in ruling the diocese has become a thing of the past, not in England only, but on the continent also. In its corporate capacity the chapter takes charge sede vacante of a diocese. In England, however (except as regards Salisbury and Durham), this custom has never obtained, the two archbishops having, from time immemorial, taken charge of the vacant dioceses in their respective provinces. When, however, either of the sees of Canterbury or York is vacant, the chapters of those churches take charge, not only of the diocese, but of the province as well, and incidentally, therefore, of any of the dioceses of the province which may be vacant at the same time.

All the English monastic cathedral chapters were dissolved by Henry VIII., and, except Bath and Coventry, were refounded by him as churches of secular chapters, with a dean as the head, and a certain number of canons ranging from twelve at Canterbury and Durham to four at Carlisle, and with certain subordinate officers as minor canons, gospellers, epistolers, &c. The precentorship in these churches of the "New Foundation," as they are called, is not, as in the secular churches of the "Old Foundation," a dignity, but is merely an office held by one of the minor canons.

English cathedral churches, at the present day, may be classed under four heads: (i) the old secular cathedral churches of the "Old Foundation," enumerated in the earlier part of this article; (2) the churches of the "New Foundation" of Henry VIII., which are the monastic churches already specified, with the exception of Bath and Coventry; (3) the cathedral churches of bishoprics founded by Henry VIII., viz. Bristol, Chester, Gloucester, Oxford and Peterborough (the constitution of the chapters of which corresponds to those of the New Foundation); (4) modern cathedral churches of sees founded since 1836, viz. (a) Manchester, Ripon and Southwell, formerly collegiate churches of secular canons; (b) St Albans and Southwark, originally monastic churches; (c) Truro, Newcastle and Wakefield, formerly parish churches, (d) Birmingham and Liverpool, originally district churches. The ruined cathedral church of the diocese of Sodor (i.e. the Southern Isles) and Man, at Peel in the latter island, appears never to have had a chapter of clergy attached to it.

Authorities

- Frances, De ecclesiis cathedralibus (Venice, 1698); Bordenave, L'Estat des eglises cathedrales (Paris, 1643); Van Espen, Supplement III., cap. 5; Hericourt, Les Loix ecclesiastiques de France (Paris, 1756); La France eccle'siastique (Paris, 1790); Daugaard, Om de Danske Klostre i Middelalderen (Copenhagen, 1830); H inschius, Das Kirchenrecht der Katholiken u. Protestanten in Deutschland, ii. (Berlin, 1878); Walcott, Cathedralia (London, 1865); Freeman, Cathedral Church of Wells (London, 1870); Benson, The Cathedral (London, 1878); Bradshaw and Wordsworth, Lincoln Cathedral Statutes (Camb., 1894). (T. M. F.) Architecture. - From the architectural point of view there is no special treatment as regards dimensions or style for a cathedral other than that required for a church or abbey, as there are cases when the former are comparatively small buildings (like the old cathedral at Athens), and some parish churches and abbeys are larger than many cathedrals. In recent times, indeed, some English abbeys or minsters, such as those of Ripon, Manchester, St Albans and Southwell, partly on account of their dimensions, have been raised to the rank of cathedrals, in consequence of the demand for additional sees; others, such as those of Bristol, Gloucester, Oxford, Chester and Peterborough, became cathedrals only on the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII.

Under the headings Nave, Aisle, Choir, Apse, Chevet, and Lady-Chapel, the principal arrangements of the plan of a cathedral are dealt with, and its architectural features, such as TOWERandSPIRE, Porch, Triforium, Clerestory and Vault, are separately defined; while in the article Architec Ture the evolution of the various styles in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, is set forth. It is only necessary here to deal with the development of the eastern end of English and foreign cathedrals, as it was in those that the greatest changes from the middle of the 11th century to the close of the 16th century took place.

The earliest extended development of the eastern end of the cathedral is that which was first set out in Edward the Confessor's church at Westminster, probably borrowed from the ancient church of St Martin at Tours; in this church, dating probably from the 10th century, two new elements are found, (I) the carrying of the choir aisle round a circular apse so as to provide a processional aisle round the eastern end of the church, and (2) five apsidal chapels, constituting the germ of the chevet, which transformed the eastern terminations of the French cathedrals in the 12th and 13th centuries. It is only within recent times that the foundations of the early church at Tours with its choir aisle and chapels have been traced under the existing church.

In Edward the Confessor's church (1050) there were probably only three chapels and a processional aisle; in the next example at Gloucester (1089) were also three chapels, two of which, on the north and south sides of the aisle, still remain; the same is found in Canterbury (1096-1107) and Norwich (1089-1119), the eastern chapel in all three cases having been taken down to make way for the Lady-chapel in Gloucester and Norwich, and for the Trinity chapel in Canterbury cathedral (fig. i). The semicircular aisle is said to have existed in the Anglo-Norman cathedral of Winchester, but the eastern end being square, two chapels were arranged filling the north and south ends, and an apsidal chapel projecting beyond the east wall. This semicircular processional aisle with chevet chapels was the favourite type of plan in the Anglo-Norman cathedrals, and was followed up to about the middle of the 12th century, when the English builders in some cases returned to the square east end instead of the semicircular apsidal termination. The earliest example of this exists in Romsey Abbey (c. 1130), where the processional FIG. 2. - Plan of Salisbury Cathedral.

path crosses behind the presbytery, there being eastern apsidal chapels in the axis of the presbytery aisle and a central rectangular chapel beyond. A similar arrangement is found in Hereford cathedral, and exists in Winchester, Salisbury (fig. 2), Durham, St Albans, Exeter, Ely, Wells and Peterborough, except that in all those cases (except Wells) the eastern chapels are square ended; in Wells cathedral the most eastern chapel (the Ladychapel) has a polygonal termination; in Durham (fig. 3), the eastern chapels are all in one line, constituting the chapel of the nine altars, which was probably borrowed from the eastern end of Fountains Abbey. It should be noted that in some of the above the original design has been transformed in rebuilding; thus in St Albans, Durham, York and Exeter cathedrals, there was no eastern ambulatory but three parallel apses, in some cases rectangular externally. In Southwell, Rochester, Ely and Chester, there was no processional path or ambulatory round the east end; in Carlisle no eastern chapels; and in Oxford only one central apse. In Ely cathedral (fig. 4) the great central tower built by the first Norman abbot (1082-1094) fell down in 1321, carrying with it portions of the adjoining bays of the nave, transept and choir; instead of attempting to rebuild the tower, V.17a FIG. I. - Plan of Canterbury Cathedral.

Alan of Walsingham conceived the idea of obtaining a much larger area in the centre of the cathedral, and instead of rebuilding the piers of the tower he took as the base of his design a central octagonal space, the width of which was equal to that of nave and aisles, with wide arches to nave, transepts and choir, and smaller arches across the octagonal sides; from shafts in the eight pier angles, ribs in wood project forward and carry a smaller octagon on which the lantern rests. Internally the effect of this central octagon is of great beauty and originality, and it is the only instance of such a feature in English Gothic architecture. (See Architecture, Plate VIII., fig. 82.) The earliest example of the chevet is probably to be found in the church of St Martin at Tours; this was followed by others From Rickman's FIG. 3. - Plan of Durham Cathedral.

at Tournus, Clermont-Ferrand, Auxerre, Chartres, Le Mans and other churches built during the great church-building period of the I rth century. In the still greater movement in the 12th century, when the episcopacy, supported by the emancipated communes, undertook the erection of cathedrals of greater dimensions and the reconstruction of others, in some cases they utilized the old foundations, as in Chartres (fig. 5), Coutances and Auxerre cathedrals, while in others (as at Le Mans) they extended the eastern termination, much in the same way as in many of the early examples in England, with this important difference, that when the apsidal east end was given up (about the middle of the 12th century) in favour of the square east end in England, the French, on the other hand, developed it by doubling the choir aisles and adding to the number of extra chapels; thus in Canterbury, Norwich and Gloucester, there were only three apsidal chapels in the chevet, whereas in Noyon (1150), Soissons (1190), Reims (1212),(1212), Tours, Seez, Bayeux (1230), Clermont (1275), Senlis, Limoges, Albi and Narbonne cathedrals there were five; in Amiens, Le Mans and Beauvais, there were seven apsidal chapels, and in Chartres cathedral nine. Double aisles round the choir, of which there are no examples in England, are Paris, Bourges and Le Mans; the cathedral of Sens (fig. 6) (1144-1168) possesses one feature which is almost unique, viz. the coupled columns of the alternate bays of nave and choir and of the apse; and these were introduced into the chapel of the Trinity in Canterbury cathedral, probably from the designs of William of Sens, by his successor William the Englishman. The square east end found no favour in France - Laon, Poiters and Dol being the only cathedral examples; and of the triapsal arrangement, viz. with apses in the axes of the choir aisle and a central apse, the only example is that of the cathedral of Autun. The immense development given to the eastern limb of the French ?? ? ??? .?

r t FIG. 5. - Plan of Chartres Cathedral.

east side of the transept only, in found in the cathedrals of cathedrals was sometimes obtained at the expense of the nave, so that, notwithstanding the much greater dimensions compared with English examples, in the latter the naves are much longer and consist of more bays than those in France.

In one of the French cathedrals, Bourges, there is no transept; on the other hand there are many examples in which this part of the church is emphasized by having aisles on each side, as at Laon, Soissons, Chartres, Reims, Amiens, Rouen and Clermont cathedrals. Transept aisles in England are found in Ely, York, Wells and Winchester cathedrals, in the last being carried round the south and north ends of the transept; aisles on the some cases probably for FIG. 4. - Plan of Ely Cathedral.

additional altars, exist in Durham, Salisbury, Lichfield, Peterborough and Ripon cathedrals; and on the north side only in Hereford cathedral. In Rouen cathedral, east of the transept aisles, there are apsidal chapels, which with the three chapels in the chevet make up the usual number. The cathedral of Poitiers has been referred to as an example of a square east end, but a sort of compromise has been made by the provision of three segmental apses, and there are no windows in the east front; the most remarkable divergence from the usual design is found here in the absence of any triforium or clerestory, owing to the fact that the vault of the aisles is nearly as high as that of the' nave, so that it constitutes an example of what in Germany (where there are many) are called Hallen Kirclien; the light being obtained through the aisle windows only gives a gloomy effect to the nave. Another departure from the usual plan is that found in Albi cathedral (1350), in which there are no aisles, their place being taken by chapels between the buttresses which were required to resist the thrust of the nave vault, the widest in France. The cathedral is built in brick and externally has the appearance of a fortress. In the cathedrals of the southwest of France, where the naves are covered with a series of domes - as at Cahors, Angouleme and St Front de Perigueux - FIG. 7. - Plan of Angouleme Cathedral.

the immense piers required to carry them made it necessary to dispense with aisles. The cathedral of Angouleme (fig. 7) consists of a nave covered with three domes, a transept of great length with lofty towers over the north and south ends, and an apsidal choir with four chevet chapels. In St Front de Perigueux (I I so), based on St Mark's at Venice, the plan consists of nave, transept and choir, all of equal dimensions, each of them, as well as the crossing, vaulted over with a dome, while originally there was a simple apsidal choir.

Returning now to the great cathedrals in the north of France, we give an illustration (fig. 8) of Amiens cathedral (from Viollet le Duc's Dictionnaire raisonne) which shows the disposition of a cathedral, with its nave-arches, triforium, clerestory windows and vault, the flying buttresses which were required to carry the thrust of the vault to the outer buttresses which flanked the aisle walls, and the lofty pinnacles which surmounted them. In this case there was no triforium gallery, owing to the greater height given to the aisles. In Notre Dame at Paris the triforium was nearly as high as the aisles; in large towns this feature gave increased accommodation for the congregation, especially on the occasion of great fetes, and it is found in Noyon, Laon, Senlis and Soissons cathedrals, built in the latter part of the 12th century; later it was omitted, and a narrow passage in the thickness of the wall only represented the triforium; at a still later period the aisles were covered with a stone pavement of slight fall so as to allow of loftier clerestory windows.

The cathedrals in Spain follow on the same lines as those in France. The cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is virtually a copy of St Sernin at Toulouse, consisting of nave and aisles, transepts and aisles, and a choir with chevet of five chapels; at Leon there is a chevet with five apsidal chapels, and at Toledo an east end with double aisles round the apse with originally seven small apsidal chapels, two of them rebuilt at a very late period. At Leon, Barcelona and Toledo the processional passage round the apse with apsidal chapels recalls the French disposition, there being a double aisle around the latter, but in Leon and Toledo cathedrals the east end is masked externally T by other buildings, FIG. 8. - Perspective of Amiens Cathedral. so that the beauty of the chevet is entirely lost. At Avila and Salamanca (old cathedral) the triapsal arrangement is adopted, and the same is found in the German cathedrals, with one important exception, the cathedral of Cologne, which was based on that of Amiens, the comparative height of the former, however, being so exaggerated that scale has been lost, and externally it has the appearance of an overgrown monster.

Under the headings VAULT, FLYING BUTTRESS, PINNACLE, CLERESTORY and TRIFORIUM, definitions are given of these chief components of a cathedral or church; but as their design varies materially in almost every example, without a very large number of drawings it would be impossible to treat them more in detail. The perspective view, taken from Viollet le Duc's dictionary, of the interior of the nave of Amiens cathedral illustrates the principal features, viz. the vault (in this case quadripartite, with flying buttresses and pinnacle), the triforium (in this case limited to a narrow passage in the thickness of the wall), and the nave-arches, w ith the side aisles, beneath the windows of which is the decorative arcade. (R. P. S.)


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Simple English

File:St Andrews Sydney 11 Bishop Broughtons
The chair of Bishop Broughton, first Anglican Bishop of Sydney, Australia.

A cathedral is a large Christian church. It is the seat of a Bishop. Only those Christian denominations that have bishops have cathedrals. Cathedrals can be found in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anclican as well as some Lutheran churches. As cathedrals are the seat of a bishop, they are central church of a diocese.

In the Greek Orthodox Church, the terms "kathedrikos naos" (literally: "cathedral shrine") and "metropolis" (literally "mother city") are both used to describe the same thing. "Metropolis" is more common, but both terms are officially used.

There are certain variations on the use of the term "cathedral"; for example, some pre-Reformation cathedrals in Scotland now within the Church of Scotland still retain the term cathedral, despite the Church's Presbyterian polity which does not have bishops. As cathedrals are often particularly impressive buildings, the term is often used incorrectly to refer to any large important church.

Several cathedrals in Europe, such as Strasbourg, and in England at York, Lincoln and Southwell, are referred to as Minster (German: Münster) churches, from Latin monasterium, because the establishments were served by canons living in community or may have been an abbey, prior to the Reformation. The other kind of great church in Western Europe is the abbey.

Definition

The word cathedral is derived from the Latin noun "cathedra" (seat or chair), and refers to the presence of the bishop's or archbishop's chair or throne. In the ancient world, the chair was the symbol of a teacher and thus of the bishop's role as teacher, and also of an official presiding as a magistrate and thus of the bishop's role in governing a diocese.

The word cathedral, though now grammatically used as a noun, is originally the adjective in the phrase "cathedral church", from the Latin "ecclesia cathedralis". The seat marks the place set aside in the prominent church of the diocese for the head of that diocese and is therefore a major symbol of authority.[1]

Many cathedrals are very old.

References

  1. New Standard Encyclopedia, 1992 by Standard Educational Corporation, Chicago, Illinois; page C-172/3

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