Difference between revisions of "Church of Nortend"

Line 43: Line 43:
* Diocese of Keys
* Diocese of Keys
* Diocese of Oxley
* Diocese of Oxley
* Diocese of Parrin and Fivewells
* Diocese of Corring (Rockleham) and Fivewells
* Diocese of Rhighton
* Diocese of Rhighton
* Diocese of Rhise and Hoole
* Diocese of Rhise and Hoole

Revision as of 07:22, 16 August 2019

The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Laurence, commonly known as Sulthey Cathedral, is the seat of the Archbishop of Sulthey, the Primate of Erbonia.

The Church of Nortend is the state church of Great Nortend. It is established under Royal Proclamation and Acts of Parliament, and is considered to be an integral part of the Government of Great Nortend. Though the Archbishop of Sulthey is the most senior clergyman of the church, and is considered to be the Primate of Erbonia, the Sovereign of Great Nortend is by law the Supreme Governour of the Church Mundane, holding the title of Vicar of Christ.


Early Christianity

St Laurence is widely credited for the founding of the establishment of the church in Great Nortend in the 8th century. Though Christianity had arrived in the country around the 2nd century AD and converted much of the Ethlorek Hoebric people, the majority of the later influx of pagan Arlethians, the Nords, Sexers and Cardes, had not converted to the religion of the lands they now resided in.

Early Middle Ages

An abbot, canonised as Laurence of Sulthey, was sent as a missionary in 774 by Pope Zachary I to convert Arlethian people from paganism to Christianity. The reigning King of All Norts at the time, Egbert, desired the support of the military power of the Church, permitted Laurence to proselytise the Nords and Cardes of his kingdom though he himself was only baptised on his deathbed in 753 after being mortally wounded by an arrow during battle. Laurence founded Sulthey Cathedral on the Isle of Sulthey in 749, the year which is now generally considered the start of the Roman Catholic church in Great Nortend. He also founded the first monastery, to become Sulthey Abbey, two years after in 751. St Laurence served for over thirty years as the Apostle to All Nortend. His mission was a great success and by the 10th century, most of the Arlethian and Hoebric population had converted to Roman Catholicism.

High Middle Ages

A typical late 12th century manor church. St Renwick's, in Culton, Southannering.

The Church flourished in the High Middle Ages, with numerous churches and chapels being established. By the late 12th century, nearly every manor had at least one church. In Lendert alone, 52 churches had been built by the time the Cathedral of St Peter had been completed in 1272.

Independence from Rome

The pivotal moment in the history of the Church was the declaration of independence from the Bishop of Rome. There had been simmering tensions in Erbonian society in the decades immediately preceeding, with controversy over the taxes payable to the Church and influence from Orthodox Christianity and Old Catholicism, which supported the principles of national autonomous churches.

The Church of Nortend as an independent national church was formally established as the state church with the passing of the Statute of Limmes in 1614 by King Alexander I and the Declaration of Supremacy. This Statute was passed with the consent of the Privy Council and later ratified by the Parliament in 1632. A legend surrounding the declaration relates that the King and the then-Archbishop of Sulthey heard from the Holy Ghost a message prophesising that, “Thy church shall be cloven and set upon the rock of Laurence, and the King shall I make Governour and Vicar over my flock”. The King and Archbishop of Sulthey, after the public assent to the Statute, were excommunicated by the Pope.

The establishment of the Church of Nortend, though widely popular amongst the general population, was not supported by much of the clergy and monastics, who felt it was heretical and contra scriptura. Though loyalists were not initially legally persecuted for their support of the Roman Catholic church, the controversy was, in the early and mid 17th century, increasingly manifested through violence between both sides.

The Abbot and monks of the Abbey of Staithway captured and hanged the Duke of Cardenbridge in 1765 at the height of the Popish Wars.

The Acts of Cleaving forming the combined Kingdom of Nortend, Cardoby and Hambria in 1642 established the Church of Nortend as the established church of Hambria as well. Matters came to a head when the 12th Duke of Cardenbridge was captured and hanged by the Abbot and monks of Staithway in 1668. The 13th Duke introduced a Bill into the House of Lords after the death of Alexander I who had opposed criminalisation later that year, to criminalise allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church, leading to the use of the term 'Cardican' to refer to the Church of Nortend. Under the Act, many clergymen, such as the Bishop of Chepingstow, were executed for refusing to renounce against the Pope and escalated with the trial and execution of the Six Heretics, six clergymen who plotted with the Roman Church to invade Great Nortend and restore the Church in 1670 during the first few years of King William I's reign.

William declared that 'whosoever shall renounce the lawful, established catholic and orthodox Church of this Realm shall be sentenced to hang as a heretic'. He noted in the Carta Erboniæ Ecclesiæ, or Charter of the Church, that the church before the split was little different to the Church afterwards, save for the removal of the Bishop of Rome as supreme head of the Church, and maintained the Alexanderian view that the Church was 'reformed, catholick and orthodox'.

Establishing a new identity

After the split, a new English bible translation and missal was proposed in Parliament as necessary for cementing the King's identity as the Supreme Mundane Governour of the Church as well as to keep more in-line with general Orthodox thinking which provided for the use of the vernacular. The King James's Bible had been published in 1611, a few years prior to the Declaration of Supremacy. The eventual Cardican authorised version of the Bible was dedicated to St Edmund in 1704 by King Henry V and drew heavily from King James's for inspiration and guidance and was widely accepted.

The publication of the Liturgy in English, however, proved controversial at the time, as the Latin rites of Chepingstow and Sulthey had been in use for many centuries prior and for nearly a century after Independence. A compromise was established between those supporting the vernacular and the more traditional minimalist advocates. The Latin text would be preserved side by side in the new English translations, and remain in use at the discretion of the minister. In practice, this meant that English was only used lessons, readings and chapters. Gradually however, Latin was supplanted by English in the other parts of the liturgy and nowadays only remains in widespread use at the Universities, at certain episcopal services, at ordinations and consistories, and on other certain special occasions occasioning great ceremony.

The Olnite Matter

The Olnite Matter concerned the marriage of Queen Mary to the Cardo-Catholic Earl of Scode.

Since the Establishment of the Church of Nortend, the doctrines of the church had officially little changed from the pre-Independence Catholic doctrines. Beginning in the 17th century, however, there was a growing popularity of Protestant concepts amongst portions of the country that sought to move the Church towards a more Protestant view.

Queen Mary had through her youth and early reign displayed a Protestant leaning in her faith, declaring the suspension of the initiation of any novices to religious establishments and appointing more protestant bishops. She, however, desired to marry Stuart Oln, the 5th Earl of Scode, originating from the ruling House of Oln of Albeinland, who was deposed in the Albish Revolution. Stuart was of the traditionalist branch of the Church of Nortend, and there sprung up two warring factions in Parliament, known as the 'Scodeliers' and the 'Droughers', which supported and opposed the marriage respectively. Ultimately, Mary I married the Earl in 1742 at the age of 27, and the Scodeliers grew to dominate the Church.


Despite an acceptance of the Church of Nortend as the established church of the realm, religious tensions still simmered under the surface and occasionally came to a boil. The Acts of Allowance in the 18th century permitted for the first time people to establish their own non-conformist 'chapels' for those dissatisfied with the traditionalist, Catholic practices of the Church, and have preachers and teachers so long as they did not proselytise, build buildings that looked like places of worship or threaten social stability. The last provision was used to quietly shut down non-conformist churches that were growing too large and popular, and ultimately resulted in their eventual decline in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Today here are only a number of congregationalist or independent chapelries, each professing support of a particular denomination but otherwise having little national structure or hierarchy.


The Archbishop of Limmes, the Most Reverend John Williams

The Church of Nortend is split into three ecclesiastical provinces headed by an archbishop, not to be confused with civil provinces, and sixteen dioceses, each headed by an bishop. The Archbishop of Sulthey is considered to be the Primate of Erbonia, subordinate only to the Sovereign.

Map of the dioceses of the Church of Nortend.

Archdiocese of Rhise

  • Diocese of Keys
  • Diocese of Oxley
  • Diocese of Corring (Rockleham) and Fivewells
  • Diocese of Rhighton
  • Diocese of Rhise and Hoole

Archdiocese of Sulthey

  • Diocese of Chepingstow
  • Diocese of Mast
  • Diocese of Polton
  • Diocese of Staithway
  • Diocese of Sulthey

Province of Limmes

  • Diocese of Scode
  • Diocese of Echester
  • Diocese of Lanchester
  • Diocese of Lendert
  • Diocese of Limmes
  • Diocese of Tow and St Cleaves
  • Diocese of Walecester

A diocese is split further into archdeaconries, deaneries and parishes, administered by an archdeacon, a dean and a parish priest respectively. A parish is usually conterminous with a feudal manor, which are not to be confused with baronies, whilst a deanery is coterminous with a hundred.


The doctrine of the Church of Nortend was and is modelled on the traditional teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Church, with modifications especially during the period of the Reformation. These tenets are encapsulated in the Carta Ecclesiasticae, which has forty main points. The main differences between the Catholic and Cardican churches are, the belief in the Holy Mysteries, of the requirement for private confession of sins, and of clerical chastity, and the requirement for all that is said to be able to be understood by the people. Other differences, as noted in other denominations such as Lutheranism and Anglicanism, such as the rejection of the devotion to Mary, and of the sacraments of matrimony, communion, unction and holy orders, are not seen in the Church of Nortend. The Church adheres to the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus, however not to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

The Church of Nortend, unlike some more liberal churches, is highly conservative in social matters. It holds as doctrine that only husband shall carnally know only his wife, and vice versa. It prohibits the ordination of women, and of the presence of women behind the rood screen. Women are not permitted to speak in a church, except the Queen, and are only permitted to sing in the congregation and to say the responses.

In relation to scientific fields, the Church is generally accepting of new ideas where they do not contradict scripture. The concept of evolution on the macro-scale, however, remains highly controversial. Whilst the story of creation is seen as literal, the Church officially does not completely find this repugnant to the general theory of evolution.


The official language of the Church of Nortend is Latin, insofar as the canons specify that it is the official language. Furthermore, the Books of Liturgy have side-by-side Latin and English texts. However, the main language of the day-to-day liturgy as conducted in normal churches, cathedrals and chapels is English, being the lingua franca of Erbonia. The use of Latin almost disappeared completely in the 18th and 19th centuries, and is only nowadays undergoing a minor resurgence with the making of Latin a compulsory subject for boys at school.

Despite the resurgence, most services, even in the cathedrals, are still conducted fully or mostly in English. Latin is nowadays most commonly used on ordinary days as part of the portions which are sung solely by the choir. These include the Anthem, which is part of secular Mattins and Vespers, as well as the Introit, Gradual, Tract, Offertory and Communion of the Mass, which are all sung by the ministres or choir only, even on ordinary days. Latin is usually sung by choirs in either ordinary plainchant or Cardican chant, or in festal settings.

The three universities and most common and independent schools maintain the sole use of Latin in their liturgy, as well as monastics and canons regulars celebrating Mass and the canonical offices at abbeys, priories, convents and monastic cathedrals and collegiate churches.


The liturgical practice of the Church of Nortend is set out in four books, known as the Books of Liturgy. These are the the Book of Mass, Book of Offices, the Book of Prayer, and the Book of Rites which were promulgated in 1709, 1710, 1711 and 1713 respectively. All four are used conjointly with the St Edmund's Version of the Bible and the Book of Hymns.

Canonical hours

In accordance with the Canons of the Church, the Church of Nortend recognises and prescribes the eight canonical hours of Nocturns (Midnight prayer), Mattins (Early morning prayer, also known as Lauds), Prime (Morning prayer), Terce (Late morning prayer), Sext (Noon prayer), None (Afternoon prayer), Vespers (Evening prayer) and Compline (Retiring prayer).

Whilst all eight are mandated for daily recital for clergymen and monastics, by necessity the practice of secular clergy is vastly different to that of the monastics and regular clergy. Whereas all eight offices are separate in the Book of Offices, used by monastics and regular clergy in abbeys, priories and other religious communities, they are combined into three offices in the Book of Prayer, for use in public prayer and services in secular cathedrals, churches and chapels, and by secular clergymen.

Regular practice

Choir monastics, as well as the canons regular, are normally required to sing all eight canonical offices spread throughout the day, as provided in the Book of Offices. Indeed, the day of the choir monk or nun is structured around the canonical hours, which are sung in choir. Given the time-consuming labour required of lay brothers and sisters of the monastic orders, they are not generally required to sing all of the canonical offices. The important Mattins and Vespers are usually retained and sung in choir and the rest privately recited.

Secular practice

The secular prayer of the canonical hours, as ordered in the Book of Prayer, are in the form of three offices known as Mattins, None, and Vespers. They are formed from the simplification and condensation of individual canonical offices; Nocturns, Mattins and Prime are merged into 'Mattins', Terce, Sext and None are merged into 'None', and Vespers and Compline are merged into 'Vespers'. These are ordered to be said at morning, noon, and evening respectively by all secular clergy, preferably publicly in their parish church or chapel.

Very few parishes have the ability or need to celebrate publicly even all three combined offices daily, and only the largest parishes celebrate even one of Mattins, None or Vespers daily. Usually priests therefore say the offices privately, although they are obliged to do so publicly if any person asks them to. Of note are the university chapels, which say Mattins and Vespers daily during term time. In secular cathedrals, the secular canons are required to sing the three lay offices daily publicly.

Order for Secular Mattins

The Order for Secular Mattins daily throughout the Year, according to the Book of Prayer

Opening Prayers: Upon the ringing of the bells or at the appointed time or immediately thereafter, the Ministre shall say privately the Aperi Domine, the Pater noster, the Ave Maria and the Credo, in Latin. At the same time, every person present shall say the Pater noster and the Ave Maria quietly in his tongue.

Opening Versicles: At the beginning of Mattins, the Ministre shall sing or say in a loud voice the versicles; and the choir or congregation shall respond here, and wherever else there shall be versicles and responses.

  • ℣: O Lord open thou my lips
  • ℟: And my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
  • ℣: O God, make speed to save me.
  • ℟: O Lord, make haste to help me.
  • ℣: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
  • ℟: As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Then all shall sing or say: Alleluia; except it shall be from Septugesima Sunday until Easter Day wherein in lieu it shall be sung or said: Glory be to thee, O Lord, King of endless Majesty.

Invitatory: There shall be sung or said the appropriate Invitatory psalm and antiphon. The other Invitatories for the rest of the year are found in their proper places.

On Sundays:

From the Sunday after the Octave of Epiphany until Sexagesima:
  • Let us come before the presence of the Lord. And shew ourselves glad in him with psalms. Ps. O come, let us sing… (95)
From the Sunday after the Octave of Easter until Ascension Day:
  • Alleluia. The Lord is risen verily. O come, let us worship, alleluia. Ps. O come, let us sing… (95)
From the Sunday after Trinity until August 28:
  • Let us praise Jesus Christ. For he is the Redeemer of all the ages. Ps. O come, let us sing… (95)
From the Sunday after August 28 until the Sunday after September 27:
  • Let us praise the Name of the Lord for he is gracious. Let us be glad in him with psalms, for he is the Lord our God. Ps. O come, let us sing… (95)
From the Sunday after September 27 until the Sunday after October 28:
  • May the Lord open your hearts in his law. And in his commandments, and send you peace. Ps. O come, let us sing… (95)
From the Sunday after October 28 until the first Sunday of Advent:
  • O God, King of heaven. Who sittest upon the throne, have mercy upon us. Ps. O come, let us sing… (95)

On the ferias of Advent until the Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord, except on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the Ember Days:

  • The Lord, the King who is come. O come, let us worship. Ps. O come, let us sing… (95)

On Mondays:

  • O Come, let us sing unto the Lord. Ps. Let us heartily… (95)

On Tuesdays:

  • Let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation. Ps. O come, let us sing… (95)

On Wednesdays:

  • In thy hand, O Lord, are all the corners of the earth. Ps. O come, let us sing… (95)

On Thursdays:

  • Let us worship the Lord. For it is he that hath made us. Ps. O come, let us sing… (95)

On Fridays:

  • The Lord our maker, O come, let us worship. Ps. O come, let us sing… (95)

On Saturdays:

  • The Lord our God, O come, let us worship. Ps. O come, let us sing… (95)

Hymn: One of the Hymns appointed for the day as the Ministre shall see fit shall be sung, except there shall be a proper Hymn assigned for that day.

On Sundays:

  • Primo dierum omnium
  • Nocte surgentes
  • Æterne rerum conditor
  • Ecce iam noctis

On Mondays:

  • Somno refectis artubus
  • Nocte surgentes
  • Splendor Paternæ gloriæ
  • Iam lucis orto sidere

On Tuesdays:

  • Consors Paterni luminis
  • Nocte surgentes
  • Ales diei nuntius
  • Iam lucis orto sidere

On Wednesdays:

  • Rerum Creator optime
  • Nocte surgentes
  • Nox et tenebrae et nubila
  • Iam lucis orto sidere

On Thursdays:

  • Nox atra rerum contigit
  • Nocte surgentes
  • Lux ecce surgit aurea
  • Iam lucis orto sidere

On Fridays:

  • Tu Trinitatis Unitas
  • Nocte surgentes
  • Æterna cæli gloria
  • Iam lucis orto sidere

On Saturdays:

  • Summe Deus clementie
  • Nocte surgentes
  • Aurora iam spargit polum
  • Iam lucis orto sidere

Psalter: Thereafter shall be sung or said the other Psalms appointed for the day, with the following Antiphons as the Ministre shall see fit.

From the first Sunday of Advent until Christmas Day:

  • The sceptre* shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from his thigh, until he come that shall be sent.
  • Unto him* shall be the expectation of the nations, he shall wash his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes.
  • His eyes* are more beautiful than wine; and his teeth whiter than milk.
  • Bethlehem*, thou art not the least among the princes of Judah; for out of thee shall come a Governor that shall rule my people Israel; for he shall save his people from their sins.
  • Behold, a virgin* shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.
  • In his time* shall righteousness flourish; yea, and abundance of peace and all kings shall fall down before him; all nations shall do him service.
  • The night is far spent*, the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
  • How is the hour* for us to rise from sleep, and with our eyes open for us to arise unto Christ. For he is the true light gleaming in heaven.
  • Rejoice* in the Lord always; let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand; be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer let your requests be make known unto God.

From the Octave of the Epiphany until Passion Sunday:

  • Serve ye* the Lord in fear.
  • O Lord* my God, in thee have I put my trust.
  • Consider* and hear me, O Lord my God.
  • My goods* are nothing unto thee; in thee have I put my trust, preserve me, O Lord.
  • Incline, O Lord*, thine ear to me and hearken unto my word.
  • The Lord* is my stony rock, and my defence.
  • The commandment* of the Lord is pure and giveth light unto the eyes.
  • The King* shall rejoice in thy strength, O Lord.

From Trinity Sunday until Advent:

  • As a reward* for faith he is rightly called blessed; for in the law of the Lord doth he meditate night and day.
  • O righteous God*, strong judge, patient and kindly; in thee we trust, defend thou the faithful
  • Arise*, and for ever safeguard us with holy protection, and by thy heavenly power watch over thy servants.
  • Father* of all the world, preserve those redeemed from death; and make thy servants ever worthy of thy service.
  • O Maker of the world*, set our hearts on fire for thee and with thy holy flame cleanse and prove us.
  • The humble folk* thou hast saved from the enemy, O Redeemer, but the necks of the proud hast thou struck with thine arrow.
  • As a bridegroom* from his chamber, Christ hath come into the world, descending from heaven with righteous salvation.
  • Send forth upon us*, O Saviour, the help of salvation and may thou grant us in season life everlasting.
  • O King, abiding* without end, spare thou the wretched from ruin; granting the reward, and ruling all that is thine.

Lessons and Canticles: Then shall be read in a loud voice the first Lesson, taken out of the Old Testament as is appointed in the Lectionary, except there be proper Lessons assigned for that day. ; and after that, there shall be said or sung the Hymn Te Deum laudamus or the Psalm Jubilate Deo, unless it be in Lent, in which case the Benedicite shall be sung instead.

Then shall be read in like manner the Second Lesson taken out of the New Testament; and after that there shall be sung or said the Nicene Creed and thereafter, the Canticle of Zachary, the Benedictus.

Versicles: Then, the Ministre shall say in a loud voice, with the choir and congregation responding:

  • ℣: The Lord be with you.
  • ℟: And with thy spirit.
  • ℣: Let us pray.

The Collect of the day shall be said, and the Memorial if there be one appropriate, each followed by the following versicles and responses:

  • ℣: The Lord be with you.
  • ℟: And with thy spirit.
  • ℣: Let us bless the Lord.
  • ℟: Thanks be to God.

Thereafter, there shall be said the Sursum corda:

  • ℣: Unto thee I lift up mine eyes.
  • ℟: O thou that dwellest in heaven.
  • ℣: Kyrie eleison.
  • ℟: Christe eleison.
  • ℣: Kyrie eleison.
  • ℣: Our Father (then inaudibly until) And lead us not into temptation.
  • ℟: But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Then the Ministre shall say, the choir and congregation responding thus:

  • ℣: O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us.
  • ℟: And grant us thy salvation.
  • ℣: O Lord, save the King.
  • ℟: And grant his people peace.
  • ℣: O Lord, save thy people.
  • ℟: And bless thine inheritance.
  • ℣: Hear my prayer, O Lord.
  • ℟: And let my cry come unto thee.
  • ℣: The Lord be with you.
  • ℟: And with thy spirit.

An Anthem may be sung here, followed by the following prayers, except should the Litany followeth.

Closing Prayers: O Lord our heavenly Father, high and mighty, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the only ruler of Princes, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth: most heartily we beseech thee with thy favour to behold our most gracious sovereign Lord King Alexander, and so replenish him with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that he may alway incline to thy will, and walk in thy way. Indue him plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant him in health, and wealth long to live; strengthen him that he may vanquish and overcome all his enemies; and finally after this life he may attain everlasting joy, and felicity, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God, who alone workest great marvels, send down upon our Bishops and Curates, and all congregations committed to their charge the healthful spirit of thy grace: and that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing: grant this, O Lord, for the honour of our Advocate, and Mediatour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee, and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name, thou wilt grant their Requests: fulfil now, O Lord, the desires, and petitions of thy servants, as may be most expedient for them, granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.


The quire of the Cathedral of St Peter, Lendert-with-Cadell, looking towards the Chancel.

The Church of Nortend has a rich and long history of both choral and congregational singing and chants. Most parish churches maintain a vested choir of boys and men which provide choral chant and singing during services. This is typically accompanied by a pipe or reed organ, or on festal occasions, a band of musicians such as a quartet or orchestra.

It is the tradition that all liturgical portions of offices are sung through, except in Lent wherein only festal services are sung. Even in parishes without a choir, congregational singing is considered an important skill, which is helped by weekly practice.

In a traditional service in accordance with the Books of Liturgy, the texts of the offices and mass are sung in either a monophonic plain chant or the more complex harmonic full chant, often used on festal occasions. Each service has a number of traditional hymns proper to the day and office which are chanted, found in the Book of Hymns. A specific melody is also prescribed. These set hymns may be supplemented or in some cases, replaced, by popular hymns printed in hymnals, which are sung in a more typical hymnal fashion.

Secular Mattins and Vespers at secular parish churches and cathedrals also have provision for the singing of anthems, which are sung by the choir. They usually are complex pieces and may or may not be in Latin, with orchestral or instrumental accompaniment in addition to or in lieu of the organ.