the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
a recognition of superiority in certain acts due to one person over another. Thus in the ecclesiastical order recognized in the hierarchies of Rome, England, and Russia, or wherever such distinctions of clergy exist, priests precede deacons; and rectors, vicars; and vicars, perpetual curates; and incumbents, assistant-stipendiary curates. Rectors rank with each other according to the size and importance of their livings or the date of their induction; bishops according to the precedence of their sees, as in the Anglican establishment, e.g.in the case of London, Durham, and Winchester, and of Meath in Ireland, where the incumbent bears the title of Most Reverend; or, otherwise, of the date of consecration, by the councils of Milevi (416), Braga (573), Toledo (633), and London (1075), unless their sees were privileged by ancient custom. Priests and deacons rank according to the date of their ordination. For a cathedral of the old foundation in England the order runs-dean, praccentor, chancellor, treasurer, archdeacons, canons residentiary (subdean, subchanter of canons), and canons non-resident. In chapter the bishop sits with the dean, chancellor, archdeacon, and residentiaries on the right, and the praecentor, treasurer, archdeacon, and residentiaries on the left; the rest of the canons in order of installation. At Salisbury two extra archdeacons sat on either side of the entrance. In all processions the members walked two and two, at regular distances — dignitaries in copes, canons priests in chasubles, canons, deacons, and subdeacons in dalmatics, with one pace between collaterals, and three paces between each rank; juniors first and seniors last in going, but in reverse order on their return; the right-hand side is the place of honor. At St. Paul's the dean walked last, between two dignitaries. The parish clergy go first, then follow vicars, catons, dignitaries, the dean, the bishop, and last the lay persons. Each parish had its cross or banner. Abbots took precedence according to the date of their benediction; Glastonbury, St. Alban's, and Westminster at various times challenged the first place among those who were mitered. Rural deans and honorary canons have only local precedence in a ruridecanal meeting or cathedral respectively.
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Precedence'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​p/precedence.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.