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Chapter IX – The Canons

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The Canons hereinafter contained shall henceforth be the Canons of the Church of Ireland.

Throughout these Canons:

Church“ shall mean the Church of Ireland.

Bishop“ shall mean the bishop of the diocese or other bishop or archbishop appointed or authorised to carry out the functions of the bishop in the diocese.

Ordinary“ shall mean the bishop of the diocese or other person being the ecclesiastical ordinary of the place.

Prescribed“ shall mean prescribed by any authority of the Church, lawfully authorised by the Constitution to prescribe the matter in question.

Part I

DIVINE SERVICE: GENERAL


1.    The due observance of Sundays and Holy–days

The Lord’s day, commonly called Sunday, shall be duly observed, according to God’s holy will and pleasure and the order of this Church.  Holy–days appointed by the Church shall also be duly observed.

2.    Restraint on unauthorised practices

It shall be competent for the ordinary to restrain and prohibit in the conduct of public worship any practice not enjoined in the Book of Common Prayer, or in any rubric or canon enacted by lawful authority of the Church of Ireland.

3.    Divine Service to be celebrated on Sundays and Holy–days

On every Sunday and Holy–day appointed by the Church, unless dispensed with by the ordinary, incumbents and curates shall celebrate Morning and Evening Prayer or the Holy Communion or other service prescribed for the day at convenient and usual times, and in such place in every church or other suitable building provided for the purpose as the ordinary shall think proper.

4.    The Book of Common Prayer

All clergy shall use and observe the orders rites and ceremonies prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer as well in reading the holy scriptures and saying of prayers as in administration of the sacraments without either diminishing or adding anything in the matter or form thereof, save as hereinafter provided.

5.    The prescribed form of Divine Service to be used in Churches

(1)    The services contained in the Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, or such services as may be otherwise prescribed or authorised, and no other, shall be used in churches:  Provided that there may be used in any cathedral or church

(a)    at any hour on any Sunday or weekday an additional form of service, provided that such form of service and the mode in which it is used is for the time being approved by the ordinary, and
(b)    upon any special occasion approved by the ordinary a special form of service approved by the ordinary:
Provided that, save with the leave of the ordinary, neither such additional form of service nor special form of service shall be in substitution for any of the services so prescribed.

(2)    Members of the clergy may at their discretion make and use variations which are not of substantial importance in any form of service prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer or elsewhere.

(3)    All variations in forms of service and all forms of service used or made under the provisions of this canon shall be reverent and seemly and shall be neither contrary to nor indicative of any departure from the doctrine of the Church.

(4)    If any question is raised concerning any such variation, or as to whether it is “of substantial importance”, the same shall be referred to the bishop, who may give such pastoral guidance, advice or directions as is thought fit, but without prejudice to the right of any person to initiate proceedings in any ecclesiastical tribunal.

6.    The use of prayers and hymns not included in the Book of Common Prayer

It shall be lawful to use in the course of or before or after any public office of the Church

(a)    any form of prayer included in any book of prayers prescribed or authorised,

(b)    any form of hymn in any prescribed or authorised book,

(c)    any prayer or hymn authorised by the bishop or ordinary,

(d)    any prayer or hymn not containing substantial variations from the practice of, nor contrary to the doctrine of, the Church, as the officiating member of the clergy may consider to be required by current circumstances; but the provisions of Canon 5 (3) and (4) shall apply to all such prayers and hymns.

7.    The duty of preaching

Every incumbent shall provide that one sermon at least be preached on every Sunday in every church, or other building licensed for the purpose, in which Divine Service is performed within the cure, unless the incumbent be excused therefrom by the ordinary.  The preacher shall endeavour with care and sincerity to minister the word of truth according to holy scripture and agreeable to the Articles of Religion and the Book of Common Prayer, to the glory of God and the edification of the people.

8.    Speaking in a distinct and audible voice

Clergy at all times of their public ministration of the service of the Church shall speak in a distinct and audible voice, and so place themselves that the people may conveniently hear what is said.

9.    Divine Service in the Irish language

When the congregation consists in whole or in part of Irish speaking people, the officiating member of the clergy may use such translations of the services into the Irish language, or such portions thereof, as the ordinary shall direct.

10.    Visiting ministers of Churches not in communion with the Church of Ireland

A minister or accredited preacher of such Christian denominations not in full communion with the Church as may from time to time be specified by the House of Bishops may, in such circumstances as may from time to time be prescribed by the House, and with the permission of the ordinary, which permission shall be without prejudice to the normal maintenance of the recognised rules of church order,

(a)    deliver an address in any church or cathedral at any service,

(b)    read the service of Morning or Evening Prayer or any other service (other than the Holy Communion) authorised under Canon 5 (1) (or such parts thereof as the ordinary may decide) either jointly with, or in the absence of, a member of the clergy of the Church of Ireland or a reader authorised by the bishop.
The ordinary shall be satisfied, before giving such permission, that the participation of such visiting minister is acceptable to the incumbent and the churchwardens (if any) of any church concerned, and that it is not contrary to any provision of the civil law.

11.    Use of churches by other Christian denominations

Subject to this Canon the ordinary may, in such circumstances as the ordinary shall think fit, give permission for a cathedral, church or chapel to be used by a minister or accredited preacher of a Christian denomination recognised as such by the House of Bishops for the purpose of conducting therein worship for members of that denomination in accordance with the rites liturgy and customs of that denomination.  Such permission shall not be given until the ordinary has first been satisfied:

(a)    In the case of a cathedral which is not a parish church, that the dean and a majority of the chapter and the cathedral wardens (if any); in the case of a cathedral which is a parish church, that the dean and a majority of the chapter, the incumbent (if the incumbent is not the dean) and the churchwardens; in the case of a parish church or chapel, that the incumbent and churchwardens; in the case of a proprietary or trustee church or chapel, that the member of the clergy in charge, the trustees (if any) and the churchwardens thereof have given their consent to any such permission, and

(b)    that such use of the cathedral, church or chapel is not contrary to or inconsistent with the terms or provisions of any special trust, deed of gift, covenant or condition relating to such cathedral, church or chapel or the lands upon which it stands or lands held therewith or the purpose for which the same may be used, or relating to any endowment, fund or property held for the benefit of the parish.

Where permission has been given for a cathedral, church or chapel to be so used, neither the minister nor preacher conducting worship, nor the congregation, shall be bound by these Canons.

11A Local Ecumenical Partnerships

(1) A “local ecumenical partnership” shall mean a partnership formed, with the leave of the ordinary, between a Church of Ireland parish or ministry and a church or ministry of another Christian denomination not in full communion with the Church of Ireland but with which the Church of Ireland has a formal ecumenical agreement approved by the General Synod.

(2) The Standing Committee of the General Synod may make such regulations as may be required to govern local ecumenical partnerships. Such regulations shall not alter the doctrine, rites, formularies or rubrics of the Church of Ireland.

(3) All regulations made under paragraph (2) of this Canon shall be published and reported to the General Synod.

12.    Ecclesiastical apparel

(1)    Archbishops and bishops at all times of their public ministration of the services of the Church shall use the customary ecclesiastical apparel of their order.

(2)    Every member of the clergy at all times when ministering publicly the regular services of the Church in a church building

(a)    may wear a cassock,
(b)    shall wear a plain white surplice with sleeves and the customary black scarf or a stole, and
(c)    may wear bands, and the hood pertaining to any university degree or other academic qualification held by that member of the clergy:

Provided that any member of the clergy shall be at liberty to wear a plain black gown while preaching.
No member of the clergy shall wear any other ecclesiastical vestment or ornament.

(3)    If any question shall arise touching the suitableness of any vestment or ornament worn by any member of the clergy during the public ministration of the services of the Church, the same shall be decided by the ordinary, subject to an appeal to the Court of the General Synod.

(4)    The Church does not attach any doctrinal significance to the diversities of apparel permitted by this Canon, and the apparel worn by members of the clergy in accordance with the provisions of this Canon is not to be understood as implying any doctrines other than those contained in the formularies of the Church.

 

Part II
HOLY COMMUNION

 

13.    The celebration of Holy Communion

(1)    In every church or chapel where the sacraments are to be administered, the Holy Communion shall be ministered at least once a month, unless the ordinary shall otherwise order, and also on such of the days for which proper prefaces are provided in the communion service, as the ordinary shall direct.

(2)    In the administration of the Holy Communion, such order or orders of service as may be prescribed shall be used and observed.

(3)    Members of the clergy when celebrating the Holy Communion shall so stand that the people may conveniently hear them and observe the manual acts, and shall not stand with their backs to the people at any time when they are offering up public prayer.

(4)    The elevation of the paten or chalice beyond what is necessary for taking the same into the hands of the officiating member of the clergy, and the ringing of bells during the time of the service, shall not be permitted.

(5)    The bread to be used in the service shall be such as is usually eaten, of the best quality that can conveniently be procured; and the use of wafer bread is prohibited except in cases of illness where it may be desirable to administer the Holy Communion by means of intinction, subject to any conditions which the ordinary may prescribe.

14.    Administration of the Holy Communion in places other than churches

The Holy Communion may be administered in any private house or other suitable place

(a)    where any person, due to illness or other sufficient cause, is unable to come to the church and desires to partake of the sacrament;

(b)    in any other circumstance, to be approved by the bishop.

15.    The Communion Table

The communion table shall be a movable table of wood or other suitable material, and may have such covering as the ordinary shall approve.  For the administration of the Holy Communion it shall be covered as required by the rubric.

16.    Exclusion from the Communion of the Church

(1)    If the incumbent is convinced that any member of the congregation ought not to be admitted to Holy Communion by reason of grave and open sin without repentance, the said incumbent shall warn such a person of the grave spiritual danger of communicating in such a state and shall offer pastoral advice, and report the case to the bishop of the diocese in which such congregation is situated.  Should such a person refuse repentance and neglect pastoral advice, the incumbent shall not admit the person to Holy Communion, and shall immediately report to the bishop with all details of the case.  The bishop shall afford the offender the opportunity of an interview before issuing an order and direction in relation to any such person.

(2)    Such person shall have the right to appeal from the order of the bishop to the Diocesan Court, provided that the 17th 18th and 19th and 21st sections and subsection (1) of section 26 of Chapter VIII (or such other provisions of the Constitution to the like effect as may from time to time be in force) shall not be applicable to such an appeal, and no person shall have a right to be present at the court except the person served with notice of the proceedings in accordance with said provisions, the legal advisers of the parties, the witnesses, and the churchwardens of the congregation.

(3)    Any sentence of exclusion from Holy Communion shall be valid in every part of the Church, and no member of the clergy having knowledge of any such sentence shall administer Holy Communion to the person affected thereby, except such person be in peril of death, and have satisfied that member of the clergy of such person’s sincere repentance.

(4)    If any person on whom such sentence shall have been passed shall satisfy the incumbent that such person earnestly repents, and intends to lead a new life following the commandments of God, the incumbent shall notify the same to the bishop who thereupon, if satisfied of the sincerity of such repentance, shall restore the penitent to the communion of the Church.

Part III

ORDINATION

 

17.    The form of ordering of bishops priests and deacons

That form of ordination which is prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer or elsewhere for the ordering of bishops, priests and deacons, and no other, shall be used.

18.    Four solemn times appointed for the giving or conferring of holy orders

In accordance with the ancient customs of the Church whereby certain times were allotted in which alone holy orders might be given or conferred, it is hereby decreed that no deacon or presbyter? shall be made and ordained but only upon the Sundays immediately following those days which are commonly called ember days, except as otherwise allowed in the preface to the Ordinal.  And this shall be done in the time of Divine Service, in the presence of the archdeacon or the archdeacon’s deputy, and of at least two presbyters?.  And no person shall be made a deacon and a presbyter? on the same day.

19.    Letters dimissory

No bishop shall admit into holy orders any person coming from outside that bishop’s diocese, unless that person brings letters dimissory from the bishop from whose diocese that person comes.

20.    Conditions of admission of such as are to be ordained

Any person seeking to be admitted into holy orders shall first exhibit to the bishop of the diocese in which that person seeks to be ordained a certificate of a nomination to some curacy or ecclesiastical preferment then vacant or shortly to become vacant in that diocese, or to some church therein where that person may attend the cure of souls and execute that person’s ministry:
Provided that the bishop may also admit into holy orders

(a)    any person, for general assistance or for missionary purposes in that bishop’s diocese,

(b)    any person, for missionary purposes in foreign parts, and

(c)    any person, for general assistance in that bishop’s diocese, who will continue to earn a living in a lay occupation or who will have some other source of income sufficient for such person’s needs,
pursuant to any rules in that behalf made by the House of Bishops and approved by the General Synod.

21.    Qualifications of such as are to be ordained

A bishop shall not admit any person into holy orders unless such person
(1)    has been baptized and confirmed;

(2)    (a)    desiring to be a deacon, is twenty three years old, or else has a faculty from the archbishop;

(b)    desiring to be a priest, is twenty four years old;

(3)    (a)    has taken a degree in some university in Ireland or at some recognized university elsewhere, or

(b)    has attended a course of training approved by the House of Bishops, and

(c)    is able to yield an account of such person’s faith according to the Articles of Religion received by the Church, and to confirm the same by sufficient testimonies out of the holy scriptures;

(4)    shall produce letters of testimony of such person’s conduct and character from the college where that person has studied or from three or four senior members of the clergy, and certificates of conduct from other persons of standing who shall have known that person for the preceding three years at least.

22.    Ordination of Women

Men and women alike may be ordained to the holy order of deacons, of priests, or of bishops, without any distinction or discrimination on grounds of sex, and men and women so ordained shall alike be referred to and known as deacons, priests or bishops.

23.    The examination of such as are to be ordained

Before any person shall be admitted into holy orders, such person shall be carefully examined by the bishop, and by the archdeacon (or in the archdeacon’s absence by one appointed in the archdeacon’s place).  If the bishop shall think fit, such person shall be further examined by one or more other members of the clergy appointed by the bishop for that purpose: Provided that if the bishop is prevented from acting, it shall be sufficient that such person be examined by the said members of the clergy.

24.    Suspension of Bishops contravening Canons 20 to 23

If any bishop shall admit any person to holy orders who is not qualified in accordance with Canons 20 to 23, the archbishop of the province, with the concurrence of one other bishop, may suspend the bishop so offending from the making of deacons or the ordering of priests or presbyters for a period not exceeding two years, subject to an appeal to the Court of the General Synod.

25.    To prevent simoniacal contracts

Every archbishop or bishop, before ordaining any person to holy orders, or installing, instituting or collating any person to any ecclesiastical dignity or cure of souls, shall require every such person to make and subscribe the following declaration against simony:
I,                                               , have not made, by myself or by any other person on my behalf, any payment, contract, or promise of any kind whatsoever (save that I will faithfully perform my duty) touching or concerning the obtaining of (the sacred order of                                     , the chaplaincy of                          , the curacy of                                             or the benefice of                                         , each to be specially stated by each declarant); nor will I at any time hereafter perform or satisfy, in whole or in part, any such payment, contract, or promise made by any other person with or without my knowledge or consent.

Part IV

DUTIES OF CLERGY

 

26.    Holy Baptism

(1)    Due notice shall be given to the officiating member of the clergy before a child is brought to the church to be baptised.

(2)    If a member of the clergy shall refuse or unduly delay to baptise any such child, the parents or guardians may apply to the bishop who shall, after consultation with that member of the clergy, give such directions as the bishop shall think fit.

(3)    Clergy shall instruct the parents or guardians of children to be admitted to Holy Baptism that the same responsibilities rest on them as are in the service of Holy Baptism required of godparents.

(4)    Sponsors and godparents must be baptised Christians and persons of discreet age, and at least two shall be members of the Church of Ireland or of a Church in communion therewith.

27.    Teaching the Young

(1)    Every member of the clergy shall take care that the children and young persons within the cure of that member of the clergy are instructed in the doctrine, sacraments and discipline of Christ, as the Lord has commanded and as they are set forth in the holy scriptures, in the Book of Common Prayer and in the Church Catechism.  To this end clergy or some godly and competent persons shall on Sundays or other convenient times carefully instruct and teach them in the same.

(2)    All parents and guardians shall take care that their children receive such instruction.

28.    Confirmation

(1)    All clergy who have cure of souls shall encourage those whom they shall think suitable to be confirmed and shall use their best endeavour to instruct them in the Christian faith and life as set forth in the holy scriptures, Book of Common Prayer and the Church Catechism contained therein.

(2)    The bishop shall minister in person (or cause to be ministered by some other bishop lawfully deputed in place of that bishop) the rite of confirmation throughout the diocese, laying hands upon children and other persons who have been baptised and instructed in the Christian Faith.

(3)    Clergy shall present to the bishop only such as have been baptised and are come to years of discretion, and can say the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments, and can also render an account of their faith according to the said catechism.

29.    Clergy to endeavour to banish error

All clergy having within their cures any persons holding any erroneous and strange doctrines, contrary to the word of God, shall endeavour to reclaim them from their errors.

30.    Clergy to visit the people in their cures

(1)    Clergy shall visit from time to time all those in their cures for such exercise of their ministry as may be found fitting and convenient.

(2)    Members of the clergy upon hearing that any persons in their cures are dangerously sick, shall visit them (even though they have not previously resorted to the church) to instruct and comfort them in their distress according to the order of the Book of Common Prayer or otherwise as said members of the clergy shall think suitable.

31.    The Solemnization of marriages

1.    The Church of Ireland affirms, according to our Lord’s teaching that marriage is in its purpose a union permanent and life–long, for better or worse, till death do them part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, for the procreation and nurture of children, for the hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affections, and for the mutual society, help and comfort which the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.

2.    Every member of the clergy who is approached with a view to solemnising a marriage is required to fulfil the statutory requirements of the state in which the marriage is to take place and must comply also with such Church of Ireland Marriage Regulations as may be provided.

3.    (a)    Any member of the clergy who is approached with a view to solemnizing a marriage between parties either of whom has been party to a ceremony of marriage with another person still living shall, if unwilling to perform the ceremony, so inform the parties immediately.

(b)    No member of the clergy shall agree to solemnize a marriage between parties either of whom has been a party to a ceremony of marriage with another person still living unless such member of the clergy has first sought the bishop’s opinion as to the advisability of solemnizing the marriage of the couple concerned.

(c)    The member of the clergy concerned shall consider and take into account the opinion of the bishop in exercising the discretion, vested in members of the clergy by law, as to whether or not to solemnize the marriage concerned.

4.    It shall be the duty of the member of the clergy concerned to make available to the bishop, in such a form as may be prescribed by regulation, all the information, in so far as the member of the clergy shall obtain it, which the bishop shall require in order to form an opinion.

5.    The bishop shall be entitled to seek and take into account such pastoral or other advice from such persons and in such manner as the bishop may think fit.  The bishop shall at least consult, and take into account, the advice of the incumbent of the parishes to which either of the parties to the proposed remarriage belongs, and also the incumbent of the parish in which it is proposed to conduct the ceremony of remarriage.  The advice of such person or persons shall be confidential to the bishop.

6.    The opinion of the bishop shall as soon as practicable be communicated by the bishop to the member of the clergy concerned.  In cases where a decree of nullity has been granted on grounds acceptable to the Church of Ireland, the bishop shall declare that the applicant is ipso facto free to marry in church.  In other cases, in which the bishop shall give a favourable judgement, the bishop shall prescribe that the member of the clergy concerned conduct a private service of preparation for remarriage in church with the parties involved (in such a form as may be provided by regulation) before the solemnization of matrimony may take place.

32.    The burial of the dead

(1)    Subject to the provisions of this Canon no member of the clergy shall, where reasonable notice has been given to that member of the clergy, refuse to read the burial service in the prescribed form at

(a)    the burial within the cure in which that member of the clergy officiates of any person who may have died within that cure,

(b)    the burial of any person whose family may possess a burial place within the church or churchyard of the parish in which that member of the clergy officiates, and whose remains have been brought there for interment,

(c)    the burial within a reasonable distance outside the cure in which that member of the clergy officiates of a person who died within that cure and is believed by that member of the clergy to have been at the time of death a member of the Church, or

(d)    the burial within the cure in which that member of the clergy officiates of a deceased person who died outside that cure but whose remains have been brought there for interment and who is believed by that member of the clergy to have been at the time of death a member of the Church.

(2)    A member of the clergy may however exercise discretion in refusing to read the burial service in full where the deceased died unbaptised or had committed some grievous or notorious sin and not repented of it or had been excluded from Holy Communion under Canon 16 and had not been readmitted thereto.

(3)    Any member of the clergy who refuses to read the full service pursuant to clause (2) hereof shall read at the burial such parts of the prescribed service or such approved prayers and such psalms or portions of Scripture as to such member of the clergy shall seem fit, or shall use such alternative or modified form of service as may have been prescribed for the case.  Save where the burial is of an unbaptised infant such member of the clergy shall also, where it is reasonably practicable to do so, consult with the ordinary before the burial; and where this is not reasonably practicable such member of the clergy shall report the matter to the ordinary thereafter.

33.    The manner of life of clergy

Clergy shall not give themselves to such occupations, habits or recreations as do not befit their sacred calling, or may be detrimental to the duties of their office, or tend to be a just cause of offence to others.  They shall be diligent in daily prayer and intercession, in the examination of their conscience, and in the study of the holy scriptures and such other studies as pertain to their ministerial duties, and to frame and fashion their lives and those of their families according to the doctrine of Christ, and to make themselves and their families, as far as in them lies, wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ.

34.    The occupations of clergy

(1)    No member of the clergy who holds any ecclesiastical position shall engage in trade or any other occupation unsuitable to such person’s sacred calling, or in such manner as to affect adversely the performance of that person’s duties.

(2)    If any question shall be raised as to whether any such engagement is unsuitable to the sacred calling of a member of the clergy or detrimental to the performance of such person’s duties, the matter shall be referred to the ordinary for decision and for necessary instructions to that person, and any such instructions shall be obeyed.

(3)    The member of the clergy, and the persons raising the question, shall have a right to appeal (in the place of an appeal to any ecclesiastical court) to the archbishop of the province, or (if the member of the clergy is in the diocese of Armagh or Dublin) to the archbishop of the other province.

(4)    A member of the clergy who, for a period of not less than three years, has held ecclesiastical office or served as a curate assistant, and who is not in receipt of a retirement annuity in respect of service in the ordained ministry, may be deployed on a part–time basis in such post as has been certified by the bishop and the diocesan council as suited to part–time deployment, subject to the following regulations:

(a)    such person shall serve under licence from the bishop, and subject to the direction of the bishop or such other person as the bishop shall appoint.  All the entitlements of such licence shall apply except that such person shall neither serve as an archdeacon nor act as a member of the Board of Nomination for the parish in which such person serves;

(b)    such person shall neither hold office as an incumbent, vicar or licensed curate nor hold any other ecclesiastical office, whilst serving in part–time deployment;

(c)    the bishop, before appointing a member of the clergy to a position of part–time deployment, shall obtain from the diocesan council (or where appropriate the select vestry) a certificate that appropriate financial provision is available;

(d)    the bishop shall provide in writing to such person the terms of deployment, including duties and rates of remuneration, subject to such regulations as may be made from time to time by the Representative Body; and

(e)    the bishop, after consultation with the other members of the Committee of Patronage of the diocese, shall review such deployment after one year and every three years thereafter.

(5)    Notwithstanding the provisions of Canon 20, a person who has been admitted to holy orders for general assistance in a diocese on the basis that such a person will continue to earn a living in a lay occupation or will have some other source of income sufficient for such person’s needs, and who has served in the auxiliary ministry for a period of not less than three years, may apply to the bishop, to be paid for duties performed at the bishop’s request and to be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of such duties; provided that no such payment and no such reimbursement of expenses shall –

(a)    be at a rate in excess of those prescribed in such rules in this regard as shall, from time to time, be made by the Representative Church Body and approved by the Standing Committee of the General Synod; or

(b)    confer any entitlement to membership of or participation in the Church of Ireland Clergy Pensions Fund.A m

Part V

READERS

35.    (1)    A bishop may license any layperson who is a regular communicant of the Church as a reader.
(2)    Subject to any regulations made by the bishop it shall be lawful for a reader

(a)    during the time of divine service to read Morning and Evening Prayer or other services approved by the ordinary (other than Holy Communion) authorised under Canon 5 (1), except for the absolution, to publish banns of marriage (if so permitted by the secular law, and in accordance with the requirements of that law), to preach and to present the offerings of the people.

(b)    if specially authorised, and in accordance with the rubric to the office of Holy Communion, to administer the cup.

Part VI

GENERAL

 

36.    Churches and churchyards to be consecrated

As often as churches are newly built or rebuilt, or churchyards are appointed for burial, they shall be dedicated and consecrated.  No church which has ceased to be required for worship, nor any churchyard, shall be put to any base or unworthy use.

37.    Other purposes to which a church may be put

(1)    When any church or chapel is to be used for a play, concert, exhibition or films or pictures or similar purpose, the officiating member of the clergy shall take care that the words, music, pictures and performance are such as befit the house of God, are consonant with sound doctrine, and contribute to the edifying of the people.

(2)    The officiating member of the clergy shall obey any directions relating to such use of a church or chapel which may be issued from time to time by the ordinary.

38.    Changes in the structure and furnishings of churches

No change shall be made in the structure, ornaments, furnishings or monuments of any church (whether by introduction, alteration or removal), unless with the consent of the incumbent and select vestry, and until an accurate description or design of the proposed change shall have been approved of by the ordinary: provided always that any person aggrieved by any such proposed change, or by the refusal of the ordinary, incumbent or the select vestry to consent or approve thereof, shall have a right of appeal under Canon 42.

39.    Crosses on or behind the Communion Table

A cross may be placed on the Communion Table, or on the covering thereof, or may be erected or depicted on the wall or other structure behind the Communion Table, in any of the churches or other places of worship of the Church of Ireland:  Provided that approval by faculty is obtained with the consent of the incumbent and a majority of the select vestry, or the dean and a majority of the chapter and of the cathedral board, as the case may be.

40.    Use of incense forbidden

No incense or any substitution therefor or imitation thereof shall at any time be used in any church or chapel or other place in which the public services of the Church are celebrated.

41.    Processions

(1)    Processions are permitted at the opening and close of any service, unless forbidden by the ordinary, and in the course of such service at such times as may be prescribed by the ordinary or are necessarily required by the rubrics.

(2)    It shall be lawful to carry a cross in any procession at the opening or close of any service.

(3)    It shall be lawful for the Archbishop of Armagh’s cross to be carried before that Archbishop anywhere in Ireland, and for the Archbishop of Dublin’s cross to be carried before that Archbishop anywhere in the province of Dublin; Provided that on the invitation of the Archbishop of Armagh, the Archbishop of Dublin’s cross may be carried before that Archbishop in the province of Armagh.

(4)    It shall be lawful with the consent of the incumbent to carry a flag, banner or picture in any procession at the opening or close of a service, unless forbidden by the ordinary.

42.    Right of Appeal

Any person aggrieved by the decision of the ordinary upon, or by the ordinary’s refusal to hear and determine, any matter left to the ordinary’s decision by these Canons, shall have the right to appeal to the Diocesan Court, and from it to the Court of the General Synod.

43.    Penalty for wilful breach of any Canon

Any lay member of the Church of Ireland accused of any violation of those Canons may be charged before the Court of General Synod or the Diocesan Court (as the circumstances of the case may require) in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.