19 April 2024


It's many decades since I visited the Episcopalian Church of Old S Paul's in Edinburgh ... but my recollection is of learning that, before its Victorian rebuild, it was so constructed that the Priest and each worshipping family had a separate and independant room to occupy. The door was kept open so that they could hear ... This was presumably so that, in some sort of way, they would be legally uninvolved ...

In any case, it must have been not unlike worshipping in box pews.

When, after the demise of James VIII and III, the Scottish Episcopalians decided to move from Apophaticism to Naming the current Georgite intruder, the hurricane of coughing which drowned out the Dreaded Name was considerable.

Hugh McMahon, Catholic Bishop of Clogher from 1707 until 1714, Archbishop of Armagh later, recorded that in his Clogher days, a priest would say Mass at night with his face veiled, or in a room with the congregation outside, so that if they were arrested and interrogated, they could without lying say that they did not know who the officiating priest was.

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