British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

A calendar of the traditional customs, practices & rituals of the British Isles.

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294                                   TRINITY SUNDAY.                        [MAY I 7.
May 17.]                 TRINITY SUNDAY.
Its observance is said to have first been established by Archbishop Becket, soon after his consecration. " Hie post consecrationem suam instituit festivitatem principalem S. Trinitatis annis singulis in perpetuam celebrandam, quo die primam missam suam celebravit.9'—Wharton, H., Anglia Sacra, 1691, fol. pt. i. p. 8.
It is still customary for the judges and great law-officers of the Crown, together with the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, to attend Divine Service at St. Paul's Cathedral, and hear a sermon.
On Trinity Sunday, formerly, processions of children, with garlands of flowers and ribbons, were common.—Timbs* Something for Everybody, 1861, p. 83.
The parish of Clee possesses a right of cutting rushes from a piece of land, called " Bescars," for the purpose of strewing the floor of the church every Trinity Sunday. A small quantity of grass is annually cut to preserve this right. —Edwards, Old English Customs and Charities, p. 217.
The following extract is taken from the Newcastle Daily Journal of June 17th, 1867 :—
Yesterday being Trinity Sunday, in pursuance of a time-honoured custom, the Master, Deputy-Master, and Brethren of the Ancient and Honourable Corporation of the Trinity House attended officially in All Saints' Parish Church, New­castle. A noteworthy relic of the past in connection with the service was the performance on the organ (on the entrance and exit of the Master and Brethren) of the national air, (Rule Britannia,' The rendering of a secular air—even as an evidence of respect—has been objected to; but the organist cites the custom of half a century.
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