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The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia


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In the early ages of the Church it was customary to recite in holy commemoration the names of eminent Bishops, of Saints and Martyrs; the names of those who had lived righteously and had attained the perfection of a virtuous life. For this purpose the Church possessed certain books, called diptychs, from their being folded together, and in which the names of such persons "departed in the true faith," were written that the Deacon might rehearse them at the time when the memorial of the departed was made at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. This was done to excite and lead the living to the same happy state by following their good example; and also to celebrate the memory of them as still living, according to the principles of our Religion, and not properly dead, but only translated by death to a more Divine Life. To this custom is to be traced the origin of the Christian CALENDAR (which see). In many parishes at the present time a similar custom obtains, of reciting at the Holy Communion on All Saints' Day the names of parishioners who, during the year, have departed in the true faith of God's Holy Name.

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Diptychs'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. 1901.

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