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Laodicea, Council, of

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

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(Conciliumt Laodicenum), an important council held at Laodicea, in Phvrgia, in the 4th century. The year in which this council convened is disputed. Baronius and Binius assign the year 314; Pagi. 363; Hardouin places it as late as 372, and others even in 399. Hefele thinks that it must have had its session between 343 (the Council of Antioch) and 381, rather in the second than in the first half of the 4th century. Beveridge adduces some probable reasons for supposing it to have been held in 365. Thirty- two bishops were present, from different provinces of Asia, and sixty canons were published, which were accepted by the other churches.

1. Permits the administration of communion to persons who have married a second time, after their remaining a while in retreat, fasting and praying.

2. Directs holy communion to be given to those who have completed their penance.

3. Forbids to raise neophytes to the sacerdotal order.

4. Forbids usury among the clergy.

5. Ordination not to be administered in the presence of those who are in the rank of hearers.

6. No heretics to enter within the church.

7. Any Novatians, Photinians, or Quartodecimani who are to be received into the Church must first abjure every heresy, be instructed in the true faith, and anointed with the holy chrism.

8. All Cataphrygians or Montanists to be instructed and baptized before being received into the Church.

9. Excommunicates the faithful who go to the places of worship or burial- grounds of heretics.

10. Forbids the faithful to give their children in marriage to heretics.

11. Forbids the ordination of priestesses (πρεσβύτιδες) (see below).

12. Bishops to be appointed by the metropolitan and his provincials.

13. Priests not to be elected by the people.

14. Consecrated elements not to be sent into other parishes at Easter by way of eulogize.

15. Only those chanters named in the Church roll shall ascend the pulpit and chant. 16. The Gospels to be read, as well as the other books of Scripture, on Saturday.

17. A lesson shall be read between each psalm.

18. The same prayer to be repeated at nones as at vespers.

19. After the bishop's sermon the prayers for the catechumens shall be said separately, then those for the penitents, and, lastly, those of the faithful; after which the kiss of peace shall be given, and after the priests have given it to the bishop, the lay persons present shall give it to each other; and that ended, the administration of the holy eucharist shall proceed. None except the priests shall be permitted to approach the altar in order to communicate.

20. A deacon not to sit in the presence of a priest without permission of the latter. The same conduct is enjoined on subdeacons and all inferior clergy towards the deacon.

21, 22. The subdeacon not to undertake any of the functions of the deacon, nor touch the sacred vessels, nor wear a stole.

23. Forbids the same to chanters and readers.

24. No one of the clergy, or of the order of ascetics, to enter a tavern.

25. Forbids the subdeacon to give the consecrated bread and to bless the cup.

26. Prohibits persons not appointed thereto by a bishop from meddling with exorcisms.

27. Forbids the carrying away of any portion of the agapae.

28. Forbids the celebration of the agapae, or love-feasts, in churches.

29. Forbids Christians observing the Jewish Sabbath.

30. Forbids Christian men, especially the clergy, from bathing with women.

31. Forbids giving daughters in marriage to heretics.

32. Forbids receiving the eulogiae of heretics.

33. Forbids all Catholics praying with heretics and schismatics.

34. Anathematizes those who go after the false martyrs of heretics.

35. Forbids Christian persons leaving their church in order to attend private conventicles in which angels were invoked, and anathematizes those who are guilty of this idolatry.

36. Forbids the clergy dealing in magic, and directs that all who wear phylacteries be cast out of the Church.

37. Forbids fasting with Jews or heretics.

38. Forbids receiving unleavened bread from Jews.

39. Forbids feasting with heathen persons.

40. Orders all bishops to attend the synods to which they are summoned, unless prevented by illness.

41, 42. Forbids clergymen leaving the diocese to travel abroad without the bishop's permission and the canonical letters.

43. Forbids the porter of the church leaving the gate for a moment, even in order to pray.

44. Forbids women entering into the altar.

45. Forbids receiving those who do not present themselves for the Easter baptism before the second week in Lent.

46. Orders that all catechumens to be baptized shall know the Creed by heart, and shall repeat it before the bishop or priest on the fifth day of the week.

47. Those who have been baptized in sickness, if they recover, must learn the Creed.

48. Orders that those who have been baptized shall be anointed with the holy chrism, and partake of the kingdom of God.

49. Forbids celebrating the holy eucharist during Lent on any days but Saturdays and Sundays.

50. Forbids eating anything on the Thursday in the last week of Lent, or during the whole of Lent anything except dry food. 51. Forbids celebrating the festivals of the martyrs during Lent; orders remembrance of them on Saturdays and Sundays.

52. Forbids celebrating marriages and birthday feasts during Lent.

53. Enjoins proper behavior at marriage festivals, and forbids all dancing.

54. Forbids the clergy attending the shows and dances given at weddings.

55. None of the clergy or laity to club together for drinking-parties.

56. Forbids the priests taking their seats in the sanctuary before the bishop enters, except he be ill or absent.

57. Directs that bishops shall not be placed in small towns or villages, but simply visitors, who shall act under the direction of the bishop in the city.

58. Forbids both bishops and priests celebrating the holy eucharist in private houses.

59. Forbids singing uninspired hymns, etc., in church, and reading the uncanonical books.

60. Declares which are the canonical books of Scripture. In this list the Apocrypha and the book of Revelation are omitted. (See CANON OF SCRIPTURE). Of particular interest among the decisions of this council is canon 11, forbidding the employment of women as preachers. Hefele holds that the canon has hardly been properly translated, and that the desire of the council was simply to forbid superior diaconesses in the Church. But for a detailed discussion we must refer to Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, 1:731 sq. The difficulty as to the meaning arises from the fact that the canons were written in Greek, and the question hinges on the meaning intended for πρεσβύτιδες and προκαθήμεναι .

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Laodicea, Council, of'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​l/laodicea-council-of.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
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