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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:
The Canons of the Synods of Sardica, Carthage, Constantinople, and Carthage Under St. Cyprian, Which Canons Were Received by the Council in Trullo and Ratified by II. Nice.: Canon XVIII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Canon XVIII.  (Gk. xviii.  The Latin caption is the canon of the Greek.)

If any cleric is ordained he ought to be admonished to observe the constitutions.

And that neither the Eucharist nor Baptism should be given to the bodies of the dead.

And that every year in every province the Metropolitans come together in synod.

(Gk. Canon xix.)

It seemed good that before bishops, or clerics were ordained, the provisions of the canons should be brought to their notice, lest, they might afterwards repent of having through ignorance acted contrary to law.

p. 451 Ancient Epitome of Greek Canon XIX.

The things which have been adopted by the synods should be made known to him who is to be ordained.

(Gk. Canon xx.)

It also seemed good that the Eucharist should not be given to the bodies of the dead.  For it is written:  “Take, Eat,” but the bodies of the dead can neither “take” nor “eat.”  Nor let the ignorance of the presbyters baptize those who are dead.

Ancient Epitome of Greek Canon XX

The Eucharist is not to be given to the body of one dead for it neither eats nor drinks.

The ignorance of a presbyter shall not baptize a dead man.

(Gk. Canon xxi.)

And therefore in this holy synod should be confirmed in accordance with the Nicene decrees, on account of Ecclesiastical causes, which often are delayed to the injury of the people, that every year there should be a synod, to which all, who are primates of the provinces, should send bishops as legates, from their own synods, two or as many as they choose; so that when the synod meets it may have full power to act.


Ancient Epitome of Greek Canon XXI.

According to the decrees of the Nicene Fathers a yearly synod shall be assembled, and two legates or as many as they shall choose, shall be sent by the primates of every province.

This is composed of Canons II., IV., and V. of the second series of enactments of Hippo, a.d. 393.


The 18th canon in the Edition of Tilius and Bishop Beveridge runs thus; viz. [If any clergyman be ordained he ought to be reminded to keep the canons; and that the Eucharist or Baptism be not given to dead corpses; and that the Metropolitans in every province meet in synod yearly.]  They speak their own language, and call him a Metropolitan, whom the Africans called a Primate; but then they have also the entire 18th canon, as it here stands according to the Latin, which they divide into three, and number them 19, 20, 21.

See Can. Nic. 5.  It seems very odd that they should allege the authority of the Nicene Synod upon this occasion; for that orders a synod twice a year, this but once; that intends a provincial synod, this a diocesan or national one.

Next: Canon XIX

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