PRESBYTERIUM: A body of elders, Jewish (Luke xxii. 66;
PRESBYTERY: An ecclesiastical term having two distinct uses. (1) The part of the church, behind the altar, which contained seats for the bishops and presbyters (priests), divided from the rest by rails, so that none but clergy might enter it. (2) An ecclesiastical court of Presbyterian churches, next in rank above the session, composed of all the ministers, and one elder from each church -within a certain radius, and having jurisdiction over the ministers composing it, over the candidates for the ministry and licentiates, and over the churches within its bounds. See POLITY, ECCLESIASTICAL; and PRESBYTERIANS, X.
PRESENCE AND PRESENCE FEES: The personal discharge of ecclesiastical duties by each incumbent upon whom the duties in question devolve, and the emoluments connected with the performance of such duties. Every incumbent of an ecclesiastical position is required to administer it in person, unless he may legally have a representative and leave of absence (see RESIDENCE). Personal presence is especially required of all those who are bound to recite the canonical hours in choir; and according to the Council of Vienne (1311), this is the case in cathedral, monastic, and collegiate churches, other churches being governed by their own usage. Those who do not conform to this regulation not only incur other penalties, but also forfeit their presence fees and consolations. The presence fees are those emoluments mbich are daily earned by personal attendance, and are distributed either daily or weekly. The consolations are emoluments in money or in kind (wine, poultry, eggs, etc.) which are distributed at fixed intervals; and they also include oblations, Or revenues from anniversary masses, masses for the dead, and the like. Since, however, these presence fees and revenues were not forthcoming in every religious foundation, the Council of Trent enacted that a third of all incomes and revenues should daily be distributed among Such of the clergy as were actually present. Otherwise the daily revenues should accrue to the remaining clergy in residence, or should be devoted to the improvement of the church building or, at the discretion of the bishop, to some other pious institution.,/p>
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