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Organ

(Greek organon , "an instrument")

A musical instrument which consists of one or several sets of pipes, each pipe giving only one tone, and which is blown and played by mechanical means.

I. ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT

As far as the sounding material is concerned, the organ has its prototype in the syrinx, or Pan's pipe, a little instrument consisting of several pipes of differing length tied together in a row. The application of the mechanism is credited to Ctesibius, a mechanician who lived in Alexandria about 300 B. C. According to descriptions by Vitruvius (who is now generally believed to have written about A. D. 60) and Heron (somewhat later than Vitruvius), the organ of Ctesibius was an instrument of such perfection as was not attained again until the eighteenth century. The blowing apparatus designed by Ctesibius consisted of two parts, just as in the modern organ; the first serving to compress the air (the "feeders"); the second, to store the compressed air, the "wind", and keep it at a uniform pressure (the "reservoir"). For the first purpose Ctesibius used air-pumps fitted with handles for convenient working. The second, the most interesting part of his invention, was constructed as follows: a bell-shaped vessel was placed in a bronze basin, mouth downwards, supported a couple of inches above the bottom of the basin by a few blocks. Into the basin water was then poured until it rose some distance above the mouth of the bell. Tubes connecting with the air-pumps, as well as others connecting with the pipes of the organ, were fitted into the top of the bell. When, therefore, the air-pumps were worked, the air inside the bell was compressed and pushed out some of the water below. The level of the water consequently rose and kept the air inside compressed. Any wind taken from the bell to supply the pipes would naturally have a tendency to raise the level of the water in the bell and to lower that outside. But if the supply from the air-pumps was kept slightly in excess of the demand by the pipes, so that some of the air would always escape through the water in bubbles, a very even pressure would be maintained. This is what was actually done, and the bubbling of the water, sometimes described as "boiling", was always prominent in the accounts given of the instrument.

Over the basin there was placed a flat box containing a number of channels corresponding to the number of rows of pipes. Vitruvius speaks of organs having four, six, or eight rows of pipes, with as many channels. Each channel was supplied with wind from the bell by a connecting tube, a cock being inserted in each tube to cut off the wind at will. Over the box containing the channels an upper-board was placed, on the lower side of which small grooves were cut transversely to the channels, in the grooves close-fitting "sliders" were inserted, which could be moved in and out. At the intersections of channels and grooves, holes were cut vertically through the upper board and, correspondingly, through the top covering of the channels. The pipes, then, stood over the holes of the upper-board, each row, representing a scale-like progression, standing over its own channel, and all the pipes belonging to the same key, standing over the same groove. The sliders also were perforated, their holes corresponding to those in the upper board and the roof of the channels. When, therefore, the slider was so placed that its holes were in line with the lower and upper holes, the wind could pass through the three holes into the pipe above; but if the slider was drawn out a little, its solid portions would cut off the connexion between the holes in the roof of the channels and those in the upper-board, and no wind could pass. There was thus a double control of the pipes. By means of the cocks, wind could he admitted to any one of the channels, and thus supply all the pipes standing over that channel, but only those pipes would get the wind whose slide was in the proper position. Again, by means of the slide, wind could be admitted to all the pipes standing in a transverse row, but only those pipes would be blown to whose channels wind had been admitted by the cocks. This double control is still a leading principle in modern organ-building, and a row of pipes, differing in pitch, but having the same quality of tone, is called a stop, because its wind supply can be stopped by one action. it is not quite certain what the stops in the ancient organ meant. it is very unlikely that different stops produced different qualities of tone, as in the modern organ. Most probably they represented different "modes". For the convenient management of the slides each was provided with an angular lever, so that on pressing down one arm of the lever, the slide was pushed in; the lever being released, the slide was pulled out again by a spring.

This organ, called hydraulus , or organum hydraulicum , from the water used in the blowing apparatus, enjoyed great popularity. Writers like Cicero are loud in its praise. Even emperors took pride in playing it. It was used to heighten the pleasures of banquets and was associated particularly with the theatre and the circus. Numerous representations, particularly on coins called contorniates, also testify to its general repute. At an early period we meet organs in which the air pumps were replaced by bellows. Whether in these organs the water apparatus was dispensed with, is not quite certain. It would be strange, however, if this important means of regulating the wind pressure had been discontinued while the hydraulus was still in vogue. About the sixth century organ-building seems to have gone down in Western Europe, while it was continued in the Eastern Empire. It was a great event when, in 757, the Emperor Constantine V Copronymus made a present of an organ to King Pepin. In 826 a Venetian priest named Georgius erected an organ at Aachen, possibly following the directions left by Vitruvius. Shortly afterwards organ-building seems to have flourished in Germany, for we are told ( Baluze "Misc.", V, 480) that Pope John VIII (872-80) asked Anno, Bishop of Freising, to send him a good organ and an organist. By this time the hydraulic apparatus for equalizing the wind-pressure had certainly been abandoned, presumably because in northern climates the water might freeze in winter time. The wind, therefore, was supplied to the pipes directly from the bellows. To get anything like a regular flow of wind, it was necessary to have a number of bellows worked by several men. Thus, an organ in Winchester cathedral, built in 951, and containing 400 pipes, had twenty-six bellows, which it took seventy men to blow. These seventy men evidently worked in relays. In all probability one man would work one bellows, but the work was so exhausting that each man could continue only for a short time. The bellows were pressed down either by means of a handle or by the blower standing on them. It seems that the device of weighting the bellows — so that the blower had merely to raise the upper board and leave the weights to press it down again — was discovered only in the beginning of the sixteenth century.

Another point in which the medieval organ was inferior to the hydraulus, was the absence of stops. There were, indeed, several rows of pipes, but they could not be stopped. All the pipes belonging to one key sounded always together, when that key was depressed. Thus the Winchester organ had ten pipes to each key. What the difference between these various pipes was, we do not know ; but it appears that at an early date pipes were introduced to re-enforce the overtones of the principal tone, giving the octave, twelfth, and their duplicates in still higher octaves. Then, to counterbalance these high-pitched pipes, others were added giving the lower octave, and even the second lower octave. In the absence of a stop action, variety of tone quality was of course unattainable, except by having different organs to play alternately. Even the Winchester organ had two key-boards, representing practically two organs (some authorities think there were three). From a contemporary description we learn that there were two organists (or three according to some), each managing his own "alphabet". The term alphabet is explained by the fact that the alphabetical name of the note was attached to each slide. The modern name key refers to the same fact, though, according to Zarlino ("Istitutioni armoniche", 1558), in a roundabout manner: he says that the letters of the alphabet placed at the beginning of the Guidonian staff (see NEUM, p. 772, col. 2) were called keys ( claves, clefs ) because they unlocked the secrets of the staff, and that, hence, the same name was applied to the levers of instruments like the organ inscribed with the same alphabetical letters.

While, in the Winchester organ, the two key-boards belonged to one organ, we know that there used to be also entirely separate organs in the same building. The smallest of these were called "portatives", because they could be carried about. These were known in France in the tenth century (Viollet-le-Duc, "Instruments de musique", p. 298). A larger kind was called "positive", because it was stationary, but it, again, seems to have been distinguished from a still larger instrument known simply as the organ. Later on, when in reality several organs were combined in the same instrument, one of the softer divisions was called "positive". This name is still retained on the Continent, while in English-speaking countries it has been changed to "choir organ". There was still another instrument of the organ kind called a "regal". Its peculiarity was that, instead of pipes, it had reeds, fastened at one end and free to vibrate at the other. It was therefore the precursor of our modern harmonium. In the fourteenth century organs were constructed with different key-boards placed one above the other, each controlling its own division of the organ. Soon afterwards couplers were designed, that is, mechanical appliances by which a key depressed in one key-board (or manual) would simultaneously pull down a corresponding key in another. The invention of a special key-board to be played by the feet, and hence called "pedals", is also placed in the fourteenth century. Sometimes the pedal keys merely pulled down manual keys by means of a chord; sometimes they were provided with their own rows of pipes, as in some fourteenth-century Swedish organs described by C. F. Hennerberg in a paper read at the International Musical Congress at Vienna, in 1909 ("Bericht", 91 sqq., Vienna and Leipzig, 1909).

It seems that stops were not reinvented until the fifteenth century. The form then used for a stop action was that of a "spring-box". About the fourteenth century, it appears, the slider for the key action had been discontinued, and channels (grooves) had been used, as in the ancient hydraulus, but running transversely, each under a row of pipes belonging to the same key. Into these grooves wind was admitted through a slit covered by a valve (pallet), the valve being pulled down and opened by the key action, and closed again by a spring. Such an arrangement is found in some remnants of the fourteenth century Swedish organs (see Hennerberg, l. c.). In these grooves, then, about the fifteenth century, secondary spring valves were inserted, one under each hole leading to a pipe. From each of these secondary valves a string led to one of a number of rods running longitudinally under the sound-board, one for each set of pipes corresponding to a stop. By depressing this rod, all the secondary valves belonging to the corresponding stop would be opened, and wind could enter the pipes as soon as it was admitted into the grooves by the key action. Later on it was found more convenient to push these valves down than to pull them. Little rods were made to pass through the top of the sound-board and to rest on the front end of the valves. These rods could be depressed, so as to open the valves, by the, stop-rod running over the sound-board. From these secondary valves the whole arrangement received the name spring-box .

The spring-box solved the problem in principle, but had the drawback of necessitating frequent repairs. Hence, from the sixteenth century onwards, organ-builders began to use sliders for the stop action. Thus the double control of the pipes by means of channel and slide was again used as in the hydraulus, but with exchanged functions, the channel now serving for the key action and the slider for the stop action. In modern times some builders have returned to the ancient method of using the channel longitudinally, for the stops ( Kegellade and similar contrivances; pneumatic sound-boards). Mention should also be made of attempts to do away with the channels altogether, to have all the pipes supplied directly from a universal wind-chest and to bring about the double control of key and stop action by the mechanism alone. Each pipe hole is then provided with a special valve, and key and stop mechanism are so arranged that only their combined action will open the valve. Shortly after the stop-action had been reinvented, builders began to design varieties of stops. The earlier pipes had been all of our open diapason kind, which in principle is the same as the toy-whistle. These were now made in different "scales" ( scale being the ratio of diameter to length). Also, the form of a cone, upright or inverted, replaced the cylindrical form. Stopped pipes — that is, pipes closed at the top — were added, and reeds — pipes with a "beating" reed and a body like the "flue" pipes — were introduced. Thus, by the sixteenth century all the main types now used had been invented.

The keys in the early medieval organs were not, it seems, levers, as in the ancient organ and modern instruments, but simply the projecting ends of the slides, being, presumably, furnished with some simple device making it convenient for the fingers to push in or pull out the slides. The invention of key-levers is generally placed in the twelfth century. These were for a long time placed exactly opposite their sliders. When, therefore, larger pipes began to be placed on the soundboard, the distances between the centres of the keys had to be widened. Thus we are told that organs had keys from three to five inches wide. This inconvenience was overcome by the invention of the rollerboard, which is placed in the fourteenth century. The rollers are rods placed longitudinally under the soundboard and pivoted. From each two short arms project horizontally, one being placed over a key, the other under the corresponding slider or valve. Thus the length of the key-board became independent of the length of the sound-board. Consequently we learn that in the fifteenth century the keys were so reduced in size that a hand could span the interval of a fifth, and in the beginning of the sixteenth the keyboard had about the size it has at present.

The number of keys in the early organs was small: only about one or two octaves of natural keys with at most the addition of b flat, Slowly the number of keys was increased, and in the fourteenth century we hear of key-boards having thirty-one keys. In the same century chromatic notes other than b flat began to be added. Then the question of tuning became troublesome. Various systems were devised, and it was not till the eighteenth century, through the powerful influence of J. S. Bach, that equal temperament was adopted. This consists in tuning in fifths and octaves, making each fifth slightly flat so that the 12th fifth will give a perfect octave. About the beginning of the sixteenth century the lower limit of the key-boards began to be fixed on the Continent at C, the c that lies below the lowest tone of the average bass voice and requires an open pipe of about 8 feet in length. In England organ key-boards were generally carried down to the G or F below that C, and only about the middle of the nineteenth century the continental usage prevailed also here. The total compass of the manuals now varies from four and a half to five octaves, that of the pedals from two octaves and three notes to two octaves and six notes (C — d' of C — f' ). In 1712 it occurred to a London organ-builder named Jordan to place one manual department of the organ in a box fitted with shutters which could be opened or closed by a foot-worked lever, a kind of crescendo and decrescendo being thus obtained. This device, which received the name of swell, soon became popular in England, while in Germany it found favour only quite recently.

As we have seen, all through the Middle Ages the blowing apparatus consisted of bellows which delivered the wind directly to the sound-board. It was only in the eighteenth century that two sets of bellows were employed, one to supply the wind, the other to store it and keep it at even pressure. Thus, after an interval of about a thousand years, the blowing apparatus regained the perfection it had possessed in the hydraulus during the preceding thousand years. In 1762 a clock-maker named Cummings invented a square, weighted bellows, serving as a reservoir, and supplied by other bellows called "feeders". The feeders are generally worked by levers operated either by hand or foot, In quite recent times machinery has been applied to supersede the human blower, hydraulic, or gas, or oil engines, or electromotors being used. The difficulty of regulating the supply is easily overcome in the case of hydraulic engines, which can be made to go slowly or fast as required. But it is serious in the case of the other engines. Gas and oil engines must always go at the same speed, and even with electromotors a control of their speed is awkward. Hence, nowadays, bellows serving as feeders are frequently superseded by centrifugal fans, which can go at their full speed without delivering wind. It is sufficient, therefore, to fit an automatic valve to the reservoir, which will close when the reservoir is full. There is this drawback in the fans: that to produce a pressure as required in modern organs, they must go at a high speed which is apt to produce a disturbing noise. To obviate this difficulty several fans are arranged in series, the first raising the wind only to a slight pressure and so delivering it to a second fan, which delivers it at an increased pressure to the next, and so on, until the requisite pressure is attained by a practically noiseless process.

A genuine revolution in the building of organs was brought about by the invention of the pneumatic lever. Up to the twelfth century, it appears, the "touch" (or key-resistance) was light, so that the organs could be played with the fingers (see an article by Schubiger in "Monatshefte für Musikgeschichte", I, No. 9). Later on, possibly with the change to the groove and pallet system, it became heavy, so that the keys had to he pushed down by the fists. With improvement in the mechanism a lighter touch was secured again, so that playing with the fingers became possible after the fifteenth century. Still, a difficulty was always felt. In large organs the valve which admits the wind to the key channels (the pallet) must be of considerable size, if all the pipes are to get sufficient wind. Consequently, the wind-pressure which has to be overcome in opening the valve becomes so great that it taxes the power of the organist's fingers unduly. This difficulty is increased when couplers are used, as the finger then has to open two or more valves at the same time. To overcome this difficulty, Barker, an Englishman, in 1832, thought of using the power of the wind itself as an intermediate agent, and he induced the French organ-builder Cavaillé-Coll to adopt his idea in an organ erected in 1841. The device consists in this: that the key, by opening a small valve, admits the wind into a bellows which acts as motor and pulls down the pallet. Once this appliance was thoroughly appreciated, the way was opened to dispense altogether with the mechanism that connects the key with the pallet (or the draw-stop knob with the slider), and to put in its stead tubular-pneumatic or electro-pneumatic action. In the former the key opens a very small valve which admits the wind into a tube of small diameter; the wind, travelling through the tube in the form of a compression wave, opens, at the far end, another small valve controlling the motor bellows that opens the pallet. In the electro-pneumatic action the key makes an electric contact, causing the electric current to energize, at the organ end, an electro-magnet which, by its armature, causes a flow of wind and thus operates on a pneumatic lever.

With these inventions all the restrictions in organ-building, as to number of stops, pressure of wind, distances etc., were removed. Also means of control could easily be multiplied. Couplers were increased in number, and besides those connecting a key of one manual with the corresponding key of another, octave and sub-octave couplers were added, both on the same manual and between different manuals. In the matter of a stop-control, combination pedals — that is foot-worked levers drawing a whole set of stops at a time — had been in use before the pneumatic lever. They were now often replaced by small pistons placed conveniently for the hands. These pistons are sometimes so designed as not to interfere with the arrangement of stops worked by hand; sometimes they are made "adjustable" — that is, so contrived as to draw any combination of stops which the player may previously arrange. Attempts have also been made to have individual stops playable from several manuals. This is a great advantage, but, on the other hand, it implies inaccessible mechanism. Casson's "Octave-duplication" avoids this objection, while, by making a whole manual playable in octave pitch, it considerably increases the variety of tone obtainable from a given number of stops.

A special difficulty in organ-playing is the manipulation of the pedal stops. On the manuals quick changes of strength and quality can be obtained by passing from one key-board to another. But, as only one pedal key-board is feasible, similar changes on the pedals can only be made by change of stops. Hence special facilities are here particularly desirable. Casson's invention, in 1889, of "pedal helps" — little levers, or pistons, one for each manual, which make the pedal stops adjust themselves automatically to all changes of stops on the corresponding manual — is the most satisfactory solution of this difficulty.

II. FAMOUS ORGAN BUILDERS

Ctesibius, the inventor of the hydraulus, and the Venetian Georgius, who built the first organ north of the Alps, have already been mentioned, It is interesting to find a pope among the organ-builders of history: Sylvester II (999-1003), who seems to have built a hydraulic organ (Pretorius, "Syntagma Musicum", II, 92). We may also record here the first instructions on organ-building since the time of Vitruvius and Heron, contained in a work, "Diversarum artium schedula", by Theophilus, a monk, who seems to have written before 1100 (Degering, "Die Orgel", p. 65). After this names are scarce until the thirteenth century. Then we hear in Germany of a large organ in Cologne cathedral, built, probably, by one Johann, while the builders of famous organs in Erfurt Cathedral (1225) and in St. Peter's near Erfurt (1226) are not known. A Master Guncelin of Frankfort built a large organ for Strasburg cathedral in 1292, and a Master Raspo, also of Frankfort, probably built one for Basle cathedral in 1303. The famous organ at Halberstadt, with four keyboards, was built between 1359 and 1361 by Nicholas Faber, a priest. Of the fifteenth century we will mention only Steffan of Breslau, who built a new organ for Erfurt cathedral in 1483. In the sixteenth century Gregorius Vogel was famous for the beauty and variety of tone of his stops. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Silbermann family were renowned. The first of them to take up organ-building was Andreas Silbermann (1678-1733); his brother Gottfried (1683-1753), the most famous organ-builder in the family, was also one of the first to build pianofortes. Three sons of Andreas continued the work of their father and uncle: Johann Andreas (1712-83), Johann Daniel (1717-1766), and Johann Heinrich (1727-1799), the last two building mainly pianofortes. In a third generation we meet Johann Josias (died 1786), a son of Johann Andreas, and Johann Friedrich (1762-1817), a son of Johann Heinrich. In the nineteenth century we may mention Moser, who, about 1830, built a large organ for Freiburg in Switzerland, where they imitate thunderstorms; Schulze of Paulinzelle, Ladegast of Weissenfels Walcker of Ludwigsburg, Mauracher of Gras, Sauer of Frankfoft-on-the-Oder, Weigle of Stuttgart, Stahlhuth of Aachen.

In England we hear in the fourteenth century of John the Organer and of Walter the Organer, who was also a clock-maker. From the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the names of a large number of organ-builders are transmitted to us, showing organ-building was in a flourishing condition, but the Puritans destroyed most organs, and organ-builders almost disappeared. When organ-building was taken up again, in 1660, there was a scarcity of competent builders, and Bernard Schmidt, with his two nephews Gerard and Bernard, came over from Germany. Bernard the elder was commonly known as Father Smith, to distinguish him from his nephew. At the same time John Harris, a son of Thomas Harris of Salisbury, who had been working in France, returned to England. His son, Renatus, became the principal rival of Father Smith. In the following century another German, John Snetzler (1710-c. 1800) settled in England and became famous for the quality of his organ pipes. His business eventually became that of W. Hill and Son, London. In the nineteenth century the most prominent builder was Henry Willis (1821-1901), who designed several ingenious forms of pneumatic actions and brought the intonations of reeds to great perfection. Mention should also be made of R. Hope-Jones of Birkenhead, whose electro-pneumatic action marked a great step forward.

In Italy the Antegnati family were prominent during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Bartolomeo Antegnati built an organ in 1486 for Brescia cathedral, where he was organist. He had three sons: Giovan Francesco, Giov. Giacomo, and Giov. Battista. Francesco is also known as a maker of harpsichords. G. Giacomo was the organist of Milan cathedral and built for Brescia cathedral a choir organ which was famous in its time. Graziado, a son of G. Battista, built a new large organ for Brescia in 1580. His son Costanzo (born 1557) was an organist and a composer of renown. In the preface to a collection of ricercari (1608) he gives a list of 135 organs built by members of his family (cf. Damiano Muoni, "Elgi Antegnati", Milan, 1883). Vincenzo Columbi built a fine organ for St. John Lateran in 1549. In France we hear of an organ in the Abbey of Fécamp in the twelfth century. In the eighteenth century a well-known organ-builder was Joh. Nicolaus le Ferre, who, in 1761, built an organ of 51 stops in Paris. More famous is Don Bedos de Celles (1714-97), who also wrote an important book, "L'art du facteur d'orgues" (Paris, 1766-78). In the nineteenth century a renowned firm was that of Daublaine & Co., founded 1838; in 1845 it became Ducrocquet & Co. and sent an organ to the London Exhibition of 1851; in 1855 it changed its name again to Merkhin, Schütze & Co. and erected some of the earliest electro-pneumatic organs. The most famous builder of modern times, however, was Aristide Cavaillé-Col (1811-99), a descendant of an old organ-building family, mentioned above in connexion with Barker's invention of the pneumatic lever; he was also highly esteemed for the intonation of his reeds.

In America the first organ erected was imported from Europe in 1713 for Queen's Chapel, Boston. It was followed by several others, likewise imported. In 1745 Edward Broomfield of Boston built the first organ in America. More famous was W. M. Goodrich, who began business in the same city in 1800. The best known of American organ builders is Hilborne L. Roosevelt of New York, who, with his son Frank, effected many bold improvements in organ building. In 1894 John Turnell Austin patented his "universal airchest", an air-chest large enough to admit a man for repairs and containing all the mechanism, as well as the magazine for storing the wind and keeping it at equal pressure (Mathews, "A Handbook of the Organ").

III. THE ORGAN IN CHURCH SERVICE

In the early centuries the objection of the Church to instrumental music applied also to the organ, which is not surprising, if we remember the association of the hydraulus with theatre and circus. According to Platina ("De vitis Pontificum", Cologne, 1593), Pope Vitalian (657-72) introduced the organ into the church service. This, however, is very doubtful. At all events, a strong objection to the organ in church service remained pretty general down to the twelfth century, which may be accounted for partly by the imperfection of tone in organs of that time. But from the twelfth century on, the organ became the privileged church instrument, the majesty and unimpassioned character of its tone making it a particularly suitable means for adding solemnity to Divine worship.

According to the present legislation organ music is allowed on all joyful occasions, both for purely instrumental pieces (voluntaries) and as accompaniment. The organ alone may even take the place of the voices in alternate verses at Mass or in the Office, provided the text so treated be recited by someone in an audible voice while the organ is played. Only the Credo is excepted from this treatment, and in any case the first verse of each chant and all the verses at which any liturgical action takes place — such as the "Te ergo quæsumus", the "Tantum ergo", the "Gloria Patri" — should be sung.

With some exceptions, the organ is not to be played during Advent and Lent. It may be played on the Third Sunday in Advent (Gaudete) and the Fourth in Lent (Lætare) at Mass and Vespers, on Holy Thursday at the Gloria, and on Holy Saturday at and, according to general usage, after the Gloria. Moreover, it may be played, even in Advent and Lent, on solemn feasts of the saints and on the occasion of any joyful celebration — as e.g. the Communion of children [S. R. C., 11 May, 1878, 3448 (5728)]. Moreover, by a kind of indult, it would seem, the organ is admitted, even in Lent and Advent, to support the singing of the choir, but in this case it must cease with the singing. This permission, however, does not extend to the last three days of Holy Week (S. R. C., 20 March, 1903, 4009). At Offices of the Dead organ music is excluded; at a Requiem Mass, however, it may be used for the accompaniment of the choir, as above.

It is appropriate to play the organ at the beginning and end of Mass, especially when a bishop solemnly enters or leaves the church. If the organ is played during the Elevation, it should be in softer tones; but it would seem that absolute silence is most fitting for this august moment. The same may be said about the act of Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament. It should be observed that the legislation of the Church concerns itself only with liturgical services. It takes no account of such things as singing at low Mass or popular devotions. But it is fitting, of course, to observe on such occasions the directions given for liturgical services.

IV. ORGAN-PLAYING

In ancient times and in the early Middle Ages organ-playing was, of course, confined to rendering a melody on the organ. But it is not improbable that the earliest attempts at polyphonic music, from about the ninth century on, were made with the organ, seeing that these attempts received the name of organum . From the thirteenth century some compositions have come down to us under that name without any text, and probably intended for the organ. In the fourteenth century we hear of a celebrated organ-player, the blind musician Francesco Landino of Florence, and in the fifteenth of another Florentine player, Squarcialupi. At this time Konrad Paumann flourished in Germany, some of whose organ compositions are extant, showing the feature which distinguishes organ, like all instrumental music, from vocal music, namely the diminution or figuration, ornamentation, of the melodies. With Paumann this figuration is as yet confined to the melody proper, the top part. With Claudio Merulo (1533-1604) we find the figuration extended to the accompanying parts also. More mature work was produced by Giovanni Gabrieli (1557-1612) in his "Canzone e Sonate" (1597 and 1615). Further development of a true instrumental style was brought about by Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654). Then follow a series of illustrious composers for the organ, of whom we may mention Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1644), Johann Jacob Froberger (died 1667), Dietrich Buxtehude (died 1707), and Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), at whose hands organ composition reached its highest point.

After Bach the general development of music, being in the direction of more individual expression and constantly varying emotion, was not favourable to organ composition. Accordingly, none of the best men turned their attention to the organ, Mendelssohn's compositions for the instrument being a notable exception. In modern times a large number of composers have written respectable music for the organ, among whom we may mention the French Guilmant and Widor and the German Rheinberger and Reger. But none of them, with the possible exception of Reger, can he counted as first-class composers. The scarcity of really good modern organ compositions has led organists to the extended use of arrangements. If these arrangements are made with due regard to the nature of the organ, they cannot be altogether objected to. But it is clear that they do not represent the ideal of organ music. As the characteristic beauty of organ tone lies in its even continuation, legato playing must be the normal for the organ even more than for other instruments. While, therefore, staccato playing cannot absolutely be excluded, and an occasional use of it is even desirable for the sake of variety, still the modern tendency to play everything staccato or mezzolegato is open to great objections. The alternation and contrast of tone-colours afforded by the variety of stops and the presence of several manuals is a legitimate and valuable device. But too much variety is inartistic, and, in particular, an excessive use of solo stops is alien to the true organ style.

A word may he added about the local position of the organ in the church. The considerations determining this question are threefold: the proximity of the organ to the singers, the acoustical effect, and the architectural fitness. The combination of these three claims in existing churches frequently causes considerable difficulty. Hence it is desirable that in planning new churches architects should be required to provide ample room for an organ.

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Born at Limerick, 1600; died there, 31 October, 1651. He joined the Dominicans, receiving the ...

O'Bruadair, David

An Irish poet, b. about 1625, most probably in the barony of Barrymore, Co. Cork, but according ...

O'Callaghan, Edmund Bailey

Physician, publicist, and historian, b. at Mallow, Cork, 29 February, 1797; d. at New York, 29 ...

O'Carolan, Torlogh

( Irish, Toirdhealbhach O Cearbhalláin ). Usually spoken of as the "last of the ...

O'Connell, Daniel

Daniel O'Connell was born at Carhen, near Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry, Ireland, 1775; died at Genoa, ...

O'Conor, Charles

Charles O'Conor was born in the city of New York, 22 January, 1804; died at Nantucket, ...

O'Conor, Charles

Often called "the Venerable", b. at Belanagare, Co. Roscommon, 1710; d. 1791, was descended from ...

O'Cullenan, Gelasius

(Or GLAISNE O'CULLENAN). Cistercian, Abbot of Boyle, Ireland, b. probably near Assaroe Abbey, ...

O'Curry, Eugene

(EOGHAN O COMHRAIDHE) An Irish scholar, born at Dunaha near Carrigaholt, Co. Clare, 1796; ...

O'Daly, Daniel

A diplomatist and historian, born in Kerry, Ireland, 1595; died at Lisbon, 30 June, 1662. On his ...

O'Daly, Donogh Mór

(In Irish Donnchadh Mór O Dálaigh ) A celebrated Irish poet, d. 1244. About ...

O'Devany, Cornelius

(Conchobhar O'Duibheannaigh) Bishop of Down and Connor, Ireland, b. about 1532; d. at ...

O'Donnell, Edmund

The first Jesuit executed by the English government; b. at Limerick in 1542, executed at ...

O'Donovan, John

Irish historian and antiquarian, b. at Atateemore, County Kilkenny, Ireland, 1806; d. at ...

O'Dugan, John

(Seághan "mor" O Dubhagáin) Died in Roscommon, 1372. His family were for ...

O'Dwyer, Joseph

Physician, inventor of intubation; b. at Cleveland, 1841; d. in New York, January 7, 1898. He was ...

O'Fihely, Maurice

Archbishop of Tuam, born about 1460; died at Galway, 1513. He was, according to Dr. Lynch, a ...

O'Growney, Eugene

Priest, patriot, and scholar, b. 25 August, 1863, at Ballyfallon, County Meath ; d. at Los ...

O'Hagan, John

Lawyer and man of letters, b. at Newry, County Down, Ireland, 19 March, 1822; d. near Dublin, ...

O'Hagan, Thomas

First Baron of Tullyhogue, b. at Belfast, 29 May, 1812; d. 1 February, 1885. Called to the Irish ...

O'Hanlon, John

Born at Stradbally, Queen's County, Ireland, 1821; died at Sandymount, Dublin, 1905. He entered ...

O'Hara, Theodore

Born in Danville, Kentucky, U.S.A. 11 February, 1822; died in Guerryton, Alabama, 6 June, 1867. ...

O'Hely, Patrick

Bishop of Mayo, Ireland ; d. At Kilmallock, September, 1579. He was a native of Connaught, and ...

O'Herlahy, Thomas

(O' H I ARLAITHE ). Bishop of Ross, Ireland, d. 1579. Consecrated about 1560, he was one ...

O'Higgins, Ambrose and Bernard

Ambrose Bernard O'Higgins Born in County Meath, Ireland, in 1720; died at Lima, 18 March, 1810. ...

O'Hurley, Dermond

Archbishop of Cashel, Ireland ; died 19-29 June, 1584. His father, William O'Hurley of ...

O'Hussey, Maelbrighte

(Irish, Maol Brighde ua Heodhusa ; Latin, Brigidus Hossæus ). Known also as ...

O'Leary, Arthur

Franciscan, preacher, polemical writer, b. at Faniobbus, Iveleary, Co. Cork, Ireland, 1729; d. ...

O'Loghlen, Michael

Born at Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland, in 1789; died 1846. Educated at Ennis Academy, and Trinity ...

O'Meara, Kathleen

Novelist and biographer, b. in Dublin, 1839; d. in Paris, 10 Nov., 1888; daughter of Dennis ...

O'Neill, Hugh

Earl of Tyrone, b. 1550, d. Rome, 1616; he was the youngest son of Mathew, of questionable ...

O'Neill, Owen Roe

Born 1582; died near Cavan, 6 Nov., 1649, the son of Art O'Neill and nephew of Hugh, the great ...

O'Queely, Malachias

(Maolsheachlainn O Cadhla). Archbishop of Tuam, Ireland, b. in Thomond, date unknown; d. at ...

O'Reilly, Bernard

Historian, b. 20 Sept., 1820, in County Mayo, Ireland ; d. in New York, U.S.A. 26 April, ...

O'Reilly, Edmund

Archbishop of Armagh, b. at Dublin, 1616; d. at Saumur, France, 1669, was educated in Dublin ...

O'Reilly, Edmund

Theologian, b. in London, 30 April, 1811; d. at Dublin, 10 November, 1878. Educated at ...

O'Reilly, Hugh

Archbishop of Armagh, head of the Confederates of Kilkenny, b. 1580; d. on Trinity Island in ...

O'Reilly, John Boyle

Poet, novelist, and editor, b. at Douth Castle, Drogheda, Ireland, 24 June, 1844; d. at Hull, ...

O'Reilly, Myles William Patrick

Soldier, publicist, littérateur , b. near Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, Ireland, 13 March, ...

O'Rorke, Patrick Henry

Soldier, b. in County Cavan, Ireland, 25 March, 1837; killed at the battle of Gettysburg, Penn., ...

O'Sullivan Beare, Philip

Born in Ireland, c. 1590; died in Spain, 1660, son of Dermot O'Sullivan and nephew of Donal ...

O'Toole, Saint Lawrence

(L ORCAN UA T UATHAIL ; also spelled Laurence O'Toole) Confessor, born about 1128, in the ...

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Oa 5

Oakeley, Frederick

Born 5 September, 1802, at Shrewsbury ; died 30 Jan., 1880, at Islington, the youngest son of ...

Oates's Plot

A term conventionally used to designate a "Popish Plot" which, during the reign of Charles II of ...

Oaths

I. NOTION AND DIVISIONS An oath is an invocation to God to witness the truth of a statement. ...

Oaths, English Post-Reformation

The English Reformation having been imposed by the Crown, it was natural that submission to the ...

Oaxaca

(Or ANTEQUERA). Situated in the southern part of the Republic of Mexico, bounded on the north ...

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Ob 13

Obazine, Monastery of

Located in the Diocese of Tulle ; founded by St. Stephen of Obazine about 1134. After his ...

Obba

Titular see in Byzacena, northern Africa of unknown history, although mentioned by Polybius ...

Obedience

Obedience (Lat. obêdire, "to hearken to", hence "to obey") is the complying with a command ...

Obedience, Religious

Religious obedience is that general submission which religious vow to God, and voluntarily ...

Obedientiaries

A name commonly used in medieval times for the lesser officials of a monastery who were ...

Oblate Sisters of Providence

A congregation of negro nuns founded at Baltimore, Maryland, by the Rev. Jacques Hector ...

Oblates of Mary Immaculate

I. NAME AND ORIGIN The first members of this society, founded in 1816, were known as ...

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales

A congregation of priests founded originally by Saint Francis de Sales at the request of Saint ...

Oblati, Oblatæ, Oblates

Oblati (Oblatæ, Oblates) is a word used to describe any persons, not professed monks or ...

Obligation

A term derived from the Roman civil law , defined in the "Institutes" of Justinian as a "legal ...

Obregonians

(Or Poor Infirmarians) A small congregation of men, who professed the Rule of the Third Order ...

Obreption

( Latin ob and repere , "to creep over"). A canonical term applied to a species of fraud ...

Observatory, Vatican

The Vatican Observatory now bears the official title, "Specola Astronomica Vaticana". To ...

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Oc 10

Occam, William of

Fourteenth-century Scholastic philosopher and controversial writer, born at or near the village ...

Occasionalism

Occasionalism (Latin occasio ) is the metaphysical theory which maintains that finite things ...

Occasions of Sin

Occasions of Sin are external circumstances--whether of things or persons --which either ...

Occleve, Thomas

(Or Hoccleve) Little is known of his life beyond what is mentioned in his poems. He was b. ...

Occult Art, Occultism

Under this general term are included various practices to which special articles of the ...

Occurrence

(IN LITURGY) I. DEFINITION Occurrence is the coinciding or occurring of two liturgical offices ...

Oceania, Vicariate Apostolic of Central

The whole of Oceania had at first been entrusted by the Propaganda to the Society of the Sacred ...

Ockham, William of

Fourteenth-century Scholastic philosopher and controversial writer, born at or near the village ...

Octavarium Romanum

The Octavarium Romanum is a liturgical book which may be considered as an appendix to the Roman ...

Octave

I. ORIGIN It is the number seven, not eight, that plays the principal rôle in Jewish ...

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Od 12

Odense, Ancient See of Odense

(OTHINIA, OTHONIENSIS.) The diocese included the islands of Fünen, Langeland, Taasinge, ...

Odescalchi, Carlo

Cardinal, prince, archbishop, and Jesuit, b. at Rome, 5 March, 1786; d. at Modena, 17 August, ...

Odilia, Saint

Patroness of Alsace, born at the end of the seventh century; died about 720. According to a ...

Odilo, Saint

Fifth Abbot of Cluny (q.v.), v.c. 962; d. 31 December, 1048. He was descended from the nobility ...

Odin, John Mary

Lazarist missionary, first Bishop of Galveston and second Archbishop of New Orleans, b. 25 ...

Odington, Walter

An English Benedictine, also known as WALTER OF EVESHAM, by some writers confounded with WALTER ...

Odo of Cambrai, Blessed

Bishop and confessor, also called ODOARDUS; born at Orléans, 1050; died at Anchin, 19 ...

Odo of Canterbury

Abbot of Battle, d. 1200, known as Odo Cantianus or of Kent. A monk of Christ Church, he ...

Odo of Cheriton

Preacher and fabulist, d. 1247. He visited Paris, and it was probably there that he gained the ...

Odo of Glanfeuil

(Saint-Maur-sur-Loire) Abbot, ninth-century hagiographer. He entered Glanfeuil not later than ...

Odo, Saint

Second Abbot of Cluny, born 878 or 879, probably near Le Mans ; died 18 November, 942. He ...

Odo, Saint

(Oda) Archbishop of Canterbury, d. 2 June, 959 (not in 958; recent researches showing that he ...

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Oe 2

Oertel, John James Maximilian

Journalist, born at Ansbach, Bavaria, 27 April, 1811; died at Jamaica, New York, 21 August, 1882. ...

Oettingen

(ALTÖTTING, OETINGA) Oettingen, during the Carlovingian period a royal palace near the ...

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Of 5

Offa

Offa, King of Mercia, died 29 July, 796. He was one of the leading figures of Saxon history, as ...

Offerings

(OBLATIONS) I. THE WORD OBLATION The word oblation , from the supine of the Latin verb ...

Offertory

(Offertorium.) The rite by which the bread and wine are presented (offered) to God before ...

Office of the Dead

I. COMPOSITION OF THE OFFICE This office, as it now exists in the Roman Liturgy, is composed of ...

Office, Divine

("Liturgy of the Hours" I. THE EXPRESSION "DIVINE OFFICE" This expression signifies ...

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Og 4

Ogdensburg, Diocese of

(Ogdensburgdensis). Comprises the northern towns of Herkimer and Hamilton counties, with the ...

Oggione, Marco D'

Milanese painter, b. at Oggionno near Milan about 1470; d. probably in Milan, 1549. This ...

Ogilvie, John, Venerable

Eldest son of Walter Ogilvie, of Drum, near Keith, Scotland, b. 1580; d. 10 March, 1615. Educated ...

Ogliastra

DIOCESE OF OGLIASTRA (OLEASTRENSIS) Diocese in the Province of Cagliari, Sardinia. It was ...

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Oh 2

Ohio

The seventeenth state of the American Union, admitted on 19 Feb., 1803. It is bounded on the north ...

Ohler, Aloys Karl

Educationist, born at Mainz, 2 January, 1817; died there, 24 August, 1889. He attended the ...

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Oi 3

Oil of Saints

(Manna Oil of Saints). An oily substance, which is said to have flowed, or still flows, from ...

Oils, Holy

(OLEA SACRA). Liturgical Benediction Oil is a product of great utility the symbolic ...

Ointment in Scripture

That the use of oily, fragrant materials to anoint the body is a custom going back to remote ...

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Oj 1

Ojeda, Alonso de

Explorer; b. at Cuenca, Spain, about 1466; d. on the island of Santo Domingo , about 1508. He ...

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Ok 2

Okeghem, Jean d'

Also called Okekem, Okenghem, Okegnan, Ockenheim. Contrapuntist, founder and head of the second ...

Oklahoma

I. GEOGRAPHY Oklahoma, the forty-sixth state to be admitted to the Union, is bounded on the north ...

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Ol 28

Oláh, Nicolaus

(OLAHUS) Archbishop of Gran and Primate of Hungary, a distinguished prelate, born 10 ...

Olaf Haraldson, Saint

Martyr and King of Norway (1015-30), b. 995; d. 29 July, 1030. He was a son of King Harald ...

Olba

A titular see in Isauria, suffragan of Seleucia. It was a city of Cetis in Cilicia Aspera, ...

Old Catholics

The sect organised in German-speaking countries to combat the dogma of Papal Infallibility. ...

Old Chapter, The

The origin of the body, fomerly known as the Old Chapter, dates from 1623, when after a period of ...

Old Hall (St. Edmund's College)

Located near Ware, Hertfordshire, England ; founded in 1793 after the fall of the English ...

Old Testament

I. NAME The word "testament", Hebrew berîth , Greek diatheke , primarily signifies the ...

Old Testament, Canon of the

Overview The word canon as applied to the Scriptures has long had a special and consecrated ...

Oldcorne, Ven. Edward

Martyr, b. 1561; d. 1606. His father was a Protestant, and his mother a Catholic. He was ...

Oldenburg

A grand duchy, one of the twenty-six federated states of the German Empire. It consists of three ...

Oldham, Hugh

Bishop of Exeter, b. in Lancashire, either at Crumpsell or Oldham; d. 25 June, 1519. Having ...

Oldoini, Augustino

Historian and bibliographer, b. 6 Jan., 1612; d. at Perugia, 23 March, 1683. He came from La ...

Olenus

A titular see and suffragan of Patras, in Achaia Quarta, one of the twelve primitive cities of ...

Olesnicki, Zbigniew

(Sbigneus) A Polish cardinal and statesman, b. in Poland, 1389; d. at Sandomir, 1 April, ...

Olier, Jean-Jacques

Founder of the seminary and Society of St-Sulpice, b. at Paris, 20 Sept., 1608; d. there, 2 ...

Olinda

Diocese in the north-east of Brazil, suffragan of San Salvador de Bahia. Erected into a vicariate ...

Oliva

A suppressed Cistercian abbey near Danzig in Pomerania, founded with the assistance of the ...

Oliva, Gian Paolo

Born at Genoa, 4 October, 1600; died at Rome, at Sant' Andrea Quirinale, 26 November, 1681. In ...

Olivaint, Pierre

Pierre Olivaint was born in Paris, 22 Feb., 1816. His father, a man of repute but an unbeliever, ...

Oliver, George

Born at Newington in Surrey in 1781; died at Exeter in 1861. After studying for some years at ...

Olivet, Mount

(Latin, Mons Olivertus .) Occurring also in the English Bibles as the Mount of Olives ( ...

Olivetans

A branch of the white monks of the Benedictine Order, founded in 1319. It owed its origin to ...

Olivi, Pierre Jean

(PETRUS JOHANNIS) A Spiritual Franciscan and theological author, born at Sérignan, ...

Olivier de la Marche

Chronicler and poet, b. 1426, at the Chateau de la Marche, in Franche-Comté; d. at ...

Ollé-Laprune, Léon

French Catholic philosopher, b. in 1839; d. at Paris, 19 Feb., 1898. Under the influence of the ...

Olmütz

(OLOMUCENSIS) Archdiocese in Moravia. It is probable that Christianity penetrated into ...

Olympias, Saint

Born 360-5; died 25 July, 408, probably at Nicomedia. This pious, charitable, and wealthy ...

Olympus

A titular see of Lycia in Asia Minor. It was one of the chief cities of the "Corpus Lyciacum", ...

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Om 5

Omaha

(OMAHENSIS) The Diocese embraces all that part of the State of Nebraska north of the southern ...

Ombus

Titular see and suffragan of Ptolemais in Thebais Secunda. The city is located by Ptolemy (IV, ...

Omer, Saint

Born of a distinguished family towards the close of the sixth or the beginning of the seventh ...

Omission

(Latin omittere , to lay aside, to pass away). "Omission" is here taken to be the failure to ...

Omnipotence

(Latin omnipotentia , from omnia and potens , able to do all things). Omnipotence is ...

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On 4

Onias

( ’Onías ). Name of several Jewish pontiffs of the third and second centuries ...

Ontario

Ontario, the most populous and wealthy province of Canada, has an area of 140,000,000 acres, ...

Ontologism

(from on, ontos , being, and logos , science) Ontologism is an ideological system which ...

Ontology

( on, ontos , being, and logos , science, the science or philosophy of being). I. ...

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Oo 1

Oostacker, Shrine of

A miraculous shrine of the Blessed Virgin, and place of pilgrimage from Belgium, Holland, and ...

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Op 8

Opening Prayer (in the Mass)

The name now used only for short prayers before the Epistle in the Mass, which occur again at ...

Ophir

Ophir, in the Bible , designates a people and a country. The people, for whom a Semitic ...

Oporto

(Portucalensis) Diocese in Portugal ; comprising 26 civil concelhos of the districts of ...

Oppenordt, Gilles-Marie

(Oppenord) Born in Paris, 1672; died there, 1742; a celebrated rococo artist, known as "the ...

Oppido Mamertina

Diocese ; suffragan of Reggio Calabria, Italy, famous for its prolonged resistance to Roger ...

Optatus, Saint

Bishop of Milevis, in Numidia, in the fourth century. He was a convert, as we gather from St. ...

Optimism

Optimism (Latin optimus , best) may be understood as a metaphysical theory, or as an emotional ...

Option, Right of

In canon law an option is a way of obtaining a benefice or a title, by the choice of the new ...

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Or 60

Oracle

( oraculum; orare , to speak). A Divine communication given at a special place through ...

Oran

(ORANENSIS). Diocese in Algiers, separated from the Archdiocese of Algiers, 26 July, 1866, to ...

Orange Free State

The Orange Free State, one of the four provinces of the Union of South Africa, lies between ...

Orange River

(also the PREFECTURE APOSTOLIC OF GREAT NAMAQUALAND) Located in South Africa. The vicariate was ...

Orange, Councils of

Two councils were held at Orange (Arausio), a town in the present department of Vaucluse in ...

Orans

(Orante) Among the subjects depicted in the art of the Roman catacombs one of those most ...

Orate Fratres

The exhortation (" Pray brethren that my sacrifice and yours be acceptable to God the Father ...

Oratorio

As at present understood, an Oratorio is a musical composition for solo voices, chorus, orchestra, ...

Oratory

(Latin oratorium , from orare , to pray ) As a general term, Oratory signifies a place ...

Oratory of Saint Philip Neri, The

Under this head are included the Italian, Spanish, English, and other communities, which follow ...

Oratory, French Congregation of the

Founded in Paris at the beginning of the seventeenth century by Cardinal Pierre de ...

Orbellis, Nicolas d'

Franciscan theologian and philosopher, Scotist ; born about 1400; died at Rome, 1475. He seems ...

Orcagna

(The conventional name in art history of A NDREA DI C IONE , also called A RCAGNUOLO or A ...

Orcistus

Titular see in Galatia Secunda. It is only mentioned in Peutinger's "Table". An inscription of ...

Ordeals

( Iudicium Dei ; Anglo-Saxon, ordâl ; German Urteil ). Ordeals were a means of ...

Ordericus Vitalis

Historian, b. 1075; d. about 1143. He was the son of an English mother and a French priest who ...

Orders, Holy

Order is the appropriate disposition of things equal and unequal, by giving each its proper place ...

Orders, The Military

Including under this term every kind of brotherhood of knights, secular as well as religious, ...

Ordinariate

(From Ordinary ). This term is used in speaking collectively of all the various organs ...

Ordinary

( Latin ordinarius , i. e., judex ) An Ordinary in ecclesiastical language, denotes any ...

Ordines Romani

The word Ordo commonly meant, in the Middle Ages, a ritual book containing directions for ...

Oregon

One of the Pacific Coast States, seventh in size among the states of the Union (1910). It received ...

Oregon City

(OREGONOPOLITAN). Includes that part of the state of Oregon west of the Cascade Mountains, ...

Oremus

Invitation to pray, said before collects and other short prayers and occurring continually in ...

Orense

(AURIENSIS) A suffragan of Compostela, includes nearly all of the civil Province of Orense, ...

Oresme, Nicole

Philosopher, economist, mathematician, and physicist, one of the principal founders of modern ...

Organ

(Greek organon , "an instrument") A musical instrument which consists of one or several sets ...

Organic Articles, The

A name given to a law regulating public worship, comprising 77 articles relative to Catholicism, ...

Oria

(URITANA) Oria, in the Province of Lecce [now the Province of Brindisi -- Ed. ], Apulia, ...

Oriani, Barnaba

Italian Barnabite and astronomer, b. at Carignano, near Milan, 17 July, 1752; d. at Milan, 12 ...

Oriental Study and Research

In the broadest sense of the term, Oriental study comprises the scientific investigation and ...

Orientation of Churches

According to Tertullian the Christians of his time were, by some who concerned themselves with ...

Orientius

Christian Latin poet of the fifth century. He wrote an elegiac poem ( Commonitorium ) of 1036 ...

Oriflamme

In verses 3093-5 of the "Chanson de Roland" (eleventh century) the oriflamme is mentioned as a ...

Origen and Origenism

I. LIFE AND WORK OF ORIGEN A. BIOGRAPHY Origen, most modest of writers, hardly ever alludes to ...

Original Sin

I. Meaning II. Principal Adversaries III. Original Sin in ScriptureIV. Original Sin in ...

Orihuela

DIOCESE OF ORIHUELA (ORIOLENSIS, ORIOLANA). The Diocese of Orihuela comprises all the civil ...

Oriol, Saint Joseph

Priest, "Thaumaturgus of Barcelona", b. at Barcelona, 23 November, 1650; d. there, 23 March, ...

Oristano

Diocese of Oristano (Arborensis) in Sardinia. Oristano was the capital of the giudicatura ...

Orkneys

A group of islands situated between 58° 41' and 59° 24' N. lat. and 2° 22' and 3° ...

Orléans

(AURELIANUM) This Diocese comprises the Department of Loiret, suffragan of Paris since 1622, ...

Orléans, Councils of

Six national councils were held at Orléans in the Merovingian period. I. — At the ...

Orlandini, Niccolò

Born at Florence, 1554; died 1606 at Rome, 17 May. He entered the Jesuit novitiate 7 Nov., ...

Orley, Barent Van

(Bernard) Painter, b. at Brussels, about 1491; d. there 6 January, 1542. He studied under ...

Orme, Philibert de l'

An architect, born about 1512; died 1570. His style, classical and of the more severe Italian ...

Oropus

Titular see, suffragan of Anazarbus in Cilicia Secunda. It never really depended on Anazarbus ...

Orosius, Paulus

Historian and Christian apologist ; b. probably at Bracara, now Braga, in Portugal, between 380 ...

Orphans and Orphanages

The death of one or both parents makes the child of the very poor a ward of the community. The ...

Orsi, Giuseppe Agostino

A cardinal, theologian, and ecclesiastical historian, born at Florence, 9 May, 1692, of an ...

Orsini

One of the most ancient and distinguished families of the Roman nobility, whose members often ...

Orsisius

( Arsisios , Oresiesis-Heru-sa Ast) Egyptian monk of the fourth century; was a disciple ...

Ortelius, Abraham

(OERTEL) A cartographer, geographer, and archeologist, born in Antwerp, 4 April, 1527; died ...

Orthodox Church

The technical name for the body of Christians who use the Byzantine Rite in various languages ...

Orthodoxy

Orthodoxy ( orthodoxeia ) signifies right belief or purity of faith. Right belief is not ...

Orthodoxy, Feast of

(or SUNDAY) The first Sunday of the Great Forty days ( Lent ) in the Byzantine Calendar ...

Orthosias

A titular see of Phœnicia Prima, suffragan of Tyre. The city is mentioned for the first ...

Ortolano Ferrarese

Painter of the Ferrara School, b. in Ferrara, about 1490; d. about 1525. His real name was ...

Orval

(Aurea Vallis, Gueldenthal). Formerly a Cistercian abbey in Belgian Luxemburg, Diocese of ...

Orvieto

DIOCESE OF ORVIETO (URBEVETANA) Diocese in Central Italy. The city stands on a rugged mass of ...

Ory, Matthieu

Inquisitor and theologian, b. at La Caune, 1492; d. at Paris, 1557. Entering the Dominican ...

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Os 22

Osaka

(Osachensis). Osaka ( Oye , great river; saka , cliff), one of the three municipal ...

Osbald

King of Northumbria, d. 799. Symeon of Durham (Historia Regum) tells us that when Ecfwald, a ...

Osbaldeston, Edward, Venerable

English martyr, b. about 1560; hanged, drawn, and quartered at York, 16 November, 1594. Son of ...

Osbern

Hagiographer, sometimes confused with Osbert de Clare alias Osbern de Westminster, b. at ...

Oscott (St. Mary's College)

In 1793, a number of the Catholic nobility and gentry of England formed a committee for the ...

Osee

NAME AND COUNTRY Osee (Hôsheá‘– Salvation ), son of Beeri, was one of ...

Osimo

DIOCESE OF OSIMO (AUXIMANA). Diocese in the Province of Ascoli Piceno, Italy. Osimo was ...

Oslo, Ancient See of

(ASLOIA, ASLOENSIS.) Oslo occupied part of the site of Christiania (founded 1624). After the ...

Osma

(OXOMENSIS) The Diocese borders Burgos and Logroño on the north, Soria and Saragossa ...

Osmund, Saint

Bishop of Salisbury, died 1099; his feast is kept on 4 December. Osmund held an exalted ...

Osnabrück

(OSNABRUGENSIS) This diocese, directly subject to the Holy See, comprises, in the Prussian ...

Ossat, Arnaud d'

French cardinal, diplomat, and writer, b. at Larroque-Magnoac (Gascony), 20 July, 1537; d. at ...

Ossory, Diocese of

(Ossoriensis.) In the Province of Leinster, Ireland, is bounded on the south by the Suir, on ...

Ostensorium

(From ostendere , "to show"). Ostensorium means, in accordance with its etymology, a ...

Ostia and Velletri

SUBURBICARIAN DIOCESE OF OSTIA AND VELLETRI (OSTIENSIS ET VELITERNENSIS). Near Rome, central ...

Ostiensis

Surname of LEO MARSICANUS, Benedictine chronicler, b. about 1045; d. 22 May, 1115, 1116, or ...

Ostracine

Titular see and suffragan of Pelusium in Augustamnica prima. Pliny (Hist. naturalis, V, xiv) ...

Ostraka, Christian

Inscriptions on clay, wood, metal, and other hard materials. Like papyri, they are valuable ...

Ostrogoths

One of the two chief tribes of the Goths, a Germanic people. Their traditions relate that the ...

Oswald, Saint

Archbishop of York, d. on 29 February, 992. Of Danish parentage, Oswald was brought up by his ...

Oswald, Saint

King and martyr ; b., probably, 605; d. 5 Aug., 642; the second of seven brothers, sons of ...

Oswin, Saint

King and martyr, murdered at Gilling, near Richmond, Yorkshire, England, on 20 August, 651, ...

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Otfried of Weissenburg

He is the oldest German poet known by name, author of the "Evangelienbuch", a rhymed version of ...

Othlo

(OTLOH) A Benedictine monk of St. Emmeran's, Ratisbon, born 1013 in the Diocese of ...

Othmar, Saint

(Audomar.) Died 16 Nov., 759, on the island of Werd in the Rhine, near Echnez, Switzerland. ...

Otho, Marcus Salvius

Roman emperor, successor, after Galba, of Nero, b. in Rome, of an ancient Etruscan family ...

Otranto

ARCHDIOCESE OF OTRANTO (HYDRUNTINA). Otranto is a city of the Province of Lecce, Apulia, ...

Ottawa, Archdiocese of

Archdiocese of Ottawa (Ottawiensis). The Archdiocese of Ottawa, in Canada, originally ...

Ottawa, University of

Conducted by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate ; founded in 1848. It was incorporated in 1849 under ...

Otto I, the Great

Roman emperor and German king, b. in 912; d. at Memleben, 7 May, 973; son of Henry I and his ...

Otto II

King of the Germans and Emperor of Rome, son of Otto I and Adelaide, b. 955; d. in Rome, 7 ...

Otto III

German king and Roman emperor, b. 980; d. at Paterno, 24 Jan., 1002. At the age of three he was ...

Otto IV

German king and Roman emperor, b. at Argentau (Dept. of Orne), c. 1182; d. 19 May, 1218; son of ...

Otto of Freising

Bishop and historian, b. between 1111 and 1114, d. at Morimond, Champagne, France, 22 ...

Otto of Passau

All we know of him is in the preface of his work, in which he calls himself a member of the ...

Otto of St. Blasien

Chronicler, b. about the middle of the twelfth century; d. 23 July, 1223, at St. Blasien in the ...

Otto, Saint

Bishop of Bamberg, b. about 1060; d. 30 June, 1139. He belonged to the noble, though not ...

Ottobeuren

(OTTOBURA, MONASTERIUM OTTOBURANUM) Formerly a Benedictine abbey, now a priory, near ...

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Ouen, Saint

(OWEN; DADON, Latin Audaenus ). Archbishop of Rouen, b. at Sancy, near Soissons about ...

Our Father, The

Although the Latin term oratio dominica is of early date, the phrase "Lord's Prayer" does not ...

Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd

The aim of this institute is to provide a shelter for girls and women of dissolute habits, who ...

Our Lady of Good Counsel, Feast of

Records dating from the reign of Paul II (1464-71) relate that the picture of Our Lady, at ...

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

( Or OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP.) The picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour is painted ...

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

( Or OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP.) The picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour is painted ...

Our Lady of the Fields, Brothers of

A Canadian congregation founded in 1902 at St-Damien de Buckland in the Diocese of Quebec by ...

Our Lady of the Snow

("Dedicatio Sanctæ Mariæ ad Nives"). A feast celebrated on 5 August to ...

Our Lady, Help of Christians, Feast of

The invocation Auxilium Christianorum (Help of Christians ) originated in the sixteenth ...

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Overbeck, Friedrich

Convert and painter of religious subjects, b. at Lübeck, 3 July, 1789; d. at Rome, 12 ...

Overberg, Bernhard Heinrich

A German ecclesiastic and educator, born 1 May, 1754; died 9 November, 1826. Of poor parents in ...

Overpopulation, Theories of

Down to the end of the eighteenth century, very little attention was given to the relation between ...

Oviedo

(OVETENSIS) This diocese comprises the civil province of the same name (the ancient Kingdom ...

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Owen, Saint

(OWEN; DADON, Latin Audaenus ). Archbishop of Rouen, b. at Sancy, near Soissons about ...

Owen, Saint Nicholas

A Jesuit lay-brother, martyred in 1606. There is no record of his parentage, birthplace, date ...

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Oxenford, John

Dramatist, critic, translator, and song-writer, b. in London, 12 Aug., 1812; d. there 21 Feb., ...

Oxenham, Henry Nutcombe

An English controversialist and poet, born at Harrow, 15 Nov., 1829; died at Kensington, 23 ...

Oxford

Oxford, one of the most ancient cities in England, grew up under the shadow of a convent, said to ...

Oxford Movement, The

The Oxford Movement may be looked upon in two distinct lights. "The conception which lay at its ...

Oxford, University of

I. ORIGIN AND HISTORY The most extraordinary myths have at various times prevailed as to the ...

Oxyrynchus

Titular archdiocese of Heptanomos in Egypt. It was the capital of the district of its name, the ...

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Ozanam, Antoine-Frédéric

Great grand-nephew of Jacques Ozanam . Born at Milan, 23 April, 1813; died at Marseilles, 8 ...

Ozanam, Jacques

A French mathematician, born at Bouligneux (Ain), 1640; died in Paris, 3 April, 1717. He came of a ...

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