(and Canons). Ancient collection of ecclesiastical precepts, ostensibly regulations for the organization and govt. of the church put out by the apostles. Some of the older sections may go back to the 4th c. and even beyond, but the present form goes back to about the 8th c. There are 8 books of the Constitutions and 85 Canons, the latter going back to a greater antiquity than the Constitutions and being possibly based upon traditions handed down from the early 2d c. The collection is interesting not only for its regulations, but esp. for its list of canonical books. See also Clementines, 1; Dead, Prayers for; Hours, Canonical; Popes, 32.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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