Cistercians (2)


In the following article we add some particulars respecting this order, especially in Great Britain:

"They came to England and settled at Waverley in 1128. From their eminent refounder, Bernard of Clairvaux, in 1113, they were often called Bernardines. They were distinguished by their silence, austerity, labor in the form their army white habit, and dislike of ornament in their buildings. They erected their abbeys in lonely places, usually well-wooded and watered valleys, far away from human habitation, and were principally noted for their success as graziers, shepherds, and farmers. The short choir, the transeptal aisle, divided into certain chapels, the low central tower, the grisaille glass in the windows, the solitary bell, the absence of tessellated pavements, pictures, mural color, and many lights in their churches: the regular and almost invariable arrangement of the conventual buildings, with the dormitory at the eastern side of the cloister, communicating with the transept by a flight of stairs; the refectory set at right angles to the cloister: the chapter-house divided in to aisles, except at Margam in Wales, are unfailing notes of the houses of the order. There were, in later days, modifications of this extreme rigor in the towers of Fountains and Furness, and noble choirs of the former-church, Rievaulx, and Sallay; in the exceptional apse of Beaulieu, and the chevet of Croxden, with its crown of radiating chapels and the use of stained glass and armorial tiles. Butin general the character of extreme simplicity, verging on baldness, was preserved. Only one abbey church, that of Scarborough, remains in use; the rest are in ruins or destroyed. At Buildwas, Jorevalle, Melrose, Byland, Allievanux, Ford, Merevale, Boyle, Tintern, Lilleshall, Kirkstall, and. Netley, it is still possible to trace the groundplan, or reconstruct the arrangement of the ancient buildings. The absence of an eastern lady chapel in England is always observable. No such adjunct was ever built, because the entire church was dedicated to St. Mary. The square east end may be said to have been universal in England, for there were but two instances to the contrary; but, with the exception of Citeaux, which was square-ended, the finest ministers on the Continent presented an apse or chevet. The triforium story was rare in England."

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