Commendam When a vacant living is commended in the Church of England to the charge of a clergyman until it can be supplied with a pastor, the benefice is said to be supplied in commendam. Anciently the administration of vacant bishoprics belonged to the nearest bishop, thence called commnendatory.
This custom was at a very early period introduced into the Church. Athanasius says of himself, according to Nicephorus, that there had been given him, in commendam, another church beside that of Alexandria, of which he was the stated bishop. When a priest is made bishop, his parsonage becomes vacant, but he may still hold it in commendam. It has been the practice sometimes in England for the crown thus to annex to a bishopric of small value either the living which had been held by the newly made bishop, and of which, in virtue of such elevation of its incumbent, the patronage became at the disposal of the crown, or some other in its stead. — Eden, Churchman's Dict.; Farrar, Eccl. Dict.; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirch.- Lex. 2:705.