Tempus Clausum (FERIATUM, SACRATUM), a closed time, is the period during which noisy festivities are prohibited in the Church of Rome, particularly such as are common in connection with the celebration of a marriage. The origin of such prohibitions is to be found in the ideas which exercised, in some degree at least, a determining influence over the regulation of fasts. SEE FASTING. Prayer and continence were employed as a preparation for the worthy observance of feasts among the Israelites (Ex 19:14 sq.; 1Sa 21:4), and the custom is endorsed by Paul in 1Co 7:5. The most ancient ecclesiastical regulations upon this subject date back to the middle of the 4th century (e.g. Conic. Laodicen. c. 51, 52). The civil authorities confirmed the prohibitions imposed by the Church (e.g. Cod. De Feriis, c. 11, 3, 12 of Leo, and Anthemius 469), and thereupon the Tempus Clausunm was generally made to apply to the Lenten period, and its extension over the Advent and other festal periods recommended. No general and inflexible rule for the dies' observabiles existed during the Middle Ages, and none has since been established. The usual time is contained between the first Sunday in Advent aid the octave of Epiphany, Septuagesima and Easter, Rogation and Trinity Sundays. Quiet weddings, as they are termed, are permitted to be celebrated during those periods, but never without a dispensation from the local bishop.
The tempus clausum was adopted by the Protestant churches of Germany (see Goschen, Doctr. de Matrimon. ex Ordinat. Eccl. Evang. etc. [Halis, 1848, 4to], p. 38, 39; art. 133-140), and the subject received careful consideration so late as 1857 in the conference of Eiseaiach (see Moser, Allgem. Kirchenbl. f. d. evangel. Deutschl. 1857, p. 325 sq., 343; 1858, p. — 197 sq.). The Tempus Clausum Quadragesimae in such churches commonly extends over the period between Ash-Wednesday and Easter- Sunday, though it includes only the Passion week in some regions, and in others is not recognized at all. Its observance also varies greatly. Public amusements are prohibited, and marriages are sometimes wholly forbidden or are compelled to be quietly celebrated. Where such legal prohibitions are in force, dispensations from their operation may usually be obtained, except in Altenburg and the principality of Lubeck and Reuss. On the subject, see Hartzheim, Concilia Gernmanie, 3, 56; Conc. Trident. sess. 24:10, De Reform. Matrimon.; Bihmnir, Jus Eccles. Prot. lib. 3, tit. 46, § 45; lib. 4 tit. 16:§ 2 sq.; Kliefoth, Liturgische Abhandlungen, i, 55 sq. — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s. SEE LENT.