American Dictionary of the English Language

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CANONICAL, adjective Pertaining to a canon; according to the canon or rule.

Canonical books or canonical scriptures, are those books of the scriptures which are admitted by the canons of the church, to be of divine origin. The Roman catholic church admits the Apocryphal books to be canonical; the Protestants reject them.

Canonical hours, are certain stated times of the day, fixed by the ecclesiastical laws, or appropriated to the offices of prayer and devotion. In Great Britain, these hours are from eight oclock to twelve in the forenoon, before and after which marriage cannot be legally performed in the church.

Canonical obedience, is submission to the canons of a church, especially the submission of the inferior clergy to their bishops, and other religious orders to their superiors.

Canonical punishments, are such as the church may inflict, as excommunication, degradation, penance, etc.

Canonical life, is the method or rule of living prescribed by the ancient clergy who lived in community, a course of living prescribed for clerks, less rigid than the monastic and more restrained than the secular.

Canonical sins, in the ancient church, were those for which capital punishment was inflicted; as idolatry, murder, adultery, heresy, etc.

Canonical letters, anciently, were letters which passed between the orthodox clergy, as testimonials of their faith, to keep up the catholic communion, and to distinguish them from heretics.

Canonical epistles, is an appellation given to those epistles of the New Testament which are called general or catholic.