Chapters of Canons


  • Greek: kanon, rule


Bodies of clerics instituted for the purpose of celebrating Divine worship with greater solemnity or to assist the bishop in ecclesiastical government. These clerics may be canons secular or regular, exempt or non-exempt, major (cathedral) or minor (collegiate church) according to the chapter to which they belong. They are governed by general and particular legislation. Their origin is found in the presbytery of the early centuries. The principal development of canon chapters received its impetus from the Carolingian period, Charlemagne demanding that clerics live either in monasteries or in chapters. Louis the Pious enacted legislation to a similar effect. The 13th century brought this institute to its juridical maturity.

MLA Citation

  • “Chapters of Canons”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 10 April 2010. Web. 24 October 2021. <>