The clergy and laity of a diocese together elected their bishop, as they had done before; but no one could become a bishop against the will of the king, and the confirmation of their choice rested with him.
This was a popular work intended for the laity; but there are others strictly professional.
This arrangement still survives in some of the ancient churches of Rome; it has been revived in many Protestant places of worship. It symbolized principally an official distinction; but with the theocratizing of the empire in the East and its decay in the West the accentuation of the mystic powers of the clergy led to a more complete separation from the laity, a tendency which left its mark on the arrangements of the churches.
In the West the high altar was moved to the east end (the presbyterium) with a space before it for the assisting deacons and subdeacons (the chancel proper) railed off as a spot peculiarly holy (now usually called the sanctuary); between this and the nave, where the laity were, was the choir, with seats for the clergy on either side.
He encouraged the laity to follow monastic practices such as fasting and meditation on the Gospels and lived himself in poverty.