Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A sentence of censure pronounced by one of the spiritual couris for offenses falling under ecclesiastical cognizance. It is described iu the books as twofold: '
    (1) The lesser excommunication, which is an ecclesiastical censure, excluding the party from the sacraments;
    (2) the greater, which excludes him from the company of all Christians. Formerly, too, an excommunicated man was under various civil disabilities. He could not serve upon juries, or be a witness in any court; neither could he bring au action to recover lands or money due to him. These penalties are abolished by St 53 Geo. III. c. 127. 3 Steph. Comm. 721.