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Church Services

Post  RosettedeRhiems on Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:27 am

I'd like to know more about the church services in period. Anyone have anything to share? What would it have been like? How long? How was communion served? What were the typical prayers?
I'm given to understand they were in latin, was this just the prayers or was the sermon as well?
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Re: Church Services

Post  joancoggeshall on Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:35 am

Interesting questions, I will also add... Did they just have services on Sunday or did they have some sort of prayer services every day?
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Re: Church Services

Post  Alan on Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:58 am

I just got done reading Daily Life in Chaucer's England, and it addressed some of these questions. The author made a big point about how religion permeated society then, as compared to now. In religious instruction, children were taught, in Latin, the Pater Noster, the Ave Maria, and the Credo. According to the book, Mass was the focal point of religious observations, and was celebrated every Sunday.

The book said that partaking of the communion bread and wine was generally only done by the priest, and the church goer's only participated vicariously, which I found interesting.

Again, according to the book, sermons were required only 4 times a year. During the service, the parishioners were supposed to kneel on the floor, though they could stand during the reading of the Gospel. I've been to York Minster and Canterbury, and found it interesting that they use folding chairs instead of pews. I wonder if that's a hold over from "back then"?

The other point that I found interesting was that the confessional booth had not come into use, and priest would just pull his hood over his eyes to receive confession.

Another book I really like is The Peel Affinity. It says "The Church was enormously important in every person's life, and most people encountered the Church, in one way or anther virtually every day."

I look forward to hearing other's findings on this important aspect of how a medieval person would see this.

Alan
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Very Interesting!

Post  RosettedeRhiems on Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:03 pm

I am hoping to get some quiet time next week to do a little research myself.
I am given to understand from the "Goodman of Paris" that daily devotional time was a part of life. In fact lots of devotional time according to him. He also cites a few prayers that I will dig up.
-Rosette
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Re: Church Services

Post  Alan on Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:32 pm

I think that how much devotional time each day a person observed would largely depend on their station, and inclinations. Canonical "hours" certainly make me think that they were more frequently reminded of prayers than we are today. But a days labors for a commoner may leave little spare time for stopping for personal devotions.

Certainly the clery, priest, etc, would be much more devoted to making time for religious observations through the day.

The gentry men possibly would be more interested in hawking and hunting, as well as arms practice. Hard to say how much devotional time they devoted during their day.

An interesting topic, to be sure!

Alan
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Re: Church Services

Post  Florian on Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:44 pm

from my understanding mass is held Sundays and feast days, though seeing there are more than 365 feasts every day is a mass day. Attendance on a feast day is compulsorary on Sundays and if it is declared a "holy day of obligation" mass was said in latin though any sermon would have been held in the venacular. I am not too sure if a gospel reading was essential to the mass and if it was used what language it was given in. There was apparantly a great deal of variation on how the various services of the church were conducted prior to the Council of Trent. the congrecgation normally stood or knealt during the mass. the length of the mass probably varied according to the occasion being celebrated- though the consecration, which is the core part only takes about 10-15mins. We often have a short form of the latin mass said in our encampment on tournament days

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