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1250AD How often did people go to Church?


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#1 jones89

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 05:31 AM

I haven't posted in a while, have been busy! Rebuilt my PC and then have been 1 writing, 2 writing and 3 writing some more. :thumbup:

Anyway, question: I think that in the 1500s people heard mass 3 times every day, but what about in 1250 France?

(I just started to realise that some of my characters were forgetting to go to Church. Yes, I blame it on the characters. :whistling: )
There is no history, only fictions of varying degrees of plausibility.
- Voltaire

#2 jones89

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 03:05 AM

Anyone? :thumbup:
There is no history, only fictions of varying degrees of plausibility.
- Voltaire

#3 Melisende

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 03:24 AM

I would hesitate to say probably more frequently than we do today - Church, sorry, the Church, played a major part in the daily lives of people - it provided a sanctuary, it provide solace, it provided a place where the illiterate masses could learn of saintly virtues, it provided a place for the dead to be remembered.

The main feast days of the Church, Saints' days and other miscellaneous "religious" days would not doubt have the customary worship through the Mass (remembering this was a predominantly Catholic time if you were a Christian) - maybe more than once.


Certainly you would need to investigate which Saint was the local one for your setting / settings so as to include the usual pilgrimages to saintly shrines, etc etc.

I haven't really gone into this aspect overmuch so cant really provide you with anything more definiative .. but hopes this helps somewhat.
~~~ Melisende

"For my part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: The throne is a glorious sepulchre."


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#4 Saxon

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 04:49 AM

Although a bit later and English, the rubric in the old Book of Common Prayer (for the Anglician Church) gives a hint at what was going on around 1600. The older version is 1552 and the one most availabe is the 1662 revison, that was reprinted many times over the following 350 years. The 1928 version is more modern.

In short, Mass was normally weekly in the rural districts, as well as on great saints days. Nobels could have had mass three times a day, but many would simply have followed the variations of Morning Prayer, Matins, Evening Prayer and Compline. Religious institutions would have followed the cycle of prayer exactly, but most peopel would simply have prayed at intervals during the day. The less religoius would only have attended an occasional service.

Somewhere there must be a definative list, but most are based on Abbey, Cathedrals or great Lords with Private Chaplains to encourage frequent services.

Good Luck

Saxon

(PS do we get commisssion on this book?)
Hwt! Ic swefna cyst secgan wylle,
hwt me gemtte to midre nihte,
syan reordberend reste wunedon!

#5 jones89

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 12:17 PM

Saxon

(PS do we get commisssion on this book?)


No. :P

You'd have to do something really special to earn that. Like something to do with the actual writing. Or make me a professional website or book cover.

The amount of research this takes is quite simply staggering, the questions I've aksed on here come to about 0.1% of the research i've needed for this book. If that. And as I write I find the odd new thing to research so that percentage gets even smaller lol. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, both history and writing are way more complicated than they look. And I mean waaaaaay for the writing more than the history. One is complicated and one there is simply alot of.

Thanks for your answers... :thumbup:

If anyone has questions on the huge amount of things I have learnt, then please feel free to ask, I can repay you in that way! :whistling:

Edited by jones89, 15 February 2008 - 12:18 PM.

There is no history, only fictions of varying degrees of plausibility.
- Voltaire

#6 Wulfwynn

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 07:53 PM

Jones89:

I don't know how "often" people went to church in 1250, but I do know that major saint's days, and things like the period just before Lent began, were celebrated, often raucously, and not necessarily in a "religious" way! Also, Christmas and Easter, of course, since they were major events in the Church year(and still are in most of the Christian tradition). Some "secular" holidays had a kind of "religious" tie-in, e.g. harvest festivals, etc. The question is really pretty complicated, and the answer often depends on what author you happen to be reading, and what biases he/she happens to have!
Anne G



No. :P

You'd have to do something really special to earn that. Like something to do with the actual writing. Or make me a professional website or book cover.

The amount of research this takes is quite simply staggering, the questions I've aksed on here come to about 0.1% of the research i've needed for this book. If that. And as I write I find the odd new thing to research so that percentage gets even smaller lol. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, both history and writing are way more complicated than they look. And I mean waaaaaay for the writing more than the history. One is complicated and one there is simply alot of.

Thanks for your answers... :D

If anyone has questions on the huge amount of things I have learnt, then please feel free to ask, I can repay you in that way! :D



#7 Erik

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 09:55 PM

I haven't posted in a while, have been busy! Rebuilt my PC and then have been 1 writing, 2 writing and 3 writing some more. :D

Anyway, question: I think that in the 1500s people heard mass 3 times every day, but what about in 1250 France?

(I just started to realise that some of my characters were forgetting to go to Church. Yes, I blame it on the characters. :D )

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They were obliged to go every week in any case. You might consider the wartime situations. When the English first saw the size of the French host at Agincourt, they lined up for last rites performed by the chaplain. Before the battle, Henry thought it prudent to hear mass not once but twice. The Norman knights at Senlac spent the previous nlght in religious devotion while the Saxons had a few horns of ale. Various armies knelt [after kneeling replaced the arms extended prostrate position] in prayer before a battle and kissed the earth as well.

Edited by Erik, 17 February 2008 - 09:55 PM.


#8 jones89

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 06:51 AM

Ah yes you bring us on to a slightly different topic here now Erik. Praying before battles, another thing that is of use to me.

Tell me more about what you mean with the difference between kneeling and kneeling with arms extended and when this took place...please. :D
There is no history, only fictions of varying degrees of plausibility.
- Voltaire

#9 Melisende

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 03:31 AM

Kneeling with hands joined and head bowed - something we readily associate with prayer nowadays; or kneeling with arms extended and head raised heavenward ( Y shaped).

Or was Erik referring to lying prostrate on the ground in the Y-position or is that more like a T-shape?
~~~ Melisende

"For my part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: The throne is a glorious sepulchre."


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#10 Erik

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 09:07 PM

Ah yes you bring us on to a slightly different topic here now Erik. Praying before battles, another thing that is of use to me.

Tell me more about what you mean with the difference between kneeling and kneeling with arms extended and when this took place...please. :D

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In the early Middle Ages men prayed lying prostrate with arms extended as if crucfied. Kneeling at prayer came later. I regret that I don't know when the change took place. During the Crusades an Arab described a visit to a temple that was holy to Christians and Moslems alike and knelt to pray. An uncouth Crusader, saying that was not the right way to pray kept trying to push him down into the orone position. Another Crusader apologized for the boorishness, explaining that his companion had come only recently from France and hadn't yet become familiar with local customs. However Crusaders in the First Crusade are described as kneeling before thrir broadswords stuck in the ground, the hilt with quillon suggesting a cross. Sorry I can't be more specific. Much of my knowledge was accumulated decades ago.

Edited by Erik, 20 February 2008 - 09:10 PM.


#11 Melisende

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 05:01 AM

Thanks for that clarification, Erik!


(PS: Nice Wiki Article on "La Pucelle")
~~~ Melisende

"For my part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: The throne is a glorious sepulchre."


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#12 jones89

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 11:28 AM

Prostate means lying flat on the floor. You mean they lay on their stomachs with their arms out to pray? lol

And orone: the internet has failed me in trying to find out what this word means.

I do know that in the time of my novel King Louis knelt and out his sword in the ground point first (so the sword looked like a cross) with his hands on the hilt. I guess everyone knelt to pray in the convential way we know of today, in the time of my novel...
There is no history, only fictions of varying degrees of plausibility.
- Voltaire

#13 Erik

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 06:53 PM

Prostate means lying flat on the floor. You mean they lay on their stomachs with their arms out to pray? lol

And orone: the internet has failed me in trying to find out what this word means.

I do know that in the time of my novel King Louis knelt and out his sword in the ground point first (so the sword looked like a cross) with his hands on the hilt. I guess everyone knelt to pray in the convential way we know of today, in the time of my novel...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sorry, the word was supposed to be 'Prone'. Yes, lying on their stomachs. I did mention the sword representing a cross.

Edited by Erik, 21 February 2008 - 06:54 PM.