Skip to comments.Prayer, Magic, Superstition and the Mediaeval Liturgy
Posted on 04/26/2010 2:15:01 PM PDT by 0beron
The usual modern critique of mediaeval religion is of a clerical and scholarly elite attempting to enforce a rigid doctrinal orthodoxy on the vast mass of unlearned laity whose faith is superstitious and theologically dubious at best and pagan at worse. Necessary to this view is an internal conflict within the mediaeval Church- between the clergy and the laity, orthodoxy and "popular religion", liturgical prayer and lay devotion- a conflict which in fact did not exist. Mediaeval lay devotion was not superstitious- much less was it pagan- but firmly founded on the official liturgy of the Church which formed it's core, indeed the center and highpoint of all culture and art of the period. More than that, the faith was made physically manifest in the liturgical rites of the Church- in the words of the seventeenth century English jurist John Selden, "To know what was generally believed in all ages the way is to consult the liturgies".
(Excerpt) Read more at eponymousflower.blogspot.com ...
Very interesting, thanks for great post!
More and more as I read the Bible is the the truth of so we worship, so we believe. The New Testament is, in large part, a compilation of parts of he liturgy.
“In 1496 a secretary to the Venetian embassy to England wrote of the English faithful, “They all hear Mass everyday and say many Paternosters in public... and whoever is at all able to read carries with him the Little Office of Our Lady; and they recite it in church with some companion in a low voice, verse by verse, after the manner of Religious”. Thus did the public liturgical prayer of the Church set the standard for the private prayer of the laity.”
I think we’re seeing that return now through the laity saying the Liturgy of the Hours. Many people who never envisioned themselves doing it are picking it up, learning it and are now saying it in small groups. It will spread.