I. ChristianWorship andPiety
How did Christiansexperienceandexpressedtheir religion?
What role did Christianity play in thelivesof believers?
To what extent did theinstitutionsof theChurch regulateChristian experience?
How did Christianity interlock with thevalues,structures,demandsandritualsof secular
(i) TheChannelsof Christianity
(a) The Sacraments
− Major andprimary channel
− Religiousceremony meant to represent outward sign of God’sinvisible grace
− Becamefoundation for Medieval Christianity.
− From word Sacramenta,meaning oath. Wasoriginally usedin secular context (for
soldiers) but becamebondbetweenChristiansandGod
− In thepastmartyrdom andasceticismwerewaysto becloserto Jesus. Cameto
agreement that sacramentsstrengthenthat bond.
− Wayto experienceGod andJesusmoredeeply –very important becauseChristianity is
distinguishedby aclose,personal relationship with God sobondis extremely important.
− Theologiansestablish that sacramentsareessential to salvation andonly clergy can
administer them. This is important becauseit meansthat you NEED theinstitutional
church to get to heavenandgivesthechurch andclergy areasonto exist.
− Excommunicationmeansthat someoneis removedfrom thecommunity of theChurch.
Interdict meansthat they arenot out of thecommunity but cannot participatein certain
• Meansexcludedfrom sacramentssothey could not bemarried, buried, christened
etc. • Usedagainst hereticsasathreat or punishment (could excommunicateentire
• Somehereticsreject theclergy andthesacramentsandsostrike attheroot of the
− Baptism: washesoriginal sin away, which is why it’s soimportant to baptizebabies
− Confirmation: recognition of spiritual maturity andanointedto receivetheHoly spirit
− ExtremeUnction: anointedwith Holy Spirit if sick or dying (canbeadministeredmore
− Ordination: for prieststo receivespecial doseof God’sgrace
− Marriage: dignified asasacrament in the13 century. Formerly celibacy wasthe
− TheEucharist (mass): central act of Christian worship according to Matthew 14:22-24
(blood/body). Interpretation changedatthe4 Lateran Council with thedoctrineof
transubstantiation. Thenew doctrinestatedthat theessenceof thebody andblood was
in thebreadandwineandtransformedby thepriest in mass. Meansintensified
experienceandstronger bondbecausehisblood andbody wereliterally apart of you.
Becameasymbol for thepower of theclergy aspeoplewitnessamiracle. Tensionswith
JewsevenmoreintenseastheEucharist becameavivid reminder of hisdeathandwho
killed him (ThePassion of Christ). Put ondisplay for theAdorationoftheBlessed
− Penance: Confessing sin, being absolvedby thepriest, andthengiven atask
(satisfaction) to cureyour sole. After you areforgivenby thepriest, you still haveastain
onyour sole. If you didn’t dopenanceonearth you neededto doit in Purgatory.
Indulgencesmeant you could bereleasedfrom someof theneedto dogoodworksand
penancein purgatory. After you die, peoplefrom earth could help you speedupprocess
of purgatory by holding massanddoing gooddeeds.Indulgencescould alsobesold.
− Sacramentscover all areasof life andall requirethepresenceof clergy andtheinstitution
of thechurch. (b) TheIntercessors
− Consideredlinksto theliving Christian God
− IncludedtheSaints(cult of)
• Visible expressionsandmodelsof piety
• Spiritual elite recognizedafter their deaths(martyrs)
• Venerated, honored, andrespected. As areward for their holiness,Godgives
themhonor andthushumansshould aswell.
− Saints in heaven (in God’s presence) could act asintercessorswhen approachedthrough
prayer/oaths/ritual to call onGod’spower
− Why soimportant?
• Jesusrepresentedasseparatedfrom you becausehewastoo high
• Saintsweremoreaccessible ashumansandsoyou could call onthemfor all
• Ex. St. Lucy waspatron saintsfor eyesight, St. Elmo for intestinal cramps,and
St. Margaret for pregnancy.
• Also hadpatron saintsfor towns
− At first saintsdeterminedby local public andin the12 century with interest in control,
theprocesscameunder thePopewho called for investigation.