By Derek A. Rivard

Blessings have been an essential and very important portion of medieval Christian existence and worship. Benedictions for houses and offices, the knight and the pilgrim, the town lower than siege, and the fetus within the womb, are yet a small pattern of the multitudinous and interesting extra-sacramental benefits that fill the leaves of the liturgical books of the medieval Latin Church. whereas normally stated as a vital point within the lifetime of medieval humans, the that means and value of those benefits for his or her authors and audiences were usually ignored via liturgical and ancient scholarship, which has concentrated as an alternative at the textual transmission and long term adjustments within the advantages and the rituals surrounding them. This current paintings corrects this omission through interpreting those advantages with smooth eyes, and a brand new methodology.

In Blessing the World, Derek A. Rivard experiences liturgical blessing and its position within the spiritual lifetime of Christians throughout the critical and later heart a long time, with a selected specialize in the benefits of the Franco-Roman liturgical culture from the 10th to overdue 13th centuries. via a cautious and huge learn of greater than 90 such advantages, a lot of them translated for the 1st time and available to a readership past experts in medieval liturgy, the writer argues that medieval benefits have been composed as a right away reaction to the wishes, anxieties, ideals, and fears of the laity, and as a result those texts symbolize a wealthy and principally untapped resource for the learn of lay piety and of formality in medieval Europe.

Effectively drawing upon anthropology, ritual reports, the phenomenology of faith, and conventional textual learn, Rivard explores the wealthy subject matters of medieval piety that circulation through the benefits so that it will produce a brand new figuring out of the blessing as an try and faucet the facility of the sacred to be used in lifestyle. Benedictions for areas, areas, folks, goods, and occasions are every one studied in flip to supply this new knowing of those advantages, and within the procedure those petitions and rituals show a lot approximately better problems with medieval people's cosmology, their perceived function of their cosmos, their conceptions of God, and their connections to the divine and to the non secular powers of God's creation.


Derek A. Rivard is affiliate professor of heritage at Cottey collage.


"Blessing the World analyzes the texts of dozens of those benefits which will discover how medieval Christians conceived of God, and their very own position inside of sacred heritage. This textual concentration is the book's power, and the writer presents English translations of benefits from the 10th to the 16th centuries, together with the unique Latin in footnotes, thereby making on hand to readers a wealthy resource of those materials." ― Kathleen Kamerick, The Medieval Review

"Rivard's research of medieval blessing rituals sheds important gentle at the ways in which medieval churchmen and their flocks seen their dating to God, to nature, and to their society." ― James A. Brundage, Church History

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Extra resources for Blessing the World: Ritual and Lay Piety in Medieval Religion

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The ultimate origin of these earliest blessings’ apotropaic elements is likely to remain uncertain. 38. Vogel, Medieval Liturgy, 79. 39. , Le sacramentaire grégorien, ses principales formes d’après les plus anciens manuscrits, Spicilegium Friburgense 16, 24, 28 (Fribourg: Editones Universitaires, 1971, 1979, 1982). , Le sacramentaire de Marmoutier dans l’histoire des sacramentaires Carolingiens du IXe siècle, 2 vols. , Sacramentarium Fuldense: Saeculi X, Henry Bradshaw Society 101 (Fulda: Druck der Fulder Actiendruckerei, 1912; reprint, 1980); see also Vogel, Medieval Liturgy, 80, 85–86.

253 (Ps 46). This psalm probably originated in the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem from the army of Sennacherib in 701 BCE. 19 introduct ion divine evokes the instability of the natural world, a concern of great consequence to the agricultural communities that typified medieval civilization, but it refutes the power of that chaos and asserts instead the presence of the numinous within the community as a sure shield against any danger. This psalm thus reflects both the fears of the laity beseeching the blessing and the hope that the ritual blessing engendered in their minds.

59. Vogel, Medieval Liturgy, 253. 60. , 254. The composition of Durandus’s pontifical coincided with a totally different late thirteenth-century collection, the benedictional of John Peckham, archbishop of Canterbury (1279 to 1282). ), and the pontifical of Lacy, bishop of Exeter, and partially in the benedictional of Anianus, bishop of Bangor (1279). Moeller states that Peckham’s benedictional, which never achieved popularity, was very heavily influenced by the Scholastic thought of its time, and this novelty is probably the reason for its obscurity.

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