Blessing the World: Ritual and Lay Piety in Medieval by Derek A. Rivard

By Derek A. Rivard

Blessings have been an vital and very important portion of medieval Christian lifestyles and worship. Benedictions for houses and places of work, the knight and the pilgrim, the town below siege, and the fetus within the womb, are yet a small pattern of the multitudinous and engaging extra-sacramental advantages that fill the leaves of the liturgical books of the medieval Latin Church. whereas as a rule stated as a very important point within the lifetime of medieval humans, the that means and significance of those benefits for his or her authors and audiences were often missed via liturgical and ancient scholarship, which has centred as a substitute at the textual transmission and long term alterations within the benefits 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 reports liturgical blessing and its position within the non secular lifetime of Christians throughout the valuable and later heart a while, with a selected concentrate on the benefits of the Franco-Roman liturgical culture from the 10th to past due 13th centuries. via a cautious and wide research of greater than 90 such advantages, lots of them translated for the 1st time and obtainable to a readership past experts in medieval liturgy, the writer argues that medieval advantages have been composed as a right away reaction to the wishes, anxieties, ideals, and fears of the laity, and for this reason those texts signify a wealthy and principally untapped resource for the research of lay piety and of formality in medieval Europe.

Effectively drawing upon anthropology, ritual experiences, the phenomenology of faith, and standard textual research, Rivard explores the wealthy subject matters of medieval piety that movement in the course of the advantages to be able to produce a brand new knowing of the blessing as an try to faucet the facility of the sacred to be used in everyday life. Benedictions for areas, locations, folks, goods, and occasions are each one studied in flip to supply this new knowing of those benefits, and within the strategy those petitions and rituals display 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 religious powers of God's creation.


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


"Blessing the World analyzes the texts of dozens of those advantages so as to discover how medieval Christians conceived of God, and their very own position inside sacred historical past. This textual concentration is the book's power, and the writer offers 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 examine of medieval blessing rituals sheds useful mild at the ways in which medieval churchmen and their flocks considered their courting to God, to nature, and to their society." ― James A. Brundage, Church History

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

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Patrick J. Geary, Furta sacra: Thefts of Relics in the Central Middle Ages (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978), 22. 17 introduct ion To illustrate that importance, it is worth taking a moment here to examine a blessing of a most sacred Christian object and its uses in protecting a Christian community. The Cross’s importance in blessings, and its ability to enhance the power of such rituals, is seen in the practice of blessing crosses to be placed on the roadside and in the fields to protect the community and its agricultural produce from harm.

V. Morris, “Blessing,” NCE 2:612; Ru 2:4. This greeting also is suggested earlier by the words of Rebecca’s sister Laban to Isaac (Gn 24:31). This conception of God as the source of all blessings is the achievement principally of the Yahwist author (Westermann, Blessing in the Bible, 65). 11. Westermann, Blessing in the Bible, 19–20. 12. Gn 12:2–3. 13. Morris, “Blessing,” 612; Gn 27:28, 49:25–26, 28; 2 Sm 6:18; 1 Kgs 8:14, 55–61; Nm 6:22–26. Isaac’s blessing of Jacob was a subject of some interest in the patristic era, when Augustine based several sermon cycles on the craftily acquired blessing as a metaphor for the younger faith of Christianity receiving God’s blessing, while the elder “brother,” Judaism, was denied a freely granted, and thus efficacious, blessing.

225. 51. , 230–32. , Le pontifical romano-germanique du dixième siècle, 3 vols. (Vatican City: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1963–72). 52. Vogel, Medieval Liturgy, 232–33. 53. , 238. 54. , 249–51. 55. , 251. , Le pontifical romain au Moyen Âge, sacramentaire de Marmoutier, vol. 1, Le pontifical romain du XIIe siècle (Vatican City: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1938). For a more detailed introduction to this text’s history, see pp. 3–19 of this work. 56. Vogel, Medieval Liturgy, 251–52. The standard edition is Andrieu, Pontifical romain au Moyen Âge, vol.

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