By Ellen K. Rentz
Collective worship and the ritual lifetime of the neighborhood parish mattered deeply to past due medieval laypeople, and either loom huge in modern visible and vernacular tradition. The parish provided a massive framework for Christians as they negotiated the connection among person, group, and God. And as a spot the place previous, current, and destiny got here jointly, the parish promised an ongoing dating among the dwelling and the lifeless, positioning the the following and now of the neighborhood parish within the lengthy trajectory of eschatological time. Imagining the Parish in overdue Medieval England explores the ways that heart English literature engages the belief of lay non secular group and the correct of parochial worship. Ellen ok. Rentz pairs nuanced readings of works akin to Piers Plowman, Handlyng Synne, and the Prick of sense of right and wrong with cautious research of up to date sermons, religious handbooks, and liturgical texts in addition to quite a lot of visible assets, together with wall work and stained glass. This new examine examines how those texts and pictures find the method of accomplishing salvation within the parish and within the paintings that parishioners undertook there jointly.
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Even those who chose an unmarked parish grave might also fund a more elaborate form of commemoration elsewhere. The ideal parish—one in which the living and the dead mutually benefit each other in perpetuity, in which children experience the same spiritual cycle from font to grave to charnel as their parents and grandparents—had serious staying power, but the ambivalence of Langland’s early readers about the relationship between baptism and burial also suggests that ideas about the parish and parochial identity were evolving.
Langland, Parallel-Text Edition, ed. Schmidt, 2:398. 86. r. My transcription and emphasis. Schmidt has most recently given this manuscript a date of 1400. Langland, Parallel-Text Edition, ed. Schmidt, 1:5. Kane and Donaldson date the manuscript to the first half of the fifteenth century 32 s CHAPTER 1 A person should be buried wherever he was christened, whether he is currently a parishioner there or not. Any number of circumstances could take people away from their baptismal parish—a move or a marriage, for instance, or the lure of voluntary associations such as religious fraternities and guilds.
It is a warning to us all to keep the sacrament of baptism, given to us by God. The punishment of the sinful godparent draws close attention to the space and fabric of the church as Mannyng explores the relationship not only between baptism and salvation but between godparents and the wider parish community. Mannyng figures baptism as a vertical pathway to heaven; the lifting of the girl at the font points to her potential for salvation as a new member of Christendom and looks ahead to her future ascension to heaven.
Imagining the Parish in Late Medieval England by Ellen K. Rentz