Eucharist
Part 2 History

Chapter e25 The Late Medieval Period
[1300-1499]

History & Culture

Summary

Dates

Liturgy & Priesthood

Devotion & Piety

History & Culture

 

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Summary

5. Late Medieval [1300-1499] Unification desired by civil governments.  Low Mass typical.  Private Masses for souls in purgatory. People kneel throughout the Mass.  Elevation of chalice added.  Genuflection before the Blessed Sacrament.  Proliferation of votive Masses.  Exposition and Benediction. 1414-1418 Council of Constance: Decree on Communion Under One Kind 

"While Protestant worshippers emphasized simplicity of dress, a minimum of gestures, images, and symbols in favor of the word as preached, 17th and 18th century Catholic worship stressed elaborate ornament, decorative building, and polyphonous music. We might call it the development of an “operatic style” of symbolic expression. Worship was accomplished by professionals for spectators."   (Happel, p 1242)

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Dates

 

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Liturgy & Priesthood

"The clergy with whom lay people had the most contact were the parish priests, and there where numerous complaints about them.   In many localities there were too many of them. In a notorious example, in the German city of Breslau, there where two churches staffed by 236 "altar priests," whose sole duty was celebrating Masses for the dead.  In such churches where many Masses were celebrated every day at the same times on the side altars, many people would run from one Mass to the next to be present at the elevation of the Host.  For many the Eucharist had become an object of adoration rather than a sacrament to be celebrated. Sadly too many people came to think of the Mass as the priest's own private prayer rather than a common act of worship."  (Rev. Thomas J. Shelley Ph.D. in Church History:  A Course on the People of God.  Sadlier, Faith and Witness series, pp 74-75.)

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Devotion & Piety

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Copyright: Tom Richstatter.  All Rights Reserved.  This page was created by Fr. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.  Every effort has been, and is being made to acknowledge sources when the ideas are not my own.  Any failure to comply with the United States Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) will be corrected immediately should I become aware of it.  This site was updated on 02/20/15.  Your comments on this site are welcome at trichstatter@franciscan.org