Ministry to the Dying, Dead, and Bereaved
Part 2 History

Chapter f27 After Trent [1700-1899 CE]

Secular History

Church History

Ministry to the Dead and Bereaved

Secular History

The population of Europe rose quite dramatically in the eighteenth century. Europeans were still subject to many diseases. By 1760 bubonic plague had disappeared from the west, but it was replaced by smallpox. The fundamental question remained: the food supply. Most food was grown locally and was transported by horse-drawn vehicles - making it expensive. The population remained at the mercy of disease, harvest failures and famines. The staple food was bread. In north-west Europe peas and beans were made into soup and the diet was also supplemented with root vegetables. For most families, milk, cheese, eggs, butter, bacon were luxuries.  In 1800 most European agriculture was as technologically primitive as it had been in 1600.  Grain was still sown broadcast, ploughs merely scratched the surface of the soil and most harvest work was done by the sickle rather than the scythe. By the age of 12 or 14 most children had learned a trade or went out as domestic servants. Most of them had left home by the age of 14. A high proportion of children died before their fifth birthdays, grandparents were comparatively rare; women died in childbirth. Second marriages were often an economic necessity. However, earlier suggestions that high infant mortality meant that parents were largely indifferent to their young children is not borne out by the evidence. (condensed from http://europetransformed.blogspot.com/2006/10/europe-in-1700.html accessed August 13, 2010)

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Church History

This period of the "historical grid" -- the time during which the teachings of the Council of Trent were solidified and taught in the seminaries and in the catechisms -- is very important because it has shaped the unconscious "image" of the sacrament for many older Catholics living today and it has a strong influence on their individual sacramental "behavior" and on the way they celebrate the sacraments in the parish (i.e. their "group behavior").   

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Ministry to the Dead and Bereaved

This is a period of consolidation.  The decrees of the Council of Trent are implemented and their Missal and Ritual used.  Nothing much changes. 

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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 08/15/14.  Your comments on this site are welcome at trichstatter@franciscan.org