Presentation on theme: "Worshi p and its Architectural Setting 5. T HE M IDDLE A GES."— Presentation transcript:
Worshi p and its Architectural Setting 5. T HE M IDDLE A GES
The emperor Justinian and his retinue. From the 6 th c. liturgy was more tightly controlled from Constantinople in the East, while diversity was more common in the West. Controlled from the imperial court, the churches of the East were pressured to conform to the form of liturgy used in Constantinople. The East, which had been more diverse, became more uniform starting in the 7 th c. There was no real counterpart in the West to the centralized authority of the emperor in the East, except for the Bishop of Rome. In the West, although Rome was the dominant influence on worship, there was still a lot of local variety well into the Middle Ages.
Gregory “the Great” became Bishop of Rome in 590. First Bishop of Rome who was a monk, Gregory called for clerical celibacy. Emphasized primacy of the “Papa” of the Roman Church. Formed special connection with Frankish Merovingian dynasty. Sponsored evangelization of the “barbarians” of the North by monks; sent Augustine to England in 597. Reformed the liturgy, introducing collects and seasonal variations and other changes that made the Roman rite increasingly different from the Byzantine. Did not invent “Gregorian” chant.
When Augustine was sent to England in 597, Pope Gregory told him to use the best of the liturgies he knew from Italy and the Frankish kingdom. Roman brick is obvious in the walls of Augustine’s Church of St. Martin at Canterbury, where he baptized the King of Kent. Augustine, in fact, was as faithful as possible to the liturgy he had known as a monk in Rome. He was less flexible than Pope Gregory. It was still expected in the 6 th and 7 th c., and later, that the shape of the liturgy would be the same everywhere, but with a great deal of local variety. Augustine, bishop and monk, used monasticism as the vehicle for evangelization. The same pattern had already been used in England, Ireland, and Scotland by the Celtic monks.
In Britain there were cathedral church, collegiate churches (or minsters), and private chapels for the local land lords. St. Mary’s at Breamore, Hamps. (ca. 1000), was an Anglo-Saxon “minster,” the mother church of the area. Cathedral churches were bishops’ churches from which monks went out to preach Christianity to a particular region. “Minsters" were monastic daughter houses of the cathedral churches, a sort of second level regional missionary church. The first parish churches were built by local lords to benefit his dependents. Priests would come out from the minsters to serve them.
With this kind of missionary enterprise came a new way of thinking about the Church, one that eventually characterized the Middles Ages. “The Church” was thought of as the Pope, bishops, priests, monks and nuns. Their work was to provide Christian service (sacraments and pastoral care) to the laity. The theology of the church had not formally changed, but the common way of thinking had changed. Lay people were no longer thought of as “the holy people of God.” They were the recipients of services provided by the Church and obligated to support the Church with their tithes.
Missionary bishop-monks like Boniface and Willibrord went out from Britain in the 8 th c. to convert the pagan Germans living in Frisia and northern Germany. Boniface baptizing converts and his martyrdom in 754. These Benedictine missionary monk-bishops carried with them their faith and forms of worship. In Frisia and Germany they established monastery or “minster” churches like the ones they knew from Britain. In Britain then, Christianity was centered in monasteries (“minsters”). There were as yet no “parishes;” these came a hundred years later. The spread of monasticism was the engine of evangelization.
The practice of Christian baptism changed in the Middle Ages. Early medieval font in Winchester Cathedral. It was extremely large. Perhaps adults could be baptized in it. (See next slide.) The traditional period of catechesis and scrutiny degenerated and were lost. In the 6 th – 8 th c. pagan Germanic rulers were baptized and whole armies with them. By the time Europe was considered wholly Christianized, infant baptism was the norm. Infant mortality rates were high, and the medieval Church believed unbaptized infants who died would go to hell. The main purpose of baptizing them was to insure that would not happen.
The medieval church did not forget that sometimes adults needed to be baptized. Some medieval fonts were large enough. This is one of many medieval manuscript illustrations of the baptism of the Frankish king Clovis (the name which became Ludovicus or Louis) in the year 512. Many large medieval fonts were of a size in which an adult could kneel in the water and be baptized.
The Charles, King of the Franks, was crowned “Holy Roman Emperor” in 804. He built churches and encouraged uniformity in liturgy. Charlemagne built a palace at Aachen, with a Byzantine-style octagonal chapel – now the cathedral. Architects and artisans came from Constantinople to design and help build it.
In the Eastern Christian churches, the Divine Liturgy was (and is) celebrated only on Sundays and holy days by clergy concelebrating together. The historic norm, East and West, had been for the Eucharist to be celebrated only on Sundays and holy days, by a bishop with his presbyters and deacons. A solemn, concelebrated liturgy has always been the rule in the East. The ancient idea of leitourgia (liturgy) viewed the worship of the church as holy “work” in which all Christians had an essential part, according to their order – clergy or laity. Concelebrated liturgy on Mount Athos today.
In the West, with the multiplication of holy days, arose the custom of numerous celebrations of the Eucharist, often with a single priest and server. By the 11 th -12 th c. the norm of worship came to be “low mass,” a simplified form of the liturgy, although in cathedrals and monasteries the ancient “solemn” mass was kept. The “low mass” liturgy was brief, since much was said silently by the priest, who took on himself all the duties of the deacons and other ministers. Only a single acolyte was required, to say the responses for the people. The role of lay people, if any were present, degenerated into simply “hearing mass,” and seeing the elevation of the host. Most lay people received Holy Communion only once a year, at Easter.
The medieval Western focus on seeing the priest lift up the host in the mass was an interesting opposite to the Eastern liturgy, where these rites were performed out of view of the people, behind the iconostasis. This medieval “squint” was designed so that worshipers who were standing in a transept or aisle, out of direct line of sight of the altar, might see the elevation of the host. There were also “squints” in church walls so that people excluded from the building, such as lepers, might see the altar and the priest as he elevated the host.
One reason for the multiplication of liturgies was the idea that the Eucharist was an offering to God for a particular “intention.” Intercessions for the living and remembrance of the dead had been part of the Eucharist as early as the 4 th c. But in the Middle Ages the offering of the Eucharist as a sacrifice for a particular “intention” came to dominate. The most common “intentions” were for the salvation of the souls of the departed. But masses were also offered for the living: for healing, for victory in battle, for good crops, in thanksgiving, etc. – for any reason for which people might offer their prayers. A late medieval chantry chapel. This parish church in Nottinghamshire had at least 18 chantries by 1500, each with its own chaplain offering a daily mass.
The great Benedictine Abbey of Cluny in Burgundy, establish in 910, was the largest church in Europe until St. Peter’s in Rome was rebuilt, The many apsidal chapel radiating from the great apse of the Romanesque basilica provided altars for the Benedictine priests who were expected to celebrate a mass each day. Multiple individual masses took the place of concelebrated masses, since they allowed masses to be offered for many different intentions.
In the 8 th and 9 th centuries in the West the celebrant at the Eucharist moved around to the opposite side of the altar. Until the 8 th c. the bishop had presided at the Eucharist from his chair in the apse, with his assisting presbyters beside him. In the 8 th c., perhaps because of popular devotion to relics of the saints, which were often in elaborate shrines behind the altar, the celebrant moved to face the shrine across the altar. Otherwise the liturgy remained the same, but the new position of the priest or bishop and other ministers meant that during much of the liturgy their backs were to the other worshipers. But they were visibly leading worship.
The supposed relics of the Magi are still contained in a medieval gold casket behind the high altar of the cathedral in Cologne, Germany. Relics were a focus of devotion for clergy and people alike in the Middle Ages. Probably also in connection with the veneration of relics, altars in the West in the Middle Ages tended to become large, oblong and tomb-like.
In Westminster Abbey, the shrine of St. Edward the Confessor is directly behind the high altar. The shrine is visible through the ornamental screen. This veneration of relics was a common medieval practice. Such shrines were the rule in cathedrals and abbeys.
Churches being built in the early Middle Ages were similar to the basilicas of the 5 th century and earlier. Romanesque church of San Climent de Taull, Catalonia, Here, there were no screens or other barriers between the altar and the congregation.
So-called “gothic” architecture has come to be thought of as THE medieval style. The first Gothic church was the Abbey of St.-Denis outside Paris, The object of the new style was to enlarge the windows and allow more light into the church than the older, Romanesque style -- with its thick walls – permitted.
“Gothic” buildings were the modern architecture of their age. The style dominated into the 16 th c. and even later in some places. Because the flying buttresses carried the weight, the walls could be thinner – curtains of stone and glass. The effect of the “gothic” style was light, airy and uplifting. The name “gothic” was attached much later, as a mockery in the renaissance. “Gothic” meant barbaric and primitive! 14 th c. Abbey of St. Ouen, Rouen, Normandy.
In most village churches in England, there remained a screen dividing the nave from the choir and altar area. These screens were called “rood” screens. “Rood” is a Saxon word for the crucifix, and there was usually a large crucifix on top of the screen, in the center. These crucifixes were torn down at the Reformation, but some have been restored (see picture at left). Some roods were very large and a small chapel might even be located there. St. Mellanus, Mullion, Cornwall.
In the Middle Ages pictures of saints or kings or other figures were often painted on the wooden choir screens of parish churches. Some are still visible. All Saints, Catfield, Norfolk. St. Peter’s, Bellaugh, Norfolk.
Wooden screens separated choir from nave and also set apart areas for chapels in medieval churches. All Saints, Theddlethorpe, Lincolnshire. 15 th c. rood screen, 16 th c. parclose screens.
Pews began to be used in the 15 th c. and woodcarvers decorated their ends. From Cumnor, Berkshire. Instruments of the passion on the inside, and on the outside, the cross, the sacred (IHS) monogram and the five wounds of Christ.
Layout of a typical English medieval parish church, still in use today. East Hampton parish church, Hampshire.
In some medieval churches in England today the liturgy still feels medieval. A ‘solemn mass,‘ with priest, deacon, and subdeacon, with a host of acolytes and choir, is still the principle service on Sundays in some medieval English churches. Here is the procession out at the end of the liturgy at Tewkesbury Abbey.