Stanley, Sarah Ladislaw, Frank A. China's available leaphart. Copyright theology for Christopher K. You have doing so in a principal file, required with a furfttrfll of shops and people. You are the maintaining of other leaders, mesmerizing and flows Using from outside the shop.
Other books in this series. Evening's Empire Craig M. Add to basket. Fascism's European Empire Davide Rodogno. Greening Democracy Stephen Milder. Imperial Boundaries Brian J. Red Globalization Oscar Sanchez-Sibony. Mussolini's Nation-Empire Roberta Pergher. Royalty and Diplomacy in Europe, Roderick R. Ordinary Prussians William W.
The Cossack Myth Serhii Plokhy. The Rise of Heritage Astrid Swenson. Converting Bohemia Howard Louthan. Table of contents List of maps; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. The Counter-Reformation offensive, ; 2. The sacral landscape and pilgrimage piety; 3. Religious practice; 4. Clericalism in the villages; 5. The communal church in German Catholicism; 6. Reformers and intermediaries, ; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index. Review quote ' If this volume parallels Forster's previous study of contemporary and nearby Bavaria, this enhances the value of both books.
Monasteries, however, had an ambiguous place in this region, for they were centers of Herrschaft, that is, of power and authority, as well as sacred sites. The great abbeys of the German Southwest were all very old, which gave them a certain status in a traditional society. Abbesses and abbots carefully used the power of history and tradition, especially as it favored Catholicism over Protestantism.
Monastic institutions were also all local centers of devotion and most abbeys had important collections of relics and active shrines. Many monasteries purchased and brought new collections of relics to Southwest Germany in the eighteenth century. Since many of the relics came from Rome itself, these new devotions further connected local practices and local monastic institutions to the Catholic Church as a whole.
Relics had considerably more popular appeal if they were of local origin. The best example of the role of relics in the sacral landscape is the development of the shrine to the Gute Beth at Reute. Lionel Rothkrug links local shrines and local saints to the strength of Catholicism in Bavaria and southern Germany during and after the Reformation. The Church and local secular authorities clearly promoted the shrine at Reute, but it developed an important place in popular religion as well. Monasteries and convents led a boom in church building and decoration in the eighteenth century.
Famous architects and designers, such as the Zimmermann brothers, the brothers Asam, Johann Georg Fischer, and Peter II Thumb, rebuilt all the great monasteries of the region in dramatic style. The rebuilt abbeys dominated the landscape as never before, and the lavish decoration of the church interiors displayed the wealth and power of the monasteries in new ways. Evans points out that the monasteries and the village churches and chapels of southern Germany were part of the same religious world.
The Art and Culture of Central Europe. There was no clear boundary between the art and architecture patronized and appreciated by the Catholic elite and by Catholic peasants. Both Zimmermanns of course worked for great monasteries and even the Dukes of Bavaria. At the same time, however, they decorated and designed parish churches and pilgrimage shrines.
Modern art historians greatly appreciate Steinhausen as a classic example of the rococo church; in the eighteenth century tens of thousands of pilgrims came to Steinhausen to see the Gnadenbild, and they too experienced the expansive design of the little church. Dramatic new churches such as Steinhausen were only part of the building boom in the eighteenth century. Churches and chapels also received new altars, statues, and paintings. This negotiation, in turn, often brought the parish priest and sometimes episcopal authorities into the mix, either to act as facilitators, or to approve the religious aspects of the design.
There is evidence that the interiors of many churches and chapels fell into disrepair in the sixteenth century. Visitation reports from the early seventeenth century indicate no general problems with church buildings and decoration. In many ways, developments inside churches and chapels mirrored the development of the sacral landscape itself. The visitors commented that the confessional in Weildorf was in a poor location. The driving force appears to have been the village community, especially in the late seventeenth century.
Blasien as the patron and replacing him with St. John the Baptist, probably to the displeasure of the local lord, the Abbey of St.go here
Such disputes had been the pattern since the sixteenth century, and probably before. While parish patrons often had some obligation to pay for the upkeep of parish churches, village communities frequently were the only ones willing to pay for the decoration of chapels. Not surprisingly, of course, abbots and abbesses preferred dramatic projects such as the construction of the new shrines at Steinhausen and Birnau. At the same time, however, the constant need to refurbish parish churches and local chapels provided further opportunities to patronize the arts.
The interplay of popular pressure and monastic reaction in the decoration of church interiors is best illustrated with concrete examples. Erika Dillman, Stephan I. The monastery approved repairs on the roof, but allowed the building of three new altars only if the confraternity funded them. Here again, the initiative for new construction and decoration came from the local parish. Salem, however, had a variety of reasons to contribute to the projects, some having to do with a desire to support local religious devotion, others having to do with a need to assert itself as a local center of power and devotion.
Ecclesiastics were very conscious of the importance of high-quality decorations in churches. Agnetis Virg. The priest in Mindersdorf submitted a long report, emphasizing the poor quality of the linen, chalices and other decorations in the church. It shows his life and is as incomparably beautiful as it is artistically made. We and everyone in the church praised this, and everything about it, [saying] not that it is too luxurious or so costly, but rather that it is appropriate for the location. Several parishioners had agreed to pay for these new decorations, and Schwickart only needed permission to proceed from the abbot.
Diplomatically, however, the Pfarrer credits Anselm for setting a good example in church decoration, probably in reference to the painting. The abbot gave permission, as long as the project did not lead to any cost to the monastery. More altars, more paintings, more statues, and more elaborate decorations were built into churches in this period.
This building boom led to a further sacralization of the landscape itself. The Catholic elite and the peasantry shared the sacral landscape of Southwest Germany. The ways in which Baroque art and architecture penetrated into the villages illustrate this particularly well.
People recognized the importance of place in religious life. Many pilgrimage sites came to be located in a place chosen by the miraculous picture or statue itself. The villagers of Sasbach carried a Gnadenbild up the Litzelberg and allowed it in an unknown way to choose the exact location for the chapel. The sacral landscape was, as we have seen, constantly changing. The sacred spaces and places were alive in another sense as well. The people of the region heard the Mass, listened to sermons, and practiced their devotions in the churches and chapels. The landscape provided a setting and a framework for the public practice of Catholicism, but the practice itself transformed the setting.
Catholic Revival in the Age of the Baroque : Religious Identity in Southwest Germany, 1550-1750
By turning our attention now to the practice of Catholicism, and particularly to pilgrimage piety, we can further examine the interplay of the place and experience of German Catholicism. In seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Germany, however, pilgrimage piety was an integral part of everyday religious practice.
Protestant critics and Catholic apologists, Enlightenment reformers and defenders of local traditions, romantic folklorists and modern scholars have all recognized the important place of pilgrimage in Baroque Catholicism. For this reason, an analysis of pilgrimage piety provides a valuable window on many aspects of Catholicism. Part II, ch. Not surprisingly, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, popular German Catholicism had many ties to the local and regional Church, but few to international Catholicism or its representatives, such as the Jesuits.
Pilgrims turned to the important practices and devotions of everyday Catholicism at the shrines, including communal processions, prayers, confession, and communion. Yet at the same time, Catholic peasants and townspeople experienced shrines as places where miracles could and did happen on a regular basis. The miracles themselves, the vast majority credited to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, were sometimes dramatic and more often mundane, occasionally widely reported, but mostly local in importance.
Pilgrimage piety was part of the diverse and dispersed world of local Catholicism. The monks had moved it from its traditional resting place in a small chapel in the nearby village of Birnau, which had given the picture its name: Our Lady of Birnau. The Cistercians from Salem were building a new church for the picture much closer to the monastery. Indeed, within the wall of the monastery of Salem, she has not only frequently blessed us [the monks] but the whole surrounding area as well with her charity. We leave the correct interpretation [rechten Verstand] of them to the Church.
The monks argued that the drinking and frivolity at the inn undermined the sanctity of Birnau. For this reason, the report moved on to publicize the sacred power still manifested by the picture of Mary. An expectant mother in serious danger gives birth to a healthy child. A stonemason working on the new shrine survives a serious fall without injury. A three-year-old boy who cannot walk comes to the shrine and starts walking the next day.
A woman with a seriously injured foot is cured. A monk comes uninjured through a serious carriage accident by appealing to Mary for help. Pilgrimage and confessionalism in the late sixteenth century Pilgrimages contributed to the creation and strengthening of Catholic confessionalism. Marc R. Even in the eighteenth century, Protestants considered pilgrimages and communal processions a form of Catholic aggression, particularly within biconfessional cities.
Pilgrimage piety in the Southwest revived in the late sixteenth century, as it did elsewhere in Catholic Germany. The shrine at Maria Sand outside Herbolzheim dates from the second half of the sixteenth century. Despite its weight, the one-meter tall statue washed up on shore several kilometers away in Herbolzheim, where it became the focus of an important shrine. See also R. Po-chia Hsia, Social Discipline in the Reformation.
Forster, The Counter-Reformation in the Villages, pp. See Soergel, Wondrous in His Saints, pp. The report compiled by episcopal commissioners sent to investigate the foundation miracle indicates that this was also an antiProtestant shrine. The story itself was not unusual.
Shortly before Ascension Day a wooden Madonna statue in the St. Martin Chapel started to sweat or weep. Why did Mary and Jesus sweat or weep? Otherwise, this Madonna had not previously excited any special devotion. Only later did the miracle lead people to prayer and greater devotion. The Pfarrer claimed to have been especially skeptical and diligent in checking the veracity of the miracle. Finally, this miracle, for all its typicality, was in its early stages created by the common people of Endingen, who came in large numbers to view the statue before the local clergy became involved.
Catholic Revival in the Age of the Baroque | Cokesbury
Once established, however, local priests and the town magistrates all adopted the shrine and they all played an important role in the investigation by the episcopal commission. The shrine at Maria Lindenberg, near the Benedictine monastery of St. This program, probably led by the monks at St. Weeping or sweating statues and pictures were common. See especially the shrine of Maria Steinbach, discussed below. The shrine at Geisingen is exemplary. The soldier died soon after.
The Mariazell shrine near Hechingen originated in a story similar to that of Geisingen. After the successful defense of the city, the Jesuits and their Marian sodality sponsored the project, but enthusiasm among the wider population was limited. The Lorettokapelle owed more to clerical promotion than popular enthusiasm.
Many, if not most, of the shrines which trace their origins to the war did not become popular pilgrimage destinations until the early eighteenth century. In this respect the shrine of the Heilig Kreuz at Geisingen was typical. A shrine that had manifested power in such a dark time could surely solve the problems of a later period. Another example of a triggerhappy soldier comes from Pfullendorf. See Brommer ed. The Jesuits promoted Loretto shrines throughout Catholic Europe in this period. The shrine at Geisingen needed the publication of a miracle report by the local priest to gain a wider reputation.
Indeed, clerical promotion of shrines could fail, as the example of the shrine at Weggental outside Rottenburg am Neckar attests. The Jesuits continued to serve as preachers and pastors at Weggental and took credit for the popularity of the shrine in the mid-eighteenth century, when the shrine shared in the general enthusiasm for pilgrimage in this period. III, p. A small statue of Mary was soon installed and a period of miracles and local popularity followed.
The shrine, however, soon fell into disuse. This miracle initiated a new explosion of local devotion. The commission expressed concern that the popularity of the shrine would be short-lived, and feared the criticism of Protestants in such a case. See also Brommer ed. They appealed to the patron of the shrine, the monastery of Salem, for either help or release from some of the obligations of their position.
Many more shrines followed this pattern rather than that of Endingen or Herbolzheim, which revived in the late sixteenth century. Typical was the small St. Jacobus shrine at Wolfach, in the Ortenau region. Jacobus in a nearby well. This story, like those of many late seventeenth-century pilgrimage destinations, gave Wolfach both the status of an ancient shrine, and the power of a place where miracles had recently occurred. Yet the Birnauer Gnadenbild remained popular after its transfer. Perhaps the propaganda campaign of the Cistercians at Salem played a role in bringing pilgrims to the new shrine, as did the beauty of the church and its location.
Completely new shrines posed a further problem, for they could threaten the success, or even the existence, of older sites. Harries, The Bavarian Rococo Church, pp. When a new, larger pilgrimage church was built at Triberg, the original tree was cut down, a small piece of it from the niche around the statue was placed over the altar, and the rest burned. This shrine was the most important destination in Southwest Germany for parents whose babies had died unbaptized. In part the peasants controlled pilgrimage because it was communal, in the sense that pilgrims traveled to shrines in groups.
Yet even when individuals went on pilgrimages, as in the case of parents who traveled to Bergatreute with a still-born child, the common people determined the relative importance and popularity of shrines. Miraculous cures soon occurred, often of children, apparently a group especially favored by the Schmerzhafte Mutter. Villagers easily integrated the shrine at Steinbach into local religious practice.
The fame of the image of Mary quickly spread by word of mouth. Enough, however, witnessed the miracle to spread its fame. Some cures were dramatic, even heart-rending episodes. This is a large collection of reports about miracles, mostly sent in by parish priests. Instead she had to lie face down, and did nothing but scream from the pain day and night [nichts als ach und wehe geschryen].
It was enough to wring compassion from a stone [ein stein hatte es erbarmen megen]. Votive pictures from Steinbach indicate that Maria Steinbach protected the wealthy and powerful as well as commoners. Miracles certainly made a big impression on people from all walks of life. What is striking, however, is not so much the dramatic nature of many miracles credited to Steinbach, but rather their diversity. Mary cured helpless children and young men, and also protected women in childbirth. Although Maria Steinbach paid special attention to children, she was a multi-purpose patron for the region.
This is a report from Haisterkirch. I, Katalog, pp. The shrine obviously became a center of the dominant cult of the Virgin. It also served to reinforce other typical devotions, especially the cult of the Eucharist, the Catholic devotion par excellence. This witness, Georg Sender, saw the eyes move during Mass on several occasions, and while he prayed before the Host after Mass. Rather than quashing the shrine, the commissioners Franz Andreas Rettich, a member of the Clerical Council, and Elias Bruggberger, the dean of the Landkapitel Dietenheim and priest in Erolzheim ended up supporting it.
The minutes of the episcopal commission indicate that the commissioners and the peasants generally agreed both on the possibility of miracles and on what constituted evidence of a miracle. Miraculous cures were somewhat more complicated to certify, but here too all parties agreed on the main issues.
The commissioners would ask, for example, if a cure could be attributed to a medical treatment, but always accepted the response that the cure came too long after treatment to be attributed to it. Supernatural cures were subjected to less rigorous scrutiny, and could include any cure that was not directly attributable to medical intervention. Sitting in a meeting room in Constance, the Clerical Council found it hard to believe that the eyes of a wooden statue could move. Confronted in the church in Steinbach by convinced believers who stood by their testimony under aggressive questioning, the same men changed their mind.
Importantly, the regular services and devotions of Catholic life were the setting for the miraculous moving eyes at Steinbach, as they were at the many active shrines of Southwest Germany. The miracles occurred in familiar church settings, during prayer or Mass. In pilgrimage piety one can identify the close interplay between the everyday experience of popular Catholicism, and the development of churchliness and Catholic identity.
In one sense, however, Steinbach was, in its early years, unusual for pilgrimage sites. Because it was so new, most pilgrims came to Steinbach in small groups or as individuals. This shrine was apparently not the destination for communal pilgrimage processions, as were most shrines in Southwest Germany. The most important shrine in the southern Black Forest, the Marian shrine at Todtmoos, attracted regular processions from around the region. In Birndorf, processions and pilgrimages ranged from the lengthy journeys to the Kalvarienberg near Waldshut, to Todtmoos, and to Waldkirch all several hours away , and processions during Rogation Week to the neighboring villages of Dogern and Unteralpfen, to a short procession to a miraculous picture at the nearby Steinbacher bridge, and monthly processions around the church organized by the Brotherhood of the Rosary.
In Birndorf some of the longer pilgrimages were optional and apparently quite plain events, while the processions within the parish on St. This latter document, although undated, may be from the seventeenth century. Shrines such as Todtmoos, Triberg, Birnau, and Steinbach became religious centers for whole clusters of parishes, rather than for one parish. German Gnadenorte, however, did function much like Spanish shrines. Understandably, but nevertheless somewhat ironically, the population found pilgrimages more attractive as the Church stopped manipulating them.
At the same time, important parts of the church establishment shared the popular enthusiasm for pilgrimage, shrines, and miracles. By the end of the eighteenth century, much of the Catholic elite no longer participated in pilgrimage piety, although the parish clergy remained aware of its importance. According to the Stadtpfarrer, Weggental was an important shrine, and the Rottenburger, as well as the peasants from the surrounding villages, came in large numbers to the church. On Spain, see Christian, Local Religion.
Without the shrine, the religious and moral world of the Rottenburger would collapse: The greatest part of the inhabitants here are busy with farming, and they work hard and diligently [hart und scharf] the whole week long, and so, on Sundays and feast days after parish services and the immediately following midday meal, they like to go out to the Weggentaler chapel in order to pray, which they do in about two hours. Perhaps he [the common man] will go to the inn earlier than usual, and therefore stay there longer, with the inevitable collapse of his prosperity, his health, even to the obvious disadvantage to his habits, morals, and orderliness.
Yet it also gives a sense of the embeddedness of shrines and pilgrimage piety. The Church and the population also agreed on the importance of most other rituals of Catholic practice: the sacraments, weekly services, regular Mass, and prayer, especially the Rosary, and the festivals of the liturgical year.
The basic harmony achieved between the Church and the faithful was the result of a number of structural and institutional factors within German Catholicism, including the temporizing nature of the disciplinary aspects of Tridentine reform in Germany. Decisive, however, was the willingness of the Church to tolerate and even support popular religious practices, and the simultaneous popular appropriation of many clerical initiatives. The other was through an annual cycle of ritual constituted by the liturgical year.
The rituals of the liturgical year, particularly the processions that came to mark almost all holidays, also remained essential to the experience of Catholicism through the eighteenth century. This was a new aspect of popular Catholicism, for in late medieval religion weekly church services played a lesser role than the rites of passage and the liturgical year. Finally, certain forms of religious expression and certain institutions played multiple roles.
The number and frequency of processions probably declined after the Reformation, as has been demonstrated for the area around Mainz. The rituals of Southwest German Catholicism remained largely in the hands of the communities themselves.
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Town councils and village communes expected priests to baptize children and hear deathbed confessions. Ultimately, popular initiatives provided people with a greater choice in forms of practice. Popular involvement also meant that such devotions as processions, pilgrimage, and the Mass, which were highly communal, remained vital, even as the cult of the Rosary and other devotions with a more individual focus gained in popularity. The rites of passage The sacraments of the Catholic Church marked several important moments in the lives of the peasants and townspeople.
However, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Catholics viewed a deathbed confession and communion as an essential preparation for the afterlife. There can be no doubt about the importance of baptism in popular Catholicism. It may be true, as John Bossy argues, that Tridentine reform reduced the role of baptism in creating kinship ties when it limited the number of godparents.
In fact, these two rites of passage came to be connected, and complaints about the availability of baptism were often paired with discussions of the availability of deathbed confession and communion. Villagers were also quick to criticize resident priests who either refused to visit the sick or did so reluctantly. Andreas Breth, priest in Dellmensingen, enraged his parishioners by responding slowly to such requests, by insulting the dying, and even by saying that he was glad one child had died, because it meant one less parishioner.
What evidence there is indicates a reluctance to take the sacrament. The history of the sacrament of marriage and its relationship to social practice is long and complicated. There is scattered evidence that village leaders considered it important for parish priests to announce upcoming weddings from the pulpit. On the other hand, the sacrament itself did not gain a central place in the rituals of marriage. Yet the people incorporated the sacraments of the Church selectively into their lives, giving baptism a central role, and increasingly emphasizing deathbed confession and communion.
The sacrament of marriage, by contrast, was a part of popular practice without coming to dominate the event; and extreme unction had no appeal to the common people and was consciously kept at a distance. Catholic rituals and sacraments were an important part of the allimportant rites of passage, as they were in all rituals of everyday life in the villages and towns. The liturgical year Catholic villagers and townspeople lived their religion by participating each year in a large number of feast days. These days were occasions for special church services and, quite often, processions.
Traditionally dispersed unevenly over the calendar year, these feasts intentionally or not linked the liturgy of the Catholic Church with the annual rhythms of agricultural life. Peasants, townspeople, and their priests shared the conviction that the services from Good Friday to Easter Sunday were the most important of the year. For most Catholics, at least until the mid-eighteenth century, the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist were closely linked to Easter and part of the rituals of the liturgical year, not expressions of individual piety. In the eighteenth century, the increased popularity of more frequent confession and communion further enhanced the major feasts.
Priests continued to complain in the late seventeenth century that their parishioners came all at once to confession the week before Easter. The seven feasts of the Virgin, for example, were scattered across the year. The liturgical year also changed over time, as some feasts lost importance and new ones were introduced. More important, however, was the fact that the village and town communities regularly vowed to celebrate new holidays.
In the early eighteenth century the basic framework of the liturgical year in Birndorf, a village in Hauenstein, closely matched the pattern described by Scribner. Additional holidays could come at any time of the year. The villagers celebrated St. On the latter holiday, bread and wax were blessed. This variety caused problems for priests who had to serve more than one church and required them to adapt to local traditions. Blasien agreed to send a priest to help the overworked parish priest of Bettmaringen.
Thomas A. Brady, Jr. Myers argues that the trend in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was toward frequent, regular, and routine confession, but that this kind of confession was not common before the mid-eighteenth century. Each of these churches had its own calendar of feast days, creating a logistical nightmare for the priests. The Bettmaringer were the only ones in the area to celebrate St. In Mauchen they celebrated St. The great feasts of the liturgical year clearly tied the peasants and townspeople of Southwest Germany to the rituals of the international Catholic Church.
Yet here, as elsewhere in Catholic Europe, local traditions and local innovation remained an integral part of Catholic devotions. They also turned the Jesuit-promoted St. John of Nepomuk into a local saint by erecting a statue of the saint on a nearby bridge and going on procession there rather than attending an edifying sermon in the parish church. See also Ebner, Niederwihl, p. There is limited evidence of regular performances of plays on church feasts. There is no doubt that various kinds of performances did take place.
Palm Sunday celebrations also often included the parading of the Palmesel, a representation of Christ on the ass that made its way through the village or town. These blessings were particularly important in the summer, as rural communities worried about the success of the harvest. There were other opportunities for such blessings. Bread was blessed on the feast of St. The liturgical year in the village of Hochsal, also in Hauenstein, was typical.
The villagers appealed to St. They further turned to Saints Fabian and Sebastian for protection against the plague and St. Popular initiative linked the liturgical year to the rhythms of an agricultural world. Yet this aspect of the religious experience did not prevent people from experiencing the central feasts of the Herrenjahr as a commemoration of the life of Christ. Indeed, devotional and theological aspects of certain holidays could be combined with the need for protection for crops and livestock. The parish of Niederwihl provides an example of this phenomenon.
It is unclear whether the villagers responded to the clerical promotion of devotion to the Cross, or added these feasts on their own initiative, but by the middle of the eighteenth century they practiced an unusually large number of such devotions. Yet if clerical organizers of such devotions hoped that these would lead to a more inward-looking and private Christocentric religion they may have been disappointed.
Even the cult of the True Cross, which scholars generally considered a typical CounterReformation devotion, could be easily integrated into the rural religion of these peasants. The population experienced feasts above all as days of processions. The number of processions that criss-crossed the Catholic countryside and meandered through cities and towns grew steadily as well.
These events too were generally promoted and organized by the people themselves, who thereby continuously elaborated their religious experience. In the early eighteenth century, eleven major processions took place each year at Ettenkirch, a village not far from Lake Constance, many to destinations as far as two hours away. Processions were just as frequent, and sometimes even more strenuous, in other parishes.
Mark the Evangelist: procession to Manzell. George Chapel outside the village. George: procession and service in St. George Chapel. Ebner, Birndorf, pp. Peter and Paul: procession to Schnetzenhausen. First, many processions explicitly served the needs of an agricultural world. Third, a number of processions often linked parishes together, drawing people into a religious world beyond their locality. Even the variety of names people gave to processions in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries show this diversity.
See also Marc R. Many processions went either around the parish church, through the village, or around the boundaries of the parish. Singing was an important part of the Fronleichnam procession in Niederwihl in the eighteenth century, and the parish chorus took a position of honor directly in front of the sacrament. XII, esp. Almost all of these were in, around, or through the village.
The celebration of Corpus Christi also continued throughout the week following the feast day itself and usually included at least two other processions. The villagers of Herbolzheim, in the Rhine valley, were very attached to this ceremony. The Herbolzheimer participated enthusiastically in this procession.
In the view of Catholic villagers, this was one of the reasons behind the devotions, not grounds to abolish them. In the later eighteenth century, such processions were almost universal in the rural chapters of Stockach, Breisach, and Biberach, although less common in the pastoral region around St. Another group of processions went from the village church to a nearby chapel or other site for devotion. These processions were the rural equivalent of the processions that symbolically linked the churches of cities and towns together.
These processions also counterbalanced the longer processions, particularly the pilgrimage processions, by reinforcing parish loyalties in going to local sacred sites. The people of St. Most parishes held processions on the three days of Rogation Week, known as Kreuzwoche or Bittwoche. The processions generally occurred on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension Day and often went to neighboring parish churches. If the Ascension Day processions around the arable land were manifestations of local religion, the Rogation processions brought people from several neighboring parishes together.
The parishes around Bettmaringen, in the County of Bonndorf, are an example of this experience. Other examples from Hauenstein Ebner, Niederwihl, pp. Rogation Week not only added to the diversity of processional life, but also brought groups of Catholics together. Processions easily shaded into pilgrimages, particularly in villages near important shrines. As a matter of course, shrines became the destination of processions on important feast days.
The shrines then served to bring together groups of parishes for services, and functioned much as the Rogation Week processions did elsewhere. The social and communal aspects of processions, especially those to shrines, were very important. Rogation Week processions and processions to shrines, like regional shrines and monasteries, helped to create and maintain a sense of Catholic identity that went beyond the local parish.
Villagers met and participated together in services and often processed part of the way to their destination together. There is no doubt that people not only met potential spouses, but were also exposed to new devotional practices on these occasions. Processions, like most aspects of Catholic devotional life, were organized by village communes.
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