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The Middle Ages an Encyclopedia for Students, Volume 3

The Middle Ages an Encyclopedia for Students, Volume 3

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Published by: Στυλιανός Σμυρναίος on Jul 28, 2012
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09/04/2013

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An
Encyclopedia
for
Students
Ages
Middle
The
 
An
Encyclopedia
for
Students
William
Chester
Jordan,
Editor
in
Chief
for
the
American
Council
of Learned
Societies
Volume
3
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
Macmillan
Library Reference
USA
Simon & Schuster Macmillan
New York
SIMON & SCHUSTER AND PRENTICE HALL INTERNATIONALLondon Mexico
City
New Delhi
Singapore
Sydney
Toronto
Ages
Middle
The
 
Indulgences
1
*
resins
solid
or
semisolid substances obtained
from
various
plants
*
censers
vessels
used
to
hold incense;
alsoknown as
thuribles
I
ncense
is a
substance that produces
a
sweet-smelling smoke when
it is
burned.
The
smoke itself
is
also called incense.
In the
Middle Ages,
various
substances—including
seeds, bark, wood, and
resins*—were
burned as incense.
Before
Christian times, incense
was
used
as a
perfume,
to
relieve weari-
ness,
to
mask unpleasant odors,
as a
sacrificial
offering,
and as a
mark
of
honor
to important persons, places, and things. The early Christians usedincense in their homes, at funerals, and in cemeteries. It was not used in
early
church worship because
it was
associated
with
pagan rituals.
As
Chris-
tianity
developed, however, incense became an important part of churchrituals as well. As early as the 400s, it was used in various church proces-
sions,
including funeral marches and the entry of important dignitariesinto
the
church. Incense played
an
important role
in the
MASS,
especiallyduring Communion.
For
medieval Christians, incense symbolized
sacrifice
and
prayer,
and it was
associated with
joy and the
forgiveness
of
sins.
It wasalso
thought to have the power to heal and the power to exorcise, or driveout,
evil
spirits.
Within
the
church, incense
was
burned
in
ornate censers*
of
gold, sil-
ver,
bronze, or iron. Some censers were stationary, while others werehungonchainsandswungtospreadthearomaof theburning incense.
In the
late Middle Ages,
the
swinging
of the
censer, known
as
censing,
be-
came
a
highly complicated
and
intricate procedure.
(See
also
Cosmetics
and
Beauty Aids; Herbs
and
Herbals; Magic
and
Folklore;
Mass,
Liturgyof;Medicine.)
*
purgatory
place
of
temporary
suffering
orpunishment
after
death
andbefore
entering
heaven
*
heretic
person
who
disagrees
with
established
church doctrine
*
infidel
person
who
does
not
accept
a
particular
faith
I
n the medieval Roman Church, forgiveness of sins was a two-stepprocess. First, the sinner had to confess his or her sin to an ordainedpriest, who then granted absolution
(forgiveness).
The second step re-quired a penance (punishment) to make amends for the sin, either in this
life
or
after
death
in
purgatory*.During the Middle Ages, church authorities had the power to grantindulgences, which permitted a sinner to substitute something else for allor part of the penance. Substitutes included visiting a church, making do-nationsfor the
poor,
orgoingon acrusade. Indulgences varied fromthose which canceled only a small part of a penance to those which can-celed the penance for all the sins the individual ever committed prior toreceivingtheindulgence. This second kindofindulgencewascalledaple-
nary
indulgence.
Plenary
indulgences were
of two
kinds: jubilee
and
crusade. Popes
is-
sued jubilee indulgences during special
HOLY YEARS
to
those
who
traveledto Rome to seek them.
Pope
BONIFACE
VIII issued the
first
jubilee
indul-gences in 1300. Popes also issued plenary indulgences to those who
joined
crusades against heretics*
and
infidels*.
In
1095, Pope
URBAN
II
promised
full
remission
of
penance
to
those
who
joined
the
first
CRUSADE
against Muslims in the Holy Land. He further granted eternal
life
tothose
who
died
in
battle during
the
crusade.
(See
also
Papacy, Origins
and
Development.)
Incense
Indulgences

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