Whittle 1Christopher R. WhittleProfessor Jill Anderson ART 111 Sec 01: A History of Art IDecember 16, 2010
The Gothic Enterprise: A Guide to Understanding the
Medieval Cathedral; “
The Religious Experience
by Robert A. Scott
The people in the medieval period turned toward the Gothic cathedral to escapethe harsh and brutal secular world that they resided in (Scott 152), where God wasavailable in the sacred space and objects of the building (Scott 147). The chief object inthe church was the high altar, the most sacred object, was the location of the celebrationof Mass (Scott 149). The altar stone, or
, which is consecrated by a bishop, isplaced on the altar with a least one relic of a saint, the minimum being for whom thechurch was dedicated to (
). Side altars or shirnes also contained relics, andare named appropriately after the relic(s) of the saint in that particular altar. Pilgrims,or people travelling for religious piety, venerated these relics and offering votives (Scott189). All medieval churches had saintly relics housed either in altars or reliquariessince this practice was (and still is) the teaching and discipline of the Roman CatholicChurch (Scott 164).
A first class relic is a physical relic of the saint’s body, a second class
relic an article that the saint touched, and a third class relic is an item that touched afirst or second class relic (Klein 433).
“Tradition has made saints the protectors orpatrons of various aspects of human life…”
(Giorgi), where miracles were performed atthese medieval shrines (Scott 199). In order to become a saint, you must meet therequirements for canonization, which include death, holiness, and the performance of