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Summary on the Religious Experience in a Gothic Cathedral

Summary on the Religious Experience in a Gothic Cathedral

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Published by ChrisWhittle
Summary on the Religious Experience section of "The Gothic Enterprise" by Robert A. Scott
Summary on the Religious Experience section of "The Gothic Enterprise" by Robert A. Scott

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Published by: ChrisWhittle on Mar 12, 2012
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 Whittle 1Christopher R. WhittleProfessor Jill Anderson ART 111 Sec 01: A History of Art IDecember 16, 2010
Summary on
The Gothic Enterprise: A Guide to Understanding the
 Medieval Cathedral; “ 
The Religious Experience
” unit
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
mensa
, 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 (
 Daily Missal 
). 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 
 
 Whittle 2
two miracles while in heaven. When a case is opened, the person is a “Venerable Servantof God”. When he or she performs the first miracle, the person is “Blessed”. After thesecond and subsequent miracles, the person is canonized a “Saint” (Klein 432).
Originally, only martyrs outside of the Bible could be canonized, but that is no longerthe case (Scott 204). With the decree from Pope Innocent III during the Lateran IV Council in 1215, only the pope can canonize saints. Prior to that, individual bishopscould do so (Scott 205).For the clergy in medieval times there were nine services that monasteriesfollowed most indeed, with some cathedrals following suit. They were Lauds, Prime,Mass, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, Compline, and Matins (Klein 316). Matins was themost difficult service to perform because it was said in the dark of night without any lights! (Scott 166). These services were said in the sanctuary, or presbytery, obstructed by the rood screen from the laity in the nave viewing the services (Scott 158). At thattime there were 35 different versions of the Roman Missal (Scott 165), often times written by bishops for their cathedral, based on the architecture of the building. Forexample, the Sarum Rite (Use of Salisbury) processions on Palm Sunday and CorpusChristi used all parish grounds (Scott 169). Ordinary parts of the service werememorized the monks using iconographic memory and mnemonics, which is a majorreason there are so many statues and artwork are in Catholic churches (Scott 174).The cathedral building projects, which in some cases lasted centuries, were paidfor by bequeaths from parishioners (Scott 183), indulgences, and loans (Scott 191). Assoon as the Soul Bell rang when the casket was brought to the church for the RequiemMass (Klein 112), it was then the social responsibility of the widow to request Masses forthe dead, and to
pray for the repose for her husband’s soul (Scott 185).

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