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(183 words)

The term “observance” (Lat. observo, “observe, watch, follow, keep”) is used legally with reference to custom or to mere tradition that has not yet reached the stage of custom. In Roman Catholic religious orders it is the effort to follow exactly the original rule without any later relaxations. In the Franciscan controversy regarding poverty in the 13th and 14th centuries (Franciscans), the reformers called themselves Observantines or Observants. Favoring a strict observance among Cistercians are the Trappists (known officially since 1902 as the Order of Cistercians…

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Primetshofer, Bruno, “Observance”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 27 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_O29>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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