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Layritz, Friedrich

(178 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] (Lairitz; Jan 30, 1808, Nemmersdorf – Mar 18, 1859, Unterschwaningen), Lutheran theologian and hymnologist. After studying theology and philosophy in Leipzig (Dr.phil. 1829) and Erlangen, where he was tutor at the faculty theology from 1833 to 1837, Layritz served as a parish priest in Merkendorf-Hirschlach, Bayreuth (St. Georgen), and Unterschwaningen. In a programmatic “Open Missive” and the edition of compilations of church hymns, Layritz spoke out for a revival of church music…

Salt, Liturgical

(203 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] Originally a catechumenal rite (first mentioned in Aug. Conf. I 11.17) and limited almost exclusively to Roman liturgical practice, the giving of blessed salt was moved to the baptismal liturgy (Baptism: VI) with the shift to infant baptism; it remained there until Vatican II. The ceremony has been interpreted as an exorcism originating in Roman lustration rites for newborn infants …

Grace (at the Meal table)

(357 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] The pronouncing of a berakah (Blessing and Curse, Benedictions), according to Jewish custom, before and after eating is attested to in the case of both Jesus' meals (Matt 14:19; Luke 24:30) and those of the Early Church (1 Tim 4:3–5; cf. Acts 27:35). The prayers in Did. 9f. demonstrate, in form and content, a close affinity with the Jewish grace. Even in the 4th/5th century, the accent of the grace still lay on praise of the Giver (Ps. Athan. Virg. 12, PG 28.265; Chrys. Hom. 55 in Matt. PG 58.545), but in the West (unlike the Byzantine tradition) it increasingly moved toward being a petition for the g…


(177 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] with one or both knees differs from kneeling, from falling to one's knees, but also from the related bowing and the intensive form, prostration, or major and minor metanie (Byz.). The prayer gestures genuflection and kneeling embody the humility of the creature in the act of worship, veneration and supplica-¶ tion. As li…

Guardini, Romano

(453 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] (Feb 17, 1885, Verona, Italy – Oct 1, 1968, Munich), Catholic philosopher of religion and theologian. With his conception of a Christian worldview, Guardini developed a universally acknowledged contribution to the interpretation and significance of Christianity under the intellectual conditions of the 20th century. He construed the task of his chair of philosophy of religion and Catholic (later Christian) ideology in Berlin (1923–1939), Tübingen (1945–1948), and Munich (1948–1962)…

Station Church

(202 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] A statio (“station”) was originally a gathering or gathering place; it then came to be associated particularly with fasts and the liturgy of the word. In 4th-century Rome, it finally came to denote the eucharistic celebration by the bishop and the local church in stational churches, first newly designated a…

Holy Water

(198 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] Although properties of cleansing (Purification) and atoning (Expiation) were ascribed to water in Judaism and in the ancient world, it was only in the 6th century that there is documented evidence for water being blessed in the West (there with salt ad…

St. John, Feasts of

(236 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] The Nativity of John the Baptist is celebrated by the Catholic, Anglican, Byzantine, and Coptic churches on Jun 24 (it is also in the Lutheran Calendar of Saints), the Beheading on Aug 29; the earliest evidence of both observances dates from the 5th century. The date of the nativity observance was determined in the West in relationship to Christmas and Luke 1:36; later the …

Octava dies

(182 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] Octava dies, from the Latin (dies) octava, the eighth day, denotes the liturgical celebration eight days after a festival, and also the period up to the day of the octave. Sources from the end of the 4th centur…


(148 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] In Protestant liturgics, self-communion is the practice of having the celebrant distribute communion if no other minister is present. It was permitted by Luther and most other Reformers, albeit with reservations. In the 17th century it was largely prohibited. It was approved for Prussia in 1880 and has largely become customary since the mid-20th century. Today the emphasis on the character of the Eucharist as a community celebration and a gift means that distribution by another person (clerical or lay) is preferred to self-communion. In the Catholic Church, the Council of Trent (DH 1648 and 1660) defended self-communion as based on apostolic tradition. Today it is the general practice ( Institutio generalis missalis Romani, 2002, no. 158), even in the context of concelebration. The decision of Trent does not rule out reexamination of its appropriateness. Gunda Brüske Bibliography F. Kalb, Grundriß der Liturgik, 1965, 319…

Name of Jesus, Festival of the

(173 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] As a consequence of stronger emphasis on Christ's incarnation as a human being (Bernard of Clairvaux), spread by the popular preachers of the mendicant orders (esp. Bernardino of Siena, John of Capistrano), the feast was introduced in 1530 in the Franciscans' own calendar for Jan 14 (now Jan 3), and extended in 1721 to the whole Catholic ¶ Church. In 1913 Pius X set it on the Sunday between Jan 1 and 6 (or Jan 2), thus closer to Christmas and the day of the octave (Jan 1), with the Gospel of the Circumcision and Naming of Jesus (Luke 2:2…

Churching of Women

(295 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] Canon 18 of the Canones Hippolyti (4th cent. ce) first attests to the practice of a new mother going to church with her child 40 or 80 days after the birth (cf. Lev 12; Luke 2:22–28). The Byzantine liturgy initially emphasized the bringing of the child into the church, and later the impurity and sin of the mother (11th cent. until now). In the West, the practice of churching women existed in England around 600 ce (possibly as the result of Eastern influence …


(485 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] In Western liturgies, the preface (Lat. praefatio; in non-Roman liturgies also contestatio, illatio, immolatio) is the anamnestic thanksgiving at the beginning of the eucharistic prayer (see also Anaphora) between the dialogue of the Sursum corda and the Sanctus. Though an essential element, the preface – unlike in the Eastern liturgies and the fourth eucharistic prayer of the Missale Romanum – is not associated with a particular eucharistic prayer. It varies with the day, the festival celebrated, or the season of the church year ( Allgemeine Einführung in das Me…

Stations of the Cross

(484 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] a Catholic devotion that reenacts Jesus’ passion in 14 stations, from his sentencing by Pontius Pilate to his entombment, either tracing his footsteps or in contemplative prayer; it is primarily associated with Lent. Pilgrims began visiting the bib…


(509 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda | Sporbeck, Gudrun
[German Version] I. In the Liturgy The paten (Lat. patena, from Gk πατάνη/ patánē, “flat dish”) serves as a container for the consecrated bread of the Eucharist; it is a functional parallel to the chalice holding the wine (Liturgical vessels, Liturgical implements). Originally it was as a platter on which the bread was broken and arranged; after the change to smaller hosts in West, it was reduced to a flat plate for a host, 12–20 cm in diameter, fitted to the top of the chalice (unlike the δίσκος/ dískos used in the East). In Catholic and Evangelical church practice, paten and chal…

Mystery Religions

(3,778 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. | Betz, Hans Dieter | Felmy, Karl Christian | Brüske, Gunda | Stolz, Michael | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. The Christian Cult and the Mysteries – III. Art History I. Religious Studies Modern discussion of the Greek mysteries goes back to the material collected by the Dutch scholar Jan de Meurs (1619), which served as the main …