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(485 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda

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 biblical sites associated with Jesus’ life in the 4th century, but the beginnings of the stations go back only to the late Middle Ages. In the 14th century, Franciscans in Jerusalem guided pilgrims along the Via Dolorosa, the (unhistorical…

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 century attest the Easter octave (“White Sunday”), and the octaves of Epiphany (V) and church dedication. Whereas earlier scholarship saw its genesis in the context of Old Testament testimony (Lev 23:36; 1 Kgs 8:65; 2 Chr 29:17, 30:21ff.; 1 Macc 4:56), now a connection with baptismal ca…


(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 C…

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 2:21). In the new Roman general calendar (Calendar: V) it is omitted as a distinct feast, but the Naming is men…

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…


(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 platte…

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 (F.J. Dölger) and as a substitute for communion for catechumens (Alois Stenzel). No longer part of the baptismal liturgy, today the giving of salt is optionally associated with…

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…

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 [van Slyke]). Although according to th…

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 feast incorporated customs associated with the summer solstice. The Byzantine church later established a secondary celebrati…

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 mater…

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 and then…

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 added). In the 8th century, the practice of aspersion with holy water at the start of the Sunday mass began in Merovingian and Carolingian monasteries. This practice found its way into parish church services in the 9th century, where it became obliga…


(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 liturgical gestures (II; R. Guardini, Von heiligen Zeichen, 1923; ET: Sacred Signs, 1956) in Western liturgies, they express appropriate contrition and supplication and constitute an attitude of receptiveness (ordination, marriage, confirmation, blessing, etc.). While, in the modern era, kneeling has become the dominant posture on the part of Catholics, the liturgical movement and Vatican II have reintroduced standing, which was dominant in the Early …

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)…


(169 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[English Version] Salz, liturgisch. Als urspr. katechumenaler Ritus (erstmals Aug. conf. I 11,17) und fast nur im röm. Liturgiebereich bezeugt, wechselte die Gabe von gesegnetem S. mit dem Übergang zur Kindertaufe in die Taufliturgie (Taufe: VI.) und blieb dort bis zum Vaticanum II erhalten. Ihr Ursprung wird entsprechend röm. Lustrationsriten bei Neugeborenen exorzistisch gedeutet (F.J. Dölger) oder als Kommunionersatz bei den Katechumenen (Alois…


(143 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[English Version] bez. in der ev. Liturgik die Praxis, daß sich der/die zelebrierende Pfarrer/Pfarrerin die Kommunion selbst reicht, wenn kein anderer Pfarrer bzw. keine andere Pfarrerin anwesend ist. Von Luther und den meisten Reformatoren – obgleich problematisiert – zugelassen, im 17.Jh. überwiegend verboten, für Preußen 1880 wieder erlaubt, ist die S. um die Mitte des 20.Jh. weithin üblich. Heute wird aufgrund des Gemeinschafts- und Gabecharakters des Abendmahls die Spendung durch eine andere …


(154 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[English Version] Oktav, von lat. (dies) octava, der achte Tag, bez. die liturgische Feier acht Tage nach einem Fest sowie die Zeitspanne bis zum Oktavtag. Durch Quellen bezeugt sind Ende des 4.Jh. die Osteroktav (»weißer Sonntag«) sowie die O. von Epiphanie (: V.) und Kirchweihe. Sah die ältere Forschung die Genese im Kontext atl. Zeugnisse (Lev 23,36; 1Kön 8,65; 2Chr 29,17; …


(251 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[English Version] (Aussegnung, Kirchgang, Muttersegen). C. 18 der Canones Hippolyti (4.Jh. n.Chr.) bezeugt erstmals den Brauch eines Kirchgangs der Wöchnerin mit ihrem Kind 40 oder 80 Tage nach der Geburt (vgl. Lev 12; Lk 2,22–28). Die byz. Liturgie betonte zunächst das Hineinbringen des Kindes in die Kirche, später Unreinheit und Sünde der Mutter (11.Jh. bis heute). Im Westen gab es in England um 600 n.Chr. d…
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