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Dedication of Churches

(818 words)

Author(s): Heinz, Andreas | Ivanov, Vladimir | Gräb, Wilhelm
[German Version] I. Concept and Origins – II. Catholic Church – III. Orthodox Churches – IV. Protestant Church I. Concept and Origins Church dedication is the ceremony which commits a church building to its liturgical use ( dedicatio). It is first attested in Tyre (Eus. Hist. eccl. X 3f.); the translation of the relics of martyrs for the first celebration of the eucharist appears as early as the 4th century (Ambr. Epist. 22). Since the early Middle Ages, the dedication of the altar underwent a rich develop…

Votive Mass

(397 words)

Author(s): Heinz, Andreas
[German Version] Votive Mass, from Latin votum (“vow, concern, wish”), a designation attested since the 7th century for a mass (II, 3) celebrated in response to a particular concern or event (sickness, a turning point in life, danger, death, burial) or in public emergencies (natural catastrophes, war). Numerous formularies were already included in the Sacramentum Gelasianum vetus (60) and the supplement to the Sacramentarium Gregorianum Hadrianum (Sacramentary). The collection of votive masses ascribed to Alcuin was a significant milestone in the history of p…

Pilgrimage/Places of Pilgrimage

(9,650 words)

Author(s): Winter, Fritz | Raspe, Lucia | Jehle, Irmengard | Hartinger, Walter | Schmid, Josef Johannes | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies A pilgrimage is a journey by an individual or group, religiously motivated, usually over a substantial distance and (esp. in earlier periods) demanding great effort. A Western pilgrim today can hardly imagine the dangers to which a peregrinus was exposed. This Latin term, the etymon of the English word pilgrim, denoted a foreigner or in some cases an exile. A person who undertook a pilgrimage was thus someone who had to leave his or her familiar environment. The element of foreignness and movement also induced…

Sign of the Cross

(204 words)

Author(s): Heinz, Andreas
[German Version] The sign of the cross was originally traced on the forehead with the index finger or thumb; later it came to be traced over the body from head to chest and from the left shoulder to the right (Latin and Oriental Orthodox churches; in the Byzantine rite, from right to left). The sign of the cross expresses the individual’s belonging to Christ through baptism; its relationship to baptism is strengthened by the accompanying Trinitarian formula and the use of (holy) water. Made over p…


(996 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Kreuzer, Johann | Heinz, Andreas
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Silence is a universal form of religious communication. As early as the Stone Age, individuals sought out recesses deep in the interior of caves, to which they retreated in absolute silence, presumably in quest of visions, as the cave paintings they left suggest. In ethnic societies, certain religious specialists withdraw from time to time to the solitude of the forest, the mountains, or the desert, to come close to the deity they worship or their tutelary spirit…