Note: See also the files: Ger-marriage-msg, Scot-marriage-msg, p-customs-msg, bastards-msg, p-births-msg, burials-msg



Download 189.09 Kb.
Page3/3
Date02.06.2016
Size189.09 Kb.
1   2   3
In Europe up until about the ninth century, betrothals were more important than weddings. At the betrothal stage, the bride price and/or dowry was exchanged, and the woman often assumed the title of "wife." Following Germanic tradition, the deal was sealed when the couple consummated the relationship--which could occur a year or more after the betrothal. However, though the woman was part of her future husband's family during this time, the betrothal was not seen as absolutely binding. To make matters worse, early medieval society recognized concubinage as a non-binding, second-class form of marriage. At least in the area of weddings, the traditions and values of the early church had been overtaken by pagan customs.
As the Roman Catholic church gained power, it decided to weigh in on marital matters, shifting from a Germanic model (consummation is key) to a Roman model (the couple's mutual consent is key). This was not a popular move, since the church basically declared common custom inadequate in forming a marriage. Also, by deciding at the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) that a priest must bless and witness weddings, church leaders were making a religious ceremony of what had once just been a big party. Reformers, including Martin Luther, weren't sure the clergy should even be involved in such a bawdy affair. One sixteenth-century English reformer complained, "They come with a great noise of basins and drums, wherewith they trouble the whole church and hinder them in particulars pertaining to God."
Much of this controvery died down by the seventeenth century. English poet and minister John Donne seemed to represent popular opinion when he wrote in 1621, "As marriage is a civil contract, it must be done so in public, as that may have the testimony of men. As marriage is a religious contract, it must be done so as it may have the benediction of the priest." Luther, too, came around to supporting marriages with clergy present, though he felt, not surprisingly, that the ceremonies should take place at the church door.
What none of this explains is why I chose the topic of weddings for this week's newsletter. Well, it's a personal reason--I'm getting married Saturday. So this is the last editorial you'll read from Elesha Hodge. Elesha Coffman will be bringing you this newsletter the week after next.
=======================================================

http://www.christianhistory.net


=======================================================

Copyright 1999 Christian History.

Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2001 09:36:21 -0700

From: "Laura C. Minnick"

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Six and counting


"Pixel, Goddess and Queen" wrote:

> > The "hotel thing" is a variation on "marriage by declaration" -- it's not

> > that they register in a hotel, it's that they register as "mr. and mrs."

> > thus holding themselves out to the world as a married couple.

>

> Which is extremely period--the whole church validation was a thing pushed



> by the church. You just had to state in front of witnesses that you were

> married. Also, if a couple was cohabiting and there happened to be a legal

> issue that involved them being married or not, and their *neighbors* bore

> witness that they were married, well then, they were legally married.


(Father Abelard pokes his head out- "Someone get me some caffeine so I

can answer this!")


1. It didn't _have_ to be in front of witnesses- that is a fairly late

development designed to avoid the "He said/She said" litiagtion that

makes up most of the case law we have to look at (I have a book full of

marriage litigation from the 14th-15th c in England, and most of it is

exactly that sort of thing). You could be married simply be exchanging

words of Present Consent, e.g. "I, Joe Pigfarmer, marry you, Jane

Yarnspinner" "I, Jane Yarnspinner, marry you, Joe Pigfarmer". Ta-da!

They're married!


2. The neighbors only come into in specfic situations. For instance, if

the guy took off and the woman wanted him back and went to court

claiming that they were married, their neighbors could be brought in to

say "Yeah, I always thought they were married- he called her his wife" or

"Nah, we knew they were living in sin." One or the other partner (at

least) had to make a claim that they were married. You don't suddenly

find yourselves married just because the neighbors think so. It

involves specific situations.


'Lainie

on behalf of Father Abelard the Lesser

Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 15:58:05 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Six and counting

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


'Lainie,
The legal term for what you are talking about is

"jactitation of marriage". A term from English

Ecclesiastical Law.
Huette

Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2001 16:50:19 -0700

From: "Laura C. Minnick"

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Six and counting
Huette von Ahrens wrote:

> The legal term for what you are talking about is

> "jactitation of marriage". A term from English

> Ecclesiastical Law.


Do you happen to know when? Because I am not familiar with it- it

doesn't show up in the 14th-15thc case law that I'm working on.


'Lainie

From: "Gwynydd Of Culloden"

To:

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Marriage (was Six and counting)

Date: Sun, 9 Sep 2001 08:23:22 +1000
> From: 'Lainie

> on behalf of Father Abelard the Lesser


> 1. It didn't _have_ to be in front of witnesses- that is a fairly late

> development designed to avoid the "He said/She said" litiagtion that

> makes up most of the case law we have to look at >>>
This is a post I wrote in response to someone saying that gays were trying

to destroy something sacred and religious in wanting legal marriage rights.

It looks, briefly (and based only on one, online, source) at the history of

religion in marriage in Western Christendom.


Contrary to popular opinion, marriage has not always been a religious

sacrament even in Western Christendom.


The truth is that marriage has been for much of its history either a legal

contract or a personal commitment in which religion played no part (except

to demand it so that sexual intercourse could be approved and legitimacy of

children could be assured).


In fact, there has been a clear progression from clergy not being essential

(or even permitted) at a wedding in the 9th century;


'...ninth-century religious texts of Northern France make no mention of

nuptial benedictions other than as part of joint wedding-coronation

ceremonies where a queen simultaneously married the king and was crowned. '
'[in the 9th century] the Bishop of Bourge forbade the priests in his

diocese to even take part in wedding ceremonies mainly due to the bawdy

nature of what was a celebration of the couple’s physical union (The Knight

33-34).'
To there being more debate about the role of the Church in marriages in the

12th century;
'...twelfth-century Camaldolese monk, Gratian said "When the man says, 'I

receive you as mine, so that you become my wife and I your husband,’ and

when the woman makes the same declaration ... when they do and say this

according to existing custom and are in agreement, it is then that I say

they are married ... whether by chance they have made it, as they should

not, alone, apart, in secret, and with no witnesses present, yet ... they

are well and truly married" (qtd. in Duby, The Knight 181).'
'The Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 declared it obligatory for a marriage to

be blessed and witnessed by a priest...At the same time ... the Church

continued to recognize marriages entered into without a priest in

attendance. '


To the absolute requirement (on pain of excommunication) for a priest to be

present at a marriage in the 15th century;


'in 1403, the Bishop of Magdeburg [threatened to] excommunicate those who

married without clergy in attendance (Cohen and Horowitz 235).'


However, during the time of the Reformation, Martin Luther was opposed to

the presence of the clergy in what he saw as a civil not a religious matter;


'..."worldly business [where] we clergy ought not to meddle or direct

things" (qtd. in Roper 106). Luther did agree that the Church should bless

those who married and even presented a basic marriage rite in 1529, but

maintained that "the regulation of marriage was a proper matter for the

civil authority rather than the Church" (qtd. in Searle and Stevenson 210).'
The situation caused much confusion and;
'The Tametsi decree, issued in 1563, stated that for a marriage to be

recognized by the Church: a) the partners must give their consent, and b)

the priest must say a formula (such as "I join you together in matrimony")

ratifying the marriage (Searle and Stevenson 14).'


However, the Church of England continued to accept so-called "clandestine

marriages" ('"any contract of marriage made other than in the approved

manner at the church door" (Goldberg 241).') up until the 18th century and

in Scotland it was possible to marry in front of witnesses but without legal

or religious paperwork up until 1904.
This information comes from http://www.drizzle.com/~celyn/mrwp/mrwed.html
Gwynydd

Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 17:50:31 -0700

From: "Laura C. Minnick"

Subject: Re: poor widow was:[Sca-cooks] Rotten meat and spices...

To: Cooks within the SCA
At 04:09 PM 4/18/2005, you wrote:

> where there is anything there is always room for growth. A poor but

> honest man for one of the daughters

> not linked >,


Perhaps you misunderstood me. There is more to marriage then than there

often is now. When we say that a medieval girl didn't have enough money to

marry, it isn't just dowry. There is a fee called merchet, that must be

paid to the lord when a peasant woman marries. If she marries a man from

another area, the couple must come up with yet more money, to pay a fee

called foremariage (essentially a payment to the woman's lord, as

compensation for the loss of her labor when she moves to her husband's

village).


'Lainie

Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 10:28:34 -0400

From: "Lonnie D. Harvel"

Subject: Re: poor widow was:[Sca-cooks] Rotten meat and spices...

To: Cooks within the SCA
Laura C. Minnick wrote:

> Perhaps you misunderstood me. There is more to marriage then than

> there often is now. When we say that a medieval girl didn't have

> enough money to marry, it isn't just dowry. There is a fee called

> merchet, that must be paid to the lord when a peasant woman marries.

> If she marries a man from another area, the couple must come up with

> yet more money, to pay a fee called foremariage (essentially a payment

> to the woman's lord, as compensation for the loss of her labor when

> she moves to her husband's village).
Don't forget the price paid to the priest for the marriage ceremony and

such. Without paying the priest, you weren't married. Here is a celtic

Psalm from the period:
<>A wedding is a costly business.

Money is needed for the priest

and his clerk.

Money is needed for the hire

of the church

Money is needed to feed the guests.

Money is needed for robes to wear.

Love by contrast is entirely free.

Free are the smiles that play

on the lips;

Free are the kisses stolen

by moonlight;

Free are the words whispered

at midnight

Free are the strolls hand in hand

through the wood.

We are rich in love but poor in money.

The priests say our union is sinful.



May god, who blesses us, forgive.
Pax,

Aoghann



Share with your friends:
1   2   3




The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page