Consorting with Saints: Prayer for the Dead in Early Medieval France

By Megan McLaughlin | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

In the summer of 875 a man named Deurhoiarn and his wife, Roiantken, came to visit the little monastery of Saint-Maxent in eastern Brittany. They wanted to see where they would be buried when they died, so Abbot Liosic and the monks took them to the church porch to point out the exact spot. Then the whole party moved into the sanctuary, where husband and wife made separate donations "to St. Maxent, in honor of the Savior, and to the monks serving God in that place" by placing a glove representing their gifts on the altar. When Deurhoiarn died in January 876, Roiantken and their son Iarnwocon had his body taken to Saint-Maxent. The monks came out to meet them in solemn procession, carrying the relics of their saints, and brought the body back to the monastery, where Deurhoiarn was buried "in keeping with his dignity"--for he was a member of the local aristocracy. After the funeral Iarnwocon confirmed his parents' gifts in the presence of his mother and a large crowd of nobles. Roiantken died soon after her husband and was buried "with great honor" next to him. On the Sunday after her funeral Iarnwocon came to Saint-Maxent to visit his parents' grave and made a new donation to "Maxent and the monks" for his mother's soul. Later he came again and gave yet another gift to the saint for the souls of his parents.1.

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1.
Cartulaire de l'abbaye de Redon en Bretagne, ed. Aurélien de Courson ( Paris, 1863), no. 236 (875-78). In references to documents from the Redon cartulary, I have corrected de Courson's dates, where necessary, in keeping with the findings of Arthur de la Borderie, "La Chronologie du cartulaire de Redon," Annales de Bretagne 5 (1889-90), 535-630; 12

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Consorting with Saints: Prayer for the Dead in Early Medieval France
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Burial of the Dead 24
  • 2 - Commemoration 55
  • 3 - The Laity and the Liturgical Community 102
  • 4 - Familiaritas 133
  • 5 - The Ideology of Prayer for the Dead 178
  • Epilogue 250
  • Appendix A - Liturgical Privileges in Royal Acts, 768-1108 261
  • Appendix B - Grants of Liturgical Privileges by Five Religious Communities, 800-1099 263
  • Works Cited 269
  • Index 299
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