Orthodox Church and Folk Religiosity in Bulgaria and Macedonia, an Example of Present-Day Funerary Rituals
Pravoslaví a lidová religiozita v Bulharsku a v Makedonii na příkladu současných pohřebních rituálů
Languages of publication
Orthodoxy is the majority religion in Bulgaria and Macedonia. While the influence of the Orthodox Church fades away in the presentday society, the religion´s importance grows, among other things, as a symbol of ethno-identification. The current expressions of belief of Bulgarians and Macedonians can be understood as a kind of individual syncretism – the expressions of belief include, in everyday life, the canonical acts (lighting of candles at icons, prayers, making the sign of the cross, fasting) as well as acts which could be identified as being magic (use of a red ribbon against evil eye, belief in sorcery, and relating prophylactic rituals, etc.). As one of the contemporary belief´s expressions, the article depicts a memory feast forty days after death in the village of Bitovo in western Macedonia, which it puts in the context of funerary rituals. This micro-probe shows, using a real material, the symbiosis of religious and magic practices, and it points out the current functions of the ritual (the stabilization, integration, and religious ones) and the positions of the Orthodox Church representatives in these rituals.
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