Pamięć o zmarłych w obrzędowości dorocznej polskiego średniowiecza
The remembrance of the Deceased in the Annual Rites of the Polish Middle Ages
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In the medieval Poland, elements of the remembrance of the deceased were present in most Christian holidays and related folk customs. The whole year was imbued with ritual contacts with the dead, awaiting their arrival, presence and supporting them in various established ways. Such practices are recorded in the fourteenth and fifteenth century synodal statutes, parts of sermons and reflections of theologians, scholars and chroniclers who studied the attitudes and behaviour of the faithful which grew out of the native traditions and contained reflections of the archaic notions of the fate of the dead. The souls of the dead which were properly taken care of after death were leaving the mundane world with the prospect of subsequent numerous visits. The establishment of contact with the dead in their own world, outside the human settlements, at the crossroads, on graves or in other places was to make the souls share their knowledge of the future with the living. As beings which belonged to another world, they were believed to possess the knowledge of its secrets and the ability to reveal signs of divinatory nature concerning the future of the living. These traditional beliefs and practices intertwined with the dominant Christian behaviour and attitudes associated with the death and the funeral, as well as the methods of supporting the soul of the deceased recommended by the Church.
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