What were the different roles that were available within the Church?
The main roles of the church were: the pope, the bishop, the priest, nuns and monks. The Bishops were the leaders of the church, but above them was the Pope. The Bishops collected the taxes and were often very rich. The Pope was the one who is in charge of the church and is also very wealthy. Monks copied manuscripts, and both nuns and monks looked after the sick and the poor and gave hospitality to travellers. Some monks and nuns were scholars and very academic. The priest provided care for the community and offered spiritual guidance for those who needed it.
Describe some of the negative influences that the Medieval Church had within its community.
The medieval church played a far bigger role than the church does today. In medieval ages the church dominated everyone’s life. The peasants spent all their time working on the churches land for free. This wasted all the time that they could have been working their own land or taking care of their families and spending time with them. 10% of what they earned a year, they had to pay to the church as a tax. This was one of the reasons why the church was so wealthy, also, the church didn’t have to pay any taxes.
What did the holy order wear in the church?
Bishops were the most respected people of the church therefore they wore the most luxurious garments available. Most of the holy orders wore long woolen cloaks or habits. The monks wore a simpler habit than the priests. They always wore something to cover up their head because they thought it was disrespectful and dishonorable. People could tell the order by what colour the habit. The Benedictines wore black clothing; the Cistercians would wear neutral or white wool. St. Benedict thought that a monk’s clothes should be simple but comfortable. They wore a brown robe with hoods on their heads to keep them warm.
Medieval church played a huge role in middle Ages, in which it was completely in control over the people. The church was the highest land owner and also the only way the people believed you could go to heaven. The Church provided services beyond those that were purely spiritual. This was partly because it was important for Christians to be charitable. The result was that Church organizations provided hospital care, medicines, care for orphans, education, safe lodgings for travellers, and safe places where people who wanted to live out their lives in contemplation and prayer could do so, the monasteries and convents. The church was one of the first to start universities. The universities consisted of one bible and teachers that the students would pay for their education.
The church in the medieval times played a huge role in society. It was completely in control over the people in that time. The church was the highest land owner as well as being the first ones to start a university. The church workers were honest, caring and dedicated people, who spent their lives serving the poor and the sick. This love that the church people show is demonstrated when the black plague hit all of Europe, in this time of need; the church went into action to try and help as much as they could. Unlike some other church workers who were corrupt and only interested in themselves and their wellbeing.Peasants in that time were forced to work for the church without getting paid. Tithes also had to be paid to the church and if you didn’t have enough money you would have to give livestock. The people of the medieval time believed the church could cleanse their soul and then they could go to heaven, and not have to rot and burn in hell. Spiritually it is only through a nun or priest is it that you are forgiven of you sins and can then enter the holy realm of heaven.
- Does today’s church affect the world as much as in the medieval time?
When compared to the middle ages the church doesn’t have such a big impact on the world as it did back then. Because in the medieval ages, the from a young age you were taught to fear hell, and the only way you could avoid going to hell after you die is by tuning to the Catholic Church. In contrast to church in the medieval ages, the church does affect the world but not as much, because not everyone is a Christian and believes in God. In our world today we are free to believe in other religions the church back then didn’t really have that option, for them it was – be Christian and go to heaven or don’t be a Christian and rot in hell-. Now a day’s we have the free will to do what we want to do and believe in what we want. If you decide to leave the church in this century, it’s ok because it’s your choice. But back then if you left the church you are guaranteed a place in hell. The Church was probably the most powerful; authorize organization in Europe during the middle Ages. It guided most aspects of society in one way or another. But the main way it guided society back then was spiritually.
How did people in the medieval time respect the church?The people in the middle ages respected the church by attending weekly services and helping in serving the church. The people in the Middle Ages where serious and mature about God and Christianity and did not joke about the church and its power. The people also gave 10% of what they earn in a year (tithes and offering), so they can make the church have a better environment, (gardening and taking care of the land God has blessed them with). The people of the church followed Gods word and didn’t dare do the opposite of what they have been told. The church was respected because the people fear the church and the judgment the pass down on them, to see if they are worthy enough to go to heaven and live in glory. This is why the people follow Gods word so that they could do what is right in Gods eyes.
what are some positive effects of the church?
- The church was one of the first to start universities
- The church workers were honest, caring and dedicated people
- Guided society spiritualy.
- Church organizations provided:
- hospital care medicines
- care for orphans
- safe lodgings for travelers
- and safe places where people who wanted to live out their lives in contemplation and prayer could do so in the monasteries and convents.
- Shows genuine care to the people of that era.
- Teaches people about Gods word and shows them how to live their life the way he wants.
Why do you think the medieval church had so much influence?
Unlike the modern church the Medieval church had so much influence on not only the towns and communities around them but around the world. One of the reasons for this is that the church dominated everyone’s life, from a peasant or a commoner to the knights or nobles and even the king!
The Holy Order and the church were able to do this because the peasants and commoners had no idea of whether they were right or wrong, for the simple reason that they could not read or write. The knights and nobles would not have known either, because Bibles were scarce and barely anyone had one, except for one in the church or universities or school
The church was also very wealthy, in fact it was one of the major wealthiest land holders in those times. There are a few reasons why the church was so wealthy. The first reason is that the church required a tithe to be paid. This meant that 10% of a person’s earnings for a year would go to the church. The people were told to pay this tithe, and if they didn’t they would go to hell. This ‘tithe’ could be paid in multiple ways. If you were poor, you could pay with grains, seeds or animals, these could then be bartered or traded, if there was the need. You could pay with coins and money. The amount from the tithe would then be put towards helping the poor, building monasteries or churches or kept in the church. Another reason the church was so wealthy was because they weren’t required to pay a tax to the King. Therefore they could keep all that money.
The church also became influential in these times because the teachings made people afraid of what would happen to them if they did not obey what the church said. One of the most common things the church would say was “If you don’t do this, or you do do this then you will go to hell.” The people believed every word they said and would do it.
The people could also see what a good job the church was doing and therefore believed and wanted to be better people.
To conclude the church had a major influence and relied on many things to acheive this.
Describe at least two positive influences the medieval church had within its community
The Medieval church did so many good things for the towns and communities around Europe and other places, it actually puts modern churches to shame. The church was very wealthy so they could afford to build and make a huge difference. The people that worked for the church also had a massive passion to help. Here are some positive things that the church did.
They built and started universities- In those times universities were unheard of, until the church did something about this need in the community. At first the universities were small and some of them held in the teacher’s houses and didn’t have much room, or many books and this made it hard to learn. The conditions in the houses also made it hard. Some of the first universities to be formed were Bologana and Paris. This is very different than the universities today and we have the medieval church to thank for this wonderful opportunity.
They built and started over 400 Hospitals- The nuns and people in the church were extremely well known for their helpful hand and their passion to help the sick and give to the least of this world. They were well known for helping lepers or people with the black death, basically people that no one wanted to help. They modelled Matthew 25 perfectly. The hospitals not only cared for the sick but took in strangers, who lived on the street or elderly people who could not care for themselves. The first hospitals were like long halls with beds on either side, with chapels for the patients to go to.
Had many orphanages- The Christians and the Catholics saw the need for abandoned or parentless children to be looked after. So they made ‘foundling homes’.They were designed to ensure their care and baptism into the church. The children would then be put up for adoption and became part of another family whether as a child like their own or as a servant. There would have been some cases where the children would stay and then be sent into the world when they were older
Taught children to read and write-Arts- The church influenced the community and the world by the arts. They had stained glass windows and created things for the church which affect the church today. They also started drawing portraits, usually of noblemen or royalty, this has carried on into our generation.
As you can see the Medieval church influenced their world and still influences the generations today. The medieval church sets such an example for us they took care of people that no one would help and I believe we should try and follow their steps.
How does the architecture between the medieval church differ from the modern church?
The modern churches are usually off the main road and can’t be seen by anyone who walks past. This is different to the church in the Medieval times was in the town centre. It could be seen by all the people. During the medieval period churches changed a lot in the way of architecture. Most churches in those times were made out of stone though some wood was used. Nowadays the churches are made of concrete or bricks with a modern look like rectangular shaped buildings with lots of glass windows.
In the Romanesque period of architecture the churches tended to have thick walls and arches with vaults and large towers. The end look is symmetrical and somewhat simple though it looks quite elegant. There were many churches built in this time and there are still many that are standing.
The Gothic period came after the Romanesque period and was quite different and not as many churches were built in this period. The historians and people in that time did not really like this form of architecture but they still kept on building them. The Gothic church buildings were known for ‘flying buttresses’ which were like arches. They helped the church to stay standing and for the walls to not collapse. Churches in this period also had pointed arches instead of semi-circle arches.The walls were also thinner than in the Romanesque period. And most Gothic churches are well known for their Crockets.
There are also two more different types of churches; these are called Stave and Bryzantine. Stave churches were rectangular and had multi-tiered roofs which are like levels. Bryzantine churches are well known for having large domes, with smaller of half circle domes surrounding them. This sort of church had a great influence on Islamic architecture today.
Unlike the Romanesque or the Gothic period modern churches have no towers and are not nearly as grand as the ones in the medieval period. They have no large towers or pointed arches and are kept quite simple.
Unlike modern churches, medieval churches had many stained glass windows, these were used to explain biblical stories in a simple and creative way to the church goers and to make it easier to understand, because they didn’t each have a bible. These days only old cathedrals and buildings have stained glass windows whereas buildings built in the last few years do not.
In Medieval times the floor, indoor and the outdoor of the building sometimes were decorated using Cosmatesque which showed unique and traditional patterns giving the church and cathedrals an interesting look. You rarely see this used in modern day.
The Medieval church would have had no stage, but a pulpit in which the priest would talk from. In the modern church this is rarely seen as they usually have a stand which can be moved wherever it needs to be.
There are many differences between the Medieval and Modern church but all in all we are all God’s creation and his Church and we should be changing the world.
Chrispy’s answer, (2009), http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090730022924AAVwwcI
Trueman, C, (2000-2012), http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/medieval_church.htm
Gabriel, B, (1999- 2012), http://www.ehow.com/info_8030175_medieval-church-architecture-types.html
‘The Knight with a lion’ http://www.abdn.ac.uk/english/lion/church.shtml
‘The church during the middle ages’ http://www.mce.k12tn.net/middleages/church.htm
Manco, J, (2006), http://www.buildinghistory.org/articles/heritagemercy.shtml