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 Post subject: Catholicism
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:08 am 
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So I might be working on Peter's Angel, and one of my characters is Catholic (Irish, specifically). Not being Catholic myself, I'm wondering--where can I get a primer on Catholic practices, ideally those from the 18th century, for the purposes of making this character realistic?

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 Post subject: Re: Catholicism
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:09 pm 
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If you have not done so, attend a Catholic Mass. Visit the largest and most formal "cathedral" looking Catholic Church you can find. Get a schedule and watch the people line up for confession. The most significant difference between the 18th century Mass and the modern mass is English vs Latin, but you should still get a feel for the OTHERNESS of God and the smallness of man.

Visit the stations of the cross and think about each one. Not just what Christ suffered, but what he suffered for YOU. What he suffers anew each and every time you sin. Each scourge is because of your actions. Each drop of blood is for your sins. Only the confession (in that box to that priest) and those drops of blood stand between you and torment.

A pious Catholic lives in fear and uncertainty. Always afraid of God, aware of their guilt and striving to prove worthy of the forgiveness they have received.

A non-pious Catholic views it all as a social obligation to get people off your back and something to be completed in as little time as possible. Like a mandatory weekly meeting at work.

Beyond that, Catholics are more 'cultural' than religious ... So an Irish Catholic will have lots of Irish traditions tagged on to their beliefs. My Italian-American Catholic parent and Grandparents had far more Italian in their worship traditions than Catholic.

If you have questions about Catholic Theology, ask. I assume that you know or can find the basics (there is a Chatechism for Inquirers that presents basic beliefs). The critical issue is that just like the Hindu belief in reincarnation and Karma permeates every aspect of their secular life in India, so the Catholic Theology permeates every aspect of their secular life. Sins not confessed to a priest, are not forgiven. How important is it to attend confession? Missing Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation is a Mortal sin (one that can cost you your salvation). [This is not actually true, but it is a widely held misconception among poorly educated Catholics].

The culture of Catholicism means that things change very, very slowly.


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 Post subject: Re: Catholicism
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:11 pm 
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http://classroom.synonym.com/life-poor-irish-1700s-13171.html

Sounds like an oppressed people who may have a chip on their shoulder:
https://www.britannica.com/place/Ireland/Social-economic-and-cultural-life-in-the-17th-and-18th-centuries


Excerpt from Encyclopedia Britannica:
Quote:
The Irish pub serves as a focal point for many small villages and urban neighbourhoods, a place where the great Irish passion for conversation, stories, and jokes can be indulged. Pub attendance declined somewhat in the early 21st century after the imposition of a smoking ban, the restriction of hours when families could take children to eat at pubs, and the enactment of more-stringent drunk-driving laws. Still, Ireland remains home to some of the world’s finest beers, whiskeys, and other spirits, which accompany the lively music and socializing that seem to come naturally to the Irish and those who visit. Traditional Irish music—using locally made instruments such as the fiddle, the tin whistle, and the uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes)—is performed at many pubs, and traditional songs are often sung there in Irish, at times accompanied by the Celtic harp (an emblem of Ireland). The céilí, a traditional musical gathering, is an enduring expression of Irish social life that has counterparts in other Celtic cultures. Such gatherings, as well as hiring fairs, cattle shows, and other festivals, usually feature locally produced ales and whiskeys and traditional foods such as soda bread, corned beef, and colcannon (a stew of potatoes and cabbage).


FYI:
https://behindtheberezina.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/the-life-of-the-18th-century-irish-peasant-real-life-through-the-eyes-of-a-fictional-character-by-glenn-kinyon/


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 Post subject: Re: Catholicism
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:30 pm 
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A Chatechism for Inquirers (1927)
https://repository.library.nd.edu/view/58/401361.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Catholicism
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:55 am 
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I don't know if you had seen this:
http://www.traditioninaction.org/History/B_001_Colonies.html

Quote:
Although Catholicism was an influential factor in the French settlements of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys and later in the Spanish regions of Florida, the Southwest and California, Catholics were a decided minority in the original 13 English colonies. As we see in the first general report on the state of Catholicism by John Carroll in 1785, Catholics were a mere handful. He conservatively estimated the Catholic population in those colonies to be 25,000. Of this figure, 15,800 resided in Maryland, about 7,000 in Pennsylvania, and another 1,500 in New York. Considering that the population in the first federal census of 1790 totaled 3,939,000, the Catholic presence was less than one percent, certainly not a significant force in the original 13 British colonies.


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This phase of strong, blatant persecution of Catholicism came to a close during the revolutionary era (1763-1820). For various reasons, the outbreak of hostilities and the winning of independence forced Protestant Americans to at least officially temper their hostility toward Catholicism. With the relaxation of penal measures against them, Catholics breathed a great sigh of relief, a normal and legitimate reaction.

However, instead of maintaining a Catholic behavior consistent with the purity of their Holy Faith, many of them adopted a practical way of life that effectively ignored or downplayed the points of Catholic doctrine which Protestantism attacked. They also closed their eyes to the evil of the Protestant heresy and its mentality. Such an attitude is explained by the natural desire to achieve social and economic success; it is, nonetheless a shameless attitude with regard to the glory of God and the doctrine that the Catholic Church is the only true religion.

As this liberal Catholic attitude continued and intensified, it generated a kind of fellowship that developed among Catholics with Protestants as such. And so, an early brand of an experimental bad Ecumenism was established, where the doctrinal opposition between the two religions was undervalued and the emotional satisfaction of being accepted as Catholics in a predominantly Protestant society was overestimated.

These psychological factors help to explain the first phase of the establishment among our Catholics ancestors of that heresy which Pope Leo XIII called Americanism.


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 Post subject: Re: Catholicism
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:45 am 
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Liturgy of Baptism:
Ritual: http://ccc.usccb.org/flipbooks/uscca/#212
Personal Impressions: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catechesis/catechetical-sunday/word-of-god/upload/word-sign-symbol-ritual-pdf-03-48-43.pdf

Liturgy of Confirmation:
Ritual: http://ccc.usccb.org/flipbooks/uscca/#232

Confession:
http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/sacraments-and-sacramentals/penance/upload/Bulletin-Insert-Penance-ENG.pdf

Mass:
Actions and meanings: http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/upload/praying-with-body-mind-and-voice.pdf
http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/upload/liturgy-and-life.pdf

Pray the Rosary:
http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/rosaries/how-to-pray-the-rosary.cfm


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 Post subject: Re: Catholicism
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:50 am 
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The Station Mass

History
During the Penal Laws in Ireland – in particular during the 18th century – the Catholic church was oppressed and public ceremonies involving Catholic clergy were banned. Many Catholic churches had also been either destroyed or put to use by the Protestant Church during the period following the Battle of the Boyne (1690).

Nonetheless, Irish Catholic remained faithful to the celebration of the Mass and two new traditions emerged: the Mass rock and the Station Mass. Catholics gathered in the open countryside at a designed spot marked by a rock to celebrate Mass. Usually, the priest arrived in disguise and placed the sacred vessels on the rock while assigned locals kept a look-out from vantage points in the landscape from where they could see any approaching English militia.

The Irish countryside is still littered with these Mass rocks and they are still considered to be special sacred places. The alternative venue for Mass was in people’s homes. Word was put about locally that Mass would be said in a particular house on a particular day. The neighbours would gather for what was often the only opportunity to be at Mass for a long time. Because it was not safe for the priest to carry sacred vessels or vestments with him on his journeys, these were taken care of by the local people. They passed the “Mass kit” from house to house as it was needed.

This Mass became known as the “station Mass” because of the random movement from place to place. In some areas, some houses became known locally as regular venues for Mass and became known as Mass houses. More of these emerged as the Penal Laws were repealed but the Catholic community still did not have resources to build enough churches. Gradually, during the first half of the 19th century, churches were built across the countryside to replace the Mass houses.

Traditions

Following the repeal of the Penal Laws and the passing of Catholic Emancipation (1829), Catholics were free to worship publicly and take their place in civil society. However, the spread of church buildings with adequate accommodation was slow. Hence, the tradition of the Station Mass continued.

Even when each community built its own church building, the Station tradition was kept alive. The two-part focus of having the celebration of Mass in one’s home and an occasion for special hospitality to the neighbours combined to highlight two key strands of the Catholic faith in Ireland. Until the 1970s, the Station Mass was always held in the morning and was followed by “breakfast” for the priest and neighbours. The Station was preceded by weeks of preparation including painting, wall-papering, cleaning and shopping!

The social changes of recent decades have forced change on many aspects of the tradition around the Station Mass. However, the tradition remains strong in may parishes.

Today

In the past, most parishes had a rota of parishioners who hosted the Stations and each family knew when their turn was coming. Today, people simply volunteer to host the Station by contacting their local priest. The Stations are almost always celebrated in the evening now at a time agreed between the host household and the clergy. This is then announced locally. Apart from the table to be used as an altar, all the principal necessities for Mass are provided by the priest. The household usually provides:
•a table cloth
•two candles
•a crucifix
•holy water
•a small jug of tap water

Often, the presiding priest will invite members of the family or the local community to participate in the liturgy by reading, singing or leading prayers.

After Mass

In the rural parishes of this diocese, the community supports the local clergy financially by a special collection taken up during the time of the Stations in each area. Each household is invited to make a confidential contribution either after the Mass or by sending it directly tot he clergy. In some parishes, special envelopes are provided in the weeks before the Station Mass. (The amount contributed by each household is kept confidential.)

The pattern of what happens after the Mass varied a lot from parish to parish and from house to house. In some places, each household contributes food which is shared. Some parishes have established a norm that tea and scones or sandwiches are prepared are served. In some places, a more elaborate fare is prepared and neighbours spend the night in a social atmosphere.

Hospitality

In a changing Ireland, the Station Mass can be a real and meaningful opportunity for the local Catholic community to extend a welcome to new neighbours. In some parishes, the host family makes a special effort to personally contact each neighbour to invite them to their house for the Station Mass and hospitality. But just because you may not be asked that personally doesn’t mean you are not welcome! Every one is welcome at the table of the Lord.

[Tom Hayes © 2006]



Irish Wakes

The origin of the traditional Irish wake lies in the strength of the Irish family and community. As the Irish bid farewell to loved ones, the scene is one of jollity mixed with sorrow. It is important to realize that the custom is a celebration of the life of the person that just died, a sort of “send-off” to the next life.

The wake is an important part of the grieving process as family, friends and neighbors gather to comfort each other in their loss and support the immediate family of the deceased in coming to terms with their grief.

The traditional wake lasted from the time of death until the family left with the body for the funeral service. In times gone by, it was the task of women from the neighborhood to prepare the body of the deceased to be “laid out”. The corpse was washed, dressed in a shroud and then laid on a bed, and from that time was not left alone until the funeral.

Religious traditions, especially for Irish Catholics, were and still are very much a part of the wake. It was customary for a rosary to be placed in the hands of the deceased, and each visitor upon arriving would kneel next to the body to offer a prayer. The rosary was recited at some time during the night, often led by a priest or one of the neighbors.


From: http://usairish.org/pastoral-care/irish-rituals/

Irish Prayers and Hymns: http://usairish.org/pastoral-care/irish-prayers-and-hymns/


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 Post subject: Re: Catholicism
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:04 am 
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Unlike the European Roman Catholic tradition, American laypeople were encouraged to participate in the services in the American church. However, as the church evolved through the 1800s, power and authority were directed back to its hierarchy. Accustomed to the leadership role the clergy played in the European Church, immigrants did not involve themselves in its operation. They handed over to the local priest many of their opportunities to help guide the church. Also, according to U.S. laws, a bishop could consider himself a “corporation sole;" therefore, church property was often listed in the bishop`s own name.

Church of the immigrants

With increased immigration during the middle of the 19th century, the church in America became the “Church of the Immigrants," whose members clung to the traditions of their ancestry even though they were strongly encouraged to change. Rather than rushing to be Americanized, Catholics instead established their own schools — especially after states passed laws requiring all children to attend. Values and customs they deemed necessary for rearing their children were taught and reinforced in those schools. As part of their value on cultural and social collectivism, they also established such church organizations as the Rosary Society, Confraternity of the Sacred Heart, Knights of Columbus, that publicly expressed an earnest devotion to one’s faith. By the end of the 19th century, many adherents spent their entire lives centered around the church because it provided for their “spiritual, recreational, educational and charitable interests."

Having little contact with Roman Catholicism, except in Maryland and Louisiana, most African-American churches were overwhelmingly Protestant. Some blacks, however, did become Catholic, but because of discrimination, they maintained such segregationist practices as the two separate communities of black nuns: the Oblate Sisters of Providence in 1829 and the Holy Family Sisters in 1842. The first black American priest, James Augustine Healy, was ordained in 1854.

As parish priests assumed a more dominant role in the church, they were expected to be the “cult leader, confessor, teacher, counselor, social director, administrator, recreation director, social worker," and other roles. By the mid-19th century, lay participation was frowned upon and even condemned for resisting the hierarchical structure of the church. Because of their preoccupation with Catholic culture and their willingness to accept and defer to priestly authority, adherents did not participate in local politics. Out of a fear of inciting anti-Catholic sentiment² from some of their Protestant neighbors, parishes took on the role of protector. The only difficulties in yielding to ecclesial authority occurred at ethnic parishes where the priest was not of the same ethnic group as his parishioners.

Toward the end of the 19th century, when many Protestants enthusiastically embraced such social reforms as the Temperance movement and improvements in the labor conditions of those in industrial jobs, Catholics chose to remain uncommitted. It was the rare priest or bishop who encouraged union organization or supported labor reforms. The church did, however, provide for the working poor among their communicants.


from http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h3798.html


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 Post subject: Re: Catholicism
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:45 pm 
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Some personal insights, the first creepy and the second positive from my personal experiences:

Creepy Catholicism:
My uncle was killed in the Korean War before I was born. My maternal Grandparents dedicated their lives to his memory, becoming the national heads of the American Gold Star Mothers and Fathers (a support organization for parents of fallen soldiers) and even being invited to the White House for tea with JFK and the First Lady. What I remember about "Junior" (whom I had never met) was a large black and white photo of him over a mantle with eyes that stared at you wherever you moved and a black frame around the picture. There was a black cloth wreath draped around the photo and an altar set up below it on the mantle. An icon and statue of some saint was there. A copy of the card from his funeral announcement was there. A wooden box with every letter he wrote from Korea. And a place for small votive candles. My grandparents would talk to the picture like he was in that photo and they would say prayers for him and light a prayer candle. When my Grandparents died, my mother took over possession of the shrine to 'Junior' and offering prayers for him. When her children died, their pictures replaced Junior's on the shrine.

I never understood it at the time, being raised barely protestant and mostly atheist by my father, but I eventually studied Catholic Doctrine and Theology and understood, in hindsight, what was going on. Only those sins that Junior confessed to a priest and received forgiveness for were forgiven. As a soldier in Korea, who knows what he did between his last confession and his death. Who knows if a Priest was able to perform the sacred sacrament of Last Rights to usher his soul into heaven. All those unforgiven sins must be paid for in purgatory. Junior must suffer for a portion of his sins, not eternal, but torment just the same. Prayers offered by his loved ones can shorten his time in purgatory. They dedicated their lives to a transfer of grace from their account to Juniors, to shorten his punishment and hasten his entrance into heaven.

Less you think this uncommon, when you visit a Catholic Church, see for yourself the wall with all of the prayer candles. If they have a copy, read the prayer that one is to say when one lights a candle. This would have been no different in Colonial Times, during the Reformation, or during the Middle Ages.

Quote:
Lord, may this candle be a light for you to enlighten me in my decisions,
And may it be a fire for you to purify me from all pride and selfishness.
May it be a flame for you to build warmth into my heart towards my family, my neighbors and all those who meet me.
Through the prayers of Mary, virgin and mother, I place in your care those I come to remember, especially __________.
In leaving this candle, I wish to give you something of myself.
Help me to continue this prayer into everything I do this day.
Amen.



The Power of Catholicism:
I do not want to leave you with the impression that Catholicism is evil or bad. I am not even anti-Catholic. For the record, I heard the gospel from Lay Catholics and was converted from atheism to Christianity by Catholic Charismatics. I even considered joining the Catholic Church at one point, but could not accept the doctrines on Mary as Biblically supportable and could not in good conscience affirm what they believed.

As a Catholic, you belong to the ONE TRUE APOSTOLIC CHURCH! These are not just empty words. The Catholic Church IS the church that met in the upper room in Acts Chapter 2. The Priest that placed the wafer in your mouth and blessed you was anointed by a man to serve as Shepherd over God's flock, by a man who was anointed by a man who was anointed and this chain of anointing can be traced all the way back to the Apostle Peter who was anointed by Jesus Christ. Do yo remember Jesus instructions when he took Peter aside in John 21? (Simon, feed my sheep). When the Priest blesses you, it is like the hand of Christ himself has blessed you!

All of these Protestants, they have revolted against Jesus. Against God's anointed Church. They are prodigal sons who have run away. They appoint their own priests to tell them what they want to hear. They are like the Northern Kingdom who has rejected the throne of David and the Temple in Jerusalem and declared that they will worship God how man chooses, not how God Commands.

Not you. Not a Catholic. Your faith is based on the unbroken succession from Jesus, through Peter, the Rock upon which God said he would build his church, in an unbroken succession to the current generation. You are the one true church. Obedient to God and not in rebellion. Your understanding is set down in the writings of the church councils and has remained unchanged for centuries. Even then, the changes are only new clarifications of the writings of the earliest church fathers, those taught by the apostles themselves, in response to some new error introduced by the Protestants. No wonder the Protestants can't agree on anything. They have walked away from the true church of God to follow doctrines of man. As a Catholic, your faith is in the Church founded by Christ himself and blessed by succession through Peter.

On a practical level, once a Catholic, always a Catholic. You may rebel against God and his church, but God and his church will always hope and pray that you will return.

On a personal level, the Southern Baptist and Church of God and Evangelical Free Church that I later attended, would have called security to have my 17 year old atheist, gang self removed from the building (and rightly so). However those Catholic Charismatics loved and endured me for a year while the Holy Spirit cleaned up my act from the inside out. Say what you must about their messed up theology, Catholics can walk the talk.


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 Post subject: Re: Catholicism
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:38 am 
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WOW! These articles are amazing! Thank you so much! I was researching this over the weekend and was having trouble pulling up the "everyday" lifestyle and traditions; most of what I found was just general overview of the anti-Catholic sentiment of the era, which while critical, wasn't giving me the layman's details I needed.

My book is alternate history, set in the aftermath of a failed War for Independence. One of my goals with this book is to explore some of the mistruths that we are commonly taught about colonial America, religious tolerance being one of them. Of my main characters, at least three of them attend distinct churches.

For my Irishman, I am hitting on the prevailing anti-Irish sentiments of the era. Even though there were plenty of Irish Protestants at the time, making him traditionally Catholic would only add to the depth of his character, as well as give me an opportunity to explore a lesser-known element of colonial culture: anti-Catholicism.

But, what I didn't know was how much traditions have changed over the last several hundred years, and I was having trouble finding any specifics to Irish Catholics of the 18th century. So the links you found were AMAZING. Thank you so much!

What I will probably do is have a practicing Catholic read his scenes, when the book is done, for a reality check.

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