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The Stations of the SunA History of the Ritual Year in Britain$
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Ronald Hutton

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205708

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205708.001.0001

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Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi

Chapter:
(p.304) 29 Corpus Christi
Source:
The Stations of the Sun
Author(s):

Ronald Hutton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205708.003.0029

The sequence of late medieval festivals of religion, which began in the darkness and cold of Advent and the promise of Christmas, and swelled again into the celebration of natural and divine rebirth at Easter, rose to a triumphant climax in June. The second half of the year was not empty of ecclesiastical feasts, for in addition to a host of local holy days it contained those of six apostles and a succession of very popular saints. Nonetheless, it was strikingly lacking in the dramatic communal rituals that were enacted in and around churches at such frequent intervals in the period between the winter and summer solstices. In the last of this sequence, the feast of Corpus Christi, was a joyous affirmation of a central point of Christian doctrine.

Keywords:   festivals, religion, Advent, Christmas, Easter, apostles, saints, solstices, feast, Corpus Christi

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