From Baptism to the Requiescat in Pace

John McManners

in Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 2: The Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780198270041
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600692 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 From Baptism to the Requiescat in Pace

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Baptism was obligatory and universal by the laws on Church and State and the rules laid down by the Church were universally obeyed. As far as the other sacraments are concerned, the practice of confirmation was haphazard, but in all except the most neglected of parishes, young people preparing for the First Communion were thoroughly drilled in their catechism. A multitude of manuals for catechism were available, many reflecting Jansenist influence, but all affirming the authority of the Church and in the second half of the century adopting an increasingly moralistic tone. There was some tension between church and state over marriage; the secular law stressed the inferior status of the wife, while the Church tried in vain to moderate the folkloric practices surrounding the marriage ceremony. The church ceremonies surrounding death and social observances as much as religious practices were universally followed, despite the scepticism of Enlightenment thinkers.

Keywords: baptism; catechism; confirmation; death; Enlightenment; Jansenism; marriage; sacraments

Chapter.  16650 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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