The Cardinal of Lorraine and the liturgy in Reims

Bruno Restif PhD in History, associate professor, University of Reims (Boulevard de la Paix, 9, Reims, France, 51100),

Restif B. The Cardinal of Lorraine and the liturgy in Reims, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2016, vol. 5, pp. 136–157.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2016-00008

Language: English

Charles of Guise, Cardinal of Lorraine, archbishop of Reims since 1538 until his death in 1574, was a major, but complex and enigmatic character, whose capacity to develop several strategies according to changing circumstances, in France and Europe baffled both his contemporaries and historians. The research on the liturgical policy he conducted in his city, diocese and ecclesiastical province of Reims provides better understanding of Cardinal’s aims and level of seriousness. This investigation is rather instructive, because the history of liturgy has been neglected by historians of the Early modern time, whereas it played a central role in the diocesan religious life and in the confessional conflicts of the 16th century. The parochial manual printed in 1554 reveals an enterprise of moderate, gallican and diocesan reform, which, while perfectly Orthodox also developed the use of the French language. The provincial Council of 1564 was a Tridentine turn, but also a logical continuation of the liturgical reform of the 1550’s, aiming desirable purification of chanting and developing a dream of returning to the antique custom. Finally, the processions clearly expressed the personal devotions of the Cardinal of Lorraine, especially to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Holy Cross, as well as the penitential aspect of the last years of his life.
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Key words: Catholic Reformation, Council of Trent, local policy, liturgy, ritual, sacraments, chanting, processions, French language, Blessed Sacrament, penitential devotion


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