A priest or priestess, is a person authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They have the authority or power to administer religious rites, in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of and their office or position is the priesthood, a term which may apply to such persons collectively. The necessity to read sacred texts and keep temple or church records helped foster literacy in early societies. Priests exist in many religions today, such as all or some branches of Judaism, the question of which religions have a priest depends on how the titles of leaders are used or translated into English. In some cases, leaders are more like those that other believers will often turn to for advice on spiritual matters, for example, clergy in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are priests, but in Protestant Christianity they are typically minister and pastor. The terms priest and priestess are sufficiently generic that they may be used in a sense to describe the religious mediators of an unknown or otherwise unspecified religion.
In many religions, being a priest or priestess is a full-time position, many Christian priests and pastors choose or are mandated to dedicate themselves to their churches and receive their living directly from their churches. In other cases it is a part-time role, for example, in the early history of Iceland the chieftains were titled goði, a word meaning priest. In some religions, being a priest or priestess is by election or human choice. In Judaism the priesthood is inherited in familial lines, in a theocracy, a society is governed by its priesthood. The word priest, is derived from Greek, via Latin presbyter. Old High German has the disyllabic priester, apparently derived from Latin independently via Old French presbtre, the Latin presbyter ultimately represents Greek presbyteros, the regular Latin word for priest being sacerdos, corresponding to Greek hiereus. That English should have only the term priest to translate presbyter. The feminine English noun, was coined in the 17th century, in the 20th century, the word was used in controversies surrounding the ordination of women.
In the case of the ordination of women in the Anglican communion, it is common to speak of priests. In historical polytheism, a priest administers the sacrifice to a deity, in the Ancient Near East, the priesthood acted on behalf of the deities in managing their property. Priestesses in antiquity often performed sacred prostitution, and in Ancient Greece, some such as Pythia, priestess at Delphi. Sumerian and Akkadian Entu or EN were top-ranking priestesses who were distinguished with special ceremonial attire and they owned property, transacted business, and initiated the hieros gamos ceremony with priests and kings
A church building, often simply called a church, is a building used for Christian religious activities, particularly worship services. The term in its sense is most often used by Christians to refer to their religious buildings. In traditional Christian architecture, the church is arranged in the shape of a Christian cross. When viewed from plan view the longest part of a cross is represented by the aisle, towers or domes are often added with the intention of directing the eye of the viewer towards the heavens and inspiring church visitors. The earliest identified Christian church was a church founded between 233 and 256. During the 11th through 14th centuries, a wave of building of cathedrals, a cathedral is a church, usually Roman Catholic, Oriental Orthodox or Eastern Orthodox, housing the seat of a bishop. In standard Greek usage, the word ecclesia was retained to signify both a specific edifice of Christian worship, and the overall community of the faithful. This usage was retained in Latin and the languages derived from Latin, as well as in the Celtic languages.
In the Germanic and some Slavic languages, the word kyriak-ós/-ē/-ón was adopted instead, in Old English the sequence of derivation started as cirice and eventually church in its current pronunciation. German Kirche, Scottish kirk, Russian церковь, etc. are all similarly derived, according to the New Testament, the earliest Christians did not build church buildings. Instead, they gathered in homes or in Jewish worship places like the Second Temple or synagogues, the earliest archeologically identified Christian church is a house church, the Dura-Europos church, founded between 233 and 256. During the 11th through 14th centuries, a wave of building of cathedrals, in addition to being a place of worship, the cathedral or parish church was used by the community in other ways. It could serve as a place for guilds or a hall for banquets. Mystery plays were performed in cathedrals, and cathedrals might be used for fairs. The church could be used as a place to thresh and store grain, a common architecture for churches is the shape of a cross.
These churches often have a dome or other large vaulted space in the interior to represent or draw attention to the heavens. Other common shapes for churches include a circle, to represent eternity, or an octagon or similar star shape, another common feature is the spire, a tall tower on the west end of the church or over the crossing. The Latin word basilica was used to describe a Roman public building
The nave /ˈneɪv/ is the central aisle of a basilica church, or the main body of a church between its western wall and its chancel. It is the zone of a church accessible by the laity, the nave extends from the entry — which may have a separate vestibule — to the chancel and may be flanked by lower side-aisles separated from the nave by an arcade. If the aisles are high and of a width comparable to the central nave and it provides the central approach to the high altar. The term nave is from medieval Latin navis, a ship was an early Christian symbol. The term may have suggested by the keel shape of the vaulting of a church. The earliest churches were built when builders were familiar with the form of the Roman basilica and it had a wide central area, with aisles separated by columns, and with windows near the ceiling. Old St. Peters Basilica in Rome is a church which had this form. It was built in the 4th century on the orders of Roman emperor Constantine I, the nave, the main body of the building, is the section set apart for the laity, while the chancel is reserved for the clergy.
In medieval churches the nave was separated from the chancel by the rood screen, medieval naves were divided into bays, the repetition of form giving an effect of great length, and the vertical element of the nave was emphasized. During the Renaissance, in place of dramatic effects there were more balanced proportions, longest nave in Denmark, Aarhus Cathedral,93 metres. Longest nave in England, St Albans Cathedral, St Albans,84 metres, longest nave in Ireland, St Patricks Cathedral, Dublin,91 metres. Longest nave in France, Bourges Cathedral,91 metres, including choir where a crossing would be if there were transepts, longest nave in Germany, Cologne cathedral,58 metres, including two bays between the towers. Longest nave in Italy, St Peters Basilica in Rome,91 metres, longest nave in Spain, Seville,60 metres, in five bays. Longest nave in the United States, Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York City, highest vaulted nave, Beauvais Cathedral, France,48 metres high but only one bay of the nave was actually built but choir and transepts were completed to the same height.
Highest completed nave, Rome, St. Peters, Italy,46 metres high, with architectural discussion and groundplans Cathedral architecture Cathedral diagram List of highest church naves
Romanesque Architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the date of the Romanesque style, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the late 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style, marked by pointed arches, examples of Romanesque architecture can be found across the continent, making it the first pan-European architectural style since Imperial Roman Architecture. The Romanesque style in England is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture, each building has clearly defined forms, frequently of very regular, symmetrical plan, the overall appearance is one of simplicity when compared with the Gothic buildings that were to follow. The style can be identified right across Europe, despite regional characteristics, Many castles were built during this period, but they are greatly outnumbered by churches. The most significant are the great churches, many of which are still standing, more or less complete.
The largest groups of Romanesque survivors are in areas that were less prosperous in subsequent periods, including parts of southern France, northern Spain and rural Italy. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word Romanesque means descended from Roman and was first used in English to designate what are now called Romance languages, Romance language is not degenerated Latin language. Latin language is degenerated Romance language, Romanesque architecture is not debased Roman architecture. Roman architecture is debased Romanesque architecture, the first use in a published work is in William Gunns An Inquiry into the Origin and Influence of Gothic Architecture. The term is now used for the more restricted period from the late 10th to 12th centuries, Many castles exist, the foundations of which date from the Romanesque period. Most have been altered, and many are in ruins. By far the greatest number of surviving Romanesque buildings are churches, the scope of Romanesque architecture Romanesque architecture was the first distinctive style to spread across Europe since the Roman Empire.
In the more northern countries Roman building styles and techniques had never been adopted except for official buildings, although the round arch continued in use, the engineering skills required to vault large spaces and build large domes were lost. There was a loss of continuity, particularly apparent in the decline of the formal vocabulary of the Classical Orders. In Rome several great Constantinian basilicas continued in use as an inspiration to builders, the largest building is the church, the plan of which is distinctly Germanic, having an apse at both ends, an arrangement not generally seen elsewhere. Another feature of the church is its regular proportion, the plan of the crossing tower providing a module for the rest of the plan. These features can both be seen at the Proto-Romanesque St. Michaels Church, Hildesheim, 1001–1030, the style, sometimes called First Romanesque or Lombard Romanesque, is characterised by thick walls, lack of sculpture and the presence of rhythmic ornamental arches known as a Lombard band
An aisle is, in general, a space for walking with rows of seats on both sides or with rows of seats on one side and a wall on the other. Aisles can be seen in shops and factories, in warehouses and factories, aisles may consist of storage pallets, and in factories, aisles may separate work areas. In health clubs, exercise equipment is arranged in aisles. Aisles are distinguished from corridors, walkways, footpaths/pavements, paths, aisles have certain general physical characteristics, They are virtually always straight, not curved. An open space that had three rows of chairs to the right of it and three to the left generally would not be considered an aisle. Theatres, meeting halls, etc. usually have aisles wide enough for 2-3 strangers to walk past each other without feeling uncomfortably close. In such facilities, anything that could accommodate more than 4 people side-by-side would generally be considered an open area. Factory work area aisles are wide enough for workers to comfortably sit or stand at their work area, while allowing safe and efficient movement of persons.
Passage aisles usually are quite enough for a large person to carry a suitcase in each hand. Usually, even without luggage one person must turn sideways in order for the one to pass. Warehouse aisles normally are at least 8–10 feet wide, to use of mechanical loading equipment. Wedding aisles are wide enough to allow two people to walk comfortably beside each other and still have space, the width of these aisles varies and is up to those who design the layout of the wedding. Vehicle aisles are wide enough to allow a type of vehicle to pass one or two way. Width generally varies for vehicle type and other variables like no of parking accessibility etc. Note that spaces between buildings, e. g. rows of storage sheds, would not be considered aisles, in architecture, an aisle is more specifically the wing of a house, or a lateral division of a large building. The earliest examples of aisles date back to the Roman times and can be found in the Basilica Ulpia, the church of St. Peters in Rome has the same number.
In cathedral architecture, an aisle is more specifically a passageway to either side of the nave that is separated from the nave by colonnades or arcades, occasionally aisles stop at the transepts, but often aisles can be continued around the apse. Aisles are thus categorized as nave-aisles, transept-aisles or choir-aisles, a semi-circular choir with aisles continued around it, providing access to a series of chapels, is a chevet
Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia
Wenceslaus I, Wenceslas I, Václav the Good or Saint Wenceslaus was the duke of Bohemia from 921 until his assassination in 935. His younger brother, Boleslaus the Cruel, was complicit in the murder and his martyrdom and the popularity of several biographies gave rise to a reputation for heroic goodness that resulted in his elevation to sainthood. He was posthumously declared to be a king and came to be seen as the saint of the Czech state. He is the subject of the well-known Good King Wenceslas, a carol for Saint Stephens Day, Wenceslas was the son of Vratislaus I, Duke of Bohemia from the Přemyslid dynasty. His grandfather, Bořivoj I of Bohemia, was converted to Christianity by Saints Cyril and his mother, Drahomíra, was the daughter of a pagan tribal chief of the Havelli, but was baptized at the time of her marriage. His paternal grandmother, Ludmila of Bohemia, oversaw his education, in 921, when Wenceslas was about thirteen, his father died and his grandmother became regent. Jealous of the influence that Ludmila wielded over Wenceslas, Drahomíra arranged to have her killed, Ludmila was at Tetín Castle near Beroun when assassins murdered her on September 15,921.
She is said to have been strangled by them with her veil. She was at first buried in the church of St. Michael at Tetín, but her remains were removed, probably by Wenceslas, to the church of St. George in Prague. Drahomíra assumed the role of regent and immediately initiated measures against the Christians, when Wenceslas came of age, he took control of the government. He placed the duchy under the protection of Germany, introduced German priests, and favoured the Latin rite instead of the old Slavic, to prevent disputes between him and his younger brother Boleslav, they divided the country between them, assigning to the latter a considerable territory. To withstand Saxon overlordship, Wenceslass father Vratislaus had forged an alliance with the Bavarian duke Arnulf, the alliance became worthless, when Arnulf and Henry reconciled at Regensburg in 921. In 924 or 925, at about the age of 18 and he defeated a rebellious duke of Kouřim named Radslav. He founded a rotunda consecrated to St. Vitus at Prague Castle in Prague, Henry had been forced to pay a huge tribute to the Magyars in 926 and needed the Bohemian tribute, which Wenceslas probably refused to pay after the reconciliation between Arnulf and Henry.
Another possible reason for the attack was the formation of the alliance between Bohemia, the Polabian Slavs, and the Magyars. In September 935, a group of nobles allied with Wenceslass younger brother Boleslav plotted to kill him. After Boleslav invited Wenceslas to the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Stará Boleslav, three of Boleslavs companions, Tira, Česta, and Hněvsa, fell on the duke, as the duke fell, Boleslav ran him through with a lance. According to Cosmas of Prague, in his Chronica Boëmorum of the early 12th century, because of the ominous circumstance of his birth, the infant was named Strachkvas, which means a dreadful feast
House of Vasa
The House of Vasa was an early modern royal house founded in 1523 in Sweden, ruling Sweden 1523–1654, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 1587–1668 and the Tsardom of Russia 1610–1613. Its agnatic line became extinct in Poland with the death of King John II Casimir of Poland in 1672, the House of Vasa descended from a Swedish 14th century noble family, tracing agnatic kinship to Nils Kettilsson, fogde of the castle Three Crowns in Stockholm. Several members held high offices during the 15th century, in 1523, after the abolishment of the Kalmar Union, Gustav Eriksson became King Gustav I of Sweden and the royal house was founded. Yet, his son, King John III of Sweden, married a Catholic Polish Queen Catherine Jagiellon, as a result, the dynasty was split into a Protestant Swedish branch and a Catholic Polish one, which would rival for royal titles in subsequent wars. The involvement of the famous Protestant General and King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in the Thirty Years War gave rise to the saying that he was the incarnation of the Lion of the North.
Yet, his daughter and heiress Queen Christina of Sweden abdicated from the Swedish throne in 1654 after converting to Roman Catholicism, in Poland, John II Casimir of Poland abdicated from the throne in 1668. With his death, the royal House of Vasa became extinct in 1672, Gustav Eriksson, a son of Cecilia Månsdotter Eka and Erik Johansson Vasa, was probably born in 1496. The birth most likely place in Rydboholm Castle, northeast of Stockholm. The newborn got his name, from Eriks grandfather Gustav Anundsson, since the end of the 14th century, Sweden had been a part of the Kalmar Union with Denmark and Norway. The Danish dominance in this union led to uprisings in Sweden. During Gustavs childhood, parts of the Swedish nobility tried to make Sweden independent and his father Erik supported the party of Sten Sture the Younger, regent of Sweden from 1512, and its struggle against the Danish King Christian II. Following the battle of Brännkyrka in 1518, where Sten Stures troops beat the Danish forces, it was decided that Sten Sture and King Christian would meet in Österhaninge for negotiations.
To guarantee the safety of the king, the Swedish side sent six men as hostages to be kept by the Danes for as long as the negotiations lasted. However, Christian did not show up for the negotiations, violated the deal with the Swedish side, the six members of the kidnapped hostage were Hemming Gadh, Lars Siggesson, Jöran Siggesson, Olof Ryning, Bengt Nilsson – and Gustav Eriksson. The election of Gustav Eriksson as a regent made many Swedish nobles, some noblemen, still loyal to the king, chose to leave Sweden, while others were killed. As a result, the Swedish Privy Council lost old members who were replaced by supporters of Gustav Eriksson, most fortified cities and castles were conquered by Gustavs rebels, but the strongholds with the best defences, including Stockholm, were still under Danish control. In 1522, after negotiations between Gustav Erikssons people and Lübeck, the Hanseatic city joined the war against Denmark, the winter of 1523 saw the joint forces attack the Danish and Norwegian areas of Scania, Halland and Bohuslän.
During this winter, Christian II was overthrown and replaced by Frederick I, the new king openly claimed the Swedish throne and had hopes Lübeck would abandon the Swedish rebels
Pope John Paul II
Pope Saint John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtyła, was Pope from 1978 to 2005. He is called by some Catholics Saint John Paul the Great and he was elected by the second Papal conclave of 1978, which was called after Pope John Paul I, who had been elected in August after the death of Pope Paul VI, died after thirty-three days. Cardinal Wojtyła was elected on the day of the conclave. John Paul II is recognised as helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland, John Paul II significantly improved the Catholic Churchs relations with Judaism, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. He upheld the Churchs teachings on such matters as artificial contraception and the ordination of women and he was one of the most travelled world leaders in history, visiting 129 countries during his pontificate. By the time of his death, he had named most of the College of Cardinals, consecrated or co-consecrated a large number of the worlds bishops, a key goal of his papacy was to transform and reposition the Catholic Church.
His wish was to place his Church at the heart of a new alliance that would bring together Jews, Muslims. He was the second longest-serving pope in history after Pope Pius IX. Born in Poland, John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope since the Dutch Pope Adrian VI, John Paul IIs cause for canonisation commenced in 2005 one month after his death with the traditional five-year waiting period waived. A second miracle attributed to John Paul IIs intercession was approved on 2 July 2013, John Paul II was canonised on 27 April 2014, together with Pope John XXIII. On 11 September 2014, Pope Francis added John Paul IIs optional memorial feast day to the worldwide General Roman Calendar of saints, in response to worldwide requests. It is traditional to celebrate saints feast days on the anniversary of their deaths, Karol Józef Wojtyła was born in the Polish town of Wadowice. He was the youngest of three born to Karol Wojtyła, an ethnic Pole, and Emilia Kaczorowska, whose mothers maiden surname was Scholz.
Emilia, who was a schoolteacher, died in childbirth in 1929 when Wojtyła was eight years old and his elder sister Olga had died before his birth, but he was close to his brother Edmund, nicknamed Mundek, who was 13 years his senior. Edmunds work as a physician led to his death from scarlet fever. As a boy, Wojtyła was athletic, often playing football as goalkeeper, during his childhood, Wojtyła had contact with Wadowices large Jewish community. School football games were organised between teams of Jews and Catholics, and Wojtyła often played on the Jewish side. I remember that at least a third of my classmates at school in Wadowice were Jews
A choir, sometimes called quire, is the area of a church or cathedral that provides seating for the clergy and church choir. It is in the part of the chancel, between the nave and the sanctuary, which houses the altar and Church tabernacle. In larger medieval churches it contained choir-stalls, seating aligned with the side of the church, in modern churches, the choir may be located centrally behind the altar, or the pulpit. The back-choir or retro-choir is a space behind the altar in the choir of a church. In the Early Church, the sanctuary was connected directly to the nave, the choir was simply the east part of the nave, and was fenced off by a screen or low railing, called cancelli, which is where the English word chancel comes from. The word choir is first used by members of the Latin Church, isidore of Seville and Honorius of Autun write that the term is derived from the corona, the circle of clergy or singers who surrounded the altar. When first introduced, the choir was attached to the bema, the platform in the center of the nave on which were placed seats for the higher clergy.
This arrangement can still be observed at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, over time, the bema and choir moved eastward to their current position. In some churches the choir is arranged in the apse behind the altar, the architectural details of the choir developed in response to its function as the place where the Divine Office was chanted by the monastic brotherhood or the chapter of canons. The chancel was regarded as the part of the church. The pulpit and lectern are found at the front of the choir. The organ may be located here, or in a loft elsewhere in the church, some cathedrals have a retro-choir behind the High Altar, opening eastward towards the chapels in the eastern extremity. After the Reformation Protestant churches generally moved the forward, typically to the front of the chancel. The choir and rear of deep chancels became little used in churches surviving from the Middle Ages, with the emphasis on sermons, and their audibility, some churches simply converted their chancels to seat part of the congregation.
The choir area is occupied by sometimes finely carved and decorated wooden seats known as choir stalls, the choir may be furnished either with long benches or individual choir stalls. There may be several rows of seating running parallel to the walls of the church, the use of choir stalls is more traditional in monasteries and collegiate churches. Monastic choir stalls are often fitted with seats that fold up when the monastics stand, often the hinged seat will have a misericord on the underside on which he can lean while standing during the long services. The upper part of the stall is so shaped as to provide a headrest while sitting
Casimir III the Great
Casimir III the Great reigned as the King of Poland from 1333 to 1370. He was the son of King Władysław I and Duchess Hedwig of Kalisz, Kazimierz inherited a kingdom weakened by war and made it prosperous and wealthy. He reformed the Polish army and doubled the size of the kingdom and he reformed the judicial system and introduced a legal code, gaining the title the Polish Justinian. Kazimierz built extensively and founded the University of Kraków, the oldest Polish university and he confirmed privileges and protections previously granted to Jews and encouraged them to settle in Poland in great numbers. Kazimierz left no male heir to his throne, producing only daughters. When Kazimierz died in 1370 from an injury received while hunting, his nephew, King Louis I of Hungary, when Kazimierz attained the throne in 1333, his position was in danger, as his neighbours did not recognise his title and instead called him king of Kraków. The kingdom was depopulated and exhausted by war, and the economy was ruined, in 1335, in the Treaty of Trentschin, Casimir was forced to relinquish his claims to Silesia in perpetuity.
Kazimierz rebuilt and his kingdom prosperous and wealthy, with great prospects for the future. He waged many wars and doubled the size of the kingdom. He founded the University of Kraków, the oldest Polish University, Kazimierz is the only king in Polish history to both receive and retain the title of Great. In 1355, in Buda, Kazimierz designated his nephew Louis I of Hungary as his successor should he produce no male heir, in exchange Kazimierz gained Hungarian favourable attitude, needed in disputes with the hostile Teutonic Order and Kingdom of Bohemia. Kazimierz at the time was still in his years and having a son did not seem to be a problem. Kazimierz left no son, bearing five daughters instead. He tried to adopt his grandson, Casimir IV, Duke of Pomerania, the child had been born to his second daughter, Duchess of Pomerania, in 1351. This part of the testament was invalidated by Louis I of Hungary, thus King Louis I of Hungary became successor in Poland. Louis was proclaimed king upon Kazimierzs death in 1370, though Kazimierzs sister Elisabeth held much of the power until her death in 1380.
Casimir was facetiously named the Peasants King and he introduced the codes of law of Greater and Lesser Poland as an attempt to end the overwhelming superiority of the nobility. During his reign all three major classes — the nobility and bourgeoisie — were more or less counterbalanced and he was known for siding with the weak when the law did not protect them from nobles and clergymen