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Mass schedule in a large cathedral

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Mass schedule in a large cathedral

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu October 14th, 2010, 2:24 pm

I have two characters meeting in the city cathedral, one coming from the previous mass and the other going to the next one. What would the interval between these two masses have been? And as long as we are at it, is Mass capitalized or lower-case? I've seen it both ways.
I've searched the web for an answer, but this is one of the cases where you can't sort through the number of pages to get at what you want.
Thanks.

M.M. Bennetts

Post by M.M. Bennetts » Thu October 14th, 2010, 3:24 pm

[quote=""MLE""]I have two characters meeting in the city cathedral, one coming from the previous mass and the other going to the next one. What would the interval between these two masses have been? And as long as we are at it, is Mass capitalized or lower-case? I've seen it both ways.
I've searched the web for an answer, but this is one of the cases where you can't sort through the number of pages to get at what you want.
Thanks.[/quote]


The interval between the services would depend upon the size of the city, the number of people usually attending, whether it's a particularly popular holy day, and the period of time in which the work is set.

If it's capitalised, it's a Roman Catholic Mass. Or a reference thereto. The Anglicans tend to use lower case.

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Thu October 14th, 2010, 5:31 pm

Actually most Catholics don't capitalize the word mass.

I have to agree with M.M. about frequency of masses being dictated by population. The more people, the more masses being said, and the shorter the intervals between them.

I can't remember multiple masses even being covered in a book that I've read.

If nothing else, you could have someone going from mass and someone else merely coming to pray. Sorry I can't be of more help.
Last edited by LoveHistory on Thu October 14th, 2010, 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

annis
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Post by annis » Fri October 15th, 2010, 4:46 am

I don't know if examples of current mass schedules would be of any help? Here's a list, for example, put out by the Archdiocese of New York for St Patrick's Cathedral.
http://www.archny.org/about-us/st-patri ... -schedule/

It may depend on the period you'e writing about. I think masses were held more frequently in earlier times. Perhaps somewhere like the Catholic Enquiry Centre might be able help or put you onto a suitable church historian:
http://www.catholicenquiry.com/history/ ... story.html

M.M. Bennetts

Post by M.M. Bennetts » Fri October 15th, 2010, 10:39 am

[quote=""LoveHistory""]Actually most Catholics don't capitalize the word mass.

I have to agree with M.M. about frequency of masses being dictated by population. The more people, the more masses being said, and the shorter the intervals between them.

I can't remember multiple masses even being covered in a book that I've read.

If nothing else, you could have someone going from mass and someone else merely coming to pray. Sorry I can't be of more help.[/quote]

We don't tend to capitalise anything these days--not mass, not the Bible. But they would have done, until probably even the 1960s. Most carefully. The Anglicans and the Catholics were both assiduous in maintaining the distinctions. That's why it's the Nelson Mass, for example. And a musician, one who sings in cathedral choirs here in the UK, will always make the distinction, even today.

Though, obviously, if what you're writing is set before the Reformation, then it's not a worry, because there was no choice or distinction, only between the Eastern Orthodox or Byzantine Church and the Western Church.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri October 15th, 2010, 3:56 pm

Thanks all. The Catholic enquiry people tell me that every two hours during the day would be usual for a cathedral in a large Spanish city, and it might be more frequent during the Inquisition, when people had to appear as devout as possible. So that works for my plot.

It would be easier to write if I wasn't such a detail-grubbing type. It's not like I get to put any of this in the novel -- my guess is that my reader doesn't care how often masses were said.
But I do. :o

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Post by Miss Moppet » Fri October 15th, 2010, 5:36 pm

[quote=""annis""]
It may depend on the period you'e writing about. I think masses were held more frequently in earlier times. Perhaps somewhere like the Catholic Enquiry Centre might be able help or put you onto a suitable church historian:
http://www.catholicenquiry.com/history/ ... story.html[/quote]

What a great link, Annis, I have bookmarked it.
LoveHistory wrote:If nothing else, you could have someone going from mass and someone else merely coming to pray.
Or to go to confession. I don't know about 16th century Spain but the research I did on 17th century Paris suggested the church was as much a social centre as a place of worship - people went there to meet friends, chat and flirt. One treatise criticised women for bringing their lapdogs into church (because the bells on the collars sounded like the bells altar boys rang during Mass), and for leaving their gloves and muffs on the altar rail. It sounded as though people treated the church like their sitting room, although women showed respect by having a page lift up their trains.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri October 15th, 2010, 6:32 pm

From everything I've read by contemporaries, the French and the English took church much lighter than the Spanish. St. Paul's was a place prostitutes solicited customers, at least in front. :eek:

The Spanish, with Islam so close, were always more sober about religious duties. After the Muslim threat was gone, the Inquisition made them even more so!

M.M. Bennetts

Post by M.M. Bennetts » Fri October 15th, 2010, 10:18 pm

[quote=""MLE""]From everything I've read by contemporaries, the French and the English took church much lighter than the Spanish. St. Paul's was a place prostitutes solicited customers, at least in front. :eek:

The Spanish, with Islam so close, were always more sober about religious duties. After the Muslim threat was gone, the Inquisition made them even more so![/quote]

The Spanish are still more devout...Even today. And their churches are far far 'saintier' than anything I've ever seen anywhere outside of Italy. And most of the altar pieces and side altars have the most ornate and exquisite majolica saints. There's even one where (I can't remember which saint it is, sorry...) but the main altar has behind it this massive 3/4 of lifesize majolica bas-relief of this saint preaching to this chap in armour on horseback. The horse is a dappled grey and it's, like I said, 3/4 lifesize. It's HUGE!

It's a funny thing too--if you go there or speak the language--their swearing isn't about foul words as Anglo-Saxon is. There if you really want to offend, you insult the Virgin. And the baby Jesus. Wow! You can't get more obscene than that, over there. Whereas, if you said the same stuff here in the UK, someone would just raise an eyebrow. But they use all the four-letter words that we think are so crude, those they use commonly.

annis
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Post by annis » Fri October 15th, 2010, 11:14 pm

I guess it reflects a cultural shift towards secularisation. Right through until the mid 20th century it was still common to write " d---" instead of "damn" in a novel, for example. In medieval times blasphemy was regarded in the same way in England - very shocking and offensive. People compromised by saying things like "By St Euphemia's little finger!"

There are still remnants of the old blasphemous curses in modern language - a common one Downunder is "Strewth", originally "God's truth".
Last edited by annis on Fri October 15th, 2010, 11:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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