Dating and marriage in the middle ages

posted by | Leave a comment

In the Catholic Church, marriage is one of the seven sacraments (an 11th or 12th century development) and the only sacrament not to require the assistance of a priest.The sacrament, in fact, is performed by the couple; in public ceremonies, the priest merely guides the couple and insures the proper completion of the ritual.In secular law, clandestine marriages were frowned upon because of the difficulties they could bring into determining inheritance.A marriage which was not public (or at least witnessed by someone other than the couple) could lead to claims on property by other relatives upon the couple's death....which, of course, meant that it was left to the heir to prove that the marriage was valid.Consanguinity is much more complex than this, however.One's spiritual relations, including godparents, also were included, as were all priests (since they were considered the spiritual fathers of all laypeople).

First, in a public marriage, banns would be posted for three weeks prior to the marriage.The following were causes for dissolution of an already established marriage: one of the parties was not of legal age (12 for girls, 14 for boys), if the woman was incapable of sexual relations, if one was in religious orders or bound by a vow (as above), if one married a servant one had formerly had sex with; if one of the parties was not a Christian, or if there was a mistake (someone marries person A instead of person B, thinking that they ARE marrying person B), or a previous marriage (even if not consummated) with a relative of one's intended spouse.The following prohibited a marriage if known before, but would not be grounds for dissolution of an existing marriage: rape, adultery, a marriage performed during a prohibited fast period (Lent or Advent), incest, or marriage by someone who had killed a clergyman.Various restrictions (honoured more in the breach, perhaps) were placed on the collection of the "marital debt" (which, contrary to popular belief, the wife had just as much right to demand as the husband).Just a few included: no sex in churches or cemeteries, nor on major feast days, nor during pregnancy, nor on top of holy relics, nor with only lust in one's heart!

Leave a Reply

luxembourg dating site