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Care for the Church in Traditional Orthodox Rites (Based on the Materials of the Vologda Province, Second Half of the 18th – Early 20th Century). C. 21–25

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Section: History




Shushval Natalya Aleksandrovna
Vologda State Pedagogical University (Vologda, Russia)


The paper is written in line with contemporary studies of the parish life of Russian peasants and examines the relationship between the care for the church and traditional Orthodox rites of the Vologda province peasants (second half of the 19th – early 20th century). In particular, the place of care for the church in festive culture and funeral practice is addressed. Special attention is given to the study of markets held next to churches during the holidays. Examples of caring for the church during Orthodox holidays demonstrate a close relationship between this care and the veneration of saints, as well as funeral and votive practices. The researched documents indicate that commemoration of the dead was the main motive underlying the peasants’ care for the church, which, being a part of funeral traditions, continued even after the person’s death. Every stage of the funeral and commemoration rites, from rituals at one’s deathbed to subsequent remembrance of the dead according to the church calendar, were accompanied by the distribution of gifts, including those in favour of the church. Archive and ethnographic materials reveal a correlation between the traditions of caring for the church and the lifestyle, customs, mores and self-awareness of the peasants living in the Vologda province in the second half of the 19th – early 20th century. The study continues a series of works devoted to the care for the church as an ethno-socio-cultural institution.


care for the church, festive culture, commemoration, vows
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