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date: 16 December 2019

Votive ritual (from Lat. votum: ‘vow’, ‘prayer’)locked

  • Barbara H. Haggh


(from Lat. votum: ‘vow’, ‘prayer’)

Devotional ritual with a restricted or private intention. In the Latin rite votive ritual is regarded as a class apart from the texts and chant prescribed for the calendar of church festivals because it can be performed at any time and, following the appropriate formalities, in any place. It includes not only antiphons and masses, but also Offices, processional chant, psalms without antiphons, litanies and prayers. Votive material often appears as a supplement towards the end of books for Mass and Office or in individual books, such as collections of masses or books of Hours, but it may be interleaved with similar but non-votive material, as in the case of votive Offices. Its history intersects with that of the private Mass.

The extent to which votive ritual is liturgy is unclear, and has changed with time. The term ‘liturgy’ was applied in Christian antiquity to official (in the East, priestly) or communal worship, as opposed to private devotion. Later definitions of the word, for instance, the use in the 16th century in titles of collections describing the Church’s worship, do not allow the inclusion of Offices for the Dead or other commemorative prayer read as liturgy by a private individual for personal intercession....

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