Sjukbesök och dödsberedelse : Sockenbudet i svensk medeltida och reformatorisk tradition
Sammanfattning: The perpose of this study is to clarify how the visitation of the sick could be carried out in Swedish medieval and Reformation traditions. It aims to answer questions concerning the rituals, what their theological and pious meaning was and how medieval liturgy and custom could survive, change or be abolished in the Reformation tradition.The study shows that the visitation of the sick was a closely connected series of different events: the calling for the priest to the sickbed, the preparations for the visit, the journey to the sick, the visit itself and the return to the church. In the medieval tradition, the priest carried the consecrated Host to the sick person. The sacramentally present Christ required pious behaviour. The study shows that, when the priest in the Reformation tradition carried only bread and wine to be consecrated at the sickbed, there was no longer any opportunity for the parishioners to express their piety in their own everyday environment.In the medieval tradition, the priest’s visit could include confession, communion and anointment. This was to ensure that the sick person would receive forgiveness, eternal life, a return to health and preparation for death. According to the study, in an introductory phase of the Reformation tradition, the priest could choose between taking a consecrated Host with him and consecrating both bread and wine at the sickbed. Anointment was initially optional and would only be given to restore the sick person to health. It disappeared later from the ritual for the visitation of the sick.Thus in the Reformation tradition, certain acts of the medieval tradition changed or disappeared, while other parts were taken over and survived, albeit partly in a new form with a new meaning. Common to both periods was the importance to receive the care of the Church.
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