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The Liturgical Calendar

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Chapter Summary

The material is organized along the yearly calendar and the life-cycle. It is based on descriptions of rituals that, according to the historical sources, actually took place in twelfth-thirteenth century Syria, minimally supplemented with prescriptive works and secondary literature. Wealthy citizens hosted the poor and communal dinners were held in madrasas. The very devout would spend the whole day at the mosque, and give alms. On the feasts of the Assumption and the Nativity of the Virgin, Muslims - according to Burchard of Strasburg (the emissary of Frederic I to Saladin) - visited Saydanāya, a village outside Damascus, housing a famed icon of the Virgin, which Franks had also valued. The marriage of members of the ruling elite were lavishly celebrated. Some people prepare their own shrouds in advance, usually if they possessed a garment or a fabric that carried, in their eyes, special blessings.

Keywords: Liturgical Calendar; rituals



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