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Ecclesiastical Control Vs. Traditional Marriage Formation In Reformation Sweden

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Chapter Summary

An increasing wave of criticism was surging against the Catholic marriage dogma in the early sixteenth century. Popular wedding customs were disliked by the Calvinists and German Lutherans alike. Secret marriage, which could either mean traditional marriage without church wedding or marriage created by mere mutual clandestine consent, was prohibited. After the Reformation the Swedish clergy started increasingly to pay attention to the propriety of the wedding itself. The Catholic Church had not made any very energetic attempts to regulate the wedding mirth, as its efforts had been focused on ecclesiastical control of solemnization and later in the fifteenth century of engagements. The attempts to transform marriage formation to a pious and serious ceremony, submitted to ecclesiastical control and supervision, were a goal of the Swedish Lutheran Church.

Keywords: Catholic Church; ecclesiastical control; Swedish Lutheran Church; Swedish Reformation; traditional marriage



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