Services in the Middle Ages

There were no seats or pews in the nave of any English church until the late 15th century. Although the clergy for a long time had both fixed stalls and movable benches, the medieval villagers either stood or knelt. As elsewhere, the floor at Bunbury was of bare earth, brushed perhaps with bull's blood to keep the dust down, and strewn with rushes.

Each of the day's three main services Matins, followed by Mass in the morning, and Evensong in the late afternoon, while it was still light - was intoned in mumbled Latin. Apart from the occasional "Amen", the services were incomprehensible to many of the people, as indeed they were to some of the clergy. The villagers could play no direct part, for as yet there were no hymns or psalms. They could only look on. English was seldom used; and the sermon, as we know it, did not come until after the Reformation - from 1538 onwards, when the first pulpits began to appear.

Candles, Wall Paintings and Incense

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