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A confraternity (Spanish: cofradía; Portuguese : confraria) is generally a Christian voluntary association of lay people created for the purpose of promoting special works of Christian charity or piety, and approved by the Church hierarchy. They are most common among Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans and the Western Orthodox. When a Catholic confraternity has received the authority to aggregate to itself groups erected in other localities, it is called an archconfraternity. Examples include the various confraternities of penitents and the confraternities of the cord, as well as the Confraternity of the Rosary.
Pious associations of laymen existed in very ancient times at Constantinople and Alexandria. In France, in the eighth and ninth centuries, the laws of the Carlovingians mention confraternities and guilds. But the first confraternity in the modern and proper sense of the word is said to have been founded at Paris by Bishop Odo (d.1208). It was under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Confraternities had their beginnings in the early Middle Ages, and developed rapidly from the end of the twelfth century. The main object and duty of these societies were, above all, the practice of piety and works of charity.
Some confraternities were very widely spread, especially in the cities of the Middle Ages. Confraternities could be important and wealthy institutions for the elite, as in for example, the Scuole Grandi of Venice. The Purgatorial societies and orders of flagellants were other specialized medieval types. The medieval French term puy designated a confraternity dedicated to artistic performance in music, song and poetry; the German meistersingers were similar, though typically imitating trade guilds in form.
Various other congregations such as of the Holy Trinity, of the Scapular, etc., were founded between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. From the latter century onwards, these pious associations have multiplied greatly.The Archconfraternity of the Gonfalone was headquartered in the Church of Santa Lucia del Gonfalone. Because of their white hooded robes, they were identified as the "White Penitents". They were established in 1264 at Rome. St. Bonaventure, at that time Inquisitor-general of the Holy Office, prescribed the rules, and the white habit, with the name Recommendati B. V.
Each Confraternity organization has a set of rules or by-laws to follow which every member promises to live by. Even though the Catholic Church works in harmony with the confraternity, these rules are not religious vows, instead merely rules set up to govern the confraternal organization.Some confraternities allow only men, while others allow only women or only youth.
The religiosity of the members and their desire for a personal reward in the afterlife were reflected in confraternity activities, such as assisting with burials by donating burial robes or monetary payment, attending the burial mass, volunteering in the local hospitals, organization of and participation in religious fiest days, giving dowries for local orphans, selling and preparing bread used for local religious holidays, escorting the condemned during the inquisition, burying the dead during epidemics and other charitable acts as deemed appropriate by the confraternity members or parish priest.Society could not function strictly through government programs because there was also a need to take care of matters such as burials, and provide for the poor and indigent. While government can and did maintain programs to handle these needs, they were better managed by lay organizations or the "neighbor helping neighbor" theory.
The term may have other meanings: The Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception is a renowned lay Marian apostolate in the Philippines known for administering the Grand Marian Procession parade on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament is an example of an Anglo-Catholic confraternity established in the Church of England which has spread to many places within the Anglican Communion of churches.
Members of The Augustana Confraternity, which is in the Lutheran tradition, "devote themselves to the teachings of Holy Scripture and to the elucidation of those teachings in the Confessional writings of the Lutheran Church, particularly the Small Catechism."
Confraternities in Nigeria began as a term for fraternities in the American college sense, university-based social organisations.
Penance is repentance of sins as well as an alternate name for the Catholic, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. It also plays a part in confession among Anglicans and Methodists, in which it is a rite, as well as among other Protestants. The word penance derives from Old French and Latin paenitentia, both of which derive from the same root meaning repentance, the desire to be forgiven. Penance and repentance, similar in their derivation and original sense, have come to symbolize conflicting views of the essence of repentance, arising from the controversy as to the respective merits of "faith" and "good works". Word derivations occur in many languages.
The scapular is a Western Christian garment suspended from the shoulders. There are two types of scapulars, the monastic and devotional scapular, although both forms may simply be referred to as "scapular". As an object of popular piety, it serves to remind the wearers of their commitment to live a Christian life.
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) is an association established in Rome in 1562 for the purpose of giving religious education. Its modern usage is a religious education program of the Roman Catholic Church, normally designed for children. In some parishes, CCD is called PSR, meaning Parish School of Religion, or SRE, meaning Special Religious Education.
The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel belongs to the habit of both the Carmelite Order and the Discalced Carmelite Order, both of which have Our Lady of Mount Carmel as their patroness. In its small form, it is widely popular within the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church as a religious article and has probably served as the prototype of all the other devotional scapulars. The liturgical feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16, is popularly associated with the devotion of the Scapular.
Eucharistic adoration is a Eucharistic practice in the Roman Catholic, Anglo-Catholic and some Lutheran traditions, in which the Blessed Sacrament is adored by the faithful. This practice may occur either when the Eucharist is exposed, or when it is not publicly viewable because it is reserved in a place such as a church tabernacle.
The Sodality of Our Lady (also known as the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Roman Catholic Marian Society founded in 1563 by young Belgian Jesuit, Jean Leunis, at the Roman College of the Society of Jesus. The modern Ignatian lay group, Christian Life Community, traces its origins to the first Sodality.
In Christian theology, a sodality, also known as a syndiakonia, is a form of the "Universal Church" expressed in specialized, task-oriented form as opposed to the Christian church in its local, diocesan form. In English, the term sodality is most commonly used by groups in the Anglican Communion, Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Lutheran Church and Reformed Church, where they are also referred to as confraternities. Sodalities are expressed among Protestant Churches through the multitude of mission organizations, societies, and specialized ministries that have proliferated, particularly since the advent of the modern missions movement, usually attributed to Englishman William Carey in 1792.
Confraternities of the Cord are pious associations of Christian faithful, the members of which wear a cord, girdle or cincture in honour of a saint, to keep in mind some special grace or favour which they hope to obtain through his intercession.
Purgatorial societies are Roman Catholic Church associations or confraternities which aim to assist souls in purgatory reach heaven. The doctrine concerning purgatory, the condition of the poor souls after death, the communion of saints, and the satisfactory value of our good works form the basis of these associations.
The Tabernacle Societies were lay Eucharistic Adorative associations within Roman Catholic parishes, principally in America and Australia, forming part of the Archassociation of the Eucharist under the guidance of the Association of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Confraternity of the Holy Rosary is a Roman Catholic Archconfraternity or spiritual association, under the care and guidance of the Dominican Order. The members of the confraternity strive to pray the entire Holy Rosary weekly.
An archconfraternity is a Catholic confraternity, empowered to aggregate or affiliate other confraternities of the same nature, and to impart to them its indulgences and privileges.
Three Hail Marys are a traditional Roman Catholic devotional practice of reciting Hail Marys as a petition for purity and other virtues. Believers recommend that it be prayed after waking in the morning, and before going to bed, following the examination of conscience at night. This devotion has been recommended by SS. Anthony of Padua, Alphonsus Liguori, John Bosco and Leonard of Port Maurice. Two saints, Mechtilde and Gertrude the Great, are said to have received revelations from the Blessed Virgin Mary regarding this practice.
Confraternities of Penitents are Christian religious congregations, with statutes prescribing various penitential works; they are especially popular in the Catholic Church. Members of the confraternities of penitents practice mortification of the flesh through fasting, the use of the discipline, the wearing of a hair shirt, among other instruments of penance, etc.
Catholic Marian movements and societies have developed from the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary by members of the Catholic Church. These societies form part of the fabric of Mariology in the Catholic Church. Popular membership in Marian organizations grew significantly in the 20th century, as apparitions such as Our Lady of Fátima gave rise to societies with millions of members, and today many Marian societies exist around the world. This article reviews the major Marian movements and organizations.
The Priests' Eucharistic League was a Roman Catholic confraternity set up in the nineteenth century, with primary object the frequent and prolonged worship of the Blessed Sacrament by priests.
The Blue Scapular of the Immaculate Conception is a devotional scapular that traces its roots to Venerable Ursula Benincasa, who founded the Roman Catholic religious order of the Theatine Nuns. This scapular must have a blue woollen cloth and on one side bears a symbolization of the mystery of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady and on the other the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Santa Lucia del Gonfalone is a church in the diocese of Rome, Italy. It is located on Via dei Banchi Vecchi just one block south of Corso Vittorio Emanuele. The last reconstruction was by Marco David in 1764; the interior was frescoed by Francesco Azzurri in 1866. The church was made a cardinalate deaconry by Pope John Paul II on 21 October 2003.
Worldwide The Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the oldest lay apostolates still operating in the Roman Catholic Church, having been part of the Congregation of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception founded by Saint Stanislaw Papczynski. "The Blessed Marian Founder fervently encouraged his spiritual sons to establish confraternities of the Immaculate Conception at Marian churches. 'The first laws of the Order of 1694-1698 speak of this already."
The Holy Week in Valladolid is one of the main tourist attractions, and cultural and religious events of Valladolid and the surrounding province during Holy Week in Spain. It boasts of renowned polychrome sculptures, created mainly by sculptors such as Juan de Juni and Gregorio Fernández, who were active when the city served as the imperial court. The city's National Sculpture Museum has a total of 42 images for the processions. The Holy Week in Valladolid is known to depict the Passion with great fidelity, rigor and detail.