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By John McManners
This is often the 1st of 2 volumes in McManner's magesterial reconstruction of the complicated hierarchical global of the Gallican Church destroyed by way of the French Revolution. It describes the diocesan and parochial constitution of the Church, portraying the clergy and their way of life from the palaces of the aristocratic bishops to the humblest nunnery, and, in a mess of graphics, reading their motivations and experience of vocation. In an in depth fresco he provides the faith of the folks, even if centering within the parish church or in confaternities, and the observances of folks faith outdoor it.
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Extra resources for Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France: The Clerical Establishment and its Social Ramification
57 The lesson was enhanced by the spectacle of the monarch taking solemn oaths before he was crowned—though Louis XV held he had taken them ‘to God alone’, implying that only Heaven could call him to a reckoning. 58 Furthermore, the jurists were prepared to elaborate the royal obligations. They held that, in addition to the coronation oaths, there were other ‘fundamental laws’—concerning the succession to the Crown, the age at which the king ceased to be a minor, the exact time when his reign began, the Catholicity of the monarchy, and the inviolability of the Crown demesne.
1 He walked on the king's right in processions, attended (though he did not always say) the prayers at the royal lever and coucher and the grace at meals, baptized the royal children, and conducted the nuptials of princes and princesses of the blood (always in the presence of the curé of Versailles, for no one, however great, could infringe the rights of parish priests). By virtue of his appointment, he was a commander in the most honourable of all the orders of chivalry, the Ordre du Saint-Esprit.
There are several references to the blessing of peace, one speciﬁc appeal for the multiplication of population, and two appeals (in the words of the blessings in the Old Testament) for the dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, and an abundance of corn and oil for the consolation of the people. The Sacre was too solemn a national institution to be ridiculed, but anticlericals and lawyers were not prepared to allow the clergy to make capital out of the manifestly religious implications of the ceremonies.