Oratory

 

Oratory

  • What was the Origin, Meaning or Definition of the Oratory
  • Description of a Castle Oratory
  • What was the purpose of the Oratory?
  • When was the Oratory used?
  • Who introduced the Oratory to England?
 
 
 
Parts of a Castle
Castles Index 
Religion during the Medieval era
The Medieval Christian Church dominated the everyday lives of all the people. It was the age of ritualised prayer, pilgrimages, shrines, relics, religious rites, Religious Festivals, crusades and in many countries, the Inquisition. There was little choice - either adhere to the teachings of the church or be excommunicated and writhe in the fires of Hell for all eternity.

Oratory

Time spent on Prayer during the Medieval era
The Medieval Christians were expected to pray four times a day. The prayer times were:

  • Upon rising
  • At Noon
  • In the evening
  • Before Bedtime

The time spent on prayers varied but could range between 5 and 30 minutes. The strict prayer requirements explain why Chapels were built within castles. The development of a place for private prayer for the Lord and his Lady, the Oratory, is also explained.

Description of the Oratory
The room in the castle called the Oratory was intended for  use as a private chapel and would have an altar. A small room attached to the chapel used for private prayer by the Lord's family. Mass would be heard in the Castle Chapel and additional private prayer might be made in the oratory. The Oratory would be richly decorated with beautiful altar clothes and rich religious tapestries.  

Origin, Meaning of the word 'Oratory'
The Origin and Meaning of the word 'Oratory' derives from the Latin word 'orare' meaning to speak. Medieval Christians used this word to express the idea of speaking to God, that is, praying.

Introduction of the Oratory - Norman Castles
The Oratory was introduced with Norman castles during the Medieval period 1066 - 1154.

Oratory

Parts of a Castle

  • What were the purpose of the different parts of the Medieval Castle?
  • What was the difference between the parts of a castle called the Garderobe and the Wardrobe?
  • Identifying parts of a castle - Description, purpose and function of the  Moat, Dungeon and Portcullis
  • Description, purpose and function of the Barbican, Gatehouse, Crenellations and Drawbridge
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