Posted by P. Bingham on May 05, 1998 at 02:30:10:
While doing some research on something else, I came across this passage on kissing and I thought it might interest considering a past post session. It is in a book I have entitled ‘Faiths & Folklore of the British Isles' by Hazlett, which was based on a book called ‘The Popular Antiquities of Great Britain' by John Brand (1813), which was also revised and enlarged in 1870 by W.C. Hazlett. It is in two volumes (two books). Anyway, it is a ‘Descriptive and Historical Dictionary of the superstitions, beliefs, and popular customs of england, Scotland, Wales & Ireland, from Norman times to the end of the 19c, with Classical and Foreign analogues.' I bought it in a library bookstore for $5 each volume a few years ago! I regret, it is not easy reading. But if you can read it, it is entertaining. Can someone decipher what I assume is Latin? I get the gest of it but cannot say that I regret not knowing Latin!
KISS, NUPTUAL, IN THE CHURCH
This nuptual kiss in the church, which was originally an act of religious symbolism, is enjoyed both by the York Missal and the Sarum Manual. "Accipiat Sponsus pacem (the Pax) a Sacerdote, et ferat Sponsae, osculans eam, et neminem alium, nec ipse nec ipsa."
1553, Rubrick, fol. 69. "Surgant ambo, Sponsus et sponsa, et accipiat sponsus pacem a Sacerdote, et ferat Sponsae, oculans eam, et neminem alium, nec ipse nec ipsa."
This litergical precept appears to have developed or degenerated into the priest himself kissing the bride and into the more modern practice of the husband, and even the relatives, saluting her at the conclusion of the cerimony.
The subsequent particulars are from Randolph's "Letters" where he is speaking of the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to Lord Darnley: "She had on her back the great mourning gown of black, with the great wide mourning hood, &c. The rings, which were three, the middle a rich diamond, were put on her finger. They kneel together, and many prayers were said over them: She tarrieth out the mass, and he taketh a kiss, and leaveth her there, and went to her chamber wither, within a space, she followeth and being required, (according to the solemnity) to cast off her cares, and leave aside these sorrowful garments, and give herself to a more pleasant life, after some pretty refusal (more, I believe, for manner sake than grief of heart), she suffereth them that stood by, every man that could approach, to take out a pin, and so being committed to her ladies, changed her garments, but went not to bed: to signify to the world that it was not lust that moved them to marry, but only the necessity of her country, not, if God will, to leave it without an heir."
It is expressly mentioned in the following line from Marston's "Insatiate Countess": "The kisse thou gav'st me in the church here take."
Vaughan, in his "Golden Groue," 1600, says: "Among the Romans the future couple sent certain pledges one to anohter, which most commonly they themselves afterwards being present would confirm with a religious kiss."
Aubrey, writing about 1670, relates that when he was a boy, it was usual for the bride and bridegroom to kiss over the cakes at table. He adds that the cakes were laid at the end of the dinner, one on another, like the shew-bread in the old bible-prints. The bridegroom was expected to wait at table on this occasion.
In "The Collier's Wedding," the bride is introduced as being waylaid, after the cerimony, at the church stile, for this purpose. It was once customary among persons of middling rank, as well as the vulgar, in most parts of England for the young men present at the marriage cerimony to salute the bride, one by one, the moment it was concluded. This, after officiating in the cerimony himself, Mr. Brand saw frequently done. (Mr. Brand, if you remember, is the writer of the original version of these two volumes, which was published in 1813). But it is now usual only among the common people. (Hmmm...)
It seems from the account left us by Guthrie, that in the 18c the nuptual kiss described by Theocritus in his fifth idyll as usual among his countrymen, that is to say, the form, where the man takes the woman by the ears to kiss her, was still preserved among the Russians.
note: these are wonderful books. It includes slang terms to wedding presents to unlucky days in Scotland to an odd game called ‘Whip-her-Jenny', everything you've never even thought of. If anyone has something they would like looked up, just ask. I'd be happy to check. It does have a odd penchant for here and there having "helpful" entries in other-than-English languages!
- custom requests... P. Bingham 17:33:44 5/09/98 (2)
- Latin translation Laura W 22:25:12 5/07/98 (2)
- Latin Constanza 14:32:31 5/06/98 (1)
- PS: wedding presents and "Whip-her-Jenny" Constanza 14:36:22 5/06/98 (0)
- Thank you! Caroline 22:22:03 5/05/98 (5)
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