The Mid-Fourteenth Century Believers at Pickering, North Yorkshire.

How did religious practices and beliefs shape European life in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, prior to the sixteenth century Reformations of Religion?

The mid-fourteenth century believers at Pickering, North Yorkshire.

The small regional centre of Pickering in North Yorkshire, England shows rare insights into the locally held beliefs of its church-going parishioners through uniquely produced paintings inside the main church building demonstrating their beliefs and religious practices had significantly shaped their lives.

The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Western Europe saw the rise in power and influence of the Latin speaking or Catholic Church to its pinnacle in the late fifteen hundreds before the reformation brought significant changes to mass religion at the time.   The churches influence in the lives of the general population was as integral to daily life in their capacity and authority over key civil matters of marriage, morality and other concerns of secular nature.   In fact, the church and its beliefs shaped every significant milestone of life for the general congregation of believers and the noble families alike, from the cradle to the grave.   The milestones of one’s life were celebrated and measured according to ancient Judaeo-Christian biblical teachings, which came to be officially known as the seven sacraments; which comprised of; birth, baptism, confirmation, communion, marriage, ordination (only if one became a priest) and ending with the everyones final sacrament of extreme unction as one prepares to die.  

As well as the church overseeing all the big moments in ones life, the church also provided the cultural and social context for the lives of its users   throughout the rest of the year also. The Latin Church in early modern Europe typically organised the year around seasonal times as which reflected the needs of the agrarian communities many of the churches were situated in.   The calendars are referred to the...