pilgrimage


pilgrimage
   Medieval England had many pilgrimage centres, including those of Thomas a Becket at Canterbury, the Virgin Mary at Walsingham (Norfolk), the Holy Rood at Bromholm (Norfolk), the Holy Blood at Hailes Abbey (Gloucestershire), and *Glastonbury. People went on pilgrimage as a penance for sin, or to fulfil a vow, or seeking a cure for sickness. The usual procedure was to spend several days praying near the saint's tomb or the altar where the holy relic was kept, and if possible to touch it; at Canterbury, pilgrims drank water which allegedly contained a trace of Becket's blood. Flasks of water and pouches of dust scraped from the shrine were taken home for future use.
   It was normal to make offerings at shrines. A common custom was to bend a silver *coin when vowing to make a pilgrimage, and give it on arrival. Another was to measure the height of a sick person (or the length of an injured limb) with thread, and then use this as the wick of a *candle to be burned at the shrine. Those who had experienced a miraculous recovery or escape might leave miniature wax, silver, or gilded images of bodies, heads, limbs, eyes, teeth, hearts, animals, boats, anchors, or carts, each representing an injury healed or an accident averted. Votive offerings hung in hundreds round the shrines; periodically wax ones would be melted down into candles and silver ones into coins, but plenty always remained.
   ■ Finucane, 1977; Ben Nilson, Cathedral Shrines of Medieval England (1998).

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Synonyms:
(especially to some hallowed place), , ,


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pilgrimage — Pil grim*age, n. [OE. pilgrimage, pelgrinage; cf. F. p[ e]lerinage.] 1. The journey of a pilgrim; a long journey; especially, a journey to a shrine or other sacred place. Fig., the journey of human life. Shak. [1913 Webster] The days of the years …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pilgrimage — (n.) mid 13c., pelrimage; see PILGRIM (Cf. pilgrim) + AGE (Cf. age) …   Etymology dictionary

  • pilgrimage — *journey, voyage, tour, trip, jaunt, excursion, cruise, expedition …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • pilgrimage — [n] long journey crusade, excursion, expedition, mission, tour, travel, trip, wayfaring; concept 224 Ant. jaunt …   New thesaurus

  • pilgrimage — ► NOUN ▪ a pilgrim s journey …   English terms dictionary

  • pilgrimage — [pil′grə mij] n. [ME pilgrymage < OFr pelegrinage < pelegrin,PILGRIM] 1. a journey made by a pilgrim, esp. to a shrine or holy place 2. any long journey, as to a place of historical interest …   English World dictionary

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  • Pilgrimage — In religion and spirituality, a pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral significance. Sometimes, it is a journey to a sacred place or shrine of importance to a person s beliefs and faith. Members of many major religions participate… …   Wikipedia

  • pilgrimage — Traditional pilgrimage practices, having all but ceased to exist during the Cultural Revolution, re emerged in the 1980s. In addition, new forms of pilgrimage to sites associated with CCP history and the revolution that appeared following the… …   Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture

  • PILGRIMAGE — In Hebrew the term aliyah (lit. going up ) has been used since ancient times for pilgrimages to Jerusalem on the three festivals known as shalosh regalim). The Torah prescribes that all males must go up to Jerusalem three timesa year on the three …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • pilgrimage — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ annual ▪ religious, spiritual VERB + PILGRIMAGE ▪ go on, make ▪ She made a pilgrimage to visit the place where h …   Collocations dictionary