The office of the dead in Latgale

Lielbārdis Aigars: The office of the dead in Latgale. In: Politics, feasts, festivals 4. pp. 253-264. (2014)

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This article is devoted to the Office of the Dead – a tradition that began in the Latvian culture at the end of the eighteenth century and continues to be practiced today. in various forms of the High Latvian dialect, the Office of the Dead is called ‘saļmi’, ‘saļmas’, ‘saļmes’ – from the word ‘psalms’, because the texts of psalms take up the largest part of performance. the Office of the Deadis widespread in the Latvian catholic community in Latgale (the eastern part of Latvia) and in isolated places in Augšzeme (the south-eastern part of latvia). The Office of the Dead developed as a self-contained body of prayers from the Liturgy of the Hours since the eighth century. In Latvia the origins of the Office of the Dead can be dated at 1786, when texts of the officium were published in the Latgalian written language for the first time in a prayer and songbook. In Latvian communities the Office of the Dead tradition was dis-seminated by Jesuits. The Office of the Dead took over the functions of similar traditions, which had existed in the Latvian community earlier: the wake, wailing for the departed at funerals, feasts for the dead in the autumn, etc.Nowadays in Latvia, the Office of the Dead is performed 1) at funerals and remembrance days for the deceased after the funeral (on the 2nd, 9th, 30th, 40th day); 2) at remembrance events for the deceased in autumn (September 29 – November 10); 3) at the cemetery celebrations; and 4) on occasions when the deceased appears in a dream and is asking for something. in rural communi-ties, which are the tradition’s main functioning environment, nowadays the number of singers is diminishing due to complexity of the performance; decreasing interest in it by the next generation; changes in lifestyle; and community migration to the cities.

Item Type: Book Section
Heading title: Politics of folk rituals
Journal or Publication Title: Politics, feasts, festivals
Date: 2014
Number: 4
ISSN: 2064-4825
ISBN: 978-963-306-254-8
Page Range: pp. 253-264
Series Name: A vallási kultúrakutatás könyvei
Language: English
Event Title: International Society for Ethnology and Folklore : Working group on the ritual year : annual conference (9.) (2013) (Szeged)
Related URLs:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Katolikus egyház - Litvánia, Temetkezési szokások - Litvánia
Additional Information: Bibliogr.: p. 262-264. és a lábjegyzetekben ; ill. ; összefoglalás angol nyelven
Subjects: 05. Social sciences
05. Social sciences > 05.04. Sociology
06. Humanities
06. Humanities > 06.03. Philosophy, ethics and religion
Date Deposited: 2020. May. 20. 15:21
Last Modified: 2021. Nov. 24. 11:27

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