The sacring is a religious ceremony giving on a sovereign a crowned character (sometimes even divine), thus distinguishing it from the other laic ones. It is a ceremony distinct from the Couronnement.
The King David accepted an oiling. The sacring is thus a Hebraic rite.
Restoration of the sacring to the Middle Ages
The sacring was practiced by the wisigothic sovereigns of Spain in VIIe century, the first being gone back to 672 with the king Wamba with Tolède, but only the kingdom of Aragon preserved the use of it thereafter. The other kingdoms preferred simple crowning, in order to be less subjected to the influence of the Clergé.
Sacrings of Pip the Brief (752 and 754)
The kings Mérovingiens (Ve-VIIIe centuries) did not reach the capacity after a sacring; they were selected (elected) by the aristocrats in the mérovingienne family. Their capacity came from their Charisme and their military victories. Baptism of the first king mérovingien Clovis, towards 496, forever be a sacring.
In the middle of VIIIe century, it is the Maire of the palate Pépin the Brief, wire of Charles Martel, which inaugurated the practice of the religious sacring for the kings of France; au préalable, he wanted to make sure of the support of the more spiritiuelle high ranking authority of the Occident: the pope. He sent initially Burchard, bishop of Wurzbourg, and Fulrad, the abbot of Saint-Denis in embassy near the pope Zacharie. This one answered that the divine order was disturbed because the mayor of the palate had the reality of the capacity whereas it did not have legitimacy of it. The last kings mérovingiens did not exert indeed any more any effective authority (image of Epinal of the lazy Kings).
The Church affirms whereas it must give the legitimacy of the capacity by the ritual of the sacring. The model is the oiling which the king David by Samuel in the Old Testament accepted. The sacring of Pip the Brief took place in March 752 with Soissons where “the bishops present oignirent it of chrism” in several places of the body. The election by the people and the large ones (aristocrats) of the kingdom remains, but with the Carolingian successors, it will lose of its importance.
In exchange of its agreement in principle, the Pape had hoped for the support armed with the Carolingian vis-a-vis the threats lombard are. In 753, the pope Etienne II is constrained to take refuge as a Gaulle where he asks for the intervention of Pip the Brief. This last then gives him the promise of an armed intervention against Lombards. In exchange, the pope confers to him the title of “Patrice of the Romans” (i.e. protective of Rome) and one second time at Saint-Denis crowns it the July 28th 754. This time, two wire of Pip whose future Charlemagne) are crowned hands even of the pontiff who blesses also Berthe, the mother of Pip. Thereafter, Pépin the Brief holds its promise and engages several forwardings in Italy. The territories given up by Lombards form the embryo of the Papal States, the temporal one of Saint-Pierre.
The sacring of Pip the Short one has several fundamental implications:
- a dynastic change: the Carolingians reign in France until in 987. The last king mérovingien, Childéric III, is locked up in a monastery.
- the Carolingians obtained the support of the pope and the Church. They must, in return to ensure their defense.
- with the sacring of 754, all the Carolingian dynasty is crowned.
- by the sacring, the king is above all the other laic ones.
The sacring under the Carolingians
During the Carolingian empire, the election fell in disuse, without to disappear: she is recalled at the time of the sacring by an acclamation, but she is nothing any more but one formality. The imperial Crowning, given to the day order by Charlemagne in 800, is distinct from the sacring. It takes place in Rome in general, in the presence of the pope.
The first sacring which took place with Rheims was that of Louis the Piles in October 816. This wire of Charlemagne, became by this ceremony, the elected official of God and defender of the Church. The archbishop of Rheims Hincmar crowned Charles the Bald person in 869. However Rheims kept preeminence on the other metropolitan seats only during XIIe century because it was the city of the baptism of Clovis during which the Sainte Bulb appeared. Also Capétien Louis VI was made it crown with Orleans in 1108.
The sacring of Capétiens
The decline of the Carolingians is obvious with the IX and Xe century: Robertiens Eudes is chosen by the Large ones into 888. After having proclaimed the forfeiture of the Carolingian Charles Simple the, Robert is elected the June 29th 922 and is crowned king with Rheims the following day Sunday June 30th 922 by the Archevêque Gautier of Sens, his/her cousin.
With Xe century, the territorial princes (marquis, dukes, counts) acquired such a political power which they can pose their conditions before granting the election of the king. The election of the king is thus become again determining, especially during the dynastic crises.
In 987, the Carolingian Louis V dies without child. Hugues Capet is elected by the Large ones with Senlis then crowned with Noyon Sunday July 3rd 987: it is the end of the Carolingian dynasty. Hugues Capet takes the care to make crown his son of alive sound. This use will be perpetuated until Philippe Auguste: at the end of XIIe century, the capacity and the legitimacy of Capétiens are definitively assured.
Evolution of the ritual
See the detailed article Sacring (France)
- ordo of Hincmar (IXe century): oiling, crowning, oath: the king commits himself to respect and defend the Church, to ensure peace and returning justice as well as the mercy
- ordo of Fulrad (Xe century)
- ordo of saint Louis (XIIIe century): handing-over of the spur S and a sword in the presence of the 12 Even S of France. The acclamations of the people present in the cathedral of Rheims replace the old election. Kiss of peace. During the sacring, the king receives his badges of being able ( Regalia ). If the king is married, the sacring of the queen takes place afterwards right.
- Starting from XIe century, one allots to king de France the thaumaturgical capacity (of healer). After its sacring, the ceremony of the touch of the scrofula intervenes.
The English kings were crowned.
the sacring of the kings de France
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