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DEVOTION – DEVOTIONS. Here we will examine forms of piety and objects that favored devotion. Little is known of private devotion and its forms in the first Christian centuries. In the presence of paganism, believers carefully avoided anything that could be seen as a pagan remnant. Tertullian De oratione 15 reviews some deviations that bordered on superstition, such as removing one’s cloak to pray, and takes issue with those who refused the kiss of peace on the pretext of having fasted 18. Places in Hawaii to visit For him, the Christian life must alternate between respites and vigils, which dispose the faithful to eschatological expectation 29. He also tells us of the custom of taking home the eucharistic bread to nourish personal devotion.
Cyprian links prayer to the time of the episodes of Christ’s passion De or. dom. 34. This connection reappears in the Traditio Apostolica, which advises those who are tempted to make the sign of the cross on their forehead and eyes, to cast out the devil with the sign of redemption Trad. Ap. 42; also see Tertull., De or. 3,4. This sign is even more effective if traced with the Eucharist Just., Dial. 40,1; Dlger, AC 3,231-244. The sign of the cross used in baptism recalls both the seal of the elect and membership in Christ. It became a sign of victory, and now plays a considerable role in both piety and Christian art: we find the cross incised on Christian dwellings.
Also attested is a tradition of praying, facing east, before death as with some martyrs, see Didasc. 12 based on Ps 68:34 and Mt 24:27. The posture of the Christian in prayer with arms extended and raised appears frequently in Christian art. The liturgy exercised a profound influence on popular piety, which it nourished and inspired. On simple potsherds and papyri we find acclamations, doxologies Faiyum papyrus, the trisagion, maranatha, Kyrie eleison, the beginning of the Gloria, and sometimes a Bible verse or a psalm. In Coptic areas scholars have found charms or talismans, clear expressions of religious syncretism.
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