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Wedding sermons in early modern England

Houlbrooke, R. (2023) Wedding sermons in early modern England. Studies in Church History, 59. pp. 222-243. ISSN 0424-2084

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/stc.2023.10


This article draws on wedding sermons published in England between the 1580s and the 1740s. The main interest of these sermons lies in the ways in which doctrine based on the scriptural texts, especially those cited in the Form of Solemnization of Matrimony, was refracted through the prism of the various concerns and priorities of preaching clergy. Their exposition of marriage duties was often enriched by personal experience. Yet the number of wedding sermons published in England between the 1580s and the 1740s was small compared with the quantity of those reaching print after delivery at a funeral, another of the foremost rites of passage. It seems likely that many fewer of them were preached at weddings in the first place. Wedding congregations probably made a less receptive audience. The already limited publication of wedding sermons underwent a long-term eighteenth-century decline.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:112950
Publisher:Cambridge University Press


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