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During the Middle Ages, one of the primary focuses of everyday life was to please God.

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Introduction

During the Middle Ages, one of the primary focuses of everyday life was to please God. This was accomplished in several ways. One could attend mass, give alms to the church, feed the poor, clothe the naked, embark on a pilgrimage, or any other religious act. Although these were some of the predominant means by which to please and glorify God, they were not the only means by which to do so. Simply by worshipping and being part of a body of faith was a way one also honor God. The idea of serving and pleasing God in all things was a dominant concept that dictated much of what was done. Even the architecture, visual arts and music all served a similar purpose. This purpose was to give greater glory to God for He alone is worthy of the praise of man. Once misconception of the Middle Ages is that there was a lack of learning and developments. This belief is completely untrue. Some of the greatest man-made marvels are the Gothic cathedrals built nearly a millennium ago. The time during which the majority of these great cathedrals were built is classified as the High Middle Ages. ...read more.

Middle

The aforementioned carpenter or mason might render their services to the Church out of a duty to praise the Father. The concept of giving one's utmost for God's greater glory was a primary focus of Christian civilization in the High Middle Ages. Perhaps the most obvious examples of giving the best humans could offer lie in the great cathedrals erected during this time. York Minster, in York, England is a prime example of Gothic architecture from the High Middle Ages. When construction began on this cathedral in the late thirteenth century, it was solely for the glory of God and to provide a space for the faithful to raise their highest forms of praise. Even today, the mission of the Minster remains to, "direct people to God by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ." Such a mission can only be aided by all of the architectural elements that comprise the massive cathedral. The cruciform shape, a standard layout for a liturgical sanctuary, is intended to remind the faithful of the ultimate expression of Christ's love. This cathedral is adorned with many beautiful elements. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is a logical development in that God alone is solely good, and man is fallen. Since man is in a fallen state, God is inevitably greater and thus alone is worthy of honor and glory. Therefore, the highest possible forms of praise are to be used, particularly on the highest feast days in order than the Father might receive greater glory. As music developed more in the church, it began to develop in the secular realm as well. Even though the music was secular in nature, the Church and its teachings influenced it for several generations. Many of the performers and composers were monks and men and women of religious orders. Thus while writing or performing, their focus was most likely for the greater glory of God. Throughout the High Middle Ages, perhaps the most profound religious ideal was to give and do everything for the greater glory of the Heavenly Father. This could have been done out of a desire for salvation, to avoid God's wrath, or out of a sense of duty. Nonetheless, the art and architecture and music reflect a sense that all was to be done solely for the greater glory of God. ...read more.

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