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Relick Sunday

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Relick Sunday (or Relic Sunday) is a moveable feast in the Christian calendar celebrated in mid July on the third Sunday after Midsummer's day.[1] The feast celebrated Christian relics of all kinds, in which offerings were given to relics.

A second usage of the term used in medieval times occurred across England, persisting most notably in Northamptonshire, when the Sunday after the feast of Saint Thomas Becket (December 29) was commonly known as Relick Sunday.[2] This meant that it was celebrated annually between December 30 and January 5.

A manuscript from the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century entitled In festo Reliquarum describes its commemoration: [3]

"Worshipfull frendis, on Sunday next coming shall be the holy fest of all relyks (called Relike Sonday), that be left her' in erth to the grete magnificence honor and worship of god and p'fite to man bothe bodily and gustily, for in as much as we be in sufficient to worship and reu'ence singularly all reu'ent Reliks of all seynts left here in erth, for it passith man's power. Wherefore holy Chirch in especiall the Chirch of Yngelonde bathe ordeynd this holy Fest to be worshipped the next Sonday aft' the translac'on of seint Thom's of Cantirbery ye'rly to be allowed and had in reu'ence."

References

  1. N. H. Nicolas, Esq. (1824). Tables, Calendars, &c. for the use of Historians, Antiquaries, and the Legal Profession. 
  2. Time's Telescope (1822) p.192
  3. Harley MSS., 2447


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