Holy Church

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The Holy Church is a faction of Belegarth that represents medieval religion. It includes various people, units, and even entire realms. The foremost reason for its creation is to help contribute to the emotional, spiritual, and political resonance of the sport of Belgarth. The Holy Church has no specific theology; it is based loosely on the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages. The point of the faction is not to argue theological points, to sway genuine belief systems, or to provide an alternative religion; it is there to give characters a source of reference. Many characters are crusaders with no holy cause, monks with no affiliation. Hopefully the Holy Church will serve as a reference point for those characters.

Hierarchy:

First the ArchBishop, Second the Bishops, Third Monks & Friars, Fourth Congregants

Bishops

The Holy Church is run by a council of Bishops. Each realm (provided that its theme is not that of a Pagan religion – i.e. Vikings, Woads, Greeks, etc) is permitted one Bishop. To apply for the position of Bishop, one must undergo the following steps:

1. Their character (not the person themselves) must swear loyalty to the Holy Church.

2. They must undergo Seminary (Seminary is a test of rudimentary knowledge of the use of the church as both a spiritual and political force during the middle ages).

3. They must be Ordained publicly by a Bishop or Archbishop of the Holy Church.

4. Although this rule is currently being debated, as of now they must, in addition to their regular garb, make or purchase a Bishop’s Mitre (hat), robe, and chasuble (a sort of poncho-like cape). All of the materials to make this garb (which will be required only during ordinations and other religious ceremonies) will likely cost no more than twenty dollars (less, if you are lucky). Instructions and Patterns will be sent to anyone interested – they are VERY simple, and most anyone with access to a sewing machine or liquid stitch should be able to make them.

A Bishop is responsible for

1. Blessing those soldiers in their diocese (realm) prior to battle.

2. Doing their best to convert any warriors in their realm to the Holy Church

3. Knighting the inagural members of a religious order of knights or a unit. This way new units involving knighthood will have the legitimacy of having their first knight actually knighted instead of merely declaring himself a knight, as is often (and until now, unavoidably) the case.

A Bishop MAY BE (and often is) a Warrior. A Bishop MAY NOT wear his official (generic) mitre and chasuble into battle, however, unless he is abstaining from combat. He must wear other garb. HE MAY wear a UNIQUE mitre and chasuble into battle, if he decides that being a Bishop is the primary characteristic of his character.

Monks & Friars

The Holy Church recognizes Monks and Friars as part of their hierarchy. Monks are below Bishops but above congregants (any Belgarth citizens who aknowledge the Holy Church).

To be a monk:

1. Your character must swear allegiance to the church.

2. You must have a religious order (as of now, none exist).

3. Your character must be Monk or Friar-based (warrior monks are naturally included – take Friar Tuck of Sherwood, for example).

Various Activities that Holy Church will be a part of:

1. The coronations of any realms that wish divine legitimacy in regards to their Kingship or Queenship

2. Battlefield Mass

3. Public Burnings of Pagans and Heretics (National Events only). Naturally, these executions are not real, but will serve to entertain the crowd and to remind all present of the earthly influence of the Holy Church.

Anyone who wishes to become a Bishop of the Holy Church, send an e-mail to holychurchbelegarth@hotmail.com.

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