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What impact did 12th century cathedrals have on people?

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  • The word cathedral takes its name from the word cathedra, or "bishop's throne" (in Latin: ecclesia cathedralis). A cathedral has a specific ecclesiatical role and administrative purpose as the seat of a bishop. It is frequently much larger than a parish church, is architecturally one of the finest structures within its region and is a focus of local pride.
  • Cathedrals are not only places of worship, they are places of teaching, through statues, transcepts, idols, decorations, greaves and graves on the building itself.

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  • Cathedrals were the Poor Man's Bible conveying the word in and out of season, reminding the faithful of the necessity of faith and salvation
Poor Man's Bible Window

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  • Roods and altarpieces would convey the mysteries of salvation history:

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  • Canterbury Cathedral is an example of early Gothic:

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A pivotal moment in the history of Canterbury Cathedral was the murder of Thomas Becket in the north-east transept on Tuesday 29 December 1170 by knights of King Henry II. The king had frequent conflicts with the strong-willed Becket and is said to have exclaimed in frustration, "Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?" The knights took it literally and murdered Becket in his own cathedral. Becket was the second of four Archbishops of Canterbury who were murdered.

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  • Sculptures at Notre Dame display the eternal struggle between good and evil

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  • Westminster Abbey held pride of place in London and was the scene of many a validation of the Divine Right of Kings

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  • Saints are heroes of the Faith. Many cathedrals have statues of Saints:

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  • It is said that Chartres Cathedral sits on several world-wide ley-lines and holds a most sacred energy at this conjuction
  • Cathedrals use any and all available space to teach the doctrines of the Holy Mother Church. Here is a depiction of one of the seven deadly sins, PRIDE, at Chartres Cathedral:

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  • Sacred architecture is important in a Cathedral, for the actual building itself reflects the three ecclesial communities, the church militant, the church suffering, the Church Triumphant. At the place of crossing, there is Beatific Vision. Here the beatific vision is shown at the highest place of crossing in the sacred geometry of Lincoln Cathedral:

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  • All great cathedrals have choir stalls and lofts: Here are the Choir stalls at St Patricks Cathedra, Dublin

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