17 Sandra Raban, Mortmain Legislation and the English Church 1279-1500 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, i982).
Much of this betokened a new attitude to the means to salvation. Before 1200 the liturgical round of prayer was the function of the spiritual warriors, the monks in their monasteries. Thus, in the heyday of the monastic order, most of those who sought spiritual benefits for their material support shared their commemoration with all the other benefactors of a monastic house. Theirs might be one name among many listed in a liber vitae, or they may be remembered and prayed for generally in the masses for the dead. By the end of the twelfth century, just as benefactors might specify the particular use to which their grant was to be put, so too could they make more specific demands about their own spiritual welfare; they came to want more personal commemoration in the form of obits, anniversaries and masses. From the late twelfth century we begin to find the establishment of chantries within the monastery, in the form of lights before altars, and the provision of obits, in other words the perpetual celebration of masses for the soul. And it is not long before we find the idea of the chantry taking root in other contexts, outside monastic houses, as free-standing chapels or in parish churches. This is the result of a shift in thought about the commemoration of the dead, which was seen as the responsibilities of a social community and not just a religious house. Monks were not the only ones who could pray for salvation.18 This could be done by a priest or chaplain employed by a family, in a parish church, or for a guild or lay confraternity. The chantry offered a more personal kind of commemoration.
18 For a recent discussion of these themes see Andrew Brown, Church and Society in England 1000-1500 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 122-6.
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