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Kalands Brethren


Confraternities of the Calends, so called because of their custom of holding divine services on the first of the month (calendae ). They were an ecclesiastical society whose members, both clerical (domini ) and lay (fratres ), were under the direction of a clerical dean; they existed for the purpose of providing for burials and suffrages for the dead and also for mutual help in economic and legal difficulties. The custom of celebrating the first of the month is of pagan origin, but early in the Middle Ages this custom was directed toward special suffrages and Masses for the dead; e.g., Conrad of Hochstaden, Archbishop of Cologne, referred in 1260 to canons who were negligent in the matter of lunationes mensium, aut Kalendae, seu obitus fidelium. In the 13th and 14th centuries the Kalands spread throughout the northwestern part of Germany, with heaviest concentration in Westphalia, and were usually connected with cathedrals and chantries. Membership in the Kalands differed according to individual statutes, some groups being composed exclusively of priests or clerics, others of clerics and laymen, but most commonly of clerics, laymen, and women. Membership was usually limited to 12 persons, a good reputation being an essential requirement for acceptance. During the Reformation the Kalands suffered almost total disintegration, and during the secularization that followed they disappeared, leaving hardly a trace. They are still preserved in Münster (cathedral, since 1300), Wiedenbrück, (chantry, since 1343), and Wüllen (parish church, since 1357).

Bibliography: l. von ledebur, "Die Kalandsverbrüderungen in den Landen Sächsischen VolksStammes" Märkische Forschungen von dem Verein für Geschichte der Mark Brandenburg 4 (1850) 776. r. stapper, "Der grosse Kaland am Dom zu Münster," Westfälische Zeitschrift 86 (1929) 8296. f. flaskamp, Die KalandsBrüderschaft zu Wiedenbrück, 2 v. (Münster 195759). r. preising, Der Werler Kaland (Werl 1958).

[m. f. laughlin]

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