Sinclair de la Behottiere, Normandy
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Brothers of Charity

In rural Normandy churches one often notices in the chancel, lines of delicately finished torcheres characteristic of the Brothers of Charity whose essential mission was to provide the dead with a Christian burial.
They started 12th Century when the plague despoiled the rural areas and killed many people.

In the processions the Brothers are preceded by bell-ringers who ring their hand-bells with monotonous regularity, moved forward with banners and torcheres and wearing the chaperon, a velvet scarf embroidered with silver or gold.

Each Brotherhood has its hierarchy. At the highest level stands the Master or Provost assisted by a magistrate. Each Brotherhood possesses their own patron saint, emblems, crosses, banners and staffs.

This is a 1992 photo of the Brothers of the patron St Clair.

Last changed: 99/08/06 10:29:35