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The Black Death in Scandinavian countries
The King feared that "all our misdeeds should lead the same "plaga" and mortality to our subjects." He had, therefore, taken responsibility for the well-being of the people. He had summoned their bishops, a number of Councillors of the realm and canons of the cathedrals whose bishops could not, at so short notice, attend the meetings where measures should be discussed that "could please God and induce Him by his grace to bestow his mercy on us". They had agreed on the following measures:
"all people throughout all the Realm of Sweden, rich, ecclesiastics, laymen, old and young, females and males, should come barefooted to their parish churches on Friday in every week and confess their belief in God, His righteousness and power, with appropriate humility. They should walk (in procession) around the church with their sacred treasures (relics, images of saints, and so on), attend Mass with invocation of God on that day, make their offerings on the altar of the pennies that they could afford, so that others could receive alms. The Church wardens should distribute this offer among poor people and it should under no circumstances come in the hands of the priest. We order and advise you that on each Friday every Christian shall fast on water and bread: those who do not want to do that shall at least abstain from all fish and fast on ale and bread.
Mass shall be said in honor of Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, that She would deign to ask her blessed Son on her behalf to turn His wrath away from these countries for the sake of our humility. Every bishop has granted 40 days of indulgence to all those in his diocese who have prepared themselves for their deaths and made proper confessions, which all human beings are advised to do these days. ... For this reason, We convey to all human beings the curative advice for their souls that every human being, while God still has given him some time, to cleanse his conscience, make his confession and with full contrition do penance for his sins, so that when God will visit him, He will find him so ready that his souls would be taken in God's hand.
Source: The Black Death and Later Plague Epidemics in the Scandinavian Countries ...By Ole Jørgen Benedictow page 171