De Maupertuis The degree measurements by de Maupertuis in the Tornionlaakso Valley 1736-1737
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LIFE BY THE RIVER:
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Religious life

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Ecclesiastical year
The hidden knowledge of Käymäjärvi Lake





Ecclesiastical year

The expedition made preparations for their measurements along the river in the town of Tornio to find the best possible measuring points on both sides of the river. The preparations were ready shortly before Midsummer but the party did not set out straight away.

Thursday, the fifth, was the feast of St.John, which they keep eleven days later than us, according to the old stile : it was a grand solemnity, and we could not depart that day, notwithstanding every thing was ready.
(Outhier, Journal of a Voyage to the North, p. 277)


In summer services were held every Sunday. Friday the 14th of September was one of the four annual intercession days. The services lasted from early morning till late afternoon and people were punished for unauthorised absence.


Friday, the fourteenth, was one of those grand prayer-days, of which the King of Sweden obliges the inhabitants to keep four in the year : on them they do no manner of work : they are obliged to send one from every family to church, though it should be thirty miles distant, that is to say, sixty leagues. Five families, however, in the village of Pello are exempted, for fear of accidents happening from fire, or any other cause ; and each inhabitant in his turn succeeds to the exemption, At church the names of those who attend are registered, and there are penalties for such families as are absent without satisfactory reason : on these days they remain very long at church. At Ofwer Torneo there were two successive sermons, and the people were in church from nine or ten in the morning until three in the afternoon.
(Outhier, Journal of a Voyage to the North, p. 297)

On All Saints' Day, Monday the 12th of November two services were held in the morning and one in the evening in the Tornio town church. The French wondered the way the Tornio people ran their business and paid social calls despite the extreme cold during the days prior to Christmas. At Christmas a good part of the day was spent in the church and the rest of the day in reading and singing hymns at home.


The 8th of January 1737 was the Holy Innocents' Day and the French party was invited to a dinner at lieutenant-colonel Du Rietz's. The party watched from the window.


We saw one hundred Finns come out of church at noon, who were returning their houses, some in town, some in the country higher up the river. This succession of so large a number of sledges formed a singular spectacle, and at Hapa Niemi we were most advantageously placed to seeing it.
(Outhier, Journal of a Voyage to the North, p. 314)


The New Year's Day, one of the great festivals, was according to the French calendar celebrated on the 12th of January. In the beginning of January also the big fair of Jukkasjärvi was arranged where also people from Tornio used to travel.


At Easter the church services were many. There was no fasting as was the habit in the Catholic countries, but people practised some forms of abstinence at one's own discretion.


Thursday, the eighteenth, in the holy week, the inhabitants went to church ; there was a sermon, but no communion. On Friday, the nineteenth, they went more generally : they gave a sermon with communion ; many received the Lord's Supper. In the afternoon, a second discourse was given, and the priest sang something from the pulpit. They do not fast commonly, even on Good Friday ; they however practice some mortifications, as they think proper : some more devout than the rest are nothing during the whole of Friday. Saturday, the twentieth, and Easter Sunday, the twentyfirst. Very fine and mild weather, the snow melted in the sun. Easter Day, the rector and the ministers did not administer the communion : people, however, went to church, and a sermon was given morning and evening.
(Outhier, Journal of a Voyage to the North, p. 319)

The first of the four annual intercession days fell on Friday, the 3rd of May. The weather was very warm. ' The inhabitants of the area went to church three times, at five in the morning for the first time, and spent almost the whole day there''.


At the shift of April - May a parish catechetical meeting was arranged, an examination meeting on the knowledge of the Catechism. The meeting took three days , and without distinction both the old and the young were examined on their familiarity with the Catechism. On Thursday and Saturday the meeting was held for the Finnish-speaking farm hands and maids, on Friday the meeting was for the Swedish-speaking burghers, who all were punctual in their arrival.


During the May intercession days, called bordering days, a good harvest was prayed for. The three days in question lasted from the Intercession Sunday to the Ascension Day.


They kept Easter the same day as we did, and Rogation Sunday as well. Monday, twenty-seventh, and Tuesday, the twenty-eighth, people went much to church : that day they preached on the gospel which we have for the Rogation mass. They call these days Gonge dagen, the days of prosession ; they however have no prosession, and are satisfied with preaching and signing the hymns of the church.
(Outhier, Journal of a Voyage to the North, p. 321)


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