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The Shakers Religion
Transcript of The Shakers Religion
-They thought they could connect with god themselves.
- The Shakers were more emotional and demonstrative in their worship than most religions. - They wrote thousands of songs and choreographed many dances.
- The songs and dances are important in their services.
- A spiritual "gift" could be a musical revelation
- It was important to record musical inspirations as they occurred.
- The scribes wrote using a musical notation called the letteral system. - Dedication and hard work with perfection has resulted in unique architecture.
-They made their items mostly out of wood local to them.
-Their simple designs have a big influence on American architecture.
-They created the circular saw, the clothespin, the modern broom, and many other items still used today. Shaker Timeline 1771 1840 1787 1870 1890 1989 Lee founds a new religious sect named the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, later known simply as the Shakers. "Mother Ann" announces that God's nature is dual, both male and female, and that to follow Christ's path believers must practice celibacy. A Shaker Is... A member of a Christian sect originating in England in 1747, practicing communal living and observing an unmarried status. The Information for this timeline was provided by a Shaker Timeline from PBS http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/shakers/timeline/ At the time the Ken Burns film The Shakers is made, fewer than 12 Shakers remain in two 200-year-old villages. The Shakers reach their zenith with about 6,000 members living in 19 communal villages. Many other visionary and utopian communities begin to flourish during this period of American history as well such as the Oneida Perfectionists, and the Amana Society. The first Shaker community is founded in New Lebanon, New York. The movement begins to travel westward. Their communities are renown for their industry, craftsmanship and inventiveness. All are based on communally-owned property. The church begins a campaign to find new converts as their membership diminishes. Industrialization brings new methods of production with which the Shakers cannot compete. The economic boom in the North proves enticing to many male members, who leave their communities. Many Shaker communities begin to fold, one by one. A Shaker Dance A Picture of the early Shakers A Shaker Church Session Shaker Founder Ann Lee -The Wardley Society, known as the Shaking Quakers or simply "Shakers", were a religious group in England founded by Jane Wardley, who had previously been part of the Quakers.
-Ann Lee, a blacksmith's daughter and a mill hand, joined this group in 1758 in search of a more personal and emotional religion.
-Ann Lee was not very active in the group until a series of unhappy events, including an arranged marriage and four dead children that all passed at a very early age.
-Lee struggled to find moral peace because of her strong opposition against sexual relationships. She therefore sought help and comfort from the leader, Jane Wardley, and the Shakers' message about celibacy. Why are the Shakers called the Shakers? The Shakers are called the Shakers because
they "shook" during religious ceremonies. -The Shakers started to be persecuted in England. After a vision of a large, bright tree representing the church Ann Lee was to build in America, she led her small band of eight to the free country.
-The Shakers arrived in New York City on August 6, 1774.
-They began to spread Shakerism in the United States. To many the religion was appealing because of its clinging to past ways as society was changing and because many believed it could achieve saintliness.
-Finally in the late 1780s, after much perseverance and many meetings, the Shakers prospered with 12 settlements and many followers. Shaker "families", or small Shaker communities, had formed. -The shaker religion is governed by a set of laws known as Millennial laws. They are communal living, celibacy, confession of sins, and sexual and racial equality.
-Once joined, everything you own goes to the community.
-There are three families: Mills, East, and Center. Mills are located near the mills. The East (also known as the gather order) is for the children and new converters. The Center is in the center and is in charge of the other two. They were the most spiritually advanced.
-Each family is mostly separate and governed by its own Elder, Eldress, Deacon, and Deaconess. Origin America Separation Of Sexes -Women are known as sisters and men as brothers.
-The men and women had to use separate staircases, doors, and they lived on separate sides of the house.
-The only time the men and women could interact was during "union meetings." Shaker Music Additional information from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakers
http://www.smith.edu/hsc/silk/papers/larbi.html Decline -During a short time in jail, due to loud church services considered a public nuisance, Ann Lee claimed Lord Jesus came to her cell and united with her body and spirit. This made her the Female Christ Jane Wardley had predicted would one day arrive.
-This event led to Lee's rank rising to that of Mother and she began having visions. She replaced Jane Wardley as leader of the Shakers. -Mother Ann, frail after so many hardships, died at the age of 48 in 1784.
-Shakerism declined starting in the 1860s mainly because the supposedly perfect, strict, and controlled Shaker communities that had once attracted people had become unbearable. The new generation had moved forward in modern society and had no desire to return to ways of the past.
-The only Shaker community left, made up of just a handful of people, is in Sabbathday, Maine. - The day begins for many at 7:30 am; the Great Bell on Dwelling House rings, calling everyone to breakfast.
- At 8:00 am morning prayers start. Two Psalms are read, then passages are read from elsewhere in the Bible.
- Following this is communal prayer and silent prayer, concluded with the singing of a Shaker hymn. Work for the Shakers begins at 8:30.
- Work stops at 11:30 for midday prayers. Lunch begins at 12:00. This is the main meal for the Shakers.
- Work continues at 1:00 pm. At 6:00 it is dinner time, the last meal of the day.
- On Wednesdays at 5:00 pm they hold a prayer meeting which is followed by a Shaker Studies class. This has been our presentation on the Shaker religion