Middle Ages
The Cathedral in Medieval Life

The Cathedral in Medieval Life
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.37

     challenging words:    guild, pilgrimage, provided, mainly, medieval, decision, nuns, religion, bishop, wealthy, travelers, cathedral, sacred, public, daily, destination
     content words:    Middle Ages

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The Cathedral in Medieval Life
By Sharon Fabian

1     Once the decision was made to build a cathedral in a medieval town, everything changed. The town was no longer just a town where people came to buy and sell. It was now a cathedral town.
2     Life centered around the cathedral in a cathedral town. It was a part of everyone's daily life, from the bishop, to the cathedral builders, to the shopkeepers.
3     Officially, a cathedral was the bishop's headquarters. The bishop was a high church official. He was in charge of a large area, known as a diocese, that included many parishes and many small local churches. The cathedral was the location of his official throne or chair, known as a cathedra. That is where cathedrals got their name.
4     The other priests and the staff of the church lived nearby and made up part of the cathedral town. Groups of monks and nuns often lived in monasteries near the cathedral too. Groups of students, who were in training to be priests, would live there while they attended the cathedral school.
5     Since building a cathedral was a long-term project, cathedral builders made the town their permanent home. So did the artisans who made the stained glass windows and the stone carvings for the cathedral.

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