Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/121

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
107
THE KISS OF PEACE

all the officiating clergy with many different ceremonies.

The holy kiss soon spread beyond the walls of the church, and came into usage even in secular festivities. Thus, during the Middle Ages, it was the custom to seal the reconciliation and pacification of enemies by a kiss. The old German poets mention such a kiss under the name of "Vredekuss," and so widespread was the custom of the kiss of reconciliation, that the verb at sone, or udsone, got the meaning of "to kiss." Sônen has still this meaning in Frisian.

In an old French miracle-play St Bernard of Clairvaux says to Count William and the Bishop of Poitiers, who had had a long-standing feud with each other, and between whom he had managed to make peace: "In order to show that your friendship is true and sincere, you must kiss each other." Count William then goes up to the bishop, saying: "My lord, I crave your forgiveness for the wrong I have inflicted on you; I have erred greatly towards you. Kiss me now to seal our peace, and I will kiss you with loyal heart."

Even knights gave each other the kiss of