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This is an essay on Ritual in Early Modern Europe. Muir’s work in  Ritual in Early Modern Europe can be  separated into three segments. The first is a study of ritual and time, particularly addressing rites of passage and the liturgical calendar. The first key section is concerned with rituals of time: rites of passage of the individual and the social body, and a variety of divisions and rhythms of the ritual calendar. The second section is given over to what Muir stipulations the lower and upper bodies:

Muir’s work in  Ritual in Early Modern Europe can be  separated into three segments. The first is a study of ritual and time, particularly addressing rites of passage and the liturgical calendar. The first key section is concerned with rituals of time: rites of passage of the individual and the social body, and a variety of divisions and rhythms of the ritual calendar. The second section is given over to what Muir stipulations the lower and upper bodies: in the former case, rituals of Carnival, charivari, and various types of formalized violence, in the latter case rituals defining the “civilizing process”. For the majority part skirting the question of relationships between Christian rituals and their pagan antecedents, Muir in its place focuses on three other, interrelated themes. First, he mulls over the body in Catholic rituals: sacraments that marked the stages of an individual’s life; great feasts, such as Corpus Christi, devoted to Jesus; and lesser festivals celebrating local saints. Here were sources for the Western thought of time and models for civil and political rituals.

The thesis of this book is that the Reformation became a break point in which the nature of ritual was distorted from a means of encountering the supernatural to a means of representing the supernatural. Rituals that once permitted for the expression of human social life as well as access to divine existence and blessing became rituals that guide to a deeper perceptive of God (Truth) and moral and charitable obligations.

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