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Wiarze wa do tògo Przëmierza;
Wiarze twój synów, ë jich synów,
Ë w zamian, bãdze miał pòkój...
|Religion in Esquarium|
|Tradition and practice|
Rodnéwiary (from the Lec for "ancestral faith"), sometimes called Lecian traditional religion or Rzékobògism, is a monotheistic ethnic religion associated with the Lec people, a Slavic ethnic group native to the Esquarian continent of Borea. Based upon the principles laid out in the Uczénjë, Rodnéwiary's primary sacred text, the religion is dedicated to the worship of the deity Rzékobòg and to upholding the covenant supposedly made between Rzékobòg and the Lecs during the early common era. Traditional Rodnéwiary belief holds that, in exchange for the perpetual loyalty and worship of the Lec people, Rzékobòg promised to lead the Lecs to a new homeland, Lecia, where they would be safe from hostile interference. The Rodnéwiary religion is headed by the Archbishop of Szimóngôcz, a title currently held by Cërël XI.
Rodnéwiary religious doctrine holds that the religion was created with the supposed formation of the covenant between Rzékobòg, Bògùsłôw I, and the Lec people in 117, and that the Lecs arrived in Lecia in 219, under the leadership of Bògùsłôw's grandson Władëmar I. However, most archaeologists and historians agree the Lecs probably arrived in Lecia in the 400s, and speculate that Rodnéwiary was descended from West Borean Slavic paganism; they hold that the Lecs were initially a monolatrous tribe focused around Rzékobòg, then a river deity, that eventually became monotheistic. Nevertheless, by the 600s, Rodnéwiary was indisputably a monotheistic faith with an established religious hierarchy, similar in many ways to its modern form.
Rodnéwiary has traditionally held a very important position in Lecian society, culture, and politics. Rodnéwiary clergy formed a substantial portion of the Grand Dorada during its existence, and the Archbishop of Szimóngôcz controlled a substantial part of Lecia during the Four States Period. While the temporal power of the church was weakened by kings such as Sztefan I and Krësztof I, it generally enjoyed close relations and beneficial treatment by the Kingdom of Lecia and held a privileged position up until the Second Lecian Revolution. Following the rise of the Workers' Republic, however, the religion has suffered substantial persecution within its home country; churches and monasteries have been forcibly shuttered, much of the clergy was driven into exile, and the public celebration of Rodnéwiary holidays is banned within the country.
Throughout its existence, and due to its power within Lecian society, Rodnéwiary developed a rich artistic and cultural tradition deeply interwoven with Lecian culture. The Church of Rodnéwiary, Rodnéwiary's formalized religious hierarchy, was an important patron of the arts for much of Lecian history, and traditions of Rodnéwiary art, music, and theater have developed and flourished for centuries in Lecia. The religion also has a strong monastic tradition, and a mystical tradition based around an esoteric text known as the Tajémnica.
Estimates regarding the number of Rodnéwiarists in Esquarium are unreliable, due to the widespread suppression of Rodnéwiary in Lecia, the religion's birthplace. Attempts at estimating the total number of active Rodnéwiarians have produced results ranging from 3.2 million to 5.8 million practitioners. The majority of the religion's followers are believed to be in Lecia, with substantially smaller Rodnéwiary populations present in Namor, Sjealand, Luziyca, and Ainin.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Beliefs
- 3 Practices
- 4 History
- 5 Movements
- 6 Organization and administration
- 7 Demographics
- 8 Culture
- 9 Criticism
- 10 Persecution
The name "Rodnéwiary", which serves as the most common name for the religion both within Lecia and abroad, is a contraction of the Lec phrase rodna wiara (in Old Lec, rodna vera), commonly translated as "ancestral faith" or "native faith". The phrase first appears in a document from the 10th century written by Archbishop Bòlesłôw IV, in which Bòlesłôw IV uses the phrase "in accordance with our ancestral faith"; the first written instance of the phrase as the single word rodnéwiary appears in the 14th century, several centuries later, in a letter written by an unidentified Rodnéwiary monk to a prominent clergyman; rodnéwiary appears to have entirely superseded rodna wiara by the 16th century, and remains the most common name for the religion today.
"Rzékobògism" (rendered in Lec as rzékobògizm), an uncommon alternative term for Rodnéwiary, is derived from Rzékobòg, the name of Rodnéwiary's central deity. "Rzékobòg" is generally agreed to have derived from the Lec words rzéka, meaning "river", and bòg, meaning "god". "Rzékobògism" is effectively unattested before the 18th century, when it appears in an Aininian encyclopedia as risécobogisme. During the late 19th century, a small movement of Rodnéwiary clergymen led by Jerzy Siwicki argued for the adoption of "Rzékobògism", arguing it was "closer to the central creed and purpose of our faith" than Rodnéwiary; however, the movement failed to gain traction, and use of "Rzékobògism" remains atypical.
The earliest recorded Rodnéwiary creeds are found within the Uczénjë, the religion's primary holy text, in a variety of forms throughout the work. Numerous statements of faith can be found in the books of Windzeniô and Prësłowy, and to a lesser in Napiszy; however, these are merely individual tenets, and are not held as creeds on their own; rather, they are regarded as individual tenets or statements of belief.
The earliest complete creed within the Uczénjë is typically considered to be in Windzeniô, when Rzékobòg forms a covenant with Bògùsłôw I and the Lecs under his leadership. The covenant consists of a series of simple religious laws, including an establishment of the exclusive relationship between Rzékobòg and the Lecs, basic rituals of worship and sacrifice, and injunctions against theft, adultery, lying, and murder. While the covenant has thus gained some traction as a creed of sorts, others have argued that certain parts of it- such as the injunctions against adultery and murder- do not qualify as core theological tenets of the Rodnéwiary faith, and thus would be out of place in a creed. Others note that some important injunctions and stipulations, such as the injunction against the worship of self-proclaimed messiahs, are not present in the covenant and only appear later in the text.
The book of Prësłowy, which functions as a codified text of religious law, also stipulates several core beliefs in its initial verses. These include the tenets and injunctions of the covenant between Rzékobòg and the Lecs, and several subsequent injunctions added throughout the remainder of the Uczénjë. However, usage of this creed remains problematic in Rodnéwiary eyes for many of the same reasons that use of the covenant as a creed proves problematic.
As a result of these issues, there have been several attempts by Rodnéwiary theologians and clergy to develop a single standardized set of core tenets for the religion. The medieval Rodnéwiary theologian Szimón Pénderecki recorded what he considered to be the nine core tenets of the religion in his 1193 work On the Heart of our Ancestral Faith. Pénderecki's nine tenets are as follows:
- I believe with perfect faith that Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, is the first and the last, and the creator and guide of all which exists; He alone has made, makes, and will make all things.
- I believe with perfect faith that Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, manifests in the three aspects of Mercy, Might, and Fate; and that while He manifests in three aspects, they are all part of Him, and He is one.
- I believe with perfect faith that Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, is the one and only god, and I will recognize no true gods but Him.
- I believe with perfect faith that it is only Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, who is worthy of our worship and prayer; and I believe with perfect faith that there is nothing else, whether supposed god or upjumped man, to whom it is right to worship or pray.
- I believe with perfect faith that Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, has chosen us as His people upon this world, and that He has accorded us His special favor.
- I believe with perfect faith that Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, led our forefathers to Lecia to protect and to guide them, and that He continues to protect and guide us until this day.
- I believe with perfect faith that the Uczénjë is the same one compiled by Chief Władëmar using the writings of his father and his grandfather, and that it remains as true as it was when it was compiled.
- I believe with perfect faith that the Uczénjë was made at the will of Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, and that it will never be replaced or exchanged by another.
- I believe with perfect faith that Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, rewards those who keep His laws and punishes those who break them, both now and in the hereafter.
While Pénderecki's nine core tenets are widely used, both by individual Rodnéwiarists and at times by the Church of Rodnéwiary, there has nevertheless been some criticism of them. Sùlisłôw Kotônski, a 14th century Rodnéwiary theologian, accused Pénderecki of diminishing the importance of the Knégi Modreców, a collection of respected theological texts and commentaries written by preeminent Rodnéwiary clergymen and theologians, in relation to the Uczénjë; Kotônski further argued this exclusion could be used to minimize or undercut the authority of the clergy by heretical movements. Others, such as Archbishop Dobrosłôw V, argued that the inclusion of a point relating to eschatology was largely unnecessary and superfluous. Nevertheless, use of Pénderecki's tenets remains widespread among Rodnéwiarists, and is generally accepted by the modern clergy.
A subsequent attempt to formulate a single set of tenets was made by theologian and philosopher Andrzéj Sosna in the 18th century. Sosna wrote, in a letter to his wife Józefina, that his goal was "to reduce the essence of Rodnéwiary to its simplest, to use as few points as possible while still covering the most area". Sosna's five tenets are as follows:
- I believe that Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, is the one and only god, the creator of all things, and the only thing worthy of my worship.
- I believe that Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, has chosen the Lecs as his favored people for our piety and our diligence, and that we receive especial blessings from Him.
- I believe that Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, led us to Lecia to protect us from our enemies, and that he continues to support and guide us into the present.
- I believe in the completeness and the truthfulness of the Uczénjë and the Knégi Modreców, and in their usefulness as guides in all things.
- I believe in the righteousness, mercy, and justice of Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, and in the righteousness, mercy, and justice of the clergy he has ordained.
Sosna's five tenets address many of the issues raised with Pénderecki's nine; they include acknowledgements of the role played by the Knégi Modreców and the Church of Rodnéwiary, and omit any mentions of eschatology while retaining a remark emphasizing the role of Rzékobòg as a dispenser of justice. In spite of this, though, they have still received some criticism. Sosna's contemporary Włodòmierz Grzéskowicz said Sosna's list was too short, and argued that, while the list contained a remark painting Rzékobòg as the dispenser of justice, the remark was "merely cursory" and "failed to adequately emphasize the supreme righteousness of Rzékobòg... [and] his promise to reward the pious and punish the sinful". Others, such as the late 19th century clergyman Krësztof Wôchowszki, critiqued the list for its failure to include references to Létosc, Władosc, and Dólôj as Pénderecki's had.
In the present day, Pénderecki's list of nine tenets is commonly considered to be the most widely used Rodnéwiary creed, with Sosna's list trailing in second place. Both lists are considered "adequately orthodox" by the Church of Rodnéwiary, and have been given official sanction and usage by the church at various times; many informative materials published by the church list both creeds, as does the church's official website. Archbishop Bòlesłôw XIV declared both Pénderecki and Sosna to be "laudable individuals for their attempts to refine and explore our faith" in a 1986 speech; the sitting Archbishop of Szimóngôcz, Cërël XI, has previously said that "while creeds are a useful method of introduction for the unfamiliar... they prove incapable of truly conveying the true depth and meaning of the Rodnéwiary faith".
Rzékobòg is the sole deity recognized by and worshiped in modern Rodnéwiary, held by Rodnéwiarists to be an eternal being, the creator of all things, and the divine protector of the Lec people. He is further held to be omnipotent, omniscient, and, typically, omnibenevolent. Unlike the deities in many other Esquarian monotheistic religions- such as Tastanism and Costeny- Rzékobòg is held to be immanent rather than transcendent, and is further held to have a physical form, typically depicted as a three-headed dragon. As a result of this willingness to depict Rzékobòg and the ubiquity of icons and religious artwork in Rodnéwiary temples, Rodnéwiary is sometimes held to be idolatrous, though others argue it is better classified as iconodulist as these icons, while venerated, are not the primary focus of Rodnéwiary worship.
In Rodnéwiary theology, Rzékobòg is accorded three "aspects" or "facets": Létosc (mercy), Władosc (might), and Dólôj (fate). Each of these aspects is given its own personality: Létosc is considered gentle, forgiving, and loving, but sometimes weak and complacent; Władosc is just, honorable, and strong, but sometimes vengeful and impatient; Dólôj serves as a leader, a mediator, and a decision-maker for the aspects, but can sometimes be arbitrary in his decisions. However, it is widely emphasized by Rodnéwiary theologians that these three aspects are merely parts or features of Rzékobòg, who remains a single deity, and that these aspects cannot exist or be worshipped separately from each other. The 15th century theologian Sobiesłôw Adómczyk maintained that it was this belief in the "oneness" of Rzékobòg that separates Rodnéwiary's belief in aspects from polytheism:
It is well clear that Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, has three aspects with distinct natures and traits, and that it is these three aspects in conjunction who guide and determine His actions; the personalities of Dólôj, Létosc, and Władosc have all been clearly documented, as have their roles in guiding the actions of Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, with regards to the world and its people. This can be found in the Uczénjë many times, as well as in the great works of the Knégi Modreców.
But at the same time, it is well clear that these three aspects are mere parts of one whole, like the facets of a gemstone, the tributaries of a river, or the branches of a tree; though they may have different aspects, these things are all parts of one whole, and the unity of the whole cannot be denied; and those wholes would be missing part of their own without them. Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, is like this; though He may have aspects, these aspects are but part of His undeniable oneness and greatness.
In figurative depictions of Rzékobòg, these aspects are typically assigned to each of Rzékobòg's three heads, with Létosc on the left, Władosc on the right, and Dólôj in the middle.
Rodnéwiary holds that Rzékobòg is a personal god, rather than an impersonal god or force. Many Rodnéwiary hymns, including several drawn directly from Napiszy, emphasize the nature of Rzékobòg as a deity with whom the faithful can build a personal relationship. 16th century theologian Jaroszcłôw Perszycki wrote an entire work, The Presence of Our God, dealing with the personal nature of Rzékobòg; Perszycki declares that "Rzékobòg, our god and protector, is one who listens to our prayers, accepts our sacrifices, and repays piety with His favor... He is a living god, who hears us and answers us, and guards us in times of trouble". Cërël XI, the incumbent Archbishop of Szimóngôcz, noted in a 2016 encyclical that "Rzékobòg... is not detached from us; He is a living god who is with us throughout our lives".
Rodnéwiary rejects the notion of using "intermediary figures" such as angels, prophets, or saints to reach Rzékobòg as heretical. Dobrosłôw Błaszczi, an 8th century Rodnéwiary monk, recorded an explanation of this doctrine in his work On the Worship of Our God:
Rzékobòg, may His name be praised, has ordained a clergy over us, not so that we may worship this clergy, but so that they will guide us in how best to worship Him. This clergy recognizes certain men as saints, not so that we may worship them, but so that we will learn from the piety of these wise men, and follow them in faithful service to Rzékobòg, may His name be praised... Rzékobòg, may His name be praised, has no equal or comparison, and there is nothing worthy of our prayer but Him. He has no gods besides Him, nor angels underneath Him, as the false faiths claim; it is only He who is worthy of worship.
Rodnéwiary further rejects the notion of praying to Rzékobòg's aspects, maintaining that it is only right and effective to pray to Rzékobòg as a whole. Błaszczi wrote in On the Worship of Our God that "it is impious to worship only a single aspect of Rzékobòg, may His name be praised, who is wholly worthy of worship in all things... He is one, and He thus receives our offerings and prayers as one".
The religion also maintains steadfastly that Rzékobòg has not and will not name a messiah or savior, and firmly denies the claims to authority made by any self-proclaimed messiah. This doctrine is derived from a story within the Uczénjë dealing with an encounter between the Lecs, at the time supposedly heading to Lecia under the leadership of Władëmar I, with the followers of an individual named Prawósłôw, who claimed to offer salvation to those who worshiped him; after some of the Lecs were taken in by his claims, Rzékobòg descended from the heavens, killed Prawósłôw and his followers, appeared before the Lecs, and declared that they "must never worship men who claim the powers of gods... thou hast been saved by one alone, and He stands before thee now; and there shall be no other".
Rzékobòg is accorded several titles and honorifics in Rodnéwiary. He is often euphemistically referred to as "Our God" (Naszë Bòg) by Rodnéwiarists in everyday speech, and for brevity in written texts. Usage of the name "Rzékobòg" in Rodnéwiary texts is typically followed by the phrase "may He be exalted"; the phrases "may His name be praised", "may He bless us", and "may He guide us" are considered to be equally valid by Rodnéwiary clergy, but are not as widely used.
Saints in Rodnéwiary are referred to as szacowni (pl. szacownë), usually translated as "venerable" or "esteemed". In the traditional Rodnéwiary conception of sainthood, a saint is an individual who shows exceptional or remarkable piety and devotion to Rzékobòg, and is thus granted special favor and recognition by Rzékobòg himself. The 13th century Rodnéwiary monk Aleksander Bãdrewszczi wrote that a saint was "an individual who has wholly given himself to Rzékobòg and the faith... [and] thinks of naught but piety, duty, and righteousness". The official website of the Church of Rodnéwiary defines a saint as "an individual who has been formally recognized for their unflinching moral virtue and their service both to Rzékobòg and to their fellow man". Mysticist trends in Rodnéwiary, meanwhile, tend to consider saints to be "individuals who have completely overcome their human imperfections and achieved a unique oneness with the love and awe of Rzékobòg".
Several types of individuals have been recognized as saints in Rodnéwiary. These include major figures in the Uczénjë, archbishops of Szimóngôcz and other high-ranking clergymen, the founders of various monastic orders, leading Rodnéwiary theologians and mystics, secular leaders considered to be patrons or allies of the Church of Rodnéwiary, and martyrs.
While the tradition of sainthood is not explicitly outlined in the Uczénjë, it nevertheless has a long tradition within the faith, with reference to saints, sainthood, and canonization found as far back as the 7th century. The Lives of the Venerable, the earliest-known text devoted to retelling the lives of Rodnéwiary saints, was written by the monk Iszydòr Kartëszczi in the 9th century. This tradition was quickly adopted and formalized by religious authorities, and has subsequently become an important part of Rodnéwiary religious tradition. Some heterodox movements, most notably the Czystists, rejected the recognition of saints; however, these groups have never gained mainstream acceptance, and the veneration of saints remains near-universally practiced and officially sanctioned.
Unlike religions such as Christianity, which emphasize saintly intercession, it is strictly forbidden to pray or make offerings towards saints in Rodnéwiary, as this is considered to violate the prohibition against worshiping individuals other than Rzékobòg. The construction of altars to saints and the veneration of relics are also explicitly forbidden. Instead, Rodnéwiary perceives saints as spiritual guides whose lives, actions, and works can help other people become closer spiritually to Rzékobòg. Władësłôw Sùlëcczi, a Rodnéwiary clergyman from the 14th century, wrote that "through careful study of the lives of saints, an individual can learn how to devote himself to Our God, may He guide us, in all their actions... many of the great saints were themselves inspired by what was written about the deeds and words of those pious folk who came before them".
The Church of Rodnéwiary uses a formal, standardized, multi-step process of canonization in the declaration and recognition of saints, akin to Christianity and Costeny. In response to a petition from local church officials, filed at least five years after the death of the candidate, a church body known as the Convocation for Saints and Sages opens an investigation into the life of the candidate, examining their deeds, writings, and statements to verify the piety of the candidate. If the results are satisfactory, then the candidate is accorded the title of pomócnik (literally "helper"); if the individual is regarded to have "shown to a remarkable degree the values of piety, duty, prudence, charity, and justice", then they are accorded the title of szanowni (literally "honorable"). From there, the Convocation may choose to investigate whether or not there is "evidence of divine favor... or intercession" in the life, deeds, or words of an individual who has been accorded the title of szanowni; if at least two pieces of admissible evidence are found, then the candidate is formally given the title szacowni and elevated to the sainthood.
The most important sacred text in Rodnéwiary is the Uczénjë, a mixture of narrative, codified religious law, and hymns. The Uczénjë is traditionally held to have been compiled by Władëmar I, the supposed chief of the Lecs during the final years of the Great Exodus, after the Lecs arrived in what is now Lecia. Rodnéwiary sources typically agree that Władëmar I composed the text in the 220s and 230s, using earlier writings by himself, his father Tëmon I, and his grandfather Bògùsłôw I, under whom the exodus supposedly began; they also agree that the text was compiled with divine inspiration from Rzékobòg. Religious scholars, however, dispute the veracity of this traditional narrative, and typically maintain that the Uczénjë was probably compiled in the late 6th or early 7th century by the Council of the Holy, a body of eight clergymen who served as the top Rodnéwiary religious authority until 698, using a mixture of traditional myths, folk tales, and invented stories.
The Lec word uczénjë literally translates to "teachings" or "instructions", and the text has seemingly been referred to by this name since its creation; the earliest known manuscripts of the Uczénjë, dated to the 8th century, refer to the text with the Old Lec form of the word. In the present day, it is common for Rodnéwiarists to refer to the text as "the Holy Uczénjë" (Swiãta Uczénjë); however, this is a comparatively recent trend, and is believed to have been inspired by the tendency among Christians and Muslims to similarly prefix the Bible and Qur'an. Both Rodnéwiary and non-Rodnéwiary sources do agree that the Uczénjë was originally written in Old Lec; however, the Church of Rodnéwiary has periodically "updated" the text to reflect evolution in the Lec language while retaining the meaning of older versions, and as a result it is near-universally written and read in modern Lec in the present day.
The Uczénjë is divided into four books, whose names are based around the central theme for each book:
- Stwòrzeniô ("creation"), which retells the creation of Esquarium, life, and humanity by Rzékobòg.
- Windzeniô ("exodus"), which retells the migration of the Lecs to Lecia under the protection of Rzékobòg.
- Prësłowy ("sayings"), which serves as a codified collection of theological tenets, religious law, and proverbs.
- Napiszy ("writings"), which consists of a collection of prayers, poems, hymns, and psalms.
Stwòrzeniô and Windzeniô, as the two narrative books at the two books most focused on mythical and historical events, are commonly grouped together by religious scholars. Stwòrzeniô deals heavily with primeval history, and begins with the supposed creation of the world by Rzékobòg; initially the world is dry and desolate, according to Stwòrzeniô, but Rzékobòg creates water and, shortly thereafter, a first attempt at life; this first attempt at life is unsatisfactory, however, and Rzékobòg destroys it in a flood before creating life a second time. This new life is satisfactory to Rzékobòg and he spreads it, including humanity, across the world; from here, Stwòrzeniô says that "the forms of life became distinct", a verse whose meaning has been interpreted in multiple fashions. Later chapters of Stwòrzeniô detail the emergence of the Lec people, and contain stories in which Rzékobòg is impressed by the piety of the Lecs and gradually begins to favor them.
Windzeniô takes place several hundred years after the final events of Stwòrzeniô, and describes the region of West Borea inhabited by the Lecs as divided, unstable, and violent. Rzékobòg appears to Bògùsłôw I, a major Lecian chief, and tells Bògùsłôw I to gather the Lecs so that they can be led to a new homeland where they will be safe from hostile interference. Following a series of miracles performed by Rzékobòg, Bògùsłôw I is able to unite the Lecs under him, and Rzékobòg, Bògùsłôw I, and the Lecs agree to a covenant whereby the Lecs and their descendants will worship Rzékobòg and adhere to his laws in exchange for being led to safety. Following this, what is termed the Great Exodus begins. The exodus continues under Bògùsłôw I's son Tëmon I and grandson Władëmar I; during the exodus, Rzékobòg intervenes on several occasions to protect the Lecs from famine, disease, geographic obstacles, and hostile forces (including forces of the ex-Lysandrene, Bo, and Neo-Sepcan empires), and from schismatics and apostates who renege on the covenant. The book ends with Władëmar I establishing the town of Kijówò, the mythical capital of the First Chiefdom of the Lecs.
The remaining two books, Prësłowy and Napiszy, are commonly grouped together as the two non-narrative books of the Uczénjë. Prësłowy is a codified collection of religious laws, theological information, and proverbs. These injunctions cover a variety of subjects, including a restatement of the covenant between Rzékobòg and the Lecs, basic theological tenets, ethical codes and punishments, various moral injunctions, ritual laws relating to worship and prayer, and didactic proverbs. Napiszy, meanwhile, consists of a variety of poems, psalms, hymns, and prayers for a variety of purposes and situations, many of which remain widely in use by Rodnéwiarists into the present day.
The Knégi Modreców ("books of wise men") is a collection of commentaries, oral laws, and theological or philosophical treatises written or recorded by several prominent Rodnéwiary theologians throughout the course of the religion's existence. While not held with the same degree of respect as the Uczénjë, it is nevertheless regarded with great respect by most Rodnéwiarists, and is typically considered an important part of the Rodnéwiary religious tradition. Jùliusz Modrzewski, the current Bishop of Bónôwy, said in 2012 that:
The Knégi Modreców are a crucial part of the living tradition of Rodnéwiary, one which puts us in an ongoing conversation with our forefathers for generations, and ties us into an ancient and noble tradition. Through reading the Knégi Modreców carefully, we can better understand how our forefathers lived and worshiped, receive generations' worth of spiritual guidance, and become closer to Rzékobòg, may He be exalted... The amount of wisdom and guidance in the 1,800 years or so of works contained within is unparalleled, I would say, by any other religious tradition in Esquarium.
Works within the Knégi Modreców, and the authors of these works, are divided into groups based on the time period of their writing. Authors whose works were written before the 7th century are called Pisarznë ("scribes" or "writers"); authors whose works were written between the 7th and 13th centuries are called Pòwtórzniki ("repeaters"); authors whose works were written between the 13th and 18th centuries are called Klarowniki ("explainers" or "clarifiers"); authors whose works were written after the 18th century are called Opórzny ("late ones"). Many of the authors whose works are included in the Knégi Modreców were subsequently elevated to sainthood after either the formal inclusion of their works or their deaths.
An official list of works considered to belong to the Knégi Modreców is maintained by the Convocation of Words and Texts, a body of the Church of Rodnéwiary. The Convocation of Words and Texts has the authority to formally induct works into the Knégi Modreców if they are deemed worthy. As of 2018, 223 works have been formally included within the Knégi Modreców by the Convocation.
Wybranosc ("chosenness") is the belief that the Lecs are the chosen people of Rzékobòg, specially selected to be in a covenant (przëmierza) with him. This belief is considered to be a core belief of Rodnéwiary by many Rodnéwiary theologians, and is included in the core tenets listed by both Pénderecki and Sosna; similarly, the covenant made between the ancient Lecs and Rzékobòg is an important part of many Rodnéwiary prayers and hymns, and is the source of many rituals and holidays.
For thou art a noble and pious people, steadfast in thy faith and honorable in thy actions, and I have thus chosen you to be My favored peoples upon this world; and if thou obey My words, and keep the covenant between us, then I will grant thee peace and plenty, and give thee a homeland to call thine own.
Rzékobòg also promised that he will never exchange his people for another:
Therefore I have established My covenant with thou, to be God to thou and thy descendants after thou forever. And thou shall be a holy nation unto Me until the end of days.
The Uczénjë maintains that the Lecs were chosen after several centuries of observation by Rzékobòg; Stwòrzeniô documents several supposed instances of the Lecs proving to be more noble and pious than their neighbors, and thus consequently being rewarded by Rzékobòg. Rzékobòg supposedly first declared the Lecs his chosen people to Bògùsłôw I, a Lec chieftain, warning him of an impending attack by rival tribes and offering to lead the Lecs to what is now Lecia, where they would be able to live in peace. The chosenness of the Lec people was then formally confirmed by this covenant, made between Rzékobòg and the Lecs under Bògùsłôw I shortly before the beginning of the Great Exodus, in which the Lecs vowed to uphold certain rituals and duties in exchange for Rzékobòg's favor, guidance, and protection.
It is typically agreed by Lec theologians that, in forming a covenant with the Lecs, Rzékobòg charged them not just to uphold these rituals, but also with a special mission to exemplify piety and fidelity towards him; Bògùsłôw VIII, archbishop during the 15th century, described this as "a charge to be a light unto the nations of the world". As a result of this sentiment, most Rodnéwiary texts do not state "Rzékobòg chose the Lecs" by itself, instead linking it with the notion of being specially charged to live in a holy fashion.
Views on the status of other ethnic and national groups in relation to that of the Lecs vary within Rodnéwiary. Some theologians, such as the 20th century theologian Adóm Wyszënski, argued that Rzékobòg appeared in different guises to multiple peoples across Esquarium, choosing each of them for a distinct purpose, and that the Lecs had simply been the people chosen by Rzékobòg to act as exemplars of piety, diligence, and faithfulness. While individuals such as Maréùsz Dobrosłôwszczi claimed that the chosenness of the Lecs demonstrated that they were "a superior people to the other races of the earth", others, such as Bòlesłôw Sarbiewski, argued that this status implied no inherent superiority and, instead of being a license for special privileges, entailed additional duties and responsibilities for the Lec people. In addition, some have espoused interpretations of chosenness explicitly deemed unorthodox by Rodnéwiary clergy; Wòjcech Chylinski, a 19th century mystic and associate of Andrzéj Kùmiéga, argued that the souls of all altruistic or moral people were "Rodnéwiary souls" and thus chosen by Rzékobòg, even if they were the souls of individuals who were not Lec or did not practice Rodnéwiary.
Rodnéwiary places little emphasis on eschatology, actively rejecting concepts such as messianism, the end times, and apocalypticism; this places it into opposition with many other Esquarian monotheistic faiths, such as Tastanism and Costeny. In Rodnéwiary belief, creation has no end, and simply continues for eternity, changing both for better and for worse. The 9th century Rodnéwiary theologian Jerzy Pawełszczi wrote several texts detailing this eschatology and denouncing the eschatologies of other religions as fatalistic and "without spiritual justification".
Rodnéwiary doctrines relating to personal eschatology proclaim the existence of an immortal soul, which persists after death. The Rodnéwiary afterlife is divided into three sections, known as Ogród, Granca, and Piôsky. Ogród ("the garden"), a walled city dominated by parks and gardens, is regarded as the paradisal final abode of the righteous and the faithful and Rzékobòg's seat of power; the inhabitants of Ogród will have their every wish fulfilled, and live without hurt, sorrow, fear, or shame. Beyond the walls of Ogród is Granca ("boundary" or "limbo"), a city that serves as the abode of virtuous unbelievers; inhabitants of Granca will live comfortably, but not without toil. Beyond the walls of Granca is Piôsky ("the sands"), a vast desert into which immoral and impious souls are cast; the inhabitants of Piôsky are cast there for eternity as punishment for their sins, left sunburnt and parched without any chance of escape.
Rodnéwiary ethics are a major category of doctrine within the Church of Rodnéwiary, and are derived primarily from the Uczénjë, the Knégi Modreców and other writings by prominent theologians, decrees issued by the clergy, concepts of natural law, and other traditional moral codes. They encompass a variety of areas, including social teaching, medical ethics, sexual ethics, business ethics, and doctrines on individual moral virtue. It is sometimes referred to as Rodnéwiary moral theology ("dealing with how one is to act"), to contrast it with Rodnéwiary doctrinal theology ("dealing with how one is to think").
Rodnéwiary ethics emphasize the notion of living a righteous life by acting justly and kindly towards other people, remaining truthful and honesty, working diligently, and showing humility and piety in matters of faith. Different individuals have taken different approaches to Rodnéwiary ethics, including didactic, deontological, teleological, dialogic, and pietistic approaches.
Public worship services in Rodnéwiary are held weekly, on Saturday mornings. This tradition is based upon a command given by Rzékobòg to the Lecs within the Uczénjë; during the Great Exodus, Rzékobòg supposedly ordered the Lecs to hold worship on Saturdays, as the Lecs would ultimately arrive in their promised land on a Saturday. After the end of the exodus, Władëmar I proclaimed that worship would continue to be held on Saturdays, as an expression of gratitude towards Rzékobòg, thanking him for leading the Lecs to Lecia as he had promised. The vast majority of Rodnéwiary congregations use a standard liturgal rite prescribed by the Church of Rodnéwiary, sometimes referred to as the Szimóngôcz Rite by religious anthropologists and theologians.
Before the beginning of worship, all worshipers are expected to perform ablution (òbmëcé). Several types of water are permitted for ablution in Rodnéwiary, including spring water, river water, well water, and rainwater, so long as the water has not been rendered impure by another substance. Historically, the usage of river water and well water predominated in Rodnéwiary ablution; in the modern era, however, most Rodnéwiary churches contain a designated room with basins or taps to be used for ablution. Worshipers are obligated to wash their face and their arms up to the elbow three times before the beginning of worship.
Following ablution, worshipers are permitted to enter the worship hall. Service begins with the singing of a hymn, usually taken from the book of Napiszy, by the congregation; this, in turn, is followed by an offering (zértwa) made by the priests on behalf of the congregation to Rzékobòg. This offering, first prescribed in Windzeniô, is mandated again and justified in Prësłowy:
For Our God, may He be exalted, nourishes us by bringing forth the grain from the soil, that we may make it into bread, and by giving us dominion over the animals, that we may drink their milk and eat their meat, for all these things are done through Him; therefore, to thank Him for our nourishment, we offer these blessings back unto Him, as was commanded of our forefathers by Our God at the start of the Great Exodus.
In reference to this verse, the offering must contain some form of bread, milk, and meat. While the offering must contain these three times, it is by no means limited to these things; other items commonly or historically included within offerings include fruits, honey, incense, spices, tobacco, tea, and alcoholic beverages. Before the offering is given, the priest and congregation repeat a call-and-response exhortation, asking Rzékobòg to accept their offering. The meat, bread, and other solid items are then burnt, while the liquid items are slowly poured onto the fire as a libation.
After the offering is made, a second hymn- typically a hymn of thanksgiving- is sung by the congregation. This in turn is followed by a reading from a weekly portion of the books of Stwòrzeniô or Windzeniô; the readings are arranged so that the entirety of the two books are read over the course of a Rodnéwiary calendar year, with the beginning of Stwòrzeniô being read at the first weekly service following Rodnéwiary New Year and the end of Windzeniô being read at the final service before the new year. This is followed by a sermon delivered by a priest, typically though not necessarily relating to the reading delivered that day.
The sermon is followed by a prayer; this prayer varies between one of six standardized formats, depending upon the month in the Rodnéwiary calendar. These prayers, unlike the exhortation delivered before the offering, are not call-and-response, but are instead delivered solely by the priest. After the standardized portion is delivered, a priest may also ask for Rzékobòg's support in certain issues facing the parish, though this is not obligatory. This is then followed by a period of silent prayer, during which worshipers can silently offer personal petitions for help to Rzékobòg. The prayer is ended by the priest saying "niech tak bãdze" ("let it be so"), which is then repeated by the congregation.
After the prayer comes a ritual known as piciótka (from pic, "to drink"), sometimes compared to the Christian ritual of the Eucharist and the Tastanist ritual of water libations. A priest pours holy water into a chalice and ritually consecrates it, then presents the chalice to the congregation, after which the holy water is distributed and consumed. Piciótka is followed by a closing hymn, after which the service ends.
In addition to Saturday services, some Rodnéwiary congregations also schedule weekly prayer meetings, typically led by clergymen and open to all laypersons. These prayer meetings are shorter than Saturday services, typically containing only the offering, the group and silent prayer, and one or two hymns. In addition to supplementing the Saturday service and providing social support to those attending, these meetings also historically served as a primary source of news or other information for congregants. Special prayer meetings may be called during times of common crisis or concern.
Traditionally, Rodnéwiarists are expected to offer prayers to Rzékobòg three times a day: in the morning (ranek), at noon (pôłnié), and in the evening (wieczór). These prayers can be offered individually, or as part of a small group; communal and individual prayer are regarded as equally valid by the Church of Rodnéwiary. Each of these prayers has been standardized by the Church of Rodnéwiary, beginning with a declaration of faith known as the Głoszenie ("proclamation"):
Rzékobòg, Our God, may You be exalted! We proclaim with perfect faith our steadfast fidelity to You, and humbly ask You for Your blessing in all things.
The Głoszenie is followed by a second standardized segment which varies depending on whether or not the morning, noon, or evening prayer is being offered. After delivery of the standardized segment of the prayer, many Rodnéwiarists also offer an extemporaneous prayer, typically a petition to Rzékobòg asking for his blessing or support in dealing with the issues facing them.
In addition to these obligatory prayer services, Rodnéwiarists may recite any number of other prayers or benedictions while performing various actions throughout the course of the day. These prayers are not mandatory, but are strongly encouraged by Rodnéwiary clergy. These prayers include prayers to be recited upon waking, before meals, before boarding a vehicle, when bathing, upon recovering from illness, and on certain holidays.
Many practicing Rodnéwiarists also make individual offerings (zértwy pòjedinczy) to Rzékobòg; this practice is not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged, with some clergymen- such as Bishop of Ricérzów Jón-Łukôsz Wójcik- suggesting that it should be practiced at last once a day by Rodnéwiarists. As with the offerings made during communal worship, individual offerings must contain some form of bread, milk, and meat. Holy water, blessed by priests and obtained by the faithful for individual use, can also be used in personal worship to ward off sickness, evil, or ill fortune.
The word "church" is commonly used as a default term for Rodnéwiary places of worship outside of the Lec language; however, the Church of Rodnéwiary uses a variety of Lec language terms to refer to places of worship, based upon their size, their role, which clergymen are seated there, and the number of parishioners.
The smallest of these buildings are kaplëcë (sing. kaplëca), a term used to refer to rural churches, chapels, and meeting houses. Above the kaplëcë are kòscóły (sing. kòscół), or larger churches; above these are sobóry (sing. sobór), or cathedrals, which serve as the central churches of bishoprics. The building that seats the Archbishop of Szimóngôcz is referred to as a wélikosobór (literally, "great sobór"); the de jure wélikosobór, the Great Cathedral of Szimóngôcz, is controlled by the Lecian regime, which refuses to allow any religious ceremonies at the site; the de facto seat of the Archbishop of Szimóngôcz, the Cathedral of Saint Lôwrénty V in Asgård, Sjealand, is sometimes unofficially considered a wélikosobór, but is only formally ranked as a sobór by the Church of Rodnéwiary. Additionally, churches or cathedrals located at particularly holy sites are sometimes given the prefix czcigodni, literally meaning "hallowed" or "venerable"; for example, the Church of the Arrival in Rédniëwies, where the Lecs supposedly first set foot in Lecia, is sometimes referred to as a "hallowed church" (czcigodni kòscół).
While there is no formally set blueprint for Rodnéwiary religious buildings, many Rodnéwiary churches use a cross-in-square format, with a central dome- either rounded or pointed- located in the central of the building. It is unclear how or when this style of construction first became widely used for Rodnéwiary churches; while some argue it was derived from the construction of Christian churches in Argilia, others have argued that the core unit of the cross-in-square church was also widely used in the construction of large residential structures during the Second Chiefdom of the Lecs. Interior decorations in Rodnéwiary churches frequently depict Rzékobòg, Rodnéwiary saints, and scenes from the Uczénjë, traditionally through stone carvings or frescoes and mosaics, though newer churches often use stained glass. Use of water motifs, possibly a remnant of Rzékobòg's probable origin as a river deity, is also common.
Nevertheless, all Rodnéwiary churches have several common interior features, such as an area or room for ablution, an altar, a piciótka table, a pulpit, and a box known as a kiót used to hold the Uczénjë and religious icons, located in the sacristy. A baptistery, cemetery, or bell tower might also be located on the church grounds.
Other important types of buildings in Rodnéwiary include shrines known as gôczi (sing. gôcz), typically located at sites associated with saints, holy wells, or holy springs; sóbranji (sing. sóbranja), religious seminaries operated by Rodnéwiary clergy; and klôsztorny (sing. klôsztorn), monasteries or nunneries operated by a Rodnéwiary religious order.
Rodnéwiary holidays (swiãteka, sing. swiãtek), sometimes called "good days" (dobri dniów) or "days of awe" (dniów trépetu), are special days in the Rodnéwiary calendar that commemorate the history of the Lecs as detailed in the Uczénjë, the passage of the seasons and the year, and central themes in the relationship between Rzékobòg and the world, such as creation, forgiveness, and redemption. The holidays are held based on the date in the Rodnéwiary calendar; however, because both the Rodnéwiary calendar and the Gregorian calendar are solar calendars, most Rodnéwiary holidays are held on the same day each the Gregorian calendar year.
Rodnéwiary holidays are typically broken into four groups: Dzén Stwòrzenia (the Rodnéwiary calendar new year), the dniów Windzenia (holidays relating to the Great Exodus as told in Windzeniô), the four seasonal holidays (holidays dedicated to the passing of the seasons), and the three "other holidays" (holidays not fitting into any of the aforementioned categories).
Dzén Stwòrzenia ("day of creation") is the traditional Lec new year's day, celebrated on the 1st of Łrzëkwiôt (April 14th). Historically also known as Nowirok ("new year"), Dzén Stwòrzenia is now sometimes called Stôri Nowirok ("old new year") to distinguish it from the Gregorian new year. Outside of Lecia, it is often called Rodnéwiary New Year.
Dzén Stwòrzenia marks the supposed anniversary of the creation of the world by Rzékobòg on the 1st of Łrzëkwiôt, 4192 BCE, and as a result is considered by some to be the most important of the Rodnéwiary holidays. During the days leading up to Dzén Stwòrzenia, Rodnéwiarists typically clean house, symbolically tied to the concept of the renewal of the earth. The house is then typically decorated with bouquets and garlands; cyclamens, cornflowers, irises, mariposas, and poppies are particularly popular flowers for this purpose. In some regions, particularly in the south of Lecia, it is also common to buy new clothes for the new year during the days leading up to Dzén Stwòrzenia.
The morning of Dzén Stwòrzenia begins with a church service using a special liturgy, focusing on themes of remembrance, renewal, forgiveness, and the majesty of Rzékobòg. Revelers then return home to gather with friends and family, sing celebratory songs and hymns, and exchange gifts. In the evening, revelers gather for a special meal; this meal is preceded by a special prayer to Rzékobòg, and is typically dominated by sweet foods such as fruits, jams, honey, pastries, puddings, and confectioneries, symbolic of wishing for a "sweet new year". Popular dishes for Dzén Stwòrzenia include pùrczeky, babka, sërenówka, kremówka, and limonówka. In recent years, the making of New Year's resolutions has also become widespread, in imitation of the tradition of making of resolutions to celebrate the Gregorian new year.
Though formally considered a one-day holiday by the Rodnéwiary clergy, some Rodnéwiarists celebrate the day before Dzén Stwòrzenia as Kùnc Roku ("end of the year"), dedicating the day to celebrating the events of the past year, commemorating passed friends and family, and praying to Rzékobòg for good fortune in the new year. During the closing hours of Kùnc Roku, toasts are offered to Rzékobòg, friends and family, the departed, memories, and finally to the coming new year.
The current Lecian regime has attempted to suppress the celebration of Dzén Stwòrzenia as part of a broader campaign against the practice of Rodnéwiary, blocking public celebrations of the holiday, ordering labor unions to restrict vacation time around April 14th, and encouraging the transfer of more secular portions of its celebration to the Gregorian new year. In spite of these efforts, however, economic data produced by the Economic Planning Committee and the Alliance of Lecian Labor Unions shows an annual spike in the sales of products potentially related to Dzén Stwòrzenia- including household cleaning supplies, bouquets and flowers, jams, and candies and confectioneries- in early and mid-April, suggesting that celebration of the holiday remains relatively common within Lecia.
The dniów Windzenia ("days of the Exodus") are four holidays relating to stories told within the book of Windzeniô, which documents the journeys of the Lecs from West Borea to Lecia under the guidance and protection of Rzékobòg, and the leadership of the chiefs Bògùsłôw I, Tëmon I, and Władëmar I. These four holidays, in order of when the incidents they are supposedly based upon occurred, are Dzén Przëmierza, Dôwacka, Dzén Pokuti, and Dzén Przëbëwac.
Dzén Przëmierza ("day of the covenant"), celebrated on the 25th of Zélnik (September 7th), supposedly commemorates the formation of the sacred covenant between Rzékobòg, Chief Bògùsłôw I, and the Lec people, and the subsequent the beginning of the Great Exodus, on September 7th, 117. As a result of the theological importance of the covenant between Rzékobòg and the Lecs and the chosenness of the Lecs, Dzén Przëmierza is sometimes considered the second-most important holiday in Rodnéwiary, surpassed only by Dzén Stwòrzenia, and is regarded as the most important of the dniów Windzenia.
Rodnéwiarists are obligated to participate in a water fast, consuming only water, between sunrise and sunset on Dzén Przëmierza. On the morning of Dzén Przëmierza, Rodnéwiarists attend a special church service, where the piciótka is proceeded by a ritualized reaffirmation and renewal of the covenant between the Lec people and Rzékobòg. After the service, revelers may participate in parades commemorating the Great Exodus, or watch religious plays known as nauczanie depicting scenes from the book of Windzeniô; the latter tradition has historically been particularly popular in rural areas. After sunset, families gather for a special meal, during which they make a special prayer to Rzékobòg, thanking him for his protection and reaffirming their loyalty to him. This meal typically contains items that have been roasted or pan-fried, such as czuróka, wëpôlca, and zarieniki, served alongside green onions, in imitation of the meals supposedly prepared by the Lecs after the formation of the covenant. This meal is then followed by a reading of the relevant chapters of Windzeniô by one or more family members.
Dôwacka (from Lec dôwac, "to give"), celebrated on the 7th of Płënik (February 19th), marks the supposed salvation of the Lecs from starvation by Rzékobòg. According to the Uczénjë, the Lecs- still under the leadership of Bògùsłôw I- were crossing a great mountain range, commonly agreed to be the Luziycan Pine Cordillera, but were unable to find food for themselves or their animals in the rough terrain. Facing starvation, Bògùsłôw and his eight high priests beseeched Rzékobòg for aid; Rzékobòg responded by making it so that the Lecs were miraculously provided with bread, water, and fodder each morning, so that they could feed themselves and their animals.
As a holiday, Dôwacka is focused primarily around thankfulness and charity. As with many other Rodnéwiary holidays, Rodnéwiarists begin the day with a special church service, focusing on giving thanks for Rzékobòg's assistance and protection. Alms and tithes are also collected during the service, for distribution to the poor by the church; many Rodnéwiarists also give alms individually on Dôwacka. Churches and other organizations perform nauczanie and distribute food- traditionally bread or other baked goods, but commonly dried foods and canned goods in the modern day- to the poor and needy. The day ends with a meal typically dominated by bread products such as bułka, weka, płaska, zakwas, and sërenik, and accompanied by a reading from the Windzeniô.
Dzén Pokuti ("day of repentance"), observed on the 28th of Lëpiec (August 10th), is focused around the themes of atonement and repentance. The holiday is derived from an incident in Windzeniô during the rule of Chief Tëmon I, in which many of the Lecs rose up against Tëmon and his Council of the Holy, complaining that the Great Exodus had gone on for too long, and that they were going to settle at their present location rather than journey all the way to the promised land. Rzékobòg, in retaliation, ceased providing bread and fodder to the schismatics, caused the land they sought to settle to dry up, and inflicted upon them an intensely painful but nonlethal plague. After a few days, the schismatics returned to Tëmon and repented, swearing to continue the journey if he interceded to Rzékobòg on their behalf; after Tëmon's intercession, their sicknesses lifted, the miraculous bread and fodder resumed, the drought ended, and the Lecs continued on their journey under Tëmon's leadership.
Observation of Dzén Pokuti is typically very solemn. Rodnéwiarists are obligated to maintain a water fast from sunrise on the day before Dzén Pokuti until sunset on Dzén Pokuti. The observation of Dzén Pokuti begins with a special church service, focused upon asking for Rzékobòg's forgiveness and clemency, and upon the absolution of the sins of the faithful. Particularly important during Dzén Pokuti services is the offering provided to Rzékobòg. The offerings provided on Dzén Pokuti are larger than usual, and frequently contain rare items such as gourmet food and drink or expensive incense, in addition to the core offering of bread, milk, and meat; the burning of these items is interpreted as symbolizing the rejection of decadence in favor of humility and piety. At sunset, Rodnéwiarists write the sins they committed during the past year on a piece of paper, then burn the paper, symbolically casting off their sins. Many Rodnéwiarists also perform charity on Dzén Pokuti.
Dzén Przëbëwac ("day of arrival"), celebrated on the 19th of Łrzëkwiôt (May 2nd), is the second-most important of the dniów Windzenia and the earliest in the Rodnéwiary calendar year. The holiday commemorates the supposed arrival of the Lecs, now under Władëmar I, in Lecia on May 2nd, 219, as documented at the end of the book of Windzeniô; as a result, it is a day of rejoicing and celebration among practicing Rodnéwiarists.
Rodnéwiarists are obligated to maintain a water fast from sunrise to sunset on Dzén Przëbëwac. On the morning of Dzén Przëbëwac, revelers attend a special church service, focusing on celebration and thanksgiving. After the service, revelers may participate in parades celebrating the end of the Great Exodus while wearing fine clothes and costumes, or watch nauczanie depicting the arrival of the Lecs and the subsequent founding of Kijówò, the mythical capital of the First Chiefdom of the Lecs. After sunset, families eat a special meal containing dishes made with fruit, honey, and milk to celebrate the arrival of their ancestors in Lecia. Historically, it was common from Rodnéwiarists to undertake pilgrimages on Dzén Przëbëwac, with most pilgrims heading to Szimóngôcz (the center of the Church of Rodnéwiary), Bónôwy (where Bògùsłôw I, Tëmon I, and Władëmar I are supposedly buried), Rédniëwies (the spot where the Lecs supposedly first entered Lecia), or Ùchòj (supposedly built on or near the spot where Kijówò once stood). However, persecution of Rodnéwiary within Lecia has resulted in the sharp decline of this practice.
The four Rodnéwiary seasonal celebrations (sztërë swiãteka sezonowe) are seasonal festivals, celebrated on the solstices and equinoxes, that are more secular than most other Rodnéwiary holidays but nevertheless have certain religious and spiritual elements to their celebration. In order, they are Maslenica, Sobótka, Òrzniwinë, and Kòlãda. Many archaeologists theorize that these holidays are descended from pre-Rodnéwiary proto-Slavic festivals practiced by the Lecs and other Slavic tribes before the Lec migration to Lecia, and that their Rodnéwiary elements were developed later to bring them in line with Rodnéwiary practice. Nevertheless, they are formally regarded as Rodnéwiary holidays by the Church of Rodnéwiary, and by most observers and academics, due to the Rodnéwiary elements present in their modern celebration.
Maslenica, celebrated on Strumiannik 7th (March 21st during standard years, but March 20th during leap years), is the Rodnéwiary spring festival, dedicated to celebrating the beginning of spring and thanking Rzékobòg for the beauty of life and the earth. The day is typically marked with public celebrations and parades, drinking, and dancing around a maypole; in many communities, revelers also plant trees, flowers, and other plants, to celebrate the life and growth of springtime. In the evening, there is typically a communal banquet or potluck, which begins and ends with special prayers to Rzékobòg, thanking him for creating life and the bounty of the earth. The holiday has also popularly developed into a romantic holiday in Lecia, during which lovers exchange gifts such as flowers, confectionery, and other presents. As such, it is also a popular day for proposals and weddings.
Sobótka, celebrated on Czerwinc 8th (June 21st), is a summer holiday, marking the start of summer and thanking Rzékobòg for guiding and protecting the Rodnéwiary faithful. The day is traditionally marked with fairs, communal feasts, the singing of hymns, dancing in circles or around a maypole, and the launching of fireworks. In addition, it is common for revelers to travel to nearby rivers, streams, and holy wells to bathe, swim, procure holy water, and ask for Rzékobòg's continued protection and succor. Revelers may also float wreathes made of flowers or hay on rivers in an attempt to divine their fortunes; the longer the wreath stays afloat, the better fortune one will supposedly have. In the modern day, many Rodnéwiarists visit public swimming pools in lieu of rivers or holy springs.
Òrzniwinë, celebrated on Séwnik 9th (September 21st), is a harvest festival that marks the beginning of autumn and thanks Rzékobòg for the success of the year's harvest. Akin to the Saturnist holiday of Saturnalia, the day sees a temporary leveling of the social hierarchy, during which individuals of all social ranks and classes celebrate side by side. Fairs, the singing of hymns, the erection of maypoles, and circle dancing are all common on Òrzniwinë. As the day is considered to be auspicious, gambling and divination are also widespread during Òrzniwinë celebrations; many revelers play dice, board, or card games in the hopes of getting lucky. Playing or betting on games of traditional Lec sports such as hazéna is also widespread for similar reasons. The day ends with a special feast, typically with one's neighbors and community, celebrating the bounty of the harvest.
Kòlãda, celebrated on Gòdnik 8th (December 21st), is the Rodnéwiary winter festival, and thanks Rzékobòg for family, friends, and togetherness. The holiday is marked with holiday processions, reunions and meals with extended family, the burning of incense, and the lighting of candles. The singing of hymns and carols known as kòliadky (sing. kòliadka) is another important Kòlãda tradition; carolers known as kòlãdowanie, oftentimes children and typically dressed in traditional clothing and zoomorphic masks, dance and sing in exchange for fruit, candies, chocolate, and other gifts. In the evening, revelers light bonfires and gather around them with their friends and families, singing, dancing, and exchanging well-wishes.
Maslenica, Sobótka, Òrzniwinë, and Kòlãda are the only Rodnéwiary holidays whose celebration is permitted and recognized by the current government of Lecia; however, in accordance with its policy of state atheism, the government has attempted to strip these holidays of their religious and superstitious elements, discouraging and in some cases violently suppressing the singing of hymns, the offering of prayers, attempts at divination, and visits to holy sites. It has also attempted to re-brand the four seasonal holidays as secular ones, dedicating them to industrial workers, miners, farmers, and intellectuals, respectively. Outside of Lecia, however, celebration of these holidays continues to follow established traditions, ignoring the Lecian regime's attempt to alter the nature and celebration of the four seasonal holidays.
Three Rodnéwiary holidays are commonly known in Lec simply as "miscellaneous holidays" (rórzne swiãteka), as these holidays- Dzén Szacownych, Radonica, and Dzén Uczénja- do not fit neatly with the dniów Windzenia or the four seasonal holidays. As a result, they are typically grouped together as the "miscellaneous holidays", or are simply listed separately without any grouping.
The first of these holidays on the Gregorian calendar year is Dzén Szacownych ("day of the saints"), observed on Płënik 2nd (February 14th). Dzén Szacownych is dedicated to recognizing and commemorating the lives, deeds, and words of Rodnéwiary saints; Rodnéwiary theologian Bòlesłôw Sarbiewski described the day not just as commemorating saints, but additionally as "a thanksgiving to Rzékobòg, may He be exalted, for giving us an example in the actions of His loyal saints", a perspective that has since been formally adopted by the Church of Rodnéwiary. To mark Dzén Szacownych, Rodnéwiarists typically attend an afternoon service, during which a special prayer thanking Rzékobòg for the guidance of the saints is offered, and read from the works of the Knégi Modreców. In addition, some Rodnéwiarist families will serve fruit dishes or pastries as part of dinner on Dzén Szacownych, to symbolize the sweetness of the wisdom of the saints.
Radonica, observed on Rujan 12th (October 25th), is focused on remembering and commemorating the lives and memories of friends and family members who have died. The holiday, like the four seasonal festivals, is likely of pre-Rodnéwiary origin, and has similarly persisted and absorbed some Rodnéwiary elements over time. During Radonica, families travel to graveyards and clean the graves of their relatives and ancestors, decorating them with flowers emblematic of the gardens of Ogród. Families will also leave candles, incense, and food- typically sweet pastries such as kolôczki, drorzdzówky, or slëwaniki- at the graves. An individual's favorite food or drink might be left, if known; alcohol is sometimes left at the graves of adults, while toys or games might be left at the graves of children. The family then celebrates the memory of their lost loved ones, recalling and sharing their lives, and thanking Rzékobòg for the relationships they had with the deceased. After offering a prayer to Rzékobòg for the souls of the departed, the families return home. Members of the Lec diaspora, potentially unable to visit their ancestors' actual graves, might instead leave offerings at specially-constructed altars in their homes or churches.
Dzén Uczénja, celebrated on Gòdnik 13th (December 26th), commemorates the compilation of the Uczénjë by Władëmar I after the end of the Great Exodus. Rodnéwiarists believe that Władëmar I composed using earlier records written by himself, his father, and his grandfather, with divine inspiration from Rzékobòg, and that it was finished on December 26th, 235. On the morning of Dzén Uczénja, worshipers attend a special church service thanking Rzékobòg for the Uczénjë and the lessons contained within. Afterwards, it is common to read from or study the Uczénjë, watch nauczanie depicting stories from the books of Stwòrzeniô and Windzeniô, and light candles representing the knowledge and wisdom imparted by the Uczénjë unto the Rodnéwiary faithful.
Rodnéwiary practices two rituals commonly described by religious anthropologists as baptism. The first of these, makat (pl. makati), is a baptism by affusion or less commonly aspersion, performed on infants within the first two weeks of their lives. Makati are held by Rodnéwiarists as an acknowledgement of the infant's status as a Rodnéwiarist, and as a means of asking for Rzékobòg's assistance in raising the child. Makati follow a standardized liturgy, during which the child's parents, godparents, and the priest presiding over the ceremony pledge to raise the child to be an honorable, kind, pious person. This is followed by the priest reading an excerpt from the book of Windzeniô commonly known as the "sealing of the Covenant" (uszczelnãnie Przëmierza), in which Rzékobòg verbally consecrates the covenant between himself and the Lec people:
I bind thee to this covenant; I bind thy sons, and their sons, and all thy descendants and brethren for the rest of days. And in exchange for thy worship and fidelity, thou shalt have peace, and a land to call thy own.
After this, water is poured or sprinkled upon the infant's head. The priest then beseeches Rzékobòg, on the child's behalf, asking that they "guide, bless, and protect them for the rest of their days". It was historically common for children to be named during or immediately following the makat ceremony. The practice of ritually announcing the name of a child at their makat continues into the present, though most parents nowadays name the child at birth.
The second type of baptism in Rodnéwiary, pógròszat (pl. pógròszati), is a baptism by immersion and one of the two major coming of age rituals in Rodnéwiary. While makat focuses upon asking for Rzékobòg's help in raising the child as a Rodnéwiarist, pógròszat sees the child formally inducted as a full member of the Rodnéwiary community, and thus serves as an important rite of passage. After pógròszat, individuals bear their own responsibility under Rodnéwiary ritual law, tradition, and morality, and are able to participate in all areas of Rodnéwiary community life. Pógròszati are typically held when the child is between 12 and 16 years of age, and can be performed either in a baptistery or in a non-stagnant body of water, such as a river or lake.
Like makati, pógròszati follow a standardized ritual. Following an introductory reading, the individual being baptized affirms their belief in the major points of Rodnéwiary doctrine, including monotheism, belief in Rzékobòg and his aspects, the doctrine of wybranosc, and the sanctity of the Uczénjë, at the exhortation of the priest presiding over the ritual. The individual then states the Głoszenie, swearing to worship Rzékobòg alone, and is baptized by the priest. There is typically a party and a meal following the ceremony, during which religious items- such as prayer books, holy cards, icons, or idols- are given as gifts to the newly-baptized individual.
First piciótka is a ceremony in which a child first participates in the ritual of piciótka. It is one of the two major coming of age rituals in Rodnéwiary, typically celebrated when an individual is between 8 and 12 years of age. Rodnéwiarists regard first piciótka as an important step in the induction of an individual into the Rodnéwiary community, and as an important stepping-stone between the rituals of makat and pógròszat, in which the youth becomes increasingly aware of their responsibilities and obligations as a Rodnéwiarist.
Celebration of first piciótka is less elaborate than the celebration of a makat or pógròszat, but nonetheless important to many Rodnéwiarists. Children participating in the ritual typically wear white clothing, emblematic of piety and purity, or traditional dress. Afterwards, the child's family might host a party, where religious items and sweets will be given to the child as a gift.
Marriage constitutes one of the most important rituals in Rodnéwiary, which has its own set of wedding traditions. Rodnéwiary marriages are typically monogamous and opposite-sex, and are regarded by Rodnéwiarists as central to the community of faith, conferring important duties onto both parties. Rodnéwiary marriages must involve handfasting and the exchange of marital vows, overseen by a Rodnéwiary priest, but typically contain many more events conducted over three or more days.
Rodnéwiary marriages are typically preceded by a marriage proposal and period of betrothal. The Church of Rodnéwiary maintains that both participants in a marriage must have undergone pógròszat and must freely assent to the bond in order for betrothal or marriage to take place. Many marriage proposals occur on Maslenica, due to its status as a romantic holiday in Rodnéwiary. During this period, the couple and their families plan the wedding and the marriage contract and, historically, determined the dowry and bride price.
On the first day of the wedding, the individuals being married visit a church or a holy spring, performs ablution, and makes a special offering to Rzékobòg, asking that he bless the marriage. Afterwards, it is traditional for the couple, their families, and their friends to float wreathes made of flowers or hay on rivers in order to divine the future of the marriage; the longer the wreath stays afloat, according to traditional custom, the more successful the marriage will be. Afterwards, the attendees might receive wedding favors and give wedding gifts to the couple. Traditionally, the dowry and bride price would also be given on the first day of the wedding.
On the second day of the wedding, the couple is formally married by a priest. This traditionally occurs in a Rodnéwiary church, but a couple may be married in any location of their choice, so long as a priest is present to officiate the ceremony. Traditionally, red is the most widely-used color for Rodnéwiary wedding dress, as red was associated with good fortune due to Monic cultural influence; however, this has been replaced by white in recent decades due to the influence of the Nordanian-style white wedding. The priest leads the couple into the center of the church, where they stand on a piece of new, red- or rose-colored cloth, symbolizing their entry into a new life. The priest then handfasts the couple with a special embroidered cloth known as a rëcznik, and the couple exchanges their wedding vows; nowadays, the couple might also exchange rings, though this was highly uncommon in Rodnéwiary weddings before the 20th century. Once the couple has exchanged vows, the priest declares them married, leads the attendees in prayer, and blesses the couple. This is followed by dancing, singing, and a meal during which the couple drinks from a loving cup containing holy water blessed by the priest.
The third day of the wedding is devoted to celebration and well-wishing. The couple and their families host a large banquet or potluck, inviting large numbers of friends, extended family, and neighbors to join in the celebration. Sweet foods such as kolôczki, slëwaniki, pùrczeky, babka, kremówka, and limonówka, symbolizing a sweet future for the couple, are commonly served as part of this banquet. Speeches wishing the couple well are typically made by the parents of the couple, the groomsmen and bridesmaids, and other individuals wishing to deliver a speech; traditionally, the couple also delivers a speech thanking the guests for their well-wishes. The remainder of the day is dedicated to singing, dancing, and merrymaking.
Death and mourning
Following the death of a Rodnéwiarist, the individual's body is traditionally given to a burial society, typically affiliated with a local Rodnéwiary church. The burial society is tasked with preparing the individual's grave and body for burial. The body of the deceased must be cleaned of all dirt, bodily fluids, or other debris and ritually cleansed with water; it is then dried, dressed in traditional burial clothing (typically simple white or black robes), and placed in the coffin. Current promulgations by the Church of Rodnéwiary forbid the opening of the coffin after this point; as a result, all Rodnéwiary funerals are closed-casket.
The night before a funeral, the immediate family and close friends of the deceased attend a funerary vigil, where prayers and excerpts from Napiszy are read throughout the duration of the night. The funeral should occur three to five days after an individual's death. The individual must be buried; cremation is explicitly forbidden by the Rodnéwiary church, and embalming is strongly discouraged. A priest and the close family of the deceased lead a funerary procession to a graveyard; after reaching the graveyard, the priest leads the assembled mourners in a special mourning prayer, and the friends and family of the deceased offer eulogies. The priest asks Rzékobòg to admit the deceased into Ogród, then sprinkles the coffin with holy water; the coffin is lowered into the grave and buried, either by members of the burial society or by close friends and family, and the priest delivers a closing prayer.
There is a fourteen-day period of intense mourning following an individual's death, during which the deceased's friends and extended family are expected to dress simply in black or dark-colored mourning clothes, avoid merrymaking and joyous events, and offer special mourning prayers as part of the wieczór prayer. This is followed by an additional twenty-six days of mourning for the parents, siblings, children, and spouse of the deceased, during which similar restrictions are applied. On the fortieth day of mourning, it is customary for the close family of the deceased to visit their grave to decorate the grave with flowers and to pray for the deceased; this tradition is believed by anthropologists to be a pre-Rodnéwiary Slavic pagan ritual.
The historical roots of Rodnéwiary lie in West Borean polytheistic Slavic paganism during the early modern era, though when and how it diverged from these roots is a matter of contention between religious anthropologists and Rodnéwiary theologians. Rodnéwiary doctrine teaches that the Lecs embarked upon a lengthy exodus from West Borea to Lecia beginning in 117 CE, at the behest of Rzékobòg, who declared the Lecs his chosen people and swore to lead them to a promised land where they would be able to live in peace, protected from raids or invasions. With divine intervention by Rzékobòg, the Lecs supposedly fended off famine, disease, schismatics, and hostile forces from neighboring tribes and polities, allegedly reaching Lecia in 219. The vast majority of archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians reject this account, holding that the Lecs did not arrive in Lecia until the 400s CE, and that the Lecs- while potentially monolatrous before their migration- only became monotheistic afterwards. Theories as to why this migration occurred include a blight or drought in West Borea, violence between proto-Slavic tribes, and flight from the Sigilbearers or the Neo-Sepcan Empire.
Lecia had been uninhabited since the collapse of the Arénowo culture in the 200s BCE, due to the region's hostile terrain; this allowed the Lecs to settle the area with little opposition from other groups. By the 500s CE, the Lec people and Rodnéwiary had been firmly established in Lecia. At the time, secular power rested with the leadership of several major clans, and religious authority with the eight-person Council of the Holy, but the structures of secular and religious authority changed drastically in the 600s with the formation of the Second Chiefdom of the Lecs by Zenón Zenónszczi and the creation of the Archbishopric of Szimóngôcz by his grandson Tëmon IV. Though initially largely subservient to royal authority, the temporal power of the Church of Rodnéwiary expanded drastically during subsequent centuries, particularly after the creation of the Grand Dorada, a body composed of leading nobles and clergymen, in 1008. During this period, the church also developed strong monastic and mystical traditions.
In the aftermath of the collapse of the Second Chiefdom in 1238, the Rodnéwiary church was able to seize temporal control over a substantial area of the Rzëszù river valley, forming a polity based in Szimóngôcz and headed by the Archbishop thereof. The Rodnéwiary church was one of the most powerful entities in Lecia during the subsequent Four States Period, exercising great temporal and spiritual power across Lecia; the church played a critical role in the War of the Wheatfields and the Plaszkëwski coup in Ricérzów, and even made an unsuccessful bid to unify the country under church authority during the rule of Archbishop Bògùsłôw VIII. The church also served as a crucial patron for artists and musicians during this period, contributing greatly to the development of Lecian culture. However, church dominance was shaken by the temporary resurgence of Czystism and the appearance of Radostism during this period, and its temporal power was challenged by secular rulers, most notably those of the Duchy of Bónôwy.
Open hostilities between Bónôwy and the Archbishopric of Szimóngôcz came to a head with the Òdroda, or reunification of Lecia by Duke Sztefan II of Bónôwy, who declared himself King of Lecia in 1664 after seizing Szimóngôcz by force. Sztefan and his son Kôrol I had cold relations with the church, which they attempted to control through taxation and the installation of puppet archbishops; but relations between the monarchy and church were restored by King Jerzy I and Archbishop Bògùsłôw X with the 1745 Pact of Perpetual Amity. In subsequent decades, the church was greatly strengthened and enriched by state support, which allowed it to once again become one of Lecia's richest and most powerful organizations. These close ties attracted ire from growing republican and socialist movements, however; early revolutionaries such as Andrzéj Kùmiéga denounced the wealth of the Rodnéwiary clergy as a corrupting influence, while subsequent revolutionary leaders Jigór Małinowski and Szimón Kãszobùski despised Rodnéwiary as "backwards" and called for the total destruction of the church and faith.
Since the end of the Second Lecian Revolution, Rodnéwiary has been subjected to intense persecution within Lecia by the ruling syndicalist regime. Churches, monasteries, and seminaries have been forcefully shuttered, clergymen have been jailed or killed, and the celebration of Rodnéwiary holidays has been violently suppressed. Currently, the Church of Rodnéwiary primarily operates among the Lec diaspora, with most major religious bodies based in Asgård, Sjealand. The Church of Rodnéwiary has played an important role in highlighting human rights violations perpetrated by the Lecian regime, and has sponsored interfaith dialogue and programs celebrating Lecian culture; however, it has faced criticism for failing to adequately respond to corruption by church officials, and for upholding controversial doctrinal positions regarding issues such as sexuality and contraception. It has also struggled to keep diasporic Lecs within the faith in the face of rising tides of irreligion.
According to the book of Windzeniô, Rodnéwiary ultimately derives from the covenant made between Rzékobòg appears to Bògùsłôw I, and the Lec people at the beginning of the Great Exodus. West Borea, according to the text, was frequently wracked by inter-tribal conflict and under threat from the nascent Neo-Sepcan Empire. Rzékobòg supposedly appeared to Bògùsłôw in a vision and warned him of an impending attack that would destroy the Lec people; but swore that, if Bògùsłôw and the Lecs swore a covenant to worship him alone, he would lead them to a land where they would be able to live at peace, safe from enemy tribes or invaders. After Rzékobòg performed several miracles on his behalf, the majority of the Lecs agreed to follow Bògùsłôw and form a covenant with Rzékobòg, which is traditionally said to have been consecrated on September 7th, 117; according to the Uczénjë, those who refused were subsequently killed in an attack by a rival tribe. Following the formation of the covenant, Bògùsłôw selected eight priests to become the Council of the Holy.
Under Bògùsłôw's leadership and with Rzékobòg's intervention, the Lecs supposedly defeated an army led by Kurtsa, a Neo-Sepcan general who sought to capture and enslave them; the Uczénjë also states that Rzékobòg saved the Lecs from starvation by miraculously providing them with sustenance after they ran out of food in the Pine Cordillera, and quashed attempts by small groups of schismatics to renege on the covenant, either by inflicting punishment upon them or performing miracles to demonstrate his power. Bògùsłôw is traditionally held to have died peacefully in 172.
Bògùsłôw was supposedly succeeded by his son Tëmon I. Under Tëmon's rule, the Lecs are said to have defeated the rogue Lysandrene general Euripides with the help of Rzékobòg and Euripides's subordinate Cleon, and crossed the Gulf of Gelyevich; however, it also saw the largest defiance of Rzékobòg and the covenant by the Lecs, now remembered by the holiday of Dzén Pokuti. Tëmon supposedly died shortly after the crossing of the Gulf of Gelyevich, and was succeeded by his son Władëmar I; during Władëmar's reign, Rzékobòg's intervention allegedly helped the Lecs defeat a Bo army led by the general Cho Bak, protected them from raiders and local tribes, saved them from a severe illness, and prevented them being led astray by the self-proclaimed messiah Prawósłôw. The Lecs supposedly finally reached Lecia near what is now Rédniëwies on May 2nd, 219; shortly thereafter, Władëmar supposedly founded Kijówò as his capital and began to work on compiling the Uczénjë. Władëmar's heirs are held to have founded the First Chiefdom of the Lecs, which- according to traditional histories- lasted until 488, when it was destroyed by Rzékobòg as punishment for the impiety of its final rulers.
Archaeology, however, tells a different story as to the origins of Rodnéwiary. The vast majority of modern archaeologists and anthropologists reject the notions that the Lecs departed West Borea in the 100s CE and arrived in Lecia in the 200s CE, noting that archaeological evidence suggests Lecia was not permanently or widely inhabited between the collapse of the Arénowo culture in the 200s and the appearance of Lec artifacts in the 400s. Material evidence along the supposed route of the Great Exodus during the 100s-200s period has also not been found. Archaeologists such as Ulrikke Degns have concluded that the "overwhelming dearth of hard evidence... leaves no room for the story of the Great Exodus as told in Rodnéwiary sources". The majority of archaeologists and historians instead hold that the Lecs likely departed West Borea in the late 300s, arriving in Lecia by the 400s, and that the dates provided in the Uczénjë were likely invented retroactively. Sikke Baarsma hypothesized that the 117 departure date was likely chosen as it roughly lined up with the turmoil surrounding the fall of the Lysandrenes and the rise of the Neo-Sepcans, during which a sudden mass migration would seem more reasonable, while the 219 end date was chosen simply as it was distant enough to be out of the memory of anyone alive in the 600s-700s, when he theorized the Uczénjë to have actually been compiled.
While there is widespread agreement among historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists with regards to the timeframe of the actual migration of the Lecs, there is substantial dispute about what provoked it. The most widely-held line of thought, as postulated by individuals such as Brynhildr Aðalragnarrsdóttir and Raphaël Vaugrenard, is that the Lecs were fleeing forced resettlement by the Neo-Sepcan Empire; Mesians, proto-Slavs, and other non-Sepcan ethnic groups, uniformly referred to as kuleti in Sepcanic sources, were frequently forcibly resettled by the Sepcan and Neo-Sepcan Empires, and as a result it is suspected by many historians that the Lecs were attempting to avoid resettlement by migrating to an area where they would be beyond the reach of the Neo-Sepcans. Rzékobòg's promise to lead the Lecs to a land where they could live in peace is sometimes held as a reference to this motivation, as is the defeat of Kurtsa and the Neo-Sepcan army under his command. However, there is currently no evidence that securely confirms this hypothesis.
Some, controversially, have claimed that the migration occurred at the behest of the neo-Sepcans; in 2013, archaeologist Mstibor Gorović claimed to have found and translated a fragmentary Neo-Sepcan stele which stated that the Lecs were dispatched by a Neo-Sepcan emperor to conquer Namor, and theorized that the Lecs went rogue and settled Lecia once they were safely beyond the reach of the empire. However, other archaeologists have said that Gorović's translation relies too heavily on conjecture, and many have noted that there is no explicit mention of the Lecs anywhere on the surviving fragments of the stele; as a result, Gorović's claim is not widely accepted. Others argue that the Lecs might have been driven out by the Sigilbearers, a Tastanic religious order who waged holy war on the empire's behalf, and could have viewed the still-pagan Lecs as a target. Still others, such as Sigitas Petrauskas, have suggested that the migration was driven by natural causes, rather than by the Sepcans. Petrauskas claimed in 1999 that Neo-Sepcan records hinted at poor crop yields and unusually dry weather during the latter half of the 300s, which might have provoked a famine and driven the Lecs to search for different lands.
It is also unclear how exactly the polytheistic Slavic paganism practiced by the proto-Slavs became the monotheistic Rodnéwiary that existed by the 600s CE. This is complicated by a comparative lack of primary sources regarding Slavic paganism, which died out as a result of the rise of Tastanism, Costeny, and Sviatism. Religious anthropologists largely agree that Rzékobòg was originally a water deity, likely specifically of rivers, lakes, and fresh water. Daumantė Parulskytė hypothesized that pre-Rodnéwiary Rzékobòg might have been similar to the Miskist river deity Ežerinis, who- like Rzékobòg- is typically regarded as benevolent and protective of the pious. Many anthropologists and historians, including Hjalmar Ilvet and Istina Marić, have theorized that the proto-Slavs might have been henotheistic or monolatrous, recognizing the existence of many gods but only worshiping one; in this hypothesis, the proto-Lecs would have recognized the existence other Slavic deities, but were uniquely devoted to Rzékobòg, who functioned as their patron deity. This line of thinking is widely held by academic sources, but due to a lack of primary sources, cannot be solidly confirmed.
Regardless of these areas of dispute and uncertainty, however, it is near-universally agreed by historians and anthropologists that, by the 600s CE, the Lecs were practicing a strictly monotheistic faith that would be recognizable to modern Rodnéwiarists, with familiar worship rituals and an organized clergy headed by the Council of the Holy. It is also agreed that, by the 600s, the Uczénjë had been compiled into a single standardized text, and the first works of what would become the Knégi Modreców had been completed.
It is in the 600s, just before the foundation of the Second Chiefdom of the Lecs, that we begin to have contemporaneous records and primary sources regarding the history of the Rodnéwiary church and faith. By this point, the Rodnéwiary faith had already been organized into something resembling its modern form, with a standardized text for the Uczénjë and a formal liturgy for worship. The clergy was already organized into several of ranks, the highest of which known by the term "swôszénik" (commonly translated as "bishop"), and overseen by the Council of the Holy, a body of eight bishops whose members were selected after the death of a sitting member by the seven other member bishops. Rodnéwiary had also already developed a monastic element; several early monastic orders- including male orders such as the Svodechites and Samotnicans, and female orders such as the Channikites- already existed by this point.
At the start of the 600s, temporal power was largely held by a handful of major clans, such as the Zenónsczi, Czlëchòwsczi, Krzénsczi, Sùlëcczi, Bartôszczi, and Kyrzëcsczi. However, the Church of Rodnéwiary did exercise a certain degree of temporal power due to its land holdings, which gave it a power base, and its spiritual power, which gave it prestige. When Zenón Zenónsczi, the future Chief Zenón II, began his campaigns to unify the clans under his rule, he sought the sanction of the church in order to bolster his claim to the throne, arguing that his success would be proof that Rzékobòg had willed the title's re-creation; the church's support proved instrumental in convincing several clans to back his efforts. Zenón was declared Chief of the Lecs, the first holder of the title whose existence can be confirmed, in 642.
The centralization of power under the chiefdom by Zenón II and his heirs lessened the independent influence of the church in favor of secular authorities. This was due to the notion, widely held by the secular and religious elite at the time, that the re-creation of the chiefdom was proof that Rzékobòg had granted divine favor to its leaders; this concept led to a quasi-caesaropapist situation, in which the clergy was largely subordinated to secular power. The early chiefs were capable of exercising vast authority in ecclesiastic matters as a result; in 698, Chief Tëmon IV claimed that Rzékobòg had ordered him to replace the Council of the Holy with a single individual. The Council of the Holy largely refrained from challenging this decision until Tëmon named the respected but comparatively obscure abbot of the shrine of Szimóngôcz, Bòlesłôw, to the newly-created position; in spite of the Council's protests, however, Bòlesłôw became the first individual to hold the Lec title of sëlnoswôszénik, commonly known in English as the Archbishop of Szimóngôcz. Tëmon also reburied the supposed bodies of Bògùsłôw I, Tëmon I, and Władëmar I in the Tombs of the Venerable, a set of specially-constructed tombs near his capital of Bónôwy.
Nevertheless, the Rodnéwiary clergy did make some efforts to assert its independence from secular authority. Rather than move to Bónôwy, where the Council of the Holy and the Chief's court were located, Archbishop Bòlesłôw I opted to remain in Szimóngôcz, which provided a degree of protection from chiefly interference. The creation of the High Conclave by Archbishop Dobrosłôw I in 749 was an effort to deprive the chief of the ability to name archbishops by giving this power to leading clergymen; church leaders of this period also made efforts to lessen the dependence of monasteries on noble patrons, and newly-formed monastic orders such as the Semerovans and Olivians sought to establish themselves on land that was either owned by the church, or too remote to suffer from interference. These efforts had mixed success, however; in 763, Chief Nôrcyz I forced the resignation of Dobrosłôw I and installed a personal friend as Archbishop Iszydòr II, entirely bypassing the High Conclave created by Dobrosłôw two decades prior.
In spite of its lack of political power during this period, however, the Rodnéwiary faith and church exercised massive cultural influence over Lecia in this period; historian Yosimasa Hukuda wrote in 1988 that the Rodnéwiary church "more or less defined what would become Lecian culture thanks to its dominating influence over art, literature, and music during this seminal period". Clergymen and monastic orders quickly became important patrons for artists, commissioning stone carvings, stucco, icons and idols for decorative or religious purposes in churches and monasteries. Rodnéwiary monks also produced many illuminated manuscripts; many of these are copies of the Uczénjë and the Knégi Modreców, but prayer books, theological treatises, and historic or didactic texts such as the Record of Pious Rulers were also produced.
In addition to the visual arts, the church also sponsored performance arts. Monks also first set verses from Napiszy set to music during this period, using traditional instruments such as the swistek, szipacka, and dychek; while no compositions from before the 13th century have survived, these early hymns are nonetheless considered crucial in the establishment of the Lecian musical tradition. Churches also organized plays known as nauczanie (sing. nauczania), which depicted stories from the Uczénjë in order to relate these stories to illiterate peasants; these plays remained an important part of Lecian theater until the rise of the Workers' Republic.
In 944, a council of bishops was called by Archbishop Bòlesłôw IV to address the fact that changes in the Lec language meant the Uczénjë was no longer being written in the vernacular. This council agreed to create a body, the Conclave of Holy Words, tasked with modernizing the words of the Uczénjë while preserving its meaning; this body is the predecessor of the modern Convocation of Words and Texts. A small group of clergy, however, rejected this decision and broke with the Church of Rodnéwiary; this group, which also came to reject the Knégi Modreców, dubbed themselves the Czystists. The 900s were also an important period for Rodnéwiary mysticism; the oldest known version of the Tajémnica, the most important text in Rodnéwiary mysticism, has been dated to the 10th century, and mysticist ideas were apparently adopted by some monastic groups during this time.
Secular and religious power in Lecia once again came into conflict in 1001, when Chief Zenón VI- regarded by contemporaneous historians as a reclusive and indolent ruler- attempted to jail or kill several of his perceived opponents, including Archbishop Bògùsłôw III and several other prominent clergymen. This provoked the conflict now known as the Dorada War, which ended with Zenón keeping his title in exchange for ceding the vast majority of his power to a body known as the Grand Dorada, composed of representatives from prominent noble families and the clergy. With the weakening of central authority and the prominent position of clergymen within the Grand Dorada, the Rodnéwiary church was able to drastically increase its political power, its land holdings, and its wealth during the subsequent two centuries.
The powers of the Grand Dorada steadily expanded during the subsequent decades, even obtaining the power to depose sitting chiefs in the 1100s. This, combined with increasingly violent infighting between the leading noble families of Lecia, effectively crippled central secular authority in Lecia, allowing the faith to expand its power further. In 1231, the Grand Dorada narrowly voted to depose Chief Zenón VII and replace him with Łukôsz Perszysczki, but the vote was contentious, and Zenón VII and his supporters refused to recognize the result, leading to the War of Thorns. After the 1238 Battle of Jigrowò, in which the leaders and military capacities of both factions were largely destroyed, Archbishop Mikòłôj V declared that Rzékobòg had willed the destruction of the Second Chiefdom of the Lecs; the remnants of the warring parties, devastated following years of conflict, ultimately acquiesced to this notion, ending the existence of the Second Chiefdom and beginning the Four States Period.
1238 to 1664
The Four States Period is often considered to be the apex of the might and prestige of the Rodnéwiary church and faith. During this period, the Rodnéwiary church was the primary central authority within Lecia, and as a result it exercised vast power politically, spiritually, and culturally. While secular forms of art, literature, and theater came into their own during this period, the church nonetheless retained its status as the primary patron of the arts. During this period, churches and monasteries frequently commissioned icons, frescoes, and mosaics depicting religious figures and narratives; in addition to this formal church patronage, many leading clergymen also commissioned works for their private residences. The production of illuminated manuscripts, covering historical, theological, and didactic topics, grew dramatically during this era; the commissioning of theatrical and musical works also appears to have become more commonplace.
Possibly in reaction to the violence of the War of Thorns, there was a growth in Rodnéwiary monasticism in the decades following the collapse of the Second Chiefdom; the Boleslavite, Dobroslavite, and Cyrilline orders were all formed in the 1200s or early 1300s. This, in turn, led to a growth in the number of religious seminaries and monastic schools, through which the Rodnéwiary church became the leading patron of education in Lecia during the Four States Period. The growing number of sóbranji and monastic schools, in turn, triggered an explosion in theological thought and debate, reflected in the number of works from this period contained within the Knégi Modreców; famous theologians from this period include Sobiesłôw Adómczyk, Jaroszcłôw Perszycki, Sùlisłôw Kotônski, Kôrol Sztowski, and Archbishop Tëmon IV.
Politically, Lecia was divided between four main polities during this period. Three of these- the Duchy of Ricérzów, Duchy of Bónôwy, and Duchy of Mrzny- were hereditary, feudal polities. The fourth, the Archbishopric of Szimóngôcz, consisted of lands controlled directly and explicitly by the Archbishop of Szimóngôcz and the Rodnéwiary church. This division was formalized in large part by the Edict of Recognition, issued in 1251 by Archbishop Mikòłôj V, which declared that the church would recognize Ricérzów, Bónôwy, and Mrzny as legitimate successors to the defunct chiefdom. In addition to directly controlling a substantial portion of the country from Szimóngôcz, the faith- through its priests and officials- was able to exercise influence throughout the entirety of Lecia. In order to defend the territory it now controlled, and protect pilgrims and merchants, the Archbishopric created military orders such as the Cleonites and the Lutherans, which were able to establish themselves across Lecia through the church's patronage, further amplifying church power and allowing it to defend the land and wealth that it had amassed.
The growing power and wealth of the Church of Rodnéwiary had unintended consequences, however. Ancient monastic orders like the Svodechites and Channikites, who had amassed large amounts of wealth, were dismissed by many as having become "too worldly"; already facing stiff competition for recruits from newer orders, these ancient orders steadily dwindled before eventually ceasing to exist. In addition, the gap between the wealthy upper echelons of the clergy and poorer local priests widened substantially, triggering a theological backlash and calls for a return to a purer, less worldly, and more spiritual focus. Mendicant orders such as the Josephites, Sobieslavites, and Eupraxians, whose members were bound to vows of poverty, arose and grew rapidly during the 14th and 15th centuries; these orders were formally recognized by the church in an effort to co-opt their popularity. This backlash also manifested in the resurgence of the Czystists in the 1200s and the appearance of the Radostists, a universalist and egalitarian movement that espoused pacifism and the priesthood of all believers, in the 1400s; the church responded by violently suppressing these groups, most infamously in the so-called Radostist War, which was marked by the massacring of Radostist villages by Cleonite and Lutheran knights.
In spite of these issues, however, the Rodnéwiary church and the Archbishopric of Szimóngôcz exercised vast power during the Four States Period. During the rule of Archbishop Cërël III, the Archbishopric of Szimóngôcz- in alliance with the Duchy of Bónôwy- successfully deposed Duke Tëmon III Perszysczki of Ricérzów in the 1331-1334 War of the Wheatfields, replacing him with Tëmon IV Łiakòwski. Additionally, the ability of the church to operate freely and without fear of retaliation within the three secular states gave it a unique ability to intervene or interfere in their politics; the Archbishopric backed the selection of Kôrol Miastkòwski as the successor to the childless Duke Michòł II Vejlewszczi of Bónôwy in 1420, helped Mieczysłôw Wyrowinski usurp his brother, Duke Teodór V of Mrzny, in 1538, and provided military support to Andrzéj Plaszkëwski during the failed Plaszkëwski coup in 1549.
In 1472, Archbishop Bògùsłôw VIII made an effort to unify Lecia under the rule of the church, proposing to the leaders of the other three polities that, in exchange for guarantees of financial and military support by the church, they "henceforth recognize the Archbishop's role as the Holy Defender of the Lecs and the Viceroy of Our God, may He be exalted, on this world"; this proposal was not accepted. Bògùsłôw VIII also made substantial reforms to church administration, substantially expanding and reorganizing the church's main administrative body, the Sprawacja, throughout the 1470s; further reforms in this area were made on a smaller scale by Archbishop Józef IV, roughly a century later.
By the 1400s, however, the groundwork for the fall of church dominance was already being laid. As a result of certain decisions and actions taken by Jùlja I Miastkòwski of Bónôwy and her successor Feliks I Wiszniewski, the Duchy of Bónôwy increasingly found itself in a position to challenge the dominance of the Archbishopric of Szimóngôcz from the 1400s on; efforts by Archbishop Jùliusz to counteract this by expanding the Lutherans and formalizing the ability to excommunicate individuals proved largely unsuccessful. By the 1500s, the leadership of Bónôwy was able to act on an equal level with Szimóngôcz, to the detriment of church power across Lecia.
Now able to resist church interference in its own politics and to compete with the church in manipulating the politics of Mrzny and Ricérzów, Bónôwy and Szimóngôcz quickly became rivals, with both seeking to become the dominant polity within Lecia. Interference in the domestic affairs of Mrzny and Ricérzów left them weak and largely unable to resist this manipulation, and simultaneously deepened the animosity between Bónôwy and Szimóngôcz, which nearly broke into open conflict at several points throughout the late 16th and early 17th centuries. In 1624, Jerzy III of Bónôwy and Archbishop Bògùsłôw IX signed the Treaty of Reconciliation in a nominal effort to repair relations between the two polities; while this temporarily stifled open hostility between the two, the efforts of Bónôwy and Szimóngôcz to shape the politics of Mrzny and Ricérzów in their favor continued largely unabated, and before long there was once again open acrimony between the rulers of Bónôwy and the Rodnéwiary church.
In 1658, Duke Sztefan II Wiszniewski of Bónôwy inherited Mrzny from Môrcën IV Wyrowinski, starting a chain of events now referred to as the Òdroda. Fearing that the unification of Bónôwy and Mrzny under one ruler would disrupt the fragile balance of power between Bónôwy and Szimóngôcz, Archbishop Bòlesłôw XIII attempted to provoke a popular rebellion against Sztefan; these efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, however, and no revolt against Sztefan materialized. Shortly afterwards, in 1661, a bread riot in Ricérzów resulted in the flight of Duke Krësztof II Plaszkëwski, an ally of Szimóngôcz, from the city; while Krësztof struggled to organize a response, Sztefan marched north, seizing Ricérzów for himself. Bòlesłôw XIII, desperate to curtail Sztefan's rising power, excommunicated him and declared war upon Bónôwy. While the Cleonite and Lutheran orders were initially able to use their forts within the territories of Bónôwy and Mrzny to some advantage, the forces of the church suffered repeated defeats on the battlefield, and in 1664 an army under Sztefan's command was able to capture the city of Szimóngôcz and Bòlesłôw XIII. Shortly thereafter, Sztefan declared himself to be the first King of Lecia.
1664 to 1959
The foundation of the Kingdom of Lecia and the reign of King Sztefan I marked a drastic shift in power, in which the secular authority of the state reasserted itself over the church. Shortly after declaring himself king, Sztefan forced Archbishop Bòlesłôw XIII to abdicate and- for the first time in centuries- bypassed the High Conclave, naming his brother Feliks archbishop. He also moved his capital north from Bónôwy to Szimóngôcz, symbolically usurping the church's seat of power. Sztefan taxed the church heavily, confiscated large amounts of church land, disarmed the Lutheran Order, restricted the Cleonite Order to serving as a bodyguard for the Archbishop, and attempted to transfer the High Conclave's authority to appoint archbishops into his own hands. Lands confiscated from the church were distributed to Sztefan's allies in the nobility, while increased taxes on the clergy allowed Sztefan to slash taxes on the nobility and peasantry, making Sztefan wildly powerful with nobles and peasants. These actions were crushing blows to the prestige, power, and wealth of the church, which found itself unable to adequately respond.
Relations between the kingdom and the Rodnéwiary church remained poor under Sztefan's broadly-unpopular son Kôrol I. Kôrol's son Jerzy I, however, regarded the church as a potential ally for the monarchy, and worked extensively to reconcile the church with the crown, returning some church lands and significantly reducing the taxes levied on the clergy by King Sztefan. These efforts culminated in the the Pact of Perpetual Amity, signed by Jerzy and Bògùsłôw X in 1745; in exchange for the moanrchy keeping taxes on the church low, preserving its landholdings, and recognizing the authority of the High Conclave to name archbishops, the church vowed to recognize the final sovereignty of the monarch and to lend its explicit support to the king when asked. Jerzy's reforms allowed the church to regain some of its old power while guaranteeing its loyalty to the King. Over subsequent decades, the Church of Rodnéwiary would become one of the most prominent, and important, sources of support for the Kingdom of Lecia.
The arrival of Enlightenment ideals from Conitia and West Borea, which called into power the authority of the clergy and nobility while questioning religious orthodoxy, in the 1800s marked a new challenge to the church and the crown alike. The efforts made by King Krësztof I to address these concerns through reforms were not popular with many in the clergy, and Krësztof's efforts to raise taxes on church lands antagonized the clergy further. Krësztof's reforms were weakened or reversed by his successors Paweł I, Krësztof II, and Jerzy II; these efforts were typically backed politically and financially by church leaders, who regarded reformist doctrines as a threat to church power and traditional morality.
The perceived focus of the Rodnéwiary church on temporal wealth and power, combined with the de facto alliance between the clergy and the Kingdom of Lecia, led to intense criticism of the church in certain political and theological circles. Interest in Radostism and mysticism resurged during the 19th century, and the Neo-Radostist movement, influenced by both, was developed by heterodox theologians such as Wòjcech Chylinski and Swiëtosłôw Zelenski. The 1876-1879 Kùmiéga Rebellion, led by the composer and playwright Andrzéj Kùmiéga, an associate of Chylinski and Zelenski, arguably represented the peak of Neo-Radostism; while Kùmiéga was deeply spiritual, he and many of his close allies viciously criticized and disparaged the clergy, believing that the centralized leadership of the Rodnéwiary church ought to be destroyed in order to "purify" the faith. In spite of this criticism, though, Kùmiéga's regime took no formal actions against the church in order to retain the support of the liberal and social democratic groups participating in the rebellion.
Afraid of losing its privileged position in Lecian society, the Church of Rodnéwiary gave formal support to the regime of Jerzy II during the Kùmiéga Rebellion. This, in turn, fostered further anger at the church following the rebellion's collapse. Subsequent revolutionaries, such as Jigór Małinowski, Feliks Hołówka, Emil Médzynski, Szimón Kãszobùski, and Patrik Bòch were explicitly anti-religious, and authors and playwrights such as Eusebiusz Pliska, Irena Kokòszynski, Patrik Michònski, and Mikòłôj Sëlëczënski viciously mocked or critiqued the church in their works. The church responded by using its ties with the state to try and suppress this criticism, in exchange for preaching loyalty to the king; many anti-clerical authors were jailed for sedition, inciting violence, or immorality. The state also cemented the church's control over the country's schools during this period, in an attempt to suppress the spread of republican and socialist ideas.
The church again explicitly backed the Kingdom of Lecia during the 1914-1918 Małinowski Revolution, urging Lecians to take up arms on behalf of King Mikòłôj. Jigór Małinowski, the leader of the rebellion, regarded the church as reactionary, corrupt, superstitious, and oppressive, and declared that it "[would] have no place in the future of Lecia". During the rebellion, revolutionary forces plundered and desecrated churches, forcibly shuttered monasteries, and imprisoned and murdered Rodnéwiary priests. Lôwrénty V, Archbishop of Szimóngôcz at the start of the rebellion, was killed by revolutionaries only a few weeks after the start of the revolution while travelling between Szimóngôcz and Ricérzów. The Małinowski Rebellion was ultimately repressed, but continued discontent resulted in the 1957-1959 Kãszobùski Revolution; Kãszobùski, like Małinowski, was viciously opposed to the church, and revolutionaries once again sacked churches and jailed or killed priests. When it became clear that Kãszobùski was likely to win the war, many prominent members of the clergy fled Lecia, eventually regrouping in Sjealand, where King Krësztof III fled following his deposition.
1959 to present
The victory of the militantly anti-religious Lecian Workers' Republic in the Second Lecian Revolution resulted in the intense persecution of the Rodnéwiary church and Rodnéwiarists within Lecia, as Szimón Kãszobùski and other leading syndicalists- who regarded religion as reactionary and the church as a potential threat to their hold on power- sought to destroy religion in Lecian society. All church property in Lecia was nationalized in 1959; as a result, churches, monasteries, and seminaries were forcibly shuttered and either converted to secular purposes or destroyed. The Great Cathedral of Szimóngôcz, the de jure seat of the Archbishop of Szimóngôcz, was converted into a symbolic meeting place for the Workers' Assembly; its religious frescoes were destroyed and replaced with murals in a socialist realist style. Other churches were converted into anti-religious museums, used as everything from barracks to warehouses, or simply destroyed. Monasteries that had not been sacked during the revolution were simply abandoned and left to decay. Holy sites such as the Tombs of the Venerable and the Cathedral of Saint Władëmar in Ùchòj were sealed off or desecrated. Large numbers of religious artifacts, including thousands of icons and illuminated manuscripts. Religious education was outlawed, as were public religious celebration and the ringing of church bells.
While some of the population was resentful of church corruption and its close ties to the monarchy, others were angered by the new regime's anti-religious measures and attempted to oppose them. In some towns, crowds attempted to prevent the seizure or demolition of local churches by the government; these efforts, however, were brutally crushed. As a result of these incidents, the Lecian regime intensified its efforts to destroy the church. Poorer priests and religious leaders, who had been unable to flee the country as the upper clergy had, were imprisoned on fabricated charges, tortured into renouncing the faith, or simply executed. Efforts to promote anti-clericalism and atheism were also redoubled with the launching of what were termed Anti-Superstition Campaigns; anti-religious propaganda was incorporated into school curriculums and appeared in state-sponsored publications. Labor unions, the Young Revolutionaries, and Democratic Women's League were also used to disseminate anti-religious messages.
Unable to effectively operate within Lecia, the Church of Rodnéwiary was forced to refocus upon serving the new Lec diaspora, scattered across Esquarium. Under the leadership of Archbishop Mikòłôj X, the church reestablished its central administration in Asgård, Sjealand. Mikòłôj X also oversaw the Reforms of 1962, during which the church created several new dioceses aimed at serving the Lec diaspora, reorganized the Sprawacja, and vowed support for the monastic orders and other religious organizations affected by the revolution. These reforms allowed the Rodnéwiary church and most of its institutions to survive the trauma of the revolution and relocation. Mikòłôj X's successor, Bòlesłôw XIV, held the title for nearly three decades and emphasized interfaith dialogue, expanding charitable efforts, and retaining believers in the face of lapsing and increasing secularism. Beginning in the 1980s, he also sought to build up the church's ties with the Solidarity Alliance; this, alongside the escalation of the Sorrows, led to increased persecution of Rodnéwiarists in Lecia as counter-revolutionaries by the regime of Irenéùsz Cybulski.
In spite of intense persecution by the Workers' Republic, many analysts suspect that a substantial percentage of the Lecian population continues to practice Rodnéwiary in secret. Internationally, the Church of Rodnéwiary has been praised for its efforts to promote Lec culture, the activity of church-backed charity groups, and for speaking out against human rights abuses by the Lecian regime; however, it has also been criticized for its stances on contraception and LGBT rights, its refusal to ordain women, and for allegedly sheltering corrupt or abusive priests from prosecution.
(the mainline thing; by far the most common)
(tajemnica and stuff; personal deep and mystical relation with rzeko)
(czystists, from "czysty" meaning "pure"; saduccee-esque "only the holy book counts" mixed with "don't change the archaic lec words" movement; always a fringe thing but has never died for good)
(radostists, from "radosc" meaning "joy"; universalist hedonist proto-socialists; very violently suppressed because they rejected the clergy and called for a priesthood of all believers)
(sub-movement within orthodox rodne consisting of individuals who are unwilling or unable to be involved with the organized church, and focus on personal rituals and moral living, with no formal clergy and only small weekly meetings; upholds most major theological tenets, but the importance of the church in rodne means it's perceived as heterodox)
(church has mixed thoughts; ok with those who are unable due to persecution, but iffy on those who just don't want to be part of the church)
Organization and administration
The Church of Rodnéwiary is the primary institution overseeing the Rodnéwiary faith. It follows an episcopal polity, in which local churches are governed by a structured hierarchy of ordained clergymen given formal ecclesiastical jurisdictions of governance within the church. This leadership is both sacramental and constitutional; as well as performing religious rites and rituals, church officials are expected to supervises the clergy below them in their jurisdiction and act as a representative both to secular structures and within the hierarchy of the church. In parallel to this structure are a series of religious orders with their own leadership structures that answer only to the uppermost echelons of church leadership. Additionally, lay members aid many liturgical functions during worship services.
The hierarchy of the Church of Rodnéwiary is headed by the Archbishop of Szimóngôcz (sëlnoswôszénik). The Archbishop of Szimóngôcz acts as the sole leader of the Rodnéwiary church and faith, charged with protecting the faith and faithful and holding ecclesiastical jurisdiction over all believers. Following the death or resignation of an Archbishop, a successor is elected by the High Conclave, a body of electors composed of Rodnéwiary bishops, the leaders of religious orders associated with the church, the heads of church convocations, and any other individuals named to the body for "meritorious words or deeds of faith" by an archbishop. The current Archbishop of Szimóngôcz is Cërël XI, elected by the High Conclave in 2012.
Directly serving the Archbishop of Szimóngôcz is the Sprawacja, the central body through which the Archbishop oversees the day-to-day affairs of the Rodnéwiary church. The Sprawacja is divided into bodies known as convocations (dorady, sing. dorada), headed by individuals accorded the title of prefect (ruchëwodnik). The current structure and organization of responsibilities within the Sprawacja was established by the 1962 Reforms of Mikòłôj X. There are currently eleven convocations:
- The Convocation for Clergy, tasked with handling relations with church dioceses, lower-ranking clergymen, and monastic orders;
- The Convocation of Communication, tasked with handling interfaith dialogue and relations between the church, national governments, and the media;
- The Convocation of Doctrine, tasked with addressing and resolving areas of theological dispute;
- The Convocation of Education, tasked with overseeing the operation of seminaries and religious schools;
- The Convocation of Holy Places, tasked with protecting and maintaining churches, shrines, and holy sites;
- The Convocation of Judgment and Petition, tasked with acting as a supervisory body and, in theory, with the enforcement of religious law;
- The Convocation for Laity, tasked with handling relations between the church and the Rodnéwiary faithful;
- The Convocation of Rites and Rituals, tasked with standardizing worship rituals;
- The Convocation for Saints and Sages, tasked with overseeing the canonization process;
- The Convocation of Tithes and Alms, tasked with overseeing church finances and charitable operations;
- The Convocation of Words and Texts, tasked with keeping the Uczénjë in the vernacular and adding works to the Knégi Modreców.
Beneath the Archbishop of Szimóngôcz within the church's hierarchical structure are bishops (swôszéniki, sing. swôszénik). Bishops are ordained by the Archbishop of Szimóngôcz and hold ecclesiastical jurisdiction over areas known as bishoprics; the churches from which bishops are seated are styled as cathedrals (sobóry, sing. sobór). Below the bishops are deacons or presbyters (naméstniki, sing. naméstnik), who oversee deaconates and are based in churches known as kòscóły (sing. kòscół); below the deacons are the priests or pastors (kapłani, sing. kapłan), who oversee parishes and are based in churches or chapels known as kaplëcë (sing. kaplëca). These clergymen might additionally be aided during worship by assistants known as pomëgatniki (sing. pomëgatnik), or by members of the laity if necessary.
In addition to the formal ranks of clergymen used by the Church of Rodnéwiary, there are several unofficial or semi-official titles widely used within the faith. These include jérénik (the individual tasked with overseeing and maintaining a shrine), czëtacnik (the principal or headmaster of a seminary or religious school), igùman or igùmanka (the Rodnéwiary terms for an abbot or abbess), and nádzornik (a sexton charged with maintaining a church and protecting its holy items).
[lec ethnic religion, goes wherever they go really]