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Thursday, 3 November 2016


The Offertory is the part of a worship service where a collection of money or other gifts for the poor or for the Church is taken up. In the Roman Catholic Mass, they are brought forward together with the bread and wine, but not placed on the altar.

In Anglican churches the offering is accompanied by the singing of a congregational hymn (the "offertory hymn") or an anthem sung by the choir, and often both.

Charlemagne's 779 "Capitulary of Herstal" attempted to enforce the payment of tithes by each man to the Church.

Political philosopher Thomas Paine was an ordained minister of the Church of England.. He was a member of a church group known as the Vestry, which collected tithes and distributed them to the poor.

In early 19th century America some church collections were taken in a bag at the end of a pole with a bell attached to arouse sleepy contributors.

Collection bag used in Church of Sweden. By User:Grillo - Wikipedia

Some 19th century American churches rented out their pews to raise money. Some churches rented pews by auction each year, while others sold them to pay for the building and then taxed the value of the pew for annual revenue.

The most expensive seats were in the front, and the cheap seats were in the back. Free seats were available in the back or the balcony, but a free pew carried a social stigma.

Other groups, such as the Baptists and Methodists, often preferred to use a subscription book, which listed the total funds needed in the front. A church would pass the book around, and the members would record how much they pledged to contribute that year.

Collection bags or plates were introduced in the Church of England in 1868 after the abolition of compulsory church rates.

In 1991 Albert Cash of Tennessee sued his church to reclaim money he'd put in the collection plate. He maintained the church failed to assist him with some health problems within his family.

An automatic offertory machine with a card reader in Lund Cathedral, Sweden. By Bluescan 

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