In the middle ages there was a constant succession of pageants, processions and tournaments.
Other decrees denounced the abuse of indulgences, of festivals of saints, and of processions and suggested reforms; others again enjoined the closing of shops on Sunday during divine service, the issue of service-books with parallel translations in the vernacular, and recommended the abolition of all monastic orders except that of St Benedict, the rules of which were to be brought into harmony with modern ideas; nuns were to be forbidden to take the vows before the age of 40.
The use of the word is, however, late, the vigiliae (pernoctationes, 7ravvvXiSes) having originally been the services, consisting of prayers, hymns, processions and sometimes the eucharist, celebrated on the preceding night in preparation for the feast.
Day and night, long processions of all classes and ages, headed by priests carrying crosses and banners, perambulated the streets in double file, reciting prayers and drawing the blood from their bodies with leathern thongs.
The king and his courtiers joined in the processions in the garb of penitents, and scourged themselves with ostentation.