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Temple of Sammas
Fror, Head Priest (celibate)
Grora, Almoness (female religious) & two other female religious
Three Vicars (married clerics) including Balin the Treasurer
Two Deacons (celibate)
Four Acolytes (young seminarians…will be sent to the upper seminary in either Papsin, Southmarch, or Akalamaka if they persist in their studies & vocation to the celibate clergy)
Temple workings and personalities:
Fror is the head of the temple and makes all major decisions; if they have anything to do with money or resources, he consults Balin, although it is widely understood that Fror tells Balin what to do and it’s Balin’s job to find the resources. Fror has been head priest in Thornlin for a long time. He is a grandiloquent speaker who declaims often about the importance of the temple in public affairs and is not averse to claiming credit for running it well and beautifying it. Fror is known to be from a poor background in another city in Bapsia, but he does not speak of his youth in public.
Balin is a middle-aged dwarf who succeeded to the position of Treasurer when his father retired (he has since died). If met on the street, Balin would pass well for a jeweler or banker; his clothes are always in fashionable but not flamboyant taste. That said, considering his position, he is far from the most worldly of the clerics in the temple (some would quietly award that distinction to Fror himself) and he takes enthusiastic part in the liturgies, especially those involving children (the churching of infants, confirmation of youths). Balin has organized a small committee of laymen who do all the difficult work of finding the financial means to meet Fror’s requirements.
Grora and her sisters are given a monthly stipend by Balin out of the donations to the temple in order to look after the poor of the district. Grora takes an active interest in the individual situation and story of each person, unlike her predecessor who preferred to spend most of her time reading and praying in the temple and who simply gave a fixed handout four times a month to those who queued up to receive it. Grora by contrast requires to see the supplicant’s lodging and family and generally makes considerable effort to find the beggar some sort of work and housing. She is considered nosy by some and dedicated by others. Grora is a native of Thornlin.
Liturgy and calendar:
Like other temples of Sammas, the main liturgical season is the cycle of penance and celebration attaching to the summertime feast of the Apparition to Daeron. Between them, Fror and Balin have made the Vigil of the Apparition into quite a public spectacle, with torchlit processions converging on the temple from three directions and a liturgy with chants and orchestral music that lasts until well after midnight, followed by a feast. Fror has also played up as a point of local pride the anniversary of the founding of the temple, which occurs in late fall, and which is now celebrated with a play and a merchants’ fair in the city market, the whole of which the dwarven notables reserve for two days for that purpose.
Again like other temples of Sammas, the daily liturgy is held in the morning, with readings from the Book of the North and from later theologians and a solemn prayer for guidance for the day. The devout are also invited to a shorter sung liturgy at sundown. On the three traditional days of rest during the month, there is a grander liturgy that includes a lengthy hymn of praise and more readings.
Infants are traditionally brought to the temple for a “churching” rite, or recognition of inclusion in the community, at the end of the step after the one in which they are born. Youths of 13 or 14 years are gathered once a year during the season after the Apparition for a rite of confirmation, recognizing them as having the rights and responsibilities of adults, and commending them to Sammas as they begin their apprenticeships or similar roles in the community. Marriages are celebrated in the temple, as are funerals.