Payment to men and women, mostly in old age, who pray for the salvation of a person’s soul, especially in case of death, also called Betbrüder und Betschwestern (old men or matrons engaged and renumerated in order to pray for the soul’s salvation of a defunct person). – Although this custom, which used to be widespread in areas of Germany and Austria, was repeatedly reprimanded, forbidden and even threatened with severe ecclesiastical penalties by the ecclesiastical authorities, it persisted for a very long time, especially in closed rural areas, and in some cases still exists today. – See death fund, Trägergeld.
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