- Aug 7, 2002
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Does this custom still exist in an underground way, or has it been wiped out?
And, if you were an atheist, would you be willing to be a sin-eater for money?Sin-eater can refer to:
A person who, through ritual means and for material gain, would take on the sins of a dying person, thus absolving the dying of their sins while receiving the burden of the same in British tradition. Traditionally, each village maintained its own sin-eater. The sin-eater would be brought to the dying person's bedside, and there either he or a relative would place a bit of bread on the breast of the dying. After praying and/or reciting the ritual, he would then remove the bread from the breast and eat it, the act of which would remove the sin from the dying and take it into himself.
The act of being a sin-eater is/was generally considered a cardinal sin by the Catholic Church because it provided absolution outside the purview of the priesthood, and resulted in immediate excommunication.