Instead of our usual Christmas sharing of words and music we
will have an informal reading of some medieval mystery plays
(scripts provided by Roger Haworth), from 1pm to about 2pm in the meeting
room. We can all join in - no acting experience necessary! Roger writes …
The original texts of the mystery plays contain very few stage directions but this scene has
one of them:
Here the Holy Ghost descends with three beams to Our Lady,
the Son of the Godhead next with three beams to the Holy Ghost,
and the Father Godly with three beams to the son, and so enter all three into her bosom.
The picture shows the climax of one of the plays I propose to read:
The Parliament of Heaven and Annunciation. Mary is expressing her joy at having been impregnated.
One of the reasons they are called mystery plays is because they expound mysteries such as this one -
how could a virgin be impregnated?
To get you into the mood, please look at these photos -
- they are as near as we can get to how the plays were originally presented: off carts
in the street.
If you are really keen, the proposed scripts are available:
Requests for specific rôles will be accepted - but I am being really selfish and casting myself
as Gabriel, the guy on the left in the photo.
My wife Lesley thinks that Friends may be concerned about the theology. I say: if you are concerned,
forget the theology and just look on these plays as great poetry.
A Sunday School teacher had just told her class
about the flight into Egypt and got them to draw a picture. Sure enough one child drew them in a plane
and proudly explained: that insect is the flea [as in "take Mary and the baby and flee into Egypt"]
and in the cockpit, that is Pontius the pilot.