Date of this Version
Published in Medieval England: An Encyclopedia, ed. Paul Szarmach, M. Teresa Tavormina, Joel T. Rosenthal, Catherine E. Karkov, Peter M. Lefferts, & Elizabeth Parker McLachlan (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998), p. 359–360
The later medieval church celebrated Holy Week and Easter with many unique liturgical forms and ceremonies, often of an intrinsically dramatic character. These included major processions on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday; the singing of the passions during mass as the New Testament Gospel on Palm Sunday (St. Matthew Passion), Wednesday (St. Luke Passion), and Good Friday (St. John Passion); and in many locales in northern France and England, the performance of two Latin liturgical dramas—the Visitatio sepulchre performed at the end of Matins on Easter Sunday morning, and the Officium peregrinorum, performed at Vespers that same evening or on the Monday or Tuesday following. Music is a less significant if still salient component of the extraliturgical, primarily spoken vernacular dramas and cycles of Eastertide and Corpus Christi.