Liturgical Drama


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Liturgical Drama

 

a form of medieval, basically Western European, religious presentation (ninth to 13th centuries).

The liturgical drama was part of the Easter or Christmas church service (liturgy), consisting of the staging of separate episodes from the Gospel. Gradually, the liturgical drama was penetrated by realistic, everyday elements. The spectator aspect of the presentation was strengthened, and the variety of subjects was broadened. Scenes from the Old Testament and tales of saints and martyrs were included. Starting in 1210, the liturgical drama was performed in the parvis in front of the church. Both the clergy and laymen participated in the drama, as well as the goliards and tregetours, who were given roles of traders, butchers, devils, and so forth. The most significant work was the “Mystery Play About Adam” (mid-12th century).

REFERENCE

Istorila zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vol. 1. Moscow, 1956.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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