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12. Liturgy and Performance in Northern Germany: Two Easter Plays from Wienhausen

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Chapter Summary

Wienhausen belongs to the group of Lüneburg convents that, in the decades between the reform movement of the 15th century and the introduction of the Lutheran Reformation, developed a lively activity in the field of manuscript production. At the heart of Easter ceremonials and of Easter plays is the visit to Christ's sepulchre by the Three Marys, the Visitatio sepulchri, which developed out of the trope Quem queritis in sepulchro that forms part of Matins on Easter Day and can be traced back to the 10th century. Both the structure and the surviving text of the Latin Ceremonial from Wienhausen display a marked correspondence with the Easter Ceremonial preserved in the prayer book from the Lüneburg convents, probably Medingen, Stadtarchiv Hildesheim, ms. Mus. 383, fol. 125v-127v. The remarkable fact that two Easter texts survive among the scant textual evidence from Wienhausen fits the wider visual and textual evidence.

Keywords: Easter ceremonials; Lutheran reformation; Wienhausen



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