The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0020 Tuesday, 6 January 1999.
Date: Tuesday, 05 Jan 1999 16:09:38 -0500
Subject: 9.1324 Re: Ghost from Purgatory
Comment: Re: SHK 9.1324 Re: Ghost from Purgatory
This thread having knit itself into a general consideration of the
sacerdotal aspects of early modern theater, let me say first that I
would like very much to hear from somebody who knows a lot more than I
do about actual English liturgical practice than I do, in presumptively
put-on-the-dog places like cathedrals and the Chapel Royal but also in
ordinary neighborhood or village parish churches, and in both pre- and
post-Reformation Tudor England.
I would comment that although Protestant iconoclasm left Anglican
services less visually splendid than their Catholic precursors, such
dramatic elements as they possessed would have been verbally enhanced
for all those worshippers who did not understand spoken or sung Latin.
Cranmer had a more than adequate sense of dramatic construction, I
think; as a theater-lover who is also a regular Anglican churchgoer I
find plenty of drama (whatever it is I mean by that) not only in Holy
Communion-especially at the grand feasts, Christmas, Easter, and
Pentecost-but in the services on special occasions-Baptism,
Confirmation, Marriage, the Churching of Women, Ordination, Burial, plus
things like the Great Litany done within other services.