Mystery Plays: Engaging the Community in the Bible

Praise the Lord My Soul, from the Choral Evensong from the magnificent York Minster Cathedral in northern England, where a daily prayer and praise has been presented at this site for centuries! But recently, in a much more casual tone, the Nave of York Minster was transformed into a 1,000-seat auditorium, with 150 community cast members, producing and presenting a production of the “Mystery Plays”—a medieval tradition in the City of York that brought the stories of the Bible to the streets of the City!

A tradition in past centuries that occurred every year on the 26th of May, forty or more of these “street” plays may have been going on at the same time all over the city—representing various guilds and groups using drama and tableaux to engage a community in celebrating stories from the Bible!

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