IT is now Easter, and Jacke of Lent is turned out of doores: the Fishermen now hang vp their nets to dry, while the Calfe and the Lambe walke toward the Kitchin and the Pastry: The veluet heads of the Forrests fall at the loose of the Crosse-bow: the Samman Trowt playes with the Fly, and the March Rabbit runnes dead into the dish: the Indian commodities pay the Merchants aduenture: and Barbary Sugar puts Honey out of countenance: the holy feast is kept for the faithfull . . . the Earth now beginnes to paint her vpper garment, and the trees put out their young buds, the little Kids chew their Cuds, and the Swallow feeds on the Flyes in the Ayre: the Storke clenseth the Brookes of the Frogges, and the Sparhawke prepares her wing for the Partridge: the little Fawne is stolne from the Doe, & the male Deere beginne to heard: the spirit of Youth is inclined to mirth, and the conscionable Scholler will not breake a holy-day: the Minstrell cals the Maid from her dinner, and the Louers eyes doe troule like Tennis balls. There is mirth and ioy, when there is health and liberty: and he that hath money, will be no meane man in his mansion: the Ayre is wholsome, and the Skye comfortable, the Flowers odoriferous, and the Fruits pleasant: I conclude, it is a day of much delightfulnesse: the Sunnes dancing day, and the Earths Holy-day. Farewell.
— Nicholas Breton, Fantasticks (1626)
Hail Thee, Festival Day!
Easter Sunday is one of the major feasts on the liturgical calendar of the Church of England. As such it calls for the best in terms of choral music, organ voluntaries, and preaching. Special features of the Easter Day services, according to the Book of Common Prayer, include scripture readings that tell of Jesus’ followers’ discovery of the Empty Tomb and that retell the Passover/Exodus story from the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Exodus. Other special features of these services is the use of the Creed of St Athanasius rather than the Apostles Creed at Matins and the use of anthems based on Romans 6:9-11 and I Corinthians 15: 20-22 instead of Psalm 95 (Venite exultemus domino) at Morning Prayer.
The preacher for the sermon called for by the Prayer Book at Communion is the Rt. Reverend Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester. According to custom, the Bishop of London (George Montaigne in 1624) either preached the sermon on Easter Day in the morning or named the preacher for morning services (including Paul’s Cross) at the cathedral. So we needed a sermon delivered by a bishop, but to our knowledge none survive by George Montaigne. Bishop Andrewes’ sermon for this Easter does survive, although he apparently was too ill to deliver it. So in our parallel universe, Bishop Montaigne has invited Bishop Andrewes to deliver this sermon.
The role of Bishop Andrewes is played in our recreation by Dr David Crystal, linguist, who provided us with the Original Pronunciation scripts for all our services.
The sermon at Evensong on this Easter Sunday is the sermon preached in the Choir of St Paul’s on this Easter Sunday by the Cathedral’s Dean, John Donne. The role of John Donne is played in our receration by Ben Crystal, a British actor who specializes in performing Original Pronunciation scripts.
Links to the Services of Easter Sunday
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