Christmas In Ritual & Tradition - online book

The Observance Of Christmas In Various Lands And Ages.

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After a prologue briefly explaining its purpose, the mystery begins, like the old liturgical plays, with the witness of the prophets ; then follows a scene in Limbo where Adam is shown lamenting his fate, and another in Heaven where the Redemption of mankind is discussed and the Incarnation decided upon. With the Annunciation and the Visitation of the Virgin the first day closed. The second day opened with the ordering by Octavian of the world-census. The edict is addressed :
" A tous roys, marquis, dues et contes, Conncstables, bailifs, vicomtes Et tous autres generalment Oui sont desoubz le firmament."
Joseph, in order to fulfil the command of Cyrenius, governor of Syria, leaves Nazareth for Bethlehem. A comic shepherds' scene follows, with a rustic song:
" Joyeusement, la garenlo, Chantons en venant a la veille, Puisque nous avons la bouteille Nous y berons jusques a bo."
When Joseph and Mary reach the stable where the Nativity is to take place, there is a charming dialogue. Joseph laments over the meanness of the stable, Mary accepts it with calm
Las ! vecy bien povre merrien Pour edifier un hostel Et logis a ung seigneur tel. II naistra en bien povre place.
Marie. II plait a Dieu qu'ainsy se face.
Joseph. Ou sont ces chambres tant fournies De Sarges, de Tapiceries
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