The Tudor Society

Easter Sunday

In Tudor times, on Easter Sunday, the candles in the church and around the Easter sepulchre were extinguished, and then the church lights were re-lit by the priest, from a fire. The sepulchre was opened, and Christ's resurrection was celebrated with a special mass.

The Easter Sunday mass marked the end of Lent, a period where people's diets were restricted, so it was only natural to celebrate it with good food. Dairy products and meat were back on the menu, and people enjoyed roasted meats like chicken, lamb and veal.

To celebrate Christ's resurrection, I'd like to share with you photos that I took at "Semana Santa Viviente de Cuevas del Campo", which translates to "living Holy Week of Cuevas del Campo" and is a re-enactment of the Easter story in a town about an hour away from us. It has been taking place every Maundy Thursday and Good Friday for 17 years and is wonderful. Tim and I went on Good Friday and I took these photos with my phone - apologies for any blurry ones, some of the "action" was quite far away.

These photos take you from Jesus being taken to Pontius Pilate, through the Sadducees and the crowd yelling for Barabbas to be released and Christ crucified, Pontius Pilate washing his hands of the affair, and on to the crucifixion and resurrection. We couldn't get through the crowd to see Jesus being flogged (it sounded very realistic!). The crowd then moves from the high street to a hill opposite another hill which acts as Golgotha. The crucifixion is incredibly moving as they have the sound effects of the nails being hammered, Christ calls out to his Father, there are claps of thunders then Jesus dies and Mary is distraught when she sees him dead. His body is then taken down and the cave house below the hill is used as his tomb. After the women find his tomb empty, Jesus appears behind the crosses, walks forward, releases a dove and speaks of how he is the Light of the World. Handel's Hallelujah Chorus plays and the huge crowd applauds. It was beautiful. It was a fitting way to spend Good Friday.

There are 6 comments Go To Comment

  1. S

    Thanks for sharing these photos Claire. It looks to be a very special re-enactment and must have been very moving to watch.

  2. L

    Wow, it looks like a really realistic re-enactment.. As Sue says, it must have been very emotional and moving to observe. Thanks for sharing and Happy Easter!

    1. C - Post Author

      It was incredibly moving. We’ve seen it before but it always has an impact on us.

  3. R

    How special to be able to witness this! Reminds me of the Passion Play at Oberammergau. Thanks for sharing!

  4. L

    How incredible! Thank you for posting these pictures….happy Resurrection Sunday!

  5. C

    Brings back vivid memories of Easter in Spain. Thanks for these.

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Easter Sunday