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The Tudor Society

Good Friday traditions

In this week's Claire Chats, I talk about the medieval and Tudor traditions associated with Good Friday, the feast day commemorating Christ's crucifixion.

In my talk, I mention photos Tim and I took of a passion play/re-enactment near where we live and you can see those in my 2017 article on Easter Sunday - click here. I also mention my village's procession and you can see photos of that at Good Friday in my village.

Here is the link to Stephanie Mann's excellent article Creeping to the Cross Before, During, and After the English Reformation.

Notes and Sources

  • Ten Articles, “Of Rites and Ceremonies, The Church History of Britain: From the Birth of Jesus Christ until the Year MDCXLVIII, Volume 3, Thomas Fuller and Rev J S Brewer, p 157-8.
  • Letter and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume XIV, Part 1, 967.
  • LP xxi. i. 110.
  • Scarisbrick, J.J. (1976), Henry VIII, Methuen Publishing.
  • ""Would I Could Give You Help and Succour": Elizabeth I and the Politics of Touch", Carole Levin, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Summer 1989.
  • "James I: The Royal Touch", Stephen Brogan, History Today Volume 61 Issue 2 February 2011.
  • Calendar of State Papers, Venice, Volume VI, 473, Marco Antonio Faitta to Ippolito Chizzola Doctor in Divinity.

There are 2 comments Go To Comment

  1. L /

    Very interesting, thanks Claire! Its really crazy that Lenten and Easter traditions in the Tudor/Stuart times were directly affected and changed so significantly by the changing of the monarch currently on the throne, just as much as the laws and other practices were, based on the “how” Catholic or Protestant each one was. It must have been very challenging for the people to keep up with! Have a very Happy Easter!

  2. < /

    My Anglo-Catholic (High Anglican/Episcopalian) parish, where I’m one of the acolytes, retains the old practice of ‘creeping to the Cross’, like the traditionalist Roman Catholics still do.

    Rather than ‘creeping’ down the whole aisle of the church on our knees (as Henry VIII was described as doing), we do three genuflections as we make our way towards the Crucifix. This is done barefoot. Our shoes are removed as an act of penitence and humility.

    A good Easter to everyone!

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Good Friday traditions