Friday, August 23, 2019

A Mystery Play of the Assumption

Many years ago, a Spanish friend of mine showed me a video of the Misterio de Elche, a mystery play that represents the Dormition and Assumption of the Virgin Mary, and I have been meaning and forgetting to post on it on NLM ever since. This is performed each year in the Basilica of the Virgin Mary in Elche, Spain, in two parts, the first on the evening of August 14th at Vespers, and the second on the feast day itself. I don’t have time to write my own explanation of it, but the article on Spanish Wikpedia (El Misterio de Elche) gives a pretty thorough account of it. (Google translate via Chrome works very well with Spanish.) Here are complete videos of the two parts of the play; there is a lot of very nice music, and it is staged with several impressive devices and stage machines, including a chandelier-like structure that is lowered from the church’s ceiling to bring the Virgin Mary up to heaven.

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