- Lincoln Mystery Plays
"The Lincoln Mystery Plays Trust aims to stage Mystery Plays once every four years, together with other related projects from time to time."
"The Mystery Plays have a long history and can trace their origins back to the tenth century when monks and the clergy sought to bring to life short extracts from the scriptures for audiences comprising many who were both unable to read and to understand Latin - then, the principal language of the Church. By the fifteenth century, these Mystery Plays had become in some sense early community plays, owned by the townspeople rather than the clergy. The Mystery Plays were performed by town inhabitants themselves, often on carts paraded through the streets, with each cart having a play staged on it by a particular trade guild, a group of workers who sought to protect and promote the interests of their own particular craft. In order to become a fully-fledged member of the guild, a worker had to undertake a lengthy apprenticeship (often seven years) and upon successful completion of a complex piece of work (a masterpiece), the apprentice would then be accepted into the 'mystery' of the craft. Performers naturally made links between their own lives and the content of the plays, which gave the plays and their biblical message a vitality which was often lacking in the church services of the time. "
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