MADRIGAL



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Our goal during our feast is to create a moment transporting us in our imaginations to a far distant time and place of enjoyment and merriment.

If you have interest in becoming involved in this Presbythespian production, please contact the church office, 989-463-2940, and leave a message with your information for Al Bartholomew and Sue Beckett. We have lots of opportunities for you to be involved: singers, servers, entertainers, kitchen help, publicity, ticket sales and much more.




Back in medieval and renaissance times (1400-1600) elaborate, extravagant, ceremonial feasts served to demonstrate, on a grand scale, the generosity of the host and, obliquely, his wealth and influence. Such displays were designed to appeal to all the senses, increasingly incorporating musical and theatrical elements, spectacles incorporating jugglers, poets, beggars, instrumentalists, comedians, and singers.

Traditions evolved including the processional entrance of the Host and honored guests. Brass fanfares. Processionals of Wassail (traditionally hot mulled cider, drunk to a toast that meant literally “be you healthy”), Boarshead (representing the conquest over a ferocious beast), and Pudding added to the merriment and participation of everyone involved.

The feast itself had to be extraordinary. Rare and highly decorated foods with expensive ingredients prepared in elaborate ways to show off the skill of the cooks.

The timing of the feast often celebrated a particular day on the religious calendar, like Christmas, or honored an occasion, like a wedding or a visiting dignitary.

Such displays were designed to appeal to all the senses, increasingly incorporating musical and theatrical elements, spectacles incorporating jugglers, poets, beggars, instrumentalists, comedians, and singers.

Madrigals began in Italy in the 14th century, spread across Europe and reached their peak in England during Elizabeth’s reign in the 16th century. A madrigal is a song, usually secular and often downright bawdy, written for small groups that features two or more separate melodies to a simple text. It is typically based on fables, tales of love, sorrow and life.

Most madrigals are sung without musical accompaniment, sometimes quite musically sophisticated, requiring great concentration to maintain melody, pitch, rhythm and tone. In madrigal singing, all voice parts are equal in importance, the weaving together of many voice parts, each independent of the others and with its own melodic and rhythmic interest.

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    Sunday Mornings:
    Worship 10:30 a.m.

    Nursery is provided. Children under seven years are welcome to remain in the sanctuary for worship or may choose to go to the Nursery after the Children’s Lesson.
    Open communion is served on the first Sunday of each month.

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