Quem queritis? - Liturgical Drama in The Middle Ages Florence
Quem Queritis?Whom do you seek? This enigmatic phrase spoken by the angel to the three Marys, who had gone to the sepulcher to visit the body of Jesus at dawn on Easter day, became the nucleus of the first example of liturgical theater. The liturgy, with its movement and symbolism, served as fertile ground for this significant event, and above all for the unexpected developments which would subsequently take place. Moreover, what other places could be better than monasteries or cathedrals, where monks, clerics and laymen were at the same time actors and spectators of the mystery being presented?The first written examples of the “Visitatio sepulchri” which have come down to us date, like the first Gregorian manuscripts, to the Carolingian period and are found throughout Europe. We have chosen as the source of our interpretation the lesson from the Antifonario Arcivescovile of Florence (12th century) for the first scene, and the sequence “Victime Paschali Laudes” in the expanded version in dialogue from the “Laudario Fiorentino” (13th century) for the second scene.