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Easter Sepulchre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Easter Sepulchre for an unknown member of the Denys family, 16th century, Holcombe Burnell Church, Renaissance classical elements are shown such as a classical pediment and Italianate putti, but the whole is contained within a late Gothic arch
Easter Sepulchre for an unknown member of the Denys family, 16th century, Holcombe Burnell Church, Renaissance classical elements are shown such as a classical pediment and Italianate putti, but the whole is contained within a late Gothic arch

An Easter Sepulchre is a feature of British church architecture (interior design).

Description

A simple unadorned example from St Marys Church, Grendon, Northants
A simple unadorned example from St Marys Church, Grendon, Northants

The Easter Sepulchre is an arched recess generally in the north wall of the chancel, in which from Good Friday to Easter day were deposited the crucifix and sacred elements in commemoration of Christ's entombment and resurrection. It was generally only a wooden structure, which was placed in a recess or on a tomb.[1]

Distribution

The Easter Sepulchre is only found in England and Wales, the practice having been peculiar to the Sarum Rite. However, there is a ruin presumed to be an Easter sepulchre at Kildrummy in north-east Scotland.

Use

Easter Sepulchre, Holcombe Burnell Church, Devon. Detail of central sculpted relief showing Christ stepping out of the tomb with sleeping guards
Easter Sepulchre, Holcombe Burnell Church, Devon. Detail of central sculpted relief showing Christ stepping out of the tomb with sleeping guards

The Easter Sepulchre contained the Blessed Sacrament of the altar, the Host. Following the doctrine of the Real Presence, i.e. that Jesus is physically present within in the Host, on Good Friday the Host was taken from the tabernacle where it had been placed following the Maundy Thursday celebration of the Last Supper and, wrapped in linen cloths, 'buried' in the Easter sepulchre which was found on the north wall of the sanctuary. Cut into the wall, it was sometimes ornately carved but within it was a wooden frame on which was hung a cloth pall often embroidered with scenes from the Passion. Candles were lit around the sepulchre, burial clothes adorned it, and parishioners stood guard until early Easter morning at the first Mass. The Host was brought out, in imitation of Jesus having arisen out of the tomb, and was placed again in the tabernacle in the centre of the Church.[2] Like Roods and their lofts, Easter Sepulchres were the object of iconoclastic fury by the Reformers and few are left.

Surviving examples

There are throughout Great Britain many fine examples in stone, some of which are Decorated Gothic, such as:

Cumbria

Devon

Dorset

Glamorgan

Herefordshire

Lincolnshire

Norfolk

Nottinghamshire

Oxfordshire

Suffolk

Warwickshire

Withybrook, Coventry

West Sussex

East Riding of Yorkshire

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Chisholm 1911, p. 655.
  2. ^ Duffy, Eamon (February 2015). The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400–1580. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. p. 29. ISBN 0-300-06076-9.

References

Attribution
This page was last edited on 12 September 2020, at 19:11
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.