The Wakefield Second Shepherds’ Play ctd.

The shepherds are tired after tossing Mak up, as he turned out to be quite heavy, so they lay themselves down to sleep. Then the angel appears, singing “Gloria in excelsis deo” and tells them to go to Bethlehem to see the newborn Messiah. The shepherds are somewhat surprised, but also overjoyed. They also have an unexpectedly technical discussion about the quality of the angel’s singing and whether they can sing this song as well as he. It seems this play was written with professional singers in mind, or at least with very accomplished ones. Singing and reminiscing about what the Old Testament prophets said about Messiah, they repair to Bethlehem.

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