You are hereby invited to join me and members of my family to experience the laughter and song of a medieval holiday! We shall feast amongst royalty and close the year in grand fashion. We will begin in the reception hall for hot wassail or a cup of delicious eggnog before a roaring fire. Ah how heavenly! The trumpeter will usher you into the Great Hall to await the entrance of the royal party. You will sit amidst the flurry of his majesty's performers-musicians, singers, dancers, the puppet master and the jester. The comedy, music and artistry will ensue about you, pausing only for the feast itself....join us won't you?
During the Middle Ages and continuing well into the Renaissance, the holiday season was a time when guests traveled great distances to the castles of wealthy friends and family members to feast, dance and exchange news in a celebration that lasted several days! After the rigorous fast of the Advent season, elaborate preparations were made to ensure a truly festive event.
The banquet at Christmas, as on other great holidays, was not an isolated meal, but rather a series of celebrations filled with pageantry and circumstance. After prayers in chapel or at the table, trumpet fanfares signaled the service of specific courses and dishes within the feast. Guests danced, told stories, and sang in enthusiastic outbursts of merrymaking.
Since 1983, the annual Madrigal Dinner, produced each December by the Wright State University Student Union with the Department of Music, has provided our community with a musical and dramatic interpretation of these fabulous medieval ceremonial feasts. This event has become an established tradition that spans four evenings and entertains over 1,300 guests! Bill and I treated Mom and Grace to this revelry last night and oh what fun we all had!
We enjoyed traditional English fare, amidst the antics of jesters and manorfolk, dancing and revelry, the Puppet Master, and the wonderfully interwoven lines of the madrigal song. We were treated to the voices of the Wright State Chamber Singers, medieval dances choreographed by the Tudor Rose Performing Troupe, and the music of Wind in the Woods Early Music Ensemble.
Oh the pleasant manorfolk...
We all dined on Medieval Sallat, Beefe and Leeke Pie, Appyl Almynde Stuffed Turkey Breast, Wylde Ryse Blend, Honey Glazed Carrotes and Parsnips, Brannbrede with a delicious Bûche Noël and Plomme Poddyngfor dessert! Okay, so I think you can translate but no matter how you pronounce it, or spell it, it was all delicious!
A toast! A toast!
Let the dancing begin!
There will be much rejoicing...
And much revelry!
We will be surrounded by beautiful ladies!
Farewell your Grace...
Farewell all...the evening winds warmly to it's close, leaving us with full stomachs and full hearts!
Hoping each one of you is enjoying the sweet traditions and fun that are
such a part of lour lives at this special time of year!