Archive for December 1st, 2022

The Mummers


Written by Catherine Montgrain from the Village Church.

When I was a young child growing up in the north of England, one of our Christmas traditions or experiences was to have “mummers” ring on our doorbell in the days before Christmas Eve. They would proceed into our house, five or six of them, with masks on or faces blackened with soot, and proceed to dust all our shelves, fireplaces, and furniture, while making murmuring mumming sounds (like mmmmmm) while doing this. They were traditionally cleaning while sweeping out the old year. On their way out, we would give them a monetary gift for their church or charity.  They would usually be smiling which stopped them from frightening me. My parents told me that they represented coal miners with their blackened faces, as we lived in a coal mining area, and I would see the men with these same faces from the school bus coming home in the evening after high school.

On researching mummers, a little, I find that they date back to the Middle Ages and actors would actually perform a Mummers Play where a hero was slain then brought back to life by a clever doctor, all the while “mumming” with no words, and sometimes wearing elaborate costumes. Our local version was definitely a very simple version of this, providing a friendly dusting before decorations went up. What a fun tradition it was!


Hebrews 13:16 

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”


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