Soon after he was consecrated bishop in 963, Æthelwold of Winchester (909–84) began to promulgate a series of new rules for worship and religious life in the monasteries of England. In one passage that is well known to theatre historians, Æthelwold insisted on the following performance of the Easter morning liturgy.
While the third lesson is being read aloud, four of the brothers should dress themselves. One of them, wearing an alb, should come in as though intent on other business and go stealthily to the place of the sepulchre, and there he should sit quietly…. The three remaining brothers … should make their way slowly and haltingly, coming before the place of the sepulchre as if they are seeking something. For these things are done in imitation of the angel seated on the tomb and of the women coming with perfumes to anoint the body of Jesus. When, therefore, the one sitting there sees the three drawing near, who are still wandering about as though seeking something, he should begin to sing sweetly, in a moderate voice: “Whom do you seek?”