The passion story according to the four evangelists was already recited in early Christendom in the liturgy of Holy Week. One of the earliest reports dates from the fourth century. Pope Leo the Great (+461) reserved Good Friday for the passion according to St John ( Joh.18.1 – 19.42). Specific melodic formulas for the recitation of the passion were introduced at a very early stage. Until the thirteenth century, the passion pericope was read by a single person. In order to maintain the dramatic effect, the various personages were indicated by special letters and signs in the text. In surviving manuscripts, passages concerning the crowd of onlookers (the turbae) at Christ’s crucifixion make a clear distinction between Jesus’ disciples and the Jewish folk. Not until the twelfth century did passions employ exact music notation. Around 1250, the passion text was divided up, and proclaimed by more than one person. It became customary to employ three singers for the roles of Christ, the evangelist (narrator), and the other personages. The reaction of the crowd was expressed by an initially monodic choir. Thus the dramatic character of the passion story increased considerably.