In the ancient Roman Rite there were 12 readings (all chanted). In between each was a "Let us pray, let us kneel, arise" and then a prayer, as well as a tract/gradual between most.
What is more, 12 readings were used in the same manner (with prayers in between) on all ember Saturdays. It was cut in the 6th century down to 6 readings in each, but by the time of the middle ages the other 6 were restored for Holy Saturday, though not for those other days. Also note the fire used to be lit every week, for practical reasons. Holy Saturday retains many archaisms that used to be common (such as, prior to 1970, having no Agnus Dei. That "innovation" after all was early 7th century!)
In 1955 they cut the readings down to just 4, cutting out the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, and 12th In the new rite they restored 3 of these.
Of course in the old rite this was not part of the Mass. The Mass itself is extremely short. Basically after you process in with the three candled reed (there was no procession with the paschal candle prior to 1955), sang the exultet (during which you blessed and lit the Paschal candle and Church), have the 12 (and later 4) Prophecies, blessing of the Easter Water, baptisms, confirmations, litany of the Saints (which was always done regardless of whether anyone was baptised) then you had the Mass itself begin. Everything prior was done in violet, the statutes still covered, with the exception that the deacon wore a white dalmatic when he carried the reed (later Paschal candle) and sang the exultet) afterwards he changed back to violet.
Then during the end of the litany of the Saints the ministers change vestments to white, the images are uncovered, and Mass is set up. They skip the opening prayers going straight to the Kyrie for the choir and incensing the altar for the priest. There is a very short epistle. When there is a bishop the deacon then goes to the bishop and says "Reverend Father, I bring you glad tidings it is the alleluia!" The bishop rises and chants alleluia once, the choir repeating in the same tone. He chants it again in a higher tone, the choir repeating, and finally once more in an even higher tone. Then the choir sings a tract just as they would during lent, without an alleluia, as, while Christ has resurrected, the news has not yet been spread. A short Gospel of finding the empty tomb is read. There is no Creed. They even cut the Offertory! And later on they cut out the Agnus Dei, the 1st prayer before communion (in the new rite a simplified version of this prayer is said before the kiss of peace) and the kiss of peace (as again the Good News has not yet been spread). And then after communion they insert an extremely short vespers (one psalm, and the Magnificat, without any chapter, verse or hymn- after 1955 this became Easter Lauds and they simply changed the psalm and do the Benedictus rather than the Magnificat). And the last Gospel is cut.
The Mass itself can be extremely short for a solemn Mass. But everything preceding? That is what took all day.
So, even though the priest gave a sermon for 30 minutes, my Mass was only 1hr and 15minutes...the services preceding it? 2 hours
Reason is by study, labor, and exercise of logic, philosophy, and other liberal arts corroborated and quickened; and the judgment both in them and also in orators, laws, and stories much ripened. And although poets are with many men taken but for painted words, yet do they much help the judgment, and make a man among other things well furnished in one special thing, without which all learning is half lame…a good mother wit.- St. Thomas More