LIFE AS MYTH

Index

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JOURNAL

Index

 

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JOURNAL 2014

The poetics of grace

On shells and nests

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SPRING 2014

A little book of hours

Index 2014

The messenger

A mystical conversation

The golden hour

A nest for the word

The gifts of wonder

The ninth hour

The miracle of the palm trees

The sun, the moon, and the stars

A little book of hours

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LIFEWORKS

About

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ARCHIVES

Index

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SPRING 2014
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A MYSTICAL CONVERSATION

A mystical conversation, Odilon Redon. 1896.  Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu, Japan;

The visitation, Giotto di Bondone. 1267-1337. Cappella Scrovegni a Padova.

(below) The dance of Miriam from The Golden Haggadah, artist unknown. ca 14th century. The British Library, London.

 

Lauds is one of the most ancient offices and can be traced back to the era of the apostles. Also known as the Morning Office or Office of Aurora, it is the principle office of the day. The origin of the name [Medieval Latin, laud-, praise] derives from the psalms [Psalm 148, 149, or 150] which traditionally close the service. The intent of this office is to recall the resurrection of Christ.

In The little office of the blessed Virgin Mary this ritual is associated with the visitation, a meeting between Mary and Elizabeth, found in Luke 1:39-56. Significantly, both women are pregnant: Elizabeth with the prophet John and Mary with the Christ child. Their conversation addresses the nature of faith and service in the context of these pregnancies.

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The first chapter of Luke is also the source of The Magnificat, now a popular canticle spoken or sung in church services. The text for this poem shares similarities with a much older tradition, Miriam's song (Exodus 15), possibly the oldest extant poetry found in the Old Testament.  A comparison of the two texts follows.

 

 

My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

...
He hath shewed strength with his arm.
He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat
and hath exalted the humble and meek.

Luke 1:46 - 55 [excerpts, KJV]

I will sing to the Lord,
    for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
    he has hurled into the sea
.
...
You stretch out your right hand,
    and the earth swallows your enemies. In your unfailing love you will lead
    the people you have redeemed.

"The song of Miriam" Exodus 15:1-21 [excerpts, KJV] 

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