Holy Week 2019
Today the Episcopal Church celebrated the Feast of C.S. Lewis. He's a great author, and I'm not just talking about The Chronicles of Narnia. That's fun stuff, but it's mostly for kids, now isn't it? Us grown-ups should really be familiar with stuff like the Space Trilogy.
Lewis's "sanctified imagination" had trouble with belief in God, until one day he came back from the Zoo believing that Jesus was the son of God.
Lewis was a Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge. Composer Benjamin Britten was made an honorary Fellow there, and he is the composer of Ode to St. Cecilia. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that today is also the Feast of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music.
What happens when an internationally loved United States President is murdered on the Feast of St. Cecilia? Another English composer, Herbert Howells, writes a beautiful ode to John F. Kennedy: Take him earth for cherishing. An excerpt:
Take, O take him, mighty Leader,
Take again thy servant's soul.
Grave his name, and pour the fragrant
Balm upon the icy stone.
Take him, Earth, for cherishing,
To they tender breast receive him.
Body of a man I bring thee,
Noble in its ruin.
By the breath of God created.
Christ the prince of all its living.
Take him earth, for cherishing.
Prudentius (348-413), from Humnus circa Exsequias Defuncti, trans. Helen Waddell
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