Tuesday, December 06, 2005

O Little Town of Bethlehem.... in Latin

Last night I met Fr. P for the annual Latin Carol sing at Brown University. It is a tradition that apparently dates back several decades and has now gotten so big they hold it in the First Baptist Church on North Main Street. This austere old colonial church was packed to the rafters last night! As it was my first time, I was a little worried about how I'd do, but two semesters of Latin in college and a very well laid out music score was enough to get me through. Not to mention the fact that I knew all the tunes, LOL!

I believe that the only carol actually written in Latin was Adeste Fideles. All the others were translated, sometimes to hilarious effect.

Between the songs, an MC introduced (in Latin, of course) various speakers who read poems and scriptures. Truly, some were awful, but some were absolutely beautiful. The English translations were provided, of course, which meant that we could follow along if we wanted to. But for the scripture readings, especially, I liked to just sit and listen to the language roll over me. One piece that a choir group sang was especially moving. It reminded me of Hildegard Von Bingen a little.

After the sing-along, I had a lovely chat with another friend of Fr. P's. He is a member of the church where Fr. P was interim Rector last year. He shared his own experiences with church shopping, and gave me some advice about approaches to take. His suggestion was to find a Rector who teaches and believes the same things I do. I am too new a christian to be able to do that effectively, I think. I mean, after all, if that was the litmus test for a successful relationship, I wouldn't have ended up with Fr. P as my Director.... we are very different on some crucial issues. BUT, I wouldn't give up our friendship for the world and have learned so much from him. Thus, I don't think I need a Rector I agree with. More, I think I need one that is just absolutely crazy about Jesus and can share that enthusiasm with me. And one that's been around the block with newbies is a plus, too.

Today, I am listening to Canticles of Ecstasy by Hildegard. Full blast. It is drawing me ever so slightly out of my funk.

I love you, Beloved.

The dawn draws closer.

From the Latin Sing last night:

Ecce mundi gaudium
Ecce salus gentium
Virgo parit filium
Sine violentia
Ave, virgo regia
Dei plena gracia

Behold the joy of the world
Behold humanity's salvation
A virgin has borne a son
Without violence.
Hail, Royal Virgin
full of grace!

1 comment:

Iohannes Michahel said...

Thought you might like this:

"God speaks to us as He makes us,
then walks with us silently
out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:
"You, sent out beyond your
recall, go to the limits
of your longing.

Embody Me.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you;
beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose Me.

Nearby is the country
they call life.

You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand."

(Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Hours, trans. Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy (New York: Riverhead Books, 1997) 88.)