119 – Beyond Christmas (a coda)

The Adoration of the Kings from The Benedictional of St Æthelwold, f. 24v, 963-984. British Museum, London. Last week, when I was talking about a 6th Century mosaic showing the procession of the Magi (118 – Epiphany in Ravenna) I said that it was only several centuries later that the Magi began to be seenContinue reading “119 – Beyond Christmas (a coda)”

An Advent Calendar – 24

‘Myrrh’ – Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume Brings a life of gathering gloom; Sorrowing, sighing, Bleeding, dying, Sealed in the stone-cold tomb. Once more John Henry Hopkins Jr. proves his knowledge of Origen. To complete the quotation that has built up over the last two days, ‘gold, as to a king; myrrh, as toContinue reading “An Advent Calendar – 24”

An Advent Calendar – 20

‘Joseph’ – Oh, Joseph! Poor Joseph! Always off to one side, half in the shadows, but with so much responsibility. Of course, the bible says next to nothing about him – apart from the fact that he was of the house of David, and was thought to be Jesus’s father. So almost everything we knowContinue reading “An Advent Calendar – 20”

An Advent Calendar – 17

‘…and his servants‘ – Every good king should have his retinue, but how many followers do you need? ‘What need you five and twenty, ten, or five?’ argues Goneril in Act 2, Scene 4 of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Her sister Regan goes further, ‘What need one?’, to which Lear’s response is straightforward: ‘O, reason notContinue reading “An Advent Calendar – 17”