March 25, 2013

Holy Week, Holy Women, Holy Men

By long custom the observance of the sanctoral calendar (the feasts of saints) is suppressed during Holy Week and Easter Week. Even the Annunciation gets bumped — robbing us of that great contrast so well observed by John Donne when Annunciation fell on Good Friday.

But this week has also been chosen to inaugurate the latest exhibition in the Episcopal Church and the Visual Arts, aptly titled, Holy Women, Holy Men. I'm pleased to note that one of my works in a series of “quick” icons of some of the newer (and a few of the older) saints, “Four For Freedom” — Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth (in the detail at the left) and Amelia Bloomer, is included amidst a colorful and moving collection of images.

The superb introduction by the curator, my brother in Christ Karekin Madteos Yarian is also well worth a visit for the more verbally oriented, and anyone who appreciates a fine message of hope for this week's journey to Calvary and beyond.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


JCF said...

"Holy Week, Holy Women, Holy Men"

OK, I admit I suddenly heard Stevie Wonder in my head (I'm old): "Yester Me, Yester You, Yesterday".


A blessed Holy Week to all at In a Godward Direction!

Jesse said...

More reasons to love the classical BCP tradition: in 1662 (and its comrades), there is no option given for transferring feast days when two collide. That's why Donne could experience both Annunciation and Good Friday simultaneously.

The old prayer book commentators noticed that the Church of England made no provision such as was found in the Church of Rome. Wheatly's Rational Illustration explicitly notes the problem of the Annunciation falling in Passion Week, and supposes that different churches will find different solutions (mainly to do with which lessons are read).

The Byzantine tradition similarly does not transfer feasts when they collide. The Typikon explains just what to do in every possible permutation.

Oh... and congrats on the exhibition!

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Thanks, JCF.

Indeed so, Jesse. One of the things I appreciate about the Cranmerian approach to the Office, is the sense of the inevitability of the turning of the great wheels, which means that there are occasional dissonances prior to resolution. My community uses the 30-day Psalter for this reason, and yes, it means coming upon the "H" word in Lent (and letting it pass by silently; and reciting a penitential psalm in a festal season. But it strikes me that this is part of a grasp of the God's-eye-view described in Job, the big picture of the real world in which we live, move, and have our being -- and in which tragedy and comedy are so completely intermixed.