Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday Dawn in Florence

I arose mightily early that I might attend the "Lauds" as sung by the Monastic Communities of Jerusalem in their Florentine church:

  • Psalm 99 with Ps 94:1 as antiphon;
  • Psalms 24 and 7;
  • Canticle from the Old Testament (Osee vi, 1-6);
  • Psalmus laudativus (Ps 145);
  • Lesson - a Patristic reading, which I seemed to hear attributed to James (?) in the 2nd century (?);
  • Alleluia and verse;
  • Gospel (St Luke vii, 31-35), read by one of their priests;
  • Benedictus;
  • Trisagion with verse and doxology (Byzantine style, as at their Vespers);
  • Lord's Prayer;
  • Collect;
  • "Let us bless the Lord".

An interesting experiment. Unlike last night, I wasn't in good enough voice at such an early hour to join in the singing.

I returned to my hotel for a prodigious breakfast of several courses - pastries, fruits, sausage, bacon and eggs, the works - since, after all, one must get one's money's worth...

Going for a walk afterward, still before 9 am, I found the nearby Oratorio di Santa Maria delle Grazie open, and the candle stands already well filled with big tapers burning in honour of the Madonna e Bambino Gesù (imaged in an icon of 1313, by the anonymous Maestro di S. Cecilia). It was a holy place in which to pray Lauds cum Ecclesia, and meditate on the Incarnation.

I crossed the Ponte Vecchio as one does, bought some gelati and returned to the north bank of the Arno...

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