Monday, March 17, 2008

Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi

We'll have a religious theme this week, what with Easter approaching (can't do Pass-over or any of the others unfortunately....).

For those of you who don't speak Latin the title means 'Lamb of God, who carries the sins of the world' ['...miserere nobis' - '...have pity on us']. Quite right, too. Though I think that placing our sins on the back of a little lamb and expecting it to have pity on us as well is asking a bit much, no? Unfortunately my Latin is too rusty to say 'we have pity on you because we made you carry our sins' in Latin. (The Agnus Dei part of the Catholic liturgy and comes at the end, right after the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Benedictus, Sanctus sequence of a mass [or even Anglican service], as you would know if you have played in, sung in a classical music mass - the best pieces of music! I love masses of masses!).

What brought on this sudden attack of good old Catholic religion (which I actually quite like even though it's not mine)? A documentary on the inner workings of the Vatican, which also showed the Pope's farm. Apparently he had been given a 15-day-old lamb at Easter, and the farm worker had hand-reared it. It was a beautiful white fluffy lamb, and it ain't going to be eaten if the farm worker has anything to do with it. I could just imagine it with a bishop's staff in the crook of its little elbow....