Monday, 8 October 2012

Day 32- Agnes Dei

Agnes  Dei (1635-40)
Fransisco de  Zurbaran
A new spring lamb with its feet trussed is up for the slaughter. Agnes Dei or “Lamb of God” is a powerful reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice for humanity. The composition is austere, aided by the single source of light and deep chiaroscuro (contrast between light and dark), evoking a sense of spiritual piety
I received  this  painting in  my  inbox  today and    sat  looking  at   it  for  a  few  minutes thinking  about  Jesus  the  perfect  Lanb  of  God  slain before  the foundations  of  the  earth.
The Renaissance  masters  made  scriptural truths  come  alive   with  the  stroke  of  their   brushes.These  religious  paintings  were  all  the  more  meaningful and  significant  in that  day and  age  as  the Bible  was  virtually  inaccessible  to  the laity ,  the  clergy  being  its  tenacious  custodians.
Latin  was the  language of    Catholic  Christianity  and the   common man bowed  his  head  before  it, worshipping  God with  words  they barely could understand.
Now  , if I was  living  in the Renaissance period , dwelling  in small hamlet  in Europe and  one  day had  an  opportunity  to  see this masterpiece  in an imposing cathedral in a  city-  what  would this  painting do to  me?
I would  probably  know  Agnes  Dei   from  the  Gregorian Chant
sung  by  a  monastic  choir  in  the  parish church.

I  would turn   to  the  painting  with  that  music  throbbing  in my heart.
Look  at  the  lamb, spotless, unblemished,  perfect.
Lying  in peaceful submission on the  altar of its  sacrifice. Its  legs  trussed  up. It  is  not   struggling or  bleating or   pleading for  mercy.
And  I  would  recall  the  words  of  Jesus uttered  in the  Garden of Gethsemane, His  last  resting place  before  his  journey towards the  cross.

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”
Matthew 26;39 NASB (BIBLE)
Listen  to  a  monastic choir  sing
the Agnus  Dei  from  the  Gregorian  Chant

0 Fertilize my soul: