Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Song of Songs

I (attempt to) follow the 2-year cycle of scriptural passages for the Office of Readings. Unless I missed something the Universalis site (link at the right) only uses the 1-year cycle apparently . I use a different translation for the Liturgy of the Hours but a table of readings for the 2-year cycle can be found at the back of Christian Prayer. One thing that fascinates me is that the readings for much of Christmas in year 2 of the cycle are from the Song of Songs. Todays reading (Sg 1:1-10):

Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth: for thy breasts are better than wine, Smelling sweet of the best ointments. Thy name is as oil poured out: therefore young maidens have loved thee. Draw me: we will run after thee to the odour of thy ointments. The king hath brought me into his storerooms: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, remembering thy breasts more than wine: the righteous love thee. I am black but beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Cedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Do not consider me that I am brown, because the sun hath altered my colour: the sons of my mother have fought against me, they have made me the keeper in the vineyards: my vineyard I have not kept.

Shew me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou liest in the midday, lest I begin to wander after the flocks of thy companions. If thou know not thyself, O fairest among women, go forth, and follow after the steps of the flocks, and feed thy kids beside the tents of the shepherds. To my company of horsemen, in Pharao's chariots, have I likened thee, O my love. Thy cheeks are beautiful as the turtledove's, thy neck as jewels. We will make thee chains of gold, inlaid with silver.

(technically the table in "Christian Prayer" only lists verses 1 to 8 but the edition I follow prints verses 1 to 10). There's something very beautiful about reading the Song of Songs at Christmastime!

The translation above is from the Douay-Rheims edition of the Bible.

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