Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Breath of God


The Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge has a magnificent collection of Mediaeval manuscripts and early printed books. One of these is a sixth century Gospel book from Canterbury, a present from Pope Gregory the Great to St Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury. This book has been carried in procession in the service of enthronement of every Archbishop of Canterbury since 598.
During the service of enthronement of Archbishop Rowan Williams in February 2003, the book was carried, open, on a cushion held by one of the party processing down the aisle of Canterbury Cathedral. To the amazement of the man holding it, its pages began to ripple, as if moved by the Holy Ghost, adding to the spirituality of the occasion. It was only after the service that he discovered the human reason for the movement of the pages: the sound waves and breath from 4000 people singing, facing the procession from both sides of the cathedral.

2 Comments:

Blogger Angus said...

Rationalist !

1:39 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

You can choose your explanation, Angus

8:13 am  

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