Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Very Heart of English Christianity

"During a short spell at a cathedral choir school (not as a choirboy, since I sing like a donkey) I had experienced the intense beauty of the ancient Anglican chants, spiralling up into chilly stone vaults at Evensong. This sunset ceremony is the very heart of English Christianity. The prehistoric, mysterious poetry of the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis, perhaps a melancholy evening hymn, and the cold, ancient laments and curses of the Psalms, as the unique slow dusk of England gathers outside and inside the echoing, haunted, impossibly old building, are extraordinarily potent. If you welcome them, they have an astonishing power to reassure and comfort. If you suspect or mistrust them, they will alarm and repel you like a strong and unwanted magic, something to flee from before it takes hold." Peter Hitchens, The Rage Against God.

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