Pärting is such sweet sorrow

Theresa K has moved her blog to a new address and a new name: Katie’s Beer.

Another recent addition to the blogroll is Jeremy Abel’s Living Among Mysteries, which currently features a very attractive icon for All Saints’ Day (a big improvement on the previous day’s Worst Evangelical Goatee In The World…).

I particularly enjoyed Jeremy’s recent post on the “bright sadness” of Arvo Pärt, in particular Pärt’s “Litany” – a setting of St John Chrystostom’s 24 prayers for each hour of the day and night. It’s worth buying the whole CD just for Pärt’s setting of the final petition:

O Lord, Thou knowest that Thou dost as Thou willest,
let then Thy will be done in me, sinner,
for blessed art Thou unto the ages. Amen.

Jeremy’s post then got Rick Ritchie scurrying off to his local record shop to buy a copy of Pärt’s “Beatitudes” (to read Rick’s post, you’ll need to scroll down to the second item on the linked page. Rick, I’ll say it again: permalinks!!!).

The structure of Pärt’s piece – in which “the first half of each Beatitude … gets across the difficulty of each thing being blessed, and the second half [is] in a happier manner that suggests blessedness” – led to the following insight from Rick into the Beatitudes:

While all the other beatitudes offers a virtue and then a reward, the last one offers the promise of an unnamed reward, and then a reason (you are like the prophets when you are mistreated by men).

Coming in the second half like this, there is half a hint that being like the prophets is a reward in itself. The prophet’s reward is ahead, but you may find it easier to bear up under this treatment if you know that it is a sign of greatness.

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