Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pretiosissimi Sanguinis

An edition of images I made last week for including in the 500X Holiday Sale.

Pretiosissimi Sanguinis- 1 through 4

The title is from "Litaniae pretiosissimi Sanguinis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi", or "Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ."  A litany that may be read in Catholic services, it dates from 1960.

I'm not Catholic, but I have a great respect for the power of Catholic symbolism.  The concept of the Eucharist - the ritual transformation of the simple matter of bread and wine into the the body and blood of Christ, to then be ingested as a means of communing with the divine - is fascinating to me and I can't say exactly why.  As a non-believer I can't follow the belief that the bread and wine are literally transformed in the process of consecration- but I am also somehow envious of those who do believe it.  To literally ingest your savior seems like a kind of intimacy that would feel incredibly powerful to those who do.

Perhaps I am just a spiritual tourist and it's not right for me to dabble with other people's sacred rituals, even in so oblique a fashion.  But I do find the symbolism of the Catholics very deep and resonant.  After two-thousand odd years of practice, they did do a few things right.

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