‘This New Light’
a short liturgy for the Feast of the Transfiguration
‘That this new light, which now I see
May both the work and workman show’
from ‘Matins’ by George Herbert
(You could, if you wish, light a candle with each stanza)
In the name of God
the Light before light;
In the name of Jesus
the Light from Light;
In the name of the Spirit
the Light who gives light.
May the Radiant Three
hallow this offered time
with the light of their seeing.
RECOGNITION AND RESHAPING
‘Peter and those with him were weighed down by sleep; but waking thoroughly they saw the glory of him and of the two men standing with him…’
You came into the world
to transform our looking
and transfigure our seeing.
But sometimes my eyes are too heavy
and I miss the chance
to see the world through your light…
When moments of transfiguration come
may the light of your face
capture my gaze
call me into wakefulness
charge me with liveliness
and summon in me the courage
to see, understand, and act differently
in the time
to which you are calling me.
READING: Luke 9: 28-36
You are invited to keep a time of silence
held in human form –
suffuse my looking
and saturate my living
with your transfiguring light,
that the patterns and colours
tones and textures
of your Kingdom
may bloom and blossom
around me and within me
and bring more light
into the world.
As I walk onwards
may I follow the light I have;
In all that you set before me
may I see your face more clearly;
In all that you ask of my living
may I show your love more brightly;
As I walk onwards
may your radiance increase in me.
Liturgy © Pat Bennett
The Iona Community
This liturgy and podcast were prepared in partnership with St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow and with Dr Debbie Lewer, Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Glasgow. The music was specially composed by Alexander MacLaren.
It is the third in a series of podcasts entitled ‘Bodies in Transition’ and can be found online as a stand alone here.
The first two podcasts -for the Feasts of the Visitation and of Corpus Christi can be found on the St Mary’s website here; and on the Iona Community website with their accompanying liturgies here and here.
From the composer
The chant, Quicumque christum quaeritis, is a setting of a colourful 12th-century poem, the hymn to the Transfiguration, which speaks of primordial chaos, boundless sky, and eternal glory. The music is in four short movements, each a digital ‘transfiguration’ of the plainchant melody and the cyanotype image. The chant is first sung, as if liturgically, but by many voices belonging to just one person—an ancient unison by modern means. The second movement reimagines the chant as a canon, each voice comprising a synthesised waveform with the characteristics of a theremin, accompanied by a human voice that never breathes. The third movement uses colour and brightness information from the cyanotype image to modulate each note of the plainchant, a polyphonic cacophony of voices. The frequencies responsible for the timbre of each note and of the drone beneath are taken from a frequency-space representation of the image obtained by a mathematical transfiguration—the two-dimensional Fourier transform. A fundamental pillar of our understanding of our world and the technology that connects us, the Fourier Transform represents information using a sum of wave-like patterns. The fourth movement is a series of disjoint ‘pixels’ whose waveforms are generated from the wave-pattern within the image, with the red, green and blue components each represented by their own series of pitches.