Cantilena (for a Baptismal Service)

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Graham Atherton Rector of Guiseley. Followed by party at the back of church bring a bottle! John the Baptist. Mary Magdalene. No morning service at St Faith's. Vicarage garden. Michael and All Angels. Simon and Jude. Also Churches Together in Waterloo event. Carol singing with military band pm.

Stephen the First Martyr. Holy Eucharist. Founded in the Church of Scotland Guild has focused on serving our church, our communities and our world. These projects are challenging, sometimes controversial, but always worthwhile. Queensferry Parish Church has an active and friendly Guild. We meet twice per month in the St Andrew Hall and would like to think we offer a varied and interesting programme — see above. We would greatly value new members — and yes, gentlemen, the Guild is also for you now too!

For further information, or if you would need transport to access the Guild please contact the church office Church Office Tel: Send Email. Sundays 10 Sunday 7th July , am Children and families all join together for the first part of our all-age worship at 10am. Thursdays 9. Where is it?

Strategy - One journey, many roads Theme - Seeking the way With over 20, members, the Guild is one of the largest organisations in Scotland and has a rich history of service to others. The Lenten emphasis on the struggle of the soul provided the cohesion that unified the imagery into thematic programs, some related to the performance of the scrutinies during Lent others more to everyday living. Many of the symbolic motifs, such as Samson and the lion or a siren were familiar to the average reader from other ecclesiastical sites as these were part of the international repertoire associated with, what we call, the Romanesque language.

There is no single textual, liturgical, theological or literary source to which the collection of images in any of the pictorial programs can be traced; the imagery originates from a range of sources, secular and religious, textual and oral.

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In this respect, the programs can be described as typically Romanesque. The representations of women and sexual components in these programs are, however, unusual, especially, when compared to fonts made in other regions of the Latin West.

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They extoll the evils associated with women and the battle for the salvation of the soul. There are no comparable examples, although many of the individual motifs such as Spinario, the wrestlers and the sirens, are known on other fonts made during this period. The sexual imagery is unique and can be described as aggressively forthright; they dominate and set the tone for the messages rendered in the programs.

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  • The sexual imagery displays little of the marginality found in the ornamentation of manuscripts or on the corbels under the church roof tops. The illicit types of relationships carved on 74 For a discussion of the changes within theological discourse, the emphasis on the rival of dualism by the Cathar heretics, the synthesis of Thomas Aquinas and influenctial Sentences by Peter Lombard, and how these developments affected views of the Devil, see Jeffrey Burton Russell, Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, , The programs are non-narrative and can be described as a form of pictorial exempla.

    The linear sequence of symbolic and representational images would have been used for a variety of sermons. Each image represented a condensed, abbreviated story in itself, like the fornicating couple on the Rebanal de las Llantas font or the depiction of Samson struggling with the lion. Stories and moral lessons which would have been part of the readings and sermons in the liturgy. A single image or sequence of motifs would have served equally well as pictorial examples to illustrate a range of ideas.

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    Many of the motifs placed next to the unusual representations of women and sexual imagery are known on other baptismal fonts and formed part of a larger, repertoire of images that constituted Lenten themes on fonts made in the Latin West. The range of motifs used for the soteriological programs on the Iberian fonts can be grouped into several, general categories: representatives of the Christian Church St.

    Peter,75 bishop, monk, priest , symbols of the Christian faith fish, cross, symbols of the four Evangelists, the faith of Daniel in the Lions Den76 , representations of judgement and saved souls figures portrayed in gestures of prayer, angel holding infant, resurrected dead, crow of cockerel, Father Abraham and the Souls , representations of prohibited acts sexual acts, dancing and playing musical instruments , symbols associated with the sins of the flesh the devil, women, gluttony, sirens, Spinario, centaur , moral vices such as deception sirens, Eve and the serpent , motifs representing the spiritual struggle which may have biblical or political significance wrestlers, knights, kings , motifs symbolizing the victory of the Christian faith Daniel and the Lions, Samson and the Lion and representations of events about the story of Adam and Eve.

    Episodes from the story of Samson can have a number of meanings. In some cases it refers to 75 The depiction of St. Peter on baptismal fonts was popular throughout the Latin West. More than seventy baptismal fonts have been recorded as representing the apostle from the 12th and 13th centuries in the following countries Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Norway and Slovakia.

    Michael's Hildesheim, Hannover. The story of Samson from the Old Testament is employed to enhance this theme on the Albacastro font and the Osorno font which also includes a reference to the story of Daniel in the Lions Den. The Robladillo de Ucieza program is dedicated to the sins of the flesh which includes gluttony and avarice as well as sexual temptations. The program portrays a female siren with a double tail whose deceptive and seductive characteristics are emphasized by the depiction of Spinario with an enlarged penis next to it.

    Women are rendered as the source of man's sexual desires. The origins of man's struggle with temptation and female seduction may be directly or indirectly evoked in the programs. The programs carved on the Cleckheaton and Mahamud depict scenes from the Fall of Mankind and others, like those carved on the Beuda, Rebanal de las Llantas and Osorno fonts make only indirect references to the event by depicting Eve-like personifications of Luxuria.

    Not to be overlooked in the themes that emerge in the programs with references to female sexuality is the power of the Christian faith and the role of the Church in man's struggle for eternal salvation.

    These ideas are symbolized by a number of different motifs. These images are also references to the ritual of exorcism performed during the season of Lent. There are several examples of praying figures illustrating the power of prayer and faith. The saved soul may also be represented as in the case of the representation of Father Abraham with the saved souls in his lap or a depiction of an angel standing and holding a small infant, synonymous for the saved soul, a common motif found also on Swedish baptismal fonts.

    A key motif among the Iberian fonts is the personification of Ecclesia as the Virgin Mary and the womb of the Church, which is exemplified on the Cueva Cardiel font, where a bishop stands next to the event of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary scene. As is usually the case, when representations of the Virgin Mary as Ecclesia are part of pictorial programs, explicit sexual references are excluded.

    When they do appear, as on the Iberian and Swedish fonts the sexual imagery is symbolic rather than secular. References to sexual deception and lust take the form of representations of Luxuria or sirens. Overt secular depictions of masturbation and fornication on the Iberian fonts are never combined with depictions of the Holy Mother but instead appear with fabulous creatures or Old Testament scenes, demonstrating a hierarchial approach to image selection and their inclusion in the design of these programs.

    By the twelfth century, baptismal fonts were gendered as female because of their liturgical function in the ritual of regeneration and in the matriarchial associations of the medieval Church.

    Catholic liturgy

    In the early Christian church the female body provided theologians with a rich repertoire of images that not only embraced the symbiotic notions of sin and salvation but provided an allegorical means of describing the spiritual transformation that occurs in Christian Baptism. The two developments are inextricably linked. Patristic sermons and writings on the baptismal liturgy are the early roots of the later twelfth-and-thirteenth-century sexual imagery rendered on the baptismal fonts.

    At the core of this complex relationship was the dyad relationship of Christ and Ecclesia.


    The following section examines the biblical, patristic and liturgical origins for how the baptismal font acquired a similar, dual sexuality, in effect, how the fonts came to be gendered as the female body of Christ. Gregory of Bergamo makes this connection clear when he explains that the body of Christ which we see is also the same body of which he is Head of, that is, Ecclesia Col.

    Paris, , , To reconstruct this understanding we need to begin with how the female body acquired such a prominent role in the ritual of Baptism. The earliest references to the female body and Baptism occur in the Gospel of St. John , Jesus answered, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Bedard notes that the earliest references to the matriarchical role of the Church can be traced to the Letter of the Martyrs of Lyons and Vienne A. In contrast to the fertile waters of the baptismal font, Tertullian in De Baptismo refers to the water used by pagans in their initiation rites as viduis aquis translated as widow water or barren water in Caput 5.

    Ofrasio, S. Rome, who analyses not only the links between font and the womb of the Church but also the symbolic associations with the tomb. O spiritual parturition! O new bringing forth! Conception without womb, begetting without bosom, birth without flesh! Spiritual birth, birth by the grace and loving-kindness of God, birth full of joy and gladness! But the first birth was not thus; it began with lament…But not so this birth…There are never laments nor tears here, but greetings and kisses and embraces from the brethren who acknowledge a member of the family.

    Irenaeus of Lyon in his text Adversus haereses, emphasizes the virginal connections with regeneration in Baptism quoting Is. For English translation see Ofrasio, Parturit itaque nos virgo non viro plena, sed spiritu. Parti nos virgo non cum dolore membrarum, sed cum gaudis angelorum. Ntrit nos virgo non corporis lacte, sed apostoli, quo informam adhuc crescentis poul lactavit aetatem. He introduces the phrase vulva matris in one of his catechetical sermons preached on Easter c. Ecce sunt: sed ex Deo nati sunt. Vulva matris qua baptismatis. More explicit discussion about this pictorial development continues below in the next section entitled "The Vulva Matris.

    Ubi vos, videtis, deum Patrem habere coepistis. Sed habebitis, com nati fueritis. Quamquam et modo atequam nascamini, illius semine concepti estis, tanquam utero ecclesiae in fonte pariendi. San Paciano, Obras, Universidad de Barcelona, , Ex his nuptiis christiana plebs nascitur, veniente desuper Spiritu Domini; nostrarumque animarum substantiae superfuso et admixtio protinus semente coelesti, visceribus matris inolescimus, alvoque ejus effusi vivificamur in Christo. See also PL A. Unlike the womb of mortal women, the uterus of Ecclesia, the upper bowl of the font which held the water, was sanctified by the Holy Spirit as was the womb of the Virgin Mary.

    The blessed water in the font was equivalent to the blessed womb of the Virgin Mary. The liturgical prayers that evolved for the scrutinies and the baptismal rite over the centuries in the various documents prior to the standardization of the Roman rite also included parturient and anatomical references to the female body.

    The Roman rite simplifies many of the earlier descriptive prayers and eliminates much of the allegorical imagery. However, the imagistic tradition remains very much evident in the numerous sermons and the liturgical treatises written from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries. The following excerpts provide an example of how the early Christian ideas of the female body, fecundity and parturition in relation to Baptism had permeated the liturgy during the Carolingian period. In the exposition of the Gospels to the elect at the Opening of the Ears in the eighth-century Gelasian Sacramentary from the region of Paris,99 at the time of the third scrutiny in Lent, the priest read: 97 Leo I, Sermo It is a Roman but hybrid document which includes Gallican elements, see A.