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Non Believer  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Non Believer Replybullet Topic: The Parable of the Old Men and the Young
    Posted: 12 November 2017 at 5:05pm
To observe Remembrance Day yesterday, a group of us watched a performance of the War Requiem by Benjamin Britten. It's an exceptionally moving performance. Please take the time to watch it.

War Requiem

After the traditional Latin text:

Chorus
Sed signifer sanctus Michael
repraesentet eas in lucem sanctam:
Quam olim Abrahae promisisti,
et semini ejus.

Chorus
But let the holy standard-bearer Michael
lead them into the holy light
as Thou didst promise Abraham
and his seed.

Britten inserts a poem by Wilfred Owen, written during the First World War (at the 45:00 mark).

The Parable of the Old Men and the Young.

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenched there,
And streched forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! and angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.

But the old man would not so,
but slew his son, -
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.


Followed by the traditional text:

Boys
Hostias et preced tibi Domine
laudis offerimus; tu suscipe pro
animabus illis, quarum hodie
memoriam facimus: fac eas, Domine,
de morte transire ad vitam.
Quam olim Abrahae promisisti
en semini ejus.

Boys
Lord, in praise we offer to Thee
sacrifices and prayers, do Thou receive them
for the souls of those whom we remember
this day: Lord, make them pass
from death to life.
As Thou didst promise Abraham
and his seed.
Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.
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Non Believer  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Non Believer Replybullet Posted: 14 November 2017 at 1:36pm
No comments?

The poem clarified something for me. Not long ago there was a thread celebrating Ibrahim's decision not to sacrifice his son, a story that is similar to the story in Genesis. At the time I wondered why would people perpetuate a story about a psychotic man who came within moments of murdering his son before regaining his reason ... and then claim him as their patriarch. It made no sense to me. What was the allegory?

Wilfred Owen clears it up for me... Old men have repeatedly sacrificed their sons, rather than their own pride, in spite of God's commandment.

Too bad so many do not listen to God.
Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.
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