There was a time when I spent a lot of time in public libraries. They’re great places for the intellectually curious and the financially challenged. Then I became a public librarian — and became jaded towards the library-going experience. Then I became an academic librarian; and now, after some years in academia, I am still fairly ruined for the joys of public library patronage. But I do enjoy poking my head in from time to time. So, the other day, while waiting for Walgreens to fill a prescription of antibiotics for my daughter’s infected mosquito bite, I ventured into the nearby branch of the local public library system.
Among the gems I found while browsing the stacks was this: 1000: A Mass for the End of Time by a group of golden-throated ladies called Anonymous 4. I’m listening to it right now, and thumbing through the notes, including the Latin text with parallel English/French/German translation. The first line of the Processional Hymn is notable:
Judicii signum, tellus sudore madescit.
The sign of judgment: the earth will begin to sweat.
A prophetic reference to global warming? A description of New Orleans in August? In any case, quite an image, and a beautiful apocalyptic liturgy pulled from a millenium past.