From the Dominican Office of Tenebrae (‘Darkness’) for Good Friday, A.D. 2009, at Blackfriars, Oxford.

The text for this portion of the service is the Benedictus, or Canticle of Zechariah. Though this canticle, comprising Luke 1:68-79, is part of the Church’s morning prayer every day of the year (at the hour of Lauds), it has a special resonance on these days.

Because of the compassionate kindness of our God,
the dawn from on high shall break upon u

To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
to guide our feet in the way of peace.

Inspired by a comment by Mr. Webb

Kurtz Unbound
These pitch-dark waters glisten in the sun;
As black, the sweat that falls across my gun.
“Is it time,” whispers Magobee the slave,
“To cut the anchor chain?” We note a wave
That urges us adrift. “Our journey’s done,”
I say. “This river, my lover, our grave….”